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Watch Me Fall

Chapter Text

I climbed the stairs, preparing myself for what I was about to do. I unlocked the door with the key I had swiped from a teacher. I was about to take my shoes off when I saw a boy with braided hair.

“Hey! Don’t do it, please!” The words escaped my mouth before I realized it. What did I just say? I honestly don’t care why someone’s in trouble for once. I was just pissed he got here before me. The boy looked up at me and smiled, tears running down his face.

“I really thought he liked me back. He would hang out with me after school and told me I was always going to be at his side. And then I kissed him and he- he told me he wasn’t interested. He said it was disgusting. The next day he was laughing at it with all of his friends.”

“For god’s sake, please! Are you serious, that’s why you’re here? I just can’t believe that for some stupid reason you got here before me! Are you upset that you can’t have what you wanted? You’re lucky you’ve never gotten robbed of anything!” I shouted, incredulous. Trying to kill himself over such a simple thing? It’s not like he didn’t have any friends who could comfort him.

“I’m feeling better. Thank you, for listening.” The boy left the rooftop, leaving me alone. Irritated now, I didn’t feel in the mood to do what I had planned and went back home.

~*~

“Today’s the day.” I murmured to myself, ignoring the jeers from the people I passed by in the hallway. I went back to that rooftop, but there was another boy there. He was short and sitting on the railing. I could feel the same frustration I had the day before well up in me. “Why are you here?”

The boy turned and told me his reasons. “Everyone ignores me and steals my things. I don’t fit in with anyone here. Or anywhere...”

“Really? That’s why you’re here? At least you are still loved at home and there’s always dinner on the table!” I screamed. The boy short as could be smiled and wiped his tears as he got off the railing.

“I’m hungry.” And then he left, as the one the day before had.

~*~

The frustration continued to build up every day as more people appeared on the rooftop, stopping me from what I was trying to do. Instead, I helped each of them deal with their issues and stopped them from doing the same thing I wanted to. It was almost like I was a real hero. What a joke.

Finally, I believed this could be the day I finally jump. Instead there was another boy. He wore an All Might jacket, almost covering the bandages on his body, but it did nothing to hide the bruise on his swollen cheek. I could tell he was going through the same issues as me.

“I just want to stop the scars that grow every time I go home... that’s why I came up here instead.” He didn’t bother smiling or trying to hide his pain. He looked empty and already dead inside.

“Hey, don’t do it, please...” I said something I couldn’t believe. There was no anger in me this time, just grief and pain. There was nothing I could do for the boy in the All Might jacket, which was new. Nothing I could do to stop him, at all. For once, I think I’ve asked someone up here to do something the other wouldn’t be able to do. We stood there for a few minutes before the boy climbed back over the railing.

“I guess today isn’t my day.” The boy sighed and left me all alone once more. I remembered my mom, who would no doubt worry if I was any later in returning home. I left as well.

~*~

My ears rung as I stood on a rooftop. It was different from the school’s. It was higher up, for example. All Might had just left me up here, telling me I couldn’t be a hero. Kacchan’s voice reverberated, as it told me to just jump off a roof. Maybe he was right.

There was no one up here, unlike at school. All it would take would be a few steps and then it’d be done. Over. No more pain. I took a few of my subscribed pills.

I took in a deep breath, setting my backpack down. I brought out a pair of scissors I carried and cut off my long braids. I slid my shoes off setting them beside the backpack which carried my All Might jacket at the bottom. This boy short as could be could jump now and have the world be that much better for it.

It was only a few steps, I told myself, my phone buzzing in my pocket.

And it was.

Chapter Text

I woke up sore and unable to focus. The usual way I’ve woken up for years. The fall must have just been a dream. The bed was stiff, but I blamed it on my body hurting. It wasn’t until I noticed my arm feeling weirder than usual I noticed there were IVs hooked into it.

“Oh.” I realized. It hadn’t been a dream. Which only made me wonder what had stopped me. Or who. From that height I would have - should have - died, but I hadn’t. Which meant I had been stopped.

There wasn’t anything to do, but think of the heroes (if it was a hero) who could have stopped me from what he had planned for over a month. I even kept a note in my pocket everyday. The main conclusion I arrived to was Midnight. She was the only one who could have knocked me unconscious without hurting a new place on my body. One where Kacchan or anyone else hadn’t gotten to recently.

I looked at the window. Still dark. There was no use trying to sleep, but I had nothing to do, so I laid there and waited until morning.

~*~

I don’t understand why no one ever truly talks about how beautiful and utterly heartbreaking it can be to watch the sun climb gradually over the buildings. There is so much pain that comes with it. Watching the sunrise was a sign I had lived another day. A day I never wanted to face.

I had peeked at the clipboard by my bed after the sun started rising and didn’t see my name on it. They never found out my identity. That didn’t make sense why they labeled him as Kayama Fumie, though.

I wonder if my mom knows I’m here. If not, then she was probably crying as she worried for me. She always seemed to be crying when I wasn’t around. Maybe it’s for the best if she believes I’m dead. If I sneak out now, then I won’t be a burden on anyone anymore.

A nurse appeared as if the thought of trying to escape summoned him. He went to grab a doctor as soon as he realized I was awake. I was then subjected to a lot of questions, I tried to answer vaguely, giving no specifics. When they asked my name I told them what was on the clipboard. If they knew my real name, they could contact my mom and she didn’t need that much stress on her because of someone like me.

After they left and I was finally given something to eat, I received two visitors. They both had black hair, but the way they presented themselves differed. The man was scruffy and slouching, wearing clothes one would rarely been seen outside of the house wearing. The woman beside him wore thin framed glasses, her hair in a lazy ponytail which was nicely balanced with a cardigan over a tank top and a long broomskirt. She sat down in the chair beside me with a smile.

“Hello, my name’s Kayama Nemuri and the man with me is my cousin, Aizawa Shouta. May I know your name?” So this woman was the reason I had my family name as Kayama. She must have been the one who named me, too. Nervousness crept through my throat make me want to cry out for my mom. I was never good with social interactions since I was defined quirkless, and maybe even before that.

“Kayama Fumie...” I answered quietly. We all knew it was a lie, but it was the name on the board, and I just wanted to be released so I could go home to my mom. Or run away. Make her think I’m dead. Actually die...

“It’s alright. You don’t have to answer, if you don’t want to. It would help us alert your family, though.” I turned my face away from her, no longer able to handle her kind expression. This meant I was looking at the frustrated man who didn’t seem to have gotten enough sleep in many nights. He stared right back at me with bloodshot eyes. “Do you remember what happened?”

“I was falling and then I don’t remember anything after that.” I replied. That was true, at least. Which is why I was certain it had to have been a quirk that could have stopped me and knock me unconscious. Midnight had the ability to at least put me to sleep. “Who was the hero that sto -- saved -- me?”

That could have been bad. No, it was bad, I corrected myself. They obviously were keen on my slip-up and knew what happened -- yesterday? I don’t know what day it is. The doctor and nurses never said -- was likely to be repeated. The two shared a quick glance with each other. Definitely bad.

“Midnight saved you. She couldn’t bring you personally because she was called away soon after, but she gave you to us to take care of.” There was a lot Kayama was hiding from me, but it was the best I was going to get for now. Midnight couldn’t have stopped me from falling to my death on her own, after all.

“Do you know her?” I asked. The duo seemed to both know her personally, if only because of the way Aizawa was giving Kayama a look to not reveal too much, and Kayama herself was being careful with her words.

“You could say that we’re close, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you get home soon. Or at least let your family know where you are.” She redirected the conversation. Again, she was trying to get me to worry my mom. It probably worries her more that she doesn’t know where I am and I don’t know how long I’ve been gone. I finally gave in and nodded.

“My mom’s name is Midoriya Inko, would you please not tell her what happened? Just say Izuku is staying at a friend’s house. Please. Anything but at the hospital. I don’t want to worry her anymore than she has.” I was close to begging. I was ready to get up and get on my hands and knees if I needed to, shame be damned. Kayama didn’t look pleased by my response, but nodded anyways. I gave them her phone number and watched Aizawa bring out a phone as he stepped out of the room.

“Why don’t you tell me more about yourself? Got any interests?” A part of me laughed internally. Kayama didn’t know what she was getting herself into.

~*~

I was discharged a few hours later, with Kayama insisting to pay the hospital’s bill. The two brought me back home and rung the doorbell, waiting for my mom to answer. The door opened quickly before she even had reached the door, suggesting she used her quirk in her urgency to see him again. She hugged him tightly, not caring, perhaps not even noticing, the adults behind me. “You had me so worried.”

“I’m sorry.” I told her, wrapping my arms around her as far as they would reach.

“Oh honey, you should tell me if you’ve been having fainting spells. We’ll change your medication, okay?” My mom looked into my eyes so earnest and swollen I could only nod. Aizawa had told her I had fainted, had he? That doesn’t change much at all. Jerk. She focused her attention on the two behind me. “Thank you for taking care of my son. He doesn’t take care of himself enough sometimes, so I am glad there are people out there like you two.”

“It was nothing, Midoriya-kun is a wonderful child and we had a very interesting and enlightening talk about heroes and quirks.” Kayama said with a polite smile. It surprisingly had been. She had conversed with me about the topics with ease and didn’t treat me as if I didn’t know what I was talking about just because I was quirkless or young. Even Aizawa had intruded with some insightful comments.

“I’m glad to hear that.” My mom smiled pleasantly and my heart warmed at the sincere expression she had. “Oh! I know I talked with Aizawa-san on the phone earlier, but I am Midoriya Inko. Thank you again for taking care of my son.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Kayama Nemuri. I hope you don’t mind if I kidnap little Izuku in the future so we can talk some more. I work at a Hero agency and his views have helped me a lot after just a few hours.” That seemed to surprise everyone. Aizawa was gaping, well, his mouth was slightly opened which seemed like a gape for someone like him. Kayama brought out a card and bowed her head to us. “What I meant was, I would like your son to work for me with strategies heroes can use when rescuing people or when they have to deal with villains. I promise good pay.”

“I- thank you, Kayama-san. We will discuss this later and get back to you, if you don’t mind.” My mom replied, looking as if she was ready to burst into tears again while receiving the business card.

“Of course. Take your time. I wish you a goodnight.” Kayama bowed her head, along with Aizawa and then left. I looked at my mom who was just as overwhelmed as I was. Too much had just happened all at once.

~*~

“What do you think of Kayama-san’s offer, mom?” I ask over a tense and awkward dinner. I had been mulling it over in my head since they had left. Considering most of me still wanted to die, Kayama was giving me an offer to live for something. It seemed best to get my mom’s opinion on this. My mom paused in her eating and set down her chopsticks.

“I think it would be good for you. I know you are having trouble at school, more than you tell me.” I ducked my head down and stared at the meal in front of me. “Kayama sees your potential, despite you being quirkless, and I think you would have fun pursuing something you love. The only thing I want to make sure of is that you continue going to school, even while you work. If you decide to.”

“Thank you.” I feel tears well up in my eyes, but wipe them away. With my mom’s support, the balance was tipped in favor of Kayama’s offer. If only to see what it was like and if I want to continue to pursue it in the future.

Chapter Text

I was grateful I didn’t have to face school for another day. No one would even know anything happened since yesterday was a Saturday. Not that they would care. Mom said Kacchan had been on the news the same day I had- the same day I had been attacked by the sludge man. He had been attacked by the same villain. Mom had been called by Kacchan’s mother after the elder Bakugou had tried to call me. Which would seem odd unless you consider they still believe us to be friends.

I don’t plan on dissuading them of that. Better to have them believe Kacchan and I are friends than to destroy their friendship with each other. Mom needs all the support she can get.

For most of the day I had been assisting mom with cleaning the house and making meals to make up for the trouble I had caused her. She was reluctant and convinced I would faint at any time, but I told her it would be better than lying in bed all day. I had enough of that from yesterday.

The cleaning also distracted me from what was going to happen tomorrow, and instead focus on Kayama’s offer. She had been serious when she had offered me a position like the one she was suggesting, despite only having talked to me for half a day. And it was obvious she hadn’t discussed it with anyone else, including her cousin, beforehand. Did she even have the position to do so at her agency? With her confidence in offering just anybody a job, I wouldn’t doubt it.

Mom supports taking up her offer, I remind myself. And even if I can’t be a hero, I could still help them from behind the scenes. That’s more than anyone has told me I could do before.

With those thoughts in mind, I resolved to call Kayama after school tomorrow. The weekends being the busiest time for villain attacks, so it made more sense to wait. It wouldn’t do to interrupt her when she was working, after all.

 

~*~

 

I privately wondered if everything was just going to continue getting worse. First I slept in and barely made it to class in time. My lunch gets knocked onto the floor and get laughed at for someone else’s doing. Then after school, I get cornered by Kacchan behind the school building. He was holding the collar of my shirt and pressing my back against the wall. His other hand was open and threatening to blast me at any time.

“Why does the old hag still believe we’re friends?” He growled. I felt a rush of emotions running through me, disappointment and relief, fear and joy, anger and despair, loathing and love. Apparently, no matter what he’s done to me, my heart won’t let go of him.

“K-Kacchan, it’s not what you think.” My body shivered when he leaned in. His nose almost touching mine, the heat of his hand by my cheek.

“And what do you know of what I think, Deku ?” I could feel the heat rise and a few sparks burn my cheek. He was getting angrier.

“N-nothing. It’s just- I don’t want to worry my mom or have our parents from being friends.”

“So why didn’t you pick up her call on Friday? Huh?”

“I- I- I was busy...” I tried to avoid the truth. It wasn’t a lie, but I didn’t want him to know. I didn’t want anyone to know. They would all just laugh and call me ‘Deku.’

“Busy with what? What could have made you so busy you couldn’t pick up her call?”

“I took your advice.” I managed to get out, but it was barely a whisper.

“What?” He growled again and I could feel his hand inching closer to my face.

“I took your advice! I couldn’t answer because I had jumped off a roof!” I yelled and tears welled in my eyes. I didn’t want to say anything, but once I did it came flowing out. To the person who has tormented me most over my life. All my anger and sadness and frustration over not being able to say anything for all these years because nobody cared, because I didn’t want to worry the one who did. It just got to be too much in this stressful situation. “Are you happy now? I did exactly what you told me to do. I picked a tall building, about five stories, and jumped. But being Deku I couldn’t even do that! I couldn’t even properly die...”

I was released and I slumped to the ground, not expecting the one who had supported me to let go. Tears streamed down my cheeks and my nose was running, but I still managed to look at the boy in front of me. He was gaping, his hands trembling, but not out of anger for once. He wore an expression I had never seen on him. One I couldn’t discern. He took a few steps back and ran away, leaving me sobbing on the ground.

 

~*~

 

I mustered all of the courage I could to call the number on the business card. I was on my way home after cleaning myself off. I had a small red patch on my skin from the small explosions Kacchan had let off, but it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

“Genius Office, Aoyama speaking, how may I help you?” A cheerful woman answered the phone. She had a slight accent suggesting she was a foreigner.

“This is Midoriya Izuku, I am calling because I would like to schedule an appointment with Kayama Nemuri-san.” I attempt to sound confident, but all I sound like is a squeaky, prepubescent boy. This is not going to go well...

“She’s been waiting for you to call. Would you be available today at 6:30 at your house? Kayama-san said she knows your address.” Aoyama barrels right through, surprising me.

“Y-yes?” I replied, uncertain what just happened. Did I just agree to an appointment during dinner at my home? When I’m like this with a red nose and a burn on my cheek for all the world to see?

Magnifique! I hope I see you around the office, you sound like a delight.” Aoyama said before hanging up. I couldn’t believe what just happened. I stared at the phone in my hand.

Better warn mom that we will have a guest for dinner.

 

~*~

 

“I’m home!” I called as I slid off my shoes. I went straight upstairs to avoid my mom noticing my stinging cheek as she replied with a ‘welcome home.’ I dropped my bag by my desk and went to the bathroom to wash my hair and face in the sink.

My cheek hated the feeling of the rushing water and then being dried off by the towel, but I had years of practice to ignore the pain. When I was done, I started putting concealer over it, and then painted my freckles over that. It was less noticeable than putting a bandage over the burn. I dressed my best, something my mom had insisted over the phone and I agreed with.

This would be an interview to confirm Kayama actually wanted me for the job she had been offering and determining the details of what this job was. No pressure or anything.

Time passed too quickly. The doorbell rang while my mom was still cooking and I was still upstairs trying to make sure my now short hair was tamed. Of course such an impulsive move would come and bite me in the ass now. I ran to the top of the stairs and tried to run down the stairs to answer the door, but mom got there first.

“I know I’m a bit early, but I just couldn’t wait to see you two again.” I could hear Kayama say as I came down the stairs. She was holding a small, paper bag with a logo I couldn’t recognize on the side.

“It’s not a problem.” My mom responded, taking the offered bag. That was a lie. My mom had been as equally nervous as I was and dinner wasn’t even done, yet. “Welcome to our home. I apologize, but I need to finish cooking.”

“Of course. I understand completely.” Kayama stepped inside and slid off her heels. She gave off a different feeling from when she was in her casual clothes. She wore a business suit with a tight skirt, her jagged hair in a tight bun. She put on the guest slippers waiting for her, clashing with her neat attire. She looked up and saw me standing there, her entire body seemed to relax and her expression brightened. “Midoriya-kun! You look so cute in that suit! Aww, you even tried to fix your hair.”

“Good evening, Kayama-san.” I strangled out. My face felt like it was on fire in a different way than it had been earlier.

“Don’t be shy now. You did well. Although if you do accept my offer we will be going shopping for better business attire.” Her words sent shivers down my spine. What she promised came with an ominous tone which didn’t bode well for that trip. I led her to the living room, not sure where else to bring her while we waited for my mom. “What would you like to know about the position?”

“You said I could create strategies for heroes to use. What does that mean in more detail?”

“We at Genius Office would like you to come in and talk with heroes throughout a battle or rescue and guide them when they need it. We would also like you to observe villain’s quirks and their strategies as well so heroes can adapt beforehand. If you notice any weaknesses a hero might have during battle, which you had pointed out to me during our conversation on Saturday, we would like to know so we can fix them.” Kayama explained in complete seriousness. She had no bright and cheerful smile on her face, but a neutral expression. She let me take a minute to process the explanation. “We would like you to come in after school for at least three hours and full time on Saturdays. During breaks we would like you to come in full time for four days out of the weekdays with your choice of what day you would be taking off. We would also train you in self-defense, a requirement for anyone who works at Genius Office. If things are serious we might call the school and ask for you to be dismissed from class, but it rarely gets so bad. The pay would be about 193,049,000 yen a year if you accept those terms.”

That could pay for all of the hospital bills I’ve racked up and still leave extra for my mom to live comfortably. She would want for nothing and have less to fear. I wanted to accept right then, but the one in my thoughts called for dinner, stopping me from saying anything.

 

~*~

 

“It’s been a long time since I’ve had a home cooked meal. Thank you.” Kayama smiled as she bowed. My mom and I bowed in return.

“Thank you for joining us this evening.”

“Your kindness matches your beauty, Midoriya-san. I hope to hear your response in the next week, Midoriya-kun.” Kayama put her heels back on and left, carrying dinner’s leftovers in a bag. Mom was a blushing mess and I felt no better. The whole evening was nerve wracking, but at least it was over now. I started to loosen my tie until my mom stopped my struggling and did it herself. Once done, she put her hand on my burnt cheek.

“Izuku... What happened at school?” She asked, removing her hand from my cheek and revealing the makeup that came off with it. My hand flew to my face to cover the injury.

“How did you know?”

“I’m your mother. I’ve known for awhile you have been hiding things from me, I just hadn’t realized it had been so serious.” I hung my head low, ashamed. “You know you can tell me anything, right?”

“I didn’t want to worry you.” I replied. It was because she worried so much she had gained so much weight. It was because she worried so much we had to deal with so many medical bills. It was because she worried about me so much...

“Izuku, I will always worry. It’s what a mother is for. It worries me more when you don’t tell me what’s happened to hurt you.” She stated, taking me in her arms. In her arms I was safe and warm. In her arms I felt four years old again as if I had just discovered I didn’t have a quirk. In her arms my body shook and tears flowed as I told her what happened in the last two months. The truth about Bakugou, the meeting with All Might, and my... fall.

I fell apart in her arms and she held me together.

Chapter Text

I stood outside a tall office building made of glass windows and white, concrete walls. Or so it seemed. I was certain they would have to use something sturdier and more protective. Maybe the windows are bulletproof? It would make more sense in case a villain tries to attack.

Nervous didn’t accurately describe how I felt as I stepped into the building, preparing myself for what was to come. I just hoped I wouldn’t start stuttering or burst into tears like I usually do when I’m overwhelmed with emotion.

The lobby was very modern, lots of things were white and black, a checkered tile floor, with little sprouts of blues and purples. The only thing that didn’t fit in was a bouquet of red and pink roses in a glass vase on the front desk. Behind the ebony desk was a blonde woman dressed in a cream ruffle blouse and a pair of sparkling sapphire earrings hanging from her ears. She looked up and noticed me standing in the doorway.

“You must be Midoriya-kun! You’re just as adorable as Nemuri-chan said you were! Ah! I meant Kayama-san!” Recognizing her accent and her excited way of speaking I realized she must be Aoyama from the phone call on Monday. “I’m so glad you decided to join us! I’ll call one of the Midnight Boys down and they can lead you to your office. In the meantime make yourself comfortable!”

Definitely Aoyama. She steamrolled right over me, sparkling the entire time, and all I could do was nod and take a seat on a faux leather couch and wait. I wonder who cleans this place... I’d rather not be able to see my reflection in the tiles, but at least they’re dedicated.

“And done! Midoriya-kun! Since I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other a lot, you can call me Yuna, okay? Great! I also have a badge for you which you will need to get past some security measures.” She dangled what I assumed was the badge in question from a lanyard. I stood up, assuming she wanted me to come over, and noticed there was a picture of my face on it, but it was when I was on the school roof and staring at the clouds. When was this taken? “A day after you said you would be working with us. We find it easier to take a picture when you’re just going about your business than to have you stand unnaturally still.”

Shivers went down my spine, finding myself creeped out by what she had just casually stated. It made me worry that someone could take pictures of me at any time. Just as I was about to say something about this, the elevator doors opened and a young man with neat hair and thin glasses stepped outside looking as anxious as I feel.

“Midoriya Izuku, I assume? I am one of the Midnight Boys, Hachimitsu Hirotomo. I have been instructed by Mistress Midnight to show you around the places you need to know and introduce you to people.” Hachimitsu bowed to me, his voice a lot more stable than his expression. I bowed in return, recognizing my superior. He turned towards Aoyama. “I am sure you have met her already, but this is Aoyama Yuna, she might seem like our receptionist, but she is our head of security. Her quirk is sparkling. And I do mean that literally...”

“Aww. Ruin all of my fun, why don’t you?” She pouted. Her quirk is to sparkle, but she’s the head of security? She must be really dangerous. “I wanted to show off the next time we got an intruder and surprise him...”

“From here we will we be taking the stairs up to the floors you need to know.” Hachimitsu continued as if Aoyama never said anything. She didn’t seem to mind, however, as she returned to the computer on her desk. I followed Hachimitsu to the stairway, wondering how many floors there were in such a tall building.

 

~*~

 

It felt as if five years of my life had been drained away by the time we finally got to the underground floors. And then another two were gone by the time we went through those ones. Hachimitsu finally brought me to the ‘basement floor’ as it was apparently called by everyone who worked here. He led me to a hidden door in the middle of the hallway with turned off screens covering the far wall, a couch, stacks of cd cases, and an office chair by a wide desk.

“This is where you will be working. The discs are old recordings of heroes in service of this agency and villains they have fought. When we need you, we will have someone call your phone down here and instruct you. Good luck.” And like that, Hachimitsu left me alone here. Or so I had thought.

I stepped into the room and turned on a second lightswitch to get better lighting, revealing more than what I could have seen before. On the desk there was a phone, three keyboards, two mice, three different headsets, and ten binders full of paper that were most likely blank because Hachimitsu hadn’t mentioned them. They seem prepared for someone who has extra limbs or heightened speed. Someone strode out of one of the corners of the room, frightening me. So I screamed.

“It’s okay, Midoriya-kun. It’s just me, Kayama.” I heard her laugh and peeked. It was Kayama, but that didn’t stop my adrenaline from rushing through me.

“Hello, Kayama-san. What are you doing here?” I bowed down. I ended up staring at a pair of black stilettos which looked like they could pierce my feet through my loafers.

“I’m here to check up on you. Although I really didn’t want to meet Hachimitsu-kun at the moment.” She whispered with a mischievous tone. I straightened my body, wondering why she wouldn’t want to meet him. “From what I heard, he didn’t explain how to do anything in this room, right?”

“That- that’s right.” I mentally reprimanded myself for stuttering like that. Sure Kayama had already seen me in the hospital gown and I have embarrassed myself in front of her, but that doesn’t mean I want to continue doing so.

“Well, I better tell you, then. These screens are to show you news channels so you can get a view of current battles, as well as for you to watch as many recordings at a time as you can manage. The three headsets lead to different types of heroes. The blue is for rescue heroes, red is for the heroes who defend from villain attacks, and yellow is... I don’t know what the yellow one is for, actually.” Yay. No one knows what to do with the yellow headset. Hopefully it isn’t too important. “ I think there are a little too many keyboards and mice considering how many hands you have. And the binders over there are so you can write down all about the heroes and villains you observe. Strengths, weaknesses, strategies, etc. And if you find someone has a really big weakness that needs to be improved upon, just press seven on your phone and it will lead to whomever needs to know.”

“Thank you, Kayama-san.” I bow again, expressing my gratitude as best as I could.

“Please stop with the bowing. Ah. Just so you know there’s only ten minutes left in your work day today and considering how much you’ve walked and how many people you must have talked to, you can leave a little bit early.” Kayama winked and handed me a bag. “I would take a binder and some discs so you can study at home. Speaking of, I’ll escort you, there.”

“You- you really don’t have to.” I said, doing as she had advised.

“Of course I do! We don’t want to worry your cute mom now, do we?” She grinned sending shivers down my spine. Why do I get the feeling that Kayama-san is aiming for something other than my safety by taking me home?

“No...” I replied. My thoughts wandered to Kacchan not having approached me since Monday and the anticipation and fear building up from it. No matter what Kayama was aiming for, at least if she’s with me, Kacchan definitely won’t try anything.

 

~*~

 

“I’m home!” I called out. I hadn’t been able to send my mom a message about Kayama accompanying me, so when my mom came to greet me at the entrance she was surprised by her presence. Sorry, mom.

“Good evening, Midoriya-san. I hope I’m not bothering you.” Kayama bowed. That’s strange. She is being oddly polite. Perhaps that wasn’t the right thing to think, but Kayama had acted a lot differently with me on the way home and even during the dinner she had here she was more relaxed.

“Of course not. I just wasn’t expecting a guest tonight.” Mom did the same, nervously tugging on her clothes when she straightened.

“Oh! I’m not a guest. I only accompanied Midoriya-kun to make sure he was safe.” Kayama gave a short laugh and waved her hand.

“That’s very kind of you. I apologize for the trouble.” Feeling uncomfortable standing between the two, I went around my mom to drop off the bag I had received in my room.

“It’s no trouble.” I could hear Kayama say.

“Are you busy? Dinner is almost ready and it’s the least I could do.” Please don’t, mom. I know we are indebted to Kayama-san, and she seems really nice, but I’m not sure I can handle being around any more people right now.

“Maybe another time. I need to go back to the office.” Thank goodness. I’m saved.

“Thank you for escorting Izuku home, I was a bit worried.” Mom...

“Like I said before, it wasn’t a problem.” I wonder if she was trying to escape work for a little while. “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight. I hope you have a safe trip.” When the door closed I realized I had been standing next to the stairs, listening in on their conversation. I went straight to my room and dropped off my bag as I had planned before.

 

~*~

 

“And Aoyama-san, who seemed like the receptionist, is actually head of security. And her quirk is to sparkle! Can you believe it? I wonder if she can increase the intensity and brightness of her sparkles, blinding her opponent...” I began to mumble until I started hearing my mom laugh. I looked up in shock. I hadn’t heard her laugh in years. It was a small laugh, but it made my heart swell in happiness until I started crying. “I’m sorry. I’m just so happy you laughed.”

“I’m just glad you’re having fun.” She told me, also beginning to cry. I would have laughed, but I was crying too much. Us Midoriyas really can’t handle our emotions without it turning into crying, can we?

When we both calmed down and had cleaned up our faces, we continued eating our dinner. I had severely neglected it when rambling on about all the people I had met that day. But after everything that happened today, I practically swallowed it like a duck instead of taking my time like usual. My mom didn’t even reprimand me, still smiling.

This is good.

 

~*~

 

Saturday started well. My mom hadn’t stopped smiling since last night. Although she did start to cry when sending me off, which almost made me start crying. When I arrived at Genius Office, Aoyama sent me up to the fourth floor where the gym was.

There they pushed some clothes at me, told me to change and to take off my binder because it could hurt me more than it could help for this. They then trained me for two hours in my stance and basic self-defense moves. Hachimitsu appeared and told me to go downstairs to study the heroes on duty for the next week, handing me three papers stapled together, showing the schedule for the next week.

I spent another two hours watching recordings over and over again and writing down everything I noticed until the phone beside me rang. Aoyama had called to tell me it was lunch break, reminding me I had a stomach that was very hungry. I walked up to the fifth floor, my muscles aching, and was invited to eat with some other new people.

They were surprisingly nice. Although they teased me about my height and my wild hair, they also expressed awe when I told them my age and about Kayama. Apparently everyone knew Kayama was important, but none of the people knew what her job was here.

When lunch was done, I went back to studying the heroes until my eyes and wrists hurt. I suddenly understood why there was a couch and lied down on it, going through everything I had written so far.

Half an hour later the phone rang. It was Aoyama again, but instead of telling me I had another break or that I was done for the day. Instead, she asked me to stay overtime to observe the attack on the news and put on my headset.

I could feel the weight of my words as I talked to through hero on the red headset. Anything I said wrong would end up in someone getting injured, if not dead, as I found out when he was almost hit after I told him to go the wrong way. Thankfully, the hero managed to apprehend the villain and he even thanked me for my assistance.

I went back home, feeling good about what I had done, but it didn’t stop me from worrying about next time I would have to talk them through an attack. I’ll just have to work harder and study more. My mom congratulated me as I told her what happened, overshadowing my fear of what could happen the next time I have to instruct a hero.

Chapter Text

Despite the confidence boost I had over the weekend, it all seemed to crumble when Monday came along. I would have to face Kacchan. I would have to be in a school where everyone belittles me and the teachers would do nothing to stop them.

I kept my head ducked down as I entered school grounds, at least until I remembered the trainer at Genius telling me I needed to correct my posture. Which meant no slouching, no ducking my head down. I need to stand up straight and shoulders back.

My classmates looked up as the door slid open, but ignored me when they saw who it was and returned to their conversations. The only one who didn’t was Kacchan who kept staring me at with a grimace as if I was some horrible puzzle who dared to defy his logic. This is going to be a fun day. Hope he won’t try to corner me during break again. I have work and I don’t want to show up dirty.

Class was normal if you don’t count the teacher’s sudden change in attitude. When some of my classmates started tossing things at me and kicking my chair, he actually stopped them instead of making fun of me, scolding me, or just plain ignoring what was happening. It was weird. Has my teacher been brainwashed, replaced, or mind controlled? Whatever the reason, I think I could get used to this.

Or so I had thought.

Those three who were stopped decided they didn’t like that. So during break they decided to mock me by forcing my gakuran off and try to prove to everyone I wasn’t a ‘real guy.’ I barely managed to escape, running to the nurse’s office, holding my shredded gakuran over my binder. The nurse raised her eyebrows, but let me stay there until the last period.

Why couldn’t I have just died? I wouldn’t have to go through this if I had? Why did that teacher have to stop them? Is this his new form of torment? Maybe I should just die and it will stop...

My hands reached for my throat, my thumbs pressing against the center forward of the base. I pushed even when I coughed and gasped for air. I continued, every few seconds, coughing and gasping for air. I could quickly feel my throat collapsing, the width between the front and the back getting smaller every gasp.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

Footsteps came closer and I quickly released my hands from my throat, crossing my arms and rubbing them slowly. The curtain opened and there stood Kacchan. Because the day couldn’t get any worse. He stared at me and I stared at him right back, both of us equally judging.

“Why’s your throat red, nerd?” He asked accusingly. I blinked and easily lied to him. He wouldn’t know since he doesn't know me. Not like I know him.

“My neck often flushes red.” We stayed in silence, staring at each other until he looked away. He rubbed his neck as he often does when he isn’t certain what the appropriate response. Like when a kid holds his leg and won’t let go or cry even when he yells or tries to shake it off and no one will help him.

Then he threw his gakuran at my face and left.

Weird.

 

~*~

 

“Hey! Midoriya-kun!” Aoyama vaulted over her desk towards me. Oh no. Have I done something bad? Is she going to tell me something bad? What’s happening? She wrapped her arms around me, squeezing me tight. This... isn’t bad? Is she just hugging me? “I was so worried. Let’s get you somewhere so you can change. Nemuri-chan said since you came here right after school so I brought some of my second’s sons clothes! You two are about the same size, after all.”

“Thank you, Yuna-san.” She just gave me a dazzling smile. Is she constantly sparkling? It kind of hurts... I went to change my clothes, the jeans were a bit long and tight, but I could deal, the blouse was... a bit much, but I could deal with that too. Who needs that many sequins on ruffles?

“You look adorable!” Yuna squealed, waiting for me to come out. I rubbed my neck and blushed at her energetic response. “I want to take a picture but I don’t have my phone on me...”

“You don’t carry your phone around?”

“Of course not. Otherwise I’d be on it all the time. I always give it to one of the heroes here to take care of while I work.”

“That’s allowed?” It would seem strange that the heroes would just accept to take Yuna’s cell phone because she handed it to them.

“Depends on who you ask.” She patted me on the head. “Now it’s time to work. Why don’t you go stop by the Midnight Boys and show off your fabulousness. I’m sure they’d love it.”

“Thanks, Yuna-san.” Yeah no. I am not showing this outfit to anyone else unless absolutely necessary.

 

~*~

 

An hour into studying more quirks I get a call. It didn’t seem anything bad. A simple rescue operation, but they wanted my assistance. I hesitantly accepted, uncertain I should be involved with something so easy, and placed the blue headset on.

“Hello? Which heroes are on duty?”

“Temporal Gale, Kesagiriman, and myself, Mr. Brave.” Odd combination. Mr. Brave can pluck his hairs out and harden and extend them as he willed. Kesagiriman has enhanced speed. And Temporal Gale was rather unique and prefers underground hero work. All I can assume is her quirk has something to do with wind and time. 

“Okay. Any recognizable villains? Does anyone know their quirks?”

“I know two. Blazer and Decieto.” Kesagiriman stated. Blazer, quirk is creating the illusion of fire. Decieto, able to mimic any voice they’ve heard before.

“The third can create anger within us. This is the third time we’ve done this.” So that was why I was called. They keep failing. “Blazer’s fire burns us and Decieto knows how we talk to each other, even though we have never met them before.”

“Alright. Where have you entered before?”

“Back entrance, side entrance, and front.”

“Can you enter from the top?”

“You mean the roof?”

“Yes. I want you three to get up there and stand above the kidnapped people. I think there might be someone who is pretending to be kidnapped to help them from the inside.” I explained.

I never imagined things would turn out the way they did as I instructed. I couldn't see any of it, but I could hear it and it was... unpleasant to say the least. Temporal Gale tried to reassure me that it was better than it had been the other times over the headset. Kesagiriman’s feet and legs were burnt badly, Mr. Brave couldn’t stand listening to the other two’s voices without PTSD, and Gale... Gale said she was okay, but one of her ears was missing, which went against my definition of the word. And after all that, the fourth villain got away... How is that better?

It was good thing I kept a box of tissues in my backpack.

By the time I got home, I felt so numb and my head so heavy. I didn’t respond to my mom’s probing, giving her weak smiles that fell quickly, and poked at my food. When dinner was done and I had finished helping out, I went to my room and planted my face into my pillow. Today was a horrible day...

“Hello, little boy. Are you the one who was speaking into those heroes ears?”

Shit.

Chapter Text

Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any worse, I now have a villain in my bedroom. I lifted my head to get a good look at the intruder. It was a woman wearing a black catsuit which looked like spandex- it has to be some other material in her kind of work or it wouldn’t protect her - with a heart over her bust, black and red gloves and boots, and a contrasting white mask.“Well, are you?” She asked again, looking irritated at my lack of response. If she was able to track me down then I’m sure she already knows, so there’s no point in lying. I nodded in confirmation. She grinned madly. Oh great. I’m not dealing with just a villain but a crazy person, too.

“Wonderful. I have an offer for you.”

“What kind of offer?” I managed not to stutter for once, but any pride and joy I would have gotten from that moment was swallowed by fear.

“One you can’t refuse. You’ll become my little spy and tell me about what every hero does and all of their weaknesses. In return I won’t hurt your sweet mother.” My heart stopped at the threat of my mom. She wouldn’t. She couldn’t. I would never let her. “Oh don’t look at me so defiantly. You will become my ace one way or another. I thought you would prefer the gentler way.”

“What if you became my spy?” I blurted out with false confidence. What am I doing? What am I thinking? I don’t even know her quirk. She could kill me in an instant. My mom’s downstairs... “You wouldn’t be thrown into prison, all of your records kept clean, and any of your competition will be rid of quick and easy.”

“Interesting... I can see right through you, but you do seem amusing with your attempt to escape.” She brought a milky rose to her plump, blood red lips. She stood in the fluorescent light of my room and strode towards me, where I lied on my bed. Leaning over, the frightening stranger touched my lips with the rose. She examined it as if it should have changed. “Lucky you. It would seem I should consider your offer. You may call me Queen. I’ll be in contact with you, soon, little boy.”

She leapt out of my window, leaving behind the rose on my lap. I stood up to look for her, but she had already disappeared. Was it another of my hallucinations? That doesn’t make sense. I turned back to my bed to check for the rose she had left behind, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Am I really going insane? If so I need to tell someone so they can stop me... Wait. What’s that?

On the floor was the white rose she had left behind.

 

~*~

 

I wasn’t able to sleep after what had happened. Instead I stayed up all night studying villains to find any similar to the one that had visited, but none of them were right. None of them had her gimmick, nor the right body sizes. At least I had more information on villains that could escape in the future or heroes might have to face again.

School was bad. And by bad, I meant worse than the day before. Apparently the teacher yesterday wasn’t the only one who decided to use this new torture method. And in my sleep deprived state, everything felt horrible. It wasn’t the first time I had stayed up all night, but it was the first time with such horrid bullying aimed at me.

The worst part was that Kacchan was acting weird. He had been ever since a week ago and I couldn’t understand why. He always interrupted someone during break whenever they started getting out of hand. Nothing obvious, sometimes dragging their attention away or walking in between us, distracting them. It was as if I was invisible. It was as if I should be invisible to everyone in his opinion.

As much as it hurt that he would act as if I don’t exist, and I waited for him to change his mind and blow up at me, I was relieved. One of my worst fears and the reason for my broken heart wasn’t paying any attention to me and it made me relax. It made me feel like things might finally be over and he and I would never have to interact again.

Work was just as bad. I had the news channels on for any hero fights while I read the information I had written in my sleepless haze. There were three. One of them got rather bad and the hero lost an arm. I wasn’t called for any of them. I could feel the agency’s trust in me after the rescue operation crumbling as I sat in the office chair.

By the time I got home and dropped my bag off at my room, I realized I had been carrying the rose in it the entire time. Queen. Just another person I can’t trust but who holds my life in their hands...

“Why do I bother?” I asked the milky rose. It didn’t respond, mocking me.

 

~*~

 

“Why do you keep stopping them?” I asked my homeroom teacher the next morning. He stared at me for a moment as if he didn’t understand my abrupt question.

“Because you’re a student and our school has a no bullying policy.” He lied and if I were anyone else I would have believed him. If I were Kacchan or one of my coworkers I would call bullshit and threaten him to tell me the truth. You should be glad I’m not them.

“Why do you keep stopping them?” I repeated. He sighed and rubbed his temples.

“We were informed of your new job at Genius Office.”

“And you’re worried that if something happens to me and then villains attack, the heroes won’t help?” The guilty look on his face told me I said the truth. Pathetic. “Stop. You’re just making it worse.”

With that, I left the building and for the first time in years, barring medical reasons, I skipped school.

 

~*~

 

I immediately regretted it ten minutes later with no idea what to do. I blamed not having slept for two days for my impulsive decision. Which I knew wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to have to deal with the burden of another mistake at the moment.

“Midoriya-kun? Aren’t you supposed to be at school right now?” A teasing voice came from above. I looked up and met face to face with Kayama leaning over me. Her hair hung down from it’s ponytail, brushing along the sides of my face.

“Y-yeah.” I confirmed, nervously. “I mean, yes.”

“Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble. I should probably tell you that you should be in school, but I had skipped so much it’d be hypocritical.” She poked my nose with a small ‘boop.’ She’s... not upset? She vaulted over the bench and landed beside me. “Technically, I’m also skipping school now, so you’re not alone.”

“You- you teach?” I squeaked.

“Yep. Modern Hero Art History class. But not today! Shota’s gonna be so pissed at me later.” She laughed it off as if it were nothing. Shota’s her cousin? Does he also work as a teacher at the same school?

“Wait! Are you a hero?” I exclaimed as it hit me. The only ones who would teach at schools were heroes who had experience. Kayama put a finger on my lips.

“Shh. Don’t want anyone else to know, now do we? Although I’m surprised it took such a long time for a smart boy like you to figure out.” I flushed as she leaned on my arm and slowly removed her finger.

“Which- which hero are you?”

“Ah. so you don’t know that one, yet. I’ll leave it to you to figure out.” Kayama winked.

“Are you really going to not get upset that I’m skipping school?” I asked a few moments later.

“From what your medical records said you deserve a break. Your eyebags are saying the same thing.” I hurried to cover my face with my hair before remembering it was chopped off the day I jumped and it didn’t do much. “Don’t worry about it, Izuku. My cousin has eternal eyebags and still manages to look good. You’re even cuter than him so don’t mind those bags of your’s.”

I gave her a wobbly smile, not believing the words she told me. My features must have betrayed me because she turned sympathetic and wrapped an arm around my shoulders.

“Let’s go have some fun before we get in trouble, okay? I’ll even call in sick for you at the office and tell your mom.” She was already on the phone with Yuna before the words registered in my brain. By the time she had gotten off it, it was too late. My mom knew I was skipping school and work, and Yuna did, too. “How about I make good on that promise for a shopping trip so you don’t have to wear one of Yuna-chan’s son’s shirts again.”

I shrugged, having given up. It would be nice not to have to borrow those clothes again. “How do you know about that?”

She laughed, took my hand, and pulled me up, not answering my question.

My life is in your hands and I don’t mind it...

 

~*~

 

The shopping trip wasn’t as bad as expected. In fact, I enjoyed myself and Kayama looked like she did, too. She didn’t even mind when I started crying when I saw the All Might merchandise, instead comforting me through it. Kayama now wore a low cut blouse matching her clear blue eyes and a blushing, high waisted, pleated skirt and we sat in a cafe drinking bubble tea, our bags by our feet.

“Thanks, Kayama-san.” This was the first time I ever went to the mall with someone other than my mom. It was almost as if I went out with a friend.

“Call me Nemuri-chan, we’re friends now, aren’t we?” She grinned, reading my thoughts. I flushed, making her laugh, but it wasn’t a mocking one like I was used to. Now that I think about it, none of her laughs around me have been mocking... “Come on, Izu-kun, you can do it! Ne-mu-ri-chan.”

“Ne- Nemuri-chan.” I ended up laughing afterwards, unable to handle it. Even Kayama- Nemuri looked embarrassed by it. An unknown feeling rose in me, prompting me to say it with more confidence. “Nemuri-chan. Nemuri-chaaan. Nemuri-chaaan!”

“Okay, okay. You can stop now! I’ve created a monster.” Her shoulders shook betraying her amusement as she looked at me through red rimmed glasses. She took a sip of her bubble tea and almost choked on a tapioca ball, worrying me. “Haaa. Hanging out with you makes me feel like I’m a teenager again. Even my clothes make me feel like I’m in my early twenties at the most.”

“You make it sound as if you’re not in your twenties.” I probed out of curiosity. She looked as if she were in her late twenties to me.

“That’s sweet of you, but I’m much older. Just don’t tell anyone I said that or my reputation will be ruined.” She stage whispered.

“I won’t.” Not like I have anyone to tell.

“Good. Where’d you like to go next?” I hesitated, something immediately popping into my head.

“There’s a movie that came out I’ve been wanting to watch... You don’t have to, though. You’ve already done so much.” I tried to stop her because she was already getting out of her seat.

“Are you kidding? I’ve barely done anything. Now let’s go see this movie!” She cheered and I followed close behind. I covered my face with my hands when I noticed the attention she had grabbed from others.

 

~*~

 

“Welcome home.” I didn’t even notice we had arrived at my house until my mom said that. She was outside and beaming like everything was falling into place. She took our bags easily and brought them inside. “Kayama-san, you must join us for dinner tonight. It’s not good for you to eat out a lot.”

“How- how’d you know?” Nemuri’s expression was full of surprise and embarrassment I almost laughed. She had been completely caught off guard by my mom’s invitation. Although it’s more like an order than an invitation. No one can refuse my mom’s cooking.

“I have my ways.” I tried to stifle my laughter, turning them into giggles, hiding my mouth behind my hand. More like you told us the first time you had dinner here.

“I suppose I have no reason to refuse, then.” Nemuri gathered her composure. It was too late, though. We would remember that expression for the rest of our lives.

 

~*~

 

“I apologize for only making Izuku’s favorites tonight.” Mom bowed to Nemuri as the latter switched out our guest slippers for her pumps.

“Don’t be it was delicious.” Nemuri grinned, still looking a bit starved. I’m not sure I want to know what for, though.

“Maybe next time you’ll tell me your’s?” I stared at mom in shock. Is she really suggesting what I think she is? With my boss/friend/co-worker/thing?

“It’s a date.” Nemuri accepted, looking as pleased as the cat who caught the canary. She left with a small parting remark. “Thank you for the wonderful evening. I look forward to next time.”

“Oh thank goodness.” Mom’s knees gave out and I rushed to her side.

“Mom, did you just-”

“Get a date with a beautiful woman? I think I did.” She fanned herself, neither of us able to believe it just happened. I couldn’t be happier for her, though. It had been too long since she let herself enjoy life.

 

~*~

 

My phone rang as I was changing for bed. I checked the number, but it was blocked. I hesitantly picked up the phone and answered. “Hello?”

“It’s Queen. Did you miss me?” The villain’s tone was teasing in a dangerous way compared to Nemuri.

“Have you made up your mind?” I demanded an answer. It was hard not to convey how much fear was running through me as I anticipated her reply.

“I have indeed.”

Chapter Text

“I’m what?” I couldn’t wrap my head around what my mom just told me. It’s Wednesday and she wants to tell me this now?

“Transferring to a new school. Aoyama-san recommended a few schools her kids have gone to and I picked the closest one. You will be going there next Monday.” She stated with a bit more explanation. It wouldn’t be such a big shock if my mom had discussed with me first.

“When did you decide this?” I asked, wanting to know how long she had been keeping this secret. Why would you keep this secret?

“When I woke up this morning. I’ve been considering it for awhile now and I finally started talking to Mitsuki and Nemuri-san about it, who suggested Aoyama-san because she’s a mother of four.” Aoyama-san has four children? That’s completely unexpected. I knew she had two sons, but four... “You skipped school last week because it has gotten so bad for you. Don’t look away, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

“But-”

“Izuku, all I want for you is to be happy. And you’re not happy there.” She cut me off firmly. There really was no changing her mind on this. I’m not sure I want to.

“Mom... I- thank you...” I continued eating my breakfast, taking it a bit slower. It was hard for me to process this sudden information.

 

~*~

 

Dear Kacchan,

I miss the fun times we used to have together and I’ll always remember and treasure them. From the first time I met you in pre-school to when we hung out after school. Even when you insisted no one could find out.

I’m sad we’ve drifted away like this.
I know you don’t care, but I’ll be transferring schools next week. I’ll miss you.

Love Wishing you well,

Izuku

 

~*~

 

I answered the door, expecting a delivery man, but instead it was someone I hadn’t seen or even thought of in weeks.

“Aunt Mitsuki?” I blinked, checking to make sure it really was her and not a hallucination. It had been awhile since I had hallucinations, but it wouldn’t be so odd if they came back. She stood in front of me in clothes a model might wear and holding a large box.

“Hey, Izuku! You’ve grown so much! I heard you’re transferring schools from Inko.” Bakugou Mitsuki cheerfully greeted me. She could be a bit aggressive, but she treated me nicer than Kacchan does and I still think of her as if really were my aunt.

“Y-yeah.” I nod, surprised she didn’t seem to mind.

“I’m proud of you, kid. It can be hard with such a big change, but I’ve heard a little of what’s been happening to you from Inko and I’m glad you have the courage to leave them behind.” She reassured me. Some part of me thought she would call me weak, or get upset that I was leaving Kacchan ‘alone.’ But she wasn’t.

“Thanks.” I gulp, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“Now take these! I promise you they’re delicious even if they’re a bit odd looking!” Mitsuki winked and handed me the large box. I remembered the letter I had written yesterday, set down the box by the slippers, and rushed to grab it.

“Wait! Would you- would you give this to Kacchan on Monday, please?” I panted, offering her the letter addressed to Kacchan.

“Of course! See ya later, Izuku!” She waved and left in the same cheerful mood she had arrived.

“See you...” I waved slowly. I hope she doesn’t give Kacchan that letter before then.

 

~*~

 

“Midoriya! Over here!” Imai Chouko called. The most cheerful of the group I had found myself sitting with for lunch on Saturdays. She had wings like a butterfly’s, but they couldn’t carry her since they were too light and delicate. She wore a protective case around them and constantly complained about modified clothing for wings.

“Thanks. I never know where to sit.” I gave her a polite smile. I had tried to sit at a different table, but I always managed to be grabbed and placed over here.

“Please, you always have a seat with us. Us newbies need to stick together, after all.” Murata Doi put a hand on my shoulder in a friendly manner. Excluding me, he was the youngest, able to turn thing he touched into soft soil.

“Speak for yourself.” Sugiyama Hotaru responded, not looking up from her book. She was a new sidekick, aiming to be one of the top fifty heroes, her quirk matching her name Firefly.

“No fighting.” Masuda Chimon told Sugiyama and Murata. Murata ducked his head and Sugiyama made a small noise to show she heard him. Masuda acted the most responsible of us, keeping us in line when we ate. Sometimes I wondered why he chose to manage publicity for heroes instead of becoming one himself.

“Yessir.”

“You two are whipped.” Otsuka Hyousuke laughed at them. He was one I couldn’t quite get a good grasp of his personality or quirk. Like me, he didn’t talk about what quirk he had and his personality always seemed to be a bit different every Saturday. Probably just my imagination since I’ve barely talked to him.

“Now that’s not nice!” Imai reprimanded Otsuka. She didn’t like some of the things the others would say, although they saw no issue with it. The only ones it seemed like she did like and rarely scolded were me and Masuda. I bet it’s because we’re more polite than the others. Masuda sent them both a look which kept them quiet.

“So how’s your week been going? I know you told us there were some issues last Saturday since you were losing confidence with your first rescue, but are you doing better now?” Murata checked with me now that Masuda’s attention was off of him.

“Better, I think. I mean, Nemu- Kayama-san explained they were just trying to give me a small break because it was the first it had happened for me. And they have called me to do other missions.” I explained. It was true. Nemuri had explained it all to me a few days after our outing when she noticed the way I was acting. The next day I got a call again and things went well. From there on, they continued to call me and I have felt much lighter. I know the dangers of this job now. The wrong direction and both heroes and civilians could get hurt. But I’m better with the experience I got from the first rescue mission.

“That’s nice-” Masuda was cut off by Imai the excitable.

“Whoa whoa whoa. Were you just about to call THE Kayama-sama by her given name?”

“He was.” Sugiyama confirmed, looking up from her book. The traitor. I bet she just said that for some entertainment.

“How’d that happen?” Otsuka asked. All of their eyes bore into me, making me sweat in my suit.

“Kayama-san went on a date with my mom and I think they’re going out now? She told me to call her by her given name.” I tried to explain without giving too much away. Nemuri visited the offices a lot and everyone seemed to be attracted to her mysterious aura. What mysterious aura? She’s a perverted middle-aged woman who gets nervous around my mom.

“Told you she was gay.” Otsuka stated, nudging Murata.

“I still think she’s bi.” He mumbled dejectedly.

“Just give up hope. It will never happen with someone like you no matter what her orientation.” Imai declared, igniting a fight. Even Masuda couldn’t stop the argument that sprouted between the three of them, Sugiyama interjecting sometimes to throw fuel onto the fire. I ate my meal, enjoying their little argument, finding myself strangely at peace.

 

~*~

 

My phone buzzed beside me, the reason why I have awoken at such an early hour. My eyes begin to focus, showing the sun barely creeping in through the window. Who decided to call me at dawn on a Sunday?

“I have some new information for you. Look outside your window.” A feminine voice told me in a mocking tone. I sat up and sighed, putting on my slippers before heading to look down at my window.

“Queen.” I was too tired for this bullshit. I opened my window anyways.

“Little boy.” She teasingly returned. Shivers went down, but my expression stayed detached.

“The information?” I had no time for this. She wakes me up at the crack of dawn and she thinks I would have the patience to deal with her? Not a chance.

“In this card. Have fun!” Queen threw the card at me, almost cutting my face. I stared at the card stuck in my windowsill, my heart racing.

“Wait- dammit.” She had left when I wasn’t looking. If I were Kacchan, I’d call her a bitch. But I’m me and she’s a fucking bitch.

 

~*~

 

“So where’d you come from?”

“Why did you transfer?”

“What’s your quirk?”

“Where do you work?”

“I- uh-” Why are so many people crowding me? Why are they asking me questions? Can I please just skip school and do some overtime at work now? Come on, come on. Now would be the perfect time to be pulled out for, like, the rest of the school year.

“Excuse moi. I am the assigned protector of Midoriya Izuku. If anyone has any questions, you must ask me.” The blond boy sitting beside me proclaimed. I don’t know this person. At least the attention is off of me now.

“And how do you know him?”

“Friend of the family.” What family?

“What was his previous school?”

“And why did he transfer?”

“He doesn’t want to think about place and for nothing good.” How does he know that?

“What’s his quirk?”

“Analysis.” Now that’s just wrong, but also a good excuse I might use in the future. Thanks, stranger.

“Where does he work?”

“It could be dangerous if anyone were to find out.” ... Does that mean you know? Who even are you?

“Aww. You barely answered any of them.”

“Not my problem.” He waved them away and they dispersed. What kind of quirk does he have that can control people like that?

“Thanks, um...” Oh shit. I don’t know his name. Better introduce myself and then he has to introduce himself. “I’m Midoriya Izuku.”

“I know.” Of course he does. I was introduced at the start of class. What was I thinking?

“R-right. Sorry.” I mumbled, placing my head in my arms.

“Aoyama Yuga.” He stated abruptly.

“Wh-what?” I lifted my head back up. Was he talking to me?

“I am the fabulous Aoyama Yuga!” He exclaimed. Suddenly everything made a lot more sense.

“The one with the sequin ruffle shirt?” I checked.

“The one and only! Maman told me you looked better than I do in it.” He eyed me suspiciously. How could I ever think otherwise? They even have the same eye color.

“I doubt that.” I tried to tell him. I didn’t have the confidence to wear that shirt. And I wouldn’t dare to touch it with a ten foot pole if it were presented to me again.

“So do I. No one looks better than me in that shirt.” He boasted confidently. I tried to imagine him in it and smiled at the amusing image. It suited him.

“I might have to agree on that.” I replied. He leaned in close to me, grabbed me by the shoulders and said,

“You have just become my best friend.”

He was serious.

 

~*~

 

“How was your first day at the new school?” Mom asked me over dinner, as had become our routine.

“It was nice. I made a friend. His name’s Aoyama Yuga.” I answered. It really was nice. Nicer than I would have ever expected.

“Aoyama-san’s son?” Mom responded.

“Yeah. He’s... interesting. He can shoot a beam from his navel and it... it sparkles? And so does he? But I think those are because of Yuna-san.” I drifted off. What else could I tell her about him? “Oh! And he stopped people from crowding around me and asking questions during the first break. He called me his best friend? I don’t know if he was joking or not, but it was nice...”

“Sounds like you had fun.”

“I- I did.” I realized she was right. I didn’t even notice. Is this what it’s supposed to feel like after a good day at school? It’s different from what I’m used to...

 

~*~

 

“When do you get a break from work?” Yuga asked. He had been pestering me since yesterday about when we could meet outside of school, but my schedule was full to the brim with work and school.

“I have a day off every Sunday.” I offered as an answer. It really was my only day off which I used to help my mom clean and to catch up on any homework I forgot.

“You’re coming to my house that day.” Yuga stated.

“Wh-what?” Did he just invite me to his house? I haven’t gone to a friend’s house in years.

“You’re coming over to my house on Sunday. Yes? Magnifique.” He steamrolled right over me. If I had any doubt he was Yuna’s son, it was gone with that. Yuga-kun is absolutely Yuna-san’s son. I broke out of my thoughts to find he had already walked far ahead of me.

“Aoyama-kun, wait!” I tried to catch up with him and correct him, but it was too late.

 

~*~

 

“Deku!” A loud voice broke me out of my conversation with Yuga. I looked over to the source and there stood my explosive heartbreak. Everything about him told me I was in danger.

“K-Kacchan!” I exclaimed, unconsciously hiding behind Yuga.

“And who are you, scoundrel?” Yuga examined Kacchan with cold eyes. Those eyes don’t fit someone like Yuga-kun.

“None of your business, blondie! I’m here for the motherfucker behind you.” Kacchan growled, striding towards us. He was getting ready to swing.

“Has he fucked your mother?” Yuga stopped him in his tracks. He looked completely disgusted by the thought. Good.

“What? No! He-”

“Has he fucked anyone’s mother?” I couldn’t help but let out snort at what Yuga was asking Kacchan.

“It’s a-”

“Then don’t call him by such a vulgar insult.” Yuga waved him away and sashayed away, holding my hand. I stared at Kacchan’s dumbfounded expression and then turned back to Yuga’s back. I caught up with him to walk beside the flamboyant boy.

“Yuga-kun, I think you just became my best friend.” I told him, completely serious.

“As if I wasn’t already.” Yuga flipped his hair. There was no hope for me. I laughed louder than I had in a long time.

Chapter Text

“This,” I waved at the thing in front of me, incredulous, “is your house?”

“That’s right. A bit small, but it’s what my family can afford.” A bit small? In the words Kacchan would use, this is fucking huge. We had just stepped through a large, wooden gate and were now facing a traditional house. And it looked like there were other, smaller houses on the property through the beautiful garden and trees. How rich are the Aoyamas? I followed Yuga inside the house, staring at the layout everything in wonder. “I’m back!”

All I heard were the heavy thumps of footsteps and then floating clothes appeared around the corner. They wrapped around Yuga, as if there was someone inside them. “Welcome back! Is that Izuku-chan?”

“That’s right. Izuku, this is my beautiful sister, Hagakure Toru.” Different family names? That’s odd, but I shouldn’t ask if it’s a sensitive topic. Based on the way the clothes were moving, she had stood up and was waving at me.

“It’s nice to meet you.” I bowed to her.

“He’s so cute!” She squealed. I suddenly felt a hand dragging mine through the hallways, and glanced back at Yuga who was waving at me with a smirk. Why do I feel like he’s sacrificing me? She burst into a room where a blanket was wrapped around someone, facing a TV. “Hisoka! Yuga-nii brought a friend home! This is Izuku! Izuku, this is Hisoka my little brother.”

The blanket turned but all there was was a dark hole where someone should be. Slowly, cat eyes revealed themselves, frightening me. They then disappeared and the blanket turned back to the TV.

“Don’t worry, Hisoka’s just shy.” Yuga said from behind us. That was Hisoka? And did he just change clothes? Instead of the lavender blouse and night sky vest, he had on a Present Mic radio t-shirt. I already knew it, but this moment confirmed it for me. The Aoyamas were weird. “Let’s head to my room.”

“What about me? Are you going to leave me out, Yuga-nii?” Hagakure asked. Yuga glanced at the TV and I followed. It was talking about wildlife mating habits. I looked back and Yuga was wearing a regretful expression while Hagakure cheered. “It’s this way!”

She suddenly grasped my hand again and dragged me once more through the hallways. She opened a door to a rather normal bedroom if not for all the stuffed animals everywhere. This is Yuga-kun’s room? “This is your room, Toru.”

“Your room is too bright for anyone else to handle! It blinds dad whenever he opens your door!”

“Ignore her. It’s normal, she’s just exaggerating.”

 

~*~

 

Hagakure was not exaggerating.

When I finally regained my vision, we were back in Hagakure’s room and started to play some games. Hagakure was a very cheerful and easygoing person who started to talk to me as if I was her toy. At least she didn’t care that I freaked out when I realized I was talking to a girl my age for the first time. Her quirk is also very interesting. I wonder why she can’t control her invisibility quirk unlike her brother.

Time passed before I knew it, and while in the middle of a conversation with Yuga, Hagakure announced he had to go make dinner. I had offered to help, but they both refused so adamantly I had to wait with their younger brother while Hagakure moved between rooms.

Sitting next to a blanket that looked like it had nothing in it, was extremely unnerving. Especially when bright purple eyes would appear and disappear. It took all I had to not start crying in relief when Yuga came over with dinner in hand.

“Is dad not joining us?” Yuga asked when Haagakure returned and sat down between myself and the blanket. I saw Hagakure’s clothes shift, but I couldn’t tell in what direction. Whichever way it was, Yuga seemed to take it in stride and start eating.

 

~*~

 

“Thank you for everything, Yuga-kun. It’s been awhile since I went over to a friend’s house.” I winced at my slip-up, but Yuga didn’t say anything about it.

“It was nothing. Thank you for not running away screaming after meeting Hisoka. Most of the people I thought were my friends would and then never come over again...” I didn’t because I was too shocked to. “I hope you don’t mind if I consider you my best friend. Izuku, Why are you crying? Why are you laughing?”

“I’m- I’m sorry, but I’m just so happy. I haven’t had anyone consider me their best friend in a long time.” If ever. I tried to wipe my face as things got blurry, but it just made things worse and harder to see. I peeked at Aoyama through my hands. Oh great. Now he’s crying, too. “I’d love to be your best friend.”

“Formidable.” He grinned, dazzling me. How can one person be so beautiful when crying? “I’ll see you tomorrow, Izuku.”

“See you tomorrow.” I waved and watched him disappear. I walked back home, feeling better than ever.

I had a friend. More than that, I had a best friend.

 

~*~

 

I wanted to run and hide, but it was too late. I had been seen. Kacchan was a hurricane heading straight towards me and Yuga wasn’t there to shelter me from the attack. I can’t climb any trees because he can climb faster. He’s a faster runner than me. He has an insane sense that can track me down instant.

There was no place to go, but face the storm.

“Why the fuck were you out so late, Deku?” He yelled, getting closer. What does it matter? It’s not like I need to tell you. We didn’t have any plans. My mom knew where I was and that I was going to be late. Were you waiting for me?

“K-Kacchan...” A terrified squeak came out of my mouth instead of my jumbled thoughts. Despite my confidence growing, whenever I was around him it all turned to dust. I can guide heroes with confidence, I can beat up Murata-san in a spar during training, so why can’t I face Kacchan? “I- I was with a friend... My best friend.”

“Eh?” He put his face close near mine. I turned my head wanting to hide my blush. “And who would want to be friends with a loser like you? No one. I bet you he calls you Deku, too. It’s all you are, after all.”

“That- that’s not true! Yuga-kun is a good person and not- not as horrible and violent as you! He’s funny and wears sequins proudly and is considerate! He even protected me from you! He is my best friend and I am his!” I had unconsciously shut my eyes when yelling at him and balled my hands into fists. I took a deep breath and relaxed my body so I could open my eyes and not want to run away from the pain that was soon to come.

Instead, Kacchan had that same expression he had when I had revealed I had jumped. His entire body was trembling and I had no idea why. Over ten years of watching Kacchan and he decides now to make unknown expressions I have no interest in dissecting and evaluating.

He opened his mouth, as if about to say something, then closed it and walked away as if deciding I wasn’t worth it. Why does it hurt me to think I’m not worth enough to Kacchan to be hurt by him?

What’s wrong with me?

 

~*~

 

No matter what I tried, I couldn’t help feeling as if everything was going to fade away and all of the good feelings I had received from the last week were going to turn to nothing. What if Kacchan was right? What if Yuga-kun doesn’t actually like me? What if he thinks I’m a deku, too... No. He cried when I agreed to be his best friend. He couldn’t have faked that.

He couldn’t have...

The broadcast brought me out of my dazed eating. “Midoriya Izuku, come to the roof. Midoriya Izuku, come to the roof.”

“Yuga-kun, how do I get to the roof?” I asked the blond sitting in front of me, who seemed just as alarmed. He took my hand as I tried to grab the bag leaning against my chair and ran to keep up with him. He lead me to the roof, which was surprisingly unlocked, strong winds blowing against us when we arrived.

“Hachimitsu-san!” I shouted over the helicopter noise. He turned to me, pressing a button against his ear piece. He was accompanied by one of the other Midnight Boys who was a lot more confident in the way he stood. He came over, wind messing up his hair and threatening to blow away his glasses. “What’s going on?”

“We need you in the field. Who is this?” He glanced at Yuga, light glaring off his glasses, making him seem more threatening than he was.

“Yuna-san’s son. I didn’t know how to get to the roof so he showed me.” I answered. What happened? Are any heroes hurt? Or dead? What about civilians?

“Put this on and get in the helicopter. We’ll tell you what’s going on on the way.” Hachimitsu handed me a purple earpiece, scaring me. If it’s what I think it means, it’s suggesting both a rescue and a villain attack. Or it could just be my imagination and it’s not that bad.

“I’ll see you later, Yuga-kun.” I gave a wavering smile, letting go of Yuga’s hand, realizing I was still holding it. He eased his grip, letting me go.

“Stay alive, Izuku.” He told me as I walked away. Warmth swelled in my eyes and threatened to spill, but I held them back. I’ll stay alive. I promise, Yuga-kun.

“Midoriya, this is Fukunaga. He and I will be your bodyguards.” Hachimitsu introduced me to the lavender haired man who looked like he came out of Blue Exorcist. “Mistress Midnight and Brain Matter were fighting Death Roach, when he fell unconscious, a large bomb went off trapping the heroes and civilians underneath rubble. We need you to get Death roach out of there as soon as you can.”

“What about the civilians and heroes?”

“Death Roach is our top priority. We can’t let him escape, pipsqueak.” Fukunaga replied from the front seat.. Pipsqueak? He’s not much taller than I am.

“If Mistress Midnight, Brain Matter, or any of the civilians were in danger we would add them to list. However, they are currently being rescued by other heroes and firefighters.”

 

~*~

 

The situation was worse than I had thought.

It was a large tower building made of glass that had collapsed onto a busy road which had been full of people. There was fire everywhere. News crews were standing around watching and reporting instead of helping. And worst of all, I had no idea how I was going to go and get Death Roach, even with Fukunaga and Hachimistu with me.

“This way.” Fukunaga waved his hand in front of my face to gather my attention. Right. Focus on the mission and follow Fukunaga and Hachimitsu. Hachimitsu activated his quirk, placing a forcefield bubble around the three of us. He pushed forward through the rubble, moving it about.

Is this really safe? What if one of the civilians trapped underneath are suddenly hit by rubble because we displaced it.

We got further in when I could hear people sobbing and screaming their throats hoarse for help. Some of them were frustrated and others were whispering calming words to friends and family. Bile rose up in my throat as I imagined the scenes they were each describing. Who would do this to these people?

“Midoriya, we’re in the vicinity of where Mistress Midnight and Brain Matter were fighting Death Roach. Where should we go first?” Hachimitsu asked, looking to me for orders. I’m in control of this, aren’t I? I’m supposed to be the one to figure out what to do...

“Hachimitsu, drop the bubble. Fukunaga, there’s a gap to our left big enough to fit a person. Go through it, carefully.” I could practically hear Fukunaga roll his eyes while Hachimitsu brought down the translucent bubble. He still did what I had told him, however.

“There’s an issue. The path way has gotten smaller and I can’t go any further.” Fukunaga said over the communications. I sighed.

“Alright. Come back, Fukunaga.” I started to strip out of my school uniform, disregarding Hachimitsu’s questioning stare. I stripped all the way down to my binder, feeling a bit embarrassed, but it was what I had to do.

“Pipsqueak? What are you doing?” Fukunaga announced his return.

“I’m going in. Fukunaga, Hachimitsu, you two are on standby. Hachimistu, don’t activate your bubble unless it’s absolutely necessary. In this place, it could cause more harm than good.” They glanced at each other, but both nodded. They don’t have to like it, I don’t have to like it, it just has to get done.

I couldn’t tell if it was the cold or the fear that made me shudder as I got onto my hands and knees and started crawling. As I crawled further in, I could feel glass cut against my hands and ripping pants. It doesn’t matter right now. Just keep going. Just keep going. I told myself. I reached the point where things got smaller and squeezed my shoulders into the passageway.

I was halfway out of it and into a clearer area when my hips got stuck. Fuck. I tried to wriggle, but they wouldn’t budge. I was close to crying and pressing my earpiece to call for my help, but I kept pulling myself out, ignoring the way the gravel dug into my palms.

I’m free!

The passage collapsed behind me, loudly. I looked ahead, finding the one we were searching for. Death Roach, a half-naked man made of muscle and wore a roach mask that covered his entire head.

“Midoriya, are you okay?” Hachimitsu’s voice spoke into my ear with a lot of static.

“Um, yeah. I found Death Roach, but I can’t get out.” I replied, checking the surroundings. There wasn’t any light except for what came through the rubble. Or maybe that was fire. Who cares? Either way, there’s no escape.

“We’re on our way.” Fukunaga responded. I was about to stop them but Death Roach started to wake. I shuffled into the shadows, hoping he wouldn’t notice I was there. He took off his mask and- shit. I know I shouldn’t think this, but he’s hot.

Death roach, underneath the mask, had short black hair and stunning turquoise eyes that glowed in the dark. He was covered in sweat and raised his face to meet the scattered light as if soaking up everything he could. Please don’t notice me. Please don’t notice me. He noticed me.

“Come out little bug.” Better not antagonise him. For all I know, he could get upset and bring me out into the light himself, which could ultimately kill me. I crawled out from where I was into the light, the stinging in my hands dulling against the buzzing in my head. “So the bug’s a dragonfly. I suppose you know who I am, dragonfly?”

“Y-yes.” Of course I do. How am I supposed to explain I’m here to retrieve him, though?

“Shigaraki sent you to retrieve me, but then you ended up trapped here, didn’t you?” He mused, talking to himself more than me. “What’s your quirk, dragonfly?”

“It’s- it’s analysis, sir.” I lied. Yuga’s excuse coming in hand as I thought it would.

“Why would Shigaraki send someone with an analysis quirk?” He asked. Before I could answer the man approaching me, a giant bubble pushed into the area. The rubble began to fall and I stared in fear.

“Fukunaga, get Death Roach. He’s awake.” I whispered into my earpiece while Death Roach’s attention was diverted. I watched as Hachimitsu’s bubble dropped and Fukunaga ran out for Death Roach. Meanwhile, I started to scuttle away from my allies and Death Roach, pretending to be scared of the sidekicks.

“Midori-” Hachimitsu approached me. I screamed to cover my name and hid my face with my hands. If Death Roach thought I was on his side, then let him continue thinking that. Who knows how it could help in the future.

Hachimitsu stopped where he was, confused. I couldn’t say anything to appease him if I wanted to keep up this act. Which also meant I couldn’t instruct him. I was close to giving up the act when I felt something hard hit my head.

 

~*~

 

“Izuku, I brought you your boring homework and moi’s fabulous company.” Yuga announced as he entered the room. It was my second day in the hospital. My mom had cried when I woke up yesterday and Nemuri had scolded me. Yuga came yesterday with his siblings as soon as they heard which hospital I was in and cried over my misfortune.

I could barely believe I had missed two and a half days of school already. If it weren’t for Nemuri insisting I stay here until Friday, I’m pretty certain I would have been discharged yesterday. At least I had Yuga’s company from when school let out to when he had to go home and make dinner for his family.

“Thanks, Yuga-kun.” I laughed, as the nurse finished changing out my IV bags.

“Before you had this job, what did you want to be?” Yuga asked as soon as the nurse was gone. “I plan on being the most beautiful and glorious hero the world has seen.” That’s just like him.

“It might seem silly considering my quirk,” Or lack of, “but for all my life I wanted to be a hero, too. I wanted to fight the bad guys, rescue those in need, and just help people.”  

“There’s no way to talk you out of quitting, then...” He muttered. I had a feeling I wasn’t supposed to hear that. “If you’re going to put yourself in the field of danger, then why not try to be a hero, anyways. I know you wrote some prep school on your list. Try out U.A.’s hero course with me, instead.”

“What?” I asked, surprised by his sudden offer. He wants me to try to get into U.A.’s hero course? Is he joking?  Yuga grasped my hands in his and pressed his nose against mine, purple staring into green.

“Get into U.A.’s hero course with me.”

Chapter Text

“Izu-kun, you know you aren’t supposed to be out of bed right now.” Nemuri said with a reprimanding tone. I looked up at her from the flowers in the garden, knowing what she said was true. I had even waved off the nurse that had taken me out in a wheelchair so I could walk around.

“I needed some fresh air to think.” I replied. Not untrue considering what Yuga had suggested yesterday. He hadn’t suggested it. He completely believed I could get in without a quirk.

“Is it what happened with Hachimitsu? Because I told him you were probably just stressed and in a frightened situation.” She tried to reassure me. I sat down in the wheelchair with a sigh.

“That’s not what happened. Death Roach thought I was a villain sent to retrieve me.” I watched her expressions change from surprise to calculation and then to professional. “I decided to use that to my advantage. I have a plan to infiltrate the villains and someone who can get me in.”

Shit. I didn’t mean to reveal Queen, yet.

“You’re in contact with a villain? Do you know how dangerous that is?” Nemuri asked. I assumed it was rhetorical and ignored.

“This job is dangerous. Besides, it’s in my job description. It will help me gather information firsthand and analyze our enemies. In fact, I could probably get them to reveal things for me.” I pointed out. I hadn’t realized she would be so against this, but I was already making a plan to convince her. And if she still isn’t, I’ll just have to do it anyways. “Nemuri-chan, I have the opportunity to infiltrate them and save so many lives. And I am careful. I have someone who can assist me and guide me the first few times and then I’ll know how to deal with things on my own. I already have a disguise, a false name, and a fake quirk I can use.”

“And what about school? To do this, you would have to skip school or work and I know how dedicated you are to work. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing this.” She asked. Now I have to reveal my plans for school. Or at least, what I’m thinking about doing thanks to Yuga-kun.

“For now, I would only be testing out being a villain on my days off. When I get into highschool, I’m hoping to negotiate with the staff about my work.” Now I have to explain which highschool is the one who would be willing to do that. Very few prep highschools would allow you to skip as much as I would need to. “Yuga-kun has convinced me to try to get into U.A.’s hero course with him.”

I watched Nemuri. She stood there in silence, thinking hard on what I’ve said. I hope she won’t laugh at me for saying that. Or tell me I can’t. I know I can’t... but I still need to try. For Yuga-kun.

“Alright.” She came to a firm conclusion.

“Alright?” I gave a weak smile, unsure of what she decided.

“You have inspired me, Izu-kun. You can go through with the villain act with a few rules we will discuss later in a more private area. And about U.A. I have a way in I’m certain you will be able to pass. You see, they have a recommendation test separate from the one most applicants have to take and it’s more your style.” Nemuri stated. She’s going to help me get into U.A.? She is a hero, but can she really do that? “We will have to up your training and I’ll have someone talk to your P.E. teacher. If they can’t accommodate us, we’ll just have you be excused from P.E. and have a trainer sent to your school during that period. In fact, let’s just do that instead.”

“W-wait, Nemuri-chan, isn’t that a bit much?” I asked, becoming overwhelmed by her sudden decisions. I suppose I wasn’t much better five minutes ago, but it’s still strange having it turned on me. Nemuri crouched down and took my hands in her’s.

“Of course not. Your safety is important and I will support your goal for U.A. You are my investment. No, more than that, you are someone dear to me. You have no idea how scared I was when I heard you had been hurt in retrieving Death Roach. In fact, if I had it my way, you would have never been there. Midoriya Izuku, you matter me to me and so I will do whatever I can to help you.”

“Thank- thank you.” I managed to tell her when I started to cry. She wrapped her arms around and held me in a similar fashion my mom did. As I sobbed, overwhelmed by emotion, she whispered comforting words in my ear.

 

~*~

 

“- dragonfly! I want to see the dragonfly!” I heard Death Roach screaming as I walked through the hallway to his cell. Hachimistu and Fukunaga behind me, on guard for whatever Death Roach might do. He had come out of his sedatives the day before I had gotten out of the hospital and had been yelling himself hoarse for me. I had to explain my villain name to Nemuri and why I had chosen it, which lead to her telling me Death Roach had been asking for me.

I entered the room, shocked when I saw Death Roach completely tied to a chair with handcuffs and what looked like leather. There was a gag around his neck and a blindfold on the table in front of him. What happened to him? Is he okay? No. Don’t sympathize with a villain. The worst part was, he looked relieved to see me. He completely relaxed and almost sobbed when his eyes met mine.

“You’re safe.” He smiled sincerely. He really had been worried for me. I’m sorry... But I’m not on your side. His eyes roamed over my body, checking to see if I had been at all abused by my supposed captors and stopped when they saw the scar on my forehead. It was a vertical line from just above the center of my eyebrows, disappearing into my hairline. I had been told to style my hair to make sure it could be seen, but I never imagined it causing the reaction it did from the villain in front of me. His eyes were filled with rage and fury. “What did they do to you?”

“N-nothing. I-I got it when things were falling and hit my head. I’ve been unconscious since last night.” I explained, my nervousness not having to be faked. Thankfully, Death Roach seemed to think it was because of Fukunaga and Hachimistu and not because of him. “Did- did they hurt you?”

“What do you think?” He sneered, eyeing my guards. I studied him, close to tears because of my conflicting emotions towards him. He leaned as close he could get to me, and I to him, as a sign of trust. He then whispered. “I know I won’t be making it out of here, so if they try to use me against you, don’t tell them anything. I am not important enough to risk any information getting out.”

“Death-”

“Nomura Koji. Remember me and stay safe, little dragonfly.” He told me just as Fukunaga and Hachimitsu started to drag me away. I can’t leave him here. Not like this. He believes he’s going to die here and he trusts me with his memory. I can’t- I can’t leave him here like this.

“W-wait! I need more time! Please!” I tried to stop them, and reach for Death- for Nomura. It was too late. They dragged me out and had a security member close the door.

“I’m sorry, Midoriya.” Hachimitsu said. Even Fukunaga looked sympathetic. I collapsed to my knees and cried for Nomura, who had given up.

 

~*~

 

“Queen.” I said with a firmness I still can’t believe I have as soon as I heard her pick up the phone.

“Little boy, so good to hear from you. What can I do for you this evening?” She replied with that mocking politeness.

“I need you to teach me to act more like a villain and get my name out there.” I stated. It was a sad truth that I would need to rely on Queen, but there was no one else I knew who could and would do this for me.

“What name is that?” She probed. Despite everything she still didn’t know my name. Or she doesn’t care about it.

“Dragonfly.”

“Leave it to me.” I could hear the viciousness in her tone, once again sending shivers up my spine. The phone clicked and I let myself relax. No matter how many times I talk to her, I will never be able to get rid of the fact she represents danger.

 

~*~

 

“Is that really what you’re wearing?” Queen eyed my outfit. It was a plain hoodie and jeans, but apparently it wasn’t what I was meant to. She pushed by me and went to my closet. She shuffled through things and then threw them at me. “Here. Wear these.”

“Where did you get the jacket?” I asked, pulling on the leather jacket over a white t-shirt. I had never seen it before in my closet.

“I found it somewhere.” She waved it off, nonchalantly. I looked over her skintight outfit. Where did you hide it? She finally looked at me and scrunched up her nose. “Nevermind. That doesn’t work for you. Give it back.”

“I like it. I’m keeping it.” I told her, placing it on my bed. She stared at it as if she wanted to burn it. Good. I don’t like you much either.

“Wear these instead.” She tossed a denim jacket and a striped shirt at my face. Really, where is she getting these from? They’re definitely not from anything I have.

“Where are we going, Queen?” I asked instead.

“You’ll see.” I hate those words. Especially when they come from you. She pulled me out with her through the window and suddenly we were in the air, wind blowing too hard for me to see anything. Like how the fuck we were up there.

 

~*~

 

“A cafe.” I deadpanned, fixing my windswept wig. What kind of villains go to a cafe?

“You would be surprised.” She grinned as if she knew my thoughts.  Yeaaaah, how about no.

“Queen.” One of the baristas greeted from behind the counter, gathering the attention of most of the patrons here. So some of them are civilians, huh? How interesting. The barista himself looked like one of those sadistic glasses wearing characters you would see in manga with a false charm. “How nice it is to see you. And who is this?”

“Dragonfly.” I answered before Queen could. It would be bad if they assumed I followed her or waited for her to speak for me as if she were someone I followed.

“So this kid can speak, huh?” The barista looked down with disapproval of my action.

“I’m sixteen. You don’t look much older so don’t call me kid.” I lied. He actually looked to be in his early twenties, but I couldn’t let this slide. It was bad enough Queen called me ‘little boy’ on a regular basis, I can’t have this unknown call me kid.

“He’s right. Don’t. He’s a lot more dangerous than he looks. Even bested me in a fight.” Queen smirked, mixing the truth with lies. The barista eyed me as if trying to figure out.

“Decommissioned my crew.” I retorted. Also, true. She had, in a way, decommissioned three heroes who I had been working with, but Kesagiriman’s legs were healing and Mr. Brave was seeing a therapist. Temporal Gale would never recover ear, however.

“Crew? What're you, a thief?” One of the other baristas came over, a woman who seemed to look down on me just as much as her coworker. What wonderful people.

“A villain who used a team which went unnoticed. Which is the best way to be.” I  pointed out. It was actually sad so many villains went for outgoing when they could easily take control if they did things quietly and behind the scenes.

“Pfft. Won’t get anywhere with that lawful evil shit.” The woman said, hands moving skillfully as she made drinks for the customers.

“You would be surprised. Dragonfly’s managed to get some pretty powerful connections doing what he’s been doing.” Queen placed a hand on my shoulder. I shrugged it off with a glare directed towards her.

“And what connections could those be?” The young man was back, as if summoned by new information. Could it be these people don’t care what someone is so long as they can get new information to sell? Not bad, Queen.

“As if you could pay me more than them to say their identities where anyone could hear.” I sneered. It would be good to give them something that was absolutely true.“I was able to talk to Death Roach after he was captured thanks to those connections. If it weren’t for Queen disabling my crew, I could have gotten him out of there. Well, Queen and the fact he had given up everything.”

“Now I know you’re talking nonsense. Death Roach would never give up.” The middle aged woman rolled her eyes. So they’re acquainted are they? Holy shit. No wonder they know each other.

“Not unless he thought Shigaraki had abandoned him. Not surprising with the way he had been caught. No one wants that kind of risk.” I shrugged, acting as if I knew exactly who Shigaraki was. With the way the two baristas looked at each other and sighed, it would seem I had gone the correct path.

“Dragonfly.” Queen interrupted the conversation and handed me a mug. I gave it a quick sniff, but it just smelled like hot chocolate.

“Queen.” I replied with a grateful nod.

“So how’d you two get so buddy buddy if she ruined everything for you.”

“Who said she ruined everything?” I asked. She only made me change all of my plans and destroy my confidence. Queen laughed. I smiled, hiding my true thoughts. I hate you so much.

 

~*~

 

“Good job, Queen. I’ll be sure to wire you your pay.” I told her when she dropped me back off at my room. It was getting dark outside, but I still had time to go over my schoolwork before tomorrow.

“Keep paying me like this and I’ll find more reasons for you to have to.” She grinned.

“Funny.” I said with a disinterested tone. If she does then I’ll be taking money from her to pay for whatever damages she causes.

 

~*~

 

“Are you alright, Izuku? You seem a bit sickly.” Yuga asked, putting his hand on my forehead. He had been waiting by the school gate for me.

“I’m good. Better now, with you around.” I smiled. Being with Yuga melted away my dark thoughts and let me feel like a normal kid.

“If I didn’t know better, I would think you were flirting with me.” He winked. I gave a short laugh in response.

“Thank goodness you do.”

“No kidding. I wouldn’t want to ruin our friendship by rejecting you.” Yuga declared. As if that could ever ruin our friendship. He turned serious after a minute of walking in silence. “Why are you so tired? You didn’t stress yourself over the weekend, did you? If it was that vulgar blond, then just tell me.”

“You have to be more specific. Technically, you’re a vulgar blond with your hip thrusts.” He gave me a look telling me to be serious like him for a moment. And if Yuga was telling me to be serious, I would be. “No. He- he hasn’t bothered me since the night I went to your house. I mean, I’ve been in the hospital since then so he hasn’t really had a chance. I suppose I’ve been overworking, a little. Nemuri-chan, my superior, has agreed to go with a plan I’m concocting, but she doesn’t know my schedule because it could be too dangerous.”

“Just- be careful, okay? You’re my best friend and I don’t want something to happen to you again. At least not until we get into U.A.” He took my hand in his, to show how much he meant it.

“Sounds like a plan.” I told him. One more plan to add to the list. If I get hurt, it has to be minor and easy to hide so Yuga-kun won’t worry more. Good thing I’m one of the best at hiding injuries.

 

~*~

 

“What did you say, you bastard?” A large man with tentacles protruding from his back spat in my face, holding me up by the collar. I stared at him blankly, exhausted after a week of visiting new villain places and I just wanted a cup of midnight coffee.

“Just the truth.” I replied.

“He said you have some serious daddy issues!” Someone from the audience shouted. Thank you, random stranger. Really. I needed a bigger pummeling.

“I know what he said! It’s not true!” The tentacle man retorted. Wow. What a way to prove it’s not true.

“Really? So daddy didn’t abandon you when you were three claiming he couldn’t handle you and left you with dear old grandma? I know the signs and we both know you have never recovered. It’s why you go after twenty something men and brutally murder them, isn’t it?” I replied sarcastically. I just wanted some coffee in one of the best places to sit in here. Is this really too much to ask for?

“I’ll make an exception just for you.” He growled. I studied him with piercing eyes and noticed some scars on his tentacles.

“You mean you’ll beat me just like your daddy did when you finally found him at my age?” I whispered, calculating.

“How do you-”  He loosened his grip, letting me fall.

“How do I know? As if I’ll tell you. Now get out of my seat unless you want me to reveal more of your worthless past.” I sneered. He left me to my peace and coffee. The other customers stared at me for a few minutes before they returned to what they had been doing.

 

~*~

 

“Izuku, you’re getting eyebags. You aren’t stressing too much, are you?” Yuga checked with me. I’m sorry I’m worrying you.

“No. I just- I’ve just been working a lot.” I had been out every night for the last two weeks checking villain hideouts and gathering information. I usually snuck out after my mom went to bed and stayed up until three am.

“Why don’t you come to my house this Sunday?” Yuga asked.

“I’d like to, but I’ve got something I need to do that day.” I need to check up on a lead to the Shigaraki person Nomura had talked about.

“Izuku, you’re coming to my house this Sunday.” He stated just like the first time he had invited me over. I suppose he isn’t taking no for an answer, this time.

“Thanks, Yuga-kun. You are my shining light.” I replied after thinking it over. He didn’t know how true my words were. When I was around him, he made me feel normal. He treated me as if I was one of the best things in his life, and it made me feel warm.

“You really need to take a break from whatever it is they’re having you do. You’re only fourteen.” I am, aren’t I...

 

~*~

 

Four weeks since I last saw Kacchan. We really need to talk about whatever is going on with that. Nevermind. It can wait another week. I have better things to do.

I entered the bar where I had heard Shigaraki and his group hung out, bracing myself for what was to come.

 

~*~

 

“Izuku, don’t go out tonight. It’s changing you and not in a good way. I’ll have Nemuri-san put this entire thing to stop if you keep hurting yourself like this.” My mom held tightly on my arm, stopping me from leaving. She looked as worried and sad as she had been when I had told her about the fall.

“But, mom, it helps people.” I tried to tell her. No matter what, I had to go and gather more information. If I could stop people from dying and save everyone, I would be just like a hero.

“If ‘people’ doesn’t include you, it’s not helping enough. Just don’t go tonight. Or tommorow. You told Nemuri-san you would only go wherever you’re going on Sundays, but you’re going out every night and it needs to stop.” I had thought I had hidden it pretty well. I suppose nothing gets past my mom...

“You’re right. I’ll- I’ll stop for a little bit.” Maybe I am going overboard. But I don’t know how to do this otherwise...

 

~*~

I laid in bed, wide awake. I felt so restless, needing to go outside and find a way to help people. It was the only thing I could do without a quirk. And yet, the ones I cared about most were trying to make me stop. It didn’t make any sense.

Can’t they see I’m quirkless? Can’t they see I’m expendable when it comes to other people? There is so much danger out there and people are constantly being attacked. If I can change that even the slightest bit for the better, then what does my life matter?

No. I can’t spiral out again. Think of something better. Something happier. Yuga-kun. He’s always good. The bestest best friend anyone could ask for. But what if he doesn’t think of me the same way? What if he talks to his other friends about what a weak person I am. Put into the hospital because a small piece of concrete hit my head... No no no! Don’t think of what Kacchan said! Yuga-kun is much better than him and would never do what he did. He even claimed I was his best friend when he was in tears. He’s a good person and a good friend.

... What about Death Roach? Why did he cry when he saw me? What did Genius do with him after I had seen him? Is he still alive? Is Genius Office really what I think it is? Are heroes what I really think they are? Midnight had stopped me from falling when I hadn’t wanted anyone to. I had been completely ready to die and if it weren’t for Nemuri-chan, I would have tried again.

... I had tried again. I can’t believe I almost forgot that. So why was I saved when I didn’t want to be? Why save someone when it was too late to save them? What do you see in me, Nemuri-chan, when All Might couldn’t find anything in me that could become a hero...

Is this why people become villains?

“Nomura Koji, why did you become a villain?”

 

~*~

 

I was out getting groceries for my mom. Nothing needed to go into the freezer immediately, so I went to the junkyard beach. I felt a kinship with it, even when people tried to tell me I wasn’t, the feeling I was garbage lingered inside. I came here when I didn’t want people over my shoulder, or constantly talking. It was a good place to cry and a good place to rest. I had even made a space for me to lie down on with no garbage about to topple over onto me.

I walked along the beach’s edge, the water almost reaching my feet. I looked towards the garbage, ignoring the beautiful horizon that always made me feel so small. There was a figure sitting on a pile, making me curious. As I got closer, I could see the figure better. It was a man who was thin and gaunt he looked like a skeleton wearing skin and his hair was wild and bright yellow like a sunflower. What is he doing here? Of all the places, of all the times, what is he doing?

“All Might?” My mouth moved before my brain registered what was happening. The skeletal man looked at me with bright blue eyes and I tried not to cry. It was him and he had seen me. There was no running now.

Chapter Text

“All Might?” My mouth moved before my brain registered what was happening. The skeletal man looked at me with bright blue eyes and I tried not to cry. It was him and he had seen me. There was no running now.

“You’re that-” He began to cough up blood. I set down my grocery bags, rummaged through my pocket, searching for tissues, and then handed them to All Might. When he took them, I noticed my hand trembling. In fact, my entire body was trembling. So that’s why everything is so shaky now. “You’re that quirkless fanboy.”
“I heard you saved Kacchan from the sludge villain. Thanks...” I told him, unable to look him in the eyes. It’s been two months and I still can’t handle looking at anything All Might related, including the man himself. I’m pathetic. I’m still hurt by what he told me two months ago.

“Of course. It is my duty as a hero.” He shifted into his hero form for a moment before he began coughing again and untransformed. I handed him more tissues, still unable to look up at him.

“You can drop the act. Heroes are human and you don’t have to put up such bravado around me.” I finally bring myself to look up at him and into his piercing eyes. I can do this. I have been around heroes, trained with them, talked to them directly, instructed them when they weren’t sure what to do. I can talk to one in a non-threatening situation. Even if he is All Might. “You were wrong. I can be a hero without a quirk. I have people who believe in me and have trained me for it. I will get into U.A.’s hero course and I won’t let anyone say what I can’t be from now on.”

I picked up the bags and turned my back on the man I once looked up to. You aren’t as big as you seem to think, All Might. I think and leave him on his pile of garbage.

 

~*~

 

“Izuku! You didn’t say you were bringing a guest for dinner!” My mom exclaimed as I handed her the bags. I looked behind me to see a sheepish All Might. Did he follow me home? Who does that besides Queen?

“Sorry. It was kind of unexpected.” I rub my neck, faking a smile. I took off my shoes and noticed a pair of heels beside my mom’s. Oh wonderful. Nemuri-chan’s here, too. This will make things harder to lie about. My mom took the bags after greeting All Might and headed to the kitchen. I turn around and hiss, “what are you doing?”

“Izu-kun! Welcome home!” Nemuri cheered, attacking me with a tight hug and interrupting whatever All Might was going to say. It was hard to express how upsetting this all was when she had stuffed my face between her breasts and I couldn’t breath. She released me when she noticed All Might and asked sweetly, “Izu-kun, who is this?”

“Yagi Toshinori.” He introduced himself with a bow. Is that your real name? If so, you should really lie.

“He’s helping me build muscle. Despite the way he looks, he’s a good trainer.” I tell Nemuri who looked between us with a calculating expression. Yagi nodded along with my lie. “Yagi-san, this is Kayama Nemuri. She’s my mentor.”

“Pleasure to meet you, Yagi-san.” Nemuri’s lips curled into a threatening smile. “I suppose he will be joining us for dinner?”

“Yeah. It was kind of short notice because I had noticed he was about to eat out like you do and we can’t have that.” I told her. She didn’t stop staring at Yagi as if she was trying to place him somewhere. Shit. Nemuri-chan’s a hero. She might have worked with him before. “I’m going to help my mom in the kitchen. You two can relax in the living room while you wait.”

“Have fun.” Nemuri said as I made my escape.

Shit. Shit. Shit. What are you doing, All Might?

 

~*~

 

“So what do you do, Yagi-san?” My mom asked pleasantly over dinner. Nemuri has been threateningly pleasant this entire time towards us, except for when my mom talks to her, and All Might just as awkward and shy.

“I, uh, I work for Almighty hero agency as a private life manager.” He stumbled over his words. I was so close to facepalming just for this. It wouldn’t be so awkward if you hadn’t followed me home! “I met Midoriya-kun, here, a month ago at Dagobah Municipal Beach Park when he was trying to strengthen himself and I decided to give him a few tips.”

“He’s been secretly training me whenever I have time.” I said. I felt guilty lying to the most important women in my lives, but it wasn’t as if I could shout that this was All Might, the one who sent me over the edge two months ago.

“So you two hadn’t met at work?” My chopsticks slipped from my hand and hit my forehead. I rubbed the scar where it had been hit. I noticed All Might glancing at it and winced. Now he knew I was injured since he last saw me.

“That wouldn’t have been possible, Inko. There would be no reason for a private life manager from another agency to have to visit Genius.” Nemuri explained, gently. It was easy to see how much she loved my mom when she softened from just talking to her.

“You work at Genius?” Yagi asked, looking at her curiously.

“No, I visit friends who do and they tell me a lot about what work happens there. I teach art history.” She lied. It gave my mom the hint that talking about work was off-limits with this guest. Thank you, Nemuri-chan. Now I don’t have to worry so much about protecting All Might.

“I am planning to take a teaching job the coming school year. I wouldn’t normally, but I received an invitation from an old friend.” That’s news to me. It does explain why he’s stayed in one place for so long, however. Also, do you really have to bring the attention back to you? Are you or are you not trying to hide your big identity.

“Oh? And which school is this?” Nemuri leaned on the table, taking a sip of water. Her eyes were hard and boring into Yagi’s soul and her lipstick stayed perfect.

“A preparatory school. Apparently he’s going to work at one of the prep schools I had been planning to go to before I decided on U.A.” I interjected. If he’s going to go to any hero schools, it would tip them off he’s more than he has claimed.

“Really? What a coincidence.” Nemuri said, watching me, now.

“Nemuri-san gave Izuku a recommendation to the school so he has a better chance of entering.” Mom explained to Yagi. “If it weren’t for her who knows where we would be, right now.”

“I have very good connections.” Nemuri shrugged, but one could tell she was practically preening under the subtle praise mom had given her.

“He hadn’t told me he had gotten a recommendation. Congratulations.” Yagi turned to me with a small raise of his glass. It would have looked better if he weren’t a sunflower skeleton in a plain and baggy t-shirt.

“Thanks, Yagi-san.” I ducked my head and focused on my food. A part of me actually felt happy he had congratulated me.

“How do you know the Midoriyas, Kayama-san?” He moved the conversation onto another topic. Yes. Shift the attention to someone else. Wait no. Please don’t say anything that might tip him off to how we met, Nemuri-chan!

“Izu-kun fainted when I was out with my cousin and we took him home. Inko and I grew close and here we are.” Nemuri gazed lovingly into my mom’s eyes, who was blushing but looking back just as lovingly. I would swear on my life they were holding hands underneath the table like a pair of lovesick teenagers.

“So you two are-”

“You don’t have an issue with that, do you?” My mom’s voice hardened as much as Nemuri’s eyes had again. That’s odd. Even at times when people show their disapproval of Nemuri-chan and mom’s relationship, she rarely acts like this. I wonder why.

“Of course not. I suppose I’m just a little jealous Midoriya-san is already taken.” I choked on my food. Is my mom some kind of hero magnet? Maybe he’s just being polite? Nope. that expression is one of being completely sincere.

“Are you okay, Izuku?” My mom asked by the time I had stopped. I had gathered everyone’s attention and they all looked like they had wanted to help me, but weren’t sure how.

“Fine,” I wheezed. I wish the ground would rise up and swallow me whole.

 

~*~

 

“We’re going to go see a movie, remember to stay in tonight. No wearing your wig or contacting your friend. Okay?” My mom hugged me, tightly. She had been making certain I wouldn’t work overtime when ever she thought I was becoming too stressed.

“Okay. Love you, mom, have fun on your date.” I replied, having become used to waving her off now.

“Love you, too, Izuku.” She departed with Nemuri. I sat down on the couch with my phone and waited until I was certain they were gone. I went to the back door and whispered,

“You can come in, now, Yagi-san.”

“Thank you, Midoriya-kun.” He said, walking in. Okay then. Yagi Toshinori is absolutely his real name and the number one hero is an idiot. That makes feel so much better about the safety of my loved ones and myself.

“Yeah. Big problem. You can’t just follow me home like that. It is not okay even if you are the number one hero.” I reprimanded him. Really? Who thinks that’s an okay thing to do? Unless your a villain, but they’re an exception of their own sort.

“I know. I just had to talk to you and I wasn’t sure how to start after you left.”

“Who knew the number one hero was so awkward.” I let slip on accident/ He looked bashful which was not a good look on him. It brought up another thought, “In fact, all of you heroes seem to have issues with asking consent about things.”

“You realize, Kayama-san is a hero, right?” He checked with me. Well if I hadn’t, I do now.

“Of course I do.And if I didn’t, you should not have said anything.” I sighed, rubbing my temples. Who knew it would be so tiring to talk to Yagi. “Now why is it you wanted to talk?”

“I wanted to tell you, you’re right. I was wrong and it was not right of me to say you couldn’t be a hero without a quirk. In fact, your words have inspired me and I would like you to be the successor of my power.” He declared. I was shocked. He thinks I’m... right? And I inspired him?

“Your... power? And what kind of power is that?” I probed for more information instead. I was good at that. I could handle information gathering and then deal with my emotions later.

“It’s called One for All. It’s what lets me be All Might and it can be passed from one person to another. The reason why I am in this town is to find my successor.” He revealed. I remembered what he had told me about his form changing and why he coughed up blood.

“Because of your injury. You’re dying, aren’t you?” My voice wavered. He can’t be dying. He’s All Might. The world needs him.

“Yes. And I need to choose and train a successor for One for All before I go. I would like that person to be you.” He said, all awkwardness and bashfulness dissipated. I could see All Might’s smiling form where the skeleton was. This was serious and it overpowered me. If i hadn’t been sitting, I would have collapsed to my knees.

“I would have jumped at the opportunity to be your successor if you had asked me when we first met,” I started. Yagi looked like a puppy thinking he’s about to be adopted. Maybe that’s exactly how he feels. Sorry. “But things have changed. I will need to think it over and talk with my mom about it. You didn’t think I would try to hide it from her, did you? She’s a lot more perceptive about things than she looks.” I furrowed my eyebrows, trying to figure this out. I couldn’t just have him drop by every night, and it would be troublesome to have to look for him.

“Do you have a phone?”

“Yes. Here’s my number when you have chosen.” He wrote it down on a spare reciept from his pocket. Good. He understood what I was going for. He handed it to me and stood up. I followed him to the door. “I look forward to hearing your answer soon.”

“Goodnight, All Might.” I said curtly.

“Goodnight, Midoriya-kun. Thank you for hearing me out.” He said and left me be. I shut the door and headed to my bedroom.

This was too tiring...

 

~*~

 

R u free - Broccoli

For you? Anytime. - Sparkle sparkle

So long as you fix your horrendous grammar and spelling. - Sparkle sparkle

*Are yopu free? - Broccoli

**you - Broccoli

My thumb slipped ;-; - Broccoli

Lol - Sparkle sparkle

What’s up? - Sparkle sparkle

I’ve been offered something, but I’m not sure if I should accept it. - Broccoli

What kind of something? - Sparkle sparkle

Something bigger than what Nemuri-chan had offered me the day I met her. - Broccoli

Wow. Okay. - Sparkle sparkle

Who’s offering? - Sparkle sparkle

Someone important. I’m not really supposed to say. - Broccoli

I used to really look up to them, but then something happened. And now I think they offered me this just to make up for what they had said. - Broccoli

It’s All Might, isn’t it? - Sparkle sparkle

My phone started to ring when I hadn’t responded to Yuga’s text. I stared at the screen until it started a third ring, and answered.  “Yes.”

“That’s what I thought.” His smug tone came through. Bastard.

“But how did you know?” I asked, honestly confused how he knew. I was certain I hadn’t let anything slip about All Might.

“It’s obvious something happened with him when you stiffen at any mention of him. It’s worse than your reaction to that vulgar blond.” Do I really? I need to stop that or someone who isn’t supposed to notice will. Like Queen. Or anybody, really.

“Again, you could just be talking about yourself.” I retorted.

“What did he offer you?” He ignored my comment.

“He’s giving me the chance to have a quirk. His quirk. But I’m not sure if I should. I would have to be around him so he could train me. And that would cut into work, school, and hanging out with you or helping my mom...” I told him my doubts.

“Do you want a quirk?” He cut through my depressing silence.

“Yes? I don’t know. I’m starting to feel more confident, but I still feel like an outsider when everyone is talking about their quirks.” I explained, trying not to ramble. There was more to it, but it was all I could convert verbally without going on an unneeded tangent.

“You know you are loved whether you have a quirk or not, right?” Yuga asked. It was strange and I couldn’t understand why he would ask that.

“I do. I just- I just want to be able to protect more people. More than sitting behind a desk or going out into the field to retrieve villains. I want to do more, but I can’t if I don’t have a quirk that can help.” I express why I would want to accept All Might’s offer. Why do I keep getting these offers? Why do they always have to come at night? And why do they always confound me, like this?

“It sounds like you have decided.” He stated confidently.

“Have I?” I asked. I really didn’t think I had.

“Yes. And I trust you will realize your decision and know I back you completely.” Again with that confidence. No fourteen year old should have that much confidence and not have it be arrogance.

“I swear you’re trying to make me more confused. But thank you. You’ve helped me focus a little better.” I responded. It had helped me think what had been bothering me, even if Yuga was being a bit roundabout.

“That’s what I’m here for as your sparkling knight, right?” He joked.

“Right. Night, Yuga-kun.”

“Remember to use proper grammar and spelling more when texting.” He said. I snorted, holding back my laughter.

nvr :P - Broccoli

Nnnnnnnvvvvrrrrrr - Sparkle sparkle

 

~*~

 

One for All. All for One. Isn’t that the motto of some fictional characters? It’s like, to be or not to be? Hmm. All for one, one for all, to be or not to be? Yeah that pretty much sums up my situation. Do I or do I not accept this damned power? Wait, if there’s One for All, and it’s been passed down from person to person, does that mean there’s All for One? What would that even be like? Do they suck up souls or something?

Calm down. Stop overthinking about this. It’s been two days. It’s time.

“Mom, All Might has contacted me.” I told her as she was folding towels. She froze completely and set what she had been working on down in her lap.

“Oh sweetie. Are you okay? What did he say?” She asked, rapidly. She looked ready to comfort me at any moment.

“He- he’s offered me the chance to have his quirk. It can be passed down and he wants to give it to me. I think it’s because he pities me and wants to make up for what he had said to me that day.” I needed to tell her the most important part. I knew All Might hadn’t wanted this to get out, but I had to tell her or she wouldn’t understand completely. “He’s... he’s also running out of time.”

“But you want it.” She stated.

“Yes. I- I think I do. I just don’t want it like this.” I said.

“Then prove you are worthy.”

 

~*~

 

“Hello?” All Might’s loud hero voice came through the speaker. I pulled away my phone and rubbed my ear. Why did I think he would answer at a normal volume?

“It’s Midoriya. I’m here to give you my answer.” I paused. “I have to reject you. For now, at least.”

“For now?” He repeated.

“Yes. I can’t trust that you aren’t doing it because you feel bad for me. I want to prove to you I deserve it. And I will do it when I get into U.A. It will prove enough that I am determined to be a hero. However, even after you have given me your power, if I ever seem unworthy, tell me and I’ll pass it to someone you do consider worthy. Do you agree to these terms, All Might?”

“Yes. I am pleased with your answer, young Midoriya. It only proves even more you are worthy to have my power.” I could hear him beaming through the phone. He’s really not going to let this go. I’m not sure if that comforts me or not.

“I’m sure. Good day.” I cut things short before anything more could be said.

“You too.” I pocketed my phone and turned around. I marched off to the kitchen and faced my mom.

“I did it.”

“I am so proud of you, my brave boy.” She smiled brightly at me. I smiled back and then started crying. The last few days were so stressful...

Chapter Text

“Hey, Izuku! We’re going to have a party with other agencies! I love it when they do this. They’re so much fun.” Yuna greeted me at the door. She completely barreled over me and slipped an envelope into my hand with a wax seal.

“Th-that’s a thing?” I asked. Yuna always made me feel nervous with her overwhelming exuberance. Now there was also a party full of people I don't know to look forward to, to add to making my anxiety go into overdrive.

“Oh yes. And I’m sure my kids can help pick something out for you, too.” She grinned.

“Th-thanks, Yuna-san.” I waved and headed for the staircase.

“Of course!” She waved back cheerfully. It’s too early for that much energy.

 

~*~

 

“Have you guys heard about the party coming up?” I asked my coworkers when I sat down for lunch, wanting to make sure I wasn't the only one who hadn't known about it. Murata sat up straight all of a sudden.

“A party? Think there will be cute girls there?” He looked around almost as excitedly as Yuna had been. It was as if he thought the party was happening here and now.

“Of course there will. And they will be far out of your league. If you’re even invited.” Sugiyama took a bite out of her sandwich, eyes on her book.

“What? And you are?” Murata attempted to sneer, but ultimately failed. I could sneer better than he could.

“Of course I am. I’m a sidekick and these parties are a big opportunity for me to be noticed. In fact, how did you hear about it, Midoriya-kun?” She looked up at me through her glasses. Why do I hang out with frightening women who could kill me if they wanted to? Or worse.

“Yuna-san at the front desk told me about it and handed me my invitation. I think it’s because of Kayama-san.” I tried to keep my voice even and the heat to stop rising to my face.

“Kayama-sama, why won’t you notice me?” Murata whined, about to cry into his soup. Considering how much salt he placed in it, I doubt he needed more.

“Because she’s dating Midoriya’s mom. Duh.” Imai said. Thank you for that intelligent contribution. She’s right, though.

“Quiet down, will you? My roommate was blasting music all night and I have had very little sleep.” Otsuka glared at everyone. Wonderful. Everyone is in a bad mood today.

“I must agree with Otsuka-san. There is no reason to be so loud.” Masuda said, ever the peacemaker.

“No reason to be so loud? Kayama-san will never notice me and I don’t know if I’ll get an invitation to the party that’s apparently a big deal!” Murata exclaimed and actually started crying into his soup. No one will be willing to steal it now. Not even Masuda-san.

“Exactly. No reason.” Sugiyama shrugged, returning to her book.

 

~*~

 

“Izuku, I expect you to bring me as your plus one for the party. Maman is bringing Toru instead of me.” Yuga said when we met at the school gate.

“Only if you’ll help me find proper clothes for it.”

“Deal.” We shook hands and headed to class, giggling.

 

~*~

 

“Why am I here again?” I groaned. I don’t know what I had been thinking when I made that deal with Yuga. We stood in a large ballroom filled with people I had never spoken to before. I wanted to go home and hide underneath my blanket pretending I am the only one in the world. Maybe bring Yuga with me. Yuga is enough for me.

“Because you need a break from everything and nothing’s a better break than a business party that involves a dance floor.” He paused. “Also I wouldn’t be able to get in without you.”

“So the truth comes out.” I said, bitterly. He gave me a what can you do about it shrug. We both smiled in amusement.

“Let’s dance!” Toru came over in a pretty periwinkle dress and grasped my hand.

“I, uh, don’t really know how to dance.” I held my ground so she couldn’t drag me to the dancefloor.

“Don’t worry. The two of us will teach you. After all, the Aoyama-Hagakure family are fabulous dancers. Even Hisoka, although he pretends he can’t. It’s as if it’s a requirement for us.” So no escaping this. Got it.

They tried. They tried so hard, but my clumsiness was infamous and they found out why. They had even tried to teach me the female roll. Nemuri came over and saved them from their attempts, leading me away.

“Where is my mom?” I asked her. She tilted her head to the left. My mom was talking to a server and... receiving a book? I could just wait until I got home to ask what she had been doing.

“Hound Dog, Vlad King, I’m assuming you two have talked to Midoriya Izuku before. He’s the strategies and analysis manager at Genius Office.” She was correct in her assumption. I had helped them out only last week with a group of villains, one of whom could clone themselves if they cut off a body part.

“I hadn’t realized he was so young. Thank you, Midoriya-kun, for your assistance in the villain attack.” Vlad King

“Of course! It’s what I do!” I squeaked. Damn my weird voice.

“How old are you?” Hound Dog looked down at me, but i felt no ire, just curiosity.

“Fourteen.” I answered, feeling increasingly nervous.

“He’s going to be going to U.A.’s hero course next year. I’m recommending him for it, otherwise his talents would have been lost to the general education course.” Nemuri told them. They both seemed approving.

“Is that right? If we had known that was happening, I would have recommended you myself. You’re a good and brave kid. I look forward to teaching you.” Vlad King said, putting a hand on my shoulder.

“Th-thank you.” I replied, biting my tongue. Nemuri led me away and I began to unwind. “I just talked to Vlad King and Hound Dog in person.”

“Yes. and you were very professional about it. Good job.” She ruffled my neatly combed hair.

Nemuri introduced me to some other heroes I had helped over my headsets, and some I hadn’t until we finally stopped. I looked up at a man built like a brick wall, wearing a black tux and his hair on fire. Beside him was a boy my age with a much too serious expression and dual colored hair.

“Midoriya Izuku, this is the number two hero, Endeavour, Todoroki Enji and his son, Todoroki Shouto. Endeavour, this is my prized pupil, Midoriya Izuku. Endeavour was my senior at U.A.” Nemuri introduced me to the duo.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“I’m sure.” He looked down at me with distaste. He eyed Nemuri who kept up her polite smile. “Shouto, stay by Midoriya. I have people I need to talk to.”

Nemuri left me alone with the other teen, talking away to Endeavour. He looked disgusted, but responded now and again. How dare you abandon me.

“Are you having fun?” I asked, attempting to converse with Todoroki. He didn’t answer, instead looking at the dancers. “What’s your quirk? Do you have one? What am I saying, of course you have one. Is it fire like Endeavour’s? Or do you have some other kind of quirk? It’d be interesting if you had water. Or ice. Since they’re the opposite of the hellfire quirk your dad has. Sorry. I don’t know where that came from...”

“There you are, Izuku. Oh wonderful, I lost Tooru. Nevermind, she is with the young lady, Yaoyorozu.” He pointed to a young woman in a sleek evening gown talking with Yuga’s sister. Purple eyes scanned over Todoroki. “And who is this pretty boy? You really do have the best eye, Izuku.”

“It-it’s not like that, Yuga-kun! We were just introduced and his dad left him with me. Todoroki-san, this is Aoyama Yuga. Yuga-kun, this is Todoroki Shouto.” I introduced the two, wishing my face would stop heating up.

“Is that right? Do you know how to dance, Todoroki-kun?” Yuga asked, his tone conniving.

“Yes.” Todoroki finally spoke.

“Magnifique. Then you two can dance together!” Yuga pushed me into Todoroki. I glared at him, but he only laughed since my face was so red. He whispered into my ear. “Put those newly learned skills to use.”

“W-wait. Yuga-kun...” And he had disappeared into the crowd. I realized my hands were on Todoroki’s chest and removed them quickly. “I’m sorry for my friend, he can be a bit over the top. Would- would you like to dance? I mean, I can completely understand why you wouldn’t but-”

“Yes.” He nodded. Is- is that a smile? Is he laughing at me? Mean.

“Oh. Okay. Great! Just a warning, though. I was only taught how to ten minutes ago and I’m still not all that good, so I’m very sorry if I step on your toes. Or kick your shin. Or knee you. I don’t know how it happened, but-” Todoroki took my hands, placing one on his shoulder and the other adjusted in his hand. He then put a hand on my waist, making me gulp. I suppose that’s one way to make me shut up.

Todoroki lead me into the center of the crowd. He didn’t even complain when I somehow managed to kick his heel. It was surprisingly enjoyable. I found myself smiling and I could have sworn he was smiling until the the song ended and it was as if a spell was broken.

“You two look like you’re having fun.” Toru blew against my ear.

“Not you, too, Toru-san.” I slumped down.

“Oh! Izuku, this is Yaoyorozu Momo, she helped us find you earlier. Yaoyorozu-chan, this is Midoriya Izuku, he’s a good friend of my family and is going to U.A. next year, too.” Toru introduced me to the young woman I had seen her talking to earlier. She was beautiful, wearing a magenta dress, adorned with simple jewelry.

“Nice to meet you.” I bowed.

“Nice to meet you, too. Todoroki-kun, it is good to see you, again.” She curtsied to the two of us.

“You, as well.” Todoroki inclined his head.

“Oh? And how do you know pretty boy, little lady?” Yuga approached our growing group, looking ready to tease anyone he could. I got the strangest feeling he was drinking the wine meant for the adults.

“Our families know each other.” Todoroki answered politely as he could with his cold expression.

“Ooh. No arranged engagement, I hope. You see, sweet Izuku here-” I covered Yuga’s mouth with my hands, not caring where I was anymore.

“Just stop Yuga-kun.” I pleaded.

“He’s got you there, Yuga-nii. You really should pause your matchmaking habits when you’ve been sneaking wine.” Toru laughed, holding something that looked suspiciously like the wine she had been talking about. Do these siblings have a drinking problem I don’t know about? I loosened my grip on Yuga. Maybe that’s why they’re so happy all the time. I should try that.

“Don’t tell me you have your eye on the young lady, Izuku. It’s clear you’re not her type.”

“Yuga-kun...” I was about ready to burst into tears right there and then from embarrassment. The only thing holding me back was that I would be even more embarrassed after.

“Shall we dance?” Todoroki interrupted. I nodded rapidly and took his offered hand.

“Thanks for saving me.” I told him when we were back on the dancefloor. “You don’t want to be here, do you, Todoroki-san? Neither do I. I’m just here because Kayama-san and Aoyama-san, Yuga-kun and Toru-san’s mom- she also works at Genius Office, insisted. It’s so stuffy in here. Want to go outside and hide? I think if we dance over there we can escape without anyone noticing.”

Todoroki went along with my suggestion, leading us off the dancefloor to a balcony. I let out a breath I hadn’t known I was holding in when the cool fresh air of a night in late summer hit my face. It felt like I was worlds away from what was happening inside. I put my arms on the balcony railing and gazed up at the stars.

“How do you know Kayama-san?” Todoroki asked beside me. I glanced over, surprised by him leaning his back against the railing as if he was more relaxed out here than he was in there.

“You could say she saved me by giving me an offer that changed my life. Would you believe me if I told you I work at Genius Office thanks to her? I know, it’s ridiculous. Someone like me working there. But it’s true. She’s changed my life for the better and I’m extremely grateful. She even made my mom happier and less stressed.” I rambled, realizing just how much Nemuri has changed everything. And it was good. I liked it. “Wait. Do you know Kayama-san’s hero identity? You do!”

“You don’t?” Todoroki replied, looking a bit confused by that idea. I know, I know. How can one be a hero’s pupil if you don’t even know who the hero is?

“No... She won’t tell me. Thinks it’s a fun game for me to figure it out, and I would if I had more time. Probably my fault, but with work, school, Yuga-kun, and my mom, I don’t really have much time to do anything.” I shrugged.

“My father claims she is immoral and disgusting.” He stated. It was completely unattached, just a fact.

“Because she likes women?” I frowned, trying to figure out why he would think that.

“No. I don’t know if he knows that about her.” He said.

“Oh. Then why?” I tilted my head, wanting to understand why the woman who had done so much for me in the small amount of time we knew each other, could be considered immoral and disgusting by the number two hero.

“Her gimmick. But with the way you talk about her I wish she would take me under her wing, too.” Todoroki sighed. That doesn’t sound good.

“I’m guessing your dad is a taskmaster?” I test the waters lightly.

“You could say that.” Definitely not good. I bit my lip, trying to come up with a plan.

“Hey, your dad lets you have a phone, right?” I checked with him.

“Yes.” He nodded, although he looked confused. I pulled out a napkin and a pen from my pocket.

“Here’s my number. This way we can talk after the party without worry. Sorry. It’s okay if you don’t want to, it’s just you look kind of lonely and I’d like to be your friend. If you’re open to it?” I held out the napkin to him.

“Thank you, Midoriya.”

“No problem, Todoroki-kun.” I glanced into the ballroom todoroki was watching. Yuga was scouring the place with Toru. Yaoyorozu noticed us and gave a small wave. I waved back. “Looks like we should head back inside.”

I turned back to face Todoroki, only to find our faces a few inches apart.

“I mean it. Thank you for talking to me like this.” He said, one hundred percent sincere.

“S-sure. Anytime!” I exclaimed, certain my face was redder than Endeavour’s eyes.

“Have fun with the pretty boy?” Yuga asked deviously when he saw my face.

“Shut up.” I grumbled. I did not have time to crush on anyone right now. My phone began to buzz in my pocket, as if agreeing with me. “What is it?”

“Someone’s snappish.” Queen’s taunting voice teased. I held back from throwing my phone so I wouldn’t cause a scene. I should have checked the ID first.

“Oh not you.” I sighed.

“Me. I thought you would like to know daddy issues with tentacles is causing some mayhem, little boy.”

“Where?”

“Not too far from that hero party.”

“Fuuuck.” I dropped my head, and headed for the exit.

“I’m guessing you’re there.” She knew I was, the bitch. She’s just laughing at me.

“Bring me my things.” I ordered.

“Time for Dragonfly to make an appearance?” She asked, already knowing the answer.

“Oh piss off, Queen.”

“I thought you wanted me to bring your things.”

“Queen.” I snarled. The phone clicked and I slipped it back in my pocket. With a heavy sigh I lifted my head up and stared at the ceiling. Why tonight of all nights? Who did I piss off to have this happen when it was supposed to be a break night?

“What’s wrong?” Yuga interrupted my thoughts. I spun around to face him.

“I need to work.” I told him, feeling guilty. I was supposed to be spending tonight as a friend and not as a villain.

“Isn’t this work?” He looked confused. Maybe he had drunk too much wine to understand.

“No. Yuga-kun, I need to work.” I emphasized the last word. He seemed to recognize what I meant this time and had a sympathetic expression.

“Don’t worry about things here, I’ll make up excuses for you and entertain our new friends.”

“Thanks. You’re a lifesaver.”

“I know.” He grinned and waved me away. I went through the crowd of people as quickly as I could and met Queen in the hallway. She was dressed in a white dress that came to her calves and her hair was in dark curls, identity hidden by the white mask with light blue lace covering three quarters of her face.

“You got here way too quickly to not have already been here.” I stated, heading to the bathroom.

“A smart girl knows when to sneak into places. Besides, it worked out for you.” She shrugged, following me in.

“Thanks.” I told her, full of spite and frustration. I stepped out of the stall, wearing the outfit she had given me.

“Act as if you don’t mean it, won’t you?” She smirked as I adjusted my light blue wig and tied the long hair into a ponytail.

“Take me to where it’s happening.” I pushed my glasses up.

“So demanding.”

“Stop acting like a mockery of Midnight and just get things done.” I stormed out of the bathroom, Queen following behind.

 

~*~

 

“You are just begging to get arrested, aren’t you?” I hissed, pulling Innsmouth away from the lasers inside the museum.

“What are you doing here?” He asked, letting me drag him more out of surprise than anything else.

“More like, what are you and your cronies? There’s a huge hero party going on not too far from here and all it takes is one call for them all to start riding your asses.” I growl, signaling to the squid boys to get out of here. They looked uncertain, but did as ordered when they noticed how lax their boss was.

“They’re all busy-”

“They’re heroes. They’re always on guard and what you’re doing is stupid. Where’s your get away?” I ask when we’re outside of the doors.

“Over there.” One of Innsmouth’s tentacles pointed to a nondescript van.

“Good. Go now and stay low for awhile. I’ll even pay for your living expenses for the next month since I bet you were going after something big.” I let go of him, but continued to walk him to the van.

“Why would you do this?” He asked, looking as confused as Yuga had been earlier.

“That doesn’t matter. Here’s my number. Keep it to yourself or I will make your life hell.” I threatened him, slipping a card into his pocket and a tracker alongside it. My mom had suggested business cards as Dragonfly, and to appease her I had gotten a few, I just didn’t think they would work out like this.

“Thank you.” He said, sincerely. I looked away and gulped. The squid kids looked equally grateful. Maybe I won’t call the heroes on the four of them tonight, after all.

“Don’t.”

 

~*~

 

“Izuku, your tie changed.” Yuga said in way of greeting when I came back. I looked down and saw he was correct. Instead of the plain green tie I had been wearing earlier, I now had a shimmering tie which changed colors with the light like dragonfly wings.

“No one will notice, right?” I check with him, being a bit too optimistic.

“I wouldn’t be so certain, but we can just say something spilled on it and you had to change.” He patted me on the back.

“Thanks, Yuga-kun.” I smiled, feeling much better with him by side. Which is of course why he had to disappear from it when Nemuri walked over.

“Midoriya-kun, your tie changed.” She immediately proved Yuga’s point.

“Yuga-kun accidentally spilled something on it and so I thought I should change it.” I used the excuse he came up with. He was very good at this. I wonder if he’s used to making up excuses and lies. But why would he be?

“It looks good on you.” She complimented it, hand brushing over it, lightly. I bowed my head, trying to hide my warming cheeks. She bowed her head and whispered into my ear, hot breath tickling my ear, “Remember not to push yourself too much.”

“I’m trying.”

“Good. I need to go check on Inko and we should be going soon, alright?” She informed me. I nodded,

“Alright.”

“You’re going already?” Yuga asked, having come back with a crystalline cup of jelly in his hand. I averted my eyes from it and tried not to pay attention to it. Now is not the time for something like that.

“It would seem so.” I was a bit disappointed. Despite feeling nervous and stressed in this place, the food was good and I had fun before I got the call from Queen.

“What about pretty boy?”

“I gave him my number, already, so we can talk after this.” I saw Yuga leer. “And no. Not in the way you’re thinking. It’s just as friends. I’m only fourteen and I have too much to do as is. I’m not looking for a relationship.”

“That’s the thing. You’re only fourteen. This is the time when you’re supposed to do foolish things like getting crushes on pretty boys, or girls, or other pretty folks. However you swing.” He shrugged, swinging the glass as he spoke. I watched as the jelly wiggled and tried not to flinch. Not the time. Not the time. Just pretend it isn’t there. Out of sight, out of mind.

“Yuga-kun, I have a lowkey crush on practically everyone. Yes, even you. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to pursue anything.” I explain to him. I wasn’t interested in love at the moment and every word I said was true. After Kacchan and everything that was going on, I had no wish to get involved with anyone that way.

“Fine. Just tell me if you change your mind and I will be certain to help you. I feel I should tell you I am a great wingman.” He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and began to walk me to wherever the girls had gone to now.

“Sure you are.” I said, trying to rile him up.

“I am! Have you ever met anyone more fabulous and amazing than me?”

“Yes.”

“I refuse to believe that.”

“Kayama-san.”

“Ah. Yes. Well, she’s an exception of her own.”

“Your mom.”

“Doesn’t count. She’s an Aoyama.”

“Alex Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist.”

“Now that’s just not fair.”

“Of course it isn’t. I should probably say goodbye.” I looked at Hagakure and Yaoyorozu chatting by themselves. “Where’s Todoroki-kun?”

“Endeavour took him somewhere.” Hagakure answered.

“I can help you find him.” Yaoyorozu volunteered. I inclined my head, grateful for the help. I followed her through the crowds until a boisterous man bumped into her. She turned around a curtsied. “I am very sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Holy shit this was Ingenium. The Ingenium. He wore a plain suit, but the engines on his legs and the symbol on his jacket showed who he was. “Oh, hey, Yaoyorozu-san. And you must be Midoriya Izuku, Midnight was talking about you.”

“Midnight talked about me?” I said in awe. I didn’t even know Midnight personally, but she was talking about me. I shook my head to get myself back to my main goal. “Sorry, but we’re looking for our friend. His name’s Todoroki Shouto, he’s probably with Endeavour.”

“Hey Tenya, didn’t you say you had just seen Endeavour and his son around here recently?” Ingenium waved over a mini-him. The teen wore glasses and seemed a bit more serious, but it was clear they were related. “This is Iida Tenya, my brother. He can help you find your friend.”

“I’ll take you to them.” Iida agreed and began to take charge.

“Thanks, I just thought I should say goodbye before I leave.” I explained.

“Did you come with your families learning how to be a future hero, as well?” Iida asked. You’re both so wrong and yet so right. Yaoyorozu nodded, although Iida couldn’t see her.

“You could say that.” I replied, realizing he had been looking for a verbal response. We stopped behind a pillar, noticing Endeavour and Todoroki conversing on a balcony. “Todo-”

“Why would you dance with him and praise Kayama Nemuri in front of people. Not only that, you spoke ill of me? Do you not understand the position that puts me in?” Endeavour said, tone harsh and grating. Todoroki’s fists were balled up and his head low in an obedient manner.

“I was trying to get close to him as you told me to.” He replied. They’re talking about me. So Todoroki-kun had been ordered to act as a spy, but he... He had acted as if he were just relieved to get away from his father.

“Leave my sight. I can’t bare to look at you right now.” Endeavour smacked the scarred boy hard.

“Gladly.” Todoroki mumbled as he came closer to where the three of us were hiding. He saw me, shock written on his face. “Midoriya.”

“Todoroki-kun, are you alright? Your cheek is red...” I lead him away from the spot as fast as I could and sat him down.

“I am sorry you all had to see that.” He said instead of answering my fretting.

“Don’t be. We are more worried about you.” Yaoyorozu spoke up, pouring some water on a napkin and patting it against Todoroki’s red cheek.

“That was in no way an appropriate manner for a hero- no, a father to act.” Iida stated, backing us up.

“Where are Aoyama and Hagakure?” Todoroki looked around, only to be stopped by Yaoyorozu to hold his head still. I could see a cut above the swelling. Had Endeavour been wearing a ring?

“They’re by a table. We were looking for you because Midoriya-kun needs to go now and he wanted to say goodbye.” She informed him. Right. I had forgotten I was supposed to go soon.

“Oh.” He looked like a wet kitten hoping for someone to take it out of a cardboard box. He might as well have been. “Goodbye, Midoriya.”

“Todoroki-kun, I always have my phone on me if you ever need anything, okay?” I reminded. He nodded. “Take care of him?”

“Of course.” Iida agreed.

“Thank you.” I bowed and left the group at the table.

“Iida-kun would you please get...” Yaoyorozu’s voice drifted away the further I got. I met up with Nemuri and my mom, ready to head out.

On the ride home I couldn’t stop thinking about everything that had happened that night. Too many people in bad situations and worry for my best friend’s possible alcohol problem rose inside me. Thinking on all of these, I felt a wave of exhaustion hit me and slowly fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Hello. This is Todoroki Shoto. Is this Midoriya Izuku’s phone? - Flaming Ice Prince

Ye! What’s up? - Clover

I would like to thank you for your company at the party. My apologies for taking so long. - Flaming Ice Prince

It’s fine!!! Hru doing? - Clover

Yuga-kun says you might not understand my abbreviations so “how are you doing?” :P - Clover

(I think he’s wrong) - Clover

I am doing well. How are you? - Flaming Ice Prince

I’m good! I’m just finishing up some work I need to deal with! - Clover

I will let you finish, then. - Flaming Ice Prince

Thanks! I’ll contact you when I’m done! - Clover

I schooled my features, placing my personal phone back into my pocket. Nemuri had gotten me another when she found out I had started being a villain so I could give them my ‘work phone’ instead of my personal. I looked back up at the woman tied to a comfy chair.

“Now where were we?” I asked, my voice feeling dull as it escaped my mouth.

“You wanted to talk to me and then you got distracted.” She sneered, her turquoise eyes blazing, contrasting her dull apron. Most people would say it was best to bring things to your own territory, but it made much more sense for the cafe owner to be tied up in her office. Less chance of causing havoc with all the other villains outside.

“Right, right. I know how you’re related to Death Roach.” I grinned, wagging my finger at her.

“I don’t know what you mean.” She feigned ignorance. Silly woman, do you really think you can hide from me after I’ve done so much digging?

“You don’t? Are you certain about that Sakurai Ayaka, or rather Nomura Chouko?” I revealed to her my knowledge. She looked unaffected, her expression still annoyed. Well that was disappointing.

“Was that supposed to be some major reveal? You sound like a villain from a movie and I don’t know what you’re trying to get at.” Wow. Please, don’t hold back.

“Pity. You see, I’ve visited him after he was imprisoned. Do you remember when I said that the first time I came to this cafe? Because it was absolutely true. And you know what? He told me his name. What were his words, again? Oh right,” I pretended to think hard about it. It had been running through my head every day since he had told me. “‘Nomura Koji. Remember me and stay safe, little dragonfly.’ Can you believe that? You say I sound like a villain from a movie but he sounds way worse with that cheesy line.”

“Don’t mock my brother.” She pulled against the zip ties. This was the reaction I was wanting.

“So you do admit he’s your brother after all.” I smiled.

“What do you want from me? Are you going to blackmail me with this? Threaten to kill him?” Had that happened before? I know she ran a cafe for villains to hang out and trade information, but does that kind of thing happen often to her or is it just her active imagination?

“No. Actually, I’m pretty certain he will die if he’s left alone in solitary confinement. Or go insane, but both are bad.” I shrugged. I crouched upon the chair I had been sitting upon to get a better height upon her. “I’m here to offer you a deal.”

“What kind of deal?” She asked, obviously calculating what the worth could be and what I could have to offer her,

“Convince your brother to stop being a villain and I will save him from the fate the heroes decided for him.” I stated. I had already been thinking about releasing him, but it would be better if he were to stop being a villain.

“As if. If a hero sees him on the street he would be arrested immediately. There’s no turning back.” She rolled her eyes like a rebellious teenager. I didn’t know a woman in her fourties could do that.

“Maybe not, but I do have in my possession a restart button. It would free him from his life of villainy and let him be a regular civilian.” I imitated pressing a button to get my point across.

“Do you know why he became a villain?” Sakurai leaned back into her comfy office chair.

“He killed someone.” I said.

“On accident. He was a late bloomer and his quirk had just manifested when he was playing football with some other kids six years ago. He was fourteen and from there on out labeled as a future villain and everyone treated him with scorn. He made a deal with Shigaraki for his quirk to be taken from him so he could never kill anyone ever again. But then those damned heroes captured him and stopped him from being saved from this curse.” She explained. Oh. That’s so much worse than I had ever imagined. This was why you became a villain and this was why you cried for me. You have a heart, Nomura Koji. And I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. Could he really have his quirk taken away? Was he really willing to be quirkless like me?

“What about you? What kind of quirk do you have?” I asked, pretending I didn’t care about what she had just talked about all that much.

“I thought you looked into my background?” She smirked.

“I did, but no one ever talked about your quirk. It makes one curious.” I lied. I had actually asked about it quite a lot but no one gave me a direct answer, so I was wearing gloves just so I wouldn’t risk anything with her.

“I’m quirkless.” I stared at her, wide eyed. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn't’ that. I had never even considered I would meet someone else who was quirkless. And she had survived for so long, too. “You think it’s funny, don’t you? The quirkless older sister and her much younger brother with a quirk that will kill anyone who touches his bare skin. What a joke.”

“I don’t. I knew someone who is quirkless. He got bullied alongside me because we were both different and no one liked us.” I struggled to tell her, trying to hold back my emotions.

“And what happened to that quirkless friend of yours?” She narrowed her eyes.

“He jumped when his idol told him he couldn’t be a hero. But enough of that. Do you accept my deal?” I attempted to shift the topic. I didn’t want to talk about what happened that day anymore.

“Wait. Why do you want Koji to stop being a villain?” She held up her palm as best as she could with her wrist zip tied to the armrest. Because I don’t want him to be hunted anymore and I don’t want him to be in pain, either.

“Not your problem. Do you accept?” I wave off her question.

“Yes.” Sakurai answered immediately with such determination it surprised me.

“Wonderful, time to get started then.”

 

~*~

 

“Is this the kid?” A young man with blond hair pointed at me as I drank from my water bottle. He was accompanied by Fukunaga, Hachimitsu, and a messy haired man who seemed like he was the eldest.

“Yes.” Hachimitsu nodded. I wiped my mouth of stray water.

“Fukunaga-san and Hachimitsu-san? Who are they?” I asked, really wishing I wasn’t sweaty from working in the gym on self-defense.

“They’re the other two of our group, pipsqueak. Akishino Tadashi and Ikari Noboru.” Fukunaga introduced them. They both waved and I got the sudden feeling that they piss off a lot of people without realizing they’re doing it.

“It’s nice to meet you.” I stood up and bowed to them as best as I could. They were technically my superiors and it would be rude not to, even if we’re in front of some vending machines and I’m in a sweat-drenched suit.

“No need to bow. You’re practically a Midnight Boy with the way she praises you and you’re dressed just like one of us.” Ikari, the blond, ruffled my hair. I was grateful he decided to do that before I had fixed it.

“Nemuri-chan picked these out for me. She said they were more suitable for work.” I replied, nervous. It was true. If she hadn’t interfered, I probably would have worn my school uniform everyday.

“You even call her by her first name...” Akishino began to weep along the other Midnight Boys. The only reason they acted so strange was whenever it came to Midnight, if I remembered correctly. But that didn’t make sense since I had just talked about Kayama Nemuri, unless they’re her fan, too.

“What are you talking about? Are you-” I finally understood. “Are you saying Kayama Nemuri is Midnight the R-rated hero?”

“Did you not know that already, pipsqueak?”

“No! And she’s refused to tell me this entire time! Everything makes so much more sense now.” How could I have been so dumb? Of course she’s Midnight. The signs were so obvious. Even Todoroki-kun knew! I’m an idiot...

“Look at what you’ve done now, Tadashi. You’ve ruined Mistress Midnight’s fun and made our newest member have a mental breakdown.” Fukunaga elbowed him in the ribs. That must have hurt, but I couldn’t focus.

“Midnight’s dating my mom!” I exclaimed. “My mom asked Midnight out on a date and she said yes!”

“Yes. Although your mom does bakes some delicious brownies.” Hachimitsu confirmed.

“Mom doesn’t bake. I do.” Whenever mom baked it turned into some kind of eldritch creature I had to ship off to a petshop for creatures with quirks. I’m pretty sure she had a second quirk to create them, but no one had ever addressed it. That wasn’t the issue here, however. The issue was that Nemuri was Midnight. “What am I supposed to do with this knowledge?”

“You live with it. It’s not like anything’s changed. You just know the hero identity of Mistress Midnight.” Akishino shrugged.

“Right. You’re right. And I can’t be a Midnight boy, I haven’t gotten a hero’s licence, yet. I haven’t even gotten into school.” I started to mutter, trying to reason with everything.

“Then you’ll just be an honorary Midnight Boy until then. You keep baking and I bet you Suzu will stop calling you ‘pipsqueak.’” Ikari leaned on my head. My mom had never visited me here and I had never baked for any of them. In fact, I had only baked once since I started working here and I never brought the results to work with me.

“When have you tasted my baking? And when did you four meet my mom?” They started to laugh as I snapped out of my dazed muttering. These were very important questions I needed answers to and they were laughing at me. “No really, when?”

 

~*~

 

“Yuga-kun, you won’t believe what I found out earlier today! Nemuri-chan is the R-rated hero Midnight! Maybe you already knew that since your mom and she are good friends, but I can’t believe I never figured it out until one of the Midnight Boys told me! It was weird enough my mom was dating my superior-coworker-friend-person, and then I found out she was a hero, but now she’s dating the- THE R-rated hero Midnight and I just don’t know what to do, you know?” I stopped my rambling to wait for a response. Instead all I got was silence. “Yuga-kun?”

“This is Todoroki Shoto.” A calm voice came out of the speaker, making me jump.

“Oh! Oh, I’m so sorry. I swear I had pressed Yuga-kun’s contact info. Um, could you please forget everything I just said? I, uh, I’m so sorry.” I hung up quickly. I can’t believe I just did that. Did my finger slip or something?

You should discuss what happened with Kayama-san and your mother to figure things out. It sounded like you were holding a lot of things in when you should be talking to them about it. - Flaming Ice Prince

I am always willing to hear you vent. - Flaming Ice Prince

He’s too nice...

 

~*~

 

“Aunt Mitsuki? I’m sorry to bother you, but is it alright if I come over this Sunday and bake with you? I kind of need to do some big baking, but I don’t have the ingredients on hand. Right now? Are you sure? Okay! Thank you!” I put away my phone, grabbing my apron off of a hook and and a large bag from the closet. I placed the apron into the bag and then headed off to the Bakugou’s.

I knocked on the door, bag hanging off my shoulder, and waited. The door opened and I choked on the words I was going to greet Mitsuki with. Where I thought she would be, was Kacchan who looked equally nonplussed.

“De-”

“Izuku! It’s been so long! How is your new school? I’ve heard from Inko that you’ve been having fun and made new friends. You even went to a party last week with heroes? Inko said she got some recipes from the caterers she’s hoping to try out soon. You will have to share some when she does. Her cooking is divine no matter what she cooks.” Mitsuki cut off Kacchan in a way that was reminiscent to Yuna. I suppose it was due to how little we had been able to see each other. When I was younger, she would often have me over to teach me to bake and it had eventually been our way of bonding. However, when school got worse after I confessed to Kacchan and then I started work, I hadn’t come over, so it was no wonder she was as excitable as Yuna could be.

“I love my new school, I have made new friends. I did, it was a bight frightening, but I got to go with a few friends, so I had a place to hide. I will absolutely make sure she cooks for ten whenever she tries out a new recipe from the book she got. And we all know it’s divine so long as she doesn’t try to bake.” I answered, even adding a joke. I managed to ignore Kacchan’s presence by focusing on the woman beside me.

“Too true. You’ve gained some confidence. It looks good on you.” She ruffled my hair, making me smile at the familiar touch. We both need this sense of familiarity.

“Thanks. Ingredients in all the same places?” I checked with her. She didn’t reorganize often, but there was always a possibility.

“You know it. I also have a few new recipes of my own in the box if you want to try them out.” She offered. My eyes fell upon the crimson recipe box Mitsuki’s husband had gotten her when they were dating. It was still in good condition, despite it about to burst with recipes.

“Thanks, Aunt Mitsuki.” I grinned, opening it up to look through what could be new.

“Anytime, Izuku.” She told me and left me to my stress baking.

I missed this. Over three months of not stress baking, except for one occasion which was barely anything, it took a toll on me I hadn’t known about. Baking made all thoughts of my life ease away. It cleared my mind and my stress. No thoughts about how Kacchan was only a few rooms away, nothing about how Nemuri and the R-rated hero Midnight are the same person. Nothing and no one to intrude. The only thing that would make this any more perfect is if the playlist I had made for baking to with Mitsuki was playing.

As if she knew exactly what I was thinking, I could hear the melodies of an ukelele start to play. Thank you, Aunt Mitsuki. You are a wonder.

I put the danishes into the oven and cleaned up the mixing bowls and measuring spoons, timer set for the danishes. I moved onto one of Mitsuki’s new recipes, making a few adjustments for fun. I sang along to the music playing, dancing around as I mixed the bowl. Stress baking meant complete privacy, unless someone screamed and that was the best rule Mitsuki had come up with.

Sometimes, she would come in after the timer went off, waiting about five minutes for whatever I had made to cool off a little. And I would offer some to her to try, because she knew I was always testing new recipes, finding what tastes better and what doesn’t. So it wasn’t so odd when I felt someone near me after I had taken the danishes out.

I lifted one up towards her, focusing on handling something else.

“Try this. How is it? I think it tastes better with the adjustments I made, but I want to hear a second opinion.” It was taken out of my hand I heard a small hum. That means she liked it. Yes!

“It’s good.” That wasn’t Mitsuki. I turned around, finding myself face to face with Kacchan, a danish hanging from his mouth. I gulped, my mind screaming.

“K-Kacchan! I’m so sorry, I thought you were Aunt Mitsuki.” I said, a bit delayed as my mouth caught up to what was happening. He stared at me, expressionless. I don’t know what you want, please don’t hit me, pleasedonthitmepleasedonthitmepleasesdonthitme. He reached forward, making me freeze up, and snatched the plate of cooling danishes. He didn’t just take those- he did! Those are for the Midnight Boys and Yuna-san! “Hey! Come back here, Kacchan! Those aren’t all for you!”

“You’ll just have to bake more, then.” What does he think I am? Some danish maker? I don’t have a quirk like that. I’m working on a whole other recipe, anyways.

“Of course I’ll bake more, but those are for-” I cut myself off. I hadn’t really told anyone about working at the Genius Office. They just already knew.

“For who, nerd?” He leaned forward. I backed into the counter, trying to avoid his free hand.

“For my friends at work. One of them mentioned that my mom’s been giving them the brownies I had baked and I thought I should introduce them to something even better.” I stated. It was done. I told him the truth. I had coworkers who cared for me and would miss me if I disappeared or get upset if I was hurt. He couldn’t touch me now.

“There’s no denying that.” He said, taking another bite of the danish.

“What was that?” I asked, unsure if I heard him correctly. Did Kacchan just say he thought my baking was actually good? And that he liked it?

“Nothing. Don’t you dare to follow me to my room.” He walked away, still eating that damned blueberry danish.

“Wait! You still have my danishes!” I yelled, trying to chase after him, but his bedroom door shut in my face. I growled, frustrated with the blond. “We’ll see who gets a taste of anyone’s homemade baking for awhile. I’ll be talking to Aunt Mitsuki about this.”

 

~*~

 

“Thank you so much for letting me use your kitchen.” I told Mitsuki, holding my large bag full of baked goods in containers.

“Of course! You’re letting us keep some of what you made!” She hugged me tight, and I tried to reciprocate with my free arm. It was a bit awkward, but neither of us minded.

“Could you make sure Kacchan doesn’t eat any of the other things I made? He stole a plate of danishes.” I informed her.

“Will do.” She looked gravely serious as if I had just told her I was about to hunt down the person who murdered my entire family. We both cracked a smile. Her’s fell quickly into one of quiet uncertainty. Mitsuki was not supposed to be quiet. Ever. “Izuku, do you know why he’s been acting so strangely?”

“What do you mean?”

“Ever since he was... attacked, he’s been a bit subdued and it’s worrying me.” She told me quietly, worry plain on her face. Realization struck me like lightning. Everything suddenly makes sense.

“Oh. Aunt Mitsuki, you might want to sit down.” I warned her, taking the seat opposite and set the bag down. I fiddled with my hands, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes to help remember my own experience. “Before Kacchan was attacked, I had encountered the same villain. I was under a bridge at the time and no one was around and had been knocked unconscious before anyone saved me. There’s a feeling of heavy slime creeping over your clothes and seeping through. The weight of it holds you tight, but it raises you up off the ground, your feet slipping on its body when you struggle. All the while it tries to slip into your every orifice and pore. By doing so, it would eventually kill you because you wouldn’t be able to breath and it would be able to control your corpse.” I shook myself out of remembering the sensations and focused directly on Mitsuki who was horrified.

“It was probably especially traumatic for Kacchan who is used to being in control. He was helpless and even his quirk couldn’t save him. It made him feel helpless and weak and he doesn’t like that. It’s probably given him a lot to think about and he needs therapy to get over the trauma. Has he shown any wariness or fear to jelly or pudding?”

“Yes. And hot fudge and a few soups. Are you saying...”

“He has PTSD. I’m sorry, Aunt Mitsuki.” I confirmed for her. She looked so shaken, but I couldn’t bring myself to comfort her with gentle touches. The idea of touching anyone seemed disgusting after remembering that experience.

“What about you? Are you getting therapy?” She asked a few minutes later. My stomach dropped.

“Me? I- no... I haven’t really told anyone about the sludge villain attacking me. Besides, I’m too busy with everything else and I’d prefer to not add anything more to my schedule.” I explained, a bit flustered.

“Izuku, you need to take care of yourself.” She reached out to take my hand. I flinched, trying to hide it as me standing up.

“I know. And I am. Good luck with Kacchan.” I put on a fake smile which made me feel more at ease. It’s all so much better when I don’t share the truth of what I’ve gone through.

“Good luck with everything you’re doing.” She replied and I left the apartment. I let out a sigh and started my walk home, head in the clouds as I thought about everything.

How could I not realize Kacchan had PTSD? How could I not notice how strange he had been acting afterwards? Why did I not follow it up?

I tightened my grip on my bag and narrowed my eyes, accidentally frightening a child.

No. He had hurt me for so many years, rejected my love, rejected my friendship. It shouldn’t have to be me to notice in the first place. It shouldn’t have to be me to protect him, heal him, and save him. He was cruel and he hurt me and did nothing for me. I shouldn’t have to help him.

But besides his parents, doesn’t everyone else put him on a pedestal? He doesn’t have any friends... not proper ones. Not like Yuga-kun. No one to tell him when he should stop pushing himself and no one to tell him to take a break. No one to comfort him. No one to listen to his worries.

I eased up as I entered my house and put away my creations absentmindedly.

... I should try being his friend, again. Maybe I can help him through this. But how?

 

~*~

 

I had gone to this bar only three times before, but it was enough for the bartender to remember me when I entered. The long hair of my wig was up in a bun and I went without the orange jacket I had wore the last few times, the heat starting to get to me. My purple glasses had been changed for a pair of thin, light green glasses, accentuating the eyebags I had. It was just enough to show I was comfortable walking in to the bar.

“I’m still not serving you a drink other than water, kid.” Kurogiri said when I entered. The villain was surrounded by black and purple smoke with glowing yellow eyes, but I believed he had to have a body underneath all of that to wear clothes like he does. I surveyed the area, finding a few people around having some drinks, talking quietly, for the most part. Shigaraki wasn’t here. That’s for the best. He always freaked me out and he’s registered as an unknown when it came to reactions in my mind.

“I don’t care. I’m hear about something else I heard about.” I leaned against the bar, taking a seat in front of Kurogiri.

“I’ve heard you’ve been creating an information network and setting up deals.” His glowing yellow eyes narrowed as he wiped off a glass with a rag. Yes, keep your hands busy. How lucky you are, that it won’t come off as a nervous habit. Not that I can tell if you’re nervous or not, you expressionless cloud of smoke.

“I’m not the only one who’s been making deals it would seem. Remember Death Roach’s capture six weeks ago? Well I heard that the reason why he was even put in that position was because somebody told him they could take away his quirk if he killed some people for them first.” I said, cold as can be. Conceal, don’t feel. Damn it. Now I have Frozen in my head.

“Is that right.” He deadpanned much like Death Roach’s sister. What is it with these guys not admitting things when I already know the truth. It would take up less time.

“According to my sources, and they’re very reliable. Even told me who he made a deal with.” I replied. Shigaraki looked shaken, which is quite interesting to see from purple smoke and glowing eyes. “Don’t worry, I’m not looking for the person who has that quirk. I don’t even want to meet that guy. No. What I want is your assistance, bartender.”

“I only work for-”

“The League of Villains, I know. But I’m not asking for you to work for me. I’m asking for a little help for a single extraction. That’s all.” I shrugged. Finally, to business.

“What extraction?” He leaned forward. I reached out and felt around for an ear in the smoke, grateful for my gloves.

“I want Death Roach out.” I whispered into it.

“And why do you want that?” He pulled away. Upset by the fact I had guessed correctly he had a body in their, I assumed.

“Because he’d be useful for me.” I grinned. The door of the bar opened and I turned my head to look. Shit. It’s Shigaraki. Time to put on a new act.

“Kurogiri, what’s going on here?” The guy asked, his voice was surprisingly clear when a hand was on his face.

“Nice to see you again, Shigaraki.” I leered. Grooooss. Why did I have to act like this when we first met? Now I can’t stop without it being suspicious.

“Dragonfly.” He said, tone annoyed.

“You remembered! I knew it, we’re meant for each other.” I leaned my body towards him, ready to rest my head on his shoulder. He took a seat near to hear, but far enough I couldn’t touch him. I sighed. “Sorry, my sweet handyman, but I’m not here for you this time. I was just asking Kurogiri to help me with a little something.”

“Tomura, stop.” Kurogiri said firmly,to Shigaraki who was beginning to reach out for me with all five fingers. Well, that was close. Thanks, Smokey.

“Oh my! I might have to break up with you if you try to do that again, dear.” I fluttered my eyes, putting my hands on my cheeks. I set them back down on the counter and smirked. “And then you’ll have to go to other places for your information, that aren’t as good as I am.”

“We barely know you.” Shigaraki mentioned. All villains barely know me.

“Oh, but I know you. And I’m sure your sensei loves what I’ve given to you so far.” I replied, stating it as a fact. I had never met this sensei personally, and I’m not sure I would ever want to.  I turned back to Kurogiri. “What do you say, Kurogiri? Gonna help me?”

“I will.” He agreed.

“Wonderful. I’ll send you the details when I’ve got everything ready.” I got out of my seat and walked to the door. Before I exited, I added with a wink, “See you later, handsome.”

“Tomura, no!” Was all I heard as the door closed behind me. It was a few blocks away when I started to relax. Holy shit. That was so scary. I was not expecting Shigaraki to sneak up on me like that.

 

~*~

 

I sat at a table in the coffee shop on the upper floor, plans laid out before me. They would finally be transferring Nomura Koji from the underground prison in Genius Office to a general prison facility for villains next weekend. It’s the transfer vehicle I will need to attack and is my only chance if I want this to go smoothly.

I took a sip of my dark-as-the-abyss coffee. I hate coffee. Yet it was the only thing that kept me awake since I started working on the plans here.

I couldn’t work on the plans at home since my mom could find out if she walked into my room to check on me. And I was trying to keep this hidden to Nemuri, knowing she wouldn’t agree with what I was doing. I couldn’t let anyone to stop me, so I sat in a corner at a large table, inside Koji’s sister’s cafe.

I finished my coffee and stared into the empty mug. I would need to get a new cup if I wanted to stay awake, but I couldn’t leave these alone where anyone could see them. I noticed one of the servers, they often came up to make sure people got their drinks, and waved him over. It was the first barista I met here. It turned out his name was Yuzuru and was largely indifferent to villains, which was why he was able to work here with better pay than others.

“You’ve been here since before opening- before me- so you should probably go to your hideout or something and get some sleep.” He told me the obvious. If I were to sleep, it would be a waste of time.

“I don’t need it. What I need is another one of your abyss coffees.”

“You do realize that’s not what they’re called, right, kid?” I stared at him, my eyes feeling dry and dead, waiting for him to leave with my order. He sighed. “Fine. I’ll go make another. Don’t blame me if you get a heart attack.”

I ignored him and continued to calculate timing and how many people would be needed for this operation. It was good to know I already had Kurogiri agree to things, but that wasn’t enough. And if he decided to backout or betray me, I would need backup plans. There would be two identical vans assisting the one holding Koji. So, I would need to make sure we go after the correct one. With Kurogiri, he could make three portals and have a scout go through them. But I need to make plans without him, too.

For the crew I will need myself to overlook everything, a getaway, three people to get into the vans if Kurogiri follows through... Not to forget about the fact it could turn into the equivalent of a shootout. I would need people separate from everyone else to be ready for any defensive attacks. This operation has too many risky variables. I have to choose three people max as a just in case. And they need to be loyal enough to not suddenly go off-plan. I don’t even know enough people I trust for this. Not that I trust any villains...

“Dragonfly. We’ve heard you’ve got some info we’re lookin’ for.” I looked up at the person who had spoke. It was a pair of people I had never seen in any of the usual villain hangouts, including here. This isn’t good. I have no read on them except that they’re desperate. And desperate people can be erratic.

“Depends on the info and what you have to trade.” I told them, cold. They were interrupting my plans and I knew nothing about them, so I had no reason to act nicely towards them. I noticed the girls’ uncertainty. “It’s usually best if you start with your names.”

“I’m Chitinoid and this is Little Crow.” The older one whispered, eyeing the other customers. Vigilantes. And sisters, too, by their closeness and similar features. “We don’t have much money to pay you with, but I’ll do anything you want in return for the info.”

“Is that right?” I eyed Little Crow, her long hair in fact black feathers. She’s younger than I am. Too young for any of this business. And Chitinoid isn’t much older than me, either. Chitinoid pushed Little Crow behind her and glared at me, trembling. “I don’t want anything sexual, so stop looking at me like that. It’s disgusting to even entertain that thought. Instead, I want you to work with me on a job in a week.”

“And you’ll give us the info we ask for?” Chitinoid asked, her antennae twitching.

“Once the job is done. But first I need to know what you’re looking for.”

“We’re trying to find p-”

“Shionoya Shusaku-sensei disappeared a year ago. We wanna know what happened to him.” Chitinoid cut off her sister. How odd? Was Crow going to say something she wasn’t supposed to?

“Deal. Come back in three days at midnight to this place. I’ll see you then.” I sent them along their way and went back to viewing my plans. Two down, four more to go. I took a sip of the abyss. When did that get here? What does it matter, I need to focus.

 

~*~

 

“Izuku, are you okay? You were late for school today.” Yuga asked as I sat down for lunch. My body had forced me unconscious right around the time I normally got up, causing me to miss the first two periods.

“Just lack of sleep.” I answered, ready to plant my head into my tray for more sleep. I decided to look at Yuga instead, but his hair was blinding.

“Anyway I can help? Maybe come to my house on Sunday and you can just sleep and relax.” He offered, and it would have been sweet any other day, but at the moment it was just annoying.

“No. I can’t. I’ve got work to do that day.” I‘m going to break out a villain and try to stop him from being a villain.

“Izuku, you need to take breaks. It’s not good to overwork yourself. Here, why don’t you have my pudding and feel better.” Yuga pushed his pudding towards me. I glanced at it and felt sick to my stomach.

“No.” I turned my head away and took a bite of curry instead.

“Just take a bite. Pudding makes everything feel better.” He lifted a spoonful of it towards my mouth. I smacked it away.

“No! How many times do I have to say no? Shouldn’t once be enough? Why can’t you just leave me alone? I don’t need you taking up more of my time than you do, already. I have more important things I need to focus on.” I calmed down when I noticed people staring at us. That’s not good. It’s never good when eyes are on me. Please just stop looking. Please.

“Fine then. Focus on things more important on your own. You have all the time in the world to be alone, now.” Yuga took his tray and walked away. I slumped down and focused on my meal and the plan running through my head. Finally.

 

~*~

 

It was on the way home I realized what had happened during lunch. I started to freak out on the bus, trying to figure out if he would ever talk to me again. However unlikely it seemed.

How could I say that to Yuga-kun earlier? He was just trying to help. It’s not his fault I’m so sleep-deprived. And it’s not his fault he didn’t know about- It’s mine. I really do need to take a break, but I can’t right now. Not until I’m certain the plans are perfect. I need to get Death Roach out or he will go insane in confinement. I’m sorry, Yuga-kun. I will make it up to you afterwards. I promise.


~*~

 

“Mom, Nemuri-chan, I’d like to talk to you both. And I think it’s best if we all sit down for this.” I took a deep breath and then let it all out as soon as we got settled in. Nemuri and mom were holding hands, looking very tense and worried. “I know your hero identity and I’m struggling with it. A friend of mine said I should talk to both of you about what I’m having issues with.”

“Alright. You can tell us anything.”

“I have to admit that for one thing, I hold a grudge Midnight for stopping my fall that day as much as I am grateful for it. However, if it weren’t for you then offering me a job we both know I would have tried again sooner or later. I’m sorry, mom, but there was too much bad in my life I didn’t feel like I could stay as I should.” I ducked my head, focusing on my fidgeting hands.It was painful to look at them, let alone speak to them, but I had to continue on. “I recognize that it makes no sense, but I have found emotions are something I can’t control myself from feeling, but what I am having issues with is my grudge against you, Midnight, and the person who has become one of the most important people in my life, who I am extremely grateful for all of the happiness you have given us, Nemuri-chan.

“It’s hard to reconcile that you two are the same person and for me to accept the deception, which I know was necessary in the beginning. But all the same, I cannot bear to look at you right now without the possibility of unreasonable anger. So, please don’t say anything right now, Kayama-san. I’m sorry.”

I looked up, Nemuri’s face twisting with pain and she was shaking where she sat. She had a small, strained smile and nodded, my mom holding her hands to comfort her. She glanced at me and I knew she wanted to comfort me too, but she could only do one of us at a time. I didn’t bother attempting a smile for them, instead I went up to my room hide away and continue working.

My plans will distract me from everyone I am hurting.

 

~*~

 

Nemuri’s twisted but understanding expression was stained in my eyelids as I closed them to get a nap before I went to my meeting that night. I tried to forget it, to think about someone else, someone who hadn’t betrayed my trust. But it only lead to Yuga. Yuga, who was rightfully angry with me, his face full of pain as he walked away, shoulders tense and eyes full of hatred. They were like Kacchan’s. Kacchan, who had PTSD and the same phobias I had because we shared that same experience... I shot up, trying not to choke on the vomit that rose up my throat and tears burning my eyes.

Think of something else. Think of something else. Think of the meeting tonight. The one with Kurogiri, and Chitinoid and her sister, and those other minions. Think of them. Think of the plan to release Death Roach. To give him a better life... But what about the sisters? Should I really put them in danger for someone I barely know. Crow is younger than I am and if they’re caught then they will be labeled as villains from now on and that’s not right...

I’m so selfish and horrible. I’m sorry. I’m sorry everyone. Maybe it would be better if I die when this escape is over. Then I won’t be hurting anyone from now on. I won’t be able to. And then things will get better. People will be happier after I’m gone.

They’ll all be happier when I’m gone...

Hey. -- Flaming Ice Prince

Are you still up? I could use a friend right now and you’re the only friend I have. -- Flaming Ice Prince

Oh. There is still one person who needs me. I can’t believe I had forgotten you. I wiped away my tears to see what I was typing.

I am. What’s wrong? -- Clover

My father. -- Flaming Ice Prince

Chapter Text

I took a deep, shaky breath, sealing the last of the periwinkle envelopes. They were in a neat stack on my desk with a sign that said ‘if I’m not home by Monday’. It was a precaution for all of the things that could go wrong, things I had to account for even if I hadn’t wanted to. I slumped down on my bed, pulling up black jeans, trying to remind myself all of the reasons I will succeed.

I took the wig from my closet and began to brush it’s hair before I placed it in a neat bun.  I put on a wig cap and fastened the wig to my head so it won’t easily blow over during the excursion. I can do this. I have been planning this all week. I am Dragonfly, one of the best strategizers these villains have ever seen. I can do this. Just remember, it’s everyone else’s issue if there’s a mistake made. Not mine.

“You ready to go, little boy?” Queen asked from behind me. She was on the windowsill, the window I was quite certain I had kept locked above her. I’m not sure I even care right now.

“It’s Dragonfly.” I replied. She eyed my outfit and grinned.

“Of course it is.” I took her outstretched hand and she jumped out. The wind began to blow in my eyes again, as she took us to the safehouse I had been using for planning. Great. This will mess up my wig.

As soon as the wind stopped blowing, I readjusted the wig and placed my glasses on. I had learned by now to at least not wear my glasses while she does her little trick. I entered the safehouse, finding everyone else already there. Good. Chitinoid and Little Crow are in different outfits than they’re vigilante costumes as planned. Kurogiri is here which was likely, but not certain. Queen is behind me, which I really would prefer she wasn’t. Dabi was a hard guy to find and convince, but I’m pleased he’s on my side at the moment. I’m not sure how to feel about the League of Villains lending Mr. Compress, but I had made it clear I wouldn’t want him if it meant I owed them anything. They had agreed at the time with that demand, leading me to believe they want another spy other than Kurogiri to help me. Or they’re going to sabotage this entire operation. The last was some minor villain I got as a getaway driver just in case, Light Juice or something silly like that.

“You’re all here. Good. You all know the plan, so let’s get started.” I said, scanning the others for their reactions as Queen took her place. Ugh. Sometimes I hate that they’re all wearing some type of facade.

 

~*~

 

The plan was easy. Or as easy as it could be getting a highly dangerous villain out of a heavily armored van with the drivers on high alert. It was a tad disappointing I couldn’t get Fukunaga on this to get Death Roach out. He was practically invincible to Koji’s quirk.

“Crow, Chitinoid, and Dabi. Go.” I spoke into my ear piece. It was strange how comforting it had become for me after two months of wearing it. The trio attacked their respective vans as it had been laid out. Crow used her sharp feathers to cut through the top of the van as Chitinoid used her own quirk to melt the top. I hoped Koji wasn’t in Dabi’s as the cover began to melt under his quirk. The safest one was Little Crow, but there was always the possibility he could behaving his face melted off in the other vans currently.

I watched from a top of a rooftop next to Kurogiri and Queen. Queen was here because she insisted she wanted to make sure Kurogiri didn’t do anything to me. I had found her concern strange, but accepted it after a moment of deliberation. Mr. Compress was nearby, driving in a van nearby with Juicer. I should probably remember that guy’s name. It would have to be later, however.

“Shit. The heroes are here. Dabi, stop what you’re doing and protect Crow and Chitinoid. Queen block off the other side.” Queen saluted and jumped off the building, diving towards a hero while Dabi blocked another two from behind with a wall of fire. “Chitinoid, Crow, continue what you’re doing.”

I nodded to Kurogiri to teleport us to another roof with a better vantage point, now that the vans had stopped. Dabi was fighting Best Jeanist and hotaru, two people I had come into contact with quite a bit and I could feel my stomach drop and my hands shake as I worried for their safety. No. I can do this. I am Dragonfly, a villain. I have no reason to care about these people.

I’m sorry.

I turned towards who Queen was fighting. Ingenium, the kind man who had helped me find Todoroki-kun. Ingenium, who has an agency nowhere near this district. Ingenium, another person I didn’t want to get hurt. What is he doing here?

“Queen.” I began, ready to tell her not to hurt him even if it meant getting rid of Dragonfly’s identity.

“I know. I won’t harm him too much, Dragonfly. In fact, I might have a plan to completely stun him if I do get caught.” It had been awhile since I felt a shiver with her as the cause. Before i could say anything I was distracted with what was going on with Dabi. He had burnt Best Jeanist’s threads and they had hit Hotaru in the arm causing her to cry out. I’m sorry. I can’t do anything to help you right now.

I focused my attention on Crow and Chitinoid, to ignore my guilt. Chitinoid was still working on her van, the driver and their companion nowhere to be found. Mr. Compress had done as he was told, which was something. Crow was jumping into her assigned van.

“Their’s no one here, Dragonfly-san.” She said in a small voice. Damn it. That means he’s either in Chitinoid’s or Dabi’s half melted van. I glanced at Kurogiri. I don’t want to send him anywhere by himself.

“Get started on Dabi’s, then.” I would praise her after. There was no time for it right now. I took one more look at Chitinoid and Dabi and then went back to staring at Queen. She had her arm caught by Ingenium and he was saying something to her I couldn’t make out. “Queen, turn your coms on.”

“-to stop before you become a villain. If you don’t, I’ll have to take you in.” Wait. What? Was- had Ingenium never seen Queen before, either? Queen is an unknown that’s slipped through the cracks. Except... I promised to wipe her record which meant she had one. Queen’s laughs slipped through the coms, but it wasn’t her usual cruelty. It was almost sweet and melancholic. That seemed worse somehow and I was grateful I was the only one could hear her through the coms.

“My dear, you are so young. I wish I could take you up on that offer and spend time with you as a regular civilian, Iida Tensei. But I have done more than even you know.”

“Are you admitting to other crimes, then?”

“Oh. You still won’t want to take me in, you do know Midoriya Izuku don’t you?” I stiffened and Ingenium pulled back, making Queen stumble. He was just as surprised as I was. I had never told her my name before and she had never suggested a single time she knew it. In fact, she acted quite the opposite, despite knowing my address. She would ruin everything with what she was about to tell him.

“Queen-”

“Oh hush. I know exactly what I’m doing.” She whispered.

“He’s not here, Dragonfly.” Chitinoid said right after, taking my attention away. Chitinoid had jumped back up on top of the van and was staring towards me.

“What have you done with him?” Ingenium’s voice was harsh and worried. It was surprising, in a way, considering we only met once. However, I was the same age as his brother, so it might not be that surprising, after all.

“Then help Crow with the other van.” I responded, watching Crow have troubles with what Dabi had left behind. I then tried to stop Queen once again. “Queen, whatever you’re-”

“I work with him. You see, I’m his spy when it comes to villains. Even this is a part of his plans. He had me sneak into this operation to give him more information on them.” Is that all? Really? Was I freaking out for nothing?

“I- I didn’t know.”

“Of course not. It’s a secret operation for a-” I couldn’t pay attention for long and checked towards how Dabi was doing. Best Jeanist was retreating, but Hotaru was flying upwards, possibly aiming to attack him where he wasn’t setting things on fire.

“Dabi, aim upwards.” I told him and he followed my instructions quickly. I’m sorry, Sugiyama. I’m so sorry. As soon as I pulled myself from my guilt, I went back to listening to Queen’s conversation with Ingenium.

“- won’t you?” I heard the tail end of Queen’s conversation with Ingenium. I couldn’t see his expression because of his helmet, but he ran off, suggesting she had said more than she needed to. I hope she hasn’t given him PTSD like she had with Mr. Brave.

“We’re through. He’s in here.” Chitinoid said as Queen turned off her side of the coms. Kurogiri brought me down to the van when I gave a nod. I entered, and was stunned by his sickly look.

“Good. Kurogiri, Mr. Compress.” He left as expected to get the other villain. I turned back to Koji and calmly spoke to him. “Death Roach, it’s Dragonfly. I might look a little different, but I swear it’s me. I am completely covered, so it’s okay to take my hand. Mr. Compress will make it so you can’t hurt anyone while we make our escape.”

“Midnight is here.” Queen warned me. I stiffened. Not her. I can’t see her right now. I can’t let her see me, either.

“Kurogiri, take them out of here. Dabi, you will stay with me. Beamer, start the van.” I heard the driver grumble about that not being his name, but I had no time for that. I climbed out of the top, more grateful than ever that I was wearing thick gloves for this. Dabi followed behind me as I began to run away from the scene.

Midnight’s whip grabbed my leg, making me fall. No. Nonono. I can’t let her know. Dabi, stopped and set fire to part of it as she approached, yet it did nothing to help. Instead, the fire began to reach towards my leg even after Midnight had dropped her main weapon. I stood back up and walked back to Dabi, fire reaching for me.

“Dabi, get to the van. Leave me behind if I’m not there in seven minutes.” I would have an easier sentence as an employee of Genius and with Nemuri knowing I was undercover for a reason. I could always put the blame of the plan on one of the other villains. Or I could be sent to prison in Death Roach’s stead. It was a fifty-fifty chance I was willing to take in this case.

I couldn’t stand for very long as the fire reached my leg. I screamed as the flames began to crawl, crippling me. I was back on the ground and I tried to remember the stop, drop, and roll rule I’m supposed to follow when I’m on fire. It worked, but my wig come loose, revealing tufts of green coming through a halfway on wig cap.

“Izuku?” She whispered with too many emotions for me to decrypt. I glanced down, the fire had stopped for now and I had no time to stay with her without causing suspicion. I set the wig back on and pulled it from it’s bun. I glanced back for a moment to see she wasn’t following me. Good. I’m safe.

“Drive.” I told the minor villain. Dabi gave me a nonplussed look, as if he couldn’t understand how I escaped. What am I supposed to say? Midnight’s dating my mom and she’s basically at my house whenever she’s a civilian nowadays, so it really surprised her that I was releasing a villain I helped capture. Oh and I also work for heroes because she offered me a job there so it’s really surprising to find me like this. As if I could say something like that.

Dabi was soon distracted by car sickness, leaving me to my own thoughts and how to deal with Death Roach when the time came.

 

~*~

 

When I arrived at one of the other safe houses which was just a regular house with soundproof walls. It looked like any other on the block, with curtains closed. Chitinoid and Little Crow weren’t here, suggesting Kurogiri either took them to their own destination or he placed them somewhere I would never be able to find them.

“Mr. Compress, release Death Roach.” Mr. Compress did as I said. While he was stunned, Queen tied him to a chair. He looked up at me, confused, but his questions would have to wait. Good thing he was already gagged. I waved for all of them to fall me downstairs. “Kurogiri, take your compatriot and leave. I’ll talk to you again when it’s safe.”

Once they had disappeared, I turned to Dabi and that weak driver, pulling up my phone. The driver’s phone buzzed and he looked at it immediately. A grin spread over his face and ran out of the house as soon as he could. I raised an eyebrow at Dabi.

“Is there something else you want, Dabi?” I asked, taking my time going back up the stairs, both Queen and the scarred man following me.

“I want part of whatever it is you’re planning.” He stated.

“You don’t know what I’m planning.” I narrowed my eyes at him. If I tell him even a small bit, he could go spouting it off to others and then everything would be ruined.

“I don’t care. I want in.” I glanced at Queen and remembered the first night we met.

“Will you stay loyal to me even when you know the plan?” I checked with him once more. I wasn’t sure how this worked, but I needed a little something else to make me trust him.

“Yes.” He said, looking completely certain. What in the world have I done for him to reply so easily?

“Queen, give the man a rose.” She looked almost malicious as she touched one to Dabi’s lips. It slowly turned a pale pink, surprising me a little. I hadn’t honestly expected it to change at all.

“He will stay loyal. For the most part.” She shrugged and took a step back

“Well then. Let’s get back to what we were doing. Dabi, take out Death Roach’s gag and then both of you leave the room.” He did as told and was then escorted out by Queen. Finally alone. I dropped the villain pretense. “Hi. I’m sorry it took so long.”

“You shouldn’t have done that, little dragonfly.” Koji stated, looking more upset for me than upset about his own state.

“It was the least I could do for you. I found your sister and she told me what happened for you to take this path. I’m sorry any of that happened, but I have found a way for you to live a normal life.” I explained. According to what his sister had said, it sounded like all Koji wanted was a normal life. “There’s a job waiting for you at your sister’s cafe, and I have a whole wardrobe of new clothes that will keep others safe from your touch. Not only that, I have created a false identity for you that would explain your relation to your sister. With the ten to twenty year difference between both of you, it’s easier to say she’s your aunt.”

“Wh-what? You know where Chouko is?” His tone turned to worry.

“Yes. But it’s only me. I haven’t told anyone else.” I promised him.

“How did you even get out?” He asked.

“My connections came to get me. They wouldn’t do the same for you, however, so I had to do it myself.” I bowed down low to him. “My deepest apologies for leaving you like that. It wasn’t right of me.”

“Don’t apologize, little dragonfly. I’m just glad you managed to get out.” He smiled when I lifted my head. He is a good man who didn’t deserve the burden life had placed upon him.

“I’ll call your sister and then leave. She will come to pick you up with a change of clothes and take you to where she lives. I’ll see you around, Nomura Koji.” I said, turning to leave the room.

“You remembered. Thank you.” He told me. I wasn’t sure if my heart was about to burst or break. No. There is no time for that. I am about to see Queen and Dabi.

I gave Dabi my phone number and sent him outside. I then searched through the house for Queen, finding her in the kitchen, humming a lullaby to herself. She had grabbed food from the fridge, which I didn’t even know existed, and was cooking something. It was hard to tell what it was when she was swishing about.

“What are you doing, Queen?” I asked, ready to just leave and be done with all of this. I didn’t time for whatever she was planning.

“I’m heating up a midnight meal. It’s always a good idea to eat after a job.” I... I was not expecting that. She put the food into a bowl and slid it towards me on the island. “Here. you should have some.”

She sat there on the stool across from me, a smile on her face, and waited for me to take a bite. I looked down at the gyuudon. It doesn’t seem like it’s poisoned... I took a hesitant bite, keeping my eye on Queen. It was okay, in comparison to my mom’s food and with it being reheated.

“How is it?” She asked, rather hopeful.

“Okay?” I said, unsure of what else she wanted. It was weird not seeing her act like she usually does.

“I did it!” She whispered to herself, looking way too happy for okay food she found in a fridge of a safehouse. Unless... Did she cook this earlier? Does she normally have issues with cooking food? She left the kitchen, heading somewhere else in the house. I saw plastic wrap on the island, next to my bowl. I turned it over, continuing to eat the food she had reheated as I read what was written on a label. There’s money on the fridge, but I think this finally turned out well! So you can eat before heading over to your friend’s house. Love, mom.

I stared at the label, my brain trying to process what I had considered. If Queen had cooked this today and she was extremely proud of it, that suggested she was bad at cooking normally. But that would mean the one who wrote this was Queen. Which would mean Queen is a- I felt sick.

The woman who I held so much hatred for was a mother. She had a child of her own who still needed her. I couldn’t risk her as much as I had been, anymore. I couldn’t risk this child losing their mom. I knew I would be devastated if I lost mine. I quickly placed the plastic wrap back where I had found it and continued to eat.

When I was done, I placed the dish in the sink and began to walk around the house. I had never been here before, taking Queen’s word for it being safe. There were pictures on the fireplace I tried not to look at too deeply after noticing similar facial features of Queen’s, such as three small moles. I didn’t want to know what her child looked like. I didn’t want to feel any more guilt than I already was. And then it struck me again. This isn’t a safe house, this is Queen’s house. She brought a bunch of villains into her house because I told her to find a place.

I waited in the hallway for Queen. It was hard for me to handle these revelations and I was so tired. At least Death Roach is free, but at what cost for everyone else who I brought in. Villains now knew where Queen and her child lived, Chitinoid and Little Crow could be anywhere, Hotaru and Best Jeanist were hurt, who knew what happened to Ingenium, and Midnight...

“Are you ready to go, little boy?” I nodded, slipping my glasses into my jacket’s pocket. She grasped my hand and took me to the window to my room. I climbed in, but held tight to Queen, keeping her where she was.

“Why do you help me?”

“Because we made a deal.” She grinned. She made it sound as if it was obvious. As if she weren’t hiding something else. As if she didn’t have a child and a civilian life.

“You’re lying. I saw the note and the pictures in the living room. You have a child and a civilian life, it could be dangerous if you were caught. So, why do you help me?” I responded, irritated by her answer. No matter what, she will always rub me the wrong way.

“You’re only a child.” She replied again, a little bit more dismissive of my question.

“I’m more than that. So, why do you help me?” I was close to yelling with how loud and angry I had gotten. It felt as if someone else had taken over me. I heard my voice, but couldn’t understand it was from me.

“... you’re only a child. I don’t want you to go through what I did.” She said once again, melancholic now. Her smile reminded me of the way she had laughed at Ingenium earlier. Whatever had happened to her to take the way of a villain was something that could never be taken back. My grip loosened. She took her chance and disappeared into the night.

I wept when she left. I wept as I hid the periwinkle envelopes in a locked drawer. I wept as I crept into bed. I wept for the villain who looked no older than thirty. I wept for the mother who couldn’t have a normal life with her child.  I wept until I fell asleep.

Chapter Text

I woke up with a sense of dread. I didn’t want to face what was going to come, but it was better sooner than later. Thank you, previous schoolmates. You’ve taught me it’s better to just get it over with and then I’ll have more time for myself afterwards. I tossed off the covers and looked down at Dragonfly’s clashing outfit. The orange jacket would have no sign of being worn to bed, but the same couldn’t be said of the rest of my clothes. I pulled them off quickly and tossed them on the floor, not wanting to deal with memories of last night.

Too much happened last night.

I rubbed my tired eyes as if I hadn’t gotten any sleep before grabbing some pajamas. I headed towards the bathroom, clothes in hand, checking the hallways for either Nemuri or my mom. Finding neither, I snuck in and started the hot water for a shower.

Normally, I would use the rushing water to cover my tears when I washed myself with whatever injuries my tormentors had laid on my skin. This time I just needed to mutter about everything that happened within the last week with no one hearing. I stepped into the warmth, water pelting me. It was nice to be able to let my thoughts out when no one could hear me, something I took advantage of whenever I went to Genius.

Strange. I can’t call Genius ‘work’ now. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact I have two jobs... One as Midoriya Izuku, Strategy and Analysis officer, and the other as Dragonfly, villain and info broker. And when did I become known for being an info broker, again? How did that even happen again? I know I suggested I had connections all over, even in hero offices- which isn’t untrue- but then I started reaching out among other villains and talking to people known for being info brokers and then it just happened. Suddenly I’m giving info to the League of Villains of all people, and vigilantes are heading to me for info on people.

How has so much changed in three months? It wasn’t too long ago that I was just a quirkless nobody. Someone everybody looked down upon. Someone who was told couldn’t be a hero. And then Nemuri came into my life. Stopped me from stopping it. She talked to me and gave me a chance to help heroes even if I couldn’t be a hero. She cheered me up when I was down and became my first friend in years.

She was the one to make mom happier than I’ve seen her in ten years. She was the one who convinced mom to transfer me. Take me from a horrible place to a happier one. One where I met my best friend. My best friend who isn’t talking to me... And it’s my fault.

I need to tell him what’s been happening. He doesn’t deserve to be yelled at like that. I can trust him. I won’t tell him all the details, but I will tell him... I’ll tell him what made me so upset.

I stepped out of the shower, mind set on my new goal. After putting on my pajamas I headed back to my room and searched it for my personal phone, finding it under my bed. I picked it up and called Yuuga. Breath. 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3-

“Hello?” Yuuga’s tired voice flitted through the speaker and I wasn’t sure if I just relaxed or tensed at it.

“Hey. Did I wake you? I’m so sorry. I really didn’t mean to. It it is a Sunday, but I thought you would be up. I’m sorry.” The words flew from my mouth and I quickly checked the time. 5:48. Shit. It’s earlier than I thought. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know what the time was. I don’t usually wake up so early after staying up for so long.”

“Izuku? What’s up?” He asked. I wasn’t sure if it was because he was tired, but it was without hostility.

“I wanted to talk to you about what happened on Wednesday. In person, if possible. I completely understand if you don’t want to because-”

“I’m going to head to your place. I’ll see you in a couple hours.” Yuuga cut me off, which was probably for the best. I sagged down in relief on my bed. He’s agreed to talk. That’s something, right?

I take a few deep breaths before I straighten my posture again. I changed into something more comfortable, but still presentable enough for Yuuga’s arrival. Then I sat on my bed, unsure of what to do now. I had no plans for today except to recover and rest from yesterday. I wasn’t good at just resting, though, and felt like I needed to move.

My stomach growled, reminding me of its existence.

I went downstairs and found the recipe I had hidden on top of the fridge. It was worn and greasy, the handwriting on it was unreadable to anyone but me. Back when Kacchan still came to my house and my mom taught him to cook while his taught me how to bake he had written this recipe down for me.

It was probably because of how much I cried when he said he wouldn’t tell anyone the recipe. Not even his teacher, my mom. I cried and cried, because I loved the curry and mom had tried, but she couldn’t get it right. It never tasted like his. So he wrote it down and told me to keep it from prying eyes. That was the day I began to fall in love with him.

I shook my head out of that headspace and tried to stop the smile on my face. It was too much like the ones I had when speaking to him before he rejected me. It didn’t stop. If I’m going to smile, might as well think about someone who I hasn’t hurt me. Like Todoroki-kun. He’s nice and a good friendly acquaintance person. Wow. That sounded bad. I’m actually not sure if we could be considered friends after only two weeks of talking. Then again, Yuuga did become my best friend after three days...

“Izuku? What are you doing up so early?” Mom asked from behind me. I quickly grabbed the recipe and stuffed it into my jeans before turning to face her. She seemed uncertain and worried, so I tried to keep my smile up.

“I thought I’d make breakfast? It’s Kacchan’s curry recipe.” She seemed more fond and happier at the mention. Or I could just be overthinking everything. I realized it could possibly be more than the two of us at home. “You can invite Nemuri-chan to breakfast, too, if she’s here.”

Mom nodded and headed upstairs to the guest room. I hope it’s the guest room. I really don’t want to think of the other possibility- nope. They’re adults. They can do what they want. Don’t be one of those kids.

I began to serve the dishes onto the table when they came down, the couple talking to each other in quiet voices. I forced the smile to stay on my face when I saw Nemuri and dread and guilt filled me up. It’ll be okay. It will be over soon, whether for the better or the worse, it will be over.

“Good morning.” Nemuri looked straight at me after I spoke and then looked down at the food I had placed down. She raised an eyebrow and my mom tried her best to laugh, but she let a chuckle slip.

“It might be strange, but this curry is one of our comfort foods. Sadly, only Izuku knows the recipe.” Mom explained and sat down beside Nemuri and across from me. It was as if things were back to the way they were before the last week. It didn’t stop the feeling of dread and guilt. Mom and I dug in, Nemuri was soon to follow when she saw how we were savoring the flavor. She took one bite before she started coughing and chugging water.

“Are you okay? Are you choking?” Mom’s and my voice overlapped as we panicked. I went to grab a paper towel to help Nemuri clean up whatever food was still in her mouth while my mom tried to help her where she was. I came back and her face was red and she was back to chugging water.

“How spicy did you make that?” Nemuri asked, voice high and breathy. It was as if she just ran a marathon with the way she looked. Mom and I glanced at each other. I shrugged, letting her take over while I handed Nemuri my untouched glass.

“It was a normal amount. Was it too much for you?” Nemuri took another sip and nodded rapidly. Weird. It wasn’t any spicier than Kacchan or I usually make it. Then again, I suppose it has only been tasted by the Bakugous and Midoriyas. No one else.

“Can I- Can I just grab something from the fridge and eat that instead?” My mom gave her affirmation and Nemuri headed straight for the kitchen, almost running. Mom and I looked at each other, looked at Nemuri’s barely eaten plate, and looked back up at each other again.

This could either become a battlefield or it could end peacefully... Might be in my best interest at the moment to just eat what I have.

“Leftovers?” I suggested. She agreed so I took it into the kitchen, setting it on the counter while I looked through the cabinets for a container. I heard a scream, frightening me. To my left was Nemuri, backing up away where she had been standing by the fridge.

“Get that cursed thing away from me.” She yelped. I couldn’t help it. I started laughing and it only got worse when she gave me a betrayed expression. “Hey! This is no laughing matter! I’m pretty sure it could have killed me if I ate more!”

I shook my head and put it away in the container. She skirted away when I placed it in the fridge and left me in the kitchen. I followed, wanting to go back to eating breakfast. My plate looked like it had more on it than it did when I left, but I was probably just imagining it.

 

~*~

 

“We need to talk.” Nemuri said. My mom had been called into work for a shift to fill in for one of her coworkers. I nodded and took a seat in the armchair, wanting to feel protected. “How’s your leg?”

I had forgotten all about it, but now that it had been mentioned, it was as if the pain suddenly decided to switch on. I had done nothing to take care of it last night and I doubted the shower did much to help. It would explain a few tears, though. I grimaced as my response to her and shrugged, decidedly mute. She didn’t seem all that pleased with that answer, but I was still unused to telling people how badly things hurt.

“Please tell me why you broke out Death Roach.” She got straight to the point. Now to explain this to her in a way that doesn’t come off completely horrible. And no. No lying about this. I need to be honest to the most important people in my life.

“Do you know how he became a villain? Not just the simplified ‘he killed someone’ one. He was a late bloomer and his quirk activated when he was playing football. He was labeled as a villain from that point on. The only reason he was even fighting you and Brain Matter two months ago, was because he made a deal with someone who had a way to take away his quirk so he wouldn’t hurt anyone else.” I explained. But that wasn’t the reason why. Don’t lie, Izuku. Oh great I’m talking to myself again. Wait no, these are just thoughts. Thoughts are normal. I took a deep breath before I continued on,

“But that isn’t the only reason why. I told you about how he mistook me for a villain who was sent to retrieve him. Thing is, when I saw him in the interrogation room, he was so relieved I had been relatively unharmed. He had been so worried about me and was resigned to his fate. He just wanted me to remember his name. Nemuri-chan, if you had seen him...

“When I got him somewhere safe last night, he was upset I had put myself at risk for him. He hadn’t expected anyone to save him and when I called him by his name- his real name- he thanked me. All he wanted was a normal life and he didn’t want anyone to get hurt because of him and...”

I clasped my shaking hands tight and looked down toward my lap so she couldn’t see the tears welling up. Some part of me saw a kindred spirit and I couldn’t stand it. He wanted to be something more than a villain, but that’s all he was seen as. And it’s no doubt just as worse as being the quirkless student in a school full of prejudiced people who don’t care what happens to you.

“It’s okay to cry.” I look up at her tears falling down my cheeks. She was completely open, arms somewhat lifted in offering. I fumbled as I got out of the chair, leg crippling me somewhat, and rushed to hug her. She took me in her arms and let me cry. “It will be okay, sweetie. I promise.”

We sat there until my tears dried and I started to feel a bit embarrassed. I just hugged and cried in R-Rated Midnight arms. And it wasn’t even the first time, was it? Don’t scream. Don’t even scream internally. I walked out of the room for a moment so I could get a tissue.

I came back soon after with a cleaner face and sat awkwardly on the couch near her. I felt even more awkward than before she said we had to talk. And I still have to explain to Yuuga why I freaked out.

“Your mom and I discussed what happened and what we’re going to do about it now. First, you are not allowed to be Dragonfly for at least a month. Second, you will be escorted everywhere by someone you or my mom agrees upon. I have even gotten my cousin to agree to escort you when he has time. Aoyama-kun, my cousin, Yagi-san, and one of the Midnight Boys are all acceptable. Third, you will have to tell us when you’re going out, where, with whom, and for how long. Fourth is more on a list to do, but I will need to talk to Yagi-san about the training he’s having you do. Do you understand?” She stated, acting professional. Although the last sentence was a lot softer and caring. I nod my head. It was completely reasonable considering what I had done, even if being under watch wasn’t something I liked.

The doorbell rang, confusing both of us for a moment. I realized who it was and scurried over to the door before Yuuga decided he didn’t want to talk to me after all. I opened it, finding my face close to his fist. He lowered it and offered an apologetic smile. Which was just so wrong to see from him.

“It’s nice to see you, Aoyama-kun. I trust you to keep Izu-kun safe and out of trouble while I’m gone.” I swear Nemuri had ninja skills she didn’t tell anyone about. Which was odd because she’s a flamboyant hero like All Might and Present Mic. Except All Might’s actually a dying twig who would be easily snapped by Endeavour. The asshole.

“Of course, Kayama-san.” Yuuga bowed his head a little. They do remember I know that Nemuri is close friends with Aoyama family, right? No need to act around me, guys! Or so I’d say if this wasn’t awkward enough already for me.

“Welcome to my house. I know it’s not as big as yours, but it’d be nice if you could make yourself at home.” I said as he took off his shoes and followed me into the living room. Wow. all of that just sounded super awkward and stiff. Learn to reign it in, Izuku.

“Are you okay?” He asked after taking a seat on the opposite side of the couch to me. I blinked, wondering what he was talking about. It wasn’t like he could know about the burning pain around my leg from a small bit of eye contact with Nemuri. Right? Totally not plausible. Unless they actually have other quirks, too. I still don’t know what his dad’s is, though I assume it has something to do with invisibility because of Hagakure-san and their little brother.

“Oh. Yeah, I’m fine. Just had to talk to Nemuri-chan about something and it got a bit too much for me.” I answered vaguely, realizing he meant my red face. Which likely looked really gross. He nodded and we sat in tense silence for a couple minutes. “So, um, I asked you to meet because I wanted to apologize. And explain why I was so- so-”

“So angry.” Yuuga supplied.

“Yeah...” I drifted off. This was harder than I realized. I had no idea where to start with this explanation. This is what happens when I do something spur of the moment... “I- before my life changed so dramatically. Actually, it was the very day before Nemuri-chan offered me a job at Genius... No. I probably shouldn’t start there...”

“Izuku. It’s okay. Just talk.” Yuuga scooted closer to me and placed a hand on mine. His purple eyes were trying to convey comfort, but I could see the uneasiness.

“So. I’ve been getting really into Dragonfly. So much, I’m kind of restricted for being him for the next month. The last week, I hadn’t really been getting any sleep. From Saturday to last night. And on Wednesday, I was just feeling so awful and deprived of sleep, I felt so horrible and felt like I was still pretending to be Dragonfly. And then...

“The day before I met Nemuri-chan, I was attacked by a villain. You might have seen this one on the news a few months ago. The sludge villain that attacked a blond junior high student? Yeah. Well, before they attacked Kacchan, they attacked me. I was unconscious by the time a hero saved me. It- its caused some phobias, mainly related to food. I can’t stand fudge, jelly, and- and pudding. Which is sad, because I used to love it but now... Just the sight of it reminds me of the sludge villain.

“And I’m not trying to excuse my actions. It was wrong of me to take my stress out on you and I regretted it. This is just an explanation of why I was so upset. I’m sorry, Yuuga-kun. It was wrong of me to you yell at you and I sincerely regret it.”

“I’m sorry, too, for trying to force you to eat something you were rejecting. Whether or not I knew about your phobias, it doesn’t excuse my behavior either.” Yuuga replied. I frowned and furrowed my brows, staring at our hands together.

“You were trying to cheer me up.” I stated. He had been doing it in my best interest. He put a finger under my chin and lifted my head back up to face him again.

“Doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t have insisted so much and that is that.” He said calmly. Oh. I suppose he’s right. Consent is important for everything, I guess.

“Are we still friends?” I asked, hopeful. He grinned and ruffled my hair

“When did we ever stop?” I hugged him and tried not to cry. I had already done that a lot and I didn’t want to have a headache. “Although, you could make it up to me.”

“How?” I pulled back.

“We’re going to do a spa day next weekend, just the two of us.” He stated as if it should have been obvious. Except, I’ve only seen that on a few dramas my mom likes to watch.

“I’ve never had a spa day.” I reply, bluntly.

“It’s wonderful. You’ll love it. My mom and I used to go a lot.” He pulled me close again with one arm. I shouldn’t look too much into it. I shouldn’t look too much into it... Does he want to stay close to me because we haven’t been talking for four days? Damn it, Izuku! You’re not supposed to look too much into it! He’s always been touchy feely!

“That sounds great.” I said instead of any of my thoughts. It would be weird to do that. Not that it stops me half the time. Shush and enjoy Yuuga-kun’s company!

“So, what do you do around here for fun?” He asked, examining the room. I grinned. Yuuga noticed and looked like he was preparing himself for whatever was going to come out of my mouth.

 

~*~

 

Yuuga left after lunch, as soon as my mom came home. It was nice to hang out with him again, even if it had only been a small amount of time of self-inflicted separation. I went back to my room, finding the clothes I had tossed on the floor from this morning. I picked them up and placed them in a pile at the back of my closet. I would deal with them later. It did remind me that I should warn Queen I wouldn’t be pretending to be a villain like her any time soon.

I’m going quiet for a month. Keep an eye on Dabi for me. - Little Boy

He won’t be happy about that~ - Queen

You still haven’t told him about your little “plan” - Queen

I can’t believe I had forgotten how annoying Queen can be. It hasn’t even been a full day since I saw her... Oh shit. Ingenium met her. And she mentioned me. Fuuuuuuuck. I hate her...

Chapter Text

Hey, sugar daddy. ;) - Sparkle sparkle

I regret ever play that album near you. - Broccoli

Please. You know I wasn’t truly living until I listened to it. - Sparkle sparkle

Speaking of, you alive enough to come to class today? - Sparkle sparkle

hgjkfdchfkujhghhhfdeudhhbhkkdcdyikvfukrhj - Broccoli

Glad to hear it. - Sparkle sparkle

I chuckled as I brushed my teeth. It was nice being back to normal with Yuuga. It was as if nothing had changed and we were closer than ever. I was going to be escorted by Nemuri to school today since she claimed she didn’t have to go to work just yet. I didn’t believe her, but it was her job at U.A. on the line.

I got dressed and grabbed the small breakfast mom had laid on the counter for the two of us. It was supposed to be easier to eat with on the road, but it had been years since either of us were in a car on a regular basis, so I couldn’t be certain. I trusted in her judgement, and tossed one at Nemuri.

It hit her in the back of the head.

Shit.

“I am so, so sorry. I thought you would catch it.” I apologized, hurriedly, as she turned around to look at the bag on the floor. I picked it up and lifted it for her to see. “Breakfast for the road?”

“Thanks.” She chuckled and grabbed the bag from my hands. It was surprisingly gentle. I slipped on my shoes, preparing myself for a regular day with no villains to worry about. As we left, Nemuri ruffled my hair, making me smile. Even if it did mess up all my hardwork.

 

~*~

 

“So, Kayama-san dropped you off, I see.” Yuuga greeted me at the gate. I was ready to facepalm right then and there.

“Yuuga-kun, she’s a close friend of your family’s, I think it’s best if you don’t pretend like you don’t know her personally.” I told him. He glanced at me in surprise and then sighed.

“You suck all of the fun out of it.” His shoulders were slumped and his head hanging down. Was he not feeling well? I saw a hint of a grin that blew away my worries.

“It’s my quirk.” I replied, feeling okay with joking about such a thing. It was somewhat surprising I felt at ease joking about a subject that had been so sore for so long, but it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

“And here I thought your quirk was analysis. Have you been lying to me this entire time?” Yuuga asked, dramatically. His hand was on his chest and his expression was aghast. We both knew I was quirkless.

“Oh no. You caught me.” I said in complete monotone. Yuuga bumped his hip into mine, and I retaliated with a harder push. We started laughing before we entered the school.

 

~*~

 

Don’t u hv frnds at ur school u cn talk to? - Clover

No. - Flaming Ice Prince

I winced. Wow. That was insensitive of me. After all he’s told me about his dad and the way he says he acts around other people, I should have realized. I forgot because he acts so out going when he talks to me.

“Izuku, what have I said about using proper grammar? It makes it easier on the eyes. I bet you your words wouldn’t even be capitalized if it wasn’t for your phone.” Yuuga said after looking over my shoulder. I pushed the phone to my chest and looked askance he would ever say something like that.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I replied flippantly before sending another message to Todoroki.

Your majesty, Yuuga-kun is telling me to use proper grammar again ;-; - Clover

Thank him for me and tell him I might make him a knight at this rate. - Flaming Ice Prince

TTTTTTTTTTT-TTTTTTTTT - Clover

“Tell him I’ll consider his offer.” Stop looking over at what I’m typing! I can’t believe those bastards are teaming up against me. I thought I was their friend! Wait. Neither of them can be called bastards since their parents were married at the time of their birth. Or at least, Todoroki-kun’s were.

“I hate you both.” I huffed, not able to find a proper retort among my thoughts that would best them in a match of wits.

“As if you could hate people as beautiful as the two of us.” Yuuga said, proud of himself. I stared at him with what I felt were dead eyes.

“I think you mean Todoroki-kun.” I replied. No one could deny how beautiful Todoroki was, even with his scar. Yuuga-kun on the other hand... Is an acquired taste.

“What? Izuku, you traitor! Take it back!” He raised his hands up as if they were squishing the air.

“Never! I will die before that happens!” I exclaimed, my phone forgotten on my desk as Yuuga’s hands came closer.

“That can be arranged!” He lunged for me in an attempt to tickle my abdomen and I ran away.

 

~*~

 

“Oh thank god it isn’t all four of you.” I sighed out of relief when I saw only a single Midnight Boy at the gate. It would have been way too awkward if I had to explain why four sidekicks came to pay attention to me.

“Thank Mistress Midnight. If it weren’t for her, we would have. Us Midnight Boys need to stick together as much as we can.” Ikari ruffled my hair, messing it up even more than Nemuri had earlier. Is this something they just pick up from her or is this just something a lot of people in the hero business do? Because I don’t like it. They keep ruining my hard work.

“Great. So I’m assuming we’re heading to work.” I sighed as I followed the older man to his car. Stranger danger ran through my thoughts making me almost want to laugh.

“You assume correctly, my comrade.” Ugh. I’d almost think he was related to the Aoyamas with a wink like that if Yuuga hadn’t assured me that no one else at Genius was related to him.

 

~*~

 

I can’t believe I’m going to think this, but I’m bored and tired of staring at heroes fighting and rescuing people. I pulled at my phone looking at the small list of contacts, although it was larger than before.

Mom

Auntie Mitsuki

Uncle Masaru

Kacchan <3

Nemuri-chan

Genius

Queen

Sparkle Sparkle

Beautiful girl ;)

Yagi-san

Flaming Ice Prince

I’m pretty sure Dragonfly’s phone has more contacts. I sighed when I remembered my phone for Dragonfly had been confiscated by mom. I wouldn’t be able to get the info I had paid some people for, nor could I check in on the vigilante sisters. I should change Kacchan’s contact name to something else. Maybe...

I stared at the contact after I saved the change. ‘Bomb Victim’ stared right back at me. A picture of him smiling beside it. I thumped my head against the desk, setting my phone down beside me. He would kill me if he ever saw it. I should just continue working.

Muffled shouting comes from my phone. Oh shit. What did I do? I lift it up reluctantly and stare at the screen. Oh no. My stomach dropped as I placed it near my ear.

“Hi Kacchan!” I squeaked.

“Why the fuck did you call me. I’m doing my homework.” He said with a grunt. That doesn’t sound like homework. Is he working out? Nope. All sweaty and barely wearing- Don’t think about that. Instead, think about what he asked. If I tell him it was an accident he’d get upset. I have been meaning to talk to him... Maybe I should do that now?

“Sorry. I was wondering if we could talk?” I tried to keep my voice steady, but I was too shaken up by the surprise call that it was all over the place in pitch.

“And what do we have to talk about, nerd?” I could hear him take a sip of something. Yep. He was definitely working out.

“Well, I know you might not have anything to say to me, but I have a lot I want to talk about with you. It’s easier if I tell you in person.” Because then you can’t hang up on me if I say something you dislike. But I’m in physical danger then. I should have just said he should come to Genius Office and then placed him in the interrogation room or a prisoner’s cell. I would be much safer then. Even if it isn’t legal. Who cares if it’s legal, I’m Dragonfly!

... Calm down. There’s a reason why you’ve been banned from being Dragonfly for a month.

“Fine. Meet me at mine after dinner.” He agreed much to my relief.

“Thank- thank you! I’ll see you then!” I exclaimed, my nerves still on edge.

“Yeah whatever.” There was a click and I checked the screen to make sure. The call was done. That went so much better than what I thought it would! I should have asked him what he meant by after dinner, though. After his or after mine or possibly both? My phone buzzed, but it was only my mom.

Reminder: Nemuri-san is taking me out on a date tonight. Please remember to eat. - Mom

I will! Have fun.  (^_^) - Izuku

I slumped back down again onto my desk, still keeping an eye on the screen this time. I had completely forgotten about that. Thank goodness work has vending machines. Oh! I should tell Yuuga-kun about the development.

I’m going to talk to Kacchan after work! *\(^_^)/* - Broccoli

What. - Sparkle Sparkle

Izuku, what did you do? - Sparkle Sparkle

Izuku! - Sparkle Sparkle

I accidentally called him, but since I’ve been wanting to talk to him recently, anyways, I decided to tell him I wanted to talk to him in person so he can’t hang up on me and he said to go to his place. - Broccoli

Isn’t this the same guy who made your life hell? Rejected you and then laughed about it with all of his friends? The same guy who came to our school after you transferred and called you vulgar names? - Sparkle Sparkle

He isn’t that bad, anymore. I mean, he seemed better when I saw him last. And I kind of found something out that changes a lot. - Broccoli

Izuku. Read carefully: He hurt you for more than ten years and he does not get to be forgiven for that without serious effort on his part. Don’t fool yourself into thinking he’s changed and fall for him. It will only hurt you and there will forever be a power imbalance in that kind of relationship. Even if you say you’re not interested in love. And please, be careful. I don’t want you being hurt again. - Sparkle Sparkle

I’ll be fine. :) - Broccoli

You better be. - Sparkle Sparkle

He worries too much. It’s not as if I’ve told him everything about mine and Kacchan’s past, too. No reason to be so worried.

Says the one who was thinking about putting him in an interrogation room.

“Ugh.”

 

~*~

 

“Uncle Masaru? What are you doing here?” I asked, seeing him in the waiting area. Yuna waved pleasantly when I looked over at her, her gaze questioning. I gave her a nod, confirming he’s whoever he said he was.

“Inko asked me to pick you up and make sure you had dinner since she was on a date.” He said in a much gentler tone than his other family members have. Mom must have known I would only eat an energy bar.

“Oh. Thanks.” I gave an uncertain smile as I followed him into his car. It wasn’t until we were halfway there that it meant I would be eating dinner with Kacchan instead of meeting up afterwards. He’s going to be so pissed.

 

~*~

 

Dinner was awkward. Especially since Kacchan had told me to come after dinner. Even his dad explaining what the situation was didn’t seem to ease his frustration. At least he hadn’t gotten angry, yet.

After dinner, Kacchan took me to his room, so his parents couldn’t hear us. I gulped as I sat down on his bed while he took a spot on the floor. I need to start. I need to talk, but how do I start? What was it I even wanted to talk to him about?

“I wanted to talk to you about the things you’ve done to me and things between us.” I stated, calmly. Shit. Did I just say that out loud? Well at least I didn’t use his name as if he weren’t even here. That would have been especially bad.

“And why the fuck would I want to talk about that?” He gritted his teeth. He glared up at me with blood red eyes that always shook me to the core for many different reasons. I gulped.

“You don’t. And you don’t have to talk. Just... just please listen.” I waited for his response. The make or break words. Who am I kidding? This is the break or shatter moment?

“Fine.” He looked away, which I took to mean he would actually listen. The issue was starting. Might as well start at the most recent turning point in both of our lives.

“... I met All Might. The day-” the day I tried to die, “the day you were attacked by the sludge villain.” He stayed silent, staring at something by his door. I assumed he was waiting for me to continue. “I had been attacked maybe an hour before you were? By the same guy. No one was around, though. All Might saved me and captured the villain. He brought me onto a roof of a really tall building and left me there after saying I couldn’t be a hero.

“You know I have anxiety, right? Ne- never mind. You wouldn’t know that. I mean, you do now, but... Anyways, I had been taking some pills for it- still am, although they’re different- the pills they have side effects... Maybe I should just go a bit further back.

“That day hadn’t been the first time I tried to jump, it was just the first time I actually did jump. You see, my anxiety medication at the time had some side effects, such as causing hallucinations. The hallucinations had stopped me for a month- since you had rejected me- from jumping. But when I was on that building where All Might had left me, there was no hallucination. There was no one to stop me. And after what you said, and what All Might had said and my life so far, I had had enough.

“Obviously, I didn’t succeed, but that’s because another hero sto- saved me.” She saved me. It wasn’t stopping me from doing something that would make the whole world better, it was saving my mom from despair. It was saving Mitsuki and Masaru from mourning someone they treated like family. It saved my future and the potential of what I could become. I wasn’t stopped. I was saved. “There’s more to this, I swear. I just- I needed to tell you that first. That I had jumped, but it wasn’t just because of you.”

He looked at me again. I could see his arms shaking, a hand gripping the carpeted floor. One of his knees was raised between us, a way to separate him and myself. A way to protect himself, however unconscious it was. But he was staring straight at me, waiting for me to continue with what I had to say. Waiting for me to unleash all of these bottled up feelings of negativity that I have been coming to realize aren’t my fault. Not entirely.

“I know it wasn’t just you. It was a lot of things. It was All Might, telling me so many important things I wasn’t supposed to know and then saying I couldn’t be a hero. It was the teachers who never stopped anyone from bullying me. It was the other students at our schools who seemed to all either hurt me or just ignore me because I didn’t have a quirk. It wasn’t just you, but...

“Part of me wants me to forgive you for everything you’ve done to me for over the last eleven years, but I know I can’t do that. Not yet, at least. I can’t forgive you for still acting as if we were friends when no one could see us, but bullied me at school. And it was bullying. I can’t forgive you for telling everyone about me confessing to you and increasing the pain and humiliation I recieved. I can’t forgive you for encouraging my suicide. And I know I shouldn’t be taking this out on you, but there’s no one else to blame for the majority of things that had happened to me.

“Why did you do such things to me? I looked up to you more than I did All Might. I idolized you and all I wanted to be was your friend. I might have fallen in love with you, but your rejection wouldn’t have hurt so much if you didn’t spread it around the school. What did I do to deserve such torment all my life? Was it because I was quirkless? Was that really the only difference? Or was it because I am trans? Are either so disgusting that they make me deserve to treated as less than garbage?”

Tears were fallings. I could feel them burning across my cheeks as I accused him of the things he had done to me. The things that still affect me to this very moment in time. I wiped them away and came back to myself with deep breaths. They helped stop the possibility of a panic attack.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t- I didn’t mean to ask you any questions. Especially after you said you didn’t want to talk and I told you you didn’t have to. You still don’t...” I watched my hands, unable to look at him after my shameful performance. My hands moved together, fingers moving along a palm as if wanting to write. Because it’s so much easier to focus on heroes and villains than to focus on feelings. How they fight and what quirks they have, are so much easier than trying to talk about sensitive topics that could hurt someone. Will hurt someone. “Something was brought to my attention that made me realize you have been different since the day with that- that villain. The one who hurt us both. And I know you might never want to accept this, but if you ever need anything- if you ever want to talk, I’m here.”

There was silence. No laughter, no growling, or yelling, or even shouting. It was strange. Different. It was unlike Kacchan. I looked up at him, but he was staring at the ground. Where his hand was gripping the carpet so tightly I was expecting him to explode it. But he didn’t. He just stared and stayed silent for a little longer.
“Why would you offer something like that who you say has tormented you for so long? Why would you offer your time and energy to listen to me whine about minor issues?” He still wouldn’t look at me. But I didn’t mind. It somehow made me feel better, even though it shouldn’t, that he wasn’t watching me. He couldn’t see the little twitches of my body and make judgements of it. Like I’m doing to him.

“Because I care about you.” A pause. Another dip in conversation. His furrowed brows halfway hidden under spiky bangs suggested he couldn’t believe me. “We might never be friends, again, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about what happens to you and how you feel.”

“Get out, you damn nerd.” Kacchan said through gritted teeth. He didn’t move from his spot, but he did tense when I got up.

“Goodbye, Kacchan.” I gave a small smile- it felt so fake on my face- as I left the room. I’m a horrible person. 

 

~*~

 

I think things went well! - Broccoli

He didn’t do anything to you, did he? - Sparkle Sparkle

Nope - Broccoli

He was actually a really good listener when I was speaking. He didn’t interrupt me once. - Broccoli

Which is surprising because I kept on rambling and I was super disorganized. - Broccoli

... I suppose this means I don’t get to use my laser on him. - Sparkle Sparkle

It’s illegal to use your laser on him even if he did do something!!!! (-_-; ) - Broccoli

I’m sure I could find a way out of it. - Sparkle Sparkle

Don’t become a villain, Yuuga-kun!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Broccoli

Chapter Text

 

I had been getting more sleep now that I’m being escorted everywhere which stopped me from my usual night time activities. That didn’t stop the exhaustion from the previous week to catch up with me and make me sleep more than usual. And now that it was sunday, I was ready to just spend all day sleeping.

“Oh shit!” I tried to kicked off my blankets. Emphasis on tried to. My legs got caught up and I ended up flat on my face with my legs still on the bed. I groaned into the floor before shifting back onto the mattress.

I can’t believe I forgot that I was going to spend the day with Yuuga-kun.

 

~*~

 

The door rang while I was still getting dressed. I hoped my mom or Nemuri could answer it for me so Yuuga wouldn’t be standing outside while he waited. Not long after, someone knocked on my door. I assumed it was one of the women who lived here and responded,

“I’m covered! Was that Yuuga-kun? I’ll be down soon so he doesn’t wait long.” I turned around, shimmying a shirt over my binder. I found myself not that far from Yuuga. Oh god. I really hope he didn’t see anything. I never told him about me being trans, after all...

“Hey. Nemuri-san sent me up.” He said with a smile. I tried to return it, but it felt stiff and tilted. It didn’t seem like he saw anything, but the relief that gave me had me feeling guilty. He’s my friend. He won’t be disgusted. RIght?

“Hey. I’ve just gotta get my hair done and I’ll be ready.” I headed for the bathroom, but Yuuga’s hand took mine and pulled me towards the stairs.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s better if you leave it alone for this.” He attempted to reassure me. And it worked. That didn’t mean I didn’t still feel nervous.

“But it’s-”

“It’s good. Trust me.” He ruffled it, as if teasing me about the height difference between us and my hair at the same time. I huffed, but followed him out the door. In front of my house was a very nice and sleek car. “I got maman’s chauffeur to drive us there and back, so we don’t have to worry about the trains.”

Chauffeur? I really wonder about the mystery behind the Aoyamas’ wealth. Being head of security at a hero agency shouldn’t pay that much. Then again, what do I know about their budget? They’re paying me more than doctors get.

I entered the car and bowed my head to the person up front. They nodded back and started driving as soon as both Yuuga and I were buckled. My friend seemed unhappy and pressed a button, something going up between us and the driver.

“There. Now he can’t hear us when we talk.” Yuuga said, pleased with himself. Oh. Yay. I should probably tell him. We sat in silence, instead, for the next five minutes. I was contemplating telling him about me. It was risky, but if I believed in his open mindedness, so it shouldn’t matter too much to him. Right?

“Yuuga-kun, I have something important I need to tell you. I didn’t mean to keep it secret, I swear. I think I might have been afraid of your reaction, though, and since it never came up I didn’t think about telling you.” I said, wringing my hands about in my lap. I closed my eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, the pages of my notebooks flitting before my eyes.

“It’s alright. Whatever you have to say, I doubt it will make me upset.” He reached out across the seat between us. I took his hand, trying to draw strength from it.

“I- I’m trans. I was assigned female at birth. I- I consider myself a boy, though! And Izuku is the name I go by it, too. I was just-”

“I understand.” He cut me off, his smile sincere.

“You do?” I asked, my volume no higher than a whisper.

“It might seem strange, but I’ve gone on a few research sprees myself. Although they’re about sexuality and gender instead of heroes and quirks. It’s how I found the name to my sexuality.” He explained. This was news to me, but I suppose it shouldn’t be. Yuuga was always the more flamboyant person and it was bound to have people turning heads. It made sense with openness he talked about loving any gender, that he himself might be queer.

“So, you don’t care?”

“Not at all. You’re still the same Izuku I know.” He told me. It filled me up with more happiness and relief than I could explain.

“Thank you.” I mumbled. It was the best I could do as I tried not to scream in happiness. I didn’t want to scare the driver off the road and get us into an accident.

“It’s nothing.”

 

~*~

 

We entered a large building almost as shiny as the car behind us. The chauffeur, who nobody told me the name of, waited outside. When we went in, the only word that came to mind to describe everything was that it was pristine. Everything was perfectly clean and neat and I swore there was more white in this entrance than the entirety of Genius Office. It had highlights of color here and there. It was mostly the clothes the people were wearing. I became extremely self conscious about walking in here with scuffed shoes, tracking dirt into the building, and a t-shirt I had thrown on without much thought or care.

“Before we head to the spa, we’re dealing with your hair.” Yuuga said while I was still looking around. There were five doorways, covered with curtains, and signs beside them, indicating where they lead.

“Eh? What do you mean?” I asked, confused why he would mention my hair. It has been hard to deal with, but it doesn’t seem too bad. Does it? Yuuga-kun even said I wouldn’t have to do anything to it before leaving.

“It’s been cut badly and you need to have it redone. At least have it trimmed, if nothing else.” He answered. I nodded and followed his lead through a larger area. With another desk. What is with this place?

“What kind of cut are you looking for today? If you haven’t been here before, we can make your hair grow longer if you would like.” The woman sitting there asked after yuuga explained. I tried to remember what it was like with longer hair. As much as I loved the ability to put it up in different styles, it wasn’t a good idea if I ever wanted to be a hero. Long hair could be taken advantage of.

“I would like to cut it a little shorter and have it be more manageable.” I told her. She nodded and led me to a chair while someone else helped Yuuga. The experience wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t sure I ever wanted anyone touching my hair like that again. It was too awkward to have someone I didn’t know handling it.

“What do you think?” I asked Yuuga when he walked over. The hair curled just below my ears, and the bangs were cut shorter, covering most of my scar without getting in my eyes.

“It looks great on you. I never thought you would get something like a bob, however.” He took a hair clip out of his pocket and moved his own bangs out of the way. They were about as long as the rest of his hair.

“I didn’t think you would be making your hair longer.” And it had gotten so much longer. It was halfway down his back, which was longer than his mom had. Although not as long as Nemuri’s. Does anyone have hair longer than Nemuri-chan?

“It’s been getting longer, so might as well accelerate it a little.” He flipped it behind him. I held back a laugh.

“I suppose one of us should have it.” I joked. He gave an approving nod with a happy smile. “We should bring Todoroki-kun here.”

“Todoroki?”

“Yeah. Since he complains about his dad cutting his hair, we should take him here and he can do what he wants.” As soon as I was done, Yuuga looked like he was about to cry. It was really unnerving to see him like that. He was even trembling. “What? Why are you making that face?”

“My baby’s making friends and it’s showing.” He hugged me close to him.

“Can we just do the next part now?” I asked, feeling embarrassed. It wouldn’t be so bad if we were at one of our houses, but we could be seen by anyone here.

“Of course! Spa day is ready to start now.” He dragged me off to another area. It hadn’t already? Well, at least he isn’t about to cry now, which is more than I could hope for. Even if it would be for the weirdest of reasons.

 

~*~

 

“Ah. That was so good.” Yuuga said as we took our seats in the cafeteria. We had done at least four different things and it was starting to become a relaxing blur, already.

“The mud baths were surprisingly nice. Thanks for convincing me to get into them.” I said after eating a forkful of noodles.

“As if I could let you skip that. After the food, we’ll be doing some more. Including a nice oil massage.” He stopped eating to make the hand gesture of kneading dough. I supposed there wasn’t much difference between the two.

“A massage? I don’t think I’ve ever received one before.” I had given them to others in the past. Mainly bullies, because they thought it would be easier than forcing someone else to do it. I had also given a few foot massages to my mom after she had a shift when she was especially stressed out. Those were the ones I didn’t mind.

“That shall change. I promise you.” He grinned. It seemed like he was happy introducing me to so many new things. My phone buzzed, interrupting my train of thought.

If I talk to you, you’re not going to snitch on any of this to anyone, right? - Kacchan

Of course not. - nerd

He changed the nickname for me. It used to be Deku, but now it’s just... it’s just nerd. Is it alright for me to be happy about this? Just don’t believe it would be okay if I fell in love with him again. Never fall in love with him again.

“Did you say something, Izuku?” Yuuga asked. I shook my head with a bright smile and decided I should be more careful about my muttering habit. I don’t ever want Yuuga to know about my first love. Besides, it’s lunch, and no one likes it when you talk with your mouth full.

 

~*~

 

“Thank you for such a wonderful day.” My entire body felt like goo and I was about ready to turn into a pile on my doorstep. I would have in the car, but the feeling of being in a rather new place had stopped me. It was the same reason I never slept at the cafes or bars I would go to late into the night as Dragonfly.

“It’s me who should be thanking you. It was the first time I’ve had a spa day with a friend.” He handed me a bag of things he had bought from their gift shop. I blinked at it in surprise. I had thought they were all for his family.

“I- I can’t accept this. You already paid for everything else earlier.” I replied, feeling a bit flustered. I had seen that bill and even with the wages I was getting now from Genius Office, I still had it ingrained in me to save as much as I could. And what Yuuga had spent was much more than I would ever be okay with.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s my treat for you.” He reassured me. It was hard not to puff up my cheeks in frustration. I thought this was supposed to be making things up to you. I didn’t say that, not wanting to ruin his good mood.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.” I decided instead. It would be good for him to go home so he could check in with his siblings, after all. He had told me that they could fend for themselves, but I wasn’t so sure.

“You bet.” He said and then left me alone. I stayed there and watched him go, waving to him until he was long out of sight. I walked into the house, still feeling flushed. I set the bag down and took off my shoes. I was about to say I was home as I entered the living room, but I choked on it.

On the couch my mom and Nemuri were making out and it was getting dangerously close to something else.

“Oh! I am so so sorry! You two- I’m- bye!” I squeaked. I ran out of the room and barely got my toes into my shoes before I left the house. Yuuga was gone and there was no place to go. Well, there was one, but- what am I thinking? He’d never let me... Maybe I should just call Yuuga-kun. But I don’t want to inconvenience him more... I’ll try him first then Yuuga-kun if it doesn’t work out.

I wandered over to the Bakugou’s place nearby. It was a five minute walk and I stopped at some point to slip my shoes on completely. Stalling~ My head singsonged for me. It’s not stalling. I should just look a bit more presentable, that’s all. I stopped again at the door. Was I really going to do this? Yes.

I knocked on the door and came face to face with Kacchan. He was frowning and looked like he was about to shout. He shut his mouth when he registered who was in front of him and just looked frustrated. He always looks frustrated.

“Hey. Can I stay here for the night?” I asked. I realized a beat after that I should give an explanation, but it was so uncomfortable to even think about it, let alone talk about it. “I kind of walked in on my mom and her girlfriend...”

“Whatever.” He turned away, but left the door open. I walked in, taking it for the invitation I hoped it was. As I was slipping my shoes off again, I noticed both Mitsuki and Masaru’s shoes were gone. It would be the two of us for who knows how long.

“Thanks.” I gulped. “So where are Uncle Masaru and Aunt Mitsuki?”

“They’re going on a trip somewhere until summer break.” He replied evenly, approaching the couch in his living room and grabbing the mug off a side table on the way. It was weird, but he could just be tired.

“Oh right. That’s starting soon.” I had forgotten about it since I had been so busy with Dragonfly business and then tests and work. His face clearly said, what are you an idiot? And my response is a clear, yes I am. I shrugged instead and offered a, “I’ve been busy?”

“Yeah? With what?” He asked. It didn’t even sound sarcastic, mostly. There was almost always a little bit of a sarcastic or angry tone in his voice.

“You actually want to know?” I checked before I ended up rambling  which would make him set off explosions because he got pissed off.

“Got nothing better to do.” He shrugged. If he really wants to hear, then okay. I sat down on the couch beside him, keeping a small distance away. I didn’t want to be too close to him in case it invaded his personal space, but I also didn’t want him to think I was completely afraid of him.

“Well, I’ve been working for the last few months-” I started, but was soon cut off.

“Who the fuck let you work when you were fourteen?” He had a good point, but I had an even better one. Certainly one he wouldn’t be expecting.

“The R-rated hero, Midnight.” I grinned, watching his expression change from regular frustration to nonplussed.

“What the fuck.” He said my underlying thought whenever I revisited the fact I was offered a job at a hero agency at fourteen.

“I know, right? Anyways, I’ve been working at her agency after school and full time on Saturdays. And then I use most of my spare time working on homework, Yuuga-kun, exercising, and helping my mom around the house. It never occured to me that summer break was coming up.” I explained. Within the last week, the trainer Nemuri had come in to work with me during P.E. had been switched out for Yagi in his regular form.

“Makes sense.” He nodded along as if in deep thought. Something he almost never did where I could see him. “I’m guessing you already have plans with blondie, then?”

“Actually, I haven’t even thought about talking about plans with him. I suppose I should do that with Todoroki-kun, too.” I realized. I didn’t know if Todoroki could because of the distance and the strictness of his father, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. He could use the opportunity to get out of the house more like he kept telling me he wanted to. I would even help make a good excuse for him, to tell his father.

“Haa! Who’s Todoroki?” A small explosion let off in his hand, making me flinch. I tried to calm myself down and focused on the question.

“Oh! He’s a friend I met at a work function. He’s about our friend, but since he lives so far away, we’ve just been talking over the phone.” Kacchan calmed down rather quickly while I was explaining, scaring me. He was acting demure compared to what he’s usually like and it was off-putting. Did a villain use their quirk on him or something? “Why are you talking to me like this?”

“What? You don’t like it, nerd?” He growled, leaning closer to me.

“It -its not that! It’s just... it’s out of character for you.” I put my hands up in defense and shuffled into the armrest. Really out of character. There was something I had noticed earlier in the day, too, during lunch. “You haven’t even called me Deku recently.”

“You want me to call you that?” He raised an eyebrow and got closer. I shook my head so fast, it felt like it was about to fall off.

“What? No! No! It’s an observation. That’s all. So, why?” I asked again, hesitant. I was worried he would get angry again and call my question stupid.

“Because I’m going to become better than even your best friend.” He stated. I could see the determination in his eyes. The same kind of determination he had when he talked about being the best hero out there. I blame the day of relaxing to sudden tension that I ended up bursting out laughing, shocking both him and myself.

“What kind of reason is that? It makes no sense.” I could feel tears swell in my eyes from how hard I was laughing. I had to grip the counter to keep myself upright.

“Fuck off.” Kacchan gritted and looked away. There was a slight pink on his chubby cheeks. I stopped laughing, coming to a conclusion that must be wrong.

“Are you trying to become my friend?”

“... So what if I am?” He glanced at me, arms crossed and shoulders up. Is he worried about my reaction? That’s... strange.

“Then you shouldn’t call me nerd as if it were my name.” I said instead. I secretly wondered where this boldness came from. Is it because Kacchan is giving me the power for once? The chance to decide how our relationship will grow and change? That he’s trying to open himself up and even a little vulnerable?

“What else then? Should I be like you? Izu-chan or some shit?” He sneered, but the pink didn’t fade from his cheeks.

“I like it. Go with that.” I grinned. He sent me an incredulous glare. “By the way, where will I be sleeping?”

“Where the fuck do you think? You’ll be taking the shitty couch.” He said. I nodded and then we fell into a silence. He drank from his mug as I looked at my phone. It didn’t stop me from noticing the way he kept checking on me as if I might go away at any moment.

“... Kacchan.”

“What.” He replied.

“You look like have something to say.” I leaned forward a little bit. He leaned away, shoulders tensing again.

“I’ve got nothing to say to a shitty nerd like you.”

“You’re lying.” I said, my voice dropping a notch in volume. He doesn’t like to lie.

He was so quiet that I couldn't hear much, but it sounded like; “... I’m sorry.”

“What?”

“I said I’m fucking sorry for all the shitty things I put you through. And I want you to know I didn’t tell everyone about what happened. Some idiot saw it and decided to spread it around the whole fucking school. I tried to dispel the rumor, but no one fucking listened. And I didn’t mean to hurt you. Ever. And I didn’t think you would actually jump. You were always so bright and fucking cheerful, I thought you would act as if it never happened like you usually did.”

“Did you just apologize?” I stared at him in wonder. Never before had I heard him apologize. Ever. I had been by his side for over eleven years, and not once had he apologized to anyone. To have him do so to me- it was a miracle.

“Don’t expect me to do it again.” He confirmed it. His ears were turning red and I couldn’t stop my grin from getting wider.

“I wouldn’t think of it. Thank you.” I beamed.

“If you mention this to any of your friends, you’re dead. You understand,” He paused as if considering his words, “Izu-chan?

“Yep!” I responded. It was hard not to be elated by this sudden turn of events.

“Wipe that fucking smile of your shitty face.” He said, getting off the couch.

“Whatever you say, Kacchan!” I cheered. There was no way I was going to be able to get rid of this smile.

“I’m out of here. Don’t come into my room!” He shouted and tossed a blanket over me. I nodded, even though he couldn’t see me. I removed my binder and then laid down. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep now.

I promptly fell asleep after that thought.

Chapter Text

My brother caught a cold. He says he’s sorry he can’t be there as your knight today. (He’s banned from his phone while he’s sick.) - Beautiful girl ;)

Tell him I can’t live without him, please! - Izu-kun

I stared at the phone. That was the first message I had ever sent to a girl my age. It felt weird. There were no other way to explain it. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t good, so weird would be what I stuck with

I rolled off the couch, my feet finding the floor first, a contrast to how my morning yesterday started. I had plenty of time to get ready, but I also had a crick in my neck from the position my body was forced into. After using the bathroom, I stared at myself in the mirror.

I really don’t want to go back home right now, but I need to get my uniform. I shouldn’t go without telling Kacchan first or it could ruin the new development and he could get upset with me. But I shouldn’t wake him! I tried to hold the screaming in and wondered if this was how Todoroki felt sometimes.

He would often send messages about how he wasn’t sure how to interact with his classmates without some sort of internal screaming in his messages. It was always amusing to imagine him actually screaming in their faces. Cruel, but so much fun. “Todoroki-kun, it’s your turn to help clean.” “AHHHHHHHHH!” “What the fuck!” “I meant okay.”

My arms shook as I gripped the sink counter and choked down the laughter. It would only wake up Kacchan and piss him off. Maybe I should just sneak out, sneak into my house to grab my uniform, and head to school early. But then I’ll not have Yuuga... When did I begin to think of him as someone always by my side? Just another weird thing I don’t want to think about.

My phone began to ring and I checked the caller ID for once. Oh look. Another thing I want to deal with. I answered anyways and put it to my ear.

“Dragonfly.” There’s a voice I haven’t missed. It was, once again, too early for this shit.

“Queen, what-  what are you doing? I told you I-” I fumbled over my words as I attempted to keep my volume low. Apparently a week off of being Dragonfly meant I had also lost most of the persona. Wonderful.

“Dabi tried to burn down the cafe.” She cut me off. I set the phone down and made a small groaning noise, about ready to ram my head into the mirror. I picked it back up, keeping control of myself now.

“He did what?” I asked, hoping it was just some trick. It better be a trick. That cafe is a good place to hang out as a villain and their drinks aren’t too bad. Also, I just got Death Roach a job there and it was the only place I could think of him for him to work at, what with his sister being the owner and everything. Who would think burning that place down is such a good idea?

“He’s getting impatient.” She stated. Would you look at that? I don’t care! You don’t burn down a fucking cafe because you’re getting “impatient.”

“It’s only been a week.” I sighed, rubbing my eyes. Heyyy. Another thing to look at. My stress level rising at the snap of the fingers right after a day of relaxing.

“That’s the point. It’s been a week.” She said all matter-of-factly. Can I return to my regular troubles with Kacchan please? This is getting very close to breaking a rule I’m not sure I should.

“I’ll see what I can do.” I replied. I wondered if I could get Queen to talk to him through me.

“You need to talk to Dabi.” Well thanks, you damn mind reader, for ruining any hope I had of not having to break Nemuri-chan’s recent rules.

I set the phone down again, muted my side, and splashed some water on my face. I would need to grab my things and I don’t feel up for that. However, if it would stop Dabi from trying to burn things to get my attention, I don’t have much a choice. Certainly sounds better than him starting carve my name into the ground with burning corpses. Guess there’s nothing for it.

“Where is he now?”

“He’s in the cafe. The employees have him stored somewhere. Or so I’ve heard.” She said, almost flirtatious. If I didn’t know her better, I would have thought she was being flirty, but I knew for a fact she was just praising herself. We hate each other, don’t try to boost my opinion of you now.

“How fast can you get here?” I asked instead.

“Fast enough.”

“It better be.” Really. The less time I have to be out, the better. If I don’t come back before Kacchan wakes up, then he’ll get upset and probably go over to my house. Nemuri-chan and my mom would no doubt realize I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to if he did that. Ew. Why did that have to pop back into my head?

I placed my shoes on my feet, left a small note, and hoped Kacchan would stay asleep while I was gone. I snuck into the house, trying to be as silent as I could, heading for my room. Surprisingly, no one was about. I fished my wig and tie from the closet, putting on my summer uniform instead of my casual clothes. I look somewhat formal now, which was more of Dragonfly’s style.

I realized, while I was waiting for Queen to arrive, that I would need someone to help me in case kacchan woke up. Or if mom and Nemuri just decided to start asking questions about anything that could reveal what I was doing, which was a possibility.

Hand the phone to Yuuga-kun, please. Its urgent. - Izu-kun

Shining knight here. - Beautiful Girl ;)

Please cover for me if anyone asks. - Izu-kun

Dragonfly needed before people die. Little time for explan. - Izu-kun

Of course. It’s the least I can do for a hero like you. - Beautiful Girl ;)

“Ready?” Queen asked from the window, taking my attention off my phone.

“As I can be. Take us away.” I took her outstretched hand and closed my eyes.

 

~*~

 

I entered the cafe. I gave a small smile to Nomura Koji- now Sakurai Souma- before I turned my attention to his sister. She brought me to the backroom and then into a bare side room. There was a single chair with a scarred young man chained to the floor. His hands were probably handcuffed behind him, considering the way his arms were pulled back. Sakurai left us to our devices after I confirmed I wanted to be alone with him.

“Dabi. I am very disappointed in your action. I do believe Queen already explained to you why I couldn’t come out, but you’ve forced me to come out anyways.” I tutted. I wasn’t in the mood to act mature, but now I have to be thanks to the act I created when making Dragonfly. What is it Yuuga-kun keeps telling me? I’m fifteen, so I should act like it? Wish I’d listened to him, even if meant fewer people respected me in the community. “Why?”

“You said you would tell me the plan.”

“And I will.”

“I meant within a week. Not longer.” He rolled his eyes. Wow. What a way to be mature when you’re tied up and at my mercy.

“Well, things don’t always go the way we want them, do they?” I leaned down to come face to face with him and booped his nose. Is it in my rights as an undercover villain to kill someone, yet? He pulled against his binds, and snapped at my hand in an animalistic way. “Stop struggling. These people knew exactly what they were doing when they tied you up like that. Or did you think it was my favorite place to stay because the coffee’s good?”

“Since you’re here, why don’t you just tell me the plan now?” He said. It would have been a good chance to get me to talk, but he had just tried to burn the cafe down to the ground. Not really a good idea.

“Well now I’m not sure if I should trust you with such importance, I mean- what if you decide to make that burn, too?” I shrugged, doing a little twirl with my hand.

“Tell. Me. The plan.” He bit out, looking ready to kill. Well, if you take into account he had tried to kill the workers here in the last hour, it’s not such a stretch.

“Hmm.” I though on it. He was currently tied up, so if he decided he wanted to kill me afterwards, I could have him be dealt with. I shrugged. “You know what? Why not?”

Dabi grinned. It would have been rather handsome on him, although a bit frightening, if it weren’t for the scars on his face that shifted right along with his mouth. It was not a pleasant visual.

“The plan is probably not what you’ll want to hear. And it’s a long one, so I’ll just tell you the goals. You see, I want to change the way heroes do things.” I paused, letting him take in those words before I continued on. “The plan is to make heroes and their way of protecting everyone better, while also removing those who don’t deserve to be heroes for what they do behind the scenes. I want to both remove heroes from feeling they are invincible in the face of the law, and put heroes who are actually heroes in the spotlight, while taking out the villains who threaten my goal. Do you understand?”

“You want to support the heroes?” He asked, an eyebrow quirked. Perhaps I hadn’t explained myself as well as I thought I had...

“Not all of them. There are... quite a few who need to come to justice for what they have done. Even the retired ones. Pedophiles and abusive spouses, as a couple of examples. I want to bring to justice the ones who do harm, show everyone they are not infallible of such human and villainous flaws and bring them down.” There was more than Endeavour I had found out about recently. There were some I had only heard of in human trafficking circles I was trying to bring down. It was revolting and made me only realize just how bad some of these suppose heroes were. “However, not all of them are horrible, and some of them do mean better and strive to be true heroes. And I want to support those ones in ways that I can.”

“By being a villain?” He scoffed. It was clear he was only trying to scour for more information.

“It’s amazing what being a villain can do to help.” I grinned the way Dragonfly does. Crooked and all teeth with a hint of my usual hatred, whether for myself or for the villains I found myself encountering. “So, are you onboard with this plan?”

“I am.” He gave a curt nod. Amazing. I can’t believe he actually agreed to join me with this. Doesn’t mean I can trust him, though.

“Wonderful! I’ll go get someone to undo your binding.” I clapped my hands.

“How old are you?” He stopped me in my tracks. That was a question I hadn’t been expecting.

“Do you not believe I claim to be the age I am?” I asked. I had been saying I was sixteen until after my birthday passed and a week later I started telling people I was seventeen.

“You’re too aware to be just seventeen.” He disputed. Too wise. How strange. Is he trying to say he thinks I’m older? Most people say I’m twelve because of my stature when they first meet me. Then again, this isn’t his first time meeting me.

“Would you believe me if I told you?” Silence. He was still waiting for me to give him an answer. If he wants the truth, why not give it to him? My grin got wider as I stated, “fifteen.”

The surprise on his face was blatant and it made me feel as if I had just managed to make Todoroki change expressions. Not that Dabi hid his feelings as much as Todoroki, but it didn’t make much difference when Dabi seemed almost impossible to shock.

“I knew someone in the care of one of those heroes you talked about and I won’t let that happen again.” He responded. That was unexpected. It does explain why he was willing to agree to change the way of heroes so readily.

“I can see why you would want to burn down a cafe now.”

 

~*~

 

Queen dropped me back off at my room where I placed my wig and glasses back into their hiding spot, and then switched out my tie. I snuck out of the window as soon as I was done with my school bag and went back to Kacchan’s place. The door was unlocked, which made me wince. I had made sure to keep it locked when I left earlier, which meant Kacchan knew I had left. But then he unlocked it for me when I returned? Did he expect me to return?

“Hey?” I tried to keep my voice low as I called through the place, just in case Kacchan wasn’t really awake. Although that would mean someone broke in and I should prepare myself to fight.

“What took you so long?” Kacchan came out of the kitchen wearing an apron with comic book sound effects on it. He was holding a pan and a spatula, stirring eggs. I can’t believe he still wears the apron I had bought him four years ago and he’s making me scrambled eggs I would beg for because that was supposed to be an American thing that All Might was likely to eat in the mornings. And for all my life I had wanted to be just like All Might... “Your note said you were just going to grab your school stuff.”

“Uh, yeah. I just- I couldn’t find things so it took a little longer than I thought.” I said, still in a stupor. Is this a dream because it feels like a dream. I know Kacchan said he’d try to be better than even Yuuga-kun, but... I hadn’t thought it would be like this.

“Then sit down. I’m almost done and then you can get the fuck out for school.” I nodded and took a seat at the dining table, Kacchan’s words sounded harsh, but it was as if it were like old times. Back when I still thought we were friends and he would give me presents and do small favors for me. But he would also belittle me and tell me I should give up on being a hero. Then again, I had no quirk, nor training, and even my mom thought I should give up on that dream.

I waited for him to sit back down, before I told him, “You can still call me Deku.”

“I thought you hated that goddamn nickname.”

“I do... but only because it had been used as a taunt and it was a reminder of how weak and helpless I was. And I really don’t want people to start using it again, but... If it’s you, I think I’m okay with it.” I tried to explain. After revisiting memories of myself and Kacchan, I had come to realize that back then he had just been trying to show off his reading and knowledge skills when he called me Deku. And then it became natural. A part of me that would always feel strange if Kacchan didn’t use it for me. He would get upset if I told him that, though. Besides, it was also nice that he wasn’t using it at the same time. Why do I have to be so conflicted?   I realized it was bad enough the way I had worded things. “Wha- what am I saying? You can call me whatever you want. I should just keep my mouth shut.”

“Eat, Izu-chan.” He said with emphasis on Izu-chan. I nodded and began to shovel food in, hoping it would cover my embarrassment. I was certain my face was bright red and Kacchan would laugh at me, but he didn’t.

I missed this.

 

~*~

 

Nemuri picked me up and took me to school in a tense and awkward silence. School was boring and I felt a bit listless through class. Without Yuuga there, it was as if the color was drained from the place. I knew I was being melodramatic, but after what I had gone through that morning I felt like I deserved to be a little dramatic and exaggerate my feelings.

Yuna was the one who ended up taking me to work. She had stayed home for half the day to take care of Yuuga, but she could only stay away from work for so long, apparently. So she picked me up on her way.

After work, both mom and Nemuri took me home together. Which was weird, but I supposed they might have there reasons. Hopefully none of them have to do with last night.

“Where are we going?” I asked when I noticed we weren’t heading in the direction of home. Both of them were dressed formally, matching me. And I was only wearing a suit for work.

“I knew I had been forgetting something.” Nemuri hit her head against the wheel. Thank goodness we’re at a red light. “My cousin finally got the paperwork to adopt through and the six of us will be celebrating. His new son is about your age, his name is Shinsou Hitoshi.”

“Why didn’t you send me a message about this earlier? I’m not at all prepared.” I started to worry. I barely remember her cousin since the only time we met was about three months ago. The only things I can remember was that he was scruffy, grumpy, and his name was Aizawa Shouta.

“It will be okay, sweetie. I’m sure Shinsou-kun is just as nervous as you are.” Mom tried to reassure me. It didn’t work.

“He’s probably had more time to prepare his nerves than I have.” Mom giggled and stretched her hand to the back seat. I squeezed it, taking the comfort that I could from it.

We were soon at the restaurant, much to my displeasure. The place was nice and despite the niceness of my suit, I still felt underdressed. We were lead to a wide, circular table where two people were already sitting and looking at menus. One of them I recognized as Aizawa, but his hair was pulled back and his facial hair had been shaved. It was off-putting. The boy sitting next to him had purple hair as wild as my hair could be and almost as bad eyebags. He must be Shinsou.

“Hey, Shouta! I’m sorry if we were late. We had to pick up Izu-kun, here. I hope you remember him.” Nemuri went to hug Aizawa, but he managed to avoid her arms. She turned to Shinsou and hugged him instead. “It so good to see you again, Hitoshi-kun. This is my girlfriend, Midoriya Inko, and her son, Midoriya Izuku.”

I bowed alongside my mom towards Shinsou. I plastered a nervous smile on my face and took a seat beside Shinsou, since the others were already taken. I glanced at the other boy, but he just looked resigned as he stared at his menu. I wondered what he could be thinking about that would cause him to have such an expression. He looked at me with a raised eyebrow. Realizing I was staring, I swiveled my eyes to my own menu.

“Um, what’s your quirk?” I asked him after we ordered and the adults got drawn into their own conversation.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” Although his tone was dull and monotone, his voice was surprisingly rough with a flavor of richness.

“I understand. I- I’m quirkless, so I guess I can’t really understand whatever the issue of your quirk is, but I understand not wanting to talk about it. I even know someone who can kill someone with just the barest of skin contact and he’s told me he’d rather be quirkless than have it.” I accidentally began to ramble. I shut myself up after that and gazed at the creases in my napkin.

“My quirk is called Brainwash. If someone responds to me verbally, I can tell them to do something and they’ll do it.” He replied, surprising me. I looked back up at him. He was gauging my reaction.

“That’s so awesome! Imagine if you used that quirk as a hero! You could tell villains to surrender and they would. You could calm a crowd of people and evacuate them from an area. There are so many uses it could help people with...” I began to quiet again when I began to catch some looks from other people. However, Shinsou didn’t seem to mind. He actually looked happier about it.

“Thank you. You’re one of the few people who have told me that.” Shinsou smiled. It looked sincere and it pulled on my heart.

“I-it’s nothing. Just my honest thoughts, that’s all.” I rubbed my neck, feeling a bit hotter. Don’t say is it getting hot in here or is it just me, because that will make me look like a fool and everyone will know you’re becoming embarrassed. We continued to sit, not sure where to take the conversation from here while the trio of adults kept talking to each other.

“Is it just me or does this almost feel like a surprise marriage meeting.” Shinsou said. I put my hand over my mouth, trying not to laugh. It did feel like that. While our family members talked to each other, we were sitting to the side and making awkward conversation together. “See? It’s a similar feeling, even though that’s not the intention.”

“Were you also sprung into this without warning?” I blurted.

“I didn’t even know we were meeting anyone until the three of you walked in.” Shinsou shrugged. I could only imagine how that must have felt. “What about you?”

“I had it better. I wasn’t told until I asked where we were going.” I explained. “You should have been there. I was in the backseat when I noticed we weren’t going home and Nemuri-chan’s just like ‘oh shit. I forgot to tell you.’ And I’m just freaking out in the back because I wasn’t planning on social interaction with people I don’t know.”

“That sounds just as bad.” He chuckled. It was deep, but mild, as if he was suppressing most of it. I wondered what it would be like to hear him laugh.

The two of us continued to talk from there and found we had a lot in common. We only stopped when the food arrived, and even then we would take a small break to reply to each other about whichever topic we were on. The food was good, but it was nothing compared to the richness of finding out about Shinsou and his interest.

I found myself thinking about holding his hand when I was almost done with dinner. It shocked me, but Yuuga’s words popped in, telling me I was only fifteen and I should do the things I want to do. So why not, right? It’s okay to have a crush. Just invite him out like friends do and see if it's just a false, one off thing.

“Want to hang out when summer break starts?” I asked, gathering all the courage I had. He already had my phone number because we had decided halfway through the meal that we wanted to keep talking.

“I’m free Saturday.” He offered. I grinned and tried not to do a fist pump. It was still a rather high end place and I was expected to keep to my manners. Not to mention it would probably confuse Shinsou-kun.

“Sounds good.”

Chapter Text

As expected, Yuuga had a field day when I told him about Shinsou and our plan for Saturday. He insisted that when he was well enough he would help prepare me for it, not listening when I told him it was a date. Which was how I found myself shopping with him, Toru, and their little brother on a Thursday morning.

I arrived at the mall where the trio were waiting for me. Yuuga was dressed to the nines, as usual, suited for summer. Beside him was Toru who fit right by his side with a matching buttercream sundress. Hisoka stood out compared to the two of him in a pair of shorts and a sleeveless jacket with a hood over him, face covered and arms invisible.

“Sorry I made you all wait.” I said, feeling underdressed for what I had believed to be a simple shopping trip.

“We haven’t been here for long, so don’t worry, Izu-kun!” Toru told me before Yuuga could open his mouth. Hisoka muttered something, but I was more focused on Toru. It wasn't unusual for the two to speak over each other, so I wasn’t caught on that. In all the visits to Yuuga’s house- seven, but who’s counting?- Toru had always called me Izuku.

“Izu-kun?” I asked, not letting my observations slip. Since I went to work last night, I think I got it all out. I should be fine for another few days.

“Yuuga-nii was getting all possessive about calling you by your name, so I decided to go with what Nemuri-san calls you.” Toru explained, sounding rather cheery. From underneath the shadows of Hisoka’s hood, I could see a grin with two rows of sharp teeth appear. He had already done this to me at their house before, so I was more used to it than the adult walking along who just shrieked.

“Is that right?” I ignored what Hisoka had done, much like his siblings were, and continued with the flow of the current topic. I couldn’t help a mischievous grin forming on my face which I hoped was less creepy than the ten year old’s. Yuuga looked away, bashful. It was always a lot of fun when I could turn the teasing to him.

“You are my best friend.” He defended himself. Aww. You’re my best friend too. Maybe I should create a nickname for him so he knows I think he’s special.

“He’s practically family, by now. I think we can all call him Izuku.” The arms appeared. They were crossed and his entire body boasted confidence which radiated off more as childish arrogance. They consider me family? That’s... probably one of the nicest things anyone’s considered me to be. And I can actually say there’s competition in the ranks.

“Hisoka, you traitor.” He muttered. Hisoka walked over to my side and looked up, the eyes appearing in the dark. They shined with hope as they stared at me.

“Hey, Izu-nii, what do you think?” He asked.

“I- Izu-nii?” I repeated in surprise, biting my tongue on the way.

“Yeah. Izu-nii. Since you’re like another older brother.” He explained. Older brother? Am I really worthy of such a title?

“Is that right...” I said again, drifting off. I felt a bit dizzy and began to wonder if it was bad idea to have the Aoyama-Hagakure siblings on a shopping trip without assistance.

“Good call, Hisoka. Izu-nii it is.” Toru agreed readily.

“When is your birthday again?” Yuuga checked. Oh right. I never told him. I had missed his by the time I found out, but I had still given him a late gift.

“Ah. July fifteenth.” I told the trio.

“Izuku, that was last month! You never told us!”

“Sorry? I didn’t think it was anything that important.” It wasn’t important. Besides a gift from my mom and a change in the food that day, nothing big happened. Sometimes the Bakugous would come over with a gift, but no one really cared, except for my mom, for most of my life. So what’s the point in telling anyone about it?

“Our brother is an idiot.” Hisoka spouted.

“You can say that again.” Yuuga nodded sagely in agreement.

“Our brother is an idiot.” Toru repeated for Hisoka.

“Hey! That’s not fair!” I exclaimed. I was already working for Genius Office and had managed a successful heist in breaking out a villain. I was plenty smart.

“Deal with it.” The trio said in sync. It amazed me as much as it frustrated me.

 

~*~

 

“Todoroki approves of your outfit.” Yuuga said, most likely staring at his phone. He had sent a picture of me in an outfit he had picked out with my input to our mutual friend. I was changing back into my regular clothes.

“Are we done, then?” I opened the curtain, already tired. If I had known it would be so tiring with the trio, I might never have said yes to all of them going out.

“We did buy things from three other stores, so I think we are.” Toru stated, the bags by her legs. I supposed it was because she was invisible that she was even allowed in the men’s changing room. Although she really shouldn’t be and it worries me that no one said anything against it.

“Yay! Lunch time!” Hisoka cheered, acting more like a normal child. And by normal, I of course meant, not trying to creep me out at every turn.

“We promised him he we would get lunch out if he came with us.” Yuuga shrugged. He then said, “I don’t see what’s so horrible about my home cooking’s leftovers.”

“I don’t want to be left with dad.” Hisoka stated, sounding rather dismayed. Something must have been wrong with the words he had said because both Toru and Yuuga tensed up.

“Your dad? Why not?” I asked. Their reactions were odd and Hisoka was more likely to tell me.

“Hisoka, where do you want to go eat?” Toru cut in, blatantly trying to change the subject. It worked because Hisoka began to speak twenty words a second.

 

~*~

 

Can’t wait to see you tomorrow! - Midoriya

Me too - Shinsou

Someone please help my broken mind. This shouldn’t be making my heart squeeze so much or make me want want to squeal in joy. Oh, the group chat’s awake. I hope they’ll help.

Good luck on your date tomorrow ; ) - Sparkle Knight

^ - Flaming Ice Prince

It’s not a date. - Clover Knight

It clearly is. - Sparkle Knight

^ - Flaming Ice Prince

I hate you both - Clover Knight

 

~*~

 

“Hey. Y- you look am- good. You look good.” I stammered. Shinsou’s eyes were more intense than I remembered and his hair remind me of a wildflower. And I would really like my heart to stop beating so fast and my mind to stop.

“Thanks. So do you.” He replied with a smile that made my face heat up. He thinks I look good! Now, don’t say it’s because your best friends picked it and five other outfits for future not-dates. Why won’t they listen to me when I say this isn’t a date?

“Thanks. Where to first?” I rubbed my neck, hoping he won’t notice my nervousness. Or at least asume I’m just like this all the time when I’m not talking about a topic I know a lot about. And wow. Remembering the way I had acted the night we met just made me even more embarrassed.

“I’m not sure. I’ve never been to this mall before.” Of course he hasn’t. He had told me that before which was why I even suggested this place.

“You just moved a couple of months ago, right? That must have been rough.” I decided to shift the topic to him so he could speak while I listened. Less of a chance of me screwing up with my words.

“It wasn’t too bad. There was that whole new student excitement, but it wore off quickly once exams rolled around.” Shinsou said nonchalantly. I knew what it was like to suddenly transfer in the middle of the year and have everyone’s attention on you because you’re novel.

“I would have loved that. I transferred to a school back in April and I had to endure being a spectacle for awhile. Thankfully, my best friend, Yuuga-kun, managed to ward them away most of the time.” I responded, trying to keep my emotions low and focus on the memories.

“Lucky.” He said with a smile.

“Yeah- Queen?” I stopped to look back. Behind me were two people, one of them I recognized as Ingenium from the work function and the other was a woman with long black hair. She was just a somewhat older version of Queen who I had seen in the pictures around her home. The two of them were talking to each other with smiles on their faces. If this were a manga or an anime I could almost imagine flowers appearing around them or hearts coming from nowhere.

“What’s wrong?” Shinsou asked and I hoped he hadn’t heard what I said. I shook my head and applied my nervous smile.

“I- it’s nothing. Thought I saw someone I know, but it’s probably just my imagination.” I tried to shrug it off as best as I could. It worried me what she could be doing with Ingenium.

“If you say so.” He went along with it.

“Anyways, tell me more about you.”

 

~*~

 

How’d the date go? - Sparkle Sparkle

I’m pretty sure I saw a villain and a hero on one. - Broccoli

I was talking about yours, but sure, tell me about somebody else’s. - Sparkle Sparkle

I’ve told you about Queen, right? - Broccoli

Tallish, black hair, has a thing about cards, roses, and hearts. You really hate her guts because she hurts good heroes, but you have to rely on her for villainy stuff because she’s the only one who know’s you go undercover? I think so. - Sparkle Sparkle

Thank you for that wonderful exposition. - Broccoli

You’re very much welcome, monsieur. - Sparkle Sparkle

Anyways, I was talking to Shinsou-kun when we were walking past and I saw someone who I am quite certain was Queen, without the whole villain gimmick, and Ingenium, dressed like a civilian. And I can almost swear I saw them making heart eyes with each other. - Broccoli

I’m freaking out. - Broccoli

I don’t know what to do. - Broccoli

Do I tell Ingenium? What if he already knows? - Broccoli

First, you calm down. - Sparkle Sparkle

Are you calm? - Sparkle Sparkle

Kind of. - Broccoli

Good enough. - Sparkle Sparkle

Now, you are going to think about this rationally. It is unlikely Iida-san would date someone he knew to be a villain, right? His entire family is in the hero business and I talked to his younger brother, Iida Tenya at the work function. He told me all about what a stickler for justice his brother is. - Sparkle Sparkle

But what if it’s all an act? - Broccoli

And since Ingenium doesn’t know, we look at Queen. She, undoubtedly knows he’s a hero. But I saw on the news they had an encounter and it’s possible Queen might have felt something then and decided to start changing. - Sparkle Sparkle

It isn’t an act. You and I would both know if something were an act. - Sparkle Sparkle

Assuming you’re calmer now, you will have realized it’s likely a good thing, okay? - Sparkle Sparkle

Let’s talk about something else. - Sparkle Sparkle

Yuuga-kun... - Broccoli

That’s never good. - Sparkle Sparkle

What’s so bad about your dad? - Broccoli

Nothing. Why? - Sparkle Sparkle

Hisoka-kun had mentioned something about how he didn’t want to be alone with him and it’s been worrying me. - Broccoli

Our dad will stay in his room most of the time and focus on his work. Both of our parents are workaholics. Not exactly the most fun to be around. :P - Sparkle Sparkle

Okay. - Broccoli

You know you can always talk to me if something is troubling you, right? - Broccoli

As if I don’t already! - Sparkle Sparkle

Maybe another time. - Sparkle Sparkle

 

~*~

 

There’s a festival that’s gonna b held in about a wk. Wan2 come with me? - Clover Knight

Maybe if you fix that. - Sparkle Knight

Fine. - Clover Knight

(He wouldn’t use a period if it weren’t so easy to make one. Or even have letter capitalized.) - Sparkle Knight

Lol. - Flaming Ice Prince

There’s a festival that’s going to be held in about a week. Want to come with me? - Clover Knight

Sure. Just tell me when and I’ll make space! - Sparkle Knight

I would like to help you, but... there’s shit in the way. - Flaming Ice Prince

I can help make an excuse if you like. I’ve already created a few and one of them he has to allow. - Clover Knight

Hold on. Just got a message from Kacchan. - Clover Knight

Are you going to the festival nearby? - Kacchan

Yeha. I was just talking about it with my friends. Why? - Nerd

*Yeah - Nerd

Nevermind. - Kacchan

Hey, would it be okay if I were to invite Kacchan? - Clover Knight

Guys? - Clover Knight

It’s been five minutes and I don’t want to upset him by delaying things. It’s okay if it’s a no. - Clover Knight

Go for it. - Flaming Ice Prince

Thanks! - Clover Knight

Would you like to join us? It would be more fun with four people! - Nerd

Whatever. - Kacchan

Great! I’ll make a chat so we can discuss it! - Nerd

Created new chat: Explosive

Frenchiest Fry, Flameon, and King Explosion Murder have joined

Welcome to the Moulin Rouge! - Izuku

Thanks, but you need a name change. - Flameon

Flameon has changed Izuku’s name to Sunshine Boy

Accurate. - Frenchiest Fry

What the fuck - King Explosion Murder

Kacchan, Flameon is Todoroki-kun and Frenchiest fry is Yuuga-kun. Yuuga-kun, Todoroki-kun, this is Kacchan. - Sunshine Boy

Nice to meet you. - Flameon

Anyways, we we’re about to discuss meeting times, right? - Sunshine Boy

Yes. - Frenchiest Fry

 

~*~

 

“Hotaru-chan! I missed you!” Imai lunged herself at Sugiyama. The sidekick had finally returned after being forced onto leave because of the injuries she had received from Dabi. Considering how bad they were, it was a good thing she had gotten off so easily.

“Thanks. Ow.” She winced, making her smile drop momentarily. Despite Imai’s quirk, she trained everyday in the gym, she almost had strength on par with All Might’s.

“Oh, sorry.” Imai released the other woman and they both came over to the lunch table.

“It’s good to see you back at work.” Masuda welcomed her back with his usual neutral smile.

“How are your injuries?” Otsuka asked, still looking a bit worried for her.

“Much better. I wish I hadn’t taken so long to heal. Despite my name, it would seem I cannot control fire or fly on it.” Sugiyama stated with a playful tone.

“At last it’s been confirmed!” Murata exclaimed, making them all laugh. I stayed quiet, my appetite slowly leaving me as I remembered clearly telling Dabi to aim up with his fire. I am the cause of the pain she’s gone through.

 

~*~

 

“Hey, guys! I hope we didn’t make you wait too long. Auntie Mitsuki insisted I wear this yukata, so it took longer than expected.” I said. I raised my arms to show the simple, red cloth. It had been in the closet for Kacchan- who was behind me- but he had refused, so I wore it instead.

“Not to worry. I was delayed as well because Hisoka found out I was meeting up with you and kept telling me he wanted to go have fun with Izu-nii. I swear you’re stealing my siblings.” Yuuga rolled his eyes. His long hair was loose and his bangs were held back by clips. He had a short-sleeved v-neck that went just low enough to see he had a bit of muscle there. It would have surprised me if he hadn’t changed in front of me before. “But really, I can see why this ‘Mitsuki’ would want to dress you up. You look great.”

“Thanks. You do too.” I pointed to the bunny and flower clips. I assumed one of his siblings put them there as a punishment. He grinned, saying nothing. I turned back to talk to Todoroki and Kacchan, but they were gazing into each other’s eyes. “What are you two doing?”

“None of your fucking business.” Kacchan spat, tearing his eyes away from Todoroki. I know the other guy is handsome, but I’m pretty sure you’re straight.

“Saying hi.” Todoroki said at the same time. And I know you’re not, but you didn’t seem to like Kacchan very much in the chat.

“Oh right! I forgot you guys haven’t met in person, yet. Kacchan, this is Todoroki Shouto and this is Aoyama Yuuga. Guys, this is Kacchan.” I introduced the trio. I bit my lower lip, nervous, as I waited for them to do something. Only Todoroki inclined his head.

“We’ve met.” Kacchan growled, glaring at Yuuga as if he wanted to kill him.

“I think I’d remember meeting a ferret like you.” Yuuga said, still grinning. Right. Kacchan had met Yuga when he came to my school...

“Okay. How about we continue on now?” I said, my pitch rising as I talked, hoping to avoid a fight. Todoroki walked beside me as Kacchan and Yuuga followed.

 

~*~

 

King Explosion Murder has changed Flameon’s name to Icyhot

That’s actually much better. Thank you. - Icyhot

“Kacchan, don’t swear there are kids around.” I tried to stop him.

“Please, when I was younger I knew worse things than what I just said.” He rolled his eyes, hands in his pockets.

“Sounds about right.” Yuuga jabbed, not even trying to hide how little he cared for him.

“Guys...” I said quietly. All I had wanted was a nice out with the four of us and no fighting. Todoroki put a hand on my shoulder in comfort.

 

~*~

 

“Yagi-sensei, can you give me some relationship advice?” I asked as I dragged a mini fridge across the beach. It had been bothering me for awhile, but Yuuga was determined to set me up with just about anyone and Todoroki wasn’t much better. And it wasn’t like I could talk to Kacchan about love. Not after what had happened in our past.

“Wouldn’t your mother or Kayama-san be better?” He said, looking a bit uncertain. Has he ever been in a relationship before? Maybe I am asking the wrong person.

“They would just tease me.” I answered. And they would do it ruthlessly. No doubt we would be eating red rice for weeks and one of them would manage to get the name of my big crush out.

“I might not be able to give you what you need, but I can always try.” He gave in. Oh thank god. I was worried I would have to resort to someone else. Or even worse, the source of my affections themself.

“Well, you see there’s this person I have a crush on. A really big, intense one, but I’ve only known them for a short while. Should I just leave it be and try just being friends or should I confess my feelings?” I said, trying to be vague about it. It was always hard for me to accept that I could gain a crush so quickly, but this one was almost as bad as the one I had had on Kacchan. Almost, because it hadn’t gotten as bad as me falling in love with Shinsou.

“It’s a crush, right?” I nodded, somewhat confused why he would want to clarify that. “Then I think you should keep it to yourself until you’re certain it’s more. Sometimes it’s good to keep things slow and see if it is more than you believe it is. It would be bad if you ended up hurting the other person if you find out it was only a crush and not love.”

“Okay. Thank you.” I responded, trying to take in all of his words. It was pretty sound advice from somebody I wasn’t sure had been in love before.

“Of course, young Midoriya. It is the least I can do.” He said. The words sent a shiver down my spine.

“Don’t call me that. You’re not All Might right now. Just call me Midoriya or Izuku.” I suggested in place of Young Midoriya. I could probably get along better with him if he stopped reminding me that he’s All Might by addressing me as young anything.

“Right, right...” Yagi nodded and I continued pulling the mini fridge through the sand.

 

~*~

 

“I heard from a little yellow birdy that you have a crush on someone.” Nemuri leaned over me. I was sitting on a couch and had been reading a book, but her hair was covering the pages.

“Which one?” I looked up at her, a touch of a growl in my throat. The only ones who she knew and had blond hair were Yagi and Yuuga. And they both liked to talk.

“Hm?” She seemed confused by what I meant. It is possible I could be asking which crush they were talking about considering I have many, but that would be stupid of me to say in a situation like this.

“Which one ratted me out?” I repeated with a few more words added on.

“Don’t worry, I don’t know who it is, yet.” She grinned. Which was odd to see when she was upside down. I stood up suddenly. I had been careful enough to not hit her, but my action had startled her away from the couch.

“It was both of them.” I said and began to head for the door.

“Izu-kun!” She called after me. I stopped and turned back to her.

“Sorry, Nemuri-chan, but they have to pay!” I shouted back with a trademarked Dragonfly grin.

“Remember, no maiming and no killing!” She said, instead of whatever I had expected from her. It would be easier to have her with me so she could see for herself that I did neither. I thought for a moment before asking,

“Want to help?”

“I’m the one they told, though.”

“I know.”

“What the hell, why not?” She shrugged and quickly strode past me.

“Glad to have you by my side.”

 

~*~

 

Thanks for the fun time at the amusement park! - Broccoli

No problem - Sparkle Sparkle

Are you okay with me dumping some heavy stuff on you right now? - Sparkle Sparkle

Of course. - Broccoli

I know you’ve been wondering ever since I introduced you to my siblings why we share different family names. - Sparkle Sparkle

Am I really that obvious? I had tried not to make it show.

It’s because we aren’t blood related. - Sparkle Sparkle

I also have an older brother that I’m not sure any of us have talked about.  - Sparkle Sparkle

Maman had been trying to divorce my biological father for four years, but he wouldn’t agree to anything until he got one of us into his custody. My brother chose and sacrificed himself for my future wellbeing. As soon as they were divorced, maman finally got married to the man she had been dating in the last year of their separation (before the divorce). - Sparkle Sparkle

That man is now my father, and at the time had been my classmate Hagakure Toru’s dad. It was because Toru and I were friends and were spending so much time together with everything going on, that they even met. - Sparkle Sparkle

At the same time, our dad was mourning the “death” of his wife and the mother of his two children, Toru and Hisoka. If it weren’t for Maman and he growing closer he probably still would be. After they had lost their biological mother, he started retreating and putting more into his work than one should if they wish to be healthy. - Sparkle Sparkle

I say she died in quotation marks, because that isn’t quite accurate. I’m not sure if you can call what happened to her a death. Both my dad and his ex-wife had an invisibility type quirk, but her’s lead her to be unable to be heard whenever she turned invisible. It eventually got to the point where she just started disappearing. Slowly, but she was literally fading from the world, even as she tried to keep her quirk off. - Sparkle Sparkle

Eventually she just faded away until there was nothing left to see, hear, or feel. She was just gone.- Sparkle Sparkle

Hisoka doesn’t remember much of this since he had still been rather young at the time, but Toru and I, we’d been there during those final moments and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. - Sparkle Sparkle

I’m sorry that happened. - Broccoli

It’s not your fault. Besides, we’re all one big happy family, now! - Sparkle Sparkle

: ) - Broccoli

Are you happy, though?

Chapter Text

“Yuuga-kun, are you okay? I mean, after what you told me last night-” I was cut off by a tangy block pushed into my mouth. It began to crumble on my tongue and I realized it was cheese.

“What do you think? Tasty?” He asked, as if I hadn’t been trying to start a conversation with him. Even if it meant cornering him while he was cooking.

“Well, yeah, it is.” I chewed it, enjoying the sharpness of it. It really was nice. I wonder where he got it? Wait a minute... “I wanted to talk to you about-”

“Shhh. Rule something or other of the Aoyama-Hagakure family, we don’t talk about tragic backstories after they’ve been revealed.” He shushed me, completely focused as he stirred the cream sauce in the pan. He had said it was a dish he had eaten in France once and loved to make on special occasions.

“But-” He shoved another piece of cheese in my mouth. This one was milder, creamier. Is he using two types of cheese? Isn’t that a bit much?

“No. Now eat your cheese.” I frowned but ate it anyways as he handed me another piece of the sharp cheese. Can’t bribe me with cheese forever, Yuuga-kun.

 

~*~

 

I finally found my phone after a couple of hours of searching. I opened it up and saw the forwarded number from Queen, who said it was Dabi’s. I registered him in my phone as Scarry.

I will be sending orders through here. - Dragonfly

Understood, boss. (`_´)ゞ - Dabman

I stared at the phone before sighing. He really had made a pun with his name and a kaomoji. This guy is unbelievable.

 

~*~

 

Surprisingly, I had gotten used to being accompanied by someone else everywhere I go, even if it’s not always for fun. Hachimitsu, who was my current escort, parked his car near Nemuri’s. I thanked him for driving me home and entered the house.

When I opened my mouth to say I’m home , a dark blur passed by me and out the door. I watched it go, recognizing from her hair and figure it was Nemuri. I was about to follow her when I heard a familiar sound I had almost forgotten. I quickly shuffled my shoes off and dropped my briefcase.

I ran into the living room where my mom was crying on the floor. I wanted to ask her questions, but she was in no state for that with the way she was trembling. Instead, I put my arms around her as best as I could. Without knowing what happened, I couldn’t tell her it was alright, but I could do this much.

My mom hugged me back and told me through her sobbing, “I think Nemuri-san and I just broke up.”

When she was calmer, we sat on the couch. Her face was blotchy and red and I could tell she still felt like crying more, but was holding back. I waited for her to drink some water before asking her to explain what she meant.

“How did this happen? I thought you two are happy together.” I asked, my tone quiet and soft. I didn’t want her to feel like I was angry with her. It would only upset her more and I don’t want to do that.

“We are- we were.” She corrected herself, staring into the glass.

“Then why would you have broken up? You two never fought before now.” I said. It didn’t make sense. They were so happy together. The first happiness mom allowed for herself since my father.

“Izuku... we’ve fought before. We always made sure to do it when you weren’t around. Or rather, it always ended up that way when you weren’t here.” She explained and it struck something in my chest. Were they not actually in love as I thought they were? Was it all a lie? It- it couldn’t have been... They were so happy together.

“But you always made up, right? So why was this so different?” I asked, wanting to get to the point. There had to be something that could fix this.

“We were talking about my wedding ring and it got worse this time.” As if on cue, it seemed to shine. Mom wore it mostly to ward off any potential suitors when she was younger. Nowadays she wore it because she was used to it. Thinking about her without it just seemed strange.

“So it’s about my father.”

“... Yes. Nemuri-san told me it was okay to get rid of the ring after so many years, but I can’t and she doesn’t understand.” She took another gulp. She looked like she was ready to cry again.

“Mom, it’ll be okay. She’ll come back.” I put my hand over her’s. Nemuri had to come back. It would break my mom’s heart if she didn’t.

“I don’t think she will. She said she wasn’t.” My mom sighed. It was as if she was more worried about my reaction than about herself. That isn’t right. She needs to take care of herself more... “I’m sorry, Izuku. I know she’s a good friend to you and this will make everything more complicated for you.”

“You have nothing to apologize for, mom.”

 

~*~

 

I don’t think anyone’s on, so I’m just going to vent. - Sunshine Boy

I got home from work and I haven’t even said anything when Nemuri-san’s running past me and out the door. I almost followed her until I heard my mom crying in the living room. - Sunshine Boy

My mom thinks they broke up. - Sunshine Boy

Apparently they’ve been fighting about my mom still wearing her wedding ring when I wasn’t around. - Sunshine Boy

I’m not really sure what to do to help them. - Sunshine Boy

King Explosion Murder and one other is typing...

 

~*~

 

I heard what sounded like explosion noises, but it couldn’t be Kacchan. The only time I could hear the sound of explosions from Kacchan’s apartment was when we were kids and he had been experimenting with his quirk. It ended up with the Bakugous staying with us for a little while when there apartment was being rebuilt.

I looked out my window and there he was. I can’t believe it’s him. What’s he doing here?

“Come on down, nerd. We’re going to gorge ourselves on unhealthy shit until you feel better.” He whispered, still looking as aggressive as ever. I looked back at my closed door and thought about how upset Nemuri and my mom would be if they found out I snuck out. Except Nemuri’s not here and my mom will be too emotionally drained to bother.

I jumped out the window with practiced ease and landed with a roll. Kacchan tsked at my moves and led me to the front. Leaning against a familiar black car were Yuuga and Todoroki.

“What are you guys doing here?” I asked as we approached.

“Didn’t spikey here tell you? We’re here to cheer you up.” Yuuga said with a concerned smile. Todoroki nodded and I could feel tears starting to well up in my eyes. I wiped them away as fast as I could. He put his arms around me in a comforting way instead of the desperate way my mom clung to me earlier. “It’s okay to cry, you know? No shame in it.”

I have the best friends anyone could ask for.

 

~*~

 

The next morning a man wearing a baggy sweater, I wouldn’t be seen wearing unless I was dared to, was on the front porch. I recognized him as Nemuri’s cousin and Shinsou’s dad, Aizawa Shouta, and blinked. What the fuck is he doing here? I repeated this thought aloud with a bit more politeness.

“I’m here for Nemuri’s things.”

“Eh? Okay?” I watched as he moved from each room gathering things that had been left about. Things I hadn’t given much thought to except that it was a part of this household. I helped, a couple of times, separating between what was my mom’s and what was Nemuri’s.

Going through all of these objects made me feel horrible. It was as if my family had lost someone dear and we were now getting rid of things after fourty-nine days had passed. With the way my mom had cried last night, it really felt like we were grieving.

After Aizawa left, I went back through the rooms he had taken from. They all felt empty. I hadn’t realized until now how much Nemuri had been living here and had little things scattered about. I plopped down on the couch when I was done and sighed. What’s going to happen now?

I noticed something jutting out between the cushions. I pulled it out and stared. It was a picture of the three of us my mom had taken more than a month ago. It was a little folded from being in the couch, but it looked new otherwise. The three of us dressed in formal clothing before we went to the work function for heroes smiled up at me. I had no idea my mom had this printed...

Please come back, Kayama Nemuri.

 

~*~

 

In case you don’t already know, Kayama’s staying at my place, but all she does is wail in a pillow or watch tv while eating anything she can get her hands on. - Shinsou

It’s kind of weird to watch and I really want it to stop soon. - Shinsou

What happened? - Shinsou

 

~*~

 

“Izuku! I’ve got some good news from Nemuri!” Yuna exclaimed when I walked through the door. Good news? Is she coming back? I lifted my head from my phone to see her leaving her desk. She was sparkling like always and it was somehow more intense today. I wish I had sunglasses. “She says you can work on your side-project again! Isn’t that great?”

“Er, yeah. Thank you, Yuna-san.” I gave a weak smile. It’s great I can go back to being Dragonfly, but it’s not what I what I want, right now. She gave me a big hug and then escorted me to the elevator. Does she know? Is that why she’s doing this? Of course she knows, she’s Nemuri-chan’s friend...

It hit me when I finally got to my office, as I had started calling it, that Nemuri had given me permission to be Dragonfly. This meant I had to start making plans for working with the underworld again.

 

~*~

 

Now that I was allowed to be Dragonfly again, I decided it was time for a small change. It was hard to wear all these layers during this summer heat. So it was time to revise my entire wardrobe. Including that damned wig that fell off during Death Roach’s escape.

Sadly, the tie had to be kept to show off who I was. Which also meant I had to wear some kind of blouse with an appropriate collar and center my entire outfit around that. I suppose the real question is what kind of wig I should wear?

 

~*~

 

I arranged a time to meet up with Queen at her house the next night. The front door was unlocked, which was just stupid, even if she was expecting me. This is her home. She needs to be more cautious when it comes to things like this.

“Blond doesn’t suit you.” She greeted me with a laugh. I frowned, quite liking the blond wig I was wearing. It was somewhere between Yuuga and Yagi’s hair with waves that ended above my shoulders.

“Yeah, well I don’t care what you think.” I said childishly. Damn it. Now she’s laughing at my response. I controlled my expression and reminded myself my main objective here. And it was not to talk about my hair choices. “We need to have a talk.”

“Oh? About what?” She looked as mockingly curious as ever. She didn’t change much in the three weeks I hadn’t seen her, despite the way she looked when I saw her with Ingenium.

“I saw you with Ingenium the other day. What do you think you were doing?” I hissed and then realized I probably looked more like a feral cat than anyone threatening. By the amused smirk on her face, Queen agreed.

“And what if I told you it was because I wanted to manipulate him and keep myself safe in case you decide to give up on our deal?” I tensed. If that was what she was doing, then I had to make arrangements to get rid of her quickly and quietly. I would not allow her to hurt him. She leaned back, casually, and waved her hand.“Don’t worry, little boy. He doesn’t know I’m a villain. He thinks I’m a civilian like any other person on the street and I don’t hold any nefarious plots for him.”

“Then why were you-”

“We were on a date.” She stated bluntly. Is she joking? Yes, that’s what it looked like, and I’m sure he thought so, but was she being serious? Was she actually dating Ingenium and not just dating him? She sighed and rolled her eyes as she explained. “For some reason the hero thought I was just oh so wonderful and wasn’t scared away by any of my threats and warnings. So don’t blame me.”

“Do you love him?” I asked. This was the most important thing I needed to know. If she was just playing with him, then I would tell her stop. If not, then I would have to figure something out.

“What? I don’t know why you’re asking me that.” She blinked, stunned at my question. Is it really something that’s so confusing?

“Do you love him?” I repeated. She looked away, staring at her high heeled boots.

“... Yes. I think I might.” She said quietly. She almost sounded ashamed of her feelings, but Queen never felt ashamed of anything. It isn’t like her.

“Okay, then. I don’t think he made the right choice going out with someone like you, but if you two actually love each other, then I won’t get in your way.” I told her. She looked grateful, inciting rage. She’s destroyed lives and hurt people who only want to help. She tried to blackmail me. She has no right to look so happy. I left before I could say anything I would regret.

 

~*~

 

“Thank you for having me.” I bowed as I entered Shinsou’s home. It was in a nice apartment building, much nicer than Kacchan’s. Which was amazing since his dad was a fashion designer and his mom used to be a professional volleyball player, both had a good salary. Shinsou’s home was bigger, too.

“It’s cool. My dad’s out on hero work and Kayama said she was going for it, too.” Shinsou told me, dismissing my greeting to anyone else who might be here. My face began to heat up and I hoped it wasn’t turning red. I’m here alone with Shinsou? I was shaken out of my train of thought by a round, light orange cat rubbing up against my leg. It looks like a little like ball. “Oh. That’s Momo. She’ll come up to you and love you, but she’s just trying to get more treats.”

“She’s adorable. Is she the only cat you have?” I asked, bending down to pet her.  She stared up with begging green eyes and purred.

“No. We’ve got seven of them. My dads used to have five, but they adopted two more after my paperwork went through so I wouldn’t feel alone.” Shinsou grinned as he spoke.

“That sounds nice.” I hadn’t had any pets. At first it was because my father had been allergic to fur. Then it was because my mom was trying to handle being on her own and neither of us had time. By the time I got old enough to take care of one, I was so into hero analysis and doing my schoolwork because I had nothing else to do. I wish I had one.

“Yeah.” He agreed. He picked up Momo and started leading. He poked his head into a room and quickly came back into the hallway. “Shit. We shouldn’t enter the living room.”

“Why not? Is there something wrong?” There wasn’t a dead body left there, right? And Nemuri-chan’s not here, so there’s no worry about an awkward interaction.

“My pops is there. I forgot to warn you and I don’t want to freak you out.” Pops? Shinsou had spoken about his dads, but it hadn’t hit me that there was a second one until now. It’s probably because I haven’t met him before.

“Why would I freak out?” I asked. There shouldn’t be an issue unless it’s a villain. What if it’s Kurogiri? I can almost see him with Aizawa if it weren’t for the fact that Aizawa’s a hero. Aizawa no doubt hates the League of Villains and their experiments, if he even knows about them.

“Is your friend here, Hitoshi? I wanna meet him!” A loud voice exclaimed. It sounded oddly familiar and not something I would ever associate with Shinsou.

“No! Not today!” Shinsou yelled back, looking irritated. He grabbed my hand and pulled me further down the hall into another room. On the way, I caught a glance of tall man pouting, limp blond hair matching his mood.

“Was that... Present Mic?” I asked, stunned. It was almost inconceivable. I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Never mind. Anything can make sense if you work hard enough to make it make sense.

“Yeah... He’s my other dad since dad and he are married. The living room’s a big mess thanks to him and Kayama.” Shinsou explained, looking embarrassed. It was cute to see on him.

“That’s amazing! You’re being raised by heroes!” I realized, thinking about what that must be like. It was obviously different than Todoroki’s home life situation and it meant he had connections to the hero world now. After all of our talks, I knew he wanted to be one just like them.

“I guess. Wait, you know dad’s Eraserhead?” He shrugged. I blinked in return, my brain trying to catch up with what he just said.

“Your dad’s Eraserhead? No wonder he always looks so tired and like he’s done with everyone’s shit every time I’ve seen him.” I covered my mouth as soon as the words were out. That was super rude! Oh no! What if Shinsou-kun gets upset? I can’t believe this. I immediately apologized. “I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t say that about your dad.”

“No no! It was surprisingly accurate. I like it.” Shinsou chuckled. I felt the tension leave me as I joined him in his amusement. Although, I was a little guilty for my bad mouthing in him in my thoughts and assessments of him. Eraserhead was a wonderful hero I had looked up to almost as much as All Might. I had even based some of the things I did as Dragonfly off of him.

Shinsou pulled a brown cat with white swirls on him out of one of his dresser’s drawers and brought him over. He was long and kind of scrawny, but looked more tired than anything else. “Hey, Moka. This is Moka, he always manages to pull out my drawers and sleep in them. His brother Fuku is probably under the bed, so you should watch out. He goes after people’s feet.”

“Thanks for the warning.” I said, suddenly wary of getting near Shinsou’s bed.

 

~*~

 

“Yagi-san, what do you do in your free time?” We were taking a break and watching the moon. It was still early in the evening, but as the days passed the moon had been coming up earlier. It worried my mom, but she was okay with it since I was still being escorted around.

“What do you mean?” He asked, his tone confused. It was almost as if he had never heard of such a thing. It was a possibility I had never thought about before.

“Your free time. What do you do when you’re not doing heroics or training me?” I pressed. Has he just been a hero for so long at all times of the day that he’s never thought about doing anything else? That’s just sad. “Please tell me you’re doing something for yourself.”

“Well, I get drinks sometimes with my friend when he’s not on duty. And I’ve been picking up knitting.” I wanted to cry for this man and I was very close to doing so. He needed to expand his interests.

“That’s it?” I asked, my despair was blatant in my tone. This poor guy. Hero or not, people do have fulfilling lives on the side. This guy doesn’t seem to have any such thing. What is he going to do when his quirk has disappeared?

“What do you mean?” He repeated his earlier question. This poor, poor man. If Yuuga-kun was here, he would no doubt be crying right now.

“I know it might seem like your youth has flown past, but you can still do things and have actual fun outside, you know.” I told him. He continued to stare at me as if he had no idea what I was saying. I tried to think of something that he could do in his free time now that he had more of it. Something that would interest him and help him. “That’s it. We’re going to work on your form and muscles.”

“But I’m fine?” He said.

“Not your All Might form. I’m talking about you, Yagi-san. You need to be healthier if you’re ever planning on not looking like a skeleton.” This would be good. I could even drag my mom into this so she would have something and someone else to focus on. Whenever something was wrong, she would always need a project to help her. Yagi opened his mouth, but I quickly cut him off. “No complaints.”


~*~

 

“What’s with the blond hair?” Dabi asked as soon as he saw me. What’s with you guys dissing it before you’ve even said hi?

“Since I was seen when getting Death Roach out, I had to change it. You got a problem?” I glared at him. I wasn’t sure I would ever want to put more people into this team if all they would do is make fun of my choices. Wait. What team? I don’t have a team, do I?

“No. It’s very orb like.” Dabi said dryly. I was going to end up killing them both someday.

“I hate all of you.” I muttered and ignored his barking laugh.

I lead the way through the dark street, lights from shops too bright and colorful to look like. An area like this was the kind of place that would immediately get an adult’s attention on me if I was my usual self. As Dragonfly, however, I looked older and dressed similarly to the type of people who wander here. I explained to Dabi that he would be silent the entire time I was doing business and was there for protection and intimidation. He seemed both amused and pissed off by this, but it didn’t matter how he felt. I couldn’t have him screwing this up for me.

“Dragonfly, it’s been awhile.” Kurogiri greeted me properly when I walked in. This. This was a proper villain greeting. Not making fun of me for a change in color style.

“At least you’re not making fun of me.” I grumbled, my mood partially lifted. I leaned on my hand as I sat on a stool and Dabi found a place not to far away to silently stand. “You’re my new favorite person.”

“I still don’t sell alcohol to minors.” Kurogiri stated. He would always hold it over my head like that. Not that I even wanted a drink, but I took it to mean he was warming up to me. As freaky and weird as this thing of purple smoke was, I kind of liked him. More than Sakurai at the cafe, anyway.

“Fuck you, too, then.” I said bluntly before letting out a short laugh. “I’m joking. I’ve got people for that if I want it. No, I just came back to say I’m back in business and if people want to get information from me, then they have to come to me. You’ll spread that for me, won’t you?”

The smoke seemed to raise an eyebrow. Again, how does he do shit like that? He gestured to Dabi. “Who’s that guy? Your new lover?”

“Of course not! As if I’d ever betray my darling Shigaraki!” I exclaimed, falling into that disgusting act of mine. Shigaraki was probably worse than Queen. At least she was emi-mature. He’s practically a child with a destructive quirk.

“Uh-huh. One day he’s going to kill you if you keep that up.” Kurogiri replied, disbelieving. That was just fine. I only needed to fool Shigaraki, no one else. If I freaked him out as much as he did me, then everything was fine in the universe.

“He’d never. Which reminds me, please give this to him for me. My gift to him.” I gestured Dabi over. He handed me a perfectly wrapped box I had him pick up for me a few days ago. I then set it on the bar counter for Kurogiri.

“He’s not going to look.” He stated the obvious, taking it.

“That’s too bad. I think he might actually like this so he doesn’t have to keep his pinkies out.” I grinned. Kurogiri’s eyes narrowed and it was blatant how much he wanted to open it himself. I hopped off the stool and waved. “Bye bye!”

As soon as I was a block away, I finally let go of the crazed grin I had. It was always horrible having to act like that in there. But it was something I was willing to do if it meant I could get the information I needed to help people.

“What kind of act was that?” Dabi asked, addressing it out loud. I wanted to cry, but Dragonfly doesn’t cry. It was so embarrassing having to be like that.

“Shut up.” I said instead, not able to come up with a better come back. You make one mistake when meeting someone and you’re stuck doing it forever! I stormed off, forcing Dabi to keep up with me.

 

~*~

 

“Mom, why are we at the beach again?” Mom had visited me at work just as I was getting ready to leave. She had then boarded the train with me to the beach I had been training at with Yagi. We had no swimsuits, nor anything else we would take to a beach. Of course, this was junk beach, but the thought counted.

“I came here to do something and I wanted you to be here.” We walked onto the bridge to the gazebo in the water. My mom pulled off the ring she had on her for all my life and raised her arm up.

“Wait! Mom, you could sell that instead of throwing it into the water. We’d get money for it, too.” I stopped her. It was a much more beneficial way than just throwing it away somewhere.

“Izuku, if I do that, we could always buy it back if I ever felt like I needed to. I would always remember I have an option to get it back and I can’t allow that. If I throw it here, this will be the end of it. There will be no getting it back and I will finally be free.” I nodded and smiled for her. She rose her arm again and this time it released. I watched it go in as best as I could, admiring the distance. We’re finally free of you.

We stood there and watched the sunset along the waves in a peaceful silence for a few more minutes. She turned first and I followed beside her. She looked happy and free of the emotional weight she always seemed to carry in these moments.

“Even if Nemuri-san and I aren’t together anymore, she was right that I should get rid of the ring. I just wish the fighting hadn’t been the end of us.” She said with a sad, wistful note. I held her hand and she kept smiling, tears gathering in her eyes.

“It will be okay. You’ve still got me.”

“Thank you.”

Chapter Text

A month had passed since school started. Things had been going well. My day would always start with a morning run and then getting ready for school. I would then spend the school day with Yuuga, most of the time we talked about the training we were doing and the hero fights that happened recently. Afterwards, Yagi would pick me up and we would jog to the station, and when we got off the train, to Genius Office.

When we arrive, Yuna hands Yagi the food my mom had made. They had gotten over the awkwardness of their first meeting over time. Yuna had thought Yagi was chasing me then and attacked him. She could legitimately say she beat up All Might.

I would then work for a few hours and when I was done, Yagi would be waiting for me. On the way home, I would carry him as I ran home. Mom would feed us and try to convince Yagi to stay.

Yagi only managed to get away once.

When night fell, I acted as Dragonfly. Most of the time I sat at the cafe while I sent Dabi out to do things for me. Sakurai Souma, formerly Death Roach, tried to wait on me, but ended up breaking more dishes than delivering them. Yuzuru would laugh at him while his sister sent him to mop floors and clean clean counters.

So how I got to this new disruption of habit and normalcy, I don’t know. And I certainly wasn’t expecting this person to interrupt it. Yuna knew I would freak out if she told me who it was.

Ingenium sat in front of me, settled into the couch. I had served him some tea and was now waiting for him to tell me why he’s here. Whatever the reason, I’m not sure I’ll like it...

“I met Queen.” He finally said. I froze and tried not to show how nervous I was. I knew all about how he met Queen since I was the cause of it. But did they meet again? They wouldn’t have, right? “She told me she was your spy in the villain community.”

“Yes.” I agreed and took a sip of tea. My face was hidden so he shouldn’t be able to see the weird frown I had. I had to school my features during those few seconds. “What about it?”

“I admire your dedication to helping people. But aren’t you a bit young to put yourself in such danger?” What. I am constantly in danger just by working at a hero agency. How much of a difference does this make?

“How old do you think I am?” I asked, trying to hide my frustration. His answer could change how this conversation would go.

“If I judge you by your looks, you can’t be any older than my brother, but Best Jeanist would never accept anyone who hasn’t gone to high school. So at least nineteen.” I tried not to laugh. He hired me when I was fourteen, I haven’t even gotten into high school, and I’m still just fifteen. Ingenium clearly overestimated Best Jeanist’s common sense. However, I could use this to my advantage.

 

~*~

 

Since it was my day off work and my training with Yagi was earlier in the day, I was spending the afternoon with Kacchan. It reminded me of the days before our third year of middle school, when we still hung out after school where no one could see us.

We spent over a hour playing at an arcade with excited competitiveness. It was the first time in a long time I saw him actually smile as we played. Although it looks more like a smirk. Whatever.

“I’m starting to feel kind of tired. There’s a cafe around here that’s supposed to be really good. Can we head over there?” I told him after our fourth time playing DDR. We were both sweating and if he tried, he could probably make an explosion using his entire body. Something he had done in elementary with rather bad after effects.

“Whatever.” He shrugged. I beamed at him and took his hand as I pulled him along. I had spent my breaks during work yesterday looking up this place and where it was in relation to the arcade.

The interior was decorated with flowers and lace tablecloths. It’s just as nice as the images showed it to be. After taking a seat, we were greeted by a server who had squealed as soon as she saw us.

“It’s so nice to see people like you out in the open! It makes me feel so much better when I see you being confident in your feelings.” She gushed, handing us our menus. I blinked up at her with a blank smile. I have no idea what she’s talking about. “Take your time!”

“What was that about?” I said after she was out of hearing. Kacchan clicked his tongue in annoyance and signed. Look around us. Oh.

At other tables were all couples or girls in groups. This wasn’t just a nice, regular cafe after all. I thought it just had good food. I’m sorry. I signed back to him.

He just shook his head and looked at the menu. In my embarrassment, I looked everywhere else but what was in front of me. I observed the other people and watched them eat. One of the more popular dishes being ordered was what looked like a cake covered in warm, melted chocolate with chocolate ice cream.

I wanted to run out of the cafe at the sight of it. And if it didn’t make me seem like a complete spaz, I would have. Instead I lifted up my menu, trying to ignore the blatant shaking of my hands. I hope it’ll pass of as nervousness.

I began to lose myself and all of the outside as I stared at the menu. It all just looked blurry. One, two, three, one, two, three... I attempted to focus on my breathing to calm me down.

“Get away from me!” A panicked and angry voice yelled, bringing me out of my mind. A chair skidded and had fallen to the ground in the moments I set down my menu to see what was happening.

On the floor was Kacchan looking like a scared cat scrambling for a way to get up and out. Next to our table was another server holding one of those melted chocolate cakes. Oh no.

“Are you okay, Kacchan?” I asked, rushing to his side and trying to help him up. He pushed me away staring at me with wide eyes. It’s like he can’t even see me. He ran out the door and I chased after him.

I didn’t bother giving an apology to the store, too worried about him. Besides, I could always do that later. He ran as if his life depended on it, pushing people out of the way without care. He must be reliving that moment. I’m so sorry.

I couldn’t keep up and eventually lost him. The only thing I could hope for was that he returned home safely.

I called Yagi and asked if we could do some more training.

 

~*~

 

Four days had passed and still no word from Kacchan. Although Uncle Masaru had sent a message that he had gotten home, which was something.

I sighed as I took a sip of the deep dark abyss. It tasted disgusting as always, but it was what I needed to get through the night. Even after having returned as Dragonfly for over a month, I had a lot of work to catch up on to build my reputation.

“I see your disguise has gotten better.” Fingers lifted up strands of my purple wig. Her voice, as usual, mocking and sickly sweet.

“With no help from you.” I respond, glaring up at Queen from my glasses. She was in a casual version of her costume, easily thought to be a regular suit if it weren’t for the white mask she wore. Because masks aren’t eye catching at all.

“Oh please don’t be so mean. I didn’t come here just to take abuse from you.” She pouted, taking a seat across from me. She lifted up her phone, my message telling her to meet me bright and hard to see. “What is it you wanted to talk about?”

“Your friend visited earlier,” I said, putting emphasis on ‘friend.’ “When I was in civilian clothes, no less.”

“What about him?” She asked, her voice wavering ever so slightly. If I weren’t constantly looking for her weaknesses, I wouldn’t have noticed.

I took another sip of the abyss that tried to consume my soul.

“You need to tell him about your identity as Queen. I don’t know much about your relationship, nor do I care, but this needs to be done. I can’t have him continuing to visit me and condescending me while I am working. It delays everything.” I stated, turning my focus back to the papers in front of me. There haven’t been any sightings of Chitinoid or Little Crow since we broke out Death Roach. I hope they’re alright...

“I can’t. If he were to know, no matter what his reaction, he would try to get involved with Queen.” Ah yes. Please talk about yourself in the third sense. Not that I’m much better when it comes to Dragonfly. She had a point. He would try to get involved with his “for justice and beyond!” personality.

“However, if you really want your relationship to work, you need to tell him. And I’m certain you’ve already told him about that special person.” I noticed my mug was empty and gestured to Yuzuru to get me another. Queen nodded. So she has told him about her son. Interesting. “Then I trust you will do this.”

She stood up and left, her parting words quiet. “You shouldn’t trust anyone, especially me.”

Yuzuru handed me my new cup, staring at Queen as she walked away. He had a strange expression in his face for the usually laid back person he was. I rose an eyebrow at him when he turned his attention to me.

“What did you say to her? I’ve been here since I started high school and that’s the first time I’ve seen her look like she’s about to cry.” I had so much to say I wasn’t sure how to respond. I ignored his question and took another sip of the abyss that was one day going to kill me.

 

~*~

 

Well everything is just going to shit, isn’t it? First there was Ingenium visiting me at work, then I caused Kacchan to relive his experience with the sludge villain, I almost made Queen cry and now Yuzuru is less talkative about what he overhears at other tables, and now this. A raggedy looking man at my door on a Sunday morning. Just perfect.

“What can I do for you Aizawa-san?” I asked as politely as I could. It was five in the morning and every second that passed was another second I could have been training. And I really didn’t want him to hear him say that he was here for something Nemuri forgot.

“I need you to get my cousin out of my home.” Aizawa gripped my shoulders It would be a lie if I were to later say I didn’t shout in surprise at his words. He looked desperate and even more tired than usual. “I don’t care what you have to do. Get my cousin out of my place and back in your’s. I’ll do whatever I have to to repay you.”

“Are you trying to suggest that I should get my mom and Nemuri-chan back together?”

“Yes. That. I don’t care honestly. Just get her out of my house.” He said and handed me a paper. I looked down to see what it was, but when I looked up again, he was nowhere to be seen.

If it weren’t for the phone number in my palm, I would have believed this was all a dream. I now had the number of an underground hero in my hand. An underground hero who wanted me to get my mom and the R-rated hero, Midnight, back together. On top of everything else.

Using the loud and angry words of Kacchan, what the fuck is happening to my life?

 

~*~

 

“Yuuga-kun, you really are my shining light in this bleak and dark life.” I groaned, lying my head down on the table and staring at the boba in my hands. We were out for a break from all the other distractions of our lives. This time was dedicated to us, and only us, to talk.

“What’s happened now?” Yuuga asked. He sounded concerned, but I’m certain if I looked up I would see him smiling. Not that it matters. We’ve already discussed him taking enjoyment from someone else more in pain than he is. A very long discussion.

“I had dinner with the Bakugous last night. Apparently, not only does Aunty Mitsuki want to date and fuck my mom, but Uncle Masaru already has. Well, done at least one of those.” I amended, not actually wanting to think about my mom’s sex life. It had come out of nowhere when Aunt Mitsuki started talking about how much she wanted to date my mom after my father left but could never find the appropriate time. It just made the dinner all the more awkward since Kacchan still wouldn’t talk to me, let alone look at me, because of what happened last week.

“Holy- Are you being serious? That guy’s mom wants to date yours and his dad already did?”

“Yeah... It was back when they were in high school. And Auntie Mitsuki didn’t appear in their lives until late university.” I sighed. It somehow made a lot of their actions have a lot more sense now. Things I had never questioned before. But all I want is... “Nemuri-chan, come back...”

“I’m sure she will eventually. They were too in love to be able to stay away from each other for so long. Besides, don’t you have her cousin on your side to help them get back together?” Yuuga put his hands on mine, gazing at me. I nodded slowly.

“But what if they don’t want to get back together? It’s already been a month.” I said. A month where my mom seemed to be just the same as she was before and no word from Nemuri.

“It’s been a month of Auntie staying at her cousin’s apartment and your mom trying to distract herself by taking care of your physical educator. That doesn’t sound at all like they’re happy with the way things turned out.” He explained. It made sense when he put it that way. Mom had been overzealous when it came to taking care of Yagi and Nemuri had a place of her own so she didn’t need to stay with Aizawa.

“Thank you. You’re right as always.” I smiled, feeling like some of my doubts have been defeated. He really is my shining light to keep me going.

“As if there was any doubt.” He huffed, but a true smile was on his face. The time I spent with Yuuga was always the most healing, I’ve found. No matter how much work was piled on me, there would always be time to get to my oasis

 

~*~

 

I was trying to make plans on how to get my mom and Nemuri together while doing my schoolwork. I had training just about every day and work at Genius Office. Not to mention handling Dabi and the League of Villains while I’m at the cafe. All while trying to balance this all with my friends.

No one would be surprised by how exhausted I am, then, right? Nor how much I just want to tell Todoroki-kun I want to go to sleep. Yet here I was, trying to do my best to make him feel better as my sanity slipped away.

When the call finally ended, I felt myself ready to drift off to the blissful land of sleep.

“You’re really quite pathetic. I wonder how Todoroki-kun would respond if he knew you didn’t actually care about him.” My eyes flew open. That voice was too familiar and self-deprecating for my taste. At the foot of my bed was a girl with braided green hair fiddling with the end of one of her braids.

“You- what are you doing here?” I gulped in fear. I thought these had stopped after I changed my medication. I thought it was just a side effect. Why is she here?

This one was one I wanted to forget most of all from the hallucinations. She appeared the day I was forced to wear a girl’s uniform by my classmates and referred to by the wrong pronouns. Thankfully none of them knew my dead name other than Kacchan and he never told anyone.

“I can’t be anywhere else. I’m you after all.” She said close to tears. I know, but I don’t want you to be here. I never wanted you to be here. “I don’t want to be here either. I was happy not existing. Why am I alive?”

“I don’t know. I was just fine without you. I was just fine...” Except that without them there I finally jumped. Without them to stop me, I was ready to die. Maybe it would be better to have them around, this time...

Chapter Text

I took a deep breath, Izuki standing behind me. I knocked on the plain door and waited. I could hear footsteps thudding against the floor to get to the door. It opened, and in front of me now stood Nemuri.

“We need to talk.” I said. She stared at me as if she couldn’t believe I was there. She regained her composure and let me inside, keeping silent.

“That’s out of character for her.” Izuki observed, speaking my thought aloud, “Do you think it’s because of you? What if she never expected or wanted to see you, again?”

“It’s good to see you. I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you in the last months.” She ran a hand through hair like she was stressed outside of the normal realms of heroing and teaching. It must have been a habit she had picked up recently, because I had never seen her do it before.

“It’s alright. I know you just weren’t sure what to do after what happened.” I reassured her. It was awkward for me to approach her, afterwards. I even shied away from the idea of giving her a few words of comfort. After all, she had just broken my mom’s heart.

“You do, don’t you? Because you’re too observant for your own good and it weighs you down.” Izuki whispered mournfully by my ear.

“What is it you wanted to talk about?” Nemuri asked, trying to continue the conversation without awkward silence settling in. I took a deep breath to prepare myself and organize my thoughts.

“It’s not what I want to talk about, as much as need to. Particularly, your relationship with my mom.” I stated, purposefully ignoring the way Nemuri shrunk in on herself. I had finally created a plan to get the two of them together and this was it. If it didn’t work, then Aizawa would probably haunt me forever more. “You two moved fast. Much faster than anyone was expecting, even you. While you fit nicely as if you had been living with us for years, you still only knew us for a few months. And I think that was the source of the issue. Things were moving quickly, way too fast for my mom to handle. Especially for her to give up the safety of her wedding ring.

“That’s not to say that you were in the wrong about that, but it was too much at once. You just have to understand she hadn’t dated anyone since my gene donor left us. You were the first one in ten years she actually wanted a relationship with. And then you asked her to give up the security of the idea of having my gene donor come back. It’s difficult.”

“I didn’t... I didn’t want her to have to rely on him if she was in need. I didn’t want him having any claim on her after what he did to the both of you, in any way.” Nemuri clenched her hands in her lap.

“I know. I don’t either and it can be frustrating at times, but my mom still has good memories with him.” My phone buzzed in my pocket, reminding me of the limited time I had. The set time I had given myself as a just in case. I stood up and walked to the door. “I’ve got to go. Yagi-san is waiting for me.”

“I’m glad you came. I missed you.” Nemuri said. Her voice was burdened with guilt and loneliness.

“I missed you too.” I replied with complete honesty. She initiated the hug, but I hugged back just as tightly. Perhaps I missed her even more than I realized because I was reluctant to let go of her now that I had her here with me.

“Even after she abandoned you? Abandoned your mom? She left and didn’t even try to talk to you. Who does that remind you of?” No. Not today. I let go first, really needing to meet with Yagi on time or he would get worried. She rubbed my head and smiled. I smiled back, awkward and unsure. I really hope this works.

Just as I walked out the door and it was closing behind me, I added, “By the way, my mom doesn’t have a ring anymore.”

If she was yelling something, I couldn’t hear or her. Or so I would testify if asked.

“Why are you so kind? Why not just let them work it out for themselves like adults? Or do you just want to die as much as I do?” Izuki asked, constantly questioning my every move, my every decision. Is this the reason you’re here, to question everything I do and make me second guess myself? “You tell me. Is overwork really the way you want to go?”

 

~*~

 

“Kacchan, we need to talk.” I said, moving away from the gate. I had spent the last half hour waiting for him, getting a lot of stares. Some of them recognized me and were surprised by the blazer I wore for my new school. In return, I smiled and waved at my past tormentors.

Kacchan ignored me and continued walking. I reached out, hoping to barely touch him and get him to look at me. There had been radio silence for the last month and it was getting to be too much.

He turned towards me, but once he saw who it was, he jerked back. He bumped into someone and fell straight into me. I quickly opened my arms, because there was no way I would let him get hurt.

Strangely enough, I felt none of the weight I had expected. Instead, arms were wrapped around me as if trying to protect me. They quickly released me and I looked back. There was no time for us to turn around. What happened?

The girl Kacchan had bumped into turned around with wide eyes, staring right at me. She was larger than both of us, but looked like a first year. No wonder Kacchan fell.

“I-I am so sorry!” She squeaked. She glanced between us with fear. It would seem Kacchan's reputation goes throughout the school even now. And anybody would be scared of a student who can get into the private school I go to now.

“It's okay. No harm done. See?” I stood up, carefully avoiding Kacchan. My voice sounded a little different, but I didn’t pay much mind to it. Right now, all that mattered was calming the first year down before another rumor about Kacchan started floating around.

“Stupid. Look at me.” A voice said from behind me. The tone sounded like Kacchan but the voice-

“Is that my body?” I let out an inhuman noise and flailed my arms. No wonder my voice sounds different! I’m in Kacchan’s body!

“I am so so sorry! This is all my fault! I don’t have complete control over my quirk, yet, you see!” The girl with round glasses bowed down as far as she could without getting into a complete dogeza. Her ass is in the air... I refrained from saying my stray observation, knowing it would only embarrass her more.

“It’s okay, really. Is there any way to switch back?” I tried to calm her down. I’m not sure how well it worked, considering I was in Kacchan’s body and he’s always intimidating.

“N-no. It takes a month for people to return to their own bodies... I’m sorry...” Oh yay. Another month. Of more tiresome things. I kept my thoughts from my face and continued smiling, although it was a bit difficult. It was almost as if Kacchan didn’t smile that much. Oh right. He doesn’t.

“You mean. I have to stay in this body for the next month?” Oh wow. He looks like he’s Dragonfly right now. The girl nodded rapidly. Glad to know I actually do look intimidating and it wasn’t just me looking silly.

“Why don’t you get going? I’ll handle him.” I told her, keeping my voice low so he couldn’t hear. She nodded and rushed off to her friends who were waiting nearby. I turned back to him and helped him up. “Why were you staying on the ground?”

“Why the fuck are you here?” He spat, ignoring my question. “Shouldn’t you have school today?”

“They’re actually doing renovations today.” I mentioned casually, refusing to notice any of the negative feelings he’s holding. Strangely enough, Izuki was nowhere to be seen, nor had she said a word. Oh. It’s because of my body. Oh no. “Are you seeing anything unusual, Kacchan?”

“Besides you worrying about me in my skin? No.” My face twisted up with his irritation. Goodness this is going to be confusing and weird. He began to empty out my pockets. Noticing my stare, he said, “Give me my stuff. We’ve both got places to be.”

“Yeah. You’re right about that, but... After talking to you I needed to go see my trainer.” I told him hesitantly. I still needed to build muscle on my body and I couldn’t do that when stuck as Kacchan. He raised an eyebrow. “It’s to help me protect myself. I can do everything else I need to like this, but my body still needs to be trained.”

Kacchan just sighed as if he had expected I was going to inconvenience him more. It made anger well up in me. I wanted to yell at him that I didn’t want this either. But I kept it down. I stayed quiet and showed no such feeling. If I wanted to make up with him- properly make up with him- getting angry wouldn’t do a thing to help.

“What are you waiting for? Let’s go meet your trainer.”

 

~*~

 

“This is your trainer?” Kacchan said, completely unimpressed by the sight of Yagi.

“Midoriya, I see you have come with a friend. Who is this?” Yagi looked at Kacchan in surprise. I laughed nervously, catching his attention.

“This is my friend Kacchan. We switched bodies and it seems like we’re going to stay like this for the next month. He agreed to continue doing my training for me.” I explained. “I’d stay with you guys, but I have some work I need to get done.”

I quickly abandoned them, not wanting to deal with the awkwardness of the entire situation. It was cowardly, but I couldn’t care less. Kacchan had his things and I had mine and Yagi could always take him home if the younger one wasn’t sure how.

For now I had to get things done as Dragonfly and update everyone on my new look.

 

~*~

 

“Trying out another disguise? Gotta say, didn’t think you would change your skin color and height, too.” Dabi said when he noticed me. There you go commenting on my appearance instead of greeting me first. Perhaps I should teach you some basic manners in the future. When I have time to do such a thing, of course.

“Funny. I was forced to swap bodies.”

“Met with Diamond Switch, did you?” Diamond Switch, a male thief who often used his powers to switch bodies from one to the next, sometimes switching a group of people if they got in his way. I kept silent, letting him think that was true. “Did you make your hair blonde again?”

“Fuck.” I hissed, stuffing the spiky lock of hair back under my wig. Because of course the hair had to be as difficult as the body’s owner. “Not a word.”

“I didn’t say anything.” Dabi put his hands up in surrender. I glared at him and walked into the cafe. Queen was already waiting for us at my table. I took my usual chair across from her. “Notice anything different about them?”

“Encountered Diamond Switch, I see.” Oh holy fuck. This is going to get annoying. At least they're creating an alibi for me.

“I suppose you can already tell why I called you here. I'll need you two to help verify that I am me even with this new form, which is temporary, by the way. I should only be like this for a month.” I told them. And now to wait for their snarkiness.

“Is that you, Dragonfly? Did you meet Diamond Switch in the back alley of one of those bars you frequent?” Yuzuru teased, serving my companions drinks they must have ordered before I arrived. I glared, keeping my silence. He looked mildly cowed, knowing how I could get if someone overstepped their bounds. Although it's more likely because Kacchan is just naturally intimidating. “Some abyss for you, then, I'm guessing.”

“No. I don't know how this body will react to it.” I replied honestly, albeit in a drawl. If Dragonfly were a separate person they'd be someone I would want to avoid. Why did I choose such a troublesome persona? “Just get me some water.”

“As you command.” Yuzuru nodded and left the three of us.

“Couldn't you have just texted us?” Dabi asked as soon as Yuzuru was out of hearing. I couldn't help myself. I rolled my eyes.

“Messages can't always be trusted. It’s safer to have verification in person.” Queen answered for me. Why yes. Thank you. But I could have said that myself. “It does waste our time, however. I hope you have something else for us.”

“I do. Dabi, I want you to deliver this to Kurogiri. Don't interact with Shigaraki more than you have to. And definitely don't harm him.” I slid a packet full of documents I had put together to Dabi. It was information and statistics on something I never would have considered either of those two have an interest in. More than likely, it was for their master. And whatever he had planned could not be good.

Dabi took the packet, drank the rest of his strawberry drink- it's either soda or some kind of iced tea- and then left, knowing when he had been dismissed.

“Your plain ice water.” Yuzuru set down the glass in front of me and left. The glass held more ice than water. Is this some sort of petty revenge for when I made Queen almost cry?

“How did the meeting with your son go?” I asked. Last time we met she had asked for advice on how to introduce her boyfriend- Ingenium of all people- to her son. It was weird and awkward, and neither of us liked that she was asking about something so personal, but I have her some. If only because if the whole thing went badly, everything could blow up in my face and people could get hurt.

“It went well. Thank you for your help.” Queen struggled with the last sentence, her body language betraying his much she hated saying it.

“Good. I must be going now. I have more people to tell about my encounter with this body swapper.” I drank my water and left the cafe. Oh fuck. How is Yuuga-kun going to react?

 

~*~

 

Really well, apparently.

Yuuga took it all in stride, only making a few comments about how he wished I could have swapped with someone less of a jerk. He then asked if I could use Kacchan's quirk. Which, really, how did I not ask myself that?

I tried it out and then promised never to do it again. At least, not without proper supervision. The end result had been that I could, but I had no control over it. None of the precision Kacchan possessed.

And so, Yuuga complained about his burnt hair and I tried to stop the ringing in my ears.

 

~*~

 

How the fuck am I supposed to use the bathroom? - Kacchan

Can't you just look it up? - Nerd

Or ask your mom? - Nerd

I don't want that in my search history and like fuck I'm going to ask the old hag. - Kacchan

There is a thing called incognito windows - Nerd

You just have to sit normally on the toilet. There's nothing special to it. - Nerd

 

~*~

 

“What the fuck is wrong with you? Why am I hallucinating?” Kacchan yelled over the phone as soon as I answered. I suppose this answers my question on whether or not the hallucinations would stay. I'm surprised it took two days to find this out, though.

“I don’t know. I wasn't sure you would actually have them, so I didn't tell you.” I replied, my voice devoid of emotion. Actually, everything about how I felt was muted as I thought about the hallucinations and the way Izuki would talk in my ear. “When did they start for you?”

“As soon as I fucking got into your body. I didn't actually know what was going on until I saw you standing by my therapist and knew something had to be wrong.” So he is getting therapy. That's good. Wait, did he say he saw me standing there? Me or Izuki? Would Izuki stay there if Kacchan's hallucinating? Shishitshit. “Fucking shit. Forget what I said. Right now.”

“Okay. Um, Kacchan, would you please answer something for me?” I ask tentatively. It was very odd being threatened by myself.

“What.” This must be how others feel around Dragonfly. Well, those like Innsmouth, that is.

“Do you see me in a girl's uniform or... or me as I am now?” What's odder than hearing myself threatening me, is hearing Kacchan squeak out of nervousness.

“Why the fuck would I see you in a girl's uniform? You're a shitty boy, aren't ya?” And despite Yuuga's disbelief that Kacchan could be any way helpful or comforting, my knees buckled with relief. He sees me as I am. Not as Izuki but as me. Izuku. “Was that- Was that what you've been seeing? From that day when they...”

There was no question for either of us who ‘they’ could be. Our classmates who couldn't stand me for being quirkless and trans. It was one of my worst memories of that school and one of the only times I can remember Kacchan trying to stop them in middle school.

I nodded, unable to find the words to speak. And then I realized I would have to because he couldn't see me. The downside of being on the phone.

“Yeah. For about a month now...” She's been haunting me. Reminding me of that day. Whispering in my ear and telling me how wrong everything is. But I allowed her to, because it was better than telling anyone.

“Well fuck that's shit.”

I laughed, finding that the statement summarized the whole situation pretty well.

 

~*~

 

Mom had gone to answer the door five minutes ago and hadn't returned. Unable to handle the anxiety that rise within me, I went to check it out.

In the doorway was Nemuri, looking like a total mess if I was being honest. She looked better when I had visited her to set them on the right track. But when I looked at my mom, she was still completely and utterly in love.

“Would you be willing to start over at a slower pace?” I heard Nemuri ask. It was undoubtedly the tail end of their conversation.

“I would like that.” My mom said. Or at least, that's what I assumed she said from the way her mouth moved and Nemuri’s responding expression. Kacchan’s body had some serious hearing issues from all of the explosions. I was also very tempted to actually get some prescription glasses because the eyes weren't much better.

Nemuri walked in with an invitation from my mom and saw me. She didn't recognize me at first, but I smiled and waved anyways. Her expression softened immediately.

“Hey, Izu-kun. Thank you for getting my head out of my ass.” She rubbed my head. Or tried to, anyways. “Holy- this kid’s hair is sharp!”

“Sorry about that.” I tell her, trying not to laugh. It was a well known fact in both the Bakugou and Midoriya household that one doesn’t touch Kacchan’s hair. My phone buzzed.

I’m BLEEDING - Kacchan

WTF DO I DO - Kacchan

Ask your mom for a pad or just look for them in your bathroom. - Nerd

“Sorry. Kacchan’s getting his first period.” I said. Nemuri burst out laughing and my mom started chuckling.

“He gets to feel the pain that all of us who are assigned female at birth get to feel now.” Nemuri stated, her laughter turning into cackling. She’d make a pretty good villain. If she wanted to be.

 

~*~

 

Two weeks later and I could finally run a brush through this blond hair without it destroying the brush forever.

It turned out, without Kacchan's care to it, it would eventually turn into what it naturally was. A wavy mess that was almost as bad as my own hair. Though his could at least be explained away by the fact that none of his hair seemed to be the same length. The way his hair curled around to frame his chubby cheeks was almost... cute.

If he stopped being so grumpy all the time and started smiling more, he might actually become popular for his adorableness.

...I will never tell anyone I actually thought that.

My phone rang, Kacchan’s name lighting up the screen. I answered automatically. “I wasn’t just thinking about how adorable you look with your natural hair!”

Fuck.

“What have you done to my hair?” He asked with a growl. I stayed silent trying to figure out how I did nothing to it, since I had no idea how he styled it in the first place. “Izuku. What. Have. You. Done.”

“Nothing! I didn't know how you did it, so I just left it be and tried to brush it everyday.” He groaned on the other side of the phone and hung up. Why did he even call in the first place?

 

~*~

 

“I thought it was just going to be you and me, Midoriya.” Todoroki said to Kacchan. He scowled and I chuckled behind my hand. He glanced at me and I couldn't help but feel embarrassed.

“Sorry. I was planning to tell you before we met up but I thought this would be better. Kacchan and I switched bodies, as you can see.” I rubbed my neck, self-conscious. Which was silly considering I look like Kacchan now, even if I'm not dressed like him. Kacchan stood beside me in one of his tight t-shirts that stretched across one of my binders and baggy pants. If he had any expression other than intimidation and irritation, he would have looked ridiculous.

“Would you stop staring at my body with that ridiculous face already. And don't fucking flirt in front of me.” Kacchan interjected. I began to stutter as Todoroki turned red and his shirt started to smoke a little. There was no denying Kacchan's body looked nice. Although slightly shallow, it was one of the reasons I fell for him.

“But you're saying we can still flirt without you.” Todoroki regained his composure quickly. He stepped closer to Kacchan and took his chin in his hand, lifting up green eyes to meet his heterochromatic ones. “Or perhaps you want us to flirt with you.”

You've been exposed to Yuuga-kun too much.

“Who the fuck said I wanted to be flirted with?” Kacchan leaned in with a growl. They were almost kissing. Please don't do that in my body! And Todoroki-kun, why do you look so enamoured? It's just going to end badly! I should know!

“Wh-why don't we just continue on now?” I suggested. Todoroki's loving gaze turned to me, without changing and nodded. Please don't show me a face like that! I won't be able to stand it.   Kacchan clicked his tongue, but conceded.

Things went alright from there if you ignore that some villains tried to rob the bank we had to stop at for Todoroki. The police came onto the scene. We all became hostages until Kacchan had enough and blew his fuse. And then all three of us took them down before anyone could do anything. Without quirks, too, so no law was broken in that regard.

 

~*~

 

“An invite from Yaoyorozu-san?” I muttered, opening the envelope, trying to take care not to damage the wax seal. It wasn't long. Just a simple letter with fancy words and the most important details. It was a friendly reach out from Yaoyorozu to come to a Christmas party. This being the same person from the hero gala, dressed in fine clothes and jewelry, I had a feeling it might be a bit more complex than that.

There was a second one with the same seal. However, the contents held a lot more. And it frightened me.

That one wasn't addressed to Midoriya Izuku, but to Dragonfly. Queen had sent me a text she had slipped a letter in with my mail, but I never never expected this.

After hyperventilating a few times, I calmed myself enough to think things through.

If I was my normal self, I would have had more issues and would have to decline for one of them. Thank goodness I know an easy fix at the moment.

 

~*~

 

“You still haven't explained why you want me to go as this Dragonfly person.” Kacchan scowled as I helped him with the signature tie. Queen would be showing up any time to take him and watch over him for me.

“Don't worry. All you have to do is behave like yourself and let Queen do all the talking for you. If anything goes wrong, then I'll come over to help.” I said, trying to avoid his probing. Perhaps it might have been better if I had decided to go as Dragonfly, instead. But then Yaoyorozu would see through Kacchan's disguise since he was rather prickly and she had met me before.

Dragonfly wasn't well know visually, and shouldn't even be known by the Yaoyorozu family at all. But surprises came in every direction and this was just one more.

“As if I’ll need your help to do this shit.” He growled lightly. Look at that, he's already so great at being Dragonfly. I smiled, keeping my thoughts to myself. He rolled his eyes in disgust, provably probably because I was using his face.

“Thank you, Kacchan. It really means a lot to me that you’re doing this.” I murmur, although the softness of my thoughts doesn’t translate with his rough voice. I hoped it would get through anyways. He showed no sign of hearing me, so I just let it be. I couldn’t help but notice that his cheeks seemed to be a little darker.

Weird.

 

~*~

 

I sighed as I entered the ballroom and wondered if I had made the wrong choice in my plus one. I couldn’t bring Yuuga or Todoroki because I knew I was going to be too worried about Kacchan all night. And my mom would feel just as out of place as I do if I left her alone for any reason. Although she did rather well the last event we went to. And with Queen by Kacchan’s side, I chose the only other person who knew me as Dragonfly and Izuku.

Nemuri smiled politely at everyone who looked, our arms linked together. The height difference alone made me feel awkward being in public with her, even in Kacchan’s body. And that’s another thing. I still look like Kacchan standing beside Nemuri-chan. She moved through the crowd with ease, pulling me along so I wouldn’t get lost.

“Yaoyorozu-san, Hibiki-san, thank you so much for the invitation. This is Midoriya Izuku, my protege. He had a bit of an accident with a body changing quirk, so he doesn’t look like his normal self at the moment.” Nemuri introduced me to Yaoyorozu’s parents. They seemed rather high class and intimidating, but Nemuri seemed close to the woman, so they mustn't be that bad.

“Our little Momo is just over that way. She doesn’t have anyone else here around her age, so why don’t you two stick together?” The woman, who I assumed was named Yaoyorozu Hibiki, gestured over to her daughter. I looked over and Yaoyorozu was standing by the food, a drink in her hand. Is that kid friendly because it looks a lot like the wine Yuuga-kun drank at the hero association party. I smiled politely and bowed, understanding I had been dismissed. I was invited by Yaoyorozu, after all, and not her parents.

“Hi.” I said, unsure of how to start a conversation. We never really talked that much when we met before. So it was a bit odd that she had invited me to this event and no one else. Especially since she and Toru seemed to be getting along before. “Oh right. I’m Midoriya Izuku. There was an accident with someone’s quirk so I look like this for now. It should go away soon, though.”

“Midoriya-kun! I’m so glad you were able to make it. I was told I couldn’t invite anyone from school or from a hero family, so I thought I would be all alone.” She said excitedly. Wait what. I looked out at the crowd and noticed that quite a few faces were on the less moral and more violent side of society. I brought Midnight, though... Is that not an issue? Wait. That’s not the part I should be worried about. What is Yaoyorozu-san’s family up to? At least it makes more sense that Dragonfly was invited.

“Uh, yeah. I’m glad I was able to, too. I thought this was a Christmas party? Half these people aren’t the friendliest of sorts.” That’s putting it lightly. That guy there has been proven to have killed ten people in one night, all by ‘blinking’ from home to home and slitting their heads in. And the woman over there is one of my clients as Dragonfly. She’s threatened to kill me or do bodily harm to me for no reason, multiple times.

“My parents serve to everyone and try to make sure all sorts of people are satisfied by their services. This includes keeping up relations with the less than savory.” Yaoyorozu grimaced. It was clear she didn’t like the idea of her family’s backdoor dealings and it was unlikely she would be following in their footsteps. “These events are going to soon exclude me. I plan on becoming a hero.”

“That’s amazing. I heard about your quirk from Toru-san and it will definitely be useful as a hero.” Well, through Toru-san and Yuuga-kun, but people either love him or hate him and there doesn’t seem to be much in between.

“Thank you. It might seem odd, since we don’t know each other well, but that means a lot to me.” She tilted her head to the side and her cheeks were redder. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Is what I was about to say to reassure her, but then I saw Dragonfly, or rather Kacchan, walk by. Queen winked at me, following behind him. “Oh! They’re rather attractive, aren’t they? I heard about them from my parents. They’re called Dragonfly and no one knows their age or gender, or anything about them really. Reports are always skewed. And here I go on rambling. My mother always says I need to learn to control myself more...”

“No! Don’t. It’s nice. I ramble, too. A lot. Sorry, I’m just a bit distracted.” I shook my head, trying to clear my thoughts. I was conversing with Yaoyorozu, so I should pay attention to her. But now that I knew more about why Dragonfly was invited, I couldn’t help but be concerned for Kacchan.

“I don’t blame you. If they were confirmed as female, I would ask them out in an instant.” Yaoyorozu threw back her head, drinking the entire glass. I really hope that wasn’t wine. “Come walk with me. I want to watch people dance and possibly dance myself.”

“Um, alright?” She was being a lot more assertive and open about these things than I had heard about her from Toru. In fact, it seemed a little out of character. Is she okay? Did someone use their quirk on her or is she just drunk? Is she even drinking alcohol or is it juice? Why would no one stop her if it is wine?

“Oh, would you look at that. There’s Dragonfly. Have fun!” Yaoyorozu pushed me forward, makin me stumble as I tried to stop myself from falling. She was surprisingly aggressive, despite her earlier awkwardness at talking with someone her own age.

A hand appeared to help me and I took it immediately, caring too much on how to stand than whose it was. I looked up and regret coursed through me. I was holding hands with Dragonfly. Or rather, Kacchan as Dragonfly, in my body. This couldn’t get any weirder or worse.

“Dance with me.” He whispered so no one else could hear. Especially not the ones who might be staring at us right now. I judged the distance from us to the dance floor and noticed we were right next to it. It would make my stumble less noticeable.

I nodded and let him lead me to the floor and thanked whatever was out there that a new song just started playing. I paid more attention to my shoes than the music as he placed his hand on my waist and brought me in close. It was like looking into a mirror in the weirdest of ways as he led me through the dance.

“How did you learn to dance like this?” I asked, trying to scour my brain for any dance lessons his parents could have sent him to, but none came to mind. One of them would always talk about the classes they sent him to, so I had begun to remember them all. That way, when I asked him how he learned to do something, he wouldn’t call me stupid.

“Dancing often contains a form of fighting to it. It helps the body learn to be more graceful even when in battle.” Of course. I couldn’t help myself from chuckling at imagining him how to learn to dance on his own in the middle of his room. He wouldn’t dare do it where anyone could see him outside. “Oh shut up. At least it was useful. Look at you, you can barely stand on your own two feet.”

“Hey! Yaoyorozu-san pushed me!” I said, trying to keep my voice down. He rolled his eyes like he couldn’t believe what I was saying. It did seem pretty ridiculous to think someone so upstanding as her would do something like that, I supposed. The music suddenly got faster, and with it, our steps. “Eep!”

“Don’t worry. Just let me do everything and focus on the music.” Kacchan whispered. My face began to heat up as he pulled me along. It was like I was dancing on clouds. If clouds were light and fluffy and not watery messes. I began to focus on the music as he told me to. My face became hotter as I translated the words from english to japanese.

It was a beautiful song, though, and it made things much easier. I shut my eyes as Kacchan carried us through the dance floor, and wondered if this was what it was like to not have any worries.

“I only want your hand to hold, I only want you near me.” I said aloud, focusing on the lyrics. Kacchan suddenly released me and my eyes snapped open. His face was turning darker by the moment and looked surprised and embarrassed. My face, which had cooled for a few seconds, began to burn with the intensity of Endeavour’s hellfire.

He took my hand and pulled me off the floor, through the crowd, and out into the hallway. His expression, while it seemed like he was blushing, also looked like he was going to murder me in this very public space. I should do something before he gets even more upset and then does murder me!

“I didn’t mean it for you! I- I mean, it was just the lyrics of the song! You- you told me to focus on the music and I did, and it was pretty so I sang along in my head and then I accidentally said it out loud. Besides, you already rejected me, so I’m over those feelings! I just- I just want to be friends. Anyways, I already have someone else I like now, so you don’t have to worry. ” His expression seemed to worsen with word. I began to grow more worried and my mouth continued moving in hopes of fixing the situation. Why isn’t this working? Does he not believe me? Do I need to say more about Shinsou so he knows it’s true? “He’s got indigo hair and eyes and his hair goes like fwoosh boom in a way that’s worse than mine except he can push his out of his eyes and up. He’s also got, like, seven cats and he’s the son of Kayama-san’s cousin. See? I’m not in love with you anymore. So, those words weren’t meant for you. Or for anyone, really. They were just pretty.”

“Whatever.” He glowered and veered towards the wall to get past me. I was left alone in this hallway, staring at where he once was. It was then that I realized I had spoken with my own voice. His hair was blond and his skin tan, again. The expressions and the blush on his face were all his own and mine were returned to me while we were dancing, which must've been odd to see.

But how? It hasn't even been a month, yet. What happened to make us switch back into our own bodies?

“What does it matter? Kacchan doesn’t have a reason to talk to us anymore. Once he realizes, he’ll never speak to us again...” Izuki’s familiar voice spoke behind me. I turned around to see her in all her unholy glory. Her uniform dirty and wrinkled, half her hair in one braid and the other half freed with a stray hair band still tangled in it. “Yeah.. I’m still here...”

“Would you just stop talking for one moment and let me organize my thoughts? And yeah, I know you are voicing some of them, but I need to focus.” I snapped. I had forgotten how irritating she was. I headed to the bathroom and wiped off the makeup on my face and took off the wig and glasses. I couldn’t go back in there looking like a villain informant and talk to anyone. Least of all the Yaoyorozus and Nemuri. I stashed the wig, glasses, and the signature tie underneath the couch- and who puts a couch in a bathroom?- and left looking like regular, frazzled Midoriya Izuku. Myself.

After taking a few deep breaths, I walked back into the ballroom. I moved through the crowd of people, trying to remember the grace both Kacchan and Nemuri had when walking through all of these people. Why is this so hard to do? They make it seem so easy. I spotted Kacchan’s wavy blond hair by one of the walls and followed it as my target. I wasn’t about to let him go this time.

“Excuse me.” I said to get his attention. He didn’t even turn, so I moved around to face him. He was scowling at the wall. I don’t think the wall normally makes the best conversation partner, Kacchan... I sighed as he turned away from me. “We’re going to dance again.”

“Wha-” I cut him off with a glare. I think we were both shocked that that worked. I took advantage of the situation and pulled him along, reversing our earlier situation.

“You’re going to follow my lead this time and tell me why you’re so upset.” I instructed him. Thank goodness I’m good at learning from watching other people move. He stared at me, but followed my lead anyways. The song changed as we danced in silence, but I was willing to keep him here until he spoke.

“Why are you doing this?” Kacchan finally asked after I twirled him out.

“Because I know that if I don’t you’ll go back to ignoring me. And I can’t do that. We’re friends and I don’t want to lose that friendship.” I dipped him low and made sure to keep eye contact with him. I used to be in love with those blood red eyes. I compared them to rubies more times than I can count.

“And what if I don’t want to be friends?” He said, with that once-charming stubbornness. I smiled for the first time back in my own body.

“Because then you would have just told me that. When you don't want to be friends with someone you make it clear. But you know what? You haven’t called me an extra or Deku for months.” I grinned, feeling especially happy about that. His expression was clear he was thinking something along the lines of, you said you didn’t want me to call me that. There was a small glimpse of realization and then he was pouting. He was trying to seem upset, but all it did was make him look adorable. “See?”

“That’s not what I meant, Izuchan.” He said, taking over as the lead. He dipped me as if it was some sort of revenge. I felt something soft on my lips and in my surprised daze, I was abandoned on the dancefloor.

As I walked off towards a wall, I licked my lips out of habit.

They tasted like strawberries.

“What just happened?”

Chapter Text

The night Kacchan had kissed me passed by in a daze of confusion and pretending everything was okay. It had felt like a dream. Whether good or bad had never been decided since I found out the next morning that he had betrayed me.

Not only had he told his parents about the hallucinations- which would have been okay but - he told my mom. Then Genius Office had to be told and so both Nemuri and Best Jeanist knew. Not to forget the entire Aoyama-Hagakure family and Yagi.

It felt like the only ones who didn't know were Shinsou and Todoroki. And I couldn’t even bring myself to talk to them on the regular.

So thanks to what Kacchan did, I was suspended from work until I was being treated for the hallucinations. Except it turned out my doctor was prescribing me the same anti-anxiety medication I had been taking before I tried to jump off a roof, under a different name. Even better was my mom recording him as he said he didn't want to waste time and money on a quirkless child who would be of no use to the world.

It would be better if I just died, after all. The doctor's right. I'm completely useless to the world.

I took a step forward and tugged on the rope. It was secure and ready. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. 

"Come on. There's no time like the present. You can at least do this one thing for the people you care about." A voice from behind me whispered.

Just as I was about to put my head in the nose, it was pulled away. I stumbled and fell forward off the stool. I was caught by something- or someone- soft.

"What are you doing?" My mom's voice shook me to the core. I stared into her eyes. They were angry and wet and keeping me still under their gaze. "Izuku, what were you thinking? Answer me."

I couldn't find the words. How does one tell anyone? I tried to remember what happened last time but all I could remember was the two of us crying a lot and a very bad headache.

So I sat there, on her lap, gaping like a fish.

"You can't do that to me, understand? I don't know what you were thinking because you wont tell me," I can't . "But you don't know how badly your passing would hurt me. You are my everything. If something were to happen to you, I wouldn't have a reason for living."

I turned away, unable to continue looking her in the face while part of my mind thought of better ways to move on to the next world.

"A child should not go before his mother." I whispered to myself. It was something I had heard from all sorts of media.

Mom hugged me tighter. I lazily tried to reassure her my arms loosely hanging around her. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell her everything was alright and I would be better now. I couldn’t tell her I wasn’t going to attempt anything again. Not when I was thinking about all the other ways I could go.

 

~*~

 

With the lack of work and being coddled by everyone around me, I was becoming frustrated. I had pent up energy and nothing to do with it, other than focus on my homework and training. And even those had their limits.

There was only one place I could be without being treated like I was fragile or under constant observation. It might not be the right place or a place anyone would approve of, but it was what I needed. Even if none of my friends or family could understand.

“Willing to serve me, yet, Kurogiri?” I ask as soon as I opened the door, not caring who else was there. The black smoke turned towards me and the yellow glowing shapes I’ve always assumed are his eyes, narrow. Instead of answering immediately, he picked up a glass and started to rub it with a towel. I swear that’s a nervous habit. Does that mean I make him nervous? How fun.

“I don’t serve underage kids.” We said in unison. I’m pretty certain he was giving me a deadpan stare, but it was hard to tell. He had repeated it so much by now it was almost like a mantra. Who could really blame me for saying it, too?

“Can’t you at least serve me a glass of water?” I asked with pleading eyes. I even pouted. He just sighed and filled a cup up with water. Wow. I can't believe that actually worked. Huh. Their water is pretty clean. I guess being a villain really does pay. “Thank you. You are currently my favorite person.”

Kurogiri said nothing. The asshole. I thought bartenders were supposed to listen to people’s problems. Who am I kidding? I don’t want to talk about my problems. It’ll just be the whining of some informant and I’ll lose the respect of the league.

“Kurogiri, what is this NPC doing here?” Shigaraki appeared, huffing like a spoiled child. On his own hands that were attached to his wrists and not his face, were glove with holes on a few fingers. Aww. He’s wearing the gift I got him.

"I came to see if my favorite clientele want company in their next excursion." I grinned. There was no way I was ever going to let the fact he wore my present down. It was just as great as watching him have to stick his pinkies out so as not to disintegrate everything. Which I absolutely had Dabi take pictures of.

"You-" Shigaraki growled.

"We don’t let minors take jobs." Kurogiri cut him off. Bullshit. I had investigated most of the known members of the League and I knew for a fact that Shigaraki was taken in and groomed to be here since he was younger than me. And Kurogiri was here because his children had joined when they were underage and he wanted to protect them. His children who had died under his protection.

"Now we both know that's not true." My grin dropped and I took another sip of water. Time to bullshit my way through this! Pretend as if their rejection was planned! “Although, what makes you believe, I’m suggesting myself for this? No. I have a... associate who is looking for a bit of fun.”

“As if we’d need help from a fly like you to get people." Is he trying to insult me? It sounds like he just made a nickname out of Dragonfly. As dangerous as this guy is, he really has no idea what he’s doing, does he?

"Awww. How cruel you can be, dearie." I smiled and set down the empty glass. It was clear there was no more to be said or done here. My offer had been refused.

I walked down the alleys, not really seeing what or whom I was looking at. If I had bothered to try, I might have been scarred for life in a new way. Instead I focused on my frustration of being rejected by even the League of Villains.

Hmph. If I can't get their help, then I suppose there is one other way....

 

~*~

 

"It's hard to believe you finished what I asked for in two days." I set down the yellow monstrosity. I hoped it would look better when I put it on. I glanced back up at Dabi who seemed oddly proud of his creation.

"It sounded urgent. And while I wouldn't normally mind, I don't like being tied up by a minor if I displease you." Dabi stated, nonchalantly. Right. He knows my real age. Also, does he still have to bring up the time when I had him tied to a chair every chance he gets?

"Fuck you. And no, not literally." I verified before he said something suggestiv once more. He closed his mouth. I carefully folded up the costume and placed it back in it’s container. "But thank you."

"Wow, you thanked me." Strangely enough, he sounded honestly surprised. I pushed up my slipping glasses as I considered his words.

"I always thank you for what you do." I said. He raised his eyebrows, looking disbelieving. I tried to search all of my memories, but everything seemed like one big blur. I was beginning to doubt my own manners. "I do, right?"

"Occasionally." He shrugged, like it wasn’t a big deal. You just made it a big deal by commenting on it. What is going on in your mind?

"Well fuck. I need more awareness." I said, letting my speech be free. No need to worry about anyone’s innocent ears here when there weren’t any. Dabi just laughed at me.

 

~*~

 

How is the case going? Are you feeling alright? - Sparkle Sparkle

Whatever happened to rule something or other about not talking about past problems? - Broccoli

Yours is still ongoing, so it doesn't count. - Sparkle Sparkle

I was hoping you wouldn't notice. - Broccoli

My brother made over half of them. Of course he made sure there weren't any loopholes. - Sparkle Sparkle 

Hisoka did that? - Broccoli

My older brother. - Sparkle Sparkle

What happened to him? - Broccoli

Hold on. - Sparkle Sparkle

There's no loophole for either of us. Let me just take a moment to write it. - Sparkle Sparkle

Take your time. - Broccoli

A few months after moving to France with my gene donor, the donor was killed and my brother disappeared. It was suspected to be a kidnapping and the death of that man was not planned. No one figured out who had done it or why. No one even knows what happened to my older brother. He is assumed dead, but without proof, I can't seem to give up hope... - Sparkle Sparkle

Now how are you doing? - Sparkle Sparkle

... not great. - Broccoli

But I think I found something new to do to distract me and keep myself busy. - Broccoli 

Good! I hope it goes well! - Sparkle Sparkle

If you were becoming a vigilante it would be hilarious since you're already basically a hero and a villain most of the time. - Sparkle Sparkle

Lol. How would I keep that up when I go back to work? - Broccoli

Good point. - Sparkle Sparkle

The reason why I brought up vigilantes, though, is because there's a new one that's getting super popular. Calling them the Hare of Inaba. - Sparkle Sparkle

The Ise ga Naru version where the hare led Amatersu to the mountain for shelter. Not the other one. - Sparkle Sparkle

Weirdest part is that they carry a halberd and wear pastel clothes with a rabbit mask. - Sparkle Sparkle 

That's the weirdest part? - Broccoli

Yes. - Sparkle Sparkle

Okayyyyyyyy - Broccoli

 

~*~

 

I slipped my phone back in my pocket and looked down at my surroundings. I tried to figure out how the news had spread so quickly about the new vigilante. And the name, while nice, was a complete coincidence and not at all expected.

You make four appearances in Inaba and suddenly they act as if you're their new tourist attraction.

I sighed, the mask making breathing weird. It kept hitting me in the face. I should be used to it by now, but the whole idea was still weird. At least it helped relieve the tension in my shoulders. To be in action made all of my thoughts disappear other than what was happening before me.

I patrolled the new area, grateful for the teleporter Sakurai put me in contact with. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to move across the country in the blink of an eye and clear most suspicions of being the new vigilante Inaba was apparently talking about.

Hare of Inaba, huh? Surely there had to be something better out there for my new persona.

 

~*~

 

“He should’ve taken a high jump to the left and shot her down. The fight would have been so much faster.” I muttered, watching the newly uploaded video of Kamui Woods. I have no doubt that if I had been allowed to work, they would’ve assigned me to this case right away. Things would have gone so much better.

“Did you say something, sweetheart?” Nemuri asked. I shook my head, staying quiet. If I open my mouth, I might say something in the wrong tone. And that would be an argument I don’t want to get into...

The doors to the private courtroom opened up, my mom storming out. Oh no. She walked right up, hugged my head, and placed her arms right over my ears as she began talking angrily to Nemuri. I couldn’t make out any of the words as I sat there, just felt the vibrations and focused on how to breath. It was rather difficult to do when being smothered by my mom’s body.

After what felt like half an hour, I was released. And now Nemuri was angry.

“I’m going to get some water.” I mumbled an excuse to get away. Any excuse. My phone buzzed as the paper cup was being filled. I blinked, trying to recognize the number and then realized I could use this.

A hand covered my mouth just as I’m about to swallow. Look at what you did! I’m now choking on water! I thrashed a little, spilling some of the water in my cup. Is that- is that chloro...

 

~*~

 

Innsmouth and his siblings were on their knees, bowing their heads as I scolded them. I had told them to pretend to kidnap me, not actually use chloroform on me. Who knew what that would do to my body and diet. At least it will look realistic. I felt a little bit bad for the worry it was going to give my mom, but it was important to have this happen now.

“Thank you for doing as I told you. If everything goes well, you will get your ransom and I will get the days I need to enact my plan.” I concluded my scolding. It was always good to tell subordinates what they did wrong and give praise where praise was due, after all. And when did they become my subordinates? They haven’t. Not at all. Bad enough I have to deal with Queen and Dabi, there was no way I was going to make these guys part of it. They’re so bad at what they do...

“What plan is that?” One of the squid boys asked. He was wearing a blue jacket and bandana.

“You don’t want to know or you’ll be joining me in picking a fight with a very big and scary organization. One with a better network than myself.” I threatened. They might have been older than me, but with how small they were in comparison, it wasn’t hard to scare them.

“I’ll go.” Innsmouth volunteered. No. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He wasn’t supposed to say that. “My family and I are indebted to you for saving us.”

“Your debt has been paid. You did this for me, that is enough.” I said. I couldn’t allow him to do this. If he did, it would put everything at risk. Especially him and his family.

“I can’t accept that.”

“You’ll have to!” I shouted, fear running through me. He looked taken aback and the squidlings were frightened. Good. Now leave me be. This is my battle and mine alone. “Leave now and you’ll get your ransom. If you don’t then I’ll make sure none of you get a single yen.”

“Inn-nii, let’s just go.” The blue squid tugged on Innsmouth’s sleeve.

“It’ll be alright. You three go ahead.” They ran out of the room leaving me and the octopus alone. He was still on his knees, looking up at me. I stepped closer to him, towering over him with all of my negative feelings building up. He didn’t look away, whether he was being brave or stupid was hard to say. Stupid. Definitely stupid.

“You don’t know what you’re trying to get into.” I said. I could feel part of myself giving away and that had to stop now. He had to give up on this foolish notion.

“You saved my family. That’s enough.”

“I stopped you from robbing a museum, that’s hardly anything to risk your life for.”

“You’re wrong. If you weren’t there, the heroes would have captured us and our lives would be ruined. Not only that, you helped improve our lives.”

“That business card in your pocket has a tracker on it. The moment you stopped being useful to me, I was going to turn you over to the heroes.”

“We’ve been of no use for months. You could have done it earlier.”

“Why won’t you just leave?” I couldn’t help the begging whine that just left my mouth. I was being selfish but I didn’t want this man’s blood on my hands. If he lost his life during the endeavour or because of it after, it would be my fault. And I couldn’t allow that.

“If it’s as dangerous as you say it is, then you shouldn’t be alone.” He said as I rebuilt my mask. I knew it was too late, but Dragonfly had to maintain an appearance, even after it broke.

“That’s how I do things.”

“I won’t let you go alone.” I pulled out my phone and unlocked it. I showed the message listing my location ready to be sent at any time.

“I’ll call the heroes to me if you don’t leave now.”

“Do it.” He told me, staring into my eyes. Even from where he knelt, completely at my mercy, he wouldn’t give up. I don’t remember Innsmouth being such a stubborn person. Cowardly and willing to give up immediately when his weakness have been struck at, yes. But not one to stay his ground.

I slipped the phone back into my pocket, caving in. This was becoming too exhausting and I was beginning to run out of time for proper preparation. If he wanted to join this suicide mission, it was his fault. 

“Fine. You can stay. But you’ll need a proper disguise. We’re going up against the League of Villains, after all.” I mentioned as casually as I could. If he was going to stay, he had to know what he was getting into.

“Wait. What?” Too late to turn back now.

 

~*~

 

My mom just called me and asked if you came over. She says no one can find you. - Sparkle Sparkle

Where are you? - Sparkle Sparkle

I asked both Todoroki and that blond. Neither knew you were even missing. - Sparkle Sparkle

Izuku, answer me. This is serious. - Sparkle Sparkle

It’s okay if you want some space, but please just tell someone you’re safe. - Sparkle Sparkle

It doesn’t have to be me, but please tell someone. - Sparkle Sparkle

They’re telling me you’ve been kidnapped. - Sparkle Sparkle

I know you probably can’t read this right now, but please stay safe. - Sparkle Sparkle

That means no talking back to these people. Even if they’re idiots. I just want you to be safe. - Sparkle Sparkle

I’ll be here waiting for you to come back. - Sparkle Sparkle

It’s only been three days and I’m already being told to expect that you’re dead in a ditch somewhere. - Sparkle Sparkle

I can’t do that. - Sparkle Sparkle

You can’t be dead. I won’t allow it. - Sparkle Sparkle

It’s been five days. You have to come back soon or who knows what they’ll do. - Sparkle Sparkle

Say six and you’re still not back what IU ean i without younoonecanthte-iekjjgk - Sparkle Sparkle

I’m sorry for that message from last night. There was a little issue with Tooru grabbing my phone. - Sparkle Sparkle

Todoroki and I are still awaiting your return. - Sparkle Sparkle

I’m sorry was written but not sent.

 

~*~

 

I waited for Innsmouth a block away from the warehouse. I didn't want to get too close and get their attention before I was inside. I heard footsteps behind me and turned around. Finally.

“You’re the Hare of Inaba.” Innsmouth said. Shock and surprise was plain on his face. 

“No shit. Let’s get moving.” I replied with a roll of my eyes. There was no time to waste.

The plan was simple. I unlocked one of the side doors, enter, take down anyone inside, and then take whatever papers they had. As well as mock them a little for turning down my offer when they had the chance. Simple and easy. 

I handed Innsmouth the sign I had prepared for the cameras they set up while I got the door open without setting off any alarms. Because of course a high class underground network of villains would have cameras and alarms set up around their facilities. It just made sense. If they don’t then they’re idiots.

I walked in, checking for any sign of someone coming before waving for Innsmouth to join me. I had the whole building layout memorized and if there were any issues, that’s what pockets were for. I had brought the building’s plan with me, just in case.

We went over to the security room where I shut off the cameras and all of the obvious security systems. It seemed like there were still a few people around.I guessed from the lab coats they were scientists or doctors. I left my sign in the room for someone to find.

Together we snuck out and through the hallways. There was an office I needed to get to so I could take all of the paperwork and evidence of what they’ve been doing. And later I would be able to read it and find out exactly what the League was up to. Possibly even tell Genius Office about them.

Lucky for us, there was someone already inside. Innsmouth rushed to silence him while I grabbed whatever I was able. There was the distant sound of shouting. I turned to look over and saw the glass wall that kept this office visible for everyone down below to see. Just perfect.

Down below were rows and rows of vats and some of the scientists were running around and trying to set off whatever alarms they could. I guess not all of the alarms could be turned off in the security room. Which sucks, but fuck it all.

“Get out of here. Take these files with you.” I pushed them over to Innsmouth. I already had a plan ready in case someone noticed. Innsmouth would take the files to the cafe and Souma would keep them safe for me. Like hell I’m letting his sister take them when she still doesn’t like me.

I smashed the wall and jumped down. Quickly and carefully I incapacitated all I could find. All of them were still alive, and a few awake, but I was pretty sure some would be severely injured for the rest of their lives. It wouldn’t have happened if they had struggled less or tried to fight back.

A wail crossed with a roar caught my attention. I turned around. 

Some of the creatures had been released. malformed and uneven in their weight. too small on one side and too large on others, they truly were mad science experiments. And all of them were aggressive and wailing. Or attempting to. Who stitched their mouths and why?

“Fuck this noise.” I muttered as a few of them tried to attack me. I ducked to the side, avoiding the multitude of arms. I ran and his behind a vat, wishing to hadn't already set Innsmouth away after all.

This is bad. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the rest of them busting through the wall. Half of them fell over because they couldn't hold themselves up. Bad is an understatement. 

What do I do what do I do?

There was one thing to do. Gather strength and prepare. Then fight.

How I managed to get through with only a few scratches and bruises was a blur. Thank goodness for Yagi-san and Genius Office’s training or I never would be able to still stand like this. However, I had only managed to take half of them down and I was panting. I wasn’t going to be able to take down many more.

And then an angel in the darkness appeared. They quickly dealt with the monsters, sharp things flying from them. I took the chance to let myself relax. Except those sharp things were aimed at me next.

“I’m on your side! I came to stop this!” I shouted, dodging what I could. One of them sliced my thigh and in that moment I could properly see the person and the weapons. Hawks in all of his feathery glory had deemed me an enemy. Maybe he couldn’t understand what I said because the mask muffles too much? Note to self. Have Dabi change the mask for better communication.

If anybody was to ever get upset with me attacking a hero outside of training, I hoped it would be okay to point out it was in self defense. One of those punches he just hit me with made me cough up blood. It was only right I kicked him back. Or so I would attempt to justify if I wasn’t busy trying to run away from this hero who wasn’t taking no for an answer.

Even worse than trying to figure out how I managed to survive the monstrous science experiments was trying to figure out how I survived Hawks, managed to run away, and only with minor injuries.

 

~*~

 

I stumbled, bloodied and in so much pain. Even my previously clean clothes had been stained by me wearing them without bandaging anything. I had insisted on it to make it look more believable. Sadly, it also meant I was probably going to pass out soon from blood loss.

I was dropped off around my house, I just had to get there. Maybe I should've let myself be bandaged after all. Despite the faintness I was feeling, I managed to my door and stumble in.

My mom immediately ran over. She looked so worried and afraid. I wanted to apologize, but the words wouldn't form. So instead I shut my mouth and attempted to smile.

“What happened to your face?” She asked, moving some of my hair out of the way. I tried not to wince at her touch. “Oh sweetie.”

She could see everything on my face. The way the bruises bloomed and the scratches cut through them dark like dirt. In an odd way, I imagined how beautiful it might look if it were a painting. The colors mixing together and slicing through would be wonderful if they were on any other canvas. 

“What else did they do?” My mom asked, bringing me back to consciousness when I was about to slip away. Just as much as I didn't want to answer, I couldn't. So I looked away. “Izuku, look at me. What else did they do to you?”

“It’s nothing. I’m fine.” I managed to cough out. My throat was hoarse from dehydration and I'd really like to sleep now.

“You’re not fine. You’ve been kidnapped and beaten up by bigots. That’s not okay.” She said. I refused to say anything else that might add on to the lie. Or worse, tell her I'm in this pain because of monstrous science experiments and a hero. “I’m taking you to the hospital.”

 

~*~

 

I really needed to stop getting injured enough to have to stay at the hospital overnight. It was making it harder for me to keep up with my physical training with Yagi. At least Yuuga could deliver homework, so that could be turned in when due. Otherwise my credit would be going down enough to possibly have to repeat the year. Which would definitely ruin all chances of getting into U.A.

Today had been a bit lonely since everyone was busy, but it was peaceful. I spent most of it working on all the things at school I had missed. A few times I wondered what was happening with everyone, but I wasn’t allowed to use my phone. Which meant I couldn’t check in with anyone, including Souma or Innsmouth. I hope everything went well.

The door slid open, grabbing my attention. Todoroki stepped in with a small nod. I smiled and waved back, trying to pretend the bandages weren’t obvious. He had an expression on his face that was hard to decipher and I suddenly wish we were texting instead of seeing each other in person. He was always more open with texting.

“Why didn’t you tell me about what was happening with your doctor?” He asked. He jumped straight to the point, catching me off guard. I kept my silence, unable to find the words to explain how I felt.

You were my only safe haven who knew absolutely nothing about what was going.going.on. Shinsou lives with Aizawa-san and Present Mic who both know of what's been going on thanks to Nemuri-chan. There's no doubt that they had been dropping hints everywhere, even if unintentional. I didn't want to lose that. Besides, you've already been going through so much with your dad... This would all just make him feel guilty.

“I heard he’s being charged for committing a hate crime. His medical license has been revoked and will be spending many years in prison.” Todoroki continued as if he was pretending I had responded. His sources were accurate. Because of the kidnapping I framed my doctor for, my mom can now have peace of mind with the trial over. “It’s no less than he deserves, if you ask me. But, was he really the one to mastermind your kidnapping?”

The suspicion was unexpected. It did explain some more of the coldness he was expressing. I still had to look him in the eyes so I could judge him and his feelings properly. “Who else could it be?”

“Of course. There couldn’t be anyone else.” He stated unblinkingly. He set his bag down and settled into the chair beside me. “You know, I’m finding the Hare of Inaba rather interesting. Apparently he showed up the night before you got back and fought with Hawks. Someone even got some of it on video.”

“Really? I’ve heard rumors of him, but that’s it. I want to see the video.” I feigned ignorance. It was the best thing to do in situations like these. Pretend like you only know as much as the quirk fanatic you are! Which is a lot, actually...

“Midoriya, you’ve talked about these strategies before.” He was right on both accounts. I had completely forgotten about the long discussions I had on the phone with him about them. The kidnapping was one I had set aside to frame Endeavour for kidnapping his own son for whatever reason. The other had been my fighting pattern when I analyzed Hawks’ weaknesses because Todoroki called in the middle of studying him. 

“What are you trying to imply?” I dared him to actually say what he was not so subtly hinting at. Honestly, if this is him trying to be subtle, I don’t want to know what he’s like when he’s not.

“Nothing. I just think the Hare of Inaba is a stupid name, especially since he’s shown up in more places than Inaba.” He shrugged, as stoic as ever. I couldn't help but burst out laughing, despite the pain in my ribs.

“That’s a good point. Want to theorize new names?” I suggested. I wanted something better than the Hare of Inaba, but I couldn't figure out one that matched my yellow rabbit suit. Not too mention the weird outfit Dabi had added on top of it. At least the mask looks nice and fake...

 

~*~

 

My mom and Nemuri didn't like that I still went out on my own, even a week later. If I was being honest none of my friends liked it, either. But if I left Dabi alone who knew what he would try . I am never leaving him alone for longer than a week.

“Get out of my cafe. You aren’t welcome here.” Sakurai's grumpy voice rang loud and clear. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked up happening. Sakurai had never rejected someone from her shop before now. It was why everyone of all lifestyles came here.

“Is there something you’re hiding?” The person with the low cap asked. The feathers on his back seemed familiar and now I knew why. Hawks.

“Your feathers gave me a deep scar. Pardon me if I don’t want you in my establishment.” She sneered. Yes! You tell him! I quickly scratched a reminder on a receipt to ask her brother what happened for Hawks to attack her.

“I’m sorry about that." Oh goodness. He doesn't even remember . That could mean so many things. "But there is someone I need to see. I believe their name is Dragonfly?”

Nope. Not here. I am hiding behind a piece of paper because I totally don't exist in this place and time and plane of reality. 

“Don’t know them, now leave.” She unfrosted her arms, getting ready to throw him out physically. I was about to see the bouncer kicking out unwanted guest in person. If Yuzuru hadn't come over and whispered in her ear, gesturing to little Koji behind the counter that was. “This once. But never again, you hear me? I don’t want to see you ever again.”

“As you wish.” Hawks bowed. Sakurai scoffed and wiped her hands on her apron as if just being in his presence was enough to dirty her. I quickly started organizing my work, readying to run away as the bird scanned for its prey. “I assume you’re Dragonfly?”

“What gave it away.” I retorted sarcastically.

“Well, your tie for one. It’s well known to be the signature for Dragonfly, no matter what you look like.” You aren't supposed to answer! He was smirking as if he was playing around, which frustrated me.

“And whatever would the number three hero want with someone like me?”

“You’re not only an informant for everyone, but you can hook people up with connections. I would like to get your help on the second one since no one else seems to have a way for this person.”

“And who did you want to hook up with?” That sounded so wrong. That’s not what I meant at all, but I’ve just gotta play it cool. Act like it was on purpose and I’m making fun of him. Because I’m totally doing that. Yup siree. Making fun of the hero that broke my ribs and cut my thighs just last week.

“The Hare of Inaba. I have a job for him if he’s in the market.” Hawks slid an envelope over. I opened it and saw the check, as well as a greeting card with his number.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Chapter Text

"Thanks for coming out with me, Todoroki-kun. I know how hard it can be to escape." I said, truly grateful. I was standing outside of the spa and hair salon once again. It felt like I had been coming here every month since Yuuga introduced it to me. Although, most of those times he had been right beside me.

Sadly, Yuuga wasn't able to make it today. So, I had the honor of introducing Todoroki to this whole new world. Aladdin, no. Please don’t invade my head right now.

“It’s not an issue. Endeavour is on a trip.” He summarized succinctly. I nodded understandingly. Endeavour was a complete asshole who would never allow his prized son to enjoy the luxury of going to the spa. I lead him inside and said,

“Welcome to the Moulin Rouge.” I grinned, remembering the movie Yuuga snuck Todoroki. I swore I heard a snort come from him, but when I look he’s the picture of stoicness. I wink and he ends up a giggling mess. As it should be. “Now I know you’ve been wanting to do something with your hair so I thought we should head to the salon first. Are you alright with that?”

Todoroki nodded in agreement, if uncertain. I just smiled and took his hand to show I was by his side. I greeted the hairstylists and helped out whenever he felt uncomfortable. Although once they got started, he was happier than I thought he would be, asking for any tricks to make his hair grow longer right before high school started. Apparently the one who grew out Yuuga’s hair had a quirk that grew hair once she not only chose to do so, but when it came in contact with a specific sap.

I knew it would be a sight to see when spring came around. Even better was Todoroki’s smile as we headed to the rest of the spa, a full day planned.

 

~*~

 

I had to meet with the League since they left a message at the cafe. Sakurai had added to it, saying her cafe wasn’t a mailbox to pass them along. Which was bullshit when Koji looked so much like an eager puppy to do anything to help me even against his sister’s orders. And all the League wanted to do was complain to Dragonfly about the Hare of Inaba who took down one of their horrifying facilities. Oh fuck them.

It was annoying to say the least.

And now, here I was at an abandoned warehouse as I waited for Hawks. He had set up the location, but it still made me wonder what is it with suspicious meetings in abandoned or empty warehouses? Can't people pick anywhere else less cliche? I checked the time again, bored out of my mind. I had arrived a few minutes early, already expecting him to be here.

At this point he was just being rude.

There's the sound of wings flapping and the silhouette of a feathered figure. So now he shows up, huh? It was a good thing I wore a mask otherwise he might be able to tell from how much he irritated me that I was Dragonfly.

“Hare of Inaba, we meet again.” He greeted me, sounding ominous. It was almost funny, but I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. He had me waiting over twenty minutes and this was what he said of all things.

I’M CALLED MARCH HARE. I wrote in the air with the pen I had got off from Yaoyorozu’s company. It helped they sold things to everyone, even if I didn’t like it. Especially when it came to writing utensils that could be used in the air. It took less time and meant I had less to carry. 

“Well now my cool line’s been ruined.” Hawks pouted. I tried to hold back, I really did.

IT WASN’T COOL. IT’S OVERUSED. And there it was. The honest truth I didn’t want to use. It was as if I were still Dragonfly and I needed to stop that. Dragonfly was a whole other person. I shouldn’t be actin like that.

“And how many times have you heard it?” He asked as if he doubted me. Which wasn’t unlikely. I would doubt someone, too, if they swung a halberd at my face. Then again, I could claim self-defense. 

THREE TIMES, TOWARDS ME, IN THE LAST MONTH. TWO OF THOSE WERE FROM THE SAME PERSON. I listed. Seriously, Dabi. Stop. It’s not funny. Even if one of those times was while I was March Hare and the other as Dragonfly. He knows I’m the same person. 

“So why are you using a magic wand to write?” He tilted his head to get a better look.

MASK MUFFLES SOUND. WHAT DO YOU WANT? I rolled my eyes. He should have had enough proof of that when I tried to talk to him the first time we met.

“Getting straight to the point. I like that.” He flirted? I honestly had no idea what he was doing. What is with this guy and why does he rub me the wrong way with every word? “I want you to help me find more of those warehouses containing those things.”

I’LL HELP. THOSE CREATURES ARE CALLED NOUMU. THEY WERE ONCE HUMAN, BUT THEY’VE BEEN COMBINED TO CREATE THOSE MINDLESS MONSTERS. I explained the basics

“Well shit. That’s horrible. But how do you know so much?”

FUCK YOUR CHICKEN STRIPS.

I jumped out the window while he was busy laughing and escaped. 

 

~*~

 

Shinsou and I had met up again for another day to hang out. We had just seen a movie and were now at a mall. He was laughing about something that happened in the movie and my heart skipped a beat. He was so charming and his laughter was a wonder. I wished he would never hide it from me.

The feeling in my chest was overwhelming. I realized this must be love. I hadn’t felt in so long, but this was really love. It wasn’t just a crush on this cute boy, but actual love.

"I need to tell you something." I blurted out like an idiot. I had no idea how this was going to go, but my feelings had grown so much I needed to say them. Which was stupid considering we were just having a good time, but I couldn’t help it. I had become too impulsive.

"What's up?" Shinsou asked, slightly unnerved by how serious I was being. We had just been joking around so it wasn’t out of place. Even when we hung out other days, we mostly talked about heroes and joked around and played games. But something serious like this was uncommon.

"I love you. Like, a lot. At first it was just a crush, but then it grew the more I got to know you." The look on his face didn't have a single word for it. It was a mix of confusion and something like regret or guilt. No no no. I could feel the tears well up even as I added, "You don't have to give me an answer or anything. I'm sorry for being selfish and pushing this on you."

"Midoriya, wait-" He tried to reach out for me, but I had already turned away. I needed to get as far away as possible.

I'm sorry for doing that to you, Shinsou-kun. I was so foolish, how could I have done that to you? I’m an idiot. It’s just like Kacchan all over again. Me pushing my feelings onto someone else who didn’t want me like that. Didn’t like boys, even. 

I wiped away the tears.

He won’t want to talk to me. Not now that he knows I’m a freak. A freak and a pervert who doesn’t deserve to live.

March, I have a mission for you. - H.

What’s up? - M.H

Head to the warehouse. Details will be there. - H.

 

~*~

 

Toru and I agree that when we’re going to U.A., if we’re in the same class we’re going to pretend not to know each other so we can become friends with other people. - Frenchiest Fry

Any of you want to join in? - Frenchiest Fry

I’m in! It sounds like fun. - Sunshine Boy

So long as we can still hang out after. - Sunshine Boy

As am I. - IcyHot

Of course we can! - Frenchiest Fry

Also, look at my baby boy using proper punctuation and grammar! - Frenchiest Fry

I vote for not knowing Fry. - King Explosion Murder

Who are you and why are you in this chat? - Frenchiest Fry

I’ve been using them for awhile now??? - Sunshine Boy

We should've noticed since it wasn't burning our eyes anymore. - IcyHot

Ouch! - Sunshine Boy

No no. He's right. It was awful. - King Explosion Murder.

The world's going to implode, we actually agree on this. - Frenchiest Fry

Assholes - Sunshine Boy

But we’re your assholes. - IcyHot

 

~*~

 

The exam was easier than expected, but I couldn’t help but be anxious about the race they had us do. The others all used their quirks, but being quirkless, I was at a bigger disadvantage. No matter how many tools or my surroundings I had used, I came in fourth place.

I could only hope I beat some of the others in the written exam. 

Yaoyorozu and Todoroki had nothing to worry about. Half the available spots for the recommended students would be taken by them, even when the results haven't come yet. Which meant I had to get in one of the other two. And that was the hardest part.

I could only hope I had managed it.

~*~

 

Yagi was staring up at the sky, sitting on the clear beach. I had finished cleaning it soon after the exam and now we met for hand to hand combat training. We weren’t supposed to meet here today, but he hadn’t arrived for dinner. My mom had been so worried she sent me out to go find him.

“What do you see when you look up at the night sky, Midoriya-kun?” Yagi asked, as if sensing my presence. I looked up to try to figure out my answer. I had rarely thought about it, with the exception of how useful it was for certain quirks.

“I see the moon, stars, and clouds.” I answered. I felt my stomach drop as Yagi’s expression became a mix of disappointment and pity. I must’ve answered wrong. But then what is the right answer?

“Let’s get you home. You’re barely wearing anything.” He said, standing up. I looked down at my clothes and noticed he was right. Mom’s worry is infectious. But you’re not much better. He was wearing his oversized shirt and cargo pants, which couldn’t be healthy in the cold with his skeleton body.

“Mom saved you dinner. She was worried about you.”

“I’ll have to thank her and apologize for not saying anything.”

“Yeah.”

 

~*~

 

Like Yuuga said, I should just talk to Kacchan. Hear him out and then explain things to him. I can’t do this after all. I need to go. I turned to walk away from the park. I couldn’t believe I had dared to agree to this.

“Izuku.” His voice stopped me in my tracks. Memories flooded me with that one word. He hadn’t called me that since I confessed. Even then, he had only used my name when he thought it was serious, which was rare. “Thanks for coming.”

“I was the one who told you to.” I said, not turning around. I didn’t know what kind of face I was making and I didn’t want him to find out, either. Not Kacchan. I couldn’t face him with this kind of resolve. Nor when he sounded so understanding and kind. It didn’t make sense.

“I know you must be disgusted with me. I’ve been thinking about that night a lot and I shouldn’t have forced a kiss on you. I’ve never done this before, but that’s no excuse.” He was being too gentle. Kacchan was rough and loud and cruel, not sweet and apologetic.

“I kissed you a year ago. We’ll call it even.” My words sounded cold to my ears and I immediately wanted to say sorry. It had meant to be a joke, but I couldn’t seem to muster up any willpower to make it sound like one.

“I was an idiot a year ago.”

“We both were.”

“No kidding.” Silence filled the cold air. In the distance I could hear a dog barking and its owner yelling after it. “At least look at me while you reject me.”

“I’m not-” I was about to protest, spinning around to face him. Kacchan’s face and ears were red from the cold, his hands were shoved in his pockets, and he looked utterly and completely ashamed. My mind blanked and heart stopped beating. 

This was not the person who I fell for. Nor the one who blew up anything that made him irritated. This wasn’t the one who ripped up my homework or pushed me when I walked near him in school. This wasn’t the boy who insulted me even when we played at the arcade after school.

This was the child who shared his chocolate pudding with me and promised to be my hero instead of All Might. This was my friend who came over to cheer me up when my mom and Nemuri broke up. This was the person who sang with me when we had fun in the kitchen together, years ago.

All he did when he told people about the hallucinations was try to help me. He’s my friend and I was an idiot for not hearing him out. He deserves the truth.

“You’re right. I am rejecting you. And I’m sorry, but I don’t love you like that anymore. You’re my friend and I care about you, but not like that.” For the first time since we were four, I saw something wet and transparent fall from Kacchan’s eyes. He was crying and it seemed to surprise even him. Before he could turn away and head home, I hugged him.

Kacchan stiffened up, but didn’t say anything. Eventually, he put his arms around my back and we shared our warmth with each other in the cold park. It almost helped my own heart.

“February, the month for heartbreak, huh.” I attempted to joke. I thought it almost sounded like one this time.

“Screw you.” He grumbled, but it held no heat. “Who would dare to reject you?”

“I could name a couple people. But this isn’t the time.” We slowly let go of each other. I took hold of one of his hands before he could slip it back into his coat. I gazed into his puffy, red eyes. It was almost funny. “Want to grab some cocoa?”

“Sure.” He muttered. I attempted to smile and a part of me felt like we could heal.

The letter had arrived. It was in my hands. This was the moment of truth. All I had to do was open it and then tell everyone. I rushed to my room, grateful my mom was at work so she wouldn’t be around if I made any embarrassing noises.

I watched the video, my eyes and ears not able to understand what was playing. I blinked and replayed it. It felt like I couldn’t breath as the details didn’t change. I tried again and felt tears spill down.

I failed.

All those people who helped me will be let down. They’ll all be so disappointed in me. They’ll realize they never should have bothered and regret that they did. Yuuga-kun will be so upset with me.

The video was playing again, the teacher on screen talking about how if someone gets kicked out in the first semester, they would be willing to accept me. But I ignored it, the realization I wasn’t the first choice for anyone hitting me hard.

If u don’y stio me, i’m doing to catvh more vills and crims than you gave un your ebtire carrer - M.H.

Meet me at the warehouse - H.

 

~*~

 

 

My mind was muddled and busy from my failure of the exam. Even though I should have expected nothing else, I was having trouble believing it. Hawks could tell I was feeling off, but had yet to make a comment about it. Then again, my text to him was clear enough that I wasn’t in a good headspace. Not that I’ll ever admit it to anyone. I don’t want them to worry.

I saw a glimpse of green and picked up the scrap. It was a dark green fabric and pinning it to the ground was a black feather. I stopped the patrol and waved Hawks down.

THIS IS CHITINOID’S AND LITTLE CROW’S. THEY’RE IN DANGER.

“I didn’t know all vigilantes knew each other.”

DRAGONFLY KEPT TABS.

“And why would Dragonfly want to keep tabs on them?”

THEY WERE CHASING AFTER A SCIENTIST.

“The scientist might be involved with the noumu.” He realized. I nodded my head, making the movement exaggerated so he could see it easily. “What’s his name?”

SHIONOYA SHUSAKU

Hawks seemed to recognize the name after a moment, to my relief. I didn’t want to have to explain why he would be important. According to all of my files Shionoya had been a famous quirk researcher who was about to look into quirkless people when he suddenly disappeared a decade earlier. He had a lot of interviews about heroes and regular people on live television, so his disappearance was noted by the media. There had even been an investigation before they gave up.

The simple fact that Crow, a girl younger than ten years old, had showed signs that she knew him well, suggested he was alive. Or had been, between his disappearance and when she knew him. If Shionoya had any involvement with the noumu, it would mean there’s a lot more going on than either of us thought.

“Follow me.” He said and I noticed there was more scraps of green around. He led us as my worry for the girls grew. I hadn’t kept an eye on them because they were looking for Shionoya. It was because they were just kids. They shouldn’t be involved with these kinds of things.

I bumped into Hawks and realized he had stopped. I was about to write sorry but he stopped me and pointed upward. There was a camera by the building and if I were to use the pen it would be caught on video. I nodded, understanding the reason, and pocketed the pen in my capelet.

I can disable it. I signed, hoping he would understand. He just looked confused. Damn it. “I can disable it. They used the same model as the one we met in.”

“How do you suggest getting to it?” He asked with a mocking grin. I narrowed my eyes and huffed. I pulled my halberd from it’s hold and put my thumb up.

“You’re the only one who is trying to stay hidden. I’ve already declared war on them.” I said before skipping into the line of sight. He was about to lunge and stop me, so I called out, “Don’t make yourself visible until I’ve gotten to it!”

I skipped towards the camera and waved. I took one leap into the air and swung my halberd down onto it. Easy peasy. I spun around and made a peace sign, smiling behind my mask. It really was exhilarating being in the field and swinging my halberd around.

“Now they know we’re here.” Hawks sighed, moving away from the wall towards me. I put my halberd away and brought out my pen again.

NO THEY DON’T. THEY ONLY CHECK THEIR CAMERAS EVERY OTHER DAY. NO ONE IS ACTUALLY WATCHING THE SCREENS.

“How do you know this?” I brought up both of my middle fingers and tilted my head. There was no way I was going to mention the folders to him hear and now. Or ever. He just grinned again as if he expected that answer. It oddly reminded me of the hero forums I used to be on before I became Dragonfly. “I suggest you lead the way or someone will notice my charming nature.”

WHAT CHARMING NATURE? I scoffed, rolling my eyes. He looked utterly offended and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Yes, that was a very manly chuckle, not a giggle. No siree. I move forward before he can say anything in response and derail the seriousness of the mission.

Little Crow and Chitinoid are in danger. There’s no more time dilly dallying. Ugh. I sound like Uncle Masaru.

And then everything went wrong. They were in the middle of clearing the vats out and moving containers. There were trails of blood that stopped abruptly just like the person guarding the scientists when they saw us.

Hawks and I barely escaped. He carried me out in his arms, parts of my costume torn up. There was warm trickling sensation as half my body felt like it was on fire. And Hawks didn’t look much better. He was  holding onto me until he couldn’t keep us both in flight.

I fell. It was a fast descent, but it felt so slow. Thoughts and memories flitted through my head before they finally landed on one. The face of my mom. I could see her as clear as the moon. The way she would react to hearing I’ve died. The rejection, the tears. It would break her.

I can’t let that happen.

But it was too late. I had landed and my body was overwhelmed by new and old injuries. My consciousness began to fade.

I can’t die here.

I was choking on blood. It was different from the way one might choke on water or juice. It was thicker, harder for it to pass through either way. There was a voice nearby and someone removing my mask. The only thing I could think at that moment was, I'm sorry.

Chapter Text

Dear Reader,

Let me start off by saying this story means a lot to me and what I'm about to say saddens me.

I was inspired by the song My R, as well as a male cover of I Wish You Liked Girls and some Gravity Falls AU animatics, to create this fic. I eventually began to use it to channel my own frustrations, suicidal thoughts, and happy feelings. As it continued, I started creating plot points for the future. And when I wasn't really feeling the emotions needed for those points, I forced myself to keep writing it anyways, which is why I feel it falls flat at really important pieces.

I am no longer going through such bad points anymore and haven't for months. I am personally getting better, but Izuku (who I have been pouring myself into) is not. I am losing the feelings of the main character in the story and I don't want either to to continue feeling as they fall flat when they're meant to be fully rounded.

Which is why I won't be writing the next part and will instead be stopping here.

However, if anyone is interested, you can talk to me about it and take over the project, if you would like. I had some small and big details that I was hoping to use and reveal in the next part. For example of a small part: Todoroki with long hair. Because I love that and this story was a way to indulge myself.

If you do not want to take over the project, but still wish to know what was going to happen in the next part, I would be willing to tell you what I had planned for the first chapter of the next part in hopes of bringing you closure.

Thank you everyone who has been here from the start (over a year ago now) and those who joined along the way! Even those who just read everything right now. All of your comments mean a lot to me and have helped motivate me especially when I'm feeling down. I wish it didn't end like this.

I hope to see you again,

Magical Mischief Mon

P.S.

I might still write some side stories/background stories and maybe even one part which just has some of my notes and deleted scenes (including an entire list of ridiculous vigilante names).

P.P.S.

I will, eventually, go back through and edit this story. When I am done editing a chapter, I will give it it's proper title.