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square one (hardest part was leaving you)

Chapter Text

It had been an almost flawless plan.

Months of discussion and careful planning were supposed to guarantee they would take down the League of Villains, once and for all. The inside information from the undercover operation hadn’t been enough to prevent this outcome, though, so it felt like they were back at the start. Except now they didn’t even have anyone on the inside.

Most of the top Pros had been involved, along with the local ones, and those few U.A. students that couldn’t have been kept away if they had tried, for they were far too close to the case, with Eraserhead tagging along, to help, and supervise them.

Quite a few had been badly injured, with all the enhanced Nomus, and Gigantomachia, practically waiting for them when they arrived.

They had quickly realised it was a trap.

Still, the team was strong, backed by the police and a covert ops team of heroes, and there was a chance they might have won, if the League had been surprised and hadn’t managed to escape at some point during the confusing, destructive fight.

But, they left one of theirs behind.

Well, not exactly. He wasn’t really one of them.

They were supposed to think so, though.

Dabi had been surprised when Shigaraki called him by his real name. He didn’t think that would be a problem, if they found out, because he did have the perfect background for the mission, from the start, his cover needing barely any tweaks besides how he looked. However, somehow, the League also knew about which side he was really on, about helping the heroes, about Hawks, and the only reason he was still alive was because there was no more time, if they wanted to escape.

Thankfully, both Hawks and the covert ops leader were in the front lines, and were the first ones to get to the room, in time to see Shigaraki disappear and Dabi fall to his knees.

“T- Dabi! Are you ok?” Hawks rushed forward, worried the other might be hurt, but he’s already standing up, and turning to face him.

“Nah, I’m fine… One more minute and I would’ve turned to dust though.” He’s making a sour face as he double checks himself for injuries. There are only a few cuts, from when Toga had attacked him, but thankfully none are too deep.

A few others had followed behind and stood curiously watching the scene, but it’s then that the rest of the heroes, along with some of the police, arrived. They had also seen the villains outside disappear, so they rushed inside to see if the others had been more successful. Now everyone was looking at the winged hero and the other, with curiosity and distrust.

“Dabi?” Tsukauchi was the first to speak, already guessing why the other was left behind, judging by his state and his face when he turned to face him.

“Cover’s blown… I got lucky Ujiko took them away before they could…” Running a hand through his hair, scowling both because of the situation and the grimy feeling of the dyed strands (his hair dye had to be one of the really cheap, low quality ones, to avoid suspicion), he allowed Hawks to take a closer look at his injuries.

Among everyone else, there were murmurs, until the detective explained about the undercover operation, and directed them to do some of the clean-up work. Teams of medics and firemen were already beginning to tend to the wounded, secure the structures and document the total damage.

In the aftermath, all of those who weren’t too injured or exhausted followed to the police station. Statements had to be taken and, if possible, a new plan had to be started. Even if they all knew they needed rest, they also knew they couldn’t possibly sleep now, couldn’t sit still and not try to do something else.

The meeting room was mostly silent. The officers had already talked to everyone there, which included heroes and students (thankfully, the latter had only gotten a few bruises and were mostly tired, from using their quirks). All Might was also there, because even though he hadn’t participated in the fights, he was still a valuable asset for strategies.

After making (and receiving) quite a few phone calls, Tsukauchi entered the room, organizing the case notes on the desk, and they started to discuss the events of the day, along with trying to have some fresh ideas.

“One of the biggest problems we’ve had from the start is fighting those...things.”

“That’s true… and they’ve gotten even stronger.”

“Maybe some kind of powerful weapon could help?”

This went back and forth between the Pros. The students (Amajiki, Midoriya, Bakugou, Todoroki, Kirishima, Iida, Uraraka and Asui) sat a little aside, discussing amongst themselves too. Surprisingly, the adults were the ones that were having increasingly bad ideas, until Endeavor huffed in annoyance and added “Just need to blast them with a good dose of powerful fire.”, which caused quite a few people to pause and roll their eyes (Shouto in the corner too), including one in particular who was just entering the room with Hawks, towel in his hair as he finished drying it.

“Oh, shut up. If it was that simple, they could have been destroyed long ago.”

Everyone turns to see who the newcomer is, including the flame hero, who was about to reply but clenches his jaw, remembering where he is. Once he turns around, though, he can’t hide how he’s a little surprised, nor the small spark of what could be recognition.

“And who is this?” Someone asks Tsukauchi, while Endeavor, in an uncommonly calm, but still as cold voice, asks the man “And how do you suppose we face them then?”

Dabi (this is also his “hero” name, in covert ops) looks at him and shrugs, noticeably a little amused. “Dunno. That’s your problem, all of you. I’m just the information guy- well, was.”, he says, not giving the detective time to answer first. He’s finished drying his hair, so he puts the towel in the gym bag he was carrying, revealing spiky, crimson hair, now free of any products that altered its color. His sharp turquoise eyes mirror the flame hero’s when they meet briefly, as the undercover agent moves to stand next to Tsukauchi and Hawks.

Many were still staring at him. He didn’t have the horrible scars and stitches he wore when he was playing villain, but he still looked pretty out of shape (thin and with lack of sleep), and he did have some scars of his own: burns, patches of red skin that looked better than they should (when they found him, after he left the hospital, he had an actually good healer’s help) up the left side of his neck to his jaw, and others, not so visible at the moment, across his arms, torso, and thighs.

Clearing his throat, the detective got everyone’s attention again. “So, now we can fully discuss what happened and make some plans. Some explaining first, though.” Searching for the undercover operation reports, he continues. “We had someone on the inside of the League of Villains, reporting anything that would be useful through Hawks, who was also posing as a ‘traitor to the hero society’, in a way. The undercover agent was Dabi. Formally introduced, this would be” He pauses for a second, gesturing to the man beside him. “covert ops agent Todoroki Touya.”

Chapter Text

When they had started to discuss the plan to take down the league, in the second or third meeting, detective Tsukauchi had asked some of them to stay behind when they were finished. Hawks, Eraserhead, Endeavor, All Might, all of those whom he trusted more, stayed in their seats as the others left, giving him odd looks (except for the winged hero, who knew what this must be about).

“I’m sorry, but some information can't be discussed with everyone. If I asked you to stay here, it's because I'm certain I can trust you with what I'm about to reveal, and because it might be better if you know, just in case.” He starts, looking at each of them for a few seconds before continuing. “As you know, we've had some contact with the League through an undercover operation, with-”

“-me.” Hawks interrupts, the others glancing at him. This was something most of them already knew.

“Yes, Hawks, you.” He smiles for a little, indulging in the hero’s mood. “But, he's not the only one.”

“What do you mean? Is there another undercover hero?” Aizawa asks.

“Well, sort of. He's not the same as most of us.” Hawks answers before the detective can. “He's part of the covert ops unit, which means he's mostly an underground hero.”

“And you're sure you can trust this man? Or that they won't find out he's lying about who he really is?” Endeavor, with one flaming eyebrow raised, and in his usual position of standing with his arms crossed, looks between Tsukauchi and Hawks.

This time it's the detective who answers first. “Yes, I'm sure he's trustworthy. As for being found out… I don't think that'll be much of a problem. Trust me… he has the perfect backstory for the part…”

The room went silent when the covert ops agent was introduced. Then, some whispering started between the heroes gathered.

Endeavor having had a flashback to when they had started planning this operation, was looking between Touya and Tsukauchi. Wondering if he knew. Feeling even worse. He barely let it show, though.

In the corner, Bakugou and Midoriya exchange a look, as they hear Shouto's whisper. “Nii-san…”. Their friends also connect the dots, but stay silent. They probably shouldn't say anything about it just yet.

Touya doesn't really enjoy all the attention, switching between shooting daggers with his eyes at his father, giving Shouto warm looks, and glancing at Hawks, who met his eyes to give him reassurance and comfort.

The detective is already trying to bring everyone's attention back to the matter at hand. It takes a few minutes until they're back to business, talking about the League and what could've gone wrong with the operation.

When the escape is mentioned, Tsukauchi looks at Touya, knowing the other would want to explain this bit.

“Right, so, even though they don't have All for One anymore, and Shigaraki has matured a bit, they still have someone else who's helping them. A doctor, the one who created the Nomus and helped the big guy for years. He goes by Ujiko to them right now, but I think this is him.” He searches the computer database for the man's file. The projected screen, that had until now been showing the villains’ pictures, now has a picture of the doctor, strange glasses and moustache, and underneath a name, already labeled as, most likely, also fake, and other information.

Midoriya gasps, and is the first to speak. “I… I think I know that man! He looks like the doctor my mom took me too when I was a kid, the one who-” He remembers that people aren't supposed to know he was quirkless, but the looks he exchanges with All Might, Shouto and Katsuki tell him those three understood what he meant.

“That's possible. Until about six or seven years ago, he was taking appointments as a ‘quirk specialist’ doctor.” Tsukauchi says, reading the file a little further. “It's not clear when he started doing these, though.”

“And it's because of him that my cover was blown, I'm pretty sure. I think he recognized me.” Touya looks pointedly at Endeavor.

“I… might have a clue to when he started.” The flaming hero said, after a few seconds of silence. He was acting calmer than usual, mostly looking down. All of this made him think, and regret. “About… 16 years ago, I think, Rei's- uh, my wife's friend suggested him to us. She had a little boy that was two or three years older than ours, and had apparently been the doctor's first 'client’. Kid couldn't control his quirk’s blades or something, kept hurting himself, and this doctor had solved it. So, we thought we might give it a try too, because of-”

He was cut off by Touya. “-because of my weakness to my fire.”

“-yeah.” They shared a brief look. “And even though it only worked a little, he was our go-to for the children, when there were quirk-related issues. He always seemed like a genuine, trustworthy man, though.”

“Nice judge of character…” Touya mutters, looking him in the eyes, but only Hawks (who was currently hiding his smile behind his hand, trying not to laugh) had heard.

The atmosphere is almost tangibly tense between father and son, and it need to be broken, so Eraserhead asks “Well, if this man is so important to the League, we should worry about him first, I think. If they lose one of their big supporters, like with the warp guy, they should become weaker, and easier to take down.”

Many nod in agreement and start to discuss with each other again. They only talk for a little, though, before Tsukauchi is asking for their attention again.

“We’ll have more time to talk about this in the days to come, with a clear head… Now everyone should go home, and try to rest at least a little.”

The heroes and students start to leave, most not hanging back, except for three students and a certain flame hero.

Approaching his son, he starts. “Touya, I-”

“Save it. I’m not having this conversation with you right now.”

He had been chatting with Hawks when he saw Endeavor approach, and knew he must want to talk to him. Touya didn’t really want to talk to him, though, and the staring match that followed his response was only proof of that. He stood tall, facing the man who had terrified his and his siblings’ childhoods. Yes, he was shorter than him, but also taller than he used to be, and didn’t really care about what Enji thought anymore. The man in question was the first to look away, gritting his teeth, but resigned, and quickly left too.

Touya felt Hawks come up behind him, a comforting hand on his lower back, that moved to take his own, and interlace their fingers. “I’m fine.”

“I didn’t ask.”, the other responds.

The redhead sighs, turning to face him. “Yeah, well, I still don't need words to know what you were thinking.”

“You sure you’re ok?”

He can tell by his expression and tone of voice that the winged hero is worried. But he nods, looking away, noticing Shouto, who was still standing around, with Bakugou and Midoriya on either side, all of them looking their way. With his eyes fixated on his little brother, he says “Yeah… or at least, I’ll be.”

Chapter Text

Hawks gave Touya a little shove in Shouto’s direction, while the two next to the younger boy did the same, towards his eldest sibling (guess that’s how you have to deal with Todoroki boys). Almost everyone else had already left. Midoriya and Bakugou did the same, telling Shouto they’d see him later, and the winged hero, after giving his hands a reassuring squeeze, went to help Tsukauchi clean up all of the case files and notes, the two trying not to disturb the brothers, who were already moving towards each other, Shouto more hesitantly. The final push was the look the youngest was giving him, so different, yet familiar at the same time, and Touya just ran the rest of the way, the other catching him in a tight hug.

Tiny footsteps could be heard across the hall to their bedrooms, running, along the familiar sobs of the little boy. His big brother was already waiting for him, though, door and arms open to comfort him after yet another training session.

”Shh… It’s okay, little Sho… I got you…”

It didn’t take long for his sister to show up with the usual first-aid kit, to bandage Shouto’s wounds. She closed the door behind her and joined their embrace for a few moments, before starting to take care of the burns and scrapes across their brother’s limbs. “I’ll try to be careful, but it might sting a little, alright?”

She proceeded after a small nod from the boy. Touya just kept whispering reassuring words in his ear, and rocking them back and forth as much as he could with Fuyumi working.

Three quick knocks, followed by two slower ones, told them their other brother was already aware of the situation too. He only opened the door a little, checking to see if the others were taking care of their little brother. Sharing a look with the twins, he nodded and closed the door again, returning to his room, near the beginning of the hallway, and leaving his own door half open.

Despite being quirkless, Natsuo, being the tallest and more athletic of the three, always insisted he keep watch, just in case father decided to actually chase Shouto and punish him further. He wasn’t as good at comforting anyways, and his passion for health would only surface a few years later, when he had to take on Touya’s part in helping the youngest (or trying to; the boy grew a little distant from him and Fuyumi after the eldest was gone, paired with him also getting older) or bandage him up when his sister was at school or doing household chores.

”T- Touya I d-don’t want to, I can’t, I-” Now simply curled up in his brother’s lap, bruises taken care of, Shouto sobbed and clung onto Touya, his little hands bunched up in the other’s t-shirt.

”Shhh… I know Sho, I know… I’m sorry we can’t protect you more, I’m sorry…"

”I’m sorry...”

It’s the first thing he says to him, after all this time. It’s the first thing that seems right for him to say. He deeply regrets not coming back home after he was mostly healed, but he knew it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. It wouldn’t have been good for any of them.

“I’m sorry, Sho… Sorry I didn’t come back…” A few tears escape now, and they’re not just his.

“It’s okay, niisan…”

“No, it’s… I wish I could’ve...” He pulls away with a frustrated sigh, still standing close, though.

There’s a knock on the door, just as Tsukauchi and Hawks were about to leave too, and the detective is the one to open it, having a quick conversation with the officer before opening the door wider and letting two people in, and they’re a blur as they race to join the two brothers. Said boys gasp with the force of the others’ impact, before actually noticing who the two were.

If he was already crying before, now it’s even worse.

“Yumi… Natsu…” As they join the embrace and shed tears of their own, Touya turns to take a good look at them. “I missed you all so much, I- How did you know..?”

“Well, we got a call from our favorite bird. At first I didn’t believe him but…” Fuyumi turns to look at the winged hero, standing near the door, smiling, and the others follow her gaze.

“You…” The eldest sibling looks at Hawks with a fond smile. “I really fucking love you, y’know that right?”

“Yep.” The other responds with a little smirk. “I think I’ll just leave you guys for now, though. I’ll meet you outside.” He blows a kiss at him before leaving, and now it’s really just the four of them.”

Tears are being wiped now, and they settle down on a few of the chairs, pulled close together, since none of them want to be too far from the others.

Touya feels himself smile again. He really has missed this, them.

“So, what have you guys been up to? I only really know about Shouto a little, because of- err, well, the undercover operation.” He finishes with a sheepish smile, turning to the other two.

“Well, I’ve got college, studying health, and neesan is busy with her teaching and her boyfrie-” He doesn’t get to finish because the girl covers his mouth, but her twin had already understood what the white-haired boy meant.

“A boyfriend, huh? Who’s this guy?”

Fuyumi huffs, glaring at the two. “Don’t. It’s none of your-”

“It’s Iida Tensei- Ow, that hurt!” He almost dodged his sister’s hit. Almost. The other two boys are trying to hide their laughter, while she’s blushing.

She turns to Touya again, raising her eyebrow at his and Shouto’s barely concealed smiles. “So what if I have a boyfriend? Shouto has two!”

Now it was the youngest’s turn to blush, hiding his face in his hands. “Neesan!”

Natsuo and Fuyumi were the ones laughing now, while Touya turned to their little brother with a slightly surprised expression. “Two, huh?”

“It’s-”

“Let me guess, that loud blond and the green-haired one?”

“How did you-”

“Well, it’s not that hard. You three were pretty much glued together throughout the meeting, and they were the last to leave.” He smirks, as Shouto turns to face him, dropping his hands back to his lap. “And I guess, then, that I should kinda apologize for kidnapping your boyfriend.”

The other three share a look before bursting into laughter, the eldest following suit.

He really did miss this.

They spent about half an hour catching up, before Aizawa came to get Shouto so they could return to UA. The three exchanged phone numbers with Touya, and they all left the station together, each going their own way.

Hawks was waiting for him in the car, in the passenger seat (he didn’t really like driving that much, but this was a different occasion, and he didn’t particularly feel like carrying his boyfriend all the way to their shared apartment).

There was a comfortable silence as Touya drove, their hands entwined together as much as possible.

When they arrived, they still didn’t talk much. Both knew it would take some time for the red-haired man to readjust, for their relationship to go back to something close to ‘normal’, after barely having any contact for several months.

They order some takeout for dinner and settle on the couch, sitting close, with a random movie playing on TV. When they’re done, there’s a brief moment of awkwardness, before Touya lets out a little laugh and pulls Hawks against him, laying back on the couch with the other on top of him. The winged hero smiles too, and they kiss, enjoying the feeling, after so long.

He’d missed this too.

There are still things they need to discuss, but tonight, the joy of reunion takes over, and it feels more important to just relax and bask in each other’s presence.

They move to the bed, and the atmosphere is charged now. A pause, too lost in each other’s eyes, before instincts take over, and they become little more than a tangle of limbs for the rest of the night.

In the morning, there’s no rush. They have nowhere special to be.

After they’ve had breakfast and returned to bed, Hawks decides they should at least try to talk. “You know… there’s one person I didn’t call about you. I wasn’t sure…” He sighs, running a hand through Touya’s hair. “She’s probably heard about it in the news, but…”

The other looks up at him, from where he has his head across the winged hero’s lap. “And she might not want to-”

“No, don’t say that To. Yumi told me about some of their visits, and how even Shouto has been going regularly.”

“So you two kept in touch, huh?”

Hawks playfully scowls at him. “Don’t do that, you’re avoiding the subject. But yes, we did. I couldn’t tell her anything, but she was aware you were still out there somewhere.”

Touya nods, but says nothing else.

“You should go visit her.”

He switches positions, now sitting next to his boyfriend instead, and rubs his face against his hands, sighing.

“I… I want to but…”

“You’re scared.”

He nods, and the other grabs his hands gently, forcing him to face his pretty bird.

“That’s normal, but I really think you should. You could ask one of your siblings to go with you? I’m not sure about their schedules, though…” He trails off, rubbing his thumbs against the backs of the other’s hands.

“No, I need to… I need to do it alone.” He pauses, lost in thought for a moment. “I’ll go there in a few days, after we’ve settled some more… Right now, I just want to feel normal again.”

“Alright.” Hawks smiles at him, cupping his cheek. “Let’s work on that first, then.” His smile turns into a slight smirk, as he pulls the other closer and locks their lips together.