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The Healer's Inn

Chapter Text

Go somewhere you know nothing about and see what happens.

~Karl Ove Knausgård, Min kamp 5


Unforeseen

Yagi had gone off again somewhere and if he wasn’t quick then he was going to miss the train that was now pulling in. Sora, wearing his clever ‘disguise’ of common winter clothing, had already stepped forward in preparation to board the train. Glancing around, you saw that the station wasn’t crowded much at all, and you wondered how the station was able to stay open if it had so few patronages. Maybe this was just an off day? But it was Saturday…

Shrugging and dismissing it as none of your concern, you stood up from the bench and stepped forward to stand just a couple feet away from Sora. Neither of you said anything, being ‘strangers’ at the moment and not knowing if Yagi would make a sudden and unexpected return.

The train slid to a stop and the doors slid open. Half-heartedly hoping Yagi wouldn’t miss the train, you stepped forward a pace behind Sora—

Only to sink into deep snow instead of onto the train.

“The fu—!”

Sora’s curse and your startled shriek are cut off when you both fall face first into the sudden snow.

(fates shift)

When Yagi stumbles onto the train, you aren’t there to tease him about almost missing it.

(he doesn’t know your name and ends up learning it in the worst way)


Lost

Trying to get up only results in your arms sinking deeper into the snow. For a couple seconds you panic and flail, hysterically thinking that you are going to drown in the snow, but then your limbs find solid ground and you force yourself up so that you can breathe.

“(Name)?”

Sora sounds almost every bit as shocked as you are, but there’s a tinge of concern as well.

“I’m okay.”

You hear snow shifting and then Sora is helping you back on your feet. A cold gust of wind makes you shiver as you finally get a look at your new surroundings. Your mind stalls as you try and fail to process the information your eyes are giving you.

“Um, Sora?”

Your voice is tiny and squeaky.

“Yeah?”

His voice is strained and tense.

“Where the hell are we?”

“I have no fucking clue. Weren’t we just at a station?”

You don’t even have the energy to remind him that you don’t like swearing around you. Instead, you are equally concerned as to why civilization is suddenly and conspicuously absent. You can’t see anything except snow-covered hills in every direction.

Another gust of cold wind makes you shuffle closer to Sora. In anticipation of waiting all morning for Yagi to show up—not that you had known his name before he told you after you gave him organs—both you and Sora were moderately dressed for long-term exposure to the cold, but neither of you were prepared for survival in the middle nowhere. Sora pulled you closer with one arm while the other dug out his phone from his pocket.

“There’s no cell service.”

He sounded pissed and you couldn’t even blame him.

You both stood there for a long moment before Sora pulled the hood of your coat over your head.

“Well, we can’t stay here all day. Let’s move.” He pulled away to slowly turn in a circle before gritting his teeth.

“There’s nothing to indicate where the nearest town or village might be so let’s just start walking.” He turned his head towards you, his dark sunglasses hiding his currently black eyes from sight. “Do you have a preference for which way we go?”

You shook your head, hands in your coat pockets.

Sora pulled up his own hood and pointed in the direction you’d both been originally facing when you suddenly arrived… wherever here was.

Nodding, you started walking but immediately stopped as the high snow was making that difficult.

Sora sighed. “Follow my tracks.”

You felt a little bad, but hey, he was a guy with more stamina than you had, and with the enhancements you had given him thus far, walking through this knee-high snow would take longer to tire him out than it would you if you were blazing your own trail.

At least neither of you was walking directly into this bitter wind.


Snowman

After cresting the third hill, Sora suddenly came to a stop.

“Please let that be civilization. Please let there be a convenience store.”

Peering around him, you saw a collection of buildings on a hill some distance away. You brightened, mentally echoing his hopes. Maybe there’d be a vending machine or a café where you could get a warm drink and a snack. Even with Sora doing most of the hard work, walking in all this snow was tiring.

“Come on, boss lady,” Sora encouraged, sounding more cheerful. Glancing behind him to make sure you were still there, he started down the hill.

Less than a third of the way there, though, something suddenly burst out of a small snow mound just a few feet in front of Sora.

“Shit!”

Sora threw out his arm to hold you back while the other one came reflexively came up to guard his own torso. You both stared as his shield flared into existence several times, hard snow balls futilely cracking against it before falling into the snow in broken clumps.

“Is that… a moving snowman?”

Indeed, a large, malevolent-looking snowman was currently pitching snowballs and ice at you and Sora. Of course, since Sora’s shield activated against projectiles, this was doing nothing except adding to the surrealism of your day.

Sora groaned, straightening from his defensive position. “It’s probably some kid just dicking us around with their Quirk. They might only get to use it when there’s a bunch of snow like this, so they’re probably making the most of it. Still…” He inhaled and bellowed out. “Hey, kid! Or whoever! Quit it, before I find you and kick you in the balls!” He paused and added, “If you have them!”

He muttered under his breath. “Don’t know what I’m gonna do if you’re a little girl, to be honest… Hit you over the head?”

“Never mind them, Sora,” you said. “I’m starting to get cold, so let’s just move on.”

He eyed the evil Frosty before nodding. “Alright.”

He led you around the construct, his shield flaring quite often, but it didn’t follow you. Until you were out of range, Sora kept himself between you and it just in case it demonstrated mobility. Once you were both far out of range, you looked back but saw that it had sunk back down into snow. You traded a look with Sora.

“I don’t even play games, but did that feel like a game element to you too?”

Sora nodded. “Strangely enough, yeah. I hope that’s all we have to deal with, though.”

You both looked at a second, larger mound that was in the straight path from your current position to the buildings still in the distance.

“Uh, how about we avoid the snow mounds for now?”

“Works for me.”


Shelter

Even before ascending the hill, your stomach had dropped. Even without getting close, you could just tell that this was not the civilization you were hoping for. There were no people there that you could see, but more than that…

“Fuck, shit, goddamnit!

This place was falling apart and clearly abandoned. Loose shutters banged in the wind of the bleak wooden buildings as a sense of abandonment settled heavily over you. Whatever this place had been, no one had been here for a long time. Part of you doubted there was even a paved road beneath the snow. You couldn’t even see any street lights or signs.

Sora stopped swearing long enough to pull off his sunglasses. His formerly pitch black eyes were starting to clear up with the black lessening, but it would be another hour or three before his eyes were back to normal. His cheeks were red with cold and you wondered if yours were too. Probably, since you’d both been sharing the same day so far.

“Let’s just find somewhere to warm up for now.”

Sora glanced at you before grimly nodding. He carefully eyed the few buildings and immediately discarded most of them. Finally, he pointed at the largest.

“There.”

Following him over to the building, he opened the door and stepped inside. He warily looked around before waving you in, which you did posthaste. As Sora closed the door against the outside, you unhappily noticed that it was still very much cold inside this place.

“Not much of a difference, huh?”

Sora slowly walked forward, testing the integrity of the floor. He silently waved you to follow in his steps and he led you over to a dusty chair. As he brushed the thick layer of dust off you glanced around the darkish interior and noted that the dust was everywhere. Yes, this place was definitely long abandoned.

“At least there’s a fireplace.” Sora left you to go over to said fireplace. “Luckily for us, there’s a small pile of wood, too. Does wood go bad? Nah. Right?”

“Dunno,” you said tiredly, sinking into the chair.

As Sora tried to get a fire going, your thoughts turned to outside. The sun was starting to go down now, so wherever you were, you’d been here for at least half a day and it looked like it was going to be a whole night, too. As for tomorrow, who knows how long it would take to get back to the city.

Because you would. You and Sora will totally get back to civilization and the others and your parents and Izuku and—

“Yes! And Katsu said I’d never need a lighter when I don’t smoke anymore. Hah!”

You looked over to Sora where he had gotten a fire going. You watched as he coaxed it into a blaze and came back over to you.

“Come on, boss lady. Sit closer to the fire.”

You stood up and followed him as he carried your chair over to the fireplace. It was nicer closer to the fire. But…

“Where are we, Sora?”

The grin on his face dimmed. “I don’t know, (Name).”

He rubbed his face with both of his hands, his voice muffled.

“I really don’t know.”


Water

After a long moment, Sora left you sitting there while he went to check out the rest of the place. He disappeared through a doorway and yelled that he’d found “an old-ass kitchen”. Dimly, you heard him opened and closing drawers and cupboards, calling out that “yeah, definitely a kitchen”. In the midst of this, however, his voice suddenly changed after a moment of suspicious silence.

“Hey! I found flour! And butter! And they’re not rotten! Can we make anything with flour and butter?!”

You didn’t know. You’ve practically never cooked before a day in your life. Helping out mom once in a blue moon probably didn’t count. Plus, Sora was talking about butter and flour and nothing else. Could you make something with just flour and butter? You were at least eighty percent certain that you’d need at least water, and maybe oil? But where—

Sora popped back out from the doorframe and held up a bucket. “I’m going to go get water.”

You blinked. “Where?”

He gestured vaguely at one wall. “Somewhere in that direction. I guess you didn’t notice, but there’s a stream or creek nearby. I’ll be right back.”

You were reluctant to let him go, but if he said he had to go get water then that probably meant the tap wasn’t working, right?

“Be careful.”

He nodded and strode out the door, letting in a gust of cold air.

Suddenly, you realized that this place was empty. As a Japanese person who has never been far from other people, this place and Sora’s absence was a heavy leaden weight in your gut. The only things you could hear were the crackling of the fire and the whistling of the wind through cracks in the closed window shutters. You… didn’t like this. Huddling into yourself, you pulled out your smartphone and desperately tried to find a signal.

After what seemed like forever, he was back with another cold gust of air. After closing the door, he paused to see you standing on your chair, boots off as you held your phone in the air. After a second or two, he asked, “Any luck?”

You shook your head ruefully.

“Shit,” you heard him mutter under his breath.

He sighed and stamped the snow off his boots. Neither of you had even thought of taking off your footwear despite that being against what you’ve grown up with your whole lives, but you didn’t think anyone would give you flak about it if they could see you now.

“Come on. Let’s see what we can make.”

Getting back down, you put on your boots and followed Sora into the kitchen.


Runes

You both stared down at what constituted your entire food supply: a bag of flour, a block of butter, and a bucket of water. Of these, the water could be replaced easily. The flour and butter were both perishable and currently unavailable outside of what was on the table. Which… was a strange and scary thought. You and Sora could actually starve out here in the middle of nowhere if you weren’t rescued soon.

“I’m really glad you and that guy stopped at that restaurant earlier. At least we had a good meal before ending up in this mess.”

You nodded grimly.

“We don’t even have an egg to make the flour stick together.”

Both you and Sora stared down at the assembled ingredients.

“…Are you hungry?”

You shook your head. “Not particularly.”

“Then let’s leave it for now. I’ll just put these back where I got them.”

“Where did you get them?”

He ended up showing you a cupboard that had glowing words etched into the wood. He warned you not to touch them as in at least one game he’s played, disrupting runes even a little could cause them to break and stop working. Taking several long moments to put the butter and flour back into their cupboard, you both held your breath as Sora stepped back. The ‘runes’ kept glowing so you both let out a sigh of relief.

After Sora cleaned a couple of cups and you both stood there slowly quenching your thirst, you lowered your cup and stared at it. Finally, you looked over at Sora.

“Are the runes someone’s Quirk?”

He shrugged. “I guess?”


Nuance

Going back out into the main area, you and Sora took a seat near the fire that wasn’t burning quite as merrily as the first while it had been lit. Sora wanted to conserve the wood and you could see his point. Who knew how cold it was going to get later?

He turned his head. “I’m going to check upstairs. You stay here, just in case I fall through the floor or something.”

“Alright,” you said dubiously.

Sora stood up and took several steps towards the stairs. Then, for some reason, he froze. You were just about to call his name when he turned and strode towards the front door instead. He reached out but instead of opening it, you head a lock click. He then followed up by pushing a table against the door.

Turning to you, he said in a serious tone, “If you hear something at the door, you call for me right away, okay?”

You nodded.

It was only a minute or so after he’d disappeared upstairs that you realized he said something and not someone.

You didn’t want to think about it, but since you were in this situation with him, you couldn’t exactly bury your head in the sand. So. ‘Something’… Why would he say that? It was probably because of your new situation.

Instead of boarding a train, the two of you had fallen face first into a pile of snow. Your location was no longer the seaside town but the middle of nowhere and the only water source was a creek (or a stream, whatever). There had been the evil Frosty the Snowman and a clear lack of people living in the area. This place was abandoned. There were glowing runes that kept food fresh. There was no signal for your smartphones. Neither of you had any clue where in the world you were.

‘Something.’

Sora locked the door.

You frowned deeply, folding your arms as you stared at the dirty floor.

What did all of this mean?


Discovery

Sora reeled back from the door he’d just opened. Thus far, all he’d found were empty rooms, but in this one! A skeleton grinned up at the ceiling, a chilling sight he was glad to have spared (Name). He wouldn’t be telling her about this and hopefully she wouldn’t come up here when he took his eyes off her.

Bringing his coat sleeve up to his face, Sora leaned in slightly and stared hard at collection of bones wearing rotted clothing. This man, whoever he was, had been dead for quite some time. Sora couldn’t tell what had killed him, only that it didn’t seem to have been foul play. It could have been, but Sora would likely never know for certain.

He coughed as he closed the door.


Disease

Sora returned from upstairs with ragged cloths and dirty blankets. Honestly speaking, you didn’t want to have anything to do with the blankets, but it was getting dark and it looked like you would be spending the night here, so beggars couldn’t be choosers. As Sora rambled on about the filthy state of upstairs and advised you not to go up there, something tickled your nose.

As you slowly inhaled, you could sense your Quirk destroying tiny invaders.

“Sora.”

The tone of your voice made him cut off and look over at you. Leaning forward, you inhaled again, seeming like you were smelling him, and you were. You were because the tiny invaders were coming off of him. They were multiplying like crazy and even as you stared, Sora coughed.

Come here.

You quickly pulled off your mitten and didn’t wait for him to move. Pushing off your chair, you closed the short distance to him and fell on your knees near him. Your hand shot out and pressed against his forehead.

“Wha—“

“Shh.”

You closed your eyes, scowling as you used your Quirk to quickly fight Sora’s battle for him.

The sickness rapidly spreading in his lungs and through his bloodstream was captured and disassembled. It was tenacious though, as every time you thought you had it vanquished, it would pop out in small pockets elsewhere in his body. Finally, frustrated, you flared your Quirk throughout his whole body until the last bit of the disease was broken down and completely restructured into harmless sugars.

When you opened your eyes, Sora’s orange eyes were staring back at you without a hint of black to them.

“Boss lady?”

You lowered your hand and leaned forward to rest your forehead against his. ‘Looking’ at him again with your Quirk, you were reassured to see that the disease was truly gone. Your voice was quiet as you answered him.

“You were sick with something, Sora.”

You leaned back and frowned slightly at him.

“What did you find that could make you sick? Fungus?”

He grimaced. “A dead body.”

You reeled back, casting a frantic look at the upstairs. “What?!”

He raised his hands. “It was a skeleton. Really! No icky rotting parts to make me sick.”

You both paused and thought about it.

What had made him sick, then?


Teamwork

In the time before bed, as Sora fixed up a sleeping area near the fireplace, you couldn’t help but interrupt him several times to check his health. He was patient enough, pausing in his work whenever you came near, but you couldn’t help but fret that you were annoying him.

Later, as Sora was staring at his smartphone and muttering under his breath about how the hell you two were going to charge your phones, you stared at him from your chair.

You had never seen a disease that quick or tenacious before, and you had made the monstrosities that were the Seven and the Sleepers. If you hadn’t been there or if your Quirk had been anything else, what would have happened to Sora? That sickness was fast and deadly. It was breaking down Sora’s insides and you got the sense from it that it would have started doing something to his skin layers. Bruises, or pus pockets, perhaps? Whatever it was, it would have killed Sora with days, if not hours. That’s how fast it was. He would have died quickly, but in agony, drowning in his own blood and who knows what else.

If something happened to Sora, how would you ever be able to look at Daiki and Katsu again?

(if something happened to her, how could he ever look at Daiki and the others again?)

You don’t know where you are or how far from home you are, so you don’t know how long it will be before you see the others again. But, regardless of how long it takes, you know that you want to have Sora by your side until the very end. Then, once you are both home again, things can go back to normal. You don’t want to think about it right now, but yes, somehow, surely, you two will get back to everyone.

It’s scary right now, but you aren’t alone. You’ll take care of Sora, and Sora will take care of you.

You just have to stick together and everything will be alright.

Surely…

“Are we leaving the flour and butter issue until tomorrow?”

You startle slightly at Sora’s question but think about it. While it was true you were getting somewhat hungry since your meal with Yagi was hours ago, you felt that since it was cold and snowy outside and that were no stores nearby that the two of you should stretch out what food supplies you had. That battle against the sickness in Sora’s body has probably made him hungry though…

“I say we leave it until tomorrow, but Sora—“

“I can deal,” he said, correctly guessing what you were about to bring up. He grinned. “Don’t worry about me. I can handle a little hunger for a night.”

Dubious, you nodded anyway since the food issue was still stumping you.

Sora stared at the fire and the small pile of wood. He frowned. “We need more wood for the fire or we’re not gonna last the night.” He stood up and looked around the room. “For now, let’s make due with some of these chairs. Tomorrow we’ll look around outside for a better supply.”

“Alright. Do you need help?”

He waved a hand. “I’m good. I just gonna smash the chairs, right?”

You rolled your eyes at the smile on his face at the thought of causing some destruction. As he worked, you winced at the loud noises that accompanied the dismantling of some of the chairs for the firewood supply. At least the chance that someone would come and lecture you both was depressingly small. Or was that a bad thing?

Seriously, what the heck happened and where did the rest of the world seemingly vanish off to?

Sighing, you pulled out your smartphone and took a selfie with Sora in the background.


So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.

~Lee Iacocca If you're scared, do something.