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All For One's guide to a peaceful retirement

Chapter Text

Izuku Midoriya is perfect.

All for One counts his fingers again, just to be sure. He isn’t sure what he did to deserve this (short answer: he doesn’t deserve it), but he’s a selfish, greedy man, and he soaks in every detail of his son. If All Might drags him to Tartarus tomorrow, it will be bearable, because he’ll be able to spend his eternity in a cell reliving the best moment of his life.

“Hisashi, you can hand him back,” his wife huffs, and All for One glances over to find her watching him with a faint smile on her face. That’s good; it means he can hold Izuku a little longer. Which is fantastic, because…

“He blinked!” All for One, greatest villain to have ever lived, informs his wife with awe.

“Yes, Hisashi, babies tend to do that,” Inko answers with a sigh.

All for One doesn’t pay her any mind; she’s obviously still tired. And overemotional. She was in labour for hours, after all, and needs to rest. So, as the wonderful, caring husband he is, he’ll just hold Izuku a little longer.

Perhaps Izuku’s Quirk has already manifested? It’s certainly possible, considering some people are born with their Quirks, although All for One isn’t entirely sure how a perfection Quirk would work. Perhaps Izuku’s Quirk is more along the lines of inspiring love in anyone who sees him? If so, it would most likely be one of those freak mutations that are so fascinating. (All for One is fairly certain he never took any sort of love-inspiring Quirk; and besides, he does not think Izuku would be able to inherit any of the Quirks he wasn’t born with.) Whether the Quirk is environmental, with a limited radius, or perhaps optical, would have to be determined…

“Hisashi!”

Something thumps into his shoulder and he looks up with a frown, though Inko appears distinctly unimpressed. She simply huffs as she folds her arms.

(Was he muttering? He hopes he wasn’t muttering; he’s trained himself to suppress the habit, but he’s exhausted. He always knows he might slip up, and he’s not quite sure what he’d do then. He can wipe Inko’s memory of course, but it seems so… dishonest. He does not want to lie to his wife.)

“Your phone’s ringing,” Inko informs him, and sure enough, she’s right. Huh – he could have sworn he turned it off.

“I’ll get it later,” All for One shrugs, because it can’t possibly be more important than this. After all, he’s holding his son. Who has freckles. All Might can attack his main base of operations for all he cares; there is nothing more important than this.

“Hisashi Midoriya,” Inko growls, and All for One stiffens, because he knows that tone. (He fears that tone.) “Give me back my son and answer your goddamn phone!

All for One is the modern boogie man; whilst the public might not know about him, every law agency in the world whispers his name in fear. There is no one else that can send a shiver down All Might’s spine. But centuries of battles, of planning, of scheming have honed his instincts until they are razor sharp.

He hands Izuku over and legs it from the delivery room.

Apparently, doctor Ujiko does not understand the sentence ‘Do not call me’, All for One reflects as he sees the five missed calls. He’s almost tempted to ignore them, but there’s always that faint possibility that the authorities have noticed something strange about Hisashi Midoriya. So he bites back a sigh and hits the call button.

(He swears, if All Might is responsible for this, he will level New York.)

“Yes, doctor?” he prompts when his call is answered, though his thoughts are already occupied with more important matters.

Will Izuku like the toy rabbit he picked out for him?

 

All for One never really planned to have children.

He considered it for a time, much the same way he considered killing the prime minister, but eventually rejected the idea. He has no intention of dying, after all, and so has no need for a successor. A child would require far too much attention, effort and time for an uncertain payoff.

Inko had been… unexpected. He had chosen to take a step back when All Might returned to Japan. With enough time, the latest holder of One for All will undoubtedly lower his guard. But that could mean several years, or several decades, and dating seemed a decent enough way to pass some of that time.

He had never intended to fall in love with Inko, but would always be glad he did. Having a home to return to is a strange, heady feeling. The apartment might be small, but Inko could turn even a tent into a warm, welcoming home. And so, he made sure to construct the perfect fantasy for his wife; the hardworking office drone, who may sometimes have to stay late, but never forgets their anniversary. Who sometimes brings home a bouquet of flowers just because, and takes her out to dinner, and sometimes calls her from work just to hear her voice.

He almost had a panic attack when he returned from a ‘business trip’ and Inko presented him with two positive pregnancy tests.

A baby was (and still is) a risk, especially a baby that might one day possess the ability to steal Quirks. He might not be proud of it, but he considered inducing a miscarriage. But Inko was so happy to share the news and begin preparing for the new arrival. Her joy at becoming a mother far outshone her happiness at being married, and he could not do it. He could not take something so precious away from her, because even if he wiped her memory, even if she never remembered it, he would.

And now, as he watches Izuku sleep, All for One is so achingly grateful for those last few morals. Because Izuku is unpredictable, and a risk, and exhausting, and All for One has never been happier. He will always carry the guilt over what he considered doing deep in his soul.

And he will always protect Izuku.

Chapter Text

Kurogiri hesitates in front of the door.

It’s taken him months to get this far; months of chasing rumours and petty crime to pay off the next information broker. Months of staying alert, always ready to warp away. He’s lost count of the close calls, of the meals he’s had to miss, of the sleepless nights. But he’s always trusted his instincts, and they have yet to steer him wrong.

His instincts are currently screaming at him to leave and put as much distance between himself and the door as possible.

But he’s tired. He’s leapt through so many hoops just to get this far, and all to sell his soul to the devil. Because as ruthless and terrifying as this All For One might be, he’s Kurogiri’s best chance at safety.

(Although he can’t help but wonder why someone as powerful as All For One wants to meet him in an abandoned school.)

He stamps down on his fear and doubts, mouths a silent prayer to whatever deity might be listening, and opens the door.

The room is empty.

As Kurogiri steps inside and looks around, he can feel the panic building. The room isn’t anything special; it’s barely more than a glorified utility closet, with a few dusty shelves and a rusty bucket. There is no room for a secret passage, no hidden camera, not a single sign of life except one lone dead spider. Nothing to suggest that the feared All For One even knows this place exists.

Kurogiri breaks.

He collapses to his knees and sobs. He’s spent so long, already faced so many failures, and now not even his Quirk – all he has left – is enough. Rumours travel in the underworld, especially about useful Quirks, and All For One will surely have heard of Warp Gate. If he has not contacted Kurogiri – if he has heard Kurogiri is searching for him, and has not shown up – then Kurogiri will never find him.

He doesn’t know when the tears dry up, but finally he has nothing left; no tears, no emotions, just emptiness. He has no idea what he’ll do now, and he honestly doesn’t have the energy to care. But instinct forces him up, because if All For One isn’t here then he’s a sitting duck, and any of the dozen or so organizations ready to kill for Warp Gate could already be on the way up the stairs. He turns, planning to barricade the door as best he can so he can warp away, and sees it.

It’s nothing more than a small, pink purse, sitting innocuously on a shelf next to the door, but Kurogiri is positive it wasn’t there before. His hands tremble when he picks it up, but nothing happens, and he slowly unzips it.

He almost drops it, because tucked inside is more money than he can recall ever seeing in his life. But there’s a note, too, and Kurogiri is no fool – he immediately pulls it out and unfolds it.

Buy the items on this list. Warp to these coordinates and leave the items on the big rock.

You will be watched.

Kurogiri can do that. The coordinates are familiar enough; he regularly sleeps out in the countryside. And knowing such a powerful figure is testing him is strangely reassuring.

As he warps away, though, he can’t help but ponder over the shopping list.

Why would a supervillain supposedly feared even by All Might want four packs of baby diapers?

 

It takes another month before Kurogiri meets All For One, and another three before the villain seems to have reached a final decision.

Kurogiri understands the need for him to prove himself, and in a way, it just makes the moment sweeter. Because he’s leapt through every hoop and obeyed every command without question. All For One shouldn’t be able to find fault with him.

He does still feel fear as he kneels before the man, head bowed, of course; he’d be a fool not to.

“…Should you ever betray me…” All For One purrs and allows the threat to just hang there. Kurogiri might not know the consequences, but he shudders; he can practically feel the malice.

A phone rings.

Kurogiri almost warps himself away out of sheer terror; he presses his head lower, apologies at the tip of his tongue. Then he realizes he never brings his phone when he’s meeting All For One.

“He’s what?” All For One exclaims, and Kurogiri can’t help himself; he glances up at the man and almost has a heart attack when he meets his eyes.

All For One hangs up and promptly shoves his phone in front of Kurogiri’s face, a familiar location displayed on the GPS app.

“Take me there. Now.”

Kurogiri is no fool; he obeys.

The area is nice and quiet, if unassuming, with small, perfectly pleasant houses. Kurogiri remembers visiting it a few times (again, why did All For One require him to fetch five boxes of tissues and a box of chocolates at 23.47?).

He isn’t sure what he should do, and All For One has already vanished into one of the homes, so he slowly follows, not wanting to have to explain his presence to some nosy housewife or homebound office worker. As he knocks on the door, he almost expects to see a re-enactment of Harry Potter (specifically, Voldemort’s ‘visit’ to the Potters’). But the woman that answers looks nice, and not at all afraid (and very much not dead), and Kurogiri has the wrong house, doesn’t he? He has to, there’s no other possible explanation.

“Are you alright?” the woman asks, wide eyed, as he starts to hyperventilate, and Kurogiri manages a slightly hysterical laugh.

Kurogiri doesn’t register when she bustles him inside, doesn’t notice when she sits him down on the sofa. He isn’t sure how long he stays there, numb to the world. Finally he calms down enough to realize he’s holding a (lukewarm) cup of tea.

Once again, his curiosity gets the better of him, and so he glances around the room. It looks so… domestic. There are family photos on the walls, and baby toys scattered over the floor. Even All For One doesn’t look out of place, standing beside the woman…

…holding a baby…

…Kurogiri is going to die, isn’t he.

Chapter Text

All For One has lived for decades. He has gone by countless names and faced down more threats than he cares to count. There have been the expected showdowns with One For All wielders and other heroes, but every few decades he is also forced to smack down some criminal upstart. Although most of the time the confrontations are laughable, there have been more close calls than he would like to admit.

But he has never felt dread like this before, reaching in and curling its icy tendrils around his heart. And it’s so odd that it should be here, in a pleasant, sunny room, sitting next to his wife. The doctor opposite them continues to drone on about treatment plans and likely prognosis, but All For One can’t seem to focus on his words, as a single sentence keeps ringing in his ears.

He makes sure to appear calm, because Inko is already clutching a box of tissues, tears rolling down her face, and it brakes his heart just a little more. But everything will be alright, he comforts himself, because there is a Quirk out there that can make this better; there has to be.

He can’t let Inko die.

 

 

“Hisashi?”

“Hmm…” All For One hums, focused on his tablet. He doesn’t think any of these Quirks would work, as they wouldn’t be able to distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells, but Japan is small…

“Hisashi!”

He’s locked his tablet and snapped to attention before his name has registered; and how All Might would laugh if he could see him now, the picture of a well-trained husband…

He guesses from the slight twitch of Inko’s lips that she guessed some of his thoughts. Or perhaps he started muttering; he can’t remember when he last slept through the night. He can’t remember the last time he did many things, he realizes guiltily as he hears Izuku’s laughter from the living room.

“Hisashi,” Inko repeats, breaking him out of his musings. “We need to talk.”

“About what?” he asks, trying to recall if he’s done anything that might have upset her. He’s been keeping up with the house chores, although he did wipe out that yakuza group last week, but if Kurogiri kept his mouth shut…

Inko doesn’t answer immediately, and that is enough to make him worry. Are her symptoms acting up? Is caring for Izuku too tiring in her present state? Perhaps he should have been more insistent about hiring a nanny…

“If I die…” she finally starts, and All For One’s brain screeches to a halt.

“You’re not going to die,” he blurts out, because she can’t. He won’t allow it. He’ll find a way – he has to – he…

“I don’t want to,” Inko interrupts his thoughts, and it pains him to see her wiping at her eyes. “But… Hisashi, you heard the doctor…”

“Yes, but…”

“Hisashi!”

All For One snaps his mouth shut. He’s no fool, and that tone strikes more fear into his heart than any holder of One For All ever could. Inko’s eyes are still glistening, but there is a determined set to her shoulders, and All For One knows that expression. Whatever it is she wants, he won’t be able to fight it.

Thank god she’s not a hero.

“If I die…” Inko repeats, and All For One has to press his lips together so as not to protest. “I need to know Izuku will be alright, and – and happy. And he’ll need his father. So… So I want you to promise me you’ll… retire.”

“What?”

“I want you to stop… whatever the hell it is you do,” Inko groans. “I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s…” she waves her hands, lost for words. “And I know it’s only a matter of time before some hero comes along and gets lucky, or you make a mistake…”

Inko takes a deep breath. “And I’m sorry, but I can’t risk that happening when Izuku would be caught in the crossfire. So I’m giving you a choice; either find some way to leave, or so help me, I’ll take Izuku and… And I’ll do everything to ensure you never see me again.”

She’s crying openly now, and he’s fairly sure he has tears in his own eyes, but…

But she’s right, isn’t she?

If she’s gone, and All Might gets lucky, then Izuku – dear, darling Izuku – would be all alone. And fifteen, twenty years isn’t all that long when you’re as powerful as he is. And if he waits, All Might could become careless…

And he doesn’t know what he’d do if he ever lost both Inko and Izuku at the same time. (Probably level Tokyo, however cliché it might sound.)

So he ignores his own tears and reaches out to pull Inko into as tight a hug as he dares.

“I’ll try,” he chokes out as he feels Inko’s own tears start soaking his shirt. “I don’t… Don’t know if I’ll succeed, but… But I’ll try. For you and Izuku…”

Inko laughs; it’s wet, and broken, but he’ll take what he can get. “You’re such a softie…”

“I guess I am…” All For One murmurs in response.

 

 

It takes him several months, countless bodies and a ‘natural’ disaster in Russia, but finally Midoriya Hisashi is ready to take the place of All For One.

And so, he steps through Kurogiri’s warp gate late one night, the faint smell of smoke still clinging to his clothing, and smiles at Inko, who is sitting propped up in her hospice bed.

“It’s done,” he informs her as he sits down by her bedside and takes her hand in his. “All For One is… retired.”

Inko giggles, and he feels a smile tug at his lips. At some point (don’t think about it, don’t remember that day, never remember that day), he told her. Because she had a point when she said no one would question a dying woman, however much he hates that thought, and if anyone deserves to know, it’s her. (And if he happens to gloss over the exact number of his victims, well, she’s not a mind reader.)

“Hisashi,” Inko whispers. They don’t need to look over at Kurogiri to know he is very pointedly not listening and completely engrossed in one of Inko’s craft magazines.

“Yes, my love,” All For One murmurs and presses his lips to her hand, and Inko giggles again. Then, though, she grows serious again.

“Hisashi, I want you to take my Quirk.”

And just like that, he doesn’t know what to say. Admittedly, that is part of what he loves about Inko, but it can get rather tiring.

“I’ve been reading up on Quirk genetics,” Inko admits. “And you’re a first-generation Quirk user, so there’s every possibility Izuku could be Quirkless. But you can easily pass off my Quirk as his, so…”

All For One blinks back his own tears as Inko dabs at her own eyes.

“What should I do if he has a Quirk?”

“I’d still like you to give it to him,” she admits and smiles. “I know I won’t be there as he’s growing up, but if he has my Quirk… He’ll always have some part of me with him.”

It makes sense; it makes so much sense that he doesn’t know why he didn’t think of it himself. (He knows it’s because it would mean accepting the inevitable, and he just can’t…)

So, with Inko’s firm gaze on him, he takes it. It’s like her; small, unassuming, but so warm, so full of hidden strength. He can’t help his tears as he tucks it away, promising himself he will wait until Izuku can appreciate it before he hands it over. (He won’t admit it, but right now he needs this, to keep some part of her close.)

“Now, I think you should get back to Izuku,” Inko tells him as she dabs at her eyes. “Remember what happened the last time you let Gigantomachia babysit overnight?”

Chapter Text

Gigantomachia can barely sit still.

It’s been months (seven months, two weeks and five days) since Lord’s last visit, and now he’s coming to see him! And what’s more, he’s bringing someone with him, someone important enough Lord purchased him brand new clothes, so he will look good! (It feels strange to be wearing anything other than his cloak after so long, but he will do anything Lord asks of him!)

When Lord finally appears, Gigantomachia almost cries out of pure happiness. But he is puzzled; Lord is dressed strangely, and is accompanied by the other person, who stops when Gigantomachia snaps to attention.

“Gigantomachia,” Lord greets him. Then he turns to his friend, and Gigantomachia realises he looks so strange, because he’s wearing an oddly shaped backpack on his front. That’s unacceptable! Why would Lord’s companion expect him to carry anything?! Gigantomachia cannot tolerate such disrespect!...

“This is my wife, Inko.”

Lord has a wife. Lord has a wife and allowed Gigantomachia to meet her! And Gigantomachia thought badly of her!! He will have to beg for her forgiveness immediately!

“And this,” Lord announces, pride evident in his voice as he takes something out of his rucksack, “is Izuku.”

Lord has a son! There is no other explanation for the baby in his arms, with familiarly messy hair! The green tint and sparkling eyes are so similar to Lord’s wife’s, but Gigantomachia can already see the intelligence in the child, even as he starts chewing on his plush rabbit. And Gigantomachia can even make out a faint trace of freckles!

There are no words to describe the honour Lord has bestowed upon him, to have allowed him to meet his wife and son! (And Gigantomachia thought badly of Lord’s wife! Of course Lord would want to carry Izuku! Izuku is the most beautiful thing Gigantomachia has ever seen! If he was allowed, Gigantomachia would happily carry Izuku all around Japan!)

Gigantomachia bursts into tears.

 

 

It takes the better part of an hour before Gigantomachia has calmed down. Lord is busy entertaining little Izuku (because Lord is, of course, a wonderful father, just like he is wonderful in so many other ways), but Lord’s wife allows him to use her tissues (which only makes him cry harder). But finally, the tears dry up and Lord’s wife smiles at him as she settles on a log. Gigantomachia sits down on the ground next to her (because he knows full well the log could not possibly support his weight).

They watch Lord and his son, and Gigantomachia beams when Izuku waves at him. Then, however, he hears a suspicious sniffle next to him. He almost panics, until he looks down and sees Lord’s wife dabbing at her eyes as she waves back. (Of course she would be touched by the scene; it’s so beautiful even Gigantomachia is moved!)

“So, how long have you known Hisashi?”

Gigantomachia frowns, surprised. But then he notices the way Lord stiffens, and understands. Of course Lord has a name, and of course his wife is allowed to use it!

“I do not know!” he responds proudly, and Lord’s wife pauses, surprised. (He isn’t sure why; it is the truth, as he cannot remember a time before serving Lord.)

“Oh,” Lord’s wife frowns, and Gigantomachia almost panics, because he doesn’t want to have accidentally offended her. But then she smiles. “Well, you must think very highly of him.”

“Yes!” Gigantomachia booms, startling Izuku. Gigantomachia starts to apologise, but Lord does not look upset as he comforts his crying son. “Lord is a wonderful man! And I am honoured to serve him!” he whispers.

Lord’s wife laughs, and Gigantomachia sighs, relieved. Then however the smile turns sad.

“I want to ask you to do something for me, Gigantomachia,” she says in a quiet voice that has him leaning closer.

“Of course!” Gigantomachia nods, because he will do anything for Lord’s wife, so long as it does not go against Lord’s wishes.

“I… I want you to look after Hisashi,” Lord’s wife wipes at her eyes, but her face is determined. “He’ll need people. Good people who he can trust. And… He said you used to protect him. He’ll need you to do that again.”

“Yes!” Gigantomachia cheers, because of course he will protect Lord! And if he has to protect him, he’ll have to be near him at all times! This is wonderful news, and he does not know why Lord’s wife would cry over it. “I will protect him with my life!”

Lord’s wife gives a small, broken laugh. “That’s… Not the sort of protecting he’ll need,” she explains. “Just… Make sure he spends time with Izuku. Make sure he knows how much Izuku needs him.”

She takes a deep breath and stands. Lord has produced a couple bento boxes and is trying to keep them out of Izuku’s curious hands, and so she smiles and approaches her family. Gigantomachia remains where he is, struggling to understand what she was talking about.

 

 

Gigantomachia understands.

He almost hates Lord’s wife at times, when the sickness becomes too obvious to ignore anymore. He can see Lord crumbling every time he returns from the hospital and there is something so blatantly wrong about it. Lord is strong, and Lord is smart, and Lord should not cry.

But he cannot hate her, because when Lord looks at her, Gigantomachia can almost feel the strength of his feeling, and it’s a feeling he’s all too familiar with. Lord feels about his wife almost the same Gigantomachia feels about Lord.

So Gigantomachia does what he can, and what he’s been instructed to do: he protects Little Lord. (Lordling? Prince Lord? He isn’t yet sure of an appropriate title.) It isn’t a difficult task; Little Lord is wonderful, and intelligent, and Gigantomachia isn’t entirely sure if he loves Lord or Little Lord more. It takes some learning, of course, since Gigantomachia has no experience with children and does not want to accidentally break Little Lord, but with time (and some help from Mist Man), he manages to get the hang of things. Soon enough his room is covered in childish scribbles, and Little Lord’s vocabulary has expanded to include the word Machia.

Gigantomachia might not be smart, but he knows Lord is in pain. And it is his duty to protect Lord and, in his opinion, that also includes ensuring Lord does not break himself. So he makes sure to tell Lord every day, when he arrives home, that Little Lord refuses to go to sleep if his father will not tuck him in. It is a little white lie that does not harm anyone after all; when he is still awake, Little Lord is only too pleased at the attention. And if he is already asleep, Lord will still go in and kiss his son goodnight, and then just sit there, watching him.

(Gigantomachia will forever be grateful to Lord’s wife. Because even if she does die, at least she gave Lord a son. And Gigantomachia might be devoted to Lord, but even he shudders at the thought of what Lord might do without Izuku to keep him sane.)

Chapter Text

There is some terrible, bitter irony to this, All For One muses as he places a single flower in front of the grave.

He had agreed to Inko’s request that she be buried with her parents without hesitation. He would have levelled New York for her, and he never thought much about his own mortality (and it hurts that he doesn’t know where his brother is, but he can’t think about that or he’ll fall apart and Izuku is waiting back home).

It took him a week to realise she’s buried a stone’s throw away from Nana Shimura.

But it is fitting, he supposes. The woman who vanquished the fearsome All For One and the woman who will go down in history as the world’s saviour.

It’s taken him months of hard work. Even if All For One is not known by the general public, he can’t erase all mention of him, never mind that his retirement is only temporary. But it isn’t hard to hack government computers and modifying human memory is easy with the right Quirk, especially if it’s something they subconsciously want.

And now, all that’s left is All Might, and All For One will be officially dead.

Of course, that will be hardest. All For One has a few ideas, but they all carry too much risk, and he can’t take any chances when he’s all Izuku has left. He supposes he’ll simply have to wait for an opportunity to present itself. (Or find out where All Might lives and break in, but that was humiliating enough with Gran Torino.)

“Hello there,” someone greets him, and All For One feels his blood turn to ice, because he knows that voice.

He knows that voice.

He doesn’t dare move, can barely dare to breathe, because it’s too soon. Izuku just lost his mother, he can’t lose his father too, but All For One doesn’t know what to do. And he can’t remember when that last happened and it’s incredibly disorienting. Some small, detached part of his mind recognises that he is mere seconds away from a panic attack as he starts to hyperventilate.

“Are you alright?” he feels a hand on his shoulder and – the hero is concerned for him.

Suddenly, All For One knows. This – all of this – is a sign from Inko, her final gift to her husband and son. He’s no longer afraid, because he can almost feel her presence, and so he takes a deep breath. He has no way to know if he’ll ever get a chance like this again, and he can’t afford to squander it.

“Sorry,” he apologises as he turns to All Might – Toshinori Yagi, his mind supplies as he takes in the civilian dress, wide-brimmed hat and bakery box – and does his best to smile despite the tears he can feel threatening. “I… I guess I’m still in shock.”

“Ah,” All… Yagi nods. “Were you a friend of Nana’s?”

“No,” All For One admits, even as he tries to think how to turn this to his advantage. The Quirk he plans to use requires only two minutes of skin to skin contact… “We knew each other from work,” he explains. “I admit, I forgot all about her. But… I lost my wife recently.”

“My condolences,” Yagi offers when he breaks off to wipe his eyes.

“Thank you,” All For One gives him a watery smile. And then, because he knows the power of social niceties… “Hisashi Midoriya.”

“Toshinori Yagi,” the Symbol of Peace does not hesitate to shake his hand.

All For One activates the Quirk.

It’s so easy; he’s not erasing memories per se, he’s just… adjusting them. He twists them, and then gives the subconscious a little nudge. Nana Shimura died a hero. (True.) She saved Yagi. (True.) She vanquished All For One. (Don’t you want that to be true? She was strong enough. It’d be so unfair if she sacrificed so much for nothing. Remember that explosion? Nobody could survive that, not even All For One.)

As he finally lets go off Yagi’s hand, the hero lets out a chocked sob. All For One (Hisashi, his name is Hisashi, All For One is dead) silently steps aside to allow him a second to compose himself; then he offers him a tissue.

“Thank you,” Yagi sniffles and then proceeds to blow his nose at a volume that could rival Gigantomachia.

Perhaps One for All has accumulated too much power? After so many years, it might even be possible the next holder would not be able to handle it. (Hell, it might even blow the poor holder’s body to pieces!)

“Does it ever stop hurting?” he asks, partly to distract himself, and partly because – well, he wants to know. (It was different with his brother, the pain of loss magnified a hundred times by that awful sting of betrayal, and it hurt so much until he met Inko…)

“Not really,” Yagi admits as he places the cake he bought by the grave. “But it changes over time. And it helps to remember the good times.” He stands up and smiles at Hisashi. “And those we love never truly leave us, after all.”

The smile feels strange, almost grotesque. Hisashi may understand the intent, but there is something perverse about the Symbol of Peace attempting to comfort his nemesis, especially in front of the grave of the woman said enemy murdered. However few morals Hisashi might possess, it is a level of wrong he hates.

But still, he is right, All – Hisashi realises. He can feel Inko’s Quirk under his skin, like a comforting warmth. And more importantly, Izuku is waiting back home. Izuku, whose smile puts All Might’s to shame, who has Inko’s green hair and bright eyes. Izuku, who is now his whole world.

“Are you alright?” Yagi asks, obviously concerned by his silence. “Should I walk you home?”

“I’ll be fine,” Hisashi assures him with a smile, no matter how watery. “I think I just need a hug from my son.”

Yagi nods, and Hisashi finds himself strangely wistful. This could very well be the last encounter between the Symbol of Peace and his ultimate nemesis, and yet it’s so… anticlimactic. Just a meeting between two strangers, united in grief for the women they cherished.

“Thank you,” Hisashi finally speaks, and he doesn’t know himself who he’s thanking – the hero, or the spirits that surely conspired to make this meeting possible.

“Don’t mention it,” Yagi laughs, unaware of the gravity of the moment.

Hisashi nods, and smiles, and walks away from the number one hero.

Chapter Text

Hisashi should have noticed sooner.

He knows he has a pretty good excuse (technically two, or even three if he were to be pedantic), but it doesn’t matter. He’s Izuku’s father, a responsible adult, (a former villain who could easily find out the colour of All Might’s underwear,) and he should have known.

“Papa?” Izuku asks, fidgeting on his stool, and something in Hisashi breaks when he sees the tears gathering in his son’s eyes. “Don’t we have to go?”

“I was just thinking it’s been too long since we spent time together, just you and me,” Hisashi smiles, the lie rolling easily off his tongue. “So how about we both cheat and stay home together? We could order takeout, and watch a movie…”

It hurts to see how Izuku perks up at the suggestion, knowing that he has not been spending enough time with his son. It hurts even more that Izuku does not protest missing a day of daycare and playing with his friends.

It hurts almost as much as seeing those burns on Izuku’s arms.

But, he decides as he helps Izuku into his favourite All Might onesie, lawsuits can wait until tomorrow.

 

 

“What exactly is your policy on bullying?”

The daycare head hesitates, but she has no reason to be suspicious. Hisashi is perfectly pleasant, just another smiling parent, dressed in a pressed suit, probably inquiring before he heads off to his day job. He’s never met her before, allowing Inko to deal with the minutiae of Izuku’s schooling, and of course once Inko started getting sick… (no, don’t go there, focus on Izuku).

“We try and encourage the children in our care to be compassionate towards others and share. Of course, since they’re still young, we must take that into account when deciding on punishments, and so expulsion is only considered appropriate when a child is deemed a clear, continuous danger to others…” the woman recites.

Hisashi is tempted to pull out the daycare paperwork just to see if she got it word for word, but of course that would not go down well. So he just smiles and remains silent.

Finally, once the silence starts getting to her, the woman sighs and adjusts her thick horn-rimmed glasses. She looks like an old English headmistress (apart from her green skin and the third eye on her forehead) and is obviously used to striking terror into the hearts of toddlers.

Hisashi has a regular, starring role in All Might’s nightmares.

“Mr Midoriya, why are you here?” she asks, leaning forwards, and Hisashi almost wants to laugh. There is nothing more amusing than ignorant bravado.

“I noticed something… concerning yesterday,” he informs her, still smiling. “Izuku has a surprising number of injuries.”

The woman almost smiles. “Mr Midoriya, you would be surprised how much trouble children can get into.” The unspoken if you paid attention to your son wipes the smile off Hisashi’s face.

“Allow me to clarify, ma’am,” he slowly starts. “You believe that Izuku, who is an incredibly quiet and subdued child, somehow acquired eleven separate burns on his arms alone, not to mention the numerous bruises. And your staff did not think to inform me?”

Hisashi has never seen anyone embody the phrase deer in headlights so perfectly before in his entire career, but he can’t care, not when he had to watch the doctor take photographs of so many injuries.

“With all due respect, sir, how can I know these injuries even exist?”

The woman is clearly grasping, desperate, but Hisashi has never wanted to snap someone’s neck so much in his entire life. All that stops him is knowing he was seen entering the room by witnesses, some of whom are only children, and clearing up would be too much hassle.

“Don’t you dare,” he snarls. “Don’t you dare suggest I would fabricate something like this. And for what? Money?” he laughs, and it’s not a pleasant sound. “I make more in a month than your little organisation does in a year. I could call up the head of the police right now, and he’d be here in an hour. Izuku’s injuries were clearly deliberate, and our doctor has already passed the photos to the police.”

He stands up and treats her to one last, final smile, and takes some pleasure in how white her face turns. “I only came to suggest you cooperate with their investigation. Have a lovely day.”

 

 

“Now, which shape should we use next?”

Izuku frowns as he considers their collection of assorted cookie cutters, and Hisashi can’t help himself; he swoops down and presses a quick kiss to his cheek, eliciting a giggle (and he’s fairly sure that odd sound is Kurogiri chuckling).

This whole bullying revelation has not been all bad; Hisashi has been spending as much time with Izuku as possible, while searching for a new daycare (which is taking longer than expected – who would have thought so many providers would fail a background check?).

“This one!” Izuku decides, holding up a flower, and Hisashi helps him carefully cut out the cookies, trying (and failing) to convince himself his smile isn’t as sappy as he thinks.

He’s loading the tray into the oven, under the supervision of chef Izuku, when someone rings the doorbell. (Ring might not be an appropriate description, though; someone obviously pressed the button and was not letting it go.) Izuku almost falls off the chair he’s standing on, he’s so startled, and Hisashi drops the tray to grab his son, the cookies spilling all over the floor. Hisashi glances down and takes in Izuku’s wide eyes and tight grip on his All Might figure, and has to stamp down on the urge to murder someone.

“How about you help Kurogiri clean up?” he suggests with what he hopes is a reassuring smile.

Izuku nods hesitantly, so Hisashi sets him down. The boy almost immediately dashes over to the warper and grabs onto his slacks. Hisashi maintains his positive attitude until he’s left the kitchen. Then he pulls his apron off and, with a muttered swear, hurries to the front door.

Gigantomachia is already waiting for him, and Hisashi nods to his bodyguard as the giant takes up his position just out of sight, ready to intercept any intruders. After making sure Gigantomachia can’t be seen, (no need to tip off the neighbours that he has 24-hour security,) Hisashi takes a deep breath and opens the door.

“You fucking bastard!” Mitsuki Bakugo snarls.

Hisashi almost slams the door in her face. (He doesn’t because he is a responsible, mature parent, unlike certain people he could name. He does however make sure he’s blocking the entrance, since the Bakugo matriarch is just a little too unpredictable. Hisashi would not put attempted kidnapping past her.)

“Mitsuki,” he greets her with a blatantly false smile. “Lovely to see you…”

“Don’t give me that!” the woman growls, and he can’t help it; he rolls his eyes. “What the fuck are you doing to Izuku? Where is he? Why the fuck hasn’t he been coming to daycare?!”

“…Because your son’s a little shit and a bully?” Hisashi suggests helpfully when she pauses to take a breath.

Mitsuki screams and tries to punch him in the face.

Hisashi ducks and (with just a hint of a speed Quirk) slams the door in her face. Gigantomachia is growling behind him, barely audible over the screams of rage and loud hammering on the door.

For just a second, he’s tempted to set Gigantomachia on the woman. But however much he dislikes (hates, despises) her, she was Inko’s best friend. And the security camera footage should be very helpful when he hands it over to his legal team.

When he re-enters the kitchen, Izuku is cowering under the table, his All Might figure clutched tight against his chest. Hisashi takes one look at him, at Kurogiri hovering suspiciously close to the knife block, and sighs as he rubs at his eyes.

“How about we pop over to Kyoto for lunch?”

Chapter Text

There are some questions, Hisashi reflects, that he probably doesn’t want to know the answer to. (Has All Might ever had sex, for one.)

Such as…

“Izuku, why is there a tramp on my couch?”

There’s a crash in the kitchen, and Hisashi can feel the first twinges of a headache. Gigantomachia looks distinctly uncomfortable but doesn’t budge from his post standing over the man on the sofa.

At least Izuku didn’t leave the stranger unsupervised.

“He’s not a tramp, papa!” Izuku cries out as he runs into the room, his shirt distinctly wet, but an excited smile on his face. “He’s a hero!”

Hisashi glances back at the man, with his straggly hair, baggy black clothes and dark circles under his eyes, lying there unconscious, and does not point out just how unheroic he looks. Frankly, the nasty gash on his head makes him look more like he got into a drunken brawl.

“And why, pray tell, is there a hero,” he asks instead, “bleeding all over my sofa?”

“He’s got an owie, so we brought him home so you can kiss it better!” Izuku explains with a beaming smile.

Hisashi bites back his curse.

Of course he has a healing Quirk (he technically has six, but who’s counting). Of course he has used it on Izuku’s bloody knees and bruised elbows (and burns, although only after taking photographs – just let Mitsuki try and come after him). And of course Izuku, in his innocence, seems to have arrived at the decision that his father, a retired villain, is an appropriate person to provide medical attention to someone he picked up of the street.

“Izuku, I am not going to kiss him,” Hisashi sighs. “Why didn’t you call an ambulance?”

“Machia forgot his phone,” Izuku informs him, still smiling, and now he’s definitely going to have to punish Gigantomachia. Stray heroes are one thing, but if something had happened to Izuku…

He feels a tug on his sleeve and makes the mistake of looking down into those bright, green eyes. “Please, papa?”

Hisashi had always been defenseless against his son’s pleas, and the concept of getting rid of the stranger is appealing, (and he can’t exactly just kill him without possibly traumatizing Izuku,) so with a sigh, he shuffles over to the sofa. He presses his hand to the man’s forehead and activates one of his healing Quirks, and does his best to ignore just how awkward he feels as he waits for it to take effect. The closer quarters at least help him notice the signature white scarf and yellow goggles…

Eraserhead’s eyes snap open and flash red, and the hero punches him.

“Papa!” he hears Izuku shriek, and Gigantomachia growls, as he blinks away the stars in front of his eyes and hopes his nose is not broken. Slowly, he looks up and winces when he sees the man standing on the couch with his dirty shoes. At least Gigantomachia had the presence of mind to grab Izuku, who looks torn between obeying instructions (‘If someone hurts you or papa, stay with Machia’) and wiggling free to run to his father’s side.

“What the hell?” Eraserhead mutters as he looks around the room. He takes in the large window, with its floral curtains, the numerous family photos, and the growling giant.

“My thoughts exactly,” Hisashi responds as Izuku gasps at the ‘bad word’. He winces as he shakes his head. “Well, you’re healed now, so goodbye.”

“…I don’t even know where I am.”

“My house.”

“…That doesn’t tell me anything,” the hero narrows his eyes. “Is this a kidnapping?”

Hisashi should probably not be quite so offended. But, retired or not, he is a criminal mastermind. He has standards. “Exactly how incompetent do you think I am?” he growls.

Izuku, apparently tired of being squashed into Gigantomachia’s chest, pipes up. “You had an owie, so papa healed you!” Then he turns to the giant. “Down, please!”

“…An owie?”

“He’s three,” Hisashi points out as he nods at his bodyguard to lower his son. Gigantomachia does not look happy, but he obeys, and Izuku immediately dashes off.

For a moment, they wait in an awkward silence, Eraserhead obviously trying to figure out a good escape route (and Hisashi might just be trying to decide how to murder him without Izuku noticing).

“Could I borrow a phone?” the hero finally asks.

“Sure,” Hisashi sighs, just as Izuku rushes back in. “But give him an autograph, will you?”

It’s rather comforting to see Izuku’s eyes are just as effective when turned on a pro-hero.

 

 

Hisashi is just plating up dinner when he hears a loud crash coming from the front of the house.

Loud crashes are nothing unusual; no matter how well behaved Izuku may be, he’s three. (And he has an overgrown bodyguard – slash – playmate who should know better than indulge him so much.) What is unusual is that last he checked, Izuku was well and truly amused, watching Eraserhead place a call to his agency…

Oh, fuck.

There’s another louder crash that has Hisashi sprinting out of the kitchen. He doesn’t think he even fully makes it into the living room, before something fast and hard hits him in the chest and sends him crashing to the floor. He wheezes, winded, but through the haze he can hear a commotion.

Slowly, carefully, Hisashi sits up just as Ingenium (why is Ingenium in his house?) tugs his helmet off and yells into the living room, “Mic, it’s a false alarm!” Then he turns back to Hisashi and offers him a hand up. “Sorry, man.”

“I’m suing you all,” Hisashi informs him, clambering to his feet. He winces, because he is certainly going to bruise, and mentally pencils in another doctor’s appointment.

“Fair enough,” Ingenium sighs just as Izuku dashes past him and throws himself at her father’s legs.

“Papa, I don’t like heroes!” he wails and Hisashi can feel that headache returning. “They’re mean!”

“Exactly how many?...” he asks Ingenium as he picks up his son.

“Just me and Present Mic,” the hero informs him with a wince. “I’m really sorry about this; he’s a bit… prone to overreacting.”

“You don’t say,” Hisashi mutters. He makes his way past the young man and enters his living room, and almost walks back out. He is far too sober to deal with this.

The room looks like a tornado tore through it. The window is shattered, there are scuff marks on the floor, and shards of glass and plaster litter the room. Gigantomachia is suspiciously missing, although Kurogiri, complete with shopping bags, is stood by the (miraculously untouched) TV, armed with his keys. Eraserhead, still sat on a couch, is glowering at a tall blonde, his black hair floating. Present Mic seems unconcerned, eyeing Kurogiri suspiciously.

“Right, Mic, let’s go,” Ingenium hurries past Hisashi and grabs the blonde hero by the arm. “Eraser, can you walk?”

“Shouldn’t we call the police?” Present Mic asks, as he glances away from Kurogiri to Hisashi and back. “I mean, isn’t this a kidnapping?”

Izuku, who seemed to have calmed down, bursts into tears again, blabbing about how he doesn’t want to go to jail. The blonde hero pales, as if he’s only just spotted the terrified child.

“Good idea,” Hisashi smiles as he spots his wedding photo hanging lopsided on the wall, its frame shattered. (It is not a nice smile.) “How about you call the police and I call my lawyers? Let’s see who gets here first.”

“Come on, Mic,” Ingenium attempts to drag his friend to the door. (Which is also broken. What is it with heroes and breaking things?) “There’s obviously been a misunderstanding.”

 Eraserhead, to his credit, joins in, and between them they manage to get him out of the house before Hisashi has come up with a plan to murder them all (without it tracing back to him).

“I took the precaution of sending Gigantomachia away,” Kurogiri reports as he picks up his shopping bags. “May I be of any further assistance?”

“Go fetch him,” Hisashi commands with a sigh as he rubs Izuku’s back. “And then… Fix the door.”

 

 

“My deepest apologies for yesterday’s debacle!”

Hisashi is very much tempted to brutally murder Ingenium, but he suspects that might traumatise Izuku (further). He would slam the door closed, but he has a sneaking feeling that might damage the hinges, and he really does not want to explain to the handyman why he’s coming back so soon. So he bites his tongue and fixes the hero with his most deadly glare.

“I brought a cheque for the damages, and a gift for the young hero!” Ingenium continues, apparently unconcerned. (Hisashi is almost worried he’s slipping.)

“Me?” Izuku perks up, peeking around his father’s legs, although he doesn’t let up on the death grip on his trousers. “I’m not a hero!”

“Course you are!” Ingenium grins as he squats down, holding out an Ingenium doll as a peace offering, and Hisashi must admit, the lad seems to know how to deal with kids. “You helped Eraserhead, didn’t you? That sounds pretty heroic to me!”

“Really?” Izuku smiles as he accepts the toy.

“Yeah, really,” Ingenium laughs and ruffles his hair. Then he glances up at Hisashi.

Hisashi is unmoved; he has experience with manipulation tactics, and heroes are absolutely terrible at them. (He knows this from experience; one would think they’d at least put in some effort when begging for their life.) So he just shrugs.

“I’m still pressing charges.”

Chapter Text

“I don’t want to go,” Izuku sniffs as he tries to hide behind papa.

Papa steps aside and gently nudges him forward. Izuku turns back to him, because he really wants to go home, where Kurogiri cooks nice food, and Machia doesn’t mind pretending he’s a villain, and no one says mean things to Izuku. But papa looks firm as he crouches down, a gentle smile on his face.

 “Izuku, I know you’re scared, and that’s fine. If you don’t want to come back tomorrow, you don’t have to. But I thought we could make a deal.”

“What deal?” Izuku asks. He wipes at his eyes, and with a sigh papa offers up a handkerchief so he can blow his nose.

“Today is Monday, so, if you can make it five days, until Friday,” papa slowly unfolds all his fingers on one hand. Then he pauses and takes a deep breath. “I’ll get us tickets to the Heroes Against Cancer fundraiser.”

For a second, Izuku stares at papa. Then he promptly bursts into happy tears, desperately nodding his head and, with a sigh, papa accepts a box of tissues from a daycare worker. Izuku has wanted to go so badly, even though he doesn’t want papa to think he’s greedy. All Might’s going to be there, after all! Izuku really, really wants to see his favorite hero! He’d even… Even… He’d even go back to daycare with Kacchan!

“Promise?” Izuku asks, offering his pinkie once he’s calmed down.

“Pinkie promise,” papa smiles and nods. He ruffles Izuku’s hair. “Now before you know it, Kurogiri will be here to take you home.  And if you’re scared during the day, just tell Miss Tanaka. Alright?”

“Alright,” Izuku sniffs, but steels himself. “I love you, papa.”

“I love you too, Izuku,” papa kisses him on the forehead.

Izuku tries not to cry when papa stands and turns to leave. Miss Tanaka (who seems really nice, much nicer than the teachers that said Kacchan was amazing) leads him to his new classroom. Izuku clutches anxiously at his Ingenium doll as he glances around the room, but he can be brave. Heroes are really brave, and Izuku is going to be a hero too, no matter what Kacchan says. (And Ingenium said he’d been heroic when he helped Eraserhead, and Ingenium knows better than Kacchan! He’s already a hero, after all!)

The room is larger and fancier than his previous daycare, with sunlight streaming in through the large windows. Children’s artwork covers the wall, and there are several small tables and chairs spread out around the room. Several children are already playing, and Izuku realizes with a sinking feeling that he doesn’t know anyone. He glances back at Miss Tanaka, anxious.

“Do you like heroes too?” a loud voice asks him, and Izuku flinches at the unexpected noise. But when he turns back, the speaker turns out to be a bright-eyed boy with blue hair and a wide smile. He doesn’t look scary, even if he is taller, (and bigger,) so Izuku takes a deep breath.

Ingenium called him a hero.

“Yes, I… I do,” he nods, clutching his doll tightly. Miss Tanaka crouches down next to him, and Izuku takes some comfort in her presence. (Because even Kacchan didn’t hurt him when the grown ups were nearby.)

“My name’s Tenya!” the boy introduces himself, and draws himself up, proud. “My favorite hero’s Ingenium!”

“I’m… I’m Izuku,” Izuku stammers. “I... My favorite hero’s All Might. But Ingenium’s awesome too!”

“Izuku is new here,” Miss Tanaka speaks up. “And he doesn’t know anyone yet. So I think he might be just a little scared. Can I trust you to make him feel welcome, Tenya?”

Tenya nods immediately, and the woman smiles and stands up, but does not move away, so Izuku doesn’t feel too afraid.

“…Do you want to play heroes?”

“Yes!” Izuku nods. He swings his little rucksack off his back. “I brought my dolls, so if you want, you could be Ingenium, and I could be All Might…”

“…Why would All Might and Ingenium both be needed?” Tenya frowns, and Izuku pauses, unsure. Then he smiles.

“Cause, cause, if a villain has a really scary Quirk, like… If he can shoot webs, and he’s attacking a park, then Ingenium has to move people out of the way! And… and… he has an army of robot spiders, so All Might has to fight them first!” Izuku glances back up at the other boy, holding his Ingenium and All Might figures. “…What do you think?”

“It makes sense,” Tenya nods as he takes Izuku’s toy, oblivious to Miss Tanaka’s barely suppressed giggles. He grins as he grabs Izuku’s hand and pulls him over to one of the tables. “Ingenium always first on the scene!”

 

 

Hisashi adores Tenya.

He hasn’t actually met the kid yet, but Izuku’s barely stopped chattering about his new friend. And, as he pauses outside the classroom door, he can spot his son’s smile as he plays with a blue haired boy.

“Izuku really seems to have settled in well,” Abiko informs him with a smile of his own, and Hisashi can’t help but agree with the daycare director.

Getting Izuku a permanent place is surprisingly painless. There might be a waiting list, but a few million yen (and just a touch of a quirk, but who’s to know,) help bump Izuku to the top of that queue. All in all, he’s feeling fairly pleased when he leaves the office. He’s even considering taking Izuku out for ice cream, when he spots a familiar face outside the classroom door and almost legs it through the back.

“Hello, Mr. Midoriya!” Ingenium greets him, a wide smile plastered on his face. Then the hero pauses, and Hisashi has a terrible sinking feeling, because he knows what’s coming next…

“Don’t tell me you’re Izuku’s father?” the young man exclaims.

There are seven dead heroes laughing their heads off right now, Hisashi just knows it.

“Wow! Your brother’s Ingenium?!”

Would it be so wrong for Hisashi to withdraw Izuku and just homeschool him?

“Hi Tenya, Izuku,” Ingenium greets the two boys, unaware (or uncaring) of Hisashi’s dilemma. Izuku’s smile grows wider at the recognition. “My name’s Tensei Iida, and it’s wonderful to see you again!”

“Do you have your toys, Izuku?” Hisashi asks, before Izuku can launch into another fangasm. His son gasps and ducks back into the classroom.

Really, he should have suspected – the daycare has excellent security and Tenya, in hindsight, has a suspicious amount of admiration for a relatively new hero. But Hisashi is a good father, and so he takes a deep breath and plasters his best dad-smile on.

“Hello, Tenya,” he greets the boy. “My name is Hisashi Midoriya, and I’m Izuku’s father.”

Tenya hesitates for a second (and Hisashi will admit, he is impressed by his instincts), but then he draws himself to his full height and bows.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Midoriya, sir!”

Hisashi isn’t entirely sure how to proceed, but then Izuku comes dashing past the Iida brothers and barrels straight into his legs. The impact doesn’t even wind him, as he springs back up and starts jumping up and down, bright eyed.

“Papa, can I come here again?” he asks. “We’re going to be ac-ting! And Tenya likes heroes too! And he said I can come to his house to play! And… And…!”

It’s fortunate All Might will never know how effective Izuku’s smile is. (Hisashi would happily hand himself over if it will only make his son happy – should that day come, he won’t have anything left, after all.) So Hisashi laughs and ruffles his son’s hair. “Well, that’s good, because you’ll be coming here every day from now on.”

Izuku cheers and launches himself at his father, his happy tears making an inevitable appearance, and Hisashi allows himself a moment to bask in his son’s joy. Then he takes a deep breath and repeats his mantra.

There is nothing I won’t do for Izuku.

“How about we go for ice cream to celebrate?” he suggests and then nods to the waiting Iida brothers. “My treat.”

Izuku cheers again and grabs Tenya’s hand to tug him over to the cloakroom.

“Sure thing,” Tensei’s grin widens. “Just let me call our parents, ‘kay?”

“Alright,” Hisashi nods. He follows the boys, knowing they’ll need someone to help with their coats. Once the hero is back, he’ll have to excuse himself to place a call of his own.

He needs to tell his lawyers to drop the suit against Idaten.

Chapter Text

There is nothing Hisashi won’t do for Izuku.

Which is why he’s desperately hiding behind a menu while his son bombards All Might with questions. (And yes, Hisashi knows almost as much about the hero’s Quirk as the man himself, but Izuku doesn’t need to know that.) He comforts himself that at least the money he spent on admission will go directly to cancer research. And, he will admit, it is rather fascinating to see the various ways heroes utilize their Quirks. (And incredibly entertaining to mingle with them, especially with All Might in attendance.)

And Izuku has not stopped smiling since he woke Hisashi. (At six. Why was he up at six?!)

“Hi, Midoriya!” he hears a familiar (tinny) voice and sighs.

“Iida,” he acknowledges the teenager as he turns, and then pauses. Tenya is dressed in a smart shirt and shorts, and is holding the hand of a white, humanoid robot. Which is standing next to another humanoid robot. Which is standing next to another robot (which is wearing a cape; what is it with heroes and capes?! The things are terribly impractical!).

“Mother, father, Midoriya is the father of Tenya’s new friend,” robot 1 introduces him.

Robot 2 removes her helmet, revealing a smiling, middle aged woman. “It’s so wonderful to finally meet you! Tenya seems to have really taken a shine to Izuku!”

“Midoriya…” robot 3 (the one with the cape) hums. “Why does it feel like I’ve heard that name before?”

“Oh, he sued us,” Tensei informs his father (?) happily before removing his own helmet.

Hisashi almost laughs at the expression on Mrs Iida’s face.

“Izuku’s getting an autograph from All Might,” he informs Tenya instead.

The boy glances up at his parents, and his mother does her best to smile. “Tenya, go say hi to your friend,” she instructs him, and the child runs off, smiling.

“I’m… afraid I can’t quite recall the details of your case…” the Iida patriarch says, and suddenly Tensei’s smile is looking just a little forced.

Hisashi may be retired from professional villainy, but how could he ever pass up such a wonderful opportunity to torment a pro-hero?

“Oh, your son and his friend broke into my house, terrified my son, caused significant property damage, and your son in particular assaulted me,” he informs them with his nicest fake smile. Then he sighs. “It was particularly difficult, because – well, this past year, since losing my wife, has been very trying.”

Tensei!” the mother chokes out, and Tensei winces.

“To be fair, it… It was all Mic’s fault!”

“My apologies,” the head of Idaten bows low as his wife continues to reprimand their son. “I will immediately call our lawyers and instruct them to settle.”

“Not necessary,” Hisashi waves off the offer. “I’ve already had the case dismissed.”

The other man hesitates, obviously surprised, and then…

“Oh wow! It’s Turbo and Engine!” Izuku rushes over, autograph book at the ready, Tenya trailing behind his friend with a proud smile on his face.

“Your elder son may be… impetuous, but Tenya is a credit to you and your wife,” Hisashi shrugs and smiles. “Besides, it would make playdates very awkward.”

Iida laughs as he accepts Izuku’s notebook.

Hisashi takes the opportunity to leave Izuku with a (responsible) adult and hurries over to one of the numerous waiters to get another glass of champagne. As he savors it, he glances around the room. There are a few established heroes, with a sprinkling of younger pros or sidekicks making the most of the opportunity to network. And, of course, there is a substantial number of people with more than enough money to drop on admission (and the meal, and drinks, and the upcoming auction).

He’s not sure why, but his attention is drawn to a boy standing close to one of the walls, gazing longingly at All Might. True, his hair is an odd red and white, the two colours split evenly down the middle, but Izuku is dragging Tenya to a man with an orca’s head. In this day and age, white-and-red hair is positively mundane.

Almost unconsciously, Hisashi starts drifting closer to the child. He sees the boy stiffen and look down at his feet as a large man approaches. Hisashi can feel that horrible sinking feeling in his gut as the stranger grabs the child by the arm and almost drags him off, the boy nearly tripping as he struggles to keep up.

Hisashi picks up the pace, weaving between the other attendees. He thrusts his champagne flute at a waiter, and when he’s clear of the crowd he almost breaks into a run. That sinking feeling has turned bitter, because he knows. He takes the steps two at a time, gasping for air, and trying to remember that this is different. He can hear a raised voice well before he sees them, and his rushed steps speed up further even as the walls start to close in. Because suddenly he’s five again, and suddenly he’s weak again, and when he sees the boy cowering against the wall, he no longer sees tidy white-and-red hair. And for the first time in decades, Hisashi hates.

Hisashi only snaps back to the present when the stranger goes flying.

He tries his best to calm down and figure out what the fuck he can do with the unconscious man and realizes the bastard’s face is familiar. He has just punched the number 2 hero in the face (with what feels like at least two strength and possibly a speed Quirk).

In front of a witness.

(The mighty All For One, brought down by a flashback. There are seven ghosts behind him, splitting their sides with laughter.)

The witness in question is staring at him in awe.

It hurts to admit that Hisashi can relate. (If he’d seen someone knock out his own father, he’d have the same look in his eyes.)

Hisashi sighs and bends down to grab Endeavor by the leg (because why should he give a damn about a hero that apparently is hypocritical AF). Then he beckons to the kid.

“Right,” he starts, and then realizes he doesn’t know the boy’s name. “…Todoroki. Is your mother here?”

The boy shakes his head.

“Wonderful. Follow me.”

Thankfully, there is a toilet nearby. Hisashi drags Endeavor inside (and it’s completely accidental that he knocks the pro-hero’s head against the door, no, really) and uses a quick illusion Quirk to hide the room. Then, with a sigh, he pulls out his phone and dials his home number.

“Kurogiri, I need you to come pick up some trash,” he pauses to nudge Endeavor with his shoe and frowns. “Do you think you’d manage to warp to Korea?” Then he remembers the kid. “Oh, but first you need to drop someone off home.”

He hangs up and jots down a quick note. Then he crouches down in front of the Todoroki boy, who has started prodding his father with a mischievous smile. “Do you know where your house is?”

The boy nods, and Hisashi grins and ruffles his hair.

“Good lad. A friend of mine will come get you in a minute. Tell him and he’ll take you home. Now I have a very important task. Can I trust you?”

“Yes sir!” the boy responds, bright eyed, and Hisashi must admit, he’s pretty cute.

“Good,” he nods and makes sure his expression is serious as he leans closer. “Now, I need you to give this to your mother. Only your mother. And this is a secret mission, so you can’t tell anyone. Alright?”

The boy nods as he accepts the note, and Hisashi smiles as he stands up. Then he heads out to grab Kurogiri.

 

 

Once Hisashi has tucked an exhausted Izuku into bed, he carefully shifts his face into something memorable (and as far from Hisashi Midoriya’s features as he can manage) and heads downstairs to a waiting Kurogiri. Gigantomachia has already taken up position outside Izuku’s bedroom, although he is under strict instructions. (Any monsters located under the bed are Hisashi’s responsibility; if Izuku is afraid, he can sleep in the master bedroom. Gigantomachia is not to go looking for said monsters.)

Kurogiri unfortunately is memorable in himself, but such matters cannot be helped, Hisashi reflects as he steps through the warp gate. The Todoroki home is every bit as impressive (pretentious) as could be expected from the number 2 hero. None of the lights are on, but when Hisashi lets himself in, a white-haired woman is waiting just inside.

“Mrs Todoroki,” he greets her with a bow as Kurogiri slides the door closed behind them. He does not miss her shudder at the name.

But she pulls herself together (and Hisashi will admit, he is ever so slightly impressed). “Your note said you could help me leave.”

“Your husband is currently… indisposed,” Hisashi can’t help but feel a warm glow as he remembers the photo Kurogiri showed him. “In fact, he may not make it home for a few days. So, if you wish to leave…”

“And what if I can’t afford to?” the woman asks with a sigh. She looks so worn down, Hisashi can’t help but hate Endeavor more. She can’t be much older than Inko, and yet looks ready to break.

“I can give you a cheque right now,” he answers with a shrug. “And if you are interested, I can pull some strings and secure you office work. Nothing exciting, but it will have benefits and a decent salary. But if you choose to stay, I will call social services.”

“…Enji has a lot of influence…”

“I have more,” Hisashi smiles. (It is not a nice smile – in fact, it is the very smile that features prominently in All Might’s nightmares.) “And I will not hesitate to drag Endeavor and you through the mud if it means getting your children out. Of course, the final decision is yours.”

For just a moment, he worries that perhaps she’s still too cowed, still too afraid of Endeavor. But then she draws herself up, and Hisashi almost laughs, because he knows that expression well.

(Endeavor is lucky if he never had to deal with a protective mother.)

She nods and turns to shout back into the house.

“Fuyumi, get Shoto! Natsuo, don’t forget your coat! Touya, I need your help!”

There’s a loud crash from somewhere deeper in the home, a happy cry from somewhere else, and when Todoroki turns back to Hisashi, there are tears in her eyes. But her smile is beautiful.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to wait. Enji keeps our documents in a safe…”

“Oh, allow me,” Hisashi grins just as a young boy appears, dragging a large, battered suitcase. The child stops when he sees the strangers, but even so, the smile on his face is unmissable.

Todoroki laughs.

She hurries off to fetch her other children and Hisashi follows the redhaired boy to an office. He’s tempted to do a real number on the room (destruction, in his experience, is surprisingly therapeutic), but Touya apparently knows where to look as the boy quickly locates three safes. Hisashi does not bother investigating the contents; he just rips the doors off all three eliciting a laugh from his guide.

When they arrive back by the door, a thick wad of papers tucked in a plastic bag (it’s a complete accident that Hisashi grabbed those bank statements – although quite fortunate should Todoroki choose to initiate divorce proceedings), two whitehaired children, a boy and girl, are waiting anxiously by the entrance. Kurogiri is holding the red-and-white haired toddler, who appears more than half asleep, and Todoroki is looking over their bags even as she wipes at her eyes.

“Do you have somewhere to go?” Hisashi asks as he hands over the documents. Touya hurries past him and takes his brother from the warper, and it is rather heart-warming to see the boy cuddle up sleepily to the teenager.

“Yes,” the woman nods. “There’s a shelter in Yutenji that I called earlier; they said they had space for us…”

“Wonderful,” Hisashi beams and turns to Kurogiri. “A Yutenji back alley, please.”

“What…” Todoroki gasps as Kurogiri opens a warp gate.

“Oh, I thought teleporting might make it just a bit harder for your husband to find you,” Hisashi explains. He picks up two of the bags and treats the family to a beaming smile. “Also, it might be just a little bit easier with four children.”

Said children don’t look convinced, but Mrs Todoroki just laughs and follows him up to the gate. He steps through, and she pokes her head through and glances around. Then she vanishes back in and soon enough, the family comes tumbling through, numerous exclamations echoing in the small, empty street.

“Thank you,” Todoroki whispers as Hisashi sets down the bags. “I can call the shelter to meet us. I don’t even know…”

“Don’t mention it,” Hisashi shrugs. Then he produces an envelope. “That cheque I promised. And a referral to an excellent lawyer. If you want to take me up on that job offer, tell her – she will be able to contact me.”

Todoroki sniffles, and then Hisashi finds himself being hugged by an overemotional mother. Her two middle children quickly join in, and the eldest gives Kurogiri an awkward hug of his own, whilst balancing his brother.

“Thank you so much,” the woman whispers as she finally draws back.

Hisashi smiles, a genuine, hopeful smile as he steps back through the warp gate. He could almost swear he catches the faint smell of peonies as he emerges in his living room.

He’s pretty sure Inko approves.

Chapter Text

Kurogiri notices something is wrong as soon as he arrives at daycare. Izuku does not greet him with a detailed description of his day; instead he quietly allows Kurogiri to help him with his shoes and waves goodbye to Tenya. Once they arrive home, Izuku silently settles down at the dining table with his crayons.

Kurogiri just assumes he’s grieving. Every now and then, Izuku is just… sad, and according to the therapists, it is not unusual. So he leaves the child be, focusing instead on dinner. Midoriya is attending some sort of conference (although boring and filled with pompous bastards does not exactly tell Kurogiri much about the subjects being discussed), and won’t be back until Sunday. (Which means Kurogiri is the only reasonable adult in the house – thank god he made sure he’s stocked up on coffee.)

Izuku is quiet as they eat, and does not even ask about dessert. That is a major red flag, and as he clears the table, Kurogiri wrestles with himself. He is tempted to call Midoriya, but there is every chance the man will drop everything and rush home. (And then even Gigantomachia will know something is very wrong, and the less Gigantomachia knows, the better, in Kurogiri’s opinion.)

So Kurogiri takes a deep breath and leaves the safety of the kitchen. Izuku is playing with his building blocks, and Gigantomachia, who seems to be aware something isn’t right, is watching him from behind the couch. Kurogiri considers his options for a few seconds, and then reaches a decision.

“Izuku, it’s bath time,” he tells the boy.

Izuku quietly follows him to the bathroom, and once he’s closed the door, Kurogiri crouches down in front of him and tries to smile.

“Izuku, is there anything wrong?”

“No, Kurogiri,” Izuku shakes his head.

“Did you argue with Tenya?”

“No.”

“Are the other children mean?”

“No.”

Kurogiri has to force the next words out. “…Did your teacher make you sad?”

“No.”

Kurogiri almost collapses from the relief, but he’s puzzled. This is not Izuku’s usual grieving, which tends to make him a lot more clingy. But if no one seems to be picking on him, Kurogiri really has no idea what the issue might be.

“Well, did something happen at daycare?” he asks, slightly desperate.

Izuku hesitates for a second, but then, finally, he says it. “Miss Tanaka told us about Father’s Day.”

“And?” Kurogiri asks, puzzled. Father’s Day seems perfectly inoffensive. (He could understand Mother’s Day, but that’s been and gone. And anyway, Midoriya gave him that day off, so he can’t really reference it.)

“She said it was tomorrow,” Izuku sniffles. “But papa’s away, so I can’t give him his card.”

“Ah,” Kurogiri nods in understanding. He considers the problem, not quite sure what the appropriate response might be, and then has an idea. “Well, how about we go and surprise him?”

“Really?” Izuku perks up. “We can?”

“Sure we can,” Kurogiri smiles. He knows the details of Midoriya’s hotel room, in case he needs to collect the man for an emergency. Izuku has no play dates lined up (and now it makes a lot more sense why not). And then another idea occurs to him. “We could even bake him some muffins.”

“Muffins!” Izuku cheers.

“Then how about I get the kitchen ready, and you make sure you have your card, and then we’ll have bath time after baking?” Kurogiri suggests, and then leans in to whisper in Izuku’s ear, “It can be a little later, since we’ve got a secret mission to get ready for.”

“A secret mission!” Izuku gasps. Then something occurs to him. “Will Machia come too?”

Kurogiri considers the situation. Travelling with Machia is not easy at the best of times, and Kurogiri really does not want to even imagine managing both Izuku and Gigantomachia on public transport, especially without Midoriya to manage Gigantomachia’s... overprotective tendencies. “We need him to stay here, so your papa doesn’t know we’re coming. Machia needs to answer the phone if papa calls. This is a really important job, so how about you tell him? Make sure he knows just how important a mission this is,” he stresses. The only person Gigantomachia regards anywhere as highly as Midoriya is Izuku, after all; if the bodyguard will lie to his Lord for anyone, it’s almost certainly going to be Izuku.

Izuku grins and dashes out of the bathroom. “Machia! I’m gonna surprise papa!”

Kurogiri shakes his head and goes to find that recipe for chocolate muffins.

 

 

Hisashi sighs as he collapses onto the hotel sofa and summons his phone. He hates spending weekends away from Izuku, but there were a few speakers he really needed to meet with. He smiles at the lock screen (Izuku and Tenya beaming at the camera) and dials his home number. He has a few hours to spare, and the best pick-me-up is definitely Izuku.

“…Hello?”

“Good morning, Gigantomachia,” Hisashi greets the giant as he picks up his coffee. “I’d like to speak to Izuku.”

“You can’t!”

Hisashi frowns. “Don’t be ridiculous, Gigantomachia. Put him on.”

“I can’t! He’s not here!”

“What do you mean he’s not there?” Hisashi isn’t sure why his former bodyguard sounds so panicked, but he’s starting to get a very bad feeling.

“He’s… He’s…” Hisashi can almost picture the giant flailing about. (Please don’t let him break anything, please…) “Little Lord’s been kidnapped!”

“He’s what?!” Hisashi shrieks as he jumps to his feet. The coffee table crashes over, but he can’t care. Izuku kidnapped? Who would dare do such a thing? He desperately tries to figure out who might be responsible. The conference is no longer important; someone is going to die. He needs to get home now. “Put Kurogiri on!”

“He took Little Lord!”

The phone in Hisashi’s hand shatters.

That filthy, traitorous little rat! Hisashi took him in, gave him a home, and this is how he’s been repaid! Never mind Hisashi; Inko trusted him! She treated him with such kindness, and he just spits on her grave! Death is too good for him; Hisashi will rend him limb from limb, and flay him alive, and take that precious little Quirk from…

“Surprise, papa!”

Hisashi instinctively grabs the coffee table and throws it at the intruder. Thankfully, Kurogiri has good reflexes, and so the table misses Izuku and goes sailing through a Warp Gate.

“Are you surprised, papa?” Izuku asks, apparently unaware he was almost killed by his father. He’s beaming from Kurogiri’s hip, apparently ignorant of his current situation. (Has Kurogiri come to gloat? He could warp Izuku into the sea, or two thousand feet up, in a millisecond, so he certainly has some insurance. Or perhaps he’s just lost his mind?)

“…Very,” Hisashi hesitantly admits, as he slowly approaches his son, watching Kurogiri for any sort of attack. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh!” Izuku gasps. Then he grins. “Happy Papa’s Day!”

“Izuku was very upset you would be away for Father’s Day,” Kurogiri explains as he sets Izuku down. The boy immediately starts rummaging in his All Might backpack. “So we decided we would surprise you.”

“It was certainly a surprise…” Hisashi mutters. He still isn’t entirely sure about the warper, but it makes sense – presumably Izuku asked Gigantomachia not to tell him about the surprise. But then Gigantomachia tends to require clear instructions, especially if he has to disobey his Lord – Hisashi will have to figure out how to explain that to a toddler.

“Papa!” Izuku hurries over, a card in hand. “I made you a card! And we made muffins, but Kurogiri has them.” He deflates a little, and Hisashi can’t help it; he laughs as he picks up his son.

“Well, muffins sound lovely. How about we all have some muffins, and then we go do a little sightseeing?”

“Muffins!” Izuku cheers.

Kurogiri produces the muffins from his canvas bag, and then glances around. “Should I go fetch the table?”

Chapter Text

“Tenya, could you come here for a minute?”

Tenya frowns as he looks up from his drawing, but Tensei looks… serious. So he makes sure all his pens are properly capped, and grabs his Ingenium plush. (Which Tensei had made specially for him! His brother is the best!) Then he joins Tensei on the couch.

“Tenya, I…” his brother trails off, takes a deep breath and soldiers on. “I want to talk to you about Izuku. Have you ever… wondered about him? You know, do you… have any questions about him?”

“Yes!” Tenya grins. Izuku is great, but they haven’t known each other for very long. “Does he have his Quirk yet? Cause he’s really smart! Or – his hair’s so curly, is that his Quirk? Is Machia his dog? Why’s he so small if he’s older? Can he come to the beach with us? What’s a souv-le?...”

“That’s not quite what I meant…” Tensei interrupts the flood of questions.

“Oh…” Tenya deflates. His brother chuckles, though, and ruffles his hair, so obviously he isn’t mad. Tenya just wishes he knew what he was supposed to ask about.

“No, it’s fine,” Tensei assures him. “But… Has Izuku ever mentioned his mum?”

Tensei considers his answer carefully. Izuku talks a lot about his papa, and Machia, and… “Is Kurogiri his mum?”

Tenya doesn’t know what’s so funny. He does end up fetching his brother a glass of water, partly because just watching Tensei laugh is boring, and partly because his brother will probably need it and Tenya is the world’s best little brother.

“No, Kurogiri isn’t Izuku’s mum,” Tensei finally informs him. “Kurogiri and… Machia are friends of Izuku’s papa. They help him with cooking, and play with Izuku.”

“Why doesn’t Izuku’s mum cook?” Tenya asks with a frown. Tensei sometimes makes lunch, but their mum’s food is always the best. Maybe Izuku’s mum is like their dad, and burns everything?

“Well, you see, Izuku’s mum loved him very much,” Tensei explains to him carefully. “But she got very sick, and the doctors couldn’t make her better, so she… had to go away.”

“Like grandma?”

“Yes, just like grandma,” Tensei smiles and nods. “And I’m sure Izuku misses her very much. So he probably feels very sad. And sometimes he cries, even though he’s not hurt.”

Tenya considers this new information. He knows Izuku is really timid, and sometimes just curls up in a corner and is sad, but it makes sense. Tenya can’t imagine his mum not tucking him in, or kissing his booboos better… He sniffs and wipes at his eyes angrily, and silently promises himself he’ll hug her as soon as she gets home. Of course Izuku cries so much! He must be so sad!

Tenya silently promises himself he’ll be the best friend ever.

 

 

The next day at daycare, Izuku is suspiciously quiet. When Miss Tanaka allows them to go play outside, he just sits down next to her desk, his All Might plush clutched close.

Tenya hesitates in the doorway, since it’s really sunny, and he’s good at tag, but then he remembers his mum dropping him off, and hurries back to his friend, determined. He drops down next to him, and Izuku sniffs as he looks over at him, obviously surprised. Tenya makes sure he’s pressed up close, so Izuku knows he is – well, there.

 “Tenya?” Miss Tanaka approaches them. “Don’t you want to play outside?”

“No thank you!” Tenya answers, because he might be on a mission, but he also wants to be polite. “Izuku’s sad, so I’ll stay with him!”

The woman smiles and leaves them be, and Tenya ponders how he can make Izuku feel better. (Tensei would know what to do, but Tensei’s not here. Should he hug Izuku, or maybe…)

“…you don’t mind that I’m a crybaby?”

“Course not!” Tenya frowns, and then adds, “And you’re not a crybaby!”

“I cry a lot,” Izuku points out, sniffling. “And I’m a Deku.”

Tenya doesn’t know what a Deku is, but he chooses instead to focus on one issue at a time. (He can ask Tensei what a Deku is when he gets home, and then he can make a list of why Izuku isn’t one. Because Izuku is fun and Tenya likes him.) “Well, why are you crying?”

Izuku doesn’t answer, just buries his face in his arms, and Tenya kind of wishes Tensei were here, cause he’d know what to say. But Tenya likes Izuku, and wants to be his friend, so he’ll just have to figure something out.

“Do you miss your mum?”

The nod is barely noticeable, but Tenya almost sighs in relief.

“Then it’s alright,” he shrugs. “I miss my mum when she’s away, and I cry. But I know she’s coming back. But your mum had to go away, and she can’t come back, so it’s okay to cry!”

“…You really don’t mind?”

Tenya considers it seriously, and shakes his head. “No. I know why you cry, and you’re really fun, and smart. And I want to be your friend. So next time you’re sad, you can tell me and…” he frowns as he tries to decide what might make Izuku feel better. “I’ll hug you.”

Izuku promptly bursts into tears, and Tenya panics and runs for Miss Tanaka.

He hopes Izuku will still be his friend, even though he made him cry.

 

 

“Iida household, Takeshi speaking.”

“…”

“Hello? Who is this?”

“It’s Midoriya – Izuku’s father. I just… Called to tell you Tenya is wonderful. And amazing. And you should be proud. Goodnight.”

 

“Tenya, did anything happen at daycare today?”

Chapter Text

“Can we go yet?”

“Gigantomachia, remember: only attack on my command. No fighting without my explicit permission.”

“Can we go yet?”

“I took the initiative, sir, and packed a few spare towels.”

“Can we go yet?”

“Izuku, stands still: papa has to put this sunscreen on you.”

“Can we go yet?”

“Alright, Kurogiri, open a gate to Dagoba Beach.”

“Beach!”

 

The minute they’re through the warp gate, Izuku cheers and makes to dash over to his best friend. Hisashi grabs his son in the nick of time and crouches down in front of him. Izuku is practically vibrating with excitement, but they need to go over the ground rules (again).

“Now, Izuku, what did I tell you?”

“Don’t go in the water without you!” Izuku answers confidently.

“And?”

“If a grown up I don’t know talks to me, I scream!”

“And?”

“When you call me, I come immediately!”

“And?”

“Erm…” Izuku frowns, obviously confused.

Hisashi smiles as he ruffles his son’s curls. “I love you.”

“Love you too, papa!” Izuku chirps and quickly hugs him. Then he turns and sprints over to Tenya.

“Aw,” Katsumi Iida coos as Hisashi approaches the other parents. “That is so adorable! If only Tenya was as affectionate…”

“Glad you could make it,” the Iida patriarch greets him. “Tensei promised to join us after his shift.” Then he turns his attention to Hisashi’s companions. “Takeshi Iida. And you are?”

“Kurogiri,” the warper smoothly introduces himself. “And this is…”

“Machia!” Izuku runs over, bright eyed. “Can you play with us?”

“YES, LITTLE LORD!” Gigantomachia beams and immediately drops the parasol he was carrying on Hisashi’s foot.

“We’re the hired help,” Kurogiri explains as Hisashi drags the giant off before he says anything suspicious in his torrent of apologies.

“O…kay,” Katsumi Iida slowly nods.

“How about I help you set up?” Takeshi offers with a forced smile.

 

 

Apparently Tenya thought Machia was a dog.

Izuku isn’t sure why, since Machia doesn’t have a tail, and isn’t terribly cuddly, but he does make for an awesome dragon. And they both agree riding on his shoulder is really fun.

After a while, though, they get tired and settle down to make sandcastles. (Machia plops himself down a few yards away to watch them – Tenya apparently finds it a little scary, though Izuku can’t quite figure out why.) They’re just trying to decide whether to go searching for shells, when they hear a grown up.

“Oh, they’re so adorable! Tensei, you never told me Tenya has such a cute friend!”

“Nemuri!” Tenya cheers. He grabs Izuku and pulls him along, and Izuku goes willingly. He can see Tensei with three other people, so it’s not like they’re all strangers, and since Tensei’s a hero, they might be heroes too! Maybe they’ll give him an autograph!

He smiles as he comes to a stop next to his best friend; then he looks up and promptly bursts into tears.

 

“What the hell did you do?!” Izuku hears the female voice ask. He kind of wants to run to papa, but he’s also scared, so he hides behind Tenya. He knows Tensei said he was heroic, but Present Mic was really scary, and what if he’s still angry at Izuku?! What if he arrests him?! Will Tenya still be his friend, even when he knows how naughty Izuku was?!

Then the ground starts to shake, and Izuku just cries harder, because the thundering footsteps are coming from the direction of papa, and Machia. That means he can’t go to them, and maybe it’s a really scary villain who hurt them!...

“Villain!” one of the four screams, and Izuku grabs onto Tenya, because that means papa might be hurt! Izuku doesn’t want papa to go away like mama!

Then the shaking stops.

“What the hell?” a familiar voice – Eraserhead – mutters.

“Can that villain swim?” the lady asks.

“I… don’t think he can,” Tensei sighs. “Mic, go save him.”

“Why me?”

“Cause this is all your fault!”

“How is it my fault?!”

“SOMEONE GO SAVE THE DROWNING MAN!” the lady screams.

Izuku hears someone run off, and then – then Izuku hears the single best sound in the world.

“Izuku?!”

“Papa, I don’t want to go to jail!” he wails as he turns and sprints to his papa.

 

 

“You have three seconds before I call the police,” Hisashi hisses.

Tensei blanches, but the woman (Kayama Nemuri, hero name Midnight, Hisashi’s mental rolodex of heroes supplies) doesn’t pay him much attention as she focuses on calming Izuku.

“It’s alright, little guy, no one is taking you to jail,” she assures his back. “And if someone says they will, they’re mean liars and I’ll put them in time out.”

“Really?” Izuku sniffs as he turns slightly, but doesn’t let go of Hisashi’s leg.

“I promise,” the woman holds out her pinkie. “And I’m a hero, so you can trust me!”

“But Present Mic’s a hero too…”

“Oh, so it’s Mic,” Midnight stands up and turns to the water. “MIC, WHAT THE… WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!”

“HE’S TRYING TO KILL US!” Present Mic screams back. He and Eraserhead are perched on a small rock, and Gigantomachia is glowering at them from the shallows. (At least the giant has enough presence of mind not to chase them out of his depth.)

“WHAT DID YOU EXPECT, TERRIFYING THE POOR DEAR?! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

(Hisashi likes Midnight.)

“Gigantomachia!” Hisashi calls out to his bodyguard. As amusing as the situation is, he does not want to be implicated in a double homicide. “Fetch Izuku’s towel.”

The giant reluctantly obeys. As he lumbers away, Eraserhead jumps in the water and begins swimming back to shore. Present Mic however (showing an impressive amount of self-preservation) remains where he is.

“HIZASHI YAMADA, GET OVER HERE!”

“Mr Midoriya, why’s Izuku sad?” Tenya asks, obviously having decided Hisashi is the only sane adult present.

(Smart kid.)

“Well,” Hisashi hesitates for a second. “You see, Present Mic really scared Izuku a while back, because he thought Izuku did something bad…”

“I wanted to help!” Izuku sniffs.

Tenya takes in his friend’s tearstained face, and reaches a conclusion.

“Present Mic’s mean!” he declares and grabs Izuku’s hand. “I don’t like him anymore!”

(Has Hisashi ever mentioned he adores Tenya?)

“MIC, GET… Oh, fuck him,” Midnight throws her hands up. Then she realizes two men are glaring at her and winces. “Sorry!”

“Was Nemuri mean too?” Tenya asks.

“No, just a little naughty,” Hisashi helpfully informs him. “She just said a very bad word.”

“And I’m very sorry,” the woman adds. She crouches down in front of the two boys and smiles. “My name is Kayama Nemuri. But my hero name is Midnight.”

“Midnight!” Izuku gasps, suitably impressed and distracted. “The Arr-rated Hero!”

“What’s Arr-rated?” Tenya asks.

Izuku frowns, obviously stumped. “Maybe she’s a pirate hero?”

“Nemuri, are you a pirate?”

“Oh my god, they are so precious,” Midnight sniffs.

She is obviously a sensible, sane person (however rare it is that such individuals choose to become heroes). And Hisashi is not above recruiting people on the off chance they could be useful. So he looks down at Izuku, and instructs his son, “Izuku, be polite.”

“Sorry, papa,” Izuku nods. Then he smiles at the woman and chirps, “My name is Izuku Midoriya! I’m four!”

(Hisashi could probably recruit a small army simply with the force of Izuku’s smile.)

“Gigantomachia, Izuku will have lunch now,” Hisashi informs the giant as he reaches them. “I need to speak with Present Mic.”

(After all, Gigantomachia might not be able to swim, but Hisashi…)

 

 

“Izuku, right?”

Izuku is still a little scared of Present Mic, so he doesn’t come out from behind Tenya. (Who has decided the hero is mean, and therefore Tenya doesn't like him anymore – Tenya really is the best friend ever!) Izuku isn’t entirely sure why papa, Tensei, Midnight and the Iidas are all glaring at the blonde, or why Machia is growling so loud. (He also doesn’t know how Eraserhead can sleep despite the noise.)

“Mhm,” he nods, hesitantly.

“I’m really sorry I scared you,” Present Mic winces. “I was worried about Eraser, see, cause he’s my best friend. And I didn’t know where he was.”

“Why didn’t you call a hero?” Izuku asks. Present Mic must not be very smart, if he doesn’t remember what to do if you lose someone.

“I am a hero,” Present Mic points out. “And I called Ingenium…”

“Mum says you should tell a police person if you lose someone,” Tenya says, and Izuku perks up. Of course Tenya also knows what to do if you lose someone, since Tenya is so smart! They can teach Mic what to do together!

“Or go to the lost child centre!” Izuku adds. (He doesn’t quite know why Tensei and Midnight are snickering, but this is really important!)

“Yes, Mic, next time go to a lost child centre,” Tensei gasps out.

“Or a cat rescue!” Midnight adds.

“Eraserhead’s not a cat,” Izuku points out, confused. “He’s not fluffy!”

Chapter Text

“Papa, papa, papa!”

The minute Izuku is through Kurogiri’s Warp Gate, he bolts past Machia and up the stairs. He has super exciting news, and he wants papa to be the first to know! This is awesome, and he knows papa will understand just how important this news is! (And he knows he shouldn’t run in the house, but this is a big event! It’s like Izuku’s birthday, only it’s not his birthday!)

“Izuku?” papa looks up as Izuku runs into his study. “What is it?”

“Papa, guess what?!” Izuku knows he should stand still, but he is excited! This is awesome, and amazing, and… (Izuku will have to ask papa for more words, because he doesn’t quite know how to express how great this is!) “Tenya’s birthday is next week! He’s going to be four,” he makes sure to show the right number of fingers, because he can count (to seven!). “And he’s having a party! And he wants me to come!”

“That… That’s wonderful,” papa smiles. “We’ll have to pick him out a nice present.”

Izuku puffs up his chest as he remembers the best part. “Guess what, papa? He said he wants me to come because I’m his best friend!

Tenya is super awesome, and a great friend, and will be an amazing hero, and Izuku loves him so much, and Izuku is Tenya’s best friend! And papa obviously understands how exciting this is, because he laughs and stands up.

“Now that is wonderful news,” papa beams. “We’ll have to find him an incredible present.”

“Yes!” Izuku nods, and then, because he’s a good boy, he asks, “Can I go tell Machia? And Kurogiri?”

“You mean they don’t know yet?” papa chuckles.

“Course not!” Izuku frowns. He wanted papa to know first! And Machia might spoil the surprise! (Also, he wants to tell everyone he can, because he’s Tenya’s best friend!)

“Well, go on then!” papa laughs.

Izuku grins, spins round, and sprints out of the room.

“Machia! I’m Tenya’s BEST FRIEND!

 

It is a rather… novel experience, entering a hero agency through the front door with no dastardly schemes. Hisashi isn’t sure he quite likes the feeling. (He keeps expecting All Might to appear out of nowhere and spring a trap. Which is… No, actually it is exactly the sort of irresponsible action Hisashi would expect from him. Just in case, he tightens his grip on Izuku’s hand.) Izuku is so in awe of his surroundings, he’s gone completely silent; no exclamations and no muttering as they approach the reception desk. Hisashi regularly has to tug him along.

The woman behind the desk looks surprised, (to be expected, Hisashi supposes, since Idaten has not yet sold its soul and is not open to the public,) but quickly plasters on her best customer services smile. “Hello, and welcome to the Idaten Hero Agency. How may I help you today?”

Hisashi picks Izuku up, so he can see over the desk.

“Hello!” Izuku beams, obviously happy to have found someone who might not know the exciting news. “I’m Tenya’s best friend!”

The receptionist huffs a laugh. “Izuku, I presume?”

“Yes,” Hisashi nods as he lowers his son back down. “I’m guessing Tenya told you we’d be coming?”

Yes,” the woman replies. She lifts her phone and dials a number. “Hi, I’ve got Izuku down her in reception?”

A pause.

“Yes, that Izuku,” she giggles, and hangs up. “Someone will be down to escort you.”

She reaches into a drawer and hands them two visitor passes. Hisashi pins his to his jacket, and Izuku examines his in wonder. Then an idea seems to occur to him, and he urgently tugs on Hisashi’s sleeve.

“Papa,” he whispers once Hisashi has bent down. “Do you think we’ll see any heroes?”

As if on que, the lift doors chime open.

“Izuku!” Midnight sprints out of them. (Present Mic hobbles out after her, followed by a number of assorted sidekicks in varying degrees of shock. Hisashi barely resists his temptation to grab Izuku and run, because ALL HEROES ARE CRAZY.)

“Midnight!” Izuku cheers. “Tenya said I’m his best friend!”

“I know!” the woman beams. “Everyone is so excited to meet you!”

“You don’t say…” Hisashi murmurs as he eyes the ten or so sidekicks milling about awkwardly.

“Now, Tensei’s out on patrol, but Tenya is waiting for you in the equipment room,” Midnight laughs. “And I might happen to know someone is going to get to try on costumes!...”

“Costumes!” Izuku gasps. He spins round, wide eyed, to Hisashi. “Papa, did you hear? Costumes!”

“I heard, I heard,” Hisashi chuckles. He picks up the gift bag, and motions for Midnight to lead the way.

“That is a big bag,” Present Mic chuckles as everyone files back into the lift.

“Of course it is,” Hisashi nods and smiles. “After all, Izuku is Tenya’s best friend.”

 

Izuku is having the best day ever!

He’s not sure how many sidekicks he’s met, and Tenya is so proud to introduce him to everyone, and Present Mic isn’t at all scary and is rather fun, especially when he teaches him to dance, and then Tensei came back and he let Izuku try on his helmet!

Izuku sniffs, and wipes at his eyes. He is so happy, he can feel his happy tears coming, and he doesn’t really want everyone to see him crying, so he goes and sits by the table. Tenya is dancing with Midnight, and Izuku wants to calm down before he goes join them. (Because Tenya is a wonderful friend, and really smart, but he kind of has trouble understanding happy tears.)

“Hey, Izuku,” he hears Tensei and looks up at him. “Feeling a little tired?”

Izuku kind of doesn’t want to tell him he is, because everything is really nice and he wants to be good, but he also doesn’t want to lie. So, hesitantly, he nods. “A little…” he sniffs, and then quickly adds, “And I’m very, very happy!”

“That’s good to hear!” Tensei grins as he sits down next to Izuku. (Izuku likes his grin – Tensei is really fun, and Izuku kind of wishes he had a big brother like Tensei.) Then he glances over at papa, who is chatting with one of the sidekicks. The smile slips from his face, he takes a really deep breath, and turns back to Izuku. “Izuku, is… everything alright at home?”

Izuku isn’t quite sure why he’s asking, but he nods.

“Are you sure?” Tensei asks. He leans in a bit and lowers his voice. “Cause I’m a hero, after all, and if anything is wrong, it’s okay to tell me. You won’t get in any trouble, I promise.”

“I dunno…” Izuku hesitates, and then admits, “I do miss mama…”

“Yeah,” Tensei sighs, and pulls him into a hug. “I know. But…Your papa isn’t mean to you?”

“No!” Izuku shakes his head. “No one’s mean anymore!”

“Anymore?” Tensei pauses. “Was someone mean before?”

Izuku hesitates, but… papa said Kacchan was nasty, and mean, and he doesn’t have to see him anymore. So he nods, and leans in to whisper in Tensei’s ear, “Kacchan was mean. And he hurt me.”

“And did… Kacchan call you a Deku?”

“Yes!” Izuku nods. He doesn’t like thinking about Kacchan, and wipes at his eyes. “But papa says I don’t have to see him anymore. And Tenya’s a good friend! Papa said so! And Kacchan wasn’t! And I’m going to be a hero!...”

He sniffs again, and Tensei smiles again as he ruffles his hair, although it’s tinged with sadness.

“Izuku, your papa is right. And if anyone ever hurts you again, feel free to tell me,” he grins and points at himself. “After all, I am a hero. And just between you and me, you’re a pretty good hero, too!”

“Really?” Izuku perks up. “How?!”

“You know how All Might smiles when he helps people?” Tensei asks.

Izuku nods.

“Well, he does that to make people feel better,” Tensei grins. “Kind of like how when you’re sad, Tenya hugs you. And – I’m sure your papa misses your mum very much.”

Izuku nods again, although he doesn’t quite know what that has to do with All Might.

“But when he sees you’re happy, or when you hug him, I think that makes him feel better. So in a way, you’re your papa’s hero!”

Izuku perks up. Tensei is a hero, so he knows what heroes do, and he’s also really smart. And maybe he's right! Cause when Izuku is sad, and misses mama, papa’s kisses make him feel better! So maybe it works even for grown ups!

Izuku likes the idea of being his papa's hero.

 

Chapter Text

“Papa?”

“Yes Izuku?” Hisashi makes sure to smile as he puts the report he was reading down. He knows he needs to get it signed off today, but Izuku rarely (never) interrupts his work. And with the Bakugo unpleasantness still fresh in his mind, Hisashi is not going to risk turning him away.

Izuku hesitates in the doorway, sending Hisashi’s fatherly instincts into overdrive. He stands up and approaches his son, his heart breaking when he hears a suspicious sniffle.

“Oh, Izuku,” he sighs as he kneels and pulls his boy into a tight hug. “What’s wrong?”

Izuku wipes his eyes when they separate, and Hisashi produces a tissue and commands him to blow. Izuku obeys, but isn’t any more forthcoming. Hisashi waits patiently, but when Izuku just sniffles again, he picks his son up and moves them to his office chair. Izuku almost immediately curls up, his small fingers grasping at his father’s shirt. Hisashi allows himself to savour the feeling as he starts humming one of Inko’s favourite lullabies.

(At least he still has Izuku.)

“Papa?” Izuku finally whispers. “What if I’m Quirkless?”

He sounds so small, so broken, that Hisashi has to take a deep breath to try and stay calm (because he hates, oh he hates the Bakugo brat like nothing before).

“Then you’re Quirkless,” he finally answers, in as nonchalant a manner as he can manage. “But we don’t know that yet. Some people don’t get their Quirk until they’re older; it happens. Where did you hear that word, anyway?”

Izuku’s sniffles are enough of an answer, and Hisashi presses a quick kiss to those adorable green curls. They sit in relative silence for a while, Hisashi occasionally carding his fingers through Izuku’s hair.

“Kacchan said I was Quirkless…” Izuku finally whispers.

“And Kacchan is so smart,” Hisashi rolls his eyes. “Izuku, I don’t care about your Quirk. Never have, never will. Do you know why?”

“Why?”

“Because I love you. Because you’re so smart, and kind, and polite, and every day I am so, so proud of you,” Hisashi presses his lips to Izuku’s head. “You don’t need a Quirk. Nobody needs a Quirk. If anyone ever tells you otherwise, then they’re fools, and you need to inform me immediately.”

Izuku nods hesitantly, and Hisashi resists the urge to sigh.

“Kacchan was very mean, and a very bad friend,” he explains instead. “Friends don’t say nasty things to friends or make them cry. So if anyone ever does anything like that, tell a grown up, understand?”

Izuku nods again.

“Now, does Tenya care whether you have a Quirk?”

“No…”

“That’s because Tenya is a good friend. Tenya cares that you are a very nice boy, and you want to help people, and you like playing with him.”

Izuku nods, but it's slow, and hesitant, and Hisashi knows this is not the last he's heard of Quirklessness. But Izuku is still young, and probably is not up to a lesson about prejudice, and definitely not capable of understanding why there is no worry he will be Quirkless. So Hisashi decides they can come back to this another day, and they both certainly deserve a pick-me-up. “Now, I think we need a therapeutic helping of ice cream. Sound good?”

Izuku perks up and nods.

“And how about we curl up on the couch and have a TV marathon?”

Even as faint as it is, Izuku’s smile means everything.

 

 

Izuku wishes his Quirk would show up already.

He knows papa said it would come when it was ready, but Izuku is the only child at daycare who doesn’t have a Quirk yet. And although Tenya doesn’t seem to mind being friends with someone without a Quirk, he’s had Engine since he was a baby, so he can’t really imagine not having a Quirk. (Not that Izuku wouldn’t want to be friends with Tenya if he didn’t have Engine, but…)

And Quirks are so amazing, and Izuku wants to know what his Quirk will be! His parents aren’t like Mr and Mrs Iida (who both have Quirks that make them really fast, so of course Tenya and Tensei have Quirks that make them really fast), they have really different Quirks, so Izuku can’t really guess what his Quirk will be. He wonders whether he’ll take after mama, or maybe his Quirk will be like papa’s…

Izuku pauses in his musings as a thought occurs to him.

What exactly is papa’s Quirk?

He knows about mama’s; can even sort of remember it in use, back before she got really sick and had to go away. But no matter what, he can’t recall papa ever explaining his own Quirk. It’s probably some sort of healing, Izuku decides, because he can always kiss Izuku’s owies better. But he didn’t kiss Eraserhead, and Eraserhead got better anyway after papa touched him.

Izuku ponders the mystery as he eats dinner, and by the time Kurogiri stands to clear the table, Izuku has reached a decision.

He just has to figure out papa’s Quirk!

The super-important-very-secret mission begins early the next day. Izuku needs to figure out the ins and outs – he knows papa’s Quirk works on scraped knees and burns, but he isn’t sure if it works on broken bones, and… and tummy aches. Izuku frowns as he considers his plan, and almost backs out. But he’s not a coward (unlike what Kacchan says). And he needs to find out about papa’s Quirk. And maybe, just maybe, his own Quirk will activate.

Izuku takes a deep breath and jumps off the dining room table.

The pain is so bad he almost faints; all thoughts of Quirks forgotten, he starts to sob. He wants his papa, and his leg hurts, and he doesn’t care if he’s a crybaby!...

“Little Lord!” Machia cries out as he comes thundering into the room, and Izuku starts crying louder. He’s hurt, and scared, and he wants papa.

Gignatomachia takes in the sight of a hysterical toddler and makes possibly the smartest decision in his life. He spins around, smacks his head on the doorframe and thunders out, bellowing at the top of his lungs, “Lord! Lord! Little Lord is dying!”

Papa appears in a matter of seconds, a panicked expression on his face, dressed only in black boxers, and if Izuku wasn’t quite so scared, he would have wondered about the flicker of flame coming from his mouth. But Izuku is hurt, and frightened, and so he reaches out for papa, who immediately kneels and pulls Izuku close.

“Izuku, what’s wrong?” Papa asks.

“…Leg,” Izuku chokes out between sobs. “Hurts!”

“Oh, Izuku,” papa sighs, and for a minute they simply sit there. Izuku is still hurt, and still sad, but at least papa doesn’t seem to mind Izuku’s a crybaby. So he snuggles up a little bit closer, because just being with papa makes the pain hurt less…

…his leg itches.

“What’s wrong?” papa asks as Izuku shifts.

“…Itchy…” Izuku whines in response, and papa laughs, obviously relieved.

“That’s just the healing Quirk,” he explains, and Izuku realizes that sure enough, as the itching increases, the pain vanishes. Izuku’s interest is peaked, and he remembers why he went through with this silly (stupid, stupid, stupid!) plan. But the itching is already fading, and Izuku panics, because it’s too soon, he doesn’t know how it works, and he doesn’t want to have to do this again! If he could only… borrow it, only for a few seconds…

And something clicks.

The Quirk isn’t fading anymore. If anything, it feels stronger than before, a strange warmth-but-not-quite thrumming under his skin. Izuku pokes at it and marvels, so enraptured he doesn’t notice the puzzled (almost comical) expression on papa’s face.

“Izuku…” papa finally speaks, and Izuku freezes, because he sounds so uncertain, so unsure, it’s scary. “…What did you just do?”

Izuku stops pondering over the Quirk, but it’s still there, even though there’s nothing left to heal, and Izuku suddenly understands. He can feel it so well because it’s in him. Because somehow, without meaning to, he took it, like a thief.

Izuku bursts into tears.

Papa doesn’t have a Quirk anymore, and it’s all Izuku’s fault! Izuku didn’t mean to, but now papa will be angry, and think Izuku was naughty! And what will Tenya think? Will he think Izuku’s a mean thief, too? Will he think Izuku wants to take Engine? Will Tensei arrest him and send him to prison?! Izuku doesn’t want someone else’s Quirk! He didn’t mean to, he…

Why isn’t papa angry?

Izuku realizes papa isn’t shouting, and looks up at papa. Who is smiling. Izuku wipes at his eyes, puzzled. (Does papa not mind not having a Quirk anymore? Does he still love Izuku, even though Izuku is a naughty thief?)

Papa takes the opportunity to grab and lift him, spinning them around, laughing. It’s so unexpected Izuku joins in, because papa obviously doesn’t mind not having a Quirk anymore. (Even though Izuku can't understand why. Izuku would be sad if he had a Quirk and then lost it...)

“My little boy got his Quirk!” papa cheers, and then pauses to look down at Izuku, suddenly serious. Izuku almost panics, but then papa sighs. “But you need to promise me you’ll stop growing up so fast. Next thing I know, you’ll be off to work, and I’ll be all alone, and you’ll never call me…”

“Papaa!” Izuku whines, because papa is being silly. Papa just laughs, and presses a big kiss to Izuku’s cheek, and it’s so nice, so pleasant, but he still needs to make sure… “You’re not mad?”

“Course not,” papa smiles.

He doesn’t say anything; he doesn’t have to. Because Izuku feels it (but also at the same time doesn’t); that Quirk he took (papa’s Quirk) is just suddenly gone, and papa winks.

Izuku covers his mouth to muffle his laughter, because papa can do it too! (And that must mean it’s not naughty, and papa’s obviously not mad, and if papa can do it, he must still love Izuku, even if Izuku stole his Quirk! Maybe papa accidentally stole someone’s Quirk when he was little, too!)

“Kurogiri!” papa yells as he carries Izuku out of the dining room. “We need a cake! We’re celebrating!”

In the ensuing excitement, Izuku forgets all about the events leading up to his Quirk manifesting. In fact, he only remembers once papa is tucking him into bed.

“By the way, Izuku, how did you hurt your leg?”

Chapter Text

“Papa, how many Quirks do you have?”

Hisashi slowly lowers his paper and almost wishes he hadn’t. Izuku is staring at him, green eyes wide and sparkling. (Why did he have to inherit those from Inko, why, why, why?) Hisashi ponders the best way to respond, because Izuku is asking what every law enforcement agency in the world would kill to know.

Kurogiri thankfully comes to his rescue, warping into the room with Izuku’s beloved All Might backpack. (What did he ever do to deserve a fanboy? Wait, no, never mind.)

“Izuku, it’s time to go.”

Izuku’s face falls, but he does not protest. He finishes his milk and jumps down from his chair, and Hisashi stands up to accept his morning hug. As Izuku follows Kurogiri out of the room to get his shoes, Hisashi can faintly hear him ask about the range of Warp Gate.

He doesn’t bother picking his paper back up. Instead he frowns, pours himself another cup of coffee, and calls his secretary to let her know he won’t be able to make it into the office.

He was older than Izuku when he first discovered his Quirk, but then he had hardly been expecting to develop any sort of ‘meta ability’. It took years of trial and error to find all the drawbacks and limitations, and many more to master it fully. And of course those years brought with them pain, both mental and physical, pain that he would dearly love to spare Izuku.

Really, the present situation is the worst case scenario: no matter how well behaved he may be, Izuku is still a child. Sooner or later, he’ll slip up, and then it’s just a matter of time before law enforcement comes knocking. Because Izuku is so excited about his Quirk, and so curious to find out how it, and others work.

He considers taking All For One from his son and wiping the whole table incident from his memory. He can easily falsify medical records, after all, and Izuku need not remain Quirkless. Inko’s Quirk is safely tucked away, just waiting to be transferred. And Izuku not returning immediately to daycare can be easily explained away; it is perfectly plausible that Izuku manifesting the same Quirk as his recently deceased mother would be rather… distressing.

Hisashi sets down his coffee and leaves the kitchen; there’s a bottle of whisky waiting in his office.

He needs to take Izuku’s Quirk.

 

 

But when Izuku arrives home, bright eyed and eager to tell anyone who will listen about the zoo, (The elephant was even bigger than Machia! And there were baby tigers!), he doesn’t.

He humours Izuku’s sleepy request for a bedtime story, and even though his son dozes off midway, he still reads all the way to the end. Then he quietly closes the book and just sits and watches Izuku sleep.

Although he has been trying, he knows he is far from a perfect father. The Bakugo debacle was proof of that. The situation snowballed because Izuku had no one to turn to, no one he could trust.

Hisashi reaches out.

His hand never shook before, he notes absentmindedly. But he needs to maintain the illusion of a law-abiding family, he needs to keep heroes unaware of All For One’s possible survival. Izuku’s Quirk has to…

“Papa…”

Izuku is barely audible as he mumbles and rolls over, sound asleep, but Hisashi jerks back as if burnt. His eyes fall on the photo of Inko hanging over Izuku’s bed, and suddenly he can’t breathe. He needs to get out; he almost trips over his own feet as he hurries from the room.

He presses himself to the wall outside, gasping for breath, even as Izuku sleeps on, blissfully unaware. He rakes his hand through his hair, trying to gather the courage to go back in, and does his best to ignore the crushing guilt. He needs to do this, but he keeps seeing Inko’s face and the utter betrayal in her eyes, and he can’t seem to find the words that would allow her to understand

And then her face slowly morphs, and he barely makes it to the bathroom before he’s sick. Kurogiri appears, obviously concerned, but Hisashi can’t bring himself to care. Because Izuku is smart, and intelligent, and he could guess. And Hisashi would never be able to lie to him. All he can see is an older Izuku, an Izuku who looks so very much like his mother, who got absolutely nothing from his father, not even his name.

An older Izuku, who is staring at him with such betrayal in his eyes.

“Papa?” he hears a familiar voice on the other side of the door, and almost throws up again.

He somehow swallows down the bile and does his best to keep his voice steady as he calls out, “Izuku, go back to bed.”

“But papa…”

He sees the doorhandle move, and his blood runs cold. He can’t face Izuku, not now. Something inside him just snaps.

“IZUKU, GO TO BED!”

There’s a muffled thump on the other side of the door, a faint sniffle and then the soft patter of retreating footsteps.

Hisashi did not know he could feel worse, but somehow, he’s managed it. He’s never raised his voice at Izuku before, not once, not even when he was misbehaving. His son did nothing wrong, was probably simply concerned for his father. Hisashi groans and leans his head against the toilet.

He completely forgets about Kurogiri, until the warper clears his throat.

“I will make a pot of tea.”

There is no judgement in his tone, no reproach, and Hisashi is somewhat thankful. His own conscience is more than enough.

Hisashi does not bother answering, he just closes his eyes and tries to figure out how to deal with this mess.

 

 

Izuku is being a good boy.

He sniffles and wipes angrily at his eyes. Tenya doesn’t mind that he cries a lot, not like Kacchan, but he still doesn’t want to be a crybaby. (Because what if Tenya decides he’s too annoying? Izuku really likes having a friend that doesn’t call him names or hurt him.)

Izuku doesn’t know why papa was angry, but obviously he did something really wrong. He frowns down at his picture; papa must be really mad, because he wasn’t there when Izuku came down for breakfast, and he didn’t tuck Izuku in last night…

Izuku wipes his nose and reaches for his red crayon. If he makes a really nice picture, maybe papa won’t be angry anymore…

“Izuku, don’t wipe your nose on your sleeve.”

The crayon falls to the floor. Izuku can feel tears gathering, but he doesn’t want to make papa angrier. Kacchan’s right, he’s stupid. He can’t do anything right…

“Oh, Izuku,” he hears papa sigh. He doesn’t dare look up as papa walks over and crouches down next to his chair.

“Izuku, look at me, please.”

He doesn’t want to, but he also wants to be a good boy, so he obeys. Papa doesn’t look angry; in fact he looks sad as he takes in Izuku’s tearstained face.

“Oh, Izuku,” papa repeats, and pulls him into a tight hug. Izuku goes willingly, clinging to papa as he sobs and apologizes, and papa holds him, and shushes him, and repeats over and over how much he loves Izuku.

Once Izuku has cried himself out, papa helps him wipe his eyes and blow his nose, and they move to the sofa. Izuku clutches his plush, and moves closer to papa, who doesn’t complain.

“Izuku, I need to apologise.”

“Why?” Izuku frowns and looks up to find papa watching him with a sad smile.

“I shouldn’t have shouted at you. Papa was sick, and didn’t want you to get ill too. But you were just worried, weren’t you?”

Izuku nods.

“You just wanted to make sure I was alright. You didn’t do anything wrong. I am very sorry for shouting at you, Izuku. Can you forgive me?”

“Yes!” Izuku immediately hugs his papa, who chuckles.

“Since I was so mean, I brought you a present.”

Izuku kind of doesn’t want to let go, but he’s curious to know what his present is. Papa chuckles again and moves to crouch down in front of him, so they are face to face.

“Now Izuku, before I give you it, I need you to understand something about our Quirk. It can be really strong, see, so papa keeps it a secret. Because otherwise bad people will want it. And they’ll come and hurt us. Can you keep it a secret?”

Izuku nods hesitantly, although he doesn’t quite understand.

“Good,” papa smiles and ruffles his hair. “You’re such a smart boy. If anyone asks, tell them you’re like mum, alright?”

Izuku nods again, this time with more confidence. Obviously it’s not lying if papa says he should say so, and Izuku can do that. Besides, taking Quirks isn’t really impressive. (It’s kind of scary – Izuku doesn’t want Tenya to think he’s a thief, because thieves are villains.)

“Now, Quirks are fascinating, aren’t they?”

“Yeah!” Izuku immediately smiles and nods eagerly. “I want to know all about them! Then I can be the bestest hero!”

“You are definitely my son,” papa mutters with a smile. Izuku isn’t sure what’s so funny, but grown ups are strange.

He’s quickly distracted, anyway. Papa hands him his gift, and Izuku gasps. It’s a really pretty notebook, with a fancy black cover, and a clasp, and gold letters that Izuku recognizes from the label on his coat!

“I thought you could write your notes about Quirks in this.”

Izuku is about to take it, but then he realizes something and looks down guiltily. “Papa, I can’t write.”

Papa gasps. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Izuku! I forgot you haven’t learnt yet!”

Izuku wishes he hadn’t said anything. Perhaps papa will still let him keep the notebook; he might not be able to write in it, but he can draw heroes with cool Quirks, and his future costumes. He’s about to suggest as much, when papa snaps his fingers.

“Of course! Since this is all my fault, I’ll just have to write the notes for you! Then, when you can write them yourself, you can take over. We’ll have to set aside time every day for the note taking…”

Izuku almost knocks papa over as he launches himself at him. The idea of learning about Quirks is awesome, especially if he has a pretty notebook for observations.

But the idea of papa spending time every day helping him with his notes is even better.

Chapter Text

Kurogiri was always sure, growing up, that he knew what his future held. He would be a villain; not because he had some insatiable desire for money, or destruction, or because he hated the world around him, but because he had to. His father, a petty criminal in Kyoto, made the most of his son’s Quirk until he finally got caught.

Kurogiri enjoyed his time in foster care, until he was told his father would be released; then he ran away to Tokyo. Petty crime became his only means of survival, and any dreams he might have had of becoming a cook in some small, quaint café, were ruthlessly squashed. He needed to remain emotionless to survive, he knew.

But when he finally decided he needed to swear his loyalty to the fearsome All For One, he never expected his new role would be some sort of glorified butler-slash-babysitter-slash-taxi. And yet here he is, loading the washing machine with dirty bedding, whilst comforting a tearful child, rather than lying dead in a ditch, or languishing in Tartarus.

“It’s alright,” he assures Izuku as he switches on the appliance. “Accidents happen. Come on, I’ll make you a bed on the sofa.”

Like most crises in the Midoriya household, it all started with Gigantomachia. In this case, at least, it did not entail significant property damage; instead, he came thundering down the stairs, shouting, “Little Lord is dying!”

Because everyone present was familiar with Gigantomachia, there was no immediate panic. Midoriya (and it is still so strange to call All For One by ‘name’) lowered his coffee cup and with a sigh, gestured for Kurogiri to go check on Izuku. Which Kurogiri did, once he had switched off the stove.

As it turned out, Izuku had come down with the flu, and so had to stay home from daycare. Which, since his father had a meeting with some politicians (and probably couldn’t reschedule without creating a significant risk to civilian life as a suitable diversion), meant Kurogiri had to stay home and Gigantomachia needed to go. (Because Gigantomachia should only be left alone with Izuku for short periods, with very clear instructions, once Midoriya has considered all possible outcomes. Kurogiri likes the giant well enough, but he is a walking disaster.)

Of course, Gigantomachia protested, but Midoriya is a master of twisting the facts to his advantage. (Kurogiri suspects it is not so much the result of a successful career as a villain, but more necessitated by several years interacting with his bodyguard.)

Kurogiri does not mind the change of plans. Midoriya may be a better boss than expected, but he has no illusions. From the moment Inko Midoriya answered her door, his fate was sealed. All For One is hardly going to allow him to waltz off into the sunset after learning his greatest secret.

But, he reflects as he tucks Izuku in, it could be worse. He might not be… happy, but there is an odd sort of contentment about his current domesticity. He is an opportunist, pure and simple; he never cared about All For One’s ideology or admired the man himself, not like Gigantomachia.

(And yet, out of the whole household, he probably has the most in common with the giant.)

Kurogiri smiles as he straightens a photo of Inko.

 

 

“You should not be here!” Gigantomachia exclaims. “Go away, Mist Man!”

Kurogiri tries not to take it personally. (Even if he sighs at the nickname – how come Izuku can remember his name, and the decades old, deadly giant insists on calling him a name straight out of a children’s book?)

Midoriya is not particular about where his groceries come from, only that Izuku has a well-balanced diet, and Kurogiri takes full advantage of the credit card he’s been issued. (True, he could probably be quicker, but you can taste the difference!) However, it is now important he gets the fish in the fridge as soon as possible and having Gigantomachia blocking the kitchen door is not appreciated. In fact, the giant seems determined not to let him in, and Kurogiri nearly drops one of his bags as he tries to get past the larger man. He almost falls flat on his butt as Gigantomachia pushes him back.

And then, as if he has not been through enough humiliation in his life, the man grabs him under the shoulders, carries him out of the house, drops him on the doorstep and promptly slams the front door in his face.

Kurogiri stares at it, flummoxed. Gigantomachia is odd at the best of times, but he has no idea what has prompted this. He sighs, briefly considers just taking the hint and going somewhere to get blind drunk, and then warps into the kitchen.

(Locking someone out tends to be more effective when said person cannot teleport.)

The kitchen is his refuge; he is the only one with an interest in cooking (and Gigantomachia can barely fit in the room). Midoriya is a perfectly adequate cook, but Kurogiri is the only member of the household now who enjoys flipping through magazines, testing new recipes, and just – creating. Perhaps one day Izuku will be interested in joining him, but for now, at least, the kitchen is regarded by everyone as Kurogiri’s room.

So when he steps into the kitchen, he does not expect to find someone brandishing an egg whisk at him.

“What the!...” Midoriya mutters. “Shouldn’t you be shopping?”

The kitchen, his beautiful, perfect kitchen, looks like a warzone. The smell of burning something hangs in the air, and flour and sugar are spilt over the counters and floor. Midoriya’s hair is dishevelled and distinctly whiter than before, and the man looks positively haggard in his lilac apron. Izuku, in contrast, is positively beaming. Inko’s apron is far too big on him, but as he’s standing on a chair, it at least doesn’t trail on the floor. There is coloured icing smeared on his cheeks, like some feeble attempt at warpaint.

It is very hard to feel content as Kurogiri looks at the kitchen and realizes how many hours it will take to clean up the mess. (He really should have just taken the hint and gone to get drunk.)

“Happy birthday, Kurogiri!” Izuku cheers. Then he frowns. “But you have to go away until we bake your cake.”

Kurogiri stares at the boy, dumbfounded. He doesn’t celebrate his birthday, doesn’t even know when…

 

“What do you mean, you don’t know?” Inko huffs. “You have to know when you were born!”

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” Kurogiri shifts anxiously. He kind of wants to warp away, but Izuku is studying his fingers, fascinated, and he does not want to know how All For One would react if he dropped his son. Or kidnapped him, even accidentally.

“Oh, don’t apologise,” Inko groans. “And don’t call me ma’am; it makes me feel old!”

She finishes folding her washing and pauses to examine Kurogiri. He shifts under her scrutiny and almost panics when she smiles.

“Well then today’s your birthday!” she declares and vanishes off into her closet.

Kurogiri can only stare after her, dumbfounded, especially when she emerges seconds later with some sort of parcel.

“Happy birthday!” she cheers, as she presents it to him.

“Happy!” Izuku shouts.

“And once Hisashi’s back, I’ll teach you how to bake a cake!”

 

 

“Kurogiri? Do you not like cake?” Izuku asks as Kurogiri wipes at his eyes.

“No, I…” he pauses to swallow. “…I like cake. I like it a lot. But I like baking it even more.”

“Wonderful,” Midoriya’s shoulders slump in relief. “What do we do first?”

Kurogiri takes in the man’s haggard appearance and reaches a decision. “You can get out of my kitchen,” Kurogiri informs him. “There might still be hope for Izuku, but…”

It says a lot that Midoriya doesn’t protest.

As he helps Izuku measure out the flour, Kurogiri smiles.

Perhaps he can be happy after all.

Chapter Text

The biggest challenge of civilian life, Hisashi muses as he steps into the elevator, is resisting the temptation to murder foolish upstarts. It has become easier over the years, especially when he knows Izuku is waiting in his office (and it’s still such a novel concept, having an actual office with a desk, and a secretary).

“Mister!” someone tugs on his jacket and slowly, ever so slowly, he looks down…

…Why does it feel like he’s started collecting children?

The youngest Todoroki beams up at him, recognizable despite his now black hair, and Hisashi can only despair. He knows the child snuck up on him because he is no threat (Hisashi could end him with a flick of the wrist). If he keeps reminding himself of that, perhaps it will help him feel better about how much his instincts have dulled in the past few years. (Or he could ask Izuku for a hug – Izuku’s hugs do make everything better.)

“What is it?” Hisashi asks with a sigh as the lift dings and the doors open.

“Thank you for punching my father!” the boy grins as he follows Hisashi like a little duckling. (Or a lamb to the slaughter.)

“You’re welcome,” he sighs. He’s about to instruct his secretary to contact the former Mrs Todoroki, when an idea occurs to him. He slowly crouches before the young boy and asks, (ignoring his secretary’s muffled giggles, because he’s a retired supervillain and just because his fiendish plans aren’t quite as ambitious as before doesn’t mean they’re any less impressive,) “Tell me, Todoroki – how do you feel about heroes?”

“My name’s not Todoroki!” the kid insists, because of course that’s the most important issue at hand. He puffs up his chest and, with that stubborn tilt of the head that has Hisashi’s fatherly instincts screaming in terror, he declares, “My name is Shoto Yukiyama!”

Well, at least the former Mrs Todoroki was smart enough to change her name.

“Wonderful,” Hisashi answers and stands up.

He’s relieved, when he opens the door, to find Izuku and Gigantomachia are (only) drawing, spread out on the floor. (He just hopes none of the papers are important documents. Gigantomachia can somehow turn the most innocent activity into a crisis.)

“Papa!” Izuku exclaims as he looks up from his paper, that wonderful smile of his on his face. Then he spots Todo Yukiyama and frowns, obviously puzzled. “Who’s that?”

“Izuku, this is Shoto,” Hisashi informs his son as he clambers to his feet. “I’m going to go find his mum, so play nicely for now, alright?”

“Okay!” Izuku chirps like the beam of sunshine he is, and then dashes forwards and hugs his father. Hisashi allows himself to enjoy it (and ignores the sneaking suspicion he has that goofy smile on his face). Then his son lets him go and turns his green eyes on Shoto.

The other boy is hesitant at first. But Izuku is… well, Izuku, and soon manages to coax him forwards.

Hisashi tries not to dwell on how Shoto perks up when Izuku offers him his All Might plush.

 

 

The public relations department is in a state of what could be best described as organized chaos. Hisashi is not entirely sure who thought Shoto might be hiding in the paper shredders (although he is glad he left Izuku upstairs – no need to give him any ideas about indoor snow). The mother at least is easy to locate; she has a rather bad hair dye job, she’s sitting next to her supervisor and she looks like she’s on the verge of a panic attack (and Hisashi wishes he couldn’t relate quite so well).

“Yukiyama?” he asks, and her head shoots up.

He almost expects her to keel over as the colour drains from her face.

“I believe I have something of yours,” he states, and has to desperately stamp down on his glee as absolute silence falls. At least he can still inspire fear.

“I’m so sorry!” Rei blurts out, and Hisashi sighs as she starts to sob. This is his life now; stray kids and overemotional women.

“It’s fine,” he assures her as he swipes a box of tissues from one of the desks. He really shouldn’t have gotten out of the habit of carrying several packs around, but they reminded him too much of Inko. (And if he happens to notice Inko’s crying was a lot more attractive than the former Mrs Todoroki, no one will ever know.)

“I am so, so sorry,” the woman repeats. “I swear, I never brought him in before! My babysitter cancelled, and I didn’t know what to do! I…”

“It’s fine!” Hisashi cuts in. He might be a bit sharp, but it does the trick. He sighs again; he has a lot less practice comforting panicking mothers than mentally torturing people. “I have no intentions of firing you; I’d just like you to retrieve Shoto before he burns down my office.”

At least motherly indignation snaps her out of fretting over job security. She draws herself up, and in a frosty tone declares, “I’ll have you know Shoto is very well behaved!”

“It’s not Shoto I’m worried about,” Hisashi shrugs and turns away. He can hear the woman sputter and hurry to catch up to him, but doesn’t slow his pace. He knows Izuku; present him with an interesting Quirk and there’s no stopping him. (And he knows full well who Izuku takes after – it’s strange how pride can mix so well with terror.)

The lift ride passes in silence; Hisashi can tell the woman is more than a little worried about how she spoke to him, but he has his own concerns. (Surely Gigantomachia knows not to let them ‘experiment’ in his office, surely fear of his Lord’s disapproval will overrule his fondness for Izuku…)

Thankfully, nothing is on fire when he opens the door. Izuku is practically vibrating with excitement, bombarding Shoto with questions which the other boy doesn’t even seem to be trying to answer. Gigantomachia is watching them with a beaming smile, seemingly unaware of the large patch of ice covering the floor.

“Shoto!” the former Mrs Todoroki exclaims, rushing over to her son. (And almost slipping on the ice. Hisashi wonders if the cleaners will be able to remove it, or if there is some sort of specialist company his secretary should call…)

Izuku’s smile seems to dim as he watches the mother and son, and it cuts Hisashi to the core. But then he perks up, and rushes over to his father.

“Papa, guess what?” he exclaims, green eyes sparkling as he tugs at Hisashi’s jacket. “Shoto wants to be a hero, too! And his Quirk’s so cool! And he loves All Might, too!”

“Wonderful,” Hisashi sighs as he ruffles his son’s curls. “Another one for the peanut gallery.”

“And Shoto’s never had cake before!” Izuku frowns, obviously outraged, and Hisashi feels a smile tug at his lips at the adorable sight. “So I said he could come to my birthday party!” And then, in a move that has Hisashi’s heart brimming with pride, Izuku looks up at him, green eyes wide and gleaming. “Can he, papa? Please?”

Intentional or not, such blatant manipulation needs to be encouraged. They have years to work on refining technique; Izuku is smart enough that a few lessons on human psychology should go a long way.

“What say you, Yukiyama?” Hisashi asks the woman, who just looks at him, puzzled. “Izuku’s birthday is next week, and apparently he’d like Shoto to attend.”

“May I, mama?” the boy in question tugs on his mother’s hand.

"Please!" Izuku hurries back over. "It'll be fun! And you don't even have to bring me a present!"

"I..." the woman hesitates as two pairs of wide eyes gaze up at her. Then Shoto frowns.

"But it's your birthday," he points out as he turns to Izuku.

"Yeah, but..." Izuku shrugs, and then an idea seems to occur to him. "Do you want to be friends?"

"Yes!" Shoto immediately nods, and Izuku beams as he spins back to look at Hisashi.

"Papa, I got a new friend!" he exclaims, and then turns back to Shoto. "Legos are fun, but I'd rather you be my friend! So you gave me a present!"

Shoto beams himself, obviously delighted, and then looks up at his mother. "Mama, I've got a friend!"

"And if you come, you can meet Tenya!" Izuku continues. "And he's my friend too, and nice, and you can be friends with him too! And then we'll all be friends!"

"Mama, can I go? Please?" Shoto tugs on his mother's hand. "Please? Please?"

“If Mr Midoriya doesn’t mind…” the woman agrees hesitantly, and Shoto smiles.

It is a small smile, nothing like Izuku's beaming smile as he cheers and grabs hold of Shoto's hand, but Hisashi knows it must mean the world to To Yukiyama. There will still be many more years of tears, of irrational fear, perhaps even despair. But there will be more moments like this – Izuku chattering away, telling Shoto all about his best friend. Moments that make it all worth it, moments that as a parent you sear into your memory so you never forget.

And as he passes Yukiyama a box of tissues, Hisashi knows Inko would be proud.

Chapter Text

Izuku isn’t entirely sure an aquarium will be a fun place for a birthday party. (How fun can looking at fishies be, after all?) But Tenya said it would be edu-cational, and Shoto said he wanted to see penguins. And papa seemed certain Izuku would like it…

“Right, Izuku, hold on to my hand,” papa instructs as he lifts Izuku off his shoulders. “We need to wait here for your friends, and then a very special… person will meet us to tell us all about the fish.”

Izuku still is not convinced how fun it’ll be, but he soon spots Shoto and waves him over.

“Happy birthday,” his new friend wishes him, still clutching his mum’s hand. Izuku isn’t sure why he seems so scared, because no one is yelling. But he can understand being shy, since he remembers how nervous he was when he first met Tenya. And if Shoto is worried with him like he was with Tenya, then all he has to do is be an awesome friend!

“Tenya’ll be here soon!” Izuku informs Shoto with a smile. Shoto’ll probably be nervous around Tenya, after all, so Izuku needs to let him know his best friend is nice and not at all scary (even if he can be kind of loud). “Tenya’s my best friend. He has an awesome Quirk, and he’s gonna be a hero too!” He gasps as an idea occurs to him. “We could all be heroes together!”

The idea is so wonderful, Izuku can’t wait till Tenya arrives to tell him! They’ll have to start thinking about hero names, and moves, and he still needs to figure out how Shoto’s Quirk works, and…

“Izuku, you’re muttering,” papa gently tugs on his hand, and Izuku snaps out of his musings.

Papa had laughed when he’d first found out about it, and then said he used to do the same when he was small, so Izuku doesn’t feel embarrassed about muttering anymore. (Kacchan was obviously wrong when he said it was freaky, because papa’s not freaky!) Papa is trying to help him stop doing it, though, even if there’s no rush. (Cause if he has to fight a villain has really good hearing, the villain might overhear Izuku’s plan! Papa is so smart to think of it! Izuku made sure to give him extra hugs when he agreed to help Izuku stop muttering!)

Izuku returns to searching the entrance room and cheers as he spots Tensei. He grabs Shoto’s hand, and pulls him and (because he’s a good boy) papa over to the Iida brothers. (Hisashi goes willingly, barely controlling his snickering.)

“Happy birthday, Izuku!” Tenya grins at his friend, and then pauses when he notices the unfamiliar boy next to him.

“Hi Tenya, hi Tensei!” Izuku beams. “This is Shoto! He wants to be a hero too!” Then he frowns as he remembers the shocking discovery he made earlier. “And he’s never had cake!”

Tenya gasps, suitably horrified, and Tensei lets out an undignified snort at the expression on the boys’ faces. Said snorting only gets worse when two pairs of large eyes turn on him, outraged. (Hisashi is so grateful for all those showdowns against One For All users – they did wonders for his poker face.)

“I’m Tenya, and this is my brother, Tensei,” Tenya introduces himself, and then leans in close to Shoto and adds in a hushed voice, “He’s a hero! With a license!”

Shoto looks suitably impressed, glancing up at the young man who grins and waves, and Izuku beams. He might not know why Shoto is scared, and sad, but Tenya can help. Tenya helped Izuku when Kacchan made him feel sad, and now Izuku knows all about what a good friend is like.

“Tickets have been paid for, so how about we go find out guide?” papa suggests. “I think you’ll really like him, Izuku!”

Izuku still isn’t convinced, but he follows his papa through the turnstiles and into the lift. Tenya is excitedly telling Shoto about Ingenium whilst Tensei pretends not to hear, Shoto glancing up at the young hero with increasing admiration. As soon as the lift doors open, Izuku gasps.

“It’s Gang Orca!”

The hero is hovering awkwardly by the first tank, dressed in civilian clothes with a name tag pinned to his shirt. Most of the patrons are giving him a wide berth; Izuku immediately makes to run over to him. He stops halfway, runs back, and grabs Shoto’s hand.

(Rei Yukiyama does laugh at the adorable sight, especially when Tenya catches up to them and grabs her son’s free hand. Hisashi has no time to coo though – there are pictures to be taken!)

“Hi, Mr Gang Orca, sir!” Izuku greets the hero with a beaming smile and sparkling eyes. “I’m Izuku! This is my best friend Tenya, and my new friend, Shoto! We’re going to be heroes!”

“We’re the eleven o’clock tour,” papa supplies as the adults join them. Mrs Yukiyama is wiping at her eyes, and Izuku would wonder if she’s sick, but she’s obviously excited to meet a hero! (Izuku can completely understand crying when you’re really happy – he’ll have to make sure to get her an autograph, too!)

“Oh yes,” Gang Orca smiles. (Izuku thinks he’s smiling, at least – it’s kind of hard to tell…) “Now, have any of you boys visited before?...”

 

 

“It’s educational! If I don’t become a hero, I’ll be a rayologist!”

“That’s not a real title, Tenya,” Tensei laughs.

His brother’s frown only deepens as he draws himself up to his full height. “It will be when I grow up!”

Izuku smiles from where he’s watching the two.

Tenya really liked the manta rays, and Izuku can kind of understand why, because they were really big, and really cool. He had a hard time deciding on a favourite, because apparently the sea has a lot of awesome animals (not all of which were fish!). Finally he settled on jelly fishies, cause they’re really pretty, although he made sure to tell Gang Orca just how hard it was to decide between them and orcas. (Which are dolphins! He can’t wait to tell Miss Tanaka!)

Shoto has already left, proudly carrying his brand new penguin plush. Izuku still does not understand why the grown ups wouldn’t let Shoto freeze some of the penguin enclosure if their cooling machine thing wasn’t working – penguins like ice, after all! But Shoto still really liked them, and promptly declared when he becomes a hero, he’ll be “The Ice Hero: Penguin”.

Izuku yawns and frowns as he thinks about Shoto’s mum. He still doesn’t quite know why she needed tissues earlier, when Tenya told her Shoto’s awesome, or why she excused herself when the three of them posed together. But then grown ups are strange, Izuku knows.

“Right, Izuku, time to go,” papa tells him as he lifts him up, and Izuku waves sleepily at the two brothers as they say goodbye.

Papa doesn’t seem to mind carrying him, so Izuku wraps his arms around papa’s neck and makes himself comfortable. He’s tired, and kind of wants to sleep, but he also really needs to tell papa something.

“Papa, I like the aquarium,” he admits, and smiles when he feels papa chuckle. But there’s more, and he can feel his eyes drifting closed, but this is important. “I love you, papa. You’re the best papa ever.”

Yes, Izuku reflects as he drifts off to sleep, grown ups really are strange.

Why would papa cry if Izuku just told him the truth?

Chapter Text

 “Foolish heroes! You thought your pathetic attacks would have any effect on me? Me? Leave now, and I may spare you! But stay, and your lives are forfeit! You know as well as I do, YOU CANNOT WIN!”

“Yes, we can!” Izuku cheers as he jumps out from behind a tree. “Penguin, Ingenium, let’s work together!”

“If we do, we can’t lose!” Tenya adds as he joins his friend.

Hisashi is tempted to point out that no (competent) hero would be foolish enough to even attempt to monologue during a showdown with a powerful villain. (Or emerge from cover without a plan of attack, but he’s not just about to blast his son, now is he?)

Instead, he draws himself up to his full height and laughs his most unsettling, sinister laugh. He notes with some satisfaction that Tenya shudders, but Izuku is unbothered. (They regularly play heroes at home, after all, and it was fairly quickly established that Hisashi makes for a great villain.)

“Penguin! Freeze his legs!” Izuku yells, and Hisashi smiles proudly as he realizes the two boys were distracting him so Shoto could get into position behind him. (Of course he knew where the third child was, but still – a decent strategy that would work on a lesser opponent.)

Unfortunately, Shoto is still fairly new to the concept of playing heroes, and obeys. The layer of ice that covers Hisashi’s shoes is thin enough that he could easily break it with force alone, but that wouldn’t be very fun. So instead, Hisashi gasps and flails dramatically.

Izuku cheers. “Alright, Ingenium, now’s our chance! Let’s go!”

The two boys charge him, and latch onto his legs, giggling, and Hisashi lets out a howl.

“No! How can this be?! The mighty Alt Forty One defeated?!” He clutches at his chest. “You have discovered my weakness!”

Izuku’s face is lit up by the brightest smile possible as he lets go and pulls Tenya away, and Hisashi can’t help but smile himself as he dramatically collapses to the ice covered ground.

“Mr Midoriya, are you alright?” Shoto asks hesitantly, as he approaches the adult.

“No,” Hisashi sighs. “I’m dead.”

“Shoto!”

All four of them turn to look at where Rei Yukiyama has just emerged from the house, carrying a tray filled with drinks. She turns to Tenya’s mother, and would probably bow if she could. “I am so sorry, Iida…”

“It’s fine,” the woman waves off her apology. “I’ve been trying to get Takeshi to do something about the garden. And besides, accidents happen, especially when you’re having fun.”

Rei does not look convinced, but doesn’t protest. Shoto sniffs and wipes at his eyes, and Hisashi is uncomfortably reminded of how new the boy is to playing with his peers. Izuku seems to pick up on it too, because he hurries over to his friend, excited.

“That was so awesome! You’ll be such an amazing hero!”

Shoto glances up, and Tenya quickly joins them. “Yes! A practical way to immoba-immova-i…”

“Immobilise,” Iida calls over.

“Immo-bah-lies an opponent!”

“Come on, let’s have some juice,” Hisashi suggests. Lying on ice-covered grass is only fun for a short period of time; he’s really looking forward to discretely using one of his heat-based Quirks to warm himself up. He resists the urge to sigh as he sees Shoto inch behind Izuku, and instead smiles at the trio as he gets to his feet. “That was some pretty impressive teamwork, you lot.”

“Thanks, papa!” Izuku beams. Then he grabs Shoto’s hand and drags him over to the two women, Tenya following close behind.

“You were pretty impressive yourself,” Iida remarks as Hisashi joins them. “I swear, you sounded so much like an actual villain, I got chills!”

Hisashi laughs awkwardly. “Well, I get a lot of practice. Izuku loves playing heroes!”

“Papa’s a great villain!” Izuku pipes up, and Hisashi quickly takes a swig to stop from bursting into laughter.

“Where’s you come up with that name?” Rei asks, and suddenly Hisashi wishes he had a better imagination. “Alt Fourteen…”

“Alt Forty One!” Izuku corrects her. (Thank heavens for Izuku – Hisashi will buy him that limited edition All Might poster, he swears.) “He’s an evil robot, and he wants to take over the world! But his big weakness are hugs, so if you hug him, his battery drains! Like a phone!”

Hisashi finds some solace in the knowledge that neither of the snickering women are aware of his true identity. (Still, if he ever comes out of retirement, he might want to level Tokyo, just to be safe. Reputation is vital to a competent villain, after all.)

The boys quickly finish their juice and run off, jumping over the patch of ice. Rei and Iida exchange glances, and Hisashi suspects there’s a conspiracy in the works…

“Midoriya, when did you last take a day off?”

Hisashi frowns, puzzled. “Today is my day off. I had last weekend off, too.”

“No, I mean… completely off,” Iida sighs. “A day off from everything, Izuku included.”

“I don’t need time off from that,” Hisashi snorts. He isn’t sure what they’re getting at – have they not seem Izuku laugh?

The two women exchange looks as if he’s the strange one.

“What do you do for fun?” Iida huffs. “And playing heroes doesn’t count.”

“Quirk analysis?” Hisashi fidgets as Rei winces, and Iida groans.

“No, Midoriya, that’s your job. What do you do for fun?”

“…Quirk analysis.”

The women exchange horrified glances.

“Midoriya, I think you should take a few hours off,” Rei suggests gently.

“I have to watch Izuku…”

“Izuku can come over to our place,” Iida shrugs. “He’ll be safe for a few hours. And if it’ll make you feel better, Kurogiri can come too, and hang out in the kitchen in case of the apocalypse.”

Hisashi is about to protest, but then Rei plays the trump card.

“Inko wouldn’t want you to neglect yourself.”

 

 

Hisashi does not have much… experience with hobbies. (Professional supervillainy does not generally leave much spare time, especially when one is married with a small child - just remembering Izuku’s first months is exhausting.)

Which is why, when Kurogiri requisitions Izuku and vanishes off to the Iida home, he does not know what to do with himself. Doing origami for hours is not an exciting prospect, Kurogiri is likely to pitch a fit if he ruins another cake tin, and… What do people even do for hobbies, anyway?

He’s bored enough he ends up sprawled on the sofa, remote in hand. (The house is far too quiet without Izuku – if he has to suffer through this ‘time to himself’, he at least needs some background noise, dammit.)

Unfortunately, the first thing on the screen is Endeavor’s face.

Fortunately, the remote narrowly misses the TV and just makes a hole in the wall. The interviewer is just asking the bastard about his family’s disappearance…

Hisashi cackles.

(Somewhere in Okinawa, All Might shudders.)

 

 

Enji Todoroki slams the door to his apartment with a muttered curse.

Since his wife ran off with his kids, he’s been living in a flat at his agency. It makes his life a hell of a lot easier, especially since he has to do so much overtime to pay goddamn divorce lawyers and that ridiculous fine.

He extinguishes his flames and is just unbuckling his gauntlets when he flips the light switch and freezes. The whole room has been trashed. Broken furniture is strewn about, loose pages cover the floor, and on the wall opposite the entrance someone has painted, in huge black letters, ‘I KNOW WHAT YOU DID’.

Endeavor has about two seconds of supreme confusion.

Then the fire alarm goes off.

Chapter Text

Rei knows the past few years have been difficult, especially for her children, but this year will be different. This year she is going to give them the best Christmas ever.

(Last Christmas ended up consisting of two buckets of fried chicken, a marathon of pirated Doctor Who’s on the battered laptop she bought third-hand, and passing out around 2 am. Rei personally isn’t sure she can ever top it.)

Christmas is expensive, but the least she can do is make sure all her kids get something they really want. She’s already picked up that iPod for Fuyumi, and headphones for Touya; she’s just on the search for a store that still has an All Might: Silver Age action figure, when she spots a familiar face.

God, no.

What if he sees her? What should she do? He’s standing between her and the exit, and she doesn’t know what to do, can’t breathe, because she’s happy, and she doesn’t want to go back, she can’t go back, how can she ever…

“Aiko!” a familiar voice exclaims, and a man steps in front of her, perfectly placed so as Enji won’t be able to see her. “I had no idea you were here today! I’m Hisashi, remember? Inko’s husband?”

Rei could kiss Midoriya.

She settles on hugging him, and pitches her voice higher. “Oh, Hisashi! It’s soo good to see you again!”

“How about we get coffee and catch up?” Midoriya suggests. “It’s been so long since we last spoke!”

“Oh, yes,” Rei giggles. “I need a break from these crowds!”

She doesn’t protest when her boss leads her further into the mall, away from Enji. They slip out through a clothing store, hurry along crowded streets and only stop after fifteen minutes in a half empty park. Midoriya heads off to get them some coffee, and Rei tries to stop her hands from shaking as she waits on a bench.

“Thank you so much,” she does her best to smile when the man returns. “I… there was someone I’m avoiding there…”

“I know,” Midoriya shrugs.

Rei suddenly has a terrible sinking feeling. If Midoriya knows… If he suspects Rei might cause him trouble with heroes!... If he thinks she’s too much trouble!...

“I don’t agree with domestic abuse,” Midoriya shrugs. “Especially when children are involved. I was fully aware of your past when I hired you, and I don’t give a fuck about Endeavor’s lying ass.”

Rei stares for a moment in wonder at the man.

Then she bursts into tears.

It takes her longer than she would like to admit to calm down. Midoriya doesn’t comment; he just pulls a box of tissues out of somewhere and allows her to cry herself calm, sipping his coffee and every now and then reaching out to awkwardly pat her on the shoulder.

“Thank you so much!” she chokes out as soon as she can. “I just… I can’t tell you how much this means!”

“Don’t mention it,” Midoriya shrugs.

They sit in silence for a while. Rei takes a sip of her coffee and winces at its lukewarm temperature. She isn’t entirely sure what to do or say, but finally she feels awkward enough to try and make small talk.

“So… why do you carry around a megabox of tissues?”

Midoriya looks down at the pack, as if he’s only just realized he’s holding it. “Oh, this?” he smiles, but there’s a tinge of sadness to it.

Rei almost wants to apologize, because she’s intruding…

“Inko… My wife… was rather… emotional,” he chuckles. “And Izuku seems to take after her.”

“Oh,” Rei nods. There are several rumours going around the office about Midoriya’s wife, and… well, she’s curious. “What was she like?”

“She was… wonderful,” Midoriya sighs. “She was so full of love, so kind…” he pauses, and smiles. “Actually, in a way, she is the reason I wanted to speak to you. I was wondering if your family would like to come over at Christmas.”

“What?” Rei is certain she must have misheard. He boss cannot have just invited her over…

“Christmas is a… small affair,” Midoriya shrugs. “It’s just me, Izuku and two… domestic staff. And my cook always makes too much food. We have more than enough room, and of course I would buy gifts for your whole family…”

“Why?”

“Honestly, it’s because Izuku likes Shoto,” Midoriya shrugs again, but then adds, “And… I think Inko would have loved you.”

Rei considers it carefully and then nods. “Alright. But… Do you mind if I bring fried chicken?”

 

Midoriya’s house is not the huge mansion Rei pictured. It is still nice, of course, and certainly larger than Rei’s apartment, but if she had to describe it, the best word would probably be cosy. She would check the address, but the whole neighbourhood is just nice and quiet, not a single posh mansion in sight. Her children aren’t nearly as apprehensive as her, and Natsuo eagerly rings the doorbell.

“Merry Christmas,” Midoriya greets them when he opens the door. Rei almost does a double-take; her boss is wearing a Santa hat and a red-green-and-white knitted Christmas sweater. Then he turns and shouts back into the house, “Izuku! Shoto’s here!”

“Shoto!” Izuku cheers as the Yukiyama family enter the living room. “This is Machia! Machia, this is Shoto! He’s my friend!”

Machia is, apparently, a very large man. Wearing reindeer antlers. And a red nose. Rei recognizes him faintly from the office, although at the time she assumed he was a security guard Midoriya recruited to watch the boys. The giant beams as they all stare at him, and waves. “Hello! You make Little Lord happy! I will protect you!”

Shoto is the first of them to recover, and beams as he draws himself up and turns to his family. “This is my big brother, Touya! And my sister, Fuyumi! And Natsuo!”

“Why do I not get a proper introduction?” Natsuo grumbles.

Fuyumi elbows him in the ribs.

“Hi, Izuku! It’s great to meet you!” Touya grins and reaches out to ruffle Izuku’s hair. “Shoto told us a lot about you!”

“Cause he’s great!” Shoto pipes up, obviously not wanting his friend to get the wrong idea.

As the children are finishing their introductions, Rei takes the opportunity to look around the room. (She’s going to get free coffee for a month if she can pass information back to her colleagues, after all.) The whole room is decked out in a strange assortment of exquisite ornaments and homemade decorations, much like the tree itself (which is taller than Machia, and Rei isn’t entirely sure how they even managed to get it through the door). It certainly feels like she has stepped into a Christmas card, and she pauses as she spots a large picture of a green-haired woman placed right next to the tree.

Remembering the bucket of fried chicken she’s carrying, Rei slips out of the room to find the kitchen. The whole house is so warm, she reflects; she can faintly hear the children laughing, and it brings a smile to her face. She still can’t quite get over Midoriya’s kindness, and she wishes she could have found him a decent gift.

There is someone in the kitchen, obviously the cook. Rei doesn’t want to startle him, so she clears her throat as she sets her bag down.

Then the person turns, and Rei gasps.

“It… It’s you,” she whispers, because standing before her is Mist Man. (Natsuo came up with the name, and it seemed appropriate.) She knows she’s getting emotional, but she can’t care. This man… This man gave her family freedom. There is no way she can ever express all the gratitude she feels…

“Oh, fuck,” Midoriya mutters behind her.

Mist Man is here.

Midoriya knows about Enji.

She got a job at his company with no references, under a new name…

“Thank you so much!” she sobs as she turns to her boss.

“…I think she knows, sir,” Mist Man states.

“Whatever would I do without you, Kurogiri?”

“And you!” she turns back. She can’t decide who she wants to hug first…

“It’s Mist Man!” Fuyumi exclaims, and then three children are shoving past Midoriya to hug… Kurogiri.

“Is it too late to wipe their memories?”

“Don’t you dare!” Rei hisses. She wipes at her eyes. “Don’t you dare!” Then something occurs to her, and suddenly she can’t hold back her laughter. “Don’t tell me you really punched Enji!”

Midoriya shifts awkwardly. “…It was an accident?”

“Holy shit,” Touya mutters. “Guess Shoto wasn’t lying…”

 

It is not as good as last year, but Christmas is still a success. The big man, Machia, does knock over the tree (twice), and Kurogiri is forced to pop out for more chicken. But Machia is also an immediate success with the younger boys, especially when they head out to catch Santa. And then when Kurogiri arrives back, he also happens to be carrying a few more gifts.

“I failed…” Machia sniffs as the three young boys run back in and spot the new presents.

“Don’t worry, Gigantomachia,” Midoriya pats the giant on the arm. “Santa is very sneaky. You’ll get him next year.”

“Why do you want to catch Santa?” Rei asks as the boys start sorting through the presents.

“Because Little Lord deserves everything!” Machia perks up. “So I will catch Santa! And then he will have all the presents!”

“Look Mum!” Fuyumi saves her from having to come up with an appropriate response.

Rei tears up when she unwraps her present from her children. It’s a photo album, filled to the brim with the few photos they took when they left, and the dozens they took since. She is rather puzzled when Midoriya hands her an empty album, until Shoto opens up his gift from the man, and Izuku immediately races off to his room.

The first photo for the new album is taken five minutes later, of a beaming Shoto and Izuku, dressed in matching All Might onesies.

Chapter Text

Izuku knows something is up as soon as he leaves his room.

Normally Machia is waiting in the corridor outside his bedroom (because apparently he needs protecting from something), but today there’s no sign of the giant. Izuku pokes his head into Machia’s room just in case he’s sick (can Machia even get sick?), but the man isn’t there.

Izuku shrugs it off, because maybe papa has gone on a business trip and taken Machia with him. (It kind of stings to think papa would leave without saying goodbye, but Izuku’s a big boy and he won’t cry!)

When Izuku enters the kitchen, however, it’s not Kurogiri standing over the stove; instead, papa is flipping pancakes.

“Morning, Izuku,” papa greets him. “Breakfast is almost ready.”

“Where’s Machia?” Izuku asks as he sits down and pours himself a glass of milk. “And Kurogiri?”

“I gave them the day off,” papa informs him as he serves the pancakes. “I wanted it to be just the two of us. And – there’s something I need to talk to you about.”

Izuku doesn’t comment on how papa’s pancakes look distinctly more burnt than his own; he’s too busy trying to figure out what could be serious enough that papa wants to talk to him alone. Could he have found out about Izuku’s experiments with Half Hot, Half Cold? Or about how he accidentally took Machia’s Quirk last week? (He gave it back immediately, and Machia buried his shorts, but papa probably picked up a mindreading Quirk at some point…)

“Muttering,” papa informs him with a smile, and Izuku hurriedly shovels a forkful of pancake into his mouth.

But papa doesn’t look mad as they finish eating; he doesn’t even really seem to notice Izuku as they clear the table and move into the living room. Izuku notices he’s taking deep breaths, and there are several boxes of tissues on the coffee table that weren’t there when he went to bed the day before. Unsure what to do, he sits down on the sofa, and watches as papa retrieves a large photo album.

“Right, Izuku,” papa turns to him, and Izuku isn’t sure what to feel as he realizes papa’s smile is just a little bit forced. “…How much do you remember of your mother?”

Izuku hesitates, because he knows his answer will hurt, and he feels so guilty already, but then he reminds himself that papa loves him. So he curls up a little, looks down and mumbles, “Not much.”

“It’s fine,” he feels papa sit down next to him, and pull him closer. “You were… really young when she died. I thought it might be a nice idea for us to spend today… remembering her.”

“I’d like that,” Izuku admits as he wipes at his eyes. Because he would; there are photos of her throughout the house, and she looks really pretty, and he makes sure to say goodnight to her every night, but he… he doesn’t know her.

Papa doesn’t speak for a minute, but Izuku can understand – he must still miss mum, so it’s really nice he wants to tell Izuku about her. Finally he chuckles, and shakes his head, and speaks. “She… Her name was Inko. And… She was the most wonderful woman I ever met.” He laughs and wipes at his eyes. “She was so kind, and so selfless. And – I don’t think I ever saw a more devoted mother.”

“Really?” Izuku breathes.

“Really,” papa chuckles. “I don’t even know how I can make you understand how much she loved you. She always put you first, even when she got sick. In fact…” Papa takes a deep breath. “She gave me something for you.  Close your eyes.”

Izuku obeys immediately. His mum sounds so nice, and so loving, and if she gave papa a gift for him, especially something that he’s only getting now, it must be something really special. Nothing happens at first, though, papa doesn’t even seem to move, and Izuku is about to ask about it, when he senses something change.

It’s small, and it’s warm, and it’s light, and Izuku’s eyes shoot open to stare at papa even as he feels the Quirk – his mum’s Quirk – settle in his chest. Papa is watching him, tears rolling down his cheeks, and Izuku almost wants to give it back. (But he also doesn’t, because mum gave papa her Quirk because she wanted Izuku to have it, and she gave it to papa before Izuku got a Quirk of his own, and it feels almost like he has a piece of his mum’s love in his chest…)

“Your mother wanted you to have her Quirk,” papa whispers and presses a kiss to Izuku’s forehead. (Izuku doesn’t need papa to tell him, but it feels almost like papa is reminding himself.) “And… she wrote you a letter.”

He passes Izuku an envelope and makes to get up, but Izuku grabs onto his shirt. Papa doesn’t say anything, just makes himself comfortable, and Izuku cuddles up to him.

The envelope is addressed to Izuku Midoriya, and is unopened, and Izuku takes a moment to appreciate it. Because this is a letter mum wrote to him, and papa kept it safe for so long but never once opened it. Izuku can be the very first to know what his mum said.

Izuku takes a deep breath and opens the letter.

 

Darling Izuku,

You must have grown so much since I last saw you! (I’m sorry if there are any tearstains on this letter – I swear, I’ve rewritten it three times, but whenever I think of you reading this, I just can’t help myself. I am certain papa will tell you, I can get rather… emotional.)

Since you are reading this, papa must have finally given you my Quirk. It is called Attraction; it can pull small objects towards you. I know it is nothing impressive, not like your papa’s or All Might’s, but I hope you will understand why I wanted you to have it.

Izuku, I do not know what Quirk you have, or even if you have one at all. Frankly, it doesn’t matter; I would love you as much if you had a hundred Quirks as if you had none. But I have had my Quirk since I was a child. It is as much a part of me as my smile, or my love for you. I have carried it next to my heart, and I hope now you will carry it, too. When I asked your papa to take it, I wanted it to be proof that I love you. I always have, and always will.

So, Izuku, I know you probably don’t remember much of me, if anything at all, and that’s alright. I don’t blame you for that, so don’t ever think I might. But I hope every day you wake up, every time you use Attraction, you will know just how much I love you.

Perhaps I should speak of my hopes and dreams for you. I hope you smile every day; I hope you have good friends you can play with, and I hope your papa is always ready with a hug. I hope there are many people in your life that treasure you, because you are a wonderful, incredible boy, and I am so, so proud to call you my son.

The only thing I regret is that I will not have the opportunity to meet the person you will become. But I need you to know that I would never give you up for anything. I understand why people say a mother would die for her child; I would never trade you, not if I could live to a hundred.

Being your mother was the greatest joy and privilege of my life, so thank you so much for being born.

I will miss many important moments in your life, but there are so many memories I can cherish. I was the first thing you saw upon being born; I got to see the absolute love on your papa’s face when he held you for the first time. I was your second word (your papa was so proud he got to be the first). You took your first steps as you reached for me.

There are more precious moments than I have words, and if you ask papa, he will have photos. (Your papa took so many photos – ask him about the confiscation. He’ll know what you mean.)

I do have one request, though, Izuku. Make sure your papa knows how much you love him. Make sure you know how much he loves you. And tell him I love him so, so much, almost as much as I love you. Tell him I am so grateful for all those small, perfect moments he gave me.

I love you, Izuku. Always have, and always will.

your mama

Inko Midoriya

Chapter Text

Shoto isn’t sure he’s looking forward to school.

He understands why he can’t go to the same school as Izuku and Tenya (he thinks), but it doesn’t change the fact he is ever so slightly scared. Because he might be in the same school as Natsuo, but they won’t be in the same class. Shoto won’t know anyone.

And Izuku and Tenya will be together, every day, and they knew each other before Shoto came along, and… What if they decide they don’t want him anymore? What if they find someone else to be their friend, and leave Shoto all alone again?

Shoto sniffs and wipes furiously at his eyes.

He knows he’s being unfair; it’s why he hasn’t told his friends, because what if they get angry that Shoto thinks they might leave him behind? He doesn’t want them to be angry at him, especially if they’re going to different schools…

“Oh, Shoto…”

Shoto freezes, and feels the tears getting worse. Because now mama will be worried, and sad, and Shoto doesn’t like that. He promised himself that he’d never make mama cry, and now she probably will…

“Are you scared of your new school?” mama asks as she settles down on the floor next to him.

Shoto presses his face into his penguin plush and shakes his head. Then he hesitates, and shrugs.

“Is it because you’re scared Izuku and Tenya won’t want to be your friends anymore?”

Shoto nods. He should have known mama would guess; she’s so smart, after all, but now she’s probably going to tell him he’s being silly (because he is), because Izuku and Tenya would never…

“I understand.”

Shoto pauses and slowly turns his head so he can see mama from one eye.

Mama just smiles and puts her arm around his shoulders. “Izuku was your very first friend, after all, but both he and Tenya were friends before you came along. And of course you’ll be going to a different school, and we don’t exactly live nearby…”

Shoto sniffles, because she’s exactly right. And what if they find someone better at their school? What if…

“I can’t promise you you’ll stay friends,” mama sighs. “But Izuku and Tenya… They’re good boys. And you can still meet up on weekends. And… maybe you’ll be able to find another friend at school.”

Shoto isn’t so sure. Izuku and Tenya are the bestest friends ever, and he doesn’t think he can ever find anyone nearly as great as them. (Besides, he won’t know anyone, and what if the other children are mean? Shoto doesn’t want mean friends, or friends with fire Quirks, or friends that shout a lot…)

“Actually, we’ll be seeing Izuku quite a lot,” mama perks up and smiles. “I just spoke with Midoriya, and… Would you like to be Izuku’s cousin?”

“Cousin?” Shoto frowns as he tries to figure out how they can be cousins. He kind of understands siblings, cause if mama married Mr Midoriya, then Izuku and he would be brothers, but he isn’t so sure about cousins. Does Izuku have an uncle mama will marry?

“Yes, cousin,” mama laughs, and it’s still the prettiest sound in the world. “See, Izuku’s mama… She got very sick, and… well, she died.”

Shoto frowns, because he wondered at times where Izuku’s mama was, and at first thought maybe she was nasty, like father, and that was why Izuku only had his papa. But then they went round to Izuku’s house, and there were lots of photos of a lady that had green hair, even in Izuku’s room. (And Shoto decided maybe Izuku’s mama wasn’t nasty, because if she was, Izuku wouldn’t want her in his room.) But if she got sick and died, that’s really not fair. Izuku’s super nice, and so his mama probably was super nice too, and Shoto doesn’t know why bad things happen to nice people, and not villains…

“But she was a very nice person,” mama continues. “And… she would have loved us all very much. So… from now on she’s going to be our Auntie Inko. And we’ll tell people she was my sister.”

Mama wipes at her eyes, and Shoto considers this new information. Then he smiles.

If he’s Izuku’s cousin, then they’re family. And family stays together, so they can still meet up, even though they’re at different schools. And Mr Midoriya will be family too, and he’s super strong and super scary, so they’ll be safe. And… And Auntie Inko must be an angel, since she was so nice, and that means she looks after Izuku, to make sure he’s safe. But sometimes maybe she still goes and helps other people, and she probably told Mr Midoriya to punch Father!...

And then Shoto thinks of a great way for him to be brave on his first day of school.

“Mama, could you dye my hair green?!”

 

 

“Oi, De… You’re not Deku!”

“No, I’m Shoto,” Shoto frowns as he looks away from his All Might(!) pencil case, to a very angry looking blonde. He isn’t sure he wants to be friends with the boy, but he’s polite, and you never know…

“I don’t care!” the boy glares at him, his hands letting off some strange pops, and then he stomps off to the entrance to the classroom.

Shoto doesn’t follow; he doesn’t know who Deku is, but he must not be very smart. Shoto wouldn’t want to be friends with someone as angry and mean as the blonde. Maybe Deku couldn’t find anyone nice to be his friend though, and was really lonely. (Shoto can kind of understand; he was kind of lonely before Izuku.)

Shoto perks up, because maybe he could be Deku’s friend? Then Deku wouldn’t have to be friends with someone who looks kind of scary, and then Shoto could introduce him to Izuku and Tenya, and then Deku would know just what nice friends should be like…

Deku does not arrive though, and when the teacher tells them to take their seats, the blonde stomps to his desk, a really scary frown on his face.

Shoto ignores him, busy repeating what he’s going to tell as children start introducing themselves. He's practiced with Touya all week, and so the lie comes easily when it’s his turn, and he says, with a smile,

“My name is Shoto Yukiyama, and my Quirk is Frost! And… When I grow up, I want to be a hero!”

The blonde snorts, and Shoto resists the urge to stick his tongue out at him.

And then the blonde stands up, and declares,

“My name is Bakugo Katsuki, and I’m gonna be the number one hero!”

Chapter Text

It’s a Thursday when Hisashi’s world comes crashing down.

He’s sitting through yet another board meeting, barely resisting the temptation to doodle on the financial reports, when his secretary pokes her head into the room.

“Mr Midoriya, sir, you’re wanted in your office.”

Hisashi would normally dismiss her, but her makeup is smudged and her voice quivers. And it is so out of character, that before he even stands up, he has a terrible feeling. So he leaves the meeting early, trying (and failing) to ignore the woman’s sniffles.

He almost panics when he sees the two detectives.

They’re plainclothes, of course, but there’s something instantly recognizable about all police in Hisashi’s experience. They’re both wearing serious expressions, but since they’re not accompanied by heroes, Hisashi is fairly certain they are not planning to arrest him.

But they’re here, and he can’t seem to get the image of his sobbing secretary out of his mind, so he dismisses any pleasantries. He’s a father first; he can be nice once he is sure everything is alright.

“What happened?” he asks, and then adds, “Is Izuku alright?”

The younger of the two, an unassuming man with no obvious Quirk, hesitates, obviously uncomfortable, and Hisashi feels like someone punched him in the stomach. No immediate answer is almost worse than a no, because his mind is working overtime, coming up with scenario after scenario, each worse than the last.

The older of the officers, a taller officer with the head of a dog, clears his throat. “Perhaps you should sit down, Midoriya.”

Where is Izuku?” Hisashi demands. He’s seconds away from activating half a dozen Quirks. He doesn’t care if All Might is ready to arrest him; he doesn’t care if he is thrown in Tartarus, doesn’t care if he is killed, because he needs to know Izuku is alright.

But then the senior detective speaks, and Hisashi wishes he could take it back, because not knowing was not so bad; at least he could pretend perhaps he was overreacting.

“I’m afraid Izuku Midoriya has been kidnapped.”

 

 

Izuku isn’t entirely sure what happened.

He likes school; he’s in the same class as Tenya, so they always pair up during recess. They were talking about the upcoming UA Sports Festival, and Tenya was excited because his grandfather offered to take him to the Festival. Then Izuku choked on something, and Tenya screamed for the teacher and tried to grab him, and then Izuku fell onto a hard floor, coughing.

It’s dark, and Izuku doesn’t even get to look around before someone pulls a loose sack over his head. Someone else grabs his hands and twists them behind his back, and then there’s a soft click and he can feel metal digging into his wrists.

“Step on it!” someone yells, and Izuku is thrown to the floor as the van (because it has to be van, nasty people who take children always drive vans) speeds off.

Izuku wants to be brave, because he’s going to be a hero one day. But he’s not a hero yet, he’s a scared child who really wants his papa, and as he’s hauled upright, he can’t help his tears.

 

 

Hisashi has never hated the police before.

When he was All For One, they were little more than an inconvenience, a source of amusement as they bumbled around, desperately playing catch-up. But now they are actively preventing him from searching for Izuku, when his son is out there somewhere, terrified and alone. And although for obvious reasons he hasn’t been entirely truthful with the police, he can’t for the life of him think who could be responsible. (Which is just all the more reason for him to be out there, because torture is an incredibly effective method of investigation.)

Someone knocks on the office door, and if it’s Tsukauchi with another cup of tea, Hisashi will throw it at the detective. He looks up to tell the man as much, and pauses.

“Hi,” Takeshi Iida greets him with an awkward smile.

Hisashi is not terribly close with the head of Idaten, but he normally looks a lot more put together. The dissheveled hair and navy sweatpants are unusual enough, although in other circumstances he might have laughed about the man’s Ingenium shirt.

“How are you holding up?” the other man asks as he takes a seat opposite.

Hisashi manages a broken laugh. “Oh, just fine.”

Iida winces. “Is there anyone you want to call? Any family, or…”

“No one,” Hisashi sighs. “Just me and Izuku…”

They sit in silence for a few seconds, before Iida speaks again. “We’ll find him. Katsumi has the whole of Idaten on high alert, and Tensei’s doing overtime. The minute we get a possible sighting, he’ll be there.”

Hisashi will be there too.

And may God have mercy for those responsible, because he will not.

 

 

By the time the van stops, Izuku has cried himself calm. It helps when he tries to think about what Ingenium or All Might would do (well, maybe not All Might – he could just punch a hole in the van), so he decides to view the situation as training for when he’s a hero. So he tries to stay calm, but also alert, so when he’s found, he can tell the police all about the villains.

He isn’t entirely sure what else he should do as someone drags him into a building. He can’t help but worry how long it will be until someone finds him, because he doesn’t know where he is. He wishes he had a Quirk that could help him get away, or maybe tell someone where he is. Because he doesn’t want to wait for a hero, he just really wants to go home to papa.

Izuku pauses.

His kidnapper growls and gives him a hard yank. Izuku hurries to keep up, mind racing. When they took him from school, he’s pretty sure one of them used some sort of warp Quirk. And if someone has a warp quirk, maybe Izuku can take it? After all, he’s allowed to use his Quirk in self-defence (and he really just wants to go home). But he has only ever taken Quirks from his papa for practice, and he has never attempted it without touching the person. He doesn’t know if he can do it.

No, he has to calm down. All Might is always calm, and so Izuku can be, too. He isn’t sure how he can take a Quirk without physical contact, but he has to try. So he reaches out with his senses, the same as when he’s feeling about for a Quirk with papa, or at least he tries to, fumbling desperately until he feels something brush against his mind. He latches onto it with all his might, desperate, because he doesn’t know if he’d be able to find it again, and tugs, and pulls, and wrenches it away.

There’s a strangled cry from the person next to him and the bruising grip on him loosens. Izuku is so surprised he stumbles and falls with enough force that it hurts. He can’t do anything to get up, bound as he is, and he panics. He can feel the new Quirk settled comfortably under his skin, but he doesn’t know how it works, he doesn’t know how to activate it, he doesn’t even know where he is.

Izuku really just wishes his papa were here!

 

 

Hisashi wishes he could just rip Tsuragamae’s head off and go on a rampage. He knows he’s overemotional, but he can’t help it. It’s been hours, and they’re no closer to locating Izuku, and the detectives won’t even tell him anything.

And now there’s an itch in his throat.

“Midoriya?” Iida frowns, concerned, as Hisashi starts to cough. “Are you alright?”

Hisashi can’t answer; instead he doubles over as he chokes on something. There’s a crash as Iida drops his coffee mug and calls for help, but Hisashi knows they can’t do anything as he coughs up a thick black liquid.

And then the police station vanishes and he collapses, coughing and spluttering, onto a concrete floor. He takes a deep breath and smiles. He doesn’t know where he is, but this can’t be a coincidence. And with no police around…

Oh, he’s going to enjoy this.

He can hear a low moaning as he draws himself up, but it’s no one important, just some low-level ruffian sprawled on the concrete floor. He barely spares the bastard a glance, because next to him is a small body, wearing those garish red shoes Hisashi would know anywhere.

It feels surreal as Hisashi carefully removes the bag over Izuku’s head. His face is pale, his breathing fast, but it’s alright, because he’s alive. Because Izuku is right here, and Hisashi can protect him. Hisashi presses a quick kiss to his son’s forehead, wincing at the fever he seems to be running. Then he slips off his suit jacket and uses it to cushion Izuku’s head.

“Don’t worry, Izuku,” All For One whispers as he rolls up his sleeves. “I am here.”

Chapter Text

Hisashi hates hospitals.

He sighs as he leans forward in his chair. Izuku should not be lying unconscious in a hospital bed; around this time, he should be begging for just five minutes on the computer, or perhaps telling Hisashi about a new Quirk he saw on the news…

A knock on the door brings Hisashi out of his musings, and he looks up as Kurogiri enters.

“Sir,” the warper greets him with a nod. He looks over at Izuku, and although he might be hard to read, Hisashi can see the worry. (He kind of wonders just how many baked goods they’ll have to go through in the coming weeks.) “How is he?”

“No serious injuries, he just… won’t wake up,” Hisashi shrugs. “They think his body went into some sort of Quirk-related shock.”

Kurogiri nods in understanding. Hisashi supposes that the two of them probably understand better than most just how painful it can be to overreach with your Quirk, although…

“It’s not your fault, sir,” Kurogiri speaks up, breaking Hisashi out of his spiralling thoughts. “I may not know the details, but I am sure there was nothing you could have done to prevent this.”

“You don’t know that,” Hisashi sighs. “I should have…”

“Should haves won’t make a difference now,” Kurogiri shrugs. “Izuku will need you to be strong to recover from this. If you want to blame yourself, do it after he’s safely tucked up in his own bed.”

Hisashi can’t help but laugh. “You really should know your place, Kurogiri.”

“Oh, I do, sir,” the warper doesn’t even look at him as he picks up the empty chair at the foot of Izuku’s bed. Hisashi understands what he is planning and wordlessly stands up. “It’s by your shoulder, making sure you know what Inko would say.”

Once there is sufficient space, Kurogiri opens a warp gate. The first thing through is Gigantomachia’s head.

“Is Little Lord alright?”

Hisashi manages a weak smile. “He will be. I need you to stay and protect the house, in case it’s attacked. Understand, Gigantomachia?”

“Yes, Lord…” the giant mumbles, obviously unhappy, and it is strangely touching to see such devotion.

“If anything happens, I’ll protect him,” Hisashi assures the man.

Gigantomachia perks up at that and vanishes back through the warp gate. Then his arm emerges, bearing a large holdall. Kurogiri accepts it and promptly begins unpacking.

“I thought Izuku might appreciate waking up to familiar surroundings,” he explains to Hisashi, and suddenly Hisashi needs to sit back down. Because he sometimes forgets that no matter how it might seem, Izuku has so many people that love him.

By the time visiting hours are over, the hospital room is a veritable shrine to All Might. Hisashi swallows down any distaste he might feel, brushes the hair out of Izuku’s face, and settles down for a long wait.

 

 

When he first wakes up, Izuku thinks he must be at home in his bed. The whole kidnapping must have been a nightmare, he decides as he pulls his All Might plush close. He’s still a bit scared, though, so he’ll ask papa if he can sleep in his bed.

Izuku sits up and realizes he isn’t in his bedroom. In fact, he doesn’t know where he is, and he isn’t even wearing his own clothes. All that stops him from panicking is that papa is sat in a chair next to his bed, snoring softly. But even so, it must mean that he hadn’t been dreaming; someone took him…

Izuku promptly bursts into tears.

Papa jolts awake, jumping to his feet and banging his knee on the bedframe. He looks around, and as soon as he sees Izuku reaching for him, papa sits down on the bed. Izuku needs no further invitation and latches on with all his might.

Izuku isn’t sure how long he cries, but papa doesn’t protest; he just holds Izuku close, and whispers how much he loves him. The tears have finally dried by the time a doctor stops by and makes sure Izuku is feeling better. Once she’s left, papa makes sure Izuku is comfortably propped up against the pillows, and sits down as close as he can, tightly grasping Izuku’s hand. (Izuku is kind of glad, because no one would be silly enough to try hurting him when papa’s right there.)

They sit in silence for a few minutes, until one of the nurses brings them both breakfast. (Izuku manages a smile at the sight of the stack of pancakes, and Hisashi grasps at his coffee like a dying man.)

But once they’ve finished eating, Izuku realizes that he’s done something really, really bad. He wishes he could go back in time, to before he even left his house that morning. (Is it still the same day? Izuku is sure it can’t be the same day; it feels like at least a month has passed since he left for school.)

“Papa?” he speaks once the trays have been cleared away.

“Yes, Izuku?” papa smiles, and it’s so warm, so full of love, that it just makes Izuku feel worse. Because he can feel, tucked away in his body, that Quirk he took earlier. And now that he's no longer in danger, it feels uncomfortable, a constant reminder that he took it from someone else. There's someone out there that doesn't have a Quirk anymore because of him, and suddenly the fact it was a villain sounds more like an excuse. He wonders if the police'll let him just give it back, or if he'll have to go to jail.

Izuku glances around, just in case the police are waiting to arrest him. He kind of doesn't want to admit it, but papa might know what to do. So he leans close to papa, and whispers, “I did something bad.”

The smile slips from papa’s face, but he pulls Izuku closer, so close Izuku can almost feel his heartbeat. “Well, whatever you did, you can tell me, Izuku. I promise I won’t be mad.”

“Really?” Izuku sniffles.

“Really,” papa confirms.

Izuku takes a deep breath and tightens his grip of papa’s shirt, trying to leech every last bit of comfort he can. “I took someone’s Quirk.”

For just a second, papa does not answer, and Izuku almost panics. But papa holds him close and doesn’t shove him away (and doesn’t call the police). Instead, he asks, “Was this someone the person who took you?”

Izuku nods, and papa presses a kiss to his head.

“Listen to me, Izuku; you did nothing wrong. When grown ups do bad things, and try to hurt you, it’s alright to use your Quirk.” He pauses for a minute and then asks, “Did you use the Quirk you took?”

“I don’t know…”

“Because something very strange happened while we were looking for you. Suddenly, I was right next to you,” papa gently pushes Izuku back, so he can see the smile on his face. “And if you did it, I’m really proud of you. You were scared, but you still found a way to get help.”

“Really?” Izuku asks, feeling better, because if papa says he did the right thing…

“Really,” papa confirms. “No one is mad at you. The police will want to talk to you, but they’ll just want to ask you a few questions. And if you tell them what you just said, they’ll agree you did the right thing.

Izuku manages a smile, and giggles when papa ruffles his hair.

“Now, young man, there are a lot of people that will want to know you’re alright…”

 

 

“Tenya! Midoriya just texted an update!”

 

 

“Shoto! Grab your coat!”

 

 

Kurogiri is just pulling a batch of muffins from the oven when he hears his phone ping. (Inko was right – baking is surprisingly therapeutic.) He almost drops the baking tray in his haste to get to the phone. Picking it up is almost impossible with the oven mitts, he learns quickly, but finally he opens his messages and laughs, giddy with relief.

“Machia!” he calls out. “Izuku’s woken up!”

He’s been with the Midoriya’s long enough that he does not bat an eyelid at the tumult as the giant all but tumbles down the stairs.

“Is Little Lord alright?” Gigantomachia demands as he explodes into the kitchen. (Gigantomachia may be many things, but quiet and subtle are not amongst them.)

“See for yourself,” Kurogiri smiles as he passes the bodyguard his phone. Just in case, he warps some kitchen roll over, because Gigantomachia is, when it comes to Izuku, a big softie.

He idly wonders if Midoriya will mind if he sets it as his contact photo.

It’s rather hard to remember the man is a retired supervillain when he’s posing with a doting smile on his face, a grinning Izuku next to him.

Chapter Text

“It appears the warehouse burnt to the ground,” Tsukauchi sighs. “And we’ve been unable to locate any of the villains involved. Are you sure you didn’t see anything, Mr Midoriya?”

Hisashi barely resists the urge to whistle innocently.

“I’m afraid when I saw Izuku was unconscious, I panicked. I picked him up and ran to get help, and had just exited the warehouse when it burst into flames. In hindsight, it was rather odd I didn’t encounter anyone…”

“…Right,” Tsukauchi slowly nods. “Well, once the doctor decides he’s up to it, we’ll need to conduct an interview with Izuku.”

“Of course,” Hisashi agrees and makes a mental note to coach Izuku on what to say. “If you’ll excuse me…”

“We hope Izuku feels better soon,” Tsuragamae smiles(?) as Hisashi stands to leave the room.

When he lets himself back into the hospital room, with a cup of that sludge the administrators seem to believe is coffee, Izuku is sitting propped up in bed, reading through Quirk Analysis, Vol. I, chewing on the end of a pen.

“Hey there,” Hisashi smiles as he settles back into his chair. “How are you feeling?”

“Tired,” Izuku sighs as he closes his notebook. “Bored.”

Then he perks up, and Hisashi frowns, because he knows perfectly well what is going through his head. “No Quirk experiments before you’ve been released, young man!”

“But papa…” Izuku whines. “I wanna see how it works!”

“However it works, it landed you in hospital,” Hisashi points out.

Izuku pouts, but his father remains unmoved. (He’s faced down heroes, dammit; a six year old is nothing in comparison!)

“If you insist, I can always take it off you and see how it works myself.”

Izuku opens his mouth to protest, but spots the warning in Hisashi’s eyes. With a groan, he collapses back onto the pillows.

“Besides, Kurogiri promised he’d come visit soon.”

“With biscuits?” Izuku perks up.

Hisashi laughs at the hopeful gleam in his son’s eyes. “I’m sure he’s not coming empty handed.”

Izuku nods, bright-eyes, and with another laugh, Hisashi picks up his son’s notebook.

 

 

“Muffins!” Izuku cheers as soon as Kurogiri steps into the room.

“It is good to see you too,” the warper replies, calmly setting the plastic box down on the bedside table. Immediately, Izuku snatches a muffin and bites into it.

“How is Gigantomachia?” Hisashi asks with a sigh. He hopes nothing else goes wrong; he does not know how he’d explain half of Tokyo being destroyed because someone decided to try a spot of burglary.

“Oh, fine,” Kurogiri nods, his eyes crinkling in that odd way that means he is smiling. “I mentioned you said the house could do with a spring clean.”

Hisashi laughs. “Remind me to buy you those pans you’ve had your eye on.”

“Of course, sir,” Kurogiri nods. “He would like to see Izuku as soon as possible…”

“Can he, papa?” Izuku asks eagerly. “Pleease…”

“Well, the doctor does think you’re up to receiving visitors…” Hisashi admits. Then he hastily adds, “But you do not leave that bed! And the minute you’re tired, tell me!”

“Yes, papa!” Izuku salutes with his half-eaten muffin, and (not for the first time) Hisashi wishes he brought a camera

“Very well, then.” Kurogiri makes sure the door is closed, and then, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and a dramatic flourish, announces, “One warp gate to the living room, coming up!”

Surprisingly, the first thing through is not Gigantomachia; in fact, it is two small, familiar figures, both with green hair.

“Izuku!” Shoto exclaims as he clambers onto the bed.

“Are you alright?!” Tenya asks. He’s only standing by the foot of the bed, but Hisashi can see the tension bleeding from his shoulders. (Poor kid; Izuku vanished right in front of him. Hisashi hands him a muffin in a silent demonstration of solidarity.)

“Little Lord!” Gigantomachia wails as he squeezes through the gate.

“No hugs!” Hisashi hurriedly commands him, and the giant nods morosely and takes up a spot at the foot of the bed, like an oversized guard dog.

“Oh, thank goodness,” Rei Yukiyama sniffs as she steps through the gate. She hurries over to kiss Izuku on the forehead and give him a hug, and then joins Gigantomachia, wordlessly offering up the box of tissues she brought to the giant. Hisashi feels strangely touched when he realizes she also has dyed her hair green, and makes a mental note to mention it looks better than the usual black. (It would also help their story that she is related to Inko.)

Although the room is already crowded, Kurogiri does not immediately close the warp gate; Hisashi is about to ask about it, when one last, final person steps through.

“I brought coffee!” Katsumi Iida announces, brandishing a large thermos.

(Apparently being wonderful is genetic, Hisashi reflects as he gratefully accepts a cup.)

 

 

 

“…And then this new hero showed up! His name is… It’s Edgeshot, and he can make himself really thin!”

“Oh, yeah!” Shoto nods. “He’s the one that looks like a ninja, right? I saw him on the news last week…”

Izuku opens his mouth to answer, but is interrupted by a knock at the door.

“Afternoon, Izuku,” the nurse smiles as she opens the door, and then pauses when she sees all the people inside. “The... There’s a policeman that would like to ask you a few questions.”

“We should probably get going,” Auntie Rei sighs as she stands up. She quickly hurries over to kiss Izuku and give him another cuddle, and Izuku makes sure to enjoy it. (Auntie Rei gives the second best cuddles.) “Tenya, you’ll be sleeping over at our place tonight, remember?”

“Yes,” Tenya nods, although he doesn’t look particularly happy. It just makes Izuku feel better, because both his friends were quite clear that a sleepover just isn’t the same without him. (It’s also nice, because apparently everyone at Idaten is working really hard to find the villains that took him, although Izuku feels a bit sorry for them. Auntie Katsumi can be really scary.)

“If he’s not been released, you can come round tomorrow morning,” papa assures them. “Kurogiri can pick you up after breakfast.”

“I need to go too,” Kurogiri winces as he checks his phone. “Apparently the Pussycats found out about the kidnapping and caught the first train from Hokkaido. I texted them that everything is alright, but… Well, I’d still like to be there when they get in…”

“Of course,” papa laughs. “If they want, they can probably come visit sometime tomorrow…”

“Yes yes yes!” Izuku beams. It makes him feel all warm inside to know so many people were worried about him. “Oh, Shoto! You haven’t met them, but they’re awesome rescue heroes, and…”

“You can tell him all about them tomorrow,” papa interrupts him with a smile. “You need to talk to the policeman, remember?”

It’s kind of sad, saying goodbye to Shoto and Tenya, even though they’ll see each other tomorrow. The policeman makes a rather weird face when Kurogiri opens a warp gate and they all vanish through it, and Machia settles down at the foot of the bed and curls up like a big dog.

(The policeman is still making a strange face as he sits down.)

Izuku feels a little unsure, but he pulls his All Might plush close and decides he can just pretend he’s a hero giving his report to the police. And he can see papa just over the policeman’s shoulder, so he doesn’t have to be scared.

“Alright, Izuku,” the policeman smiles as he pulls out a notebook and a recorder. “My name is Naomasa Tsukauchi, and I need to ask you a few questions. Is that alright?”

“Do I need a lawyer?” Izuku asks, as he realizes maybe the policeman won’t be very happy he took someone’s Quirk.

The policeman makes another strange face, and papa snickers behind his back. Izuku isn’t sure what’s so funny, but he smiles.

“…No, you don’t need a lawyer,” Tsukauchi shakes his head. “You’re not in any trouble. I just need to ask you a few questions about the people that took you.”

“Oh, okay!” Izuku nods.

“Do you know how many people there were?”

“At least…” Izuku frowns down at his fingers as he tries to figure it out, counting in his mind. “Three!”

“That many?” the policeman looks impressed. “You must have been really scared.”

“A bit,” Izuku admits quietly, but then adds, “But when I grow up, I’m gonna be a hero! So it was good practice!”

“A future hero?” Tsukauchi chuckles. “Well, then I look forward to working together.”

Izuku beams.

“Do you know what the people that took you looked like?”

“No,” Izuku shakes his head. “They put something on my head.” Then something occurs to him, and he frowns. “Why don’t you ask the villain you caught?”

“…We didn’t catch anyone,” the policeman frowns. “When we arrived, there was no one there.”

“Really?” Izuku pulls his plush closer. The villains are still out there, and at least one of them has to be really, really mad at him. “Not even the one I hurt?”

“…You hurt one of them?”

“With my Quirk,” Izuku admits quietly. He sniffs and wipes at his eyes. “I know it’s naughty, but I was scared and wanted to go home! And papa just said it was alright…”

“You’re not in any trouble,” Tsukauchi assures him with a smile. “I’m actually impressed. It sounds like you’ll be a really good hero. You must have been very smart, to think to use your Quirk. It’s…”

“Attraction,” papa informs him. “Like his mother. He can attract small objects.”

The policeman frowns and pauses, but just as Izuku’s starting to worry, he shakes his head and stand up.

“Well, that’s all for now,” he smiles, but there’s something off about it. “I’ll call if we need anything else. And – Izuku, you really were very brave. I have no doubt you’ll be an incredible hero one day.”

Izuku smiles at that, and papa sees the policeman to the door. Then, once he’s gone, he comes back and Izuku moves over to make space for papa on the bed.

“Papa, tell me a story…”

 

 

 

"There's something... off about that boy. And his Quirk."

Chapter Text

Although All For One was not known to the general public, he was of course familiar to many in the higher levels of law enforcement. And, undoubtedly, most, if not all of them, believed the hero most suited to take him on, most likely to succeed in the face of his overwhelming power, was All Might.

They were very wrong.

All Might is undoubtedly powerful, Hisashi will admit. But that is his defining feature; he is strong, yes, and seems to be somewhat familiar with psychology, but… There are heroes that could make better use of One For All than some formerly Quirkless highschooler. Heroes that, with the right amount of planning, could perhaps end the threat of All For One forever.

Heroes like Nedzu.

Hisashi bites back a curse as the mouse/bear/thing beams up at him.

“Good morning!” the principal greets him, apparently unaware that Hisashi had some Very Important Plans for the day, plans that did not include strange animals turning up on his doorstep.

(Since Izuku is safe enjoying a sleepover at the Iida household, being watched by no less that five proheroes, the two older Todoroki boys and – most importantly – Kurogiri, he had intended to visit Inko and beg for her forgiveness. He suspects he’s only still alive because she isn’t sure whether Rei or Iida would be best to take over raising Izuku.)

Hisashi somehow resists the urge to incinerate the creature and start rooting through the house for anything that might get him drunk. Instead he summons up his best impression of a law-abiding citizen, quirks an eyebrow, and asks, “…Can I help you?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” the principal shrugs, that infuriating smile still firmly on his… snout? “I was thinking, perhaps, we could help each other!  But, well, such matters are best discussed over tea.”

Because he doesn’t want to make a scene (and, if Nedzu is here, the hero has put in place at least fifteen contingency plans), Hisashi lets out a long-suffering sigh and moves aside. He leaves the principal to clamber onto the couch, and instead busies himself preparing a nice pot of tea in the kitchen.

(And exhibiting considerable restraint by not checking to see whether rat poison would have any effect on the hero.)

“Thank you,” Nedzu smiles as he accepts a cup, and Hisashi sits down opposite him.

“So what brings you to my humble abode?” he asks.

“Oh, I was recently contacted about a rather… curious case,” Nedzu hums. “The police were interested in my opinion on your son’s recent… misadventure. And, well, after reading over the report, I only had more questions. So I thought it would be best to come to the source.”

“I thought the matter was straightforward,” Hisashi raises an eyebrow. “Izuku was kidnapped. The abductors obviously wanted me to withdraw the money from the bank.”

“Yes, but why was no one there when you arrived?” Nedzu questions. “Why would they leave their insurance – Izuku - lying around, and why would they not be there when you arrived? Why risk the two of you escaping like you did? There is always the possibility that they were distracted by someone, perhaps a hero, but then why would you not see anything? Why would a hero not report an incident?”

“…Maybe the kidnappers had a falling out between themselves?” Hisashi points out. “Or perhaps they were in conflict with some other villains, and a confrontation occurred?”

“Yes, but still I keep coming back to why there would be no one there when you arrived,” Nedzu hums, and cocks his head to the side. “But then I realized – perhaps it wasn’t the kidnappers that wanted you there.”

“What?”

“And then everything makes sense,” Nedzu chuckles. “Izuku is a young child. He is taken – kidnapped from school, presumably for ransom. Of course he is afraid, and wants to go home, but who would he want more than anything in that moment? Who would be able to make everything better, would make him feel safe? I’d wager, in that moment, Izuku does not want Ingenium, or All Might, or any other hero to come save him. Izuku wanted his father.”

“Are you suggesting Izuku somehow… I don’t know, stole a Quirk, figured out how to use it and summoned me from the middle of Tokyo…?” Hisashi laughs and shakes his head.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck.

“Exactly!” Nedzu beams.

Oh, FUCK.

“How on earth would Izuku steal a Quirk?” Hisashi asks. “I mean, do you think he has some sort of… secondary Quirk? I mean, I suppose it’s possible, but…”

“Midoriya, please,” Nedzu sighs, and suddenly he looks like he has aged considerably. “I know.”

“Know what?”

“I know Izuku has All for One.”

Fuuuck.

“He has what?”

“Could we please do away with this charade?” the principal asks with a sigh. “I know Izuku – and you – have All for One. I know you are fully aware of who All For One is. And I know why you don’t want to admit it.”

Hisashi mentally prepares himself. If he destroys enough of Tokyo, the heroes will be busy with rescue efforts. That will give him time to get to Izuku; and there will be a large death toll, so the Midoriyas will hopefully just become another name on a list of the missing…

“But All For One is dead.”

Wait, what?

“It’s alright, Midoriya,” Nedzu assures him, as Hisashi stares at him in disbelief. “I went over all the files before coming here, and I can assure you, All For One is dead. He was killed over a decade ago by a hero named Nana Shimura. Izuku's abduction, as far as we can tell, is completely unrelated.”

“Oh, thank goodness,” Hisashi breathes, as he feels a great surge of relief wash over him. He still needs to tread carefully, to make sure Nedzu has no reason to doubt him, but at least All For One can, at least for now, stay dead. He suspects he knows what Nedzu believes, and – even if he’s wrong – it is a good cover story. So he takes a deep breath, and commits himself to the lie. “I wondered why he hadn’t contacted me in such a long time. Especially… especially after Izuku was born.”

“I’m sorry we couldn’t inform you earlier,” Nedzu winces. “It just… It never occurred to us that All For One might have… a family.”

“Please,” Hisashi snorts. He needs to sell this performance, and if it means making himself into the personification of all things evil, so be it. “The word family implies there might have been some… affection there. He wanted some way to store Quirks, and decided it would be easiest if there was someone else with All For One.”

“I see,” Nedzu shakes his head. “I… I am a teacher first, Midoriya. To hear someone had so little regard for any child, let alone their own… I am truly sorry.”

“It was difficult, at first,” Hisashi sighs, and smiles as his eyes settle on a photo of Inko. This is why I’m doing it. “But… When I became an adult, he left me alone for the most part. Probably didn’t want me to be a target for heroes. And… When I met my wife, when Izuku was born, it felt like I could leave it all behind me. I could just… Be the father I never had. But then...” he shudders, and it's not entirely an act.

"...But then Izuku was kidnapped, and you made the logical assumption it was All For One," Nedzu quietly finishes.

"Yes!" Hisashi nods. The desperation in his voice, the pain, are real, because he keeps on thinking of a tiny, confused boy, locked up in Tartarus. "But I couldn't do anything, couldn't tell anyone! I... I thought he'd taken Izuku, and I'd never... Never..."

"It's alright," the principal assures him. "I personally checked all the reports. All For One was confirmed dead, his remains identified and buried. There might still be former followers of his out there, but if there are, you probably know them better than me."

"Not really," Hisashi shrugs, once again relieved he put so much effort into his retirement. "I was kept well away from all his shady dealings. The only one I know is Gigantomachia, and he is loyal only to me and Izuku."

Nedzu nods, and they sit in silence for a few seconds. Then the hero shifts uncomfortably.

“…I hesitate to bring it up, but have you considered that… perhaps it’s best All for One… ends?”

“I did,” Hisashi admits quietly. That, more than anything he ever did as All For One, is probably his greatest shame. (Second greatest, his conscience ruthlessly corrects him.) “But what if Izuku one day has children of his own? What if he realizes I took his Quirk? I... He's all I have. I... I can't lose him.”

“You have a point,” Nedzu sighs. “But still, I suggest you limit the number of people that know about All For One. I do not think you or your son should be punished for someone else’s actions, but not everyone will be so understanding.”

“Of course,” Hisashi agrees. “So far, you are the only person outside out family that knows.”

“There’s also officer Tsukauchi,” Nedzu admits. “He was concerned about your lies, and contacted me. I explained my suspicions to him, and he agreed that you deserve a chance. And… I felt it would be good to have someone on your side in the police force.”

It appears officer Tsukauchi’s file is going to go missing for a few hours tonight.

“I suppose it’s for the best,” Hisashi sighs. “However, I’d like to be informed before you tell anyone else about our… family secret.”

"Of course," Nedzu nods. Then he smiles. "Perhaps, in a few years, Izuku might like to visit UA. I have to admit, I looked over what information I could, and he sounds like a charming boy."

"Oh yes," Hisashi smiles. Then he winces at the thought of suggesting a visit to UA. "He'd like that. He's... Well, actually, him and his friends want to be heroes when their older."

“Oh, wouldn’t that be something,” Nedzu laughs. And laughs. (And laughs.) Finally, he wheezes, “All For One’s grandson, a student at UA.”

“I’m just glad it’s the grandson,” Hisashi snorts. “It would be like the plot of some bad movie if it was the son.”

They exchange smiles, and... strangely enough, Hisashi feels better. Lighter. Because perhaps this is for the best. Perhaps Izuku will be able to be honest with his friends, and tell them the truth about his Quirk. Perhaps Izuku will be able to go to a school where he can train his Quirk without worrying about coming up with a cover story. Perhaps Izuku will have teachers he can trust.

Perhaps Izuku can even become a hero.

Then a Warp Gate opens, and Hisashi just has time to brace himself.

“OHMYGOSHITSPRINCIPALNEDZU!”

Chapter Text

Tenya always thought he got really lucky with his friends. They are very different people, true, but Tenya liked to think that they could learn from their different experiences, their different perspectives. And if he was even the least bit unsure, that was enough to reassure him.

But now, as he settles into his futon, he’s not so sure about his own role.

 Izuku has been released from the hospital for a few days now, and Uncle Hisashi suggested one last sleepover before he goes back to school. Both Izuku and Shoto had loved the idea, but Tenya almost didn’t come.

He tries not to spoil the mood, but somewhere between dinner and settling down to read comics, the other boys seem to pick up on it. So, for the first time ever, Izuku does not suggest they sneak out for ‘Quirk testing’, and Tenya just feels even more lost. Because his main role, in the past, was to prevent his friends from doing anything foolish.

And now, he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do.

Finally, Uncle Hisashi comes to tuck them all in. Tenya curls up with his Ingenium plush, and watches miserably as the man pauses at the door. But then Izuku’s dad shakes his head and leaves, and Tenya settles down to sleep.

He hopes he doesn’t have any nightmares tonight.

They lie in silence for probably an hour; although he can’t sleep, Tenya at some point figures Izuku and Shoto have drifted off. But then he hears Izuku shift.

“You guys asleep?” Izuku whispers.

“No,” Shoto mumbles, although he sounds only half-awake. “Tenya?”

“I’m awake,” Tenya answers quickly. He doesn’t want to talk, but he also doesn’t want to lie to his friends. He pulls his Ingenium plush closer.

For a minute, they all lie there quietly. Tenya isn’t sure why he feels so scared, but just as he feels like he’s about to scream, Izuku speaks again.

“What do you guys think my Quirk is?”

“You can attract small objects, right?” Shoto asks.

Tenya frowns, puzzled, and admits, “I always thought it was intelligence based, like principal Nedzu.”

Izuku doesn’t immediately answer; when he does, his voice is even quieter, and if Tenya didn’t know better, he would think his best friend is scared.

“I… don’t think I have an intelligence Quirk. And… Attraction is my mum’s Quirk.”

They lie in silence for a few minutes. Tenya can’t quite figure out why Izuku sounds so unsure; he does know Izuku’s Quirk didn’t manifest until a few months ago, but Uncle Hisashi sat them all down and explained that Quirks are weird. Sometimes they take longer to appear. And it didn’t matter, anyway; Tenya loved Izuku when he thought he had a Quirk that made him smart, so when Izuku arrived at school, excited about his new Quirk, Tenya was just happy for his friend.

He knows he should speak up now, because Izuku is obviously unsure about something, but he isn’t sure what to say. And honestly, he isn’t quite sure is he feels up to comforting someone else.

“You got your Quirk from your mum,” Shoto states. “So?”

Izuku laughs, but it’s a small, wet sound, and Tenya suddenly realizes his friend must be crying. It makes something painful settle in his stomach.

“I… Attraction is my mum’s Quirk. Literally. She… When she got sick, she gave it to my papa, and then he gave it to me.”

Tenya’s brain screeches to a halt.

“…Your mum could give her Quirk to someone?” Shoto asks, and his tone makes it clear that he’s struggling with the idea too.

“Not quite,” Izuku chuckles, and Tenya feels tears in his eyes as he realizes how forced it sounds. “I… My papa can take Quirks. So mum asked him to take her Quirk and give it to me.”

Say something.

“Only I’m like papa; I can take and give Quirks too.”

Say something!

Tenya tries to think of something to say, but the idea of someone able to take Quirks at will… It’s scary. Tenya can’t help but imagine a villain with that Quirk, and he clutches tightly at his plush.

And then he fully understands what Izuku just told them.

“Your mum gave you her Quirk?” he asks, and somehow the idea makes his fears lessen. He thinks about the picture of Auntie Inko above Izuku’s bed, and it fits. He can picture the smiling, kind woman of Uncle Hisashi’s tales wanting her son to get her Quirk. “That… That’s awesome.”

“Yeah,” Shoto agrees. “She must have loved you a lot.”

“Like… Like she wanted to always be with you,” Tenya soldiers on. “It’s… really nice…”

“Thanks,” Izuku sniffs.

None of them mention the whole Quirk-taking thing.

 

 

“Tenya? Tenya! Tenya!”

Tenya jolts awake, panting, and scans the room. Shoto is still asleep on his futon, but if he squints, he can just make out Izuku leaning over the foot of his bed, staring at him.

The sight calms Tenya, and he tries to get his breathing under control.

Alt Forty One isn’t real.

There is no villain that can steal Quirks.

Izuku is safe.

“You alright?” Izuku whispers, concerned, and suddenly – suddenly it’s too much. Suddenly Tenya can’t hold back the tears anymore, can’t pretend he’s a good friend, because…

He’s not.

Izuku was taken from under his nose.

Izuku couldn’t trust him with the truth about his Quirk.

Tenya promised himself he’d be the best friend ever, and now he can’t help but think that maybe Izuku would be better off without him. Maybe Izuku and Shoto would be better off without Tenya there, always ready to spoil their fun.

“Hey, come on; let’s… Let’s get a cookie!”

Tenya doesn’t really want a cookie, but it’s obvious as they slip out of the room that Izuku isn’t quite sure what to do. Normally, it’s him or Shoto that end up crying, and Tenya is tasked with comforting his friends. But this is the first time their roles are reversed, and it just makes Tenya feel worse.

Halfway to the kitchen they decide they don’t really want anything to eat. It’s past one in the morning, and everyone else is asleep, but they end up hiding behind one of the couches in the living room, Tenya clutching his Ingenium plush and Izuku Attracting his All Might figurine from one hand to the other.

(Tenya understands now why Izuku always seems to Attract things when he’s feeling nervous.)

“Did you have a nightmare?” Izuku whispers.

Tenya nods, and wipes at his eyes angrily. Izuku was the one taken, and Tenya’s his friend; he should be the one doing the reassuring, not making Izuku feel worse.

“It’s alright,” Izuku whispers, and manages a small smile. “I’ve been having them too lately.”

That just makes Tenya feel worse.

They sit in silence for a few minutes.

“Tenya?” Izuku finally speaks again. He sounds quieter, more unsure. “Are… Are you mad at me?”

“What? No!” Tenya exclaims, a bit louder than he meant to. He sniffs and wipes at his eyes. “I… You should be mad at me!”

“…Why?”

“Cause they took you!” Tenya sobs. He hasn’t told this to anyone; not to Tensei, not to his mum – nobody knows. And now - now he can't hold it back anymore. “Cause I was right there, and they took you! And I didn’t do anything!”

Izuku puts his arm around his shoulders, and waits until Tenya’s calmed down a bit. And then, in a quiet, firm voice, he points out, “We’re six.”

“What?”

“We’re six,” Izuku repeats. “And… You did do something, didn’t you? You got a teacher. And she called the police.”

“Yes, but…”

“Six.”

“I know, but…”

“Six!”

“I should…”

“Six six six!”

Tenya snickers and he pauses, surprised. He glances over at his friend, and Izuku just grins at him. And…

Tenya can’t help but feel a little better. Because sitting here, like this, it’s almost a mirror reflection of their early days. He remembers Izuku, sad and missing his mum at daycare, and remembers his own awkward attempts at reassurance. Maybe… Maybe he isn’t such a bad friend, if Izuku felt anything like he does now…

“I mean, if I get kidnapped when we’re heroes, and you don’t do anything, I’ll probably be mad,” Izuku shrugs. “But… we’re not heroes yet.”

“Yeah,” Tenya nods. He frowns as he stares at Izuku, as an idea slowly takes shape in his mind. Izuku shifts awkwardly, obviously uncomfortable with the scrutiny, and… “I want you to take my Quirk.”

“What?” Izuku gasps.

“Not now,” Tenya shakes his head. His idea… He hurries on, keen to explain. “But… If someone is going to kidnap you, or hurt you, I want you to take my Quirk. Cause then you can get away!”

Izuku stares at him, wide eyed; then he sniffs and laughs, and Tenya is relieved to recognize the wide grin that means this is just another instance of happy tears. “O… Okay! And… You’re the bestest friend ever!”

“No, you are!”

“No! You are!”

“No!...”

“Shoto is the bestest friend ever and you two need to get back to bed.”

The two boys look up slowly, and Izuku’s father quirks an eyebrow at them in silent challenge.

 

 

Tenya smiles as Uncle Hisashi switches off the light. Because…

Maybe it’s alright if sometimes Izuku comforts him.

Maybe he can help Izuku if he’s ever taken again.

“Izuku?” he whispers as he rolls over. Normally he tells his friends off for talking after bedtime, since it’s important to sleep, but… This is important too.

“Yeah?” Izuku whispers back.

“…You know you’re my best friend and I love you, right?”

“You’re my bestest friend, too…”

“Both of you, go to sleep!”

Chapter Text

“OHMYGOSHITSECTOPLASM!”

Hisashi exchanges amused looks with Tensei as Izuku runs over to a very surprised (and, perhaps, slightly shellshocked) hero.

He isn’t sure how he’ll remember this day; on the one hand, Izuku has not stopped beaming since he was told they would visit U.A. (after breakfast, because Hisashi has learnt from his past mistakes and trying to get an overexcited child to go to sleep is not an experience he wants to repeat). On the other hand, he is wondering if perhaps Izuku’s hero obsession is getting slightly out of hand. It’s certainly exhausting; his ears have been ringing since their arrival (OHMYGOSHITSUA!), and things did not change when they were welcomed by Nedzu and OHMYGOSHITSRECOVERYGIRL. Honestly, Hisashi is almost relieved that he won’t be accompanying Izuku and his friends on their tour.

“Ectoplasm has kindly volunteered to show you boys around,” Nedzu informs the three boys. “We will meet you in the school cafeteria for lunch!”

“We?” Tensei asks, obviously surprised. “You’re not coming with us, Midoriya?”

“No, we’re not going with them,” Hisashi corrects him.

“Papa?” Izuku asks, looking back at him, his smile dimming.

“It’ll be fine, Izuku,” Hisashi assures his son. “I need to talk to Tensei about something, but we’ll join you as soon as we’re done. You’ll be safe here; after all, it’s U.A. And Kurogiri will be with you boys. And if something does happen, what do you do?”

“Summon papa!” Izuku perks up at the thought of his new Quirk, and the security it provides.

Hisashi chuckles as he ruffles his son’s hair, and then turns to Tensei. “Alright, come on, Iida; the sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can have lunch.”

Iida does not look convinced as he watches the boys follow Ectoplasm. But, like a consummate professional, he takes a deep breath and treats them all to a (somewhat forced) smile, and then follows them into the teacher’s lounge.

Hisashi sits down with a sigh. He is not looking forward to this conversation, but it seems neither is Tensei. The young man glances around, obviously uncertain, as Principal Nedzu goes to prepare them a pot of tea, and Recovery Girl makes absolutely certain there is no one outside the room before locking them in. (Highly unlikely, considering it’s Sunday, but still – it’s a level of paranoia Hisashi approves off.)

“Ookay,” Tensei shifts, obviously uncomfortable, once the two other heroes rejoin them. “Am I in trouble? Cause I don’t know what you think I did, but I’m pretty sure it’s Mic’s fault.”

“Oh, you’re not in any trouble, dear,” Recovery Girl assures him. “Gummy bear?”

“What exactly is Present Mic’s fault?...”

“Nedzu!”

“I apologize,” Nedzu winces. “Of course you’re not in trouble; we’re here to talk about something unrelated to your time here at UA.”

“Really?” Tensei frowns as he glances around again. “Cause this feels a lot like I’m about to get suspended.”

“Why did you get suspended?” Hisashi asks.

“Midoriya!”

Hisashi sighs and pours himself a cup of tea, ignoring Tensei’s snickering. He doesn't want to do this, but… Nedzu had a point when he mentioned they should perhaps let another hero in on their little secret. And Hisashi has no problem with Recovery Girl; frankly, having a medical professional aware of Izuku’s Quirk seems like a sensible idea. (After all, he really doesn’t want to have to come up with appropriate excuses when he’s panicking.)

However, it took him about two hours and quite a bit of manipulation (and, yes, just a touch of a Quirk) to convince Nedzu that no, All Might does not need to know All For One had a son. In the end, he pointed out that Idaten is an established and respected hero agency, and what is more, Hisashi and Izuku have a close relationship with the Iida family. It is only a matter of time before Tenya finds out about Izuku’s Quirk (was only a matter of time, he mentally corrects himself). And, since it is highly likely the boy will tell his family, Hisashi suggested they might as well inform them first.

Controlling the narrative is never a bad idea.

That does not mean Hisashi is happy.

“Iida, are you aware of Mr Midoriya and Izuku’s Quirks?” Nedzu asks, when Hisashi doesn’t speak.

“Oh, sure,” Tensei shrugs. “Izuku’s got that… Attract Quirk, right? And Midoriya can heal people.”

“Well, technically you’re correct,” Hisashi sighs.

“Technically?...”

“I do have a healing Quirk,” Hisashi shrugs, and decides he should probably ease Tensei into this. No need to start with the supervillain thing. “I have several. I also have a sleep-inducing Quirk, a rather interesting long-sightedness Quirk, a few regeneration Quirks… A couple speed Quirks…”

Tensei opens his mouth. And closes it. And opens it again.

“…And Izuku?...”

“Oh, he just has Attraction,” Hisashi shrugs. “And Summon. And I might have slipped him a regeneration Quirk… Or three…”

Recovery Girl shakes her head at him, but Hisashi is unmoved. At the time, he briefly felt he might be being overprotective, but then he remembered Izuku’s best friend has a speed Quirk, and decided no, two regeneration Quirks were not enough.

“Right,” Tensei nods, his voice noticeably higher. “Course. Of course.”

“And of course we both have our original Quirks.”

“Original Quirks?” the young hero repeats faintly, and Hisashi wonders for a moment if they’ve somehow broken Ingenium. He hopes not; that would be… very awkward to explain to Tenya.

“Yes,” Hisashi nods. “Before I explain anything further, I need to tell you that everything we’re discussing right now is strictly top secret. The only person outside this room that knows is officer Tsukauchi. I am telling you all this because I trust you.”

That seems to be the right thing to say. Tensei shakes his head and sits up straighter, determined. Hisashi tries to ignore the sneaking suspicion he might also be touched.

“Many years ago…” Hisashi starts, and then pauses. It sounds too much like a fairy tale, phrased like that. He shakes his head, and starts over. “My father was a villain. And… A powerful villain, at that. He was old, too; he was part of the very first generation of Quirk users. But… Several years ago, a hero finally killed him. I understand why, and I approve; there was never any affection between us. Frankly, I am relieved to be free of him. But... Well, I was born with the same Quirk as him. And... It seems Izuku has it, too."

“What sort of Quirk?”

“We can take Quirks,” Hisashi shrugs. “Not just take them; we can pass Quirks to other people, as well. And… While most people cannot handle more than one Quirk at a time, we can possess – not just possess, but use as well – many Quirks at once. And I mean many.”

“Holy fucking shit,” Tensei gasps.

“My father used me as… Well, I suppose as a storage container for Quirks,” Hisashi explains. He is very glad Tsukauchi is not present. “I have… I’m not sure exactly how many, but… several dozen Quirks.”

Technically, he isn’t lying; he stopped counting around the three hundred mark. That is several (dozen) dozen.

“Holy fucking shit,” Tensei repeats. “And… Your father? What was his name?”

“He was what you might call an underground villain,” Nedzu explains. He sighs, and continues, “The government was trying to prevent panic. Very few heroes were informed about his existence. His Quirk was named after him. He was called... All For One.”

For a minute, Tensei stares at Hisashi. The man shifts, unsure of his reaction, and for the first time starts to worry. The Iidas are an upstanding hero family; for them to knowingly associate with the child of a supervillain seems… unlikely. Hisashi has a sinking feeling as he imagines having to explain to Izuku that Tenya can’t be his friend anymore…

…And then Tensei sniffs and wipes at his eyes, and Hisashi realizes with no small amount of horror that the hero has tears in his eyes. He sniffs again, and treats Hisashi to a beaming smile, and suddenly Hisashi thinks perhaps they should have told All Might.

“Thank you,” Tensei chokes out. “Your trust… It means so much to me.”

Oh, lord, please don’t let him start talking about feelings.

“I mean, here you are. You’ve been through such terrible experiences; your dad was terrible, and then, when you finally found happiness… It’s ripped away by the cruel hands of fate! And yet you’re still trying to be a good role model to Izuku!”

Why do heroes feel the need to monologue like this?

“It cannot be easy; after all, you’re genetically predisposed to being absolutely-fucking-terrifying! It must be so hard, battling not only your experiences but also your DNA! But it makes so much sense that villain-ness is genetic!”

Hisashi considers Izuku and his adorable smile and opens his mouth to point out being evil is probably not genetic. Then he decides perhaps it’s easier to just… let Tensei get this out of his system.

“…You must have missed out on so much growing up! Family trips, sleepovers, hanging out with friends… Don’t worry, though, because you’re not alone anymore! You can come meet my friends, come drinking with us, join us for karaoke… Have some fun!”

“…I’ll pass.”

“Oh, come on, Hisashi, don’t be such a stick in the mud!”

“…What did you just call me?”

“Hisashi!” Tensei grins. “You know, your name!”

“…I’d rather you didn’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because we are nowhere near close enough for you to use my first name,” Hisashi explains, ignoring Tensei’s pouting.

“You just told me your deep, dark secret!”

“I also told it to Principal Nedzu,” Hisashi points out. “He does not go around using my first name.”

“Yes, but we’ve known each other for years!”

“…”

“Alright, fine, Uncle Hisashi,” Tensei huffs.

“I am not your uncle.”

“You let Tenya call you that!”

“Tenya is Izuku’s best friend. You are not.”

“But I’m Tenya’s brother! It would be weird for you to be his uncle and not mine!”

“Yes, but Tenya is cute. You are not.”

“Ryuuko says I’m cute!”

“Your girlfriend is not a reliable source.”

“She’s a prohero!”

“She’s blinded by love.”

“Oh, come on, Uncle Hisashi…”

 

 

Izuku is having the best day ever.

He can’t help but grin as he tucks into his lunch; Ectoplasm showed him, Shoto and Tenya all around UA, and answered all of Izuku’s questions. Izuku was initially a bit sad that papa didn’t come with them. But he obviously had to talk to Tensei about something important, probably something grown up. (Grown up meaning something Izuku will be told when he is older, like Where do babies come from? or Where did you get that Quirk, papa?)

“Are you alright, Shoto?” Tenya asks.

Izuku glances over at their friend, and realizes with a sinking feeling that Shoto was just picking at his food. In fact, looking back, Shoto was unusually subdued throughout their visit. Shoto is always quiet, not the same way Tenya is (which is polite, well-behaved quiet), but rather slightly-unsure quiet. But still, this trip, he was even quieter than usual. And Izuku didn't notice until now, too excited to be at UA. 

He needs to try and be a bit more like Tenya.

“I… Can I tell you guys a secret?”

The three of them look in tandem over at Kurogiri, who decides to get up and get a refill of his tea. None of them comment on how his mug is still almost full.

“You can trust us, Shoto,” Tenya assures their friend.

“Yeah,” Izuku nods. He reflects on his own secret, and smiles. “We’re a team.”

“I…” Shoto hesitates; he glances around, and then closes his eyes, and blurts out, “My father used to hit us.”

Izuku feels like he’s been punched in the gut. He wondered, in passing, what happened to Shoto’s dad, but assumed he died. And Shoto didn’t talk about him either because he was sad, or maybe he just didn’t remember him. But this? The idea that anyone would hurt Shoto, or Auntie Rei, is horrifying enough. But for it to be someone who was meant to love them?

“We… left when I was four,” Shoto continues,. He shudders. “…He still scares me…”

“Is that why you dye your hair?” Izuku asks.  "...To hide?"

Shoto nods.

“Well, you needn’t worry!” Tenya hastily assures him. “Should you ever feel threatened, you need only call and Tensei will come to your rescue!”

“And Kurogiri’ll warp you somewhere safe!” Izuku adds.

“…My father’s Endeavor…” Shoto whispers.

Izuku stares at him, stunned. He glances over at Tenya, who looks just as shocked.

He knows Endeavor does not have the best reputation, but this? To find out that a highly ranked hero was abusive enough for his family to basically go into hiding?  Izuku can feel tears threatening, and not the happy kind. Not the sad kind, either, mind you; he wishes it wouldn't be naughty if he asked Machia to go punch Endeavor, because...

“Fuck Endeavor!” Izuku blurts out. Because he knows he shouldn't swear, but... Shoto and Auntie Rei are lovely, and kind, and they didn't deserve this. And neither did the rest of Shoto's family, he adds guiltily.

Tenya looks over at him and opens his mouth, probably to protest his language. Then he frowns, moves his mouth, and finally nods, and adds, “Yes, I guess fu… fu… such behaviour is appalling.”

Shoto and Izuku share a smile at their friend’s expense. Shoto’s is still small, and fragile, but Izuku… Izuku remembers his own fears. In hindsight they seem completely irrational, because he is so lucky to have such wonderful friends, and it will seem irrational to Shoto too. But until then, they need to reassure him, and make sure he knows they still like him. Because it's not his fault he got stuck with a mean jerk for a dad, and it's not like they even have to see Endeavor...

“What's your real hair like?” Izuku asks, partly to distract him. It has to be something noticeable for Shoto to have to dye it.

“It’s…  Actually, it’s red and white," Shoto admits. "Literally. Half of it is red, half is white.”

Izuku stares at him for a few seconds. If Shoto has his hair split like that, perhaps his Quirk is not simply some form of thermo-regulation. In fact, perhaps it’s a strange hybrid between his parents’…

“Muttering!” Shoto and Tenya chorus.

Izuku laughs, not the least bit embarrassed. Then an idea occurs to him, and he leans forward and asks, “Hey, do you want to do a few experiments?”

 

 

“…Midoriya, why is there a massive glacier in the middle of Training Ground Beta?”

“…I’m so proud…”