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The Hollow Man

Chapter Text

Five years… that's how long the criminal underworld had to come to know the sound of grinding metal echoing in the darkness, to smell ozone in the air, to come to fear the mysterious being that stalked the night.

The Hollow Man.

No one on the streets knew what he was, just that Death was his ally, as no one - hero or villain - could so much as scratch him, let alone kill him.

Whenever something was out of line, the Hollow Man was found in the mists of the aftermath, his culling of the disturbed done.

Criminals feared him, villains hated him, heroes despised him. He didn't care. He just did what they couldn't do. 

But suddenly, after a mass execution of a town, the Hollow Man disappeared. His tormented legacy lives on, metal scraping sends a much deeper chill in the shadows...




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Izuku Midoriya. The man everyone was friends with. His smile could warm even the coldest of hearts. His will could inspire the most defeated of them all. If you were to ask anyone who the man was, they’d all reply with “The man who could do no wrong.” 

Izuku wished that was all true. But his story was not one full of sunshine and rainbows. It was one of blood, betrayal, anguish, and pain. All he could do was hide it behind a gleaming smile and chipper attitude.

Izuku wanted a normal life. One far away from death, destruction, blood, and pain. But unfortunate events would drag him back in one last time.

 

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“That’ll be five thousand yen, young man,” An older woman said from behind a counter.

Izuku gave her a warm smile as he reached into his wallet for the currency, his hands shuffling around to grab the correct amount.

“Having dinner with someone Izuku?” The old lady asked, a smile gracing her wrinkly face.

Izuku let out a chuckle, shaking his head ‘no’ as he looked deeper into his wallet. 

“I’m afraid not, Mrs. Lei, just… buying some groceries is all,” Izuku said as he handed the old woman the required amount of money.

“You should find yourself a young lady, Izuku. With your charms, they must come like bees to sweets,” Mrs. Lei joked as she handed Izuku his change, her tiny hand trembling over Izuku’s scarred, larger hand.

“Maybe one day, Mrs. Lei,” Izuku said with a lighthearted laugh as he grabbed his groceries and put his change away, giving the older lady a smile and wave as he left her small shop.

Izuku’s smile left his face as he exited the store, being replaced with a downtrodden frown. He let out a sigh as he began walking down the bust street, narrowly avoiding the other pedestrians as he checked his list for any more errands he needed to complete.

Izuku was easy to pick out in a crowd. Being 6’1, having a messy green head of hair, ratty goatee, and emerald green eyes, Izuku towered over most other pedestrians. However, Izuku himself was like a ghost. He was quiet, calm. He blended in with others quite easily.

Unfortunately for him, even though he could blend into crowds, he was knocked out of a trance by a small bump at his leg. Izuku furrowed his brows as he looked down at his leg.

A little girl was there. Having fallen over from the impact, she sat on her bottom, gently rubbing her forehead which adorned a small horn. 

“What the he-”

“Eri, what are you doing? Let’s go,” A voice called from the nearby alleyway.

Izuku’s head snapped upwards towards the voice. A narrow man with a bird mask walked out from the shadows. His hands gesturing for, who Izuku assumed, was the little girl. Izuku’s brows furrowed for a second time at the man.

The little girl ran behind Izuku, hiding behind his leg as she shook uncontrollably.

“Ah, thank you young man for catching my daughter. She can be so troublesome,” The man said, narrows eyes crinkling up due to what Izuku assumed was a smile or smirk.

“No problem sir,” Izuku said, eyes narrowing at the man as he subconsciously put an arm in front of the little girl. “Although she seems quite frightened, any particular reason as to why?”

“Oh, she’s just nervous in crowds,” the man said, once again gesturing for the little girl to come to him.

Izuku didn’t need eyes to see the girl flinch at the gesture.

“She also seems injured, care to explain that?” Izuku asked, gently pushing the girl towards his car nearby. Her hand gripped his pant leg tightly.

The man in the alley scowled at Izuku, eyes squinting in slight frustration.

“Don’t act like I don’t know who you are, Hollow Man ,” the man spoke bitterly, his voice pronouncing Izuku’s name with disdain.

Izuku visibly stiffened. Teeth clenching together, fists forming quickly.

“I’m not that man anymore,” Izuku spat out, moving ever so slightly with the girl towards his car.

“You will always be that man. There’s no escaping it and you know it,” The man said, taking a step towards Izuku and the little girl.

Izuku took in a deep breath as he put a hand on the little girl’s shoulder. “On the count of three, I want you to run to that black car over there okay?” Izuku whispered to the little girl.

She nodded meekly in response.

“Okay, one,” Izuku started. Putting down his groceries on the sidewalk. Rolling out his shoulders as he rolled up his shirt sleeves. Revealing two nearly opaque arms. The arms looked almost hollow .

“Two,” Izuku took a step towards the man in the alleyway, mirroring the actions of the man.

“Three.”

As the little girl started to run, Izuku charged towards the man in the alley. Quickly preparing for any type of Quirk he may have. The man in the alley placed his hands onto the ground, massive spikes shooting up from it as he stared at Izuku with blank eyes.

Izuku jumped from the ground onto a nearby wall, running along it before jumping off, contorting his body to deliver a roundhouse kick to the man’s face. The kick landed with a sickening smack, stunning the man as Izuku went on the attack. Izuku landed two quick jabs to the man’s face, ducking under a haphazard punch from the man as he shot back up to knee the man in the abdomen. 

Izuku wrapped one of his hollow arms around the man’s chest, flipping him over onto his back. Izuku straddled the man, punching him twice quickly in the face once again. The man laid on the ground, dazed and confused. Izuku jumped off the man and ran out of the alley to his car, hoping to see the girl already either in it or near it.

Izuku ran passed pedestrian after pedestrian, most of them looking at him as if he were or insane. Mumbling “sorry” or “excuse me” as he pushed past them. Izuku let out a relieved sigh as he reached his car, seeing the little girl peeking over the seat she was sitting in, eyes wide and full of fear.

Izuku jumped into his car, an older American model from the Pre-Quirk Era, as fast as he could, shoving the keys in and turning them at record speed. The engine roared to life as Izuku took off from his parking space. The tires screeching as they tried to get a grip on the road.

The girl kept mumbling “I’m sorry,” as Izuku drove off.

“It’s okay, kid! Just calm down,” He said, racing around corners to an unknown location on the suburban outskirts. The girl kept sniffling as he drove, rubbing her eyes as she let out whimpers and small sobs. 

“Wh-Who are you?” the little girl asked, looking up at Izuku with her teary eyes.

“My name’s Izuku, and you’re Eri right?” Izuku said. Giving the girl a lopsided grin, still driving with relative ease.

The girl nodded meekly.

“Well Eri,” Izuku said, pulling into a long driveway, Parking the car in front of a massive mansion made of almost nothing but windows. “It’s an honor to meet you.”

Izuku exited his car, with Eri following close behind. Jogging behind Izuku as the two trekked up his monstrous driveway.

“Wh-Why did you save me?” Eri asked, fumbling with her hands as she stared down at the ground with a downtrodden look.

“Trust me, I’ve been around long enough to know when someone needs saving, kid,” Izuku sighed.

“B-ut you'll die!” Eri shouted out, before covering her face and balling herself up.

Izuku looked back at the girl, letting out a small sigh as he knelt down, placing a hand on the girl’s small shoulder.

“Listen Eri. I know death can be one sneaky bastard,” he started, gently removing the girl’s hands from her face. Sunken and teary red eyes hid behind her frail hands. Eri sniffled as she looked up at Izuku. “But if it means I’m able to help someone like you, I don’t plan on dying anytime soon.”

Izuku stood back up with a small smile, gently grabbing Eri’s hand as he led her to his house. The crunch like noise of the rocks beneath their feet filled the silence between them. 

“So, how old are you, kid?” Izuku asked, trying to get the girl to open up to him.

“U-Um,” Eri squeaked.

Izuku looked down at her, an eyebrow quirked up in confusion. Eri’s cheeks had a slight dusting of pink and she was scratching her cheek as if she were in thought.

“Do… you not know?” Izuku questioned softly.

Eri’s face burned red as she looked down at the ground with a defeated look. More tears welled in her eyes, whether they were from embarrassment or distress Izuku didn’t know. 

“Well, how long have you been with that man?” Izuku asked lightly, not wanting to upset Eri further.

“I th-think he said something about t-ten years?” Eri said, her voice unsure.

“quirks usually form around age four, but can develop even sooner,” Izuku mumbled to himself as he opened up his front door. “So maybe… twelve years?”

Izuku looked at Eri as she studied his entrance intently. Her eyes flicking from object to object, studying everything with fearful eyes as her hand squeezed his tightly.

‘Don’t know how long she’s been in captivity so a general innocence to the world could be expected, other than that…’ Izuku thought to himself. He glanced over Eri, taking in her features. ‘Thin, probably due to malnourishment. Baggy eyes, due to lack of sleep. Frail hair and body. But she still looks like a twelve year old,’ Izuku thought as he let go of Eri’s hand and began walking into his kitchen. “Feel free to explore, I’m going to whip us something up real quick,” Izuku said, giving Eri a small smile before retreating deeper into the large kitchen.

Eri was reluctant at first, gulping down the lump in her throat and taking in a shaky breath before taking her first few shy steps into the mansion. The first thing she noticed was the apparent warmth of the floors. Unlike the cold, dead tiles she was used to. These wooden floors made her toes feel all tingly and warm.

Eri looked around the building, taking in the soft blue lights. The juxtaposition between the calming blue was apparent to the dull white she was accustomed too. Everything about this new place contrasted her previous abode. 

She wandered the halls, seeing room after room after room. Eri reached what she assumed was Izuku’s bedroom. A large, white bed sat in the middle of the room, with the wall to her right consisting of nothing but windows. On either side of the bed sat two nightstands, one with a lamp, and the other with an alarm clock and picture frame. Eri didn’t bother snooping around, she just walked back to the main entrance, seeing Izuku exit the kitchen with two plates in his hands.

“Hey there,” He said with a goofy grin, balancing the two plates in his hands as he nodded his head to the left. “Follow me to the dining room, I made us grilled cheese.”

Eri didn’t know what grilled cheese was, but whatever it was, it sounded delicious. Eri followed quickly behind Izuku, her eyes still flying around the house in wonderment. Izuku placed both plates perpendicular to each other on the large wooden table he led her to. Pulling out a chair for her, Eri climbed up on top of the chair and stared at her food with a twinge of reluctance.

Eri looked at Izuku, seeing the man take a large bite out of his sandwich, smiling contently as he chewed. Eri stared at her food a little longer before picking up one of the slices with shaky hands, carefully taking a small nibble out of the middle.

Eri’s eyes lit up as the toasted bread and melted cheese hit her tongue. Eri chewed quickly before swallowing and quickly taking another - this time larger - bite of the sandwich, repeating the process over and over as Izuku watched her with a small smile.

The two ate in a comfortable silence, Izuku making sure Eri didn’t choke and Eri eating the food faster than any human Izuku had ever seen.

Izuku looked at the nearby clock and frowned at the time, it was getting rather close to ten o’ clock.

“It’s getting pretty late, Eri, why don’t we head off to bed?” Izuku said, standing up from the table, reaching out to Eri.

Eri took Izuku’s hand, flinching slightly before she gingerly grabbed his hand. Izuku led her down the hallway she had explored earlier. Izuku opened a door that was just on the other side of what Eri thought was his room. Izuku opened up the door to the bedroom and guided Eri inside. 

Izuku lifted Eri up with ease and placed her on the nearby bed inside, he tucked her up before placing a hand on her shoulder. “Now I’m just across the hallway, if you need anything, wake me up, okay?” Izuku told her. Eri nodded in return, pulling the comforter farther up her body to stay warm. “Great,” Izuku said with a smile, standing up and preparing to leave. Izuku stood in the doorway for a few more seconds before flicking off the lights, giving Eri one last smile. 

“Sleep tight kid,” he said as he turned off the lights and left.

Eri watched Izuku’s retreating form, wishing he’d stay with her just a little bit longer. She felt… safe with him. Even though his arms were cold and smooth, he himself was warm. Eri curled into a ball as her eyes tugged themselves closed, exhaustion taking over her body.

For once in her life, Eri fell asleep calm and at peace.

And it terrified her that it wouldn't last.

 

Chapter Text


 

Shota Aizawa was not a man you would normally see with a panicked face. Usually, he looked tired, bored, annoyed, or all of those at the same time. But not now, right now, he had a face of absolute shock and subtle fear. Aizawa marched down the hallways of the prestigious U.A highschool, a handful of photographs in his hands.

Aizawa barged into the teacher’s lounge of U.A, eyes scrunching up into glare as he stared down his fellow teachers. His fellow staffed flinched at the sudden slam of the door, all of them looking at Aizawa with either wide or annoyed eyes. 

“We have a problem,” Aizawa spat out, teeth grinding together as he stared at his fellow faculty.

“What is it Aizawa?” Hizashi Yamada, a fellow pro hero asked. “You miss naptime?”

Aizawa glared at Hizashi as his fellow hero joked, grinning ear to ear as he egged his co-worker on.

Aizawa all but threw the photographs in his hands onto the nearby coffee table, the pictures sprawling about as they slid across the glass table.

“At around 4 PM yesterday evening, civilians reported seeing a man with hollow arms running out of an alleyway with an unconscious man left in his wake,” Aizawa said through gritted teeth, his hands clenching and releasing in a panicked manner. 

Aizawa gazed over his fellow teachers as they pieced the puzzle together.

“Hollow arms…” Hizashi mumbled as he studied the pictures intently. Messy green hair, hollow arms, around Aizawa’s height. Suddenly, Hizashi’s eyes split wide open.

“You don’t mean…” Hizashi started, his jaw opening and closing like a gaping fish as he stared at the blurry photos in fear. Hizashi’s head snapped over to Aizawa, his eyes begging for an answer.

Aizawa only nodded in response.

“Oh dear god,” Nemuri Kayama - a fellow hero - gasped out, reaching for a glass of water with shaking hands.

“What do we do?” Another hero - Vlad King - asked, keeping up his stoic demeanor, the foundations of which were crumbling beneath him.

“The only thing we can do,” Aizawa said, sucking in a deep breath as he ran his hand through his messy black hair.

“Nothing at all.”


 

Eri’s eyes fluttered open as the morning sun crept in through the blinds of her temporary room. A yawn escaped her lips as she sat up on the overly large bed; stretching as she took a deep breath in. It was odd for her, not waking up to a metallic stench or the last lingers of the rustic smell of blood. 

As Eri slid off the bed, she noticed a different smell. It wasn’t metallic, nor rustic or blood like, it smelled like a meat of some sort. The soft pitter patters of her feet were drowned out by a loud sizzle as she moved closer and closer to the kitchen. Izuku had just turned around when Eri exited the hallway, giving her a small smile once he saw her.

“Hey there kid, take a seat at the table, I’ll bring breakfast over in a minute,” Izuku told her, flipping something with a pair of tongs as he turned around.

Eri gave Izuku a nervous nod, the boy smiling as she turned to walk to his small dining room table. Her breakfast came not long after, Izuku placing two long brownish strips down on her plate along with two eggs.

“It’s more of an American-style breakfast, but I think you’ll enjoy it,” Izuku said hopefully, sitting down in front of Eri as she stared at the food with wide eyes.

She had no idea what it was, but it smelled delicious . Eri couldn’t even begin to describe it, she simply picked up one of the long strips of seared meat and took a bite. Eri’s eyes widened as the first piece hit her tongue. The meat strip was the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and greasy. 

“Wh-what is this?” Eri asked with her mouth full, desperately chewing off more of the meat strip.

“That,” Izuku started as he pointed at the meat with his fork. “Is bacon.”

Bacon ,” Eri repeated, mesmerised by the delicious food.

Izuku simply smiled as he watched the girl eat. It was nice to have some company around. He had spent so many nights alone in his barren empty house. Eri was like the daughter he never had, even if he had just met her the day before. It felt nice to have a peaceful, normal life. 

Izuku was just scared it wouldn’t last.


 

Izuku hated going out to markets. There were too many people, too many cameras, too many ways for something to go wrong. Unfortunately for him, going to the market was necessary, since Eri was in need of new clothes. Izuku had let Eri roam around, keeping a close eye on her as he tailed closely behind. 

It was strange. For so long, Izuku simply got his required items and left. But now, he had to wait for someone else, care for someone else. 

It felt like he could be someone's hero.

He froze as the thought passed his mind, the grips on his basket started to splinter. In his line of work, heroes were obstacles. Something standing in the way of the completion of his task. To think he would become the very thing he grew to - in a way - despise, it was frightening. Alarming.

Izuku sucked in a deep breath as he calmed down, his free hand clenching and unclenching rapidly as he watched Eri mingle around the store; looking at different articles of clothing as her eyes stayed whimsical and amused.

“Is that your daughter?”

The sudden voice knocked Izuku out of his daze. Izuku blinked twice as he found himself staring into a pair of onyx eyes. The girl who had asked looked at him with a patient smile, her own basket of groceries swaying slightly in her grip as she waited for his answer. Izuku’s mind quick mind switched back into function as he quickly thought of a believable answer.

“Legally, yes,” Izuku said, giving the girl a fake lopsided grin.

Her lips formed an ‘oh’ as she turned to look at Eri still running around through the various racks and shelves of clothes. Izuku however, looked over the woman in front of him.

She had long black hair in a spiky ponytail and she stood just a few inches shorter than himself, her body was quite mature and she looked to be around Izuku’s age.

“What made you pick her?” The woman asked. Focusing her attention on Izuku once again.

Izuku let out a breath as he looked at the girl once again, his little lopsided grin returning as he scratched the back of his head.

“Well, it looked like she needed a hero,” he mumbled out, cringing slightly at how sappy the comment was.

He expected the girl to laugh, maybe giggle at most. But she smiled instead. A nice, warm smile as she turned her attention back to Eri.

“Well, I think she found hers,” the woman said, smiling gently at Eri; the young girl walking up to Izuku with a white dress with a pink flower pattern covering it.

Izuku thought over the girl’s statement. Was he really the hero? It felt like nothing more than a facade to him. But maybe, just maybe, he was a hero to Eri.

Izuku held out his hand, smiling at the woman beside him.

“I’m Izuku, Izuku Midoriya,” Izuku said. Lips curling into a smile as he waited for the girl to respond.

The woman blinked at Izuku a few times as she looked at him with a quizzical look. Her eyes widening as she finally figured out what Izuku was doing. Her cheeks gained a pink dusting as she took Izuku’s hand.

“M-Momo, Momo Yaoyorozu,” the woman said, shaking Izuku’s hand with a firm grip.

“Ahh, The Everything Hero: Creati, huh?” Izuku chuckled out as he let go of Momo’s hand, letting his drop back to his side as Eri slid her smaller hand into his.

Momo let out a chuckle that was laced with nervousness. Her hand recoiling to scratch the back of her neck.

“That’s me,” Momo said. Although she didn’t sound proud; she sounded more exhausted than anything. 

“Being a Pro-Hero must be quite the honor, no?” Izuku questioned, giving Momo a smirk as she let out a sigh.

“It is, but it’s exhausting ,” Momo complained, looking at the ground dejectedly as she let out a heavy breath.

Izuku’s smirk faltered as he continued to watch the girl. She truly did look burnt out and exhausted.

“Why don’t you come over to my place,” Izuku suggested, pointing at his car with his thumb as he gave Momo a welcoming smile. “We have tea, music, and way more than enough space to share.”

“T-That sounds lovely, b-but, I’d hate to impose,” Momo gave Izuku a wobbly smile as she placed a hand over her heart.

“Nonsense Momo, I’d be honored to have a Pro-Hero visit,” Izuku countered, still wearing his welcoming smile.

Momo stared at Izuku with a hesitant look; finally letting out a breath as she caved in.

“O-Okay, maybe a little tea wouldn’t hurt,” Momo murmured, tapping her toe on the ground awkwardly as she watched Izuku’s face light up.

“Great! My car is just around the corner!” Izuku beamed as he quickly purchased the small dress Eri wanted; picking up Eri so she could sit on his shoulder as he started leaving the marketplace, Momo tailing behind quickly.

“Aren’t you hot?”

Izuku looked over his shoulder at Momo, the girl giving him a quizzical look as she gestured towards his arms. Izuku looked down at them, glossing over his flannel button as he thought of an appropriate answer.

“Not really,” Izuku said, scrunching up his eyes as he shrugged his shoulders. “The temperature has never really bothered me honestly.”

Momo simply nodded along to his explanation, watching Izuku as he smiled gracefully at her. As the two rounded the corner, Momo smiled softly at what she saw. Izuku had walked up to an all black car, an older american model, something that her father might have collected.

“She’s beautiful,” Momo mumbled. Izuku smiled widely at her, fumbling with the keys in his hand as he went to unlock the car.

“I’m glad it’s to your standards, Ms. Yaoyorozu,” Izuku snickered, sitting Eri down in the backseat.

“It’s akin to what my father would’ve collected,” Momo commented, opening the passenger side door as Izuku sat down in the driver’s seat.

“Well, just know she isn’t for sale,” Izuku smirked as he put the keys in the ignition and started the engine. The car roared to life as it vibrated with power and energy.

“Of course,” Momo nodded with a small smile. Relaxing into the leather seat as Izuku placed his foot on the gas pedal.

As the car sped off down the street, Momo couldn’t help but peer out the window. A look of confusion spreading on her face as she saw men in alleyways panic at the site of the car. Maybe she’d have to question Izuku later.

But then again, maybe it would be better to leave it alone.

Chapter Text

“P-Please,” a woman begged, her knees bloodied and covered in dirt and dust. The streaks running of tears cleaned lines onto her dusted face as her head hung low. “Don’t hurt me, o-or kill me.”

Mud splashed as a black boot fell in front of her. A smoking barrel being pushed to her head in disgust, no, anguish. The woman looked up, staring into the empty, hollow eyes of the source of all chaos. A vacant expression melting into the moonlight as she watched his empty hand clench into a fist.

“S-Say something,” the woman pleaded, a sharp click causing her eyes to look up at her attacker.

“Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me of clay; wilt thou bring me to dust? Everything turns back one day,” he said. His finger faltering over the trigger as the girl’s nose leaked and her eyes watered.

“Even now,” the figure said, his hand shaking as the girl’s sobbing grew. He drew a breath. “Victory is not what I search for.”

“E-End it,” the girl barked, gritting her teeth as she put on a strong face.

“Revel in your sorrow,” the man said. His voice had wavered, even if just for a split second.

“Killer,” his mind croaked. “You are not, a killer.” he wanted to believe the voice. 

“Empty is all I feel,” he told the girl, freehand clenching as he finally pulled the trigger.

“Peace is what I want to give to you,” he mumbled to the corpse.

The tusks of despair stabbed him as he exited the hut. His feet marching over the husks.

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Izuku woke up in a sweat; his throat was dry and was accompanied by equally dry lips. Even so, he wasn’t panicked. He was calm, frighteningly so. He sat up without a hitch. Throwing his legs off the side of the bed as he walked into his ensuite. Pooling water into his cupped hands to both drink and splash his face with. Out of the corner of his eye, he swore he could see the water gain a red hue, but he thought nothing of it. 

As Izuku left the washroom, he looked over to the alarm clock on his nightstand; the bold red numbers shouting at him that it was only 4:30 AM. His face developed a frown as he exited his bedroom.

He wandered aimlessly through his house; his thoughts drifting as he grazed his fingers over various objects. Picture frames, windows, doors. His finger just barely grazed their surfaces. He stopped moving as his finger hovered over the door to his basement. His fingers tensed over the wood. Izuku’s hand hovered over the door for a few seconds before he continued wandering around his empty home, his mind drifting through various hazy, yet still memorable thoughts.

As Izuku aimlessly walked throughout his darkened home, his thoughts waltzed over to Eri. Images of the little girl clinging onto his leg for dear life as she stared wide-eyed down an alleyway flooded his consciousness. She looked like a kicked and lost puppy, hiding from whatever had damaged and hurt her. Izuku stopped in his tracks as he finished his thoughts.

A lost puppy huh?” A rare grin crept up on Izuku’s face as he quietly walked past the spare room containing Eri.

He had a wonderful idea.

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Eri’s eyes fluttered as they opened; the sunlight beaming in through the blinds forcing her to squint as she sat up. A quiet yawn escaped her as she draped her long, slender legs over the side of the bed; forcing them to leave the warmth and comfort of the blanket, only to reside in the harsh chill of the morning breeze filtering in through her opened window. 

As she stretched, Eri noticed a faint noise further within the house. Something soft would hit the hardwood, followed by the clicks, and clacks of what sounded like nails. Really long and thick nails to be exact. The strange noise brought a wash of panic over Eri, her eyes widened as her hands clenched into fists; her nails digging into the palms of her hands as she slowly walked towards her bedroom door. Eri hadn’t noticed the breath she was holding until she slowly pushed open her door, terrified eyes peeking around the barrier as she tried to find what was creating the constant clicks and clacks on the floorboards.

She was greeted by Midoriya’s hunched over back, his hair just barely visible. Eri took two careful steps forward before Izuku realized she was there.

Izuku shifted his weight to view Eri, a joyous smile occupying his face as he held an unfamiliar body in his arms.

“Hey there, kid. Sleep well?” Izuku questioned, narrowly dodging a tongue that came from the animal that he held in his arms to lick his chin. It had pale tan fur, splattered with abstract white patches mismatched here and there.

Eri cautiously walked closer to Izuku. Her hands were tucked securely under her chin, her eyes watched every move the animal made. 

“Say hello to our new dog, Eri,” Izuku whispered, his voice barely containing his happiness. “I thought I’d let you name her.”

“N-name her?” Eri looked at Izuku with bewildered eyes, not fully understanding the concept.

“Yeah, something to call her,” Izuku smirked as he let the dog out of his arms, it’s small paws clashing with the ground as he ran towards Eri in excitement. Eri let out a surprised yelp as she ran to hide behind Izuku. The pup cocked its head to the side in confusion.

“Hey, Eri, it’s okay,” Izuku cooed quietly, gently grabbing the young girl’s hand as the small dog walked closer. “It's okay...”

Eri let out a soft whimper, as it came closer, quickly shutting her eyes while putting her face in the crook of Izuku’s neck. Izuku quietly shushed the girl, gently placing her palm on the soft fur on the dog.

Eri peeked out from Izuku’s shoulder, watching as the dog began licking her hand in joy, to which she giggled, slowly leaving Izuku’s shoulder to fully view the dog. 

Izuku smiled sweetly at the scene, warmth spreading through his chest like a fire.

“Now,” Izuku gently grabbed the dog away from Eri, holding her close to his chest while Eri smiled sweetly. “What do we call her?”

“Nezuko!” Eri shouted gleefully, running towards Izuku with outstretched arms to play with the dog once again.

“Nezuko?” Izuku let the name roll of his tongue. He grinned joyously, gently letting the dog out of his arms as it ran towards Eri.

“I like it.”