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Author's Quick Note because AO3 is playing up:  Izuku is addressed as Mikumo Akatani for a few chapters because he hasn’t been given the name Izuku yet. This will be explained in later chapters : )


 


 

Izuku had everything planned. This project was the most detailed one he’d ever made; if he wasn’t chilled to the bone about the outcomes, he would have been proud of his scheme. Considering this could possibly be the last thing he’d ever do, he had to put the effort in somewhere.

Today was the day he was finally allowed upstairs after being cooped in his cell for months. They trusted him now. If anything, Izuku felt a little bad that he was about to rip the tormentors he’d known for the majority of his life apart.

The doors to the fusty bar opened in a wide slam, whatever conversations were taking place at the time instantly stopped. The room was deadly silent.

Some snarled, some looked intrigued, some smiled sadistically.

Shigaraki gave a not so subtle jab to his back and shoved him forward into the lion’s den. Izuku noticed Toga and Dabi taking up the set of sofas in the dark corner of the room. Yes, they hated him. But they hated him a little less than everyone else. He sympathised with them a little. They were, in turn, just like himself. He just turned out a little better (or a lot worse depending how you looked at it).

He turned his lowered head to Shigaraki who glared but nodded his head towards the two people he was just looking at. The boy with hands draped over his body knocked his shoulder as he walked past him towards a tall bartender, methodically cleaning glasses.

The room began to talk again.

Shit.

He hadn’t even completed step one and he’d been knocked back a step! He had to stay with Shigaraki for the first part of the plan to commence: he couldn’t reach the monitor from the other side of the room!

It’s okay, it’s okay. Calm yourself and you can think around this.

“Miko!” Izuku shot his head up to the origins of that sweetly dangerous voice, it coming from none other than Toga Himiko. “Miko! Come sit with us!” The girl had her arm draped over the burnt boy- looking completely done- rolling his eyes next to her.

He didn’t really have a choice at this point.

He scampered over to sit on the couch opposite them, not making eye contact. Dabi had never been one to care for talking, never been one to care for anyone other than himself, so the awkwardness wasn’t stemming from him. It was Toga who loved to talk. It was Toga who took a morbid interest with Izuku since their first time in the Villains Program. That girl would honestly do anything for Izuku in a heartbeat, whether it was just to make fun of him or get him in some kind of trouble. She wouldn’t hesitate. It was Toga everyone fell for- Toga everyone trusted-

Wait.

Izuku sprung to life once more- the plan was back on track.

He looked up at the blonde, dropping every visible insecurity and painting it over with a wall of fake confidence. The villains here weren’t cowardly (exteriorly), no wonder Izuku was getting nowhere. No wonder they didn’t trust him! He didn’t act like a villain.

His eyes met Toga’s and he smiled.

“How’d you enjoy the cell, Miko-kun?”

“Very much so. Considering I won’t be going back there.”

“You’re so sure of that?”

“Oh, Toga… you have no idea.”

The blonde stepped out of her seat, sliding across the small table towards Izuku. She landed in his lap, wrapping her dainty legs around him.

“Hmm… Really?” She begun to play with the strings of his threadbare jacket. “I don’t believe that, Miko-kun… You’re still scared.” She placed two fingers against his carotid artery, pushing down hard. She leant closer to his ear, “I can feel it.”

Izuku cleared his throat and pushed her back a little, “you sure that’s not just because you are literally sat on my lap?”

Toga giggled, “oh, Miko-kun, I never thought the day would come!”

“What day?”

“The day you get flustered over a girl sitting on your-”

“Yep, that’s enough of that!” Dabi lunged over the table to drag the cackling girl back over to his sofa. “You two are fucking sick.”

“Aww, you’re only jealous, Fire-boy.”

“Do you have any idea how fucking cringy that sounds.” Dabi glared.

“Do you have any idea how fun it is to annoy you?” Toga charted.

“Seems like not much has changed.” Izuku straightened his Toga-ruffled shirt and grinned.

“How many days until you’re back in the cell then, Akatani?” Dabi shoved the blonde off him, resulting in the girl to pout.

“I mean, I'm meant to be back in there once the meeting’s over.”

Dabi raised an eyebrow, “…meant to?”

Izuku smirked and stood up in a quick jolt.

“Yes, Dabi-kun,”, he paced over to their side of the table and flicked the fire-wielder’s nose, “meant to.”

Izuku's heart was racing, but he could do this. Well, it didn’t matter if he could do this or if he couldn’t, because if he didn’t do this then he may as well leave and drink the bleach he’d planted should everything fail.

He may be terrified, but he’s also smart. The only deciding factor would be if there was someone here that was smarter than him.

To reassure his ‘confidence’ and his internal nerves, he picked up Toga’s beer and took a sip after removing his jacket to reveal a crisp, black shirt.

“Hey, Toga-chan?” He nodded to the beer in his hands, “you don’t mind, do you?”

“Depends… kiss me?”

Izuku’s stomach hurled but he gulped it down subtly and chuckled, “I’d rather make you wait.”

Thankfully, Toga took this as some weird form of dirty talk rather than a rejection and took her own sip from Dabi’s glass.

Izuku began to turn away when he cursed under his breath, almost forgetting a vital thing, “also, cheer for me?”

Toga and Dabi looked a little confused, “when?”, the girl asked.

“Trust me, you’ll know.”

Izuku tucked a lose hair behind the girl’s ears and turned towards the bar, taking two large gulps of the alcohol.

He had to be with Shigaraki for this to work. But, what only just dawned on him a few minutes prior was that he needed people to think he wasn’t going to run again.

What better to prove this than a Villain’s Monologue.

Don’t hesitate.

Izuku pulled himself up onto the bar ignoring Shigaraki’s violent protests, “listen up!” He yelled and the whole bar started into silence.

He didn’t hesitate, “I'm pretty sure you all know me for the wrong reasons… ‘Mikumo Akatani! The kid who defied the League!’, well I can confirm that that Mikumo Akatani is dead. Being locked up countless times for countless years got me thinking, ‘why resent the people keeping me alive when I've done wrong? Why admire the people who never came running when I gave out a cry for help?’

 

Please, Heroes. Don’t prove me right…

 

“That Mikumo is dead. And thank fucking god! I have finally had enough believing in a supposed ‘good’ and I've been pushed over the edge! I want to show them, to show the whole fucking world¸ the true colours of the people they believe in. Who the real monsters are. I want glory. I want power over the people who once told me I couldn’t. And who is the most powerful person known to man?”

Izuku finally stopped his monologue and turned to a gaping Shigaraki. Being addressed for the first time, Shigaraki took himself back and answered the boy stood on his bar, “All Might?”

“No.” Izuku grinned sadistically, quickly swiping down to unsheathe a knife out of a random villain’s belt, “The person who kills him.

Surprisingly, Izuku didn’t even need Toga to begin the cheering, the whole bar erupted into applauds as he expertly threw the knife into a scratched-out eye of All Might pinned to the wall.

Izuku could tell Shigaraki didn’t know what to do with himself, and was smart enough to not fully trust the words spoken to the crowd of criminals. But that wasn’t to say he wasn’t mildly impressed by it. Yet, he still pulled Izuku down harshly from the bar to whisper into his ear, “glad you’ve finally seen the truth…” The paled boy gripped Izuku’s bare arm tightly. Izuku could feel the telling tingles of the other’s Quirk activating. He gulped. “… that isn’t to say you don’t still need to wear glasses.”

The tingles were started to sting but he knew better than to pull away.

“Stay by me. I’m not sure I completely trust you.”

Izuku let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding as his arm was released, slightly red and raw in places but definitely a gift compared to the things that he has received before.

For around ten minutes, Shigaraki remained talking to the bar tender about something Izuku daren’t eavesdrop into when the other boy nudged him harshly and wondered over towards and old TV nestled in the corner of the room. Izuku made sure he was on Shigaraki’s right side, near the cables hanging lazily around the device.

The bar tender was with him and turned to his boss, “let’s get this thing going.”

Shigaraki nodded and instructed the other to hook up the TV.

This is my chance!

It was cliché, but Izuku fell into the electronics aiming for where the remote petered on the edge of the cabinet. Many things clattered to the floor and he snatched up the remote before he lost his window, stuffing it up his long, black sleeves.

Step one: complete.

“Watch what you’re doing you fuck!” Shigaraki slapped him harshly, knocking him down to the floor, making it harder to stand back up. He didn’t care really, he’d take that slap one hundred times over if it meant he got the remote.

The two fussed around trying to put the equipment back where it should be. If he hadn’t been so intensely focused on his plan, he’d be extremely amused at his tormentor and his misty friend scurrying around his feet, but that would have to be something to laugh about later.

Everything was put back to how it should be and then began the search for the TV remote. After a minute of shuffling, Shigaraki got frustrated, “where the fuck is it?”

“I don’t know?”

Izuku swiftly reached into his trouser pocket to pull out a USB-looking drive, shoving that up with the remote, “it’s there!”

The bar tender looked at where he was pointing confused, “where?”

“There!” He tried again.

“Where?”

“There!”

“Oh for fucks sake, be a bit more specific you little shit!”

“Sorry, top left beneath the stand.”

The bar tender got down on his knees to look under the cabinet, “I still can’t see it.”

“Let me.”

Izuku hustled the other back to his feet and wedged himself under the stand, away from prying eyes. In less than two seconds he jammed the USB into the back of the monitor, pulled out the HDMI lead, turned the TV on and plugged the removed lead back in again. “Got it.”

He nudged himself out of his space with the remote in hand, soon snatched and examined by Shigaraki as if he didn’t believe him. The said boy looked to the bartender, unamused.

“Where was it?!”

Izuku smirked, “top left beneath the stand.”

Shigaraki slapped him again for being snarky, thankfully, not as hard as the first time.

Step two: complete.

That USB drive wasn’t just a memory stick, it took a lot of work but he had it programmed as a live audio file with a printed message as a visual for the Heroes to read. This USB gives out a signal spanning over an area of ten kilometres, high jacking every screen like a virus. And, if he was correct, there was a hero agency around nine kilometres from this bar.

Someone would be coming soon.



Authors Note because, again, AO3 own't let me use 'Notes' properly -_-:  

Hi so I used to be an avid writer on here but I decided to take a break for maybe over a year? I really missed my writing so here’s a new fic : )

I can’t promise it’ll be any good since I'm wayyyyyyyyy out of practice but I hope you can all stick around for a little bit : )

No joke, I literally had no idea where I was going with this chapter so that’s why it feels a little disjointed. So, sorry about that ‘‘:)

Anyway, I’d really appreciate a comment about what you think! They give me life honestly xD

Thanks for reading!

-L.E-Rae __x__

Chapter Text

“My name is Akatani Mikumo and I was captured by the League of Villains when I was four years old. I am now fourteen. And this will be my final attempt at escape. After tonight, I will have ended myself because I can’t deal with this any longer. If you want to help me, I am held up at the only bar on 1 Chome. This message can only reach out around a ten-kilometre radius so you’ll know what bar on 1 Chome. Please help me, Heroes. You really are my only hope.

You have until midnight.”

 


 

 

It was like a virus, attacking everything, every screen (phone, TV or otherwise). A black screen with white writing and a small ‘A u d i o   O n l y’ printed in the top left corner of the screen with a ‘ • LIVE ’ printed in the other. The audio sounded like a raspy boy talking to an older man, static in the way it sounded he was being sieved through a separate audio transmission. There were background chatters as the boy seemed to speak about some kind of psycho business deal... childish in the way it sounded like a small kid asking his dad for new football. However, in this case he was asking for a new shipment of children for... Nemuri shivered.

Children, knives and ammunition. Leaving out the gruesome details, that was the business deal.

It was around ten to ten p.m when the message originally captured the devices of Tokami Hero Agency and Nemuri didn’t even work there! She was on her way out after dropping off Shota’s favourite coffee before his night shift but now, she couldn’t bring herself to leave. This wasn’t her business on a professional level, but as a hero, as a teacher, it was definitely her case to handle.

She instantly pulled out her phone to call Shota but-

Fuck!

-her phone was completely high jacked by that kid’s feed. For a moment she panicked but contained herself enough to run to a receptionist and ask where the main meeting room was. Not surprisingly, it was situated on the top floor of the building.

Rather than waiting for the lift, she bolted for the staircase (she was a hero for god sake, she trained for this athletic strain). She was always proud of her sprinting speed, but the twelfth floor couldn’t come any slower. Every time she reached a floor, the echo of that kid’s live audio hollowed her: ever word said, another second went by to midnight.

Another second went by to his inevitable suicide.

She didn’t even think about it before she rammed through the door to the CEO’s office, “Sun Shadow!”

The whole office turned to her presence. She wasn’t sorry at all.

“Midnight. I didn’t expect you here during the night shift.” The wolf mutant smiled at her old friend’s being.

“Shouldn’t expect me anyway Wolfey: I don’t work here.” She didn’t mean to come off aggressive but she was frazzled. “Have you seen the audio?”

“Honey, I can’t see an audio-” Sun Shadow created a laughter around the table however was instantly cut short by Nemuri’s hands slamming on the thick, marble table.

“Shadow, this is serious. It has taken over every live screen in a ten-kilometre radius.”

Instantly, people around the table began turning in their phones making Shadow shift a little in her seat. A few seconds went by and everyone gasped.

“What- what is it?” A man next to her showed her his phone. Her eyes widened.

“Why wasn’t I told about this?!”

“Don’t blame your receptionist,”, Nemuri calmed, “the phone lines are completely corrupted with the live audio as well.”

“So... we have until midnight to help?”

“Apparently.”

“So,”, the same man next to her started, “are we going to help him?”

Before anyone could respond, Nemuri snapped back, “what kind of question is that? Of course we’re helping him!”

“Hold it there, Midnight.” Shadow raised her clawed hand, “you may be my friend but you are not the CEO of this agency.”

Nemuri raised her eyebrows, “don’t tell me you’re not going to-”

“I’m not saying that. But I’m not saying I’m going to either.”

“What?!”

“How do we know that this isn’t a hoax? A trap? I have Heroes to protect under law, Midnight. We cannot just rush into these kinds of things.”

“Bullshit!” Everyone in the room flinched at her sudden outburst. “I apologise for my- actually you know what? Fuck it, I’m not sorry for my crude language. I’ll swear as much as I fucking want. I don’t work here. You can’t fire me. And mainly? Your first reaction isn’t to run to a clear cry for help. Yes, I understand that possibility and that you have a job to do, but god. You’re not just a CEO- you’re a hero. Or did you lose your Hero Licence in the mess that are your priorities?”

This caused a few sniggers from around the table and a glare from the wolf-woman at the head of it.

“Also,”, Nemuri continued, “what would the press think of a dead teen on your conscience? But over the top of that, what would the heroes who work for you think? Feel? Knowing they could have done something but didn’t? And, oh look! Another reason why your hesitation is crap! Even if it is a hoax, having the correct team with you could easily take down a small villain corporation. Do I need to continue?”

“No, Ms. Midnight. No, you do not.”

“Good. Now make the right decision. Sorry not sorry for my outburst, Shadow. I’ll go phone Eraser Head.”

This made the CEO’s lip twitch upwards for a split second, not expecting any less from the R-rated Hero.

“Why Eraser Head?”

“Because I know that if you don’t actually do something, he knows people who will. Plus, I wouldn’t put it past him to tear your business down from the inside out.”

Nemuri, true to her word, stormed out of the building, telling heroes she knows along the way to report to Sun Shadow’s office for further instructions (and if she asks why say Midnight sent them).

She scarpered through the streets until her phone finally crackled to life again. She dialled Shota’s number and let it ring.

 


 

Shota definitely wasn’t a particular person. He didn’t mind the hot summer nights or the bitter winter ones. But that wasn’t to say he still didn’t feel the aggressive nag the cold had on his porcelain skin. It stung slightly under the occasional whips of a frigid gale, but he just pulled his scarf around his neck tighter and kept moving.

That night was like any other really: a few basic perps steeling women’s handbags or teenagers smuggling alcohol out of corner stores. It was all basic. Like clockwork, really.

That was until he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket and he reluctantly picked it up, grunting at the name printed on his screen.

“Nemuri, you know I’m working so whatever-”

“You’re going to want to hear this I promise you.”

Shota stopped in his tracks, pulling himself up onto a roof top for safety measures (especially since he was in this part of town) and checked the name on his screen once again. This sounded way too serious to be Nemuri... unless there was actually something going on.

“What’s happened, Nemuri?”

“Some kid has blocked all signals in a ten-kilometre radius of his own location to replace with a live audio feed of a villain organisation. According to what he’s told us, he’s been captive to this gang for around ten years and this will be his final chance of escape. If we don’t reach him by midnight he’ll...” She trailed of, seeming like there was a lump in her throat stopping the words from falling out.

“He’ll what, Nemuri? He’ll what?”

She steadied herself, “he’ll kill himself.”

Shota snapped his eyes shut, flinching, and rubbed his temple. “What is the Tokami doing about this?”

“I mean, I’ve knocked some sense into them but who knows whether they’ll do what they said they would.” Nemuri sounded as bitter as the current weather.

“And why have you called me?” Shota didn’t need to clarify that he was already convinced to help, to a friend that has known him since high school, she should know that he was in on the plan as soon as she mentioned a kid blocking signals.

This was a lot more interesting than saving druggies from the claws of feral cats.

“You know people, Shota. People who can help. Your agency would need back up anyway and since we’re out of the 10K radius we can reach those people. Look, it’s ten fifteen now... we still have time but we only if we act now.”

He hummed in agreement. “Why wasn’t Sun Shadow on board in the first place?”

“Something about the possibility it’s a hoax. I told her that even if it was a trap, with the right team, we’d still be taking down a villain group. But god, the number of teen kidnappings has increased dramatically over the past decade- this could be the start of something and this kid could be the answer to it. Shadow has her own risks, but so do I. So, get ringing Hizashi and get Nezu to contact the police! It’s time to kick some ass.”

Chapter Text

Izuku’s heart was beating faster and faster as the seconds passed- like he was being hunted with nowhere to escape.

Has the message actually got out?

Who’s read it?

Will they even come?

He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t getting antsy. For once, Shigaraki not paying him any attention was getting on his nerves. He needed something to take his mind off the current situation unfolding in front of him (even if he couldn’t physically see it happening). His legs were pumped with unused adrenaline, twitching under the self-induced drug. His feet wouldn’t relent their constant tapping and shuffling until the bar tender gave him a narrow look with his misty yellow slits.

It was beginning to feel like he had been trapped for years inside a still image, even though it could have only been a few hours. His mind was running so quickly, he couldn’t grasp onto a single thought, as the surplus of them made him dizzy and disoriented. He... wasn’t thinking. Or, he was thinking too much for it to make any sense. Until a hand came down hard onto his shoulder, snapping him sharply back into reality.

“Isn’t that right, Mikumo?”

He must have really been out of it since his response came out a little like a, “huh?”, instead of just a, “yes”.

Fuck.

“Were you not listening to me?” Shigaraki gave a sly, side-eye to the boy.

“Err...”

Another hand came down, as if it were about to strike him across the face, instead, a pale, calloused hand patted his mop of green locks with a kind of deadly softness that always seemed to give the smaller boy chills. One of the others thumbs came to rest against his cheek, stinging in a controlled manor. Izuku learned to never flinch.

“I was just telling Sensei about your little speech earlier... I’ve got to say, it was impressive to say the least.”

Izuku could see the lie glistening in the others murderous eyes.

A crackle erupted from the monitor before them both. A broken, distorted voice same through in a low and chilling hum of acknowledgement.

“I s   t h a t   s o ,   M i k u m o?”

Izuku swallowed quietly and obliterated all traces of uncertainty in his stature, “according to the rest of the bar, Sensei.”

A relief surged through him as a few drunker villains gave out a low cheer.

“I   d a r e n ’ t   b e   t h e   o n e   t o   s a y   I   b e l i e v e   y o u   t h o u g h ,   m y   b o y .   Y o u   s t i l l   h a v e   a   l o n g   w a y   t o   g o .”

He bit his lip.

“Yes, Sensei.”

“B e   c a r e f u l.”

He could taste the all too familiar split of iron coat his tongue.

“Y-yes, Sensei.”

An anger boiled beneath his skin at Shigaraki’s snigger towards his stutter beside him.

Just you wait you hand-coated freak.

Shigaraki moves the conversation away from that topic onto briefing the statistics on a raid of a children's home that must have occurred sometime that past month. Izuku really should care but, he was too caught up in an excess of fear at the monitors frigid words to pay the activity a thought. He could feel the all too familiar overwhelming sensation of him disappearing inside himself again. That is, until a gruff voice called out from the other side of the room.

“There are people outside!”

Shigaraki snapped around to the noise’s origins, “why were you looking out the window?!”

“Why should you care now? There are people outside and they’re not looking happy.”

Shigaraki shoved past Izuku on route to a window. “People or Heroes, Reyes?”

The half masked villain opened his mouth to speak but, before the chance came, the room stilled at the faint sound of beeping emitting from an outer wall...

Oh my god.

It happened in less than a second but, as the explosion rang out, Izuku's vision was impaired for what felt like way too long. His ears buzzed with fake noise, his mind swirling with the sudden motion the room gave out. When he finally gained his senses back again, the bar’s inhabitants were in total chaos: some running towards the heroes- attacking- and others sprinting away down into the basement’s escape route. He felt a wall press against his back and, as he reached to cup his beating head, a warm liquid coated his fingers, matting parts of his hair together like the metallic-tasting honey it was.

He heaved a few breaths in and out until his vision yielded its collection of stars and allowed him to witness Shigaraki charging towards him at lightening speed.

The boy was yelling violently in his face but his ears were still clogged with agony to hear a single thing. There was a crash and soon, a burn erupted along his neck as rough, pale fingers wrapped themselves around him, activating a Quirk he’d felt too many times before. He would have screamed but his airways were being compressed as another’s power ate away at his flesh agonisingly slowly. Shigaraki’s mouth was moving at a mile a minute, devils fire corrupting his vexed eyes.

So, he knew. It wasn’t like it was much of a secret but, wow.  This was really happening. They must have been Heroes out there...

They actually listened.

Considering the other teen hand moved a grip to his face despite Izuku's clawing hands, the latter shouldn’t have really felt any kind of relief. By the way things were going, he was probably going to die before any chance of rescue could take place.

You couldn’t outrun karma so what was the point of trying?

He fell in on himself, the heat of decay searing through his flesh suddenly feeling as distant as hope seemed in that moment. The world was getting dark. It was getting hard to notice the way a black shadow slammed into his tormentor. Or, how a deep, purple mist encased itself around the bartender and the icy-locked teen too. In fact, Izuku would be surprised if he remembered the way an algid, night air seemed to slap against the raw, exposed skin. It hurt immensely but, he hadn’t felt the fresh air in such a long time, his subconscious rejoiced in the sensation. It was cold against his face but, there was something wrapped around him, tying him to something warm...

After that, he went to sleep being surprised if he ever woke up to feel anything else again.

 


 

The temperature in the night’s air didn’t seem to change in the passing hours but Shota’s attention towards it ceased incredibly. After many phone calls and one meeting lasting longer than it should have, it was eleven thirty-two. And for once, he wasn’t doing his night work alone.

There was a line of heroes buzzing under the adrenaline of the silence. Sun Shadow took her position at the head of the group, ensuring everything was in check.

Everyone knew the plan.

There was no need for talking.

From somewhere in the back of a police van, there was a duo of police officers keeping track of the live audio, being the ones to decide when the appropriate time to start was. Turns out, that time was now.

“Sun Shadow, they’ve identified us outside. We’ve got the right place.”

The mentioned woman turned to her following and indicated to an explosions hero, already stepping forward. The man used his quirk to eradicate the face of the building with one quick, practiced swipe of his hand causing the night’s sky to light up in a fire for a split, painful second. After that, hell was due to break loose.

As much as he wanted to run off with the front-line heroes, Shota remained by the van with Nemuri (who was already beginning to rip away her costume in preparation for her Quirk). He- along with two other underground heroes- was told to stay back until the first wave of villains were safely brought to justice by Nemuri’s sleep fumes. He was used to seeing the villains before they saw him, element of surprise was his thing. So, he knew where Sun Shadow was coming from despite how much he just wanted to take the matter into his own hands.

A minute went by of him just observing the battle when, regardless of the chaos, a bloodcurdling screech ran like icy-cold water down his spine. He ran to the back of the van where the two police officers sat, neck hairs tense.

“What just happened?”

Sun Shadow came in just after him asking the same question with her eyes.

The one to the right swallowed, and rewound the audio.

You. Did you do this?!”

The reply was mumbled inaudibly.

“ANSWER ME!”

“Yes, I ruined your play time, you pale-faced fuck.”

Shota wanted to smile at the boy’s brashness but the agonising scream that rang out just after that instantly took away the need. He looked towards his boss who gave him a sure nod, signalling him to take off into the ongoing attack.

In an onlooker’s view, the heroes were winning since they’d probably be basing it on how many criminals had been knocked unconscious, or were currently being so. However, no one had found the kid yet; in Shota’s eyes, they weren’t winning.

Something lunged out at him in his peripheral vision but, with one swift dodge and a echoing jab of his elbow, the villain collapsed to the floor, clawing at his wheezing throat. Shota moved on into the building deciding, someone would pick the guy up eventually.

Despite the recent explosion, the room tasted clammy and created a thick kind of impasse in the back of his throat. A minor detail, but it was still there, making the whole situation just the little bit more uncomfortable. He noticed a good selection of heroes currently with him, taking out delinquents and passing them down a makeshift line that ended up at the police vans, where Nemuri could work her magic safely away from their allies. Again, in that aspect things were working out. Although, it really was beginning to seem like these heroes were too focussed on the mass of criminals, not the kid that brought them here in the first place.

Shota glanced around the room noticing a monitor displayed with nothing but a hum of static though, the closer he got, a shy pool of blood just about blending in with the scuffed mahogany flooring made itself visible. Sure, it may have been just a spillage of a villain’s defeat, but there was no way Shota was taking that risk. He sprinted closer and, hiding away from the downfall outside, was an alcove that seemed to have been opened by a literal running force. Immediately, alarm bells started going off in his mind, his horrors being conformed by a dismembered cry emanating from the recess.

That familiar unease settled like a boulder in his stomach as he followed the river of crimson to the sight of a pale teen holding another by the neck against a wall… but the latter’s skin was falling away like old paint on a weathered wall. The boy having his flesh decayed at the hands of the other was too small. He didn’t look fourteen: he looked twelve at a push. His limbs, that were clawing at the hands wrapped around his throat and clinging over the right side of his face, were abnormally bony and it seemed, that if he had the energy reserves, they would have easily have been able to jab away at the other quite painfully. Mind you, Shota couldn’t really speak; he’d never had his skin torn away from his face. At his first glance, Shota knew this was Akatani Mikumo melting away in front of him but, considering over half of his features were now baring his skull to the world, all Shota could really see was a mop of dishevelled green locks, singed on the ends.

Yes, this was a lot of information to take in but, Shota took it all in in under a second before lunging himself forward to land a blow to the side of a dry, paling face. The villain fell unconscious.

In a swift action, Shota caught the falling greenette as the small boy struggled to stay stood up. Half of his face was non-existent but thankfully both his eyes were intact- watered down with the bodies of tears. Then it dawned on him. He shouldn’t be able to see the boy’s eyes anyway… with that amount of pain, he should have passed out by now.

No one should have a pain threshold that high at that age.

He swallowed the thick phlegm gathering at the back of his throat.

Akatani was attempting to say something despite the gaping hole where his larynx should have definitely been.

“No, no. Shh, shh, shh. Don’t speak. You’ll be helped in just a minute I promise. Hang tight.” Shota tried his best to stop the kid from straining himself and it seemed to be working. The boy ceased his squirming at looked at Shota with clouded, dullen eyes.

Those should have been emeralds looking back at him… not sea-tumbled glass.

Akatani was completely and utterly defenceless. Everything about him screamed that he was tired of fighting- all hope seeming to have evacuated his limp figure. Shota needed to get him out of here as fast as he could.

The man wrapped the crippling boy in his capture weapon before leaning to pick up the other teen he’d just given a blow to the skull. He never got hold of the monster-child, since he retreated his hand after he noticed a black mist appearing from nowhere at the end of the alcove. He was soon stood face to face with a man, seemingly made of a midnight smoke, harrowing, yellow slits for eyes glaring at him and the dying child in his arms. Nothing was said for a moment as the two continued to snarl, when Shota realised suddenly that he couldn’t save the sickening teen just starting to awake from the floor. If he made to grab him, the mist-villain would easily have the advantage to take all three of them. Plus, Shota had no idea what this guy’s Quirk was. He could sense the tell-tale contract in his eyes proving the man in front of him definitely had one. But it was also evident another part of the other’s Quirk was a mutant form since the encasing fog around him never died away.

Who knows what that mutation could do?

Shota didn’t and he also didn’t have the authority to find out.

It was either one kid or neither.

With immense regret lurking in the back if his brain, he took off as fast as he could away from the smoke catching up behind him for the first ten metres across the bar. But he was soon out the face of the building, landing safely on the street below him. Heroes looked at him as he made his way across the more peaceful battlefield, a known relief and proudness surge their eyes. However, those who were closer in his running path, had eyes of disgust and horror at the state of the boy.

The hard part was over, he reminded himself, he’ll be okay eventually.

“I’ve got him!” He called as his sprint finally ended at the ambulances.

The boy was instantly removed from his grasp, now seeming to have… stopped moving.

Fuck.

“Check his heart rate now!” A doctor called as he looked for some kind of drug within the medical vehicle.

“Estimated BPM of twenty, Sensei.”

Shota didn’t bother to listen since half of the things they said was in a complete other language but he was definitely still thinking about Akatani’s state. Unless there was someone here with an immense Healing Quirk, that boy wasn’t going to make it- and if on the slim chance he did make it, he would no doubt be crippled for the rest of his life.

“Hey- hey! Sensei!” Shota ran into the ambulance where the boy was currently being strapped to a mobile bed. “I’m a teacher at UA High School and, there is a nurse there with an extremely effective Healing Quirk. I’m not here to question your ability to help him but, I know that she’s what he needs right now.”

“And she’ll still be at her work at this hour?”

“She lives there.”

It took a moment of contemplation but the doctor nodded his head and whistled to the driver to get his foot on it. Shota was hurried to a seat by the bed Akatani was laying on while paramedics busied around him. The doors were still open and he caught the gaze of Nemuri giving a triumphant grin- a grin that even managed to settle a small amount of adrenaline pumping through the man’s veins. As she knocked out another criminal, the doors slid shut and Shota could feel the engine rumble through his seat and felt the motions as they begun to set off when a loud knock came from the ambulance’s exterior. Outside it revealed Hizashi, slightly stained with blood but, all in all okay. At this, Shota allowed himself to breathe a small sigh of relief.

“I’ll have to come with you. They’ve changed the codes and you can’t remember them to save your life, Shota.”

Nobody questioned him, just wanting to get off they allowed the voice hero to let himself in. Hizashi sat beside his best friend as the ambulance set off into the long night.

Yes, he’d just rescued this kid but he still felt completely useless: just sat there, watching a child suffer right in front of him. He was tense- he knew this. And it seemed so did Hizashi who nudged his shoulder lightly and gave a comforting look, not having to say anything. He didn’t feel better but... it helped a little bit.

Shota wasn’t going to sleep but he rested his head against the cooling metal walls of the van, closing his eyes for a long moment until he waited to stare at the white vinyl coating the vehicle’s ceiling.

He should be applying his eyedrops. He should probably be untangling his capture weapon yet- he wasn’t. Small, irrelevant details like that could wait. For now, he’d try and calm his thoughts and just remember that he’d done his best… try to accept that that was the only thing he could do.

Chapter Text

The ambulance entered UA after an agonisingly slow twenty-minute ride. Akatani didn’t seem to be doing well at all which only increased the pressure that caused Hizashi to jump out of the ambulance to slam in the new entry key, not caring for privacy protocol and opening up the double doors with another paramedic. Shota instead, ran ahead towards Chiyo’s flat. No time for pleasantries, he knocked loudly onto the room’s door.

“Chiyo-chan! Chiyo-chan, wake up!” He knew the woman wouldn’t be as agile as she used to be but, it was starting to feel like far too long, just staring at the blank vinyl door, not even a verbal reply.

He didn’t like what he was about to do one bit, but he knew an angry Chiyo was much better than a dead child. He opened the door with one quick swipe, slamming a hand against the light switch. A homely room, walls caked with family pictures from over the years of the woman’s life. Books lined the shelves with antique figures and a selection of ticking clocks.

“Chiyo-chan!” He called out, this time getting a grumble from a room with a door cracking open.

“I’m sorry for bursting in,”, he started staying out of the woman’s room, “but we have an emergency.”

Faster than he’d expected, a small, plump woman emerged, wrapped in a warm dressing gown. Considering she’d just been awoken she looked as alert as ever. “What’s happened?”

“It’ll take too long to explain.” 

She nodded instantly going towards the door as she was. Shota took a double take but followed after her down the hallway.

“Have they been taken to the infirmary?” She sounded a little out of breath so he slowed down offering his back as a ride. She gladly accepted.

“Yes, he’s with Yamada and a medical team.” 

Chiyo clung to his back tightly, replying with a stern nod. “Anything you can brief me with?”

“Extreme damage to the victim’s larynx and facial tissue. Eyes seem intact but I’m not exactly familiar on what could be classed as a problem in that aspect.”

She hummed in acknowledgement, “and energy levels? Conscious state?”

“Unconscious. Some paramedics mentioned something about an approximate BPM of twenty but I’m not sure what it is now. The kid’s extremely weak.”

There was no reply. 

The two arrived in the infirmary less than half a minute later, Chiyo jumping from the other before they even neared the ground. 

She hustled her way through the surrounding medical team and arrived at Akatani’s side. Shota barely noticed the way her eyes widened slightly (probably at how young the boy looked compared to his injuries) but the woman brushed it off of and commanded the doctor and his crew to run her by on the case. Chiyo gathered what seemed to be adrenaline boosters and glucose pouches to boost the boys energy levels. 

In the past, Chiyo had gone into a basic depth of her Quirk. Something about how she could only heal people as much as their energy levels would allow her to do so, so, if she exceeded that body’s capabilities, she would ultimately kill them. There were ways around this by creating a makeshift energy supply to the body however, this would come with many risks. Looking at the situation now though, Chiyo seemed to have jumped straight into those dangerous factors... but she was the most experienced there. And Shota trusted her enough to not interfere.

The injections went in and so did the weird-glucose-substance. Chiyo waited for a long moment before leaning down and placing her lips to the existing part of the boy’s forehead.

The whole room was encased in silence and tension. Even Shota relied a little less on the wall he was propped against to then edge closer to the occupied hospital bed. Everyone was holding their breaths. The only movement came from Chiyo’s hand moving to rest on the small teen’s frail arm to soothe him with her thumb, drawing gentle circles on his skin.

The heart monitor began to slow into unrhythmic beeps as did the rise and fall of the child’s chest...

Shota, he... Was he too late?

The room began to dim, at least in Shota’s eyes it did. The boy’s heartbeats and breathing were only getting rarer and shallower by the second. Hope had depleted and his usual acceptance that he can’t save everyone set in the Erasure Hero.

He was the first to rip his eyes away from the body and turned towards the door when a sea of gasps halted his movements. He snapped his head back towards Akatani and, miraculously, saw the tissue inside the boy’s eyes and face begin to sew itself back together.

“Quick! Get the defibrillator on stand-by!” Chiyo signalled to the medical team, slamming a code into the bright yellow box on her wall and rushing back towards the near-child.

He didn’t realise it at first, but he’d stepped closer to the bed, eyes wide in hesitation to believe... 

...believe this situation would end up being okay.

Hizashi reminded him of his presence by stepping beside the black-haired man in a comforting manor. They both stood and watched as the raw flesh was left to bare itself to the world and instead, his throat returned to what Shota presumed would have been normal. However, this stitching effect eventually wore off, leaving no skin and barely any tendons over the damaged areas.

I guess his body could only take care of the essentials.

Shota let go of a breath he didn’t know he was holding but the state of ease very quickly returned back to a surge of adrenaline in his veins.

The heart monitor was flat lining.

He and Hizashi were pulled back to the seats across the room by one of the nurses as the others prepared the defibrillator by the bed.

“Clear in 3... 2... 1-”

A shock was emitted causing an ugly convulsion in the boy’s chest. They waited and the flat line still digitalised itself on the monitor.

“Clear in 3... 2... 1-”

They repeated again and again and again, but those glassy green eyes weren’t opening... 

No. 

The universe couldn’t give him hope like that to just snatch it away again! Shota wouldn’t let that happen... even if there really wasn’t anything he could do about it.

“Clear in 3... 2... 1-”

Another shock encased the body. Another shot of hope wore off again. His eyes pierced the monitors screen, pleading for this boy to live to at least know he was saved.

His throat clenched in anticipation for the final shock, knowing that electrocuting the corpse beyond this time limit would have been pointless. If this didn’t work, Akatani Mikumo would have been dead for too long. So, with all his will, Shota kept his eyes open on the boy, waiting for a natural rise of that bony chest to emerge and let the man finally breathe.

“Clear in 3... 2... 1-”

Everyone stopped. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. For... something to happen. Any sign of life. Then, as fragile as a blackbird’s song, a beep sounded from the monitor. Rare... quiet... but beautiful. That noise meant that- at least for now- that boy was going to live a little longer, and Shota couldn’t replace an internal euphoria like it.

The boy’s hand twitched and held onto the older woman’s frail wrist loosely. There was a small crack into the green orbs, now safely cased away under an eyelid. But that instantly fell again as the boy carried himself into a deep- living- slumber.


After they were sure the boy was stable enough, Chiyo bandaged up Akatani’s exterior decay and dosed him up with high calorie substances and pain killers. The nurses and the doctor’s left the school under Chiyo’s orders and the woman herself decided to return to her room to sleep. That left Shota not really knowing where to put himself.

The police would be there in the morning to make Shota give a statement about the situation and the time was nearing 2AM at that point.

Was it really worth going home to catch four hours of sleep?

He could very easily go to his classroom and nap in his sleeping bag so that’s exactly what he decided to do. However, not just yet… He wanted to stay on watch for a little longer, just in case something went wrong again.

Hizashi stood up next to him, cracking his shoulder blades and making his way towards the door. The Voice Hero stopped though and looked back to the other man he was confident was going to follow him but reminded secured in his seat.

“Shota?”

Shota snapped his eyes from where they were encased in the wall and laid them on his friend, “hmm?”

“You not going home?”

The younger man rubbed his tired eyes, “there’s no point. I’ll have to be back here early anyway. If I want to sleep I can grab my sleeping bag or whatever.”

Hizashi nods his head in a half understanding, half contemplative way and sat back down next to his friend.

“What are you doing?”

He shrugged, “not going home.

Despite the obvious bags under his eyes, Hizashi smiled through the fatigue, moving his body so he could lean against the shorter man’s side, like a counter-balance-sort-of-action. Shota didn’t have the energy or will to push the other away so just let him use his shoulder as a bony pillow.

Time passed by, and the two remained in a comfortable silence- breaths evening out and Shota finally feeling the weight on his eye lids get too heavy. But, just as he felt as if he were going to sleep, the blonde shuffled until he wasn’t resting his head against the other and sat against him instead. Hizashi didn’t say anything though which was odd, so Shota sat up straighter and rolled his head on the wall to look at the other.

“…yes, Sleeping Beauty?”

“If you have something to say spit it out.”

Hizashi chuckled, “nothing really- just thinking.”

“About?”

Again, he laughed quietly, always finding amusement in the others over-curious (occasionally pushy) personality.

“You’ll probably end up fostering that kid.”

Shota shot up, pushing the other off him and turning to face him. “What.”

“You and your rock-like personality looked overly concerned for that kid, y’know…”

And?? A child almost died, of course I'm going to be concerned!”

“No, I mean dad-like concerned.”

“Shut up, it wasn’t like that.”

Hizashi seemed to take the warning sign in Shota’s eyes as a hint to stop, before rolling his own in amusement and settling down to rest on his friend again. Silence continued for another long while and Shota felt the sleep creeping up on him again. That was until-

“I’d be the best uncle ever.”

“Oh my god, shut up!”


Shota was the first to wake up from his broken night of sleep.

He checked the time and it was nearing half past eight in the morning and (considering Hizashi was being a dick last night) he shrugged the sleeping man off his shoulder violently, slapping him playfully to make sure he was awake.

“Hey- wha?!” Hizashi leaped up and scowled at the man responsible for his rude awakening.

“Coffee. Now.” Shota indicated to the door with a dull expression.

Hizashi looked from the others extended finger to the hall and back again, eventually realising arguing would be fruitless and rolled his eyes to stomp lethargically out the room.

By himself, Shota smirked tiredly- but triumphantly- and began to stare at the ceiling and its light-shadows as the sun-rays danced of the glass windchime strung to the open window, singing in the wind. He- wait. Open window?

He sat up straight again and saw Chiyo unbandaging the boy who seemed to be awake in the bed, staring at him with hesitant, glassy, green eyes.

“Morning, Aizawa-kun.” Chiyo chimed, a little smugly from the other end of the room, “there won’t be any coffee in the teacher’s lounge since we only restock on Monday mornings but, I’ve stored some in my room if you want to help yourself?”

“No, no… th-that won’t be necessary. Thank you though, Chiyo-chan…”

He ran his fingers through his hair, attempting to hide the embarrassed blush on his face. Once the heat wavered down, he looked back up and met eyes with the boy coated in thin, white sheets. Shyly, the boy’s eyes twitched downwards and focused on twirling the said sheets around his index finger repeatedly.

Shota cleared his throat and walked over to the seat beside the bed, “Akatani Mikumo, is it?”

He already knew the answer and he was pretty sure the kid knew he knew too but nodded anyway.

“You feeling better?”

The boy looked up to him and scowled at the absurdity of the question but, again didn’t answer and pouted instead.

This boy was meant to be fourteen, right? Shota should stop speaking to him like a child but, it’s so hard to remember that small detail. The kid looked twelve at a push and that wasn’t just because of how small and dainty his body was: his reactions to the questions, the fact that he was playing with his sheets with a pout, just his whole demeanour looked completely child-like. He reminded Shota of a boy who was made to grow up too fast but was never told how to. So, the poor kid must have lost things on the way. The man swallowed away the newly tightness constricting his throat.

He was about to say something- he didn’t know what really- but Chiyo saved the day by pushing him out of his chair to get to the bandages on Akatani’s head. In a swift motion the older woman snapped her neck towards the door, indicating that it was okay for him leave. So, he did.

Shota made his way out without a form of goodbye towards the staff room where he knew Hizashi would be inevitably going mad trying to find the non-existing coffee. And- surprise, surprise!- he was right.

Hizashi was literally inside a cupboard with empty boxes scattered around him.

“There’s no coffee y’know?” Shota propped himself against the door frame, arms crossed, hip cocked and an ‘amused-as-Shota-could-really-get-in-the-presence-of-others’ smirk on his lips.

A dishevelled Hizashi practically fell out of the cupboard, obviously over-dramatizing his breathlessness, “No Shit Shota.”

Shota rolled his eyes, clearly entertained but not really wanting to give the other the satisfaction, when he looked to the counter next to him and saw a round coffee patch tucked away behind the fruit bowl.

“Hey, Hizashi…”

“Wha- oh.”

Shota waved the pouch enticingly in his fingers.

“I- err- should have looked harder…” He brought his hand to scratch the back of his head with a guilty laugh.

The younger man rolled his eyes again and emptied the contents into a mug with the pre-boiled water that the other must have prepared before his quest to turn the kitchen on its head.

“The kid’s awake with Chiyo.” He added two sugars and a creamer to the beverage.

“Oh, who? You’re future son?”

Shota shot around with a warning in his eyes.

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry!” Hizashi laughed (clearly not sorry at all).

“Here,” Shota thrusted the coffee into the others grip, the blonde barely dodging the splash of boiling water the drink made as the cup hit his hands, “take it before you piss me off again and I drink it.”

“Really? For me?”

“No, I only got you to hold it.”

Hizashi’s eyes darted to the side, confused.

“I was being sarcastic.” Shota deadpanned.

“…are you being sarcastic about saying you’re not sarcastic or is this actually mine?”

“H-What? Of course it’s yours I don’t take creamer in my coffee!”

“Okay, sorry, sorry! Sarcasm is really hard to work with you.” He took a large gulp. “So… the little listener okay?”

“He’s conscious.” Shota made his way to clear up the boxes Hizashi had dismantled in his frenzy, “but when I asked him if he felt better he scowled and turned away from me.”

“Ouch. Y’know…”

The suggestiveness on that last word had Shota shut down the inevitable ‘father-son’ joke with another death stare faster than his neck had probably ever moved before.

“Hey, I didn’t say anything!” He used his freed hand to mock surrender.

Shota grumbled incoherently, shoving the last three boxes into the recycling bin and sitting down at the island in the kitchen area, his friend soon standing from the floor to join him in the opposite chair.

“So… do you think he’ll be okay?”

“Chiyo-chan didn’t seem worried so, physically, yeah.”

Mentally? Emotionally? Still a child.

The two fell into a comfortable stillness until Hizashi finished his coffee and they both stood to leave the room when a familiar cheerful voice met them in the corridor,

“Aizawa-san! Yamada-san! How are you both doing this morning?” It was Nezu.

“Tired, unfortunately, Nezu-san.” Hizashi shot a glare at the man who woke him bluntly that morning.

“Don’t look at me, I gave you the last coffee, ungrateful swine.”

“Rude.”

“Seems not much is wrong then!” Nezu laughed politely.

“May I ask what you’re doing here on a Sunday morning, Nezu-san?”

“The exact reason you’re both here, Yamada-san. The boy.”

Before either of the two could push further, a familiar face made its way into sight: the detective, Tsukauchi Naomasa.

“Since there is rather an entourage in my school, I have to be here legally to supervise what’s happening. Also, being here for the boy is something I consider necessary.” Nezu stepped to the side to allow Tsukauchi to stand amongst the gathering with his two police officers behind him.

For the first time since standing there, Shota stepped forwards and spoke, “Tsukauchi, long time no see.”

The detective took the others outstretched hand to shake it, “unfortunately, yes. But it’ll be good working with you again, Eraser Head.”

“I’m guessing you’re here for my statement?”

“That, and also Akatani-kun.”

Shota stood back and raised an eyebrow, “what? He’s only just woken up.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll be getting nurse’s conformation before we talk to him.”

Shota didn’t like the situation but, if Chiyo gave the all clear, he couldn’t really argue- especially since that woman’s motherly instinct was deadly and beyond terrifying- he trusted her.

“If you would follow Aizawa-san into the lounge to take his statement, I shall inform Recovery Girl of your request, Tsukauchi-san.” Nezu indicated to the room the two men just exited from and continued down the hall with the other two police officers to stand guard at the infirmary door. Hizashi looked to Shota, eyes asking where he should be and Shota nodded towards the direction the other three headed off in.

Shota and Tsukauchi entered the room as the latter sat at the table preparing the recorder and papers as the former just took a seat waiting for the borelake the next twenty minutes would hold.

“I know you hate this part of the job so, shall we get this over with?” Tsukauchi chuckles light-heartedly.

“Please.”


Izuku had never been in a real hospital before so, waking up to a stark white coating everything he could see had been a shock to the system. The same goes for the pungent stench of bleach and the bleak scent of a freshly cleaned hospital gown wrapped in thin- almost rubbery in texture- sheets. Not that he was complaining. The smell of over-cleanliness beat damp, rancid, murder any day of the week.

He’d never seen a real nurse before, either. Which sounded pathetic honestly but he didn’t really know what he was expecting. A short, stout older woman was playing with a weird fluid bag handing off a metal IV stand beside him when he woke as well. She had been friendly and kind from the first time she had laid her eyes on him and… it didn’t feel right. Yet, he liked the feeling he got when she spoke softly and kindly, not caring every time he flinched away at that caring tone or delicate movement.

Then he noticed two men sleeping together on the chairs across the room. One looked extremely bubbly and someone most people would get along with, whereas the other had an ominous look about him: tall, pale, lanky and extremely scruffy. They were polar opposites, Izuku could see that off the bat. But had one thing in common- to him, they both looked terrifying. Two, fully grown, muscular men with one looking extremely loud and self-centred and the other looking exactly like a villain. He knew he was being absurd about the latter since heroes would allow a villain in a hospital, right? This kind woman would allow it either, he was sure… but, then again… could he really trust anyone? He had to, he knows that yet, that nagging instinct of experience kept holding him back.

From then on, Izuku pulled away from the kind nurse too.

The two men woke up eventually and the homeless-villain-looking-one shrugged the other off and slapped him. Izuku instantly flinched and cowered, curling into the bedsheets attempting to hide from the one remaining in the room. He snuck a glance to the nurse and she was… smiling?

What?

Either she’s just as sadistic and he was never saved by the heroes or… slapping people was okay in the hero world? No… that couldn’t be right, surely?

“Excuse me, nurse,” he whispered as quietly as he could, so the woman played along and itched closer to put her ear to his mouth, disregarding the removal of the bandages on his arm, “is slapping people okay?”

Fuck I sound so childish! You’re fourteen (?)! Get a grip!

The woman looked taken back but then looked to the villain curled up in the chair, staring at the ceiling.

“Oh honey, those two have been friends for since they were about your age!” She whispered back. “They weren’t hitting each other out of malice, it was more of a friendly tap! A joke amongst the two.”

Izuku looked baffled.

Violence… is a joke?

“But no, slapping people isn’t okay. Even despite how much we want to hit people aggressively we can’t.” She smiled.

“Okay…”

I think I’ll just stick to not hitting people. It seems too complicated.

Izuku turned to study the man in the seat again but this time, was met with dark eyes. The two held the eye contact for an uncomfortably long time. But instead of violence, Izuku only saw a surprised shock and hesitation in those black holes, which startled him more than he’d like to admit.

Soon the lady broke the tension by talking to the man in a friendly manor and, unexpectedly, the supposed-villain replied in a polite and respectful way.

“Morning, Aizawa-kun! There won’t be any coffee in the teacher’s lounge since we only restock on Monday mornings but, I’ve stored some in my room if you want to help yourself?”

“No, no… th-that won’t be necessary. Thank you though, Chiyo-chan…”

Her name is Chiyo then. And that guy is Aizawa.

Izuku kept his eyes fixed on the strange threat as the man hid behind his long hair for a moment or two before looking back up at the boy. Izuku shuffled back into his sheets, twirling the corner of the bed sheet around his index finger in hope that it would take him away from this situation but, instantly that thought was demolished when he realised the places away from here could be extremely bad.

The Aizawa-dude decided that that was the perfect time to come closer to Izuku who really didn’t want to be hurt right now. He braced himself for a hit or something but… violence never came as the man sat in the chair beside him and asked him something but the instant reaction was to just agree so, he nodded.

Then another wave of fear set in, what have I just agreed to? Starving? A thrashing? But Izuku quickly found himself and decided that there was too much confusion about this whole situation. He wanted answers as to who these people really were and he was going to get them!

“You feeling better?” The man asked and Izuku’s scowling reaction was actually a genuine a one.

Did-? Did he really just ask that?

Izuku took another glance of disbelief at the dirty man in front of him, attempting to get out a string of insults but the vex curdling in his throat wouldn’t let him so he turned away, back to the sheet he was messing with in his hands.

To think he had the audacity to ask that made Izuku boil. He didn’t even look like a hero! He looked like some weird ass trainee who had no sense of personal hygiene so under that fact, Izuku decided that the emo-model-wannabe probably hasn’t even seen the horrors of the world, and that only made Izuku feel more ill.

Feeling better bullshit. I didn’t want this: people who pretend to care- who can’t actually care because they haven’t been through shit.

The guy looked like he was about to continue but thankfully, Chiyo hustled him out of the seat and he left the room.

Izuku allowed his heart to steady now as his bandages were unravelled from his forehead. In the silence, he took in his arms for the first time, nothing he hadn’t seen before: bone, dried blood, etc. It was old, honestly. Then Chiyo moved out of the way and he caught his reflection in the window. It was bad but… nothing he hadn’t dealt with before. The woman must have caught him staring at himself dully, because she- still being medically productive by replacing the bandages and cleaning the wounds- decided to smile and talk.

“What’s your favourite colour?”

“Huh?” He winced at his response but not externally… why did he feel like he could trust this woman?

“Your favourite colour? Mine’s pink.”

“Oh erm… I’m not sure really.”

I’ve never really had time to think about that before.

“I guess it could be green?” He decided.

“I can see why.” She giggled and indicated to her own hair making Izuku (not ‘notice’ but) recognise the dishevelled, pine mop on top of his own. He didn’t know why but he blushed a beet-red. “What type of green?”

“I-I guess the same as,” he pointed to the top of his head, not making eye contact.

She giggled again, “don’t be embarrassed! My favourite shade of pink is the same colour my hair used to be.”

Izuku returned his eyes to the woman who was now beginning to seem fifty years younger in personality and smiled, “w-what colour was your hair?”

“Bubble-gum pink!” She chirped. “Why is green your favourite colour? Was it just because of your hair?”

Izuku breathed a weak laugh, “no, not really. It’s a family colour I suppose.”

“I bet you can’t wait to see your family again.”

Izuku’s eyes drooped, “I doubt that I’ll see her again. My mother, I mean… I-I don’t know where she is.”

“Well, the police are very smart these days. I’m sure they’ll be able to find her in no time at all!” She smiled warmly, compassionately. No pity at all which Izuku really couldn’t be more grateful for.

“Thank you.”

Chiyo didn’t ask why she was being thanked, just smiled and took it appreciatively.

“Any other reason you like green? It kind of sounded like a cut you off a little bit.”

“No, no you didn’t, don’t worry. But… I guess green itself is a colour of a good life, right? I mean, if a plant is green, it’s healthy and happy. And then, green itself is a good colour. A green tick means something’s correct, green means good, red means bad and even when you get to dark green it just means a mature life like, pine trees and cacti. You can’t ever really go wrong with it when you take away all the ways humans corrupted it like saying green is the colour of greed and envy and toxic/radioactive waste. And, yeah, I guess the ‘tick-thing’ is humans too but you could then associate the gratification for being correct as ego and pride so I can do without anything humanly green. Also, it’s-” Izuku slammed a hand to his mouth, noticing the wide eyes of Chiyo. “I-I-I’m sorry I- I didn’t mean to ramble-”

“No, no don’t be silly! That was really interesting. You’ve thought about that a lot then, huh?”

“N-no… not really. I’ve never thought about a favourite colour before.”

“Well, either way, you’re a smart kid Akatani Mikumo!”

He blushed and looked out the open window, noticing everything green and finally finding something warm inside him again. Chiyo turned away from him, attaching herself to paperwork and a pen in the corner of the room. Izuku was fine with this, a nice, relaxed silence for just a moment in his life at least. Soon, he’d be as free as the birds flurrying in the sky above him. He’d be flying like them soon and, in a very strange way, felt okay with that.

“Oh god, look at the time- I’m going to go get changed, Akatani-kun. Apologies, but I have to close the window for safety measures but I’ll be back in around fifteen minutes, okay?” She jostled from her seat, standing on a stool and struggling to reach the window but eventually got it closed with her small, chubby fingers.

‘Akatani-kun’ . It didn’t really feel wrong from her tongue.

“Aizawa and Yamada-san may come back in a bit so-”

Izuku didn’t mean to, but he shivered at their names which obviously caught the woman’s attention.

“He may seem scary in appearance but he’s a softy underneath, I promise.” That warm smile returned to her lips.

“Sorry.” He mumbled.

“Don’t be, you can’t help it, honey. But know that Aizawa-san is one of the most dedicated heroes and teachers I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. He and Yamada both. You have no reason to be scared anymore, I promise you. You are safe and with people who will ensure that.”

Izuku was taken back a little, brought speechless, not just because of the internal embarrassment of how he reacted to the man earlier (even if it was only in his mind) to now find our he wasn’t just a hero but a teacher as well, but because no one had told him that yet: that he was safe. “Th-thank you- erm- Chiyo-sensei? I’m sorry I don’t know your last name-”

“Shuzenji Chiyo.”

“Ah, then thank you, Shuzenji-sensei.”

She was stood at the door now, “Chiyo-chan.”

“W-what?”

“Call me Chiyo-chan! I’m too old to worry about silly formalities- don’t make me feel older than I am, Akatani-kun.”

“Well in that case, can you call me Mikumo-kun?”

She smiled one last time before disappearing into the corridor, “of course.”


Chiyo returned as she said she would, this time in what looked like a hero costume so, Izuku had to ask, “you said Aizawa-sensei and Yamada-sensei were both heroes?”

“Yes, both heroes and both teachers.” She responded while taking his bloods.

“Does that mean, you are too?”

She laughed causing Izuku to feel like he said something stupid, “used to be, dear. I’m Recovery Girl, currently the head nurse at U.A High School.”

Something lit up in Izuku’s eyes, a rush he hadn’t felt in so many godforsaken years, “U.A High School?!”

Chiyo smirked slyly, “yes, honey. It’s where you are now I… I mentioned it when you woke up.”

Izuku blinked twice, everything feeling quite surreal, “oh. I guess I didn’t hear you.” A look of thought crossed his face, “wait. So I'm guessing Aizawa and Yamada-sensei work here too? Oh my god, wait, Yamada? Isn’t that Present Mic?”

She nodded, clearly amused, “he sure is! The other one is Eraser Head but nobody really knows him.”

“Eraser Head…”, he practiced the name on his tongue. Actually, he had heard of this guy before: some underground hero that was spoken of as quite a threat to Villain Society. He’d never met the guy personally but, a few of his heists were taken down by him before. That also explained the bedraggled appearance too because-

Guilt halted the thoughts crossing his mind.

-because it was a high possibility that guy was the one who saved him since he was waiting in the room with Izuku.

Fuck.

Without him knowing, Izuku had just insulted the man who rescued him from a life of torture.

The emotion must have shown on his face as Chiyo asked, “are you alright, Mikumo-kun?”

“Sorry, yeah. The whole situation is a bit surreal is all.”

She hummed in acknowledgment.

There wasn’t anything he could do about it now though so, he may has well just put it behind him and ask the question that had been burning on his tongue since the mention of heroes,

“What’s your Quirk, Chiyo-chan?”

‘Heal’.”

“That makes sense… how does it work?” The excitement was creeping into his tone now so, of course, the older woman laughed.

“Well, it basically-”

A knock sounded from the door followed by a calm, polite voice, “Shuzenji-san?”

“Sorry, hang on a moment, Mikumo-kun.” She waddled to the door and opened it to reveal three men, one being Yamada, and a… a… Wait a minute.

Is that… Principle Nezu?!

“Oh, hello fine gentlemen how can I help you?” She greeted but still didn’t let them past the door.

“I’ve got the detective with me, well- he’s actually currently with Aizawa-san but, he’ll be here soon. If you’d let us in, we need to discuss some things.” The small white creature spoke.

“Well, this is my patients room, depending on what needs to be said we can speak in my office.” Izuku hadn’t heard the woman command like that before. He should feel intimidated but, there was something safe about it.

How does this woman do that?

“No need for that, it was just a quick question really.”

“Oh?”

“The detective wants to know if Akatani-kun is stable enough to talk about some things.”

“No, he is not ready for an interrogation.”

“Not an interrogation, Shuzenji-san, an interview, really.”

As much as Izuku looked up to the principle of the top hero school in Japan, he couldn’t help but be chilled at the manipulation in that tone. He’d heard that kind of voice before… nothing but bad ever came with those kinds of words.

Chiyo paused before answering, “let me heal him before you try anything. Knock again when you’ve got the detective.”

“Will do, Shuzenji-san.”

Chiyo closed the door and sighed, “see?” She turned to Izuku, “makes me feel another decade older I'm telling you.”

Izuku let out another breathy laugh.

“Anyway, I guess I can show you how my Quirk works.”

She made her way over to the bed and begun to assess the open wounds after removing the bandages again as well as running over a few pieces of paper produced by the machine she put his blood into earlier. She asked a few questions about his tiredness and whether he was feeling dizzy or not. Izuku said he felt relatively okay and the questions finished with Izuku being kissed on the forehead by Chiyo. Instantly, his energy levels depleted, dragged out of him by what? He didn’t know. Her Quirk probably but why? He didn’t know either. He looked down to his open arm wounds and, before his eyes, they began stitching themselves together, leaving triangular scars zig-zagging down his arm. If magic existed, this was the closest thing he’d ever seen to it. His head snapped to the window and, it was doing the same thing- leaving a scar running from his voice box all the way up the right side of his face, curling up and around the same eye.

That was permanent then. Not that it mattered too much but, Shigaraki really did manage to leave his mark on him forever. Well, again, it didn’t matter really since forever shouldn’t be too long anyway.

“My Quirk uses up your energy supplies to heal your body but, there’s nothing it can do about scars unfortunately. Not that it’s unfortunate though, your scar is quite captivating in a way.”

Izuku turned away from the window and smiled at the woman saying his thanks once again.

Around fifteen minutes later, the knock returned to the door except this time, there were four people- not including the loud-looking blonde- and a human-like animal.

Someone he didn’t recognise stepped forward introducing himself as Tsukauchi Naomasa.

He must be the detective then.

Chiyo stepped out the door to talk with the men and just a few moments later returned into the room with the group. Aizawa and Principle Nezu bringing the seats at the end of the room closer to the bed, the other two police officers waiting outside.

Izuku looked at the man suspiciously but the detective instantly cracked a warm smile and held out his hand, “hello, Mikumo! I’m Detective Tsukauchi Naomasa. And I’d like to ask a few questions, if that’s alright?”

Izuku stayed silent taking in the man’s tall, slender figure sceptically, “depends. Am I allowed to not answer a question if I don’t want to?”

“Yes but, all I have to ask you today are essential questions we need to try and find the people that did this to you.”

“…okay.” Izuku shook the others hand, warily.

“I’m also going to be recording you if that’s okay?”

Izuku nods.

“This is Detective Tsukauchi Naomasa interviewing minor, Akatani Mikumo, on his identity and the events of the Akatani Case. Acting as parental guardian for Akatani Mikumo is Nezu: Principle Nezu of U.A High School. Also present in the interview location is Pro Hero: Eraser Head and current head nurse at U.A High School: Shuzenji Chiyo. Start time is 09:22.” The detective then turned to Izuku, “don’t worry about all that serious stuff”, and smiled.

“Okay, I’m going to start off by saying that I know you’re probably scared of the big, bad detective in front of you but I promise, things will only go wrong if you lie.”

Izuku paused. He knew this guy… he was sure of it. He wracked his brain for any kind of inkling as to where he’d heard than line before. And then, it hit him. He was sat in front of True Man. Almost every person in the underground had heard of this guy and his Quirk! Much like Eraser Head, if you were caught by him you were doomed. Any criminal that had either been let out of prison or escaped mentioned how the Quirk works: like the guy was some kind of human-lie-detector or something. If Izuku was going to get out of this, he was going to have to out-smart the Quirk somehow… Question twisting? Half-truths, perhaps? Either way, not only Izuku knowing about the Quirk put him at an upper-hand, but also the fact that it was inevitable that this guy felt sympathy for him and his situation.

I could probably play on that too…

“Okay.” The greenette agreed.

“Good. So, first off are you Akatani Mikumo?”

Izuku responded without stalling, “the guy who created that audio virus for help? Yes, I am.”

I mean, I’m not lying. I’m saying yes to my own statement. And plus that has been my name for the last ten years…

“True.”

Okay, I can work with this.

“What is your Quirk?”

Izuku’s heart stops momentarily. He bites his tongue, hard just to stop his jaw from shaking. If anything, he envied the words he was about to say, “I don’t have my Quirk.”

At least, I shouldn’t have it…

“True.”

He breathed a small sigh of relief.

“Can you give me your story? How did you end up in that group, how did you escape and is there anything worth noting about your time in the group?”

Izuku looked down to the bed sheets. He could answer that truthfully but, he really didn’t want to talk about it.

“I-”, he swallowed, “I really don’t want to talk about that yet…”

“Unfortunately, kid, we really need you to answer this. It’s probably the most important question I have for you here.”

Izuku remained defiant and pulled his legs up towards his body.

“You’re not going to be judged here, son. There’s nothing to be afraid of sharing. We can yet you the exact help you need if we know what you went through and maybe even take down the villains while we’re at it?”

Izuku looked up at the warm detective and back down to the sheet, curled around his hand. With reluctance, he told his story in enough detail to give them a tail but left out enough information to not make it personal.

“True. I'm sorry you had to go through that. But it’ll be brighter from here I promise you, yeah?"

Izuku nodded to please.

“Did you commit any crimes? Both forced by someone else and/or performed on your own will?”

“I committed robbery when I was out with the other kids, planned multiple heists and, when I thought it was okay to do so, beat up a few people who were trying to hurt me and a few others and I often drunk underage. But I've never killed someone, if that’s what you’re asking.”

Yeah, I've done much worse.

“True. Do you-”

“Hang a second, detective.” Chiyo stood to grab what looked to be another syringe, “the boy’s just told us he used to drink frequently. I need to check he’s not a functioning alcoholic before you carry on. Now, relax your arm Mikumo-kun.”

He did as the woman asked but still protested verbally, “Chiyo-chan, I promise I'm not-”

“I’m sure you’re not, dear, but, it’s my job to check these things.”

Izuku nodded reluctantly as the needle impaled him, extracting red liquid into a clear, plastic tube.

“I’ll be back soon.” The older woman bagged the blood and smiled towards Izuku before leaving the room.

“Shuzenji Chiyo has left the interview room at 09:29. So, Mikumo, do you know how we can contact your family?”

Oh no. I’ve been stumped.

“I-err- no. No, I don’t.”

“Lie.”

The room gets a little tenser and Izuku could feel their stares forming a sweat on the back of his neck.

“I told you, Mikumo. You’re just wasting time if you lie.”

Hang on. I can use this to my advantage…

“How did you know I was lying?”

“My Quirk is a Human Lie Detector. I know everything you says lies and truths.”

Well that last part’s false. You can’t pick apart what was the lie looking at the last four questions.

“Well I wasn’t lying. I know they exist somewhere but I have no clue what the address or phone number is. It’s been over ten years, you know.”

Haha! I’m not lying! I don’t know the address fuck-face!

“True. We’ll run your name through the system to find your missing person’s report and go from there, yeah?” He smiled reassuringly.

You won’t find me I assure you that but thanks for the sentiment.

Izuku faked a smile back.

In the background, Chiyo re-entered the room with negative results of alcoholism of which caused, Tsukauchi to end the report with another serious monologue before grabbing his hat, situated on the bedside table.

“Are they all the questions?” Izuku piped up, relieved about how quickly that lasted.

“Yep! Well, for now.” Tsukauchi answered, “thank you for participating well, Mikumo.”

“You’re welcome but- erm-”, something new hit his mind. If his plan was going to work, he couldn’t be cooped up in a hospital, “what’s going to happen to me?”

Tsukauchi turned back towards the hospital bed. “What do you mean?”

“Like, for tonight or however long it takes to find my family.”

“Oh.” A twitch of what could have been a devious smile rode on the detective’s lips. “Well, depending on what Recovery Girl says,”, he instantly turned around to Eraser Head, “Eraser Head, you don’t mind taking him in for a night or two, do you?”

The man is stunned and partially glaring at the one who suggested the idea. Izuku knows that he should probably be offended but, it was kind of hard to be, once he realised there must have been some kind of banter running beneath the surface here which was, yes, very unprofessional but, also extremely entertaining.

“He’s fine to leave as long as he takes his medication.” Chiyo smiled from her reclaimed seat.

“Oops there’s one excuse out the window, Eraser Head.” Tsukauchi smirked slyly.

“What about foster homes?”

Izuku shuddered at the name. Just the tales that were heard happened in places like them, he may as well be back under Shigaraki’s foot.

“It wouldn’t be safe to keep him there because of how public it is plus, the busyness of a house like that wouldn’t be helpful to his recovery.”

“Fine. Why can’t another hero take him in? Present Mic and Midnight are more than willing to help out in that area of things.”

“All the other Pros are well known. You are not. And you take your privacy very carefully. I’d trust Mikumo with you more than any other hero, Eraser Head.”

“Why can’t the kid just stay here ay U.A? Surely that’s the more logical reasoning.”

“As much as I love my job Aizawa-san, I wouldn’t want to sleep in the infirmary for more than one night. Especially if I was a kid just saved from a decade of villainous abuse.” Chiyo looked a bit annoyed at the younger man’s near-childish behaviour which only added more entertainment on Izuku’s behalf.

If it wasn’t absolutely necessary, Izuku would have gladly stayed with Chiyo for another night but he had priorities and not much time to complete them in.

Izuku watched as the Pro Hero reached for another excuse that he really couldn’t find. He sighed and was the first one to look at Izuku and ask what he wanted to do, “minding I'm not too good with kids, what do you want to do Akatani?”

Izuku pulled out his first cheeky smile of the day and sassed, “minding that your other carrier is a full-time teacher, there is no way I'm spending another night in a morgue. S-sorry, Chiyo-chan!”

The look that crossed the Pro Heroes face wasn’t reluctance, which Izuku expected it to be. No, it was more of a… Izuku really couldn’t put a name to it. It was kind of a flash of embarrassment and defeat but not exactly any kind of inconvenience, if that made any sense at all. Eraser Head looked to the side of Izuku, disregarding eye contact which only brought out a smirk in the latter.

“Don’t worry, Aizawa-san! You can take the next few days off work. On full pay of course!” Nezu chimed and Izuku had to hold back from scowling. That rat-bear just didn’t seem trust worthy to him. Not that it mattered anyway. U.A was out of his reach even if he were to make it out of the next forty-eight hours.


Packed full of medication and after a change into his old clothes, Izuku said goodbye to Chiyo and (reluctantly) Nezu before walking out the gates of U.A with none other than a Pro Hero he was made to see as an enemy for so long. And, despite what he had to do, Izuku knew that even if his last few days were spent with that emotionless rock, he knew deep down, it couldn’t be as bad as the League of Villains.

 



 

Small extra Authors Note: IF ANY OF YOU WANT A WAY TO CONTACT ME OR KEEP UP TO DATE WITH STORY UPDATES, YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM @l.e_rae OR EVEN MY EDIT ACCOUNT @the.backwards.step