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What is Trust?

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Hiroshi doesn’t remember his family name. He’s pretty sure he had one at some point, but he also doesn’t remember his given name, so what it was is a mystery. He at least has a vague memory of being called something other than Hiroshi, but he doesn’t care enough to figure out the name.

What Hiroshi does know, is that he was abandoned at least nine years ago. He had told his parents he was a boy, not a girl, and they didn’t like that. So they left him on the road a couple of districts over.

Hiroshi doesn’t know how old he is or what day it is or just about anything anymore. All he knows is how to survive. He knows not to put up a fight if they’re bigger and stronger than him and maybe he’ll get out alive. That’s why when a group of men at least twice his size push him against a wall and touch him, he doesn’t fight.

Hiroshi doesn’t fight when they drop him, half-dressed and half-dead, in the back of an alley and run. Hiroshi doesn’t fight when another man, this time smaller but still big enough to overpower a weak teen, picks him up. Hiroshi does note how this man is much gentler, how the man isn’t as disgusting and violent as most of the people who target him are. Hiroshi knows not to get his hopes up though, so he doesn’t fight and eventually, he passes out.

When Hiroshi wakes up next, the first thing he notices is that he’s in a bed. It’s not a comfortable bed, but it’s far better than anything Hiroshi has slept on in years. The second thing he notices is the soft murmur of voices. That was much more common than the bed. So when he opens his eyes and is met with a roof and blinding white fluorescent lights, he’s confused. The lights almost cause him to flinch, but he knows not to. Flinching is weakness and showing weakness makes you a target.

Only a few moments after Hiroshi had opened his eyes, two people come into view. Hiroshi stayed lying down, glancing curiously at the faces above him. One was a man with just a hint of stubble, black hair, black eyes, and an almost concerned expression. The other was a woman, she looked young and was clearly wearing concealer. Her eyes seemed to shift between colors, so Hiroshi didn’t look at them long, and her hair was an almost obnoxious vibrant blue.

“I can tell you’re confused. My name is Abe Yuuka and I have an empath quirk. It’s good to see you’re not afraid at least. You’re at a hospital near where you were found by this young man. I’ll do a basic check-up and then he has some questions for you. Is that okay?” The woman, Abe-san, explained.

Hiroshi slowly sat up and nodded. Abe-san smiled and moved about quickly, checking machines and a little tube that was attached to Hiroshi’s arm, explaining that the tube was an IV drip as she went. When she was finished, she moved to leave before pausing at the door and glancing at the man.

“He doesn’t seem to be traumatized, mostly just confused. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, Eraser, but tread lightly just in case,” Abe-san called out to the man before smiling at Hiroshi once more and leaving.

The man-- Eraser, Abe-san had called him-- sighed, “My name is Aizawa Shouta. I am a hero called Eraserhead. Can you tell me your name?”

“Hiroshi.” The word was barely a whisper, hesitance obvious in his voice.

Aizawa-san nodded and clarified, “Your full name?”

With a huff, Hiroshi explained, “I don’t know my real name. Hiroshi is what I wanted to be called so that’s what my name is now.”

Aizawa sighed again, “Do you have any family?”

“I have Dabi but I doubt you could find him. He’s not really family, he just took care of me a bit when I was first left there. He’s nice,” Hiroshi ranted.

“Do you know how you got to where I found you?”

Hiroshi nodded but offered no explanation.

“Why were you living on the streets?”

“I don’t remember a whole lot because it was a while ago but I told my parents I was a boy, not a girl, and they didn’t like that.”

Aizawa-san nodded and it was silent for a while. After what felt like several minutes, Hiroshi decided he was sick of the silence.

“It’s okay if you leave me near where you found me. Dabi will find me again eventually. He always does.”

Aizawa-san looked shocked.

“Did I say something wrong?” Hiroshi questioned timidly.

“No, no, it’s alright,” Aizawa-san stated, “It’s just that, you don’t have to live on the street anymore.”

Chapter Text

"You don't have to live on the street anymore."

 

It was Hiroshi’s turn to look shocked. “Where would I go?”

Yet another sigh escaped Aizawa-san’s lips, “I’ll have to talk to my husband and son, but I can see about you coming to stay with me. Is it alright if I call them?”

Hiroshi nods, conflicted. No one was this nice for free. There was going to be a catch and he refused to be caught off guard by it. 

Aizawa-san pulled out a plain-looking phone with a small cat charm dangling from the top, tapping the screen a few times before pulling the device up to his ear. The conversation was a short one, Aizawa-san asking the man on the other end what he thought of taking in another child. They quickly agreed to meet Hiroshi, Aizawa-san stating that his family would be there in a bit.

Twenty or so minutes later, an enthusiastic blond man marched into the room followed by a tired-looking purple-haired boy. The blond opened his mouth, likely to introduce himself before he was cut off by Aizawa-san.

“Hiroshi, this is my husband, Yamada Hizashi, and our son, Shinsou Hitoshi. Zashi, Hitoshi, this is Hiroshi.”

Yamada-san spoke first, “It’s nice to meet you, little listener.”

Hitoshi-kun followed up with a quiet, “Sup.”

Hiroshi said nothing, unsure of how to respond. Aizawa-san seemed to notice this, as he quickly turned to face Hiroshi.

“What do you think of staying with us, at least for now?” Aizawa-san offered.

Hiroshi nodded without much thought.

Yamada-san smiled brightly and moved to sit beside his husband as Hitoshi-kun sat on Hiroshi’s other side.

“How old are you Hiroshi?” Yamada-san questioned.

“If I had to guess, maybe fourteen, fifteen years old,” Hiroshi responded.

For a while, Yamada-san just asked him questions about himself, stuff like his favorite color or food (Hiroshi had said he liked grey and anything edible) and eventually, what Hiroshi’s quirk was (Hiroshi explained that he could manipulate any metal he touches). After a few more questions, Abe-san returned with another woman who introduced herself, explained some things about Hiroshi’s condition, and informed them that he needed to stay overnight and that Yamada-san and Aizawa-san had paperwork to fill out. Yamada-san and Aizawa-san shuffled out of the room to complete said paperwork. That left Hitoshi-kun and himself to sit awkwardly in silence.

Finally, after a few minutes of Hiroshi staring at Hitoshi-kun, Hiroshi decided to ask, “What’s your quirk?”

Hitoshi visibly hesitated before responding, “Mind-control. When someone answers my questions I can control their actions for a limited time.”

Hiroshi nodded, talking mostly to himself as he said, “That’s a useful quirk for someone who has to fight, like a hero or a villain. I doubt you’d be a villain though, living with a hero and all. Then again you never know. Dabi said he had lived with a hero before he ran away but the hero was bad and that’s why he ran away and now he does kind of bad stuff but Dabi isn’t a bad person. Not really. I know deep down he cares.”

By time Hiroshi had finished his rant, Aizawa-san and Yamada-san had returned. 

“The doctors want to keep you overnight to make sure there’s no lasting damage from your time on the streets, but you’re all good to come stay with us starting tomorrow,” Yamada-san explained, “On another note, do you know what the word transgender means?”

Hiroshi frowned and shook his head.

Aizawa-san sat on the edge of Hiroshi’s bed as he spoke, “It’s a word to describe people like you, who were born one gender but feel like they are another. There are things we can do to help you feel more comfortable in your body, but we can talk about those in the morning. Right now it’s getting pretty late, so ‘Zashi and Hitoshi are gonna head home.”

“What about you?” Hiroshi murmured.

Aizawa-san smiled, “I’m gonna stay with you for the night.”

Chapter Text

"I'm gonna stay with you for the night."

 

Hiroshi nodded and waved at the two who were leaving. Aizawa-san moved to the chair next to the bed soon after that. For a while after that, Hiroshi just sat and stared at the wall, occasionally glancing at Aizawa-san and then the door. 

Aizawa-san sighed, “Are you alright Hiroshi? You seem uncomfortable.”

Hiroshi nodded. “I am not used to being someplace that is supposed to be safe like this. The closest I ever got to safe before was when Dabi let me sleep while leaning against him when it was cold, or when Dabi gave me a lighter and tried to teach me how to make knives. Mostly I just made oddly shaped blades since he didn’t know how to help me learn my quirk and my only reference was an old pocket knife he stole.” 

“You talk a lot about this Dabi guy. What’s he like?” Aizawa-san questions.

Hiroshi thinks for a moment, “Well, I guess he’s like what I assume an older brother is like. He was nice to me, used to say I reminded him of his siblings. He told me he felt bad leaving them with his abusive father, especially his youngest brother. He would protect me when he was around and always seemed to know where to find me, even when I moved to avoid bigger people. I saw him most in the winter, he said he didn’t want me to freeze, and he would talk about how heroes are not to be trusted and that villains are just the same. He asked me to stay neutral no matter what. I guess I’ve kind of broken that promise by agreeing to stay with you but I’m sure he’d understand. Self-preservation and all that.”

“Do you know why he hates heroes?”

Hiroshi hesitated, “His father was one.”

“And… who’s his father?”

So that’s the catch. Information. On the one person he could trust no less. Hiroshi would not answer. He promised Dabi, no, Touya, that he would never tell. From the first moment they met, before all the fake names, before all the stealing, before all the fighting. Hiroshi promised he and Dabi were the only ones that would matter.

“No,” Hiroshi answered, “I won’t tell.”

Aizawa-san seemed surprised. “I don’t want to hurt Dabi. I want to bring justice to his father and help his siblings.”

“I don’t break promises. Especially for a man I barely know, let alone a hero. If the price of living is betraying the only one I trust then you may as well throw me back to the streets now.” Hiroshi moved to stand.

Aizawa jumped up and pushed him back down, earning a glare from the teen. “You’re being a bit dramatic. I am not going to make you tell me and I am not going to abandon you if you don’t. You have every right not to tell. I’m just saying that I want to help. You don’t have to accept that help.” 

Hiroshi slowly lowers himself back onto the bed. He doesn’t sleep that night. 

 

The next day, a few hours after the sun has risen, Yamada-san enters the room with a cup of coffee. He smiles at the teen who watches him cross the room to Aizawa-san. Yamada-san gently shakes his husband awake, handing him the coffee before he’s even fully awake. As Aizawa-san starts subconsciously drinking his coffee, Yamada-san moves to sit on the end of Hiroshi’s bed. 

“Hey little listener, how ya doin’?”

Hiroshi doesn’t respond.

“Alright, you don’t have to talk. How about I tell you a little about myself while we wait for Shou to wake up?”

Hiroshi hesitantly nods.

“Well, for one I’m the pro hero Present Mic.” 

Hiroshi’s eyes narrow.

Yamada-san ignores the suspicious glare, “I’ve been married to Shou since a year after we graduated high school. Shou and I are both teachers at Yuuei.”

Yamada-san stops to think for a moment. 

Hiroshi takes the moment to ask, “What’s Aizawa-san’s quirk?”

Yamada-san seems caught off-guard for a moment but answers, “He can erase the quirk of anyone he looks at.”

Hiroshi almost tenses. Before he can he remembers it’s a sign of weakness. Hiroshi really wishes he had Dabi in that moment.

A few minutes of silence later and Aizawa-san joins Yamada-san at the end of the bed.

“Did you get any sleep kid?” Aizawa-san asks.

Hiroshi shakes his head.

“That’s alright little listener. I’m sure sleeping someplace new is hard. Especially after so many years knowing you weren’t safe,” Yamada-san says before Aizawa-san can get a word in, “I brought some of Hitoshi’s clothes that I thought might fit you. They’ll probably be a bit big on you though. Why don’t you go get changed in the bathroom?”

Hiroshi grabs the small plastic bag offered to him and gently stands. His legs are sore, likely from disuse, but he ignores the prick of pain as he enters the bathroom. As he’s getting changed into the baggy grey sweatpants and black sweatshirt, he hears bits of conversation in the room outside.

“... trust us… won’t… help… said there was… hero…” is all he catches from Aizawa-san.

Yamada-san speaks a bit louder, “It’s alright… build trust… End… you’ll get evidence… in your class…”

Hiroshi decides to interrupt the conversation by exiting the bathroom once he was fully dressed. Yamada-san smiles kindly at him.

“Ready to go kiddo?”

 

Chapter Text

"Ready to go kiddo?"

 

 

Hiroshi nods and follows the two adults out to a room with many chairs and a desk with a sign Hiroshi can’t read above it. They stop to talk to the person behind the desk and Hiroshi understands very little of what is said.

“Let’s go Hiroshi,” Aizawa-san says gruffly when they’re finished speaking with the kind-looking person.

Hiroshi nods and contemplates running off before reaching the car. He doesn’t.

The car ride is mostly silent with Hiroshi not taking his eyes off the adults in the front seat. A few minutes in, Hiroshi speaks up, “Y-Yamada-san?”

“Call me Hizashi,” Comes the soft response from ahead.

Hiroshi nods, despite Hizashi-san not being able to see him, “Hizashi-san, what’s your quirk?”

“My quirk lets me amplify my voice. I’ve been told I get pretty annoying,” Hizashi-san chuckles.

Hiroshi frowns, “What’s amplify mean?”

Hizashi-san seems somewhat surprised, “It means I can make my voice really loud. How long were you on the streets?”

Hiroshi thinks for a moment, “I think… winter passed like nine or ten times. So nine or ten years.”

“Right. We’re gonna have to put you into a special course,” Aizawa-san is the one to speak this time, “We’d have to speak to Nedzu but maybe we can enroll him in Yuuei as gen ed or support and give him a special course. We could also probably find a remedial school but I’d feel more secure if he was at the school with us.”

“But how would he react to being surrounded by heroes all the time like that?” Hizashi-san counters.

“It could help him build trust in the hero system. Especially if we have him in with my homeroom.”

Hizashi-san hesitates before shifting a bit to face Hiroshi, “How would you feel about that? Coming to learn at the school where Shou and I teach. The teachers are all heroes but I promise they’re all good people.”

Hiroshi just nods, it’s not like he has much choice anyway.

“Okay. We’ll talk to the principle.”

By the time the car pulls up to a plain-looking apartment building, Hiroshi was already ready to go back to the streets. There was nothing in particular that made him decide that, he just missed Dabi. He knew he couldn’t just leave though. Not after agreeing to stay and to go to school. So he decided he’d stay a few days and then just wander off. They’d forget about him in time.

As the trio approach the building, Hiroshi took the time to look around the area. It wasn’t a very busy street, it seemed to be mostly residential with the apartment building and a large park across the street. On either side of the building were two more buildings that appeared to hold apartments. In the distance, Hiroshi could just see a very large building that seemed to be covered in glass panes that consisted of four towers connected by walkways.

Hizashi-san followed Hiroshi’s line of sight and smiled, “That’s Yuuei. It’s a large city so we tried to find a place as close to the school as possible.”

Hiroshi nods, pulling his eyes away and following the adults into the building. They entered an elevator that took them up several levels before they got to a moderately sized apartment.

Hizashi-san gave a quick tour of the living space, Aizawa-san interjecting only once to tell Hiroshi to decorate his bedroom however he wanted. Hiroshi simply nodded, having no intentions of getting comfortable.

“W-where's Shinsou-kun?” Hiroshi asked quietly.

“Well, it’s a Monday so he’s at school. He also goes to Yuuei,” Hizashi-san explains.

Hiroshi thinks for a moment, “Doesn’t that mean you guys should be at work then?”

Aizawa-san responds, “We took the day off to get you acclimated.”

Hiroshi tilted his head in question as Hizashi-san defined acclimate for him.

“Now then,” Hizashi exclaims, “Let’s go to the mall!”

Aizawa-san deadpanned, “I’ll be staying here. I can make lunch for when you get back. Before you argue, Zashi, you need to spend time with the kid to get to know one another. He should be comfortable with at least one of us.”

Hizashi-san sighed but agreed, motioning for Hiroshi to follow him back out to the car.

Once they were on their way, Hiroshi asked, “Why do we need to go to the mall?”

“Well we need to get you clothes that fit and I want to help you decorate your room,” Hizashi-san answers.

“I don’t-don’t really wanna decorate the room.”

“How come? If you’re trying not to get attached I’m stopping you there. Shou and I want to be there for you. Maybe even at some point become like fathers to you.”

Hiroshi doesn’t respond.