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“If you wanna be a hero that badly, there's a quick way to do it. Believe that you'll be born with a Quirk in your next life and take a last chance dive off the roof!” Bakugo Katsuki, mockingly sneered, leaving the pathetic shivering mess that was his quirkless classmate in the classroom by himself. Midoriya Izuku’s beloved notebook long thrown out the window, soaked in a fountain down below. There was nothing he could bring himself to say. Only quivering until he was left behind where he regained his bearings.
...Dive off … the roof..?
“Idiot! If I really jumped, that would mean you instigated a suicide! Think before you speak!” Midoriya had made his way down to outside their junior high school, searching for his notebook, filled with nothing but elaborate and impressive notes and analyses of the greatest heroes. It was all he could do. What he lacked in power and natural talent that Bakugo had been blessed with, he could at least make up in devotion and studying. He only stared at his hard work soaking in the fish pond, becoming more ruined from the water and burns the blond student had caused. His work, his passion, was confined to a simple book. His purpose, in a notebook. His self-worth, in a notebook. And here it was, drowning, torn, burned, treated so worthlessly by his classmates. “That’s not fish food, stupid.” He snatched it back from three koi beginning to nibble on it. “That’s my notebook, stupid.” Stupid.

“Theif! Someone!”

“Catch me if you can!”

Downtown in the same very city, a disgusting, slimy villain fled down the city with stolen cash leaving a trail behind. An eager grin spread wide across his green face, feeling like no hero would bother to go after him after the villain suppression with Mount Lady and the cleanup afterward.

“Huh? There’s no hero around?”

“Normally someone would come right away.”

“This guy’s taking advantage of the chaos from this morning.”

“There are a ton of people around who don’t know what to do with their quirks.”

“There’s no end to them.”

Passerbys only watched as the villain made his getaway. They did nothing, just watch. No heroes in the making. No courage to be seen. Not even someone checking on the victims of the robbery. They just simply waited for a hero to come; the heroes fix everything. And thus, only the greatest of them all appeared behind the small cluster of citizens on the sidewalk. Buff, tall, strong, smiling brightly, entering the conversation with hearty words. “There is an end. Why?” he stepped forward, stepping up to the challenge. His powerful voice carried to the nonexistent ears of the villain of slime causing a small twinge of panic. “Because I am here!” All Might said calmly with all his glowing pride as the Symbol of Peace.

The small freckled boy, deep in his thoughts of his past was dragging his feet home. Quirkless? It doesn’t matter. U.A. takes kids without quirks now. He has a chance! The nice man with the weird head even believed in him! He wasn’t strong, but he was smart. He had the passion, right? He could still be a hero. He could be just like his idol. He could be just like All Might! Midoriya decided back then, didn’t he? Back then, in the arms of his crying mother. It doesn’t matter what Bakugo and his followers said. That’s right. Don’t worry about what other people think!
Midoriay clenched his fist to his chest and looked up at the sunny blue sky, watching the cherry blossoms drift by so peacefully. There was hope for him, surely. Hold your head up high and plunge forward! His dragging pace had turned into a childish stomping march as he held his fist up above his head, mimicking All Might’s trademark hardy laugh. He began passing under a bridge-tunnel, going towards the light of the other side. And yet, in his naive burst of hope, he could not ignore the looming sound behind him, growing louder. He stopped his laughter and turned around to see a massive accumulation of slime appearing before him, twice, no, three or four times his size. All that bravado was gone in a single instant when faced with such a frightening sight. “A villain!?” he said out loud. “A medium-sized invisibility cloak…” a deep, scraggly voice muttered, rising from the ground. He quickly made eye contact with this shivering child standing in his path.
Before more than a scream could leave Midoriya’s lips, he tried to turn and run away only to be engulfed from behind, brought to the ground in an instant. His notebook was dropped and sent to the side. Any attempt at a cry for help was muffled by the awful slime being forced down his throat, unable to fight it as his body was restrained by even more slime. Face to face with this villain, he was only reminded by how powerless he was. “Don’t worry. I’m just going to take over your body. Calm down. It’ll only hurt for about 45 seconds. You’ll feel better soon.” the villain almost tried to soothe the freckled child as he got closer and closer to suffocating him. Midoriya began to tear up, crying again as he had done so often. It was all he could do. He desperately tried to grab at the villain to pry him away but to no avail. “You can’t grab me. I’m fluid!” the slime mocked and even held the boy a bit closer, shutting his own eyes. “Thanks for your help. You’re my hero.” he then opened them again to gaze at the crying child he had lifted off his feet choke and struggle in his grasp. He could feel his struggling growing weaker. His movements were slowing down.
Dying… was he dying? Midoriya’s gaze, blurred with tears and the lack of oxygen could only be traced to his open notebook. The page he had started with his dream costume was open. What he wanted to be, his future, it was right there in front of him. Was he going to die before he could even try to achieve what he’s always wanted? Somebody… he just wanted somebody to save him before he could have his future. His consciousness was fading. Was he going to abandoned by his own fate? It was then he blacked out.
Alas, he was not dead. Midoriya’s eyes twitched, feeling nothing around him suddenly. He could breathe fully, he could move. His big green eyes only opened halfway finding himself in midair and seeing a silhouette of the one that inspired him the most. It was a dream, wasn’t it? The number one hero in front of him, grocery bag in hand and yet posed in a punching motion with remains of slime floating around him. “All...Migh…” he couldn’t bring himself to even say the full name, missing just the last sound before he fell unconscious just one more time.
But this time Midoriya felt a succession of light slapping against his freckled cheek. “Hey! He-” he heard a deep voice calling out to him when he blinked a few times, adjusting to the bright light. He made it outside the tunnel. By himself? No… that’s not right. “Oh, good!” the deep voice said again, the owner holding his fingers up to his brow in relief, standing over him. All Might himself! In the flesh! Right in front him! His first reaction was to only scream and scoot back a few feet out of sheer panic. “I’m glad you’re okay!” his hero said, standing up tall with a hand on his hip. “Sorry ‘bout getting you caught up in my villain fighting. I don’t usually make mistakes like this, but I was in high spirits on my day off in a new place. But you were a big help. Thanks!” He let out another one of his trademarks laughs with his signature smile on his face. He was nothing short of simply being bright. A bright shining light of hope, his hero, his idol right in front of him.
All Might then held up a bottle filled to the brim with green slime. “I captured him safely!” His smile shined so brightly to the boy that was infatuated with all his work. “Oh, right! An a-autograph! Where should I--?” Midoriya began to frantically feel at his school uniform, desperately searching for the notebook he remembered holding before being attacked. He quickly found it on the ground and reached for it. “In that notebook--” he flipped to a pair that used to be blank pages, no filled with a giant signature. “He already did!!” he nearly screeched, standing up and then rapidly bowing over and over, kind of scaring the number one hero. “Th-Thank you very much! It’ll be an heirloom! A family treasure!” the child said with all the gratefulness in his heart. He received a thumbs-up with a small sparkle and a solid ‘okay!’ by the hero. “Well, I need to take this guy to the police. See you again on the other side of the screen!” All Might strapped the trapped villain to his leg as tightly as he could before giving the young Midoriya a small wave and preparing to leap off.

But… there was something Midoriya needed to know. Something he had to ask.

“Wait, already?” Midoriya questioned softly, disappointed almost. “Pros are constantly fighting enemies and time.” his hero answered, stretching and flexing, needing to prepare for a massive takeoff.
But he couldn’t leave yet. There were so many questions. There was something…
“Well then, I’m counting on your continued support!” and the pro hero lept off with expected grace and extreme power. But he quickly noticed something was very wrong. Very very wrong. “Wait.” He looked back at his leg to see the malformed face of Midoriya Izuku clinging to him desperately, unwilling to let him go without an answer to a question he’s always wanted to ask his idol. “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Let go of me! Your fanaticism is too much!” He began trying to shove off the pathetic child with one hand in mid-air. “If I… let go now… I’ll… I’ll die…!” He cried trying to speak through the winds that made the blowing skin on his face look goofily terrifying. And he did have a point. “That’s true.” The hero suddenly realized and stopped shoving him. “I… have… a lot of things… I want to ask you directly!”
“Okay, okay! I get it, so close your eyes and mouth!” Midoriya obliged to All Might’s suggestion and even put his face down against his leg to brace himself. Perhaps feeling a little sympathetic, the hero held on to the back collar of his school uniform to keep him secure. It was then he turned his head and coughed quietly into his fist, a drop of blood escaping through his smiling teeth. He was running out of time. His facade was almost up.
He made a quick landing on a skyscraper so he at least wouldn’t be seen when his time was up. “Th-That was scary…” Midoriya whimpered, his body quivering once again from the aftershock of such speed and power. “Good grief. If you talk to the people downstairs, I’m sure they’ll let you down. I seriously am outta time, so I really must go.” He had to go. He had to leave now. He couldn’t let a kid see who he really was. It was still a secret. He wasn’t ready to stop being a hero yet. There was so much he still had to do! “Wait! Um…”
“No, I will not wait!”
“But!”
No, he couldn’t leave yet! He wouldn’t give up! It didn’t matter what his mother said. It didn’t matter what that doctor said. It didn’t matter what Bakugo said. It only matters…
“Can someone without a quirk be like you?” The question made All Might stop in his tracks, smile still strong on his face as he looked back at the boy. The student was blushing, standing tall but timidly, eyes closed, but with a tone so hopeful. So… so hopeful. “Without a quirk…?” The pro muttered before a spark of pain shot through his whole body and steam erupted from his skin. He hunched over, mumbling a slue of profanities. Midoriya could only look down, oblivious to what was happening in front of him. He spoke softly and rubbed his thumb nervously sounding ready to tear up at any moment. “It might have been because I don’t have a quirk, but I’m always made fun of… Maybe that’s why… I don’t know… But I think saving people is super cool. Saving people with a fearless smile. I want to be the greatest hero, like you…!” He looked up to his hero with an innocent smile only to see a cloud of steam dispersing to reveal a shriveled up skeleton of a man with similar features to the great hero that was just standing before him.
Midoriya, once again, screamed in complete fear, shock, and disbelief. “Y-Y-You’re deflating…! Wait, up until now… Huh?! Fake? A fake?! You’re so skinny!” There was no way. There was no possible way that this was his hero. The strong, powerful, smiling man that was his hero could not possibly be this skinny man. “I am All Might.” the man grumbled only to have blood leak from his mouth causing the child to only scream louder. It was truly a terrifying sight for him. “No way!”
It was then that the weak man took a seat on the ground. He began explaining so much about himself. Maybe not everything, but enough to make this boy understand the severity of the situation. The fight that was kept out of the public. But with who? The deflation of his body was just a means of flexing. But what was the source? His quirk was kept a secret from the public. But why? He did indeed have fear, as all heroes do. But why did he never tell anyone? Why did it suddenly feel like this hero was a lie? Were his dreams a lie too? No, maybe even someone as strong as he still had faith in quirkless people!

“Pros are always risking their lives. I can not simply say ‘You can become a hero even without power.’” There was a snap in the air. Realization. Crushing. Hopelessness. It hit Midoriya Izuku in a single moment. Doctors, his mother, his classmates, and now… his hero.
No, not his hero. Not anymore…
There was no hope for him to be a hero. There was nothing at all for him to hold on to. There was no future. What was he even thinking? It all seemed so pointless now. Pointless. Was there a point to anything he was doing? A point to anything he was learning? His notebook… all his notes, analyses, his passion, what was the point? The merch collection, the studying, the focus on heroes, the understanding of quirks, there was no point to it. There was no matter in anything he had been doing his entire life. There was no purpose. There was no point to his purpose.
“Dive off the roof”
Out of politeness alone, Midoriya Izuku smiled shakily with a dull look in his eyes. No longer shining with innocence, no more laughter to be had. No more light to be seen in now Brunswick green irises. “I see…” It’s all he said. It’s all he could say. He didn’t see. He saw nothing. There was nothing to see ahead or to look forward at.
“If you want to help others, then you could become a police officer. They’re often teased because they get villains delivered to their doorstep, but that is also a fine occupation. It’s not a bad dream. But you also have to consider what’s realistic, young man.” All Might parted with those as his final words, walking off the roof through a door to lower floors. He patted his leg and felt the villain in the soda bottle still attached to his leg. He still had to deliver him to the police too. How incredible that he never dropped it during that whole ordeal.

“Dive off the roof”
Midoriya stood silently on the top of that building for quite a long time. Not this roof. Not now. He held his notebook close as he waited until he was certain that that imposter of a hero was gone. He made his way down as discreetly as he could be he was eventually caught by a security guard and lead to the main exit where he was lectured about being on the roof and how dangerous it was. He stood there, an empty stare was all that prevalent on his freckled face as this nobody went on and on. He did not defend himself. He didn’t even mention anything to do with All Might. “Yes, sir. Never again, sir. It was an accident, sir.” Empty words were all he had left. “Shouldn’t you be in school? Or shouldn’t you be at home with your parents? You kids are getting so rebellious these days.” the security guard grumbled before walking away back into the building.
Midoriya’s feet dragged so slowly down the streets, All Might’s words echoing in his head. There was no hidden meaning to be found. He meant every word that he said. There was no heroism in his future. So what was left for his future? Saving people? People expected nothing of him now. The most normal people expected nothing and the greatest people expected nothing. What should he expect now?
As he walked and walked, he wasn’t finding his way home. He found himself trudging back to school. The skies began to get cloudy despite it being a clear day almost all day. Maybe in a place not so far away, a hero so strong was able to change the weather. The gloomy clouds were so low, bringing only darkness and then rain. How fitting for his mood.
Dive off the roof
How did he get here? On the roof of his very own middle school, he looked over the edge that was several stories up. Plenty high enough. He never noticed where he had walked. Perhaps he didn’t even care enough. He didn’t have much to care about honestly. “In my next life…” he mumbled. Hope for a quirk in his next life, that’s all he could do now, wasn’t it? “I wish… for the strongest quirk of them all.” He was so ready. The emptiness he felt was reflected in his darkened eyes. It was all he felt. It only took a little lean forward and one little step. There must have been at least a single tear on his cheek but it was hard to tell from the rain. There was no somebody this time. There was no hero, no All Might to come save the day. He was going to fall, the wind rushed past his fluffy hair when a sudden two arms hugged on tightly to his waist from behind and caught him before he could even drop an inch.

 

“Shouto!! Get back- Don’t you da-!!” A loud, booming, voice erupted from inside a luxurious mansion on that gloomy, rainy evening. Todoroki Shouto quickly snatched a hoodie, slid on shoes without tying the laces and raced out the front door just as he was being yelled at. Just get away. It’s all he wanted. He slammed the front door shut and before his father could open it, he froze it shut and then left many layers of ice on his side to keep number 2 hero Endeavor from melting it right away. He didn’t have goal location in mind. He just needed to get out and as far away as he could.
An argument got out of control, sparring that had gone too far, training that had gotten too much, it all piled up that one afternoon and he needed to leave. Blood staining the inside of his right sleeve, his skin blistered at his hands. With the hoodie zipped up to his neck and hood over his head, there were likely many more wounds hidden that he did not want attention for. Shoving past people on crowded sidewalks, he obeyed his body desire to just run and keep running. He was no coward. But enough was enough and knowing his opponent was too strong for him, he didn’t have a choice. He was not safe in that mansion, no matter how pampering it must seem.
It seems everything in his life had gone so wrong. Where did his family go? Where was the nurturing mother he loved, where was his sister at a time like this, where was Natuso? There was someone else too. Someone he couldn’t remember clearly. There was another brother… who was he? Where did he go? … What was his name…?
He would never know how long he ran that evening. But he found himself safely able to rest on a bench near a middle school he’s never seen before. With his hood up, he leaned back and looked exhaustedly at the raining sky. “Tired…” he mumbled quietly. His eyes blinked slowly from exhaustion. Frost was lightly coating the bottom of his right cheek and a burn wound was revealed at the left side of his neck. His quirk was tired, his legs were tired, he was tired. He had half a mind to take a nap right where he sat. “All this… to be just like him,” he muttered. To be like his father, absolutely not. To be like All Might. To be strong and skilled enough to save hundreds of people. That’s all he wanted out of his godforsaken quirk. There was no pride and no joy in being strong. He didn’t need power to want to save people like his mother or anyone else in his family. He wanted to be strong with just his ice anyhow. Surely that was enough to surpass Endeavor and All Might.
“I fucking hate you…” Todoroki whispered, holding his left hand up and palm open to the rain, blocking the rain from his face. Blood dripped down his hand and wrist with the cool water soothing all the burns that were hidden under that sleeve. “I’ll save more people than you ever did. I’ll save more than you’ve hurt.”
He certainly was determined with a future to fight for. But it was then he noticed something as he sat up. He rubbed the scar on his left eye and noticed something on top of the school. Someone was up there and even though it was a bit hard to see, he could recognize an empty gaze like that anywhere. Surely he’s had it himself before too. “Somebody…” Somebody was up there. Somebody needed help. And somebody needed to help. He slowly got up from his seat, giving himself a moment to be sure. It was someone his age, shorter. So it wasn’t maintenance or a custodian and it was past after school hours by now. They were so close to the edge, he knew he had to be fast.
Using his ice, he neglected using any stairs and instead used his ice to shoot himself up the side of the building and land cleanly on the roof.
Wait.
He ran even though he was still so tired from all the running he had done before.
Save you. Let me save you.
He watched the boy before him lean forward and take a step off the roof.
Let me be a hero.
He couldn’t reach Midoriya’s hands. He wouldn’t be able to get a good grip on his shoulders or ankles. The only thing he could think to do was wrap his arms around his waist and pull him back just a foot or two.

Chapter Text

Midoriya stared at his feet and the ground that was now below them. He took notice of the two arms wrapped tightly around his waist, holding him back in case he would try again. But he did not resist. He stayed limply in the strong arms around him with the empty gaze on his face, although silent tears fell from his eyes. It was then he was carefully let down by the stranger behind him. He was going to be lectured again, right? He was going to be made fun of now, wasn’t he? He was expecting it. But instead, this young wannabe hero stepped around him to try and stand a little bit in front of him. His eyes were narrow and hateful, although that hate was not for him. And somehow he knew that. “Hey… what was that?” the taller boy asked quietly. His tone was calm and soft, yet it was deep and mature even though they were about the same age. Midoriya was older than him, shockingly. He didn’t receive an answer. Midoriya didn’t even glance up at him as he continued to stare blankly at his bright red shoes.
Todoroki, however, was not one to push. Instead, he reached for Midoriya’s wrist and gave him a little tug to get him to follow. As they walked, Todoroki found his grip slip into the smaller boy’s hand but he thought nothing of it. He led him to the door to a lower floor only to find it was locked from the inside. “Inefficient…” he grumbled. He looked around for possibly another door but there was none to be found and it was only beginning to rain harder. So instead he led the suicidal boy to a different ledge of the roof. “Think you can hold on to me?” he asked. Once again, he didn’t receive an answer. But with his left hand, he placed it on the ledge to create a slide made completely of ice that would provide a safe departure to the ground. He took his hand back from Midoriya and instead put an arm around his waist to hold him close to make sure he didn’t fall on accident of all things. Though he was a bit relieved to feel the freckled boy hold on his hoodie. In doing so, he noticed his hero flinched at the light grasp on his left shoulder. He’s hurt.
Making down safely to the grass, Todoroki melted the ice to erase the trace of quirk use in public without a license. The taller boy did notice that the smaller didn’t let go of him right away. He didn’t let go of him at all. The rain was rather cold so it was likely the subtle warmth of his left side that he was clinging to. “Hey, you can-” Todoroki began to say before the freckled boy finally said something with a very quiet voice. “You’re hurt…” he said so softly, almost too soft to even hear. “Don’t leave yet.” he then said, slowly letting go and going back into the school, though he was followed just in case he tried to jump out a window or something. Midoriya lifelessly wandered towards the school’s infirmary. The doors were locked and that frustrated him, to the point where he kicked the door as hard as he could. This aggression, he wasn’t usually like this. Taking a moment to regain slight composure, he took his yellow bag off his shoulders and put it on the ground. Going through it he found a safety pin and took off an All Might pin from his pencil bag, and with those, he got on one knee to try and pick the lock.
When did he learn how to pick locks? He’s seen it done in movies and cartoons, but how did he know how to? What was compelling enough to make him break into the school infirmary? This boy that prevented him from killing himself that has barely spoken to him was somehow motivating him to do this. Todoroki watched him curiously and then saw the door open. He followed the student inside and watched him start picking through drawers and cabinets looking for tools and basic medical things. “Why were you up there?” Attempting to ask again, but still keeping his tone distant. “I finally saw reality. That everything I believed in was a lie…” Midoriya opened up at last. He stopped rummaging through the nurses’ things and just leaned against the cabinets while on his knees, his freckled cheek pressed against the cold wood. “The guy I looked up to more than anyone told me I could never be a hero without power. But he was a lie too. He’s not a real hero either… And I know that things from a fake shouldn’t matter but it’s more complicated than that. I mean, how could a lie like him make such an impact on people? How can someone feel good lying to everyone who looks up to you? But he’s not stupid so what he said is realistic. He didn’t even hesitate to answer. It’s like he didn’t think about the answer at all. I mean, you don’t need a quirk to be great, right? Quirkless people are just as good as people with quirks. But people with quirks seem to always forget how good they have it. And-” he caught himself amidst his typical muttering though instead of detailed analysis, it was desperation to understand and accept what had happened this afternoon. But he was realizing that he was projecting a lot of anger and hatred all of a sudden.
Midoriya wasn’t used to being like this. And yet it didn’t feel unnatural. However, he realized that he was talking to someone who used their quirk to help him off the roof of the building. Out of all people, he didn’t want to offend the one who was listening to him right now. “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-” he suddenly realized his rudeness and tried to apologize but Todoroki didn’t seem all that mad. If anything, he took the hood off over his head so his face and hair could be seen better. All the hatred he projected was also cracking with sadness. He could see it. “No… I get it. Heroes… aren’t really that great. And they can take their powers for granted. And ‘power’ as in, not just their quirks.” He said in a low tone, glaring at his left arm. Midoriya didn’t quite understand what he was thinking, but he found his very presence to be soothing. Both of them angry, but so sad at the same time.
Midoriya took a closer look at the boy that had sat down on one of the chairs to watch him. It was only a few seconds longer when he at last found bandages and antibacterial creams. “I mean, what kind of hero does this to someone who’s supposed to be their son,” Todoroki said bitterly with a dark look and unzipped his white hoodie to reveal his left hand, wrist, arm, shoulder, and part of his neck burned, blistered, and bloodied. He glared at the wounds, angry that he ‘let’ this happen, but also that his father did it in the first place. “And for the sake of their public image, it’s not like the others are going to challenge him and call him out,” he growled. “Sometimes I think it would just be better if I was quirkless. I hate that I have one that’s like his...”
Midoriya listened and shuffled over to try and clean up the blood and soothe the blisters and burns with ointments he found around and read the labels. “I guess… heroes kinda suck, huh?” He mumbled as a smile began to tug at his lips. Suddenly, he didn’t feel as sad anymore. Talking with this red and white-haired boy was therapeutic as someone who was quirkless and someone who hated their quirk both had similar distastes towards hero society. “Yeah. But…” Todoroki wanted to be a hero but… why again? Was it to surpass All Might and his father. Why did he save this boy even though no one was watching? “I want to be a hero. But the kind that just makes people feel better, at ease. And… you don’t need to rely on power for that all the time.” To make people feel at ease. Protecting people from villains is important, but also saving people like Midoriya was just as important to him.
Midoriya had begun to wrap up Todoroki’s wrist and work his way up to his shoulder carefully. “You’ll make a great hero,” he said softly, without even thinking. Everything about this person he just met felt so genuine to him. There was no smile or blatant muscle. There was no monologue of morals or false promises of protection. He had human emotions. He found himself gazing at his scarred face for a few moments, maybe even a few moments too long. He looked so soft but so strong, blemished with a scar but still beautiful. Beautiful? He found himself blushing when he saw the bi-colored eyes make eye contact with him and went back to focusing on his arm. “I think… even without a quirk…” Todoroki began, looking down at this freckled boy. “I think, you can still make a big impact on people. On heroes too.”

It was then that there was another spark in a single moment. An impact. Impact. He could still make an impact. On heroes. Go past analyses. Go past studying. Go past note-taking. He glanced at his notebook that was on the tile floor. All those notes. All that work. Why… Why would that information need to stay on paper? He knows a ton about any public hero from news, from observations, from forums, wikis, logical analysis. Those notes… the heroes' strengths that make them inspirational and cool? No, weaknesses. Weaknesses.
Midoriya’s lips trembled but not from withheld sobs, it was laughter. So much light had come to his eyes. But not a light of innocent hope and cheer. The green in his irises nearly glowed with a minty light as a smile began twitching on his face. “Y-You… think so? Someone as strong as you?” he asked, getting the bandages up to his shoulder. Todoroki simply nodded. “Yeah. I do think so.” his voice was so cool and collected. Did Midoriya love it? Maybe a little. But an impact. He wanted to make an impact on this boy too. He subtly wrapped his arms around Todoroki’s neck and hugged him tightly and rested his chin on his shoulder. This boy, this hero, he saved him from killing himself. But he saved his future too. “Thank you… Thank you so much,” he said with a big crooked smile and brightly glowing eyes. Todoroki was taken aback by the hug, surprised by it as he had not had one in such a long time. Never by someone his age either. It felt so foreign but it would be a lie to say that he disliked it. He would have hugged back by the time he got one hand on Midoriya’s back, the freckled boy had pulled back and put his hands on his shoulders. “Hey, the hero who hurt you like this. You said it was your parent, your father?” He then asked, tilting his head to the side just a little bit. The hero that hurt his hero…
Someone like that deserves to die, not me…
Todoroki only nodded, a bit baffled by Midoriya’s new expression. The boy who had nothing but an empty gaze now looked at him with a kind of enthusiasm, curiosity, and mischief he had never seen before. It didn’t frighten him; he was just too unsocialized to understand. “Who is he?” Midoriya asked. He’ll get all the notes he can on him. He’ll find every weakness. He’ll make sure they get to an enemy and he’ll make sure to repay the beautiful boy in front of him for his kindness and for giving him a new reason to live. “Endeavor…” Todoroki answered, almost as if in a trance, allured by the glowing shade of the eyes in front of them. Such a cute, freckled face but with such hypnotizing eyes, he had caught every fiber of his attention.
Midoriya quickly let go and began to put away the things he had borrowed to patch up his hero and washed his hands. Before Todoroki could grab his hoodie, the smaller boy began rubbing detergent that he found on the fabric where the blood was stained. With a little bit of bleach and rubbing, the stain was hardly noticeable, even when inside out. “Thank you for all of this.” the taller boy was sure to say as they began to walk out together, but not without Midoriya stealing two books and shoving them into his bag while the other’s back was turned. “Thank you too for...everything,” he said with a small smile and his head lowered a bit. “I should get home. My mom must be freaking out by now.” he giggled a bit too. As the two walked out, they saw it was still raining out. And before Midoriya took a step forward, he felt something being draped over his head. “Here, you can have this.” Todoroki gave his hoodie to Midoriya to at least keep him dry in the rain. “But your bandages-” Todoroki shook his head at even the beginning of a protest. “No, don’t worry. You can keep it. You’ve had a pretty shit day.”

And thus Midoriya would be seen walking back home, even going through the tunnel he had been attacked in earlier again. Todoroki’s hoodie was a bit big on him from how much taller he was but it was keeping him dry. But it was also so warm. “The power to create ice and melt it… number two hero Endeavor’s son. Ice and fire…” He nuzzled his nose near the zipper that was up as high as it could go. “An amazing quirk…” he mumbled. He wasn’t made fun of or looked down on for being quirkless for once in his life. How lucky he had been to meet someone so kind. On a day as depressing and crushing as this, he was walking like a new person all thanks to one boy who still wanted to be a hero. If only he knew that he just inspired one of the worst villains…
“Wait,” Midoriya said to himself, stopping halfway through the tunnel. “I don’t even know his name!!” he cried out, gripping his hood and gritting his teeth in childish rage. "I can't believe I never asked his name! I-I mean… I'll see him again, right?" He looked down at his hands with a quivering smile. "I have to see him again. I have to save him." He'll get his name eventually, surely!

In coming back home, Midoriya was greeted with a tight hug from his mother sobbing waterfalls and bombarded with questions as to why he was home so late, where the hoodie came from, why he was covered in bruises, and even more. Midoriya told only half-truths to let the events of that go under the rug and be left unknown to her. As far as she knew, he had a run-in with a villain while with some others and got a bit dirty but someone lent him hoodie to get through the ran and got distracted at a comic bookstore on his way home. There was no All Might or red and white-haired boy mentioned and there was no mention of even getting close to a roof. He was still her quirkless little boy with innocent hopes and dreams.
As school had ended for the semester and it left all the teenagers with plenty of free time. While many were training their quirks to apply and get into U.A., others had to utilize other skills to be successful in the ever-changing society, and others were slacking around enjoying the free time they had. Midoriya would spend his afternoons and evenings at home, stuck on his computer scrounging every forum for information on any heroes. His notebooks had all been redone. What had been a fanboy’s cherished series of encyclopedias was now a collection of hit lists. Of course, he could never use these notes personally. But it would only motivate him to go out and make connections with those who could. He would pretend to go to sleep at sundown, snuggling close to the white hoodie given to him by his only hero. But once it passed midnight, he threw on a black hoodie and pants with his favorite red shoes and go out in the city. Truly, it was not the safest idea for a quirkless teenager to go out at night to the sketchiest parts of the city but he felt almost comforted by it. Purchasing some spray paint at an art store also provided him with plenty of entertainment.
The atmosphere was altering what had been such a sweet boy into a small-time rule breaker, alienating himself from normal teenage society. Going out to the arcade or karaoke with friends was nowhere in his life; he had no friends. Striving to impress a girl he had a crush on; there was no girl in his life to admire. The only person his age he truly had positive relationships with was Todoroki and he didn’t even know his name. He had no desire to partake in a part-time job. Just using his notes and getting revenge on the heroes that lied and hurt him was all he had to care about now. But sometimes focusing on one thing could get a bit boring so he resulted in mild vandalism and sometimes even arson. Setting garbage or abandoned buildings on fire was a weekly thing and spray painting anti-hero phrases on walls or even making amateur art was becoming a hobby. His notetaking was a top priority, however. Getting any dirt or information on All Might and Endeavor was his main focus above all else. His mother had found out about his sneaking out but it appeared that he never came back hurt. And he always did come back so maybe he just liked going for nightly walks. She never confronted him about it.

One night, deep in the autumn season, brisk yet clear, Midoriya sat near a dumpster writing in a notebook and watching the phrase ‘Heroes Lie’ with All Might’s hair shape dry on the wall in front of him. He was drinking a soda casually and enjoying a typical night out. The page he was working on was that of Mount Lady. What had been complimenting notes were either erased or crossed out and re-written with potential weak spots and personality flaws that could be used against her at any point. In the corner of each page was also a list of potential blackmail that could ever be used. He tapped his lip with his pen before flipping pages to find his sketch of Endeavor. He glared at it and darkened words he had already written. The characters of ‘Child Abuse’ was bolded darkly again and again in the sections he kept for blackmail. “I’ll save him…” he whispered to himself. It’s been months since he’s tried to kill himself, but Todoroki was still fresh on his mind.
“That’s some pretty nice work you got there.” Another voice said from above Midoriya. The surprise viewer spooked the freckled boy and even made him jump as he looked up at the scrawny figure that stood over him. Bright red eyes stared down at him with a mess of blue hair barely framing the top half of his face. But he couldn’t see his face because there was a severed hand over it. Was it real? Was it fake? He couldn’t tell by how stiff and discolored it looked. This stranger, too, wore all black and red shoes, but they weren’t high tops. And this man was older than him, but not by too much. “U-Um… thanks?” Midoriya stuttered. Something felt very odd about this new stranger, nothing like Todoroki.
This new stranger sat down right next to Midoriya and looked over his shoulder, getting uncomfortably close for comfort. Was personal space just not a thing for him. Then Midoriya noticed the red eyes glance up at his tag work on the wall in front of them. “Not a big hero fan, huh?” he asked with a cheery tone. He tilted his head to get an even better view of the notebook as the freckled boy flipped to a page that was more filled out than Endeavor’s. Such aggressive penmanship, scratched out compliments and entire pages had been ripped out only to be remade. “Looks like a hit list.” The stranger commented before giggling and pointing at Midoriya mockingly. “Someone like you couldn’t possibly take heroes like that on.”
Midoriya’s face blushed with anger and embarrassment. Someone else making fun of him for being quirkless already? “Yeah, and what can a twig like you-” he was ready to snap back and stand up for himself for once when the stranger wrapped his arm around his shoulders and hugged him close to his shoulder. “Not yet. And not by yourself.” the red-eyed stranger added with a promising tone, but it only made the boy freeze. “But is someone like you really serious about this kind of thing? You really wanna see these guys die?” The stranger then reached with his other hand to find the pages that were All Might’s. Midoriya could see by just the shape of his eyes that he was smiling. “Can a little schoolboy like you stomach something like that?”
Watching heroes die. It was this edgy teenager’s new goal, wasn’t it? To end Endeavor and All Might and other heroes that brag and boast blessed talent, is that what he really wanted? This wasn’t a game anymore and it was becoming more than a dream. People were going to die and people were going to get killed. Midoriya could tell by the aura the man holding on to him was giving off. Has he killed people before? Will he kill him if he gives the wrong answer? He couldn’t read his actions at all. His thoughts were but a mystery because he couldn’t tell if this was a lie too.
“You don’t have to answer right away.” The stranger then said, having recognized the long silence between the two. He could tell he was making this boy think and that was enough for him. “I’m around. And you seem to be around too.” The man then reached for the soda can that was on the ground beside Midoriya on the opposite side. He held it with his pinkie finger up for some reason. “Whatever you’re thinking about and whatever those notes are about, we could make that happen.” He waved the can around a bit in a circular motion, it was catching the attention of the silent freckled child. “I hate lots of things, you know? I want to make everything I hate disappear. And I can make the things you hate disappear too.” he then snickered as the can in hand turned to dust when his fifth finger touched it. He was casual to stand back up and stretch a bit. “See ya around, little schoolboy.” He half waved, putting his hands in his hoodie pocket and walking off deeper down the alleyway.
Midoriya was left quivering, wide-eyed, and at a loss of words. That man was so close. He was sitting right next to him, arm around him, he could have killed him right there if he wanted to. “D-Decay…” he stuttered quietly, gripping his neck just to feel that it was still there after being so close to death. His heart raced, beating out of his chest. His blood was pumping from the anxiety of the threat that was just there and now casually walking away. A man so scrawny, creepy looking, and yet shamelessly evil was right there in front of him. An enemy of heroes. He could only think of the pretty boy he met on that school roof, the only hero he wanted to save from a terrible pro hero. It was his chance. It was his chance to save him!
This little schoolboy began to smile.
“Wait!” he called out, reaching out for the red-eyed stranger who stopped at his words. “I’m quirkless. I-I don’t have any power. I’m not strong or fast or flexible or anything like that. B-But…” But what… Midoriya frantically flipped through a page in his notebook. The very last page that was sketched with the anatomy of human that he had copied out of the books he stole from the school infirmary. It was labeled in detail with questions written all over the page about the human body and how quirks affect it. He held it up to this villainous stranger with a twitching smile on his freckled face. “I want to learn. I want to know these heroes… inside and out. If I learn anything, I’ll always let you know. I’ll let you know any physical or social weakness. I-I can be useful somehow, right!?” Give him this chance. It’s all he could ask for. And the stranger turned halfway to him, looking at the page from a distance and looking at the face of the trembling teenager. He merely scoffed and shrugged his shoulders. “I’ll see if I can figure something out for you eventually.” And that’s all he had left to say before leaving completely.

Night after night, Midoriya went back to that specific spot hoping for the red-eyed stranger. But after the first week, it came to his attention that maybe he wanted to meet somewhere different in case he was being watched or followed. Someone like that has to have lots of enemies, right? That’s the only explanation as to why he hadn’t come back. Or maybe he was just busy, but surely he would have made the time to come back. That man didn’t give up on him too, did he? Maybe he shouldn’t have told him that he was quirkless. No, he definitely had to. Anything that came off as a lie or hiding something, someone like that would kill him in an instant.
So the little schoolboy began tagging different walls around the city’s underbelly with more of that same phrase he wrote that night. Heroes Lie. It can at least be a sign that the teenager was still out and about. He wasn’t hiding or running away from this opportunity. His desperation became so intense that he even began asking people in the alleys if they’ve seen someone in a black hoodie with a hand on his face. It was unwanted attention and unsafe but he just had to find him again if he wanted to save Todoroki.
It was just past the first week when he was leaving another signature tag on a small hero agency. “Come on… how many of these do you need to find,” he grumbled, getting annoyed at this point. He shook the can a bit, getting more pressure to build up when he felt someone grab the hood of his hoodie and lift him off his feet. He dropped the can in surprise and began kicking his feet. “So you’re the little brat that’s been leaving those all over the place!” it wasn’t the one he was looking for. But even still, he was caught red-handed. If his mother found out about this, or if the schools he’s applied to, or if the stranger figures out how pathetic he is at being a mild delinquent. “Let me down!” it was all he could say even though it would do nothing. He was found out, deer in the headlights.
“Heroes lie, huh? That’s a lot of disrespect from someone like you.” The hero began to lecture and Midoariya just covered his ears and kept flailing to get out of this basic pro’s grip. He wasn’t as big as All Might or Endeavor and his costume wasn’t flashy at all, there was no way he was even in his entire collection of notebooks. He wasn’t about to listen to anything this guy had to say. No more lectures. No more being told what he can’t or shouldn’t do. “Shut up!” he cried out, just not wanting to hear anything heroes had to say. “Shut up! Shut up!” He kicked back and nailed the heel of his shoe into his groin making the hero flinch and grit his teeth. His grip loosened and Midoriya was on his feet once again. But it only took the second he landed for the hero to tackle him to the ground and forced his face into the dirt below them. “Little kids like you try so hard to be different and say things just for attention. Slandering heroes like this, do you realize how hard they work to protect people like you and your friends?!” The hero continued and Midoriya still struggled, looking for any way to escape. His arms flailed but he had no flexibility to try and hit the man on top of his back. But it was then that something shimmering caught his eye. A broken glass bottle in the shadow of a trash can was just an inch or two from his reach.
“Are you listening to me?! Think about how immature you’re being. Don’t you think that we deserve a little respect for our hard work protecting you? Have we earned that much!?” This hero seemed personally offended by this freckled teenager’s tagged words. But that meant nothing to him now. “You...You people haven’t earned jack from me. You don’t even know me!” The green-haired boy said through gritted teeth as his face was pressed further into the dirt. He just kept reaching for the light of that glass bottle. It seemed like such excessive force to be used against someone so small and quirkless. “Having a flashy costume and a title doesn’t mean anything!”
Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re the good guy.
Midoriya tapped the top of the bottle to make it shift just a little bit until he could get the skinny end in his entire hand. “People that think they deserve good things just because they’re born with power need to disappear!” with nothing but luck, the teenager closed his eyes and swung the bottle back and prayed that it would hit the hero. And it did. It hit the man on the forehead where he at least wore a helmet, but the shattered glass still was able to cut up and stab his face. “What the hell!?” the hero once again had to back off and cover his face as a shard had gotten into one of his eyes. Midoriya scurried out from under him and picked up another chunk of glass that was on the ground and held it up in defense. Now he’s done it. There’s no getting out of this without trouble. The hero was on his knees holding his eye with blood dripping all over his face from smaller cuts. “You… Look what you did!” the man cried out, showing the freckled teenager his eye that had been slit by the glass with the piece still lodged inside of it. It made the teen flinch at the painful sight and fluids were dripping out of it. “I…” didn’t mean to? Not a chance.
Instead, the corner of Midoriya’s lips began to twitch up in a smirk. Look what this little quirkless boy did. The hero underestimated him and now he was half-blind! He snuck up on him thinking he could take him on just because he was some hero! He began to giggle because the thought of it was hilarious! How terribly, horrifyingly ironic! Who needed a quirk to feel powerful? He brought a hero to his knees with the use of nothing but glass garbage! His giggle grew to a laugh as he just pointed at the bleeding hero with a bright glow in his green eyes.
“Look what I did!? You can barely see!” he mocked, finally being the one able to do that. His body was shaking with euphoria. This feeling was so new, so intoxicating. The hero was paralyzed by his shock of how this young teenager was so pleased by his suffering. How cruel someone was at such a young age. He reached forward with his arm quickly growing and extending, trying to grab the freckled boy yards away from him. It was his quirk. He just had to restrain this young lunatic in the making.
Midoriya flinched and was about to turn to run before he was grabbed before the hero’s extended hand grabbed the back of his throat only to have it suddenly let go. He looked back to see a scrawny figure in black behind the hero, or at least, where the hero used to be. The man that had just been half-blinded had suddenly turned to nothing but dust on the ground. Dead. The hero was dead. Gone in just a single moment. Midoriya hadn’t even seen the man himself disappear, just the dust remains and a pool of blood from where he once knelt. He couldn’t say anything, unable to find the words to say even though the one he’s been looking for was right in front of him.

The red-eyed stranger with the hand on his face walked right on through the puddle of blood to Midoriya while the boy was frozen before him. He strolled over to him, hunched over a bit to get to eye level, and got a little too close to his face again. “You good?” he asked vaguely. He only received a gulp and a nod as an answer. “Is… he dead?” Midoriya asked very quietly, not breaking the little eye contact he had with the hues between the finger gaps. He just wanted to be sure. “Yeah.” was all the hooded man said. After that, Midoriya broke eye contact to look at the blood again. So this guy was a murderer after all. Considering how easily and quickly he got rid of that hero, he’s done this plenty of times before. It was difficult to fully process because of how quick the hero was gone but Midoriya had such a sick pleasure of watching him be in pain.


The man’s eyes changed shape to represent he was smiling under that hand. “You still wanna do what you said?” he asked cheekily. “Learn heroes inside and out?” Midoriya nodded twice. The first time was slow and shaky, but after he shut his eyes tight his motion was more confident. “Then come on.” Midoriya was lightly nudged on the shoulder to follow this random guy he met in an alley in the middle of the night and just killed someone. And as they walked, Midoriya was next to this man but a pace behind him too. Where were they going? Was it going to be safe? Was anyone else going to be there? He had spent all time looking for this killer and now that he was with him, he felt himself getting nervous like the night they met. “Shigaraki Tomura. That’s what you can call me. How about you little schoolboy?” the hooded figure called Shigaraki finally revealed himself. “Midoriya u-um… I-Izuku.” Did he forget his own name? He stuttered saying his own name. How embarrassing! He must look like a timid idiot!
Shigaraki had been looking directly ahead until he asked for his new little acquaintance. He quickly noticed how nervous he was getting all of a sudden. He was a teenager growing up, he could tell that much. But this boy was clearly coming out of typical citizen life. He was walking into a life he’s never seen or been a part of before. Did he feel bad for him? Maybe. Not pity or sympathy, but he felt… something. This kid just looked pathetic to him. But he was willing to give this pathetic, stuttering boy a chance. This wasn’t a mistake, right? Was he wrong to put faith in this random kid he met on the streets? He lightly scratched at his neck without thinking about it.
Shigaraki took Midoriya to this building in the backmost streets of the most compressed part of the city. It was about three stories tall and looked rundown on the outside. “Do you live here?” Midoriya asked as they were coming around to a side door. It was a bit hard to see with the lack of light in the area. “Kinda.” Kinda? What could that possibly mean? Did he, or did he not live in this weird place in the middle of the city. Maybe he was just squatting here. He looked shaggy enough to live in a sketchy place like this. But in going through the door and having it shut lightly behind him, he found himself inside a bar with no one else except a man made of dark fog standing behind a counter. “I’m back, Kurogiri. It’s the kid I was telling you about.” Shigaraki grumbled, stretching his neck from side to side without cracking it.
Midoriya looked around curiously trying to get a feel for the place. It was very neat with bottles behind the bar very neatly aligned, a big TV on a brick wall, lots of swivel stools to sit on, and a single red sofa against the wall. Not some big torture dungeon or decked out armery as he may have expected for a little bit. It just looked like a typical bar. The dark fog guy, named Kurogiri, was even dressed like a bartender, so he must just be the owner. What was up with this Shigaraki guy? What was he hoping to accomplish?
Shigaraki took a seat at one of the stools at the bar. “Get comfortable,” he said casually, taking out his phone and just scrolling through it for a few seconds while Midoriya sat on the sofa in a stiff posture. What was he thinking? What was he planning? Was this a trap? There was so much he didn’t know yet. This suddenly seemed like a bad idea.
“I’m trying to set something up here. I want to create a powerful team.” Shigaraki began, glancing up at the freckled boy and then going back to look at his phone, his foot resting on his knee and his elbow on the counter. “A League of Villains kind of thing. I want power. I want numbers too. But even then, a tight, well-crafted party would make for the greatest chance of success against our final boss.” he showed his phone screen the boy who was listening intently. He showed him a picture of All Might in his fake form in a news article. “I want to destroy hero society. But I want to destroy All Might more than anything. And you’re going to help me do that. That’s what you want too, right?”
Too destroy hero society? What was that even supposed to mean? Shigaraki was so vague, it just left Midoriya with even more questions. And yet he felt that they were things that could be answered with time. It was only a matter of whether he was going to give Shigaraki and this Kurogiri guy his time and limited skills. He didn’t have that much to offer them, right? But it seemed he was the first to be invited to this ‘well-crafted party’. This was a whole new world he was jumping into. He wouldn’t be able to live like the rest of the kids he went to school with anymore if he was going to team up with this murderer. And yet… all he could think about was All Might’s lies and then Todoroki. The thought of seeing that beautifully kind boy, ensnared and trapped by his father’s shadow and getting caught up in a world of liars and arrogance, it filled him with a sense of rage.
“I do want that,” he said as his posture loosened and his head lowered to look up, yet straight at Shigaraki. “I want to destroy someone other than All Might, but I want him gone too. Don’t get me wrong.” He wanted that monster of a liar out of the public eye so people don’t get their hopes up like fools as he did. “But there’s someone I want dead. The number two hero below him. I’ll do anything if you can promise me they’ll both disappear.” He’ll save Todoroki. He’ll save him no matter what. He owes him nothing short of his own life and his future.
Shigaraki smiled at Midoriya’s conditions. “Of course.” he hummed, standing up again and going to an elevator door. “Let me show you what you’ll be doing now, little schoolboy.” Midoriya went ahead and followed Shigaraki once more with much more pride in his step. He’ll become something now. He’ll be more than just that quirkless kid. He felt the elevator descend quite a bit, understanding that this building was far bigger than he thought. There were many more basement floors than upper ones. And when those doors opened again, Shigaraki stepped out first and turned on a light switch to show him his new purpose.
Midoriya stepped through the threshold and beheld the sight that no one his age should be offered. A laboratory, supplied with surgical tools, drugs, books, torturous equipment, cages big enough to fit people in, workbenches, and three tables to fit and restrain people. This was a set up for human experimentation. “Learning heroes inside and out. Quirkless or not, whatever you can learn and study will be of use to me.” Shigaraki said, walking further in, going through a drawer, and placing a scalpel in Midoriya’s hand that he grabbed and brought outward to hold it. Still holding on to his hand, he bent over to get to his eye level. “Midoriya Izuku… Will you truly become a villain?” he asked with the most twisted smirk underneath that hand. He was completely still but his mind was ravaged with enthusiasm. A doctor. A healer. But also a killer. It’s exactly what he needed. And with a bright green glow in his big mischievous eyes, Midoriya tilted his head up to look down at the man before him. “Absolutely, Shigaraki Tomura.”

Chapter Text

Midoriya would later move his nightly adventures from random alleyways to spending it in the laboratory in Kurogiri’s bar. It seemed like Shigaraki was always there waiting for him but he never said much. And at the first few nights, there wasn’t anything for the villain in the making to do. There was no body to practice with and he debated as to if that was a good or bad thing. It gave him more time to look over all the tools and drugs and study them. With books to read and the internet at his fingertips, it was good preparation to figure out what he was going to be doing soon enough.
And while he never interacted with Shigaraki, Kurogiri made many appearances. The first time gave Midoriya quite a fright as the dark fog man had teleported beside him, looking over his shoulder while he was at a desk reading a book. “Is everything… useful?” the man had asked calmly but it had scared the freckled teenager, causing him to jump and grab a syringe, holding it defensively with quivering hands. But Kurogiri was shockingly polite. “Apologies for scaring you. You must have been focused.” he apologized. Midoriya put the needle down with an embarrassed expression and quietly looked back at the book. “I’ve only dabbled in this kind of stuff. It’s a bit...overwhelming, I guess,” he mumbled. Maybe he was way in over his head. He was just a teenager. He couldn’t become a pro doctor of a single summer break. There was so much to learn, memorize, and understand, this was nothing like hero notes because now it was up to his own actions instead of gushing over others’. But he suddenly panicked.
“Th-That doesn’t mean that I’m going to ditch it all! Not after Shigaraki gave this all to me!” he said, waving his hands at the man in the suit. He couldn’t even risk looking like he was going to back out of this villain work now. They would probably kill him because of what he knew already! Don’t let them get the wrong idea. He could do this. He told Shigaraki he would. And though he was expecting a threat from this man shrouded in darkness, he received a foggy hand on his shoulder instead. The gesture caused him to flinch but then look up with less anxiety in his system. “I don’t know much about this work either. I’ve never considered a medical field.” he began, turning his head to look at the page the boy had opened on his desk. “It already looks very complicated. But if you truly need help, I wouldn’t mind assisting you or finding someone who can.”
Midoriya could only blink a few times as Kurogiri began looking more closely at the book. “Shigaraki was telling me how he wanted to give you a subject right away. But I convinced him to let you build your confidence first. And in hindsight, I believe I made the correct decision.” There were so many words even this grown adult couldn’t understand. All these medical terms and body parts he’s never heard of; it came off as intimidating to him. He found it a bit admirable that a child was stepping up to the challenge of comprehending it all. “Would you like anything to help you focus? You’ve been down here for quite some time.” he then offered to which he removed his hand from Midoriya’s shoulder. Midoriya scratched the back of his head. “Maybe some water…?” he asked shyly. It was then he watched Kurogiri disappear within himself as a portal for just a few moments. “Dark fog teleportation,” he muttered out loud, still being his little habit. And before even a minute had passed, Kurogiri had returned with a glass of water and set it down on the desk. For villains… this guy didn’t seem all that bad or scary now. It made the new villain smile. “Thank you.”
It became a ritual for a while for Kurogiri to come by the laboratory and offer food or a drink for the boy hard at work. And that boy’s requests became more casual as he asked for sugary and salty snacks, fruit juices and sodas, finally getting comfortable in this new setting. Some points in the nights, Midoriya would ask Kurogiri to stay for the company. There would be no talking or requests. The man would just stand there, sit at a different desk, or sometimes pick up a different book and try getting a few peeks at what the child was learning. And that child has never had a figure like this in his life before. An adult male figure that wouldn’t tell him what he could or couldn’t do, someone that was supporting him even if it was quiet, and someone that was letting him learn at his own pace.

Interactions with Shigaraki were always brief if they weren’t nonexistent. He saw him when he arrived near midnight, and when he left around six am. He was always at the bar, in the same seat every time. Sometimes the counter would be covered in scattered papers, other times he was playing video games on a little tv, or be on a laptop going through odd-looking web pages, or watching the news, or on his phone, or sometimes he would just sit there with his palm on his cheek. It seemed like he never slept or he was nocturnal. He was really skinny too so he didn’t seem all that threatening until he used his quirk. But he always had that severed hand on his face. Something about that hand just seemed so strange.
“Does he ever take it off? Is it real? Does it do anything?” Midoriya asked Kurogiri as they stood in the elevator going back up to the hub of the bar. He hugged two books in his arms, prepared to just take them home to continue studying diligently. Now he was more than comfortable with this dark fog man, it was the one who brought him into this villain world that seemed more the stranger. “You could always ask him yourself,” Kurogiri suggested, making Midoriya shake his head vigorously. If it was real, those would be very rude questions to ask. He didn’t know Shigaraki well and it felt out of place to ask someone that he was working for something along those lines. “Not a chance. I don’t know him like that. I think he might kill me.”
“If he’s your boss, wouldn’t you think it would be easier for you to get to know him? Avoiding him won’t get either of you anywhere.” Kurogiri suggested. Midoriya hid his nose behind the books and looked at his feet. Get to know his boss? Have his boss get to know him? What would they tell each other? Their goals seemed so vague and their inspirations were unclear to each other. Midoriya hasn’t told anyone about his dreams in full. But when it came down to it, he wanted revenge on All Might, to prove himself, and to save Todoroki. But would that be enough for Shigaraki? “I would also like to know you more. I could provide more helpful assistance.” Kurogiri then added having not received an answer in over a minute. It made Midoriya’s head perk up slightly. Maybe… just maybe they would help him save that beautiful boy at the middle school.
The elevator doors opened and Shigaraki was sitting right where he always was. On this particular morning, he was playing a videogame on a little tv that sat on the counter. It looked like a single-player game. That fact alone was enough to ruin any source of courage to approach him. He didn’t seem like the social type even though he was the one that approached Midoriya in the first place. But Kurogiri gave Midoriya the slightest nudge forward as he himself went behind the bar counter to start cleaning behind it. He liked to keep things tidy.
Out of all the stools to choose from, Midoriya sat on the one on Shigaraki’s right side. But he awkwardly sat there in silence, not knowing what to say, what to do, or even what to think. He had many questions to ask him and wanted to know so many things, and yet it felt inappropriate to ask. What was the hand? What were his motivations? What were his plans? How many people has he killed? How did he and Kurogiri meet? Did he live here? How old was he? Did he have a family? Did he have friends? Did he have other people working for him? Why did he give him a chance?
“Do you feel confident enough to have your first subject?” Shigaraki asked out of nowhere, but ever so casually. The question made all of Midoriya’s anxious questioning disperse and focus on how to answer. Was it worth lying? He looked to Kurogiri and internally told himself it wasn’t worth lying. Honesty was the best way to build a positive relationship. “I… don’t know. I’ve never done this kind of stuff before.” He answered honestly and began playing with his fingers. “I promise that I’m not chickening out. I just want to do it right.” He had yet to kill someone. He wasn’t as used to this as Shigaraki must have been by now. He killed that hero without a second glance. “I’ve never killed someone…” He admitted, almost afraid of what his boss’s response would be. Why wasn’t he saying anything?
“But you want to, right?” Shigaraki then said after about a minute of painful silence. Midoriya stiffened even though the red-eyed man didn’t seem all that angry or offended. “Y-Yeah! Of course, I do.” Please don’t get the wrong idea. He wasn’t running away from this. He wasn’t a coward. “That Endeavor guy, I remember you had a grudge…why?” Shigaraki then asked, keeping his eyes on the game he was playing. This conversation started with Midoriya wanting to know more about his boss but somehow it seemed like it was only going the other way around!
And Midoriya knew Shigaraki was getting him to spill more details about himself. However, he was not opposed to it. This was a give-and-take and he was taking a lot of resources from the guy sitting next to him when considering the lab and study material. He could at least return it with information now. He lowered his head and stared at his feet, remembering how, at one point, there wasn’t a floor in front of them. “Someone… Someone is suffering because of him. And that person did so much for me. I want to give back.” he mumbled. “So you’re doing this for someone else?” Shigaraki asked quickly. Not good. “Not necessarily. I have my own issues with All Might and all his lies. He’s not a real hero. He’s just like everyone else. Someone like that shouldn’t have that much influence.” There was more than one motivation. He would be loyal, that is for certain.
“Figured out that heroes don’t always come, huh?” Shigaraki mumbled, lightly scratching at his neck while the screen on the game cut to a loading scene. It made Midoriya take notice and finally look at him. His eyes were calm but his body language expressed stress and intensity. “Don’t you think people are weaker when they rely on heroes? And they’re so picky… I hate them.” So much hate. The red hues of his eyes screamed nothing but hatred. So, so much hate. “They get so lazy thinking heroes will take care of the world’s problems. So it’s not their problem anymore. They get so weak and stupid… and they don’t know or care what happens when a hero doesn’t come. Not until it’s too late.” Midoriya listened as he watched the neck scratching become more intense. There were wounds there that weren’t done healing yet. He was beginning to bleed a little bit as the skin was ripping.
“And yet violence is only okay when heroes use it. That’s not fair, wouldn’t you agree? It’s annoying. I hate it.” Shigaraki slowly began to stop the scratching as the game continued and both his hands were drawn to the controller again. Midoriya only stared at him for another minute full of silence, trying to piece together all that he’s heard. Heroes don’t always come… No hero came when he was being bullied. No hero came to tell him that he could succeed. No hero came to take him off the roof, some random kid his age did. That kid was a different kind of hero. And all that hate. He felt it too. He hated All Might, he hated Endeavor, he hated all the heroes that would never give him a chance. He hated that hero society made him destined to be weaker than everyone born with a quirk. Then the bit about violence. A hero has tackled him to the dirt but the moment he fought back, he was in the wrong. The thought of all these things filled him with a kind of fire that made his fists clench up tightly.
“That person you owe. Who are they?” Shigaraki then asked, seeming to have suddenly calmed down. He had a short temper but also a short cool down. How scary, he could snap in a moment’s notice. “I never got his name. But he’s around my age. He saved me from-” Maybe he shouldn’t tell that much. “He saved me.” He didn’t finish his initial statement and yet Shigaraki did not question him about it. Instead, a little smirk peeked out from under the hand on his face. “A crush~?” He suddenly teased. Just the mention of that sent Midoriya into a full blush and he slammed his hands on the table hastily. “N-No! I-I barely know him!” He talked to him for like, an hour! It couldn’t be something as juvenile as a crush! “But you’re willing to kill the number two hero for him~” Shigaraki turned his head to place his chin in his palm and just get on all of Midoriya’s nerves, even pointing at him casually. He was so immature! “He must be a pretty big deal to you. Look at you, you’re all embarrassed, little schoolboy.”
Shigaraki just ended up laughing at the poor teenager who just sat there and took it. He couldn’t escape any form of bullying. But this kind didn’t feel so bad. It felt fake. It was a tease, but just a tease. Whether he meant it or not, Midoriya didn’t feel degraded. “It… It’s not like that.” he childishly bit the inside of his cheek in a pout. “It’s like… like… When you feel like everything is ruined and have nowhere to go and it couldn’t possibly get better. But someone gives that one little thing to keep you going. Does that make sense?” he did his best to explain while clutching the fabric of his pants at his knees. When he finally looked at Shigaraki again, he would find him almost completely still and the game paused. The controller was still in his hands as he was staring down at it with narrowed eyes. He was quiet again. Midoriya tilted his head at him attempting to see more of his face behind the hand to no avail. “Yeah… It makes a lot of sense.” he breathed at last.
Midoriya listened carefully to Shigaraki’s tone. It was the sound of someone that knew exactly what he was talking about. There was much more to this scrawny gamer than he could imagine. And so the two sat in silence for about a minute before Midoriya yawned and rubbed his eyes with the balls of his palms. Being busy all afternoon, evening, and night studying only gave him mornings to sleep and it was just barely daybreak now. He got off the stool with his things and put his hood over his head. “See you tomorrow,” he mumbled before going out the door back home.

The next night involved more studying, as did the night after, and the night after that. And after every night, he made it a habit to sit next to Shigaraki and talk with him a bit now with Kurogiri always being close by. It reached a point where Shigaraki had once offered Midoriya a second game controller to play with him instead of just watching. Conversations would dwell away from work and villain stuff and shift more towards gaming and more normal conversations. Whether it be getting into a subtle rant about difficulty spikes, glitches, or inconvenient mechanics, or going on about how society sucked, heroes sucked, teenagers sucked, or people in general sucked, the two easily formed a kind of chemistry. Midoriya still worked for Shigaraki but it was starting to feel less and less like a boss and minion relationship. And yet it didn’t feel like a teacher and mentor connection either.
“All Might is going to be teaching at U.A. this year.” Shigaraki began to say as he played an adventure game with Midoriya who had gotten a hold of the gameplay and controls by now. “You start school again in a little while, don’t you?” His attention shifted from the screen to the green-haired teenager beside him, and yet he was playing masterfully without looking at what he was doing. And beside him, Midoriya sat in all black clothing, as usual, but now with little dark circles beginning to form under and around his eyes. He looked to be in a constant state of tired these days. “Yeah. I applied to a few places. The results are supposed to come in later this week. And I…” it was too late to take an application back. “I did apply for U.A.” he looked annoyed and frustrated with himself. Going to such a school seemed sickening to him now. Being surrounded by arrogant kids with crazy quirks and selfish drives just sounded like an actual nightmare now. He grumbled and scratched at his head. “I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“Well if you do get in, it would be pretty helpful actually,” Shigaraki said and then reached over to pull Midoriya’s wrist away from his head. He was picking up on his bad habits. He’s also lost some weight since coming to the bar every night to study, ignoring his nutrition for knowledge.
Midoriya blinked when he heard Shigaraki speak again. “Having someone on the inside of a massive school like that would save me a lot of trouble. Just think a little.” Shigaraki tapped Midoriya’s forehead with one finger. Having someone on the inside of All Might’s place of work. A school with high-tech security not knowing that a villain was walking inside its very walls. He could take notes on all the pro hero teachers. He could get information on all the students. He could map out the school more accurately. “I’d be right under our enemy’s noses.” He mumbled with a finger curled to his chin. “The paranoia of an intruder… no one would suspect me.” A small smirk was tugging at the corner of his lips. “The heroes and the students would be in the palm of my hand.” How amazing that sounded. To have the heroes scrambling because of him.
“However, you would still need to be careful. You can’t give yourself away. You’ll have to play nice with all the other kids and play along with their little games.” Shigaraki reminded him. That did not sound amazing. It sounded agonizing. Getting along with pompous heroes on a daily basis was something he had no desire to do. “You’ll have to bite your tongue, put on a smile, and use that face of yours to make them all think you’re just a little fanboy.” Midoriya got physically paler as he put his face on the counter a bit harshly and making a small bang. He’d rather bash his head into the wall. Multiple times. But was it truly worth it? He’d be like a little rat amongst giant monsters. And yet the idea of the massive All Might dying at his feet, realizing it was the kid he underestimated that brought him to his demise filled him with nothing but joy. Could he pretend to be the person he used to be? “I don’t know if I-” Midoriya began to lift his head up off the counter when he saw the severed hand on the counter beside him. His eyes flickered when he noticed it and his focus quickly trailed up to Shigaraki’s face. The skin around his eyes was wrinkled, dried, chipped, and cut. His lips were beyond being just chapped, and yet he had a scar on his right eye and at the corner of his mouth. No regular lotion or chap stick was going to make his face look normal. A condition maybe? Or maybe something with his quirk caused him to look so terrifyingly strange.
And yet it was something about his eyes that Midoriya found alluring. They had looked so narrow and angry all the time when they were behind the severed hand’s fingers. But now they seemed just a little bit softer, a little bit bigger, and a little bit brighter. “Think you can do it?” Shigaraki asked looking down at him. Midoriya could only bring himself to nod. Was this his way of showing trust? He had this overwhelming feeling well up in his chest when they made eye contact. The expression in those red eyes was telling him so many things that he couldn’t begin to understand. “I think you can too.”
Shigaraki didn’t put the hand back on after their short conversation. Perhaps he just felt more comfortable without it now. At least with Midoriya. And so they played a video game for a little bit longer like this. “Hey, do you think the son of the number two hero would go to U.A.?” Midoriya asked, the thought suddenly coming to his mind. Would he see that boy again? Would he be there as a hero in training? Would they… become enemies? “I would assume so. I bet that wouldn’t even have to take the tests to get in.” Shigaraki answered honestly. The answer made Midoriya hold the controller close to his chest and lower his head a bit. A villain and a hero… it wouldn’t possibly work. Todoroki wanted to be a hero. Granted, a hero that had pure motivations. But there’s no way he would approve of the work Midoriya was planning to do. Would they fight? What would he do if they did meet again? Would he have to fake his personality to him? He wanted to save him. He was doing this for himself but also for the boy that saved him.
“Do you think he’d be willing to join us?” Shigaraki asked, watching Midoriya from the corner of his eye. The question made Midoriya raise his head a bit with wide eyes. Join them? Turning that beautiful, pure boy into a villain? But… they could fight the world together. He could save him and do it honestly. He could show him how he changed him with his words. “Maybe he would. You would love to have him. He’s got an amazing quirk! He holds a small grudge against heroes too! He’s got to be super strong and-” But would it be that easy? Midoriya paused when he saw Shigaraki lean over the counter with his fingers to his lips, thinking intensely. “You’ll need help persuading someone like that. He still wants to be a hero, doesn’t he?” It can’t be that easy. It won’t be that easy. Someone as pure-hearted as that can’t be so willing to join people like them. “If you have faith that he can come to us, then let me know if I can get something as a means of persuasion.”
“L-Like blackmail?!”
“Not necessarily. Like if there’s something he wants more than anything that he couldn’t get by being who he is now. Something that the heroes would never be able to give him. Though I suppose blackmail could work too if-”
“I don’t wanna do that!”
Midoriya was not going to let Todoroki be blackmailed. But bribed… maybe he would succumb to that although deep down he hoped he wasn’t that shallow. He’d have to learn more about him. He’d have to learn his deepest desires, his most far off dreams, his most desperate wishes. Someone like Todoroki, that beautiful boy that gave him hope and purpose again, wouldn’t be so easily moved by material goods. But the fact that Shigaraki was willing to help him, even if was for selfish reasons or not, he was grateful.

Midoriya soon yawned and rubbed his tired eyes. It wasn’t the usual time for him to leave yet, but he still felt so exhausted. He wanted to stay here just a little bit longer… He wanted to spend more time with Shigaraki. He wanted to enjoy Kurogiri’s company more. He wanted to tell them all about Todoroki. His dreams felt real when he was here with these two villains. He didn’t notice himself starting to doze off as his fantasized dreams and actual dreams were beginning to blend together. Going in and out of sleep while sitting up on the stool was something he began to struggle with all of a sudden.
Shigaraki felt a weight leaning against his arm only to notice a teenager was fast asleep against him, the controller still in his grip. He couldn’t help but freeze up a bit and maybe even mentally panic because now he was stuck. But it was then he felt a strange feeling in his chest and it was terribly painful, although the pain wasn’t physical. His own hands began to tremble slightly as when he looked from the corner of his eyes, he only saw black hair in pigtails on the person against him. But when actually turned to look, it was a green fluffy mess of hair instead. He must have been getting tired too, seeing such strange things.
“You kinda like him, don’t you?” Kurogiri broke the silence as he reached over to take the controller out of Midoriya’s hands and set it on the counter so he wouldn’t drop it and wake himself up. Though he was sure to keep his voice quiet to not wake the sleeping boy. Shigaraki only stared at the freckled face that was squished against his arm. This boy was looking so tired lately, studying so hard so that he could be of the utmost use when he was ready to take the next step. He was working so hard. And he was working so hard for him, for this boy he kept telling him about, and for himself. He hated so many things, hated so many people. But there was no hatred towards this little sleeping boy. “Maybe…” he answered at last. Maybe the exact opposite of hatred.
“Well, I like him,” Kurogiri said bluntly. “Well, that’s a bit odd for you. Last I remember, you hated kids.” Shigaraki grumbled with a hint of salt behind his words. It made the dark fog man’s eyes narrow but not in anger or spite. A simple expression of thought was all he was portraying. “That was a while ago. But I almost pity this one. But with how determined he is, I find myself wanting to watch him grow. I’m curious about what will become of him.” Kurogiri turned his back to Shigaraki as he began organizing bottles that were already neatly placed on shelves against the wall. The skinny villain could only scoff at how much of a neat freak he was. “I’m also curious about what he can do to this boy he thinks so highly of. The son of Endeavor would be a powerful asset to you. However, his morals and philosophies are but a mystery to us all.” Kurogiri continued. By now, Shigaraki was no longer paying any mind to his game, but simply watching Midoriya sleep so soundly against his arm. What was this boy truly capable of? What would happen if something went wrong? Was he willing to leave Midoriya behind?
“Above all, I look forward to seeing you work with him and his motivations. He looks up to you now. I’m aware that something like this is very new for you.” Kurogiri’s eyes angled in a way that represented a smirk on his mouthless face. “Clearly you trust him, taking your dear father off like so. I admit you’ve surprised me with that. And now I have to wonder Shigaraki Tomura, are you getting attatch--” The man turned around to see Shigaraki had put an arm around Midoriya to keep him up against his side and to prevent him from falling over. He was almost hypnotized by his own actions; simply feeling the need to keep the sleeping boy like this. Safe. Comfortable. Trusted. Kurogiri made a short chuckle at the sight he was beholding and merely shrugged it off. “Dear friend… what were you thinking with this one?” he said softly to himself.

When Midoriya woke up just before noon, he found himself in a bed that was not his own, though he was very comfortable. He sat up and rubbed his dark eyes, looking around to figure out where he had been taken to. An empty, undecorated, and slightly dusty bedroom was where he found himself. There was an open door that gave him the view of a type of apartment-like place. Out the window, he could see he was still in the same location as the bar, but higher up. So the second floor was living spaces? “You can stay here if you want, you know.” Shigaraki’s voice came from the corner of the room where a single table was placed. There wasn’t even a chair. He was sitting on top of it with no hand blocking his face. “You take pretty long walks going from home to here every night. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to.”
Midoriya rubbed his face to attempt to wake himself up more and comprehend what Shigaraki was telling him. He just woke up and now he was being told he could live here. He needed a second to process things. “Are you sure that’s okay?” he groaned. He’s supposed to be working for Shigaraki and he felt like he was being spoiled with the laboratory, the time to study, and now a new living space. “It’ll make you more efficient, wouldn’t it?” Shigaraki asked back. “You get your first corpse tonight. So I need you in the best condition to focus on what you can learn.” He got up from the table and went to the doorway and leaned against the frame, folding his arms casually. “It’s empty right now, but you can have this be your little apartment. I can give you some cash or Kurogiri could snag anything you want for it. So like…” he paused and scratched at his neck slightly. “Make yourself at home… I guess.”
Midoriya stared at Shigaraki as the latter avoided eye contact by staring off at a wall and in general emitting an awkward aura. Despite how creepy and friendly he was in their first meeting, it turns out that his boss was a socially awkward hermit after all. Midoriya almost found it funny but he didn’t want to make fun of him. And the taller young man began to walk out and leave when freckled villain raised his hand out straight. “Wait a second,” he called out when the other’s back was turned. “I forgot. I never got to thank you for saving me from that hero that night. And now you gave me all of this so…” With sleepy eyes and a sleepy smile, Midoriya scratched his cheek with one finger awkwardly. “Thank you, Tomu.”
Hearing this, Shigaraki lost all color to his skin and his eyes seemed to lose all life as his soul completely left his body. He looked like a standing corpse. That stupid little nickname killed him. It was so stupid! It was cripplingly embarrassing! Why the hell did he feel the need to call him that?! “U-Uh… uh…” he was left completely speechless as all his weight pressed against the doorframe. He died. Temporarily. He wanted to be the worst villain in the world and take down the strongest hero, but he was the embodiment of social anxiety.
Midoriya watched Shigaraki slowly dragged his feet out of the room and silently left like a zombie. The teenager couldn’t help but snicker at the fact Shigaraki got so embarrassed that he broke him with just a nickname. Bakugo didn’t react like that at all when he was given the nickname Kacchan. Bakugo was just pissed. He just unintentionally traumatized a murderer.

Midoriya found out very quickly that Kurogiri was a god of a cook when he came down to the bar for breakfast/lunch. Whether it was a snack or a full meal, he could make anything taste amazing. Though when he came to eat a full meal, Shigaraki was in his usual seat eating a single bag of chips. He sparked a bit of curiosity within him. “Tomu, are you skinny because you don’t eat, or is it your quirk?” he asked. Shigaraki flinched with death as his soul peaced-out for a good few seconds before he regained half of his composure. It made Kurogiri chuckle quietly to himself as this child has learned how to mentally kill this blue-haired young man. “Both… Healthy food is gross and my body breaks stuff down really fast.” He answered casually only for Midoriya to whip out a notepad from his pocket and rapidly take quick notes. “Don’t take notes on me!” He felt like he was being added to the hit list!
“But I have to. If something happens to you, I have to know the best way to fix you. So I need to know how you work.” Midoriya answered and it made the older villain blush for a moment before looking away and going on his phone. “Whatever.” His reaction made the teenager giggle to himself. How was he ever scared of this guy in the first place? He was so easy to tease. “At least I’m not head over heels for someone I don’t even know their name to.” he sneered making Midoriya go bright red instantly. He was so petty! “I told you I don’t have a crush on him!” Kurogiri watched the two go back and forth childishly and could only sigh at their foolish teases. “Like siblings…”

Chapter Text

Midoriya stood at the side of his working table and was frozen in his place. He held a scalpel in gloved hands, his black hoodie on his favorite desk chair, black flu mask over his mouth and nose. He was supposed to be ready. He trembled as he stared down at the corpse laying on his experimentation table. There was a deep and jagged gash at the center of its face that likely lead to a rather painful death. The blade in the little villain’s hand was held close to his own chest, too shaken to begin the work he told himself he had been looking forward to. He wasn’t even the one that killed this man and yet his anxiety was going out of control.
“If it makes you feel better, these things weren’t good people when they were alive,” Shigaraki said as he sat on Midoriya’s desk behind him. His right leg was over the left and he had his arms folded, no hand covering his face. Seeing his complexion was becoming very normal by now. “I hate normal people. But I hate some more than others,” he said casually. He slowly got up and stretched. “I can see you shaking. What are you so scared of?” He walked up beside him and bent down a bit to look at this freckled villain at more eye level. He kept his tone calm and almost uncharacteristically soft. He wasn’t pressuring him to rush or hounding him for not being ready even though he’s been studying nonstop for weeks. Was he always this patient?
“I...don’t know,” Midoriya mumbled. He stabbed a hero in the eye but that was technically on accident. But he started laughing about it. Was it out of hysteria? Was he worried about what that beautiful boy would think of him if he went through with this? What his mother would think? He’s been sneaking out so much, he hardly saw her anymore. Was he nervous about disappointing Shigaraki and Kurogiri? Was he that afraid of messing up? What was there to mess up? He wasn’t the one that killed the corpse in front of him. He hasn’t even committed murder yet. Why… Why did he feel so pathetic?
Midoriya’s free hand began to lightly scratch at his wrist but Shigaraki took his wrist and lightly pulled it away. A hypocrite. “Don’t think about it.” He told him, standing up a bit straighter again and leaned back in his place. He was just gazing up at the ceiling looking rather bored but that was his usual expression. The boy next to him could tell he was just thinking of the right thing to say. “Be curious. Give yourself a chance.” Then Shigaraki put his hand in the fluffy green mess that was the freckled boy’s hair and ruffled it up with a finger raised. He could never be too careful. Midoriya shut his eyes tight from the pressure being pushed down on his head. It wasn’t too harsh. It was rather playful actually. But the boy did listen and when the brotherly assault ended, he pushed his hair out of his face to look at the scalpel in his hand. Give himself a chance…
Shigaraki patted his shoulder before walking past him to the other side of the laboratory and lightly kicked a large furnace. “Burn it when you’re done. You wouldn’t like the smell if we just left it here. And we can’t just toss them out.” They would be very likely to get caught if they just tossed them around the city. And with those last instructions, Shigaraki walked past the little villain one more time, lightly nudging his freckled cheeks with his thumb and index finger on the way, and returning to the elevator to go back up to the central area of Kurogiri’s bar. Thus, leaving Midoriya all by himself with a dead body on his table.

Midoriya would remain still for at least a few minutes more. The room was completely silent. What was he waiting for? There was no messing up. Be curious. And with a twisted curiosity, he began examining the corpse before doing anything more. It was stone cold, the color was drained from the skin, and there were no broken bones or fractures to be found. He began poking and feeling at it carefully. It was an adult male with faint remnants of fish scales on his neck. “Hybrid Transformation quirk, a type of scaley defense.” He muttered to himself, going to his desk to retrieve a different notebook as he began to sketch the corpse out on paper and take notes beside the drawing. Then he tried stabbing the scales on the neck with a knife only to see that it would not penetrate. So instead he took out a different knife and sliced off a large chunk of flesh from the corpse’s bicep with a motion that can only be compared to a butcher carving meat.
The teenager held the bloodied piece of skin, muscle, and tissue in his hands and began to lightly peel at the top layer of flesh to find scales hiding underneath. Curious. Curious. He wanted to know so much more. Would scales appear as an instinctive reaction to conflict, or were they summoned voluntarily? How were they summoned? What parts of the body controlled them? What were they made of? How did the body produce them? What would happen if they broke? Many questions he had could only be answered if this corpse was alive. So he could only work with what he had. And yet he wouldn’t complain. His thirst for knowledge was taking over once again. He was no longer a fanboy gushing over the mysteries and limits of quirks. Now he was dissecting them and taking notes on his own work. This was his own work. His impact would be grounded in his intelligence and knowledge of quirks.
There was no fear anymore. There was not a hint of hesitation. Though he was extremely delicate and careful, using a steady hand to poke and slice without a quiver. His eyes seemed to have that ominous glow as they narrowed in complete focus, constantly switching from investigating to note-taking naturally. This is what Shigaraki was letting him become. Shigaraki and Kurogiri did so much for him to finally reach this step of actually being useful. He wanted to make them proud.

After many hours of nonstop work, the furnace door was slammed shut after the corpse was moved from the experimenting table to a table on wheels and then slid into the flames to burn up into ash. Once the corpse itself was taken care of, Midoriya responsibly cleaned and sterilized all of his tools. He returned all chemicals to their proper cabinets. He scrubbed the floors of any fluids or remains that may have fallen. It felt so casual now. His energy had skyrocketed from the sheer excitement of taking what he had learned from studying and using it himself and then making his own discoveries. Behind his mask, he had a childish grin filled with pride as he cleaned up his laboratory. Being productive. Making an impact. This feeling was amazing.
Once all had been tidied up to his satisfaction, Midoriya had done his best to try and clean himself off to the best of his ability. His hands were mostly clean thanks to his gloves. But the same could not be said to his hoodie that was excessively stained after hours of sifting through a human body. There wasn’t much he could do about it but it was best not to wear it home for his mother to see.
His mother. She has been so silent all this time. She would greet him every late morning, cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. She was fully aware that he has been sneaking out at night and coming back at the break of dawn. And yet she has done nothing because he never returned hurt, suspicious, or with anyone. When he came back, he simply looked tired but not miserable. Surely she could ask. She likely would at some point. Perhaps she’s been keeping a distance due to all the intense studying he’s been doing at home. How much of a blessing she has been this whole time. It would break her heart if she ever found out what he’s been up to; especially now that he’s gone this for Shigaraki. How disappointed she’ll be…
But Midoriya shook his head furiously at the thought, even slapping the water flowing out of the sink in a small fit. How disappointed she’ll be. It wasn’t her fault that he didn’t have a quirk. He would never blame her. But she, too, had no faith in his ability to be something big, a great and shining hero. But that beautiful boy at the school did. This was for him. This was to save him from his father. This was to bring him closer. To bring him here with Kurogiri and Shigaraki. They’d take good care of that boy here just like they’ve done for this green-haired mess Shigaraki found on the street in the middle of the night. And to have someone like that here all the time with him… Midoriya would soon find himself blushing and splashed water into his face, scrubbing aggressively hard into his skin.
“That guy…” he looked down at the water pooling in the sink and shifting between dark shades of red and then fading into pink. He never put much thought into it and denied all of Shigaraki’s childish teasing and yet he couldn’t help but question a part of himself. He’s never really thought of boys to be beautiful before. But he’s also never had any friends to think as beautiful either. The closest thing he had to a friend… “Believe that you'll be born with a Quirk in your next life and take a last chance dive off the roof!” that wretched voice echoed in his head his eyes scrunched tightly. No, Bakugo could not compare to someone like that red and white-haired boy he met. Even if it was just for an hour or two, it was all he needed to make his chest start to feel fuzzy. This was something he’s never felt before.
His arms holding him at his waist. Saving him. The arm around him to hold him close. Bringing him down safely even though he was hurting too. Empathizing with him even though his pain probably couldn’t compare to that of those burns on his arms. And that burn on his face… he must have been through more than he could have told him that day. But the tone of his voice, the cold bitterness with the burning hatred in his eyes and the softness yet the toned shape of his face. That guy… “He was so pretty…” he mumbled to himself as he then found himself holding his own waist, reminiscing over that feeling of almost falling off the roof. He wanted to be held like that one more time. Two more times, no, dozens of times. Midoriya’s cheeks blushed as he held himself, his knees turning inwards as his head tilted. His eyes had that familiar glow as a terrible smile grew on his freckled face. Splotches of blood littered his clothes and a single strand of spatter remained on the skin next to his lips. “I think… I-I think I really want him.” he nearly giggled in the dim light of his laboratory.

The elevator doors would eventually open to the main hub of Kurogiri’s bar with Midoriya coming through to take a seat in his usual seat next to Shigaraki. “Well someone looks happy,” Kurogiri commented as the boy had that same smile plastered on his face and shoved his notebook forward to the dark fog man. “It was incredible! I was able to learn more from that than I have all week!” he said ecstatically. Letting Kurogiri take the notebook, Midoriya watched him turn quite a few pages to look over the information he had taken from one subject. The freckled villain kicked his feet, leaning forward, and gripping the fabric on his knees with a kind of cute excitement. But he still never got all the blood off his face and hoodie. It was some twisted version of a child showing his dad what he drew in class today.
Noticing the few spots of blood on Midoriya’s face, Shigaraki was on his phone and eventually licked his thumb to smear away the spots. Couldn’t have him going outside looking like that and getting caught. But the action made the boy lean back in protest and turn his face to try and get away without too much effort. “Gross,” he whined. But Shigaraki poked his forehead instead just enough to almost make him fall off, but didn’t of course. “You’re gross.” he retorted monotoned. “Well, you’re gross,” Midoriya said right-back but couldn’t keep a straight face about it and started snickering. Seeing how happy he was now compared to when he was left with a corpse, Shigaraki was able to take a calm deep breath. He’s been adjusting so well so far.
“These are very impressive.” Kurogiri eventually said, handing the notes to Shigaraki to look over. The scrawny villain took them and silently looked over them with a frozen expression. He looked focused but he was taking this very seriously. Reading each word carefully, looking over each drawing, each label, one could only wonder if he comprehended what was written. There were lots of medical terms only someone like Midoriya would know at this point. Though the killer next to him was childish, he was nowhere near stupid. But anxiety began to well up in the young villain’s chest because he couldn’t tell what the older one was thinking. He was completely stone-faced. At least until he smirked with a slight scoff and lowered the notebook. “Give me a day to get you the computer stuff to type these out with the drawings. Then you can send it to me,” he said, sliding the notebook to him. Was that it? The fact he was willing to set him up with the access to a neater setup was an honor but… his face was about to look mildly disappointed when he felt a hand with only four fingers on his head and lightly pet him side to side. “You’re going to be one of the greatest villains at this rate.” he praised.
Those words made the teenager freeze as his head was lightly being swayed left to right. Shigaraki paid him no mind and let him have his little moment, even ignoring the single tear that escaped his eye. He could just tell that this little villain hasn’t had genuine praise in quite a long time. Between emotional manipulation and genuine affection, Midoriya couldn’t tell what he was receiving at this very moment. It wasn’t like he cared, however. When Shigaraki stopped his petting, he hunched over the counter to go through his phone and settings to find his phone number. Midoriya leaned to the side to get nosey peek at what he was doing and got the hint as to what he was going for. He took his own phone out and went into his contacts. And though he didn’t necessarily have to do this to see, he leaned further to the side to press himself into the older villain’s arm and shoulder. Just to be against him and put some weight against him as he entered in the phone number. Shigaraki stayed still and let him press against him without a word. He even watched the little villain enter the contact name. For obvious reasons, he wouldn’t put “Shigaraki Tomura”, what if someone saw? He had a better idea. “Big Brother.”
Seeing this made Shigaraki blink a few times and then look away like he never saw it. Embarrassed? Absolutely. But was he going to say anything against it? Absolutely not. Typing that contact name down made Midoriya’s smile soften. This name felt just right.
“Could I see your coat Midoriya?” Kurogiri asked, coming around to the same side of the bar. Without much thought, the teenager did as asked and unzipped his bloody black hoodie and had the man take it. “Let me wash it for you before someone catches you outside.” And thus he warped off with it, but not without Shigaraki snatching something from his back pocket. When Kurogiri left, he put in his password that he must have learned at some point and went digging to find his number and set it on the counter. “He had to get a new number so I need it too,” he said casually. That was not a lie as he put the man’s number into his own contacts. But he did peer over at the little villain’s screen and saw him name the number “Dad” and had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing.
As dawn drew closer, Midoriya was sent on his way to go back to his mother’s home. He waved goodbye and went on his way with a sleepy smile. Tonight was a big step into becoming a villain with Shigaraki as his guide. Never had his heart been filled with so much pride and joy. He was becoming something! He was going to prove everyone wrong. And he was going to make the beautiful boy his.
“I never took you as the supportive type,” Kurogiri commented as he was shining a glass cup. Shigaraki was playing on his phone on his favorite stool and just smirked with a shrug. “Never took you as the fatherly type. You’re not so tough anymore in your old age, are you?” he instigated with his smirk growing to a mischevious grin. The taunt made the man in the suit’s glowing yellow eyes narrow. The scrawny guy could be such a brat sometimes. But deep down, he knew he had every right to be. “What’s that supposed to mean Shigaraki Tomura?” he challenged as he slowly put the glass down on the counter. He wasn’t going to fight this young man. There would be no point and he honestly did not want to. But he was willing to put on a show to remind him that he was not some kind of servant. His dark fog body mass began to expand slightly in a small form of intimidation. “He put you as ‘Dad’ on his phone.” Shigaraki lightly snickered. “What?” Kurogiri’s body immediately compressed into its normal size and his eyes slightly expanded.
“His phone.”
“Yes?”
“I gave him your number.”
“I understand.”
“Your contact name is ‘Dad’.”
And thus the Dark Fog Dad’s foggy head went from being a compressed cloud of matter into a misty mess as it expanded unevenly and thinly as a reaction of embarrassment but also something else. “HA!” Shigaraki said and pointed at him as a tease.

“I-I-I-Izuku!!” Midoriya’s dearest mother cried out from across the house. It wasn’t noon yet but with Midoriya going to bed between six and seven in the morning, the morning was too early to wake up. But his mother’s cries were enough to make him grown. She wasn’t sobbing, just probably in a normal panic. He rolled over in bed and covered his head with his favorite white hoodie that was a bit too big for him. He always slept with it. It was difficult to sleep without it by now.
“I-Izuku wake up!” Inko cried out, having come into his room and began frantically shaking him. “U.A. sent you a letter! Your entrance exam is this week!” How hopeless she was, still believing that he had dreams for that school. Perhaps he did, but not with the same intentions as before. He couldn’t help but feel overwhelming anger at the sound of her tearful excitement but quickly remembered that this was his mother. She meant no harm. And yet when he hid his face in the hoodie, he immediately remembered. He’ll be there. Surely he’ll be there.
Midoriya sat right up and took the letter from his mother’s hands as she clung to his shoulders and tried to read it with him. The anticipation was going to give her a heart attack. Her eyes were too full of tears to read it. “It’s a reminder that the entrance exam is this week… I completely forgot,” he mumbled, still sounding beyond exhausted. It wasn’t like he dissected a whole human body last night. But he fought the tiredness to read on further. “Because I’m quirkless, they’re giving me a special test. All but…” he gritted his teeth and his grip on the paper tightened. He was still bitter against this society. “I won’t be able to apply to the hero course. But there are others to choose from. So I won’t be taking the hero exam.” Not fair. Not fair at all. Even if the school just started allowing quirkless people in, they still banned them from even trying to be heroes. He’ll show them…
“Oh, that sounds wonderful sweetie.” Inko smiled as she wiped her eyes. Had anyone else said that Midoriya would be more than just furious. But he knew his mother was just scared that he was going to get hurt and was just happy that this school was giving her son some kind of a chance. She meant well. If only she knew. “So what are they offering? What’s on there?” she leaned in a bit to try and get a closer look. “Business, investigation, costume support, costume equipment, mass media, agency buil-”
“Medical.” Midoriya cut her off, staring at another faction of the school. His eyes were locked on the medical support course. “I want to do medical,” he repeated. How much more he could learn. How much more he could impress Shigaraki and Kurogiri. The school would be teaching him how to more properly rip people apart. The irony was almost enough to make him burst out laughing. But he had to control himself. Bite his tongue. Play nice with the other kids. That control started at home. He forced a sweet innocent smile to his mother that looked as natural as could be, almost as if his face was glittering with joy. “I want to be a doctor.”
The pure smile of her dearest son was enough to make Inko tear up again and hug on to him tightly. She was beginning to believe that he finally let go of the hero dream to pursue something just as admirable. His hopes didn’t have to be crushed by reality any longer. At least, that’s what she was being led to believe. “My baby’s going to be a doctor. That sounds wonderful Izuku. I’m so happy.” she said so lovingly as Izuku used on hand to keep her embrace close. “Yeah. I’m going to save so many people,” he said dreamily with his eyes peacefully closed. Going to save him.

Over the next couple of days, Midoriya would start leaving just before sundown to go out instead of sneaking out late at night. Without a subject to practice on and to give himself a break from all-day studying, he would go out shopping instead. But only kind of. He would casually take pictures of things in department and furniture stores around the city that he liked and send them to Kurogiri. He would also wander into a few electronic stores and take pictures of things to send them to Shigaraki. When school started once again, he imagined that he wouldn’t be returning to his mother too often. It would be must more convenient to start living in his new home, with his new family.
Now he got to choose anything he wanted without a budget. How easy it was to steal with a teleportation quirk. Midoriya had also found out one night that Shigaraki was incredibly tech-savvy. He watched him one night, with just a laptop at the bar with tons of wires attached to it, he was able to hack into any store the little villain had gone into and temporarily turn off security cameras. Long enough to let Kurogiri steal things from inventory rooms, but short enough to make it look like a glitch or malfunction. It impressed the boy and made him look up to Shigaraki even more. Of course, the latter let it fill his ego just a little bit more.
By the end of the week, Midoriya was able to decorate his apartment space in any way he wanted. No longer was his room forced to remain tainted with All Might merchandise. Instead, the walls were clean and more mature. His color preference had changed as much of his furniture was black and decorations were kept monochrome colors except for the occasional dash of red. On the night before the exam, much of his personal things have been moved in too. Clothes filled the drawers. Books filled his shelves. His bathroom was set for his own needs. This was going to be home very soon.

 

Shigaraki would find Midoriya sitting on his bed and holding the special white hoodie close to himself. He’s even brought something as important as that with him. As of that moment, he appeared to be daydreaming while staring out the window at the twinkling city lights outside. With the lights off, they made the room more colorful and provided the perfect atmosphere to stop thinking for once. To keep from rudely disturbing him, Shigaraki sat down at the foot of the bed and would stay there silently for at least a few minutes. He would look around at the newly decorated space and just enjoy a silent moment with the younger villain, letting him have a moment to think to himself.
“Do you really think he’ll be there?” Midoriya asked quietly. He had acknowledged the other presence in the room by now but did not make eye contact with him, too focused on the lights coming from outside. “Yeah, it would make sense.” the other responded with a shrug. Was it something he was really worried about? This guy he only met for a fraction of a day seemed to be on his mind quite often. He teased him about having a crush on him dozens of times by now, but was the denial out of embarrassment or confusion? “Tomu…” Midoriya began to say something but paused as he hugged the white hoodie closer to his nose. The sound of that terrible nickname made the killer at the foot the bed blush and show a grumpy expression. How degrading… some big bad villain he was for letting this teenager call him something as demeaning as that. “If… If I did like him, would that be okay?”
“What do you mean? You talk about him all the time so clearly, you don’t hate him.”
“No, not like that.”
The question made Shigaraki think for a moment. Was Midoriya admitting to having a crush on this mysterious boy after all? Or was he trying to figure that part out still? Something that he had to keep in mind was that this little villain was still growing up. Still learning about the world, but also himself. Still figuring things out. “So you’re asking me that, if you actually did have a crush on him, would I allow it?” Shigaraki tried to clarify. Allow it as a leader for his underling to have romantic feelings? Or allow him to have romantic feelings for a boy, period? “Like… I’m just confused. I’ve never really had friends or anything like that. So I don’t know what I’m feeling.” Feelings. Such terribly confusing things. “I don’t know if it’s a crush, or looking forward to having a real friend. I get so nervous when I think about seeing him again. But maybe it’s just because I tried to do something stupid the first second he met me. He probably thinks I’m so weird. Maybe he’ll never want to talk to me again. Or maybe he’s changed over the summer. What if he’s not the same person? What if his father got to him and completely changed his personality? What if I’m just getting my hopes up just to be destroyed agai-” Midoriya would find himself amid an anxious ramble, not noticing that he had begun to scratch at his wrists subconsciously. It wasn’t until Shigaraki grabbed his wrist with a pinkie up and pulled it away. “What are you really worried about Izuku?”
Midoriya froze when he felt his wrist be pulled away and suddenly realized the subtle burning sensation from his nails digging into his skin. He had picked up such horrible habits. Shigaraki’s hand easily gripped his wrist firmly from how skinny he was. His anxiety was branching into self-harming habits just like the one he looked up to. But he would never blame the one as he saw as a big brother for it. Right now, that person was trying to understand what was giving him all this anxiety. What was he truly scared of?
“If these are romantic feelings for another boy… are you going to be angry?” Would Shigaraki approve of such a relationship? It would seem odd but not odd for a villain such as him, filled with hatred and bitterness, to disapprove of things like that. But even as a villain, a killer, maybe a monster, he was not without heart. Here he was at that moment, keeping his new little brother from falling too deep into self-harm. “I don’t really get that stuff. If you’re asking me if I’m going to kill you for liking some guy, the answer is no. I’m not like that… That stuff is already,” he paused for second and his face nearly cringed thinking about it. “It’s so gross.” He had the mentality of a child. Anything romantic was just disgusting to him. People’s lips touching, how revolting!
The answer was enough to make Midoriya get a tiny bit emotional as he bit his lower lip and, with the hoodie still in his grasp, hug on to Shigaraki’s skinny torso. The reaction made the older villain lose all color once again as his soul yeeted out of existence for a short time frame. The little teenager smiled as he hugged on tight to the limp body of his make-shift big brother. “Thanks, Tomu, for everything,” he said sappily. “Kill me.” was all the other could wheeze out. This kid was going to be the death of him.

Chapter Text

He just wanted to rip his ears out, gouge out his eyes, bash his head into a wall. A letter had come in through the mail with video to watch with it from U.A.. Watching and listening to All Might congratulate him on the written tests he aced was a whole new form of torture. It was sickening to receive praise from someone like him. A man full of lies could only tell lies. How dare he stand in front of that camera with that plastered smile and even try to support him. Midoriya had the coldest glare as he watched the video play, letting his hand go to his wrist and subconsciously scratched at it. All the lies he was spreading to all these students who passed their tests. Was that beautiful boy watching something like this too?
When Midoriya walked out of his room to find Inko waiting right outside the door with her hands clasped together at her chest. Her eyes were just shimmering with worry but hopefulness for him. She desperately wanted to know what the letter said. And thus her son put on a fake, but very believable, soft smile of assurance. That smile alone sent his mother into dramatic tears of joy as she clung to him in a hug full of pride and happiness. Midoriya faked that smile through the hug and even afterward to let her be happy in bliss.

That smile would change to a focused gaze that was void of all that false joy and childish excitement. He was no longer having a lovely home-cooked dinner with his beloved mother with the tv on in the background. Now there was the sound of a bone snapping as he was in his laboratory, clothes stained with blood spatter, face spotted in red amongst his freckles, and his eyes darkened with intense focus and precision. For right now, he wanted to test how far in which directions it would take to dislocate bones in a body, although the body on his table had been sliced and sewn up again in many places. It wasn’t like he could get a fresh body every day; he needed to make them last at least a few nights.
“So when’s your first day?” Shigaraki asked from sitting on top of a workbench behind Midoriya. He was just observing him with his arms folded, curious how this little schoolboy worked and seeing how much he has changed since their first encounter. He looked so comfortable in his skin now. “After this weekend,” he answered in a monotone voice. Two more free days was all he had before becoming a full-time student once again. “What class are you in?”
“General course of class 1-C.”
“What happened to the medical course?”
“Not enough people passed. It was supposed to be their hardest test aside from the hero course.”
“Are you still in the program?”
“I’ll be training with medical professionals while everyone else does quirk training.”
Midoriya dislocated another bone with an angle measure next to it and proceeded to take more notes while answering Shigaraki’s slew of questions. It did not feel like an interrogation, just mild curiosity which he didn’t mind. If anything, Shigaraki could pick up the hint that his little brother was very angry, although he didn’t show it with blunt rage. It came out in how intensely serious he was treating the corpse on his table. He could tell that he was feeling anticipating feeling lonely and left out at school all over again. Being the only kid without a quirk and being excluded from specific activities. His jealousy of people with quirks was reaching new levels and made him hate them even more.
Shigaraki would sit on the desk table top in silence for a while longer, listening to bones snapping for quite a long time. He would just casually play on his phone and kick his feet a few times, peek at some notes that were around him, and just generally leave Midoriya to his work. “Think you could kill someone before you begin?” he would suddenly ask after at least an hour of silence. The question made Midoriya casually freeze in his notetaking as he thought it over. The bodies on his table had all been killed for him and delivered here to make for easy examinations and testing. To kill his own subject would be the last step to being a fully-fledged villain doctor. The blood would truly be on his hands, there would be no going back to living the life of a normal schoolboy even though what he was doing already was nowhere near normal. Was he ready to take a life for himself? “You said my subjects weren’t exactly good people, right?” Midoriya asked. “I don’t know if I’m ready to kill someone who doesn’t deserve to die.” No one was perfect, but some people were worse than others. He wasn’t ready to take the life of some random person who’s only made a few hurtful mistakes, though Shigaraki probably didn’t care about that anymore. And of course, heroes didn’t count because they were going out of their way to show off their quirks and make society weaker and more dependent. But Shigaraki has also been the kind of person to respect Midoriya’s requests and morals.
Shigaraki got off the desk and walked over to his little brother and pulled up a chair to sit beside him. But he did not sit normally, he chose to sit on it with the back of it against his chest. With his chin on the top of the backing, he tilted his head slightly to be more comfortable. “We can start with that. That’s what you’ve been starting with.” he offered as he pulled out his phone and scrolled through a few things before showing the screen. It was a news article with the subject’s mugshot on it. The corpse was an escaped criminal and the article listed all his crimes that included things that made Midoriya’s blood boil. “I wouldn’t trick you with stuff like this.” Shigaraki wanted to make that clear. “I’ll get you a pretty bad guy before your last free day. When you start doing this yourself, you can ask questions to avoid making guesses about quirk functions, and you could probably do psychological testing at some point. It’ll be a good starting point to get you into combat too.”
“Combat? You’ll let me do combat?” Midoriya had stopped his work by now as all his focus was on his big brother. His back was to the subject as he looked to Shigaraki with curious and hopeful eyes. Once again, he was given the chance to prove himself on something everyone doubted him in. Even without genetic power, surely he could still be of use somehow. “I’ll have to find you a teacher, probably. But you want a part in that little hitlist you made, right?” Shigaraki had likely been thinking about this for quite some time. There was no way that Midoriya would be satisfied with just being a doctor. “You could teach me, couldn’t you?” The older villain looked at his hand when he was asked. It wouldn’t be safe. And he wasn’t even the type to use weapons because they would just turn to dust if he tried having a firm grasp on them. But Midoriya would love it if his big brother was his teacher. “Maybe… maybe with defense. You’ll need someone else for offense.” Instead of leaving him out, he was willing to accommodate his needs. It made the little villain’s heart flutter as he smiled softly to himself. The idea of killing and learning how to kill was filling him with anticipation.

Shigaraki had returned to the bar for that night to let Midoriya continue his work in peace until the little villain felt he had done enough. He took the elevator to the floor with his room and quickly got changed and washed up before going to the bar to join Shigaraki and Kurogiri. As it was becoming tradition, Kurogiri took the little villain’s stained clothes and would wash them for him. The dark fog dad figure would meanwhile fix a snack for him to make sure he was at least getting baseline nutrition.
Midoriya rested his head on his arms that were on the counter as he munched on some food, watching Shigaraki scroll through his phone. The little villain looked exhausted from working all night and his mother keeping him up in the day time to gush over his success of getting into U.A.. The circles and bags around his eyes have gotten a bit more intense this past week and now his body was physically acting on the exhaustion. And Shigaraki took notice with just a glance at him. “Take the day off tomorrow.” he casually demanded out of nowhere, not looking away from his phone now. The sound of that command made the tired boy twitch and gazed up at him from his arms. “Wh...What? No, it’s-” he started to subtly panic. He wasn’t being lazy or disloyal or giving up. Shigaraki didn’t think he was any of those things, right? Was he pitying him? Or was this a test? No… Tomu wouldn’t do this. He’s not like that. “You’re starting to exhaust yourself. You’re not as accurate or productive if you’re like that. It’s basic stats. Your stamina is way low.” The older villain didn’t look away from his phone and tapped the side of his own head with one finger. “You’re smart. How do you replenish stamina?”
“A potion,” Midoriya said sarcastically which earned a hand, minus a pinkie finger, to his head that was smothering his face into the counter. But it was not painful. Just a bit of brotherly tough love. “No, idiot,” Shigaraki grumbled as Midoriya pathetically whined about being squished into the wood counter. “Ow, ow, fine!” the whines of retreat made the scrawny villain weaken his push and let the little villain raise his head again. “Coffee.” And that comment ended up with his face being smothered once again. “Sleep!” Shigaraki corrected.
Midoriya grumbled after Shigaraki released him from his counter smothering but kept his head in his arms. His eyes were closed but he would keep himself from falling asleep at the bar again. He had his own room here now so the least he could do was keep himself awake long enough to drag himself there. However, for now, he just wanted to spend just a little more time with his big brother. Spend more time with him… “Tomu, if I take the day off tomorrow, can you take it off with me? Maybe go out?” he asked, averting his eyes towards the bottles against the wall with his face tinted a light shade of pink. He was embarrassed to ask but he wanted to spend more time with his this murderous villain. Go out and do something that wasn’t work-related for once. And it looked like that villain was ignoring him as he never took his eyes off his phone and stayed quiet for about a minute. He had to think it over. “I haven’t stepped foot outside for leisure since that night I picked you up,” he admitted. His hermit status: severe. Of course, he hadn’t been outside. Why would he have to if Kurogiri could just pick anything up that he asked for? And Kurogiri appeared to obey his every command so there was no reason for him to go outside.
Shigaraki couldn’t promise Midoriya that he would be very fun to be around outside amongst the public. He rested his chin on his palm and subtly sunk his mouth into it, turning away to avoid eye contact. “I don’t think it’ll be all that fun if I go with you,” he said honestly, secretly biting at the skin on his lips. Sure this little villain was clingy to him, which he didn’t mind mostly; but he should not be getting his hopes up. But this little villain was stubborn. “We can go to an arcade or something. You can show off.” Midoriya tried to coax him into it with one of his hobbies. But he was still hesitant. “It’s not really my thing, Izuku. Just drop i-” The freckled villain reached over to grab the top of Shigaraki’s closest hand, careful not to touch his fingers. “Please?”

 

No one would believe that a simple “please” was all it took for Shigaraki to cave into Midoriya’s wishes. And that very next day, after a long night’s rest, the two were out together among the people of the outside world. Though they both shared a similar fashion sense of wearing a lot of black. Shigaraki wore just a black hoodie but Midoriya would wear a red flannel, unbuttoned to show just a black t-shirt. It was his first day away from the books and the experimentation table since his journey began. The exhaustion was visible around his eyes but now that he was able to sleep into his desired time without the pressure to work, he seemed much more awake and aware. His walking pace was confident yet casual as Shigaraki dragged his feet slightly just because he dreaded being outside and human interaction. His lack of social ability was exemplified when it was Midoriya that had to go to a cafe cashier and order a coffee and a sugary concoction because he didn’t want to talk to anyone, but he did give his little brother the money to pay.
“I never thought you’d have a sweet tooth,” Midoriya commented as Shigaraki drank something filled with chocolate, coffee, candies, and cookie bits. It made him snicker seeing this murderer have such childish traits. “Try not to turn into a coffee addict,” Shigaraki said back as he poked the side of his little brother’s head with mild force.
Their casual day together sent them walking around the city and poking into a few arcades. In the afternoon, they passed an alley where a mangled man was passed out against the wall. Purple burns scattered his body and his face, a glass bottle sat in a limp hand, his white belt unbuckled, and the faint aroma of smoke surrounded him. But he was blissfully ignored by the villainous duo. And yet the two also passed a blonde girl with the brightest smile, skipping with shopping bags in each hand, going about her merry way without a care in her mind. Late they would also pass a lizard man with a very tall friend who appeared masculine yet feminine at the same time. It appears they were looking at women’s clothes however, so the lizard man’s friend was, respectively, a woman. The brothers would also pass a man in a long cold season coat, a top hat, a scarf, and sunglasses, twirling two marbles in his fingers.
They were faces all lost in the crowd by the end of the day. Nothing more than a passing stranger, passing nobodies. By the tail end of the evening, Shigaraki and Midoriya shared a small box of fried food while they strolled the city streets continuing their way home. Just as Midoriya was about to eat a piece, Shigaraki snatched it away with chopsticks, that he held incredibly awkwardly, to eat it himself, smirking evilly. To which Midoriya half glared but also returned the grin by stealing the whole box.

This playful game of stealing was interrupted, however. “G-Get back…! I’m gonna split! Shut up!” They both were faintly able to hear a man crying out from the depths of an alley. Midoriya knew this area well. And the two looked at each other, exchanging looks of annoyance and curiosity. “Criminal! I’ve seen you on the news!” another voice called out, echoing off the walls. Shigaraki sighed and rolled his eyes as he felt Midoriya grab his wrist and pulled him along. Even his big brother wouldn’t resist the possibility of a new member of his little group. A new villain to recruit? A criminal? What was his quirk? Could he see what was inside of him too? The little villain had to know!
Following the voices and the sounds of conflict, the makeshift brothers would come across two heroes in flashy costumes holding a man against the wall who looked to be in the middle of an anxiety attack. He was sweating profusely and appeared to be in great pain, the stitches at the center of his forehead looked strained and irritated. But the heroes showed no mercy as they ground his head into the brick wall and attempted to restrain him. He was pathetically helpless. It didn’t appear that a crime was even committed. There was just a single cigarette on the ground that was still burning faintly. This grown man was in tears and these two heroes were ignoring his cries of pain. “Stop it! Stop it! I’ll rip apart!”
Shigaraki reached into his pocket to reach for the severed hand that he called father. He placed it over his face before pushing Midoriya behind him lightly to make sure he was a safe distance away from the conflict. “Don’t you think you’re being a bit rough on him?” he said just loud enough to get the heroes’ attention. Even the crying man hushed his voice slightly to acknowledge this new presence. “Always ignoring people. You’ll walk away from this without a second thought, won’t you?” Shigaraki egged on a bit, yet he sounded frustrated. “Are you with this guy?” One hero in a purple mask asked the criminal in his custody. “I just want t-to stay… o-one.” the criminal sobbed out. So apathetic… but he was in a panic. Something was mentally wrong with him. And here he was being ignored so cruelly.
The second hero in an orange mask began to take a few steps closer to Shigaraki and Midoriya, to which Shigaraki pushed his little brother back a bit more. “I don’t like the look of you. Why do you have a kid with you?” he interrogated with his hand twitching a bit. When he was just inches from the decaying villain, the nails on his fingers grew at least a meter long and turned pitch black. “Are we going to have a problem with you…?” he snarled, but the villain did not react and just kept a stable glare. His lack of fear must have angered the hero because it earned him a hand to his throat, preparing to choke him. “To-” Midoriya went to reach out for his big brother when a hand with only four fingers grasped the hero’s wrist. Knowing how the older villain’s quirk worked, the teenager kept quiet and watched this play out instead.
“How stuck up,” Shigaraki grumbled before placing his fifth finger down on the hero’s wrist. Within just an instant, the hero’s hand was completely severed and soon turned to ash as blood rushed out of the wound. In a panic, the orange masked man cried out and tried to slash Shigaraki with his other clawed hand only for the villain to disappear from his sight with pure speed, though the claws cut right through the solid brick wall behind him. Before the hero could look for where the villain had gone, there was already a hand on his throat from behind which quickly severed his head and left the corpse’s bleeding neck behind. The corpse fell to the dirt ground without resistance as Shigaraki then turned to the purple masked hero restraining the stranger. That hero was nearly paralyzed by how quickly his ally was murdered by this scrawny villain. But he gritted his teeth and pulled the stranger back just to slam him back into the wall. No, he was not about to flee from this villain. He could fight him. Heroes always win, right?
“Why is it when you get violent it’s fine? But when I try to defend myself-”
“That was no self-defense, you freak!” There was no philosophical talk to be had here. The hero in the purple mask raised his hands forward to shoot large lumps of purple sludge at Shigaraki to which he easily avoided with speed alone. The blobs would land on the ground and brick walls, festering and bubbling, burning away at the area around them slowly. Midoriya wanted to cry out to warn his beloved big brother of the dangers of the quirk. But before he could even make a sound, Shigaraki seemingly disappeared. The hero looked around in a panic, firing sludge at trash cans he may be hiding behind. But there was no one to be found. He couldn’t have fled and left this defenseless child behind.
Just as the hero was about to look up, Shigaraki dropped down from pipes he was dangling on by his feet and reached to place just one hand on the hero’s face. By the time his feet were on the ground, there was nothing but ash and blood in front of him. He scratched the side of his head with a sigh and stretched his neck from side to side a bit. Midoriya could only stand in his place as he watched what his big brother had done. And he was amazed. His eyes sparkled with fascination and awe, looking at him like he used to look at All Might. Except for the guy in front of him was not a lie. There was no exaggerated muscle, no flashy costume, no news media filling his ego with compliments. He may be spotted with blood spatter, but he looked like someone that he wanted to be just like.

“Ow, ow, ow, o-ow… k-keep me together. I’ll come apart!” The stranger cried as he curled on his knees, gripping his head so tightly. Shigaraki tilted his head at the sight beside him and looked confused at to what his problem was. “The hell is up with you?” he asked. But it didn’t look like this guy was even listening to him. Even Midoriya was baffled by this man’s words and actions but was at least able to notice how his eyes were shut tight and he was trying to keep his head contained as if it was about to split. So in a moment of quick thinking, he noticed a dirty brown grocery bag on the ground near him. Poking two holes in it with his thumb, he walked over and brought it down over the stranger’s head. Shigaraki raised a brow to this action but just let his little brother be smart.
The stranger tugged the bag down tightly over his head as he dramatically cried and his quivering calmed. His voice became much quieter as his anxiety began to pass. Looking at the two villains before him, he did not feel fear. “Th-Thanks…” he said much more calmly. “You were so cool! You took those guys out like nothing!” he then said again but with a much different tone, and maybe even a different personality. The sudden enthusiasm caught them both off guard as they backed off a bit simultaneously. Too much personality for them. “Yeah… who are you? They called you a criminal.” Shigaraki had no desire for small talk as he tried to question this man who was now wearing a paper bag as a mask. “I shouldn’t tell people that. It’s dangerous.” He said, rubbing his neck but then twitching and putting his fists to his sides proudly. “I’m Twice! Bubaigawara Jin! The clone criminal! Have ya heard of me?!” Two personalities… a more level headed one and one that was not very smart. “But I don’t clone myself anymore. I just wanna lay low now but… it’s hard.”
The two brothers listened to this man with two personalities. Midoriya looked to Shigaraki to see what he would do about this. Would he offer him to join? Bring this man in as he did for him? “Yeah, life’s hard like that,” Shigaraki said quietly, reaching into a pocket inside his hoodie. “If the laying low thing doesn’t work out for you, try getting a hold of this guy.” he handed Twice a card with just a phone number written. Was that a good idea? He just killed two people and he was giving out someone he’s close to’s number to a stranger. Midoriya just watched the older man take the card and look at it angrily, grumbling to himself as he turned it every which way suspiciously. But then he was just beaming. “Booty call, right!?” Shigaraki just glared and used every ounce of self-control not to kill the guy in front of him. “You’re very annoying.”

“What was that about?” Midoriya asked as the two had long begun walking back to Kurogiri’s bar, though they had to take back roads because of the blood being very visible on Shigaraki’s clothes. “Once he told me his name, I kinda knew who he was. He’s pretty infamous. He would make clones of himself and do some pretty crazy stuff. But he disappeared for a while recently.” He explained. “I guess he went a bit crazy.” Having multiple personalities was something the media never reported. Something must have happened if he didn’t want to clone himself anymore. But that doesn’t mean he was completely useless to him. “I’ve got a guy, he’s kinda an info broker slash business guy. If I need anything from the black market or to get in contact with someone specifically, he’s there. You’ll probably see him around eventually.”
Shigaraki did have operations underworks at the moment. He was building connections and using the ones he had very skillfully. Midoriya’s eyes sparkled slightly as he peeked up at him from the corner of his eye. His face wasn’t all that pretty, he didn’t fake a smile, he wasn’t physically strong, but he was clever. He was his big brother now. And knowing that made Midoriya feel all fuzzy inside as his face blushed slightly. How lucky he was to have someone like him in his life. He wanted to make him proud tomorrow.

That very next afternoon, Midoriya would be standing in his laboratory in front of one of the cages that were kept against the walls. Up until now, they had always been empty. But in one sat a man in tattered clothes, shaggy hair, and had a horrendous odor. His hands were confined in a metal box to render whatever quirk he had useless. But it didn’t stop him from staring straight at the young villain with deranged eyes and occasionally giggling to himself. “Heroes prefer flashy villains to fight to get them more screen time. They leave weirdos like this roam like rats.” Shigaraki said, sitting on the desk which had become his usual sitting place. The crazed man had the biggest smile with his tongue hanging out, giving even Midoriya chills because he was looking directly at him. “Why… does he keep looking at me like that?” he asked, holding a knife close to himself but pointed at the cage. This weirdo’s presence was making his skin crawl. “I don’t think you want to know what this guy’s done,” Shigaraki said quietly, almost like even he didn’t want to talk about it. “I want to know.”
Shigaraki pulled out his phone and went scrolling a bit before showing Midoriya the screen which had some pictures of boys his age and some a little older that were heroes in compromising pictures together. But they were not inappropriate enough to keep the media from spreading them. “His quirk is getting things he’s touched to stick together. He’s infamous for ruining heroes’ careers as an anonymous photographer.” There had to be more than that. Shigaraki wouldn’t be killing a guy who was a pain for heroes. And Midoriya knew this and narrowed his eyes. “It’s the stuff that’s on the darknet that you don’t want to know about.” The older villain took his phone back and went scrolling again and handed it to the other. It was a series of pictures taken on the phone of a computer screen in a very dark room. It was likely Shigaraki’s computer in his room. The images were low quality but what he saw on the screen made the little villain’s stomach churn in every wrong way.
He didn’t want to know anymore. He didn’t want to see things like that with people his age and younger. But he knew now why Shigaraki picked this kind of person. There was no one worse than someone like this. This disgusting, perverted, hideous monster. He gripped the knife in his hands tighter than before and gritted his teeth. “I got some reports of stalking. But with the lack of proof, the cops never took action on it.” Shigaraki wasn’t done yet. What else was there to know? This creature deserved to die. This creature deserved the most painful death. But before he could go through with it, the scrawny villain showed him a very expensive camera with lots of pictures stored on it still. There were lots of teenagers his age, all boys, but none it the settings of the children from the computer. These looked to be potential targets for torturous humiliation he witnessed. But they were not yet harmed. Most were hero students and he could tell from the costumes that their schools likely provided them. But some were middle school age in those all-black uniforms. Amongst the many faces, he recognized one that beheld bright red eyes and a face of permanent anger. “Ka...Kacchan…?” Why was he on here? But his curiosity stopped there as he kept scrolling and found another familiar face. One that he could never forget. One with the softest bi-colored eyes and hair. One with the most hurtful scar. One with the most beautiful face.
Midoriya dropped the camera. He stomped on it. He heard it shatter. His face was hidden in the shadow of his fluffy hair. There was no expression to be seen. It didn’t need to be seen. He walked past his work table and swiped the ring of keys that sat at the end of it. Each one was labeled with a letter that corresponded with the letters engraved on the cages. As he got closer, the creature inside the cage appeared to become more excited by his attention and presence. It began laughing and making noises of anticipation when he was just inches away. With zero hesitation the tongue hanging out of its mouth would be cut off with one movement.
The laboratory echoed with screams and chokes of agony. Blood began to flow quickly out of its mouth as it tried to feel desperately for the severed body part. It began to cry as it looked up at Midoriya, eyes begging for mercy from this child. But it only made eye contact with one demonic red hue peeking out from under his hair. It tried to crawl to the far end of the cage when the door was unlocked and opened. Not being physically strong enough to drag the monster out, Midoriya went ahead and crawled in on his hands and knees. He sat tall on his knees, holding his knife above his head, glaring down with a small yet illuminating red glow from one eye. “Gho… G-Gho…” There was no tongue to make the sound of an N. “I’m… sow-” it sobbed before the blade came down once into its chest. Then out. Then in its shoulder. Then out. Then in its chest again. Then out. Then in. Out in out in out in out in out in out in. The sound only being comparable to carving raw meat.
Shigaraki watched Midoriya mutilate the creature in the cage with just one knife. He watched him mutilate a corpse beyond recognition. There was no patience or mercy to even use the body for experimentation. A pool of crimson flooded the tiny cage and dripped through the bars to the laboratory floor. The metal bars had all become splattered and spotted. But Midoriya was drenched. His black hoodie was beyond ruined. Kurogiri would not be able to wash it. It was all over his face, dripping off his cheek. His hair was wet with it all.
He soon carefully crawled out of the cage and dropped the knife on the floor, letting it clang a few times. He’d get it later. He’d clean it all later. But in the meantime he just staggered towards the elevator, wanting nothing more than to go bed. Tired. So tired. He had his first day of school tomorrow. He had to be ready for tomorrow.
However, he didn’t quite make it before his legs nearly gave out on him all of a sudden. He had felt so powerful just moments ago but then quickly changed to feeling weak. He felt sick, exhausted, and disgusted. It was Shigaraki who caught him before he fell and instead of making the new killer walk, he put him on his back and held him up from under his knees. Of course, he didn’t mind all of the blood or even the smell. He only glanced at his little brother’s face from the corner of his eye and only saw the faintest smile. Behind his glowing green eyes, there was a hint of satisfaction and pride. “Are you… proud?” he asked softly, getting a slight grip on his shoulder. “I am.”
In returning the teenager to his apartment space, he was laid down in his bed without bathing or even changing clothes. The stains would be dealt with later. The corpse would be burned away later. These things could wait until later. For now, this villain needed rest to be prepared for school the next day.

Dawn of the next morning began with running water from the showerhead with blood and soap mixing before being sucked down a drain. Midoriya soothingly took a shower in silence with his eyes clothes, letting the red wash away and off his freckled skin. In this moment of privacy and peace, he could only anticipate what U.A. would have in store for him. But all he wanted to know was if he would see that beautiful boy again. He’s waited months to see him again. The excitement was morphing with the anxiety of the unknown. Would he be the same? If they were to meet, what would they say to each other? He couldn’t help but clutch his chest as it started to subtly hurt. “Please… let this be okay,” he said quietly to himself.
Midoriya made his way down to the hub of the bar in his brand new school uniform, a boring shade of grey jacket and a red tie, poorly tied in a cute yet incorrect knot. “You can’t possibly be going to school like that,” Kurogiri said the moment he saw him come down the stairs. Not wasting a moment, he teleported across the room to the teenager and undid whatever horrific knot he made only to redo it properly. “When you come back this afternoon, I’ll teach you how to do it right,” he said, making the new and proper knot snug at the boy’s neck. It made him smile as he loosened it just a bit to make it more comfortable.
Shigaraki played on his phone and ate a very unhealthy pack of pastries while his little brother relished in a more nutritious and home-cooked meal for his breakfast. There were no instructions for today. Just get through the first day and settle into the facade of being a giddy first year, eager to help the heroes. He wasn’t about to add more pressure yet. Instead, he would trust the little villain to make the proper choices for now. And thus that little villain went to the door with his yellow backpack over his shoulders and looked back at the two at the bar counter. He waved goodbye for Shigaraki to raise his hand for a moment and for Kurogiri to nod his head.

Midoriya would sneak back to Inko’s house to pretend that he woke up in his room and got dressed and ready before she had woken up. He was sent off the second time with tears and a series of “I love you”s that he was not against receiving. The gaze he had was that of faked bliss and joy as he watched his mother ramble on and on about how proud she was and how much she believed in him with his hands clasped in hers. But all he could see was his hands covered in blood and it getting all over her. In reality, there was nothing there. He couldn’t help but keep from seeing it. There was blood on his hands now as a true villain. The smile was key as he just smiled his way through his mother’s innocent tears, smiled his way to the train, to the campus front gate.
He looked up at the massive entrance and took a deep breath before walking through with a bunch of to-be heroes. Walking towards the main entrance of the building, he had to look around at every hallway and corner. Mapping for later but for now, where was he? Was he here? He had to be here. He just had to be somewhere. He had to be at this very school. He’s been thinking and waiting for him all this time.
Though it wasn’t the red and white hair he was searching for, from down the hall he was able to get a glimpse of an angrily walking blonde, stomping to class. The falsified smile of awe broke immediately when he saw him. The mask of emotion shattered on his face for a moment as his chest welled up with hatred and bitterness. Dive off the roof. No, he didn’t dive off the roof. He didn’t kill himself that day. The look of anger on his face began to shift as he reminded himself that he needed to look happy. Thus what came upon his expression was a chaotic smirk and eyes burning with the lust to kill him now. He lightly clutched both his cheeks like he was trying to force his appearance to change. “One day… One day you’ll beg me to kill you,” he said near silently to himself.
“You’re in my way!” a raspy voice growled as Midoriya felt a hand grab on to his hair and painfully shoved him aside. He shut his eyes tight and gritted teeth from the pain of getting his hair pulled in such a way. He was only able to get a peek at this new addition to his hit-list notebook. It was a student he did not recognize but he had yellow eyes but black spikey hair like Bakugo. The student was on his way to the class 1-A room. Someone like that didn’t deserve to be a hero. Someone like that had to die before he could get that far.
Being shoved aside, Midoriya was forced into someone a bit taller than him but didn’t make them stumble. If anything, they were just pushed a bit against the wall but put their hands on his shoulders to cushion his motion. He had to stop his glaring. He had to smile. Smile and bite his tongue and play nice with the other kids. “I-I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to run into you like-” He smiled brightly yet cutely awkwardly when he looked up at the person he had lightly pushed up against the wall and had their hands on his shoulders gently. The smile instantly dropped, but his eyes began to shimmer in infatuation.
He would recognize that beautiful face anywhere. His hero was here. “It’s you…”

Chapter Text

Midoriya had his hands against the wall behind his hero. His chin was up against his chest, trying to look up at his face politely initially. The fake smile he had was wiped away by his true expression of awe. He was surprised but so pleasantly surprised. Enthusiastically surprised. This beautiful boy was looking down at him, his hands were on his shoulders to keep him from falling or from having a more forceful shove. He looked nearly the same as he did that fateful day. Midoriya’s expression of awe slowly changed as he noticed something a little different about him. How much colder his eyes had become. His soft face had become sterner. And though he could not see wounds on his arms like he had their first meeting, he could see bandages peeking out from under the collar of his shirt. Whatever was going on at home never got better.
“It’s you…” Midoriya said quietly, unable to break their eye contact. Which eye should he focus on more, they were both so beautiful in their mismatched colorization. Beautiful. How beautiful he was reminded that this boy was. He hoped his beating heart couldn’t be felt through their physical contact at that very moment. “The one from the roof…” His name. He wanted to know his name so badly. All these months, swooning and gushing, but he never even knew his name. Nevermind their current position, the name of his hero was the only thing on his mind. “Wh-What’s your-” he tried to ask before it was too late. But it was too late.
A girl with black hair in a big, poofy ponytail had been walking past them when she noticed the two. She stopped and held her hand delicately under her chin. At least she didn’t look mean. “Oh, you’re in my class, aren’t you? We were both recommended. You better hurry up before you’re late on the first day.” she said with a wonderfully pleasant smile. No, don’t take this moment away. Don’t pull him away yet! This stupid, stupid girl! Midoriya looked back and gritted his teeth but had to pull back away because it would look too embarrassing to continue this position. “Y...Yeah.” was all the hero student said, taking a few steps towards the girl but turning his head to look back at the little villain. “We can talk later.” Later. They’ll see each other later. How much later? Did it matter? There was going to be a later. “L-Later then…” Midoriya stuttered, holding his hand up in an awkward wave goodbye. But he didn’t want to say goodbye again. How much longer would he be forced to wait?

Midoriya had his hands clasped together at his chest as he tried to navigate the halls to his class. Feeling his heart pound so fast under his skin in this manner was so new. He wasn’t killing like he was the night before or studying the insides of a corpse. This came from someone alive and beautiful. He was so close to him just now. They had been right up against each other just like that time he helped him down from the roof. He never noticed how strong he physically felt.
Finding his way to class just before the bell, he sat down in a seat closest to the window and tried to ignore most of his classmates. They looked just as plain as he did. He would bet that most of their quirks weren’t anything to brag about. He found their giddy faces obnoxious and their enthusiastic voices annoying. Was this how Shigarki felt around people? For now, he would just want to keep to himself.
Soon Midoriya would hear the voices of some of his classmates become more hushed. It was a sudden shift in noise and it sparked the little villain’s curiosity. Glancing away from the window, from the corner of his eye, he watched a student with tired eyes and purple hair walk in and sit down in silence. A small gaggle of students was looking at him and whispering to each other just close enough for Midoriya to hear.
“That’s Shinsou, don’t talk to him.”
“What? Why not?”
“He’s pretty scary looking first off.”
“Yeah but, his quirk is super sketchy. If you talk to him, he can control your mind.”
“Creepy…”
“Super creepy..”
Midoriya peeked at the student that was the subject of this gossip and at least acknowledged him. A quirk that could let him control minds, how useful a quirk like that would be of use to Shigaraki. But this was a hero school. Convincing the students to switch sides is a challenge and he had to focus all his efforts right now on that beautiful boy. However, someone like this kid, Shinsou, should be kept in mind.
At least their homeroom teacher was a familiar face with a familiar voice. Though their teacher had a very obnoxiously loud and ecstatic voice. Midoriya remembered how he’d listen to that voice in his favorite podcast when he still liked heroes. He was so much louder and brighter in person. “Gooooooood morning!!” The pro hero Present Mic practically screamed, signaling all the talkative students to sit down and go silent. Midoriya covered his ears and grumbled quietly to himself. So noisy. This semester was going to be a nightmare at this rate. He wanted to go home and play videogames with Shigaraki and experiment on another test subject, not be surrounded by annoying kids his age and a loud teacher. He didn’t want to play little schoolboy anymore but… this was for Shigaraki. This was for that beautiful boy. This was to kill all the heroes that raise expectations and then destroy dreams so carelessly. He would have to suffer for now if he ever wanted to get anywhere.
“Congrats on getting into U.A. guys! YeAh!” Present Mic greeted and held a hand to his ear, expecting a response but got silence instead. But that was not about to ruin his mood or his personality. He was probably used to it. “So I’m your homeroom teacher, Yamada Hizashi! I’ll also be your English teacher and quirk trainer!” He made finger guns and proceeded to position himself in odd poses after every other sentence. Midoriya envied his energy. “You guys may be in general studies, but that just means you can get a taste of every possible course! So we’ll spend most of the day observing different classes based on your interest!” Observing? Midoriya looked towards Present Mic with a side glance but he had his curious attention now. The other students looked around at each other, also curious about what this ‘observing’ would entail. This school was not like others due to the variety of hero-related classes in addition to the typical high school education. “The morning will consist of your typical high school things like math, social studies, English, literature, etcetera! Once all of those are covered, you will observe a different course of your choosing and take notes! Then the late afternoon will have you try to enhance your abilities and see if the course you observe is what truly aspire to do!” Midoriya made a face as he sunk his chin into his palm. That last part is where he would be left out, wasn’t it? He didn’t have a quirk to train. He would be placed with the school nurse for private lessons instead but…
Midoriya watched as the student named Shinsou slowly raised his hand. “Will we be able to observe the hero classes?” he asked with a monotone voice. All of the students became tense at the sound of his voice. Would their homeroom teacher respond and be mind-controlled? Would a scary looking person like that pull that stunt on the first day? Like some villain? “Of course! Class 1-A and 1-B are the kids your age, but I would also recommend watching the older students as well!” No. Class 1-A was fine. Midoriya’s eyes slowly widened and shimmered with hope. He would see that beautiful boy. Every. Day. No one would question him. He would watch students get hurt and try to think on the spot what would heal them quickest. He could watch the class being taught by All Might, study their quirks and let Shigaraki know how to get closer to the Symbol of Peace. Suddenly this was all so perfect.

And thus that was how the day commenced. Shinsou never brainwashed anyone that morning although many students kept their distance from him. Typical classes were run through and completed with note taking and focus. Midoriya knew he had far more anatomy than any student in this school. But he still had to study and understand basic academics if he wanted to proceed to be in the school successfully and blend in with the other kids. However, he did not pass up the opportunity to take out his personal notebook and take notes on the teachers themselves. Midnight, Present Mic, Ectoplasm, Snipe, Hound Dog, Thirteen, Cementoss, Power Loader, the staff were all pro heroes with impressive knowledge and power. Midoriya would have to let Shigaraki know that All Might is well protected with incredible allies.
But then came time for the mandated observing. The class was taken to a dark room with dozens of computer monitors hanging up on the walls. All of them were currently turned off until Present Mic went to the main control panel. “Because it’s the first day, I won’t make you take notes just yet. Look around! Pick a screen, pick a topic, pick a subject! Explore all of the possibilities!” One by one, all the screens turned on and many showed live camera footage from different classes. There were smaller screens below the big ones that showed quirks and names of all the students that were in the class being shown. Midoriya was immediately drawn to monitor of class 1-A where they were outside near the athletic fields doing quirk testing. Many of them looked stressed like someone just threatened to expel them if they failed.
He watched intensely as they were showing off basic athletic skills like throwing, running, leaping, balance, grip strength, and other fitness exercises. Midoriya watched them, his hands clasped tightly at his chest. He was nearly shaking with anxiety as one finger began scratching at the top of his wrist. Where was he? Where was he? He was in that class, wasn’t he? He had to be! He was the only hero that deserved to be in it! “Well, you look tense.” Present Mic said cheekily from behind the little villain. The closeness of his voice made Midoriya flinch and turn towards him, a bit frazzled. “I-I uh…” he blushed and lowered his head awkwardly. There was no excuse for his behavior. “Midoriya Izuku, right?” Present Mic lowered the volume of his voice for once that day and had a less extreme smile on his face. This man was suddenly much softer. He remembered his name, so quickly too. “I was surprised to see someone without a quirk in this school. They sure made it tough on you guys to get in. I’m impressed.” the teacher praised with a grin. He had a nice grin. Midoriya liked it. “And you got into the medical course too. That got me. You were one of the only ones that passed so I didn’t worry so much about you when I heard that.” he rubbed the back of his head. “I would hate for you to feel left out of this school when we have kids with these insane powers. I hope you can find your place here.”
Midoriya felt his chest beat a bit harder than normal. This teacher was so obnoxious, loud, and childish, but also very sweet and considerate. He was left speechless for a few moments because it had been so long since a pro hero had been so kind. So real. So comforting. So bright. Would it be wrong to tell Shigaraki not to kill this one in particular?
“So what’s up?” Present Mic asked, looking at the screen the villain had been so fixated on up until now. He was smart enough to notice the general source of his student’s anxiety. “Well uh… I’m looking for someone.” Midoriya admitted. And it was when he looked back, he saw that beautiful boy once again. He was using his ice to slide across a track of dirt instead of running a race with three other classmates. One was that black spiky-haired kid that grabbed him by the hair earlier. When that student lost that race, he breathed out a blast of fire to melt the ice left behind out of anger. A fire breathing quirk. The sight of it made a nasty glare appear on Midoriya’s face. But that wasn’t the boy he was focused on.
“Him. The one with the white and red hair.” he pointed at his hero. Present Mic took a look at the student on the screen, held his hand to his chin, and leaned in close to the smaller, lower screen to look for a name. “Todoroki Shouto. Half Cold - Half Hot. You know him?” Todoroki Shouto. Midoriya felt his face blush once more as he subtly hugged himself. At last… his name. His eyes became hazy and a blissful grin spread across his face. Even if he couldn’t talk to him like this, he could watch that beautiful boy, Todoroki Shouto, every day. “Todoroki…” he hummed quietly. The perfect name for his hero. He was perfect.
Midoriya quickly snapped out of his moment long trance and shut his eyes tight to help bring him back to reality. “I um… I know him. I just haven’t seen him in a while.” He said timidly to his teacher. Present Mic paid no attention to the villain’s little episode and just shrugged with a smile. “You’ll talk to him soon, I’m sure.” Midoriya was far too busy watching the screen and just adoring every second Todoroki was in view. “Yeah…”

Midoriya did not realize until it was too late that the lunch period would involve all the classes at the same time so it was a mad rush of impatience to get to the cafeteria first. The little villain was squished between students of all sizes and all different quirks. He didn’t want to be part of the crowd like this but he was consumed when he was peacefully on his way. With everyone bumping and pushing up against each other, he just wanted to scream and pull a knife on the other students just get some breathing room. How bothersome. How humiliating to feel this small. And it was soon enough that he was pushed back and left behind the whole crowd of sheepish students. He fell on his backside and left a disorganized mess on the floor. His blazer was half off one shoulder, his hair was messier than usual, his tie had become slightly loosened, and he was disoriented. He wanted to go home again. “All these stupid, lazy, greedy-” he started muttering when he heard footsteps from in front of him. Looking up, his heart fluttered once again. His hero was holding out a hand to him. “Another shit day, huh?”
How was it that this was the boy was the one that kept appearing before him when he needed someone? Was this the time? Could he finally speak with him again? Could he learn more about him? Could he spend more time with him? Could he be held by him again? To be held by him again. The owner of those strong arms that were once around his waist was here now. The voice of those kind words that gave him a new dream was no longer just in his dreams.
In complete silence, Midoriya took his hand to pull himself up with Todoroki’s help. But he couldn’t contain himself. Just this once, could he not bite his tongue? Could he be true around this boy? He used the inertia of the pull to hug on tightly to Todoroki and press his cheek into his chest. How much he wanted to cry. All this villain work was to save his beloved hero. He gave him his dreams and a purpose. His eyes began to well up with tears but he couldn’t bring himself to cry now. “I-It’s you again…” he only whispered.
Todoroki was once again shocked by the sudden hug and held his arms up slightly to avoid being restrained. He wasn’t quite sure how to react to this action again. All he could think to do was place his hands on Midoriya’s shoulders gently and hold him there as long as he wanted. He looked down softly, yet with that constant cold demeanor, and just observed the freckled teenager holding on to him for dear life, feel fingers clinging into his back desperately. Has this green-haired boy recovered at all since that summer? Was he able to save him, even a little bit? “Todoroki Shouto. That’s your name, right? I-I’m Midoriya Izuku.” How did he know that? “My class is all about observing other courses work. I… looked for you.”
Midoriya soon pulled back and rubbed his face with the balls of his palms to hide any tears that may have escaped his eyes. “S-Sorry…” he apologized, realizing how uncalled for the hug was. But then he remembered what he had seen earlier that morning. “Oh, your… neck,” he remembered the bandages he saw. He reached up to try and move the collar of Todoroki’s shirt to get a better look. But Todoroki took a step back and covered the left half of his neck out of pure reaction. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. He hoped that he didn’t offend him because it was merely his instincts at this point. “After school, could you let me look?” Midoriya pressed just a little bit. “It was your father again. I remember.” his freckled face subtly sparkled. “If you ever want a place to stay, you come with me sometime.” His mother would be happy to have him. Kurogiri could warp him wherever he desired. “I could-” the sparkle began to change as a small glow appeared in his irises and his mischievous smile tugged at his lips. He reached up much slower this time with both hands to cup Todoroki’s cheeks gently. “-take you away, you know?” Take him away from everything that was hurting him.
Unaware that he was staring in the eyes of a killer, Todoroki was once more fascinated by that freckled face. How he was entranced by it. Midoriya’s sweet words were nearly cooed as he held him so gently. His entire presence was shrouded in a dark and poisonous aura but it was alluring and bewitching. The offerings of kindness were a great temptation, Todoroki was finding it difficult to pass them up and let them slip away. This killer’s cheeky smile and illuminating eyes were simply sinister but so sincere. “I-” Todoroki nearly answered when they both were shaken by an obnoxiously loud voice just around the corner. “Deku! What the hell are you doing here, huh?!” Bakugo screamed as he oddly stomped closer to the two. Midoriya dropped his hold on Todoroki’s cheeks and broke the eye contact they had. He looked to his old childhood friend with a tired glare and didn’t flinch when he was picked up by the collar of his shirt. There was no fear to be seen on his face, no tears, nor quivering. “How does a quirkless wannabe get into a place for pros? You’re just a damn extra!”
Those words meant nothing. They were just nothing compared to all the support and faith Shigaraki had given him. And thus, the reaction Bakugo would receive was just that: nothing. His comedic, over-the-top rage began to morph as he raised a brow and had his grip tightened on the villain’s shirt. “Why the hell aren’t you saying anything, huh?” he growled. The silence was bothering him. It was teasing him. Why wasn’t there a reaction? This little nobody would always cry and shake like a baby when confronted like this. But now he was just looking down at him with a sharp, cold stare. It was making Bakugo’s hand shake with rage as he pulled one hand back and made it spark. “You looking down on me now?! Is that it?! Don’t get so cocky because they let you in!” There was one more spark but a cold hand grabbed his wrist before there could be a bigger one. “Huh?”
Todoroki held Bakugo back from trying to hurt Midoriya and it earned him a narrowed glare. “What the hell are you doing? You’re not part of this.” Bakugo sneered but the scarred boy was not deterred at all. He’s dealt with a worse temper. “We were about to go to the cafeteria together. You’re holding us up,” he said calmly, gaining the freckled boy’s attention and causing the most subtle blush. Going to lunch together? It was such a childish thing but the thought of it made him feel warm inside. He’s never eaten lunch with someone genuinely before. “How do you losers even know each other?” Bakugo narrowed his eyes at Todoroki. They’ve never met before today and yet he knew that these two knew each other by how they were interacting just now. Todoroki looked to Midoriya and then to Bakugo, making his own theories and assumptions on the spot. “We just met over the summer,” he said honestly yet vaguely.
Bakugo snarled at his classmate, then glanced back at Midoriya to flinch at a single glimpse of his eyes. There was a subtle red glow and he would be ashamed to admit that it spooked him. The moment he made eye contact, he swore that he felt the air being cut off in his throat. Like a knife slicing through his neck. There was a chill like his blood was running cold. Why was he looking at him like that? Why was he the one feeling afraid all of a sudden?
He dropped him. Midoriya landed a bit sloppily. He didn’t land cleanly on his feet but didn’t collapse to the floor as he used the wall to hold himself up. He stood up straight and fixed the collar of his shirt back in place and adjusted his tie that Kurogiri was nice enough to tie for him. “We should get going.” Midoriya walked up beside Todoroki with a bright smile that showed nothing more than honest joy, ignoring Bakugo completely. Bakugo would usually never take that kind of behavior sitting down but the look he just received from that killer was enough to keep him quiet this time. That was not the same Deku from middle school.

Todoroki and Midoriya were both keen on the idea of not sitting in the crowded portion of the cafeteria and decided to instead take a quiet corner near a window wall. Midoriya took notice that Todoroki’s first choice of food was soba of all things. He liked traditional Japanese things. Was it because he lived a traditional Japanese setting? Or was it a kind of comfort food? Midoriya wanted to know every little detail about him. Obsessed with him. He wanted to give his hero the world. He wanted to know his favorite food, favorite color, his traumas, his darkest fears, his biggest dreams, his deepest desires. He kept his face normal and cheery but his chest felt ready to explode with the satisfaction of being able to spend this much time with this beautiful boy.
“That guy really has it out for you.” Todoroki started the conversation. He had been so quiet all the times they’ve interacted. He came off as a good listener, but it was nice to have him engage in conversation now. It made Midoriya happy. “I’ve known him for a long time. We used to be friends.” Used to. Were they ever friends? Or did he just cling to Bakugo out of loneliness and stay because he was in awe of his awesome quirk? Bakugo never wanted any part of him as far as he could remember. “But now… I can’t say that I’d care to ever see him again.” he then said quietly, slowly chewing on a piece of meat from his lunch of katsudon. “Was he also the reason I found you that day?” Todoroki then asked casually but softly, tilting his head down to eat but looking up with intensity in his eyes. And yet that intensity was just focus. He cared.
The idea of this beautiful boy caring so much about him made another blush rise on Midoriya’s face. But he looked away with an awkward smile. Their first real conversation couldn’t be about something else? But perhaps that was on him considering their first meeting. “I’d be lying if I said no. He did kinda give me the idea in the first place.” He made a fake giggle to try and laugh it off, waving his chopsticks up and down. “But I haven’t done anything since then, honest. I’m a lot better.” He assured. Was he all better though? His eating wasn’t doing so well lately, and his wrists were always so red these days. No, he was better. He had new dreams to look forward to and work towards. “And it’s because of you, you know?”
Todoroki paused for just a moment as his eyes averted to the side. Did the air around them feel a bit hotter all of a sudden? Midoriya waved his shirt a bit because he felt a physical rise in temperature but it soon subsided. “I just wanted to help. You looked… so lost.” Todoroki mumbled. He always seemed so quiet when he spoke, always so calm. Midoriya found himself being enchanted by his tone and aura, feeling cool and relaxed now that he was speaking to him normally. He hoped that he could become closer to him. “I was lost. But you found me, right?” Midoriya smiled sweetly with closed eyes and his chopsticks near his face but pointing away. “Even if we’re not in the same class, I’m really happy that I get to see you.” He was here. And he was there. A villain in a general studies class and a hero in a hero course. A human experimenting doctor was at the testing table and big-hearted boy practicing to save lies. A killer with a loving, warm family and a prisoner was trapped in his own home.
“Hey, Todoroki,” Midoriya began after a few moments of silence. Todoroki appeared to be deep in silent thought when he looked up, giving his attention. “If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?” he then asked before adding more. “I’m not talking about a wish, really. It’s something that you would selfishly want. Something that you want in your life.” He wanted to take him over. Let the villains cajole their way to his heart by giving him something he deeply desired. “Something you want more than anything.”
Todoroki poked at his noodles and thought carefully about what he wanted to say. He has something in mind the moment that he was asked. It was how he wanted to word it that he wanted to think about. And so he spoke softly and looked out the window to the outside at nothing in particular. “I would want my family back,” he answered with a bit of delay. Though the answer was vague and made Midoriya tilt his head, it showed that he was listening intently. “My mother was sent away a very long time ago. My older sister moved out a while ago but came back recently, which I guess is nice. But my older brothers…” He was the youngest, Midoriya took note of every detail in his head. “My brother Natsuo is like a stranger. He went to college but I don’t think he wants much to do with me.” Natsuo never called, never sent a letter, and never stopped by to see him. It sounded like everyone left him at once. “But my oldest one… he’s supposed to be dead.”
Midoriya flinched at the mention of the oldest brother’s fate. “I’m-” he wanted to apologize but Todoroki continued to speak. “I don’t think he’s dead. There’s a shrine in the house. But I’m not allowed to see it. His name is forbidden to say around the house.” The villain raised a brow at what he was being told. He wasn’t allowed to see his brother’s shrine or hear his name. It didn’t make sense, especially if Endeavor was traditional. But did something else surpass the importance of tradition? “I’m being forced to forget him. He’s only referred to as a ‘failure’. But he’s not…” he couldn’t be. There was no way he was gone.
“I would just want everyone to come back to me.” And with that answer, Midoriya could only smirk. He’d do anything to make this dream so.

Chapter Text

“Oh my.” The little old lady, hero named Recovery Girl said, looking at a practice quiz she handed out on the first day of her mini-course training. She was the best healer hero around so it was no surprise that she was the main teacher for the medical class. Yet she handed out a practice test to get a feel for how much her three students knew. Only three students passed the entrance exam. It already had the reputation of being a painfully difficult focus but Midoriya felt more than qualified. And his test scores proved it. He was the first to hand in her practice test and as she looked over his answers, she was impressed. “Midoriya Izuku, dear, are your parents doctors? I wouldn’t expect many students to know some of these answers,” she said with a smile. If only she knew of all the blood that he could still feel on his hands. But he just made an innocent toothy grin. “My family doesn’t have a history in the medical field. I’m the first to try,” he replied sweetly. The only thing on his mind was the number of bodies that had been burned over this past summer.
Midoriya didn’t care to make friends with the other two students in his training. Instead, he focused much more on his studies and memorizing the chemicals and drugs the school provided the nurse. One word echoed in his head as his eyes scanned every cabinet. Burns.
What was under those bandages this time? Second-degree burns? Or maybe even a third degree? It was on his neck. What nerves were there? Would there be nerve damage? How bad was the pain? Was his quirk able to null it? How long would it take for the wounds to heal? How much would he need? If this kept happening, should he be prepared to use something stronger?
While the other students were still taking the practice test, Recovery Girl was peeking at their work to see if they were getting stumped on anything. There wasn’t too much pressure on this test since it was just her trying to get a foundation on where to start. But everyone in U.A. was a try-hard. The veins on the students’ foreheads were beginning to swell with stress. Neither one wanted to be the last one finished. So while all attention was on them and their test, Midoriya walked around the office like he was just curious. But he was eyeing one cabinet up on the wall with a few medicinal creams in it that he recognized.

The afternoon bell rang and Midoriya left with a false aura of shinning purity as the two other students seemed lifeless and worn out from their own stress behind him. Recovery Girl waved goodbye to them and began to pack up her things when she took notice of one of the cabinets on the wall. “Hm. I thought I had more of those,” she commented to herself, taking out a sticky note to leave on the door that was a reminder to buy more burn creams.
Midoriya stood near the front entrance of the school, swaying forward and back on his feet in anticipation. Staying after school to go somewhere with another student, he has never had the chance to do this before. And now he was able to go somewhere with Todoroki. His chest was beating but it was with so much excitement. He would heal his wounds and they could talk more. They could talk all night. He could stay out with him as long as he could. There were no more days of dreaming to even see him again; he could spend hours with him now.
“You didn’t have to wait,” Todoroki said quietly, coming up beside him. “I told you I would see you after school. I didn’t mind waiting.” Midoriya said, hoping to let Todoroki know that he could never inconvenience him. He wanted to take his hands and take him to Shigaraki and Kurogiri so he could be certain that he was safe. But there’s no way a hero in the making would approve of the things they’ve done. This would take time. “Was there somewhere that you wanted to go?” Todoroki asked. Midoriya couldn’t picture his new friend knowing much about ‘going out’ either. He seemed like the type to locked inside the house all day, so he wouldn’t know any places of interest. “Yeah, I have an idea.”
Midoriya walked beside Todoroki as they went about the city together. Conversation was kept at small talk with Midoriya doing most of the talking, explaining his course and talking about his class and the specifics of his course. He didn’t catch himself going on a few tangents and even start muttering to himself about quirks he had seen that afternoon. Though he did not mention the fact that he would love to see the insides of the people with amazing quirks. He couldn’t let that part of his life slip out on accident under any circumstance. Through all the rambling and the muttering, Todoroki listened to it all. There were points where he couldn’t quite understand what he was saying, but he was learning how to. He liked listening to him talk. He liked watching his face express different emotions of excitement and happiness, annoyance and pettiness, he found himself comforted by his demeanor.
They would eventually get on a bullet train where Midoriya would stop talking out of politeness for the setting. But the train was very crowded considering it was the time that students were getting out of school and adults were getting out of work. All the seats were taken and most of the train was crowded. But the two got on anyway and stood close to the wall rather than being squished by people. “So many people....” Midoriya mumbled quietly. And yet Todoroki didn’t seem all that bothered as he was much more focused on looking out the window. Midoriya got a bit of enjoyment watching his face and the look in his eyes. He was so fascinated by the view and the world passing by so quickly. He never left the house much, did he?
The train stopped a few times and more people squeezed their way inside because people need to get where they’re going and everyone had somewhere to be. At least no one was rude about it. But as more people got inside, Midoriya found himself becoming a bit anxious. Like all eyes were on him. Like someone was on this train that new of all the deeds he had committed. Everyone except Todoroki here was a stranger, so the chance of that being true was slim to none. Yet the anxiety was creeping upon him and the pressure of so many people in one place was making him nervous. Everyone around him felt like they were too close. His hands became jittery as his fingers crept up his sleeve and scratched at his wrists to calm himself down. He felt so hot all of a sudden. But the heat from his nails digging into his skin focused it all to his wrists and he could feel himself cool down. The small pain was barely enough to distract him from this random spike of anxiety.
Todoroki hadn’t noticed the freckled villain’s little episode until he saw him bring his arms closer to himself to scratch at them. The scratching was constant, showing him that it was not a simple itch that was causing this reaction. Just as the train stopped one more time, Midoriya would be lightly guided closer to the wall and would have arms on either side of him to keep anyone else from getting much closer to him. Looking forward, all the smaller teenager would see was the shirt, blazer, and tie of that beautiful boy. He was using himself as a shield from people getting any closer and to keep Midoriya from feeling any more squished by strangers. Midoriya, who had stopped scratching now, looked up at Todoroki’s face just to see him looking back at the people compressing them a bit more but he didn’t seem angry or annoyed. He simply appeared curious. All these different people in this train and he still seemed intrigued by the world outside the window. Constantly looking around. Constantly observing. Constantly thinking. They were so physically close now. Midoriya could feel his heart beating against his cheek. Such a calm rhythm to listen to. He wanted to know all of his thoughts, hear all his feelings. Watching the reflection of the outside world on his bi-colored eyes, he could just tell there was a whole other world behind them too. He really was beautiful.

When the two were finally freed from the train, Midoriya walked a small way past a familiar middle school and to a park that was just down the street. There was a playground at the entrance, but towards the back of it, there was much more open space with trees and walking cobble paths. On this particularly sunny late afternoon, it seemed so peaceful. Midoriya nudged Todoroki as he took him to the back area and sat down beneath one of the trees in the grass. “I thought you’d appreciate being away from the city for a little bit,” he said, putting the bottom of his shoes together and placing his backpack down beside himself. He patted the ground beside him to which Todoroki also placed down his things and sat down next to him.
After sitting together in silence for just a few moments, Midoriya leaned forward to get a little closer to Todoroki. “Will you let me see your injury now?” He began digging through his bag for a few things he had taken from Recovery Girl’s office. “I grabbed these before I left. I wasn’t sure what you would need, but something is better than nothing.” He was very insistent on helping. Todoroki watched him and merely sighed at his persistence. How could he say ‘no’ when this villain had gone out of his way to bring all these medicinal things out here for him. So he simply lowered his head and unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt and lowered his blazer. Unwrapping the poorly done bandages, a burn wrapped around his neck and slightly down his left shoulder. The shape of the burn was odd as Midoriya leaned closer to examine it. It was more serious on the left side of his neck than the right. And there were small spots on the right side that were without wounds. Was it because of his ice? Likely. But it couldn’t just be the ice. Suddenly it clicked and his green eyes widened and a finger touched the front center of Todoroki’s neck. “You were choked…” He said quietly.
The left side took the brunt of the damage because Endeavor was right-handed. He would only need one hand to get around his throat. The ice was able to protect the flames from his fingers, but the left side to the focus of the palm and wrist where the flames were probably stronger. “Todoroki, why don’t you tell anyone about this?” It was a second-degree but. It could have been much more severe had he been anyone else. Midoriya looked terribly upset as he examined the would further and tried to see the size of a few blisters. He was on his knees and trying to get the best look he could at this point. Todoroki tilted his head to let him get the best view and watched him from the corners of his eyes. “There’d be an uproar…” he said quietly with an ice-cold expression. “There’s no way anyone would believe anything I said. Heroes don’t hurt their kids or their mothers. The number two hero couldn’t get to where he was by being a shit father.” He looked straight ahead when he felt a stinging sensation at the center of the burn when Midoriya started applying a type of liquid. He tried not to flinch but he gritted his teeth. “The media would eat that up, though. They’d be the ones to use that stuff for their headlines and then there’d be people all over the house and my mother. She doesn’t need that stress. And besides… if he did manage to fool everyone and solidify his reputation as a good dad, I’d never get to be a hero.” He’d be permanently labeled as a liar or a teenager looking for attention. In this competitive hero world, he’d be kicked out and left behind instantly.
“What about…” Midoriya tried to think of some way to get him out of this situation sooner. He would need solid proof of intentional harm. But it was difficult considering Todoroki and Endeavor likely sparred although that sparring was probably very one-sided. The only form of proof he could think of… he gently placed a finger on Todoroki’s left cheek at the very bottom of the scar. “This… was an accident.” Midoriya took his finger back and continued to lightly dab cream on the burn at his neck. “He pushed my mom to her limit… He just wanted a kid that could surpass All Might because he couldn’t do it himself. So he needed someone with the perfect quirk to have this so-called ‘masterpiece’. Have you heard of quirk marriages?” Midoriya nodded. He remembered studying the genetics of quirks and the term was very familiar. “He bribed my mom’s family and she was forced into and pressured by everyone around her. I can only remember her crying while everyone was so envious of her.” he sounded very angry as the air around him became physically colder. “He put her through so much… and she tried to protect me. She tried so hard…I don’t blame her for what she did. She was at her limit and saw my left half to be so unsightly, she poured boiling water on my face. But it was all his fault for pushing her too far.”
Midoriya covered the wound with bandages gently so Todoroki wouldn’t feel as much pain. He had listened to every word and could only think of his own mother. Where would he be without her? She cared about him so much and tried to support him whenever she could. Todoroki didn’t have any of that. “Have you talked to her lately?” Midoriya asked. He recalled that she was sent away, but had they spoken? “She’s in a hospital in a psychiatric ward. But… I don’t think she would want to see me. I don’t wanna see me either.” Todoroki answered, buttoning up his shirt again and afterward keeping a palm over his left eye. He didn’t like that half of himself either it seemed. And seeing him like this made the villain beside him sad, but so very angry as well. What he would give to cut Endeavor into pieces on his table. To rip him apart, but leaving him alive to feel all the pain. Watching him feel so humiliated that such a small boy could defeat him and whisk his son away. He wanted more than his blood. He wanted his head. He wanted to steal his son away. He wanted to take away everything that the hero had gained to make him aware of how worthless to the world he was.
“I looked forward to seeing you for months,” Midoriya said, putting everything back in his bag, holding back all of his inner murderous thoughts. Instead, he smiled softly and shuffled a bit closer to Todoroki. “You could ask my um… my big brother and my dad.” Shigaraki would have a heart attack knowing that he was how Midoriya was going to refer to him outside of his villain life. “I told them all about how great you are.” He wanted to tell him so badly how beautiful he was to him. But he couldn’t bring himself to do it. That would be too embarrassing! “Even today, I was looking all over for you. And I like seeing you now.” He kept smiling at Todoroki until he finally uncovered his scar and looked at him, to which he smiled even bigger with a small giggle. And then suddenly the air temperature spiked up again when Todoroki made an expression that could only be compared to a big-eyed cat.

Midoriya screamed into Todoroki’s old white hoodie at the bar with Shigaraki right beside him, looking over a few papers in a folder and Kurogiri had just set a bowl of chopped fruits on the counter. Shigaraki paid no mind as he calmly looked through papers and seemed bored by all the printed words. “Rough day?” he asked, blissfully ignoring the muffled screaming. Midoriya unburied his face from the hoodie and ate an apple slice from the bowl. “It was great but terrible. I hate heroes but…” he pressed his face back into the fabric and kicked his feet childishly quickly. “My teacher and Todoroki are too nice!”
“Oh, so we have a name now.”
“Todoroki Shouto. His quirk is Half Cold Half Hot, in class 1-A with his teachers being Eraserhead and All Might.”
“Is that so?”
Shigaraki peeked over at his screaming little brother who was overwhelmed with emotions. The little villain was happy to meet Todoroki, but he had a soft spot for his pro hero teacher which was a risky thing to have. Shigaraki could work around it. For his little brother, he’d figure something out. “So what else do we know about your little prince charming?” he asked with a sly smirk. “It’s not like that!” Midoriya retorted but this argument has come up before and he was never the winner. His face was flushed as he fiddled with the sleeves of the hoodie. “He’s pretty quiet. And he’s still getting hurt at home. He won’t tell anyone because of how skewed everything would get because of the media and he thinks if he loses, it’ll ruin his chances of being a hero because he’ll be branded a liar.” He then gritted his teeth and his nails dug into the wood of the counter. Hero society will rip Todoroki apart. He’s tip-toeing around everything in silence so he could be something the world saw as honorable. He was living a terrible life because of the heroes. Endeavor could only get away with this because he was so popular and powerful. “I want him to come here. He’ll be safe here.”
Shigaraki listened carefully and put the folder and papers down. He rested his elbow on the counter and put his cheek on his palm. “If he’s got that heart of gold, how will you get him here?” he asked. It wasn’t a rude question, but a realistic one. “He wants to see his brother who um… may or may not be dead.” Midoriya answered but squinted one eye and averted his focus from side to side because that wish would be impossible if this big brother was dead. “He thinks he’s alive. But um… he doesn’t remember his name. So I doubt he remembers what he looks like.” Shigaraki rolled his eyes at what he was being told. Couldn’t this kid just want money or something? “Where the hell am I supposed to start with that?” he muttered quietly to himself.
Midoriya went on to explain the details of what his academic life would consist of between basic education, course observations, and medical training. Shigaraki and Kurogiri listened and they both used that information to understand how they would need to be working from now on. Midoriya wouldn’t need to practice much anymore because he’d be doing that at school. But he was losing a ton of work time on subjects because his academics were still a priority because he needed to stay in school. Then there was the problem of how much time he could get away with being at the bar instead of being at home with his mother. She hadn’t bothered him much, yet. Surely she would get suspicious or worried as to where her son was going overnight.
“So is there anyone in the lab right now?” Midoriya asked, eating a few more pieces of fruit. He was eager to get back to his usual villain work. School, in general, had left him in a foul mood and he wanted to take his mind off of most of it with work. “There’s a sidekick down there. She’s alive so be careful.” Kurogiri answered as he took off Midoriya’s blazer. “And don’t wear your school clothes because they’ll get soiled.” Can’t have the little boy going to school covered in bloodstains. “And I want your notes by tomorrow night. I need them for something important.” Shigaraki added. “What kind of something?” Midoriya’s heart sped up a bit. His work was finally going to produce results. But what were these results? “My master’s doctor would like them. In return, he’s going to make us something very powerful with your research.”
“You don’t talk about your master much. And I’ve never heard of this doctor person.” Midoriya was quick to respond because this was an opportunity to learn a bit more about Shigaraki. “He’s often referred to as All for One, in contrast to All Might’s One for All. He has power beyond any other human.” Kurogiri answered instead, but he got the little villain’s attention. “My dear friend is believed to be immortal. But immortality is cruel on a man’s body, so he needs a doctor to tend to him in his latest years. That doctor is of use to us, however…” The dark fog man’s clouded body began to form sharper clouds in anger. “That doctor and Kurogiri don’t get along that great,” Shigaraki said before Kurogiri even began to lose his temper. “He’s a sketchy bastard. But he can do some crazy things. As soon as I saw you, I knew you and he would be able to create something powerful together. I’ve been sending him your research and he’s pretty impressed by it.” Midoriya began to turn red from prideful embarrassment. Shigaraki’s master’s doctor was impressed with him. His work. His research. His passion. So this was all going towards something big. He suddenly felt so much pride that he toned down his flushed face and smirked confidently. “Then I’ll get back to it right away.”

Midoriya stayed the night at the bar and would likely be staying there much more often. If his mother had any questions, she could always call. He returned to the bar with black clothing stained in red and tired look in his eyes. He had gone from the lab to his room and back to the bar with a neat stack of papers that were typed and printed out with sketches intact. He dragged his feet to the stool next to Shigaraki and sat down beside him, placing the papers down in front of him before leaning against him with his full weight. Shigaraki didn’t get put off balance by the weight and didn’t fight the subtle form of affection. He took the papers and flipped through them one by one in silence. This would go on for at least a few minutes, where the two sat in silence except for the quiet buzzing of a light and the flipping of papers. “You’ve done good work.” Shigaraki would finally say, slowly reaching up to pat Midoriya’s head. “And I’ll see what I can get on that older brother…”
Midoriya smiled with his eyes resting at Shigaraki’s words. He was going to try everything he could to get Todoroki here, even with such limited resources. But he couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty. Was this just going to be a waste of time? A waste of effort? “People trust in heroes too much.” Shigaraki began, getting the freckled villain’s attention. “They want them to do everything for them, so they don’t do anything themselves. Getting the number two’s son on our side will make them doubt their beloved protectors. His transition would not be quiet. We’d make it flashy. We’d have everyone’s eyes on us. They’ll see what a threat we are and how weak their society is. But if we had two sons of a famous hero, it’ll be that much more impactful.” No, this wasn’t a waste of time. Shigaraki was resourceful and clever. No act or decision would be wasted; he was never wasteful. Did his master teach him to be that way? Midoriya could only wonder, too careful to ask. But at least now he felt reassured that he wasn’t being a hindrance. However… more than anything… “I just want to save him and give him somewhere safe… Like you did me.” Saving Todoroki was Midoriya’s first priority. and giving him anything he wanted to feel safe, just like Shigaraki had done for him.

“Todoroki…” Midoriya mumbled, slowly waking up just before his alarm the next morning. He was in his hideout bed, snuggled up closely with the beloved white hoodie that had been given to him months ago. It was difficult to sleep without it. All the All Might merch he had in the past could not compare to the pricelessness of a piece of fabric in his arms. Sitting up to look at the time on his phone, he still held it. Scrolling through daily notifications and news, he kept it close until the alarm to get ready for school went off.
“Pull up, then through there, down, and then tug.” At the bar, Kurogiri stood in front of Midoriya where the little villain mirrored his movements of tying a tie. Shigaraki sat at the counter just smirking to himself, finding their interaction very funny. It was yet another reminder that Kurogiri was molding into a pathetic fatherly role and Midoriya was still an inexperienced child. He just watched them from the corner of his eyes with a question swirling in his mind. “Your parents didn’t teach you how to do that?” he asked. He didn’t remember learning about the freckled villain’s family life. “My mom wouldn’t know stuff like that, though she’d probably try if I asked. But my dad…” Midoriya began to answer and just shrugged with a half-smile and looking towards the ceiling. “Never knew him.” Shigaraki blinked a few times at the casualness of the answer. It suddenly made a lot of sense as to why he had grown so attached to Kurogiri. And that little villain walked past the counter, snatching a piece of toast off a plate that had been set for him and headed to the door. “What about you? You never talk about yours.” Midoriya asked back but was still keeping it casual. It was too early for deep trauma stories, but it was never a bad time to try and learn more about each other. “I don’t… really remember.” Midoriya stopped at the door, having it cracked open and ready to leave. He stayed there for a few moments to watch Shigaraki scratch at his neck lightly when he answered. “You call that hand ‘father’, right?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Are your memories more prominent with your master?”
“Yeah…”
The little villain remained there for a couple of seconds longer before shrugging again. “I’ll see you later,” he said before going off on his way. He had quite a few things to think about on his way to school. Things about Shigaraki were suddenly starting to make a little more sense. Shigaraki had someone in his life similar to what Todoroki was to Midoriya; someone gave him a purpose and a reason to live. It must have been his master. His master must have trained him and brought him to the world of villains and now he was guiding him in the background to grow. His master could afford a powerful and sophisticated doctor, and his master likely provided him with the laboratory in the bar basement. His master must have given him Kurogiri to give him more personal guidance due to how much Kurogiri seemed to respect him as a close friend. And if his master was in declining health, Kurogiri was a constant figure that was there for him.
But that severed hand. Although Shigaraki never wore it around Midoriya anymore due to how comfortable he had become around him, he’s called it ‘father’ and he always kept it at arm’s reach. He never went anywhere without it. He always wore it around strangers or when he was fighting. Without memories of his family, perhaps that hand is all he had.
Midoriya was walking on the sidewalk when he stopped at that thought. He had an odd thought. A curious thought. A sad, but very real thought. Does Shigaraki ever feel lonely? So much hatred was welled inside of him, there was no family in his recollection, all he had was a dying master and Kurogiri and their relationship seemed formal when they first met. He couldn’t help but wonder what his big brother could be thinking about. What kind of things would go through his head every day? Midoriya took out his phone and looked at Shigaraki’s contact number. Maybe he should text him more often.
“Look out!” A random voice called out amongst the crowd of people walking the morning city sidewalks. And it was suddenly that a giant villain grew to the size of a small house and ran out of a common bank. The entrance to the building was destroyed and there was a blast of smoke and debris that covered a portion of the street Midoriya was on. The boy held his forearm up to his mouth so he wouldn’t breathe in anything dangerous as many people began to run away from the commotion. It wasn’t long at all for heroes to arrive on the scene. And just as the heroes arrived, more villains and common criminals began to creep in and take advantage of the chaos, sneaking in to loot nearby stores and picking up dropped belongings that people had dropped in a panic. “It’s too early for this,” Midoriya grumbled, turning to jog away from the nonsense that was taking place. The villains were going to lose, there were too many heroes and that was obvious. Shigaraki wasn’t stupid to do something like this, he had much more tact.
Rather than being worried about the situation at hand, Midoriya was trying to think of the quickest detour to school because he would likely be late at this point. How troublesome. Amid his mental mapping and debating, the initial villain was thrown against a wall of buildings right beside him by a hero. The giant hero’s ankle just nicked a lamp post and made it wobble then fall. Midoriya looked up and tried to move his feet quick enough to get out of the way of the metal pole. He wasn’t fit enough. He was reminded of how weak he was and incompetent he physically was. When the lamp post fell, he was lucky that the top of it hit a car that was able to cushion its fall so it only knocked the little villain down and kept him trapped underneath. He was stuck on his stomach with the pole weighing down on his back, giving him barely any room to wriggle out from underneath. But he didn’t have the upper body strength to pull himself out. “H-Hey…!” This was such a terrible morning.
Midoriya looked up at the giant villain that knocked the pole over with a glare as the hero that hit him there in the first place tried to attack him again. The villain moved out of the way of the hero’s quirk which consisted of a massive venus fly trap arm. That hero made eye contact with Midoriya for just a moment when their attempt to hit the villain failed. Midoriya looked at that hero intensely before their eye contact was broken. The hero turned their attention to the giant villain and chased after him instead.
Figured out that heroes don’t always come, huh?
Shigaraki’s words echoed in his head.
Heroes prefer flashy villains to fight to get them more screen time.
Heroes rather fight for the credit of apprehending a villain than saving a plain-looking schoolboy. Ignored. He was completely ignored. A few citizens ran past him, looking out for their own safety. None of them stopped to help him. They didn’t even look at him.
They want them to do everything for them, so they don’t do anything themselves.
“You damn-” Midoriya growled bitterly as he struggled to free himself from under the pole. He gritted his teeth as he pathetically kicked the ground to try and push himself out. And it was then that another villain was thrown against the wall of buildings with a car. The amount of force caused the windows to shatter and broken glass began to rain down. Midoriya could only look up in horror and quickly lower his head, covering it with his hands. He felt so pathetic. So helpless. All the confidence he had when in the laboratory was gone in the outside world. He was still weak. He was so weak. “Tomu…”
Behind him, he felt an intense heat out of nowhere. But in front, above, and below, it suddenly became bitterly cold. He heard glass start to his the ground and shatter on impact, and yet none of the shatterings were remotely close to him. He slowly lifted his head and saw the back of a grey blazer and a certain someone with red and white hair in front of him, with ice surrounding him like a shield while shards of glass were scattered on the ground. Of course. That beautiful boy was always there; he was always there when he needed saving. “T-Todoroki?” He must have also taken this route to school. This area was pretty close to the train station now that he thought about it.
Todoroki put his right hand on the pole to freeze a large section of it and then give it a solid kick with the bottom of his heel to make it shatter, freeing the freckled villain at last. He reached down to grab both his hands and help him back up to his feet. “I didn’t know you came this way,” Midoriya said, shaking his head a bit to make his senses a bit clearer. Looking at this beautiful boy once again, he got a good view of his face. There was so much worry. His eyes were a bit bigger and his hands still held on tightly to Midoriya’s. “I usually don’t…” he answered quietly.
It was very shortly, merely a few minutes, for all the villains to be apprehended by heroes. The media appeared out of nowhere and people gathered to celebrate and cheer on their beloved heroes. All the villains walked in a line with heroes smiling and waving at the cameras, signing autographs, and taking pictures with their fans. Midoriya watched all of their faces with bitter hatred burning up inside of him. He hated them. He hated all of them so much. Todoroki stood beside him, looking around at the destruction that remained behind them. There was so much damage to the city. It appeared so reckless.
“Todoroki, if you don’t usually come this way, then how did you-” Midoriya let his anger subside because he didn’t want to deal with it now. He just wanted to focus on the beautiful boy that saved him yet again. But he was cut off when a booming voice shouted over his. “Shouto!!” It was a deeper voice and one that belonged to an older man. The little villain watched Todoroki’s eyes narrow darkly as he turned to look at the source. That heat wasn’t from Todoroki Shouto just minutes ago. “I told you not to wander off too far. You couldn’t even follow those instructions?” Endeavor came up behind the two teenagers and towered over them with just natural height and broadness. Midoriya took a step back but Todoroki did not waver, not even his flaming face frightened him.
The villain had yet to see the number two hero in person. He was just a little shorter than All Might but the aura around him did not resonate with one of a heroic persona. He could only feel rage and intimidation coming from this man. This was him. This was the one that kept hurting his beautiful hero. Those burns on his arm when they had first met, and the burned choking marks on his neck just the day before came from the pro hero standing before him. “Someone could have gotten hurt if I didn’t.” Todoroki retorted lowly but his focus averted elsewhere, rudely avoiding eye contact with his father. “You know you aren’t allowed to use your quirk in public. Are you ruining your reputation already?” Todoroki gritted his teeth, biting his tongue and doing everything in his power not to snap back. “As a masterpiece, you shouldn’t be messing up your future so recklessly. You know better than that, Shouto.” Endeavor kept pressing, glaring at his youngest son. But that word triggered a very angry reaction. “Don’t you call me that…” Todoroki growled, raising his arms slightly only for Endeavor to grab it harshly. Midoriya flinched and took a step forward. He had to intervene. He was supposed to save him. He couldn’t let him get hurt right in front of him. But his beautiful hero nudged him back with his shoulder. He wasn’t going to let him get involved here. “Take pride in what you are. Stop with this childish teenage rebellion already.” Endeavor tugged him forward, making Todoroki walk with him. “We need to go before you’re late.”
Todoroki looked back at Midoriya with an uninterpretable expression. He wasn’t begging for help, but he didn’t look fine at all. He was practically being dragged but played it off as if he was keeping pace with his father. Midoriya looked back with his head lowered and a little green glow peeking out from under his hair. “I'll take you away…” he mumbled. He couldn’t do it now. Not with how weak and pathetic he was. He couldn’t fight a pro hero like that. But one day, for sure… “I’ll kill him. I’ll save you… Todoroki Shouto.”

Chapter Text

Midoriya had to speed walk to school and arrived at class more tired than he was when he left the hideout. He slumped over his desk and sighed heavily at his terrible morning. It was almost made better when Todoroki showed up, but to see him taken away by Endeavor so forcefully while he was so helpless to do anything, he felt terrible. He didn’t even say anything. He should have said something. He should have said anything. But there was always the chance that Todoroki’s situation could have gotten worse if he did.
The thoughts of what he could have done bothered him all of his classes. He took his school notes and personal notes but all of his second thoughts still lingered. Even when Present Mic began teaching his English lessons, giving everyone a chance and being more than helpful with any questions, not even his personality and kindness was enough to distract him. He hated school, but he could always be comforted by the fact that he had a home to go back to where a big brother and a father figure were there to make him feel better. But Todoroki, he didn’t have that. It was recently that his sister came back but, he must have spent most of his life with just his father. Todoroki must look forward to coming back to school. How miserable he must be knowing he couldn’t be happy in his own home.
When it came to the observation period, Midoriya was drawn to the class 1-A monitor again to watch their latest lesson. At the moment, they had all changed into their hero costumes for the first time. He remembered the little green suit his mother had made for him so long ago. He remembered the page he ripped out of his notebook that had a design for his impossible future. It wasn’t the time to think about dreams that never had a chance to be. Instead of lingering on that, he scanned the line of students to find Todoroki in all white with ice covering his entire left half. It made him frown, knowing Todoroki didn’t like that half of himself. It was to the point where he didn’t want anyone to see it. But someone looked very angry at his costume.
Some kid with black spikey hair and golden eyes had strutted up to him with a costume that resembled armor made of dragon scales with clawed gauntlets. It was that fire breather kid that gave him a hard time on the first day. Why was he looking at Todoroki that way? Why was he getting that close to him? He had a toothy smirk like Bakugo but there was a lot more determination and cockiness in his face. Midoriya scanned the list of names on the lower screen to try and figure out who this guy was. A fire breathing quirk, he remembered. “Kosuke Hiro…”
What Midoriya was feeling was not jealousy. The emotion he was reading on Kosuke’s face was not flirtatious. It was a sense of mockery and cruel attitude. All the students had mics on their costumes so the students observing could hear their conversations through headphones and alternate on who to listen to. And thus Midoriya grabbed a headset and shifted a knob on it to listen to the mics of students 15 and 18.
“Why are you covering the fire half of you, huh? I know you.” Kosuke sneered, keeping his hands in the pockets of his black scaley costume. “I didn’t think there’d be another fire user in my class. Don’t think I’m going to let some rich son of a famous hero show me up.” Todoroki kept usually quiet, standing his ground but not letting any emotion show on his face. He was so quiet so often. He had a sharp tongue when he got pushed, but he usually tried to keep it back. “I plan on being a hero without it. It’s pointless making a competition out of something I’ll never use,” he said calmly, turning his body to try and show that he didn’t care for this conversation. But Kosuke was not satisfied with that answer as small flames came out of his nose in a huff. “So you think you’re better than me? Is that what that is? Think you can show everyone up with only half your power?”
“I never said that. But I plan on it.”
“Then show me your fire if you think you’re that much better than me.”
“I don’t have to show you anything.”
Midoriya gritted his teeth the moment he saw Kosuke grab the collar of Todoroki’s shirt but he let go when All Might appeared before them. He could see where the relationship between the two was going to end up. It was going to be some petty rivalry but it was a rivalry that Todoroki did not want any part of.

Midoriya would watch the first training period for the hero course where the students were in groups of two, pinned against each other to either apprehend the other group or having one tag a fake bomb in a skyscraper. The school must have had a massive budget to create these fake cities just to have them destroyed. He watched the first be between the little brother of Ingenium and Bakugo against some girl in pink and Kosuke. He at least got his dose of entertainment watching Bakugo and Kosuke fight each other mindlessly out of their own arrogant personalities while the girl in pink confronted the guy in glasses. Observing two hot heads yelling at each other and call each other a weakling was very funny. It was like they shared a single brain cell that could only understand pettiness. They were both angry, mindless fools.
A few fights later, Midoriya found himself in nothing but awe watching the bare minimum of Todoroki’s power. He froze an entire building with one touch and was able to complete the assignment by himself without hurting anyone. Such a pure heart. He was so talented. He was so calm. He was smart to know exactly what to do with an invisible opponent. There was minimal damage to the building. Midoriya quickly turned the knob on his headset to listen to mics numbers 17 and 18. He smirked hearing them. They were both silent for a couple of moments, stunned by how quickly and effortlessly Todoroki won while the two of them were roughed up and burned from each other. “I… How do I… I-I can’t beat that…” Bakugo’s voice stuttered, making Midoriya’s face blush. How terrified he sounded. How weak. Pathetic. Hopeless. His eyes sparkled at the sound of his former bully stuttering and trembling. “That bastard…” Kosuke growled.

The lunch period afterward, Midoriya eagerly sat at the table where he and Todoroki were the day before. He looked around for him with anticipation, ready to shower him with praise the moment he sat down. He had such an amazing quirk after all. He knew exactly how to control it to an impressive extent. It was a beautiful display. He deserved to know how impressive he was. However, when Midoriya did spot his beautiful hero, he glared at a student next to him that was pestering him. Kosuke walked beside Todoroki and kept bumping him with his arm while they both held trays. “Use your fire next time, damn it. It’s like you’re mocking me.” Kosuke said bitterly, flames slipping through the cracks of his teeth. But Todoroki remained collected and walked as steadily as he could while being bumped. “I won’t. I don’t need to.” This bratty student didn’t deserve an explanation, nor should he expect one. “You really piss me off. You’re just a spoiled rich kid.”
Midoriya stood up from his chair, quick enough to knock it back when he saw Kosuke lose his temper at Todoroki’s unwillingness to use his fire. He felt mocked and degraded from being unrecognized by the number two hero’s son. But his temper was just as nasty, if not worse than Bakugo’s. Midoriya and many other students watched as the fire-breather took his tray and swung it to hit Todoroki in the side of his head. All the food on the tray fell to the floor as Todoroki dropped his on impact. The sound of clanging metal drew a few students’ attention and they went completely silent. Would a fight break out between the two? Would Kosuke get his wish? He was smirking cockily, expecting the half and half hero to challenge him. However, his expectations were not met. Midoriya ran up to the two students and put a hand on Todoroki’s shoulder and looked at him with panic in his eyes. “T-Todoroki-” he began to say, wondering if he had gotten badly hurt. Todoroki had his hand up against the side of his head where he was hit. Pulling it back, he checked to see if he was bleeding. He wasn’t. And Midoriya noticed the lack of blood too. But he was still furious, turning to look back at Kosuke with a narrowed glare.
He’ll die. If a student had to go, this one will die. Midoriya’s tired eyes locked on Kosuke’s as he kept both his hands protectively on his beautiful hero. “Just leave him alone.” the freckled villain demanded. His heart shattered when he felt Todoroki get to the ground and pick up the food that had been soiled from falling on the floor. He piled it all on to the tray in a mess before getting back up in silence. Why wouldn’t he say anything? Why wouldn’t he defend himself? Midoriya watched him throw out the food he had just gotten, only salvaging a single milk carton, painfully. Why was he acting… just like Midoriya used to?
“None of your business, shorty.” Kosuke lightly shoved past Midoriya and went off elsewhere in the cafeteria but was hastily chased after by the tall guy with glasses. He looked like the type to give annoying lectures to his classmates, even though he was the same rank and age as them. Ignoring that scene, Midoriya returned to the table that Todoroki sat at, across from the fallen over chair. He just sipped his drink quietly while everyone slowly started to go back to their previous conversations.
“T...Todoroki…?” Midoriya picked his chair up and sat down, leaning a bit closer to try and get a better look at his beautiful hero even though his head was lowered so his hair was blocking his face. He watched frost climb up his right cheek and up to his head where he was hit. The tips of his white hair froze at the tips. The sparkle the ice made him look even prettier but Midoriya chose not to say anything. “Do you want to hang out after school again today?” he asked softly with a small smile to try to give him the opportunity to feel better. “We could go somewhere closer. Like a cafe or-” Todoroki rubbed the side of his head with his palm and cut the freckled teenager off. “I got scolded yesterday. I don’t feel like dealing with him again today so… another time.” he said so quietly with a deeper tone.
Midoriya’s forced smile fell at his answer. It sounded like he would have liked to spend time together again, but his father would be troublesome because of how late he would get home. Endeavor was clearly the no-nonsense kind of parent in addition to his strictness and abusive parenting. He didn’t want Todoroki to get any more injuries, so he wouldn’t try to persuade him to go out again soon. “Y-You must be hungry still. Here.” Midoriya took a napkin and folded it on his tray to start taking pieces of meat out of his katsudon, as well as some noodles and placing them on the napkin. “I just stand around all day. You need your strength for training this afternoon. And I don’t eat a lot anyway.” He pushed his tray forward to offer half his meal to Todoroki with a desperate look on his face. He didn’t eat much already, having lost weight since entering his villain lifestyle. Work overtook his focus on nutrition but Todoroki had muscle and needed to eat to function. So the little villain was more than willing to share more than half of his meal.
Todoroki looked at the food he was offered so generously. He made just the smallest, shortest exhale through his nose that could be mistaken for a scoff. But Midoriya knew it was something else. Todoroki didn’t communicate like other people. He didn’t know how to. And the little villain picked up on this very quickly because he felt the air around him heating up again. It wasn’t a coincidence that this happened every time he said or did something nice for him. “You’re too kind.” the hero said softly, taking chopsticks from the table to eat off the napkin. “You’re too kind.” Midoriya said back, emphasizing the ‘you’re’. Todoroki didn’t fight Kosuke back despite being stronger than him. He could have annihilated him. But he held back.

“Different chemicals produce different flowers that produce different effects of the spores…” Midoriya wrote in his notes in his laboratory. There was a female sidekick restrained to his table, her body scattered with lines of stitches and her arms were swollen with needle puncture wounds. Her hair was green and damp with sweat, her face shiny with tears. She was kept alive from the day before and now the afternoon Midoriya returned from school. In Midoriya’s notebook, her quirk was labeled as Variety Spores. In the palms of her hands, flowers with mangled vines were sprouting and beginning to wilt and her veins were bulging for the intensity.
“Try not to die from this one.” Midoriya bent under his table to pick up a gas mask and put it on. He filled a syringe with a chemical from a bottle with giant warnings on it. It was lethal. The subject on his table screamed through a gag as she tried to pull her restrained arm away from this emotionless villain. But there was emotion in his face when he giggled at her fear. He still felt a twisted pleasure when heroes feared him. How scary a little quirkless boy was. He poked his masked cheeks and his eyes angled in a cute smile. “Your quirk is so fascinating! Thank you so much for letting me study it! Maybe I could get your autograph if you can get through this~” he teased, having a fake fanboy-ish tone.
He could only see quirks in action when his subjects were alive. It was the perks of stepping up from corpses. He could ask questions, force quirks to work with drugs Shigaraki provided him, study them at his own pace and will. The power he held with needles and a scalpel was incredible when his victims were restrained.
While the poor sidekick struggled, Midoriya stabbed her wrist with the syringe and injected her with a fast-acting poison. He watched flowers start to sprout all over her body and release hundreds of spores, her veins turning black and bulging intensely. He lifted a small electronic device in his hand that measured the quality of air and appeared fascinated by it, taking more notes. "Quirks almost mutate when in life-threatening situations." He mumbled quietly before taking more specific notes. He let the sidekick woman spasm, scream, and cry without a second glance.
By the time he finished writing a few pages of notes, his laboratory had become silent. His eyes slowly trailed to his table where the sidekick was still and lifeless, her eyes wide opened and the flowers on her body began to wilt. "So you did die." He shrugged, turning to the front pages of his notebook where he had a picture of her and a small family tree. "Pollenina…" he crossed out her picture and looked at the one he had next to it; a sibling. He couldn't help but smirk at the picture of the venus flytrap hero he saw this morning, the one that left him under a light pole and apprehended the giant villain instead. “Hope you didn’t like your little sister too much.” he giggled.
Midoriya cleaned up his laboratory like he always did after work. Shigaraki spent a lot of resources providing all of this for him so he would not treat it poorly; washing all his tools, sterilizing the floor and tables, organizing notes, labeling on a piece of paper near the elevator door which chemicals he used and would need to be restocked. There was so much pride in his work. Yet he did not burn the corpse yet. Not being wasteful, he would save it for more research later. How many corpses he had gone through outnumbered his two living subjects. He needed to take advantage of all his resources.
He turned on an air vent before going up the elevator to his apartment floor, going to his room to instantly take a shower and clean himself of any poisonous spores and chemicals. He would not even consider the risk of accidentally hurting Shigaraki. After doing so, he went to the bar in Todoroki’s white hoodie that was very baggy on him now, a pair of shorts, and a towel over his head to dry his wet hair. He came down the stairs to see his big brother watching the news on the small tv with Kurogiri and some stranger he hadn’t seen before. It was an older man with glasses and a missing tooth. Midoriya quietly walked up behind Shigaraki with the hand on his face and the stranger, peeking at the tv and listening closely.
“For several months, mysterious disappearances have been occurring all over the city and nearby, very populated, cities. It has come to our attention that the sudden increase in the disappearances of civilians and heroes may be linked. The police have been overwhelmed with reports and information due to the sheer number of people affected. And so the police and detective agencies are asking for help for pro heroes to join their search for the one behind the missing claims of over thirty people and to put an end to the villains behind these crimes.” The screen began showing images of crime scenes that were taken over the summer that showed signs of minor struggle with some looking more concerning than others. “The most recent disappearance, according to detectives, may involve the sidekick Pollenina. She went missing two days ago on-” Shigaraki muted the tv and looked to the stranger and then Midoriya, noticing the little villain coming to join them. “So they’re finally on to us,” he said.
“But it looks like they’re having a hard time tracking you down. They’re getting desperate and asking heroes for help now.” The stranger said, folding his arms with a smirk. He then noticed Midoriya a bit behind him from the corner of his eye and smiled. “So this is that kid you’ve been telling me about. He’s uh…” Midoriya’s eyes narrowed in a petty glare knowing exactly what this old man was about to say. He’s not as intimidating as he thought. He’s smaller than he expected. He’s cuter than one would imagine. He knew he didn’t look intimidating like this. “Izuku, this is Giran. The guy that’s gonna learn everything he can about Endeavor’s first son.” Shigaraki stopped Giran from finding the words he wanted to say and instead moved straight to business. “Well, I’m going to try. Not much I can do without a face or name. But with a celebrity dad, I’m sure I can find some people to work with. And I also came to drop this off for ya.” Giran patted a cardboard box that was on the bar counter with a grin. “Shigaraki ordered it so if you don’t like it, talk to him.” Midoriya looked up at the box curiously and watched Kurogiri cut it open with a small knife and leaning over the counter to hand it to him. The little villain took the box and went to the sofa to open and pick through it while the older villains talked and Kurogiri even gave them mild shots.
“So what are you planning?” Giran asked, sitting down and taking a small sip. “After the doctor gives me that thing, we’re going to sneak into U.A. and kill All Might with it. We’ll plan in advance and I’ll get grunts to cause irresistible trouble during his commune to wear him out.” Shigaraki began telling his info broker his fairly simple plan to get into the school using the media and mentioned Midoriya notes that he’s been receiving and looking over. And meanwhile, the little villain began pulling out pieces of clothing out of the box. There were classy clothes with a vest and tie and yet the button up and pants didn’t seem to feel like they were supposed to. They were stiffer and the fabric appeared to be very sturdy. A villain costume? At the bottom of the box was a metal mouth mask with air ventilation holes, and it was decorated with a terrifying tooth design. The design resembled a smiling shark mouth. He put the piece of his mouth and made a noise to have it mix his voice into a lower octave; a piece to help hide his identity. No one would be able to recognize his voice with the mask on. Another piece at the bottom of the box was a mask for the upper half of his face that was completely white except for the holes for the eyes that were enlarged with black tint over them.
Midoriya held his masks in his hands and had the clothes in his lap, looking to Shigaraki who was still conversing with Giran and Kurogiri. He suddenly felt like crying. He wanted to run up to him and thank him. But not while Giran was here. If Shigaraki had his hand on his face, it meant he didn’t trust Giran fully or that he was trying to keep his presence intimidating to be taken seriously. If Shigaraki ordered this costume, he must have designed it too. Midoriya kept feeling the shirt and pants to feel how strong they were. It wasn’t armor, but it was not something a knife would be able to cut. He was so grateful for it.
Giran left after about an hour and Shigaraki slumped over the counter, taking the hand off his face and instead put it on the top of his head as he mixed a groan with a sigh. His social stamina power had run completely dry. Midoriya put his costume back in the box and got up on to the stool next to tired big brother. Before bothering him, he looked at the some of the liquid left in Giran’s cup and subtly tried reaching for it to have Kurogiri take it away casually. Midoriya made a small pout but let it pass when he put his cheek on the counter to look at the half-drunk adult next to him. “Hate people that much, huh?” he asked just to get a grunt as an answer. “Have you like, ever had a crush on someone?” Use this opportunity to get more ammunition to tease his big brother. “You get so tired after talking to people for a few minutes that you need to drink to keep going. Have you ever liked someone so much that you don’t have to do that?” Shigaraki lifted his face and just glared at his little brother but it was annoyed rather than hateful. “Never. I hate people,” he grumbled. “No way in hell I’m gonna end up chasing after a pretty prince charming like you…” he poked the freckled boy’s chest pathetically. Midoriya was not bothered by the weak poke and instead just cared more to watch his big brother. He’s never had feelings for someone. Ever. No friends. Doesn’t remember his family. He Kurogiri didn’t seem that close. What made this little freckled boy he found on the street so special?

Midoriya sat in class the next morning, doodling in his school notebook. He smiled peacefully to himself as he drew himself in the villain costume Shigaraki designed for him. His heart was so giddy for it. He destroyed the sketches of his dream hero costume long ago when he realized how pointless it was to have a goal like that. But now he had this. He longed for the day he could wear it out.
“I totally saw him messing with someone yesterday.”
“I bet he has girls lift their skirts for him and they won’t remember what happened.”
“That’s so gross.”
“He has to use it on his parents all the time.”
The little villain found himself distracted by his classmates’ gossip once again and knew that they were talking about Shinsou. His eyes trailed away from his drawing and glared at the students and then checked to see the purple-haired boy was doing. Did he ever hear what people were saying about him? And surely he was sitting at his desk and covering his ears with his elbows on the tabletop. He had his eyes shut. Was he trying to block them out? Midoriya wouldn’t doubt that he was accustomed to this kind of gossip bullying but he couldn’t help but pity him. He had always been so focused and devoted to studying class 1-A and B whenever it was observation period. He was the one who asked Present Mic about them. Midoriya felt a small twinge in his chest. He knew exactly what he was feeling.
“He’s always-” one female student started to say when Midoriya slammed his pen on the desk to make just a loud enough noise to stop her from talking. “Could you guys shut up about him for once? It’s so annoying, like a bunch of elementary schoolers. And none of it’s true and you know it. You don’t even know him.” he growled with a dark glare and went back to his doodling. He wasn’t going to start a fight over it because he would surely lose. Everyone knew he was quirkless. Luckily, the students became too flustered to say anything back and slowly scattered awkwardly. Some people can’t handle being called out so bluntly. That call out got Shinsou to look back at Midoriya and blink a few times at him, uncovering his ears gradually.
In a different homeroom class, Todoroki sat down at his desk, receiving a simple ‘good morning’ from Yaoyorozu Momo and returning it monotoned. He tried to keep his eyes on his phone but couldn’t help himself and glance a few times at Kosuke at his desk, having a glare off with Bakugo. At least he was distracted. But he felt someone bump into his desk and looked up at the Iida Tenya standing beside him with a glint in his glasses. He was standing there in absolute silence like he was trying to think of something to say, and it was taking him way longer than he anticipated. “I don’t believe that we have officially talked before. But I am Iida Tenya, your classmate.” Todoroki nodded at this, not being one of many words with strangers. “It has come to my attention that you and Kosuke haven’t been getting along. And I thought I would ask you if your head still hurts from yesterday.” Todoroki shook his head. “No, it’s okay now.” Then he went back to scrolling at nothing but news articles on his phone and not reading any of them. “W-Well I would like to invite you to sit with your other classmates and myself this afternoon to build a stronger relationship.” Iida started waving his arm in a very strange fashion to get his attention again. “I’m okay sitting with Midoriya.” He was getting pretty close to the freckled villain. “Then I would like to invite you both! I would hate for Kosuke to ruin the reputation of the rest of the class for you. I also believe it would help us all become friends.” Todoroki focused his eyes elsewhere at the offer. “I’m not really here to make friends…” he admitted. “But I’ll ask if Midoriya would like that.”
“I guess it’s okay…” Midoriya said begrudgingly as the two walked to the lunchroom together. Todoroki now had a bandage on his right cheek from a small burn from Kosuke during combat training that afternoon. It was more than clear that the fire breathing student had it out for him now. Midoriya and Todoroki had split up to get their meals and even while the hero student was in line, Kosuke purposely kept stepping on his heel to make it bleed by the time he was out of line. And yet there was no reaction from him, being passive and unwilling to start a fight.
Sitting down with all these familiar yet new faces made him quieter than average and Midoriya noticed. Like usual, he was a good listener, watching and paying attention to all the colorful students around him. But he never cared to add to the conversation. How Midoriya longed to hear his voice. They were just wasting their precious time together. He didn’t want to watch and think about his beautiful hero anymore, he wanted to interact with him. But surrounded by all these people, they were both rendered silent by awkwardness and introverted nature. “Bakugo sure has a flashy quirk, huh? Too bad his personality isn’t as bright.” Uraraka giggled, casually making fun of the student that was further down the table and keeping to a small group of boys who were also teasing him. The spiky red-head sitting next to him looked the most comfortable. “But Todoroki’s power is incredible. With just one half, you’ve made quite an impression on everyone.” Iida added, shifting the conversation and looking to Todoroki to include himself.
Midoriya subtly gritted his teeth. Who did this jock nerd think he was? He thinks he can just waltz into Todoroki’s life and try to be best friends with him? Inviting him to sit with him at lunch, approaching him in homeroom, making small talk during combat training earlier that afternoon, what was he trying to do? If this was jealousy, he hated it. He hated how Todoroki was avoiding eye contact with everyone until Iida mentioned him. And now that blue-haired loser got his attention. Midoriya wanted that attention. “Your quirk is amazing Todoroki and you control it so well. How do you do it?” Iida pressed. “Lots of focus and hard work, I guess.” Abuse. “Your skills are very impressive, you should take pride in your perseverance.” Iida smiled as he complimented him which made the little villain’s blood run hot. Thinking he could just flatter him like that and suddenly get on his good side. What the villain and hero had couldn’t be compared to this nobody they just met.
“It probably just means he worthless with the other half of himself.” Kosuke walked by and elbowed Todoroki in the back of his head, to which he still refused to react. Midoriya took hold of his hero and tried to protect him from any other attempted attacks. And just as he was about to open his mouth to say something, Iida stood up out of his seat and slammed his hand on the table. “Your attitude and attacks towards Todoroki are not appropriate nor are they called for. I think I speak for everyone when I politely ask you to stop harassing our classmate. If this continues any longer, I would have no other option than to report you to Mr. Aizawa.” he barked but stood tall and firm. Kosuke only scoffed and shrugged the threat off. “Rich kids stick together, I guess. You’re part of that Ingenium family, right? Chip on your shoulder and stick up your ass, mind your own damn business.” he said, walking off without another issue. But Midoriya became even angrier when he felt the air around him become warm all of a sudden. He glanced at Todoroki’s face to see a slight red tint to his cheeks.

It wasn’t fair. Midoriya had been dying to see Todoroki since he was saved by him. He was doing everything he could to give him his brother back and coming up with a way to take him away from Endeavor. Why was this four-eyed bastard able to make him so happy so quickly? But he couldn’t be mad at his beloved, beautiful hero. For days, Midoriya would watch him during the observation period. Kosuke continued to be subtle but relentless in his insults. He selfishly kept challenging him to use his left half. It was then he began doing it when Iida wasn’t around, any chance he got. Stepping on his heels, hitting him, shoving him, trying to trip him, stealing or vandalizing his things, Midoriya was noticing all these little actions at lunch. Todoroki continued to sit with his class to be left in peace, and the little villain always sat with him. He wasn’t going to let Iida take him away. But more than anything, he didn’t want Todoroki to be just like him.
Home was miserable with his father and then his only safe place was school. But that had been ruined by Kosuke’s bullying. It was predatory. He only went after Todoroki, thinking he as selfish and arrogant as the son of Endeavor. He was too inconsiderate to even think that there may be a reason he didn’t use his fire. There was a scar on his face, it was impossible to miss. How could he not care to even assume that there was a personal reason involved in his actions? Midoriya was watching Todoroki become more reserved and silent. Talks at lunch were minimal until Iida and Yaoyorozu tried including him. But even then, he spent most of the time scrolling through nothing on his phone. At one point, Midoriya tapped his arm and held up his own phone with a blush. His screen was opened to a new contact tab.
Things became a bit better after that. Todoroki texted much more than he talked, although his texts were often one sentence or one word.

Midoriya: You look tired

Todoroki: Endeavor has been inviting lots of people over late

Midoriya: Why’s that?

Todoroki: He’s trying to make his agency the head of the Sudden Disappearance case investigation

They were sitting next to each other at the lunch table. Midoriya stared at his phone and was caught off guard by the text. Endeavor was going to be leading the search for all the corpses and live subjects he’s worked on. The police weren’t messing around anymore.

Midoriya: Endeavor doesn’t seem like a great deductive thinker

Todoroki: His agency has smart people. He has an advantage in numbers. And he’s a threat to scare the v

Midoriya looked over at Todoroki to see his eyes closing for a few seconds at a time. He seemed so exhausted. Home sucked. School sucked. There was no in-between to be had because his father would prevent him from staying after. He must not have been sleeping well with stress and feeling overwhelmed.

Midoriya: You should come over sometime. My mom would be happy to have you. She’s really nice.
Midoriya: Do you wanna go somewhere quiet? I’ll wake you up when lunch is over.

Todoroki then turned to look at Midoriya and nodded slowly. His eyes were as cold as ever, but there was so much more sadness in them these days. The little villain was able to recognize that sadness from himself back in middle school. At least right now, Todoroki didn’t have to be alone with his repressed emotions.
And so the two started to get up out of their seats, though Todoroki was a little quicker. He must have been eager for a nap, even if it would only be for a few minutes. Midoriya also stayed at the table a couple of moments longer to gather the remains of his lunch and there was a lot because he never had an appetite. And it was while his back was turned when there was a loud clatter. It was the sound of a tray and everything on it falling, but also a whole person hitting the ground.
When Midoriya looked back, his eyes appeared to glow once again. His anger reached a new level in what he saw. He began to tremble and his hands gripped his tray so tightly that he made a dent. Todoroki was soaked and on the ground, water steaming on his clothes and skin with Kosuke holding a large steaming cup in his hand, looking more annoyed and frustrated than normal. "Tea too hot for you, rich kid? Your flames must be weak as hell if that hurts! I’m so tired of you being a coward!" He snapped, not realizing the severity of what he had done. He knelt down and grabbed Todoroki by his shirt to try and force him to face him. But the soaked hero was covering his left eye instinctively with his right side frosting over. The bandage had fallen off and blood began to drip from his cheek. “You think you can just ignore me forever?!” He refused to look at him. He wouldn’t start a fight, not when it was common knowledge that his father would find out and it would be placed on his record.
It was then that Kosuke would be hit in the side of the head by a metal tray with full force. Of course, Midoriya’s full force was pathetic due to his small stature and petiteness. But that didn’t mean he could give someone a bruise or two. Kosuke’s head turned on impact but his body remained still. The hero course was on a whole different level of strength and durability. By now, the little interaction in the back of the cafeteria had everyone’s attention. Including someone with purple hair, all the way in the back by himself. “Kosuke! This is not-” Iida began to take the initiative of breaking up the tension that was rising quickly. But his reaction was not quick enough to stop Kosuke from smirking with sharp teeth as he threw Todoroki a few feet to the side on the ground and puffed a small flame at Midoriya.
“You’re the quirkless kid that hangs out with him… shouldn’t you hate him more than anyone?” Kosuke breathed, flexing his hands and cracking his wrists in the process. His nails were sharp, like his gauntlets for his costume. “He deserves to be called a hero more than anyone in this room…” Midoriya growled, with a glow still bright in his eyes. He wanted to kill him. He wanted to kill him so bad. He wanted him on his table, screaming and begging for mercy. He wanted him to apologize and pray for Todoroki’s forgiveness. He didn’t deserve to breathe the same air as his hero. He didn’t deserve to live.
Kosuke scoffed at Midoriya, feeling no intimidation from him. Instead, he walked over to Todoroki and went to step on his shoulder while he just laid on his side. Todoroki was just so tired. He didn’t want to make trouble. He just wanted a nap. His eyes were nearly closed when he heard a small tussle above him. He looked up sleepily to see Midoriya grabbing on to Kosuke’s shoulders to pull him back from stepping on him. “Midoriya… don’t get-” Todoroki mumbled, trying to keep his closest friend from getting in trouble now. “You little nobody!” Kosuke flailed to try and get the little villain to release him before he turned his head to breathe a hot flame directly at him and one of his nails swiped across his face, directly over his right eye.

Chapter Text

“He’s been coming to class with bandages. I was going to ask him about it after the bell today. Something just doesn’t feel right.” Aizawa said, sitting in the teachers’ lounge eating just a cup of noodles. All Might in his true form and Yamada sat near him at their desks, also enjoying their lunch breaks. “Their training here is very demanding, do you think that maybe he’s been roughed up here? Hero work is very hard on all our bodies.” All Might suggested, taking a small sip of tea. He looked down at the water and stared into his reflection. Hero work was very hard on his body in particular, and he knew it all too well. “He excels in training. I haven’t seen him wounded in class where he ends up getting more than mildly hurt. On the first day of class... “ Aizawa pulled on his scarf slightly and gestured to his neck. “There were some on his neck,”
Yamada, who was oddly quiet just listened and put his bento box down on the table in front of him and began typing on the computer, signing in and logging into a database. He wasn’t subtle and it received the attention of both teachers. “Youngest of four, one deceased, mother and father separated, mother lives in a psych ward. He’s just with Endeavor, isn’t he? Does he have friends or do any dumb teenager things?” he put a hand to his chin and scratched at the hair above his lip. “I’ve been told he’s close to one of my students but I don’t know about anyone else.” He remembered Midoriya looking for a certain someone on the first day. The quirkless boy has been watching him every day since. “I’ve noticed Iida and Yayorozu making an effort to talk to him but he’s still very isolated.” All Might answered and his eyes averted to the side, putting the pieces of this conversation together. “But I wouldn’t think Todo-”
“Endeavor.” Aizawa glanced at the number one hero with his arms folded. “You went to high school with him, didn’t you?” he leaned over to eat a few more noodles. “You think he’d be the type to have a bad temper or anything?” Yamada took off his glasses, taking in what Aizawa was suggesting. He would never want to assume such a thing from the number two hero. But even the thought of a student being hurt in their own home… “Well… he was never really-”
All Might rubbed the back of his neck when he began to answer but the sound of the teachers’ lounge door slamming open silenced him. The three teachers looked to the entrance to see Uraraka Ochako at the threshold, leaning on the doorframe, out of breath, and her face red with rising blood pressure. “Mr. Aizawa! There’s a fight in the cafeteria!”

Midoriya took a few steps back as he made a cry of pain, holding his eye as blood began dripping from his face. His hand was red with slightly burnt skin. In his motion of taking steps back, he sat down quickly and curled up to protect his face from further attacks. “Ow...fuck... dammit…!” he growled, quivering from the shock of his wounds. He didn’t want to uncover his face, choosing to remain in darkness and squeezing his eyes tightly shut. Kosuke watched the villain recoil with a smirk until he sat down quivering. He noticed the blood starting to make a small puddle on the tile floor. His smirk dropped and his expression changed to that of mild panic. “H..Hey. Y-You’re good right?”
The cafeteria began to heat up all of a sudden. And it became very hot incredibly fast. It was burning hot. Kosuke felt that his back may actually be on fire. “Todoroki don’t!” Iida’s voice shouted out only for the fire breathing student to turn around find Todoroki on his feet and his left fist on fire, shooting up under his jaw. Kosuke felt his bottom teeth slam into his upper ones and the flames on his fist burning away the skin underneath his chin. Before he could react or make a comment, Todoroki grabbed his spikey-black hair and elbowed the back of his head to send his nose into the brunt of his knee. Kosuke backed up with a bleeding nose and a forced smirk. “Bet my fire’s stronger-” he took a deep inhale but in the time it took to inhale, he finally got a good look at the boy he had been bullying for all this time.
Todoroki stood in between Kosuke and Midoriya with his left half completely incinerated. The flames reached the ceiling and many students had to flee to further tables because the heat was so intense. It was difficult to look at him from the flames brightness and the insane temperature pulsing from his power. Yet he stood silently, slightly hunched over with a single blue, glowing dot seen at the center of the inferno. Kosuke pathetically tried to breathe fire but it was only engulfed by a small wave of fire that was summoned by a single swipe of Todoroki’s finger. Todoroki’s flames were stronger.
Kosuke put his arm over his eyes as he was now feeling the effects of the heat emitting from his classmate. In doing so, he blocked Todoroki out of his vision, giving the half and half student to get close and personal to him. Though as he got closer, the temperature was becoming less intense but flames were still prevalent. He kicked Kosuke in the gut, making him recoil further and putting him off balance. So he took the chance to kick him in the side and knock him to the ground to which he got on top of him and wrapped his hands around his throat. “You can’t breathe fire if you can’t breathe…” Todoroki said in a hushed voice, gripping Kosuke’s neck tighter and tighter. Kosuke began clawing at his wrists, doing everything he can to try and pry him off. “You hurt him… I’ll hurt you far worse.” He was so quiet, no one would be able to hear him except the one below him. He stared at him without blinking, eyes wide and hypnotized by anger and something else. Something far more intense than just hatred rage. He was so tired. He was so mad. He just wanted all these things he hated to go away. “Far worse… I’ll fucking ki-” His nails were digging into his throat and drawing blood when he felt his flames suddenly go out with a voice shouting at him from across the cafeteria.

“Todoroki that’s enough!” Aizawa yelled the loudest he ever had, causing many students to shiver in fear. His quirk was activated, causing all the heat to disappear and the flames to die in mere seconds. And it was like his voice snapped Todoroki out of his fit as the grip he had on Kosuke’s neck loosened completely and he found himself paralyzed by confusion. What had he just done? That was the left half of him. He looked down at the student underneath him, coughing and gasping for breath again, finding that he too could not make any flames. He looked at his throat that was bruised, burned, and bleeding. He did that. He attacked him. He completely lost himself in his temper. He could only look at his hands as they shook from the sudden exertion of power. The left half of his uniform was black with char and severely singed. “You… you fucking asshole!” Kosuke screamed, taking the opportunity of confusion to try and tackle Todoroki, unwilling to accept this as a loss. He wasn’t done yet. Todoroki held his forearms up in front of himself in defense and braced for another round.
However, an attack never came. He felt himself be pulled from behind by Aizawa and watched Kosuke be pulled in the opposite direction by Iida and Kirishima who had his arms hardened. “That bastard almost killed me! Think you could get away with that rich kid?!” He shouted, still flailing and trying to escape the grasp of his two strong classmates. “It’s over! You’ll get expelled at this rate!” Iida tried to bring logic to the angry student. “Why you gotta do that, man? Heroes don’t fight like that!” Kirishima added as he hardened his cheek before Kosuke tried to claw at it. Todoroki only sat still on the floor in Aizawa’s hold, not trying to continue this fight any further. He was going to be in so much trouble now. “I’m...sorry…” he mumbled softly, looking down at the singed marks on his left hand.
It was only a few moments before Kosuke was able to wriggle out of the grasp of his two classmates and made an attempt to charge at Todoroki again. “You’re clearly weaker than him. You’re acting like a moron.” a voice said tiredly but it was close enough and loud enough to get the raging teenager’s attention. “What the hell did you-” and then he froze. His eyes became foggy. His movements stopped fully. “Sit down and shut up.” Kosuke obediently sat down and shut up. Shinsou stood in front of a small gaggle of students that had kept their distance from the recent fight but stayed close enough to watch. He sighed heavily when the rabid student was finally calmed by his quirk. He then turned his focus to Midoriya.

Yamada had come with Aizawa and ran to Midoriya while Todoroki and Kosuke were being restrained. He knelt beside the teenager who was laying on the ground, holding his right eye with blood leaking from between his fingers and dripping onto the floor. “Midoriya, Midoriya, hey, can you look at me?” He leaned over to try wrapping his arms around Midoriya’s top half to get him off the floor. It was when Shinsou finally calmed Kosuke that the purple-haired teenager, too, went over to the villain and got on his knees next to him appearing to be very concerned for him. There was a lot of blood. “Do you need anything?” he asked, hoping that there was something more that he could do to help.
“Midoriya,” Todoroki shook off Aizawa’s grip that was nearly non-existent and finally went to his wounded friend then looked to his right hand. He glanced at his teacher and then let his skin frost over and held Midoriya’s right hand, hearing a quiet sizzling sound from his skin that made him whine in pain. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” Todoroki apologized as he watched the freckled teenager still hide both his eyes, but could see his teeth gritting tight from the stinging pain of his burns being cooled. He put the top if Midoriya's hand against his forehead as he just held it and cooled it. It was all he could do. But hearing him in pain made him so upset. “I’m sorry…”
Yamada kept Midoriya sitting up and kept his hands on his shoulders, watching Todoroki desperately try to ease the burns. He turned to Aizawa and hoped that both were thinking the same thing. “I’ll take him to Recovery Girl. I’ll stay there while you speak to Principal Nezu…” Todoroki said quietly, not breaking focus on his frost. Both teachers could already tell that Todoroki did not start this fight. “I’ll go with ya, kid. Shinsou, think you could bring the other one?” Yamada smiled kindly, keeping a calm demeanor for the students around him. His usual loud personality only made the soft side of him that much more comforting. Shinsou nodded and got up, going to Kosuke and giving him brainwashed commands. All while Todoroki lifted Midoriya from the ground in a bridal style fashion. He was a lot lighter this time than he was the first time he held him. But it was when he was lifted that Midoriya began to uncover his face, revealing the right side of his face to be bloody from a deep cut coming down his eye as it struggled to stay open. “You okay, Todoroki?” he asked softly with a worried expression. His hero could only bring himself to lightly nudge his forehead against his friend’s and carried him to the nurse’s office beside Yamada with Shinsou and Kosuke trailing behind. He didn’t want to answer.
As they walked, Midoriya rested his head against Todoroki’s chest while the pain was setting in from the adrenaline coming down. Yamada watched the two interact. The freckled teenager would occasionally reach up to hold his hero’s cheek with one hand. In Recovery Girl’s office, Todoroki would not leave his bedside while she cleaned him up and kissed away as much of the wound as she could. He cringed at every smooch but took it without a fuss. But he watched her face show a bit of worry. “It’s not going away, dear.” she reached up, rubbed her thumb against the skin above his eye. “I can take away the pain and bleeding but I’m afraid that this will leave a nasty mark.” Todoroki’s heart shattered, looking to his friend on the bed, appearing to be sitting like a puppy. He tilted his head and tried to feel for the scar and felt a crooked line coming down his brow to just meeting some of his freckles. He didn’t seem all that concerned but his hero appeared to be heartbroken. His face had never shown so much hurt. And Midoriya noticed it and turned to him. In any other case, he would be angry and raging to get Kosuke expelled. Instead, he giggled and put his fingertip on the scar on his friend’s face and giggled cutely. “That’s okay. Now we match.” And it was then a small flame appeared on the red half of Todoroki’s hair as well as a blush on his cheeks. Yamada watched from the doorway and couldn’t help but smile watching them. It was then that his cell phone began to vibrate in his back pocket.
Yamada walked out of the room to pick up the call with Recovery Girl following right behind, leaving the two students by themselves. Todoroki rested his head on Midoriya’s bedside but proceeded to keep eye contact with him. “I’m sorry this happened,” he mumbled. He couldn’t help but feel so guilty about his friend getting hurt. But there was no way that Midoriya would blame him for anything. He was still sitting up with his legs angled towards each other, and he turned himself to put his hands on the bed in front of Todoroki’s face. “It wasn’t your fault! I acted on my own!” he said desperately. “If anything, I’m sorry I escalated everything. Now you’re bound to get in trouble and they’re gonna tell your dad.” he lowered his head, realizing what he just said was inevitable now. The school would have to call Endeavor. Todoroki would be in so much trouble. The color drained from his face, coming to terms of what he accidentally caused, “Your dad… T-Todoroki I’m so sorry-” Todoroki shook his head slowly before blissfully shutting his eyes, tilting his head to get a better angle in his crossed armed pillow. “Don’t worry about it.” It was inevitable. It was going to happen. He accepted it and simply wasn’t going to worry about it yet. “I-If you feel like something really bad is going to happen, please call me. I’ll get you out of there, just trust me on that.” Midoriya tried to salvage anything he could. He’d get Kurogiri to bring him somewhere safe and just have Todoroki close his eyes so he didn’t see him.
Following the conversation, there were a few moments of anxious silence. They were both thinking about what was going to happen when Todoroki got home. The possibilities were terrifying and making them both on edge. Midoriya didn’t want to think about how much pain his hero would be put through. So he wanted to talk and think about something different. “H-Hey… do you want to go somewhere this weekend?” he suddenly asked, trying to shift the atmosphere. Todoroki looked up at him, appearing to be slightly confused but still intrigued. “Like, just going somewhere fun. Just the two of us. Like uh…” he thought for a couple of seconds before balling his fists in front of him like a child. “Maybe an aquarium. There’s one at the coast.” He wanted him to say yes so badly. He basically just asked him on a date. Having realized that, his cheeks began to blush and his heart sped up exponentially. “I’d like that,” Todoroki answered, looking up at his friend with a small glimmer in his eyes.

It wasn’t much later when Yamada and Aizawa would come into Recovery Girl’s office followed by Principal Nezu. Though, it was more of Principal Nezu sitting on Aizawa’s shoulder. The two students were silent when the adults came in and leaned against the wall. “Iida told me what happened.” Aizawa began, making both the teenagers look to each other and then they both looked down at their feet. How much trouble were they going to be in? If they got expelled… Shigaraki would be so angry and Endeavor would be furious. “Midoriya, I understand that you wanted to protect Todoroki, but you should not have hit Kosuke with your tray.” Yamada lectured, rubbing the back of his neck. “But from what I’ve been told, Todoroki’s been getting harassed by him in silence for a while now. So…” It was clear he was holding back a smile as he turned away from Aizawa and made the smallest chuckle. “I can’t bring myself to scold you! I would have probably done the same thing. You’re in a hero school and you just wanted to protect your friend. And you were frustrated because clearly you-” he glanced at the two students and just had this feeling in his chest. He sighed softly and shrugged. “You care about him.”
Aizawa looked very annoyed at Yamada but just sighed with a shrug. “You’re too soft. Bet you’d let your students get away with murder.” Yamada looked dramatically offended and hurt but it was obviously all an act. “They’re kids! They’re impulsive and full of passion and life!” Midoriya smiled in relief watching his teacher stick up for him. Present Mic or Yamada Hizashi, he was someone that deserved to live a long life. If only he had met him sooner. Todoroki glanced at Midoriya and was relieved to know that he wouldn’t get punished. But Aizawa was right; Yamada was very soft-hearted and a rule bender. His teacher may not be so easy-going.
“Todoroki,” Aizawa grumbled, closing his eyes and tilting his head. He looked annoyed. “All of this could have been avoided if you told me or All Might. Why didn’t you?” Todoroki was so used to it. He was so accustomed to suffering in silence. Why didn’t he ask for help? “I guess I didn’t want to make it worse.” He wasn’t sure. Maybe it would have gotten worse, maybe his classmates would think he was weak, or maybe he didn’t want his father to find out that he was being pushed around by some nobody. Maybe he didn’t want to trouble his teachers. “Kosuke had a broken nose, a concussion, second-degree burns, and a dislocated wrist. Recovery Girl was able to heal all of them, but you should not rely on her to make up for your outburst.” Todoroki was sitting up straight in his chair but he couldn’t bring himself to make eye contact with Aizawa. Everything he was saying made sense to him, someone trying to be a hero. He felt ashamed. But Midoriya wouldn’t stand for it. “He was protecting me and Kosuke instigated it! You can’t just-” Aizawa raised his hand to silence Midoriya. The little villain just glared and gritted his teeth. You can’t just blame Todoroki for everything. You don’t know him like I do.
“Kosuke has been suspended until faculty decides whether he deserves to come back to a different class or to be expelled. Bullying and starting fights with students will not be tolerated.” Principal Nezu finally spoke up, raising his two paws in the air. “I hope you understand Todoroki that giving in to his taunts has now put you in a sticky situation now. Use this as a learning experience. Ask for help next time something like this arises.” The little mouse, dog, bear, thing, hopped off of Aizawa’s shoulder and waddled up to the half and half hero, giving his knee a small pat. “You’re a very talented and smart young man. But I still need to run a school properly. So you’ll be suspended for only the rest of the afternoon. Your father has been called to take you home.”
Even with Principal Nezu’s cheery, supportive tone, his words made Todoroki’s heart plummet to the bottom of his stomach. Much of the color drained from his face but he tried to hide it. Midoriya saw right through it. They knew this was going to happen, but it was happening at this very moment which made their anxiety worse. Why didn’t they call his sister? He would have asked for Fuyumi instead of Endeavor. Todoroki rubbed the side of his head and lowered it so his eyes were covered by his hair from the teacher’s perspective. “Do you have any objections to that, Todoroki?” Aizawa asked, gaining a glance from Yamada. “No sir,” Todoroki answered quickly but his voice had become so quiet all of a sudden. Then Principal Nezu looked to the tired teacher, stepping back and letting him come closer to the student. “Is there something wrong?” he asked, folding his hands in front of him. Ask for help. Ask him for help. Every part of him wanted to ask his teacher for help. That’s what he was supposed to gain from this experience, wasn’t he? “No, it’s fine.” It’s not fine.
Nothing about this was fine and Aizawa could tell. He wasn’t going to give up, even if it meant putting him on the spot. “Todoroki, why were there bandages on your neck on the first day of classes?” Everyone’s eyes except Principal Nezu’s twitched wider at the blunt question. There was no avoiding the answer because Kosuke didn’t know about Todoroki on the first day. Midoriya had hated Aizawa at the start of this talk but now he could see exactly what he was doing; pushing Todoroki into a corner to try and get him to call out what was going on at home. He came off as harsh but he couldn’t tiptoe around an issue like this. Todoroki lifted his head quickly and finally looked at his teacher with little emotion to be deciphered but behind his eyes, there was desperation. Tell him the truth.
All he could suddenly think of was his mother’s screams and crying. She had tried so hard to stop the abuse too. She threw herself in front of him, she tried telling her own family, she was only ridiculed and called a liar, forced to keep her sufferings internalized while no one believed her. She hurt so much because of him. Aizawa was stronger but… he still had things to lose. He couldn’t let his reputation be stripped away because of him. “A training accident at home. It was my fault.” Midoriya got hurt from trying to protect him from Kosuke. Anyone who’s ever tried to help him has suffered at least a little bit. What if that was how his big brother died? It wasn’t worth it. He wasn’t worth the trouble.
Aizawa could only stand there and take that answer. He didn’t want to in the slightest. He knew something was wrong, but he could do something if Todoroki just opened up to him. He sighed and went back to lean against the wall and folded his arms. He wasn’t going to let one failure stop him from getting to the bottom of this. “Ahem, speaking of home.” Yamada cleared his throat to gain some attention. “Hey Midoriya, your mother called the school a little while ago. She says you haven’t been home since school started. What’s up with that?” Now it was Midoriya’s turn to have his heart stop. He loved his mother but she was going to rat him out at this rate. She was just worried, of course, he understood that. But why didn’t she call him instead?! “W-Well I uh…” even Todoroki was looking at him confused. He was in for it later. “I’ve been staying with some really really close friends. One is like a big brother to me, and he’s been providing for me and everything. He lives closer to the school too so I don’t need to take the train every day.” It was all true. It just wasn’t the whole truth. “I didn’t realize I haven’t been home in so long. I’ll stop by soon to tell her!”
Once again, Yamada had let Midoriya off the hook so easily. He only shrugged with a grin, accepting his answer even though Aizawa shot him a dirty look. He was far too soft on his students sometimes. But before he could protest, there was a knock on the door. It was then opened by All Might in his fake form with Endeavor beside him looking to be very aggravated. Todoroki narrowed his eyes in a defensive glare at his father while Midoriya gave a very dark look to All Might. He hadn’t seen his former idol in person in such a long time and here he was, as fake as ever. Not only that, but he was leading Todoroki’s greatest threat right to him without a second thought. He awaited the day Shigaraki would get his hands around his throat. All Might noticed the looks he and the other hero were receiving and it put him off guard immediately. Such hateful, scarred faces in teenagers so young. “Your father has arrived Young Todoroki. I look forward to seeing you in class tomorrow!” he said with a smile plastered on his face; he wanted to let his student know that he would be fully welcomed back the next day despite being in trouble now. Perhaps it was meant to be a small hint for Endeavor to understand that his son had not done anything unforgivable wrong. “Just learn from this next time, young man.” All Might added which made Midoriya grip the bedding tightly. How dare he speak to his hero in such a way. He would just learn to not trust or believe in adults any more than he already did. And it was then that Todoroki left with Endeavor in silence with Midoriya and Aizawa staring at them until they were out of view. “Yamada, who was the student with purple hair from earlier? The one who calmed Kosuke down?” Aizawa then asked, leaving afterward with his fellow teachers and Principal Nezu.

“What the hell happened to your face?” Shigaraki asked when Midoriya sat down at the bar next to him as soon as he returned from school. “Is it gonna scar?” Midoriya went ahead and explained all that had happened that afternoon to Kurogiri and Shigaraki while ignoring the afternoon snack that was prepared on the counter for him. He didn’t feel like eating after such a stressful day. There were too many things running through his mind.
“I heard him say, or at least almost say that he wanted to kill him. He was so angry… and I got a peek at his face.” Midoriya soon held his own cheeks and sighed thinking about the look Todoroki had on his face while he was choking Kosuke on the floor. His face blushed and eyes sparkled thinking about how strong and beautiful he looked. It had been like watching a demon in hellfire. It truly was beautiful. “He bottles up so much hatred. He holds it back because the world wants him to. But at that moment he let it slip… He was so beautiful, Tomu. You don’t understand. His passion to nearly kill someone was something else.” He swayed lightly just thinking back on it. But he soon stopped when he banged his fists on the counter. “But Endeavor had to come and take him away. I need to get him out of there soon.” But how on Earth was he going to do that? If he disappeared for more than a day, the number two hero would certainly go to the school to take him back again. He definitely wouldn’t go without punishment. “Just a question Izuku, what kind of things does Todoroki like?” Kurogiri asked, sliding a glass of water to the little villain. He wasn’t eating but he should at least stay hydrated. “Traditional Japanese things.”
Shigaraki’s eyes trailed from Midoriya to Kurogiri slowly before going back to Midoriya, watching him drink the water that he was just passed. It was like he was waiting for something, waiting for someone to say something. He saw Kurogiri was casually cleaning everything behind the counter again without adding any more to the conversation. “Kurogiri is going to go away for a little while,” Shigaraki said with an exhale, resting his cheek in his hand. Midoriya flinched, swallowed the water, and looked back and forth between the two. “He’s going to sneak into U.A. next week so we can get in and ambush All Might from the inside. Not too dangerous. He just won’t be around to take care of you.”
“So we’re going in already? Is that a good idea?” Midoriya asked. This all seemed a bit too soon, He hadn’t studied the other students or Aizawa that much yet. His notes were vague on them. But Shigaraki seemed to be a bit eager and impatient to destroy the symbol of peace he hated so much, That’s when the older villain stood up and gestured with his fingers for the younger to follow, which he did. Then the two of them would go into the elevator, leaving the dark fog father figure behind looking very suspicious to where they were going. It was then that Shigaraki would take Midoriya to a floor lower than his laboratory. “What’s down there?” the little villain asked curiously. Shigaraki just smirked with a glint in his eye. “The fruits of your hard work.”
The room revealed was smaller than the laboratory and a lot darker. The floors and walls were metal and there were chains all around the room linking together to something in the center underneath the only white light. The sound of heavy deep breathing echoed off the walls but it didn’t sound like human breathing. It was something else. “I-It’s… massive.” Midoriya gazed up to the face of a monster sitting at the center of the room. Its neck, wrists, and ankles were chained to every corner to restrict any movement although it was completely still. It was giant, twice the size of All Might and appeared to have painfully bulging muscle. Its skin was a dark purple, stressed and bruised beyond healing. It had a beak rather than a mouth, eyes practically popping out of its head, brain exposed out of the skull for those around to see. “An artificial human. A nomu.” Shigaraki said, walking closer to it with his hands in his pockets. “Your research helped my master’s doctor perfect the design and method for making the perfect killing machine. It’s a subject injected with several different quirks, making it powerful beyond compare. He was having a problem for a while where the original body would just die from the intensity and become useless, making him start all over.” Midoriya stared in awe of the beast that was sitting on the floor before him. “I… helped make that?” a crooked smile twitched on his lips.
He helped make this monster. Its body was stable in containing so much visible power. The delicate process of easing quirks into a person without killing them sounded very difficult indeed. From the looks of it, the brain being exposed gave him the assumption that the strain of being pumped full of quirks blew its mental power out. “It’s braindead. But the doctor was able to make it only obey specific voices.” Shigaraki smiled at his little brother. “Mine and yours.” It was a slave to them. It would listen to their voices and their voices alone. Any command would be followed suit if within the range of possibility. “I also requested an extra component.” Shigaraki strolled over towards the elevator where a small security code box sat on the wall. He did it slow enough for the little villain to catch the code 5651. Once it was inserted, all the chains released the nomu but it still sat still. Midoriya watched the chains fall, hearing the loud clanging of the heavy metal fall to the floor. Then Shigaraki pulled a small vile out of his pocket and inside was a simple mosquito. He released it and let it fly around for a few seconds, letting it buzz over to the little villain. Just before it landed on his hand, the nomu had blasted right past him, sending a gust of wind behind so powerful that he dropped to his knee to keep from falling backward. Behind him, he saw the monster with its fist denting the wall with it cracked and cratering it from the strength in its punch. It punched the mosquito so hard that it broke the wall. “It’ll protect you without hesitation.”
Midoriya was stunned with amazement over the creature. “Come here,” he said, testing out what he had been told. He was thrilled when he slowly stood back up and saw the nomu pull its fist back and then stomp over to him, towering him in height. “Sit.” he watched it sit. Just as obedient as a dog, if not more so. “Give me your head.” Midoriya reached up and watched the nomu lower its head to be held by the little villain. It was then that he began to gently stroke its beak with a smile. The perfect killing machine, but also the perfect pet. No wonder Shigaraki wanted to attack All Might so soon. He had something that had to be more powerful than that hero was and, of course, he wanted to use it right away. It was perfect.

Chapter Text

Midoriya left the bar earlier than normal and rushing more than usual, only grabbing a piece of toast from a plate on the counter before running out the door. “Leaving early! Bye!” he waved quickly to Shigaraki who was going through a few folders worth of papers when he watched his little brother practically sprint out the door. He didn’t question it. Somehow his backpack looked more stuffed than usual but he didn’t seem concerned about it.
Midoriya tried to get to school before most of the other students that next day, not caring what anyone would say about the red jagged line down his eye. If Todoroki and Shigaraki could live with scars, then he could too. When he got to the campus, he would just pace around the classroom and lockers of class 1-A waiting anxiously for his friend to come around. Endeavor did not look happy yesterday and he didn’t even want to imagine what hell Todoroki was put through for getting involved in a fight. Would he even show up at all? What if something really bad happened to him? How bad would his burns be? Was he prepared to put a splint on a broken bone? He began scratching at his wrists as he paced around. Todoroki only got angry because of him, he was the reason he fought Kosuke. He was the reason for any injuries he would come back with this morning. How much pain did he face because of him?
It wasn’t much longer when Todoroki would be found at his locker, looking even more exhausted than he had the day before. Under his eyes were dark and his eyelids seemed to hang lower than usual. His hair was a bit messier with red and white strands poking out and mixing with the other color. He didn’t sleep last night. But there were no bandages to be seen upon being discovered. Midoriya stood a small distance beside him and breathed a sigh of relief seeing that he wasn’t hurt. His friend just looked desperate for a nap. “Todoroki, are you okay?” he asked, walking a bit closer. Todoroki blinked slowly and rubbed one eye with the back of his hand. “Tired…” he mumbled before opening his eyes again and looked down at his friend, remembering the scar he had on his face now. He suddenly looked so sad about it. “Are you feeling okay?” he asked back, looking directly at the red line coming down his friend’s face with a soft tone. But Midoriya just smiled brightly for him trying to wash away any of the guilt he felt. “I feel so much better seeing that you’re not hurt.” he would have been devastated otherwise. He gave his backpack a tug to pull it up on his back more, feeling it weighing him down a little bit because of how heavy it was. Packing extra medical supplies made it weigh a ton. “So what happened last night? You can’t tell me that it was nothing.” he then asked. Todoroki closed his locker and began to walk beside his friend, dragging his feet slightly. At one point, he closed his eyes and shook his head rapidly for a moment.
“We argued. A lot. But he couldn’t do anything because he had company over later. Lots of detectives have been coming over and relaying information on the Sudden Disappearance case and dropping off files for him and his agency to look over.” Todoroki explained. Endeavor was really taking over the investigation of finding Midoriya’s subjects and bringing him to justice. He felt so powerful hiding right under the flame hero’s nose like this. “I was surprised that he let that stop him. But he knows I don’t take his shit without a fight. It doesn’t matter if he’s stronger than me. So it’s tonight that I’m more concerned about because it’ll be just us until my sister, Fuyumi, gets home. She’ll usually help calm him down.” he then fell silent, letting his head drop and lift slightly with exhaustion. They must have argued all night and then he must have sat there in the paranoia of something happening while he was asleep. “Let’s hang out after school. We should go to the park again until your sister gets home so you don’t need to think about it as much.” Midoriya offered. To which he received the answer of a nod a small ‘mhm’.
The school began to fill up with more students as it got closer to homeroom period. Midoriya wanted to stay with his hero until the last possible moment, especially while he was so tired like this. While they walked, he occasionally tugged at Todoroki’s arm to keep him from bumping into people and the corners of walls. It was within this bit of free time that Todoroki felt the presence much larger than him come around the corner in a fast manner. Their footsteps were heavy and the figure he saw from the corner of his eye was massive. “Young Todo-!” All Might’s voice was as loud as ever but it must have triggered something. Todoroki yanked Midoriya behind him as he raised his right arm suddenly and made a small, jagged ice wall between them and the pro hero in sheer panic and on instinct. The move of self-defense stunned the pro hero as he took a step back and looked at the frost that made its way onto his clothes. He scared his own student? He was just trying to greet him. But upon taking another look at his student’s face, he saw anger but also strained fear as he kept his pose from using his quirk, breathing heavily but steadily. This little stunt of his also gained the attention of many surrounding students, including a multitude of his classmates. Todoroki glanced around at them, realizing that he looked ridiculous for almost attacking his teacher.
Midoriya held Todoroki’s other arm gently, realizing the mental toll of the arguing with his father last night. He was left paranoid and exhausted enough to have his senses skewed. He melted the wall that was no taller than All Might quickly before walking away at a faster pace than before, his friend still holding on to him being more than aware that he was embarrassed and ashamed. It hurt to see his friend like this, living so miserably. How did he keep living like this?
Midoriya walked Todoroki to class that morning and then went to class himself. He sat down at his desk and took out his school notebook when he just felt that he was being watched. When he looked up, he saw Shinsou looking at him from halfway across the room and when they finally made eye contact, the purple-haired student made a small wave with his cheek resting on his other fist. The villain waved back, remembering how his classmate was able to apprehend Kosuke and did his best to help him. Mutual respect was nice.
Watching Todoroki during the observation period was painful. He was still one of the best in class, but his focus was nonexistent. Midoriya felt his skin crawl when Iida tried talking to him any chance he had. There was a point towards the end where he almost tripped over a piece of debris from the results of their training, being too tired to focus on where he was walking. And Midoriya felt his nails digging into his wrists as he saw Iida dare put his hands around Todoroki’s waist to catch him from behind. He listened to their mics over his headset begrudgingly. “Todoroki, please be a bit more careful. You’ve been uncharacteristically careless today.” Iida said, carefully pulling him closer and upright so he wouldn’t fall over. The taller student’s eyes squinted when he let go but saw that Todoroki looked very pale with red around his cheeks. “Drink something too. You’re getting dehydrated and it isn’t safe to-” he warned before going to grab him again because he was swaying a lot from dizziness.
Midoriya wanted to claw at the skin on his face when he saw Iida hold Todoroki so close. He brought him up against him so Todoroki could rest his head on his chest as he reached into a pouch in his armored costume to take out a small flask of orange juice. “Here, try this. Apologies that I drank half of it already.” Iida held it up to him but didn’t let go when Todoroki put his hand over his to put it to his lips and drink. With his face resting so delicately on his chest, drinking from the same flask as him, and holding his hand in this way, Midoriya was fuming. He was ready to call Shigaraki to kill Iida right where he stood when he took the flask back and wiped a drop of juice off of Todoroki’s chin. Watching his hero stand there so tired and disoriented, eyes half-lidded and hardly able to stand up straight, and that four-eyed bastard being so willing to help him this way made him beyond furious. “I can see the stress is getting to you although I doubt you’re willing to talk about it.” Between Kosuke, the scene with All Might that morning, and being suspended yesterday afternoon, Todoroki’s mental and physical state was not unwarranted.
Out of spite, during the lunch period, Midoriya refused to leave Todoroki’s side. The moment Iida tried to make conversation with him, the little villain would talk over him just loud enough so only he could be heard. His tone would be overly sweet to make Todoroki feel more comforted. But in all honesty, the half and half hero was too tired to pay either of them too much attention and preferred just to eat peacefully for the first time in a while at U.A. Kosuke was no longer here to harass him and he could at least get peace of mind from that fact.

“I should go see him…” All Might sat at his desk when school was shutting down for the day with Aizawa and Yamada. The two heroes walked in together when they saw the number one pro having a small crisis at his desk. “What?” Aizawa asked, not quite understanding what All Might was talking about. He had his hands together at the bridge of his nose, eyes closed, and looked very conflicted. “Todor- Endeavor. I think I should go see him.” What Todoroki did that morning had not left him. The fear on his face, the exhaustion, his first instinct, his isolated nature, the bandages that had been mentioned just the day before, these all led up to a conclusion he didn’t want to be true. “I want to check on young Todoroki. I’ve suddenly become worried about him so I think I’ll try to pay the family a visit tomorrow.” Aizawa and Yamada looked at each other for a moment. “Let us and Nezu know if something is wrong the second something feels off,” Aizawa instructed.
It was then that Yamada looked out the window and smiled a little bit seeing Midoriya leave school with Todoroki, side by side. “You know, I think my student just may have a crush on him.” he nearly giggled. “What do you think? You’d know about that kind of stuff, right?” he smirked at Aizawa who lowered his face into his scarf, looking more irritated all of a sudden. But the tired teacher staggered over to the window to see the two students talking, though it was mostly Midoriya trying to keep a bright and cheery mood to keep his friend awake. Now that Yamada was mentioning it, the two seemed to spend every moment they could together. However… “I can’t imagine Endeavor being happy about that.”
When at the park, at last, Midoriya sat down with Todoroki in the same spot as last time, underneath a tree in a subtle quiet bliss. Midoriya had been the one making conversation the whole way there and now he felt his friend deserved some silence. If anything, this was an opportunity to get a little closer to him. But he couldn’t keep himself from blushing madly and fidgeting with his hands as they sat there together. Just ask him. Just make the offer. It’s not that hard. He was barely even conscious. “T...Todoroki? If you just want to sleep, it’s okay.” he started. “Y-You can uh… you can… there’s probably bugs on the ground so like-” maybe this wasn’t a good way to start. Todoroki was looking at him now with his eyes looking ready to close any moment. “I really like you and I hate to see you suffering like this. You’re so tired, a-and you need to rest. So if you want um…” he had his back against the tree and put his hands on his legs that were together in front of him. “You can like, take a nap on me if you want.”
Todoroki tilted his head slightly but nodded his head slowly. “If you offer… I’d like that a lot,” he mumbled. “I-I want you to!” Midoriya admitted but it came out louder than he wanted and made him blush more. He held his own cheek and turned to look away, unable to bear making eye contact now. He probably seemed so strange now and Todoroki would never want to talk to him ever again and he probably just ruined any opportunity of normal conversation and- He felt a weight on his thighs. He looked down and saw Todoroki resting his head on his lap, shifting around to find the perfect position to get comfortable. Midoriya stayed stiff, letting him turn and move around on his legs. When he finally stopped moving, the little villain looked down to find him instantly asleep. To watch him fall unconscious so quickly surprised him but he now felt that he held a powerful force right on his lap.
A murderer, someone who has experimented on someone alive, someone who’s dissected corpses without flinching, someone who had become so ruthless in these past months now had the most precious thing in his life blissfully sleeping on his lap. His hand had been soaked with blood that was not his own and now they caressed the silky, soft hair of someone so beautiful, running his fingers through white strands of purity. He’s heard the cries of pain and screams of agony, and now he was blessed with the sounds of soft perfect breathing. He’s seen the most gruesome sights, organs and bones, corpses and carcasses, and here was, watching the most beautiful person cry the most delicate and gentle tears. He could see teardrops escape Todoroki’s eye, twinkling at the perfect angle of the sun’s rays of light through the leaves in the tree above them. The person he loved most was suffering so much, in so much pain all the time. All he could do now was stroke his hair and wipe his tears away, caring for him in his vulnerable state. The purest soul, a living angel, resting in the arms of a monster and being petted by a demon. He’d do anything for him. He’d do everything for him, to take all his pain away. As a doctor, he should be able to do that and yet this was a pain he could not heal with bandages and medicines. “Todoroki…” he whispered softly, stroking his white hair to the side and exposing his pale cheek. There was no flinch or response from his hero that was completely submerged into exhaustion. “I wish I could just tell you…” he brushed his thumb against Todorki’s parted lips. “... how much I really love you.” he could only bring himself to kiss his cheek and return to petting his hair soothingly.
Both of Midoriya’s legs had long gone numb by the time Todoroki began to shift again. The sun was setting with the sky a mix of oranges, reds, yellows, pinks, and purples. But nothing was as beautiful as the red and white mess on his lap. He watched his eyes tighten and then slowly pry themselves open, looking straight ahead at the playground before them, then moving to focus on the smiling freckled face above him. “Sleep well?” Midoriya asked, running his hand through his beloved’s hair to move it out of his face to see his cutely sleepy complexion. “Yeah, it was nice.” Todoroki breathed quietly. He went to try and sit up but gave up after he could barely lift his head an inch. Instead, he turned himself on his side to face the villain’s stomach. He wasn’t ready to get up yet. “Every time I’m with you it’s nice,” he added shamelessly. “It’s easy to forget everything else with you.” Hearing that made Midoriya’s heart grow wings and fly far beyond the atmosphere. “We should go to that aquarium tomorrow then. We can go early and stay out almost all day so you don’t have to be home. That sounds good, right?” A date. Let this be a date. Midoriya wanted this to be a date more than anything. “I’d like that. We should do that.” Todoroki agreed and finally lifted his head to get on his hands and knees, facing the little villain. “We should come here every day after school too. I don’t care what the old man says anymore…” Endeavor would be too busy with the investigation from now on anyway. Wouldn’t it be nice for him to be so busy that he forgot that he even had a son? “Then we should.” Midoriya was more than happy to agree and raised his hands to start organizing Todoroki’s hair to be parted properly. He watched his hero close his eyes while he did so. If only he had the courage to tell him how pretty he thought he was.
The two of them sat together, side by side underneath the tree in the park. Midoriya would talk about class and eventually his big brother and father. Yamada had broken his secret that he hasn’t been to his mother’s house in a very long time, so he may as well take the time to explain where he has been to not make anything suspicious. “My big brother is really introverted. He like, never goes out. But he’s the one that introduced me into medical stuff and gave me a headstart on it. It thanks to him that I got into U.A. in the first place. But he’s not really mature and boring or anything like that, he’s really fun and we like to tease each other. And my dad, well he’s not really my dad.” he held up a finger with a smile and shrugged. “I never knew my real dad. But this guy is seriously awesome. He helped settle down at their place and gave me a space of my own to live in. He cooks and cleans and helps me study, you’d really like him.” Midoriya would go on being bubbly and talkative about his makeshift family while Todoroki just listened. He loved to listen to him. Hearing about his family made him start to imagine what it would be like if he had something like that.
This would continue until the sun had gone down completely to which the two would part ways to go home. Midoriya did take a second to stop and look back at his hero for a few moments. They’d see each other tomorrow morning but it still hurt to be away from him. He wanted to do something for him, and he wanted to do it now… and he knew just what he wanted to do. He began to run home with his phone in his hand, texting Kurogiri and Shigaraki quickly with a glow that began to reappear in his eyes. He couldn’t kill someone as powerful as Endeavor. But there was someone else he could take away. He couldn’t help but smile thinking about it. Meanwhile, while Todoroki was walking back, he heard a strange sound from an alleyway along his path.
Upon Midoriya arriving back at the hideout, Kurogiri and Shigaraki were both at the bar as usual. Though Shigaraki wore a hoodie which he didn’t usually wear indoors. He must have just gotten back from somewhere. “Did you get him already?” Midoriya asked, placing his bag down at his usual stool. “Your notebook has some of the most details on him. And with his name, it was easy to get in and out of the school database without getting caught.” Shigaraki took a small bite of a cookie in his hand and was scrolling through his phone. For a hermit who was always on some electronic, he was quite the computer wiz. “He’s from the poorest side of the city so no one will notice that he’s gone for a while. Did you have something in mind with him either?” the older villain asked, though it seems that he didn’t mind what the answer may be. He was just curious. But Midoriya just shrugged. There was no solid plan besides kill him. “I wouldn’t mind displaying his body as a warning to the school. Have the media get a hold of the news and let the whole world know.” Shigaraki snickered. Kurogiri shook his head with his arms folded. “Anything for attention with you. Although the idea would coincide with our plans already in place.”
Midoriya thought about his villain costume that he had received. He hasn’t had a chance to wear it yet. But he also has never had a villain name to show off yet either. Would this be an opportunity to get his name out into the world? “Hey… if call myself Fallen, could we let them know that I did it?” he asked, looking to his big brother. “Fallen? Is that what you want your villain name to be? Why something like that?”
“Because I almost fell off a roof when Todoroki found me and stopped me. Even though I didn’t fall from the roof, I did fall from the rest of society.”
He stopped worshipping heroes and fell out of the norm. He fell off All Might’s radar. His hopes fell. His dreams fell. He wanted to fall off the roof. But now he was more of a fallen angel that turned into the devil if the red glow he had in his eyes was any indication of that. “Go for it then.” Shigaraki waved him off but had a wide grin on his face. Let his doctor make a name for himself. So with his permission and approval, Midoriya took the stairs straight to his room and got changed. “Eat something first Izuku!” Kurogiri called out but the boy was long gone and too motivated to turn around. Usually, he would get into all black clothing but now he wanted to wear something else. Something he hasn’t been able to try on yet. And then he went to the elevator to go down to his laboratory.

The ride down felt longer than normal but Midoriya blamed it on his nerves. He was twitching with anticipation. Why hadn’t he done this earlier? It would have been too suspicious if a student didn’t show up to class, but now that his new plaything was suspended he could be kept down here for the whole weekend and longer. As soon as the elevator doors opened, he was reminded by how dark his laboratory was without the lights on. But the light from the elevator was enough to make someone stir. “Who is that? Get me out of here!” shouted a familiar voice, one that Midoriya would love to never hear again. He heard chains rattling and metal banging as his subject thrashed about the cage he was in.
Kosuke sat in a cage with hands and feet chained to the bars to restrict his movements and a specifically made mask was around his mouth to prevent him from breathing flames. And yet he still struggled to break free. Though he froze when he heard footprints begin to approach the cage. “Who the hell…” he growled at the short teenager in a dress vest and tie, dress shoes and pants, with black gloves on his hands and a terrifying smiling mask over his mouth. But he didn’t wear the face mask to hide his nose, cheeks, and eyes. With just glowing red eyes alone, anyone could tell that he was smiling with a tilt of his head. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited to see you like this…” he giggled.
Kosuke stared up at the villain outside and standing over the cage. “You’re that…” he began, watching Midoriya tilt his head in the opposite direction. His scarred eye seemed brighter than the other. He was ecstatic to see the fire-breather for once. “You’re that guy that hangs around Todoroki, aren’t you?” He appeared frightened at first but then became very angry. “What the hell is this?! Some prank?! Get your ass in here and fight me square and fair!” he began thrashing again and tried to breathe a flame. But the mask contained it and he winced at the pain of burning his own mouth. This childish tantrum destroyed the little villain’s cheery attitude and he suddenly appeared annoyed and frustrated. “You’re so noisy…” he grumbled kneeling down to the cage’s level, pulling his mask down. “I’ll make you regret every time you even looked at Todoroki.”
The thrashing stopped but Kosuke still tugged his hand to try and pull it out of the chain. “What the hell is this… don’t tell me this is about him.” he had so many questions. Where was he? Was this even real? This had to be a complicated joke. A prank of revenge for getting into that fight. There’s no way that someone in U.A. would chain him up and put him in a cagelike an animal. “Everything is about him.” Midoriya breathed, his smile slowly coming back in a crooked grin. “Of course this is all for him.” Finally. Finally, he would get to kill this brat that made Todoroki so miserable. His eyes were wide with anticipation. He wanted to be covered in his blood. He wanted to hear his screams. He wanted to see his insides and study his corpse as nothing more than a corpse.
“What the hell…” it was all Kosuke could say. He was staring in the eyes of a monster. He watched that monster get up and go to his desk to pick up a notebook and pen. He took the cap off with his teeth and held it there. “Your parents have quirks?”
“What?”
“Do mommy and daddy have quirks?” Midoriya narrowed his eyes at Kosuke waiting for an answer. He kicked the cage after the silence lasted a few seconds too long. In an attempt to be smart, the fire-breather decided to play along to try and live a little longer, long enough for help to come. “My dad has a dragon quirk. Scales, fire breathing, big claws, he has a tail too. My mom…” he clicked his teeth. “Lame. She’s quirkless.” Midoriya wrote down his answers and then began taking more notes. “Feel like her being quirkless kept you from having a flashy quirk like your father?”
“Yeah, so what?”
“Sucks to suck.”
“Fuck you.”
Midoriya kicked the cage again. “What happens when you overuse your quirk?”
“It gets hard to breathe. One time I burnt my lungs.”
“What happened that one time?”
“Burned down a bunch of rich people’s homes in one night when I was little. Some fuckers that fucked over my dad. I stopped breathing and everything tasted like smoke.” Midoriya continued to write. It sounded like a poor kid with a grudge against the rich. Todoroki being a part of a wealthy family must have pissed him off. But he seemed to have a healthy family relationship except for some rebellion against his mom. What Todoroki would probably give to switch lives. “What about-” Midoriya was about to ask another question when his phone in his back pocket vibrated. He put his notebook and pen down and saw that it was his beloved that texted him, a picture too. He was home in a fancy bathroom covered in spots of mud with a small dog in front of him.

Todoroki: I found a dog.

Midoriya: You “found” a dog?

Todoroki: She was hurt and I found her on the way home. Her presence would piss the old man off.

Midoriya: So you brought her home?

Todoroki: Yes.

“He’s so perfect. In every way.” Midoriya swooned. His subtle pettiness against his father was something he was finding cute and his undying kindness for anyone in pain was beyond gorgeous. “I love him… I love him.” he hummed, hugging his phone and swaying side to side. “You’re crazy,” Kosuke commented from inside the cage. “Have you killed people?” He then asked, trying to see through some of the remaining darkness in the laboratory. “A couple.” the villain answered which caused the hero student to scoff. “You give people like you a bad name.” Giving homosexual individuals a bad name by being a villain, driven mad with romantic desires for a hero and revenge against others. “You don’t know anything about me. And don’t act like you know Todoroki either.”
“So are you going to kill me or what?” Midoriya looked at Kosuke when he asked that question. He was just being glared at, but Kosuke was holding his ground and putting on a fearless front despite his position. Suddenly… “I don’t feel like it. I’ll do it later.” Midoriya put his notebook and pen back on his desk and closed it, going back to the elevator instead. He didn’t feel like killing him. But he was here. He could save him for at least a little while and get as much out of him as he could. “I’m going to bed instead. I have something important tomorrow.” Todoroki was the only thing on his mind. He couldn’t risk being tired for their little date tomorrow. Kosuke’s fate would simply be put on hold until he had found a good time to get to work.

Midoriya spent a solid thirty minutes looking through all his clothes for a decent outfit that did not consist of all black. He was really taking after Shigaraki in the fashion department and was grumbling to himself as he kept digging. He eventually settled on a green jacket with a white and green checkered shirt and jeans. It’s the lightest outfit he had. He couldn’t have Todoroki see him try to be edgy in all black, he’d look ridiculous! Once he was dressed and washed up, he ran down the stairs and grabbed a single doughnut that was on the counter and went right past Shigaraki. “And where are you going on the weekend?” His big brother asked, playing video games without looking at the screen. “Todoroki and I are going out. I’ll be back before dark, promise.”
“Is this a date with your little prince charming?” Shigaraki smirked and Midoriya went red. There was no denying it now. But he didn’t know if this was considered a date himself. He bit the inside of his cheek and looked away all flustered thinking about how to answer. “M...Maybe,” he muttered. “Then go have fun.” The older villain replied back instantly. No teasing, no subtle meaning, no sarcasm, no joking. His big brother just wanted him to have a fun time. “I-I will!” and the smaller villain was out the door in a heartbeat, racing to the aquarium to meet his beautiful hero there. He had the best big brother and he hoped Todoroki did too.
Standing on a cobblestone walkway just outside the aquarium, Midoriya spotted his beloved standing on checking his phone, likely checking to see if he missed any messages. He appeared to be by himself until he noticed a white leash stemming from messenger bag that he had with a small to medium-sized dog attached to it. Midoriya was nearly stunned with a smile and sheer shock. He kept it. He kept the dog he found on the streets and he probably did it out of pure spite. He would have been more concerned but then he saw him crouch down to pet it and it earned him a puppy kiss to his scarred cheek that made him make a half-smile. He deserved an emotional support animal, so what was the harm?
“Good morning.” Midoriya greeted with a warm smile. Todoroki looked up from his new friend and stood up straight, appearing to be much more well-rested and awake today than he was yesterday. “Good morning to you, too,” he said back and then turned his head down to the dog standing between them. “This is Zuzu.” Midoriya froze and blanked out for a moment, having a pretty strong theory as to where that name came from. Midoriya Izuku. Izuku. Zuku. Zuzu. He wanted to cry from it being very adorable but also very embarrassing. “Good morning Zuzu…” he exhaled, not sure how to feel about this name. But he’ll just have to live with it. “Did Endeavor find her?” Todoroki nodded. “He heard me giving her a bath. But Fuyumi insisted that he let me keep her.” She won the argument for him. Todoroki had a dog. Midoriya had a nomu.
Walking up to the ticket counter, Midoriya began to dig through his wallet when Todoroki put his hand over it and held up a piece of plastic instead. He was too young for a credit card that credit card most definitely said Todoroki Enji. “You stole that, didn’t you?” Midoriya smirked. “I at least remember one thing from my eldest brother,” Todoroki commented, preparing to hand the card over to the lady behind the counter. He noticed on the glass that there was a kind of discount day where couples were getting in half off. He didn’t pay it much mind, however. He received a receipt and was about to throw it away when Midoriya grabbed it, curious to see how much it costs to get in. “It’s a lot cheaper than I thought. You sure this was for two tickets?” The paper said two tickets and they were holding two tickets, and yet the price seemed like a steal. And that’s when he noticed that there were a bunch of couples around holding hands and being romantic and cute together. That’s when the little villain noticed some of the advertisements and went bright red. The ticket lady gave them the discount because she thought that they were dating. How embarrassing. “I don’t know. I’ve never been to one of these before.”
Midoriya looked to Todoroki who seemed very confused by his surroundings when they finally went inside to see the tanks. He’s never been to an aquarium before? “Never?” Midoriya had to clarify. But if the expression he saw was any indication, his hero was not exaggerating. He watched him become nearly hypnotized by the sea creatures in tanks around him. The villain was falling in love with that side of him. The part of him where he becomes so interested in something that he just stares at it and disassociates. He found it almost cute, but more childishly innocent. He’s come to realize that his hero knew very little about the pleasures of the world around himself but he was more than willing to learn about it all. He was just… curious.
“Here, I really like looking at the sharks.” Midoriya strolled up beside Todoroki, giving Zuzu a quick pet on the head and then subtly took hold of his hero’s hand and pointed to the direction that he wanted to go. No one questioned the dog that was following beside them on the leash. And this was how their trip would go for quite some time. Midoriya would guide his hero around the things he liked, letting him stare at them for as long as he wanted to. There was one area where it was a tunnel and all that surrounded them except the floor were tanks with animals in them. The light from the tanks, moving from the water and evening out through the glass made it all feel otherworldly to him. The villain preferred looking at his hero, loving nothing more than seeing him be so fascinated and so at peace. He wanted to see him like this all the time. He just seemed so happy. And when he wasn’t paying attention to any of his surroundings, Midoriya just barely squeezed his hand with his cheeks lightly dusted pink. He liked how soft his hands were, likely having his quirk burn away any dry or dead skin. Was the rest of him like that?
Midoriya’s face became blood-red when that question surfaced and tried to keep himself cool. But now that he was telling himself to stop thinking about it, now he couldn’t stop thinking about it. His hands were so soft, and his cheek was too. He kissed him while he was asleep yesterday but it was because he was too shy to do anything more. But was the rest of him that soft? He was so strong, he knew that. His refined muscle was impressive for someone his age but that was likely due to how grueling and abusive hero training was. Midoriya didn’t even notice himself looking him up and down now. His face was always beautiful to him, from the day they first met he’s believed that. But seeing him dressed casually in a dark blue jacket and a white shirt, as plain as it was, he never noticed how attractive he was altogether. But he had to stop thinking about that. That wasn’t right. That kind of stuff was too old for him. But he couldn’t stop. Now he was curious too. How did he get so lucky to be so close to such a beautiful person such as this?
At one point, the two teenagers sat down on a bench with Zuzu getting comfortable on Todoroki’s lap, happily receiving pets from both of them. “So what other kinds of places have you never been to? Now I want to take you everywhere to see you like this.” Midoriya giggled. “Like what?” Todoroki tilted his head. “Like that. You loosen up a lot when we’re not at school. You’re calmer and you’re really observant of everything around you. You don’t look so stressed out.” The villain smiled cheerfully, watching his hero think about what he said. He seemed pretty confused at first but just accepted it. “Between Kosuke and Endeavor, you’re the only one I like being with.” Between school and home, the freckled teenager was the only he took comfort from. “You always make me feel a little better.” he was like a medicine. “You make all my wounds less painful.” a painkiller. “I feel comfortable talking to you.” an antidepressant. “I also… it just feels safer.” he was a drug. Todoroki turned to look at him with a look in his bi-colored eyes that had never been seen before. They were struck with intensity but also a kind of affection that was innocent but much more powerful. “Just you…” Just him alone. “Just me, huh?” Midoriya asked, scratching his cheek with one finger. Not Iida? Not Aizawa? Not even his own sister? He felt so honored and so special, smiling to himself. Was the hero that he was obsessed with now obsessed with him too? “Well, I’m glad.” he made a toothy grin disguising the biggest smile he would make. How he would love to tell that all you need is me.
They would spend the remainder of their afternoon in the aquarium, Midoriya taking Todoroki to touch tanks to be able to pet sharks and rays, taking him to little shows for seals and penguins, and showing him everything there was to show. He wanted to show him the world he’s never gotten to see, being locked in his house for so long and seeing very little of life’s pleasures. Midoriya almost took all of this away from himself all those months ago. He would never be able to have the joy of playing games with Shigaraki, going out with Todoroki, living a new dream, and making a new family. He was given the chance to live a new best life, and he wanted to give it all to his hero that gave him that chance. Watching him be in such a calm state of fascination and curiosity made him feel a satisfaction like no other.
But eventually, they would leave the aquarium, seeing everything there was to see. It had to be late afternoon by now but the sun was still high and there was still so much time left in the day. “We should go to the mall. Have you been there before?” Midoriya suggested, taking Todoroki’s hand and giving him a small tug to direct him a different way on the sidewalk they were on. The hero student followed suit. “Not in a long time. Sometimes the housemaid would take me to one store for new clothes, but I’ve never been to the rest of it.” A second date on the same day, the little villain couldn’t ask for anything more. “We should go now then and…” he was so excited to go but then his voice started to trail off.
Todoroki saw it coming. Midoriya’s eyes lost a lot of color and brightness to them suddenly and the grip on his hand became much weaker. “And…” he still wanted to speak. He began to take a few steps but they appeared to be heavy and wobbly. His body began to tremble as he forced himself to walk, appearing to be exhausted all of a sudden. It was only a few moments when he began to collapse but was caught by his beloved who held him carefully upright. He felt so much lighter, so much skinnier than he had all those months ago. “Did you eat anything today? Or yesterday?” Todoroki asked quietly but with a strong intensity in his tone, Zuzu taking a few steps back to give him room to keep the freckled villain on his feet. “I think… I missed dinner on accident... and I ate half a doughnut this morning.” Not enough. That was not enough to keep a growing teenage boy functioning. Todoroki’s eyes narrowed but swiftly maneuvered him to rest on his back with his hands holding him up from under his knees.
“Where’s the nearest place to get something to eat?” Todoroki turned his head slightly to look to his friend who was halfway to falling asleep on his back. Exhaustion from lack of sleep and starvation exhaustion were two different kinds of exhaustion, but with those dark circles around his eyes, Midoriya had both and his body was not happy about it. “Todo… you don’t need to carry me,” he mumbled, placing his hands on his shoulders. Strong. He was very strong. “Don’t worry about that.” He loved him like this. So caring, concerned, responsible. It made him smile and nuzzle his cheek into the back of his neck. “You’re such a kind person Todoroki…” he smiled peacefully. “Too kind, you know?” he felt his left shoulder get much warmer than the other. He thought it was cute.
Without an answer, Todoroki began to walk around the city carrying Midoriya on his back, searching for a place that could give a decent sized meal with lots of protein in a timely manner. He eventually realized something. “Oh, I know this area,” he said out loud and turned a corner sharply, now having a sense of direction. It confused the villain on his back. Why did he know this area all of a sudden? It didn’t look like anything special. Midoriya tried glancing around tiredly to see if he could get any clues from the surrounding area, it didn’t seem all that different from other parts of the city. There was a skyscraper that looked a bit fancier than the others in the district that caught his eye. He was a rich kid so maybe that had something to do… and that’s when Midoriya’s eyes widened in adrenaline based panic. “Todoroki maybe we shouldn’t be here-”
“Shouto?” Todoroki suddenly stopped and took a few steps back. Zuzu stopped and her fur began to stand on the back of her neck as her tail began to straighten out, raising her lips slightly. Endeavor stood before them, towering over the two teenagers and blocking their path completely. That building was Endeavor’s agency, this was his patrolling sector. They got caught in his territory and it looked like Todoroki was going to be in trouble. “Why are you out? You were instructed to stay home to study.” the pro growled, narrowing his eyes at him. Todoroki wasn’t supposed to go out? He snuck out. He snuck out of the house and disobeyed his father just to go out with his friend. He was in trouble and Midoriya was powerless, being too weak to even stand. Todoroki wouldn’t be able to outrun him with him on his back. All the villain could think to do was take out his phone and send a short text to the only person he could think of. “Fuck… Fuck… I’m so sorry Todoroki…” he whispered quietly for only his hero to hear. This was all his fault.
Endeavor tried to take a step forward but Todoroki took a step back, glaring directly at him and not breaking eye contact. Were they going to fight in public? “My friend needed my help. Can’t you see that? I’m trying to help him, so get out of my way.” Todoroki said with a sharp tone. Let him be a hero. That’s what he wanted to be. “That’s nonsense. You don’t have time for friends, are you trying to lose sight of your destiny, Shouto? You mustn’t be wasting your time like this. I’ll take him-” Endeavor went to reach forward to try and offer his hand to Midoriya but the little villain hugged on to Todoroki’s neck tightly. There was no way that he was going to be helped by Endeavor. “Shouto…” Endeavor became more irritated at Midoriya’s reaction. Any kid would love to be saved by a pro as popular as him. What had he told him? Todoroki took a few more steps back as Zuzu’s growling got louder feeling the tension get heavier and hotter. “We’re going to have a long talk at home if you don’t-” Todoroki’s right side began to frost over in self-defense as Endeavor tried to close the distance between them. He wasn’t going to play this game. Midoriya shut his eyes tightly, just wanting to get away from this and take her beloved back to the aquarium, back to the park, back anywhere but here. “Woah, hey, there you are.” Midoriya’s eyes widened at the sound of a very familiar voice.

Shigaraki casually walked up to the three with a hoodie on and without the hand on his face. He had a big fake smile plastered on and held his hands up like he was trying to keep the peace. “Hope my little brother wasn’t causing too much trouble. I’ve been looking for him all day!” Midoriya looked terrified to see him out like this. His identity, his face was right in front of the pro that was in charge of finding them and arresting them! Why did he come out like this and not Kurogiri?!
Todoroki looked confused when the older villain approached him, turning to Midoriya to get some kind of approval from him. “B...Big brother…” the little villain mumbled. Shigaraki got up close to Todoroki, wrapping his arms around his little villain’s torso to pull him off his back and then take him on his own. With a small toss-up, Midoriya was safely transitioned on to the older villain’s back. “Call him later…” Shigaraki was just able to whisper into Todoroki’s ear before backing away and grinning widely. “Please forgive him, he’s very adventurous. He gets lost easily but his stamina can’t keep up, isn’t that right?” he bounced the freckled boy on his back making him grumble and bury his face into the back of his hoodie. He was getting so dizzy now and it was hard to keep his eyes opened. He needed to get away from here quickly.
“Try to keep a better eye on him. Kids these days are always getting into trouble.” Endeavor told Shigaraki before reaching over and grabbing Todoroki’s wrist while he was too busy watching Midoriya. He yanked his son over to him and Midoriya was able to his hand getting stressed from the strength of his grip. He struggled to grab his father’s wrist to try making him loosen his hold but Endeavor’s power far outmatched him in terms of just physical ability. Zuzu noticed his struggling and began to whine seeing him in pain. “They are, huh? I think they can learn more by being a bit adventurous.” Shigaraki hummed, still smiling and then knocking his head back to lightly bonk Midoriya. “Like not going out without eating or drinking anything.” The size of his smile and the extended time he was smiling was starting to scare the little villain. His smile was so big that his eyes were closed. Did he not want to even look at Endeavor? “You trust too easily. You make it easy for them to disrespect you.” Endeavor was about to go on a full debate with a mass killer about parenting while his son tried to frost his arm but his father’s heat prevented it from doing anything.
And Shigaraki was too stubborn to walk away just yet. “They disrespect you when you disrespect them. You should try being a bit more supportive because they’ll listen better.” Midoriya could see his smile twitching. He was breaking. But he wasn’t opening his eyes. “They don’t understand what’s best for them. It’s a parents’ job to tell them and guide them to what’s best.” Midoriya began to tug on Shigaraki’s sleeve. He was going to snap at this rate and ruin all the plans they’ve come up with about surprise attacks. And there’s no way he could beat someone twice his body mass like this. “I don’t think anyone should be forcing anyone to do something they don’t want to do. Things are done best when they’re done willingly.”
His red eyes peeked opened and there was only hatred and a lust for homicide staring straight at Endeavor, although it felt like he was looking at someone else. Someone familiar, but he couldn’t make out a face. “The people who want the most control tend to lose the most control in the end.” Then he giggled and lowered his head, placing his own hand on his face except for his pinkie finger. “But what do I know. I’m not a parent. Later, stranger.” And he turned around and began to walk away with his little brother looking back at Todoroki longingly. Todoroki stared right back at him for a moment before glaring up at his father and being dragged elsewhere.
“That bastard is going to die,” Shigaraki said quietly, turning into an alleyway where a portal was awaiting him and sent them back to Kuorgiri’s bar. He placed Midoriya on the sofa where the boy would soon fall over on his side and lay silently in a daze. “Todoroki…” he mumbled sadly. “I left him…” he had to go back. He had to go get him. He couldn’t leave him with Endeavor after what just happened.
Kurogiri came over and lifted Midoriya's head to help him drink a kind of fruit juice and then gave him a full plate of meat and vegetables to eat. “Eat at least half of this and then we’ll talk,” he ordered. Without a complaint, the little villain began to eat slowly with chopsticks, thinking hard about what just took place. It was all his fault. Shigaraki had to show his face. Todoroki got in serious trouble. Endeavor knows who he was now. So much had been put at risk just now because he was stupid enough to succumb to exhaustion like this. The morning had gone so well. Todoroki was so happy earlier. Now all of that was ruined. “Tomura I…” he wanted to apologize for causing so much trouble, looking to Shigaraki who sat at the bar, angrily going through folders and scattering papers everywhere. “Save it,” he replied sharply. He must have been so mad at him. And yet…
“I hate people like him! Especially people like him! He makes me so mad! I should have turned him to ash right there!” Midoriya listened and was nearly stunned by where his anger was being directed. “That bastard. That piece of shit. I’ll fucking kill him myself! And I’ll find his fucking son and show him how much he’s messed up!” He was more determined than ever to take down the number two hero now. “He’ll regret the day he decided to be a damned father!” He threw a folder across the room and slammed a single piece of paper on the counter with his fist. “I’ll find him…” on the paper was a picture of a picture sitting on a shrine of a boy in a middle school uniform with white spikey hair and bright blue eyes. He had a soft face like Todoroki. He was more motivated than ever to find his missing Todoroki.
For a little while, Kurogiri would gather the papers Shigaraki had thrown in his temper tantrum while Shigaraki put them in an order that he preferred. Midoriya sat on the sofa pacing his eating on the full meal in front of him. Most of his energy had returned but Kurogiri was determined to have him finish at least half before he was allowed to get up. It would take some time, but he would eat a little more than half before his phone went off. It was a phone call. He never got phone calls from anyone other than his mother so his anxiety spiked as he was looking at the caller ID. Shigaraki turned back to see what his little brother was doing. “Who is it?” he asked. “It’s Todoroki…” Midoriya was about to answer it when Shigaraki gestured him to come to the bar. “Put it on the counter and put it on speaker.” and the little killer did just that.
“Hello? Todoroki? Hello?” he answered but there was no response. “Todo-” Shigaraki held a finger to his lips, signaling him to be quiet. That’s when he took his own phone out and place it beside the other, recording all the audio it was about to pick up. It was between Endeavor and Todoroki’s voices. Todoroki must have called but did it in secret, just as Shigaraki told him. The little debate he had with his father must have gained a bit of his trust. Did he plan for that?
“Where did you go today?”
“You don’t need to know, it’s not important.”
“Answer me Shouto. This rebellious phase is getting out of hand if you’re starting to sneak out like this.”
“I just wanted to get out. You never let me go anywhere.”
“I keep you here to keep you focused! I won’t let you get distracted at such a significant point in your growth.”
“Stop talking to me like I’m some thing. I’m not your masterpiece, why can’t you just drop that stupid ideology?”
“Can’t you see I’m just trying to give you the best future?!” There was the sound of a fist slamming down on a table. Their voices were beginning to get louder. “I won’t let you be a failure like your siblings!” There was a bit of shuffling. Todoroki probably stood up. “They’re not failures! Stop calling them that and say their names!” There was a sound of something falling over and it made Midoriya’s heart begin to race. Is this how Todoroki gets hurt at home, trying to defend himself from an overbearing parent? He tries to argue to defend his siblings’ honor and try to remind Endeavor that he’s a human and not a machine to build to perfection. “Todoroki…” Midoriya whispered, scratching at his wrists. This was his fault.
“Why is it so hard for you to just listen Shouto?!” There were sounds of struggling. “Why can’t you just be a good parent like mo-” Todoroki was cut off and that’s when Midoriya had to cover his ears. He shut his eyes and held back tears as he listened to the one he loved more than anyone be beaten. They kept yelling at each other the whole time. He could tell Todoroki was trying to fight back as he could hear the effects of objects in the room freezing. But the ice was no match for a pro’s fire and his flames were nowhere near powerful enough to overtake the other’s. And yet he still tried. He never gave in. There was crashing, banging, ripping, burning, but what hurt more than anything was to hear Todoroki make grunts and groans of pain. This went on for minutes. Minutes longer than Midoriya would have liked. Why did his hero, so kind and beautiful, have to go through such pain like this? He didn’t deserve any of it.
“Tell me where you went Shouto and tell me who that boy was.” Endeavor growled quietly. The room had gone silent now. There was deep breathing coming from the pro but nothing could be heard from the other for at least a few seconds. “None… of your b-busine-” Todoroki’s voice sounded so strained when he finally spoke, but he immediately got cut off. He didn’t make another sound. All was quiet until there was a door opening and closing. Endeavor must have walked out.
“Todoroki?! Todoroki?!” Midoriya took his phone in his hands and began shouting, praying that he would get an answer. There was none. “Todoroki please answer! Tell me you’re okay, please!” His hands were shaking as he brought his phone to the bridge of his nose and gritted his teeth. “Shouto are you there?!” There was no way he was dead. There was no possible way that his own father killed him. But didn’t he supposedly kill his oldest brother? No. That couldn’t be true. Even the number two hero wouldn’t be able to get away with that! “Say something for fuck’s sake!” His hero couldn’t be dead!
It was then that he heard something shift. There was some fumbling that the mic was picking up. There was the sound of a door slowly being pushed open just a little bit. There was the sound of a dog whining, a small bark, and then a long cry. Then there was a disgusting sound of liquid being spilled on the ground suddenly. “T-Todoroki?” Midoriya called out one more time. He silently begged him to answer. There was a thud. “I think… I passed out.” Todoroki whispered. He sounded like he was in a lot of pain and dazed. The little villain covered his mouth, unable to verbalize his relief and his guilt. “I… threw up…” There was the sound of a jingling collar. He must have been petting Zuzu. “Thanks for waking me up.” Midoriya approved of the dog now.
“I-I’m coming to get you! Put your location on! You’re staying here tonight!” Midoriya jumped off the stool and was about to go to the door when Shigaraki grabbed his wrist to stop him. He pointed to Kurogiri who was standing right beside the door. “My uh, dad and I are going to come get you. Do you think you can make it outside?” He could hear Todoroki struggling to get up. “Yeah… there’s a wall surrounding the mansion. I can use my-” he fell. “...my ice to get over it.” Midoriya cringed hearing him struggle so much. “O-Okay. When you get on top, close your eyes, can you do that? My dad’s quirk works when you don’t look.” He lied. He had to. “I’m coming to get you…”

Chapter Text

Darkness felt so soothing like this. There was no pain to be felt when drifting around in the nothingness that takes over. It was so peaceful. It was so quiet. There was no yelling or shouting, no roaring that bounced off the walls. There was no quaking in the floor from heavy, angry footsteps. There was no light, no fire to burn and claw at the skin. In a world of emptiness, there were no expectations to be met, no pressures to bear, no feelings to be felt. The numbness was soothing. This place was lovely. It felt wonderful. Could things feel like this forever? It would be nice, wouldn’t it?
“...Shouto are you there?!” a voice rippled through the darkness, the emptiness. It sounded so far away, miles away, an unreachable distance. Ignore it. Let it fade into the nothingness it came from and stay in this world a little longer. Forever would be a blessing. To blend one’s very existence into this world and never feel pain again.
But then there was something wet and soft. It repeatedly touched his face. Something cold and moist dabbing and pressing into his cheek. Though the source was not causing pain, it was beginning to rise in his stomach, his neck, his head, his leg. There was a body to feel all this discomfort. There was no nothingness. The darkness was fading, becoming lighter with colors that blurred together like watercolor. He wanted to go back. He wanted to stay there forever. But something was pushing at his head and a deeper sickness rising in his gut.
“Say something for fuck’s sake!” It wasn’t all bad here, was it? There was a light. There was a medicine to take away most of the pain, wasn’t there? It’s been calling for him for a while now. And there’s been something soft nuzzling him for quite some time. He could feel and hear these things. He tried to move, flexing his fingers and feet to ground himself in reality. He felt stuck to the floor, being held hostage by gravity and weakness. He tried to push himself and heard the excited pants and whines of the dog next to him, backing up to give him space. However, the moment he rose to his hands and knees the sickness in his gut rose up so suddenly he couldn’t hold it back. He vomited on the wood floor as silently as he could. It was such a disgusting sound nonetheless. “T-Todoroki?”
Todoroki stayed on his knees sitting up and leaned his side against the wall, vomit dripping from the corner of his mouth. His eyes were glossy with exhaustion, blood trailing from his forehead, breathing unevenly in a panting manner. It was Zuzu that picked up the phone that was hidden under the low table in the center of the room and brought it over to her new owner. Once he took it, she felt her licking the blood from his head. “I think… I passed out.” his voice could only make a whisper, his lungs felt so sore somehow. His eyes trailed to the mess he made on the floor. “I… threw up…” then his hand rose to lightly scratch the side of Zuzu’s neck by her new collar. His frown weakly rose but it did not make it to a smile. “Thanks for waking me up.”
Todoroki would listen to Midoriya frantically speak to him, there were words to be heard but they weren’t being comprehended well. He tightened his eyes and held his head doing his best to answer the light on the other side of the phone. He coming to get him, take him away from this place, and bring him somewhere safer. The anticipation of leaving gave him the strength to rise up to his feet and take a few steps to the door. But he became dizzy and the room spun in his head. He fell, making Zuzu yelp and run to his side, nudging his head once again. “I’m coming to get you…” He heard Midoriya say one more time before hanging up. He did as he was told and put his location on to be found. But there was no way his dearest friend was going to be allowed inside. He would have to meet him at the wall. He had to get up.
Zuzu stayed close to Todoroki’s leg as he kept one hand on the wall and walked. He had to get some of his things if he was going to stay the night somewhere else. Maybe even his school things if Midoriya was going to keep him there the whole weekend. Thankfully, his head was beginning to clear as he walked and regained a slightly better sense of balance. But Zuzu still stayed against him to guide him whenever he became shaky. She’d escort him to his room on the second floor and the moment he shut the door she ran to retrieve his messenger bag. He got on his knees and watched as the dog ran around the room and continued to fetch clothes, his uniform, notebooks, textbooks, and eventually a black hoodie. He put the last item on instead of packing it, wiping his head and face with his sleeve to clear it of blood and vomit. “Get your leash too,” he said quietly. Who knows where Endeavor was now, waiting to find him awake.
With his bag over his shoulder and Zuzu on a leash attached to it, Todoroki was quietly making his way down a staircase. Quiet. It was all about being quiet and staying unseen to the very end of his escape. He had to keep his father thinking that he was unconscious in the room with the low table until he would find out that he left without a trace. He stayed close to the walls and was careful when peering around the corners. The chance that he would run into his father would terminate his whole escape. His goal was to go to the front door and get his shoes and make a run for the wall because the gate would be too loud and noticeable.
“So is Shouto here?” There was a deep, familiar voice in the house that did not belong to Endeavor. He heard it through a door he was about to pass to get to the front of the mansion. Zuzu’s fur stood up as she heard footsteps approaching the nearby door. They were caught. “Surely, he’s hiding somewh-” Endeavor’s voice calmly said as the door opened before the two could get around another corner. They became paralyzed in their path as the door opened in front of them revealing Endeavor with All Might right beside him dressed in a more casual suit rather than his hero costume. The two adults froze when they noticed them, making eye contact with Todoroki, deer in the headlights. But maybe this was also a chance…
Endeavor’s face went from mildly frustrated to more intense anger when making eye contact with his son while All Might was oblivious to it. The number one hero had his back to the number two, smiling down at the teenager that was practically frozen against the wall. The student soon straightened up and moved to the center of the hall to appear less suspicious but he still seemed stiff. “Good to see you, young man.” All Might greeted, though he didn’t add anything to it. He stood silently and just stared Todoroki. Perhaps waiting for a response? Or maybe looking for an expression to read. His face was clear of vomit and blood, though there were traces of it underneath his hair. If only he could see the burns on his neck that the hoodie was hiding. “Good even-” Todoroki went to respond with his voice still strained when Endeavor cut him off. “What is your business here All Might, really?” Endeavor never broke glaring eye contact with his son, like a warning to be careful with his words. All Might glanced back and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. “Well I… uh…” he then peered back and forth at the father and son that were both staring at him now. “Is there something wrong with visiting an old friend and seeing his family?”
Old friend? Todoroki took half a step back with Zuzu following his motion. They were fellow heroes, but they were also acquainted enough for All Might to call Endeavor friend? But still… could this be his chance to let someone know what’s been going on for too long? He drove his whole family away and has practically kept him captive here all of his childhood. If there was anything the media would believe about this, it was Japan’s Symbol of Peace. But if he said anything that would give it away too bluntly, who knows what the hero behind him would do. Would he have the same fate as his brother?
“Is everything going well?” All Might asked. The question was so vague and Todoroki wasn’t sure how to answer. Almost everything was horrible at the moment. But with Endeavor glaring, he couldn’t just say the truth. “It’s okay,” he answered. Figure it out. Pleasure figure it out. “Just okay? Is there an issue?” Maybe he was catching on. Become suspicious. Don’t trust the one standing behind you. “Kinda.” Todoroki shifted his eye contact from All Might to Endeavor again for one moment and saw him lower his head in a spiteful glare. He was demanding him not to make a scene in front of All Might. But All Might at least noticed the teenager’s glance. “What’s the problem? There’s nothing a hero like me or your father can’t fix!” Don’t have faith in him. Don’t compare yourself to him. He’s not who you think he is anymore. Don’t trust him. Don’t call him a hero just because you’re friends. “Things… aren’t always good here.” Todoroki watched Endeavor fold his arms and dig his nails into his upper sleeve. He also watched All Might’s smile begin to fall. But the hero was quick to raise it again. “Well, what’s the trouble?” Doesn’t he realize that this couldn’t be said outright? Endeavor was right behind him. “Sometimes we argue.”
Endeavor’s eyes narrowed. “You argue?” All Might repeated. He then reached to put his hand on Todoroki’s shoulder. And for a moment, the teenager felt relief. Maybe that was enough to make him understand without getting accused by Endeavor for calling him out. Maybe it would get better now with the number one hero by his side supporting here. “Dear boy, children argue with their parents more often than you think. It’s normal to have disagreements as you get older.” And his heart dropped. He didn’t understand. He didn’t get the severity of this arguing. “Your maturity has at least improved.” Endeavor commented with his face loosening but still appearing annoyed. “I’m only looking out for him. At least you understand a father’s intentions.” No. Don’t play off of him. Don’t pretend to be friends with him now. “That’s right. I’m sure your father just wants what’s best for you.” No, he didn’t want what was best. He only focused on what he, himself wanted. Why are you siding with him? You’re supposed to protect people.
“Although I would suggest going a little lighter on the training at home. Leave it to the teachers to push him.” All Might looked back to Endeavor with that statement. And yet the number one hero appeared relieved all of a sudden. He truly was oblivious. There was no way that an old friend would purposely hurt his youngest son. “I see he even let you have a pet. That was kind of him, wasn’t it?” Todoroki moved his leg in front of Zuzu. No, Fuyumi convinced him. None of this was what it looked like. Why can’t you see past it? Are you really going to leave me here like this?
And with that, All Might took his hand back and turned to face the adult standing behind him, leaving Todoroki to stare at them both in disbelief. “N-” he tried to speak but All Might spoke over him on accident and couldn’t hear him. “So I hear your agency is doing better than ever?” they were making small talk now. “All M-”
“It is. There are many promising sidekicks.”
“He-”
“You were always a good leader, I wouldn’t expect anything less from my old rival.”
Todoroki was left ignored. Ignored by his secret idol. He wanted to be a hero just like him, right? It’s why he put up with everything for this long. He was supposed to save everyone who was in trouble. But here he was, turning his back on someone who needed his help, too blinded by his biases to consider for more than a moment that something may be terribly wrong in this mansion. It was like he was even trying to avoid finding it out in the first place like it was too painful or too much trouble to assume that his old friend was no hero. People who abandon others for what they want are no heroes. All Might… was no hero.

“Do you see him?” Kurogiri lifted Midoriya on to his shoulders for the short teenager to reach the top of the wall surrounding the Todoroki Mansion. The little villain was able to get his hands on the top and pull himself up, kicking his feet a few times to give him more push. “Not yet,” he answered. He had climbed up the side so if Todoroki came out the front or back door, he would see him. He checked his phone to see if there was a text and by the time he looked up again, he saw his beloved come out the back door with shoes on, his bag over his shoulder, and Zuzu by his side. He looked so tired. But something about his face seemed different and he recognized that lifelessness in his eyes. The hopelessness. The sense that every dream he had was crushed in a single moment.
Todoroki and Zuzu immediately noticed Midoriya and made their way to the wall before being raised up by ice. Sitting on their knees Midoriya quickly hugged Todoroki and buried his face in his chest. “I was so worried about you…” he said, muffled by the hoodie. He would normally expect a slow return of the hug but instead, he received nothing. He gazed up at his beloved’s face and then cupped his cheeks, taking in the expression that could only belong to someone who nearly lost their will to live. “Todo-” after something like this, did Todoroki even want to be called by his last name? Did he want to be associated with his father by name? “He left me…” the taller teenager mumbled. “Who left you?” Midoriya tilted his head, still cupping his hero’s face. It was then he heard talking in the distance and looked towards the front door. Endeavor and… All Might? He quickly turned back to Todoroki, seeing how dead on the inside he looked. He was able to put a few pieces together and his heart only broke for the boy he was holding. He knew exactly what he was feeling.
Midoriya gently placed their foreheads together and stared right into the bi-colored eyes in front of him. “Close your eyes, okay? I’m getting you away from here.” Todoroki raised his gaze just enough to make eye contact and found those bright green hues to be so beautiful, even with the red-streaked scar. He closed his eyes and brought Zuzu into his lap to hold on tightly while feeling the little villain’s hands move from his cheeks to around his shoulders. His touch was so gentle and careful. Todoroki wouldn’t mind having this all the time. “Fall with me,” the loving killer said so softly in a tone where he could practically hear his smile. Midoriya glanced down and saw Kurogiri had already prepared a portal below, thus making a clear way for him to pull Todoroki sideways to fall off the wall with him, holding him.

They landed on something soft, both of them on their sides with Zuzu in the middle. There was a small bounce to their landing, cushioning their fall safely and comfortably. Midoriya sat up first and tried to examine where Kurogiri had dropped them off. The room was based on traditional Japanese aesthetic with tatami mats, a kotatsu beside a tv, warm lighting, and they were warped to fall on top of a low mattress bed. Although the room looked nothing like the hideout, Midoriya could tell instantly that Kurogiri had set it up specifically for Todoroki. It was why he asked what kinds of things he liked.
“You can open your eyes now.” The little villain told him, watching his hero’s eyes slowly open but they still looked so dull. Zuzu got up once Todoroki had loosened his hold and she began to investigate the room curiously. Surely Shigaraki wouldn’t mind having a dog around, would he? Letting her wander, Midoriya sat beside his hero and watched him sit up to absent-mindedly look around at his new surroundings. He still looked desperately troubled. “He didn’t do anything… he was going to leave me there.” He muttered. His whole world had been shaken by having the number one hero turn his back on him. It was like he never doubted Endeavor in the first place like he was looking for any way to convince himself that he was innocent. “He… didn’t even try…” He didn’t try to save him.
Midoriya was watching the love of his life crumble before him and he could feel himself becoming more and more enraged. He hated All Might for telling him that he could never be a hero. But now, he wished he could do more than just kill him. Death would not be painful enough to make him understand how much he hurt Todoroki. The anger was building deep inside his stomach as his nails dug into his knees watching his beloved’s mental state break apart. How dare All Might call himself a hero when he does this to people.
“I’ll try. I’ll try anything.” Midoriya said suddenly, gritting his teeth as he gripped Todoroki’s shoulders and making him look directly into his eyes. “Don’t listen to people like him anymore, they just take advantage of your hopes and hurt you in the end. You don’t deserve that.” he tilted his head and began to smile sweetly, brushing a little bit of Todoroki’s hair back from his face as he sat on his knees above him. Such a broken boy could only find that soft smiling comforting, those glowing green eyes so alluring, his touch so caring. His voice went from bitter and angry to a gentle and loving hum. “I’ll protect you. I’ll never do anything to hurt you.” It almost as if with every word, there was a string wrapping around Todoroki’s body. He was falling for everything he was hearing, staring up at the villain like he was the only thing that mattered anymore. “You only need to trust me now, I’m not like them, you know?” Midoriya kept petting the other’s hair with a smile while staring at the empty eyes that were locked on to him. “I’ll never leave you like the rest of them.” Their faces were so close like this. The villain was so in love with the beautiful, broken boy in front of him and was being hypnotized by his beautiful face even though he was the one doing the talking. “You’ve always been my hero. You’ll let me be yours now, right?” it was like a string attached to the very back of Todoroki’s neck as the little villain raised his chin ever so slightly. “You’re so hurt Shouto. You’ve been hurting for so long and you need someone to lean on and take care of you…” The killer holding him couldn’t help himself and leaned in a bit closer. “How about someone who actually loves you?”
Midoriya leaned further to bring his lips to Todoroki’s, bringing his hand up to hold his cheek while he did so. Their inexperience was the main factor keeping them from deepening it but there was a mutual affection between them as Todoroki reached up to hold the villain’s hand and make an attempt to kiss back softly. The attempt was enough to encourage the other to press forward and move on to his lap, still keeping above him. His hands cupped both his cheeks now and rubbed his thumb against his skin. Although he’s dreamt of this for so long now, it was Midoriya that pulled away first to keep it from getting awkwardly long. But he couldn’t help but smirk with a slight blush, looking down at his beloved hero that finally had a life back into his eyes. He lightly squished his cheeks together and smiled an innocent toothy grin. “I really like you, Shouto.” he giggled. His secret was out. No hiding it now. And yet he didn’t feel all that upset about it.
Todoroki was paralyzed with a pink-tinted face and was just caught staring up at the little villain on his lap before a small flame appeared on the red half of his hair. It made the other giggle as he gently patted it out without a second thought. “I really… like you too,” Midoriya brought his fist up to his own cheek and tilted his head into it. “You can call me Izuku now. I don’t want to call you by something you’re forced to share with that old bastard.” Making that cute face, Todoroki found himself slowly wrapping his arms around the villain’s waist and hugging on to him, pressing his face into his chest. He was suddenly becoming a bit clingy. “Shouto?” Midoriya asked, appearing confused but he wasn’t against this at all. He felt him hug tighter at the sound of his first name. How was it that the big strong hero was now acting all cute and attached?
“How about you go take a bath and I’ll get my dad to make you something to eat. Though, I know this sounds sketchy but don’t leave this room. This place is super-secret and my family is like, super undercover right now.” Had it been any other circumstance, Todoroki would have questioned all of this. But after being taken away from his own home so kindly and given this whole mini apartment space, it felt rude to ask questions. So with that logic in mind, he would never bother trying to impose and poke around where he wasn’t supposed to. “I’m sure he can make some high-quality soba if I asked. And then I’ll take care of any of your wounds. Sounds good, right?” Todoroki listened to Midoriya and nuzzled his cheek against him subtly in understanding, but he was adamant to let go yet. “It does. But you need to eat too.” Midoriya blinked a few times and felt fingers trail up his torso, and over his hoodie, over his ribs. “You’re skinny…” and he hadn’t forgotten his episode before they were both caught on the sidewalk. Midoriya still felt guilty for that. “Alright, deal.”
And thus Midoriya came down the stairs to see Shigaraki playing on his phone at his usual seat at the bar with one leg over the other. Once he heard footsteps, he looked to the stairs and saw the little villain spacing out and poking at his lips and blushing subtly. “Has our prince charming made it here safely?” he asked, glancing over at him. “Yeah. He’s here.” the other responded like he was barely listening. It caught Shigaraki off guard. “No comeback?” Midoriya sat down and kept tapping his lips and wrapping his arms around himself while appearing curious. Shigaraki just looked confused and turned to Kurogiri to hopefully get some kind of answer. What the hell happened to his little brother? What happened to the bickering about having a crush? All he got was a shrug from the bartender man but he could just tell that he knew what was up. “Could you make him soba? It’s his favorite.” Midoriya asked without much thought. “And, me too?” Kurogiri paused for a moment at the second part. “You’ll eat a whole meal for once?” Something was very different and it was making both of the villains uncomfortable. “There’s also something I want to do next week, I think you might like it.” It was then that a red glow emitted from one of his eyes.

Midoriya poked his head into Todoroki’s new little room to find only Zuzu almost completely under the kotatsu with just her head sticking out. He could hear water running in the bathroom that was connected to the bedroom and guessed that his beloved hero was taking a shower. He let himself in with two bowls of soba and one with just pieces of scrap meat, setting them down on the kotatsu. He sat down and put his arms and legs underneath for Zuzu to suddenly appear between his limbs. Midoriya just smiled at her and petted her head a few times. She woke Todoroki up and he was very grateful for that. And it seemed that Todoroki had gotten very attached to her but she was a means of comfort for him which made her all the better. “We’ll take care of him together, hm?” he asked and earned himself a sweet puppy kiss to the face. Giving her lots of pets, he noticed bumps in her skin, like wounds that were still in the process of healing. He wondered if it was abuse or dog fighting, or maybe neglect like she was just dumped in the middle of the city and left to fend for herself. No wonder Todoroki felt so compelled to take her in. He was too kind to everyone and everything that was hurt.
“It’s nice that she likes you so much,” Todoroki said, coming out of the bathroom with just a towel around his waist and around his neck that he was using to dry his hair. Midoriya’s face had never become so red so quickly as he tried to look away to hide it. He’d be upset to hear it but… “m-masterpiece…” he mumbled too quietly to be heard. He was too young to be that fit but there he was. toned muscles with a pretty face and hair that was so elegant when it was we, he couldn’t understand how he could look so perfect. He tried his hardest to not peek at him while he threw on his hoodie unzipped and a pair of sweatpants. Even with burns and bruises scattered across his skin, the villain could not deny the fact that he truly was beautiful. He wanted to stay with him, always. To stay with just him, and only him, here.
Todoroki sat down on the other side of the kotatsu to have Zuzu move from Midoriya’s lap to his to which he was ambushed by pure puppy love and kisses. Midoriya just watched with a loving smile, happy to his hero across the table appear to be in a much better state of mind. He watched his arms wrap around the dog and return her affection with petting and ear scratches until she calmed her excitement. “It’s alright that she’s here, right?” Todoroki asked. It took a moment for the little villain to blink and shake his head to snap his focus back to reality. “Y-Yeah! Of course. Anything you want is perfect.” he stuttered at first, pressing his pointer fingers together. “You’re perfect, you know?” He’s wanted to say it for so long and now it just slipped out without thinking. He covered his mouth out of panic and turned away. How could he even look at him after saying that so bluntly?! “I think you’re amazing… you know?” he then heard the other say so quietly.
Midoriya slowly looked towards the beautiful boy across the table, holding Zuzu close in his arms with his cheek pressed against the top of her head. His eyes appeared half-lidded, staring directly at him, through him, into him. They were locked on to him like he would never look away. “Wh...What?” Midoriya asked him to repeat because he was unsure that he heard him correctly, flushed by the sight before him. “I think you’re amazing,” Todoroki repeated, the corner of his lip raising just barely enough to make a half-smile. “You came back for me, you’ve been there for me all this time. It’s amazing. Your determination and your kindness.” Only for him. Only was his kindness apparent for him and his small family. But he was beginning to recognize a soft glow in his scarred blue eye. “You always make these bad feelings go away. It’s the best medicine that you could ever provide.” A medicine to make all his pain go away. A drug to numb the cruelty away. He wanted it all the time too, to rely on it always. To be addicted to it. Obsessed.
Empty bowls sat stacked together with two pairs of chopsticks resting on top of them were all that was left on the kotatsu. Zuzu was half asleep at the foot of the bed while Todoroki sat up on the edge, getting bandaged and taken care of by Midoriya. The little villain was kneeling behind him on the bed, wrapping bandages around his neck and shoulder were burns had been soothed with the best creams he had. This was, however, the most he had ever been distracted while healing him. He was already wrapped at his wrist and other arm with patches scattered across his torso, but now that was behind him, he hadn’t noticed how toned his back was. It was difficult not to stare. They were both so silent now so there was nothing else to truly focus on. At least until Todoroki flinched when a darker part of a burn was brushed up too hard by the cloth and made a quiet noise of pain through his teeth. “S-Sorry!” Midoriya suddenly became jumpy when he stopped staring and eased up on the wrapping. “Did I hurt you?” He then asked, gently grasping his shoulders and leaning forward so they could see each other. It was just as small sting on accident and yet he felt crushed with guilt. Todoroki just shook his head slowly. “You couldn’t do that,” he spoke quietly as he usually did. Midoriya stared into his eyes for just a few moments before he felt a small loss of control of himself once again. He leaned just a bit forward to kiss his lips like before. But this time Todoroki was much quicker to return it with the villain holding on to his shoulders. Once they parted a few seconds later, the villain began giggling and hiding his face into his hero’s back. “Perfect…”
Once the sun had long set, Midoriya would be found sitting up at the head of the bed with Todoroki fast asleep beside his legs with Zuzu squishing herself between them. Her owner had been through so much in one day. Sneaking out of the house in the morning, going on a fun date, getting caught by his father, getting into a violent argument, being knocked unconscious, having his idol turn his back on him, only to be rescued by a boy and his secret family and have sudden feelings emerge for him. Midoriya had been petting the sleeping teenager’s hair as he slept, watching him carefully to be sure that nightmares wouldn’t torment him here in this safe place. He smiled watching him, just taking in how pretty he was. “I make all the bad feelings go away, huh?” he whispered to himself. And it was then that his eyes narrowed. “I’ll make all the bad people in your life go away too…”

Elevator doors slammed opened and Midoriya entered his laboratory with eyes bright red and void of any of the kindness Todoroki was falling in love with. There was a small groan from inside a cage as his only prisoner turned away from the light coming from the elevator. “What the hell man…?” Kosuke whined. Having been sitting in darkness for at least a day, the brightness was obnoxious. But Midoriya kept the lighting of the room dimmed with the most light coming from his desk as he hastily opened several drawers, slamming them shut when he couldn’t find what he was looking for. “Are you going to let me out yet?” Kosuke grumbled, lightly kicking one of the bars. “Would you stop with the slamming, it’s so lou-Fuck!” Kosuke was about to sit up to see what the villain was doing when he cried out in pain from a needle stabbing into the neck carelessly.
Kosuke just barely turned his head to get a peek at what was stabbing him and only made eye contact with glowing red eyes and a twisted smile of a teenager who’s lost all patience. “H-Hey…” he stuttered but his whole body was becoming cold and numb. “I’m sorry a-about your eye…” Even in the lighting, he found himself focusing on the red streak coming down the villain’s eye. “C-Can we talk this out?” His hand struggled to reach up, desperately trying to grab the needle injecting a chemical into him. But before he could even get it past his shoulder, his whole arm dropped limply and his head tilted to the side without muscle power keeping it upright. Then he heard the cage door be unlocked and opened. The chains around his wrists and ankles also began to unlock and uncuff and then he felt the back of his shirt’s collar be grabbed and pulled. His body was too numb to fight back and get away. He was finally freed but he was too weak to escape. “What are you-” Kosuke quietly asked, finding it difficult to speak as he was being dragged across the floor. “Making all the bad people in his life go away…” Midoriya growled lowly without looking down at the person he was moving to his center testing table. “Wh-What…” It was so vague, and Kosuke didn’t understand right away. “I’m his medicine. I make all his pain go away.” The fire-breather was lifted on to the table with slight difficulty because the little villain was not physically strong. But it was enough. And like this, Kosuke was forced to look up at him directly as his wrists and ankles were restrained once again. “You’ve made him hurt so much. You’ve hurt him so bad. He tried so hard no to let it show.”
Kosuke watched Midoriya remove the muzzle-like object around his mouth but even with it removed, he couldn’t bring his body to breathe fire. He was completely paralyzed, only able to watch the doctor work. “You can’t breathe fire if you can’t breathe. You can’t cause him any more pain if you’re dead.” Midoriya put a plain black doctor’s mouth on and reached for a small rolling table that had labeled vials sitting neatly on the top and bottom shelves. He put gloves on his hands and began picking through them, searching for a specific one. “H-Hold on… I’ll leave him alone. This about um… T-Todoroki, right? I’ll never even look at him again…!” Kosuke still had difficulty speaking but the adrenaline in him was fighting the drug. It was to the point where his fingers were beginning to flex. And yet Midoriya didn’t seem concerned. Kosuke was trying his hardest to at least turn his head. The moment he could breathe fire, he’d break out of here! This villain was quirkless, there’s no way that he could lose to him!
Kosuke shut his eyes and tried to focus on just being able to move again. To feel his lungs again. To concentrate on breathing. He felt so close to getting it all back so quickly. He forced a smirk as his chest heaved up and down, feeling heat build-up in his throat. But suddenly a device was forced on to his head that was metal and jagged. He tried to turn his head but felt his forehead get deeply cut by a knife that was strapped to it. “Look anywhere but up and you’ll be blind.” Midoriya threatened casually. The device was some messed up invention that was meant to keep his head still and facing up, threatening to cut up his face if he dared look anywhere else. “C-Come on man!” he gritted his teeth and still tried to turn but kept feeling blades slit his skin around his eyes but the stinging pain was too much for his face to bear. His cheek ended up having chunks of flesh hanging off like slice meat. The boy began to tear up from the pain. “I’m sorry…I won’t tell anyone about this if you let me go home.” There was no getting out of this with power. He was immobilized. He was the weak one this time. Just a test subject.
“Must be nice to have a good home to go back to,” Midoriya said without much emotion to be heard. “Shouto never had that.” his voice then became sharp as he jabbed another needle into his subject’s arm. Kosuke flinched and gritted his teeth, struggling to not move his head but tried to thrash his limbs to attempt breaking the restraints. The little villain pulled out a stopwatch and began watched it carefully as the one on his table gritted his teeth, shut his eyes, and clenched his fists. He was forcing himself to keep his mouth shut until he couldn’t anymore and an inferno of flames blasted out and towards the ceiling, screaming as he did so. Blood dripped from the corners of his mouth until the flames stopped and he gasped for breath, eyes watering. But it wasn’t much longer until his chest heaved and he tried to keep his mouth shut again. The flurry of flames would reappear multiple times in the span of a half-hour all while Midoriya took diligent notes in silence. When they stopped, he only saw Kosuke gasping with the lower half of his face and chest covered in blood spatter and smoke coming out from his throat.
“Burnt lungs right?” Midoriya asked, looking up from his notes and setting his notebook down and exchanging a pen for a marker. He lifted Kosuke’s shirt and began drawing dashed lines on his chest. “I’ll look at them later.” The subject’s eyes followed Midoriya as he wheezed, trying to find his ability to speak. Then the little villain went under the testing table where there were cabinets and he took out several needles, but not syringe needles. Then he proceeded to jab them into different points of the subject’s body, watching his reaction to each puncture. After every one, he wrote something now, as if testing which parts were more painful to stab. Between teeth-gritting, struggling, crying, and screaming, he was able to base the level of pain on those reactions. It was when he stabbed through his tongue that Kosuke began to speak again but his voice was terribly strained.
“S-Stop!” This teenager could tell this was all going to lead to his death but this pain was not worth living a little longer. “Fine, I’ll do something else.” Midoriya shrugged, taking some final notes and injected another drug into Kosuke’s arm. And with that done, he took a scalpel and placed it at the top of the dotted lines he made on his chest. “I hate heroes, you know that? Shouto should stop trying to be one. If he has to be aligned with people like you and All Might, you all would just ruin his reputation. He’s far better than all of you.” Midoriya began to cut and Kosuke’s body twitched although the pain was not as bad as it should have been. He numbed him so he would be still enough to work. “You don’t deserve to even be compared to him. You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as him. You don’t deserve to live in the same world as him.” He heartlessly cut into him, letting blood flow out of his chest. “S...Stop…” It still hurt nonetheless. And now he was practically being forced to watch himself be used as a dummy for research. “People like you just deserve to die.” He pressed the knife just a little too hard, being careless in his anger and made Kosuke cough up more blood.
“Fuck… you…” was what Kosuke forced himself to say, barely gaining Midoriya’s attention. “Y-You feel nothing for him… you’re the type that’s selfish like that…” If he was going to die, he was going to make sure he hurt Midoriya the only way he could in this circumstance. “You just l-like… how much of a pushover he is… you’ll j-just use him.” Wide red eyes were staring into him and not breaking contact in the dimmed light, shrouded in near darkness. “Y-You’re not human enough to feel pain. But he… h-he can.” Midoriya wanted so desperately to shut him up. Demonic eyes still locked, he found himself subconsciously raising his scalpel above his head slowly. “I’ll fucking c-curse him… he’ll have a fucking painful death…!” Kosuke began to smile with blood dripping from his teeth. “H-He’ll be in so much pain a-and one you can’t save him from! F-Fuck you… both of you fag-” He began to scream as Midoriya lifelessly stabbed into his chest without blinked and twisted it painfully. “Take it back,” he demanded. But he only received screams as an answer. So he took the knife out and brought it down again. “Take it back,” he repeated, ignoring all his shrieks and the tears running down his cheeks. “Take it back!” he shouted as he repeatedly brought his blade down, overwhelmed with hatred and rage. This would go on for quite a long time. The screaming stopped. The scalpel was dropped due to exhaustion. Blood was dripping onto the floor. All was quiet in the laboratory underground. “Take it back…” Midoriya was left sitting on top of the hips of a corpse, blood drenching his face, his clothes, his arms, everything except his mouth and hands as they were covered.

The night light was peaceful at least. The windows of Todoroki’s room got a lovely view of some of the city, letting the moonglow and city colors illuminate it comfortably. Quietly sneaking in and shutting the door behind him, the little villain was silent in his steps towards the bed where a peacefully sleeping, beautiful hero was still resting with his dog nuzzled into his chest. And he stood at his bedside, above him, just watching him for a few delicate moments. Blood dripped from the upper half of his face to the lower, his hands were covered in it from the flow down his arms. His clothes had not yet been changed. He was drenched in the blood of the boy he just slaughtered, and all he wanted to do was see his beloved again. Without thought, he reached down to gently caress his cheek, accidentally smearing blood on it. Surely he would clear it later. “I’ll save you from all pain… I will. I promise…” he whispered lovingly.

Chapter Text

Midoriya had pulled up a chair to Todoroki’s bedside with the backrest facing the sleeping hero, letting Midoriya sit backward and watch him for the entire night. He had dozed off at least a few times in the night but was able to mostly stay awake to just keep Todoroki in his sights. He was such a beautiful sleeper after all, he didn't want to look away for a moment. There was no trace of Kosuke’s blood in the room after it was wiped from Todoroki’s cheek and Midoriya had taken a shower to wash it all away. Todoroki didn’t have to know about his other life. Not yet. Surely he had lost an incredible amount of faith in All Might but he didn’t trust that it was enough to change his morals. He was too kind.
When it reached a more reasonable time in the morning, Midoriya followed a fairly usual routine to sit with Shigaraki and Kurogiri at the bar where Kurogiri had already made breakfast for them. Although Shigaraki’s was some sugary concoction that should not be consumed so early. “Someone looks tired.” his older brother commented, watching the little villain sit down. “Couldn’t sleep.” Whatever he had done last night in the laboratory was not settling well. He’s killed before. He’s tortured before. He’s heard threats and cries of agony all before. But… wishing pain and misfortune on Todoroki with a last dying breath, it was bothering him. He would never let something bad happen to his beloved hero but it wasn’t like he was strong enough to protect him. He wanted to watch Todoroki sleep out of paranoia as if something terrible would happen to him just because his last victim wished it. In a state of drowsiness, he merely picked at his breakfast with his eyes closing for a few seconds at a time. “I saw your lab.” Shigaraki mentioned after moments of silence. “You didn’t clean it this time. You usually do.” he reached over and lightly poked the other’s freckled cheek and received a small grumble. “He said something that got to me. I got worried about Shouto and wanted to check on him right away…” Midoriya said truthfully, more than willing to talk openly with this family he had. He casually pushed Shigaraki’s finger away and rubbed his eye sleepily. “He died enraged. He told me that he hoped Shouto would experience a painful death. And…” he trailed off, looking towards the staircase that would take him back to the living spaces, suddenly feeling the need to go check on Todoroki again. “I just want him safe. I want him to be happy and feel like he’s free to be himself here.”
Shigaraki’s eyes were on Midoriya but he noticed a very small portal appearing behind the boy’s stool and a foggy hand reached to secretly snatch his phone. He glanced at Kurogiri and saw him put two phones under the counter while the little villain ate. He was getting Todoroki’s phone number. “You think he’s ready to come over?” Shigaraki then asked, eating a piece of chocolate which was surely part of a balanced meal. But Midoriya shook his head. “He’s too nice.” It was one of his favorite things about him. “He’s the type that would try to forgive his father and Kosuke for all that they’ve done if they showed even a sliver of hope for change. He doesn’t have a hateful heart.” Not like them. Two brothers fueled by hatred and have a disregard for mercy against those they couldn’t tolerate for more than a few minutes. Todoroki wasn’t like that. But… “He gets pushed around by the school, his father, and his classmates. I’ll teach him how to hate them for how they treat him.”
Shigaraki watched Midoriya’s phone be snuck into his pocket where it originally was by a dark fog portal. He never noticed. “By the way, what do nomu eat?” He then asked, changing the subject suddenly. Shigaraki brought his hand to his chin. “Well, I think they’ll eat anything. They eat vegetables, I know that.” Midoriya made a small smirk.“You mean you gave it the vegetables you didn’t want that Kurogiri tried to make you eat.” Thus Kurogiri folded his arms and glared at Shigaraki who just rolled his eyes with a smile. “I won’t disagree.” Midoriya took out a notepad from his pocket, as it was rare to see him without one on him, and went to a section that had a sticker poking out of it. He had a sketch of the nomu but there were very few notes surrounding it. He helped provide the research to make this beast and yet he knew so little about it. Todoroki was still sleeping so he debated as to whether he should use his time to go examine it for a little while. It wouldn’t hurt for a little less than an hour, right?
And thus Kurogiri provided Midoriya with various types of foods in a large sac and the boy went down to the holding room below his laboratory where the nomu was being kept. He dragged the sack inside because of the weight of how much the dark fog dad filled it, always willing to help the little villain further his research. Entering the holding room, as what was expected of a brain dead creature, it was sitting in the exact same spot, completely still, wide-eyed, and chained at every limb. Midoriya fearlessly laid out all the food he had in front of it separately. There were citrus, vegetables, candy, pastries, fish, red meat, white meat, chips, bread, cheeses and a small pile of heavily processed snacks. He then flipped a switch to unlock the chains and free the monster only to have it stay in its place. He took note of that. Even when given food, it will not eat right away.
Midoriya then picked up a piece of bread and looked to the nomu as he threw it as high in the air as he could. “Eat,” he commanded and thus watched the massive thing bolt in the air and land aggressively on the other side of the room with a loud chomp from its toothed beak. It only eats on command. It could also kill someone by biting. The little villain then stepped back and gestured to the long line of food he had set up. “Eat… carefully.” he specified. Thus the beast slowly lugged itself to the mass of different foods and appeared confused as it tilted its head, making a small, low noise. It has difficulty following vague commands. “Pick the one you like most.” Does it have preferences? He watched it raise its head and make another sound, turning its head to look at all that was laid out and ended up dragging its feet to the section of meat and used its hands to eat it much more calmly. It likes meat. Do all of them do? Or just this one? “Eat your least favorite.” He waited until it was finished to say his next command and saw that it went to the vegetables. “So you have preferences…”
The little villain walked up to the creature as he had it eat the rest of the food and started getting a closer look at the way it moved. He walked with it, noting its pace and how it moved its legs. It had feet like a human. It walked hunched over because its muscle was too big on its back. Its brain twitched whenever obeying a command. It never blinked. There was a point where Midoriya held a loaf of bread and fed the monster by hand and then reached with the other to pet its beak. When it finished its eating, finished its command, it froze as the boy pet it. He smiled at it with a giggle. “You’re not so scary like this.” such a powerful, aggressively moving, and ugly creature, it was so tame under his hand and words. He looked into its eyes it felt there was more than just a brain-dead creature in there. These did have a human foundation after all. Who was it? “We’re going to make a big impact together.” he grinned happily but then flinched when he felt a vibration. He didn’t pull his hand away but tilted his head at the feeling until he heard a low sound coming from it. Growling? No… “Y-You... It purrs?!”
Midoriya took his hand back and then rapidly wrote down more notes. Did it have feelings? Did it have a conscious? It’s brain-dead, but is the human consciousness powerful enough to surpass it in small bursts? Did something trigger emotions? He had so many questions about the source but these were questions he would have to ask the man who made these things. “Could you stick your hands out? Like, cup them together?” he asked and then watched the nomu cup its hands in front of itself and keep them low to the ground. It takes requests as commands. Midoriya smiled and then approached the massive thing and climbed into its massive palms, laying down in its hands like a hammock. “Bring your head down.” he gestured and had the nomu’s head come down to him as he continued to pet its beak once more and heard it purr again. “I’ll tell Dad to bring you lots of meat from now on. But I can’t stop my big brother from bringing you his vegetables.” he chuckled. “I’ll make sure you’re taken care of here.”

Midoriya grumbled, tossed, and turned in his sleep while on his side. “Shouto…” he sounded distressed in his mumbles with his face scrunching. His eyes tightened and his hands clenched in stress until he pushed himself up in an awakened state. “Shouto?!” He shouted, looking around panicked and finding himself still surrounded by the metal walls of the holding room. He glanced down at the giant hands he was still laying down in. The nomu had been cradling him as he slept the whole time. It was clear, however, that he was gifted with a nightmare and his heart was racing with anxiety. He made sure to grab his notebook as he vaulted out of the monster’s hands. “I’ll come back tomorrow morning, but right now I need to go check on someone!” Without chaining it back up, Midoriya took the elevator up to the living space floor. Nomus didn’t do anything without command and the little villain trusted it to behave in the holding room.
Midoriya ran out of the elevator the moment it opened and went to Todoroki’s door. He was fine. Surely he was fine. He would be in there, in bed, sleeping peacefully with Zuzu. He would be sleeping in, wake up refreshed and knowing that no one was going to hurt him here. They could talk for a little, maybe they could get a little closer, go out for the day to get some fresh air and be normal teenagers. He was safe. Kosuke’s wish would never come true. He was gone. He could never hurt him again. Todoroki could live a happier life without him now. That’s what Midoriya hoped when he turned the doorknob.
Walking inside, he released a big sigh seeing milky sunlight peeking through the curtains and giving a warm atmosphere around the boy sleeping in bed with his dog by his side. His hair had gotten messier throughout the night, yet it was a kind of cute messy fluff. Midoriya found it funny that it may be because of the heat in his quirk. Underneath the white blankets, he seemed so comfortable and cozy if it weren’t from the tears the sun made sparkle on his cheeks. He cried in his sleep often, though it was never sobs or whines. It was always silent and still. His face was beautiful and unmoving as a tear trailed from the corner of his eye. Midoriya couldn’t help himself but to sit on the bed in the empty spot beside him and used the back his finger to wipe it away and then ran his hand through his hair gently. “You don’t have to cry anymore… I’m h-” he whispered but then froze when he saw Todoroki’s face twitch.
Midoriya took his hand back as he saw his beloved hero’s eyes open only halfway and saw that they were instantly drawn to him. “Hey…” Todoroki said quietly without getting up, taking advantage of this rare opportunity to be lazy. So the little villain took the opportunity to run his fingers through his half and half hair again with a soft smile. “Hey.” He looked so pretty like this, he couldn’t resist. He could play with his hair all day. He watched him even lean into his hand in an almost cat-like manner. “You wanna do anything today?” Midoriya asked.
“Sleep.”
“Sleep all day?”
“Yeah.”
Todoroki closed his eyes and pressed his head further into the pillows making Midoriya giggle. He couldn’t blame him for wanting such a thing. But they finally had a whole day together and the first thing he wanted to do was go back to bed. He was so quiet and aloof, but he had a sleepy and juvenile nature. Going along with this lighthearted mood, Midoriya carefully crawled on top of him but kept most of his weight on his hands and knees. “Don’t wanna go out?” he asked cheekily. Todoroki turned on to his back, looking up at the little villain above him sleepily. He then reached his arms up and pulled the other down to bury his face in his chest. “We can stay right here,” he mumbled. Midoriya just let Todoroki hug on to him and smother himself as he took advantage of his position and twirled red and white in his finger. “All day?” he asked. He felt a nod in his chest. His hero was a lot less tense in the morning and it was a new side he got to see. “You wanna-” he was going to offer something for him to eat but he was cut off by a kiss on the lips.
The two pulled away and Midoriya held himself up on his hands again. Staying in this room all day with Todoroki didn’t sound like a bad idea. Seeing him acting so soft and clingy, he caught himself blushing while looking down at him. His beautiful hero underneath him like this, he sat down on his torso and leaned down to cup his face in his hands. “This is fine,” he mumbled and then resumed their kiss blissfully. His hands moved from his cheeks to his chest, feeling his heart beat rhythmically under strong muscle and fabric. He’s always had such a strong heart, he remembered feeling it against his back on that rooftop. When he felt it on the first day of school when Kosuke shoved him into him. If only he could get even a little closer to it. “Midoriya,” Todoroki mumbled, slipping from the kiss for half a second. But it seemed the other didn’t quite hear it. “Izuku.” he was still getting used to the first name basis. And yet Midoriya wasn’t quite paying attention, too focused on their kiss and something else. Todoroki didn’t seem stressed about it as he kept his eyes closed. But the third time, he opened them ever so slightly. “Izuku,” he said just a little louder and clearer, making the freckled villain pause.
“Hm?” Midoriya pulled back a small bit and opened his eyes. “Yeah, Shouto?” he had gotten pretty invested in the moment. “Your hands.” He had no idea what that meant until he looked down and his face turned bright red. Too invested. Far too invested. His fixation on his heartbeat caused him to rudely sneak his hands underneath his beloved’s shirt all the way up to his chest. “S-Sorry! I’m sorry! I’m really sorry!” He instantly pulled them back to himself and crossed them across his own chest. He felt so terribly embarrassed for doing such a thing. It was rude and distasteful to do such a thing when they had just started finding romantic interest in each other mutually. This was too far, too soon. His impulse control had been deteriorating the more he’s lived in a villainous mindset. But that wasn’t an excuse. “Th-That was so bad I-” he shook his head and looked away, too ashamed to look Todoroki in the face. In turn, inviting a gentle kiss on the cheek that had him stop his panicked apologizing.
“It’s alright.” Todoroki’s voice said ever so softly. Turning to face him, Midoriya saw a smile similar to the one he saw last night at dinner. “I’m not mad.” Of course he wasn’t. He wasn’t the type to get angry at something Midoriya felt so guilty for. “Just ask me next time.” He took hold of the other’s hand and held the tips of his fingers against his lips, tilting his head and shifting his light bedhead hair with bright sleepy eyes. “You could never hurt me.” And Midoriya looked at the beautiful boy pressing his lips into the pads of his fingers and felt a hard twist in his chest and stomach. It really hurt. It hurt to see him like this. Todoroki’s standards of affection were so horribly low that he would let Midoriya do anything to him because he was so much nicer to him than Endeavor. That shouldn’t be where the bar was. “Shouto…” Midoriya began. “This alright, right?” he asked. He took his hand back and began fiddling with the lower rim of his shirt and looking down at it. “Like… you want this too, don’t you? You don’t feel obligated or anything? Just because I got you out of the house doesn’t mean you have to like me like I like you.” It hurt so much. It hurt that Todoroki could be doing this out of obligation. And it hurt to let him know that he didn’t have to do that. He wanted him to stay so badly. He’s wanted this for so long. He’s dreamt about it. His hands went from fiddling with his shirt to scratching his wrists by now. “Are you sure you even like boys like that? So it’s… I care about you a lot. But I don’t want you to force yourself-” He felt soft fingertips touch his forehead and then trace down over his eyes where his new scar was.
Todoroki silently traced the red line while tilting his head ever so slightly. By the look in his eyes, Midoriya could tell he was thinking. He was so quiet most of the time, it was obvious that he was constantly thinking. So much to say, but so much he didn’t want to say which would give him even more to think about. “I like Izuku,” he said quietly yet clearly. “I want Izuku to have everything he wants. And I want him to be happy.” He rubbed the back of his thumb under Midoriya’s seeing that they had begun to water a few moments earlier. “I feel bad that Kosuke hurt you because of me. But… I was happy that you cared.” He reached to pry Midoriya’s hands away from his wrists to get him to stop scratching. So he held his hands instead and just looked at them for a while. “And I care. I care about how people treat you and how you treat yourself.” He had noticed that Midoriya did not take care of himself. He didn’t care about himself that much anymore. His initial problem, the one that drove him to the roof of that school, had never gone away. “I want to care for you as you do for me. It feels nice like that, and like this too.”
Todoroki raised his gaze to look at Midoriya’s face. “It feels best like this.” It seemed that Midoriya verbally expressing his anxiety gave Todoroki the power to answer and provide him the comfort and assurance to ease him. The only thing he had to hide was his double his life, but he didn’t have to hide his feelings and fears. He could talk to his beloved hero and his hero could talk to him. They were already doing that. Asking for help when they needed it and being there when they needed it. All the comforting assurance of this made the pain in his chest fade into bubbly warmth as he lost his control, wrapped his arms around Todorki’s neck and forced him to lay down again to hug him tightly. This time Todoroki brought his hands around his back without hesitation as he felt the freckled teenager nuzzle into his cheek and heard him giggling cutely.
Soon, a cold nose poked at Todoroki’s other cheek. Looking over, he saw Zuzu pawing at his shoulder and wagging her curly tail. He saw her and then saw her glancing at the kotatsu where there were two plates of a full breakfast sitting and then a bowl of scrap meat. “She doesn’t like to eat without me,” he said, petting her head and then sitting up again with Midoriya. A hungry puppy was enough to have the two get up and move to the kotatsu. Midoriya watched Todoroki more than he ate and found it rather cute how he fed Zuzu pieces of meat in rhythm to how he ate. It seemed that she preferred it that way. It made him wonder if Endeavor tried to withhold food from her. Todoroki may have tried to fast or share his meals which would anger the hero that wanted a physically fit to perfection son. While thinking about this, he tried to think when Kurogiri dropped the food off just now because it was still warm. Did he see anything that just happened? He blushed just imagining it… how embarrassing it would be if he did.
Soon after the meal, Midoriya left to his room to change into fresh clothes for the day, leaving Todoroki to do the same. Upon returning in a dark green hoodie he found Todoroki in a bit more color with a light blue plaid shirt over a white shirt and jeans. He got him out of bed after all. But it was likely due to Zuzu constantly walking in circles around him with her leash in her mouth. “The mall okay? We could look at new clothes for you to keep here and get lunch too.” Midoriya had never gone to the mall with anyone besides his mother before. This was something normal teenagers did, wasn’t it? This was something couples did too? “Yeah, that sounds good,” Todoroki answered, kneeling down to get Zuzu ready to go as she did some tippy taps with her paws. It gave Midoriya the second to text Kurogiri that they were going out. “My dad will take us there so shut your eyes, okay?”

Without questioning, Todoroki shut his eyes and allowed him and his puppy to be taken to a small quiet area around the corner from the biggest mall in the city. Considering the existence of quirks, including quirks that make people gain parts and appearances of animals, no one questioned Zuzu being brought in. Especially since she was so well behaved. With dog leash in one hand, Midoriya couldn’t help but stare at his other hand. Amazing that they could kiss first but he was far more nervous about holding his hand. They were simply walking beside each other in silence that he felt was terribly awkward but saw that his beloved hero was focused and staring off at everything around him, always so observant. Always thinking.
Why were there times that it was so easy to get close with him, to tell him everything he was thinking, to smirk and be confident in everything he was saying? And then others where he was too timid to even look at him in the eye or reach for his hand? There was a part filled with confidence, maybe arrogance, a desire for Todoroki to trust him unconditionally without reason. He craved his affection. He would die for his obsession. But then he was self-conscious, anxious, and worried that Todoroki was with him because he felt obligated to. He wanted him to have a choice and be true to himself before anything else. He wanted him to have self-respect, not an obsession. The things the little villain wanted kept contradicting. What did he really want? What life was more important to him? The one with a bloody scalpel in one hand… or the gentle hold of his beloved hero’s hand in his other? Why did he need to think about these things now? What was wrong with him?
“Izuku?” Todoroki had been a few paces ahead with Zuzu and stopped, taking hold of Midoriya’s hand in his. It felt so warm. “What’s wrong?” Could he tell something was wrong? Midoriya patted himself on the cheek a few times to get his bearings in reality. He was also checking to see if he accidentally started crying. His skin didn’t feel moist. Todoroki just knew something was wrong, even if he didn’t show any physical signs of distress. Even Zuzu had approached him and licked his other hand for comfort. “Just… overthinking.” Midoriya answered with a timid smile before giving his hand a small squeeze. “There’s been a lot on my mind lately. But I feel better about it all when you’re here.” His beautiful hero’s presence just made him more confused. But he still wanted him to be around him, always. “Anyways, where do you want to start?”
With Todoroki’s inexperience in clothes shopping and Midoriya’s complete lack of fashion sense, the two tried their best to find outfits for the half and half hero. However, thankfully pretty boy nature instincts were able to kick in and save both of them. Though he was confused by brands and sizing, Todoroki was able to try and buy decent clothes, letting Midoriya hold Zuzu when he tried things on and paid. He was fine with carrying bags, but the little villain suddenly had a need to try and hold them with his skinny arms instead. He would let him have his way but it got to the point where the little villain had to drag a single bag, to which Todoroki would take it back from him and get a pout in response. But halfway through their afternoon together, they stopped at a small cafe in the shopping center. Midoriya sat at a table and was patiently waiting for his hero to come back. And so he played on his phone for a bit, scrolling through news and social media casually. He paid a bit more attention to articles on the Sudden Disappearances case. They made him smirk. Endeavor was going in circles at this point.
“What the hell?!” the little table Midoriya was at shook as someone’s boot slammed down on top of it. And he knew exactly who it belonged to. And when he heard the yelling and felt the slam, he did not flinch or jump. He merely put down his phone, face down, and slowly turned to face his old childhood friend that was wreathing in anger. “Medical program?! The hell is that?! You were never into doctor stuff!” Bakugo was dressed casually, probably out at the mall to do some personal shopping of his own. It was common knowledge that he couldn’t hold his temper when Midoriya was in his sights. “Guess the hero stuff just didn’t work out.” Midoriya shrugged, keeping a calm yet bored tone. His eyes had gone dark. His eyes had gone dark. Bakugo didn’t intimidate him anymore. He’s done things that would give him nightmares for the rest of his pathetic life. “And you just gave up on it that easily? What the hell is that supposed to be?!” He was always so loud. Midoriya found himself closing one eye whenever the other opened his mouth in reaction and protection from getting spit in his face. “Noisy…” he grumbled, making a vein pop out on Bakugo’s forehead. His anger was so over the top that it wasn’t scary anymore. “What’s wrong with being a little realistic?”
A little realistic. Yeah. That’s what All Might said, wasn’t it? Midoriya smirked at the thought of actually taking the liar’s advice. How silly. He wasn’t listening to All Might, no, he was listening to someone so much better. “I just got curious and then gave myself a chance. Then I figured I could make a bigger impact doing this instead.” He smiled with his cheek his palm. Shigaraki guided him to this, not All Might. Todoroki inspired him, not the pros. “Think you’re too smart to be a hero? That better not be it!” Bakugo took his foot off the table and instead slammed his hand down instead. He was just begging for a reaction that he was never going to get. “Think you can look down on me like-!” Midoriya shut his eyes listening to him talk because it was so unbearable. When they opened again, they had that infamous glow while glaring at him. “I never said that.” he started sharply. “You keep thinking people are looking down on you when no one is. It sounds to me that you’re just an insecure adolescent who doesn’t get enough reassurance even though he gets it from literally everyone. Maybe start listening to what people are actually saying and you learn a thing or two about how they actually feel.” He wasn’t sure if he pissed Bakugo off more or scared him into silence. But seeing him with such an odd face of confusion and shock made him grow a crooked grin. “You have an amazing quirk Kacchan.” How he’d love to see it forced to its max potential in life or death. He’d love to rip his arms open and see the damage to his muscles and tissue. What was his body’s limits? “No one’s saying that you don’t. You just think it isn’t good enough when you look at people who are more skilled than you. I can’t outpower you.” He held back a giggle as much as he could but it just made his twisted smile more sinister. “But I could tell you which part of you is most likely to explode into little pieces if you go too far.”
Bakugo gritted his teeth and took a half step back listening to Midoriya go off. The freckled boy was inches away from snapping. He’s seen this side of him toned down just once in school. But this was a whole other level. That cute little boy who wanted to help anyone and everyone in need, who wanted to be there for everyone with a smile, to protect the people around him no matter what… Bakugo growled and reached to grab the collar of Midoriya’s shirt, leaning in to get close and personal. He wasn’t afraid. He wasn’t going to let this bastard get to him. “You’re not Deku....” For once, he didn’t shout. But even that was not enough to make Midoriya’s crooked grin falter. “Deku wouldn’t say shit like that. What happened to you?” The little villain couldn’t keep his laughter in as he let a small chuckle escape him then with his eyes innocently closed. It truly sounded evil despite his cute face. But that cuteness went away when he opened his eyes halfway and they were bright red. The scar made them look more unkind. “I guess the Deku you liked so much dived off the roof, just like you wanted.”
It was then that there was a small thud on the table and a cold hand gently placed itself on Bakugo’s wrist. “Do you mind?” Todoroki had come back with two drinks that he placed on the table and now he was trying to keep the peace between Bakguo and Midoriya. Bakugo looked shocked to see his classmate together with the twisted boy in front of him. “You? What the hell are you-” he had seen them together in the hall and together at lunch period. But now they were spending weekends together? At least he thought that until Midoriya reached for Todoroki’s upper arm and pulled him with just enough strength to bring him into a surprise kiss. The move made Bakugo instantly back off as he was nearly mortified by what he was seeing. The strongest guy in his class was being pulled into affection by the loser he used to bully and beat on all the time. But that loser had changed into something he couldn’t understand, and it was something he didn’t want to interact with anymore. When they pulled away after a few moments, Todoroki’s hair had a small flame on it which Midoriya patted out playfully with his face back to normal. “Should we really be doing that with people around?” Todoroki mumbled, feeling his head to make sure the fire was out. The little villain just chuckled and blushed happily. “Couldn’t help myself! You were gone for so long, Shouto.”
Shouto? Bakugo’s hand twitched hearing the first name referral. And seeing Shouto become so awkward and soft-spoken despite having a cold and stern exterior in class made him even more confused. Why did he let Deku do that? How did he let Deku do that? That fire-breathing nobody battered him a lot but that was probably to stay out of trouble and to keep from making a scene, even though that backfired in the end. This guy was a terrifyingly powerful quirk was letting this quirkless nerd pull him around like this. “If they stare then they’re the rude ones. So do you mind?” Midoriya said to Todoroki lightly but then turned to Bakugo with a darkened glare.
Bakugo didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know how to talk to either of the teenagers in front of him. He watched Todoroki lift Zuzu on to his lap and then push the smaller of the two drinks on the table to Midoriya. “I said you didn’t have to get me anything, I’m not hungry. But thank you though.” the freckled boy said but took it anyway. They looked like a normal couple, they were happy to be with each other. But Bakugo was just sensing that something was terribly wrong here. “I don’t know what you see in him, but something’s not right with him. Be careful, yeah?” The most he could do was give Todoroki a warning before walking off with his hands shoved in his pockets. But Todoroki only shrugged as he fed a small ice cream to his puppy that he had kept in his pocket. Why would he ever listen to someone that bullied the light of his life?

By the evening, there were empty plates on the kotatsu in Todoroki’s little apartment, the tv was on the news, Midoriya was leaning back against the headboard of the bed with Todoroki resting his head on his chest and the Zuzu taking a nap on Todoroki’s abdomen. Todoroki looked half asleep but it was likely the lazy atmosphere that was getting to him and making him all the more cuddly. It did not help that the freckled teenager was petting his hair again; he reached for his wrist when he tried to stop. “Can you keep doing that?” he asked. The little villain blinked and then giggled, putting his fingers back in the red and white strands. “You like it when I play with your hair?” Midoriya asked almost teasingly to which he got a nod in response. It made him chuckle so he proceeded to pet him with one hand and scroll through his phone with the other. This kind of silence didn’t feel awkward. It was nice.
“I swear that I will make these streets safe for everyone and their families. I will not allow these disappearances to keep happening. Finding the villain behind this is my top priority and they will be brought to justice by my agency. We know for certain that when these incidents occur, they are alone. There are never any witnesses. So it is highly recommended that you always accompanied by a friend or family member at night or in secluded areas until we have arrested the evildoer.” The two listened to the tv to hear an interview with Endeavor about the Sudden Disappearances case. How Midoriya would love to laugh in his face because the same person he was looking for had his son snuggling in his arms like an adorable cat. “He makes it sounds like they’re going after anyone,” Todoroki mumbled sleepily. “So far, it’s only been heroes, criminals, or people who’ve had shady activity that disappear. He’s just trying to make himself look better by protecting innocent people.” he turned his head to nuzzle further into his little villain’s chest. “He’s not protecting anyone…”
Midoriya changed the channel knowing his hero would rather not listen to the previous one. And they continued the evening relaxing like this in blissful quietness until the freckled boy started looking outside. It had gotten dark after a while and he began to think of an idea and then leaned his cheek on his hero’s head. “You wanna do something?” he asked vaguely, causing Todoroki to shift. “I used to sneak out a lot at night and uh… I used to cause some trouble. Nothing dangerous, but it was still fun. And I was just thinking that it’s been a while.” Perhaps this would be an opportunity to get his gold-hearted hero more in touch with his dark side. He clearly had one. His temper being lost with Kosuke was no fluke, but rather pent up anger and pain that needed to be expressed. “I just spray painted a bunch of stuff and I got a lot of feelings out. You wanna try?” He looked down at Todoroki to see him looking right back at him. “Sure.”
"Really?"
"Yeah."
"It's vandalism."
"S'okay." Todoroki shrugged and Midoriya was almost surprised by it. He had to remember that his pure-hearted hero was still the rebellious type. But was he this rebellious? "No hero impulses want to stop me?" he asked, just checking to be sure. "Not really." It appeared that Todoroki would get more from his time spent supporting Midoriya than trying to stop him. And if the little villain was able to get some feelings out by acting in delinquency, then maybe the hero could too. “Let me tell my dad,” Midoriya said, going on his phone.

Deciding that Zuzu should stay home for this outing, only Midoriya and Todoroki were dropped off in a dark alleyway in the depths of the city in more darkly colored clothing. Todoroki opened his eyes to see where they had been sent to and appeared curious by his surroundings. Someone who was kept inside a mansion would usually be kept far away from places like these and yet this was where Midoriya said he hung out a lot. Stray animals were creeping around, garbage and glass scattered, graffiti at every turn, and rotten smells filling the air. He’s been sheltered from this part of the city for so long. Before he could become too curious, Midoriya took his hand and began walking with him, navigating the maze of alleys and backroads from memory. “My home life was fine, really. But I didn’t like being cooped up in my room all the time and I didn’t have any interests to work with in the day time. I spent a lot of nights out here blowing off steam.” he explained as they walked, passing multiple tags on the walls around them. “Blow off steam?” Todoroki repeated. “I was really mad at everything and I still kinda am sometimes. I was mad about being quirkless, and I was mad about how Kacchan treated me and how all my classmates would laugh at me. I wish my mom had more faith in me. I wish heroes were true to their personas. And sometimes I just wished-” he stopped himself and shook his head. He didn’t need to continue. “You shouldn’t keep things like that all bottled up. Sometimes you just gotta let the world know that it sucks. You’re supposed to walk around and act like everything’s fine but nothing really is… so coming here was a good way to stop pretending.” They both began to shimmy down a very narrow gap between buildings before popping out the other side where there were a few abandoned buildings and they would be able to see a few stragglers sleeping in one of them for the night. Midoriya lead Todoroki to an empty building that was halfway towards falling apart by going through a small hole in the wall with poorly placed planks over it. There was a big enough gap between the wood for them to slip through. “You have lots to be angry about. Don’t you think you deserve to break? You can show me how unhappy you are, you know? You don’t have to hold back your real feelings from me.”
Todoroki took his hand back and held his wrist, suddenly appearing distant in the idea of vandalism now. Midoriya stopped to look back at him, baffled by his hesitation. “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea,” Todoroki said calmly. “The last time I snapped, I’m pretty sure I almost killed someone. I don't want to go too far again." If only he knew the one he almost killed had already been killed. Yet Midoriya was patient with him, knowing this was not going to be an easy change of darker heart. So he took both his hands with a smile and giggle. "I wouldn't worry about stuff like that. He deserved it, didn't he?" Then he reached over to flip the hood on his beloved hero's jacket over his head. "And you deserve to be pissed off and have a little fun." He pulled a black flu mask out of his pocket and hooked the strings around the other’s ears to hide the lower half of his face. His eyes glowed bright green with a wide grin across his face. He was adorably alluring. “You hold yourself back from doing things that you want to do because of the consequences and what people will think of you. Well, you can let loose here. You can do what you want, the world is yours with me.”
“Are you sure that’s okay…?” Todoroki asked quietly, his eyes focused on a random piece of trash on the ground. “Is that really okay for me to do?” With only his eyes visible to show emotion, he expressed an extreme level of uncertainty. Midoriya let go of his hands and went to go rummage around the inside of the abandoned building until he pulled up a loose floorboard. Prying it up from the ground, there was a small hole underneath with a black bag hiding in it. Picking it up and going through it, he stacked at least a dozen different colored spray paint cans in a line and then inspected them to see if they were all still useable. “It’s okay with me.” he then said after at least a minute of silence. “Do you need permission from anyone else?” He packed up the cans again and lugged the bag over his shoulder before making his way back towards the hole they came in through. He looked back at Todoroki before climbing through and saw that he was following him. The only one’s permission he needed was the killer he had fallen for.
Midoriya took him to an empty brick wall that belonged to a vacant building not far from the one they came from. He put the bag down and picked out a red can to start with before shaking it well and removing the cap. “Be careful not to breathe this stuff in, it’s poisonous,” he warned, putting a flu mask over his mouth and then beginning to paint. He left the bag opened on the ground for Todoroki to go through, but instead, the hero appeared content with just watching the little villain do his signature tag, ‘Heroes Lie’. He remembered seeing it around a few times and Endeavor pointing out how petty it was. There was one tag of it on the back of his agency once. But instead of being propaganda against heroes, however, he now realized it was more of a warning. A warning to not put all of your trust into such a flashy idol. For now, he just sat next to the bag and watched the other graffiti the wall in silence. Something about all of this felt wrong. He’s done things to spite his father, but this was a willingness to participate in illegal activity. And yet… watching the green-haired boy blissfully paint, watching him smile and hum to himself, his eyes bright with a mischievous and fun-loving glow, he wanted to feel that way too. To be at peace with his philosophies about how he felt about heroes.
Soon Todoroki stuck his hand in the bag and found himself a royal blue spray paint can and looked it over a few times, doing double takes between it and Midoriya. “Do you think… I should keep trying to be a hero?” he asked. “You don’t have to try. You’re already a hero. You’re my hero.” the other answered back so quickly, so casually. His back was towards him, hiding the smirk he was making, “You’ve been my hero since the day I first met you. I felt like nothing. All Might and Kacchan made me feel like nothing like I should just give up on everything I worked for. But you made me feel like I could do anything. Heroes don’t need colorful costumes or big smiles or even big muscles… sometimes heroes can be a really pretty boy whose quiet most times, in a white hoodie who told me I could still make an impact.” But… “But I think you should stop trying to be what Endeavor and All Might are. Being a hero is just a career title to them. You’re not like that. You don’t need that title.”
Todoroki stood up with his head down and began to shake the can before taking the cap off. He began aggressively spraying in a zig-zag motion in the shape of a circle with royal blue and then grabbing black to spray around it aggressively. He moved his arm side to side quickly with his finger holding down the trigger as hard as he could. Inside the black, he added a red ring inside and watched the red drip down the wall from having too much sprayed at on the wall, and yet it appeared to be on purpose. And lastly, he took white and finally wrote words within his bubble of blue, black, and red. ‘Never My Hero.’ His left hand twitched afterward with a can still in his grasp. He felt like an idiot. Why had he been striving to be the same thing as two people he couldn’t stand anymore? All his suffering was birthed from a rivalry with All Might that was only one-sided by now. His family suffered because of it. And even when he was right there, All Might never stepped in to help or even tried to notice the problem. “So stupid…” he felt so stupid. He felt so played, brainwashed with childlike fantasies of being like the amazing man on tv. How was it that he was still clinging to an idiotic dream like that? Midoriya watched the red can in Todoroki’s left hand from the corner of his eye, he could warn him what would happen if he let it heat up too much. But he’d rather watch this play out as silently as possible and only speaking to fuel his inner emotions. It was cruel. But Todoroki needed to become more in touch with himself. “No one came to help you, right? You think it was a secret that your family split up all at once?” Surely heroes that worked with Endeavor would be aware of some instability in the household. And yet no one had done anything. “There are exceptions, but they’re not the majority.” Like Aizawa and Yamada. They cared. But not everyone was like them.
Midoriya was spray painting the wall around his signature tag, just destressing himself with art instead of violence. He didn’t flinch when he heard a small explosion and saw red paint splatter over a small portion of his work. While he was calmly doing his thing, Todoroki was next to him with gritted teeth, his mask pulled down, and twitching hands, covered in splotches of red. “Go on, don’t hold back.” the little villain encouraged with a calming voice. “You can use your fire how you want. Even destruction.” Endeavor used his fire to represent his heroism, using it for intimidation to bring his version of justice. Todoroki wanted to twist that. His fire would not be used for justice and saving, because that’s what his father would want. It should be used for what it truly represents. “It’s your power. So make it yours.”
And that was a trigger for Todoroki’s left arm to flare up and for him to focus a blast towards a small abandoned shack-like structure that was barely standing just behind them. Midoriya continued to peacefully paint with a tranquil smile under his mask with glowing green eyes as fire behind him illuminated behind him and made shadows against the wall. He heard banging of trash cans, smashing of abandoned items, smelt burning garbage, with the looming scent of smoke and exploded spray paint in the air. He let Todoroki blow up in a mental meltdown, keeping blissfully to himself while his hero cracked. He heard him quietly swear through his heavy breaths as he was wearing himself out. But it didn’t stop a moldy old chair from being thrown at the wall beside him and then while it was still up against it, blasted with fire to incinerate into ash in a moment. He didn’t even jump at the slam or the intense heat. He merely giggled at it. His quiet, reserved, mature beloved was finally letting it all out. He would be a killing machine with just the right motivations. But for now, he’d let him do his thing for about an hour.
Eventually, the loud crashing and banging became less frequent, the heat was less intense, the bright flashes making shadows stopped, and all that remained was a subtle heat, the popping of burning scattered garbage, and smoke. Midoriya turned around and found Todoroki on his knees with his arms shaking and his head lowered. His chest steadily rose and fell as he heavily breathed to catch his breath. He was still covered in red paint splatter. Midoriya playfully walked around, picking up their half-filled paint cans and hummed as he placed them back in the bag one by one. He swayed a bit in his step like a carefree child until he zipped the bag up and strolled over to his near exhausted partner, standing above him, in front of him. He pulled his own mask down before lifting Todoroki’s chin with a sweet smile. “Your power is so beautiful. Just like you.” He then leaned down to kiss him with his chin still resting on his pointer finger. His power was his. I represented him. His fiery passion, his hatred, his embarrassment, his anger. His cold exterior, his anxiety, his loneliness, his pain. All of him was beautiful. He loved all of him. He slowly pulled away from the kiss to find his hero with a single tear in his scarred eye as they were both half-lidded and tired. “I love you, Shouto.” He whispered, moving a bit of his red hair back. It looked like he had more to say but they both quickly turned to where they heard rummaging around the corner.
“There was a noise complaint in this area. It’s probably a stray cat or some damn kids.”
“So late at night? Such a pain.”
“We gotta check these areas out, remember? What if someone else goes missing on our watch?”
It sounded like three cops coming for a noise complaint and Todoroki was awfully loud in his breakdown. Midoriya quickly grabbed the black bag and took Todoroki’s hand, making a run for it. By the time the cops trudged through all the garbage, they were long gone with a few small fires left unattended on the ground, illuminating their artwork on the wall. ‘Heroes Lie’ and ‘Never My Hero’ had been slightly smeared in ash, but now a big black heart surrounded the two tags with one more written in white above them. ‘We Fell’

Chapter Text

The dawn of the next weekday morning began with Midoriya peeking into Todoroki’s apartment space and bedroom just before his alarm was supposed to go off. He found him sleeping completely still with an unnatural lump under his shirt, though he knew what it was when he saw a paw with delicate toe beans poking out from underneath. “Shouto…” he hummed, going closer to the bed and sitting down beside him. He placed his hand on the sleeping teenager’s forehead and tried to lightly shake him awake. “We have school today…” he reminded. Yet the only response was some tired grumbling. Perhaps hero school wasn’t so appealing to someone who didn’t believe in heroes that much anymore. Though the knowledge that he would likely have to return to the mansion that afternoon was not that appealing either.
As punishment for not awakening to Midoriya’s soft nudges, Todoroki was greeted with a blaring alarm from his phone that was much more annoying and displeasing. He growled as grumpy narrowed eyes opened and he hastily reached for his phone to shut off. He looked pissed to be alive. In an attempt to soothe that anger, the little villain leaned down to kiss his forehead. “Good morning, Shouto,” he smiled. And then Zuzu wiggled up his shirt and gave him a few kisses to his face too. At least he woke up surrounded by love.
Kurogiri delivered breakfast secretly once again and gave the two plenty of time to prepare themselves for the day. Midoriya had Todoroki close his eyes and step into a portal to take them just down the road from their school and as they walked together, Todoroki felt his phone vibrate. He received a text from an unidentified number.

Unknown: I will bring your dog home safely this afternoon as well as your things. Text this number if you ever require Izuku’s or my services again. -Izuku’s caretaker

He looked at his phone curiously, wondering if Midoriya gave his ‘dad’ his phone number or if had he gotten it secretly. He could ask, and yet he didn’t. Instead, he added the number to his contacts as ‘Izuku’s Dad’ and somehow he felt more secure with this number than he did with just his own father’s. He’d be sure to use it for emergencies only as he didn’t want to impose. Whoever was in this family had done so much for him, more than anyone has done in such a long time. “Your dad must be really nice,” he commented plainly, putting his phone back in his pocket. Midoriya smiled and scratched his cheek with his index finger. “He totally is. He’s awesome.”
Upon entering, Midoriya could tell Todoroki was not happy to be at school. His eyes looked like they had on the first day: cold, distant, isolated, and bitter. Midoriya wanted him to get his feelings out the night before, letting him get a taste of emotional freedom; but he felt bad for bringing it out so much that it was lingering like this. So before they parted, he got on his toes to grant him a quick kiss on the cheek. “Have a good day today, okay? I’ll see you at lunch.” he smiled sweetly. “We could even sneak outside to eat instead. Does that sound good?” He could tell that Todoroki didn’t want to be near people, to be near heroes and hero wannabes.“Yeah, that sounds nice.” he agreed. It was all perfect timing.
Midoriya sat down in his homeroom class to find a piece of paper on his desk to be filled out. Their newly elected class president was setting them down for everyone to fill out individually. They were sign-ups for the annual Sports Festival. Because they were in a General Studies course, those that were interested in the hero program would be able to sign up and give it a shot. Others could back out and watch with an extra assignment in hand. It only took one glance for the little villain to mark off the ‘not interested’ box. He didn’t want any part of this ‘festival’ when it was more like a dogfighting ring. Imagining Todoroki taking part in it pissed him off. All those people watching him and only appreciating him for his quirk, bidding on him to join their agencies, encouraging him to mindlessly fight his classmates for a chance at a better social status in hero society; it was disgusting to think about.
As he turned in his form to the class president, he peeked back at Shinsou sitting alone at his desk. He was hunched over the paper with his hand in his hair, seeming a bit stressed out in silence. Midoriya nearly pitied him. He could only wonder what his backstory was and how it brought him here, clawing desperately for acceptance. Trying so hard to be a hero even though nobody trusted him. Why not just give up?
After general classes, all the students were brought to the observation room as usual. Midoriya watched Todoroki struggle with his frustrations. His ice was more jagged than usual. There was more excess frost than normal. His breathing was not rhythmic and his precision was off. He had so much on his mind but he wasn’t allowed to let those feelings out at school. They would always hold him back if he went into the hero field. They would never let him express what he was really feeling and always tell him to hold his power back and hold his tongue. Shigaraki would never allow for such a thing. The path to villainy was neatly paving its way for him at this point. It would be tempting, irresistible even. His attention was pried away by the sight of Yamada and Shinsou conversing beside him. Shinsou still had his form in his hands and had almost filled it out to participate in the Sports Festival and the teacher was leaning over his shoulder with a kind smile, as supportive and caring as ever. “What if everyone just gets more scared of me…?” the tired boy asked quietly. “You never know if you don’t try. Maybe a pro will see something, like I do, in you and ask to be your mentor. It could open up so many great possibilities for you.” He was just getting his hopes up naively. Midoriya could only pity him. “Quirks don’t define you as good or bad, it’s your choices and intentions. Watching you, I know you want nothing more than good for people. So?” Yamada shook him a bit with a hand on his shoulder, encouraging the boy to take a chance to be something he’s wanted to be. And yet he still seemed unsure, yet comforted. “I think you should.” Midoriya wasn’t thinking when he spoke. Something just slipped out as he was staring down at his notebook that was opened to a page of Todoroki. What a world it would be if he had never succumbed to villainy. Would they have become heroes together? “You can be a hero.” he smiled but a tear fell from one eye on to the paper. If someone could have just told him that.
Both Yamada and Shinsou turned to Midoriya and didn’t see his tear from their angle but heard the smallest quake in his voice to know what he was really feeling. But hearing the little villain so pained, Shinsou nodded and finished filling out the paper much to Yamada’s pride in him. Midoriya watched the form get handed off, surely their teacher would just slip it in with the rest. “Try to smile a bit more. Confidence in yourself is key to strength.” Yamada said with a little nudge to the purple-haired student. “And there’s lots to smile for when people believe in you.” and with that bit of advice, a half-smile rose from the student, though it did look a bit scary. He was just doing his best. Midoriya also smiled softly hearing what was said, turning to the page in his notebook that had a sketch and a few notes on Shigaraki. His art skills have gotten much more impressive despite clear eraser marks around the face of his sketch. He was sure to have him drawn with a slight smile. When people believe in you, huh?
Midoriya was sure to greet Todoroki with a bright smile after they met near the cafeteria exit. Both of them had taken food and put them in little boxes with chopsticks and snuck out of the school to spend time in the field around the building. There was a line of trees and bushes that were planted for decoration and a gap in the center, so it was the center that they decided to sit down. It was much quieter there than it was inside and Todoroki appeared far more relaxed this way, comfortable with just them. He soon laid down with his head on Midoriya’s thigh as they peacefully ate. “Hey, Shouto…” Midoriya began after chewing and swallowing a piece of sushi. The other tilted his head to look directly up at him to show that he had his undivided attention. “We’re… boyfriends, right? That’s okay?” Could they call themselves yet? He was itching to know if he could officially be boyfriends, partners, lovers. “Yeah, I think so,” Todoroki answered, appearing to be thinking about the question a bit more. Neither of them had a relationship like this before, so he was probably just as thoughtful on the matter. “Would that make you happy?” Todoroki asked back and received a kiss to his forehead. “You make me happy.” Midoriya giggled. But then Todoroki placed his chopsticks in his box and reached for the other’s hand. He played with his fingers for a few moments before pinching his sleeve and pulling it back. He could see some skin that was scabbed and irritated for occasional scratching. Appearing displeased, he began to trace the scabs carefully with his fingertip. “You don’t hurt yourself when you’re happy?” he questioned, poking at a part of his skin that wasn’t wounded. He wanted to make him happy regardless, but he would work extra hard to make sure he didn’t harm himself. “Yeah… that’s right.” Midoriya took his hand back with a blush and used it to pet the silky two-colored hair, just as Todoroki liked, watching him close his eyes peacefully at the action.
Their peaceful time together was suddenly interrupted by a blaring alarm. Todoroki sat up instantly at the sound while Midoriya remained calm, even smirking at the sound as his eyes regained their subtle glow of mischief. Big brother was finally placing his cards. “That’s a security alarm,” Todoroki said, looking around for the source of a possible intrusion. “Is someone attacking-” he was about to stand up when the little villain gently wrapped his arms around his neck and placed his chin on his shoulder from behind. “Relax… It’s probably nothing.” he slowly pulled him to have him lean his back into his chest as he held him lovingly. Although the taller boy was more than strong enough to deny his hold, he submitted to it, finding comfort in it that overpowered his anxiety. “You’re safe here. You’re safe with me.” he nearly cooed, stroking his cheek with the back of his fingers.
It was very soon, within minutes, that they would notice the main entrance was open with a small crowd of news reporters standing in its place. Aizawa and Yamada were there, holding the ground between them and the building. “They’re technically trespassing, so they’re kinda like villains. So why don’t we just beat them up?” Yamada said quietly with an annoyed expression. He could tell that the students must be stressed out inside trying to evacuate all at once from the same room. “We just want to ask All Might a few questions! Is that so much to ask?” The press pressed, trying to coax the teachers into letting them in. Aizawa only glared in frustration. Journalists were always so obnoxious to him. “I know how you people work. You get an inch and you expect a mile.” His eyes narrowed. “You’re disturbing my students. Leave now before we call for authorities. And besides, it’s his day off.”
Todoroki couldn’t hear the situation at the front gate but he could tell that there was no obvious danger. Then he turned to see one of the hallways, through a line of windows, that it was completely clogged with panicked students attempting to leave the cafeteria all at once. It was an even more intense stampede than the one that enters during lunch period. Someone was bound to get hurt, trampled, or worse. With that thought in mind, Todoroki escaped Midoriya’s hold thoughtlessly and stood up. “Iida,” he said to himself, running off towards the windows. Midoriya’s eyes went red hearing that name come from his beloved’s lips. Even after everything he’s done for him, that four-eyed bastard was still on his mind. Why couldn’t he just forget Iida? Why couldn’t he just see him and him alone? Why, after all this, did he still hold on to his worthless classmates? But Midoriya knew, even though he desperately wanted to, he could not bluntly pull Todoroki away from those he had desperately become attached to. Even though he wanted to scream at him, to demand from him to only give him his attention, it would be cruel to him. So reluctantly, he followed him to the windows.
Todoroki watched through the glass as Kirishima, Kaminari, and Sero were practically swept away trying to calm the panicking students down. He tried knocking on the glass to get anyone’s attention, to tell them that nothing was wrong, but no one heard. “Someone’s going to get hurt,” he mumbled, taking out his phone and going to an app to type something out. Who cares? They’re only trying to be popularized liars. Midoriya wanted to tell him to just forget them, to come to cuddle with him under the trees again. Instead, he watched him desperately search for someone through the glass. And it was soon that the very person he was worried about was squished up against a panel. “Iida.” Todoroki ran to his classmate that was being pressed against the glass and waved at him to be sure he got his attention. They couldn’t hear each other, but he saw the engine-legged hero mouth his name in confusion, to which he would show him his phone screen.

-There’s no one attacking. A bunch of media workers broke the gate. I think they just want to see All Might. Mr. Aizawa and Mr. Yamada are taking care of it. Do you think you can tell everyone?-

Iida read the message and looked around, thinking of an idea. He gritted his teeth as he was further pushed against the wall. Then he pointed upward. He needed to get high in the air for everyone to see him, to get everyone’s attention. “Up? You need to get up?” Todoroki asked meaninglessly, trying to be certain that he was reading his gesture correctly. Hoping he had the right assumption, he placed his hands on the glass to begin to freeze it, freeze through it, freeze the ground under Iida’s feet, to make it rise and make him rise with it. He branched the ice to the ceiling, to create a bar that reached to the end of the hall and above the fire doors. He watched Iida grip the bar and use his engines to propel himself forward and get to the end. Although he did not break quickly enough and slammed into the wall a bit harshly. What Midoriya would give to have him hang like that and use him as a target for knife throwing.
“That was brilliant, Todoroki! I admit your quick wit and precision with your quirk. Allow me to thank you on behalf of the other students for helping me ease the chaos.” Iida shook Todoroki’s hand enthusiastically in the hallway after the evacuation was done and everyone was allowed back in. “You were the one that told everyone. I didn’t do much.” Todoroki said modestly, Midoriya stood behind him, glaring daggers at the blue-haired student before them. He wanted to bite his hand off. “Give yourself more credit! You’re amazing and you are incredibly kind.” The tallest of the three took the half and half teenager’s hand in both of his, clasping it warmly. “You’re modest too. You really are a great hero, Todoroki.” he smiled. Midoriya nearly snapped as he watched a blush grow on his beloved’s cheeks while he looked away shyly. How dare he. How dare he try pulling him away, coaxing him into a world of liars and false idols. His kindness was a fraud like the rest of them! How dare he try to take him back to the world he’s been trying to free him from!
“I don’t like the way he talks to you,” Midoriya grumbled as they stood outside the school entrance as the evening drew near. The end of the school day had come and nearly everyone had left except a few teachers and the two students. Todoroki was not eager to return home, but Midoriya was not eager to leave the campus with this jealousy festering inside of him. “That guy with the glasses. I don’t like how he talks to you. I-It’s like he’s trying to take you away from me.” Todoroki listened to the little villain and watched him begin to pry at his sleeves and quiver, “I-I know he’s nice to you. But how he looks at you, how he held your hand, how he talks to you… He’s not better than me, is he?” His hero wouldn’t abandon him too, right? This genuine hero. He wasn’t like the others, right? Maybe he liked taller guys. Maybe he preferred strong quirks. Maybe he liked constant confidence. Maybe… the little villain wasn’t good enough. But Todoroki took the little villain’s hands before leaning down to peck his lips softly. “I love Izuku. Not Iida.”
Midoriya looked up at his beloved, the sun behind his beautiful face. He felt his soft hand against his freckled cheek. “No one can make me happier than you.” Todoroki gently spoke, his calm aura cooling the tension and anxieties. “No one knows me like you.” he brought his hand up to kiss his palm. “There’s no one I trust like you.” Midoriya’s quivering eased slightly as he went forward to hug on to Todoroki, pressing his cheek into his shoulder. That’s right, Todoroki wasn’t like other heroes. “If something happens again, you tell me right away. I’ll be there. I’ll get you out of there.” And he still needed saving too. The two parted ways to return home, Midoriya put earbuds in to listen to a recording of Present Mic’s latest podcasts. It was something he never stopped doing from when he was a kid to when he became a twisted doctor.

Midoriya tossed his bag on the red sofa in the bar before sitting down on the stool next to Shigaraki. It was odd to not see Kurogiri behind the counter this time. And instead of a home-cooked meal or a balanced snack, all that was there was a half-eaten bag of chips. Regardless, he took a few to munch on. “Is this dinner too?” he asked. He had little doubt that his big brother knew the first thing about cooking. How were they going to survive a whole day without their fatherly figure? “Yup,” Shigaraki said while going through his phone, looking through news articles on the Sudden Disappearances. He needed to stay updated on where Endeavor’s agency was going with the evidence that they had. The moment they would start to suspect Midoriya or get close to the bar would lead to a different course of action being taken. “What are they doing these days?” Midoriya asked, trying to peek by leaning over and up against Shigaraki. “They’ve got the teleportation quirk user down. They know someone like Kurogiri is with us.”

“Anything else?”

“They know we go after people walking alone in secluded areas. More people have been out with a second to prevent me from getting to them. But that’s alright, I have other means.”

“Has Kosuke Hiro been labeled as missing yet?”

“While you were at school. I don’t know why his parents waited so long or if the police were stalling. I think they were trying to prevent panic in the public by not telling them that we go after kids too.”

“Why does da- Kurogiri need to be gone all day? Couldn’t he just go in, do the thing, and leave?”

“Kurogiri can warp to places he’s been, not just to places that he wants to go. He’s wandering the whole campus to make sure we can be dropped off in the best spot. It takes a while to sneak around without getting caught in a place like that. Any more questions?”

Shigaraki turned to Midoriya to see him resting his face comfortably against his arm. He never expected them to get this close and comfortable with each other. A part of him even ached at the sight of the scar on his eye. “Are you doing okay?” Midoriya asked, his final question. It made Shigaraki blink a few times. That was such an odd question to ask. “Just tired…” he admitted quietly. “Not a good sleeper? Me neither.” Two tired boys. Two tired boys being tired together.
“How did you meet your master?” Midoriya then asked randomly. His eyes looked ready to close as he was leaning against his big brother. He hadn’t realized how exhausted he was until he sat down. And now his curious mind was wandering. “I think I’ve repressed a lot or something’s been repressing things for me. I just remember being little, people walking past me, people ignoring me, being alone, I don’t remember what I was feeling. Maybe hatred, maybe not. But I remember being relieved when he found me, offered his hand, and took me in.” Midoriya nodded as he listened. Thinking about one of their first conversations, he remembered that Shigaraki was very understanding when he brought up why Todoroki meant so much to him. “How about your little prince charming?” the older villain asked. It made Midoriya scoff to himself and avert his eyes embarrassingly. “I almost jumped off a building when All Might crushed my dreams. Someone told me I should kill myself and hope for a quirk in my next life and I was actually going to do it because no one believed in me. And I was really close too. But he came out of nowhere and stopped me. We talked and he inspired me to make an impact a different way. And ever since then I’ve been wanting to kill his bastard father because someone who saved me doesn’t deserve to suffer in that ass’s care.”
Midoriya had avoided telling Shigaraki he attempted suicide because he feared it would make him appear weak and unreliable for being too fragile minded. But now, after the time they’ve spent working and living together, that fear was nonexistent. Though he was caught a bit off guard when he felt an arm around his shoulders and someone’s hand in his hair. “I’ll kill the guy that told you to kill yourself,” Shigaraki mumbled. Kill Bakugo? “Anything you hate, we’ll find a way to destroy it. And I’m going to teach you how to do the basics of that.” Midoriya looked to Shigaraki a bit confused and then felt him move. The taller villain got down from his stool and motioned for the little villain to follow him to the elevator.
The elevator did not go far down when it brought them to a brightly lit room with a wood floor and traditional Japanese wall panels. It almost looked like an at-home dojo. “What’s this about?” Midoriya asked, looking around and finding a closet in the wall filled with different blades of guards that could be attached to specific parts of the body as shields. “Ever since you came back with that scar on your face, I knew I had to find a teacher for you sooner rather than later. I’m still looking. But for now, I need to teach you how to protect yourself.” Shigaraki wasn’t about to bring Midoriya to a fight without any training or practice. This was a bit last second, but something was better than nothing. “I’m not the person to teach you how to hold a knife and stab someone efficiently.” He couldn’t even hold a knife correctly without destroying it. “So I’m going to teach you how to move and look.”
Midoriya appeared baffled but something in his heart fluttered. He was getting a chance like this, a chance to be stronger even without a quirk. He looked at Shigaraki who was across the room from him, but in a moment it was like he disappeared and reappeared closer but diagonally from where he was originally before disappearing again. And before the little villain knew it, he found himself on his back, looking up at the ceiling, on the floor. He forgot how fast his older brother was. It was scary. “We’ll start by training your eyes to keep up with me. You need to see things coming.”
Midoriya was allowed to change into a hoodie and sweatpants for this training so he could have more movement compared to when he was wearing his school uniform. But even with greater mobility, he was smacked around quite a bit. He would be tripped, flicked, tackled, punched but not too hard, kicked, and choked over and over again. He was spotted in bruises from the neck down. Shigaraki was simply too quick for his eyes to follow, too agile to avoid, and too flexible to be dodged. There was improvement made where the older villain was forced to change his methods, but only slightly. This was all trial and error, using reflexes and rapid eye movement training. It wasn’t much, but it was a start to get the little doctor on the battlefield without getting captured immediately.
Breaks were granted, of course. Shigaraki was not about to be the type to torture Midoriya until he got it right. Training would take time and at least a few days so he was going to stay patient and let the skills come and grow naturally and respectfully. All of this and a fair amount of praise would be enough to keep the little villain motivated. The idea of being believed in this much by his big brother had him beyond inspired. By the end of the evening, Midoriya was smiling cheerfully with confidence and eating a bunch of unhealthy snack foods for dinner because that’s all they had. While the two ate together, Midoriya had pulled out one of his notebooks and began asking Shigaraki questions about his quirk and physical prowess, taking notes on everything he said. “You better not think about using me as one of your subjects.” the older villain grumbled but the other just snickered teasingly. “Never~”.
As night approached, Midoriya went down to his laboratory to clean it as he had left it a mess when Kosuke was tortured and killed on his table. However, he was surprised to see that it was cleaned for him. He sighed at the sight of his stainless tools and shining table and desk. “Thanks, Dad…” he mumbled. Kosuke’s body was not on the table. The cage he had been imprisoned in was empty. With a shrug, Midoriya returned to the elevator to go up to his room and retire for the night. Yet, the moment the doors closed, the boy swore he heard a loud bang from the other side of the metal. But he ignored it.
By the next morning, Kurogiri had returned to provide the two with a healthier meal in place of all the junk they consumed the evening before. He was also there to warp the boy to school where Todoroki would meet him near the entrance to the main building. Casual conversation would ensue and the taller boy would explain that nothing happened the other evening because Endeavor was called to a shady part of the city to help in the investigation of finding the missing Kosuke Hiro. Midoriya expected Todoroki to be relieved that he was left in peace, but found him to be rather anxious and bothered. “He went missing after he got suspended,” he said, looking at his hands, remembering how that had wrapped so tightly around his throat. “It’s my fault he got suspended…” Midoriya was quick to take his hands to reassure him that his disappearance was not his fault. He smiled sweetly and told him to not let it eat at him. Just telling him to focus on his boyfriend, just think about his boyfriend, just think how happy his boyfriend makes him. Don’t think about Kosuke. Think about me.
The two parted to go to their separate classes, letting Midoriya walk past the teachers’ lounge. Normally he would pay no mind to it, ignoring all the pros that would stay there to finish their teacher work although it was usually empty at this time. However, this time he noticed two people in there with the door barely cracked open. It was likely that it was supposed to be closed. “He’s missing… How could that even be? He’s just a kid.” Midoriya quietly went to the door to eavesdrop and watch through the little gap in the door. It was Aizawa and Yamada. Aizawa looked restless. “He was just supposed to be punished for starting a fight and bullying Todoroki. How could he go missing?” He was pacing back and forth as Yamada sat on one of the tables, just listening to him and appearing hurt and worried. “Were they targeting him? Were they just waiting for an opportunity like this? Someone has to be pulling strings-” Yamada stood up when he had heard enough, probably listening to him for a while now, and took him by the shoulders. “It was the weekend. All of the kids were out, it was probably just a coincidence. You can’t be driving yourself crazy over this, not when you have other students that are just as anxious.” Midoriya watched Yamada pull Aizawa out of his view but he heard them both go silent for a few moments. “We’re just going to do what we can as teachers and as heroes to keep the students we have contact with safe. We’ll have to leave the search for him to Endeavor, as much you can’t stand the guy. He’s a hero too and I think he’s capable.”
Midoriya heard the bell, as did the two teachers, and he made a run for it before he was caught listening to them when that conversation was meant to be kept private. But as suspected, many, if not all the students were on edge. After the ‘false’ alarm of yesterday, and the declaration of Kosuke going missing, everyone was glancing out windows, peeking around corners, and refusing to go anywhere by themselves, to wander off campus alone. They all suspected an outside force, stalking and threatening them from higher ground. They were left helplessly oblivious to the snake that was sitting behind them in class, beside them in the hall, living amongst them and in their midst, camouflaged as an innocent student.
And for days Endeavor's agency would ponder the disappearance of Kosuke Hiro. Teachers would be paranoid to leave their students unattended, worrying about what would happen to them as they walked back home in the evening. Students were fearful to walk home alone, family and friends meeting them halfway to make sure there was someone there to be a witness to anything. In a sea of worried, frightful people and heroes, a smirking quirkless boy was giggling in his murderous mischief. And the little villain would let the city live in their own paranoia as he put down the scalpel for some time to train his physical capabilities with his big brother. All the energy he had, made of the anticipation for a surprise he had set up, needed to be worked off.

Almost to the end of the school week, much of the anxiety in the students did not fade away yet. Even in Todoroki. Though his anxiety was not made of fear, rather it was guilt and confusion. He and Kosuke had never gotten along, not even for a few minutes. Not once were they kind to each other. To have such a poor relationship with someone who had gone missing ate at his conscious, though Midoriya was always there to soothe him and tell him that it was not his fault that their friendship was non-existent.
Midoriya could see the distraction in his training. His head was not focused on the tasks at hand. His ice was scattered and without a pattern, and his hand to hand combat was sloppier though still impressive. Though the same could be said to all of class 1-A. Even Bakugo's rage was more intense and thus making his movements more direct and predictable as well as destructive. Aizawa was bound to mark everyone down, but probably not as harshly as usually would, thanks to All Might's suggestions to take it easy on the students.
It was lunch period. Everyone was walking to class. The stampede that had taken place at the start of the semester had filtered out due to other students timing themselves to not all leave at once. But everyone was walking slower than usual. Many were covering their noses. A rotten, disgusting odor was plaguing the hall to the cafeteria. Some had covered their mouths as the air even tasted revolting. Many complained and decided to just turn around and skip lunch as the smell ruined their appetite. It would make any weak-stomached person vomit. Yet Midoriya appeared undisturbed by it in the crowd echoing with complaints of the stench.
"What the actual hell? Can someone just open a window?" Bakugo growled, covering his nose and mouth. His eyes were darting all over to try and find a source, ready to show no mercy if it was just someone's body odor. That person wouldn't be alive any longer if it was, but this stench was far too strong for it to be something as basic as that. "Maybe an animal crawled in a vent or something," Kirishima said, trying to think of a valid answer as he walked beside him. They weren’t particularly close; they’ve hardly even spoken to each other. But they were forced side by side by the crowd. “Half-and-half, can you go any faster? I want to get in to get away from this smell. It reeks!” They were both behind a few students, but directly in front of Bakugo was Todoroki. “Can only go as fast as everyone else, sor-” Todoroki was going to apologize but was cut off by surprise when a drop of liquid dripped onto his nose. He completely stopped, making the grumpy blond bump into him. “Why the hell did you stop?! Keep-!” Bakugo shouted before he too stopped speaking when a drop fell on to his cheek. “What the…” he swiped his thumb over the drop and saw that it was dark red, almost black. He, Todoroki, and Kirishima all looked up at the ceiling to see the crevice between two tiles had a dark liquid dripping down below with a dark splotch staining the ceiling.
Bakugo narrowed his eyes and slowly backed up, raising his arms to the side to keep other students back from the stain that appeared to be growing ever so subtly. Todoroki backed up in the opposite direction to also clear the way from any students walking underneath the leak. Kirishima stepped out from underneath and looked around to see some students carrying on their way while others were noticing the dark spot above them. So many drops had fallen at this point, a small puddle was beginning to form on the ground. The wretched odor was strongest in the very spot they were standing in. It was then the angered look in Bakugo’s facial altered into something that made Midoriya smirk crookedly in the distance. “Guys… I think I should get Mr. Aizawa…” Kirishima said quietly, ready to make his way to the teacher’s lounge when there was a loud cracking in the ceiling that gained everyone’s attention.
A portion of the ceiling collapsed. Something had been weighing it down from the inside and ruining the material it was made of. A corpse. A corpse fell from the ceiling. The dead body of Kosuke Hiro had fallen from inside the ceiling above the three students. It reeked of decay. Magots had begun to infest it. Its chest and torso had been ripped open with its insides mangled from stabbing and cutting, and blackened with burns. The inside of its jaw had been burned and flesh weakened so it appeared to barely be dangling to the rest of its face. It landed on its back, its head lolled back as its eyes appeared to deadly stare at Todoroki, leaving the rest of its decayed, rotting self on display for the students around to bask in terror.
Todoroki, Kirishima, and Bakugo had all been splashed in reeking and darkened blood that flew out when the body hit the hard floor. The three were left silent and paralyzed at the sight of their slaughtered classmate while many of the other students screamed and ran from the scene. Pushing, shoving, crying, shrieking, nearly all that had happened in the last alarm from the unknown was now happening much more intensely from the known. The body of the missing boy had been hiding amongst them all this time had now shown itself in its horrific glory. But the little villain, standing still with a crooked grin was not finished with his surprise. With his hands behind his back, up against the wall, inside his shirt, he held a small device that consisted of a single button. He pressed it once. And somewhere in the building, there was a small explosion, but not one of gunpowder and fire. Students that had tried to flee by turning back were sprayed with a blast of preserved blood that had been set up to blow up in their faces. At the moment the blood packet exploded, the screams became louder to be followed by more intense and frantic crying. Make an impact. He would make an impact. He’d let these students and pros see something they’d never forget.
Todoroki had fallen back with his hands propping himself up, all he was able to do in his paralysis of fear. The corpse of his former bully was staring at him. Blood was all over its face, its ripped open torso clear for him to see. Its arms splayed out from the fall, skin pale and torn with death and decay. He couldn’t break eye contact with it. He couldn’t look away from it. Its jaw was left wide open to see into its mouth, to see its burnt tongue infested with maggots, its skull beginning to crawl out of its flesh. And yet its opened eyes were staring into him. The dulled golden eyes pierced him, locking him in his place on the floor. The disgusting death of his classmate, the cruel death of his former bully, the disrespectful placement of the body. What could have happened?
Bakugo and Kirishima’s legs had both given into the weight of the air, causing them both to collapse before the corpse of their former classmate, left to stare at the revolting entrails and revealed bones. They, too, were paralyzed by the sight. Bakugo shook in his mental struggle to move again, to move and run away, to get as far away from this thing as possible. “What… wh-what…” he could hardly bring himself to speak. The student who always had something to say, something to scream, and now he had such difficulty speaking a single sentence. “Wh-what… happened to y-you?” he asked in a voice barely above a whisper.
Amongst the chaos, it wasn't long for the teachers to sprint out of the lounge to be greeted with students running past them, covered in blood, only for another small explosion to go off and spray more on them as they tried to exit out of an emergency door. Many of the older students had taken the charge to guide the younger students out safely.
All Might appeared in his muscle form beside both Aizawa and Yamada the three nearly stunned by the scene at hand. There was blood everywhere from little explosions that were going off at random in almost every hall. At the moment, the teachers were mortified at the unknown fact of whether the blood drenching the kids was their own or someone else's. Were they hurt? Were they being attacked? What were they running from? There were so many of them fleeing, crying, some were even frozen in the corners being too frightened to move. What if there was an enemy outside waiting for them? Waiting to do what had been done to the missing boy. With haste and little time for hesitation, All Might improvised by punching a hole in the wall where a door was to make it bigger and more accessible to more students. With great speed, he bolted around, picking up students that were stuck in shock, collecting them in his arms and taking as many as he could find and carry. Yamada did what he could, guiding the newer students to closest exits while on his phone with other staff members. "Is it safe outside? Are there villains out there?" He asked, wanting to be sure that he wasn't leading the kids into more danger. "We've surveyed the campus, we couldn't find anyone! What's going on in there?!" The one on the line was pro hero Thirteen. "I don't know. Shouta went ahead to find out."
Yamada continued outside to guide as many students out as he could find. And then with his loud voice and flashy appearance, he began separating students by class to make sure everyone was accounted for. Thankfully, the kids knew better to stick with most of their class, letting those who've strayed away rejoin them instead. However, when it came to his own class, he nearly became frantic. "Where's Midoriya?" he asked, searching amongst his class. Boys and girls were covered in blood, huddling together for comfort while a few were standoffish. Half of Shinsou's face was blanketed in red, and yet he kept his distance from the rest and was also looking for his freckled classmate. "Shinsou, have you seen him?" Yamada took his shoulders and asked. "I… think he was close to where the body fell." Yamada's grip tightened slightly. "Body? What body?" He shook his head, he didn't want an answer from a kid. "Stay here, make sure no one goes anywhere unless a teacher says so. I'm entrusting them to you, alright?" Surely this was not the time to put pressure on a new student. But he trusted him to be responsible and make the best choices he could. And with a hesitant nod as an answer, Yamada ran back into the building as fast as he could. "Midoriya?!"
Going back in, the building was practically silent, abandoned. The halls splattered with blood, loose papers scattered and drenched, neglected backpacks, and some uniform blazers left behind. He paused before going in further. He never thought teaching would bring him back to a near warzone-like sight. But he ignored his racing thoughts and ran further inside, following the footprints left behind in blood from students' shoes. He had to go to where they were running from.
And thus the three teachers were reunited in the hall leading to the main entrance of the cafeteria. Bakugo, Kirishima, and Todoroki were still stuck in shock were they had fallen back. Bakugo still shook violently, trying to bring his body to move away from the corpse that was still before them, its blood pooled around it and reaching the teenagers around it. Aizawa had also found himself frozen place at the sight of the corpse of his dead student at the same side of the hallway as Yamada. Yamada wrapped his arms around him from behind, hugging his chest tightly. "Don't look at it. Don't look at it. Focus on the kids we need to get out of here." He said quietly with his forehead against the back of his neck. All Might stood at the opposite end of the hall and was shocked by the sight of the mangled corpse. Surely he's seen worse elsewhere. But this was a child, his student. Kosuke had been a bully and a disruptive boy, but he couldn't bring himself to believe he deserved this kind of death.
All Might approached Kirishima and Bakugo from behind as they were closest to him. He knelt down and carefully took the blond in one arm and the redhead in the other, lifting them away from the fallen body. "I am here…" he said quietly. He was here for the two teenagers in his arms. But he couldn't be there for the one that had been stuffed in the ceiling for days. He looked to Todoroki who was still unable to break eye contact with the corpse, unmoving, and silent.
It was then Yamada and Aizawa got on either side of Todoroki, both taking hold of his arms to try and break him out of his trance. "Todoroki, we have to go." Aizawa shook him slightly but couldn't get a response from him. "Todoroki. Todoroki, can you hear me?" A few explosions had gone off. Aizawa wondered if one was ever close to his head that hurt his hearing. "We need to get out of here. Can you stand?" Yamada tried getting his attention but it was no use. His focus was centered on the dead body, entranced by the revealed organs and bones, the lifeless wide eyes, the dangling jaw, and limpness of the whole body. He almost killed Kosuke one afternoon. And here was, dead in front of him. This is what he wanted… wasn't it?
"Shouto~" A sweet voice called from behind, coming closer at a calm pace, causing Todoroki to finally blink. Midoriya appeared from around a corner, soaked in blood as well with his blazer off and over his shoulder. He smiled so softly, too naturally given the situation. The freckled boy walked around to kneel down in front of Todoroki and cup his cheeks, having his raise his gaze from the corpse to his beloved with glowing green eyes. "We have to go, okay? We have to go outside with everyone else. You'll come with me, won't you?" he asked, attempting to wipe away some blood on the taller boy's face with his blazer, but it only smudged. Todoroki nodded slowly and let Midoriya take his hands to pull him up from the ground. Aizawa and Yamada were left in shock at the quirkless boy's calmness and smiling face. Yamada presumed it was a false face of courage he was putting on for the sake of someone he truly cares about. But in those glowing green hues, Aizawa swore he saw something different. Something that wasn't safe.

Authorities and people of Endeavor's agency rushed the building as soon as everyone was evacuated. Ambulances were lined up, tending to any injuries that may have occurred during the sudden stampede when the body fell. Every student that was present that day was officially accounted for in groups on campus. Todoroki and Midoriya, Bakugo and Kirishima were reunited with their classmates as the classes were placed right next to each other in the field. Kaminari and Sero hurried to Kirishima's side when they were set down by All Might, worried for their friend. "Dude, are you alright? What happened in there?" Kaminari asked without thinking but then realized that Kirishima probably didn't want to talk about it. "N-Nevermind. Don't think about it." Instead, Sero and Kaminari found it better to just lightly hug on to his shoulders, just letting him know that they were there. And yet the redhead reached to take hold of Bakugo's sleeve in a death grip. Without a second thought, Bakugo did the same to him, finding just a minuscule amount of strength to move again.
Midoriya walked Todoroki to sit under a tree, the one where they had recently been sitting under at lunch. The freckled boy still smiled softly, sitting on his knees behind his beloved hero and gently petting his hair. "Todoroki!" As much as he hated that voice, he still kept up his smile. Iida ran away from a conversation at the sight of Todoroki being returned to the rest of the class but Midoriya held a hand up in front of them before he could come any closer. "Give him space. He just needs space right now." He hummed, nuzzling into his neck, keeping up with the petting. He took his hand back and wrapped it around his hero's chest, to hold him closer. Todoroki's eyes were half-lidded in mental exhaustion and weakness, most of his body limp from the shock. He had nothing to say to anyone at the moment, stuck in his own head and only hearing Midoriya's words. Iida gulped and was hesitant to argue with the shorter boy. So he sat down and let them both be, though watchful eyes in the distance were much more suspicious than he was. Aizawa had been trying to comfort a few of his students but he looked over at Midoriya and narrowed his eyes in a glare. He watched the boy move his hand from Todoroki's hair to cover his eyes, still holding him at his chest and whispering into his ear, eyes glowing brightly and a smile crookedly wide on his face."You don't need to fear Shouto… I'm here…"

Chapter Text

Parents came. Mothers and fathers of all walks of life came in a hurry to take their children away from the school grounds. No one was going to be left to walk home alone this afternoon. One by one, students were collected by emergency care stations to have detectives and EMTs take samples of the blood that had been splattered on to any of the children. It was after that and a quick check-up were the families allowed to leave the campus. There were cries from both the adults and teenagers, the wave of relief in all of them that the corpse was not their son, and that the corpse was not them.
Midoriya sat back against a tree with Todoroki leaning the back of his head against his chest, limply exhausted and only finding comfort in the little villain’s petting and his occasional soft words. There was a point that the dual-haired student closed his eyes and drifted off into resting his eyes. No one would probably come for him. Endeavor was already on the campus grounds so his parent was already here to take him home when he was ready to leave. Half of him didn’t want to leave. Somehow sitting in the presence of a tortured corpse while in his beloved’s arms was more appealing than being home with his father. Someone would have to take care of Zuzu. Fuyumi would. He could rest in relief at the thought of her taking care of his newfound pet.
Some students would have to wait longer than others due to parent work schedules and how far away some of them were to the school. But when the news and the phone calls began, most came faster than they ever had before. The area where Yamada and Aizawa’s class sat, the few who remained were Shinsou, Uraraka, and a few strays from the General Studies course. Some of their families were likely not as fortunate in wealth and would not be allowed to leave their jobs in a timely manner or find an inexpensive way to travel as quickly as possible. Midoriya had seen Aizawa sit down next to Uraraka and occasionally make conversation. There wasn’t much else he could do but wait with her.
Inko came. She had come to the front gates in panicked tears when she saw students covered in blood walking out with family to leave. What had become of her Izuku? Was he just as frightened as all the others? Was he by himself, waiting for her? She had sent him to this school with such high hopes and great expectations. Who would have imagined that he would be living with someone she’s never met and be coming to take him away after a terrible scene. She hasn’t seen him in so long. She’s missed him. When she was guided to where the two classes were, she was in shock to see him gently smiling, petting a boy’s hair she didn’t recognize, looking as calm as could be. She saw the scar on his eye. Where had that come from? Who had done that to her precious baby?
“Izuku?” she choked. Midoriya looked up at his mother, deer in the headlights expression. How would he explain any of this to her? He couldn’t tell her the whole truth. Todoroki slowly opened his eyes, looking to the woman that was standing in front of them, her hands balled near her chin with her face wet from tears. She looked like such a delicate woman. Pure and heartful. Midoriya was her spitting image. “H-Hi mom.” Midoriya greeted a bit awkwardly with a smile and eyebrows curled inward. He stopped petting Todoroki, but he still held him close. How Inko would love to hug her son, but this mysterious boy covered in dark blood was between them, but she was not bitter to him. The two boys appeared to be close. Instead, she got on to her knees in front of them, her hands were fists on her thighs. “Izuku, I need some answers, okay?” Was this really the place or the time?
Midoriya gulped but nodded. He had to explain himself at some point. “Are you… okay?” she asked. Before anything, she just had to know if he was okay. And he was immediately baffled by the question. “A-Are you okay? Is there anything you need to tell me?” I killed someone. I’ve killed a few people now. All after I almost killed myself. “I’m okay mom, really. I’m not hurt or anything.” He felt so bad for her. She was being left in complete darkness like this. “Do you want to go home with me? Can you please come home?” she sounded ready to beg him to come back. He would rather not. But he didn’t want to send Todoroki home like this, he didn’t want to leave him alone with his father, and yet he couldn’t have Kurogiri pick them up. Todoroki would see him. “Can he come with us?” Midoriya asked, hugging his beloved hero a little tighter, making his eyes open up a bit more. Inko had never seen this boy before but she could tell that he was important to her son. Did he have anything to do with him turning out like this? “He can if they’ll let me sign for him.”
Aizawa let Inko sign to take Todoroki home with her, all while glaring at Endeavor having a short meeting with a few police officers. He’d rather send his student to a woman he’s never met than the number two hero. And yet this felt almost as unsettling. While Inko signed the paperwork for two students and watched blood be swiped off of them for sampling, he couldn’t help making more than a few glances at Midoriya. The freckled boy was as calm as could be. He had been smiling nearly the whole time. He’s been by Todoroki’s side since they found him inside. The teacher remembered the day Todoroki snapped in the cafeteria when he got into a fight with Kosuke; Midoriya went after Kosuke even though he knew he couldn’t win. Was the boy so heartless to not be affected by his death? Or was he thankful for it? Hopeful? Or maybe he even expected it. Aizawa had to watch Inko hug the little villain with her whole heart displayed in her every notion, and yet the little villain hardly broke his half-smiling face, hugging her back out of pity and obligation. As soon as she let go he gravitated to Todoroki, taking his hand and leading him away from campus.
The car ride was completely silent. Midoriya wouldn’t even sit in the passenger seat as he preferred to stay in the back with Todoroki. The taller boy was still in a spaced-out state and thus blankly stared out the window for the whole few minutes he was in the car. Midoriya only smiled and nearly giggled when he noticed something, but he stayed quiet. He leaned up a bit and reached up to Todoroki’s hair, but instead of petting him he began picking tiny bits of things out from amongst the strands. He had noticed them while he was petting him earlier but didn’t want to stop because he knew he liked it. Inko looked in the rearview mirror to watch her son cheerfully pick out small red bits out of the other boy’s hair and was nearly horrified when she realized what they were. Kosuke decomposed quicker than the little villain expected, and he never expected him to be so clingy in death either. Little pieces of his insides had made their way into Todoroki’s hair when his corpse fell. Such filth had to be removed from his beautiful beloved. He was sure to toss the small handful out the window, into the road, probably to be crushed by other traffic into nothing but a stain on the pavement.
Taking the boys up to the apartment, Inko unlocked the door for them, removing her shoes and watching the two do the same. Hers were clean and dainty, and she saw shoes drenched in dark blood be set down, and another pair covered in red spatter. She saw Todoroki’s socks even had dark stains on them. He had practically been sitting in a puddle of the corpse’s blood. “So um…” Inko didn’t know where to begin. She had so many questions for Midoriya, but it wasn’t right to ask them the moment they walked through the door. And now she had this stranger, covered in blood and clearly in a state of shock in her home. “What’s your name, sweetie?” Hopefully, they didn’t have to be strangers. “Are your parents alright with you staying here after all that?” Todoroki nodded tiredly. “Todoroki Shouto. It’ll be fine. Endeavor will be more focused on the crime scene anyway.” Inko blinked. Endeavor? Endeavor, the Flame Hero Endeavor was his parent? She put her hands to her cheeks and nearly had a panic attack. The son of a pro hero, a celebrity, in her apartment?! How did her son become so close to someone like him?! She looked around to see if her living space was a mess because she couldn’t remember how she left it. She nearly shrieked at the remains of takeout she had last night still on the table, dishes in the sink, a few books and magazines were scattered on the couch. Such an important guest and this is what her home looked like?! “O-Oh dear, this place is a mess! S-So sorry boys! I’ll clean up right-” She watched Midoriya latch onto Todoroki’s arm and put his chin on his shoulder. “Why don’t you take a shower, Shouto? You can take one first and get cleaned up. I’ll find something for you to wear too.”
Midoriya showed Todoroki to the bathroom, showed him how the shower worked and left him to his privacy. He imagined he would be in there for a while, giving him time to find clothes that would fit him and have a conversation with his mother. Though that conversation came sooner than expected as Inko was standing right outside the bathroom door, eyes brimming with tears. It made the little villain’s heart ache. “I know, I know... I have a lot of explaining to do.” I have a lot of lying to do.
The two began cleaning up the apartment together in the politeness of their guest who was locked away in the bathroom. Midoriya was picking up the leftovers that were on the table, noticing that there was one plate with crumbs and one with nothing on it, but still on the table nonetheless. “Where have you been going? I know you’ve been sneaking out since your break in middle school. Izuku, I never questioned it because you always came home unscathed and I never heard of any trouble. Don’t tell me you’ve betrayed my trust.” She was angry, it was all too clear. But she wouldn’t understand. Someone who had so little faith in his potential would never understand. “I used to just go out for walks. But one time I met someone. He was really cool… he’s nice. He’s smart and he’s really funny when you don’t take him seriously. We have lots in common, and he’s been really supportive of me and helped me study to be in the medical program. He lives with his dad across town and they let me sleep over all the time.” Midoriya smiled, placing all the garbage in the trash can. “It’s not that I don’t like being with you, mom.” I can’t stand being here with you. I can’t stand the lying I have to do. “But they help me with my studies, I’m the best in class. They’re closer to the school so I can sleep in. And his dad… his dad is…” Kurogiri. His smile was still on his face, but it wasn’t enough to hold a few tears back. “His dad is… always there. For me.”
Inko bit her bottom lip as she held a small stack of magazines in her hands. How could she compete with that? The company of a friend and a father figure. Midoriya had never brought friends over before, so of course, he would cling to the first person he got along with. And they’re helping him in his studies; she didn’t know the first thing about medical education. These people were giving him things that she could never provide. “Okay… could you at least call me sometimes? A text even? Could you do that for me?” Contact. That’s all she could ask for. Just to know if he was okay. “Yeah. I’ll try to do it more often.” He’ll probably ask Kurogiri to send letters. Letters couldn’t be tracked that way.
They began washing the dishes together, Inko washing and Midoriya drying and putting them in their proper places. “Where did that mark on your eye come from?” She asked. Midoriya knew that one was coming. He scratched his cheek with an awkward giggle. “I maaay have gotten into a fight at school.”
“Midoriya Izuku!”
Midoriya jumped at his full name being called like that and nearly dropped the glass he was holding, juggling it in his hands trying to get a good grasp on it again. “I-I did it to protect Todoroki!” he tried to defend himself. “Todoroki had a bully at school and it was getting pretty bad. It was going on for weeks and… I couldn’t watch it happen anymore.” He reached up to put the glass on a shelf with the others before going to the strainer and picking up a few pieces of silverware. Inko appeared to have become nervous. “Izuku... when you say ‘had’?” Parents were at least vaguely informed as to what happened inside the school that day. They know the dead body of a missing student fell from the ceiling and harmless explosives filled with blood were set up everywhere. They knew someone died. Inko didn’t even want to consider the possibility. Her precious, adorable, little boy would never get into a fight. But the scar on his face, she had to believe that he did. But to think- She watched him open a drawer and put a few utensils away, and the last one in his hand was a kitchen knife that he was staring at. Please say that the student just changed schools. But the bright red glow in his eyes said something different. “Yeah, it was the dead kid.” he turned to her with an innocent smile. “He tried to step on Todoroki’s head and then he scratched my face. He got me good, there was blood everywhere. But it’s alright now.” He put the knife down in the drawer and casually strolled over to take a plate. “Everything’s alright now.”
Midoriya began sweeping the floor and Inko was cleaning the windows. She could see that the city streets were a little emptier than normal. People were staying home. Staying home with their kids, no doubt. Reminding to tell their family they love them. “Are you and Todoroki friends?” she asked. “He’s my boyfriend,” he answered. Midoriya answered quickly, without hesitation. He wanted to say it. “Oh… well, that’s wonderful dear.” Inko didn’t quite know how to respond, but she was happy for him at least though she never expected him to lean towards boys. She knew he had gotten flustered around pretty girls when he was younger so, perhaps he just liked both. But now it was only Todoroki. “His dad doesn’t know. But my friend’s dad does, so he lets him stay over too.” Inko didn’t have the apartment space to house another child comfortably, she probably couldn’t afford it either. She couldn’t compete against these people her son was living with. “Do we have something he could wear? I doubt my stuff will fit him and I don’t want him putting those bloody clothes on again.” If they really couldn’t find anything, Midoriya would just text Kurogiri to drop them off outside the apartment complex at some point. “I still have some of your father’s old shirts.” He wanted to snap the broomstick in half. Is that really all they had? Would he have to wear that nobody’s clothes? Just for tonight… but only that night. He was quick to text Kurogiri a message to drop off clothes the next morning.
Midoriya was given an old white t-shirt that would probably be even too big for Todoroki. It would be enough for a nightshirt, but the little villain still wasn’t happy about it. His hero didn’t deserve to wear some deadbeat’s abandoned clothes. He left it in the bathroom for the other to grab when he was finished. The moment he came out, Midoriya stole a quick peck on the lips before going through the door behind him to take a quick shower as well. Though he planned to make it only a few minutes long, giving Inko only a few minutes to say what she needed to say.
Todoroki had gone to the sofa to sit down only to have Inko sit down beside him. She wasn’t angry at him and that wasn’t the aura he was getting from her. He was silent, but she had his attention. He had always been a good listener. “I haven’t been able to speak to my son in a very long time. And I have no right to drag you into any of my dilemmas or troubles. I don’t know you that well. But Todoroki, can I just ask a favor of you?” Deep in her gut, she knew that this was probably the last time she would see her son for a while. She couldn’t compare to his new friend and that father he spoke about. She couldn’t give Todoroki a place to stay every other night. She couldn’t provide for the son of the number two hero’s needs. She wasn’t who they wanted, she wasn’t the one they needed. “I hate to burden you like this, especially after such a terrible thing this afternoon. But please… take care of my little boy?” She began to softly cry. “I’m such a terrible mother. I can’t make him stay here with me, I know he wants nothing to do with me here. He has his eyes on his future and I just want what’s best for him and to give him what he wants. But if you really are his boyfriend, and you do care for him, could you please look out for him for me?” She took his hands, a sobbing mess. “He’s impulsive. He’s one-track-minded. Sometimes he forgets to take care of himself when he gets focused. He moves and speaks before he thinks. I just want to know that someone is taking care of him.”
Todoroki listened to Inko and even though he had only just met this woman, his heart hurt for her. She was trying so hard to make the best decision even though it was painful to come to the conclusion that she has. She was so loving. She had nothing but love to give. She took her hands back and began to wipe her tears away. “I-I’m sorry sweetie. I shouldn’t-”
“No. I promise I’ll do it.” Todoroki didn’t mean to cut her off, but he didn’t want her to apologize. “I think… you’re a great mother. You love him.” She made him miss his own mom. “I’ll do what I can, everything I can. I’ll take care of him, protect him, whatever he needs me to do.” His face was tired, his body was exhausted, who knew what his mind was. But there was a light in his left eye that was sharp and alive, contrasting his half-dead tone. “I’ll do anything for him.” He could promise her that.
A more peaceful evening was able to take place after their conversation. Todoroki laid on the sofa with Midoriya on top of him, his cheek resting on his shoulder with the tv on in the background playing a random cartoon. Inko was in the kitchen preparing a light meal for them all, occasionally looking back at the two and smiling to herself. Even if he was only here for a little while, she was enjoying it. And now she had someone to look out for him for her and that gave her peace of mind. However, it was soon that the phone began to ring, gaining all three’s attention. Inko picked it up and held it to her ear. “Hello? … Speaking … Um,” she looked to both the boys. “Yes, they are.” She looked up at the ceiling. “What?” That was a very panicked ‘what’. She was quiet for a little bit, listening to the voice on the other line. “Is that really necessary? It was just this afternoon! … I-I understand but- … okay …” she sounded very defeated at the end. After a few more words she hung up and went over to the sofa with her hands folded together. “T-Try not to get too freaked out, but that was the police. They want you both at the city police station for questioning tomorrow morning.” Was it because of the fight? Was it because Todoroki was closest to the fall? Were they questioning all the students or just them? Midoriya looked to his mother and then to his boyfriend who suddenly appeared even more tired than before. To be questioned on the incident so soon, Endeavor’s agency wasn’t messing around. The heroes were getting impatient for answers.
Dinner had been mostly silent with occasional small conversations between Midoriya and Inko. Although it was barely sundown, with darkness in the sky, still a flow of oranges and yellows, the little villain thought it would be best to put himself and Todoroki to bed. He couldn’t help but blush at the thought. There was only one room here. He wasn’t about to let his beloved hero sleep on the floor either. Going into his room, he forgot how empty it looked now. Most of his All Might posters were taken down, his figures were stashed away, his bedding set was inside out to hide the All Might designs. He tried to ignore it, preferring his room at the bar instead. He shut the door behind them and took Todoroki’s hand with a soft smile. “Come on,” he whispered, lightly pulling him and he followed.
Todoroki laid down at the edge of the bed but Midoriya wrapped his arms around his shoulders and pulled him closer to the middle and proceeded to hug him close to his chest. He reached over him to turn the lamp off at his bedside before sinking down a bit to put their foreheads together and close his eyes. “You wanna talk about it?” he asked softly. “You can tell me anything you’re thinking.” He wanted to hear everything he was thinking. He opened his eyes to reveal a soft glow, it was very pretty in the darkness of the room. It was mischievous, it was evil, but it was loving. He watched Todoroki avert his gaze; he was thinking something. “He can’t hurt you anymore. I’m relieved.” Midoriya hummed with a smile, beginning to twirl white hair with his index finger. “You were so miserable at school. You tried very hard not to let it show, but I can tell when something’s wrong. Now you won’t have to pretend anymore, things can just be fine.” There were so many positives to this. Couldn’t he see them? “And imagine if he actually became a hero? He wouldn’t help a soul. And the others would probably just leave him be and do nothing to correct him.” Like your father. Look at what I’ve prevented, what I’ve done for you. Aren’t you happy?
Todoroki was looking down at their feet, but he was listening. Occasionally his focus would shift to Midoriya’s hands or his shirt, just anything but his face for the time. He looked unsure. “Is it really okay to say those things?” Was it okay to be happy about someone’s death? Good people don’t wish death onto others and good people don’t celebrate the deaths of others. Hearing Midoriya find all these positives amongst the tragedy, something felt off. “You shouldn’t feel restricted saying anything. It hurts more to hold your thoughts back, doesn’t it?” Midoriya smiled softly, moving his hand to put it under Todoroki’s chin and raise his gaze. He made his hero look at his face, to make eye contact with glowing hues. “You’re really beautiful when you’re yourself.” Such alluring emerald eyes and a silver tongue that made every word sound so comforting. “I mean, you wanted him dead too, didn’t you?” The scar on his face was but a reminder of the day Kosuke was almost killed. Midoriya loved to remember how enraged Todoroki was, an elegant fallen angel, a demon in hellfire. “Remember how angry you were…? Remember how he hurt me? I never knew I could have fallen more in love with you until I saw your fire…”
Praise. Midoriya’s soft words were sprinkled with kindness and love. He watched Todoroki’s eyes glimmer in response. He could feel his hero’s heart beat harder in his chest. Todoroki wasn’t sad about Kosuke’s death, he wouldn’t miss him, he didn’t feel bad for him, he didn’t care. He felt the pressure to care. But Midoriya stripped it all away. “He…” Todoroki began but felt something catch his throat. It was physically hard to say, difficult to admit it and come to terms with how he truly felt. Midoriya leaned in closer, kissing his cheek gently. “He what?” he cooed, tempting the words to come out. “What is it Shouto?” he held his chin with one hand, forbidding him to look away while twirling his hair a bit. Playfully guiding the truth. “He… He deserved it…” Todoroki mumbled, looking up at the killer that was cheerfully smiling at him. “Hm?” Midoriya hummed as if he didn’t hear his answer, teasing him to say it again. He felt Todoroki tightly cling to his shoulders and bury his face into his neck. “H-He deserved it… every bit of it. For hurting you.” Todoroki said a bit louder, feeling the villain wrap his arms around him in a hug. “What else did he do?” He wanted him to feel that hatred. Fester in it. Embrace it and not be afraid of it. “He hurt me.” Midoriya nuzzled his nose into his hair. “Tell me more.” Just let everything out. “I hated him. I wanted him to die. Every day he toyed with me, I just wanted him dead. I wanted him to leave me alone and disappear forever. I hated him. I hated him so much. I wanted to kill him.”
Midoriya could feel his neck become a bit wet but said nothing of it. He simply hugged Todoroki closely and giggled ever so innocently. The taller boy had been shaking the entire time he spoke and it was then that he was feeling him ease his nerves. He had been gritting his teeth tightly in anger. But after his venting, his body was releasing the tension and falling into a restful state. Midoriya gently stroked his shoulder, lulling his beloved hero with tear-stained cheeks to sleep. “I wanted to kill him too.”

The two had gone to sleep mid-evening. But at the same time, the U.A. campus was not cleared just yet. A few detectives and heroes lingered, investigating the entire area to be sure that it would be safe to return to in a few days. Needless to say that classes would be canceled for a little while. Most of the students were gone almost all of them were taken home. All except one. With the night sky beginning to flow in, a lonely tired boy was sitting in the grass amongst the investigation teams, picking at the grass and simply waiting. Yamada and Aizawa were still there as well. They wanted to stay for the sake of receiving any information first hand, but also to have supervision on Shinsou. But it had eventually gotten to a point where it was obvious that no one was coming to pick him up.
Yamada had been standing with Aizawa but eventually, he sat down next to his remaining student. “Hey, have you heard anything from your parents?” he asked. He didn’t want to pry into family matters, but neglecting a kid after such a tragedy was distasteful. Shinsou only shrugged and scratched the side of his head. He still had blood on him but it was all dried by now. “They’re not coming. Could I just walk home? I’ll be careful.” Not coming? How could they? Yamada knew he had parents, his records said so. But neglectful…? “You know I can’t let you do that. How about I give you a ride?” he offered with a smile. Pro heroes were famous for fighting villains and stopping flashy crimes. But sometimes, this kind of hero work was the most important. Shinsou looked to the teacher, surprised at the offer. “Come on, it’s getting late and I don’t think you want to be driven home in a police cruiser.” He patted his shoulder and gestured him along, Aizawa following behind.
Yamada signed the papers to let him leave, had Shinsou checked out to get a sample of blood off of him and then lead him to his car that was in the faculty parking lot. He opened the backseat door for him to in and shut it. Aizawa waited behind the car with his arms folded, his mind likely going a mile a minute. Yamada went up to him and put a hand on his shoulder, giving him a small nudge to ground him. “The blood on the students… all the samples read back belonging to the people in the Sudden Disappearances case. Almost everyone was accounted for.” Aizawa mumbled. The two looked back on the campus to see a few heroes beside a female hero crying in the grass. They recognized her as Earthly Venus, the venus flytrap hero. Her younger sister had been added to the missing list quite some time ago. “These villains… they’re cruel.” Aizawa gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. They defiled his student’s corpse, putting it on display for all the other kids to see. They were teasing the heroes with the samples of blood. They had gotten into the school, maybe they were still there, or maybe they were waiting for another opportunity to nab a child. They were cruelly tormenting everyone. “We’ll get them,” Yamada reassured. “We can talk about this later. Let’s take the kid home first.”
Aizawa watched Yamada take off the megaphone neckpiece and place it inside the trunk of the car and flexed his neck a bit. The typically loud hero then ran his fingers through his hair that was standing tall on his head a few times, bringing it down to become flatter and more natural. A few dramatic shakes of the head made it come down and become silky and straight in its natural state. He gave Aizawa a big smile, trying to keep the mood up as best he could, trying to be the light in this tragedy. The tired hero just sighed and turned away, getting into the passenger seat of the car. Yamada didn’t hound him. Instead, he got into the driver’s seat and looked back at Shinsou with the same smile. “Where we goin’ Shinsou?”
The car ride was silent. Not even the radio was put on due to the risk of hearing any press on the incident. Shinsou occasionally pointed and gave direction through the area, directing his teacher on where to go, to which he would always receive a smile and assurance as a response. He was such a cheerful man, it was amazing he was still so lighthearted after what had happened. Perhaps that’s what made him so strong as a hero. His general presence brought relief. It made the purple-haired boy more comfortable in the car. Though the teenager sat in surprised silence when he saw his teacher’s hand be gently placed on Aizawa’s leg. He could be loud and passionate trying to hype up a room or a group of people. But he could do things quietly to bring out the best in people and bring them a different kind of solace. Shinsou watched Aizawa place his hand over the other’s and lower his head into his scarf. The two seemed close at school, like best friends. But like this, they looked like something more. And it made him think. Why was Aizaw even in the car?
Shinsou was dropped off in a neighborhood just outside the city, a middle-class area. It wasn’t too high end and it wasn’t in the slums either. But one didn’t have to be rich or poor to be having a hard time at home. Shinsou got out of the car and heard the window roll down on the driver’s side. “If ya need a ride again, just let me know, ‘kay?” He said loudly with a thumbs up. Shinsou glanced away awkwardly before nodding subtly. “Yeah…” and he walked up to the front door of his house and went inside.
“You’re too soft on your students…” Aizawa muttered through his scarf. It sounded forced like he was trying to insult him like he usually did. But Yamada knew full well that he meant something else. He didn’t drive away just yet, and instead leaned over and planted a kiss on his forehead. “You are too sometimes.”
They drove home together. They lived together. Yamada went to the trunk to take out the piece to his costume after handing Aizawa the keys to go inside. Something terrible happened, but life kept moving and things had to be done. They had to get out from their hero costumes, feed the several cats that they owned, Aizawa showered while Yamada was in the kitchen preparing a meal for the evening, the TV was turned on for background noise, it was like any other evening. They were both in lounge clothing by the end of the night, Yamada had his hair tied up in a half-assed bun and wore his normal glasses. This would normally be the time they used to grade any papers they didn’t get to during the afternoon, but their bags were still sitting in the teachers’ lounge where they left them. There was no going back for them until school was reinstated. So for this evening, Aizawa was laying down on the sofa with a calico on his chest and the tv on a news station, one arm draped over his eyes. But soon Yamada walked in and changed the channel to overly colorful gameshow and placed a bowl of pork tonkatsu on a coffee table for him. “Sorry, I’m not that hungry,” he grumbled, mindlessly petting one of their cats. “I know. But you know that you should still eat something.” Yamada responded, sitting down on the floor, but he did not press further.
Though they would stay like this for quite some time, eventually Yamada would pull out his phone, get up, and walk out of the room a few times. The last time he came back, he lifted Aizawa’s legs and sat underneath them, keeping them on his lap. It wouldn’t be long until another one of their cats found its way to his shoulder and began nipping at his glasses. This was fine. “He didn’t deserve it…” Aizawa finally spoke on the matter. They had been home for a couple of hours now and now he was finally willing to talk about it. “He was a troublesome kid. Mean to a few of his classmates. But he didn’t deserve that.” His voice was hushed but Yamada heard him clearly and merely smiled peacefully while playing with the fabric of the pants on the legs on his lap. “No one deserves that,” Yamada added. The tired teacher clenched the hand over his eyes into a fist. “I’m starting to think that the ones that did this deserve it.” He was pissed.
“The faces of all the students… did you see how frightened they were?” The students had run for their lives’ sake. They were only met with explosions of blood from people who were likely dead. There was panic from not knowing if someone was outside waiting to attack them. Some resulted in just sitting down, fear-struck, and paralyzed. So many students were aiming to be heroes, and sights like that were inevitable. But to have it be done on purpose, to have a corpse displayed so cruelly. No child needed to see that. “How do we convince them that they’re safe after something like that?” It was something they would never forget, surely. “We just do what we can. We can’t control everything, but we’ll just have to protect what we have.” Yamada answered. It was a simple answer, but it was all they could do. Then they were silent for a few minutes, though it was not an awkward silence. But Yamada did speak again. “I’m joining Endeavor’s team.” Aizawa took his wrist off his eyes and looked to the other in shock. “You’re what?” Endeavor was not trusted by either teacher. Ever since the suspicions around Todoroki and his home life emerged, the two had been very wary of him. Aizawa never appreciated the fame that he had and how the man was clawing to be number one. He wasn’t betrayed by Yamada’s action, but he was concerned. “I don’t trust him either. But he’s the guy with all the information, all the records, all the investigations, and he has the police and a ton of other heroes at his fingertips. So I’m joining his team.” Aizawa saw a narrowed look on the other’s face. It was dark. And it was most certainly vengeful. “The ones responsible for this won’t be getting away with it.”
Yamada moved the legs on his lap off so he could stand up while also letting the cat biting his glasses down. “I’ve gotta go to bed. They want me at the police station to question some people that may be related to Kosuke Hiro’s death tomorrow morning. I’m gonna be pretty busy from now on.” he said, walking back to the master bedroom that they shared. He only made it halfway before Aizawa got up from the sofa quickly and chased after him. “Hizashi, you didn’t have to do that-” Was he doing it for his sake? It wasn’t his student that died. Why was he the one doing this? “If you do it, it’ll be too painful. Having a teacher on the inside would give the faculty more information to work with on how to protect our students. And… the nerve of those villains really pisses me off.”
“Nezu would receive information-”
“If we’re judging Endeavor’s character correctly, do you really think he’ll tell Nezu everything? Nezu’s smart and would probably be a powerful asset to have. But…”
“But Endeavor wants all the credit… so he wants the guy with a ton of popularity on his team so he can get a bigger audience looking at him.”
Yamada wasn’t stupid. Far from it. He may act like it, but he knew how to stay one step ahead of people sometimes. He wasn’t messing around with this. “Hizashi… he’s just going to use you.” The thought of that made Aizawa’s stomach turn and heart ache. “I’ll be fine. I’m like, really freakin’ strong, dontcha know?! I’m Present Mic!” but the blond hero only smiled.

The next morning was different than most. What would be an early morning with Yamada annoyingly trying to get Aizawa to wake up for school was now the loud hero quietly getting up and trying not to wake the one sleeping next to him. He would usually put on his hero costume, stick up his hair, and hype himself up in the mirror to get his blood pumping for the day. But he walked past his costume, going into their closet and picked out a black suit and a bland colored tie, then combed his hair and tied front sections of it to the back in a bun. He went to the kitchen to fix himself a cup of coffee only to hear that he had been followed by the one he lived with. He looked back and saw Aizawa also in a suit with his hair tied back semi-formally. “Shouta-” the tired man walked past him and went into the fridge for an energy drink. “If you think you’re doing this bit alone, you’re wrong.” he took a long chug of the bottle. “Just this once. I need answers too.” There was no argument to be had. Yamada just rolled his eyes and smirked. He walked past him to get to the door, but not without giving his butt a light slap because that was the true gay agenda of this household. “You’re lucky you’re hot as hell in a suit.” he teased and made the tired hero’s face go red but also appear very annoyed. They shared a kiss before walking out the door together.
“Now is not the time for this!! Pick up!” The second they walked into the police station, it was like opening an oven that had baking a cake for an hour. The heat was so intense that it made both men close their eyes and pause as a small wind forced their hair to blow slightly. The cake in the oven was just a man with a bad attitude. Endeavor was on the phone and looked more pissed off than usual, his fist on the desk in front of him with a few officers hiding down behind it to keep from getting their faces melted off. After a few seconds, the flame hero lit up again and slammed his phone down on the tabletop.
“Isn’t it too early to be this rageful…?” Aizawa grumbled. This is what Yamada was in for? It was literally going to be Hell with this room temperature. Endeavor turned to the two that walked in, one looking exhausted and the other smiling like a ray of sunshine. “Mornin’ Fire Face!” Yamada was not going through this as easily as the flame hero would like. The bigger man scowled at both of them, frustrated at whoever he was trying to call. Everyone knew exactly who he was trying to get a hold of. “I can’t get Shouto to pick up his phone. He left the campus yesterday evening with a woman named Midoriya Inko without telling me! And now he’s refusing to answer my texts and calls! He was supposed to be here an hour ago!” he looked down at his phone and saw another ‘read’ pop up under another one of his texts but there was no sign of a reply being written.
“He’s not gonna answer you with that attitude~” Yamada teased with some finger guns. He looked formal in a suit, but even that wasn’t enough to make him mature through all of this. He was gonna make this number two hero suffer every second with him. Seeing him like this brought a bit of relief to Aizawa. Hizashi’s Hizashi no matter what. “What’s that supposed to mean? I’m his father!” The tired hero sighed and held his hand out, gesturing for Endeavor’s phone. Begrudgingly, it was handed over and it felt like the device was overheating. 52 attempted calls and 24 texts. How obsessive. But Aizawa looked for Todoroki’s number in his contacts before taking out his own phone to call it and turning his back to Endeavor, making the bigger man feel incredibly offended. The phone rang a few times and then there was a faint “Hello?” heard. Endeavor was going to yell and snatch the phone when Yamada popped up beside him and covered his mouth fearlessly and held his wrist back as best he could. The cowering police officers were terrified for this daring man’s life.
Somewhere across town, Midoriya and Todoroki were taking their sweet time at a cafe, drinking black coffee and sweetened iced coffee and had Zuzu on a leash with a bit of ice cream remains on her nose. Todoroki would rather answer an unknown number than his father’s and Midoriya found it kind of funny. “Hello?”
“Todoroki. It’s Mr. Aizawa.”
“Mr. Aizawa?”
“Why aren’t you at the police station? Weren’t you supposed to be here a while ago?”
“We didn’t want to go. And I’d rather not see Endeavor, so we went to a cafe instead.”
Endeavor was fuming at the sound of their conversation. Yamada smiled softly when he heard Todoroki say ‘we’. He knew exactly who he was with. And he even heard that very voice faintly in the background as Midoriya clung on to Todoroki’s neck from behind and giggled. “We should go do something fun~ like an arcade or something.” Aizawa put his hand over his face and sighed. Teenagers. “Could you please come? We don’t want to send someone out to force you here. It’ll only be less than an hour. Present Mic and I could interview you both too.” There was no other way to convince them. If Endeavor was going to interrogate them, they’d never say a thing. When they were apart, they were diligent and well-behaved students. But together they seemed to become trouble makers. There was silence on the line for a few moments before an answer. “As long as it’s not Endeavor… we’ll head there now.”
Endeavor lit up again but swiped his phone from Aizawa before stomping off. He had such a dreadful temper. Todoroki was usually very calm and collected, it was hard to see any shared personality traits. “And Todoroki, one more thing.” Now that he had a moment on the phone with him without being watched. “Save this number, okay? You can call it anytime you need to,” he said, looking back at the angry hero stomping off. There was such a long pause on the other end, he thought Todoroki had hung up. “Todo-” but he was still there. “Yeah… Yeah sure. Thank you.” And then there was a sudden click. He hung up, but so abruptly? Maybe it was something else.
In the meantime, Aizawa and Yamada were taken to a room in the police station where several detectives and heroes were and they all went over the details of the Sudden Disappearances case and the Bloody Tragedy at U.A. Information on Kosuke Hiro’s death was given out, details of crime scenes, times of disappearances, areas of disappearances, potential subjects, potential victims and demographics, all that there was to know was explained. And yet… there wasn’t much. They had names and dates and trends. All the potential suspects were mostly those that were last to see victims alive or those that had personal vendettas. People had enemies. But there was not a single person that was connected to all the victims. Aizawa could hardly wrap his head around it all. Something that had been going on for months now and this was all they had? But Yamada listened carefully, even taking stacks of papers and looking through them during the briefing. “I’ll find the commonality.” Even though well-trained detectives were having difficulty, the scream hero was stepping up to the challenge to protect his students.
After the briefing, it became open-floor and discussion amongst the adults in the room. Aizawa had sat down and held his head in his palm with his elbow on the armrest of the chair. And here he hoped teaching would keep him out of tragedies like this. It felt like being stared at in every direction in complete darkness. Overwhelmed. His past mistakes coming to haunt him. Logically, he knew that the true one to blame was the killer themselves. But he couldn’t help but feel that maybe there was a way to prevent it. He was hard on his students. Maybe he shouldn’t have been so quick to kick Kosuke out. Maybe he should have stepped in sooner to stop his and Todoroki’s fight from ever happening. Were all his students in danger now? Were they being targeted? From where? Why them? They were only children. What could he do? Where could he find the threat? How could prevent something like this from happening again? Why did kids need to die this way? “Shirakumo… what do I do…?” What could he do?
It was soon that Yamada appeared in front of him and began tugging at his wrist. They weren’t summoned anywhere and nothing important was happening, it just seemed like he wanted to take him somewhere. And thus the blond hero pulled him out of the chair and then out the room. He pulled him around the corner to an empty hallway and carefully pushed him back against the wall. It was quiet. They were alone here. “If this is going to mess with you so bad, you should go home,” Yamada said sternly, but not in a mean way. “I know this has you thinking of bad memories and it’s only going to get worse from here. It’s not that I don’t think you can handle it. But I know that this is going to tear you up the deeper you go.” He was worried and he was making that clear. There was nothing to hide, no secrets here. Aizawa just kept his head low enough for his eyes to be almost out of view. On the outside, he appeared merely calm and frustrated. But his mind was on the edge with paranoia, like someone was pulling the strings on his mental stability, making him dance in fear and wonder when the next innocent child would die. The villain was playing with him knowing he would never be quick enough to know where the blood trail was leading. “I have to. I can’t just-” Yamada put his hand against the wall beside his head harshly to make a loud sound. “You’re going to go insane. And you need to stay sane for the kids. I’m not stronger than you with this kind of stuff, but Kosuke was not my student. I didn’t know him and I didn’t see what was happening. You saw everything and now you’re over analyzing with all your witty logic. Don’t push yourself to do this.” Aizawa shook his head slowly. “I can’t watch another one die… It’ll be more painful than all of this. If another one of my students go missing-” this conversation could have continued for a while but Aizawa’s phone vibrated.
There were two messages. One that was just sent, and one that was sent a few minutes ago, both from Todoroki. -We’re here- and -Where are you?-. Aizawa must have been too deep in thought earlier and didn’t hear his phone go off the first time. He promised Todoroki that they’d interview him. But if Endeavor got word that he arrived, and it was very likely that he did- “We gotta run.”
The two teachers quit their private conversation, knowing full well where their priorities were and sprinted down the halls. It was almost like watching two teenagers running away from getting caught skipping class. In suits and all, they were able to bolt and turn corners, skidding to make the hard turns. There was a point that they accidentally bumped into a police officer that was holding a bunch of papers and made him drop nearly everything he was holding. “Shit! Sorry!” Yamada called back but they didn’t stop and they weren’t going to. Endeavor was bound to be on his way to the interrogation rooms and they couldn’t let him get there first! And the flame hero was casually walking to the room that Midoriya and Todoroki were waiting in. He was in no hurry and taking his time, looking through a packet of paper in his hands carefully. And thus he was not expecting the two other heroes to be in such a chaotic rush. They turned a corner almost a little too quickly as Aizawa was able to stop himself but had to grab Yamada’s hand to stop him from sliding too far. He used the momentum of the sliding to swing him down the hall and give him a head start. Yamada ran ahead and reached the door to the waiting room just as Endeavor was turning the corner beside the door. He swung it open so hard and carelessly, he didn’t notice how hard he hit the larger hero in the face and focused more on his companion sprinting inside. Todoroki and Midoriya were sitting beside each other, Zuzu in Todoroki’s lap as they were both looking at the little villain’s phone screen together. Aizawa grabbed Todoroki’s upper arm in a hurry and pulled him along. “You’re with me,” he said, looking back at Yamada shutting the door and joining him. Endeavor was stunned at the door having been hit so hard that it took him a moment to process what just hit him. The blond hero walked beside the teacher and student and glanced back at Midoriya with a big smile and finger guns. “You’ll be next!”

The door was locked and all the lights were left on and bright. Yamada and Aizawa sat down on the same side of the singular table in the middle of the small room with deep exhales. They were exhausted from their childish run. Todoroki sat on the opposite side of the table with Zuzu sitting on his lap, looking dumbfounded by the teachers before him. “You guys okay?” It took a few moments for them to catch their breath and Yamada just chuckled waving his hand. “We just got your texts. We didn’t want to keep you waiting.” Endeavor was probably sitting in the waiting room with Midoriya this very second. How big of a problem was that? “So let’s start, shall we?”
Yamada tried to keep the mood positive and comfortable as long as he could, it was inevitable that it wouldn’t last. The atmosphere immediately became more delicate, quieter, the air felt heavier in pressure. There was no controlling it. Things just had to be talked about. “For credibility sake, this is going to be recorded. Answer as best you can. We’re not asking for anything more.” Aizawa explained as he placed a small device with a microphone on the desk beside a few papers and a pen. Todoroki nodded as his puppy shifted to lay down on his lap and nuzzled into his shirt. “It’s okay to take your time answering.” Aizawa watched Todoroki look off and away at the floor. These weren’t going to be fun questions.
Aizawa looked down at the papers and covered his eyes with his hand. The first question was just cruel. “Do you hold a grudge against Kosuke Hiro?” it sounded painful just to ask that. “I know you both had your differences. I was told he said some awful things to you and was a regular harasser. You both got into a fight just before he went missing…” It was a question that had every right to be answered, but it was cruel nonetheless. “I do.” And Todoroki answered truthfully. “He hurt my-” they were recording. “-friend. He gave him a scar on his eye and burned him. I was angry and I still hate him for it.” Could he ever forgive him? Maybe if he had a better influence. “Did you want something bad to happen to him?”
“Not death.”
“Do you know anyone who would want his death?”
“No.”
“What about your friend? Was he angry too?”
“He was. But he wouldn’t do that. There’s no way he could.”
Midoriya was too kind from his perspective. There’s no way his beloved boyfriend would go so far as to kill someone. He was studying to be a doctor. Doctors save people.
“Kosuke’s parents called the police Saturday evening to report that he had not returned home… where were you Saturday?” Why wasn’t there a massive search for him right away? Were the police really that adamant in order to prevent panic? “I was… with Midoriya.” Todoroki began petting Zuzu, remembering that weekend he spent with his boyfriend. “We went to an aquarium in the morning. I snuck out of the house because Endeavor wouldn’t let me go. But then Midoriya started feeling sick and I tried to take him somewhere to eat so he wouldn’t pass out. He caught us and got really mad… but Midoriya’s older brother came and picked him up before we both got in trouble.”
“Midoriya’s records say he’s an only child,” Yamada said, looking over a paper without his glasses. It was a profile on the little villain. “He has an older brother figure that he lives with. When I was brought back home I left again and stayed the night with them. And then again the day after. We went to the biggest mall in the city together that day and we even saw Bakugo there.” There would be proof of them going everywhere Todoroki claimed they went to. There was no time in the timeline for Midoriya to kidnap and kill Kosuke in those two days… not without help. It was a team effort. But they didn’t know that. The people that he lived with sounded very hospitable and charitable coming from the half and half boy. “Am I allowed to ask how he died?” Todoroki questioned. A gruesome curiosity, but it was inevitable. The two teachers looked at each other, unsure. But Aizawa answered anyhow. “He was stabbed several times and his lungs, throat, and mouth were severely burned.”
“So he struggled…”
“That is likely.
“How long was he in the ceiling?”
“We think a villain snuck in during the alarm at the beginning of the week and planted it there because there’s no cameras. The cafeteria would have masked the smell for a while until it became too overpowering.”
Todoroki was petting Zuzu until he moved his fingers in front of her nose to receive a few puppy kisses. He looked down at her and seemed a bit concerned. “Does anyone think we did it?” Was a single fight enough to make him and Midoriya main suspects? They snuck out a lot, they were living with people that weren’t real family, they lied to their parents often, were they suspicious enough to actually be blamed for this? “No one in their right mind! Being a teenager and having a hard time with another student is not enough to label you two as possible killers. I find it hard to believe that any working here were perfect in high school and got along with everyone.” Yamada chimed in, trying to flip Todoroki’s frown around. “I heard even your father was a bit troublesome back in his day~” he giggled.
And that was when Aizawa reached on the table to shut off the recorder but when Todoroki went to stand up, he held his hand up to tell him to stay seated. He wasn’t done. But why did he shut off the mic? Even Yamada looked baffled. “Todoroki why do you sneak out? Endeavor has complained that you’ve been running away from home very often ever since school started.” Yamada realized at that moment, Aizawa’s true intentions of coming to the police station and interviewing Todoroki. He was trying to prevent another tragedy. He had this private moment with his student. The recording and cameras were off, Endeavor was out the door, down a short hall, and in the waiting room. They had all the time they needed to talk. But Todoroki appeared to tense, Zuzu stood up on his lap, putting her paws on his chest and kissed his cheek. “I… prefer being with my friend.” He preferred being with Midoriya. Was that all? It couldn’t be. Aizawa pried more. “Endeavor has a bad temper, it’s not a secret. Does he get angry at you often?”
“Mr. Aizawa is this part of the inter-”
“It’s not. I’m asking as your teacher and nothing more.”
Todoroki took Zuzu by her torso to pull her down but she continued to rub up against him. She wasn’t a certified therapy dog, just some stray he found on the street. But she was good at detecting anxiety in her owner. The room was becoming a bit cold. “He does… but he’s been like that forever. I’m used to-” He shouldn’t be used to it. “Does he yell at you?” Aizawa’s eyes narrowed. This semester… a dead student and an abused student… why was this semester that was going wrong? He couldn’t save the one that was killed, but maybe, just maybe he could save this one. “We argue. It happens. Sometimes it’s worse than others.” His answers are so short and vague. He’s avoiding the obvious truth. Just tell me. Tell me so I can save you. “So he yells at you… Todoroki, does he hit you?”
Aizawa’s face, usually so tired, bored, annoyed, frustrated, was now so desperate to hear the truth. The truth was in his reach, he just needed the verbal evidence that it was there. But it was because of that, Todoroki didn’t see his teacher. He saw his mother, hurt and broken once again. He couldn’t do it. Aizawa needed to focus on finding Kosuke’s killer, not solving his family drama. It wasn’t his home. It wasn’t his business. “No…” Todoroki didn’t look him in the eyes, only down at the puppy on his lap. “He… let me keep Zuzu. Everything’s fine.” Besides, someone else was already looking out for him. He didn’t need Aizawa. The look of disappointment in his teacher’s face was depressing to look at. He failed again…
The day had to move forward. It wouldn’t stop for this. Todoroki was escorted back to the waiting room where a few more people were sitting in now. It had been just Midoriya when they left, but now it included Endeavor and All Might in his fake form. All Might was also in a suit like everyone else, also being a player in the investigation now. But why was he here for the interrogations? The little villain had been sitting in silence as it was too awkward to start a conversation with either of the two men in the room. So he didn’t ask anything, though glaring was a different story. He looked relieved when Todoroki was brought back in with Zuzu. He smiled at him and patted the seat next to him cheerfully. How he wanted to kiss him, but wouldn’t with this audience. Though he watched the two teachers whisper to each other and then saw Yamada happily sit down on the other side of Todoroki. “Zuzu’s her name, right? She’s adorable! Is she a Shiba?”
Small talk? “Midoriya Izuku, you’ll be with just me,” Aizawa called out before Midoriya could question anything. Yamada was left behind to keep an eye on Todoroki, to make sure Endeavor didn’t become too aggressive around him. With this in mind, the little villain felt comfortable leaving with the eraser hero. When the two walked down the short hall together, the faint minty glow began to appear in the boy’s eyes again, ready to make amusement for himself in this. The very one this hero was searching for was standing right beside him with an innocent smile.
The door was locked, they sat down on opposite ends of the table and the recording device and mic were turned on. “Recordings? You guys aren’t playing around.” Midoriya said cheerfully like there wasn’t a problem in the world. Aizawa only glared. Both the boys’ personalities surrounding the Bloody Tragedy could not be any more different. “This is about the fight, right? Yeah, I was really pissed at the guy for bothering Todoroki every day, but I wouldn’t kill him.” Yes, he would. “I mean, he was so much stronger than me. His nails were enough to literally scar me.” He tied him down and used dangerous drugs to weaken him. “With all the people that went missing, do you really think Todoroki and I could do that?” He was coming up with alibis before the questions even began. He was prepared. He was confident. “Some of the people that went missing disappeared in the middle of the day while we’re at school.” He was smiling the whole time he was talking, making many gestures with his hands casually.
Aizawa looked down at the papers on the desk where questions had been written down, but from how this was starting, they would all be useless. He pushed them aside and folded his arms, leaning back in his chair. “What was your first reaction when Kosuke Hiro’s body fell from the ceiling? You were nearby, weren’t you?” There was a glimmer in the boy’s eyes. A challenge. A hero and a killer were face to face with just a desk in between. They both knew who they were talking to. “Terrified. Did you see how messed up that thing looked? Its jaw was falling off and it was covered in bugs.” Midoriya smirked. His face didn’t match what he was saying. This was so much fun. “Why didn’t you run away like everyone else?” Amongst the fleeing students, one was unafraid and fully aware of everything. That one didn’t run or fear. “Todoroki was still there. I couldn’t just leave him.” He would never leave him while he was so broken. Not like All Might. He would never be like All Might. “You say you were scared, but you were so relaxed when we found you. Explain that.” Midoriya rested his cheek in his palm and hummed. “Todoroki was so out of it. I had to be strong for him. Last I remember, you and Mr.Yamada couldn’t even get him to blink. Was it because you both were frightened too? It was pretty easy to tell honestly.” The villain mocked the hero and lowered his head with a smug look as he leaned back in his chair with folded arms as well. “Aren’t heroes supposed to be brave? You were shaking in your boots when you first saw the body and no one tried to help Todoroki or even Kacchan and the redhead.” He saw that. He had been watching everyone the moment they entered and left the presence of the corpse. Not a single student tried to help Todoroki, Bakugo, or Kirishima. “Heroes are people too. They feel fear just like everyone else.” Aizawa growled.
Midoriya tapped his cheek with his finger, smugly grinning. “It appears that you understand your place as a hero.” As a human. “But I don’t believe many are like you. They compare themselves too much to idols if you ask me.” he chuckled. “You have feelings and memories that are real, you just don’t let them show until they’re ripped out of you.” It was so funny to watch him mentally crumble, how Yamada had to cling on to him to keep him from breaking when the body fell. “Seeing Kosuke like that… You’ve seen something similar before, haven’t you?” Aizawa gritted his teeth as it took much of his strength not to harm the boy before him. Especially when Midoriya leaned forward with his arms stretched out straight, hand over hand with a two-faced smile. “Do you wanna talk about it Eraserhead?” I want to see you fall apart.
Aizawa slammed his hand on the desk, making Midoriya blink a few times and sit back normally in his chair. “That’s enough.” He breathed. This boy was cruel. His adorable glowing eyes were mocking him. His smile was like needles in his back. His hand gestures were like puppeteering, playing with the emotions and the lives of everyone around him. “Kosuke Hiro disappeared Saturday afternoon. Where were you?”
“With Todoroki at an aquarium and then my big brother had to pick me up because I felt sick.”
“What happened after?”
“I helped Todoroki sneak out of his house again and had him spend the night twice in a row.”
“What did you do the next day?”
“We spent most of the day at the mall. We bought him clothes to leave at my dad’s place.”
Their stories matched up. Midoriya answered quickly and cleanly without hesitation. “Who are these people that you live with?” Then the little villain paused. Why was Aizawa asking this? How suspicious was he? How much was he assuming? “My big brother is a deadbeat hermit who plays video games all day, but he introduced me to the basics of medical education. My dad is a bartender at a backstreet bar.” That was as honest as he was going to get. He watched Aizawa reach over and turn the recording device off. “Has Todoroki been staying with you often?”
“Yeah. He likes it there with me.”
“Is he hiding from Endeavor?”
“That’s none of your business.” With that statement, the tired teacher was able to put something together in his head. The sudden hang-up of his phone call with Todoroki earlier. “Why does he need a guy who can’t protect anyone when he has me?” Midoriya forced him to hang up. He was building walls around his beloved hero. Taking him away at lunch to be alone together. Blocking out his classmates. Taking him away from home. Giving a safe place to become attached to. He was tarnishing his faith in heroes. He was making him completely dependent. Undeniably loyal. Unquestionably obedient. A broken boy on strings wrapped around his fingertips.
Aizawa stood up from his seat with both his hands on the table. “We’re done here. But stay put for just a minute,” he said sternly. Midoriya never stopped smiling. He closed his eyes with a short giggle to show he understood. The eraser hero walked out of the interrogation room and was met by All Might in his weakened form just behind the door. “You told me you knew him in middle school. Is he different or not?!” The walls to the interrogation room were soundproof thankfully, so Midoriya did not hear him snap at the number one hero. All Might had a drop of sweat come down the side of his head as he rubbed the back of his neck. “I… only met him for a few minutes. B-But he was nothing like this.” All Might had recognized the little villain since the first day he saw him at U.A. He chose to never speak to him openly on what happened that fateful day on the skyscraper rooftop and he trusted him with the secret of his fake form. But the boy he saved from the slime villain that afternoon was not the same as the one sitting at that desk.
The window on the door of the interrogation room was tinted so that those inside could not see out, but those on the outside could see in. Both heroes looked to the window to see the little villain with glowing mischievous eyes looking in their direction with the sweetest of smiles. “He wasn’t like this at all…” All Might repeated quietly. “Something’s not right about him. He’s nothing but bad news…” Aizawa said through gritted teeth.

Chapter Text

Midoriya was walked back to the waiting room by Aizawa with a big smile on his face. All Might stayed back in the hall watching them leave and received a look back by the little villain. His cold stare was nothing like the sparkling eyes back in middle school when he found him. A starstruck fanboy had become such a hateful and bitter thing. And yet when he was brought back to the waiting room, his face showed nothing but joy and sunshine as he jumped back in his seat beside Todoroki and hugged on to his neck, giggling. “Let’s go do something fun now!” he said, rocking his beloved hero side to side. Yamada was still on the other side of him and smiled seeing the two interact while Endeavor folded his arms and stared. He’s seen Midoriya once with Todoroki but didn’t think much of him. It was in Recovery Girl’s office when he picked Todoroki up from school. But seeing him like this with his son deeply frustrated him. This must have been who he was staying with. This was the one that was making him sneak out. What was their relationship?
“Are we allowed to leave?” Todoroki asked, turning to Yamada. The students looked to the teacher and their faces could comically be compared to Zuzu’s with subtle puppy dog eyes. He was a sucker for them. “Go have fun!” he dismissed them happily. “That’s not your permission to gi-” Endeavor spoke up, but halfway through speaking Midoriya took Todoroki’s hand and rushed out the door with Zuzu bouncing behind. “Don’t ignore me!” he shouted when they stepped foot out the door. He earned a glance from them and they stopped. However, it was only for a moment so Midoriya could pull the skin down from his scarred eye and stick his tongue out mockingly. Endeavor’s face lit up with flames as the two made a run for it down the hall with the puppy and left Yamada covering his mouth to keep in laughter. Endeavor would chase after them but there was still work to do here at the police station. Midoriya, Todoroki, and Zuzu hurried down the hall to get to the entrance, not even caring to notice the two characters they went past. And those two characters walked to the waiting room door and opened it. They both looked so tired with slight bags and darkness under their eyes. Bakugo and Kirishima were not as quick to recover from what they had seen that day.
School was canceled for days. Clean up and sterilization was done and redone and redone again to make extra sure that there was no trace of the Bloody Tragedy. The ceiling was repaired and sensors were implemented in all the ducts and vents to strengthen security. More cameras were set up around campus and the main gate was reinstated to be stronger than the last. Emergency exits were made more plentiful. U.A. was completely refortified for the safety of all the students. News stations were almost nothing but Principal Nezu speaking to the public on the incident in a conference where he strongly convinced the public that the school was still safe and would resume classes promptly and provide counseling for students that needed it. The city was buzzing with paranoia and distrust. Who was behind the murder? Surely it had to be someone on the inside. Was it a teacher? It couldn’t possibly be a student. Could a hero have gone rogue? The tragedy was an incident that made headlines and had everyone on edge.
Endeavor’s agency and the heroes that joined his team were working hard, extended hours and under pressure. To the point where Endeavor did not have time to blow up Todoroki’s phone or hunt him down to bring him home. There would be no point because he didn’t have time to train with him. Though it bothered him whenever he thought about often he was sneaking out and how the periods he was gone were getting longer. It used to be just staying after school for an hour or two. Then it was on the weekends for a few hours. Then it was turning into staying overnight. It had become full days he’d be gone. How did he let this happen?
While the area was on the borderline of panic, two teenagers still managed to have their fun. Coffee shops and sweet shops, parks and arcades, manga reading and binge-watching, and all the time together they could ask for. The time off the school gave for mental rehabilitation and coping, as well as grieving and investigation, two teenagers were using it as a little vacation. With a stolen piece of plastic from Endeavor’s wallet, they had the power to do whatever they wanted. And Todoroki was a very tired boy with very limited energy in his system. He would go to bed fairly early every night thus giving Midoriya time to train his physical capabilities with Shigaraki. It was a lovely time for preparation.

The first day returning to U.A. was far different than the schooldays that had come before. The air was heavy with grief and tension. A villain had penetrated their sanctuary of education and now it felt that nowhere was safe, nowhere was private. A killer walked amongst them. Some had their suspicions of a traitor but many pushed it aside to preserve peace of mind. If word got out of a traitor it would be a free-for-all. And yet Midoriya was able to walk through the newly reinforced gates without any care. Reporters were bordering the path as a few heroes and police officers held them back from troubling any of the students. Of course, they would want the latest on a murder that happened in relation to U.A. It was the story of the year, an unforgettable Bloody Tragedy.
Todoroki and Midoriya parted ways for class after short and sweet goodbyes. Class 1-A had been one of the most eager classes, full of potential, pride, and high hopes. And now that class sat mostly sullen at their desks in silence. There was no morning chatter or roaming around the room. Even Bakugo sat normally at his seat with his head resting on his arms on the tabletop. Everyone’s eyes had wandered to Kosuke’s desk behind him at least once or twice. There was a picture in a frame with a few flowers placed around it in respect. Perhaps time away was not long enough to grieve and to come to terms with an undealt with threat. The students would have rather stayed home to remind themselves that they and their families were safe. And yet Todoroki only wished the time away was longer so he could have done more with Midoriya. He sat down at his desk without an expression to be read. “Good morning, Todoroki. Or… at least as good as it can be. Are you doing okay?” Yaoyorozu would always greet him kindly in the morning. She was nice like that. He always appreciated it. But he could see that her eyes were a bit shinier than usual. She was so empathetic. “Are you okay?” Todoroki asked back, watching a small tear start to drip down her cheek. She turned away and was quick to wipe her face and waved her hand down. “I-I’m fine, really. Just… everyone is so sad.” They spoke quietly to not disrupt the room’s near silence. “We were all worried about you,” she added, turning back to face him. Kosuke had been so mean to him and he was the closest to his corpse. He had become so limp and lifeless at the time of the incident and everyone saw that. “I’m okay,” Todoroki assured with a small nod. He was okay. He was more than okay. Some of his pain had finally been taken away.
Midoriya made his way to his homeroom and found it to be quieter than normal, but nowhere near as silent as 1-A. He sat at his desk and merely took out his school notebook to doodle mindlessly while waiting for Yamada to show up. But he was suddenly snapped out of his hazy thoughts when someone sat at the desk in front of him but sat backwards with his arms on the backrest. “No one’s really talking about it,” Shinsou muttered, looking at the rest of their classmates, watching them pretend like nothing happened. This was the first time Midoriya would have a full conversation with Shinsou, face to scarred face. “It’s probably out of respect. But there’ll be gossip soon enough.” The little villain sighed, looking up from his drawings. “Yeah…” Shinsou agreed. Then they proceeded to sit in silence for a few awkward moments with Midoriya continuing to doodle. Neither of them were exactly experts on making friends and having a casual conversation with each other. They hardly knew anything about each other at all. And yet they had always been friendly with each other. “Do you think someone on the inside did it?” Shinsou asked, making Midoriya’s hand twitch.
“What?” Midoriya asked, looking up again. He looked afraid, but it was easily mistaken for a look of fear of a threat rather than the fear of being found out so soon. He knew Aizawa had his suspicions, but there was nothing a teacher could do against a student, especially one who was likely paranoid from trauma. He wasn’t credible. But another student on the other hand… “Do you think someone here at this school did it?” Shinsou was stone-faced and it was difficult to read him. His tired eyes and monotone voice made him impossible to encrypt. “Well I… what makes you think that?” Midoriya asked back with a nervous smile. “This is a hero school. We all want to save people.” There’s no one to suspect. We’re innocent teenagers. Victims. I’m innocent. “I think I noticed it when the blood started blowing up everywhere.” Shinsou began casually, looking up at the ceiling. Was there anyone up there now? He could only wonder. “The body fell during the lunch rush and it fell almost naturally. But I think it was timed to fall during then, like something was placed underneath it in on the tiles to make the ceiling break faster but make it look like it was natural. And blood started going off as soon as people started running. Like someone was watching and waiting for the perfect moment to scare us.” Midoriya still smiled but behind that smile, he wanted to scream. How could he figure that out by himself?! He sure this would make it look like an attack from the outside! “Maybe there were secret cameras placed by the villains or something.” he tried to debate. “There weren’t. The police didn’t say anything about that. I stayed so late that night that a lot of the authorities left. All I had to listen to were their reports.” He knew almost as much as the police did. “But that doesn’t mean-”
“No one liked Kosuke Hiro. He was a bully and pretty much an asshole.” Shinsou cut him off unintentionally but he had a point to make. “His quirk wasn’t anything special and he lived in one of the poorest sections of the city. His family has a clean background. He may be a part of the Sudden Disappearances, but he’s the only one who’s been found and confirmed dead, the only minor, and the only one who didn’t have some sketchy underground life or a hero license. Someone went after him personally… I think.” Shinsou scratched the side of his head and looked out the window, not noticing how he was explaining his theory to the very killer he was trying to weed out. “It’s just an educated guess…” Logical reasoning. Midoriya was nearly stunned with his hand quivering as he held a pencil. Shinsou knew Kosuke was more than special. His corpse wasn’t just a sign to represent a looming terror. It was spite. “D...Do you really think that someone here is capable of that?” Midoriya asked, still faking a smile but his tone of voice was betraying him. “Not a teacher… there’s no one new here and I don’t think anyone besides All Might and Mr. Aizawa had ties to him.” And he saw for himself how broken up Aizawa was, despite it being very minimal signs. “So you think it’s a student?” Shinsou nodded in confirmation. But then he half smirked. “It can’t be you though. You’re too kind. That’s why I’m telling you all of this.”
Trust. He had Shinsou’s trust. Midoriya’s slight quivering stopped as he closed his eyes in his smile. They opened slightly again when he spoke, letting a little mint light emit from them. “It’s nice to know that someone so quick-witted trusts me.” he hummed and it made the purple-haired boy blush ever so subtly. Someone so smart with such a manipulative quirk, what a dream it would be to coax him over to Shigaraki’s side. He could play along like this and try to lure him closer, like persuading a cat to jump into his arms from a tree. “We could do this together. Just you and me.” Midoriya giggled.
The remainder of the day proceeded almost as normally as it would any other. Training, note-taking, academics and all the works. There was no lunch rush that day, however. Classes were let out one at a time to walk to the cafeteria to avoid overcrowding and the period was extended so there would be plenty of time for everyone to enjoy their meals. The ceiling had been redone as had the flooring. Emergency exits were made bigger. A lesson had been learned. But that did not stop Midoriya and Todoroki from avoiding the cafeteria altogether and still going outside to sit under a tree in the courtyard. The same tree they sat under during the evacuation. They still preferred it that way. They talked and enjoyed each other’s company as they always had. It was like nothing even happened.
Midoriya had accidentally spent a little too long in Recovery Girl’s office that afternoon when the bell rang and was scrambling to put all of his things into his bag. How embarrassing, they were going to miss the train to the mall if he didn’t hurry. He sloppily shoved everything in and didn’t even zip his bag all the way when he bolted out of the room. He sprinted right past the teachers’ lounge where Aizawa was also packing his things and noticed him. He then turned to look out the window and expected to see Todoroki at the front gates waiting for the little villain. But his eyes narrowed at something else.
“Why did you come here?” Todoroki glared up at the man that was standing in front of him at the gate. Endeavor had come here to take him home personally. Any plans were canceled. “Nevermind. I don’t care. I have to get going-” Todoroki tried to walk past him but Endeavor sidestepped to block his path, making the boy narrow his eyes at him. “Going where? Where have you been going Shouto? You’ve been gone almost an entire week.” The time the school gave for students to grieve included the day after the tragedy, the weekend, and a few more days after that. Todoroki had not been home with Zuzu in quite some time and Endeavor had had enough. “That’s none of your busi-” he tried to walk past him again only to be pushed back. “It is my business! You’ve been staying with that boy, haven't you?!” It was obvious to everyone where he’s been staying. He couldn’t hide it for much longer. Todoroki didn’t want to answer. His lie would easily be seen through, the truth would lead to even more questions, to stay silent made his guilt clear. Endeavor only scowled and took hold of his son’s arm. “Don’t make me do this again, Shouto. We’re going home. Just come with me this time.” His grip wasn’t tight, but it was strong and threatening to become stronger. They were on campus property. There were cameras.
It was suddenly that Todoroki’s other arm was latched on to by a whole bodyweight. Midoriya clung to him as tight as he could while trying to pull him away. He wasn’t going to let Endeavor just take him again. He could never take him away. “He’s mine now! You can’t take him away!” Midoriya cried out, holding as best he could. He could never win in a tug-of-war like this but he could at least try! “Shouto doesn’t want to go with you! Why can’t you see that?!” Everyone has been railroading Todoroki to stay away from his father. Even Aizawa and Yamada have gone out of their way to make sure that he wasn’t alone with him. If they lost him tonight, it would be the first time they’d have a one on one since the tragedy. It would not end well. Not with how poor Todoroki’s relationship was with Kosuke. “Shouto, is that true?” Endeavor asked, his voice much lower than it had been before. Todoroki tried shaking Midoriya off, wanting him to just get away from this. It wouldn’t be safe for him. “It is. And nothing you do is going to change that.” That wasn’t the answer the number two hero wanted to hear. “You’d rather miss on all the valuable training that many would give anything to have, just to go slack off with this child? Are you hearing yourself? You’re far above him, he’s nothing compared to you, you’re going to rise above them all!” The arm Endeavor held started to get hot and it made the man smirk. He hadn’t seen his fire in years and it was starting to come out. “Don’t call him that…” Those words meant nothing to Midoriya coming from Endeavor. But he knew Todoroki wouldn’t take insults thrown at him like that. The little villain clung tighter and tried to pull him back. There was no way he’d win this fight. There was no way they’d win this fight. “He’ll never be anything like you! You’ll never control him either! Just leave-” Midoriya felt Todoroki be tugged forward but he still held on. But it was then that the little villain felt himself be pried off by a massive hand and tossed back a few paces. The strength and size of the hero was formidable. And yet the little villain was about to latch on again when he blocked off by sheer heat coming from the hero’s free hand. “Don’t touch him again-” Endeavor began when Todoroki’s ice rose up from the ground around Midoriya with frost coating part of the taller student’s cheek. “Touch him and I’ll-” Todoroki was about to threaten him.
But someone suddenly appeared between the two and Midoriya as a means of protecting the freckled boy from any harm with his arms folded. All Might stood before them in his fake form and with a big smile on his face. “Endeavor! Surely the firm hand of parenting is not needed to take Todoroki home. And Todoroki! Why not try to see these things from your father’s perspective. He’s only worried about you!” He advised as if it would be able to fix the situation he was trying to ease. It was likely his words did nothing. But his presence died down their flames and ice. Endeavor did not let go and Todoroki looked as pissed off as ever. Almost as much as Midoriya.
Midoriya’s hands twitched at his sides as his jaw clenched tight. How dare he. How dare he butt in like this like he knew what was going on. How dare he feel like he was calming the situation. How dare he try to protect him. How dare he try to fix something that can’t be fixed. He was making it worse. He was letting Todoroki get taken away. “Funny how you’re giving parental advice when you’re not even a parent,” Midoriya muttered darkly. All Might noticed the look on the boy’s face from over his shoulder but merely took it as childish pouting because he wasn’t letting him leave with Todoroki as he wanted. “True. But sometimes these things just take understanding.” Sometimes these things just take murder. Kosuke was a great example of that. “And he’s right. Perhaps I just lost my temper.” Endeavor admitted, but it was a lie to appease the number one hero. Using him to get his way. “It’s more like your personality,” Todoroki said under his breath bitterly. A rebellious teenager, that’s all he was, wasn’t it? Just upset that he couldn’t go hang out with his friend. “We should be going now. We have yet to talk about what happened here.” Endeavor said, lightly tugging his son to follow. How desperately Todoroki wanted to reach out to Midoriya and go with him instead. But to keep him from harm and getting in trouble, he reluctantly followed and looked back at him longingly. They couldn’t even pretend to love each other with either of the two pros around.
This left Midoriya and All Might alone at the front gates. And the freckled boy appeared as angry as ever. “That wasn’t your place you know. You don’t know anything about what happens at that house,” he growled. This was finally a chance to give him a piece of his mind since that day. Did All Might even remember him? Or was he just pretending to be on friendly terms with him? “I know you have your suspicions. Mr. Aizawa and Mr. Yamada do too. But I would bet that you’ve only heard it from Todoroki’s perspective and not from Endeavor’s.” Midoriya clenched his twitching hands into fists. “So you think he was just lying or something?” How bad did he think he was? He was one of his best students, why was he doubting him like this? “I wouldn’t say lying. But I believe the two just have many misunderstandings that need to be talked about. And they can’t talk about it if Young Todoroki keeps sneaking out. And imagine how worried his father must be having not seen him in nearly a week without a word.” Endeavor was never worried. He was just angry. “Maybe you’re trying too hard to be the hero here to the wrong person..” I’ll be Shouto’s hero. I’ll be something you could never be to him. You’re too focused on your own friend. “Just because some people have powerful quirks doesn’t mean they’re suited to be a hero.” Endeavor didn’t deserve to be a hero, not with what Midoirya heard over the phone that one evening. Only being able to sit at the bar, helpless to do anything while the man angrily beat his youngest son. That wasn’t a hero. “Well of course. That’s how villains exis-”
“Do you think villains are just people heroes never saved?” Midoriya’s anger had subsided into something more quiet and sinister as his eyes became a bit darker than usual. All Might noticed it but was still willing to have this conversation. “I wouldn’t say that. Some just do what they do for greed.” The little villain shook his head. “Those are just criminals. I think villains have more complicated goals and morals than people who just steal what they want.” Why were they talking about this? Where was this conversation coming from? “Heroes can’t save everyone young man… hero work isn’t that easy. We would save everyone if we could.” Heroes did their best. They always did their best to save people… didn’t they? The freckled boy began to twitch at the corner of his lips. A crooked smile began to grow on his adorable face. “Not once have you abandoned someone All Might? Not once?” His eyes had gone red as he used his thumbs to push up his smile as his eyes began to water subtly. “You never left someone alone to die on purpose? Not with that big smile of yours?” All Might felt some kind of chill travel through his body, his legs frozen and his smile dropping. Something felt very wrong here. This child was nowhere near the same as the one he saved from that slime villain. The boy in that interrogation room, this was him. “Always saying ‘I am here!’, were you really always there for everyone?” He wanted to say yes. He did his best to save everyone. He had many regrets and had made many mistakes, surely. But did he truly try his best for everyone? “I… believe so. I’ve always done my best for everyone. These are very sensitive questions, my boy.” Midoriya dropped his hands and gave his backpack a small tug as he began to walk past him. His heart dropped as he looked back at him with glaring red eyes. “You’ve abandoned Shouto. But I won’t.”

Upon returning to the bar, Shigaraki was surprised to see Midoriya come through the door by himself. “No prince charming today?” he asked. He was sure Todoroki was just living there at this point. But it seemed that he was still getting dragged back home. The little villain put his bag on the floor and put his head facedown on the counter. “Endeavor?” The other asked. He got a nod in response. “You can steal him tomorrow.”
“I wanna steal him always.”
“I’m sure there’s something else you want to steal too.”
Midoriya’s face turned bright red as he sat right up and began frantically trying to hit his older brother figure but was simply blocked by one hand every time, casually. “I do not! Not not not not!” he cried but the older villain just smirked. Denial. “He’s a little younger than you, right? He’s probably not feeling the same things you are yet.” It was a few months difference but Midoriya was beyond embarrassed by this conversation. “Nope, shut up!” He tried covering Shigaraki’s mouth just to get him to stop talking
“That’s quite enough Shigaraki,” Kurogiri said, warping himself behind the bar. It was easy to assume that he had to leave to drop Todoroki’s things and Zuzu at his house again. Sneaking in and out of the mansion was not always a quick task. Shigaraki just snickered evilly to himself as Midoriya backed off and folded his arms childishly. Both of them were children. “Are we any closer to finding his brother by the way?” the little villain asked. He was soon handed a small glass of chocolate milk, the beverage of true villains. Shigaraki sighed and tilted his head limply to the side. “I got his quirk, his name, and how old he is. But Giran said no one has seen him alive since he was barely a teenager. He’s at least 20 now if he’s out there.” People could do lots of things to change their appearances, especially when they achieve the freedoms of becoming an adult. Piercings, tattoos, and plastic surgeries were all fair game. “I have to bet on the Sports Festival later this month.” Midoriya tilted his head. What did the festival have to do with finding this missing Todoroki? “Sports Festival?” he asked for elaboration. “It’s not looking great considering why we’re looking for this guy. But I have to bet on him caring enough about his little brother to go watch him at the festival.”
“There’ll be at least a thousand people there. You’ll be looking for a needle in a haystack.”
“I have to bet on him sitting as close, or as far away from Endeavor as possible.”
“But even then-”
“It’s the best I got, okay? He might not even be there!”
A lot of what Shigaraki was thinking about was based on chance. This guy covered his trail very well, and that was probably what he wanted. The chances of him even being at the Sports Festival were not high. He’s abandoned his family for all these years, would he really care enough to go see his little brother fight like a hero in a stadium? Shigaraki looked to Midoriya who was looking down in thought. He could tell the boy was trying to think of another idea for him, but he was just as lost. But when Shigaraki was thinking of this idea, he could only think of it as being a valid plan. He wanted to watch Midoriya grow into something great and see him progress. That’s what big brothers are supposed to want, right? “I have a feeling he’ll be there,” he muttered.
It wasn’t long for the two to take advantage of the evening together. They continued to practice agility and dexterity in the underground training room for hours. Kurogiri stood and watched from against the elevator door. He saw Shigaraki still holding back his top speed but still not going easy on Midoriya at all. But the little villain had improved greatly since they had first started doing this. Sloppy side-stepping and frantic reactions had become more composed and fluid. There were points where Kurogiri would call for a timeout and then pull the little villain aside to give him pointers. For someone who warped everywhere, Midoriya was curious as to how he was so good at moving on his feet. Though it appeared that he wasn’t as agile as he used to be. He did well to explain how to perform dexterity skills, but could not show it. It made the little villain curious as to how that could be. By sundown, the dark fog man watched the little villain swerve around Shigaraki and grab his arm, tugging him back to throw him slightly off balance but still stand, and then leaping up behind him. What would be an easy kill shot to the throat with a knife was the little villain jumping up to cling to his older brother’s back. He looked so happy as he hugged on to him, chucking to himself. Finally. Finally, he was good enough.
Shigaraki had gone back to hide in his room, but it was likely that he was planning for their big ambush soon. It left Kurogiri and Midoriya in the training room where the suited man took the time to set up a few targets and gave the little villain a few knives to throw for the sake of target practice. It didn’t take a lot of energy so it gave the boy time to cool down from agility training. “Kurogiri, are you and Tomu close?” Midoriya asked randomly. Always the curious mind. As he kept throwing knives, the other continued to retrieve and return them. “I’ve been taking care of him for many years now. It’s been my duty to.” And yet the two seemed to bicker a lot. It was like Kurogiri was doing this begrudgingly. Was that not the case? “You guys seem a bit prickly sometimes. Do you like having him here?” He didn’t quite understand their relationship fully. “Shigaraki Tomura is meant to be the successor to a powerful man who’s given me purpose. I was entrusted to take care of him. But I felt it was necessary to make sure that he never became emotionally attached to me, it would be a distraction to his development.” That explained a lot of their tense relationship. He wondered if Shigaraki was ever jealous of Midoriya for becoming closer with Kurogiri because there was less pressure to keep a distance. But Midoriya just smirked. “Somehow, I feel you may have failed a little bit. But I wouldn’t feel too bad about it.” It was then that Midoriya’s phone would vibrate in his pocket. He knew exactly who it was which made him look at it instantly. It was just a text. Nothing dramatic and nothing terribly worrying. Just a simple -I miss you- from Todoroki. He replied with an -I miss you too- but there was no reply back. He must have gone to sleep.

Midoriya stood in the usual hallway he and Todoroki would usually part ways at before going to homeroom. He checked his phone multiple times to check the time to see that the bell would ring very soon. He was becoming worried as to where he beloved her could be. Was he hurt so badly that he couldn’t come to school? Was Endeavor holding him hostage at home? Todoroki was never late. He texted him a few times asking where he was but he never received a reply, not even a ‘read’ notification. The text from the night before seemed much more concerning now. What did he mean when he said he missed him? He began to pace in circles, looking down each hall in the area for him. What if he just skipped seeing him entirely? Todoroki wouldn’t do that. Midoriya wanted to see him more badly than before. But he had to go to homeroom without seeing him.
Todoroki was at school, but he had made it there at the last possible second. He wasn’t trying to be late, but he wasn’t rushing either. It was the opposite. His pace was much slower and he looked much more tired than he had in a while now. There were no bandages on him, no fresh burns or bruises. It would appear that Endeavor did not lay a finger on him the day before. But no one knows what they must have talked about, what was said to him. To keep being dragged home to be met with pain in every form only made him miserable. Being in a secret relationship was such a hassle. He only felt love from Midoriya these days, but it would appear that something was wrong with that now. Did he deserve that love? Was he being selfish by wanting it? Was he just a bother his beloved villain? Was he worth his time in the end?
Sitting down in homeroom, the class was still gloomy though conversation was becoming the norm amongst the students again. It was small talk and it was more light-hearted, no one wanted to talk about Kosuke yet. But the one who was the most okay the day before now appeared to be the least okay as he placed his cheek on his upper arm on his desktop. “Good morning Todoroki.” Yayorozu greeted as usual but she knew something was wrong. But was it okay to bring it up? “Didn’t sleep well, huh? Yeah, me neither.” She couldn’t see his face with him laying his head down away from her, but she noticed an empty gaze when he walked in the room. And she wasn’t the only one. Iida was looking back at him, worried. Maybe it was all starting to get to him. He wanted to talk to him, but what could he say after such a tragedy?
Midoriya was relieved to see Todoroki on the screen in the observation room. He was at school and without a scratch on him. But he could tell that something was a bit off. A look in his eyes was not quite right. It was similar to the one he saw the night he snuck him out of his home. But this was a more intense emptiness, and there was a lot of hurt. He just looked so sad. They were going to talk about it at lunch, without a doubt. He was going to hunt him down if he had to.
The focus of today’s hero training was teamwork. Allying with random heroes on the streets with inevitable so heroes needed to know how to make combinations work even if it appeared daunting. Midoriya scoffed because of course Todoroki was paired with Iida. Just his luck. In separate grounds, students were put in pairs, except for one group of three, to take on robots. This was also a stamina test. Which pair lasted the longest, destroying the most robots for the longest time would get the highest grade to how well their teamwork was. “Those things are unfair. They discriminate people who’s quirks only work on people.” Shinsou nearly pouted. Yamada heard and smiled. “I’ll talk to the faculty about that for next semester!” he gave a quick thumbs up. He was proactive with feedback, that was nice.
Some pairs were knocked out quicker than others due to odd matchups and insane numbers of robots that were set out to attack them. Some pairs had to fight more than ten at a time. These things were not small either as they ranged from being the size of cars to the size of buildings. Groups that included Bakugo and Jirou, Ashido and Mineta, and Todoroki and Iida, would eventually rack up scores to 50 where they were faced with a robot the size of a skyscraper to prove that they were strong enough and had enough energy to proceed further. Jirou would angle her speakers towards the massive thing to try and stun in, even for a short moment so Bakugo could get close and release a powerful blast from his gauntlets. What looked like a successful hit caused Bakuog’s arm to throb and tense up from pain and overuse when he landed on the ground. But when he looked back up at the robot, there was only a dent. These things weren’t flimsy. Mineta’s head was beginning to bleed do to the number of balls he had thrown to immobilize the robots and when he saw the big one, he fainted from fear alone, leaving Ashido with dead weight and only her acid to try and take it down. But the metal was too thick to burn quickly and they were captured by its hand before they could even try to defeat it.
Todoroki still chose to only use ice in his hero work training. To him, these robots were but straw dummies that weren’t worth his breath. Iida watched him barely even move his feet or arms while freezing the metal beasts to the point that their metal limbs would crack and break off from the temperature alone. Others received blasts that would stab straight through them. Iida did help in destroying a few with his legs, but he was very limited in what he could do with a close-range quirk. He wouldn’t let himself become dead weight. But Todoroki was the one pulling the team though there was not much teamwork involved in their strategy. “Todoroki, Iida, you both are just fighting without communicating. You need to show some coordination if you want a perfect score.” Aizawa told them through an earpiece that every student was asked to wear. It was a means of Aizawa and All Might giving pointers during practice without being by their sides. “Right!” Iida affirmed. But Todoroki was silent for a few moments as he stopped moving. “Sorry…” he mumbled.
There was no confidence. There was no passion to fight. What was he even doing? “Have some spirit young man! You’re still doing great!” All Might added hearing his dead tone. Perhaps he just needed a little praise. But somehow, it just made him feel worse. “Yeah…” Something was very wrong with him. When the massive beast of a robot was sent out, Iida was quick to notice something about it. “There’s a weak point on the back of its neck! Can you protect me and get me up there with your ice, Todoroki?” he asked, trying to scrounge any points of teamwork that he could. He got a silent nod as an answer which was the best he was going to get. A ramp of ice was made for him to shoot up into the air. The half and half boy then made a giant wave of ice to try and immobilize the robot only for it to heat itself up and begin to melt it. So he did it again and made it branch out to other buildings so Iida could leap on to paths he was making. Making paths of ice while making walls to defend him from rockets and rubber bullets. There was so much precision and speed that was required to do all of this, it was beyond impressive for a teenager. Iida was sent in a circle so the robot couldn’t keep up with him and by the time he got close to its neck, it didn’t have time to defend itself. One solid kick to its weak spot caused the head of it to explode into smoke. “That was perfect! You’re amazing Todoroki!” he cheered as he slid down a slide of ice back down to the ground. “Todoroki?”
Defeating such an obstacle should be celebrated and congratulated. Iida was heaving for breath with an accomplished smile on his face while also covering sweat from all his intense running and leaping. He bet Todoroki didn’t even have adrenaline going through all of this. He expected to him being cool and collected as usual. Maybe he would even be impressed with their teamwork. However, he only saw him looking straight up at the robot he defeated as his ice holding it in place was still melting. Pieces of metal had begun to fall from it and leave craters in the pavement from the height they were falling at. It would be safe to back up. But he was standing so close. There was a loud creak from its body as it began to lean forward. It was going to fall. And Todoroki was just here. Staring up at it. “Todoroki?” Iida asked again, a little louder. Why wasn’t he moving? He wasn’t frozen. But it took one look at his facial expression to get a terrible impression. “Todoroki what are you doing?!” Iida shouted.
Midoriya dropped his school notebook and began frantically scratching at his wrists watching the screen and hearing Iida shout through his headset. “No, no no, Shouto, what’s wrong?” He had to move. He was going to get crushed. The little villain wanted to scream so he would hear his voice but that was impossible. “I’m so tired…” Todoroki’s voice was so soft in the mic, Midoriya turned the volume up on his headset to hear him. “I’m just tired of it…” So many people were watching him. And everyone that could hear him knew exactly what he was thinking about. “Iida get him out of there!!” Aizawa shouted over the line, there was panic in his tone.
Iida didn’t waste a moment to charge up what fuel remained in his legs to send himself running straight at Todoroki, grabbing him by his torso and taking him out of the impact of the robot’s fall. They fell as a dust cloud blew over them harshly from the robot’s landing. Iida rose to his hands and knees over Todoroki, looking down at him and being taken aback by how lost and miserable he appeared. But it wouldn’t stop him from lecturing him. “What the hell was that?! You could have gotten killed!” he yelled. He was only met with silence and an unblinking face. “Do you understand that?! You could have died!” Midoriya listened and was shaking with emotions. Don’t yell at him. He doesn’t like getting yelled at. He’s just sad. Get off of him. You’re making him feel cornered. “What do you have to say for yourself?! Do you think we want to have another classmate die?!” Don’t guilt him into living. He has to want to live. Someone like you can never understand that.
“No…” Todoroki finally responded quietly but turned his head away. He wanted nothing more than to just disappear from this whole situation. But Iida was not going to let that happen as he knelt over him and pushed his cheek to make him face him. “I know this is hard for all of us… But you can’t just go do something like that!” He wanted him to shut up so badly. He wanted to get away and just go somewhere quiet. Everything felt too loud, his gear felt too heavy, everything was too bright. “I know…” Surely he knew better than this. But why was he acting this way? It wasn’t like him at all. “Then why? Don’t you understand what was at risk just now? Doesn’t that matter?” Iida looked so desperate and distraught, even tearing up from under his glasses. He was full of overwhelming emotions and felt so free to express them. It must have been nice. “We’ll call it day. Come back to the screening room, everyone.” Aizawa instructed over the line. Bakugo and Jirou were stuck in a stalemate against the robot, Ashido and Mineta lost, and Todoroki and Iida were not trusted enough to continue the training exercise. It was pointless and unsafe to continue.
Iida slowly got off of Todoroki and tried to offer him a hand to get up. His gesture was denied and Todoroki stood up in silence, walking away at a more delayed step. The speedy hero tried to grab his shoulder. “Todoro-” but his hand was gently but sternly slapped away without a word. Ice was lightly frosted over his shoulder and back subtly. And upon returning to the training area’s lobby, Todoroki unstrapped the yellow heater harness and threw it against the wall in a sudden motion, making Iida jump. “What are you doing-?!” He retrieved the heater and watched the half and half boy make a run towards the wrong direction from the screening room everyone was waiting in. He meant to charge up his legs but it only made them throb in soreness from their training. He was forced to chase after him at a regular human’s speed. Watching his classmate turn the corner, he did the same and saw him run into a bathroom that happened in that hall. As he was about to follow him inside, someone shoved him away with all their tiny strength. “Stay away from him! He doesn’t want you!” Midoriya snapped at him.
The little freckled villain had bolted out of the observation room without objection from Yamada. He knew where class 1-A was gathered. He knew how they entered and exited the training grounds. He knew every hall, every corner, every vent, every quiet spot. Iida was stunned by the shove and looked down at the smaller boy in shock. Midoriya only glared for a few moments and debated on yelling at him more, but turned the other cheek and ran into the bathroom after Todoroki. His first priority.
One of the lights above a stall had been broken with ice sheeting the ceiling, causing the room to become dimmer, but not pitch black. “Shouto?!” Midoriya called out upon entering, letting Todoroki recognize his voice before getting closer. The ice covering the ceiling had a trail leading from a section of the wall that helped the boy find which stall his beloved hero was hiding in. Sitting on the floor with his face in his upper arms, hands gripping the back of his shirt, Todoroki sat in silence and was unmoving. The little villain rushed to him, “Shou, Shou, Shou, Shouchan, Shouchan, it’s me.”; he had never called him by a nickname before. It just kind of came out. He got on his knees and placed his hands on his beloved’s shoulders. “Shouchan what happened?! What’s wrong?! Talk to me, please!” he cried, shaking him. It was then he swore he heard the bathroom door open but he chose to ignore it. The most important thing to him was right in front of him.
Midoriya slowly took his hands back and just sat on his knees, taking a deep breath. A long inhale to calm himself, and an exhale to release his own stress, his wrists stinging. But that wasn’t important. He just looked at him. His hero was so broken in this moment. It hurt to see him like this. And yet he understood what he was feeling, even if he didn’t understand the cause. He looked up at the broken light, he noticed the topmost buttons of his white costume were undone, his heater was missing, he wasn’t speaking. He’d become overstimulated. It was best not to touch him. “You don’t like it when people yell at you… yeah?” he kept his voice quiet. He kept his hands on his own knees, in a polite fashion. “I know you too well. You hide it, but you get anxious sometimes. Not like me, I’m not that good at being secret.” he smiled cutely even though he knew the other couldn’t see it. But he could hear it in his tone. “When you get like that, you usually don’t like to be touched, except by me for whatever reason. I wonder why that is~” he hummed. But he still knew his place, keeping his hands to himself. “I knew something was wrong the second I saw you spacing out. You disassociate when you’re upset. Or when you’re bored. It’s cute when you’re bored. I wish I saw you this morning, we could have talked about it.” They could talk about it now, but he wasn’t going to bother him with it. But it was soon that his tone dropped. He sounded sad. “Something happened last night. When you texted me. I never should have let go, I messed up, just like last time. And now you’re hurt again…” It was all All Might’s fault. He let Endeavor take him away. He let him get hurt. But who was he kidding? Todoroki was always hurting. This wasn’t anything new. It was just showing. Midoriya began to tear up thinking about it. “You’re always in so much pain… you’re so tired. I get it… It’s just exhausting having every day be a fight to just be content. Not even happy. Just content.”
Midoriya took his chance to slowly wrap his arms around Todoroki’s head and shoulders, beginning to pet his hair. Just how he liked. “You don’t have to tell me anything. You can take a break. It’s alright.” he rested his cheek on the top of his head. He didn’t mind that he wasn’t getting any responses. Sometimes the talking just needed to wait. Thankfully, he didn’t have to wait too long. “You’re not mad…?” Todoroki asked quietly. “Never.”
“Is this… inconvenient?”
“Never.”
“Am I weak now…?”
“Never.”
Endeavor did not leave a scratch on him for this day. The injuries he left the little doctor to tend to this time could not be healed with bandages. These wounds were not as easily seen. It was cruel. What could he have possibly said to Todoroki to bring him to this? Midoriya felt Todoroki’s hands make their way to his back to bring him closer, finally being ready to be touched and the anxiety slowly passing. “I want to go to bed…” he was tired. He was just tired. “You can take a nap at lunch again. I’ll wake you up.” Midoriya hummed, bringing his tone up again for him. He felt his beloved hero’s hug tighten. “Thank you.”
They would remain like this for at least a few minutes. But school was school and they were ditching class and they had to return. They left the bathroom together and saw that Iida was nowhere to be found. Todoroki’s heater was just outside the door for him to pick up and put back on. Before they parted ways, Midoriya was sure to reach up to his cheek and kiss his lips softly with his eyes closed. “Don’t tell them anything you don’t want to.” He pulled back with that beautiful minty glow in his eyes and the most innocent smile. “You only need me. They won’t understand you like I do. I’m here for you, always.” His last words before returning to his General Studies course. A reminder for Todoroki to keep up his walls against the heroes. And when Todoroki returned to class, he received worried and estranged looks from all his classmates. He hated the staring, but he ignored it. Iida was the first to look away. It would have made sense for Aizawa to lecture Todoroki in front of everyone, and yet all he did was hand him a piece of paper with critiques and pointers, and a passing grade on it. However, there was a small note at the bottom of it that was underlined. -See me after school.- How embarrassing.
“Todoroki, what happened back there?”
“Todoroki, man, what’s up?”
“We were all hecka worried about you.”
A class full of to-be heroes, of course they cared. Yaoyorozu was the first to catch up with him in the hallway to lunch period. She was soon followed by Kirishima and Kaminari. Todoroki acknowledged all of them with soft glances but only with silence. “There’s nothing wrong with talking about it. You can tell us. We… We get it, you know?” Kirishima seemed a bit more persistent. He had recovered well after the tragedy. He looked terrible during the incident, and not that much better at the police station. He seemed even a bit stronger now. But even with all these kind people reaching out to him, there was only one hand he trusted enough to hold. He turned away from them and picked up his walking pace. “Hey-” Yaoyorozu was going to try to catch up when an arm was stretched in front of her. It was Iida. He appeared to be very upset but trying to keep a straight face. “He just needs space.” The three of them looked to their class president… was that really what he needed?
A half-eaten bowl of rice sat next to Midoriya’s legs as he continued to eat ramen from his own bowl with his hero sleeping on his legs. He was petting his hair like he would any other time, occasionally wiping away tears from his cheeks when he noticed them. This was their peaceful place. Just for them. Only them. Even if they weren’t communicating, Midoriya felt a bit more ease coming from his beloved like this. Sometimes a snack and a nap were all one needed to calm down a bit. This was all fine. At least until he heard footsteps.
“Students are instructed to eat in the cafeteria with everyone else. You two shouldn’t be out here.” Such a nagging voice. Midoriya was sure to cover Todoroki’s ears to let him keep resting. Iida stood before them with his arms folded, still trying to keep a strong outward appearance as a class president and diligent student. “Shouto doesn’t like the noise. We’re staying out here.” the little villain growled back, a bit of red making itself known in his eyes. He was on the defensive here. This time, he would protect Todoroki. “After what happened, it’s best for-”
“Shouto wants nothing to do with you or anyone in your hero class. Can’t you see that? Or is your head too far up your ass in pride? Stop pretending that you want us to follow the rules when you really just want him for yourself.” Iida was just using the rules as a means of forcing Todoroki back with everyone. He was trying to take him away too. Midoriya wasn’t going to let him get taken away. Never again. He let Iida stand there in shock at such inappropriate words before he saw his folded arms drop to his side and his head hung low. “That’s not…” The freckled boy raised a brow. “What? Did you wuss out last second and came out here lecture us instead of something else?” Such a snappy brat. But he was right. “I… I did want to apologize. I…” Iida got down on his knees before them with his hands balled into fists on his lap. “I overheard you talking to him… I had no idea about anything…” He had been ignorant of anything that upset Todoroki. The yelling, pinning him down, nearly slapping his face, and chasing him, he didn’t know that it would upset his classmate so much. He gritted his teeth in frustration with himself. “I had no idea I upset him so much. I came here hoping he would have it in his heart to forgive me.” His big heart. His beautiful heart.
Midoriya merely scoffed as he looked down at his beloved still blissfully sleeping. He was nearly curled in a ball with his hand lightly clenched into a fist near his mouth. The villain wiped away one of his tears that had begun to stray away from his resting eyes. “Knowing him… he will. He’s much kinder than I am, you know?” How he would love to kill Iida like he did Kosuke. No. Worse. Keep him alive longer. Make his suffering more rigid and cruel. Brag to him how Todoroki would never be his to hold, to kiss, to love. “But he’s busy right now, so you might as well get lost.” Iida appeared to be offended now. This boy was so terribly rude. He was protective, but his tongue was sharp and mean. “You might as well never talk to him again. You’re only going to hurt him more. All you do his nag and he hates that more than anything.”
“Forgive me, but I think this kind of talk from you is unwarranted. I only have good intentions, I swear to you.”
“He’s too good for some kiss-up like you. Some guy like you would never understand him.”
“This is unreasonable! You can’t just keep him to yourself. You’re blocking people out like this, that’s abusive-”
Something snapped. “Say that again and you may just end up like Kosuke,” Midoriya growled darkly, his head lowered but eyes glaring up at Iida, Todoroki still having his ears covered. Iida sat up a bit straighter as a drop of sweat dripped down the side of his head. The air had become so heavy all of a sudden. The air felt cold and yet it stung. “Is...that a threat?” Iida questioned, narrowing his eyes back. Midoriya would not tolerate being called such a thing. He wasn’t like Endeavor. He would never be anything like him. Iida was wrong. He was wrong!
The two students would have their tension interrupted by a small sound, very quiet, but loud enough to break the silence between them. A sound of subtle distress. Todoroki’s face had become a bit stressed as his hand began clutching repeatedly at nothing. “Shouchan, Shouchan, I’m here. It’s me here, see?” Midoriya suddenly softly smiled and cooed as he gave his hero his hand and watched another tear fall. “He’s…” Iida noticed the crying and his heart broke witnessing it. Had he caused that? Such an intense sadness. “He always cries when he sleeps. But you don’t know why that is, do you?” the little villain sneered bitterly. “So why don’t you mind your own business?”
This conversation was going nowhere. In front of Iida was an overprotective boy providing comfort for someone he loved. But all he saw was a snake wrapping its way around Todoroki’s neck and wrists, controlling who he spoke to and who to hold on to. There was nothing he could do for someone who didn’t want his help. If earlier was any indication of who his classmate preferred, of course it was the one with the silver tongue. Before their talk went on any further, the jet legged student saw no other proper option than to just walk away and leave them be. Though he did look back to see Todoroki awaken and reach up, almost playfully, to touch Midoriya’s cheeks and sleepily poke at his freckles. How could he be so comfortable with someone like that?

“Do you feel safe with Midoriya Izuku?”
“Yes.”
“Do you feel safe living with him?”
“Yes.”
“Are you being properly taken care of at his home?
“Yes.”
“Have you ever felt unsafe or threatened in his care?”
“No.”
The day had ended and Aizawa stood in front of the door, blocking Todoroki’s only exit. All the other students had left leaving just the two of them behind. The boy was giving quick answers, short and simple answers, trying to get out of school as quickly as possible. His teacher was trying so hard to understand. He was determined to obtain the truth.
“Was it a fight with Midoriya that lead to your stunt this afternoon?”
“No.”
“Was it Endeavor?”
“...No.”
There was hesitation.
“What was it then?”
“The tragedy. Endeavor called it ‘survivor’s guilt’.”
Liar. It was so obviously a lie.
“You went home with Endeavor last night, did you not?”
“I did.”
“And you were with Midoriya during the grieving period?”
“I was.”
Aizawa did not trust Midoriya in the slightest. But the difference in personality that Todoroki portrayed compared to the first day back to the second was more than significant. Neither person in his student’s life was safe. But at least he was happier with the estranged freckled boy. “Are you staying with Midoriya tonight?” Todoroki nodded in confirmation. No wonder he was so eager to leave, he had been eyeing the exit the whole time. Aizawa couldn’t help but sigh as he got out of the way of the door. “Next time you feel like pulling that again… talk to me beforehand, got it?” he grumbled. He sounded annoyed but anyone could tell that he was far from it. Out of all his students, this one had the most concerning future. “Understood.” Todoroki went out the door without looking back in a light run, hurrying but not sprinting. He didn’t say a proper goodbye. He was ill-mannered. But in a teenage way.
Todoroki met Midoriya at the front gate, letting the little villain take his hand. The freckled boy smiled brightly as he cheerfully began to walk with him. “You have a big training session coming up in a few days, don’t you? At some building called the USJ?” he asked, starting the conversation. His beloved hero nodded. “Yeah, how did you know?” he asked back. Midoriya just giggled and scratched his cheek with his index finger. “Yamada asked if any volunteers were willing to play a damsel in distress. Obviously, everyone said ‘no’.”

And those days passed. Midoriya worked hard with Shigaraki’s agility training and Kurogiri’s knife throwing sessions to improve his ability to defend himself. His blood was hot with excitement, anticipation. What a glorious sight it would be to see his precious nomu beat down the number one hero, the number one phony. Would his big brother finish the job, or would he get the honors? If he were to be given that chance, would he slit his throat, or go straight for the heart? Maybe cut out his tongue first just to get him to shut up for a few seconds. Every day he awaited the results of Shigaraki’s marvelous plan. The older villain had been working almost every time Midoriya saw him. He never quite understood what he was doing until he showed him the screen of his laptop at the bar one night. Hundreds of pictures, pictures of criminals he had accumulated to join him in his ambush. He was using sheer numbers to distract anyone that would try to help All Might. The nomu needed to battle without interference for a guaranteed victory. All this time Shigaraki had been bribing and blackmailing and convincing people to join his side for this one attack.
An early dawn awaited that day. Before his school alarm went off, before the sun had even risen, Midoriya was grinning ear to ear, buttoning up his new outfit, tying his tie like Kurogiri had taught him, lacing his shoes, and inspecting his metal mouth mask and white face mask. The day he could officially wear this for the world to see. He mentally apologized to Todoroki. But he would be sure to keep him out of serious danger. Kurogiri would warp him in and his classmates as far away from the nomu danger zone as possible. Anyone that got close would just be warped again. It was a shame that his hero liked his class despite not being close to any of them except Iida. He would never join them if anyone died… except for maybe one person. If Iida thought he was getting off easy with pinning Todoroki to the ground and screaming at him, he was unmistakably wrong. He looked in the mirror and fixed his tie neatly to the center and placed his metal mouth mask on his face. “The one you let fall is going to shoot you down All Might…” he mumbled with a voice much deeper and skewed than his own. It was to disguise him. It was then that he heard his bedroom door open and saw Shigaraki in the reflection of his mirror, leaning back against the door covered in about a dozen hands strung together with red rope-like material. He wore his precious father on his face. Were they all real…? “Come down. Someone’s here to see you and bring your school uniform,” he said almost coldly before smirk could just barely be seen under his father’s palm. “That doesn’t look too bad on you.”
“Well, you two really do mean business.” Waiting for them sitting on a barstool with a shot glass in hand was a very familiar face. Blond hair and stitches on his forehead, a cigarette resting on an ashtray beside him, and a casual smile on his lips. He didn’t look as panicked as before, and he wasn’t switching between personalities either. He must have felt calmed here. Bubaigawara Jin. Villain: Twice. The last the man had seen the villainous brothers, they were just out in the city together in casual clothing. But here they were, covered in severed hands and wearing a metal mouth that had razor-sharp triangular teeth. Midoriya lowered his mouthpiece and raised a brow. “Why…?” he was about to ask when he felt a hand, minus a pinkie, rest on his head. “If you call out sick from school today, that’s gonna make you look really bad. Especially with how Eraserhead, All Might, and Endeavor are not fans of you.” Shigaraki answered. Midoriya had told him and Kurogiri during his training nights about what had been happening during the day. There was nothing to keep secret here anymore.
Twice stood up and whipped out a roll of measuring tape from his back pocket as he began snappily measuring the freckled boy up. Midoriya froze up and tensed at the fabric being wrapped around his limbs, neck, head, and torso all of a sudden. It felt awkward and Shigaraki chuckling at him did not help as he began to blush. When he was backed away from, the little villain began weakly slapping the older one for making fun of him. And it was when he stopped that he noticed that there was now an extra person in the room. It was him. Another him. It was a perfect replica, smirking at him. He tilted his head at the clone curiously, and it mirrored him teasingly. “That’s… really weird.” He reached out to touch it and it reached back and held his hand with a smile. “I’ll take good care of Shouchan, I promise,” it said happily. Midoriya’s face went bright red. How did it know?!
“My clones can last a few hours without damage. But they’re pretty fragile. One hit and it melts away depending on the stature of the original. And if they’re out and about for too long, they’ll start acting a little… funny.” Twice explained. “Funny how? How long is too long?” Midoriya asked, circling his clone curiously. It just stood there with its arms folded, looking proud of having such attention. “A school day should be its limit during this case. But boss man here told me that it will only have to last half that. And by funny um… they get a bit twitchy and having a bit too much fun causing trouble.” So they start acting more like Twice’s other personalities.
It felt almost rude to let Todoroki leave with a clone. Midoriya was sure to only give it one command before letting it go to his hero’s living space. “Don’t you dare kiss him.” To which his clone groaned and whined. “But that’s not fair! But fine… I guess.” it huffed. Midoriya handed it his school uniform to change into and would let it go about its day with his boyfriend. Was it bad that he felt a bit of jealousy towards it? He trusted it to not say anything stupid to anyone but would it have any less self-control than he did? Around Todoroki in particular? He didn’t want to think about it… it was too humiliating.

Being warped to U.A. once again, Todoroki walked inside oblivious to the fake that was walking in with him, holding his hand with a big smile. Instead of a kiss goodbye when parting ways, it jumped up to hug his neck tightly. “Have a good day Shouchan, we can have lunch under the tree again today!” it assured, letting go and landing playfully on its feet. Todoroki was not one to express too much emotion, but he did appear curious by the cheerfulness of the clone. “Izuku… why did you start calling me Shouchan all of a sudden?” he asked. The clone stuck its tongue out with a wink. “I’ll tell you later~” it hummed before taking hold of its backpack and giving it a good tug and running off. He was acting way cuter than normal… Todoroki wasn’t complaining.
Sitting in homeroom, Yaoyorozu was relieved to see him much more aware and active even though it had been a few days. But this morning felt brighter. “Good morning, Todoroki. How are you feeling?” she asked politely and casually like she would any other day. “I’m doing well,” he answered honestly. It made her smile gleefully. “That’s wonderful. Oh, and did you hear about a tea shop that opened around the corner this week?” A casual conversation ensued, he seemed back to his usual self after just a few days. He still didn’t talk much, but he was still a good listener, nodding in understanding and occasionally making small comments. Iida looked back at the two, appearing guilty still. He had not spoken to him since that day. They had not been paired up together in any training. He never attempted to apologize to him again. Haunting red eyes tormented him with cruel words continuously in his head. He would never know Todoroki enough to understand him. He couldn’t give him what Midoriya could. He wasn’t needed… He could only wonder if his classmate was mad at him.
Normal academics would take place in the morning as they always had. The clone was diligent in its note-taking and also interacted with Shinsou a few times throughout its time in the classroom. Shinsou had come up with a list of students between class 1-A and acquaintances of Kosuke. He may not be social or popular, but the tired boy was also a very good listener when it came to school gossip. The clone was sure to write down what was spoken about in between academic notes. Midoriya would want to know what had been discussed so he wouldn’t gain suspicion.
“Are they there yet?” Midoriya was impatiently tapping his foot in the bar, hugging on the nomu’s neck as it sat completely still in the bar, hunched over so it wouldn’t hit the ceiling. Twice had left the bar by now. “Kurogiri said they’re on the bus. Chill out.” Shigaraki sighed, checking his phone. “Oh yeah, get your ass over here.” he gestured for his little brother to come closer as then leaned over the counter to dig for something underneath it. “And hold your breath.” Midoriya raised a brow before suddenly shutting his eyes and felt something be sprayed at him. Specifically, in his hair. It smelt awful. Shigaraki began ruffling his hair up messily and when the spraying stopped, the little villain took a peek at a few strands of his hair from the corner of his eye. It was black. “It’ll come out with a good wash. But we can’t take any risks of you being found out yet.” If there was even the slightest chance of this all failing, all this preparation being for nothing, it would be a disaster if his little spy was discovered. Especially with Todoroki not being on their side yet. It was something Shigaraki didn’t want to think about, but something he had to consider. Master would be very upset if this failed… and suddenly he felt his phone go off again. “They’re there.”
“You will all be taken to the different zones to practice different search and rescue efforts. Not every disaster is the same and some of you are more efficient in some areas than others. You all must practice teamwork and adapting to these different environments.” Pro hero Thirteen stood before class 1-A, giving them the rundown of how their training was supposed to go for the day. They seemed enthusiastic to be given their attention for the day, eager to get their eyes set on honorable futures of being heroes. Aizawa nodded and lowered his chin into his scarf. “I will separate you all into groups. Remember when you’re doing this, this shouldn’t be treated as practice. Treat it like the real thing.” There would be no leisure or joking around with this kind of work. Many of the students looked eager to begin, smirking and smiling, ready to challenge themselves. “Then let’s get-!” Hagakure was about to cheer out when something dark appeared just down the hill from where they stood.
Noticing the students’ attention being taken away, both Thirteen and Aizawa turned around to see a black foggy mass in the short distance. “That’s not mine…” Thirteen muttered before more portals began to appear. Aizawa’s eyes widened slightly as he began to slowly raise his arms to his sides, keeping his students back. “Is this part of the training?” Shoji asked with a tone that hinted that he already knew it wasn’t. They all knew it wasn’t. Not when scary-looking criminals and villains started emerging from the dark fog. “What is that?” Jirou asked, watching tens, hundreds of dangerous people just walking into building uninvited. “How they got in the first time,” Aizawa growled. He watched one of the portals expand and saw Shigaraki come out first with the massive nomu behind him. And sitting on top of its shoulder was the little villain that had been causing their paranoia all this time. They were here.