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Heroes are Dead, Villains are Stupid, and Vigilantes are the New Trend

Chapter Text

Izuku walked home from school, letting out a forlorn sigh. He was covered in bruises; the bullies just wouldn’t leave him alone. Yeah, so what if he was quirkless? Why did it matter? He was just like the rest of them, the only difference being that he didn’t have a quirk.

He brushed a hand through his hair, the mess of curls was getting way too long. He’d have to get it cut soon. A smile curled across his face as he realized he was close to his apartment, his mom had no idea of what happened at school, but she always made him feel better.

The smile froze on his face. There were cops and a few heroes in front of his apartment, but that wasn’t what had his heart beating out of his chest. No, that honor belonged to the fact that his apartment building was on fire.

He scanned the crowds of people for his mom and when he couldn’t find her, Izuku went up to one of the policemen. The man had on a brown coat; he was gripping loosely onto a hat of the same color in his hand and had a worried frown. A pit of dread curled through Izuku at the expression.

“Um, excuse me sir, but could you tell me what’s happening here?”

The policeman turned to him, a startled expression crossing his face before it morphed into a warm smile.

“A villain attack happened. Endeavor, the first onto the scene, took care of it, but not without some minor damage. A few buildings caught on fire and sadly this was one of them.”

“Has everyone been evacuated?” Izuku asked, the pit in his stomach growing.

“Everyone except a few people on the third floor.”

Izuku felt all the color drain from his face, the pit swallowed his stomach whole and a dull ringing filled his ears. He and his mom lived on the third floor.

“Ah, but don’t worry kid, the heroes will have them out in no time.” The man reassured, no doubt seeing the panic and fear that crossed Izuku’s face.

“Watch out!”

The shout had both turning back to the still burning apartment. A section of the roof had collapsed, and the heroes had backed away. The section of roof was right over his house and he was certain his mom was going to die.

He couldn’t let that happen.

Izuku’s feet were moving before he had time to think of a plan. All he knew was that he couldn’t let his mom die.

“Hey kid, get back here!” The police officer shouted, but Izuku ignored him and pushed himself to run faster.

He got into the first floor of the building with ease, the heroes were too slow to stop him. He started to climb up the stairs, deciding that that would probably be the safest way up.

The closer he got to the third floor, the more smoke there was. He coughed, pulling his shirt over his nose and mouth. Izuku crouched lower on the stairs, he had read somewhere that the air was better lower in a fire.

His troubles hadn’t ended when he finally got to the third floor, in fact they got worse. The collapsed roof had blocked his front door, he had no way to get in. He looked around, the windows. They were only a few feet apart in each apartment and had a ledge where he could climb. If he went into one of his neighbors’ houses, he could climb into his house and save his mom.

With a plan in place, he was quick to get started. Their closest neighbor was Ms. Akari, a kind old woman who used to babysit him. Her door was unlocked, and he was quick to get to her window, but he stopped. He groaned and ran around the house, hoping that Ms. Akari had already left.

Thankfully she had and he was free to save his mom with a guilt-free conscious. He climbed out the window, digging his fingers into the spaces of brick and balancing carefully on the small ledge.

He heard a shout below and assumed that people were pointing him out, but he didn’t focus on that. Instead he focused on walking as fast as he could on the dangerous ledge.

A few minutes later and he was tumbling into his apartment with a relieved sigh. He wasn’t scared of heights, he just didn’t like them, especially in a life and death situation.

The fire was even worse in here than anywhere else. Smoke billowed into his face and he dropped back down onto the ground, covering his face again.

“Mom,” he called out. There was no answer.

Another piece of the roof fell, and he curled into a ball to protect himself from the scattering debris. The fire was getting worse, why the hell hadn’t the heroes put it out yet?

When he uncurled from his protective ball, he finally saw his mom. Or at least he saw half of her. He quickly ran to her, ignoring the smoke and feeling hope rise up in him once again.

The hope was gone as fast as it came, horror replaced it. He had found his mom, but there was no way she was still alive.

A beam had fallen onto her, the right side of her body had been crushed. Blood leaked out from under the beam and he felt bile rushing up his throat. He threw up and let himself sob.

He gripped onto her shirt and buried his head into her hair, pretending that his mother’s eyes were shining instead of this dull emptiness. He pretended that she was running her hand through his hair and for the first time since he was five, let himself break.

Sobs tore from his throat and he heaved in gasping breaths, but he couldn’t breathe anymore. The smoke was probably getting worse, his crying wasn’t helping the matter. He wheezed and curled up against his mom’s side.

This was where he would die, with the only person who would have missed him, and the realization that this was all for the best. He was so worthless; it was about time he died. Too bad he was bringing his beautiful mother with him, she deserved everything in the world.

He was supposed to die, but fate had other plans. A voice hit his ears and he sluggishly moved his head to look around. When he could see nobody around, he curled back up against her.

“Izuku… Izuku you must live. Don’t give up just yet, sweetheart, I know you can do this.” He looked up and there, standing in front of him, was his mom. She was see through and there was a glow surrounding her, but it was her.

“Mom,” he whimpered.

She smiled softly at him and knelt before him. “You need to leave, Izuku.”

He shook his head. “No, I don’t wanna live without you.”

She smiled sadly. “I know, but it isn’t your time yet. Please, Izuku, live for me.”

Izuku felt as if he were shattering, he didn’t want to live without her, but this was the least he could do for her. He could always kill himself later, so he nodded his head.

She narrowed her eyes. “Promise me, Izuku. Promise me that you’ll live for me.”

A sob wrenched itself from him. He didn’t want to live without her, but maybe this would help her rest in the afterlife.

“Ok, mom, I promise.”

She smiled warmly. “Good, I’ll always be with you, Izuku, remember that.”

She was starting to fade away, but before she did, she pointed to the trash chute. “Go there, Izuku, it’s the only way you’ll escape.”

Then with one last ghostly kiss that she pressed gently to his forehead, she disappeared, and he was alone. He cried again, clinging onto her body, but he wouldn’t break his promise to her. With the last of his strength he climbed into the trash chute.

All he could remember before passing out was the terrifying slide downward. God, he hoped he never woke up again.

***

The channel switched with an easy click of the remote and Katsuki glared toward the ugly, old hag.

“Really hag?! I was watching that!”

He had been watching a news channel about a fire in the lower part of Musutafu, but before he could learn why it had started, the old hag changed the channel.

She scowled at him, thwacking him on the back of his head. “Don’t speak to me like that, brat! It’s dinner time, we don’t need to be watching dark things like that!”

He scoffed and continued to eat his food. Truthfully, he wasn’t that interested in the fire anyways, he was just using it to curb his anxiety. Normally Katsuki wasn’t anxious about anything, but he was going to come out to his parents.

All he had to do was figure out how to say it. That was a lot harder than he had expected it to be. They were talking about the hag’s work, that was fucking boring, so he might as well do it now.

“I’m gay.”

His parents stopped talking and for a few minutes everything was completely silent. He chanced a look upwards; his parents’ faces were completely blank. They were both frozen, in fact his mom was still holding her fork upward.

“Mom, dad?” He said hesitantly.

“What?” She finally said, slowly putting down her fork.

“I’m gay,” he repeated.

Silence reigned once again, and he felt dread curl through him. For all the times he had imagined this conversation, it had never been so quiet.

“No.”

“What?” He stared at his mom in surprise, her expression wasn’t blank anymore, instead she looked angry. Or worried he couldn’t really be sure with her.

“I said no. You can’t be gay Katsuki.”

Oh, this was serious. She never used his name, it was either brat or jackass, or some kind of swear, but never his name.

“What do you mean I can’t be gay? It’s not like I woke up one day and decided ‘Oh, suddenly I like men.’ That’s not how it works, I don’t have control over it.”

“I don’t care, I won’t have a faggot living in this house.”

He flinched at her words. Had she just called him… How dare she? Stupid fucking hag, he was who he was, and he couldn’t change it.

“Yeah, well you do!”

“I won’t! So, either let go of this phase and become normal, or, or, or leave!”

Katsuki stared incredulously at her. Was his mom really kicking him out because he liked guys? What kind of parent did that?

“Are you kicking me out?”

She flinched but didn’t back down. “I am, I won’t have someone like you living here.”

“Okay.”

She stared at him for a few seconds but didn’t say anymore and went back upstairs. He collapsed back into his chair, trying to stop the shaking of his body.

“Do you agree with her?” He asked his dad, who had just been watching until then.

He shook his head, glanced to where his mom had disappeared to, and let out a loud sigh.

“I’m sorry Katsuki.” With that, he followed her upstairs.

Katsuki stayed in his seat, blinking away the tears burning in his eyes. For all the scenarios he had imagined, getting kicked out wasn’t one of them. He had thought that the worst that would happen would be that she would hit him. Not that she would be homophobic and kick him out. And of course, his dad wouldn’t disagree with her, he always agreed with her and never supported Katsuki against her.

He sobbed; he couldn’t suppress the tears anymore. Why the hell did this have to hurt so much? They were his parents; they were supposed to love him unconditionally. Sure, they had their rough patches, but he had always known that they loved him.

Now, though? He wasn’t sure.

He let out a groan and wiped away the tears. Whatever, if the hag wanted him to leave than he would, and he would still complete all his dreams. When he was the number one hero, they could come crawling back to him, begging for forgiveness. The visualization didn’t help, his mom never begged, especially for someone’s forgiveness.

Katsuki climbed up to his room, pretending not to hear the sobbing coming from his parents’ room. He quickly packed a few changes of clothes into his duffle bag and took anything else that was important to him. At a picture of him with his parents he hesitated, did he really want a reminder of this day with him?

No, he didn’t. With that he walked back downstairs and looked around at his house for what would be the last time. He walked out the door and didn’t look back, if he did, he would break down, and he wasn’t going to let them see that.

It was a cold night and he shivered, pulling his jacket tighter around himself. The sun was still setting, painting the streets orange and red. Smoke rose through the air and he realized that the fire from the tv was close to where he lived.

His feet took him there without his permission. The fire was still going, but not as strong as when he had last seen it. He wasn’t going to stay for long, but movement from a garbage bin caught his attention.

He walked over there and found a strange sight. A boy was laying in the trash, covered in soot and burns. He looked to be in pain, his brows were furrowed and there were tears trekking down his face despite his unconscious state. He was wearing a middle school uniform, that he recognized as Aldera’s, a school close to Katsuki’s own school.

He stared at the boy for a few moments more and then flushed. Under all the soot that covered him, the boy seemed cute. Freckles decorated his face and curly green hair haloed it. Why the hell was this boy so cute, even looking like a complete mess and sleeping in trash?

That wasn’t fair, that wasn’t fair at all.

The boy made a quiet sound and his face scrunched up. Then his eyes opened and Katsuki was trapped in the most gorgeous green eyes he had ever seen. Apparently, the boy had finally woken up.

***

“I’m sorry Shouto, I just can’t do this anymore.” Touya murmured, stuffing all his clothes into his backpack without a second thought.

What about him? Shouto didn’t want to stay there anymore either. Why was his brother leaving without him?

“Can’t you take me with you?” He asked, grabbing Touya’s sleeve to stop his erratic movements. He slumped over and Shouto watched in silent horror as tears seeped into the bandages that covered his brother’s face.

“I can’t, Shouto. It’s too dangerous.”

Shouto shook his head. “No. I’m not weak, I don’t need you to protect me, I won’t be a burden I promise! So, please let me come with you!”

Touya shook his head. “No, Shouto. The place where I’m going isn’t a place where a child should be.”

His brother knelt in front of him, cupping Shouto’s face with bandaged hands. “You’ll be okay, Shouto, I promise.”

Touya pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek and then continued to pack. Shouto watched in silence this time, letting tears drip down his face.

He followed Touya to the front door, where his big brother knelt in front of him again. “We’ll see each other again, just stay strong.”

Shouto sniffled and nodded his head, Touya smiled then left. Shouto watched until he couldn’t see his brother anymore. Then he burst into tears and stayed close to the door, wishing that his brother would be back already.

“What the hell are you crying for?”

Shouto flinched, the tears automatically drying as he whirled around to face his father. A mixture of hatred and fear twisted through him at his father’s furious look.

“Nothing.”

His father narrowed his eyes and looked toward where Touya had left. “Forget about him, he was too weak. I’ll make sure you’re stronger than him.”

He walked away and Shouto fell to his knees. The training was going to get worse, all because Touya had left?

No, Shouto wouldn’t let that man bully him anymore. Touya didn’t want him, then he would find people who did.

He ran back to his room and packed all his things into the bag that normally held all his workout clothes. Shouto wasn’t going to stay in this house a second longer, but in his haste to leave, he had forgotten to lock his door.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

Shouto flinched and whirled around. His father stood in the doorway of his room, his flames rising up with rage.

“I – I – I’m not going anywhere.”

His father narrowed his eyes, a snarl twisting across his lips.

“You’re my masterpiece, don’t expect to escape as easily as your siblings.”

He dragged Shouto out by his arm, ignoring his desperate pleas.

“Please, father, I don’t wanna train!”

His father sneered down at him. “It doesn’t matter what you want, you’ll beat All Might if it’s the last thing you do!”

Shouto felt the tears rushing down his face, he didn’t want this. All he wanted was to be happy, why couldn’t that happen?

His father dragged him to their training room and the next four hours were the worst of his life.

After that he went back to his room, covered in bruises and burn marks. Everything was spinning, but he wasn’t going to stay there for any longer, even if that meant dying out on the streets.

Shouto grabbed his half-packed bag and finished packing the rest of it.

He was done quick enough and then jumped out of the window. He had no idea where he was going, but he would figure something out eventually.

Deciding to go to one of the more unpopular places of Musutafu, Shouto found that there had been a horrific fire. And who had it been started by? His father of course.

Guilt twisted through him. Sure he hadn’t been the one to start the fire, but he was related to the bastard who had.

He walked near one of the buildings that caught on fire, it was an apartment building. He was just going to walk away, but a conversation sparked his interest.

“It wasn’t your fault, Tsukauchi. There was nothing you could have done.” A man with a cat head said, gently patting another man’s shoulder. He had a weird trench coat and a horrible sense of fashion.

“I know, Sansa, but I was right there. I should have been able to stop him.” Tsukauchi said, his head dropping down.

“Well, maybe it was for the better, I found this in the ashes.”

Sansa showed Tsukauchi of a green boy and woman who stood side by side, smiling. They looked happy and Shouto felt a twist of jealousy.

“I’m pretty sure his mom was the only person he had, so maybe it was best that they died together.” Sansa continued.

Shouto winced at that, feeling guilty for his previous thoughts. Had he really just been jealous of a dead boy?

He stopped eavesdropping and continued on his way.

“You’re kind of an idiot, aren’t you?”

He heard a voice say and turning down an alleyway he found a surprising sight.

The boy who had supposedly died with his mother was alive and talking to another boy. He was a lot cuter than his picture suggested and the boy standing in front of him wasn’t bad looking either.

“Shut up, I know I am, but I was desperate.” The green boy said sheepishly, a sad smile curling across his face. Apparently it was the blonde boy who had called him an idiot.

“How the hell am I supposed to help you though, I don’t have a first aid kit with me.” The blonde grumbled, it was then that Shouto noticed the boy was covered in burns.

“I have a first aid kit you can use.”

They startled at his interjection, the blonde glaring distrustfully and the green haired boy brightening.

“Really?”

“Fuck off, we don’t need your help.”

They responded mutually. The green haired boy immediately hit the blonde.

“Shut up Katsuki-san.”

The boy turned to him. “Hi, I’m Izuku and this is Katsuki!”

“No last names?”

“Nope! Katsuki’s mom is a bitch and I’m an orphan now!” Izuku chirped brightly, Katsuki nodding along despite the glare he still had directed at Shouto.

“I’m sorry.”

They shot him confused looks. “What are you sorry for?” Izuku asked, tilting his head curiously.

“My father was the one to burn down your apartment.”

Realization slid across Izuku’s face and Katsuki jumped in front of the boy protectively.

“Your, Todoroki Shouto?”

He nodded his head, looking down so he didn’t have to see the hatred that would cross Izuku’s face.

“That must suck, he probably treats his family pretty terribly.”

Shout startled at the words, staring flabbergasted at Izuku. He merely smiled in response, eyes warm and kind.

“So, how about we patch each other up, Shouto?”

Katsuki rolled his eyes and sighed, dropping back down to where Izuku was sitting. He grumbled something about people being too trusting.

Shouto felt himself smile, these two were interesting. Maybe it would be okay to spend some time with them.

“Sounds good to me.”

***

“What the hell have I told you about speaking, boy?” Hitoshi’s current foster father shouted, his fist connecting painfully with his cheek.

He had only been asking for some food, considering that they hadn’t let him eat anything for the past three days. The bastards.

Hitoshi didn’t say anything, if he did the rest of his foster “family” would gang up on him. And he'd have way too many bruises to explain.

He dealt with the beating silently, not even a whimper escaping past his tightly clenched lips. Thankfully the family was going out tonight and John, his foster father, didn’t want to be late.

They were gone soon enough, but he continued to lie where he was. He was so damn tired. Tired of the pain, tired of how worthless he felt, and tired of living.

He shook his head, those thoughts would lead to dark things and he didn’t want to travel down that road again.

Slowly pushing himself up, Hitoshi limped to the bathroom. It was where he hid all of his first aid things.

Grabbing bandages, peroxide, and a few cotton balls, he sat in the tub. This was the easiest way to clean up the blood. He poured peroxide onto the gashes where John's spurs had cut into his skin.

He hissed at the burn of it and watched as his blood swirled down the drain. A bitter laughed escaped him and he couldn’t help but wonder if other kids his age knew how to stitch themselves back together.

After he finished treating his wounds, he slunk back to the cupboard he called a room. He could be fucking Harry Potter if anyone actually liked him.

Fuck it. He grabbed his meager belongings and tied a jacket around them, hobo style. He wasn’t going to stay there any longer.

Hitoshi walked out the front door, paused and then walked back in to turn the stove on. Hopefully the damn house would burn down.

The first thing he saw in downtown Musutafu was smoke. There was a lot of smog streaming through the air, the air thick and hard to breathe through.

“Fucking Endeavor, always causing so much damage. He burned down an apartment building and three people died in it! Can you believe it?”

A woman gossiped, leaning into her friend's space. Hitoshi decided that he may as well ask about it.

“Excuse me miss, could you please tell me what happened?”

The woman nodded. “Yeah, sure, I don’t mind, kid. Apparently there was a villain attack earlier today, and Endeavor was the first one to get there.”

Of course, he should have realized, Endeavor was always the cause behind these things. Stupid bastard.

“I see, thank you ma'am, have a good day.”

She smiled warmly at him. “It’s rare to see kids as polite as you these days, you have a good day as well.”

Hitoshi waved and walked toward the place the smoke was coming from. Bet she wouldn’t think that if she knew what you're quirk was.

He ignored the voice and continued on his way, hopefully he would find a place to stay with all the people who had died. Maybe it was bad to use a tragedy like that, but he did what he had to do to survive.

The police were still milling outside the apartment building and he shifted his hobo backpack. Would they notice he didn’t belong there? Would they realize that he was a villain and put him back in the foster system?

He never got the answer to those questions.

“Ouch! Stop it, Katsuki, it hurts.”

He heard a voice whine, strangely it came from a nearby alleyway. Hitoshi decided to go down it, nobody would care if he died anyway.

The sight he was met with was just as strange as he had thought it would be. There were three boys around his age, one of them was sitting, and the other two were kneeling next to him. They were trying to patch him up, if the burns and half-assed bandages on him were any indication.

But they were doing a terrible job, they hadn’t even put on any burn cream.

“I’m telling you, Katsuki, there needs to be some kind of cream put on them.” The candy cane boy grumbled, glaring at the boy with explosive blonde hair.

“And I’m telling you, we don’t need that shit! I patch myself up all the time like this, it always worked with me.” Explodo-hair grumbled back.

“Yeah, well you’re doing it completely wrong!”

“Ah, guys, maybe we should just go to the hospital.” The green-haired boy interrupted, scratching his cheek as he avoided their eyes.

Hitoshi scoffed. “Oh, please, you don’t need a hospital, I’ve patched up wounds way worse than that on my own.”

The three heads snapped toward him at the same time (eerie) and gave him weary looks.

“What? It’s true.” Hitoshi shifted, rubbing at the back of his neck, maybe he shouldn’t have stuck his nose where it didn’t belong after all.

And then the broccoli boy’s face scrunched up and he started to cry.

“Wh-what’s the matter? Was it something I said?”

The boy nodded and Hitoshi mentally ran over all the words he had said in the last minute.

“I’m sad because you sound like you’ve been through a lot of pain.”

“Uh, er, it’s okay?”

That was the wrong thing to say, tears streamed even faster down the boy’s face.

“No, it’s not!” He wailed.

The other two boys had been glaring at him since broccoli’s face scrunched up. And great, now he was panicking. He never thought things through when he panicked.

“Uh, stop crying please! You’re cute, but you’re not all that cute when you cry, you know?”

The boy stopped crying and then he flushed bright red. He flailed his arms about like a maniac.

“I-I’m not cute!” He screeched, the blush reaching up to his ears.

“That makes you even more cute!” God, why the hell couldn’t Hitoshi keep his mouth shut?

The boy went even more red, pulling his shirt up to cover his face. He was quickly reminded of the other two boys when they decided to butt in.

“Are you done flirting now, weirdos?”

“Maybe you guys should flirt later and take care of his burns.”

They said at the same time, immediately glaring at each other. Why were they so hot when they glared? Thankfully he would be distracted, broccoli boy still needed to be treated, as he was respectfully reminded of.

“Uh, yeah, sorry. I’ll get right onto that, broccoli boy.”

“Broccoli boy? Oh, yeah we never introduced ourselves did we?” The boy mumbled. “Well I’m Izuku!”

“Katsuki.”

“Shouto, pleasure to meet you.”

“I’m Hitoshi.”

“That a stupid name.”

“Shut up, no one asked you, pomeranian head.”

“Hah? The hell did you just call me?”

A whine snapped them out of their argument. Izuku was wincing, brushing a hand over one of the burns on his arm.

“Shit, sorry Izuku. I’ll get right on those.”

“Thanks Hitoshi.” Izuku smiled at him.

Hitoshi nodded his head in response. Grabbing his first aid kit out of his hobo pack. He hoped he could stay with these people, they were way better than any of his foster families.

Chapter Text

Katsuki panted, gasping for air as he pushed himself to run faster.

“Hey, get back here!”

Katsuki didn’t listen of course. Instead, he tightened his grip on the bag of stolen bread and jumped onto a fire escape. As fast as he could, Katsuki jumped onto the roof and hid inside an abandoned room.

He heard the police officers run past and smirked to himself. Another successful food run.

Jumping back out of the abandoned building, Katsuki walked back to the warehouse he and his friends lived in. They should of been getting back from their food runs too.  

In the beginning they had all been against stealing food, stealing anything really. Their mutual dreams of heroics kept them from doing anything illegal. But they had quickly learned that they wouldn’t survive without doing anything.

At first they had tried getting jobs, but there wasn’t anyone who would legally hire a bunch of twelve-year olds. So, they tired getting not so legal jobs. 

That was a mistake they would regret for the rest of their lives. And after that they weren’t so opposed to stealing, in fact, it was the most legal thing they had done in a while.

“Ah, Katsu! You’re finally back!”

Izuku called, motioning him over with a wave of his hand. Hitoshi and Shouto were also back, a pile of food resting at their feet. 

“You got bread, seriously?” Shouto asked. He arched an eyebrow and scoffed, rolling his eyes like Katsuki had done something stupid. 

The urge to stab him was strong.

“Yeah, I thought it’d be a good change to our diets. I know we’re supposed to get canned foods, but I figured we could get something else for once.” 

Before Hitoshi or Shouto could say something asshole-ish, Izuku cut in.

“That was a great idea Katsuki, I'm getting tired of cold beans anyways!"

Katsuki nodded. “Glad that you recognize my genius.”

Izuku giggled and grabbed one of the bags, bringing it inside. Katsuki felt his heart flutter, heat rising to his face. That always happened when he made one of the others laugh. He didn’t understand why exactly, but he ignored it to the best of his abilities. 

They followed Izuku, shutting the metal door as quietly as they could. Three months ago, when the project for the warehouse was abandoned, they found their home. It wasn’t the best place, but it was theirs and nobody else ever came there.

“Did anybody get hurt?” Izuku asked, looking them over carefully.

Katsuki snorted. “We’re fine nerd, stop worrying.”

Izuku pouted. “Nerd? You’re the one who goes to bed at eight and studies every single night.”

“I need to do that, I’m not as smart as you, brat.”

Izuku giggled, looking delightfully surprised. He always was when they complimented him. If he ever found out who made him think so low of himself, he would kill them.

“I’ll cook.” Hitoshi offered, grabbing a pan that somebody else had thrown away. (Seriously, why did people throw such good shit out, there wasn’t even a dent in it).

“Thanks Hito.” 

Shouto and Katsuki with went less verbal responses, but Hitoshi knew what their grunts meant anyway.

“I feel like today is going to be a good day.” Izuku mused, smiling to himself.

“You say that everyday.” Shouto pointed out. 

“Yeah and you guys should too. It’s a good way to remind yourself of what you have and not what you don’t.”

“Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard your philosophical bullshit plenty of times, nerd!”

“Shut up, Katsu! It’s not bullshit!”

Izuku glared at him, but the way he puffed his cheeks out and pouted ruined the effect. Instead, all it did was make Katsuki laugh. Soon enough, the rest couldn’t help but join in.

Maybe Izuku would be right, today felt like it would be a good day. Katsuki scowled.

“Damn nerd, infecting me with your philosophical bullshit.” He muttered to himself. Somehow Izuku’s optimism would always spread to them. It was impossible to stay bitter with Izuku around.

***

Sukuinote sighed to herself. The worthless police were bothering her again, those damn fools, couldn’t they handle a bunch of kids on their own? Apparently not because they had asked her to track them down and despite her busy schedule, she agreed. 

“You know I have to go back to the dojo soon, right?” She asked, turning to give Tsukauchi a pointed look.

He laughed sheepishly. “Yeah, I know, sorry for calling you in. But those kids are hard to track and you’re our best tracker, retired or not.”

She sighed, nodding in agreement, but there was something that bothered her. “What are you going to do with those kids if I can find them?”

“It depends on the situation. If they have families, we’ll take them back and if they don’t or their families are abusive, they’ll be sent into the foster system.”

She glared at him and he winced. Tsukauchi knew exactly how she felt about the foster system, it was bigoted as hell. Quirks determined how much you were worth or if you would get adopted, if you didn’t have a good one than life would be hell. She prayed for those who were quirkless and fostered, they never made it into adulthood.

“I’m sorry, Yasahi-san. There’s not much else I can do.”

She sighed. “I know, I just wish we could do something to change it. Everything is so bigoted and it’s not a good system.”

Tsukauchi nodded. “I know.”

“Well, I suppose I should get to looking for those kids.”

“Tell us if you find any clues and try to apprehend them without any injuries.”

Sukuinote scowled. “What? You expect me to tear their arms off?”

He grinned mischievously. “Wouldn’t be surprised if you did.”

She snorted and shook her head. “I’ll be back.”

“Yeah, see you later Yasahi.”

She left the police situation with a relieved sigh. She had worked there for twenty years, but her senses were still overwhelmed every time she walked in there. It was the reason she had retired early, that and what had happened during her last case.

Sukuinote brushed a hand where her right arm used to be, gently rubbing over the stump. Shaking her head of the memories, she activated her quirk.

Her eyes sharpened, no doubt revealing a pair of green cat eyes. Her quirk was a weird one, but it made her the best tracker. Sukuinote went to the place where the bread had been stolen. She looked around for fingerprints and then tried to smell anything distinct.

She caught a whiff of something immediately. Nitroglycerin. One of the kids had some sort of explosion quirk. Even more of a reason to bring them in, powerful quirks like that were harder to control. The kid could accidentally burn something down.

Following the scent to an abandoned warehouse, Sukuinote paused in indecisiveness. These kids were only stealing so they could live. Was there really any reason to bring them in? No, she had to do this. The kids were only doing theft now, that could evolve into more dangerous things.

With a deep breath to calm herself, she kicked the warehouse door open. There was a surprisingly lived in place, but she could only see one person. A purple haired boy with a confident smirk.

“Hey.” He said nonchalantly. 

“Where are your frie—”

She was cut off as her whole body seemed to freeze. Her arm fell slack to her side, and she couldn’t move a single muscle. A few other kids appeared.

One of them had bright green hair, the other had red and white hair, and the last had blonde hair. They gathered around the purple haired kid; whose quirk was probably what was controlling her. 

“We should erase her memory and send her away. It’s too dangerous.” The blonde said immediately, looking at her with intense eyes.

The green haired kid shook his head. “Let’s see why she’s here first. Then we can erase her memory.”

The others nodded and with a sigh, the purple haired kid started questioning her. 

“Why are you here?”

The words left her mouth before she could even think about the answer. “To apprehend four children who have been seen robbing multiple stores.”

The purple haired kid frowned, and the rest looked worried. 

“How’d you find us?”

“I could smell nitroglycerin at the convenience store and I followed the smell here.” She answered robotically. 

The blonde paled. “Shit! I led her right to us!”

“Shh, Katsu, there was nothing you could do. None of us knew they had a tracker as good as her.” The green one soothed. 

“Alright one last question. What were you gonna do with us when you found us?”

“I would have brought you back to the police station and you would probably be put into the foster system.”

All the kids’ faces darkened and she prayed they would let her finish before doing whatever they planned on doing. 

“Unless one of you is quirkless.”

They startled at that, looking at her curiously.

“What would you do with us if one of us were quirkless?”

“You’d stay with me and I would take care of you.”

That seemed to completely flabbergast the kids because a second later she could move again. Sukuinote quickly lunged forward, whacking the kid on the back of his head. He yelped and they all moved away from her.

They stared wearily at her, but none of them used their quirks. 

“You shouldn’t use your quirk on someone without their permission.” She scolded the purple haired boy and turned to the others.

“Based on that reaction, I’m guessing one of you is quirkless. So, which one is it?”

They studied her carefully again and then the green kid stepped forward. “That would be me, ma’am.” He said politely, fiddling with his sleeves and avoiding her eyes. The others stood protectively in front of him. 

She snorted and rolled her eyes. “Well, come on.”

They stared at her, surprise clear on their faces and didn’t move. “I said I would take care of you guys and I meant it, so come on.”

They still didn’t move. Smart, not trusting her, she applauded that usually, but now their trust issues were annoying. “Look, you guys saw how fast I moved, if I wanted to hurt you, I would have already done so.”

They shared weary glances and finally moved. They went around the warehouse, picking up their meager belongings. 

Gesturing for her to go first, they left the warehouse. 

“So, what’s your name?” The green haired kid asked curiously, tilting his head to the side.

“I’m Yasahi-san Sukuinote, what about you brats?”

“I’m Izuku.” The green kid went first.

“Katsuki.” Blonde went next.

“Shouto.” Candy cane went third.

“Hitoshi.” The purple haired kid went last. 

She didn’t bother asking for their last names. They were living on the streets for a reason after all.

“Well, boys, I think we’ll get along great.”

She was given tentative smiles. The blonde one just scowled; he was clearly a tsundere. She had never met one before, it was going to be a lot of fun messing with him.

***

Izuku couldn’t believe their luck. They had found a home. Well, maybe.

They didn’t get a bad feeling from her and after two months working with villains they had learned to trust their instincts. But still, she had also been sent to catch them and suddenly changed her mind about it. That was suspicious. 

For now though, they would just be extra careful and see what would happen. 

“So, Yashi-san, where are you taking us?”

The woman stared at him and the others snickered.

“Yashi-san?” She questioned, arching an eyebrow.

He felt himself flush. “S-sorry. I have a bad habit of giving people nicknames.” 

She snorted. “Don’t worry about it, kid, I kinda like it.”

“Ah, okay, I’ll keep calling you that then.”

She nodded, giving him a brief smile. It made her seem a lot younger and gave her a youthful vibe.

“Anyway, about your question. I’m taking you kids to a dojo that I run, I’m going to teach you how to fight.”

They froze at that. They figured that they would just have a home, not that she would help them fight.

“Um, why would you do that?” He asked, he didn’t mean to sound ungrateful, but he didn’t trust so easily anymore. 

“Because I can tell you kids are different. I can tell that you want to make a difference. And I can help you kids do that.”

Izuku stared at her in awe. How did she know that they still wanted to be heroes? Despite everything they had done and despite everything they had been through, that dream was what kept them going. It was their drive, their only reason for living other than each other. 

“How’d you know?” Katsuki asked. He was scowling still, but Izuku could tell that he was shocked too. Now that he was paying attention, Shouto looked about ready to pass out and Hitoshi was frozen.

 “I can see it.” She looked into Katsuki’s eyes, unflinching despite the weariness he directed toward her. “There’s a fire in you kids’ eyes I’ve only ever seen in the greatest of heroes.”

 Izuku felt tears burn in the back of his eyes. He hadn’t cried since his mom had died, but it had been so long since someone had believed in his dreams. The others were probably feeling the same way. Katsuki had been seen as too violent to be a hero, Shotuo’s father wanted him to be one for all the wrong reasons, and Hitoshi had always been seen as a villain. So, this was a first for all of them.

 “Why do you think you can help us? I’m quirkless, we all have a lot of issues, and it’s not certain you can even trust us to be heroes.” Izuku couldn’t help but be skeptical, a lot had happened and he wasn’t the same naïve child he had been before.

 Yashi studied him for a moment, looking through him with focused eyes. “Because I need to. I need to help you kids become great and I need to do something to change this society. You guys have experienced bad things and have seen what is wrong with society. Kids like you would be best for changing the world.”

 They stared at her.

 “Huddle up.” At Katsuki’s words they curled into a circle, pressing their heads close together.

 “Should we believe her? I mean, we already went with her, but with what she’s saying..” Katsuki trailed off, a thoughtful expression on his face.

 “She makes it sound like we’re able to change the world.” Hitoshi finished bluntly.

 “Yeah, but she just met us. Why would she think that? I mean I guess she sees something in us, but we can’t do what she thinks. Can we?”

 They fell into their own thoughts. Shouto did bring up some good points, they’d only just meant this woman. And she immediately believed they could change the world? Still, Izuku was loathe to give up this chance. It may be their only chance to become heroes.

 “I think we should go with her. This may be our only chance to become heroes, if we don’t take this chance, we may never get another like it.” Izuku stated how he felt, still feeling a deep warmth every time they listened to him.

 Hitoshi and Shouto nodded in agreement, while Katsuki seemed to think it over a bit more.      

 “Alright, we’ll trust her. Just make sure to be careful.”                     

 They broke from their huddle and turned back to Yashi. She had turned away from them some time during their conversation and Izuku found that he appreciated the attempt at privacy.

 “We’ll go with you, thanks for believing us.” Izuku was the one who spoke, he had the most people skills.

 She nodded and they continued on their way. He wondered if she could hear how thankful he truly was in those simple words. 

***

  Sukuinote couldn’t begin to process the emotions that had convinced her to help these kids. She had meant what she said, there was something about them that was heroic and made her believe in them.

She couldn’t say exactly what she had seen. All she knew for sure was that the look she had seen in their eyes was the same as the look in All Might’s. It was the same look that she had seen right before a hero died to protect somebody else.

 It was idiotic and stupid; what she was going to do. They were a bunch of kids and shouldn’t be tasked with saving the world. And yet she couldn’t help but believe that they were the only chance the world had.

 Society was terrible, in its current state and its old state. In the beginning people with quirks were persecuted and currently people without quirks were treated horribly. Sukuinote couldn’t help but believe that they would be able to change it.

 “Here we are!” She exclaimed, gesturing to her dojo with a large smile.

 The kids didn’t look impressed, instead they had shared looks with each other and gave her pitying glances. She felt her eye twitch. Why the hell did people always make that expression when they saw her beautiful dojo.

***

 Shouto could only stare at the dilapidated building in front of them with horror. The so called “dojo” was falling apart. There was a sign hanging off the building, the words scrawled onto it were faded and blurred. It said ‘Sukui’s Dojo.’

 “Real creative.” He commented dryly. Yashi twitched, sending him a glare.

 “What was that, brat?” She snarled dangerously.

 He couldn’t help but snort. “You don’t scare me, my mother poured boiling water on my face when I was 8, nothing scares me anymore.”

 “Shouto…” Izuku said, sighing in exasperation.

 “What?” Yashi looked between them, as if she wondering if he was joking or not.

 Hitoshi cleared his throat. “So, are we going to get a tour of our new home?”

 She narrowed her eyes at them and nodded, giving them suspicious looks.

 She pushed open the door and Shouto couldn’t help but be surprised that it didn’t fall off. The inside was much nicer than the outside had suggested.

 The walls were a faded yellow, they were clean, but the places where paint had chipped off revealed a stained wall. There were mats laying all across the floor, a punching bag hung in the right corner, and there was a rack where a few weapons were.

 “Alright, brats, show me what you can do!”

 Shouto startled. He hadn’t suspected that she would want to test them. 

 “How?” Izuku asked, tilting his head slightly. 

 Yashi smirked. “You’ll be having a little spar with me, no quirks.”

 They nodded and of course, Katsuki decided to go first. He was smart, but still jumped into things without thinking them through. Maybe Yashi would be able to break him of that habit.

 Katsuki and Yashi settled into their stances. Yashi had her feet close together, she was crouching low to the ground, and had her right foot slightly behind her left. Katsuki had his legs spread wide, he was crouched slightly, and he kept his right and left foot even.

 Their stances were completely different and Shouto had a feeling that Yashi was going to win. Her stance seemed to provide a lot more balance and stability. 

 Katsuki made the first move. He lunged forward, making a fist and trying to give her his patented right hook. Yashi seemed amused, she calmly grabbed his fist and flipped him over her. She twisted his arm behind him and pressed his body into the mat.

 “Looks like I win, brat.” She said smugly, amusement twinkling in her eyes. Katsuki scoffed, but didn’t try to fight it.

 “Alright, candy cane, you’re next.” He felt his eye twitch. What was it with people always calling him candy cane?

 He stood across from her on the mat, copying her stance. He had been right, it was a lot more stable than any of the ones his father had shown him. He didn’t have long to appreciate it, Yashi didn’t wait for him.

 Shouto twisted to the side as Yashi whipped her left foot forward. It was a high kick that would have broken his nose if he was any slower. She was amazing. Especially considering the lack of balance her missing right arm have her.

He narrowed his eyes slightly, carefully studying her. There wasn’t a single weakness he could exploit, even her missing right arm was perfectly guarded. But his father hadn’t taught him nothing.

Quick as a whip, he lunged forward, twisting his body into a round house kick. She leaned back, smirking smugly and too late, he realized his foot was still in the air. With a grip of steel, she grabbed his ankle and much like Katsuki, flipped him over her head. 

With a soft sigh and a grumble he gave in. “I lose.” He said calmly, scowling down at the mat.

She snorted. “Good job, brat. You were smart, but I’ll make sure you’re smarter.” There was a determined glint in her eyes that sent shivers down his spine. 

“Hitoshi you’re up next.” Of course, Hitoshi is called by his name.

Hitoshi nodded, clapping Shouto on the back as they passed each other. It was clear that Hitoshi was nervous, they all worked out together, but Hitoshi and Izuku were the least fit. 

They stood across from each other, Hitoshi relaxed and Yashi tense. Although Shouto could see the nervous twitch of his fingers. In what was a smart move, Hitoshi moved first. He had to take her out quick or he wouldn’t have a chance.

He ran forward and threw a clumsy punch, a ploy to distract her. She dodged and he kicked at her knees, making her jump up to avoid it. Yashi tried kicking him next but, Hitoshi was quick enough to drop down and she missed him. 

Hitoshi popped back up and aimed a kick at her ribs, she twisted to the side and yanked him forward by his arm. She kneed him in the stomach and Hitoshi made a pained wheezing. In another second, Yashi had him pinned.

“You did good kid, Izuku’s next.”

“Thanks.” Hitoshi muttered. Smiling slightly at the thumbs up Izuku gave him. Shouto felt a strange twist in his stomach, it was rare to see Hitoshi smile.

Izuku stood in front of Yashi with an excited smile. He looked oblivious and weak. A ploy that Shouto knew not to believe, his body still ached from the ass kicking Izuku gave.

Yashi moved first, pressing her palms into the mat and twisting her body to kicking Izuku in the face. He dodged, leaning back and gripping her leg. He flung her leg to the side and she lost her balance, gaining it back just as fast as she lost it.

She punched forward with her arm, catching Izuku in the ribs. He barely even reacted to it, grabbing Yashi by her arm and flipping her over. She caught herself on her feet and yanked him forward by his collar.

He choked, but squatted down and pressed his palms onto her lower back, flipper her over his head again. This time it worked and he pinned her to the floor, one of his arms against her throat.

His face was flushed and his eyes were sparkling with pride. He grinned and jumped back to his feet.

“Good job, brat! You all did really good actually, but you all could use some more help.”

She looked them over with a proud grin, focusing on Katsuki first. “Your smart, but you don’t think things through, rushing into things like that will result in someone’s death.”

She turned to Shouto next. “You need to stop being so arrogant. You have good instincts and someone has obviously trained you, but criminals won’t wait for you to decide what the best move is.”

Hitoshi was next. “Physical strength is your biggest weakness. You are definitely smart and you have good instincts, but you have no strength to back it up.”

Izuku was next. “Good instincts, smarts, and the strength to back it all up. Your’re good kid, but you being quirkless is gonna hold you back. Now, I’m not saying that quirkless people are helpless, but it will hold you back.”

Yashi turned to them as a whole, looking into them with a piercing gaze. “You all have strengths and you all have weaknesses, I’m going to help you with all these things. I’ll make you’re strengths better and I’ll make you’re weaknesses you’re greatest strength.”

She smirked at them, eyes shining with joy. “You all got a problem with that?”

He felt a smile curl across his face, his small expression of joy reflected in the other’s faces.

“So, you’re really going to make us into heroes?”Izuku asked. His need for confirmation was obvious. 

Yashi gave him a gentle smile. “Yup! I’m going to make you into the best damn heroes around!”

They glanced at each other, sharing joyful grins to each other. There was a silent agreement to ignore Katsuki’s skepticism and the scowl that went with.

Izuku was right, today was a good day.

***

 Yashi let out a low groan, hanging up on another call from Tsukauchi. She had given the kids their own rooms, pretending not to see their relief, and they should have been asleep already. They’d had a nice dinner together and she felt more content then she had in years.

 All she had to do now was figure out how to lie to Tsukauchi. There were ways around his quirk, but it was damn hard. 

 She let out a sigh and flicked her eyes to the envelope sitting in the corner of her desk. Picking up the hospital bill, she winced guiltily and hoped that the kids wouldn’t get too attached. 

 Yashi pushed the thought out of her head and grabbed her work out notebook with an evil grin. This is what would give her new students nightmares. She couldn’t wait for their reactions to her plans for them.

***

 Falling to his knees, Hitoshi threw up the disgusting healthy breakfast he’d had. Panting for air, he sat back on his knees and tried to get the world to stop spinning.

 Two weeks of Yashi’s workout plans, each specified for a specific one of them, and they were all dying. Hitoshi’s were by far the easiest, but Yashi said he would get stronger and somehow he believed her.

 “Alright that’s enough!” Yashi called, stopping the others from their workouts. By the way they flopped forward, they were reaching their limits too.

 She glared at them. “How many times do I have to tell you brats to take a break?” This wasn’t the first time one of them threw up, they had a bad habit of pushing themselves.

 He was the one to respond. “We’ve got to become heroes, it’s all we have left.”

 Yashi paused and let out a sigh, nodding her head. She had stopped arguing with them about their “suicidal”, as she put it, determination.

 “Alright whatever, just come eat lunch and take a break.” They nodded in agreement and packed up their weights.

 A few minutes later and they were eating chicken salads at Yashi’s dining table.

 “Where is Zuku?”

 “Oh, he went to get some more protein powder from the pantry.” Shouto answered, scrunching his nose up when Yashi’s face paled.

 “The pantry? You don’t mean the room next to mine, right?”

 “Uh, yeah. Why is that—” 
 
 He was cut off when the door to the back rooms slammed open. Izuku stomped in, tears glimmering in the corner of his eyes and his lips twisted into a scowl. Hitoshi had never seen him so devastated and angry. 

 “When were you go to tell us about this?” Despite his expression, Izuku was scarily calm. He put a paper in front of Yashi and glared at her, raising an eyebrow expectantly.

 “I- I- I was going to tell you guys in a few weeks. I’m so sorry Izuku.” She whispered quietly.

 “What is it?” There was a furrow to Kartsuki’s eyebrow that Hitoshi would have made fun of, if he weren’t so confused himself.

 “Yashi has stage four breast cancer, she’s going to die in a year.” He murmured softly and all the anger seemed to slip out of him. Izuku crumpled to the floor, silent tears seeping down his face.

 And Hitoshi could understand. She had been like a mother to them and the past two weeks were the best they had had in months. Only to find out that it would be ripped away from them. 

 “I’m sorry for snooping at your things without asking. I saw the word cancer and I kind of just freaked out.” Izuku whimpered, head still bowed down.

 Yashi’s face crumpled and her own eyes filled with tears. She knelt onto the floor next to Izuku and wrapped him into a tight hug, burying her face into his messy curls.

 “I’m so sorry. I was going to tell you guys sooner, but you all were so happy and I wasn’t ready to accept it myself. That’s not an excuse, but I am so sorry.”

 They were both sobbing, clinging tightly to each other and offering whatever comfort they could. Sharing a glance with the others, he hesitantly walked over to them.

 He wrapped his long arms around them and was immediately brought in. Izuku buried his face into Hitoshi’s shoulder and hiccuped Welty. Yashi brought an arm around him and squeezed him tightly, still sobbing into Izuku’s hair. 

 After a few seconds the other two joined in as well. They were just as awkward as Hitoshi and got just as much of a warm welcome. 

 Sitting on a floor, huddled into a pile, was not how Hitoshi imagined his afternoon would go. But he’d be damned if he wasted anytime with his family. He only had a year for a full one and he would savor every second of it.

 After the year was up, well… They’d figure it out together, after all, Yashi believed they would be the greatest heroes. Who were they to deny a dying woman’s faith?