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lingering fog

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He felt… nothing. 

Everything was disconnected. 

Distant. He didn’t really feel… anything. 

 

He felt like he was clinging to something. He should let it go right? But for some reason he just couldn’t.

 

What… was it? Why did he want to hold on?

 

Wait….

 

Who was he?

 

Everything was so fuzzy. It felt difficult to pull up the memories and they came back slowly.

 

Oh. That’s right.

 

He was Oboro Shirakumo. He was training to be a hero under the name Loud Cloud, and he went to UA with his friends.

 

Wait… 

 

So how did he end up here? Where….

 

Where was he?

 

What happened?

 

He had to focus. Really concentrate to bring up the memories. It felt strenuous. The memories heavy and thick and slow. Like his clouds were covering them or they were weighed down. But eventually, they came back. The pieces of events falling into place.

 

He and his friend had been working together. 

They were evacuating. 

Because a villain was attacking right? Yeah, they had been alerted….

The villain attacked. The rubble had been coming down. He had used his clouds to save the kids. Shouta had called his name then-

 

Shit Shouta!

Oboro opened his eyes.

 

Oboro blinked and looked around. He was standing amidst shattered concrete. A lot of it too. The whole building must’ve come down. Guess he got out lucky.

He took in his surroundings, getting a better sense of what was going on. His Purple Highness was down and the villain was getting closer. The preschoolers and their teacher were safe but they wouldn’t be for long if that thing kept coming. Where was Shouta?

 

There!

 

Shouta was standing in front of Oboro facing the villain.

And he was frozen, not moving a muscle. What was he doing?

“Com’on Shouta let’s go get them!” He called racing towards the villain. Except Shouta still didn’t move. Oboro turned back surprised by his friend not following him. He didn’t even think he reacted. “Shouta?” He moved to stand in front of his friend, when his friend continued to stare at the villain, the cloud haired boy moved to shake him.

 

Or he tried too…

 

His hands slipped right past Shouta’s shoulders. Right through those shoulders. 

 

A sinking feeling swarmed Shirakumo. No. No he couldn’t be! He couldn’t really be dead right? Surely not! He was only sixteen!

 

And yet…

 

A rock… he had been hit in the head...

 

Denying it he tried to use his quirk. “Cloud!” he shouted, but no cloud was summoned. He tired again. “ Cloud!” Still nothing.

 

He glanced back and saw the villain looming closer. Ugh they didn’t have time for this!! It didn’t matter if he was dead or not! The villain was getting closer and right now, Shouta was the only one who could help.

It had to be him.

 

“Come on , Shouta. It’s all on you! You can do this! You just have to move!”

 

He looked into his friends eyes and saw the thinly concealed panic and fear lurking underneath. He couldn’t hear him. 

He needed something to communicate with him. Glancing around his eyes landed on his gord-io in the rubble. His portable radio designed to look like a wine gord. Hizashi had actually brought it up at some point and Oboro had liked the idea enough that he had the custom radio designed for his costume. It was a bit far away but all he had to do was move it closer!

He ran up to the small device and kicked it willing it to land at Shouta’s feet. Somehow it landed exactly where he wanted it to and Oboro smiled as he went into the gordio.

 

Shouta was over thinking. That was clear from the look on his face. He was over planning because he didn’t trust in his abilities. But Oboro had faith in him.

You got this, Aizawa!”

 

Even from inside the radio, the cloud boy could see that Shouta heard him. His posture changing from panicked to determined. His quirk activated, his capture weapon flying free as Shouta put on his goggles, he looked like a hero.

 

 Then he was leaping . Going towards the villain. Oboro grinned as he watched. He watched Shouta kick away one of those lump things away like the greatest kickball star ever. Gasped when he tricked the creature to release it’s own blasts into the sky. Laughed when Shouta kicked another lump above the creature’s head.

 

His joy didn’t last when the villain backhanded Shouta sending him sprawling. Shouta sat up but he wasn’t moving, once again frozen in fear and looking defeated. Well, couldn’t have that!

 

“You can do it, Shouta!” 

There was that slight change in posture again that said Shouta heard him. He still needed that push though. “ You’re the only one who can protect everyone.”  

Oboro smiled because he knew, if Shouta pulled through and he would, “ It’s alright- you can do this!” It would be alright. Shouta could handle anything! Even…  

Because “ You’ve got what it takes!” Shouta was starting to get back up now. “After all, I know for a fact… you’re strong! You won’t lose!” 

 

He was sure of it. Shouta wouldn’t lose. It would never happen. It felt impossible for Shouta to do anything but win.

 

Praises and encouragements came out of the radio almost without thought as Oboro watched his friend battle with all his might. His only thoughts were of getting Shouta to do well, to help him find the strength. To make the radio louder. Loud enough so that he could hear it, even as he moved around the toad. Loud enough so only Shouta would hear his words of encouragement.

 

“Come on, Shouta! You can do it, Shouta!!” He cried right as the dark haired boy delivered a chunk of rubble right to the forehead.

 

He fell silent as he watched, on what felt like the edge of his seat, as he saw the thing deploy all it’s lobes at once. 

Shouta didn’t appear to hesitate for even a second, wrapping the lumps together before feeding it to the beast. That had to be the best version of knucklesandwich Shirakumo had ever seen! They exploded right as Shouta hit the ground, tumbling as he landed on his back. The amphibian like villain soon followed, crashing down like a falling tree.

 

“I did it.” The boy in the gord couldn’t stop the grin when he heard Shouta whisper the fact to himself from where he lay on the pavement. Then louder, in a fierce victory cry, “ SHIRAKUMO, I DID IT!”

“Ya really did!” Oboro shot back.

 

He suddenly felt… very tired. Exhausted. He had the strange sense he had lingered too long. He didn’t know what that meant, but Oboro was fine with his departure.

 

“You’re amazing Shouta,” he whispered as he closed his eyes.

 

Oboro

 

Let go.






Hizashi wasn’t sure what he felt. He didn’t feel present he knew that much.

 

The villain had been defeated. By Shouta . Those that could walk in his team had made it over to the area of capture, those that couldn’t were carried. The ambulances and police had all arrived on the scene. Everyone was getting checked out by the paramedics, but Hizashi was in no hurry.

 

His arm hurt, it trembled when he moved it. He had a few bleeding cuts and bruises, but that was fine. The aderlanline should have worn off by now. If he was truly injured he’d feel it. 

 

Wouldn’t he?

He didn’t know. He felt cold and numb. It had started to rain at some point so that was probably it, but that didn’t feel like the right answer. Something telling him that this wasn’t right. Something felt wrong but he couldn’t tell what.

 

He barely registered it when he picked up Oboro’s goggles.

 

Shirakumo’s goggles. They were shattered and still bloody despite the rain’s attempts to wash it away. 

“We can sell ourselves as a trio!”

Hizashi had lost his own goggles at some point. He didn’t know when. That was fine though. He didn’t need to see very far ahead of him right now.  Oboro’s were here, damaged and bloody, Hizashi’s were gone, it seemed Shouta was the only one of their group to hang onto his and keep them in decent shape.

 

Shouta….

 

Looked over at his friend right when someone muttered something about Shouta taking that thing on his own. Their voice was thick with disbelief and maybe even a touch of jealousy, but Hizashi could be reading too much into that. 

A tinge of annoyance surface at the tone. Feeling like the other sidekick had no right to question the methods in which the villain was taken down, or be jealous. Shouta had taken down the villain and stopped it from doing worse, shouldn’t he be grateful?

 

But it dissipated as soon as it came.

 

Shouta had already been patched up and was sitting down in the medical tent. The eraser user was smiling as he said something about it being teamwork in the end. Hizashi’s guts twisted at that. Something dark and heavy settling there when it unclenched. Hizashi’s gaze traveled away from Shouta and landed on Kayama. She was crying.

He swallowed thickly and looked down. 

 

He blinked as he saw Shirakumo’s radio lying on the ground. He was already reaching for it when Shouta spoke up.

“Ah, see that speaker, Yamada? That’s Shirakumo’s. We’d better take it with us.”

 

So he reached for it, but stopped before he touched it. His hand trembling just slightly more visibly as he held it in the air. 

He sucked in a breath through his half closed mouth.

He couldn’t stop taking in the details of it. The whole outer casing was cracked and splintered, barely holding itself together. Some of the inner pieces were sticking out. There was no way this could transmit.

 

But Shouta said….

 

And if that wasn’t the case , then…

 

Nemuri let out a sob.

 

God, what was he supposed to tell Shouta?

 

Before he could make up his mind, Sensoji snatched it from the ground. Hizashi felt he could do nothing but wip his head around to stare at the larger boy as the speaker came apart in his hand.

“Huh? This thing’s totally busted.”

Hizashi didn’t even look away when he heard Shouta’s soft denial, trying to grasp what was about to happen.

“Th-that can’t be. The whole time, Shirakumo was…”

“Are you saying you heard him cheering you on all along, until the end? Nah, you couldn’t have.”

Hizashi’s eyes widened as he realized what Sensoji was about to do. How could he- “You were just giving yourself a pep talk and imagined it was coming from this speaker. They say that can happen, y’know. Do-or-die.” 

 

How could he just say that while being so unaffected? He was striping away Shouta’s last bit of hope and he didn’t even care!

 

Hizashi couldn’t bring himself to speak up. He wanted to but it just died… stopped in his throat. Because as much as he hated to admit it. As much as he hated the way it was coming, and the source. As much as it felt wrong to admit it, as if he was missing some of the pieces, he was right. He was right, but Shouta still didn’t deserve these words to come from a bully. But Hizashi didn’t know what to say.

He never could raise his voice when he knew it would result in a pointless argument. He only barely noticed his clenched fist.

 

“No way. Nuh-uh.” Shouta was still denying everything. His voice slightly desperate and hysterical even to Hizashi’s non-functioning ears. “I heard him saying ‘you can do it!’ and ‘Come on, Shouta.’ His voice kept me going…”

 

Hizashi finally pried his eyes away from the brute to Shouta. He heard that? It made that much of an impact? Hizashi thought, his mind skipping right over the actual questions he wanted to know .

Then his gaze wandered past Shouta and he froze.

 

It was hard to make out, given the distance, slightly too fuzzy. But….

It felt so clear.

 

Red. 

There was… so much red. The rain wasn’t making a dent in the red painted over large chunk of rubble and concrete. 

 

People were hovering around it, the paramedics maybe? Hizashi couldn’t focus on them. All he saw was was the red against the grey, and Shouta.

 

Hizashi’s feet began to wander he wasn’t sure where they were taking him. They tended to roam on a normal day but now… Hizashi clutched the goggles as he shoved them into his pockets with his hands.

 

He only caught fragments as Sensoji continued. Talking.  

“A top------- team couldn’t take down that ---------. But you went --------- beat ---- odds. You did it alone .”

Okay. Now he was going too far. 

“Ease up Sensoji!” he called maybe a touch to loud, his frustration leaking through. But Sensoji didn’t stop.
“Be proud aizawa. If not now, then when?”

 

“Sensoji dude…” Hizashi didn’t know where he was going with that. 

He had gone too far but didn’t know how to say it. Yes, Shouta was incredible. Yes, he saved tons of lives today by going up against a threat no one else could. But be proud? How could he be so callous when Shirakumo was… when they had just lost a friend. It was victory, yes, but a hollow one. One that shouldn’t be celebrated or be proud of. Not yet. Not when the wounds were still fresh.

How could he go about saying stuff like that? Then Hizashi realized it. It was because of his simple mind. He was going off the near impossible victory, and thinking only about the accomplishment. He wasn’t even thinking of the loss.

“I envy that simple mind of yours,” he admitted honestly. He did. He wished he could stop seeing the finer details, detach himself from the hidden meanings. Stop himself from fixating on all the small important points that circled his head. He wished he could turn off his mind as easily as taking off his glasses, or turning off his aids.

He should probably do that. The heavy rain will ruin them for sure. He couldn’t bring himself to care.

 

He looked up. Oh, he had wandered over to Kayama. Wonder why he did that. Did he want to comfort her? Did he want comfort? Both those options felt like too much right now. Too much to ask, too much to offer. He wandered away. He ended up near Shouta at some point.

 

The rain picked up. He wasn’t sure who he was talking to when he commented on it. His mouth moving on it’s own as the rain began heavily pelting down. Everyone was moving now. Likely to get out of it. Kayama asked them to come in too, but Hizashi turned her down.

 

“The rain kinda fits our vibe right now.”
And it was true. The rain was wet, of course, but it was also thick and heavy, coating everything and making everything soggy. It was cold and it seeped into everything making everything seem even more numb. The water washed everything clean so quickly. The falling sheets of the stuff seeming to cut off the rest of the world.

It was wet, numb and it felt like they were the only people in the world. It was perfect. Perfect to convey their feelings, and perfect to get them all out without anyone noticing.

 

Shouta was upset. He was hurt and angry, and that was okay in the end. Shouta had more reason to be upset by this than anyone. So Hizashi didn’t say anything, and they both continued to stare at the bloody rubble.

 

Hizashi thought about Oboro as he stared. He was always jealous of him. Jealous of his charisma, his optimism, his boldness, his ability to come up with such simple solutions. He was even jealous of the fact that he used given names without a care (but only between the three of them…). Because he admired those traits so much, he had tried to incorporate them into himself and enhance them if they were already there. He’s not sure he will ever reach Oboro’s level with them.

Mostly, he was jealous of the ease which he and Shouta got along. They clicked so well… and Hizashi wanted that. Wanted that ease they had in each others’ space, and wanted to be closer to Shouta.

It seems so foolish now but he had been. Still though, Shirakumo was his friend. He was his friend and he would have never wished this on him. 

 

He was their friend!

 

And now he’s gone.

 

People were always surprised when they found out Hizashi was a silent crier. Now he was grateful for it. With the rain and the silence, it was impossible to say whether or not he was crying. It was also impossible to say if the raindrops were frequently coming too close to Shouta’s eyes too often.

 

He glanced around. The rain had washed away most of the blood, everyone had gone inside or gone home. It was just them and the rain. The rain had also dissipated all the dust clouds. Not even leaving a faint mist or fog. Now all that was left was the think heavy rain clouds. No sign of soft white ones on the horizon.

As he stared up at them, letting the tears fall freely he had only one solid thought. He clutched the goggles in his pocket just a tad tighter with it.

 

Today I lost my friend.