“No, no. This feels like it’s destiny…”
The words echoed in the dark, black room. Since when did destiny become something to fear?
Cold fingers wrapped around his neck. He didn’t know someone could be this cold. It felt like touching the dead.
“It’ll be fast. Soon as all five of my fingers touch your neck, your throat will be the first thing that disintegrates.”
The gravelly voice hummed in his ear, sending uncomfortable chills over his entire body. He didn’t bother to check to see, he knew who it was.
So even in his dreams, he’s there to haunt him. Can’t he have a single moment of peace?
He remembers this day, those words Shigaraki had maniacally spoken at the mall. The feeling of being trapped, utterly helpless. He had tensed up to the point where he forgot what breathing was. And now again in his nightmares, he feels the tightening in his chest, his throat closing off, even though Shigaraki hadn’t made an effort to choke him out. The feeling was eerily similar to when the Sludge villain had engulfed him.
This wasn’t good.
The day replayed in the dream. He and his friends splitting off to go their own way, the questionable conversation with Uraraka, the hoarse voice that made him erupt in hives. He had remembered now the sharp pain he could feel on the nape of his neck as Shigaraki pressed his thumb there. He had been so overcome with fear and anger that the pain had just swirled in with all the emotions he was feeling.
What was that all about?
There was no evident mark there, and Shigaraki hadn’t used his quirk. So what was that sudden pain? It definitely wasn’t ordinary. It was similar to the shots he had taken as a child, so it couldn’t have been a simple crick in his neck...
But there was no time to dwell as the nightmare progressed further, not giving Midoriya the chance to scour over every detail.
This time, Shigaraki closed his fingers, tightening and tightening until Midoriya felt his head would explode. He forgot how to breathe under the pressure. No, no, he actually couldn’t breathe. Panic rose in him as he fought and kicked and bit at the hand strangling him, but none of his attacks landed. He managed to turn his head enough to catch a glimpse of his assailant but there was none there.
The hand was disconnected from Shigaraki and...looked exactly like Deku’s own scarred hand, becoming the same color like the ones adorning the blue-haired killer’s body. Instinctively he looked down and saw that both of his hands were missing. He screamed as more hands shot out of the floor and began to attach to him. First his face then his hair, his legs, and arms. They pulled him under into the floor that was now a sea of sludge, the green substance filling his eyes, mouth, and nose. He felt his lungs, once full with air, now filling to the brim with the sludge. Suffocating, he was suffocating.
He was drowning.
Midoriya snapped awake, bolting up clutching the front of his shirt, breathing heavily as if he had finished running a marathon. His fingers gingerly brushed his throat to make sure it was still there. It was there and functioning he noted as he gasped for the air he so desperately needed.
Drowning? Yeah, drowning in his own sweat it seemed like. He had sweated...everywhere.
Both the back and the front of his shirt were entirely soaked in his sweat. His face was still slick with perspiration and his tears, he noticed, as he wiped at his heated face with the bottom of his shirt. He was running a fever.
That was odd.
His chest still heaving, Midoriya turned to look at his clock. 3:45 AM.
Sighing, he let his head fall back onto his pillow, tears still streaming down his face. That was annoying , he thought as he rubbed the tears from his tired eyes. Well, he definitely couldn’t go back to sleep after that.
So instead he got up to take a shower. Might as well since he was pretty sure taking a rinse in your own sweat wasn’t exactly sanitary. He tore off his shirt, throwing it in his laundry basket while slipping on his slides. He grabbed a new set of clothes and a towel and quietly made his way out of his room, making sure to close his door as softly as possible.
He prayed and hoped today wasn’t a day Aizawa Sensei decided to do some late-night hero work as he tiptoed past Aoyama and Tokoyami’s rooms to the elevator. When he arrived, he pressed the down arrow, resting his forehead on the cool metal of the plate surrounding the two buttons. He was really heating up.
Midoriya winced as the elevator dinged, the telltale sign that his transportation had arrived. It was so loud, he hoped he hadn’t woken anyone. Reluctantly taking his forehead off the cool surface, he staggered toward the door that was already impatiently closing. It bumped his shoulder as he shuffled in. After clicking the starred 1, he leaned back onto the alloy railing, watching as the door slowly shut. In the shiny surface of the metal, he could see his reflection almost perfectly and leaned in closer, his mouth falling open.
His eyes were glowing red.
As if on cue, that was when the convulsions began.
Lurching forward, he coughed, blood splattering the floor. He grasped at the door, overwhelmed by the pain he was experiencing. Every part of him was burning, searing agony throughout his whole body. He couldn’t even scream. He sank to the floor, his hand sliding down through his blood until it dropped next to his seizing body. His vision went white as he tried to fight back against whatever it was that was holding him. He managed to let out a strangled cry before he felt the pain disappearing, gone as quickly as it arrived.
The fire that had burned in his bones was gone but one specific feeling remained. As he slowly faded away, he couldn’t shake the pain at the nape of his neck, the same pain he had felt that day at the mall.
The elevator dinged again to announce his arrival on the ground floor and his world went black.
The next morning, Bakugou awoke as always at exactly 6:15 AM. Not only did he sleep early, but he also rose early, the nerd that he was. Sliding out of bed, he quickly swapped his pajama pants for his sweats and slipped on his slides. He grabbed his toothbrush and made his way out the door, slamming it a little harder than necessary, making sure to watch the adjacent door shake in its frame. The nameplate donning the name KIRISHIMA rattled in its place holder.
He was, in fact, Kirishima’s personal alarm clock. After he observed his Shitty Haired friend coming downstairs late almost every day, how he never had time for breakfast, Bakugou started making an effort to wake up that idiot early. Though, he would never admit to doing it intentionally, of course.
He didn’t leave until he heard Kirishima groan, and the bang that followed indicating he had rolled off his bed. Bakugou snickered and walked to the elevator, using the knuckle of his index finger to press the down arrow.
No one was awake at this ungodly hour and he knew he would have the bathrooms to himself. He loved being alone if he was being honest and he relaxed at the thought of having time for himself before he was bombarded with his classmates’ existence. The only other person who woke early like him was Todoroki and that Half and Half bastard knew to stay away from Bakugou when he was brushing his teeth. It wasn’t exactly a pretty sight.
The elevator dinged and he flinched, getting thrown out of his thoughts. Shoving his hands into his pockets he began to walk forward before he froze, one foot still in the hallway the other sitting on the metal slit of the elevator. He had stood there for so long that the elevator door began to close, hitting his knee before retreating.
On the floor, right where Bakugou was about to step lay a set of clothes, ruffled out of their neat folds. But what really caught him was the sight of the All Might towel, the exact same one his mom had gotten Deku and him when they were still children. That in itself wasn’t odd.
No, what made his eyes widen and his heart beat faster was the pool of blood on the tiles of the elevator floor, soaking the towel, staining the red, white, and blue of the smiling All Might’s uniform.
Midoriya snapped awake, bolting up. He was hit with a wave of déjà vu.
Hadn’t he been through this already? No, this time it was different.
He was different.
It felt as if he had woken from a coma, being brought into a world he had been so unfamiliar with for such a long time. When he looked around the cramped and smelly room, all he could feel was loathing. Loathing for the scratchy mattress beneath him, loathing for the peeling wallpaper, loathing for the chipped tiles and the mold infested carpet. He had never felt such hatred for anything more than this room.
That was until a certain someone walked through the door. He found something new to direct his disgust towards.
“Good morning, Midoriya,” he drawled.
Midoriya scowled, realizing how much he hated the sound of his name in Shigaraki’s mouth, how much he hated Shigaraki’s mouth, how much he hated Shigaraki. No, he hated everything really. This world that had denied him happiness for so long, what was there to love?
He turned away from the crusty man taking time to scan over himself. Dried blood splattered his bare chest, completely covering his right hand, and it hit him that he was still in his getup from when he woke up from the nightmare and when he was in the elevator.
Wait...what had happened?
He looked back to Shigaraki who, Midoriya noted with annoyance, was patiently waiting for Midoriya to ask the right questions. He hated questions.
“Where the hell am I? What the fuck happened?” He fumed. The words were unfamiliar in his voice but the taste of them in his mouth was nostalgic and tingly as if he had experienced the sensation of swearing in another life.
Shigaraki chuckled, “Why don’t you follow me? We can explain everything.”
Midoriya scowled. How he hated vague speakers. How he hated not knowing. Shigaraki walked out the door, not checking to see if Midoriya was following.
Reluctantly, he stood, lacing his fingers and cracking his knuckles. Might as well. He hated following orders but he hated not knowing information even more. He followed suit.
Shigaraki led him to a large storage room. The boxes and crates made a perfect circle around the center which was completely barren of anything except some people who would never be seen together under any other circumstances. A teenaged girl with her hair pulled into double buns scratching her knife over and over on the ground, a black and gray suited man seemingly talking to himself, a lizard mutant sitting on top of a crate, polishing his boots, and a magician practicing a card trick on a young man who was essentially 80% scars and staples.
The League of Villains.
How he hated the League of Villains.
Shigaraki led Midoriya towards the group; the misfits all looked up expectantly. The girl’s eyes widened with glee as she sprang up.
“Izu-chan!” She cried, running to throw her arms around the boy. Midoriya winced in revulsion, the utter thought of a hug sent chills throughout his body. He hated hugs. The scarred man pulled on the back of the girl’s jacket, dragging her away from the vise-like grip she had on Midoriya.
“Toga, calm yourself,” Dabi said, dead-pan, as if this was a common occurrence: Toga jumping unsuspecting boys she had a not so cutesy crush on. Spinner dropped down from his position on top of the crate, bringing Twice along with him as he walked towards the group. Mr. Compress gracefully flicked the deck of cards into his sleeve, before joining the rest to stand in front of Shigaraki and Midoriya.
Shigaraki took the hood off of his head and leaned on a tall box adjacent to him, “Well, Midoriya, this is the League of Villains. League of Villains, this is Midoriya.”
Dabi gave a half-hearted wave, Mr. Compress tipped his hat, Spinner gave him a look of respect (hey, if Stain respected him, he would respect him), and Toga’s cheeks flushed pink, practically drooling at the sound of his name. Breaking the silence, Twice cried out, “I’ve seen this kid before! I have never seen this fellow in my entire life!”
Midoriya felt himself bubbling with annoyance. Well, which is it? He wanted to scream at him.
Shigaraki crossed his arms, “Yeah, you have Twice. This is that kid from UA. The one who we tried killing at UA’s training camp, the one who took down Muscular?”
Twice replied, “Oh, yeah, I remember him clear as day! What day is today?”
Dabi cocked his head, “So, are you gonna tell us your plan now, or do you expect us to be in the dark forever?”
Shigaraki rolled his eyes, straightening himself, “Well, after Kurogiri’s loss I’ve been thinking we’ll need a replacement, considering that not only is Kurogiri gone but Magne is out as well. 'Personal time' she said. And well, All For One did give me a single prototype of the quirk corrupter we had discussed before he...Anways, I believe Midoriya is now fully corrupted since when I had Doctor warp him here, he was out cold. So, I guess now is the time for me to extend my offer.”
He turned to face Midoriya, “Join us. We can make you more powerful than you ever were, give you that revenge you so badly crave.”
At those words, Midoriya blanched. He hadn’t realized it, but after Shigaraki said it…he did want revenge. Revenge on every single person who had wronged him in some way. The fire of wrath swirled in his stomach. He hated the League, yes, but he hated heroes even more, he concluded. Those loathsome creatures. Why had he ever cried over being like them? Why had he wasted his time and his life by pursuing a dream that was essentially a nightmare?
Heroes were the worst of the worst.
His mouth curled into a smile, the first since awakening, “I’m in.”
This earned a round of applause from the group, Twice screeching out, “Seems legit. Boss has really gone off the rails this time!”
This time, Midoriya didn’t flinch or scowl. These were his people. They always were, he just never saw them before.
And now standing here with them he felt a dull pull in his chest, whispering to him that this is wrong. This goes against everything we believe in. He could barely hear the words this second voice was whispering. Weird.
Toga ran forward, clasping her hands in his, “Oh, Izuku! I’m so so grateful you decided to join our family! I also love the new eye color, really fits you, looks like blood. Speaking of blood, whose blood do you go---”
At this point, Midoriya had tuned her out. There was a new thought in his mind. He hated his name he realized. It made him feel weak, made him feel like the kid who wanted to be a hero. He hated heroes.
At that moment he realized who he wanted to be, realized who he was now, who he was all this time. He was no longer Deku, the weak.
He was Doku, the poison. The same poison that flooded his veins and corrupted him and his power. He was the evil that lurked in the shadows, the villain who hated everything. He was Kiraku. The hateful evil. Yeah, he liked the sound of that.
He grabbed Toga’s hands, stopping her mid sentence. “Don’t call me Izuku anymore.”
Toga merely stared back, golden eyes like a snake.
“Call me Doku.”
Toga’s smile was big, her eyes almost closing from the sheer joy she was experiencing, her face a deep red, “Not weak Deku anymore?” She practically squealed.
Dabi rolled his eyes, “Isn’t that a little on the nose, Poison?”
Doku fixated his red eyes on the turquoise of the scarred man, “I wouldn’t talk if I were you, Cremation.” Dabi chuckled, but as he turned away he tried his best to hide the shiver that had run down his spine. Those eyes…
Shigaraki walked forward as Toga let go of the green-haired boy’s hands. He bowed his head slightly towards the new and supposedly improved Doku.
“Well, Doku. Why don’t we start with a much-needed wardrobe change, then?”