The villain laughs. It’s a horrible sound that echoes across the street.
Eijirou frankly thinks it’s tacky as hell. Also, that laugh is horrible. He sounds like he’s choking on something.
“Got any plan?” he asks his comrades. Their villain is caught up in his own world for the moment, looking like he’s just accomplished his biggest goal. He’d look cute if it weren’t for the fact that he’s, well, a villain. No casualties, yet, though. But the road will never be the same again. Shame. Eijirou had liked that café’s sweets selection.
Todoroki looks like he’d rather be anywhere else. “I don’t even know why we’re still here,” he mutters instead of trying to help. Dick.
“Todoroki, you’re a dick,” Kaminari has no sense of self-preservation, the idiot. Why is Eijirou only surrounded by assholes and morons these days? “Also, that guy just demolished about seventy percent of the street. Why aren’t you freezing him yet?”
The half-cold half-hot hero squints at the villain on top of a fallen building. “He’s just…standing there. Isn’t it against the hero policy to attack someone who is incapable of fighting back?”
“Incapable of fighting back. Incapable of fighting back. Not a villain who has his guard down!” Why is he explaining this to the best guy of their year? Today was supposed to be an off day for all of them. Why is Eijirou the only one suffering? Also, where the fuck is Bakugou?
Todoroki only sighs and seems to inspect the rubble at his feet. Eijirou considers kicking him just to get him out of the way.
“Are we just going to stand here?” Ah, there’s Ashido’s dulcet tone. She’s glaring at all of them. “He’s—“
“Oi! What are you fuckers standing around for?!”
All of them turn around, and there’s Bakugou, looking ready to contest the villain’s damage count.
“You’re late!” Eijirou says. He’s not sure whether he’s angry or wailing.
“And you’re fucking useless!” Ouch. Three years of knowing Bakugou, and still half his words sting, because most of the time they’re true. “Why aren’t you putting the motherfucker down?”
Todoroki sighs, like he can’t be bothered to even think. “This is supposed to be my off day. If Kaminari hadn’t dragged me out, I could be playing Mario Kart in my room, alone, right now.”
“Whatever, loser,” Bakugou snaps as he pushes past through them. “You’ll never beat me at Mario Kart. Now, let’s tear this dickbag to pieces.”
They turn their full attention to the villain, like they should have done ten minutes ago. His back is still turned towards them, however, so maybe Todoroki has a point.
“Does he even know we’re here?” Kaminari asks uncertainly.
“Doesn’t matter. We’re taking him down.”
Following Bakugou’s lead, they approach the villain (sans Todoroki, who stays behind to contemplate his life choices). They are not even being subtle. They’re going at him at full throttle, quirks activated and all. As they get closer, Eijirou starts noticing things about the guy. One, he looks as if a decently strong wind can knock him off his feet. Two, he’s all skinny bones and pale skin, like he doesn’t go out enough. Three, his hair is tinted green, and his eyes are green as well. Four, he has freckles and baby fat. And he’s not even that tall.
He also looks around their age. What the fuck. What is a kid like him doing, going around misusing his quirk to destroy public properties and heroes’ off days?
Bakugou shoots off first. Eijirou hears a crash, so he probably has the villain occupied. The three of them takes an extra minute to climb the fallen building, and what they hear once they arrive is not what they expect.
“—this what you’re doing now? Being a part-time villain like a half-assed idiot because he couldn’t be a hero?! Do you want me to put you behind the bar?! Huh?! Deku!!”
They gape. Bakugou has the villain locked down, straddling him from behind and pinning his arms to his back.
The villain sputters for a bit. “K-Kacchan?! Today is supposed to be your off day!”
“Well, guess what, douchebag?!”
“I need a drink.” Eijirou hears. It might be him.
“You weren’t supposed to be here!” whines their villain. “I had it all under control. Let me go, will you?”
“Like hell, Deku! Now stand up! I’m marching you to your cell! Fucking nerd. Is this what you were doing in high school too? Terrorizing the town?”
“Kacchan!” gasps the villain, scandalized. “I’ll have you know I graduated with perfect grades! You know that! You were there! How could I have time to—anyway, the point is, this is a one-time thing! It’s the first and last time you’ll see me do this. So, please, Kacchan, let me go?”
Bakugou—Kacchan what the fuck—looks like he’s half considering it. Eijirou quickly steps in to do damage control. “Bakugou, we need to hand him over to the police.”
“I know that!” Bakugou replies hotly. He stands up, roughly pulling ‘Deku’ with him. The villain (?) looks like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
“You know this guy?” Ashido asks the million dollar question. Judging by her face, she looks like she’d rather that not answered, but some things just can’t be left alone. Like Todoroki’s movie choices.
“I’ve known this little shit since before we were even born!”
“Kacchan, that is physically impossible. We are not twins.”
“Shut up, Deku!”
“You've got this all wrong!” says the villain, looking much put upon. “Look at the other side.”
Eijirou does, and, holy shit.
“Is that Shigaraki Tomura?!” he squeaks out. And what looks like almost all of the villains that are associated with Shigaraki. Instantly, Kaminari and Ashido are by his side, and their expressions match Eijirou’s. Bakugou half-drags his friend (?) with him to look down over the edge as well.
“Explain,” Bakugou says with a low growl.
Deku grunts and answers when it looks like Bakugou’s not loosening his hold. “I’ve been planning this for a while. They’re in the middle of a little civil war. It’s only a matter of sparking it on until they’re all clashing with each other. I took advantage of their weakened state and took them all down in one swoop. I only needed Kacchan out of the way.”
Bakugou jostles him. “Why me?”
“Because you can’t be involved!” Deku says, surprisingly vehement. “This is a vigilantism act. If I were, by any chance, caught, they can’t trace this back to you. But you’re here and dammit.“ The guy lets out a huff. “You always ruin my plans, Kacchan. This is just like last year when you found my gift for your birthday. I guess this year isn’t any different.”
Eijirou takes a minute to compute that. “So, all this? This is a gift for Bakugou?” Bakugou’s birthday is in three days.
Deku pinks. “Uh, I guess it counts? I mean, I prepared the actual gift a month ago and hid it at my mom’s place. This one is a secret gift? I mean, yeah, it’s my duty to get rid of them, but it doesn’t hurt that it’ll lift a huge burden off Kacchan’s shoulders.”
Bakugou releases his friend, looking at him like a man who just discovered religion. “Deku?” He sounds angry and constipated. That’s his confused state.
“Ahaha…surprise, Kacchan?” Even Deku winces at his pathetic attempt.
Bakugou’s anger is renewed. “You’re quirkless. How did you take out villains that have terrorized us since first year?”
Eijirou’s world tilts on its axis for a while. Quirkless. A quirkless kid took out the Leagues of Villains where legions of heroes of all generations have failed. A quirkless kid who is Bakugou’s friend, who decided to take out the villains once and for all as a birthday gift for him.
His bank account is going to suffer tonight. He’s gonna need more than a drink.
Before Deku could answer, the siren of the police blares behind them. Eijirou turns to look at the two friends who are locked in a stare off. “Bakugou,” he calls, and his former classmate snaps his head away to look at him. “The police is here. What’s your verdict?”
Bakugou doesn’t even need to think it over. “Get the fuck out of here Deku. We’ll handle it from here. You owe me a goddamn explanation.”
Deku’s face brightens instantly. He comes up to Bakugou and hugs the time bomb of a human being. “Thank you, Kacchan!” Then, a dark portal appears behind him. He steps into it under their disbelieving eyes and disappears.
Bakugou looks like he’s starting to regret his decision, because that quirk belongs to a villain that closely worked with Shigaraki Tomura.
Then, Todoroki’s incredulous voice interrupts the silence.
“Did you just let the villain go?” asks the moron who did not do anything.
Their cover story is; they received a unanimous tip about the unrest within the villain alliance, and they strike when they are least expected; when the villains are nursing their injuries gained from a recent disagreement between them. The police ate it all up that Eijirou feels kinda bad.
The next day, they’re all in the front page, in their hero costumes that were taken from their agencies solely for the photo. Even Todoroki, the useless jerk. Well, to be fair, none of them really did anything, but Eijirou, Kaminari and Ashido are the ones who suffered through yesterday’s revelation. Todoroki had to be bribed so he will not tell the police what he saw. He asked for an explanation. Eijirou screams (wails) at him that they’re all just as confused.
They fielded calls from their former classmates who are outraged at not being included in the ‘raid.’ Eijirou kind of wants to tell them the truth but Bakugou’s parting words put the fear for his life in him. He’s not suicidal enough to cough up Bakugou’s secret even under the pain of torture. Todoroki, though. He’s one ballsy motherfucker. He toes the line pretty well that Eijirou’s constantly on edge every time he answers a call. It makes Eijirou wants to call up his old mate Tetsutetsu for a round banging their heads together.
For Bakugou’s birthday, they’re invited to his place. Kaminari’s convinced this is Bakugou’s way of lulling them into a false sense of security before he murders them all in cold blood to keep what happened stays a secret. Eijirou tells him he should stop watching movies with Todoroki. But the seed is planted. The thought grows. It’s pretty convincing.
They drive together in Kaminari’s car, who makes lots of side money with his super useful quirk. Bakugou’s place looks like it comes out of a magazine. It’s posh. It’s modern. It screams money in all the asshole-ish, which, describes Bakugou Katsuki pretty well. In high school, you wouldn’t have guessed he comes from a well-off family since he dressed messy. He still does now, but it’s a little better.
Bakugou opens the door looking like a man ready to commit murder. Kaminari’s suspicion suddenly becomes a very plausible possibility.
“What the fuck are you bastards doing here?”
“You invited us!” Ashido replies shrilly.
“I did not!” denies Bakugou.
Then, “Kacchan, is that your friends? Invite them in.”
“Did you invite them?” Bakugou asks aggressively as Deku comes into view.
The green haired man smiles. “Of course, Kacchan. They deserve an explanation as well. Come in, all of you.”
As they numbly take off their shoes, Todoroki opens his unfiltered mouth. “Bakugou is living with a villain. This could make front page.”
Why did they take him with them?
“I’m confused,” Ashido says after they sit down in the living room. “It was Bakugou who invited us. I knew that was his voice. Why doesn’t Bakugou remember this?”
Deku flashes a smile as he serves them juices. “That’s my quirk.”
“I thought you’re quirkless,” Eijirou says.
Humming, the man leaves with his tray. Over his shoulder, he says, “Dinner will be ready in a bit. Kacchan, make nice.”
And then, it’s the five of them. As a unit, they turn to Bakugou who, predictably, scowls at them. “I don’t really get it,” he says. “It’s some kind of quirk like that bastard in the other class. He doesn’t copy other people’s quirk, though. He takes them, and it’s permanent unless he gives it back.” When they stay silent, he adds, “He’s been having fun tripping me over with all the quirks he’s been collecting. I think he used a voice changer one to make that call.”
“How many quirks does he have?” Eijirou asks over his incredulousness.
“I don’t fucking know,” Bakugou answers with a sneer. “So far, I counted no less than nine.”
They sit on the implication of that for a while.
The silence is broken by the bell ringing. Bakugou gets up with a very prominent scowl. Curious, they keep their silence to eavesdrop on the conversation at the front door.
“What—are you fucking serious?! Deku!”
“Young Bakugou, it’s good to see you as energetic as ever!”
Eijirou abandons decorum and stands up to walk to the entrance. In front of a very irate Bakugou, the former number one hero, All Might, and the current number one, Lemillion stood, looking very unsure about their welcome.
“All Might!” Eijirou greets cheerfully even though he’s confused.
“Ah, young Kirishima is here as well! Very good, very good,” says the retired hero jovially. “Young Bakugou has decided to invite us all, I see. Even Lemillion! This must be a sign of great changes to come! Not to mention your recent defeat of the Leagues of Villain!”
Bakugou looks like he’s going to tell All Might where to shove that, so Eijirou pushes the prickly dick aside to assist All Might into the house. “Come in, sir,” he says, then turning to Lemillion, he smiles. “You too, Lemillion. Dinner will ready in a bit.”
“Good, because I’m starving!” Lemillion, Toogata Mirio, says good-naturedly.
Dinner is a happy affair in the backyard, even with Bakugou’s death stare across the table. He’s seated at the head of it, party hat on his head clashing greatly with his blond hair. Deku brings around a cake that looks as if a kid went crazy with the icing and sets it in front of Bakugou. The angry teen suddenly loses his glare. He looks down at the cake and—it looks like a smile, if you squint really hard and deconstruct everything you know about the guy. Whatever. He looks happy, so it must be good. He blows the candle and got most of the icing on Deku, who’s sitting on his left.
“Kacchan, gross!” he complains. And then, he gives Bakugou a really warm look. “Happy birthday, you jerk.”
Yeah. Throwing your friend a party for his birthday, that’s cool. Tear down a criminal empire for him, that’s pretty gay but acceptable. But you don’t look at your guy friend like that, like you want to cuddle the hell out of him and launch yourself to the sun for him.
Eijirou’s suddenly having a lot of questions about Bakugou and his friend who live here together (it’s pretty obvious who owns the jacket by the door). He’s having a lot of questions that he does not want to be answered.
With all the seriousness of the world’s fate hanging on his shoulder, Bakugou takes a chunk of the cake using a spoon and holds it out to Deku. The dude sits there, like whoa, is this really happening? Eijirou’s pretty good at interpreting other people’s faces, so he has to be right. Deku leans forward and takes the cake into his mouth. Bakugou took a pretty big chunk, so he looks a little like a chipmunk as he chews.
“You’re forgiven, idiot,” Bakugou says with a huff.
After dinner, the booze is taken out. All Might has been given a reclining chair to soothe his old bones. Seeing the old hero in his fragile state sometimes gives Eijirou a start, but it’s nothing compared to Deku’s broken gaze, as if he’s directly responsible for the battle that sent All Might into retirement.
His friends settle for playing a game, along with Lemillion. Eijirou hangs back by the porch so he sees Deku approaching All Might.
“Hello, sir,” he says as he sits beside the old hero. All Might opens his eyes to look at the young man, who smiles a brittle smile. “You might not remember me, but you saved my life once back in middle school.”
“No,” says All Might. “I always remember. You’re the boy with the notebook.”
Deku brightens up. “Yes! Um, I still have your signature. It’s framed. Kacchan threatens to take it down more than once, but I told him it’s going to be a family heirloom, like I told you.” They both chuckle. Deku continues, “Through some kind of freak accident, I ended up with the villain alliance that I destroyed with my own hands.”
All Might sits up at that, staring at the young man with attentive eyes.
“I won’t bore you with the details. All you need to know is that it was never my intention to join them. I saw an opportunity to infiltrate their rank, so I took it. I was at my lowest point, back then, so I would have taken any other way than taking my own life.” A moment of silence. “Sensei gave me his quirk before he dies. I don’t know why. I was no better than a grunt back then, but that man called me up and without my explicit permission, he transferred All for One into my body.”
Deku looks at All Might in the eye. “I am the current successor of All for One, the antithesis to your One for All.”
The older man clearly has no idea what to think of that. He keeps staring at Deku as if he’s not real. Then, he asks. “And what’s your plan now, All for One?”
Casting a gaze towards the loud group in the middle of the backyard, Deku smiles. “I don’t have any plan of going rogue, if that’s what you’re asking. I just took down Shigaraki Tomura and his cronies a few days ago. Unless there’s another great threat to the society, I’ll keep living like I do now; working on my degree and focusing on a stable life with Kacchan. All for One will die with me, so One for All can live on.”
All Might leans back, still staring at Deku. “How can I trust you?” he asks; a tired man’s question.
Deku is still smiling as he stands up. “You don’t. Just watch me.” Then he walks up to Lemillion and challenges the number one hero to a drinking contest.
Eijirou stays behind to finish his beer and stare at the moonless sky dotted with thousands of stars.