Kyouka sprinted down the hall, panting harshly. She skidded down a corner, bumping into Tsuyu.
She shoved past, regaining her pace, ignoring her own spiked heartbeat. She could already hear Yaoyorozu shout for her, and then Tsuyu. A second later, the alarms sounded.
“Attention, students, please remain calm and proceed to-”
“Report sightings of the-”
Kyouka collapsed onto her knees, having finally found a hiding spot in a janitor’s closet nestled in a deserted corner of the school. Shaking and gasping for air, she hid her face in her knees.
She was being selfish, a complete idiot. She knew this.
But she hadn’t meant for it to go this far! Honest! All she had done was mention to an acquaintance in her chat that she was going to the USJ for a field trip.
She had only put it together sometime afterwards, but it was too late by then. She would be framed if she spoke up. She wouldn’t have cared if it was just her, but her parents…
An unlucky effect of the media was the demonization of a villain’s relatives, should they be known. Hate crimes were prevalent in that demographic. Villain or not, Kyouka knew her parents’ lives would be destroyed if she was found out, one way or another. No more concerts. No more compositions. No more music.
So she went along with what she was told to do. She listened in, and found the plans for the camp. She gave them the damn info, and they nearly killed her classmates and her to thank her for it.
She wanted to slap herself. She was a dirty coward, a complete traitor to her friends and to herself. This whole time, she had thought that she would just go quietly if she was found out. Kyouka had wanted to be found out.
So why was she even running?
Shakily, she stood up on wobbling knees. All her adrenaline was gone, and she felt exhausted to her very bones. She extended her jacks, set on plugging them into a wall and finding the nearest someone, anyone. Hesitating for a moment, she slowly opened the closet door, stepping into the end of one of UA’s smaller hallways.
Kaminari’s eyes widened as she took sight of her from the other end. Kyouka stared back in turn.
She reacted after a second, jacks instinctively extending to her panic. “Kaminari-”
She shouldn’t have activated her Quirk, and she didn’t blame him for reading it as a threat. It was what they had been trained for, after all. The look on Kaminari’s face was foreign, a disturbing contrast to his usual cheerful, slightly ditzy demeanor. His eyes were frantic with betrayal, his teeth bared in a snarl. He crouched, touching the floor with both hands.
She let out a scream as she was hit with a blast of electricity that quickly lessened. She clenched her teeth, nerves raw. First shock aside, it was painful, but not as much as she would have thought. Was he holding back? But he wasn’t stopping, and she didn’t know if she could…
She plugged her jacks in to her forearm amplifiers, releasing a blast only made stronger by her rapid heartbeat. It hit true, and Kaminari let out a shriek as he was sent careening backwards. Kyouka cowered at the crack of his head slamming into the wall.
She quickly ran to Kaminari, propping him up and grabbing his wrist.
Come on, come on!
She sighed in relief as she felt a pulse. She leaned his head forward, checking for damage. Some light bleeding. It didn’t look too bad, but she wasn’t going to risk moving him. Besides, the Heroes (her teachers, her friends, but not her, not anymore) would be here soon, right?
“Kaminari?! Where’d you go, man?!”
Jirou gasped at the distant shout, quickly plugging her jacks into the wall. Kirishima, lighter footsteps, probably Yaoyorozu or Tsuyu, and the angry swears meant that Bakugou was probably there.
On the other side, something moving through the air...Aizawa-sensei? She could faintly hear Ashido’s shouts as well. She would be surrounded if she didn’t move.
Kaminari let out a groan, slowly blinking open his eyes (Oh, thank God).
She should stay put and turn herself in. She knew this.
She blasted the window, shattering it. Carefully yet swiftly, she lowered herself through, dropping the rest of the way. At least that particular course had come in handy. Rolling, she immediately began to sprint back towards the entrance of the UA grounds.
She winced, almost freezing up at Kaminari’s slightly slurred scream. She didn’t dare look back, she didn’t want to see the look on his face right now.
She didn’t know how long she ran through the streets of Musutafu. She couldn’t go home, they would find her there. No friends outside of UA would want to take in a “villain” either.
She found herself walking into a small neighborhood park. It was really pretty, a lush green plain with a brick road, flowering bushes flanking it. She sat on a bench in front of a tiny little children’s park.
She should turn herself in.
She curled up, bringing her knees in. Slowly, the events of the past hour caught up to her, and she let out a quiet sob, covering her eyes with a hand.
She was an idiot. She had hurt her friends, her actions would hurt her parents, and she was probably doomed for colluding for villains.
Her phone rang. Quietly, she opened it to find a flood of missed messages from her friends, and a single text from the number she had marked down as “Boss”.
Tell us your location. Kurogiri will retrieve you shortly.
She hesitated for a second before growling, resisting the urge to throw her phone onto the pavement. She wasn’t their dog. She didn’t have to be.
Yes, she was an idiot. But she could still make the right choice. What else did have to lose?
She tapped the call button, raising the phone to her ear. “Aizawa-sensei?”
Aaaaand the first winner goes to Jirou! Yaaaaaaaaay!
Chapter 2: Traitor: Kouji Kouda
Local good boy has meltdown, misplaces blame on Heroes, becomes a villains, and suffers.
I had this headcanon that Kouji has some pseudo-telepathic link with his critters. In a world of dangerous heroes, villains, and OSHA violations, I took this to its natural conclusion.
Also it was the only way I could possibly make our good boi a traitor.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It was when he was four that he began hearing the animals.
No, hearing was the wrong word. He could feel them. It wasn’t mind-reading, not exactly, but more of a sense.
He’d always gotten along with animals, even before his Quirk emerged. But now he could understand them at a level he could never reach before. He and his mother, both animal lovers, had been thrilled.
Then it turned out to be a double-edged sword.
He still remembered the first site. A recent battle with some minor yet destructive villain had made a wreck of the neighborhood block next to his. He could still remember being curled up in bed, quivering as the screams hit him (little babies and mommies trapped under the rubble and metal and hungry and scared). He never, never wanted to hear anyone or anything go through that again.
And so it began. He began loitering around major battle sites long after the villain had been taken in. It was always the same. A dog or cat with a limb broken. A bird’s nest fallen down, any chicks still alive screaming for their mother. A squirrel crushed, weakly moving its arms around.
Kouji put those ones out of their pain.
It built up. Kouji was a patient person, his mother had told him. But days turned into weeks turned into months, until he no longer even wanted to think about how long he’d been at it.
(Too much unnecessarily reckless use of Quirks. Too much collateral. Weren’t Heroes supposed to look out for the innocent? How many animals and people had been killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.)
And this. This had been the worst one yet. He hadn’t heard, no, felt this much agony since that All Might fight from back when he was just a kid (and it was at these times he was thankful he couldn’t hear humans like he did animals). He walked closer, carefully stepping over the broken glass shards laying on the ground, when a noise to his left caught his attention. A squealing. Kouji patted it gently, wrapping it in his jacket. He called the shelter with shaking hands.
It was soon that he found three bunnies...still alive. They were shaking, thin and bloodied. He couldn’t hear their mother. Already orphans, alone in the world. And Kouji snapped.
“Why does this always have to happen?” Kouji wailed to no one in particular. “I hate those Heroes!”
Kouji twitched at the sound, turning to the other person standing at the edge of the battle site. It was a slouching young man in a dark hood. He shivered as he looked into his eyes. They were little pinpricks of red, and he could swear he could feel the raw hysteria in the air.
“You…” the man’s smile was a strain on his shriveled face that showed nothing but teeth. “I think I have something for you.”
Kouji knew that what the man had asked of him was horrible. But he was just so tired. Maybe it was that, or maybe a tiny, vengeful part of him just wanted to screw over the Heroes for a change. He left with a pit in his stomach and a phone number clenched in his hand.
Blending in wasn’t so hard. He was a shy person by nature, no one would look over him twice when he stuttered or averted eye-contact. His classmates were none the wiser.
He dutifully obtained the schedules he was supposed to send to his superiors. He just had to send a mouse, or rat, or anything that could fit into a vent really, and have them come back with the paper. It wasn’t so hard.
Meanwhile, he acted as a Hero student should. He fought with Tokoyami against the villains at the USJ. He helped Jirou win against Present Mic in final exams (and he wasn’t gonna lie, he was at least a little proud of that!). He got his Hero license. It wasn’t so hard.
He had dorms contests. He had late movie nights with his friends. He helped Jirou with her band (he owed it to her really, he’d have never been able to get over his fear of insects otherwise). He danced on stage with them. He grinned as the crowd roared for them.
...It wasn’t so hard.
He had started to have nightmares again.
His head was ringing.
(THE FOREST WAS SCREAMING)
The blue fire was consuming everything. His friends were all screaming, the League was everywhere, and oh God what happened to Midoriya’s arms? Where were Tokoyami and Bakugou?
(the animals the animals the animals the animals please no make it stop
they were all hurting)
Kouji jumped up in bed. His bunny leaped off his bed at the sudden motion.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t wake you up, did I?” he hummed apologetically as she nuzzled his palm. She felt happy.
She...had gotten bigger since he’d found her and her siblings in the ruins of that wrecked building.
The bunny was alive. He had saved it.
But that was all he was good for, wasn’t he? Only rescuing animals, while leaving his friends and all of UA to rot at the hands of villains. It wasn’t right.
The Heroes weren’t bad people. He’d long grown out of that naive view. They were human, they weren’t trying to hurt anyone, and they were all just trying their best.
So why was he still doing this?
“You!” Shigaraki seethed as his hands were restrained by Kamui Woods. “This is no fair! Party members don’t betray each other!”
It had been time. Kouji had been supposed to bypass the security system with his student ID, and open the entrance for the whole League of Villains to turn UA to dust once and for all. He’d opened the doors, all right. For half of Japan’s Heroes to ambush and capture their entire group.
“S-sorry Mr Shigaraki,” Kouji stuttered, looking down. Anywhere but his superior’s enraged gaze. Anywhere from Aizawa-sensei’s flat yet disappointed look. Anywhere away from his classmate’s betrayed faces. He’d hurt everyone, hadn’t he? “I-I can’t do it anymore. I’m n-not gonna help you hurt them again.”
“And what about your goal, little boy?” the villain put out flatly, with a aura of anger that nearly had Kouji turning on his heels.
But he stood his ground, maintaining eye contact even as Shigaraki was dragged away. “I-I’m gonna stand by it. I’m not going to give up on trying to reduce collateral damage by Heroes. But this isn’t the way to do it. I see that now.”
Bad things happening in a world of heroes and villains was an unavoidable fact. But…
...his classmates--friends--were good people. They didn’t hate animals, they weren’t trying to cause the screams that kept him up at night. Even then, he had no excuse for assisting the League. This was the best way he could make up for it.
“U-uh, Aizawa-sensei?” Kouji called. His teacher blinked in surprise. He raised his hands invitingly.
“Uh...” Aizawa ran a hand through his hair, breathing deeply. Pulling out his capture weapon, he swiftly wrapped it around Kouji’s wrists. A couple other Heroes surrounded him as well.
“You’re under arrest, Kouji Kouda, on suspect of treason,” Aizawa said in a stern voice that lacked any real force.
“...Thank you,” he murmured to his teacher as he was led away from his classmates. Aizawa simply gave him a discreet pat on the shoulder.
Quieter, Kouji heard him say, “Dear God, you kids are going to be the death of me,”
“Kouda!” Shouta snapped, rage nearly turning his vision red. “What the hell are you doing?!”
“I-I’m sorry, Aizawa-sensei!” Kouji quivered, voice nearly a shriek. “But it had to be this way!”
Shouta looked to his right. Ashido and Satou were accounted for, battling against another villain, and he could hear Bakugou’s shouts. But where the hell was everyone else? He couldn’t take chances. Breathing, he calmed. “Look, just stand down, kid! We can help you!” he put a placating hand out to Kouda.
He wasn’t expecting the boy to snap.
“Help me? How can you help me?!” Kouda shouted, his voice the loudest he’d ever heard him. “D-do you know what it’s like? Hearing them, everytime there’s a new villain attack, hurt because some Hero was reckless?!”
Them? Was he talking about animals? But telepathy hadn’t been listed with his-
Oh, come on.
“So you’re our traitor, huh,” he put flatly, quietly activating his Quirk.
“Yeah,” Kouda growled. “And you’re out of luck, Aizawa-sensei.”
Shouta had just nearly managed to erase the boy’s Quirk before he was thrown to the ground from behind. He gasped, landing hard, feeling a sudden harsh pain in his arms. A freaking bear was pinning him down. He could feel its stinking breathing from here.
Just to clarify, what made Kouda snap wasn't just his gripes with collateral. He could have just campaigned or something. It's got a lot to do with him being in pain every time he walks by a battle site because of the creatures trapped inside. If you're wondering the nuances of that, remember this is both an AU and a fanfiction.
The extra scene was the first intended ending, with him going full-blown psycho. Too OOC, but it was too fun to write. Did you know there are actually bears in Japan? :D