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Blind man says: Only fools rush in

Chapter Text

All men are not created equal.

That was a fundamental lesson Izuku Midoryia learned at a very, very young age. Izuku understood there were many things he did and didn’t know. He understood that his mother loved him with all her heart, but he didn’t understand why his father never looked at him with the same kindness. He didn’t understand why his father left for days at a time, and would never tuck him into bed or read him stories or any of the things his mother did. He didn’t understand why his quirk hadn’t come yet, but Kacchan’s had. He decided to ask Kacchan at school the next day. Kacchan knew everything! He even had a really, really cool quirk and everyone knew he’d be a great hero. He might even be on All Might’s level one day, but Izuku (privately) doubted that. No one was better than All Might!

“It’s because you aren’t eating your veggies Deku! The old Hag says my quirk came faster because I ate all mine and all you eat is Katsudon!” Kacchan said when Izuku asked him the next day during recess, miniature explosions followed, as if to prove his point about veggies was absolute fact.

Izuku wasn’t convinced, but when he saw how brightly Kacchan’s eyes shone with confidence, he couldn’t help but smile for his friend.

“Okay! You’re always right Kacchan! I should ask mom if I could eat more veggies. Then my quirk will come!” Izuku said with the confidence of All Might himself. “Wonder what I’ll get… my mom can bring small objects to her, and I think she said dad has a fire-breathing quirk… maybe one of those? Or it could deviate, it’s not uncommon... or it could be a combination of the two… a combination could potentially be useful for both mobility and offence, but that would depend on how it would work…” Izuku mumbled, getting more and more lost in thought. He could soon feel eyes burning into his back, glaring at the young boy mumbling to himself, while his only friend wandered off to boast his quirk to literally anyone who would listen.

Izuku stopped mumbling when he heard someone calling his name, looking around rather confused as to where his friend had gone and who was calling for him. Looking towards the source, he once again heard his name being called by the teacher. Embarrassed that pretty much the whole playground had heard, he sheepishly made his way towards her. He heard someone snickering to themselves as he passed his classmates.

“Quirkless Deku is in trouble!”

Izuku could feel hot tears threatening to fall; shame, fear and confusion all bubbling up and pouring out when he responded with “I’m not quirkless!”, which came out much meeker than he wanted it too. As he entered the building with his teacher, he knew the tears were falling.

What he didn’t see, however, was the Young Bakugou searching for the culprit who made Deku cry.

When he finally found them, some boy who had a mutation quirk, it wasn’t pretty. The young Bakugou was out for blood, and the grass around him was singed from the explosions he’d caused until one of the other kids ousted the culprit. An angry Bakugou was a Bakugou no one wanted to mess with, especially if Midoryia wasn’t around. “Listen here brat! No one calls Deku, deku but me! He isn’t quirkless! He just hasn’t had enough veggies yet! So, shout your goddamn mouth and keep to yourself! I bet his quirk will be way better than whatever yours is you dumb Extra!

Chapter Text

Contrary to what he had heard his classmate say, Izuku was not in trouble, although it took his teacher a good ten minutes to calm him down long enough to actually tell him that. After calming him down, the teacher turned to their office, leaving Izuku sitting alone in the hallway with no adult, no clue as to what was going on and his thoughts running rampant.

To Izuku, it felt like he’d been sitting in that hallway forever, though it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes. Izuku could hear hushed voices from the office, and he saw all the adults run around like it was the end of the world, which just left Izuku more and more confused. His confusion only greatened when he heard a familiar voice call down the hall, making their way towards the office.

“Hey Squirt! Why are you up here? When the school called, I figured the brat gotten into another fight.”

Izuku could only sniffle in response, shaking his head in confusion, tears threatening to reappear, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Mitsuki Bakugou.

Mitsuki could be called many things: An angry woman, an aggressive co-worker and a wife, but for the past five years, she was, most importantly, a mother. The Mother Bakugou could tell something was off about the whole situation, and she wanted nothing more than to burst into the office and start demanding answers as to why she was pulled away from her job when her brat wasn’t even in trouble this time… but that would have to wait. Right now, there was a little boy who was scared and confused who needed a Momma Bakugou and his Auntie Mitsuki.

She knelt down to Izuku’s level, cupping his cheek so he would look at her. She could see his frustration and confusion as he looked to her. She spoke with a soft voice, usually reserved for Izuku, when he was either crying or about to cry.

“Izuku, sweetie. Did anybody hurt you?”

Izuku managed to choke out a response between shaky breaths. “I-I’m ok Auntie. B-but no one w-will t-tell me anything… I want mommy.”

Mitsuki could hear her heart shatter at his response. “I know squirt. I’ll handle this, I promise.”

And with that, Mitsuki Bakugou stormed the kindergarten office with strength that could make All Might quake with absolute terror.

“Listen up! Someone is going to tell me why the hell I was called here when my brat isn’t in trouble and why no one’s told the Squirt anything!”

“Mrs. Bakugou please keep your voice down! Izuku can still hear you!” An office aide said in a confidently annoyed tone, which would have been an impressive feat against an angry Mitsuki, if it wasn’t for the fact it was in a hushed whisper and the aide in question was cowering behind another coworker. A voice Mitsuki didn’t recognize spoke up, interrupting whatever insult might have come out

“Ma’am I’m sorry to have the school call you, but this is a very urgent matter. You see, the boy’s mother listed you and your husband as his emergency contacts, and I’m afraid there’s been an incident involving her and the boy’s father. The school thought it best to have a family friend on campus while we’re waiting for word on his mother’s condition.”

Mitsuki looked to where the new voice came from, wanting to keep herself composed for Izuku’s sake, even if he wasn’t directly in the room. The speaker was a young man, Mitsuki guessed he was fresh out of high school, in what she thought was the most ridiculous outfit she’d ever seen. If Mitsuki wasn’t so focused on getting answers for Izuku, she would have recognized the boy as a UA graduate from previous Sports Festivals. But only two things registered to Mitsuki that truly mattered. Inko’s husband had done something, and Inko’s condition, whatever it may be, prevented her from getting her son.

“What do you mean ‘an incident’? What did that Bastard do to her?”

She could feel herself trembling with anger as she spoke. Her best friend could be hurt or worse, and they sent some kid to tell her son’s school. Mitsuki was beyond furious, and she was ready to storm out of the building and hunt him down herself… until the small voice of Izuku spoke up from behind her.

“Auntie? Auntie, Where’s mommy?”

Izuku had gotten tired of waiting, and pushed through the legs of adults, confused and just wanting his mother. He didn’t care if he’d get in trouble. He wanted to know. Izuku wiped the tears from his eyes, looking up expectantly.

“Izuku…” Mitsuki began, but couldn’t bring herself to finish the thought. The fiery woman was at a loss for words and was unsure how to proceed. Izuku was a sensitive child, she knew… if it had been Katsuki, she could have been as brazen has the child, which would have been far easier to handle.

Thankfully and surprisingly, Mitsuki didn’t have to say anything. The young man in the ridiculous outfit stepped forwards and bent down to see Izuku.

“Hey kiddo, I’m Present Mic. Your Mom talked about you a lot.”

Mitsuki could see Izuku’s eyes widen and how he listened with rapt attention, clearly recognizing the name from somewhere. Probably a hero thing, if Mitsuki had to guess. “Where’s my mommy? I want my mommy.” Izuku managed to sniff.

In any other circumstance, Izuku would have been bouncing off the walls, personally meeting one of the newest heroes to graduate UA, but the five-year-old was just that: a five-year-old child. Mitsuki was surprised with the gentleness in the young man’s voice as the name clicked. Present Mic, the voice hero or something… Mitsuki gave up trying to keep track of ‘em all after Katsuki had developed the inevitable Hero fascination, Izuku’s quickly following.

“I’m not gonna lie to you, your mommy isn’t feeling too hot right now, but the hospital will make her all better in no time! I was asked to come tell the grown-ups what happened, so everyone could get to go see her. Is that okay?”

For a brief moment, nothing happened as Izuku processed what had been said. He didn’t understand what Present Mic meant about her not feeling good. Izuku didn’t understand any of it other than his mother was in a hospital.  

She was fine when she left him this morning! But… Present Mic is a Hero. New as he is, there's no reason for him to lie about anything… maybe I just didn’t notice? Oh no I didn’t notice she didn’t feel good… what do I do? What should I do how do I make it better?”

Mitsuki heard the beginning of a muttering ramble and saw how red Izuku’s face was becoming, which usually meant Izuku was on the verge of a meltdown. It had taken Inko and herself months to figure out how to handle Izuku when they couldn’t prevent the meltdown. Mitsuki pushed the young hero aside. He could handle the hero work because right now, Auntie Mitsuki was needed.

“Izuku, I need you to look at me Squirt. Remember what we do when we’re frustrated and upset?”

Izuku could only nod as he started taking deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. Kacchan always said he was a crybaby.

It took a couple minutes, in which there was a young Voice hero who was at a loss for words, a mother seething with anger attending a child that was not her own, and an office full of adults who seemed at a loss for words or actions, but eventually Mitsuki worked Izuku down from meltdown territory.

“Better Squirt?”

Izuku didn’t trust himself to talk, and simply nodded. Mitsuki let out a sigh of relief. She wanted nothing more than to grill everyone there for almost making him cry again, but she didn’t want Izuku in the crossfire. The first plan of action was to get Izuku out of the office and earshot.

“Tell you what Squirt. I’m going to talk to all the adults about really, really boring stuff, and you can go find Katsuki. When I’m done, I’ll come get both of you and we can have a sleepover at my place after seeing your mommy. I’ll even make Katsudon. How’s that sound?”

Izuku nodded numbly, making Mitsuki’s heart ache for the small boy. Even so, she led him to the door and watched him walk down the hall towards his classroom. As soon as she felt it was safe, she turned to the remaining inhabitants of the office and growled viciously.

“Okay. Spill. Where's Inko and what did the bastard do to her?

Chapter Text

Hizashi Yamada had been training to be a hero for years, and while he had a few months of actual experience under his belt, he couldn’t help but feel nothing but pure terror in the face of this Mitsuki Bakugou. He had a few run ins with some nasty villains, but he had to admit they paled in comparison to this woman. She was a mother out to protect a child left in her care, and Hizashi didn’t know if that made her safer or dangerous. But he had been given a mission coming here (or rather, Shota had been given the mission, but didn’t want to be around any small children, so he’d saddled it to Hizashi), and so he would do his duty. Hizashi took a deep breath and faced down the angry mother/auntie.

 “Ma’am, I understand you’re upset, but I must ask for us to move to a private room. This is very sensitive information.”

Mitsuki could only grunt in response, following the young hero and two police officers who had been watching everything unfold quietly off to the side into an empty office. When the door closed behind the officers, Hizashi spoke first, not wanting the woman to go into a screaming fit before he could tell what he was allowed to say.

“Mrs. Midoryia sustained some first and second degree burns to her chest and torso, as well as some broken bones and a minor concussion. We’ve had people with healing quirks at her side ever since she reached the hospital and she’s expected to make a full recovery, with some minor scarring. She insisted on leaving the hospital to collect her son, but a lot was taken out of her. The doctors insisted on keeping her on bedrest for a couple days, just so they can keep an eye on her physically and mentally.”

Mitsuki was not impressed, but visibly relaxed into her seat. Inko would be okay. Izuku still had his mother, and that was a wonderful thing. But there was a sinking sensation in her stomach that a part of her wanted to ignore. God, she wanted to ignore it... but for Inko and Izuku, she couldn’t. She had to ask the question.

“You mentioned Hisashi. What does he have to do with this?”

The look of sadness and anger that fell on the young hero’s face did not escape Mitsuki. That sinking feeling worsened.

“Hisashi, as you called him, was responsible for the injuries sustained by Mrs. Midoryia. You see, there are a handful of agencies that have been tracking down a growing ring of villains for quite a while now, and we have reason to believe he’s their ringleader. Mrs. Midoryia was acting as our informant on his behavior at home. His likes and dislikes, what she knew about the ins and outs of his quirk, his habits, and she even snuck us a DNA sample from a hairbrush to confirm he was our man. Seeing as she was a great help to our investigation and as a token of our regret that we couldn't have gotten there sooner to protect her, my agency is going to pay for all of her medical bills. We understand how inconvenient it was to take you from your work, but our records show your husband was good friends with Hisashi, and introduced him to Mrs. Midoryia, who is a good friend of yours. We can’t afford the risk of Hisashi finding out where she is. I hope you understand Ma’am.”

Hizashi expected the woman to let her anger take over and explode. But Mitsuki had other plans. There would be time for anger later, she knew that. The safety of her best friend and her family came first.

“Do you know where he is? Does he know where Inko is?”

Hizashi leaned forwards, resting his hands on the table between them as he spoke slowly, deciding to try and choose his words carefully.

“Afraid not. We were setting up a sting to get all of them, but it didn’t go exactly as planned. We nabbed most of his men, but he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and he got away before we could get there. There are heroes searching the city for him as we speak, but we had to make sure the little guy was still at school before launching a nationwide search for him. If we did it before checking with the school, I don’t want to think of what would have happened. Mrs. Midoryia was worried sick about him. Normally, I wouldn’t be here and the police would take care of it. However, a licensed hero protecting her son was the only thing we could promise that managed to relax her enough for the healing quirks to do their jobs properly.  My job now is to escort you and the little guy to the hospital to see her, and then to your house. Rest assured the police are going to guard her hospital room day and night until we catch him and are sure it’s safe. We’ll also have heroes patrolling the area around your house and neighborhood far more regularly and police will monitor your home, in case he tries to go after the little guy.”

Mitsuki nodded in understanding. It would make sense he’d try to go after the squirt. Of course, if the heroes and police failed, she was more than happy to send him exactly where he belonged. After all, No one hurts Inko and gets out unscathed.

“Okay, sounds good. Let’s get the Squirt to his mother. I don’t want to come back again, so my brat is coming with us.” Mitsuki said as she stood decisively. Not waiting for an answer, she turned and left the office, leaving the police and hero to follow her lead.

“Hey Office lackeys! I’m taking the squirt and my brat early.” Mitsuki yelled, furiously signing paperwork to release the two children early.

Hizashi thus found himself in the strange situation of following an angry Mother down a Kindergarten hallway. They passed almost ever single classroom in the school (all of them themed around some kind of animal, he noticed), when they finally stopped at a colorful door that read “Lion Class” above. Mitsuki didn’t hesitate in throwing the door open and yelling into the classroom of small children.

“Brat and Squirt! Get your stuff, we’re leaving.”

Hizashi couldn’t help but laugh at the two small voices that responded in unison.

“Shut up hag!”

“Okay Auntie!”

Chapter Text

Inko Midoryia was not a stupid woman. She knew her husband had been hiding something from her, though the reality of what he was hiding was far worse than what she feared. Truth be told, she had been certain he was cheating on her. The late night “business trips”, disappearing for days at a time, and the resentment he seemed to hold towards her baby boy. Hisashi insisted on keeping away from Izuku, on the grounds that he “couldn’t handle the boy’s quirklessnes”, despite the many X-Rays that pointed to the contrary, after all he wasn’t grown up yet. Izuku still had time to develop his quirk. Inko felt worse and worse as Hisashi drifted farther and farther away and one late night, Inko couldn’t help herself.

She knew sneaking through her husband’s belongings was wrong, but Inko reasoned that she just had to know the truth. With Hisashi asleep a few rooms over, Inko found herself sifting through her husband’s study, looking over every file and scrap of paper she could get her hands on, until the corner of a scrap of paper caught her eye from her husband’s inside jacket pocket. Inko didn’t dare breathe as she unfolded the paper.

“Do not disappoint me, Dragonfire. I might take that qurikless brat of yours under my wing if you do. Perhaps he will not be as disappointing as his father.

- T.C”

Inko didn’t recognize the handwriting or the signature. What Inko did recognize was Hisashi had talked about Izuku to some stranger, and that stranger was interested in taking him. Inko could feel the anger rise within her and turned to the papers with renewed vigor. Whether or not Hisashi was cheating no longer mattered; from here on out, Inko was searching for anything about this mysterious note-writer and anyone who might sound shady or from someone she didn’t recognize. No one threatened to take her baby, especially a friend of Hisashi’s. Inko made sure she was mindful of the noise she was making, despite her anger and checked the clock on the wall. If she wanted to protect Izuku, she had to be careful. She most certainly couldn’t afford to skip anything, every piece of information she could gather was crucial, and that meant inspecting the desk, despite how silly it seemed to her. She had been there with Hisashi when they bought this desk! But Inko couldn’t afford to ignore if anything was amiss. Inko’s diligence payed off, finding a loose panel in the desk’s side cabinet and a stack of hidden files, all of them filled to the brim with damning information on various people she recognized as villains, some shopkeepers Hisashi frequented, and even Inko herself, though it was far smaller and the only information was her care for Izuku and suggestions on how to separate the two. Inko shuddered with fear and rage. Her husband was working with, or had dirt, on villains, and had been talking to some “Toxic” fellow about her son.

Inko was not a stupid woman, but she was a mother, and whatever fear she felt would have to wait. Izuku came first, no matter the cost. She took a shaky breath, gathered the information she found, put all of Hisashi’s other papers and files back where she found them and tiptoed outside of the house. Inko didn’t know what she would say or do, but she had to get this information to the right hands. And so, she drove to the nearest police station in the dead of night. Inko was glad the receptionist was kind to her, a small, anxious woman coming into the station in the dead of night, asking calmly what the problem was.

“W-well you see, I uh, I thought my husband was cheating on me, and I know it’s wrong, but I went through his study and I-I found something meant for him, but addressed to “Dragonfire” by someone who called themselves “Toxic”. I know it sounds silly, b-but it mentioned taking my son a-and I can’t lose him! I found these files in his desk too! T-they were hidden under a p-panel, and one of t-them is a-about how to separate me from my son. M-my husband is still asleep at the house, and I didn’t think it w-was safe to take my son with me. I know it sounds silly out loud, but please. I’m worried for my son.”

Inko knew it sounded weak, even through her own stuttering, but she’d rather die before she let anything happen to her boy, and she shoved all the information she had found on the receptionist’s desk. Mitsuki had always said Inko was a crier, and Inko could feel the tears threatening to form, but she wouldn’t let them. She refused to cry when her son could be in danger. The receptionist seemed surprised, looked at the information on the desk and she seemed to recognize something before standing and coming around the desk to put her hand on one of Inko’s shoulders.

“Thank you for coming forwards ma’am. I need you to wait here while I give this to some investigators. I’ll let you know when someone wants to speak with you. Everything is going to be just fine ma’am, don’t worry.”

Inko nodded, sniffling as she took a seat. Part of her wished she’d grabbed Izuku before leaving, but another part of her knew if Hisashi woke up and noticed both of them gone, he’d be onto her and she couldn’t risk it. She would be home before either of them woke up… she’d have to be. Inko only had to wait for ten minutes before the receptionist reappeared, asking her to follow her. She followed quietly, unsure of how to proceed as she was led to an office towards the very back of the police station and was left with a quick introduction to the tall, black haired man at the desk.

“Hello Mrs. Midoryia, My name is Detective Tsukauchi. I understand you brought some concerning files from your husband’s study because you were worried about your son, correct?”

Inko nodded quietly, speaking far more calmly than she felt. The fact there was someone willing to listen to her was greatly appreciated and she felt safer explaining everything she could.

“Yes Detective. I don’t understand any of it, but my son’s safety comes first. I wouldn’t have brought anything that would seem out of the ordinary or coincidental. I’ve noticed my husband’s odd behavior for some time now and I was so scared he was cheating on me, but when I saw it mention Izuku… I couldn’t do nothing. He’s every inch of my heart and my entire world, Sir.”

Naomasa had to admit Dragonfire and his men were slippery snakes, and he’d admit this woman impressed him. Six months of investigating dead ends and all of the sudden there was a pile of fresh leads delivered in the dead of night by a possible lead worried about a child. He hadn’t meant to stay as late as he did, but he was glad he did. He knew this was a golden opportunity, but he really didn’t want to force anything onto this mother. He took a breath as he explained what he could.

“Understandable ma’am. Normally, it would take a few days, maybe even a few weeks, to go through all the information you’ve provided to hold up the credibility, but lucky for us, I happen to have a note from the same man your husband has, as well as the fact my quirk lets me know you’re telling the truth about everything you’ve said to us. To our knowledge, Dragonfire is the name of a villain who’s heading a rising ring of villains, and we had a hunch he’d try to get in touch with some dangerous people, although the safety of your boy does make this all the more urgent. This is going to be dangerous, but we may need you to help our investigation. You’re close to him and as far as he’s aware, you have no clue as to what is going on. If you don’t want to help, that is completely understandable and we will do everything in our power to protect you and your son. The choice is yours, Mrs. Midoryia.”

He waited with baited breath, sensing the woman mulling over his words and looking at her options. He was surprised by the determination in the small woman’s eyes and she looked up at him.

“Izuku comes first. Call me Inko, Detective. After all, I have a feeling we’ll be talking to each other quite frequently.”

And so here she was two months later, resting after Hisashi had found her. She was tired, not only from the pain and the toll of all the healing quirks, but just from the events of the day. She had been told Izuku was okay and was on the way with Mitsuki and Katsuki. She would let Izuku stay with Mitsuki while she recovered, feigning and illness so Izuku wouldn’t worry more than she knew he would. He had inherited her sensitive nature and was easily upset, but she loved him all the more. Inko knew if the heroes and police couldn’t stop Hisashi, Mitsuki would.

And with that thought, Inko Midoryia drifted off to sleep, comforted by the fact her husband wouldn’t be able to take her son as long as she still had a say in things.

Chapter Text

It was a full week before the doctors to allowed Inko to go home, partly because of their worry over the healing process, and partly because the Police could keep an eye on her incase Hisashi tried anything. The last anyone had seen him, he got within a five-block radius of Izuku’s school before a heated battle with law enforcement before sacrificing his men to make an escape. Izuku himself had stayed at the Bakugou household with a cold that day. Mitsuki had been furious when she found out, demanding the police inform her sooner next time, so she could “send the bastard to hell”, according to the official police reports.

When Inko was released, it was decided the Midoryias would stay with the Bakugous for the foreseeable future, provided the house was protected 24/7 by police, various heroes and even some heroes-in-training from UA (The principal had insisted, stating it would test the student’s Patience and observation, though no one was really certain what the true reasoning of the bear/rat/mole creature’s was). Inko was grateful for the extra protection nonetheless and Izuku couldn’t have been happier, questioning every new hero or hero-to-be he came across, piling all the information into his notebooks, which he proudly showed off to anyone willing to listen, much to the youngest Bakugou’s dismay. For a while, it seemed like everything would be okay. The police were hot on Hisashi’s tail and the Midoryia family were being protected in more ways than one, but, unfortunately, life isn’t fair.

It was a beautiful summer day, and Inko was enjoying the sunshine. She had managed to convince the police to escort a family outing for Izuku’s birthday to the aquarium, and Mitsuki had insisted Katsuki tag a long, to which Izuku had been ecstatic.  It had been very trying for him the past few months, Inko being unable to tell him where his father was or why there were heroes and police around all the time. She just wanted to see her baby smile and be happy again and enjoy himself; So with a little help from Detective Tsukauchi, she’d planned for a big surprise at the aquarium for Izuku. Inko didn’t want to think about Hisashi finding them, real as the threat was. Today was her baby’s day and there was a pro hero tailing them. Inko had never heard of them, but Detective Tsukauchi said they preferred it that way, being some kind of underground hero or something and they’d be able to protect everyone if they caught sight of him. Inko could allow herself to relax today, for Izuku’s sake.

Izuku himself wasn’t overly fond of looking at fish, if he was being honest, but Kacchan had been interested when the aquarium was mentioned, claiming he wanted to see the Sharks, and Izuku didn’t want to upset Kacchan. Everything changed however, when they ran into the building and, after being lightly scolded by his mother for running off, to which Kacchan scoffed. “It’s fine Auntie. I was with him!”

Inko gave a scalding look, which both surprised and terrified the young Bakugou

“Katsuki Bakugou, do not talk back to me. Running off where I can’t see either of you is dangerous and the last thing I need is your mother after me. Do you understand?”

Izuku felt pity for Kacchan (although if he ever let it show, he knew he’d regret it). Scolding from his mother was nothing short of soul crushing. Kacchan, thankfully, mumbled “yes Auntie. Sorry for makin’ you worry.”

Inko smiled at the boys. She truly did love both of them, and she knew that despite all the teasing, they would have a strong friendship for years to come.

“It’s okay Katsuki. Once we get inside, there’s a special guest leading a tour today. I think you’ll both like him. Now no more moping, let’s go have some fun.”

With that, Inko took the boys hands, with much grumbling from the ashen blond child, and went inside. As she suspected, Izuku’s eyes widened with awe as he saw that the aforementioned “guest” was none other than Gang Orca. Inko had heard he would get calls all over the country to lecture at Aquariums and that his next stop in an attainable and safe distance happened to be on Izuku’s birthday. Inko noticed all the children trying to steer clear of the Orca hero, which she understood; They were children after all and she knew he was pretty intimidating, even to adults. He looked distracted and sad, Inko thought as they got closer, before Izuku’s cry of delight caught the hero’s attention as he broke away from Inko’s hold, not that she was worried now. Lecture or not, A pro hero was a Pro Hero. Izuku should be safe.

“Gang Orca?! No way!! Kacchan, come on!

“Hey don’t leave me behind, Deku! I told Auntie I was going to protect you, idiot!”

Inko could only chuckle as she followed the two children and went straight to the hero, looking up to the hulking figure.

“I’m sorry about them sir, they’re just excited. I didn’t exactly tell them why we were going to the Aquarium.”

Inko smiled, ruffling Izuku’s hair and smiling. She didn’t need any kind of quirk to see the delight and relief in the hero’s eyes as he looked at her then the children who would have begun roughhousing if it wasn’t for the woman stepping between them.

“I see why they would be ma’am. Truthfully, I was afraid most parents forgot about today. But no matter! I promise your boys will be fully informed and safe here!”

He said, looking to the two boys and smiling as he knelt to their level.

“Might I inquire what your names are, young men?”

The boys responded in tandem.

“What’s it to you?

“I’m Izuku and this is Kacchan! I’m Six!”

Gang Orca chuckled and stood looking at the group of three before him.

“Well then, I see no need to waste any more time! Let’s go young ones!”

Inko followed quietly, smiling when Izuku would look back to insure she was still there as he spouted all the facts, he knew about Gang Orca and his quirk, before the hero promised to give an autograph for the both of the boys before the day was out.

In hindsight, Inko would regret not being more careful. Izuku, happier than he’d been in months, was far too recognizable. He was spitting facts he knew and Inko wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings or the people surrounding. If she had, she would have realized someone in the back of the crowds starting to follow them.

Hisashi hadn’t expected to see his wife and the quirkless brat at the Aquarium, because if he was being truthful, he’d forgotten the brat’s birthday until that moment. His mission was pretty simple, in his opinion: Get Gang Orca out of commission. After all, all he had to do was dry him out with his fire. But plans changed when he heard the damn brat spouting his facts to the hero. Kid had always ticked him off with those damn rants of his. He knew that weirdo’s disguise quirk would wear off soon and if he was going to get busted, he might as well do some real carnage and teach the brat his place once and for all. He smiled a twisted, crooked smile that only someone who had lost every inch of their soul could smile as he felt the disguise wearing off, his own features becoming more and more apparent.

Breaking free from the crowd, he ran head first towards Inko’s little group, catching the “pro” hero off guard. He was still smiling as he turned and grabbed the nearest brat, which he was please to see was his own. He could barely hear Inko’s screams over the sound of his own blood rushing in his ears as he opened his mouth and laughed.

“Happy birthday Sport.

And with that, he let his quirk loose as the child in his grasp turned to look at him, eyes wide open in horror.

Izuku didn’t understand what was happening and now, all he could feel was pain. Everything was going dark through the white-hot pain and he didn’t know where his mom or Kacchan were. He could feel himself fall to the ground before a swift kick to his stomach sent him flying across the room. People were shouting and though he couldn’t see anything, he got the strangest sensation as he made contact with the ground. It was like the world itself was trembling with fear and in that fear, he could sense his father’s footsteps. He could sense everyone leaving, and he could feel the heat of his father’s fire in the air. There was a metallic taste in Izuku’s mouth, as he gasped for air and called out in fear.

“K-Kacchan!? Mommy!? Someone!?”

There was just more yelling and Izuku was sure no one had actually heard his cry, but he could feel the trembling getting farther away. The pain was unbearable, his vision almost completely black, save for a small speck of light, coming from what he knew was his father. Izuku wanted to pass out and let everything go dark, but a single, cry cut above the commotion that caught his attention.

“Deku? Deku where are you, you idiot?! DEKU!!

Kacchan.  Izuku couldn’t let himself go just yet. Kacchan was looking for him and everyone was in trouble.

Everyone was in trouble and Izuku couldn’t do anything, and he wished with all his might that he could help. The last thing Izuku remembered before the world went dark and painful was the ground trembling getting stronger around him and the air rushing around him.

Chapter Text

Aizawa knew he should have listened to Hizashi and walked with the damn family instead of tailing behind. Now, not only did he have to waste fifteen minutes convincing the damn security and staff he was a pro hero (a feat only accomplished after several phone calls to police and his agency, despite the fact he had his stupid hero license on his person), but he lost sight of them and the very guy he’d been sent to protect them from had attacked the kid. The one thought he had as he pushed through the crowd was that he was never going to hear the end of it.  

Once he was free of the crowd, Aizawa finally got a visual on the target, just as he was readying another attack… on Gang Orca? He briefly wondered what he was doing here before he focused all his energy on the man before him, knowing Hisashi’s attack would never come, as long as Aizawa could help it. Hisashi was, quite understandably, confused. He didn’t exactly have time to ponder why his quirk suddenly didn’t do what he told it too before the hero he had been beating took the chance to fight back. Aizawa was grateful for his capture gear, doing everything he could to keep the man at bay while Gang Orca pummeled him, neither man willing to risk giving the man an opening. From somewhere near the exit, Aizawa barely register a child calling out for a “deku” as he fought. He couldn’t afford to blink, not until he could feel the man go slack in his capture gear, both heroes breathing heavily.

It was then Aizawa noticed the crackle of fire and the rush of wind behind him as well as the trembling he previously thought of as adrenaline was also coming from the other side of the room. Turning, he saw what would haunt his dreams for years to come: The Midoryia kid bleeding profusely, eyes seeming to glow as bits of rubble and fire surrounded him in a miniature vortex several feet off the ground. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was happening to the kid, and they had to act fast.

“Gang Orca, call for an ambulance. The kid’s quirk must have manifested during the attack. I’ll stop the kid from hurting himself with it, but his eyes look to be in bad shape. Once you’ve got the ambulance, make sure that man doesn’t escape!”

He had to act fast, if there was any chance of saving the kid from the blood loss, but falling from that high with those kinds of injuries could prove fatal. He had to be careful, running closer to the kid as he readied himself before activating his quirk. The rubble fell to the ground as the wind and fire dispersed. The kid fell limply into the ready capture gear, Aizawa looking on in horror. The kid’s face was badly burned and the bleeding seemed to be slowing down, although he wasn’t willing to risk anything as he tore the kid’s tattered shirt and used the pressure on the wounds. The kid cried out weakly in pain and Aizawa could feel his heart sink. The kid was still awake, through all that pain.  

“Hang on problem child.”

It wasn’t the most comforting thing he could have said, he would admit, but it was all he could think to do as he stood and ran towards the exit as policemen flooded the room to take the attacker into custody. He found himself thinking desperately as he pushed past them all, looking for the ambulance and the kid’s mother.

‘Please hold on kid. You’re not done here yet.’

Shota Aizawa was a young underground hero, and he desperately wanted this child to survive. It was his fault for not being with them to begin with and if this kid died, Shota didn’t think he could call himself a “hero”. He finally spotted the paramedics off to the side, assessing the small cuts and bruises of various people, his path blocked by panicked bystanders and Shota wasn’t having it, shouting at a volume he didn’t think he could reach.

MOVE! INJURED KID, GET OUT OF THE WAY!”

Luckily, mercifully, that did the trick. The crowd parted and he ran though, cradling the child as if he’d turn to dust at any moment. Shota set him onto the stretcher and he couldn’t deny that the kid looked terrible as the paramedics swarmed the kid, speeding off towards the nearest emergency room. As he watched them speed away, Shota couldn’t help but feel a pit of despair and guilt in his gut, deciding to glare as the officials dragged the man who had attacked the kid out of the building. Seven months after the arrest of Hisashi Midoryia, the villain known as Dragonfire on charges of Illegal quirk usage, conspiracy with known criminals and the assault of his son, Izuku Midoryia, he was convicted and sent to jail.

Shota learned that the boy would live, but his vision had been destroyed. Izuku Midoryia was officially, legally blind with a quirk he could no longer learn to control the way every other child. From what everyone could gather, his quirk stemmed from ancestral elemental quirk users on both sides of his family, converging into a single 4-element quirk. Quirks are dangerous things, and quirks that manifest in stressful situations, as the young Midoryia’s had, were prone to acting out or becoming stronger faster than their users would be able to handle. Izuku would need special trauma counseling and, surprising to authorities and the hero communities, Quirk training from Eraserhead, who would be able to monitor the boy’s quirk in case he lost control at any point.

It wasn’t easy, but over the years Izuku would fully and completely control his quirk (Shota noted he would refrain from using his fire as much as possible, although he couldn’t exactly blame the kid), as well as make a discovery that would change his way of viewing the world around him, so to speak. Izuku’s love of quirks lead him to experiment often in the privacy of his room or when he and Aizawa were together. It was through this that Izuku learned he could feel the vibrations of others through the ground, which accounted for the “fear trembles” he recalled feeling at the Aquarium that day. With his feet bare on the ground, he could navigate as well as any seeing person. It took a lot of work, as well as some threats and/or requests from both Inko and Mitsuki, but several months after Izuku’s mastery of this “vision”, he had a license to accommodate his public and constant quirk usage, even if it was only just a portion of it.

Chapter Text

“Just hold on to my arm, damn it. There’s a step ahead Deku.”

Izuku groaned aloud as he was dragged towards the train by his friend. He knew Kacchan was just trying to help, aggravated as he sounded, mumbling about how useless he was on the trains.

“I know Kacchan! I can sense the gap, we’ve been over this. It’s just the stupid train itself I have trouble with…”

Izuku’s mumbling wasn’t a lie. He could sense the gap between the train and the train station itself. Izuku had learned to see through vibrations, but vehicles had their own kind of vibrations and the speed from them disoriented Izuku to no end. That was where Kacchan would come in, keeping watch on the stop’s names, keeping track of the distance. Izuku could technically navigate on his own using the station’s braille, but he was less certain in their directions, whereas Kacchan was a constant rock that guided him when he needed it.But Izuku knew Kacchan wasn’t always going to be there when he needed him. That day at school, the explosive boy had gotten in trouble from another fight, leaving Izuku to wait for him outside, which usually invited the bullies Kacchan had tried to fight.

“Hey look at Midoryia! Waiting outside like a lost little puppy, as usual. Did you see Bakugou’s face when I called you what you are? Oh wait! You didn’t see that!”

He could sense the kid who stopped to the left of him. Izuku didn’t bother to turn his head in their direction or even acknowledge them. From the smell of fertilizer coming off of them, Izuku guessed they had some kind of plant quirk, not that he cared anymore. Quirks had fascinated him as a kid and, to an extent they still did, but he couldn’t exactly get excited when he couldn’t see them, having to go off of how they smelled and what he could sense from the person through the ground and, more recently, how they reacted with the air waves. Well, when he was alone at least... If Kacchan was with him, the boys would record quirk observations together like there was no tomorrow, Kacchan providing visual descriptions while Izuku would rattle off his ideas for how it could be used, what potential weak points were and whatnot. It had been many years since Izuku had written his observations in a journal, opting instead to record his thoughts on the fly, his room having shelves and shelves of hero archives he’d recorded. His personal favorites where the ones he did on All Might and Aizawa, though he would actually die if Aizawa ever heard the recording.

Izuku regretted not paying full attention, because the next thing he knew, he was being held off the ground by some kind of vine and he was going to panic. He was in the air; his feet were off the ground and his solid vision just disappeared. He could hear the kid laughing as he cried out in a panic, sensing the low amount of heat radiating off of them, as well as feeling the push and pull of the kid’s breathing as they laughed.

“Put me down! This isn’t funny!”

He could hear the getting closer as he struggled, trying to think of a way to escape with the now limited senses… he knew he’d have to talk to Aizawa about training his other senses to be as accurate as his solid vision was. He knew the kid was pretty new to the middle school, but there had to be a reason why they were doing this…

“You know, I’ve heard stories about what happened to you Midoryia. About how your old man took your sight and laughed. They told me it was so bad you started wearing that visor, just so people wouldn’t have to look at your pathetic face. I just want a little peak behind those shades, then I’ll let you go… or I might not. A villain’s kid did just threaten me, after all.”

Izuku was in a crossroads: If he used his quirk, they could say he attacked them. If he didn’t, they’d see his face, something he never wanted to show anyone after that day at the aquarium, going as far as to refuse to cut his hair so that those around him wouldn’t have to keep seeing the limp, defenseless boy who’d cry out in the hospital for his mother, unable to ever see her again. Izuku didn’t know what to do… he couldn’t fight back without confirming what everyone thought about him as a villain’s kid: a ticking timebomb waiting to explode and hurt everyone. Izuku braced himself for the worst, when he heard a familiar voice shouting from the direction of the school, as the faint smell of explosive sweat reached him.

“Hey asshole, get away from him!”

Kacchan’s detention was over, and he was pissed. He spent the past couple of years protecting Deku, knowing full well the idiot wasn’t going to defend himself, getting “detentions” (which were more of a formality than anything. The teachers loved Izuku and let the young Bakugou off lightly, knowing he was protecting the boy, unable to do anything without proof. How could they punish such blatant examples of a hero in the making?), and now the very kid he’d clobbered earlier was back to torment Deku again. Despite his brash nature, Katsuki was not an idiot, and it didn’t take an idiot to know why Deku hated his face and hid behind his hair and the damn visor thing Auntie had found him, even if he could never see it himself: he had scarring. Bad. And anyone with a shred of decency would know to never ask about it or bring it up. He was still trying to convince Deku to use his fire more openly to defend himself better, but that took patience Katsuki didn’t think he had.

After getting him down on the ground again, Katsuki had an idea, noticing his friend’s sour demeanor.

“Hey Deku, we got a stupid test that we need to study for. let’s walk to that food place with all the cats and study there.”

Izuku knew he must have been showing his bitterness if Kacchan had suggested that. Kacchan hated walking to the cat café, which Izuku loved (Aizawa had taken him there on occasion after training, swearing him to secrecy as to the true origin of the discovery). He smiled, nodding as he turned to leave, having learned the fastest route by heart. He was stopped when he felt something sharp in his foot, stopping to remove whatever it was, years of walking barefoot preventing him from feeling whatever pain it might have inflicted upon him. Kacchan growled in annoyance, noticing what he was doing and suggested, for the millionth time it seemed, something he was against profusely:

“You seriously need to invest in some shoes Deku. Shoe companies make support articles for heroes all the time; some thin soles shoes or something shouldn’t be that hard for them idiot!”

Izuku grimaced at the idea. Sure, he knew it would be easy for support companies to think of something, but custom shoes for daily use, rather than hero work? It was bound to cost a fortune that neither he nor the Bakugou’s had, or they would have bought them for him ages ago. He muttered something about the expenses needed for such an item as they walked into a back alley, they knew was a shortcut. Two steps in and Izuku stopped, tensing as he reached out to stop his friend. Both boys were quiet as Izuku focused all his senses on the surrounding area, something in his gut telling him that danger was near. The air was normal, save for the rise and fall of the boy’s breathing, the moisture in the air gave no sign of anything unusual… but underneath the ground, Izuku could sense something not entirely solid nor completely liquid was moving and he didn’t like it, unable to pinpoint a solid mass through the ground. He knew what he had to do, grabbing Kacchan by the shoulder and pushing with all his might towards the other end of the alley, moving to follow.

“Something’s underground. Run!”

But it was a little too late, the not-quite-solid-or-liquid mass he sensed underground now surging upwards behind the boys, lashing out and engulfing the two boys. The creature laughed at his luck, finding two new toys to cause trouble with, enjoying the potential of a back-up in case he expended the other’s quirk usage.

“Come now boys, it’s rude to just leave me on my lonesome! And you’re both so stressed! What do ya say we hit the town and paint it red, hm?”

The boys could do nothing, Izuku couldn’t sense anything but the wind rushing around them as the monster villain sped through the alleyways, his hands and feet encased in the sludge and the constant jostling keeping him disoriented, while Kacchan couldn’t use his explosions without risk of hurting Izuku. The boys were trapped and the villain was laughing at the heroes who eventually came when he forced Kacchan’s quirk to hurt anyone who got close. Izuku felt like crying, struggling with all his might to break free and stabilize himself. Distantly, he heard the heroes shouting and a crowd gathering, but nothing was happening except more and more destruction. Why wasn’t anyone doing something to save them? How could they not save them? Izuku didn’t know what to do, but he could hear Kacchan’s struggling and through the overpowering smell of smoke and sludge, the unmistakable smell of iron mixing with the smell of Kacchan’s sweat. The sludge villain was forcing Kacchan’s quirk to quickly and with more and more force, causing blood to enter the mix when sweat wasn’t coming fast enough.

He knew it was dangerous of Kacchan when blood entered the mix, and he knew it made his explosions deadlier and deadlier. Izuku had to act before the monster ended up killing Kacchan, his struggle renewing with vigor and anger. He would not let that thing kill Kacchan, he would not die today and he sure as hell wasn’t going to sit by idly like the heroes standing nearby. With every ounce of strength he had Izuku clawed and clawed at the sludge, being just liquid enough for him to sense where it would break into the air and, with a single hand freed from the sludge, summoned all the air he could and pulled as his hand went inwards.

“Never fear children, for I AM-“

The gust of wind summoned cut whoever was speaking off as it freed both of them, flinging the sludge villain across the street, splattering across a wall, unmoving. Kacchan had passed out, falling to the ground with irritated red arms with small patches of skin bleeding. Izuku fell to the ground, heaving in the air as the world’s vibrations came back to him, giving him a sense of direction, noting the vibrations of a large figure in front of the crowd and Izuku had watched enough videos as a child to have the speaker’s voice and appearance seared into his mind. All Might had come to save them, and Izuku had jumped the gun with his gust of wind.

Izuku could feel his heart pounding in his chest, certain everyone else could hear it as well. All Might, the number one hero, was standing in front of him and Izuku was certain he was going to be mad at him. He had used his quirk in public, to bring harm to another without a license.  Izuku gulped as the hero approached, sensing some kind of energy humming around him, cutting through the air, each step booming in the eerie silence.

“It’s alright my boy, you’re safe now. Everything will be alright.”

The gentleness in All Might’s voice surprised Izuku. Shouldn’t he be angry? Why wasn’t he angry? Izuku had knowingly broken the law, causing harm to another. He was just like the villains! All Might should be yelling at him and handing him to the authorities as a villain, just like his father.

All Might himself hadn’t expected the boy to cry, and he had been a hero long enough to know it wasn’t from relief: The boy was crying in fear, as another boy he assumed to be his friend was passed out beside him. He took another step towards the boy, knowing the crowd was watching and most likely recording, much to his annoyance. There was an injured child, a villain to clean up (which the heroes who had been standing by had begun the process of doing), a child crying out of fear and all they could do was record because All Might was there. He spoke gently and quietly, so only the boy could hear him.

“My boy, why are you crying? No one here is going to hurt you. Your friend will be okay, I promise.”

The boy sniffled, not raising his head to meet All Might’s gaze, speaking so quietly he was sure the boy was simply mouthing the words and noise was escaping.

“Why aren’t you angry at me? I used my quirk to hurt someone else without the proper license. I’m no better than a villain. You should be yelling at me.”

In that moment, All Might’s heart shattered, knowing only bullied child would think self-defense was punishable (being quirkless as a child, he knew that pain all too well). All Might could tell that this boy, whomever he was, had been broken time and time again, picking up the pieces to glue back together in silence and All Might wasn’t going to let him break again: not when he had done something truly heroic in the face of great danger. Kneeling to ground, he reached out and put his hands on the boy’s shoulders, speaking not as All Might, but as a man grown from the pain, he could tell the boy felt, not needing the boy to say it. After all, heartache recognizes heartache like one would recognize their own reflection.

“Young Man I would never, ever yell at someone who hasn’t done anything wrong. What you did was incredibly brave my boy! You acted when everyone here stood by idly.  You listen to me now: You are not a villain. You used your quirk in self-defense to save another in need and while there are laws requiring licenses for hero work, there are also laws to protect those who use their quirks when they act in self-defense. You did nothing wrong and I will personally vouch for you if anyone who tries to paint you as a villain. No one is going to yell at you my boy, because I am here.”

The boy cried harder than before and All Might, not caring for those behind them, sheltered the boy from everything in a gentle embrace. All Might didn’t budge or draw away until the boy was ready, helping him to stand, noticing the boy’s bare feet (had the villain taken the boy’s shoes as he took them?)

The boy didn’t move, standing in the middle of the alleyway before raising his head to where All Might’s eyes were, visor meeting his intense blue eyes as he spoke, voice shaking and stuttering, but All Might could sense the determination behind the boy’s words. Izuku had to know from the man he looked up to all his life, he had to hear it from the mouth of All Might himself:

“A-All Might, please wait I have to know something. My name is Izuku Midoryia, and when I was a child, a villain took my eyesight. D-Do you think someone like me, someone who’s past is as mine…. Could I be a hero?”

In that moment, at those words, All Might was not the number one hero, Symbol of Peace. At those words, he felt as though he was once again a young man without a quirk, looking to Nana as she turned to face him. ‘Could someone like me be a hero?’ he remembered asking her. He remembered the desperation in his voice, wanting more than anything to be a hero anyone and everyone could depend on. Yagi Toshinori, in that moment, saw himself in the young boy who was so scared of becoming a villian.

“Young Midoryia, it is not the events of the past that determine what makes a hero. The past may be riddled with mistakes or experiences, good or bad, we must learn from them. You may have lost one sense, but your other senses learned to grow stronger in its absence. You have a good quirk, but that is only part of the battle my boy: You must be able to think your way through life and battle. Even I cannot resolve all conflicts through sheer strength alone, there are times when I must think before I act. And above all else, what makes a hero great is what they feel in their hearts. I do not act because I want money or fame or, despite many who would say otherwise, a death-wish. I act because it is the right thing to do. You acted today because your friend was in danger, as well as the lives of everyone here. You acted when no one else would because it was right. So, to answer your question, Izuku Midoryia: You can become a hero, no matter your past, so long as you are willing to be ready to fail and learn from your mistakes my boy.”

Izuku thought he couldn’t cry any harder than he already was. He was wrong. Izuku felt himself fall to the ground, clutching his chest as he sobbed tears of joy and relief. He could feel arms wrap around him once again and he couldn’t care less if the whole world was watching him cry (a few hours after the attack, the whole world would, in fact, see him crying.)

Later, at the hospital, Izuku made up his mind as he and Kacchan waited for their mothers to come get them. He knew what he wanted- no, what he needed to do with his life. Vision be damned: Izuku Midoryia wanted to be a hero.

“Kacchan?”

“Yeah Deku?”

“I want to get into UA… I’m going to be a hero.”

There was a moment of silence before Kacchan spoke next, hiding the joy in his voice as anger.

“Well no shit Deku! I told you we were going to be the best hero duo, didn’t I? Once we get out of here, we’re going to train together. I know the Old Hag will get us what we need if you ask her Deku. If we start tomorrow, we’ll have about two years until we take the entrance exam.”

Inko and Mitsuki were not happy to learn their boys were on national television, being held hostage and used by a villain. It took both the insistence of Detective Tsukauchi and Aizawa to stop both women from going to the prison to hunt down the villain responsible for hurting their boys. Upon arriving at the hospital, Mitsuki didn’t have the heart to chew her son out for allowing the villain to catch them as she entered their room to see both boys in an intense debate on quirk and training strategy, the young Bakugou insisting that Izuku would be stronger if he just used his damn fire to his advantage, to which Izuku was saying how useless and time consuming it would be when he could just trap people in the ground.

It didn’t surprise either of the mothers: they’d seen the news and the videos of All Might’s speech to Izuku. Both mothers knew they would have their hands full for the next few months: once again dodging the press who would undoubtedly want to know everything said to Izuku by All Might, dodging villains who might see a potential challenge in the boys as well as the boys themselves as they would begin to prepare themselves for the UA entrance exam that was two years away.

Chapter Text

To say the next year and a half was challenging for the two boys would be an understatement. For seven months after the “Sludge Villain Incident”, Reporters hounded the two boy’s day and night trying to get statements and interviews, claiming that the world wanted to know more about the kids involved, their quirks and daily lives. The reporters only left after making the mistake of ambushing Mitsuki in the early morning before she’d made her coffee. To this day, Mitsuki would proudly show off the restraining order with a gleam in her eyes, pointing to the frame above the Bakugou household’s fireplace whenever a friend or neighbor would suggest that the boys do an interview or something because of their experience. The boys only slightly missed the ambushes, claiming their escapes were perfect training for surprise attacks and testing their stamina. During those seven months, Izuku would train with Aizawa, insisting he learn as much martial arts as possible before going home to show Kacchan a more aggressive version of what he’d learned, knowing his friend’s fighting style was focused more on strength and aggressiveness rather than speed and precision, as Izuku would focus on. On top of all the martial arts training and reporter dodging, Kacchan had devised an alternate training regime for Izuku that he thought was genius.

Every day after their sparring, homework and reporter dodging Kacchan would drag his very unwilling friend down to the beach where everyone dumped their trash and let the boy get to work, navigating the sandy terrain with thinly soled shoes he forced onto his friend’s feet (he might have been doing this to help his weird shoe-phobia/solid vision on not-so-solid terrain, but he wasn’t about to let his friend get an infection because of some trash he’d step on. He wasn’t a dumbass like Deku) and slowly clean the beach. Kacchan would help of course, when he’d see something dangerous that his friend hadn’t noticed or mentioned yet, quickly moving it out of harm’s way and on the sixth month of their training, the beach was completely cleared.

By that point, Izuku could navigate the sand without fear of falling; the soles providing enough of a surface to clear his vision on the shifting sand, which was too soft for the vibrations to travel properly, giving everything a fuzzy “look” to him. Giving a triumphant yell, Izuku stood to where he could feel the sun’s warmth, unable to see his friend’s smile at the feeling of overcoming a great obstacle before Kacchan tore down that accomplishment in an instant.

“Not a shitty job Deku. Now shoes off! Time for phase two!”

“What??

“You heard me Deku. Shoes. Off. If you’re running around shoeless and happen upon sand, you won’t be able to slip your shoes on in the middle of a fight. You’re gonna navigate the beach with just your quirk until it’s as clear as my voice, got it dumbass?”

Izuku groaned aloud, complying as he felt his feet sink into the sand. As it turns out, Kacchan’s “phase two” wasn’t a bad idea and Izuku knew Kacchan was right as usual. Their training continued and after another six months, Izuku could navigate the sand as confidently as he could the sidewalk. The two boys grow stronger in both strength and spirit, Izuku feeling more confident than he ever had, which did not go unnoticed by those around him. Even his bullies seemed to back off, resorting to harsh words with no action, surprised when Izuku would retort in kind, although Kacchan was never successful in his attempts to get the boy to swear.  Izuku knew better than to swear where he’d get caught, not wanting to risk the wrath of one Inko Midoryia.

Izuku and Kacchan would continue to spar together, learning and growing and becoming closer and closer than they ever had to the point where bystanders would often ask if they were related. Izuku thought it was hilarious and made a game out of it: How Long Until This Stranger Realizes We Aren’t Related. The current record was a month, Izuku convincing Kacchan to play along until the boys’ mothers broke their record. They still recorded hero journals together, Kacchan taking a new interest in Izuku’s thoughts after explaining why they were so important.

“You can’t rely on strength all the time Kacchan. If I learn everything I can about a quirk on the fly, it makes it easier to discover how to negate the quirk without hurting anyone. If I didn’t know you, for example; I’d have to find out your quirk, how it worked and the best way to negate the threat in a mere few seconds. Any hesitation or over thinking could lead to injuries or worse. Rushing in without any knowledge of what you’re up against in stupid and will no doubt end up doing more harm than good. Only fools rush in Kacchan.”

Katsuki had to admit that it made sense. Fighting was only half of the battle, and while he was sure he could pass the hero course practical exam, the written test was another thing entirely and they wouldn’t include it if having half a brain wasn’t an important part of being a hero. He knew what he’d have to do if he wanted half a chance at being a decent hero and while he didn’t like it, he knew Izuku would never let him live this down if he didn’t swallow his pride, as Izuku did on the beach.

“Could... could you help me with that quirk assessing thing you do? Not that I need your help, but you’re more into that nerdy crap and I won’t be able to bounce ideas off of you during the exam.”

He was glad Izuku couldn’t see his embarrassment from admitting a weakness, but the smile he saw on the other boy’s face was well worth it. Izuku was always an emotional kid and wore his heart on his sleeve, even when he tried to hide it. Sometimes Katsuki wondered why he would so readily share his facts and his knowledge, but would try to hide his more negative emotions. Izuku may have been blind and hid behind a visor and that damn hair he refused to cut, opting to tie it out of his way (when he remembered, that is), but Katsuki had known him since childhood and Izuku couldn’t hide the sadness that would cross his face from his best friend.

The boys studied and trained, while taking daily runs on the beach, the sand not only an obstacle for Izuku to navigate, but soon they would have to doge beach goes and reporters investigating who had cleared the beach and why they had felt that need.

Izuku’s conversations with Aizawa expanded his understanding of the exam, not gaining specifics but a general understanding that the practical was rigged in favor of those with destructive or physical quirks. Inko knew her boys wanted to go to UA more than anything and she had no doubt they could pass that practical with flying colors, but she did have to worry about the written exam. On Mitsuki’s insistence, Inko called UA with her concerns, surprised the now-famous Present Mic remembered someone like her and that he actually listened to her worried intently.

“Hey there Listener Inko! I totally dig your concerns for the little listener and your requests are gonna go straight to the main man himself, Yeah! I’m sure something can be worked out!”

Inko couldn’t help but smile as she waited on hold. It seemed only yesterday to her that Present Mic was a young man, saying things like “yes ma’am” and “of course ma’am.” And now he was a famous hero with a radio show and a teaching job to boot, always trying to be “hip with the kids” as Mitsuki would say. Inko called Izuku over to her as he entered the door, noting how he smelled vaguely of sweat and the sea, quickly explaining what she was doing and what she was worried about. Izuku nodded in understanding, too embarrassed and proud to admit he had the same concerns and had planned on doing exactly what his mother had later on. After putting the phone on speaker, the hold music stopped and a voice spoke up.

Hello, Mrs. Midoryia? This is Principal Nezdu at UA. Our Present Mic said you had some concerns about the entrance exams’ written portion, correct?”

“Yes Sir. As I told Present Mic, Izuku is blind and he was worried that a computerized version of the test would be a distraction to others around him. We were wondering what could be done so that he can take the exam without disturbing others, or any other ideas and suggestions that would be available.”

There was a pause on the other end as they heard some paper’s shuffling before the principal spoke again, sounding rather cheery.

“Of course, of course! What kind of school would we be if we didn’t allow everyone to show us what they’re capable of while giving the best support to ensure they are, indeed, doing their best? I have a few suggestions if the young Midoryia would be willing to listen.”

Both Midoriyas let out a sigh of relief, listening intently to the principal, putting out any information they could give that would help the principal. After a near hour and a half phone call, the three worked out how Izuku could take the “written” test to the best of his abilities and, before anyone knew it, the day of the entrance exam was upon them. Izuku and Kacchan walked together like they always did to the train station, ready to handle whatever lay ahead of them.

Chapter Text

Izuku was pretty sure he was going to die of embarrassment before he even took the exam. One moment everything was fine, the next thing he knew he was falling forwards, silently cursing Kacchan for forcing him to wear shoes that had shoelaces. He waited for the impact that never came, the air around him changing drastically as he felt a light tap on his should. The air vibrated with some kind of field of energy that Izuku guessed was some kind of anti-gravity quirk, based on his not-falling. Behind him, he heard a girl’s voice speak as hands moved him in mid air so that he was standing straight before releasing the anti-gravity field they had put him in.

“Hey are you okay? I’m sorry for using my quirk on you without asking, you just looked like you needed a little help….”

Izuku turned to the girl’s general direction, making sure to smile. He couldn’t afford to look weak to anyone, especially today. Even so, Izuku was still a little awkward around girl, semi-shouting a panicked response before making his escape, smelling and sensing Kacchan close up ahead.

“No don’t be sorry! You saved me from looking like an idiot before we even got inside! Thank you very much! You’re here for the UA exams, right? What am I saying, you’re here and using your quirk, of course you are…? Sorry to trouble you! Good luck!”

Neither one of them had time to think about the strange encounter with the other, running towards the entrance of UA, papers to admit them on campus at the ready. Izuku could feel his heart pounding with anxiety as he and Kacchan walked forwards to a desk where people were waiting, handing over their papers. There was a pause before a woman’s voice spoke cheerily.

“Okay so here’s your testing card and your exam room is the third door Bakugou. Midoryia, here’s your testing card and if you would follow my associate here and he’ll take you to your exam room. Good luck boys!”

Izuku nodded, sensing a second person stand and walk out from behind the table and stood to the left, waiting for Izuku to follow. He paused, turning to Kacchan, his best friend, partner in crime and at this point he might as well be his brother. Holding his fist out, Izuku smiled brighter than ever, his friend doing the same in a gentle fist bump as both boys spoke in unison.

“Kacchan, good luck!”

“Don’t fuck this up Deku.”

And with that, Izuku followed the second person, feeling his exam card as they walked. It was made of cardboard, if he had to guess, and he read the braille that gave his name, tester number and what group he would be in for the practical exam. Izuku couldn’t afford to worry about that as he sat down in a small room, computer set in front of him. Here, he’d be able to do whatever was necessary for him to take the exam properly without disturbing others. Harsh as Kacchan’s studying methods were, Izuku was grateful for the memories and knowledge his friend had, on more than one occasion, beaten into him. It took longer than Izuku would have liked, but he was grateful once again for the private room and UA’s open policy for those in need of accommodations, even if having someone to get him to the next question was kind of embarrassing...  He was certain he had done everything correctly and to the best of his ability as they closed the computer and lead him outside towards his practical exam group, which was gathering onto a bus, from what Izuku could tell… he hated the damn shoes Kacchan had made him wear, wondering if Kacchan would believe they’d gotten destroyed in the practical portion.

Izuku knew what he’d have to do once the bus stopped at what he assumed was the practical exam, kicking the devil incarnates off of his feet as he stepped out of the bus, grateful for the extra training so he wouldn’t look like a lost child when leaving vehicles on the daily (even though Kacchan would still hover over the other boy’s shoulders, ready to direct as needed). As he did so, he could sense someone getting closer, vision defining them more as a female figure once his feet were on the solid ground.

“Hey uh, I know you tripped on your shoelaces before, but you could just re-tie them you know… I don’t think it’s very safe to run around the exam barefoot.”

“Not to mention incredible unbecoming of a potential UA student! I must insist you put them back on this instant before the exam starts!”

It was the girl with the anti-gravity and some new voice coming from his left. Izuku sighed, not bothering to look at either of them or move towards the shoes. Izuku knew the best course of action would be to explain as quickly as possible without going into the specifics.

“It’s for my quirk: I need my feet touching the ground for it to work the best.”

Silence. Then a small response.

“Oh, so that’s why you tripped? I’m sorry!”

“I see. Forgive my arrogance.”

Izuku knew there wasn’t time for idle chat, grunting in acknowledgement, opting to run towards the front, hearing the signal for the test to begin. He could do this. This is what he and Kacchan had been training and dreaming for. Through the earth, Izuku sensed the vibrations of metal machinery moving.  Hesitating once, Izuku ran forwards, summoning the ground beneath them upwards, impaling a cluster of them, moving to repeat over and over and over. He knew there was a point system, but he didn’t exactly want to get close enough to find out what numbers they had. Part of him wished there was more to work with than the ground and rubble around him, but he knew how dangerous it could be for him to unleash a different element with so many people around, most of whom weren’t paying attention to where they were going, only caring for the obstacles in front of them. Izuku didn’t blame them, but after the first few clusters he stopped in his tracks, reaching out as far as he could through the ground, trying to pinpoint a large cluster of metal parts, moving confidently as he raised the ground to impale or immobilize them.

He had no idea how many points he had and he wouldn’t have cared to continue on his strategy until he heard the screaming.

That’s the Zero pointer???”

“Is UA crazy???”

“Not fighting that thing! You’re on your own losers!”

But what made Izuku hesitate in going after easier targets was a faint cry coming from where he could sense the Zero Pointer. There, hidden in a bunch of rubble, Izuku could sense someone breathing heavily. He knew what he had to do while everyone around him ran away or towards an easier target. Unknown to Izuku and the rest of the test goers, the exam’s administrators were watching their every move, commenting on various groups.

“It’s quite a shame, isn’t it? We give the children a chance to prove what heroes they are and every year, they all run away. It is quite the shame.”

“Not so fast Nezdu! Looks like we’ve got someone running at the Zero Pointer.”

“Oh? How fascinating! The Midoryia boy no less… truly interesting.”

Izuku ran and knew he had to act fast if he wanted to save whoever was trapped under that rubble. Gathering his strength and steeling his nerves, Izuku built pressure in the air as he ran, releasing it when he skyrocketed upwards, sensing the robot approaching. He had an idea, and he really, really hoped this would be easier than bending the spoon. With every ounce of strength, he possessed, he reached out with his senses and found the chinks in the Robot’s make up. Metal was just another sub-section of rocks after all, or it very least had enough rock left over from when it was mined and processed for this to work as he willed the hunk of metal to collapse in on itself, landing on its “head” none-to-gracefully, the force of his quirk and the air stopping it in its tracks. Izuku slid down as fast as he could, using the air pressure he gathered to cushion himself. He willed the rubble away from the trapped person, running over to assess the damage.

“Can you stand?” he asked simply, offering his hand to them. He was surprised to hear the gravity girl’s voice, sounding like she was about to cry.

“I think I broke something. It can’t end like this! I need to get in! I can’t afford to fail this exam!”

Izuku knew anyone else wouldn’t have cared if the girl got in or not… but he wasn’t exactly ‘anyone else’ and he had a plan.

“Test isn’t over yet you know. Grab my shoulder, I’ll help you up. We still have time.”

To his surprise and relief, she complied with only a hiss of pain as he simplified his plans.

“I can get us to the robots, but I’m going to need you to tell me what points they are. We’ll work together.”

The girl grunted in response, directing Izuku to the biggest clump of higher pointed robots were as they quickly devised a strategy: Izuku would create rubble for her to use as she wished and she would tell him what their point values were. They split the points from the system evenly, gaining more and more points until the end of exam alarm sounded, both of them breathing heavily, the girl having hobbled away to hurl, from what Izuku could smell. The voice of an old woman cut through the tired testers.

“Is anybody hurt?”

Izuku spoke up, looking in the direction of the voice as his temporary partner hobbled back over to lean on his shoulder, clearly too exhausted to call out herself.

“Uh, over here ma’am. We think she might have broken something after she got stuck under some rubble with the Zero Pointer.”

He heard a small tsk as he sensed the lady getting closer. He wasn’t sure what was happening, but he gathered she had some kind of healing quirk. She spoke lightly and calmly to the both of them.

“There you go dear and please, have some gummies. Did the Zero Pointer cost you your shoes by any chance, young man?”

Izuku could feel his face flush with embarrassment as he was sure everyone was now looking to see him without shoes. Izuku mumbled a response, not wanting to be in anyone’s attention for too long.

“Uh, no ma’am. I got rid of them so I could use my quirk easier.”

There was a small tsk as he sensed the woman leaving, muttering about how reckless and stupid he was, as well as something about risking infection. He noticed the girl was still with him, to his surprise.

“Um, thank you for saving me and helping me with the rest of the exam. I don’t believe I introduced myself: I’m Ochaco Uraraka.”

Izuku turned to face her, letting himself smile as he held out his hand in (what he hoped) was her direction.

“Izuku Midoryia. And don’t mention it! Being a hero isn’t always about what’s best for one’s self: it’s often times about what is right… and I just felt helping you was the right thing to do… I hope we racked up enough points! You’ve got an amazing quirk Uraraka, and I hope we see each other in the hero course!”

With that, the two walked together towards the bus, chatting idly all the way back to the main campus. As soon as Izuku stepped off the bus, he could smell Kacchan nearby, bid farewell to his new friend(?) and ran towards his practically-brother. Izuku didn’t want to admit it, but his stunt with the Zero Pointer had drained him like crazy, which didn’t go unnoticed by Kacchan. How could he not realize it when the other boy was literally falling asleep on his feet, causing Kacchan to grumble and lift the smaller boy onto his back, glaring at anyone who gave them a sideways look, daring them to say something and wake Deku up.

The entrance exam was over, and the wait for the both of them had begun, although back at UA, the teachers chatted about those who looked promising and All Might couldn’t stop the genuine smile that graced his face as he watched a slightly older, and much more assured Izuku Midoryia’s practical exam. Of those testing for the hero course, Midoryia had been the only one to rush the Zero Pointer for the sake of another test taker. The more and more All Might watched, the prouder he felt and he thought that maybe, just maybe, this boy had promise far greater than All Might had seen in that alleyway two years ago.

Chapter Text

It took two nerve wracking weeks for the UA letters to arrive at the respective Bakugou and Midoryia households, neither boy wanting to see the other until they opened the letters, opting to continue training alone (or in Izuku’s case; with Aizawa). Izuku knew they just had to get in together or this would all be for nothing and he didn’t know if he was ready to accept the alternative. Even so, Izuku took a deep breath and opened the letter, feeling something circular within the package. Izuku set whatever it was down on his desk, going to reach for the paper inside when he heard the circle thing hum to life, followed by a voice Izuku knew by heart.

“I am here as a projection now! I know it’s been a while, but with great power comes a great amount of paperwork, hahaha! You see, the truth is I didn’t come to this city to just fight villains; you’re looking at one of the newest UA faculty members! There is something I need to show you young man! You passed the written test with flying colors my boy, you also managed to get quite the handful of combat points in the practical exam! However, I want you to listen to something!”

Izuku could tell All might went to play something within the recording, surprised to hear Uraraka’s voice coming through the projection.

“Excuse me uh… I wanted to ask something about the boy with the long green hair and freckles. The one with the visor and no shoes. Is it possible to give him some of my points? He helped me when everyone else ran away, and carried me around afterwards. I just don’t think it’s fair for me to have those points when I didn’t earn them myself!”

All Might spoke once again, and Izuku couldn’t tell if his voice sounded kinder or had something else in it… something he’d only heard in his mother’s voice when he’d accomplish what others thought impossible of him.

“Your actions speak volume to your character young man. This girl was not only saved by your actions, but she was moved to act by them as well! The practical exam is not graded on combat points alone you see. After all, what kind of a hero school would UA be if it did not take into account those who save others and do the right thing? That is why we have Rescue points! To test the character of those wanting to be heroes by how they would naturally act! You earned 60 rescue points, with your total of 30 combat points! You both passed my boy, welcome to your hero acidemia, young Midoryia!”

Izuku could feel the tears falling as the device died down, signaling the of the projection and the wait for Izuku’s future. He was going to UA as a student in the hero course. There was only one thing left to do as Izuku grabbed the letter and flung open the door, knowing his mother was waiting in the living room. He ran down the hall and into the room, flinging his arms open to engulf his mother in a giant hug as he cried out with joy.

“I passed mom! I Passed!”

Inko started to cry, seeing how happy he was, hugging him with all the more vigor. There had never been a doubt in her mind, but she knew her boy felt as though he had to prove himself. Inko smiled to herself, knowing there was a long road ahead of the both of them. You see, Inko had worked the odd jobs no one wanted for the past few years, her son’s enthusiasm infecting her as she worked and studied while he son would be away training. It wasn’t easy, she would admit, but Inko Midoryia had some news of her own to share with her son.

“Izuku, I have my own news. You know I’ve been working a lot of jobs for a good while now, and during that time I went back to school for to get that degree I always wanted, as well as a teaching license and well uh, there was a position open that I applied for. I got the call while you were in your room... I’m going to UA as a teacher in the general studies course. I hope you don’t mind…”

The news took Izuku by surprise. He had been well aware of his mother’s strange hours and returning to her education, but UA was a new development. Izuku knew his mother was perfect for UA, being timid enough to be loved by anyone who got to know her, but having dealt with Kacchan for long enough to handle unruly quirk using children and teenagers. He couldn’t help but feel pride for his mother, as she did for him and he made no effort to hide it as he spoke

“Mom, that’s amazing! Nezdu would have to be an idiot to reject your application, it’s no wonder you got the job! Everything is going to be okay now, things are looking up.”

Inko laughed, knowing that spending time with a Bakugou was the only way Izuku would ever have the courage to call anyone an idiot. And speaking of, Inko heard the doorbell ring and Mitsuki’s muffled voice from outside. Inko rushed to let them in, eager to finally share the news to everyone.

Mitsuki, upon hearing of Izuku’s acceptance and Inko’s new job, ran forward and lifted both Midoryias off of the ground in a vice-like hug. Kacchan tried to hid a small smile on his face as he punched Izuku’s shoulder affectionately, having also passed.

“Not bad Deku. Besides, UA would have to be a bunch of idiots to reject Auntie. She’ll show those general study shits who’s boss!”

The swearing did not escape Inko, who thoroughly chewed the young Bakugou out while Izuku tried to muffle his laughter. It didn’t work, the boys beginning to roughhouse in the living room, only separated when the pair of mothers began to scold them. The boys excused themselves to Izuku’s room, wanting to compare projections and read the actual letters provided, leaving the two mothers alone. Inko smiled as Mitsuki poured the both of them some tea, talking quietly to not risk the boys overhearing.

“I’m so happy ‘Suki. It’s like, for the first time since Hisa- Since his attack, everything is looking up. Izuku’s smiling more and more, and I can’t see him anymore when I close my eyes. All I see is our boys ‘Suki, and I’m just really, really happy.”

Mitsuki smiled, reaching out for her friend’s hand. It hadn’t been easy for Inko to get that degree, and Mitsuki may and/or may not have pressured some old acquaintances to help her out when bills would be due, leaving Inko to find just enough in her account to do what was needed. Mitsuki had watched their boys grow stronger and closer, and it didn’t escape her that Inko had grown too. No longer was she the timid, sensitive woman of her marriage: Now she was a wonderful, beautiful, strong and clever mother and teacher.

“Inko, I fear our boys aren’t boys anymore. We’ve done the best we can with them, and they’re fine young men with the balls and hearts to become great heroes.”

Chapter Text

After the obligatory celebration for both boys and Inko, the two families set to work on the paperwork, Inko promising to hand them in when she went to set her classroom in order. Once the paperwork was out of the way, Inko insisted on bringing Izuku to campus grounds early so he could get a lay of the land, know the buildings and how to navigate as well as meet a few teachers early, at Nezdu’s insistence. Once Izuku was on campus and in Nezdu’s office, the two adults would discuss accommodations as a parent to administration, Inko glad the principal seemed to understand and was willing to listen and learn more about Izuku’s license to use his quirk, surprised it was for simply navigation and nothing more. Izuku couldn’t care less about the buildings’ layouts when all he wanted to do was talk and learn about the quirks of his teachers. After all, he had no idea when he would have the chance to grill them once classes started, if at all. The teachers and faculty seemed amused at the boy’s enthusiasm, answering whatever questions they could. If the boy was this excited about quirks, they wondered what he’d be like once classes started.

Inko was happy and unsurprised to learn the letter of recommendation that landed her job had come from Aizawa of all people, silently noting to bring him some food as a thanks. Inko noticed a lot about her coworker had changed since she last saw him face to face (having trusted Izuku and the hero himself to look after her boy). Firstly, she noticed how tired he looked now, bags under the young man’s eyes and how he would stare blankly ahead, only focusing if he was addressed directly. Secondly, she didn’t fail to see the pain that blank look hid, especially the guilt she saw in his eyes when he looked towards her, though she couldn’t think of why for the life of her. Inko was unsettled to say the least, but she couldn’t let it affect her and get in the way of teaching.

Inko knew she wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to her coworkers once the students arrived, knowing their status’ as heroes out far outshine her, but Inko was determined to do her best for the sake of the students. Inko worked late into the nights in the weeks leading up to the semester’s start to ensure everything, from the room’s presentation to her lesson plans, were absolutely perfect and had Nezdu’s sign of approval.

And finally, the first day was there and both Midoryias were nervously excited, while the young Bakugou refused to say, preferring to keep an eye on the two as they walked from the train station to the school. It was early in the morning still, but Inko had insisted they all arrive on the first day together and early enough for Inko to ready her materials. Izuku himself wasn’t exactly awake, wearily leaning on whatever wall or doorframe was nearest to him and the young Bakugou was hungry, muttering about how no one was awake to make anything.

Parting ways in the main building’s first hallway, the boys bid their adult goodbye and went in search of their schedules; Katsuki reading them aloud, noting with satisfaction that they were both in the 1-A homeroom. If Deku had been in a different class, he would make the school pay for damages until they fixed it and that would taint his record. Walking through the halls, the boys managed to find the classroom in question after running into Recovery Girl, who was on her way to her office and was more than willing to point the boys in the correct direction, giving a small frown and a quiet tsk when noting that the green haired boy, once again, had no shoes on. Once in the classroom, they asserted their places next to each other, quietly chatting and keeping to themselves, despite the fact Izuku could feel another person in the room, hiding under the desk. Normally, he would have freaked out, but he knew Aizawa had this habit of falling asleep in the strangest of places, even going as far as to carry a sleeping bag with him. Izuku would admit he understood how Aizawa could sleep in just the bag; it was comfortable as all get out and smelled faintly of cats and firewood.

It was another ten minutes before the door opened, signaling their next classmate’s arrival. Izuku could sense the newcomer stiffen, their posture becoming more rigid and their sharp intake of air and Izuku could smell something coming from them that was vaguely familiar, though it was too early to tell what exactly. It wasn’t until the newcomer spoke that Izuku recognized them as the rule stickler in the practical exam.

“I see I was not the only one to take attendance seriously! My name is Tenya Iida, I believe I met one of you at the entrance exam!”

Izuku turned in the direction of the boy, Iida, and smiled kindly (he hoped it looked kind…), while he could sense Kacchan’s look of disinterest (not from any quirk. The two boys had grown up together and Izuku would have to be an idiot to not know how Kacchan would react)

“Pleased to properly meet you Iida. Name’s Izuku Midroyia, and that Grumpy-Gus is Katsuki Bakugou. Don’t let him intimidate you, he’ll use it later on if you do.”

His introduction earned a yell of indignation from Kacchan, saying something about being able to introduce himself, causing Izuku to laugh, throwing out a half-hearted response.

Slowly but surely, the classroom began to fill up and Izuku was having trouble keeping track of what everyone one was doing, their voices overlapping and the smells from their quirks were mixing together, making it difficult to keep tabs on what quirks he thought they had. Izuku was lost in thought and was trying to keep all the movement and voices and introductions in order with little success. If Izuku kept this us, he knew it would be a long school year. An all too familiar voice cut through the chatter as Aizawa stood, shedding the sleeping bag, clearly startling pretty much everyone in class, save for Izuku.

 Aizawa hadn’t expected the brats he was saddled with to be much of anything, resigning them to be what they always gave him: a bunch of snobbish kids who would think they could do anything they wanted and deserved to be a hero because they passed one exam and had a strong quirk. Looking at this class before him, he could spot at least three students he just knew would be his problem children of the year, if they survived or lasted that long. Even still, Aizawa had promised he would give them a chance to show potential before he started expelling, which he probably would have done if Nezdu hadn’t made the expulsion requirements more rigid and tricky. And with that in mind, he walked to the door opening it and calling to the students, not bothering to turn around.

“Get changed into your gym cloths and then follow me, we’re doing quirk assessments. Don’t worry about the syllabus and orientation crap, just do as you’re told.”

Chapter Text

After changing, the whole of 1-A followed their teacher to the P.E field, many confused and muttering amongst themselves, some about the assessment and others about the identity of their teacher. Izuku kept to the back of the small crowd, hovering near Kacchan and keeping silent. He had the strangest feeling that some of his classmates were looking at him, their silent judgment feeling daggers in his chest. Izuku knew they had reason to be wary of him; the quiet kid with no shoes, no apparent quirk and the darkest visor-like glasses and an obvious and deep connection to the loud, arrogant ashen blond who seemed glued to his side as they walked (himself was glaring daggers as they walked, noticing the quizzical and judgmental looks that he noticed coming from a small, purple…what even was that on his head…?)

Lining up on the field, the class waited for instructions. Izuku could feel many of them shuffling with unease as Aizawa spoke, deadpan and direct.

“Listen up. This assessment will have five parts; a 50-meter dash, grip strength test, a standing long jump, Sustained Sideways Jump and a ball pitch. Use your quirks or else this is pointless and you’ll get detention for wasting my time. Got it?”

The class responded positively, seeming excited that their quirks would be allowed and encouraged, their exclamations overlapping each other, to which Izuku could only catch few snippets of.

“Oh man, this is actually gonna be fun!”

“Oh, thank goodness, I’d die if I couldn’t use my quirk… I wonder how everyone will use theirs…”

“I see what Sensei means; if we cannot use our quirks to better ourselves here, how can we use them in combat?”

Izuku said nothing, observing his classmates now that they were spread out, isolating their vibrations to investigate the individuals as he waited. He knew Aizawa better than the rest of his class, and he knew there was something their teacher wasn’t telling them, as usual. Izuku swore that man could be hit with a truthfulness quirk and he’d still find ways to hide any information he wanted. The class’ chattered died when a voice spoke above everyone else, cutting them off and churning Izuku’s stomach at the words.

“Sensei, why doesn’t that green haired kid have any shoes on? Aren’t you gonna do something about it?”

Izuku’s face burned with anger and embarrassment, wanting nothing more than to run and hide, knowing everyone was now staring at his bare feet. The direction of the voice and the vibrations in the air caused by the words directed the speaker to be a small figure Izuku had noticed standing unusually and weirdly close to a few of, what Izuku could gather, female classmates. What surprised Izuku, however, were the responses that followed before Kacchan could murder whomever spoke.

“Dude, that was seriously uncalled for.”

“That’s totally un-manly! You can’t just say that kind of thing!”

“The choice of footwear, or lack thereof, of our classmate is unimportant and irrelevant to the task at hand.”

“While I did notice the lack of footwear, I find pointing it out detrimental, distracting and especially unbecoming of anyone! You are a UA student now and so you must act like one!”

“Ask something like that again and you’re dead, grape-freak” (Izuku expected nothing less from Kacchan)

The outcry of indignation and scorn towards the speaker took Izuku by surprise. They had…defended him? Why? It was only the first day of class, they shouldn’t feel any kind of connection to him, let alone the need to defend him. He was pulled from his thoughts at Aizawa’s voice, cutting off all of the class and if he didn’t know any better, he would think Aizawa was angry.

“Mineta, ask anything like that again about Midoryia and I won’t stop Bakugou from doing whatever the hell he wants. Midoryia’s choices in footwear are none of your concern and if he felt like bringing up his reasons, he would have done so. No more stupid questions or chit-chat and get to work.”

Aizawa was, in fact, angry at the small boy. Not only could he tell the boy would be an issue around his female students, mentally noting his…unfavorable behavior towards them, but he just knew the boy had no potential. Sure, the kid might be able to finagle success by creatively maneuvering or perhaps apprehending any opponent, but Aizawa just knew the boy would be too distracted to come up with anything half decent. Not that he would admit it, but targeting the Problem Child just because his feet were not in shoes was a low blow that really pissed Aizawa off. This was the hero course, surely it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to assume it was quirk related! Although he was determined to keep his personal connection to the Problem Child under wraps and remain unbiased towards his teaching, part of Aizawa knew Midoryia had far more potential than any of the student before him, not only as a hero but as a role model and Aizawa hoped he would become the man the boy’s father never was.

After the outburst, the tests began and ended in quick succession, testing the students one after the other, note after note. Aizawa was almost having fun with this, if it wasn’t for that damn Mineta kid who passed half of the tests by attaching himself to other kids, noting that he attached to the girls more often. Aizawa had a sinking feeling about that boy, knowing that since he technically passed the tests, he was unable to expel the brat… yet. Unsurprisingly to Aizawa, Problem Child was sticking to three of his four elements in the dash and both jump assessments, while only doing moderately well on the strength assessment (The kid had been training for speed and precision over strength after all, and he showed great potential, as well as a deep-seated respect for Aizawa that the man had ingrained into his skull after many, many training sessions.) Now it was time for the ball throw and the only one to fail miserably was Mineta, even if he did just barely pass the overall assessment (although Aizawa wondered if he could make a case to Nezdu about cheating…) As it turned out, Aizawa wouldn’t need to fight with the principal to expel the potential-less boy after hearing screams coming from the girl’s locker rooms, running as fast as he could.

Girls? Girls is everyone okay? Is it safe for me to come in?”

There was moment of dead silence before Aizawa heard responses, a pit forming in in his stomach. It was only the first day and he couldn’t afford for anything to happen to the brats, especially since most of the girls showed promise, while the rest just needed a little more time.

“You can come in Sensei! Could you please get him away from us? Ribbit.

He opened the door furiously, capture gear at the ready for who ever was after his students, taking in the room before him. Several of the girls had their coats on to cover themselves, while the others were either fully clothed in uniform or still in their gym cloths, several purple balls plastered to their cloths and the purple haired(?) boy himself was on the other side of the room, completely encased in a stone prison. The girls otherwise looked okay, shocked at best, and Mineta himself looked terrified. Aizawa signed, gathering a hypothesis of what happened, calling out through the thin walls to the boy who he knew trapped the little perv.

“You can let him out now Midoryia, I’ll take care of it. Everyone back to the class and study until the bell, then get to your next class. Minteta and I will have a little chat with Principal Nezdu.”

The stone returned to the ground and the capture gear soon replaced it, dragging the boy along with a very, very angry Aizawa and a confused class left behind them.

Once back in the classroom, Izuku went towards the group of girls, knowing he owed them an apology and explanation.

“I’m sorry if I scared any of you. I lost track of him while I was changing and the next thing, I knew he was in the vents and in your room. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop him in there before he reached you. Are you all okay?”

The girls were surprised that the boy was offering an apology for saving them. Looking to one another and nodding in unison, they mentally vowed to protect the boy in front of them as thanks and to repay his kindness, Momo speaking gently;

“Midoryia, you got him, didn’t you? Ifs and buts are irrelevant. You acted when we were too shocked to. We reject your apology and instead, offer our thanks.”

The girls nodded enthusiastically, chiming in to the thanks (which just confused Izuku more. Shouldn’t they be mad he didn’t act sooner?)

“Hey I uh, don’t want to sound rude or offensive but uh, how did you know he was in the vents? Or how to catch him?”

Uraraka regretted the question when she saw the scary-looking ash blond boy glaring at her, as well as the look of embarrassment that crossed the face of the boy in front of her.

“Oh uh, it’s my quirk. Well, a part of it anyways. I can sense vibrations through the ground, which allows me to be aware of unseen surroundings, which is why I uh, don’t have shoes. It shows me the best picture if my feet are touching the ground.”

Uraraka didn’t expect that answer but it made sense, given how he had directed them towards the robots several streets over in the entrance exam. She didn’t expect the rest of the class to be listening in and contributing thoughts about his quirk and she could have sworn the boy was holding back tears behind that visor at their words.

“So, you can see things that might be hidden? That’s so cool! All I can do is shock things, and even then, I might fry my brain if I’m not careful.”

“That’s part of your quirk and you used it to help the girls? That’s so fucking manly!”

“It seems I once again underestimated you Midoryia! Truly you are a worthy student of UA!”

Izuku, hearing these words coming from all sides, had never felt happier as the bell rang to signal the transition to their next class.

Chapter Text

Inko was having a wonderful first day, all of her students surprised to see such a normal looking woman as their teacher but happy that she seemed to know what she was talking about. They asked more about Inko herself than the class, but she didn’t mind one bit, answering their questions happily, hoping being open to them would gain their respect. Sure, there were the unruly few who would rather use their quirks to do whatever they wanted than listen to someone like Inko... And then there was Hitoshi Shinso, a boy who sat in the back of her class, silent as a mouse. The boy looked tired and uninterested to Inko, and she couldn’t help but feel like something was off about the way some of the students seemed to avoid him. In a way, he reminded her of Izuku, just after the aquarium incident; alone, scared and almost utterly hopeless, save for a small glimmer of hope in his eyes. When she asked the class some simple icebreakers, he responded shortly before returning to his shell. Inko’s motherly instincts were going haywire and while it was only the first day, she wanted to learn more about the boy and save him, as Aizawa had saved Izuku (though she doubted the man knew how much he had actually done for Izuku, or how highly the boy regarded the man).

It was lunchtime now, and Inko had a few papers she needed to give Nezdu before lunch got out and she’d be confined to her desk for the rest of the day. Knocking gently, she entered the Principal’s office after hearing an affirmative call. Inko entered the room to see Aizawa holding a very distressed young man, looking angrier than Mitsuki after the press wouldn’t stop badgering their boys.

“Sorry to interrupt, I have those papers you wanted Nezdu.”

The mouse/bear creature smiled at the welcome distraction. Aizawa was trying to convince him to alert the authorities on the boy before them and while Nezdu knew it was a reasonable course of action, he didn’t want to deal with angry parents on the first day of school… again. But Inko was both a teacher and a parent and Nezdu was certain she could provide insight neither Hero nor Principal would be able to have.

“Thank you Inko, my dear! I’m afraid Aizawa and I are at a disagreement on how to proceed with young Mineta here, perhaps you would have some input?”

The invite surprised both Aizawa and Inko, but neither argued with the Principal.

“I would certainly love to help how I can sir. What is it that this young man did to earn himself a place in the office on the first day, if I may ask?”

Before either adult could respond, the boy spoke up with his voice full of anger and spite.

“I was just having some fun, it’s not a big deal! The Girls were fine, nothing happened, and how could I not mess around? If that green haired, shoeless freak hadn’t made a big deal out of it, none of this would matter!”

At those words, Inko’s heart went cold and all those in the room could sense it and it was at that moment that Nezdu learned what the wrath of a mother was, and that terrified him.

“I see. I personally would consider legal action, but as my son was not one of the direct victims, it is not up to me and I would suggest notifying the girls’ parents so that they could decide how they want to proceed. Suspension at the least, expulsion at most if you feel this would repeat far beyond your control and don’t want to answer as to why the school couldn’t protect their daughters.”

Aizawa was surprised that Inko of all people would suggest expulsion, but he wasn’t exactly one to talk and what she said made sense. Nezdu seemed to agree, nodding thoughtfully as Inko spoke once again, this time directly to the boy who was now cowering in fear.

“As for you, young man: no matter the punishment they decide, if you ever refer to my son in that manner again, I will ensure you regret it.”

Inko knew she was speaking as a mother rather than the teacher she needed to be, but she didn’t care. Izuku had been through too much to be called anything by this boy with an unsavory attitude and couldn’t even hold to his own against someone like Inko.

Nezdu hummed cheerily, having either not heard or chosen to ignore Inko’s outburst towards the boy, hopping down from his chair.

“Thank you for your wonderful Insight, my dear! I fear 1-A will lose a classmate, but the space will most certainly be filled easily… perhaps now is the year to test that theory of yours, my friend?”

Aizawa nodded quietly and Inko knew he was hiding a smile. She didn’t know what theory they were referring to, but that wasn’t really her place, was it? Inko was happy she could help, excusing herself to eat before lunch was over, running to her classroom afterwards, mentally noting to make some of Izuku’s favorite foods for tonight as a silent reward for doing the right thing.

The school hadn’t even ended before the word of Mineta’s expulsion spread through the entirety of UA and how a fellow classmate had stopped the boy from doing anything to their female peers. Aizawa himself hated the gossip, but it did give him a chance to stir up those who might have slipped through the entrance exam’s radar. The students who were smart enough for the school, but didn’t have the physical quirks tested in the exam. He made it so that any Student serious about becoming a hero could potentially move up to his class, provided they proved themselves in the Sports Festival (as happy as he was that Nezdu was allowing him this, he wanted whatever kid he’d end up with had enough time to train themselves to be on par with what his students now should be by then).

All Might had heard the gossip of the expulsion, none too happy something like that had taken place on UA grounds but happy it was dealt with properly. Only the teachers knew the full story and the identity of the student who helped those girls and after All Might learned that it was, as he suspected, Young Midoryia… he couldn’t help but wonder if this was the one, he had been searching for. It was only the first day of course, but All Might felt a stronger and stronger pull towards the boy, as if all those who had wielded All For One were pulling them closer, telling him that he was what he was at UA searching for. He knew he would have to keep an open mind, but he also wanted to keep an eye on the young Midoryia boy. He certainly had the Physicality to wield it properly, and he had a good quirk and an even better heart to guide him. The boy was certainly a shining candidate, but only time would tell. He had to be sure the boy was the one.

Chapter Text

Izuku didn’t know how he survived the first day at UA, but he was glad he was surviving it with Kacchan, knowing he wouldn’t have the guts to speak out as much as he did without the explosive boy at his side. Izuku was grateful for many things at UA, and he was glad the first day had consisted of only course overviews and introductions, save for Aizawa’s class, which didn’t surprise him one bit. But today… today was the first day of their class with All Might himself and to say the class was nervous was a sever understatement.

Izuku could hear his classmates talking amongst themselves, speculating on how The Number One Hero would react to the class. Izuku was nervous for a reason very, very different reason however. Sure, having the top hero teaching you was nerve wracking, but Izuku couldn’t help but wonder if All Might remembered him. It was a stretch he knew, it had been two years and they’d only met face to face once, but he just had this feeling that wouldn’t go away, wondering if he would like Izuku once he got to know him as a student.

The young Bakugou noticed how tense his friend was getting as he sat in silence, and the rest of the class was noticing as well, no longer particularly caring about the boy’s lack of shoes when he had watched half of their backs without a second thought. The class did notice however, the other boy who seemed glued to his hip walk over and lightly tap the boy on the head before speaking.

“You’re tensing up Deku. Nock it off, you know that ticks me off.”

The class stood aghast at the boy’s harsh words before becoming even more confused at the other’s nonchalant and kind response.

“Oh. Thanks, Kacchan.”

They didn’t have time to question them when the door at the back of the classroom slammed open, All Might rushing into the room, meeting many starry-eyed students, exclaiming proudly to the world;

“I AM HERE ENTERING THROUGH THE BACK DOOR, HAHA!”

Izuku couldn’t help but wince at the sudden loud noise and multiple vibrations that overpowered his senses temporarily, which didn’t escape All Might and Kacchan’s notice. All Might made that a mental note as he addressed the class, much quieter this time, telling them to gather their hero costumes and meet him outside: they were going to Ground Beta for team simulations, explaining they would be in groups of four with one group of five, two acting as heroes and the other two acting as villains, the goal to either capture the other team or the villain’s weapon they would hide within a building. To Izuku’s dismay, the groups were to be picked at random, meaning he might have to fight with someone who didn’t know the full capability of his quirk and even fight against the only person who did know.

As for the present however, he was having trouble with his hero costume, confused as to what the final piece was exactly. He felt the materials, acknowledging it was for some kind of support, but ultra-thin and flexible. His confusion was solved when he felt Kacchan come over, grabbing the articles and shoving them on his feet realizing there were, in fact, some form of footwear, durable enough to protect his feet, but the soles having two holes in them so the bridges of his feet were protected, but the rest of his feet were still un-obscured.

“They’re shoes dumbass and don’t you dare get rid of these, or I’ll have the Old Hag hunt you down Deku.”

Kacchan may have been growling, but Izuku could sense the gentleness behind the façade; Kacchan had a kind heart at his core and just had a little trouble expressing his emotions the way everyone else would have. It’s part of what made the two such an unstoppable team in Izuku’s opinion; The hardheaded and brash nature of Kacchan’s would serve him well in a fight, focused on the goal of winning and defeating anything that was a threat while Izuku’s quieter and gentle nature would be there to comfort anyone in need, connecting with their emotions and helping them through it all in times of crisis. The two would be an unstoppable team, if they were on the same team that is.

Izuku was paired with Uraraka instead, while Kacchan was with both Iida and Hakagure (a girl whose quirk Izuku had yet to figure out, getting nothing out of the ordinary from her vibrations or anything from the air around her, as many quirks seemed to react. Izuku and Uraraka would act as the Heroes, and the others as the Villains (Izuku was secretly glad he wasn’t on the villain team. He didn’t think he’d be able to handle the memories it would undoubtedly bring up) before All Might let Kacchan’s team lose first in order to prepare how they saw fit, which gave Izuku time to talk strategy with Uraraka, taking her to an empty hallway so they could talk without distraction.

“So, what do you think? Got any plans on how to win this thing Deku?”

Izuku winced at hearing the name Deku from someone other than Kacchan before explaining what his thoughts were on the situation at hand.

“I have some ideas. Kacchan’s fighting style is to be aggressive and overpower his enemy. Knowing him, he’ll probably come straight for me which is really bad, because he knows my fighting style as much as I know his. Iida will probably be left to guard the weapon. I might be able to counter Hakugure, if I knew what her Quirk was and what Kacchan might do based on that…”

Uraraka was following along intently, only faltering when he mentioned their third opponent. ‘Figure out her quirk?’ It’s pretty obvious though….

“Uh not to be rude but she’s invisible Deku. It’s actually really obvious when you look at her...”

At those words, she saw her partner stiffen and she could tell he was upset. Why was he upset? what did she do? Bakugou was going to kill her if he found out she upset Deku!

“Invisible… of course she is. Sorry Uraraka, I must sound like an idiot to you.”

“No, no, no! it’s okay! I guess you just weren’t paying attention through all that hair and those glasses things! I’m sorry for sounding rude, please don’t be upset!”

Before Izuku could respond, the alarm sounded, signaling the sessions’ start. Izuku couldn’t afford to lose this, more determined than ever to win.

“We should stick close to each other and keep our conversations to a minimum. I should be able to tell where everyone is once we get inside and we’ll go from there.”

The two entered the building and after walking down a hallway, Izuku stopped his partner, signaling for her to keep watch so he could concentrate on the surroundings. Taking a deep breath, Izuku let his power expand upwards, sensing a large mass in a room towards the top of the building with a lone figure guarding it, a smaller figure walking around two floors above them and the all too familiar vibrations of his best friend in the middle of the two others, walking on a patrol. Izuku knew they’d have to either take all of them out individually or rush in guns blazing, which was stupid and detrimental, as there would be two opponents ready to attack from behind. Waving Uraraka over, he quietly explained his plan, sensing her approval (since he couldn’t exactly see her nodding) as they moved along. Once they got to the floor with the first ‘villain’, Izuku shifted his foot quietly as the ground around them moved with his will, encasing them in stone as they ran forwards silently and he lowered a wall to tape their arm, effectively ‘capturing’ them. Hakugure was surprised and only slightly pleased that the Midoryia kid had known exactly where she was, pinpointing her location and her arm (which was the strangest part of it all. She’d removed everything that made her visible, so how had he seen her??).

Continuing on, Izuku grabbed Uraraka, knowing Kacchan was getting closer. As quietly as he could, he molded the next few layers to have a hole big enough for her to get through as she made herself weightless, sending her in the right direction with a quick gust of wind before closing the holes behind her, not wanting Kacchan to see the evidence of their plan and as Uraraka made her way to where Iida and the weapon were, Izuku confronted Kacchan head on, a move the Bakugou thought was pretty ballsy coming from Deku of all people.

But the two knew each other like they knew themselves, leaving the two in heated combat that both knew would have no clear winner as their classmates watched on in silent awe. All Might himself watched the boys intently, seeing how the boys recognized each other as equals and how there couldn’t be a winner in this fight, the two knowing each other’s fighting style too well for either to gain the upper hand. While the two fought below, Uraraka snuck some loose stones she could find on the ground from previous fights into her pockets to use as improvised projectiles. As she neared a doorway, she could hear Iida rambling about something, trying to get into the mindset of a villain, which would have been funny if this wasn’t so important. Taking a pebble, she tossed it to the other side of the room as soon as the boy’s back was turned. He stopped what he was doing and turned towards the source of the sound walking across the room, proclaiming loudly;

“I know you’re there Hero! You will never foil our genius, evil, Villainous plan!”

Uraraka sped over to the weapon and placed her hand on it as the testing alarm sounded the end of the session, saying casually to the confused (and honestly slightly betrayed) boy in front of her.

“Actually, we did.”

The heroes had Won, and All Might couldn't stop laughing.

Chapter Text

After freeing Hakugure and leaving the training ground, the five students walked side by side to the control room where the rest of the class waited with All Might, all of them smiling as they entered the room. Izuku couldn’t see the awe his classmates’ faces held, but he did notice a few of them were bouncing on the balls of their feet in excitement (at least, he was pretty sure that indicated excitement) before All Might’s booming voice caught everyone’s attention.

“Well done all of you! Truly, we witnessed a sight to behold! Now, can anyone tell the class what might have been the villain’s downfall?”

There was a beat of silence before Yaoyorozu spoke, exhibiting her analytical side for all the class to see.

“The Villains sent Hakugure to patrol by herself! While that would have been a good strategy, the villains failed to take Midoryia’s quirk into account that negates the effectiveness of her quirk. Furthermore, they failed to take Uraraka’s quirk into account as a form of fast transportation when paired with Midoryia. From what we saw, the best prepared villain was Iida, having cleared the room he was guarding as he was the only one to take Uraraka’s potential quirk usage into account.”

There were mutterings of understanding at her explanation, which Izuku was just glad they were only seeing the positives of their strategy as All Might spoke one again.

“Correct my girl! However, you failed to explain Midoryia’s reasoning behind confronting Bakugou, knowing it was a battle neither one of them would win: to give his partner time free from a second opponent! Uraraka took her opponent’s transition into a villain’s mindset and used it to her advantage with misdirecting his attention! Are there any other questions before we continue?”

The students all spoke together, Izuku once again only catching snippets of their words.

“Nah, I think I get it!”

“That was so cool Midoryia! And splitting up wasn’t a bad idea Bakugou, if Midoryia hadn’t seen right through it!”

“Bakugou and Midoryia are pretty much glued together, so seeing them fight was really unnerving, but insightful!”

The next group went to set up after All Might (somehow) managed to regain control over the borderline unruly class and Izuku sat off to the side, with no sound coming though the monitors for him to listen to. Uaraka couldn’t help but feel like something was off with him, still unsure on how he could possibly miss Hakugure’s quirk. She knew she might regret her next actions, but she couldn’t sit around idly as she walked over to where the boy sat and lowered her voice to a whisper, not wanting to risk his anger or embarrassment at her question.

“Hey Deku, why didn’t you notice Hakugure’s quirk? It’s really obvious when you see her… are you okay?”

Izuku knew he’d have to tell the class eventually, since he was unsure of how he’d be able to keep his condition a secret in the long run, and he might as well start with Uraraka, who was too close to the truth. Izuku took a deep breath, knowing her eyes were on him as he spoke barley whispering the words, he hated to say to anyone.

“I’m blind Uraraka. Hakugure’s quirk is obvious if you can see it, which I can’t.”

Uraraka nodded quietly, having suspected as much, but not wanting to risk upsetting him by bringing it up, but knowing she couldn’t just avoid it. Unfortunately for the two of them, everyone had heard and All Might wondered if he’d have to hold Bakugou back, as the young man looked like he was ready to kill the poor girl for asking such questions. Midoryia stiffened, having realized the room was silent and sensing everyone looking at him. The tension broke when Bakugou spoke in true Katsuki fashion;

 “If Deku wanted to tell you little shits, that’s his business. But don’t you dare try to shit on him because he can’t see, or I’ll kill you. Deku’s got more guts than anyone in this room, got it?”

Izuku laughed at the proclamation. Sure, death threats were a norm for Kacchan, but the cries of indignation that followed gave Izuku reason to laugh as his friend shouted continuously. A voice drew Izuku out of his thoughts as he focused on the individual. Half of the air around them was cooler than the surrounding air, and the other half felt hotter, Izuku guessing they had some kind of temperature quirk or elemental quirk, like Izuku himself.

“So, you can’t see. I presume you use your quirk to navigate as you did to locate Hakugure, correct?”

The voice sounded like it belonged to another boy and was unusually quiet and reserved. Izuku nodded quietly, trying to not die of embarrassment from everything. If the boy noticed, he didn’t say, silently resigning himself to quietly observe the green haired boy more closely than before.

Once all of the sessions were done, the class returned to the classroom to change and gather their things for their next classes. All Might watched them leave as Aizawa rounded the corner to grill the new teacher on how the students preformed. He seemed unimpressed with All Might’s recollections of the students’ matchups, only raising an eyebrow at the news of Bakugou and Midoryia going against each other, unsure if he’d heard that correctly. Aizawa couldn’t help but wonder if the Problem Child would be willing to be more open now that the cat was out of the bag, knowing word of his blindness would undoubtedly spread through the school as fast as Mineta’s expulsion had. Even so, Aizawa resigned himself to keeping tabs on everything that was unfolding before him in his class, slightly grateful that he would most likely no longer be badgered with questions about Midoryia’s accommodations in the classroom.

At the end of the school day, Inko would notice how quiet Izuku was, unable to get a response from the boy when she asked if anything was wrong, only seeing a slight smile. Katsuki was much more insightful, in his own typical way of course.

“Class knows Deku can’t see shit. Surprised him that they didn’t care, like I said they would you idiot.”

Izuku only hummed in response, thinking about that boy who was both hot and cold. Something about him seemed off to Izuku, but not in a bad way like Mineta had seemed. Izuku couldn’t help but feel as if there was something…else about the boy. Something hidden that none of those around them could sense, seeing only what they wanted or thought they would see… Izuku had a deep seated urge to help that boy, unsure as to why or what even for, but the voice of Todoroki Shoto replayed in his mind over and over until Izuku was certain the boy was still beside him, asking about his blindness…

Chapter Text

Izuku was running blindly down an empty hallway that seemed to never end. No matter how far or how fast he thought he was, it wasn’t enough. Whatever entity that he knew was chasing him was getting closer and closer as he felt the walls of the hallway closing in. He had no idea where he was or where he was going, no matter how hard he tried to use his quirk, desperately reaching out for something, anything to tell him what was going on. From somewhere behind him, he could hear cold laughter, not wanting to give Him the satisfaction of his fear. Izuku felt like a child again; lost, alone and scared he was going to die as that man drew ever closer. Izuku could feel his presence right behind him, the fire from within him bursting forth in fear, threatening to engulf and consume the boy, knowing He was laughing again at the boy’s agony as he spoke, his voice seeming to wrap around Izuku and chaining them together

“Let your fire free, Izuku. Feel the rage within and let it consume your very being! Prove them right and take your place as My Son, Boy.”

The flames were everywhere now, Izuku could feel himself burning up from the intensity, crying aloud as he heard the distant calls of those he cared about, their pleas for help flooding his every sense, knowing he could never reach them in time.

“Deku? Deku where are you? De- “

“-KU WAKE UP YOU BLIND BASTARD.”

Izuku gasped for air as Kacchan shook the boy awake, forgetting momentarily where he was and what was happening before it came back to him. He had stayed with the Bakugous, his mother insisting she stay late to work on some classwork and faculty meetings. As he came to his senses, slowly but surely waking up to the point of coherent-ness, he could smell some smoke, feeling the singed bedsheets underneath him with a grimace.

“How bad was it?”

The question was simple on the surface, but the young Bakugou knew the depth of what Deku had been through and the guilt he would undoubtedly feel at the question’s answer.

“You burned your shirt half off and singed the bed. It looked pretty bad on my end, not gonna lie. It’s been ages since a dream was bad enough for two parts at the same time… Nothin major don’t worry, just some tremors that woke me up. I’m pretty sure the dumbass neighbors aren’t gonna be too happy with being woken up again, but that’s their problem.”

The green haired boy hummed in response, blankly looking into his own oblivion. Kacchan studied the boy carefully, wanting to be sure his friend was ready to talk about what he had just experienced, knowing from past mistakes that forcing it out of him would only result in further shutdown, the worst case having lasted for a solid two weeks before he’d cracked a joke and returning to their normality. With a shaky breath, the boy spoke aloud, not to Kacchan directly, but knowing that the other boy was listening intently.

“I was running in a hallway. I couldn’t see or sense anything and… and He was there… Of course, he was, he always is but this time… This time it wasn’t his fire that hurt me. I was so scared Kacchan. He was hunting me down and I couldn’t tell where he was and I was just so scared that he would find me again… I lost control and the fire just… happened. It burned and burned and he was just laughing. I could hear you and Auntie and mom and I was just useless! I couldn’t find any of you or sense you and I was so alone... He wants me to be like him Kacchan! I- I can’t do this! I can’t live as his son! What if I lose control and hurt someone? What if I end up being just like him?

Izuku was rambling now, tears streaming down his scarred face as his friend watched for a moment before putting his arm around the smaller boy, hiding the tears in a side…hug? He hated when Deku got like this, knowing any words of comfort and reassurance would fall to deaf ears as the boy was too engulfed in his fear to acknowledge or accept anything that could be said. If he was being honest, this was the worst attack Kacchan had seen in years, wondering if the events of the previous days had something to do with it, internally growling at himself that he let those damn reporters’ corner Deku, wanting some snippet of information on All Might’s teaching, which really pissed him off.  Kacchan looked to the alarm clock and sighed, knowing neither one of them would be able to go back to sleep with only an hour before they would have originally woken up.

“Get up and ready Deku, we got some time to kill. I’ll make breakfast before the old hag gets up.”

With that, the two boys set to work, readying themselves for the new day of school as Izuku cleared the bedsheets and replaced them in silence. So, it’s was that kind of dream… Kacchan thought to himself as he opened his phone to text someone, he knew would be able to handle or at the very lease dissuade the reporters who were laying in wait for any Hero Course student unfortunate enough to fall into their grasps.

K: Deku had another attack. I think a Reporter recognizing him triggered it. Can't you get rid of those damn reporters already?

A: I’ll see what I can do. Is the Problem Child Okay for class?

K: He should be fine if no one tries anything. It’s a no-talk level bad.

A: Understood. I’ll see what I can do.

A: Wait when did I give you my personal number again?

K: After the first attack when you didn’t know how to calm him down, Dumbass.

A: Be thankful we are not in class Bakugou.

Closing the phone, Kacchan set to work on breakfast… or he tried to at least. The eggs were burned and the toast was a black crisp, the air once again filled with smoke which woke a very, very grumpy Mitsuki. Taking control of the kitchen, the boy’s real breakfast was served before the woman made her retreat, armed with a giant mug of coffee, mumbling something about “childhood incompetence”.

As the boys left for school, Aizawa was on campus trying to get ahold of All Might so he could get rid of those damn reporters. Bakugou hadn’t been wrong, as a news clip of a reporter rushing Midoryia had gone semi-viral, with the reporter calling out to the boy trying to just get to class.

“Hey Kid! Kid! What’s it like to have All Might as a teach- wait a sec, I know you! You’re that kid from the Sludge Villain from two years ago, right? The one who was crying? And weren’t you the kid from the Gang Orca Aquarium incident a few years back? What’s it like being in the Hero Course after all those Villain attacks? Are you happy that your rescuer All Might is teaching you?”

The video ended with Midoryia freezing before running off as Bakugou was heard shouting profanities off camera at the reporter. None of the teachers could get more than a few words out of Midoryia that day, deciding to let the boy’s Explosive friend hover over him like a hawk, glaring and threatening anyone who got too close to the boy. Not that they blamed them, Inko taking the hero course teachers aside to explain the situation around Izuku as quietly and as best she could. Most teachers wanted the reporters gone, but since they weren’t technically on school grounds Nezdu wouldn’t let the teachers get rid of them.

 ….It was going to be a long day, Aizawa could already tell….

Chapter Text

It took Aizawa twenty minutes to deter the reporters from blocking the school gates, having gained permission from Nezdu to keep them at bay without fully removing the press from the grounds, siting potential lawsuits or some other bull crap no one really wanted to deal with. After clearing a path for the students to run through, dodging the questions Aizawa couldn’t stop them from asking, He saw Problem Child #1 and 2 running towards the school, the green haired boy keeping his head down as his Ashen Blond friend covered the boy’s ears as they passed the reporters, growling threateningly at the reporters (some of whom backed away, recognizing the boy and his threats) before giving a curt nod to the teacher as they entered the main building.

Izuku didn’t speak or react to anything, blankly following Kacchan’s lead as he quietly wished the whole world would just disappear. As the boys walked, he could see his mother out of the corner of his 'eye' and he didn’t miss the worried expression on her face and demeanor, no doubt knowing what happened at the Bakugou household already. Reaching the classroom, Izuku sat at his desk, feeling numb and slightly glad today was only going to be bookwork, unsure if he could handle anything physically taxing. He only halfheartedly payed attention as everyone else filed into the classroom, rambunctious and seemingly oblivious to Izuku wallowing in his emotions, the boy sure that if they noticed, they wouldn’t care.

Unbeknownst to Izuku, several of his classmates had, in fact, noticed and did care, looking to Bakugou quizzically and worriedly, their response from the boy was a quick, angry jab towards the window were the reporters were still very much in sight which left the almost stupidly obvious connection to what was wrong. The class, after exchanging silent looks amongst themselves, vowed to keep the reporters at bay and away from Midoryia, his quiet stupor unnerving the lot of them.

Inko Midoryia was absolutely furious, and every Pro-Hero within a ten-foot radius of the woman made it their personal mission to stay out of her way. She should have known better than to leave Izuku after that reporter brought up the incident with…. Him. And now her baby was at school, faced wall to wall with those very same people, waiting to pounce, which was causing Inko to think of some very not-nice scenarios that she was certain Mitsuki would faint over with absolute pride. Inko’s sour mood did not go unnoticed by her students either, all of them unsure of what caused the sweet woman with a kind smile to scowl at her paperwork. The only person who seemed unfazed by the General Education Teacher’s sour mood was Aizawa, too engulfed in his own sour mood to notice Inko’s odd behavior; grumbling about not being able to find All Might and how his stupid PR was interfering with the students’ education and mental health.

The mood of Inko Midoryia did not escape Hitoshi, the lilac haired boy watching his teacher’s body language and he couldn’t help but be worried. Ever since the first day of class, Mrs. Inko had been kind to him, even after he had gotten into several almost-fights (the woman breaking it up before blows could be exchanged) and learning what his quirk was, knowing she wouldn’t have been the first teacher to rebuke him for the damn thing. Hitoshi remembered her gentle eyes that seemed to look into his very soul as he felt her hand fall gently onto the boy’s shoulder when he had looked away in shame and he especially recalled when she had told something no one had ever had the heart or decency to say to the boy.

“Hitoshi, I don’t care what others say about how they see your quirk. I may be your teacher, but I’m also a mother and if there’s one thing I know based on that, it’s no one chooses their quirk, but they can choose how they use them. My... My ex-husband chose to use his quirk for very heinous acts, while there’s someone out there with a very similar quirk that is choosing to use it for good. Those around you do not decide what your quirk is; only you can and between you and me; I think you are far more heroic than any of those nay-sayers and have a very, very good chance at moving up to that empty spot, although I would miss teaching you.”

Hitoshi had cried that day and she had been there for him, holding him close to protect him from everything that came crashing down on him. Hitoshi wanted to be a hero more than ever, but after that conversation, he knew that he now wanted, more than anything to he’d ever wanted before, was to make her Proud of him. And with that in mind, he couldn’t help but feel like this new side of Inko was a punch in the gut from All Might himself. Hitoshi turned his attention to the coursework in front of him, determined to finish it in time to start planning…. He needed to get Mrs. Inko’s smile back. On the other side of campus, Aizawa returned to his class after searching fruitlessly for the Number One Hero and addressed the students before him, still very much in a very, very sour mood.

“Listen up. You need to choose class Representatives. Hurry up and don’t bug me when you’re done. If anyone wakes me up, someone better be dying.”

And with that he left the students to fight amongst themselves on how they should proceed.

“I dunno man… Should we go off of grades? Midoryia would be top with Bakugou as the class VP.”

“Prehaps someone with a leadership streak would be best suited… Though Midoryia is all that comes to mind…”

“I wouldn’t mind Deku being the class rep! He’s got a knack for getting along with everyone!”

“Midoryia is probably the manliest one of us here, he’s got my vote!”

“You Idiots want Deku to represent the class? There’s no goddamn way;The damn idiot freezes like a deer in headlights at the very idea of talking in front of a group.”

In the midst of the argument, an alarm started to blare, causing the students to fall silent and Aizawa to jump up from within his sleeping bag, ripping it off as he reached for the door before turning to the confused students.

“That’s the school’s security alarm. All of you out and follow the exit signs, it’ll take you to safety, I’m going to find the other teachers and find the intrusion... Go, NOW!

Chapter Text

The class did as they were told, Kacchan dragging Izuku out from behind his desk and down the hall as the rest of the class followed suit, forming a barricade around the two, not wanting to let any of the crowd close in on the them, the hall being jam packed with panicking students and teacher (trying to move against the flow in vain) alike. Most of 1-A managed to stick together, save for Iida, who was currently being pushed against a window as the crowd tried to move forwards.  Iida, upon looking out the window, could see a stream of reporters breaking away from the main gate (which was strangely destroyed... could a reporter have done that?) as they broke from their crowd and fanned across the school grounds in every direction, cameras and microphones at the ready and on the prowl for anyone they could get their hands on.

That’s what this is all about? Reporters?! The rest of the school doesn’t know… I need to get everyone’s attention!

With a determined look in his eyes, Iida began to worm his way through the crowd as he formulated a plan. He had no idea if anyone would listen to him, but he had to try as he looked to his classmates, Midoryia in particular looking extra pale and sickly after what Iida could only assume was another ambush by the reporters, having seen the video from the previous day online. The video had enraged Iida, knowing any reporter with a shred of Journalistic Integrity never would have exhibited such disgraceful behavior, let alone post said video. Iida could still hear Tensei’s remarks on the video as the topic had come up at the dinner table with their parents.

“While I understand All Might that is good for the news stations’ ratings… I don’t see the reason they decided to bring up things that are almost certainly painful and traumatic memories for a kid! Especially mentioning the Aquarium incident of all things if you just look at the kid, you can tell there’s something off about him by the way that other boy had reacted, so why kick a hornet’s nest?”

Iida had wanted nothing more than to question what ‘Aquarium Incident’ everyone had been referring too, but part of him knew that would be pressing into matters that did not concern him, knowing Midoryia would have his reasons for wanting to forget it, and Iida didn’t want to cause his classmate any distress. Nonetheless, Iida knew he had to give input towards the conversation, if only to defend Midoryia.

I’m not sure what anyone is talking about and I don’t want to press, but I will say this; Midoryia has exhibited strategy and leadership befitting a UA student. He saw right through the Entrance Exam’s scoring system and, while he may seem odd at first glance, he is most certainly the most heroic person I’ve seen in our class and those Reporters should have some sense of Integrity, All Might or No!”

His parents had looked at him quizzically before smiling gently as Tensei himself beamed at his younger brother, ruffling his hair in lighthearted pride. All this played in Iida’s mind as he caught sight of the classmate he was looking for, calling out over the crowd.

“Uraraka, I need you to use your quirk on me! Everyone is panicking over nothing and I need to get their attention!”

The round-faced girl had barely heard Iida, turning to face him as the crowd tried to surge around them, reaching out for him to try and do as he asked, unsure of what his plan was exactly, but trusting him enough to follow his lead. The moment Iida was airborne, he activated his quirk and, after hitting a wall, caught the attention of everyone (a few people yelling at him for quirk usage, not that he cared at that moment).

“Everyone, everything’s fine! If you look out the windows, you can see it’s just the press! There is no reason to panic; we’re UA student and we should have the dignity to act like it!”

There was a pause of silence before Nezdu’s voice rang throughout the school’s over-comm system, informing the students everything was indeed fine and they should return to their classes, knowing the authorities were on their way. Some of the teachers would be rounding up any press reporters they could find for the next half hour as the authorities arrived a good 5 minutes into the search and ensured every single member was accounted for.

After they were rounded up, All Might stood outside of the UA gates where a bunch of disgruntled and a few angry reporters stood, ready to give them a statement before some began to argue that If he had come out sooner, there would have been no need of any of this ruckus. Needless to say, All Might was not happy to hear those words, turning to face the speaker directly, completely and utterly done with their incessant whining and complaining for their wrongdoings as they pinned them on others.

“That is where you are wrong. If you had any form of Journalistic Integrity or any sense of empathy, none of this would have happened. You crowd my students; you leech for answers they cannot give; you post a video you know will go viral that brings up some obviously traumatizing events of my students and you shift the blame when you are caught in the act. I am more than willing to speak to the press freely, but I cannot condone such behavior! You are creating a hazardous environment for the children who are coming here for their education and are disregarding their humanity in several shallow, cold hearted attempts to reach Me. I may be a Hero, but I am also a teacher now, and I cannot let you continue this! If I allowed this to continue while there are students suffering because of you, I wouldn’t be a very good teacher or Hero, would I?”

The reporters were speechless at All Might’s words, having never heard such venom in his voice before. Later on, there would be a few who would try to twist the Hero’s words, but they would be shut down almost instantly, everyone with half a brain knowing his harsh words were a testament to his seriousness towards teaching and his students. But for the time being, class 1-A still needed representatives and almost all of the class was practically begging Bakugou to agree on the statement that Midoryia was the best and only candidate for the role.

Izuku had been quietly listening to the arguments, unsure as to why they wanted him of all people, but he knew there was someone far more suited to the role than he. Raising his hand, Izuku caught the attention of the class before pointing towards the smell of automotive parts and Iida before speaking in a quiet, hoarse voice.

“Iida handled the situation today the best…. He should be the class rep.”

There was a moment of Iida sputtering in confusion, trying to think of any and every reason he shouldn’t have the position before the class cut him off, Izuku glad he wouldn’t have to say anything else on the matter.

“Iida is a stickler for the rules, so that’d make sense.”

“He did figure out what was happening before anyone else. Iida’s got my vote!

“If Deku thinks it’s a good idea, then I’m sure it is!”

“Midoryia is the best candidate in terms of our entrance exam and his record for leading in the battle trials, but if his judgement is to trust Iida, then I see no reason to doubt him.

“All right, I’m with Mr. Emergency Exit!”

Iida was at a lose for words, deciding to just let the class talk as they appointed Yaoyorozu as the secondary representative. Iida wondered if Tensei would be proud of him when Iida told him of his class’ trust in him (he would and he is a proud big brother… he’s going to brag about it at his agency).

Chapter Text

Hitoshi couldn’t stop fidgeting as he rode the train towards UA. The Reporters had been told off and warned against coming to campus the previous day and he wouldn’t have cared if he hadn’t noticed Mrs. Inko’s sign of relief at the news from the previous day, although he could see she still didn’t have her true smile back. That was where he came in, he thought to himself as he endured the sideways glances and the raised eyebrows at the lilac haired boy and what was in his hands. Sure, he would be getting to school ten minutes early (if there was nothing to stop him on his way) but it was going to be worth it. Hitoshi couldn’t help but smile to himself as he subconsciously sped past the crowds to campus and his homeroom teacher’s room, silently glad she was there early as he saw someone leaving her room as he approached. The figure was a long, almost shaggy green haired boy who was wearing…some kind of visor (inside?) and no shoes. Hitoshi couldn’t let some shoeless kid distract him as he lightly knocked on the door before entering the room, barely containing himself.

Inko hadn’t expected a student to be there so early, still thinking the earliest had another five minutes until they usually got there, but she was pleasantly surprised to see Hitoshi looking like he was about to burst with excitement as he tried to hid something behind him, Inko seeing it immediately, but not wanting to sour the boy’s mood, so she’d have to play along. Turning to face the boy directly, Inko gave a small smile as she spoke.

“Hitoshi, this is a pleasant surprise, although coming early doesn’t mean you can start early. What brings you to class so early in the morning? Did you rush here? Did you have any breakfast? I’m sure the cafeteria might have something if you didn’t.”

Hitoshi couldn’t help but smile as the smaller woman spoke. She had said she was a mother and she was speaking like what he remembered one sounding like. He loved that feeling she seemed to just…emanate and how nothing could make it falter, even a sour mood. Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi spoke, wanting to speak clearly and carefully (He didn’t want to offend or upset her).

“I’ve eaten already Mrs. Inko, I actually came early to see you before class. I, uh…um, noticed you were pretty upset when those reporters were on campus… so thought I could- I mean, I wanted to make it better so I, uh… got you these.”

Hitoshi felt himself die inside, his words neither careful or clear. He was sure she was going to laugh at him for blundering around as he pulled the Boquete of flowers out from behind his back, the blue daffodils being only slightly smushed from the journey to the school. Hitoshi’s fear and anxiety faded when he saw a smile so big, he wondered how it was even possible. He also noticed her eyes starting to mist and he was worried he’d some something wrong before she spoke, her voice full of absolute joy.

“Oh, they’re wonderful Hitoshi! I didn’t mean to worry you over some silly reporters, but- Oh they’re perfect! Come on, come on! Let’s see if we can’t find a vase to put them in before the rest of the class gets here.”

And with that, the two set out in search of a suitable container for the flowers before borrowing a vase from Nezdu himself. As the two left, the principal smiled to himself, noting the flower type and the color as it was no doubt chosen specifically for Inko. He knew she had been a good candidate for teaching sure, but it was her experience with high stakes information, situations and her ability to cut through the shells of closed off students in mere moments, when that would have taken any Pro-hero months to do so, spurred him to hire the woman and those flowers were the blossoms of proof that he had been correct in his assumption. Anyone could be a teacher if they tried, but Inko herself had the makings of a teacher and mentor to her charges, which Nezdu knew took something more. She had been the perfect candidate and Nezdu wondered how much potential that boy had and how far he was willing to go… perhaps Aizawa would be onto something if Nezdu’s calculations were to be correct about the boy with the flowers…

It took a week after the Reporters were told off and left UA grounds for Izuku speak again with the confidence that could rival his best friend’s. During that time Bakugou had been tasked with keeping the other on track, Aizawa stating that no matter what, Midoryia should be able to keep on his studies if he was serious about being a hero. Their classmates had been respectful to the two, which surprised Bakugou of all people. By now there would have been at least one shithead who would have tried something funny with Deku, and he would have landed a detention as per usual. When Izuku spoke after the week was done, the whole class seemed to breath a sigh of relief; the boy having come to class as happy as he had after they had discovered his blindness and had told him they didn’t care.

Izuku smiled as he quietly observed the class around him; Kacchan was fighting with Kirishima about something he hadn’t caught the beginnings of, while Kaminari and Sero interjected periodically; Mina and the other Girls were talking about some kind of show and the rest of the class was either talking amongst themselves or silently observing the room as Izuku was. Izuku could hear the door open and sensed the familiar footsteps of Aizawa as the class fell silent in the man’s presence as he spoke in a deadpan voice, which was pretty on par for the underground hero.

“Get your gear and meet at the front of the school. We’re taking a short trip, so hurry up and get it together. Any stupid questions like where we’re going will land you detention, now move it.”

The class did as they were told, too curious to question anything. Izuku couldn’t help but wonder where they were going as he climbed into the bus after Kacchan, holding onto the boy for support before finding a seat. Years of training with his quirk and he still hated vehicles as he could only tell what was in the damn contraption and not where they were actually going. It was about a fifteen-minute drive before the bus stopped and Izuku made a beeline off of it, grateful for the solid ground beneath him as he gained his bearings once again. Following Aizawa he sensed someone up ahead as well as some massive structures within another structure. He could faintly sense different climates and temperatures as they entered what he assumed was a training facility. The new figure he sensed spoke, bringing his attention back to what was before him, having missed a good portion of their speech, catching only the tail ends of it.

“…Welcome to the USJ!”

Chapter Text

Izuku counted himself lucky that Aizawa was there, or he’d be totally lost on what they’d have to be doing and what the purpose of the USJ visit was, Izuku making sure he listened to this time to every word spoken.

“Obviously we can’t get to all of the areas today, so over the next week or so we’ll be coming here instead of the classroom. I’m here to supervise just in case one of you brats loses control of your quirk and hurt someone around you by accident, but your main instruction here will come from Thirteen, so pay attention and do whatever they tell you. The brats are all yours Thirteen.”

And with that, Aizawa stood to the side and followed the group from the back as Thirteen called for the students to follow their lead. Izuku reached out and held onto Kacchan’s shoulder out of pure habit as they descended the stairs towards a large open space that Izuku guessed to be the USJ’s central plaza. From where they were standing, Izuku could sense six different subsections and a multitude of different scenarios as he and Kacchan caught up with the group before retreating his ‘vision’ slightly to the immediate surrounding areas so he could focus on Thirteen and not the distant landscapes.  Thirteen was…interesting to Izuku. he could tell that they were small, but he couldn’t sense anything that he could identify them as a definitive gender, and he hadn’t ever had that happen. It was perplexing, but in a way that Izuku wanted to know more without offending the hero themselves.

“Okay kids, today we’re going to be working in the Ruins Zone and we’ll work our way around from there tomorrow! Follow me and we can get started!”

Izuku followed Thirteen with the rest of the class, curious as to what exactly they would be doing and how Thirteen would direct them. Would it be like the battle trials, where they split up by pure chance and had to complete a task, or would it be completely different? His answer came when Thirteen had the group stop a good twenty feet from the designated Zone and addressed the students.

“Okay everyone! Inside the Ruins, there are four dummies civilians that are trapped inside and need to be rescued! Each dummy is in a different location within the Ruins and has various amounts of hazards around them. Your task is to go in and rescue a dummy each and get them to the medic site before their heartbeat goes out. The sooner you evacuate the better, but remember to be careful! The Ruins are designed to be hazardous and the wrong quirk at the wrong place will most certainly do more harm than good. We’ll split you up and go in cycles. Four to a group, with one exception of five. Hop to it, those dummies won’t save themselves!”

In an instant, Izuku found himself surrounded by many of his classmates, all of them wanting him in their group for reasons Izuku was pretty sure he’d never understand. Luckily for him, Kacchan stepped in between the green haired boy and the rest of them scowling as he crossed his arms and growling defensively.

“Listen up, you little shits. Deku and I are already in a group and if anyone else joins us, it’s because we want them to be. So Back. Off.”

They all grumbled before backing away from the two, knowing Bakugou wasn’t kidding when he warned them to back away. It hadn’t been long since they’d gotten to know them a bit, but only an idiot would have stood between the two boys. Turning to his friend, Kacchan growled quietly and almost gently.

“What are you thinking, ya nerd?”

Izuku paused before responding, quickly running through a mental list of their peers and quirks before coming to a satisfactory conclusion, relaying his plan to the other boy, who simply nodded and grunted in understanding before giving the all clear for Izuku to call out to the two he felt best suited what they would need.

“Hey Yaoyorozu! Uraraka! Want to be in a group with me and Kacchan?”

The two respective girls were surprised and after Izuku explained his reasoning a little more, they were more than willing to group together with the boys. After the groups were formed, Thirteen let them loose and most of the students of 1-A would have to admit that it was honestly actually kind of fun. Izuku lead the charge, sensing the cracks and cervices of the buildings as they entered, telling his teammates what places were stable enough to stand and walk on as the others followed him further and further into the Ruins. It took them about ten minutes to find their dummy half buried under some rubble. Uraraka moved to shift all of the rubble before Izuku reached out and grabbed her arm, stopping her in her tracks.

“Wait. That rubble is acting as a keystone for those walls and if you move it now, the whole thing will collapse. Yaoyorozu, do you think you can make some kind of support for the walls?”

The Creation girl nodded firmly before setting to work and created some steel beams to bear the walls, Kacchan helping move them into place before Uraraka moved the rubble out of the way before Izuku pulled the dummy out gently, wanting to treat the exercise as seriously as real life before they turned tail and made their way outside of the Ruins where the “med bay” and their teachers were waiting.  Setting the dummy down on the stretcher, the group noticed that they were, in fact, the only group outside of the ruins. Thirteen seemed astounded as they spoke to the group, Aizawa watching quietly to the side (he figured the Problem Children’s groups would be out first, why else would they ask for an anti-gravity and creation quirk?).

“Well done, well done you four! You utilized your quirks and your environment to save someone! Now we’ll have to wait for you classmates and see how they fair!”

And so, they waited; Todoroki’s group coming out second with Iida’s group close behind as Sero’s group brought up the rear. All in all, the simulation took a little under an hour (Sero’s group having gotten slightly lost and having a building Iida had unintentionally damaged fall on them. Karishma had covered them, so no one was actually hurt and Iida swore up and down he didn’t know they were there or that he’d meant to damage the building’s structural integrity.) Even still, all the students of 1-A were more than happy with their accomplishments and eager to return the following days to test themselves further.

And return they did, day after day going from simulation to simulation. Thirteen would be lying if they said the Midoryia boy hadn’t impressed them; seeing through whatever terrain they put him in and rescuing the ‘civilian’ in record times… for a first year anyways. After class one day, they decided to hunt down the boy’s homeroom teacher to talk about the potential they saw in the boy. When they mentioned it, Aizawa couldn’t help but sigh as he shook his head with what Thirteen could have sworn was a smile.

“You’re the third person to tell me about The Problem Child’s potential today, Thirteen. If you’re serious about this kid, you’d do best to hurry and snag the role as mentor now, before the kid drowns in offers. Besides, it’s looking like All Might’s got his eyes on the kid…even if he’s trying to act like he doesn’t. It’s slightly amusing actually, when you think about it: the only person who doesn’t see the kid’s potential is the kid himself… As his teacher, I’d love to see him get some confidence that doesn’t rely in Bakugou, but with no Bakugou at all, the kid practically shuts down…”

Aizawa was staring off into space now as he trailed off, letting Thirteen ponder everything he told them. It was true that in the five days they’d seen the class, the two boys had been together through it all, and it had been especially apparent when they were in the Conflagration Zone together the previous day; Midoryia hyperventilating and holding onto both the Dummy and Bakugou for dear life as the Ashen Blond simply carried him out of a burning building, as though…. As though the fires reminded him of some unseen and unbeatable enemy. Thirteen had asked about the sudden crack in the usually calm and collected boy’s personality, learning of the boy’s pyrophobia and feeling instantly guilty that they had sent the boy into such a situation, going out to search for the boy and apologize profusely, only to be met with an apology from him. Thirteen had told him scars like that don’t just heal and there would always be something lingering, but to not let the fear paralyze him, but rather motivate him! The boy had thanked them for their kind words, promising to keep it in mind as he grew with practice and experience. Thirteen was certain that with more time and practice, the boy could be a great hero, with a versatile quirk and good heart.

Which lead to 1-A’s final day at the USJ, all the students far more confident as they stepped into the building than the beginning of the week. They were met by Thirteen as they had before, but Izuku couldn’t help but feel like something was… Off… It was like the static on a TV, only there was no sound and it was in the air around the USJ, making his gut twist in unease. He called out to Aizawa, knowing the man would heed his words with far more weight than Thirteen might.

“Something’s not right Aizawa-sensei… the air… it feels so wrong, Aizawa-sensei I… I- “

Izuku was cut off with his own cry as he felt a sharp pain across his body, the air around them feeling like it was slicing reality and Izuku could feel every single molecule cutting into his skin, though he knew it would leave no trace as he could sense a large number of figures suddenly within the USJ, and the static air was closer to them and condensed. Regaining his composure, Izuku couldn’t help but look around fruitlessly, trying to pinpoint where the static air was coming from as Aizawa spoke urgently, turning to face Thirteen and the rest of the students.

“Thirteen, Evacuate the students and alert main campus, they’re jamming the airwaves. Go! I’ll hold them off.”

The class began to follow Thirteen, when Izuku sensed the static air’s condensed form appear in front of them. Everyone stopped and Izuku felt like keeling over at the small pinpricks of pain all around him, but he couldn’t. Not when everyone was in danger and there were at least a hundred villains all around the USJ!

“I’m terribly sorry for the intrusion Children. I am Kurogiri, and we are the League of Villains, but I assure you we are not here for you. We simply wish to dispose of the Symbol of Peace, and we will leave you in…well, you’ll be alive.”

Izuku had to think through the pain; had to think of something to get them out of there… Taking a deep breath, Izuku expanded his area of focus, searching for anything that would give them an edge and get away… And as Thirteen activated their quirk to suck “Kurogiri” away, he felt it: a solid mass of metal within the static. Izuku had no doubt that if he were to hold the villain in place, Iida would be able to speed past, but he didn’t know if the doors would open fast enough or if his classmates would be able to make it unseen… The villain had done something to Thirteen, Izuku could feel it in his gut as their first and only line of defense went down. Thinking desperately, he formulated an idea as he reached out with one hand and took hold of the metal within the static, ignoring the sharper pain as he willed it upwards, feeling the static mass and the metal go in the direction he wanted. With his other hand and his feet, he willed the ground to form a passage through the earth and out into the open air he knew was on the other side of the door, shouting as he kept control of the metal, though he could feel a headache form through the adrenaline as the entity tried in vain to struggle.

“Iida, run ahead of everyone an alert the main campus! Everyone else, follow him and get Thirteen to safety! I can hold him if you guys hurry. I’ll close the path behind you so you aren’t followed, so go!

He could tell Kacchan was about to argue before he spoke again with every ounce of anger and authority he could.

“Kacchan, DO AS YOU’RE TOLD AND GO!

With a small grunt of disproval, he could sense his classmates moving through the passageway he created, closing it behind them as he’d said before turning his entire focus on the entity he was currently keeping in one place, willing the air around it to stay as it should be, silently hoping his classmates hurried. The entity known as Kurogiri decided the best way out of the situation he was in was to sweettalk the boy, knowing any half-assed spoiled kid would eat up the charm and compliments and blunder with their quirk.

“An elementals Quirk, eh? It’s quite impressive boy, though why you’d risk yourself for those nobodies is beyond me… You surely know my associates won’t hesitate to kill you, and it would be such a shame to was such talent…”

Izuku said nothing, determined to keep his focus as he could hear and sense the battle being waged beyond the now familiar stairs. The boy’s resolve and focus stunned the villain, thinking bitterly to himself that it would make the kid a respectable hero, if he would live that long. It got to the point where he didn’t know how long he had been there containing the villain or how far his classmates had gotten. All Izuku knew was that this was his mission and he had to hold out for as long as possible. In reality, it had been roughly six minutes before the doors behind Izuku burst open as he sensed more figures approaching, with one large figure practically radiating power, stepping into the USJ.

The Pro-heroes had arrived, and All Might was filled with fear as he led the teachers to the building. He had known something was off when neither Thirteen nor Aizawa had responded to his calls, and the eighteen children and an injured Thirteen had confirmed that suspicion, telling him and Nezdu everything, including that Izuku Midoryia was still at the USJ with Aizawa, having provided an escape route and holding a warping villain by himself. All Might was terrified that they wouldn’t make it in time and the two left alone would be injured or worse, and he had to run in with a smile as always, though the thought of losing Midoryia had somehow shattered his heart as he decided that was something he could not allow to happen.

The teachers made quick work of the villains as All Might fought something described as a “Nomu”. Nezdu had come along with a contraption with a purpose he wouldn’t explain until he held it to where Izuku had been keeping the Warping Villain at bay, trapping them as the student collapsed and passed out, drained completely from the needle thin pain and the effort of keeping such a strong enemy contained. Once the villains were rounded up and the police escorted to where they were held and lead away, All Might took the young boy in his arms as they returned to campus and Recovery Girl’s office. Looking at the boy in his arms, All Might made the decision he’d been holding off ever since he’d met the boy in that alleyway two years ago. The courage and self-sacrifice Young Midoryia had shown today was the last proof he needed to know Midoryia was not only worthy of being a true hero, but the one All Might was meant to pass on his Quirk too. As All Might handed the boy over to Recovery Girl, he set out to find someone he knew he’d have to confront if he wanted the boy to be his successor. He couldn’t help but gulp nervously as he set out to find Inko Midoryia, silently hoping the woman would be as kind to him as she was to her students.

Chapter Text

Nezdu sent all the students home early that day, sending out a quick call to all the parents that explained there had been an incident and the school felt the best option was to send the students home to their families while the school and authorities internally investigated better security measures. There were dozens of return calls, all of them confused and wanting more information but the principal felt it unnecessary to respond, having given an explanation he felt was satisfactory. For the remainder of the day the UA teachers in both the Hero and Support courses walked campus, bouncing ideas for improvements off of each other, particularly for the unforeseen warping quirks as the class of 1-A had encountered. Among those teachers however, All Might was nowhere to be seen, as he stood outside Inko Midoryia’s classroom and with a deep breath, he knocked gently. There was a pause before he heard the woman’s voice, calling him into the room and as he entered, he saw she wasn’t paying full attention to him as she graded what he assumed was course work. Looking up from the papers, Inko was surprised to see All Might of all people, looking incredibly nervous as he approached her before speaking far quieter than she would have thought it possible.

“Uh, I’m sorry to interrupt your work, but do you mind if we talk for a moment? There are some things I wish to discuss with you about your son.”

Inko could tell the pro-hero was being careful with his words and the way he approached her desk, as though he wanted to seem as unintimidating as possible. Part of Inko was instantly worried about her son, wondering why the number one hero would want to talk about him if Nezdu had sworn up and down her boy was unharmed and simply in Recovery Girl’s office resting from exhaustion with the Ashen Blond refusing to leave the boy’s side. And yet, there was also a part of her that rationalized if her boy was okay, he most certainly wasn’t beyond reprimand for doing something stupid and reckless. Inko looked to All Might’s eyes and she could see the uncertainty and hope behind them as she spoke to him.

“Is Izuku in trouble because of today? You don’t have to be gentle with this if that’s the case; Mitsuki and I raised those boys together, I think I can take it if he’s gotten himself in trouble All Might.”

Inko felt a wave of relief when the man before her looked confused and alarmed before speaking again after a deep breath and Inko wondered why he sounded so…weary when he looked to her with that kindness in his eyes.

“Not at all! On the contrary, I wanted to speak to you because of what he did right today. You see, I didn’t just come to UA to teach, although I must admit I’ve fallen quite smitten with the job: I came in search of someone worthy of being my successor.”

Inko raised an eyebrow, seeing the rough idea of where he was going, but opting to let the man continue his explanation.

“You see, the truth is that I was not born with the quirk I possess, known to those who wield it and a select other few as One for All; my mentor and the bearer of this power before me saw it fit to entrust it to me. I’ve had this quirk for a long, long time and I can feel my time slipping by day after day as I searched for someone to pass this great torch to and as my mentor saw to entrust it to me, I cannot help but feel your son is the one I am meant to pass this on to.”

Inko was silent as she processed the information being given to her. A quirk… passed on from one person to the next? That was unheard of! But… the look in All Might’s eyes and the conviction in his voice told her he was telling the truth as she came to her own assumption and conclusion of this exchange’s true purpose.

“You want to give this power to Izuku… and you want my permission to do so, don’t you All Might?”

The man before her nodded quietly, not trusting himself to say anything more to the small but surprisingly intimidating woman before him as she looked him up and down, as though she was trying to look into his very soul and every inch of what he intended to do with her son (although he couldn’t fault the woman for that… the two had been through a great deal and she’d be a fool to not have reservations and apprehensiveness in regards to her son’s wellbeing). Inko sighed and shook her head after a few moments of silence before standing and looking the hero in the eyes.

“Izuku is all I have, and I’m already worried day and night about the day he’ll graduate and become a real Hero in the actual field…. But that boy is about as stubborn as they come when he sets him mind on something, and I can’t exactly stop him at this point. I don’t fully understand everything you’ve told me, but I know you and I see no reason for you to lie about any of this and if Izuku has every opportunity to protect himself and get as strong as he wants, then I see no reason why someone like me should stand in the way. All Might, if you swear to watch over my son and raise him to the best of your abilities to bring out the potential everyone sees in him, then I give you my blessing to do so, should Izuku accept your offer.”

All Might swore up and down he would do as she asked as his eyes shone with pride and joy. He turned to leave before Inko called out to him, causing him to turn and look at her once more.

“If Izuku agrees to this, you should tell Aizawa and Katsuki what you told me. Both of them have known Izuku for years, and in Katsuki’s case: their whole lives. If Izuku starts to suddenly punch and kick things, they’ll know immediately and you’ll have to not only explain then, but Katsuki won’t be happy with being lied to and will probably try to hunt you down for ‘forcing’ Izuku to lie to him.”

All Might nodded at her words before thanking her and taking his leave. He hadn’t thought of that in his decision and he was glad Inko had pointed it out… perhaps he and Aizawa could test the boy’s limits if he accepted. All Might walked through the empty halls of UA to Recovery Girl’s office where the two boys were currently. Looking into the room he could see the two boys talking quietly to each other before falling silent at the hero’s presence. Walking inside and closing the door behind him, All Might sat down from across the room and told the two boys the story of One for All and how it was passed from hero to hero before it reached him, explaining how he had gained his quirk before asking the Young Midoryia if he would accept the power All Might held and start the journey to follow in his footsteps. The Young Bakugou was talking defensively as the other boy contemplated everything that he’d been told.

“So, what you’re saying is you got your quirk from someone else and now you want Deku to have it, but want me to know because only a dumbass would try to hide something like that from me when Deku and I grew up and trained together?”

All Might could only nod quietly, not having the energy to call out the boy’s language as he fixed his eyes on Midoryia. The boy was the one, he had to be! Izuku could feel All Might’s gaze on him, and with a shaky voice, he spoke to his idol since childhood.

“But…why me? I’m nothing special and I’m certainly not the best person at UA for such a responsibility… Why would you want me, a villain’s kid, to hold the same power as you do? I... I’m honored you would think of me, but I don’t think I’m the right person! It- it feels wrong somehow… What if I don’t make a very good hero, or I can’t live up to what you think I should be?”

Izuku couldn’t bring himself to raise his head to All Might, choosing instead to curl in on himself, which honestly crushed the two other inhabitants of the room. All Might reached towards the boy, placing his hand on the boy’s shoulder before speaking gently.

“Midoryia my boy, do you remember what I told you in that alleyway, all those years ago? I told you that anyone can become a hero, no matter their past. All you must do is be willing to listen and learn. You do not act because you seek power or fame; you simply ask yourself ‘is something right?’ And I have witnessed you do so time and time again. There is no doubt but your own my boy, I promise.”

Izuku was crying again as his friend watched quietly with a knowing look in his eyes. Sure, he was tough on Deku when it came to being a crybaby; but seeing his friend’s doubts and fears in the open after being offered something that would almost certainly grant the boy victory once he learned to harness such power, he couldn’t help but feel like part of him was breaking and crying with the other boy. No matter Deku’s decision today, Katsuki Bakugou silently vowed to stand beside his friend and ensure no one would ever see Deku as that bastard’s son. Izuku was still crying as he finally raised his head to where he was pretty sure All Might’s eyes were, before speaking with shaky confidence as his friend smiled off to the side.

“I accept All Might. I’ll do everything I can to make you proud!”

All Might couldn’t have been happier as he, in turn readied himself to give his quirk to the young boy, knowing his training had prepared him to be able to handle the quirk’s power. Later on that day, The two boys would return to the Bakugou household to study as Inko would go to the hospital where Aizawa was healing and tell him everything that had happened in a hushed tone, knowing Izuku would need him to keep an eye on his quirk now more than ever, to which Aizawa groaned, already sensing the headache the now super-charged Problem Child would no doubt cause him in the future. At the same time, Yagi Toshinori would walk down a quiet sidewalk in an empty park, holding a bunch of Marigolds and Daffodils, setting them down at the base of a statue in the middle of the park. The engraving on the statue’s base read ‘In honor of Nana Shimura: A beloved Hero and Mentor. May her smile shine the brightest among the stars.’

Toshinori looked to the stars that were beginning to appear beyond the statue as he quietly thought, hoping that Nana could somehow hear him.

‘I’ve found a successor Nana… I think you’d love the kid. He’s got a good heart and a great system of support around him. His mother reminds me of you, in all honestly… I just hope I can lead the kid on the right path, as you lead me.

Chapter Text

Given the brainstorming of the previous day, Nezdu called for all students to stay home as support heroes and companies installed new security measures, wanting to be absolutely sure the incident at the USJ would never happen again. The empty school provided a perfect pace for All Might to pass One for All on to Young Midoryia and to test how it would affect his quirk in one of the many training rooms with UA. All Might had warned it would take a while for it to come into full effect and in that time of waiting, the two discussed Izuku’s past training and handling of his environments, as well as how One for All might impact his ‘vision’.

“…. There’s no way to say for sure until it fully merges, but if I had to guess, I’d say your ‘sight’ would get stronger in the sense that it would either reach farther than you were previously able, or details would be far clearer, if it’s possible.”

Izuku nodded quietly, the only thought he had was the fear of how much stronger his fire would become, and if he’d still be able to control it as well as he had before… He didn’t want to be like Him, and he didn’t know how he was going to handle the ever-present firestorm in his stomach, just begging for him to give it form day after day. As if sensing the boy’s internal distress and gathering what the cause of it was, All Might reached out gently speaking in a firm tone.

“My boy it will be okay, I am here. I wouldn’t have given this to you if I didn’t trust you to handle it… that fire won’t consume you, so long as you remain the master of your own power. And if you get scared or feel alone, you are not, I promise you.”

Izuku hummed in response. He wanted to believe All Might, but there was a part of him that refused to budge….it was as if part of him was still trapped and running in that hallway from his nightmares while the rest of him was living through the day to day. It was honestly exhausting to Izuku, having to function with only part of himself being in the moment, not to mention having to constantly use his quirk to do something as simple as navigation, although it was second nature at this point. Izuku knew he’d have to face his inner demons eventually and the longer he pushed it away, the worse it would be… but the part of him that still felt like that scared little boy he had been before was holding him back, terrified of the unknown and what would happen, should he accept it…

Izuku could sense the quirks merging together as they sat in silence: the general shapes becoming gradually sharper to him as he felt his view expand outwards, vaguely sensing the teachers who were currently on campus… and probably the most impactful to Izuku was sensing the previously featureless face of All Might come into focus, as though he could still see the man before him, and All Might was almost exactly as he remembered him.

“All Might, I think it’s finished… before now, I could just kind of…sense people and their facial feature were kind of fuzzy but right now… I can see your face… you haven’t changed a bit.”

All Might could see the tears forming in Izuku’s eyes as the boy seemed to marvel at the new accuracy and strength of his navigation. True, hearing that the faces of those around the boy had remained featureless after all these years was news that took All Might off guard, but he didn’t have the heart to investigate, knowing the boy was simply marveling at his surroundings. All Might wanted to test Izuku as far as the boy’s quirk would allow, but decided against doing so without Aizawa, knowing Inko would be out for blood if he rushed things and her son happened to get injured… Instead, All Might settled for telling the boy the whole truth, showing himself as a lanky and skeletal civilian. Toshinori knew the boy was surprised, but he was glad the boy only saw it as something minor and didn’t freak out or anything (unlike Bakugou, who had rushed him and demanded to know who he was and where All Might had gone… it took a little while to explain from being pinned to the wall, but the boy eventually understood that he’d demanded to know where All Might was… From All Might).

When Bakugou had calmed down enough to understand the situation, he noticed his friend staring in his direction, although he was unsure as to why. Sure, he’d been told the damn quirk thing would mesh with Deku’s and make it stronger, but he didn’t think it would change anything… Bakugou faintly remembered Deku telling him he couldn’t tell what someone’s face looked like, his quirk only covering the lower half of a person’s torso before becoming as fuzzy as if he were on sand… So, unless the whole process had improved his elementals quirk to the point faces were no longer featureless to the boy…

Bakugou got the answer to his question when his friend spoke, choking back tears of happiness as his friend moved towards him and enveloped him in a hug.

“K-Kacchan… Your face… I can see it.”

Bakugou couldn’t remember a time he’d cried as hard as he did then, holding onto his friend, knowing that was all the boy needed. Sure, Deku would never be able to truly have his vision back, but sensing someone’s facial features was a huge step for him and Bakugou would be there for him every step of the way.

It took about a week for Aizawa to heal enough to return to teaching the class, to which he refused to go easy on the brats once he returned. With the Sports festival only a month away, there was a lot of ground to cover if the brats had any chance of showing off to an agency or two, not to mention the extra training he’d undoubtedly have to give his now super-charged Problem Child, who could apparently sense what people’s faces looked like now. It wouldn’t have bothered Aizawa if he didn’t have to listen to the kid be bombarded with questions of why his quirk was suddenly a lot stronger than before the USJ to where he could sense what people looked like, as well as how he couldn’t tell what they looked like before. Although as he listened in, Aizawa had to admit the excuse the Problem Child had come up with was impressive and convincing.

“Well uh, you see.... my quirk originally manifested in a high-stress situation, and because of that it came out a lot stronger than it would have, so I had to work hard to keep it at a containable level. But because I’ve been holding back sub-consciously all this time, it kind of came out when I was making your exit, and so it’s not stronger per se, but more of the inherent strength is prominent after a second high-stress situation.”

Aizawa would never say it aloud, but it was a good lie: with enough truth to be credible, while still keeping the kid’s secret. Even still, that just meant he had to push him harder than ever until the boy had a greater handle on his elements, save for the fire that the boy simply refused to use, no matter what threat Aizawa gave him, though he couldn’t force quirk out of the boy, especially if it could get out of hand and he wouldn’t be able to cancel it. But as the Sports Festival grew closer, he knew the boy would have to give it his all or he’d risk his chances to one of the other students in the B class as the tensions in the school grew with every passing day, threatening to snap at any moment.

That moment very nearly came one day, roughly a week before the Sports Festival during the Hero Course’s lunch break. Izuku had been sitting with Kacchan, Iida and Uraraka as usual when he sensed someone approaching their table before they spoke.

“So, this is the top competition from the all mighty 1-A? Really, what a waste of time worrying about you losers!”

Izuku could sense the speaker to their left, but didn’t both looking in the boy’s direction as he heard Kacchan growling threatening. Izuku could sense that the short boy has slicked part of his bangs to the left and spoke with fake candor. Izuku tapped Kacchan twice, as Iida and Uraraka guessed its true meaning: Not worth it. Do not engage.

The boy to their left clearly wasn’t pleased at their lack of a response. He stepped closer and spoke once again, this time with a mocking tone in what Izuku could tell was his direction.

“Nothing? Really pathetic, huh Midoryia. Even so, I’d expect nothing less from someone with your past…”

At those words, Izuku tensed. Whomever this kid was, he knew about Izuku’s deepest, darkest shame and he was still talking

“…I mean what was Nezdu thinking: Letting the spawn of a Villain in the Hero course? If I were you, I wouldn’t even try to show my face in the light of day… but then again you really don’t, do you? Hiding behind those glasses and stupid hair while somehow thinking you’re better than us in the B class, just because your classmates ran away from a bunch of villains rather than staying to fight like my class would ha- “

The boy’s rant was cut off as a second figure hit the boy and grabbing him, though Izuku had been to focused on containing his rage and shame to notice their approach, speaking in a voice that was filled with absolute rage.

“Neito Monoma, how dare you say such things! Do you have no shame; to be talking about the past of another and think it’s okay?

Izuku was trying not to cry, the whole cafeteria having gone silent from the moment the boy, Monoma, had begun talking to his table. Izuku could feel the air around him shifting as his hands seemed to be itching to set the boy ablaze, so he did the only thing he knew would keep the bully and those around him safe: He got up and ran out of the room, making a beeline for an empty gym before letting everything he’d been holding back loose: the anger and the shame, the earth around him breaking and swirling in the wind around him as the air became dry, every ounce of moisture in the room condensing and joining the vortex as Izuku, for once in his life, let the fire flow freely, hoping no one would find him as he felt the white-hot flames swirl around him as the memories engulfed him and the earth around UA shook violently as the boy just cried.

It took twenty minutes for the staff to find Izuku and another hour for the boy to wear himself out to where the fire would no longer come and the boy passed out on the scorched ground, exhausted from the wave of emotions that had overtaken him. During the search for Izuku, the entirety of the lunchroom would tell their teachers exactly what had happened and after being informed that Monoma was the cause of the outburst; the boy in question would know fear as Nezdu and the boy’s homeroom teacher would let Inko Midoryia dish out his punishment, but only after they had found her son and she was certain someone he trusted would be nearby when he woke up, no one wanting to address the raw strength they felt when the boy had let himself loose when he was alone in that room.

Chapter Text

Izuku was running down the endless hallway again, screaming in vain for someone, anyone to come find him has he looked around desperately for an escape. All Might had said he was never alone, so where was everyone? Izuku didn’t even know what he was running from at this point: simply running from a threat he couldn’t sense but part of him knew whatever it was, it was getting closer and closer. Izuku couldn’t even hear the cries for help like he usually would… he was just running endlessly and he couldn’t slow down, the walls closing in around him as he could feel the air around him start to disappear as his vision was going dark as he ran. It wasn’t uncommon for Izuku to dream as though he could see again, often times seeing his loved ones as he remembered them from his childhood, only for his vision to be taken away again… but something told him this dream was different than the rest.

As the darkness threatened to take him once more, Izuku saw a faintly glowing figure in the distance as they seemed to call out to him and the darkness began to lessen. Unsure of what was happening, Izuku no longer ran with fear towards the faint figure, but ran with hope in his steps as their features came into focus. He guessed that he was roughly five feet from them when he stopped, taking in the sight before him as he only distantly wondered how he was actually seeing. The figure before him was looked to be a young woman with a kind gleam in her eyes as she reached out to Izuku.

Who are you? How can I see you?”

The woman only smiled at his words, walking closer to the boy. Izuku felt nothing but peace in her growing presence, still confused as to what was happening but accepting it regardless. The woman looked at Izuku critically, seeming to get lost in thought as she spoke to him.

There will be time for that later Kid. I’ll admit that Toshi did good on finally listening, considering almost nothing gets through that thick skull of his.”

Izuku was only more confused at the woman’s words, asking again who she was and what was happening. He should have been woken up by Kacchan by now, and he’d never seen this woman before…before what happened, so how could he see her? Why was she…glowing? The world around them started rumbling and Izuku was filled with terror once again, having too many question and not enough answers.

You’re waking up. I know this is confusing, but you have to go now. I can explain everything, all you have to do is focus next time.”

Izuku didn’t want to go: he wanted to stay and talk to the woman and make sense of it all. Calling out one more time, he again asked who she was; wanting to know more than anything the identity of the mystery woman and as the world crumbled to dust around them, Izuku heard her start to answer before disappearing.

“My name is Nana- “

Izuku woke with a start, gasping as he shot into a sitting position, startling the boy who was sitting next to him. After gaining his bearing, Izuku turned to face Kacchan, eyes full of almost-tears as his friend exclaimed in surprise before starting to yell at him.

“What the shit was that Deku? You told me to not engage with that asshat, and then you just ran off! We didn’t know where you were or if you were okay and the shit heads who call themselves teachers wouldn’t let me near when they did find you, not to mention the whole goddamn campus experienced an hour-long mini-earthquake which had everyone worried out their asses, you blind bastard!”

Izuku only half-heartedly payed attention to what his friend was saying as the face of that woman burned into his memory, having questions come and go at a mile a minute.

Who was she really? How could he have seen her? What did she mean by ‘next time’? What if there was no ‘next time’ and he was stuck wondering what that woman wanted from him forever? What if he couldn’t focus like she told him? What was going on?

As if sensing the boy’s inner turmoil, Katsuki sighed and reached out for his friend’s shoulder, granting him something physical to ground himself with as the Ashen Blond spoke again, much gentler this time.

“You know, Auntie was pissed when she found out what happened. From what I’ve heard down the grapevine, Auntie is making him clean the Stadium before the sports festival without his quirk, clean up after the Festival and he’s not allowed to participate this year. Eraser-ass said he overheard a phone call Auntie made to the bastard’s mom to boot, so I think it’s safe to say he isn’t going to be bringing up that bastard anymore… and if he does, I think people might turn a blind eye if you felt like kicking his ass.”

Izuku only half-heartedly nodded before moving to leave the bed he was laying on, ignoring his friend’s attempts to shove him back into it, claiming he still needed to rest.  It was late afternoon and all Izuku wanted to do was get out of the building, mind still fixated on the woman in his dream. He briefly wondered if he should talk to All Might about it, but quickly dismissed the idea as he heard a voice call out to him from the other side of a hallway as he and Kacchan made their way to see his mother.

“Hey, Midoryia wait up!”

Izuku didn’t recognize the voice, which belonged to a boy who’s only discernable feature Izuku could make out were the bags under his eyes. Stopping, Izuku turned to the boy as he readied himself for whatever insult the kid was probably going to throw at him.

“I’m not in the mood to be chewed out anymore than I already have today so if you’re going to yell at me for something; I wouldn’t bother.”

To the side of him, Izuku could hear Kacchan’s low growling as the boy came closer and spoke.

“Don’t be an idiot, I’m not gonna yell at the kid who shook the entire campus… I just wanted to talk, that’s all.

Kacchan interjected before Izuku could respond to the boy.

“Then talk and then beat it, Extra.”

The boy seemed to ignore Kacchan, moving to address Izuku specifically and in a quiet voice.

“I don’t know the whole story, but that punk was wrong: From what I’ve gathered, you’re anything but a villain… Those around you do not decide who and what you are… I just thought you should know that.”

The two boys were speechless. No outsider had ever said anything like that to Izuku, much less with sincerity, save perhaps All Might. Moving to leave, the boy spoke again as he turned his head in their direction.  

“Oh, Name’s Hitoshi Shinso by the way. I’d remember that if I were you: I’m going to be the one to get that spot in the Heroes Course, even if it kills me, So I’d watch your backs.”

Izuku was puzzled by the boy’s words and declaration as he felt the boy walk away. Kacchan was mumbling angrily about the boy as he dragged the green-haired boy towards Inko’s classroom, where the woman was still on the phone with a very angry mother, catching only the tail-ends of the call before Inko hung up.

“…I don’t care how good your son’s grades are! He bullied another student, bringing up something he knew would be triggering! Personally, I feel he’s getting off lightly since Nezdu wouldn’t let my original punishment fly, so he’s getting those detentions and punishments and if you have a problem with it, I suggest you take it up with Principal Nezdu because this is my final say in the matter. Good day Ma’am!”

The voice of his mother always calmed Izuku down and right now, as she huffed at the phone, Izuku couldn’t help but smile gently as he let the two others in the room take him home to rest before the next day of school. Izuku however, still couldn’t help but think of the dream he had before, rolling the name “Nana” around in his head until he fell into a dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

The remaining week leading up to the Sports Festival was filled with nothing but a complete whirlwind of training (in between their regular, boring classes) and before anyone knew it, the day of the Sports Festival was there. All Might had told them this was a testing ground for agencies to scout promising recruits and that everyone would be giving it their all and 1-A should be no exception. As the students of 1-A lined up to go to the stadium, Izuku noticed something different about Hakugure, the rounder faced, long haired girl bouncing on her heels, no doubt in excitement, as they waited for Iida to finish rounding everyone up and place them in whatever order he wanted.

“Hey Hakugure, did you braid your hair today?”

Izuku could sense the momentary surprise from the class, but the invisible girl spoke up with her voice full of absolute joy.

“Yes, I did! I didn’t think letting it down like I normally do would be a very good tactic, so I figured: ‘no one is going to be able to tell the difference, so why not use it to my advantage?’… I didn’t think about you though… but thanks for noticing!”

Izuku didn’t have time to respond with anything other than a small smile as Iida rushed them out of the classroom, all the way to the stadium. Izuku’s stomach churned as they walked, knowing what lay ahead of them but not wanting to focus on what he and Kacchan had to do. A few days before the festival, Aizawa had told him that because he had the highest entrance exam score, Izuku would be opening the sports festival. Izuku had begged him to let someone more capable take the stand, but Aizawa hadn’t budged which forced Izuku to regroup with Kacchan on what the heck he was actually going to say, although his input wasn’t exactly…helpful.

“Just tell it how it is Deku: Everyone else sucks and either me or you is gonna win this damn thing.”

After that, Izuku had sought guidance from All Might, who was slightly more helpful, but had ultimately left the full weight of the task on him. Izuku could feel his heart pounding as their teacher, Midnight, called him up to speak to the now quiet crowds and, taking a deep breath, Izuku addressed everyone he knew was watching him in that moment, his voice booming with far more confidence and clarity than he felt.

“Every hero in our society has had a chance to leave their mark and every one of them started as what we, the freshmen class of UA, are today: students striving to do their best, no matter the educational course we hail from. As those before us have left their marks on our society for the better, all that can truly be said is that…well, We’re Next.”

There was a heart-pounding moment of silence before the entire stadium, students and guests alike, erupted into deafening cheers. Izuku felt a wave of relief as Midnight pointed the boy off stage, taking his place back with his classmates, only barely paying attention to Present Mic’s raving narration on Izuku’s short and simple speech before focusing on the directions that were being given afterwards. The first task at hand was an obstacle course and at the sound of the alarm, everyone rushed forwards… everyone but Izuku that is, who waited for a few seconds before walking calmly forwards. Izuku could sense the doorway to the rest of the course outside the stadium get clogged in a matter of seconds as he willed a path underneath it all to open as he ran through, closing it behind him and emerging on the other side unhindered as he ran. Distantly, he heard Present Mic and Aizawa commentating

“Did he just burrow under the doorway??? Is that even allowed?”

“He didn’t leave the course and quirks are allowed. Why did you think he waited for everyone to get themselves stuck?”

“I see your point… smart kid.”

Izuku was just running, not caring how those behind him were doing as he stopped himself, sensing large amounts of metal lying in wait, recognizing them as Zero Pointers. He could just bend them out of his way, but that would no doubt drain him… Izuku decided to let those behind him deal with it as he dug his way under them before re-emerging several feet behind them, running as he closed it behind him once more. He could sense someone gaining on him, sensing the hot and cold of Todoroki, but he didn’t care as he sensed the next obstacle: a canyon strung together by ropes and small platforms of rock. Izuku couldn’t be bothered to try and cross normally as he chose to gather air around and beneath him, using the air pressure to keep himself aloft as he sped ahead, Todoroki and, by the familiar smell of explosive sweat and smoke, Kacchan hot on his tail. Izuku didn’t know what the next obstacle was exactly, but he could sense small metal disks buried in the ground, so he stayed in the air until he could no longer sense whatever was buried as he ran back into the cheering stadium. Izuku had come in first, with Todoroki and Kacchan behind him as they waited for everyone else to catch up.

“Deku, that was…not too shitty.”

Izuku beamed at the complement, knowing that was the equivalent of a raging fanfare by Kacchan’s standards. Izuku walked over and put his arm around his friend, who begrudgingly accepted it. Soon, their other classmates caught up and they swarmed the two boys with praise.

“Using the technicality of ‘remaining inside the course’ was a brilliant strategy Midoryia! I expected nothing less!”

“That was amazing Deku!”

“Even Bakugou knows you did good bro!”

“SHUT UP SHITTY HAIR, I KNOW A WORTHY CHALLENGE WHEN I SEE ONE DAMNIT!”

The last outburst made Izuku laugh, knowing his friend was developing a soft spot for the other boy, though it was a bit different than the one Kacchan held for Izuku, who he had grown close to over the need to protect. Izuku could tell this was borne out of a sort of mutual respect for the other boy, who had proved himself as “not so shitty” in Kacchan’s eyes, though he doubted the boy would ever admit so.

The second task was a Calvary battle, their points based on placing and put on headbands to capture. Izuku’s heart dropped when they said what his point value was, certain no one but Kacchan would want him on their team. They had been given ten minutes to form groups and tactics, and Izuku had a risky idea that he relayed to his friend, who nodded thoughtfully. With the explosive boy’s approval, Izuku approached the people he knew they’d need if they wanted to stand a chance.

“Hey Sero, Tokoyami! Uraraka! Want to be on our team?”

The three seemed surprised, but after explaining a little, they were more than happy to join, the only downside being that Kacchan would have to tone down his explosions if they wanted Dark Shadow’s help, though a small price to pay. Working together, the five of them managed to survive long enough to move on, though losing the lead but keeping enough points for it to not matter that much. After the Calvary battle, it was almost time for the battles between students… after lunch that is. On the way to eat, Izuku could sense Todoroki approaching, asking to speak with him alone. Confused, Izuku agreed and followed the boy to an empty entrance into the stadium, waiting nervously for the other boy to speak.

“So… you brought me here. Now what?”

Izuku got no response from the other boy, sensing the tension in the air, like the other was trying to stare him down and make him crack under the intimidation.

“Your group made me overwhelmed and it made me break the promise I made to myself a long time ago and in the final moments, I felt it: The aura of power around you and it reminded me of the feeling I get when All Might is around… he has the same energy as you. Midoryia, tell me: Are you All Might’s secret love child or something?”

Izuku, who had been listening solemnly suddenly felt himself choking on air in surprise at the boy’s question. After regaining some composure (and the ability to breathe again), Izuku spoke in a surprisingly calm tone.

“It’s nothing like that at all… as if I’d be that lucky Todoroki.”

“Interesting choice of words Midoryia… It suggests there is something between you two that you’re not supposed to talk about. You see, my father is the Hero Endeavor and, as he’s the number two hero, you’ve probably heard of him and if you’re connected to the number one hero, All Might, in some way, that would mean I have even more of a reason to defeat you.”

Todoroki took a deep breath before he spoke next, which did not go unnoticed by Izuku.

“My old man is ambitious; he aims for the top. He used his power to make a name for himself as a hero, but he could never best All Might, so the Symbol of Peace is living proof of his failure. He’s still at it tough, trying to take down All Might…one way or another.”

Izuku didn’t quite understand what he was going for.

“I’m not really sure of what you’re getting at… If you have a point to make about how my supposed relation to All Might is relevant, then make it and stop beating around the bush.”

Todoroki’s head dropped slightly and Izuku noticed a deep sadness in his voice as he spoke once again.

“Have you ever heard of…quirk marriages? They became a problem after the first few generations of superpowers became widespread. There were those who sought out potential mates for the sole purpose of creating powerful children. Many people were forced into relationships and they were simply viewed as old fashioned arranged marriages, even if it was clearly unethical… My father has not only a rich history of accomplishments, but plenty of money to throw at his problems. He used his money to buy my mother’s relatives for her quirk, and he’s been raising me to usurp All Might. It’s so annoying, and I refuse to be a tool for that scumbag.”

Izuku didn’t need eyes to know the boy was scowling, his own eyes most likely filled with rage as his voice shook as he continued to speak.

“In every memory I have of my mother, she’s crying. I remember she called the left side of my face unbearable…before she poured boiling water on it… It wasn’t her fault though, and I know she regretted it… My father pushed and abused her to that point. So, the reason I picked a fight with you, relation to All Might or no, was to prove I can win without using his damned fire quirk... to only use my mother’s quirk. You see, I want to show him that I reject his power, and I can make first place without using it.”

Izuku could feel the other boy’s gaze, as if he were staring into Izuku’s very being…. and part of Izuku cried out for the other boy; recognizing the pain within him as Izuku’s own. Izuku took a shaky as he spoke.

“You know Todoroki, if I didn’t know any better; I’d say we’re two sides of the same coin… You know I’m blind, yes?”

There was a grunt of acknowledgement from the other boy before Izuku continued.

“I hope you know of the villain Dragonfire; because that is…the man responsible for my birth, as well as the attack that left me blind. My quirk is that of elementals; the four basic components being Water, Air, Earth….and Fire. Just as you refuse your father’s quirk because of what he wants from you, I refuse mine because if I do, if I use the quirk given to me by that bastard…. Then I’m no more a hero than he was. I want to win this to, Todoroki… but not to prove I can be a hero… but to prove I’m not a villain.

And with that, Izuku reached for his visor…and removed it, showing the other scarred boy what Izuku had spent the last nine years or so hiding: the proof that Izuku’s father was a villain, and Izuku was on the verge of being no different than he.

The two boys stood in silence, both taking in everything that had been said to the other and in that silence, an invisible bond was forged. The bond of two broken children trying to escape the looming shadows cast by their fathers…if they even deserved to be called that. Distantly, Izuku could hear Uraraka’s voice calling for him, wondering where he was and if he’d eaten yet. Todoroki was the first to move, getting up from leaning on the wall and moving towards Izuku, stretching out his arm to the other boy, who had put his visor back on at that point. Curious, Izuku took his hand, helping steady himself as he rose from against the wall as the other boy spoke, a new sense of understanding in his voice.

“Asshole fathers with fire quirks… who’d have thought that was a possible common denominator?”

Izuku couldn’t help but laugh at those words, the two boys now standing in the middle of the entranceway.

“Well, certainly not the assholes huh?”

There was a pause as both boys began to walk away, only for Izuku to stop and address the other.

“Hey, Todoroki….”

“What Midoryia?”

“Thanks for not um…. screaming or anything when I showed…the scars…”

“Oh… Don’t mention it.”

There was another pause as the boys continued to walk.

“Midoryia.”

“Yeah?”

“Shouto. Call me Shouto.”

“Okay… call me Izuku… or Deku, whichever you prefer.”

And with that, the two walked in the quiet comfort of another who knew their own pain, in search of food before the next matches began.

Chapter Text

After the two ate, it was time for the one-on-one tournaments and Izuku was up first, finding out he was going against the General Education boy from the hallway: Hitoshi Shinso. Izuku didn’t know much about the kid, but if he wanted to be in the hero course and failed the practical exam, that lead him to conclude the boy’s quirk was anything but physical. As he sat in the waiting room, Izuku let his thoughts wander to what the boy had told him and Kacchan in the hallway. He knew the kid wanted to be in the hero course as every other General Education student did, but his opponent was the only one to make it thus far in the festival. Izuku wondered if he actually wanted to try and fight for the right to be where Izuku was and how far the boy would be willing to go. With determination in his heart, Izuku knew what he had to do as the announcement called him to the stadium and the fight that awaited him.

As Izuku entered the ring, he could feel the boy looking him up and down as Present Mic announced the match start. As they tensed, neither boy moved from their spot. Instead, Hitoshi began talking casually,

“It’s a shame, isn’t it Midoryia? All this limelight and you’re still overshadowed by the past, aren’t you?”

Izuku said nothing, only taking a few steps closer to the other, silently pleading with the other boy to fight and prove he was actually willing to put work towards the dream he held, though he only continued to talk.

“Walking closer to intimidate me? Not a good strategy, don’t you think? Of course, I don’t blame you Midoryia; why waste your precious quirk on me?

Izuku stopped and growled lowly, unsure of where the other was going with this.

“You have no idea how lucky you are! You were blessed with a powerful quirk and yet you refuse to only use a portion of that power and for what? For Honor? For your own self-satisfying need to prove how much better you are, even using part of your quirk?”

Izuku knew it was a trap, but the words left his mouth before he could stop them, his temper getting the best of him.

“You call that bastard’s quirk a bless- “

He was cut off mid-sentence, his mind suddenly full of fog as he stopped dead in his tracks. The other boy smiled wildly, overjoyed that he could finally prove he didn’t need a quirk like Midoryia’s to win. Hitoshi would finally prove he was worthy of being a hero, even if it meant defeating his teacher’s son.

“Thank you Midoryia… Now lose for me.”

Izuku’s body moved on its own, doing as it was directed and turning around to walk back to his spot and walk out of the boundaries. He could distantly hear Kacchan shouting at him, demanding he snap out of it and kick his opponent’s ass. Izuku wanted to snap out of it, but he couldn’t force his body to move the way he wanted it to. Stuck staring ahead, Izuku desperately thought of ways he could free himself to no avail; his quirk not responding to him. He was starting to panic… he couldn’t lose: not like this. And then… about fifteen feet away from him, he saw something glowing. There were many, many forms and faces obscured by what he could only guess, and right beside a solid figure he vaguely registered as All Might… was Nana. She was running towards him and somehow, an instant seemed to stretch for eternity. She brushed her hand against Izuku’s face and he could feel the fog in his mind disappear, replaced with only the sense of warm peace of her presence.

“Fight back Kid… and when you’re ready, focus on the memory of what you’re feeling right now and only then will you find me. We have to talk about something.”

And just like that, she was gone and Izuku had stopped, his mind crystal clear, turning to face the other boy who was in all honesty, extremely surprised at Izuku’s sudden resistance. Not wanting to waste anymore time, Izuku rushed the other boy and… ‘borrowed’ Kacchan’s signature right hook. The other boy was rocked backwards by the force, quickly regaining his footing and retaliating as he spoke, sounding desperate.

“Why won’t you lose? Please, I need you to lose this, please! I can’t lose, I have to get into the hero course!

Izuku growled, simply punching him over and over, the two boys fighting ruthlessly, though everyone noticed Izuku’s lack of quirk usage, murmurs being heard around the stadium.

“Shouldn’t this be an easy match? Midoryia has a far stronger quirk…so why not use it?”

“Does Midoryia have a cap on his quirk? Is that why he’s just punching?”

Over the crowd, Izuku barely registered Aizawa’s voice.

Midoryia isn’t using his quirk because he wants to give his opponent a fighting chance to prove himself. He probably deduced that his opponent didn’t have a physical quirk, so it’s likely the kid decided against using something that would give him an edge for the sake of his opponent, even if it mean potentially throwing the match.”

With a yell of frustration and effort, Izuku grabbed his opponent’s arm and swung the boy overhead and let go, throwing the boy as far has he could. The alarm signaling the end of the match sounded a moment later, Midnight announcing Izuku’s victory. Breathing heavily, Izuku walked over to the General Education student, offering his hand to the boy, who took it after a moment of hesitation. The crowd erupted into applause, Midnight saying something about sportsmanship as Izuku helped the other to his feet, speaking before the boy had time to yell at him or something.

“Hitoshi, you’ve got a great quirk, but if you don’t train your body to be able to fight properly, you won’t get very far, especially competing against those with physical quirks. I’m not saying this to taunt you or anything; I just want you to know for the future, because I think you’d make a great hero.”

The lilac haired boy stared at him as Izuku gave him a smile that reminded him so much of Inko, the teacher he loved and honestly thought of as a mother (though he would actually die if he ever referred to her as such aloud… Inko already had a son, and she certainly didn’t need someone like him in her life). All he could do was stare and stammer out a response, too dumbfounded to do anything else.

“Uh... Th-Thank you Midoryia… For letting me have a chance.”

Izuku only smiled brighter as the two walked away to Recovery Girl, who took care of the scrapes and scratches before sending them on their way. Izuku knew he had some time before his next match, still thinking of Nana and what she had told him. He found an empty room and uselessly closed his eyes and tried to focus on what he remembered. He focused on that feeling of peace and comfort he’d felt both in the dream and on the battlefield… As his breathing slowed, he could sense his surroundings slip away and…he blinked at the sudden lights around him. He was floating in an expansive void filled as far as his eyes could see with what he guessed were stars… God it had been so long since he’d seen the stars. Izuku looked around him in awe before settling his gaze on Nana, who was floating only a few feet away, smiling as brightly as the lights around them.

“Took you long enough Kid.”

Izuku wanted to walk closer, but before he could do anything, Nana herself seemed to rush forwards and enveloped him in a hug. Izuku didn’t realize he was crying until he pulled away and she wiped them away before speaking.

“I didn’t ask you to come here for nothing Kid… I wanted to show you something.”

Izuku nodded and allowed her to lead him further into the starry void before coming to what looked like a stream of silver that poured down into a smaller pool and so on and so on. The sight was beautiful, Izuku thought as Nana lead him towards it before speaking.

“This is amazing, isn’t it?”

Izuku nodded enthusiastically as he looked into it, only to see… The Sports Festival? Was that Sero and Shouto’s fight going on? How was he seeing it? He turned to Nana in confusion, only to see a sad look on her face as she pointed to his friends.

“You and that boy are like rivers in a way; your full potential flows as freely as this river does until it condenses and concentrates into a single pool…”

Nana reached out and gently touched the pool’s surface, causing it to ripple and the image to shift and Izuku saw… He saw Him again… it was the day that Izuku’s life had changed forever, caught in a single moment of time. Nana sighed as the boy’s breath hitched in surprise and fear.

“…But like a river, you both have built up walls and barriers that stop your potential from flowing freely. Your friend with his rejection of his father’s legacy as a hero… And you, with your fear of your father’s villainy. So long as you two keep these barriers in place and refuse your full power, neither of you will reach your full potential. Do you understand what I’m saying Izuku?”

Izuku did understand, though he wished he didn’t. He looked at the image silently, wanting nothing more than to go back in time and stop it from all happening… but one cannot change the past, no matter how much they long to.

Izuku knew what Nana wanted, no…what she needed him to do... but Izuku wasn’t sure he could. Turning to face the woman beside him, who’s eyes and smile shone like a thousand stars.

“W-What if I can’t control it? What if my ‘full potential’ is to be just like him?

Izuku knew it was a stale argument, but his fear was relentless, serving to only fuel the fire itching to be let free. Nana placed her hand on his cheek and he once again felt that peace and clarity before she spoke.

“No one decides who they are born to Kid… but that doesn’t make them your family per se… So long as you live in fear, you will never be what My Toshi sees what you can become. I know it’s hard, but the first step to recovering the life that man stole is to reclaim your power as just that: Yours.”

Looking to the pool once more, the image reverted back to the Sports Festival and Izuku could see the deep sadness in Shouto’s eyes. Izuku gulped as he nodded quietly, looking once again to the lights around them as Nana put her arm around the boy’s shoulders, giving him a comforting anchor. The lights were beginning to dim as the waited together. Izuku didn’t want her to leave him again when he heard her laugh gently.

“I’m always going to be with you Kid, even if you can’t see me. It’s like Toshi said: you are never alone, I promise.”

And with that, Izuku woke up to his usual darkness, sensing his surroundings once again. He knew what he had to do, even if the reality of it tore him apart inside. Getting up from where he had been sitting, he went to sit with his class and listen to the rest of the first-round matches, Shouto and Sero’s match having finished by the time he made his way to his seat, waving the questions of where he had gone off with a dismissive voice. He didn’t actually pay attention to any of the matches until Kacchan and Uraraka’s, not entirely sure of what was happening but he heard people beginning to ‘boo’ at Kacchan’s aggressive tactics, which really ticked him off, yelling above the crowd, causing them to fall silent.

“What kind of ‘Hero’ judges someone’s tactics when they don’t know the person? Want to know why he’s not going easy on her? It’s because if he did, neither of them would truly deserve to ‘win’ the match, having not given their absolute all! Don’t you dare underestimate Uraraka, because Kacchan certainly isn’t, and he’s giving her a match she can either win or lose with pride and dignity, so don’t you dare call yourself a hero when you jump to those kinds of conclusion!”

Izuku was angry, and he knew a vast majority of people, if not everyone, was looking at him. Not that he cared anyways; if they wanted to ignore Uraraka’s obvious strategy by focusing only on Kacchan’s aggressiveness, then he didn’t think they could call themselves a Hero. To his credit, Aizawa did interject with his own harsh words to the nay-sayers, which seemed to pacify them as Izuku felt someone tap him gently before hearing Iida’s concerned voice.

“I understand your viewpoint Midoryia… but what strategy do you see her displaying? Wait no I didn’t mean it like- I meant to say… what strategy does Uraraka have against Bakugou that you know of?”

Izuku said nothing, only pointing upwards to the sky. It had been obvious, hadn’t it? Uraraka keeping low to the ground as Kacchan destroyed it for her as he kept a strict tunnel vision on his opponent. The gasps of surprise told him everyone else had noticed it as well… How could Izuku not noticed the floating bits of ground in the air, sensing the shift in the air to accommodate Uraraka’s quirk. He could barely hear Uraraka on the field, thanking Kacchan for keeping his eyes fixed on her as she released the rubble in a make-shift meteor shower. Even with the brilliant strategy, it sadly wasn’t enough, Kacchan blasting it all to dust as Izuku could faintly smell blood in Kacchan’s direction. Midnight declared Kacchan the winner as Uraraka was taken away to Recovery Girl and Izuku’s match was next as he faced none other than Shouto.

Izuku took a deep breath as he entered the ring, sensing Shouto doing the same as they waited for the go signal. Izuku’s heart felt like it was going to tear itself apart, knowing that every ounce of his being wanted to avoid the asshole’s quirk… but he knew in his heart of hearts that he couldn’t run from reality forever… even still, Izuku knew he had to accept it, if not for himself, but for the sake of his new Friend, who suffered as he once did and continued to still suffer.

Once the match started, Izuku could sense the wall of ice coming at him as he willed the core of it to become what he could control as it stopped and melted as he willed. Taking a breath, he called out to the boy on the other side.

“Shouto, do you really want to be a hero? Because I do… and I’ve realized something about the fire we both hold.”

Another wave of ice came his way and Izuku once again willed it to a harmless puddle.

“What’s that Deku? That fire is nothing but trouble?”

Another Ice wall dodged.

“No… The fire we both have is NOT our fathers! It’s ours Shouto! It’s OUR quirk, not theirs!

And as the next wall of ice came towards him, he didn’t will to control it… rather, Izuku stretched his hand out towards it and ignited the air around him; shooting out white-hot flames that melted the ice instantly, filling the stadium with steam. Izuku could sense the shockwave that was sent through the entire stadium, as he heard Present Mic and Kacchan’s voices break through the silence.

“Since…since when do both of them have fire quirks?”

IT’S ABOUT GODDAMN TIME DEKU! KICK THAT HALF AND HALF BASTARD’S ASS, YOU BLIND BASTARD!

With every wall of ice sent, Izuku countered with his fire, calling out to the other boy over and over, pleading with him to ignore his father for once in his life.

“It’s YOUR quirk Shouto, not His! You decide what is and isn’t a good quirk! You decide what your power is! Not Endeavor, not Aizawa-sensei, not Me, not even All Might! Only YOU!

Izuku knew he was crying, desperately trying to show his friend the light that would take the both of them away from the shadows they were trapped in and, with his heart pounding, Izuku could feel Fire roar to life from his friend’s side of the field, registering Endeavor roaring in triumph off to the side as Shouto spoke so that only Izuku would hear.

“…Thank you Izuku…I want to be a Hero like All Might.

Izuku could feel the heat coming and, in a split-second decision, he summoned every ounce of moisture in the air and shoved it in Shouto’s direction. Steam filled the stadium once more as Izuku didn’t want to waste any more time, his job now done as he reached upwards towards the sky, feeling the condensed form of a cloud and called to down to him as he directed it towards where he knew Shouto was still standing within the ring, causing the boy to be hurled backwards with the force of the water and as the steam cleared, the whole stadium saw Izuku standing triumphantly, fire raging around his hands, heaving as though he would pass out at any moment from the effort he had put forth. Midnight declared Izuku the winner and he once again walked over to his opponent, offering his hand to help him up. Shouto took it, knowing his father was watching with disgust in his eyes. As the two walked off the field towards Recovery Girl once again (though for a general wellness this time), Shouto couldn’t help but smile at his… friend’s insanity.

“I wish you could have seen how pissed the old man looked, Deku.”

Izuku laughed at his words, before turning his head in the other boy’s direction

“I don’t need to; all that’s important is that we rebuke those assholes by being better men than they ever could.”

The two found themselves leaving Recovery Girl in high spirits, despite almost trying to obliterate each other as they went to watch the remainder of the sports festival, before Izuku’s final matches. Izuku being pitted against Tokoyami, which didn’t last but a few moments after summoning his fire, apologizing to Dark Shadow afterwards as Kacchan fought Iida, having to rely on his brain over his aggressiveness this time around, knowing the other boy was too fast to hit normally, though he did win eventually.

And so, it came to Izuku against Kacchan, both promising to do their best but also knowing everything about the other. Their fight was intense and, some would say, damn near brutal… but neither could truly force the other down or out of the ring. Izuku could smell the familiar scent of blood and he knew Kacchan could no doubt feel it too… there was still a minute or two left before the match was deemed ‘over’, and neither boy knew how out of hand Kacchan’s quirk would get if they fought continuously. Kacchan spoke out, dropping his fighting stance.

“Deku… I can feel my arms getting fucked up… Call it a draw?”

 Izuku dropped his fighting stance, smiling at his best friend.

“Draw it is.”

The two walked towards each other calmly before stretching their arms out and shaking firmly, both acknowledging the other’s power.

“You look like shit Deku.”

Izuku laughed and responded with a devilish grin as Midnight declared them dual winners

“And you look lovely, Kacchan.”

As the boys walked to the winner’s stand, Kacchan put Izuku in a headlock, growling with laughter as the other boy laughed with him. Tokoyami and Iida also approached for the 2nd and 3rd place stands as All Might came up to the stand, presenting the medals and giving congratulatory hugs. Arriving at the two winners, he handed the medal to the pair as they both held onto it grinning, knowing they had won together because they had done their best, which was all anyone could have asked for from the two. All Might hugged Kacchan first, whispering something so quietly that Izuku only caught the words ‘proud’, ‘teamwork’ and ‘well done’. When All Might turned to Izuku, he knew his smile couldn’t have been more genuine.

“Well done my boy! I’m so very proud of you.”

Izuku knew All Might wasn’t talking about the sports festival as a whole, but rather his meddling with two of his opponents... Izuku only hoped he’d done enough to give Hitoshi a stepping stone to reach his goal, as well as extend the much needed hand to Shouto as he knew their journeys to escape the looming darkness of their fathers had only just begun... but there was something he knew he had to tell All Might eventually, whispering back to the Hero before he pulled away.

“I need to talk to you about something… It’s about someone I saw recently.”

Chapter Text

It took about two hours to escape the media; reporters once again hounding away to speak to the Festival winners and, of course, All Might. Izuku knew they would try, since they did every year… but it didn’t make it any less annoying. After finally finding a quiet room where no one would disturb the two, Izuku shifted nervously… Izuku didn’t know how he was going to explain Nana or if All Might would think he was crazy; but he knew his mentor had a right to know, and could even provide insight as to who Nana really was and what that starry void was. All Might looked at the boy before him, who was obviously exhausted but forced himself to stay alert on some matter of urgency.

“You wanted to talk about someone, My boy?”

Izuku took a shaky breath, readying himself for the worst outcome of what he was about to say.

“Y-yeah... I should probably preface this by giving a bit of context first: I, uh… I have nightmares regularly. Most of the time, I’m running down an unending hallway from...a villain. I usually either wake up on my own or, if it gets really bad, my mom or Kacchan will wake me up.”

The hero quietly shifted, his heart aching for the boy, wondering to himself if the villain the boy was referring to was the one, he failed to save the boy from, a pang of guilt twisting the man’s core.

“…Well about a week ago, I had a nightmare… but it was different than all the other. It was just after the uh… Monoma incident, when they found me passed out. I was in the hallway again and I was running…but it wasn’t from what I normally ran from… I couldn’t sense it at all. And… the hallway ended All Might… and there was someone there, waiting for me. I saw her and…and she talked to me and she told me her name was Nana. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I know it wasn’t just a dream! Today, during the festival, in the match with that Hitoshi Kid; I saw her again. I was trying to force myself out of his quirk but I couldn’t and…Nana showed up, she was with a bunch of other figures just behind you, and the effects of his quirk washed away. She told me that, when I was ready, I needed to focus on the feeling of her presence so I could find her again…. so in between the matches, I did and… and I saw her again! She showed me Sero and Shouto’s match and we talked… I know it sounds crazy, but… she called you ‘My Toshi’, so I thought you would know something about her…”

All Might was speechless, unsure if he was hearing the boy correctly. Sure, nightmares about traumatic events were common… but there was something about the way Midoryia had referred to “seeing”, and the fact he named Nana specifically had to be impossible… and yet part of him wanted it to be real… and he wished it was he who had seen Nana; his heart panging with grief and longing for the woman he had essentially raised him into the man he was. All Might had to be sure it was his Nana that Midoryia was referring to… he couldn’t afford to get his hopes up over nothing.

“I assume you mean you ‘saw’ this woman the same way I see you now, yes? Can you tell me what she looked like, my boy?”

“She was slender and tall, but she looked pretty well-built and strong; She had… gray eyes? It’s been a while since I’ve really seen anything other than black… She had dark hair that went down to just below her shoulders, and it was kept in a partial bun, with the rest of her hair kinda framing her face… and she had a mole below her right cheek and…her eyes shone so brightly with so much kindness and Love and her smile just made everything disappear like everything would be okay and- All Might, are you okay? Was it something I said?”

All Might didn’t realize he was crying until the boy stopped talking to address him. By all standards of logic and reason, Izuku should not have been able to describe Nana, his Nana in such detail... especially describing her eye and hair color, and yet… he had described her perfectly, down to that stupid little mole. It wasn’t until his young successor had described her that he realized how much he missed her, the scars from the fight he lost her aching with phantom pains as his heart yearned to see her just one more time… But that was something in the past he knew he could never change and right now, Midoryia needed him in the present if they had any chance at carving the boy’s future.

“O-Of course, my boy. I apologize… it’s been quite a while since someone has spoken to me about her… Nana was the wielder of One for All before me and I must admit; I miss my mentor more than anything… She inspired me as a child you know… being quirkless wasn’t easy and somehow, some way… Nana saw whatever potential I had within me, and blessed me with her presence in my life, as well as passing the torch to me… Do you think you could tell me what you talked about, My Boy?”

Izuku nodded eagerly, relieved All Might was not only okay, but he knew Nana and he didn’t think Izuku was crazy.

“Well… the first time I saw her, she just stopped my nightmare. She mentioned something about how you ‘finally listened’ or something… she called you thick headed.”

All Might laughed at the statement because of course Nana called him that.

“…And then today on the field… she told me to fight back and focus so I could find her later… and when I did, she showed me a silver river that had a bunch of pools that it flowed into. In one of them it was Sero and Shouto’s fight, like I said and… I noticed something about Shouto and Nana told me that we were like rivers that had build-up and barriers to stop ourselves from flowing freely, because of our pasts. Nana’s the reason I used my full quirk… I don’t think I would have used it or gotten Shouto to do the same without her…”

All Might nodded quietly, smiling slightly. It was so typical of Nana to meddle in things that didn’t concern her from beyond the grave… now that he thought about it, he vaguely remembered Nana telling him something about leaving a “genetic imprint” on One for All and he wondered if this was some form of that imprint manifesting itself to help the young boy. But All Might also noted how his successor had seemed…apprehensive to include the young Todoroki and in the context given… he had a sinking feeling as he spoke gently to the boy, knowing he was pressing boundaries, but his concern getting the best of him.

“Midoryia… why did Nana say you and Todoroki had ‘build-up’ and ‘barriers’? I understand you may not want to talk about events of your past, which I respect… but if there is something amiss with your friend; then it is my duty as your teacher to investigate the matter.”

He could see the boy shift uncomfortably once more, fidgeting with the hem of his shirt before whispering to All Might.

“I… I don’t know if it’s my place to say, or what I can say without… without him getting caught in some kind of backlash… I think you should talk to Shouto alone and far away from his father. I…I’m worried about him, All Might…”

All Might huffed, not happy with the answer he had been given, but he suspected the subject was a very, very delicate matter for both boys that he did not want to aggravate beyond repair.

“I see… Thank you for your honesty, my boy. I will try to speak to Young Todoroki on the matter… But for now, it is late and you have friends and family to find, yes? Go celebrate my boy! You’ve earned it!”

And as the young boy quietly left to find his friends, All Might took his phone out of his pocket and dialed a number to an old friend before speaking.

“Tsukauchi, It’s me. Listen, I need a favor… Could you look into any files on Endeavor’s Wife? I had a talk with one of my students and they told me the Young Todoroki boy has some sensitive subject matter regarding his ‘rebellion’ about the quirk inherited from his father, but didn’t want to elaborate for fear of unintentionally hurting the boy… Yes, I plan on talking to Young Todoroki as soon as I can, but please… it would mean a lot if you would look into those files for me… I have a bad feeling her ‘unexplained’ breakdown isn’t as in-explainable as her husband lead everyone to believe… Thank you, my friend... we’ll talk later then.”

Chapter Text

It took All Might three hours to get the young Todoroki alone the next day, much to his growing annoyance, as he wanted nothing more than to sit the boy down and see if there was anything to set right. A small part of him hoped he was being paranoid, or that he had misinterpreted the conversation he’d tried to have with Enji… but he couldn’t sit by and idly ignore it if there was a chance it wasn’t misinterpreted, which was why he was sitting across from the young boy who stared at him blankly.

”Is something wrong, All Might-sensei? Am I in trouble for something?”

He hadn’t expected the boy to speak first, but All Might was glad he had, giving the boy his best reassuring smile as he spoke gently.

“Not at all; not at all my boy! I wanted to speak with you privately about your performance at the Sports Festival yesterday… I couldn’t help but notice you refused to use the other half of your quirk until Young Midoryia spoke with you, for lack of a better term.”

The boy remained expressionless, but the sharp intake of breath didn’t escape All Might’s notice as he continued.

“…Furthermore, I happened to have quite the... unsettling conversation with your father beforehand and I felt that there were dots to be connected. I won’t force you to say anything you aren’t comfortable with my boy, but I have to worry about your wellbeing… Is there anything going on at home that… that is unhealthy or hazardous to your safety? Again, I won’t force you to say or do anything my boy… I might just be a silly, worried old man, but I felt it necessary to speak with you first on the matter.”

Shouto felt like he was dying inside as his teacher... his idol... his hero was talking to him about being worried for his safety and wellbeing. He briefly wondered if Izuku had talked to All Might about what he’s shared, but quickly dismissed the idea knowing someone like Izuku would rather pretend to know nothing than lose a friend (kid was going to get himself hurt one of these days, Shouto could feel it... he trusted and wanted to help others far too easily and quickly for it to be even remotely healthy). Shouto wanted nothing more than to tell All Might everything his father had ever done: his ‘training’, his mother’s abuse, the disappearance of his brother Toya… but there was a part of him that resisted.

 Sitting in the room with All Might, the safest person to care for one’s wellbeing on the planet, Shouto had never felt more vulnerable or at risk. If he told him everything, he would no doubt launch an investigation into his father and while he and his remaining siblings would be free… their mother wouldn’t and Shouto knew the asshole wouldn’t hesitate to pull the plug on her medical finances and let them throw her to the streets. He didn’t realize he was crying until All Might had pulled him into a hug, holding tightly onto the young boy who could feel that the key to freedom was within reach as the chains of his father’s control seemed to tighten as he thought of his mother.

“I-I can’t All Might… If I do, if I say anything out of line or… or worse, he’s going to pull her funding and then they’ll have to throw her out and it’ll be all my fault. I want to tell you… god I want to tell you, but I can’t be free without hurting someone I love.

All Might was grateful the boy hadn’t tried to reject his embrace, or else the boy would have seen the absolute rage and vengeance in the hero’s eyes as he listened to the boy’s words. He needed those files on the boy’s mother and, by the look of the broken and crying child in his arms, he needed them fast. Not daring to move an inch, All Might drew the boy closer to himself as he spoke soothingly, swearing to himself that he would not stop or rest until Enji Todoroki faced justice for whatever he’d done to the boy before him, vowing to be there for him and help pick up the pieces of the life that had been shattered.

“My boy, you know that I would never, ever let anything bad happen to someone in need. I understand if you will need your time, but I swear to you now, my dear boy: I will take care of you and your family and protect you as my own. If I am correct, as I fear I am by your reaction… then there will be no corner of the globe that man can run to or hide in that I will not find him and bring him to answer for whatever actions he may have taken. You can, as you put it, be free without hurting those you love, my boy… because I am here for you, I swear it.

The boy cried harder, not caring anymore as the weight of everything he had lived through came crashing down on his as he sat in the embrace of the very man his father had taken his mother to create something strong enough to usurp. The man his father hated and resented was, in that moment, the Hero he and his siblings had desperately needed… someone who wouldn’t label them as simply “snotty brats” who “acted out for attention”. Shouto took a shaky breath as he pulled away to look All Might in the eyes, more determined than ever to bring his father down and finally save his family. Shouto was ready to cast away the dark, suffocating shadow of his father and finally be worthy of becoming a true Hero… just like All Might and Izuku; the two shining beacons of light that had come into his life so suddenly and showed him that there was a way out and a way to be free.

“Tell me, All Might-sensei… do you know what quirk marriages are...?”

And so, over the course of the next two hours, Shouto told All Might everything he knew about his father and his shady behavior. He told him about his mother and how he feared for her safety; he told him about the eldest brother he barely remembered and how he had never returned home one day, leaving the rest of the Todoroki children to bear the brunt of their father’s anger… and he told him about the ‘training’, down to the very last bone that had been broken and what ‘task’ he hadn’t completed (some of them being menial accidents, while others had literally come out of nowhere.) With every word, All Might felt the pit of where his stomach should have been twist tighter and tighter, reaffirming the vow to protect and guard the boy with his all. He didn’t want to send the boy home, but eventually relented when Shouto had listed all the reasons why he had to go home and appease his father, as well as the consequences of failing to do so.

“Besides, if I go home, I can talk to my siblings when the old man isn’t there… they could tell you more about Toya and what he was like before I was born… If anyone wants to build a case, we’re going to need a lot of evidence to pile up.”

All Might knew the boy’s reasoning was sound, but that didn’t mean he had to like it, compromising to give the boy his number, should anything get out of hand and his services would be needed. Seeing to it that the boy left safely, All Might reached for his phone and dialed his friend.

“Tsukauchi, It’s me again. I just finished talking to Young Shouto… Tsukauchi, we need to hurry and build a case fast… I have a lot to tell you and time is of the essence. I’m coming by the station after work… Yes, in my Civilian form, I don’t want the press to find anything about this until we’re ready and the Todoroki children are safely away from their father.”

Chapter Text

Shouto didn’t know how his siblings would react to what All Might had promised, but as he headed back to his family that there were some demons he needed to confront if he wanted to be free. Walking into the building, Shouto was met face to face by his father, noting he was home only two minutes before his 6:30 curfew. The man was in his hero costume and was glaring at Shouto with a distasteful sneer as he spoke gruffly.

“I’ve been called to Hosu on business concerning that “hero killer”. I will be gone for a week at most; do not think you can half-ass your training while i’m gone. Once i return, your training will increase tenfold, now that your petty ‘rebellion’ is over.”

Not bothering to wait for a response, the man pushed past Shouto and headed towards the door, leaving Shouto standing alone in the entranceway. He knew the Hero Killer was a serious deal, but part of him couldn’t believe his luck, knowing the old man would likely stay in Hosu until the criminal was apprehended or dead...not that the man cared for the safety of the other heros, or wanted justice for the victims or anything. Shouto knew he wanted the case to hold above All Might’s head as a victory he had orchestrated and achieved where the top hero had failed to act. Even so, it gave Shouto the space and freedom to seek his sister out and talk to her.

Shouto loved his family, in the ‘avoiding them when the bastard was in the building to avoid having anything pinned on them’ kind of way sure...but it was his way. Currently, the only sibling in the house was his sister Fuyumi; his older brother Natsuo being away at the American College he had insisted on attending (no doubt an attempt to get as far away from their old man as possible… and Shouto didn’t blame him one bit.) and the brother he never knew having disappeared during his childhood. He found Fuyumi in the study, grading papers quietly as she drank her tea, obviously relaxed since there was no fire-demon of a father stomping around. Noticing her brother’s presence, Fuyumi looked up from her papers and smiled gently before speaking softly, as if she was scared their father was still in the room.

“Welcome back, Shouto! Since father won’t be here for a few days, I was wondering if you wanted some takeout for dinner? Or I could make something, if you’d prefer that?”

Fuyumi’s smile was gentle and warm, melting away any doubt or fear Shouto had in that moment and he couldn’t help but give a small smile at her gesture towards the food, knowing something as simple as takeout was a rare treat for Shouto. Fuyumi noticed there was an unusual look in her brother’s eyes; they had not become dismissively relaxed as they tended to whenever their father was away, but rather… they held a burning fire of determination in them that she had never seen before and she wondered if something had happened during the Sports Festival to cause this reaction as her brother walked closer and sat down next to her, talking quietly.

“Fuyumi, do you remember the promise everyone made when… when Toya disappeared? How we all said we’d get out of here, no matter what?”

The eldest Todoroki looked at her baby brother with a mixture of surprise and concern… Shouto had only been a young child when they made that foolish promise to themselves. In a way, they all had set their own goals to achieve that future for themselves; Natsuo had gone to a college where he would be far, far away from their father, putting a portion of whatever money their father had sent over for his classes into a different bank account, while Fuyumi herself worked and saved as much as the meager job would pay (their father first vetting the position as mundane enough to keep her pacified, but not pay enough for her to ever challenge his financial hold over all of them) all in an attempt to try and break free… So why would Shouto bring it up now…? The boy continued after seeing her confusion.

“I know you and Natsuo have been saving up for ages to try and get us out of here… but I talked with… someone at school, and now there’s someone who wants to help us, and has the money to take on all of his threats! Fuyumi…. we can finally be free!

It had been years since Fuyumi had seen her brother look and sound so excited and happy… actually, she didn’t think she’d ever seen her brother like this. There was part of her that wanted to be as excited as her brother, to truly believe there was someone who wouldn’t laugh them off and would help them… but there was also the part of her that had seen their father’s wrath, and never wanted to have to see it again. Fuyumi wanted to be as free as her brother did, but there was a nagging voice in the back of her head that wouldn’t go away as it sounded every single danger alarm in her brain before she spoke quietly, bringing her brother closer to her so they were whispering together.

“Who did you tell Shouto? Did you bring it up? Does father know them? Shouto how do you know they could help? What if you’re wrong? What if father finds out?”

Shouto gently placed his hand on her shoulder, as he reassuringly smiled with every ounce of warmth and certainty he contained.

“No, I didn’t bring it up… it was All Might who asked. He said the old bastard had said something to him that sounded very concerning and he connected it with why I was only using half of my full power. All Might can help us, Fuyumi… I know he can… and if the flaming garbage bag tries to pull mom’s medical funding… he’d help us. He promised to help… we just have to do what we can. I know he’s the reason we’re here, the whole rivalry thing and all… but this is our chance and all we have to do is give him everything we have; all the scars, secret hospital visits, all the money shifting he did to buy mom, all of it! We were already collecting it for when we had the money ourselves… but we can do it now with their help… and since he’s going to be gone, it’s the perfect time! Fuyumi… I really think this is it.”

There was silence as the siblings sat together in that study; one eagerly ready to do anything it took to save his family, while the other was processing everything and silently crying as the realization that maybe, just maybe… they had a chance for freedom if All Might got involved. The Eldest looked to the youngest and nodded quietly as she brought him into a silent hug, knowing the tears were falling rapidly. It would take time, they both knew… but the scars their father gave them all would heal and with everything they had been silently collecting over the years, they would be free sooner than they could ever have dreamed.

In the following days of their father’s absence, the Todoroki household had never felt more alive; the two residents buzzing about with either chores, classwork or gathering their hidden stashes of information Endeavor had long forgotten to burn and bury. Shouto would take the information they gathered to school, where he would hand it over to someone named as Yagi Toshinori, whom All Might had told him was ‘a very reliable and trusted individual’ (Shouto had seen the man around campus from time to time, always wondering who he was and why he was on campus). The man in question was horrified at all the information the Todoroki children had been collecting on their father, wanting to have done something age ago, but lacking the financial ability to do so. At the end of the week, Tsukauchi had told the two Todoroki children that they had more than enough to build their case, as well as corroborating evidence he had managed to dig up… Endeavor having a nasty habit of burying things he didn’t like in money that had a paper and digital trail long enough to wrap around the entirety of Jupiter twice.

All Might knew Endeavor would not hand his youngest over willingly, especially if All Might himself was present, even with a court order. They frantically tried to find a place where the two Todorokis could stay safely; debating hotels and houses until one Inko Midoryia had overheard the heated argument, All Might breaking down and telling her everything he and Tsukauchi had been up to (Inko herself had needed a moment alone after hearing everything, as she wanted nothing more than to hunt the Number Two hero down and suffer the wrath of an angry mother), come into the room and fearlessly whack both the Detective and Hero with a newspaper before speaking assertively.

“Both of you are going about it all wrong. They aren’t witnesses that need to be under lock and key for crying out loud; they’re scared children who need a gentle environment. Especially after someone like that ‘raising’ them… if you can call it that! Izuku and I will be more than willing to look after those two.”

Neither man wanted to argue with her, simply because it was known across all of U.A that you did not mess with Inko Midoryia, with her own spunky streak, Hero Course Son, (Practically adopted) Other Son and about 100% of the U.A staff backing her corner. Everything was settled and Tsukauchi had a lot of work to do, but everyone knew it would be worth it as the students went about their days and Shouto Todoroki smiled more than he ever had in his entire life.

Soon, they would be free.

Chapter Text

“This is insanity. I demand you give me the boy this instant or so help me, I will tear U. A’s reputation apart and set the entire campus ablaze!”

Nezdu had hypothesized Endeavor would react in his current manor to the news he no longer had custody of his children; yelling, threatening and burning everything within a few feet of him, causing the automated fire-extinguishing protocol Nezdu had installed to activate and soak through all the paperwork on the principal’s desk. Sighing sadly, Nezdu explained for the twentieth time that he himself was not responsible for the fate of his children and that U.A was in no way responsible for the investigation and was cooperating with the investigators however they asked for on the grounds of the safety for the student in question… though it was clear the ‘Hero’ couldn’t care less, once again demanding to have “what is rightfully his” returned to his possession. As the man yelled angrily, he failed to notice two people enter the office looking very determined and angry, which did not escape the notice of the other occupants in the room as the man continued to yell.

“…I have spent the past fifteen years giving everything required of me for my investment and your pathetic ‘investigation’ cannot and will NOT take that boy from me now! As a superior hero, I demand you take me to whatever Insignificant Ant you’ve hidden the boy with so I can fetch him.”

All those in the room, save the screaming man himself, felt themselves stiffen at what his words insinuated. Nezdu sadly thought to himself that Endeavor was no better, if not worse, than the humans who had experimented on him; Tsukauchi could feel part of himself die inside at those words, knowing he meant every word and moved to concele the obvious recorder he had brought with him and had announced the presence of, sadly noting it would be crucial to their case and evidence; Midnight, who had come to Nezdu’s office to drop off some paperwork, felt her blood begin to boil in a way very different than she was used to… she was only partially aware of what the conversation was about, but she wanted to take on the man herself. As she reached for her weapon, readying herself to scold and even fight the man, she saw a flicker of movement that sent shockwaves through the entire room.

Inko Midoryia, who had initially come to drop off paperwork as her Coworker was, stepped towards the towering Flame user with nothing but cold-blooded murder in her eyes and before anyone could stop the woman, fearing for her safety, there was a resounding SMACK as the textbook she had been holding made impact with the back of Endeavor’s head. The man turned quickly and angrily to see who had dared to assault him in such a manor, not expecting the smaller woman before him to start talking (in what Nezdu called her “Mother Voice… it was a tone of voice that terrified him, having been on the receiving end at least twice).

“How. Dare. You. How dare you refer to your son as if he is nothing more than an expendable tool for you to ‘invest’ in and use as you see fit! That boy is a child and anyone who treats him as anything other than that while raising him shouldn’t raise him at all!”

Endeavor didn’t know who this woman was, looking as plain as the sky to him, but there was something in her voice that seemed to reach deep within him and bring forth an emotion he sought to squash out years ago: Pure, unaltered terror. He was terrified of this woman and that fear caused his fire to die down until it was simply smoldering about him…. and she wasn’t done yet; moving closer and closer to the man before her, Inko reached out and grabbed the front of the man’s outfit as he tried in vain to back away from her

“Now you listen to me, Enji Todoroki: Those children are going to stay wherever the hell Detective Tsukauchi’s investigation says they will stay, and you are going to leave them alone and let them be treated and loved as the children they are, or so help me not even All Might will be able to save your sorry ass. Do you understand me?

Endeavor, found himself nodding franticly and swearing up and down he would back away from the investigation as he stumbled in fear as the woman let go of his shirt and took a step back from him; her emerald green eyes shining with more malice than he would have ever thought possible before she spoke again as she set whatever she had originally come to drop off down on Nezdu’s desk.

“I do hope you keep your word, Endeavor… As a fellow parent, I’m sure you understand a mother’s need to provide a nurturing and loving environment for a child and it certainly wouldn’t be very…fortunate if it was discovered you were trying to return Shouto and his sister to an environment without those essential elements.”

And with that, Inko Midoryia turned heel and left the room with two uneasy colleges, one detective who had just so happened to doze off and miss everything and one Pro-Hero fearing for his life at the hands on a small, angry woman who’s identify he did not know. There were several moments after Inko had left that went by in complete and utter silence before Nezdu recovered his composure and plastered one of his infamous knowing smiles across his face as he spoke far calmer than he felt, after witnessing Inko’s Mother Mode from the outside.

“I do believe it is time you took your leave Endeavor; classes are still very much in session and I do not think our Inko would be very pleased to see you sulking around campus any longer. Good Day!”

And as the disgruntled hero left, the remaining adults in the room couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of absolute relief. The fearful look on Endeavor’s face did not go unnoticed by the students of UA; gossiping speculation of what Nezdu might have said to garner such reaction from the Number Two Hero spread like a wildfire as two hero course students concluded that Nezdu was not the source of the man’s fear, having noticed a very angry and satisfied Inko Midoryia leaving only moments beforehand. Both boys decided to get the woman some chocolate as a peace offering for her return home that night, as the two Todoroki Children looked on in awe and shock that their father had been terrified of Ms. Inko and silently knew they would be alright, so long as they never got on her bad side.

Chapter Text

“Is there something wrong, Ms. Inko? Is this about that fight? I swear it wasn’t my fault, or my quirk… I just bumped into them and I didn’t mean for the tray to fall on the ground...”

Hitoshi was nervously shifting his weight from foot to foot, having stayed behind once school had ended that day after the woman had quietly pulled him aside and asked him to do so. The rational part of him knew that he had done nothing wrong whatsoever, but the tiny nagging voice in the back of his head was yelling at him and making him feel as though he was about to get expelled for unknown reasons. However, that voice died away as Inko turned to the boy and smiled the way she always did.

“No, nothing’s wrong at all, Hitoshi and it’s none of that, I promise. I have something very exciting to tell you, in fact.”

Hitoshi gave a questioning glance as something hopeful spoke in the back of his mind. It can’t be that, though… he had hardly done anything noteworthy in the sports festival; there was no way she was going to say what he was hoping she was...

“Hitoshi, because you were the only student from a department other than the Hero’s Course to make it to the third leg of the Festival; Nezdu has approved of your transfer from General Education to the Hero’s course!”

Inko couldn’t help herself as her excitement got the better of her as she ran towards the boy and enveloped him in a giant, feeling the same amount of pride for her student now as she had when Izuku had gotten his letter of acceptance. She knew how much it meant to him to transfer, and how rare it was that the transfer was actually approved. Hitoshi could only hug back, at a loss for words and was having trouble processing the news; his mind telling him it was impossible for someone with his quirk to be in the Hero Course, while his heart knew it had to be true, that he could be a hero.

“I don’t… I’m not… I can’t… how?”

He silently swore at himself for tripping over his words, but Inko only smiled more as the two maneuvered to sit in two desks before Inko continued talking.

“From what I gathered, there was a lot of agencies surprised and upset you weren’t in the hero course and called Nezdu about it, as well as some…uh, input from your favorite teacher.”

“Mic-sensei?”

His tone was sarcastic and joking, to which the two erupted into uproarious laughter at thought before sitting in silence for a few moments. Inko’s eyes shone with love and pride as the boy in front of her was still recovering from his laughter, completely and utterly proud of the man he was turning into. He was open, smiling and laughing and didn’t have a care in the world, just as any child should, in Inko’s opinion.

“When you’re ready, we need to meet your new homeroom teacher and from then on, you’ll be out of my hands and on your way… Hitoshi, I’m so proud of you and I want you to know that. As long as you do your best and put your heart into it, I know you will do anything you want.”

The boy smiled and nodded, unsure of what his future held, but knowing there was someone watching his back as the two got up and walked out the classroom door. Inko lead him through the halls in comforting silence until they reached the room that read ‘1-A’, where Aizawa was waiting for them. Looking the boy up and down, Aizawa knew he had his work cut out for him, if he had any hope of getting this kid on par with his classmates so Nezdu would permanently alter the practical exam to be rid of its terrible Physical Quirk bias. The kid had a decent quirk and was probably on the average side of human strength… Aizawa could feel the headache already as he spoke gruffly.

“Not gonna say this twice kid: either you do everything I say or you can kiss U.A goodbye: No second chances, no slacking off and no Inko to hold your hand. You either train hard and catch up or get left behind for good, got it?”

The kid nodded furiously, determination shining in his eyes, which pleasantly surprised Aizawa: most brats outside of the ones he saw potential in would have glared or scoffed at his words, thinking their quirks would be enough to carry them into being a hero. Nodding and fiery eyes meant there was passion, and passion meant there was potential…which meant the kid might have a chance to stand as an equal among his soon-to-be classmates.

“Good. Tomorrow, you come here for class; You’ve got a hell of a workload to catch up on. Internship offers are coming to the class then and while you do have a couple of offers lined up for you, you’re going to be stuck with Me for the entire thing and you’re going to catch up with everyone else, understood?”

Again, another nod of affirmation from the boy and Aizawa felt a sense of satisfaction settle within him: this was going to be fun, as it had grown stale to constantly train Midoryia, who had grown up under Aizawa’s eye and thusly allowed the man to know everything about him… but this kid was a fresh face that was ready and willing to let the teacher pummel every lesson he would need into him. It wouldn’t be easy, sure… but since when did Eraserhead want things to be easy for his students?

“Good. Go home and get some rest, you’re going to need it.”

And with that, the Erasure hero turned heel and left quickly, leaving the two alone in the hallway… until a loud, booming voice rang out from down the hallway and caused both of them to jump.

“I AM COMING DOWN THE HALLWAY TO SPEAK TO MY COWORKER!”

Letting out a little laugh, Inko turned to face the Number One hero who, as proclaimed, was making his way down the hallway towards them with a smile on his face, as always.

“Hello All Might. I’m afraid you just missed Aizawa… but while you’re here, may I introduce your new student?”

The hero laughed and nodded, knowing Aizawa was probably running off either to prepare something for the class or find an enclosed space to fall asleep in.

“All Might, this is Hitoshi Shinso: he was just transferred from my general education’s class. He starts with Aizawa tomorrow… could you be a dear and make sure Katsuki doesn’t try to murder him in the middle of class for whatever reason that boy seems to find?”

Chapter Text

Hitoshi was beyond nervous; he wasn’t sure if his new classmates would recognize him, or how they’d react to seeing him as he quietly waited for them to filter in… he might have woken up to do his chores as quickly as he could before giving the foster house he was staying in a curt good-bye as he left them still waking up, but that was beside the point. Aizawa-sensei was on the ground in a sleeping bag, which would have amused Hitoshi if it wasn’t for the fact the man was going to train him and he really didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot. The door creaked open and Hitoshi watched a small gaggle of students enter, stopping dead in their tracks as they laid eyes on him, the Bakugou kid the first to speak.

“What the hell are you doing here, Extra?”

Hitoshi only smiled as he spoke nonchalantly, deciding to mask his excitement and his satisfaction of being where he sat.

“I told you this spot was mine, didn’t I?”

The explosive boy yelled some obstinacy as the others in his group went to their desks, only giving small, apologetic smiles… well, all of them but Inko’s kid, who was full on cackling at the other boy, which seemed to only infuriate him more before sitting down angrily smoldering as the green haired boy turned to face Hitoshi and speak cheerfully.

“Don’t mind Kacchan, Shinso! He talks big, but he’s really nice once you get to know him! Welcome to the Hero Course or as I like to call it: Actually, Literal Hell! Unless Aizawa hates you or doesn’t see anything good in you, there’s no escape!”

As soon as the boy spoke, the others began laughing good naturedly as they began to speak up, facing their new classmate with welcoming smiles.

“Yeah, Shinso! Don’t worry about Bakugou! As long as Deku’s here, he’s harmless!”

“While I expected better from you Midoryia, I must extend my welcome as well, Shinso! As Class 1-A’s President, I formally welcome you to the hero course!”

“FUCK OFF ROUND CHEEKS, I CAN KICK ANYONE’S ASS IF I WANT TO AND DEKU CAN’T STOP ME!

“…. hey…”

“If you four say anything else before class starts, I will shred all of your internship papers, feed them to my cat, and force you to intern for Nezdu.”

Three of the students in the room jumped slightly and promptly shut their mouths, unsure if the threat was hollow or not. Over the course of the next few minutes, all of the 1-A students filed into the room, expressed their surprise at the Lilac haired boy and were promptly quieted by the man in the sleeping bag. Hitoshi knew a vast majority of the class was eyeing him wearily and that he would eventually have to explain himself, feeling like this was the first day of school all over again, only most of the kids hated him for multiple reasons. As soon as the last person sat in their seat, Aizawa stood from his sleeping bag and sighed before facing the class before him.

“Firstly, that’s Hitoshi Shinso, your new classmate. So, deal with it and stop asking about him. Secondly, the internship offers are in and I’ll be handing them out. Pick whichever one you want to go to, talk amongst yourselves if you want, I don’t care as long as you don’t bug me and get your choices by the end of the day. Next period’s English lesion is also canceled, so you brats are staying here and picking out your hero names, so don’t be stupid about it. Shinso, since it’s your first day, you don’t have to worry about that crap and no one else is allowed to shit on him for it, got it?”

The class responded in unison, with Hitoshi following slightly late and a lot quieter than everyone else had, which caused him only more embarrassment. He felt someone tap his shoulder as Aizawa went about the room with stacks of paper with varying thickness to hand to the students. The person who tapped him had long green hair and a sort of frog-like appearance as the girl gave a kind smile to him.

“Don’t worry about everyone else, Shinso-chan, Ribbit. Everyone’s very nice, except Bakugou when Midoryia isn’t around, but he’s pretty manageable if you’re not too mean to Midoryia, Ribbit. I’m Tsuyu Asui, but you can call me Tsu.”

The girl’s words caused more mindless shouting from the explosion boy, but Hitoshi was grateful for them, blunt as they came. He smiled back at her warmly, wondering if Inko had visited the students before hand and told them to not be too harsh on him… it wouldn’t surprised him if she had… But the attention on him soon disappeared as the students were given the all clear to look through their internship offers, crying out in excitement as they read.

“No way, Gunhead? Me?”

“Fourth Kind?? That dude is so manly!

“What kind of bullshit is this?? Best Jeanist my fucking ass! Deku, give me those you little shit! I’ll read ‘em out.”

“Selkie, the Sea Rescue Hero? It makes sense, Ribbit.

“It appears there are many agencies to choose from, even smaller named ones, such as this one in Hosu…”

“DEKU WHAT THE FUCK. WHY THE FUCK IS ENDEAVOR ONE OF YOURS, YOU BASTARD?!”

“Endeavor???? Kacchan, don’t play those kinds of tricks on something so important!”

“…. It appears I also have an offer from my father…”

“WHAT THE FUCK HALF-AND-HALF? WHAT KIND OF GAME IS YOUR BASTARD FATHER PLAYING AT HERE??

The class grew quiet, unsure of why Bakugou was yelling so angrily and what kind of deed the Number Two hero had done to earn such a reaction. The class was filled with silent tension until Izuku spoke up, his voice resigned and certain.

“Kacchan, give me his paperwork.”

As soon as the other boy had, Izuku set the offer ablaze, not caring for the cries of indignation and shock throughout the class, Kaminari speaking out first, uncertain where the conversation would lead the class.

“Dude… Endeavor is the Second-Best Hero in the country… why would you do that?”

Izuku turned to the boy with his unseeing eyes and he spoke, wanting his point to come across very, very clearly.

“Second best to some, but absolute trash to everyone else. I don’t want to get sick breathing his toxic ass air.”

1-A didn’t know what to do with that information, or the fact Shouto Todoroki actually burst out laughing as the other boy grinned devilishly. Without a second thought and not a care in the world, Shouto repeated the action as his friend had done, causing even more uproar within the classroom.

Eventually, the class settled as Midnight entered the room with a stack of eighteen whiteboards, explaining that Shinso didn’t need to worry about his name just yet and Midoryia could just vocalize his choice in front of the class or let his friend write it for him to present.

Each of the students presented their names (some more times than others… Aoyama and Kacchan both taking ten minutes to come up with a decent name respectively…) until it was down to Izuku and, surprising to everyone… Iida.

Izuku took a deep breath and raised his hand, signaling he was ready as he took the board Kacchan had written on to the front and presented its contents. The class held quizzical looks, not that Izuku could be able to tell, as Tokoyami spoke out quietly.

“Are you certain of this, Midoryia? Is that not the name Bakugou uses to tease you with?”

Izuku could feel himself blushing as he responded bashfully (In Midnight’s opinion anyways... she was slightly sad she hadn’t put a form in for the boy; he would have been so cute and serious…)

“Well, it’s a g-good kind of teasing… It’s like a constant rock in my life. No matter how bad it gets, no matter who’s in my way... I’m always going to be Deku and Kacchan will always be Kacchan. It’s us against the world, in a way… and I want my name to reflect that, so I can be a rock to others... Never wavering, never faltering… to always be a constant thing they can rely on and- Are you guys okay?? Why are people crying?? Did I say something wrong??”

There was an explosion as Bakugou aggressively stood up and launched himself across the classroom at the other boy, both toppling to the ground as the explosive boy held fast onto his friend, slightly unsure if this was still the same boy he had failed to protect in that damn aquarium… the real reason he wanted to be the best: to be a hero who would never fail his friend like that again and beat the bastards who did what had been done to Deku, so they never did it again.

“K-Kacchan... Kacchan, we need to let Iida have his turn! You have to get up and off of me!”

Growling, Kacchan relented and dragged the other off back to their seats, shooting daggers at anyone who smiled at the display of affection, leaving Iida to decide his name. Walking to the front, Iida presented his name, not meeting his fellow classmates’ eyes as the memories of his brother flooded him.

‘Tenya… they’re saying I’m going to lose my mobility. I physically can’t continue my hero work… I know your class has internships coming up, so could you please, please take on Ingenium? For me, Tenya…’

He remembered crying, although it was highly unbecoming of him to do so.

‘That’s your name Tensei! I can’t bear your name, it wouldn’t be right!’

“Iida, you are aware that is Your name, yes? I understand Todoroki’s wish to distance himself… but you surprise me.”

Midnight meant well, Iida knew that… but part of him wanted to lash out at her and yell for insulting his wishes, though the woman had done nothing of the sort.

“I understand, Midnight-sensei… Truthfully, my brother wishes for me to take his name, but I don’t feel as if I am worthy enough for it. So, until I am ready… I will remain nameless.”

To his relief, the room around him nodded respectfully as he returned to his seat quietly to look over the papers once more and think… If the pattern continued as it had, then the Hero Killer would still be in Hosu, but could possibly move on once the internship actually started… He needed to think, but that would have to wait until lunch, as the class once again erupted into chaos when the R-Rated hero left smiling.

“…. Izuku, why did your dad send an internship offer to me…?”

“Shouto, for the last time; I am not related, biologically or adoption wise, to All Might!

“SHUT UP ICYHOT!”

….

“DEKU WHAT THE FUCK, ALL MIGHT GAVE YOU ONE TO!?!? I’M GOING TO BEAT YOUR ASS, YOU BLIND BASTARD!”

Chapter Text

“Do you have all your clothes? Your Hero costumes? Hairbrush? Toothbrush and toothpaste? Clean underwear?”

Izuku’s face was livid at his mother’s final question, sensing that both of the Todoroki siblings had just entered the living room only to slowly back away from the conversation before them. Izuku, knowing his face was beet red with embarrassment responded a bit shriller than he meant to have.

Mom we’re fine! Shouto and I have everything packed, I promise!”

As soon as he finished speaking, the voice of the younger Todoroki spoke out from the guest room he had been keeping his things in.

“Actually, I totally and completely forgot about the underwear thing. Thanks Auntie Inko!”

The sudden laugher coming from Fuyumi’s direction told Izuku his mother had one of her signature smirks of triumph on her face as he sighed and raised his hands in defeat, letting his mother pass to inspect the contents of his suitcase for the week-long internship. After rummaging around and rearranging the contents for about five minutes and Inko was certain she was satisfied with how everything was stored and that everything was, in fact, where it was supposed to be. Standing as straight as she could, Inko smiled and wrapped her son in a tight hug, knowing she couldn’t hide any of the tears of pride threatening to make an appearance.

Distancing herself, Inko turned and repeated the action on the reappeared Shouto, who not only allowed her to do so, but returned the hug with full force, a small smile on his face.

The moment was broken by a loud knock on the door and a muffled, but still very recognizable, voice.

“I AM HERE TO COLLECT YOUNG MIDORYIA AND TODOROKI!”

Inko moved to the kitchen area, calling over her shoulder to the man outside.

“Door’s Open, All Might!”

The sound of the door opening and closing was soon followed by the sound of shuffling as All Might carefully made his way down the small hallway to where the Midoryia inhabitants resided. Upon seeing the man, Fuyumi beamed happily from the table where she and Inko had been previously grading papers, tests and worksheets. All Might was pleasantly surprised at the silent interaction as he thought back to the stuttering, anxious and downtrodden young woman he had met only a short time ago as he found himself thinking that Inko really did have a knack for bringing out the best side of others around her. Inko turned to everyone smiling as she held plates full of sandwiches and snacks, placing them on the table as she spoke, making sure the papers would be safe from any food mishaps.

“The boys are all set to go All Might! I made everyone lunch, if you’re hungry!”

The two boys dug into the food happily as the other woman in the room quietly made a separate severing for herself, nibbling thoughtfully as All Might looked on before smiling awkwardly.

“I thank your hospitality, my dear Inko, but I’m afraid I’m not hungry at the moment.”

He knew Inko caught his lie the moment it left his mouth as she gave him the same look Nana would have given him for saying something obviously stupid.

“Is that so? Or are declining because of your dietary… requirements?”

The man nodded in defeat and shame… Inko really did remind him of Nana in almost every way…

“Here, I made some sandwiches that align with your diet, per Recovery Girl’s instructions. Sit down and eat before you boys run off into only who knows what.”

Doing as he was told, All Might sat and quietly ate the food Inko set before him, recognizing them from whenever Recovery Girl would catch him in a lie and force him to eat. Of course, the exchange did not go unnoticed by Shouto, who simply filed the information away for later. Deny it as Izuku might; there was no denying All Might held a soft spot for the Midoryias… while Izuku’s biological father had long since been in prison, Shouto knew the person who took the man’s place was right in front of them, his eyes shining with pride and admiration whenever he looked at Izuku.

Once the group finished eating a majority of the food, Fuyumi still nibbling away at her serving quietly, the Hero and heroes-to-be stood to leave, only to have Inko shove more food into All Might’s empty hands.

“Extra servings I made for the week, although it will probably last you into next week. I know you boys have Hero stuff to do during this internship, but don’t you dare miss any of your meals, and if All Might tries to not eat, I want you two to either force it into his hands to eat and guilt him, or call me and I’ll do it. All Three of you need to, make sure you’ve got clean underwear and brush your teeth daily! Stay safe you three!”

All Might’s surprised face made Shouto laugh as the hero nodded dumbfoundedly and took the food without question. Once they left the building, All Might lead the two boys to a car waiting outside for the three of them.

“Come along, my boys! We’re going to campus first, formalities and all, then we’re on our way to my Agency! We can train and talk in peace there, without the media’s interference…”

While All Might was speaking, Izuku had taken hold of Shouto’s arm to give himself something solid to ground himself to, silently cursing the fact he was getting motion sick from a car…again. Shouto noticed and let his friend hold onto him as he gave All Might a questioning stare.

“The way you say ‘interference’ indicates you dislike the media crowding you All Might. Why is that, if I may ask?”

For a moment, in the solitude of that car, All Might’s smile faltered as he sighed and spoke with a deep sadness Shouto was not expecting.

“As a hero, I am expected to speak to the media… as the Number One, it is required of me, my boy. Truthfully, I find it difficult to hold a smile to the cameras when they bring about past ‘victories’… for every battle fought and won, there is one that is lost. Every time I see a camera, I am reminded of my failures, albeit they are far in the past and buried by time to most others… I remember them all; those I failed to save, those I couldn’t beat as a young man, the battles I never stopped from happening… The media only focuses on my victories and my fame; ignoring my humanity and wellbeing as much as they disregarded yours at the beginning of the year. I do not dislike the media itself, nor the need of others to connect with those protecting them… but it does get to be a bit much over time, My boy… I’m afraid the connection to me will set a mark apart for the two of you in the media’s eyes… but now is not the time for such negatives; we have formalities and then there is work to be done, yes?”

Shouto nodded quietly, digesting the information All Might had trusted the two of them with. He was always so confident and yet… he was no more an untouchable man than Shouto himself. As the three exited the vehicle and entered campus, he couldn’t help but think about the stark contrast between All Might and his father: One smiling and hiding a great sadness for the sake of everyone around him, the other growling and hiding behind his flames and brute strength to mask the great darkness in his heart for his own wellbeing. He still thought All Might was more or less Izuku’s unofficial Dad… but part of him wished he was in the same boat as Izuku: to be so unconditionally loved by the man he looked up to and be looked at with pride, rather than disgust or disappointment. As they walked and All Might completed the formalities and paperwork, Shouto shook his head as if to clear it, knowing he had been looked at with pride and unconditional love all throughout his time at the Midoryia household. Coming to his senses, Shouto listened to the snippets of conversation around them as a handful of students were meeting and being picked up by those from their Internships.

“Froppy, right? Good name, kid! I’m Sirius, one of Selkie’s sidekicks! Hey, don’t worry about this whole thing kid; you’re gonna love it on the ship!”

“FUCK YOU ASSHOLE! I CAN CLEAN UP MY APPEARANCE IF I DAMN WELL WANTED TO! DEKU, GET ME OUT OF THIS SHIT!”

“Young Bakugou, I understand your colorful nature, but please refrain from yelling at the sidekick sent to escort you to Best Jeanist… and please don’t blow up the Number Four hero…”

“NOT YOU TOO! FUCK OFF ALL MIGHT”

“K-Kacchan, please listen to A-All Might!”

“Uravity, yes? Come along! There’s much to do!”

“Okay, I’m totally ready now sir! See you dudes in a week! Later Bakubro!”

“SHUT THE FUCK UP, SHITTY HAIR!”

Shouto could tell the next week would be interesting, to say the least… silently laughing at the chaotic absurdity around him as Izuku moved slightly closer to the other boy, claiming he was making room for someone, but Shouto didn’t feel the need to stop him, happy that he would be training under someone other than his father…

****

There was heavy banging on the door of the Midoryia household. Inko and Fuyumi looked at each other in surprise, neither one of them expecting any further visitors. Quietly, Inko reached for a nearby device, turning on the screen to view the security footage of who was outside. Looking at it, Fuyumi squeaked in terror, as a very Angry, civilian attire present, Endeavor glared at the camera. Inko’s heart hardened as she turned to the scared young woman next to her, whispering gently but confidently.

“Fuyumi, sweetie… go into Izuku’s room and lock the door. Call Detective Tsukauchi and tell him what’s going on; I’m going to handle this but I want you to be safe first, got it?”

The Eldest Todoroki nodded, grabbed her phone and ran into the room Inko had directed her to, doing everything she was told as Inko stood, grabbed a kitchen knife, and made her way to the front door, the angry banging having started once more. With a deep breath, Inko opened the door with a scowl.

“What are you doing here, Mr. Endeavor? It’s my day off and I’d rather you not interrupt it.”

The man growled angrily and Inko noticed the scorch marks on the front of the door, sighing quietly as the man barked angrily.

“Where is the boy, Woman? I know you’re hiding the brat! It’s time for him to come home and train! You are to give me the brat, or so help me your life will be a living hell Woman!”

If looks could kill, Inko Midoryia’s would have been Armageddon. She spoke slowly, as if explaining to a child.

“Shouto is not a brat; He is a wonderful child who has the misfortune of being related to you. I am currently Shouto’s Legal Guardian; therefore, you cannot demand he return to your care just because you are throwing a temper tantrum.”

The man tried to push past Inko angrily, not caring for her speech as the back of his hand met her face, a red blotch appearing fast as Inko held up the knife she carried to drive the man back and create a barrier between them, causing the man to notice the look in her eyes.

“I request you leave my home instantly. The authorities have already been alerted, so I wouldn’t do what I think you were about to do.”

As if on cue, there was the sound of quick footsteps and a few police officers appeared behind the Number Two Hero, who seemed to realize his mistake as he turned to see their weapons drawn.

“Enji Todoroki, step away from the door! You’re being placed under police custody for violating the custody agreement, attempted witness tampering and assault!”

The man before her looked defeated, seeing the other people with phones up and no doubt recoding up and down the hallway as he held his hands in their direction, sighing unhappily. As the police did their job and read the man his rights as they lead him away, Tsukauchi himself came running up the stairs and hallway towards Inko.

“Inko, we came as fast as we could and- Inko your face! Sit down, we’ll get someone to look you over… we didn’t think he’d get this impatient that quickly, I’m so sorry.”

Inko smiled gently through the minor pain, facing the Detective as other police ushered the residents back into their homes to no doubt post their videos.

“It’s alright Tsukauchi; it’s only a little mark and he didn’t get to the Children… It’s a good thing those Internship started earlier today, it seems. Fuyumi is hiding in Izuku’s room like I told her too, so someone can go fetch her…”

Inko trailed off as another woman came and looked at her face, taking a quick picture for their evidence and giving her a pack of ice before leaving. Tsukauchi could see Inko had that mischievous look in her eyes that she usually got when she was about to say or do something truly damning to one’s reputation.

“Say… you don’t still have a copy of the incident in Nezdu’s office, do you?”

The detective blinked in surprise, already knowing where she was going with the thought. He smiled gently and let out a small laugh as he nodded quietly.

“I’ll see what I can do… cat’s out of the bag now anyways; all those phone recording by the looks of it… At least the Todoroki kid is going to be with All Might through the start of this…”

Chapter Text

“Come on boys! Surely you two can put your backs into some simple training! Don’t forget to straighten your backs and bend your knees!”

Shouto felt like he was going to die, his lungs burning for air as he gasped for air. When All Might had said they would be training, Shouto expected the three of them to spar as his Father did… what he didn’t expect was For All Might to tie ropes around two extremely heavy weights and tell the boys to lift, drag and swing them for the next twenty minutes. It wasn’t that the training wasn’t doable for Shouto, but rather that it was… different than what he was used to.

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Izuku lifting his weight as if it were nothing… Shouto briefly wondered if it was possibly because the other had done such activity before, but quickly shook the thought away before he could slack off any more than he was. Once the time had run out, Shouto collapsed with exhaustion, breathing heavily as All Might walked over to hand the two boys’ water, surprised that Midoryia had taken the training far better than Todoroki had.

Shouto wasn’t sure what he was supposed to make of All Might’s training, having it only be the first day of the internship, but part of him actually enjoyed how lax it was compared to his father’s. As the boys sat and drank their water, Shouto’s phone began to buzz rapidly much to his alarm only to find the plethora of messages on his phone, all from his classmates.

Oh yeah… Iida made that class group chat...

Scrolling through the messages, Shouto didn’t know if his heart was sinking or inflating as he scrolled and read only a few snippets of what had been sent.

Alien Queen: I’m at my internship and saw the Endeavor news; U OK Todoroki?

Idiot Pikachu: Yo Todoroki, are you ok?

Lord X-Plosion Murder: If Auntie gets hurt any more by that fucker, you’re fucking dead Half-and-half

Class Mom: I saw the news stories; How are you fairing Todoroki, if I may ask?

Sparkles: How Ungraceful of Endeavor!

Emo Birb: I fear Todoroki is uninformed to the situation at hand… the void indeed grows cold this day… [link]

At the last message sent, Tokoyami had thankfully provided a link to some news site’s social media video with the title “Endeavor: Falling from Grace?” …. Shouto didn’t know what to think, or if he should even click the link… The look of uncertainty did not escape All Might, who was going to chew the boy out for the distracting phone before seeing the boy’s face and speaking softly.

“Young Todoroki, is everything all right my boy? You look troubled.”

“I…don’t know. Iida made a group chat for the class and everyone’s asking if I’m okay and keep mentioning my father… Tokoyami sent a news video link and I don’t know how I should feel… I am apprehensive to open the link… I don’t know if I want to know what he did…”

All Might was not stupid; he saw the lost and confused look in the youngest Todoroki child’s eyes, he saw the anger and fear the boy tried to hide. Moving towards the sitting boy, All Might decided to sit on the ground with him as Izuku moved himself closer, hoping to somehow provide some sort of comfort as All Might spoke gently.

“I see. You do not have to view it if you do not want to my boy. However, as your teacher… I fear I must gain an understanding of what has transpired… even if you do not.”

Shouto wanted to say no and leave the room for All Might to discover the truth himself… but part of him also knew if his father had done something… then Auntie Inko would have been caught in the crossfire and if she had been hurt, then the bastard had to pay for it.  With a deep breath and a quick glance to Izuku, who was listening intently and had a blank look on his face, before he spoke uncertainly.

“No... No, I need to know this as much as you do All Might… I can’t run away from everything that involves that man. We can listen to it together…”

Izuku nodded quietly as All Might simply bowed his head in understanding as Shouto turned the sound of the phone as far up as it would go before pressing play. It started in some newsroom where a perky woman with some kind of animal quirk sat and spoke in a serious tone of voice.

“We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming with some breaking news: The Pro Hero Endeavor is in police custody following an incident at a small apartment complex where he was seen and recorded banging on a resident’s door, leaving some minor property damage. We have a clip from a resident’s video recording of the incident here, let’s take a look:”

The news video cut to a shaky and half hidden recording of the hallway all three of them were familiar with where Endeavor was clearly seen as Inko's voice could be heard.

‘What are you doing here, Mr. Endeavor? It’s my day off and I’d rather you not interrupt it.’

Endeavor growled threateningly before speaking

“Where is the boy, Woman? I know you’re hiding the brat! It’s time for him to come home and train! You are to give me the brat, or so help me your life will be a living hell Woman!”

That comment made Shouto’s blood boil. How dare that bastard talk to Auntie that way! The video continued even still.

“Shouto is not a brat; He is a wonderful child who has the misfortune of being related to you. I am currently Shouto’s Legal Guardian; therefore, you cannot demand he return to your care just because you are throwing a temper tantrum.”

Endeavor tried to push past Inko and Shouto just knew he’d hit her, though she somehow managed to drive him back into the hallway. If it wasn’t for All Might’s hand that had found its way onto his shoulder, Shouto would have marched to find the man then and there.

“I request you leave my home instantly. The authorities have already been alerted, so I wouldn’t do what I think you were about to do.”

The video cut out to the sound and sight of Police officers arriving, much to the three men’s relief.

“As you saw, it appears the woman in the video seemed to know Endeavor would come to her home in search of what many believe to be Endeavor’s son, who is currently enrolled in U. A’s Hero Course and made Second place in the Sports Festival. Speculation as to why the young Todoroki is not at home is running rampant, although the only comment Authorities would give was to ask for the boy’s privacy as he continues his schoolwork. Another video, believed to be leaked from U.A, showing the woman once again confronting Endeavor on behalf of his children. Reports and news are still coming in on this developing story, but all that is certain is this: Is this the Beginning of the End for the Fire Hero Endeavor? Does he deserve the title of ‘Hero’ at all? When we return from the break, a Damages and Hero Collateral Expert will be joining us to discuss the past achievements of Endeavor and if they hold any weight that can save his career. Stay tuned!”

And just like that, it ended, leaving the three alone with their thoughts. Izuku was furious, All Might restrained in his expression but filled with anger all the same and Shouto… Shouto didn’t know how to feel. On the one hand, his family name was on the line and his father could be punished… but on the other hand, his father could be punished… meaning that maybe, just maybe…. Shouto was almost free.

The thought of true freedom made Shouto smile wistfully as he stood and turned to the other occupants in the room to speak.

“So… Are we going on patrol or what? I may and or may not suggest we go to the side of town where Auntie is... just to check up on her.”

Chapter Text

“Boys please, don’t worry about me! I’m perfectly fine!”

Inko knew it was hopeless when the three people she’d sent off cheerily that morning burst into her campus office looking far more concerned than she felt was necessary for the situation at hand. All three were dressed in their hero costumes, for what Inko could only assume to be a patrol, and opened their mouths to speak before she had cut them off, Fuyumi stifling a giggle at the three’s faces. Tsukauchi had insisted Inko return to U.A for her own security and safety from the inevitable Media storm that would eventually hunt for her, to which Inko agreed and was simply happy Nezdu saw no issues in both women staying within the campus grounds.

Inko knew they wanted to argue with her and stay by her side, but there were more important things to be done and she knew the two boys would need all the experience they could get, even if it was learning how to confront reporters. After a few moments of thought, the three spoke, overlapping themselves before Inko could cut them off.

“But mom, what if- “

“Auntie please- “

“My Dear Inko, I insist- “

“Boys! I said I am fine! I have Nezdu and everyone on U.A to keep me company and protect Fuyumi. I know you’re all worried, but please… I am more than capable of handling media if I must. Go, be heroes and promise me you’ll use this to learn.”

Inko’s voice was steady, confident and just a little bit annoyed: the tone of voice Izuku referred to as her “Teaching Mom voice”, which made all three shut their mouths instantly and nod quietly before giving an awkward goodbye and going about the internship as planned. As the door closed, Fuyumi smiled softly and turned to the other woman, speaking softly.

“How on earth do you do that? Are you sure empathy isn’t your quirk, Auntie?”

The thought caused Inko to laugh heartily before leaning towards the other, as if to share a closely guarded secret.

“Fuyumi, sweetie; I raised one of the most emotionally open children on the planet. Izuku wears his heart on his sleeve and stubbornly shows it to everyone… Eventually, a mother has to learn how to manage the stubbornness while still showing how much I care. Two more stubborn, emotionally open boys are nothing.”

Fuyumi tilted her head to the side in confusion.

“How is Shouto emotionally open? I’ve never been able to get a good read on what he’s thinking…”

“On the surface, you’re right… but it’s in his eyes and his actions you can see his heart. He’s like Katsuki, in a way; It’s hard to see their emotions if you don’t look at them.”

Inko’s voice was calm and kind, her eyes full of some sort of deep and distant sadness, as if she was remembering another who fit the description and had failed to act… The look worried Fuyumi, wondering what was wrong before it seemed to disappear and Inko smiled once more.

******

Hitoshi was wondering if he made the right decision as he set down the large stack of paperwork Aizawa-sensei had given him, ordering him to take it to Nezdu’s office. He knew it was only the first day, but every part of him wanted to do more than just tote paperwork or books or any of the mundane things Aizawa had tasked him with thus far. It was bad enough he was only doing mundane chores, but the fact Aizawa had forbidden him from going to see Inko after Midnight-sensei had run into the classroom, yelling about wanting to murder Endeavor for hurting her, was absolute torture. Hitoshi didn’t realize he was scowling at the papers until the voice of his teacher pulled him away from his thoughts.

“If you’re done intimidating the paperwork, it’s time for us to have a… study session.”

As it turned out, Aizawa’s version of ‘studying’ included Hitoshi getting his ass beat and a sprained wrist, to which Recovery Girl threw an absolute fit over to an unfazed Aizawa. Harsh as it was, Hitoshi would be lying if he said it didn’t do its job; having crammed roughly two school weeks of lessons into his head to a point he could remember and recite half of it, which only caused Aizawa to give a smile that sent chills down Hitoshi’s spine.

“Either this is more effective than Midoryia wanted me to think it is or you’ve got potential. Either way, it’s going to be much more fun for me.”

Hitoshi could only gulp helplessly, his fate sealed with his teacher’s glee… at the very least he hoped the nice girl from the previous day, Tsu if he remembered correctly, internship was going better than his was… and it was only the first day.

*****

“You have the potential to become a great hero, Bakugou. However, you lack the finesse necessary to harness your temper, which hinders your progress towards the goal you hold… No matter; it is my personal mission to take your unruliness and mold you into an upstanding hero-to-be; you wouldn’t be the first temper I’ve managed and I doubt you’ll be the last.”

Katsuki didn’t like the tone of the hero standing before him, or the seemingly blank and uniform stares of the sidekicks around him. Sure, he knew he had a temper, but it never bothered anyone before, so why should it matter now? The insinuation that he was just a problem to be solved, or an issue to be fixed… that really pissed him off.

“Fuck off, shit face! I’m going to be the best and I sure as hell don’t need you to “fix” me or anything!”

Best Jeanist was hard to read and Katsuki really wanted to prove himself then and there… but he did promise Auntie that he would try to contain his more explosive expressions and listen, which didn’t go unnoticed by the hero, who assumed the boy would have tried to blow something up by now.

“I see. Truthfully, I assumed you would have destroyed something with your quirk by now… the fact you have yet to do so shows you have restraint. This is good… I do not wish to “fix” you, as you say… I merely wish to bring the kinder and more reserved side of you to light. There is much work to be done, so let us not waste any more time.”

And with that, Katsuki knew it was going to be one hell of a long week... and part of him wished Deku was with him to make it easier.. but then again, he knew how important interning with All Might was, especially to Deku, who he knew had far less confidence than both the Bakugou family and Inko would have liked, and this week was bound to raise something for the smaller boy.

Chapter Text

“Hey Froppy! How are things looking on your end?”

Tsu looked up at the second deck where the sidekick that had escorted her to the marina, Sirius, stood smiling. Tsu liked Sirius’ kind and helpful nature… of course, everyone under Selkie was just as kind and helpful, but Sirius had something else that just kind of drew the girl closer to her faster. She couldn’t explain it, so she had settled on simply accepting the kindling friendship and smiling back proudly.

“I just finished cleaning the Deck Sirius! Ribbit.

The only response from the other girl was a simple smile as she presented two cold beverages, causing Tsu to laugh quietly, accepting the offer and sitting on the steps with the other, drinking quietly. Sirius turned to the young girl with a knowing look in her eyes as she spoke softly.

“It’s a bit boring isn’t it Froppy; cleaning the ship and training all day?”

Tsu thought for a moment, not wanting to potentially upset Sirius, but not wanting to lie to either.

“I’d be lying if I said no… but only a little. Ribbit… but if we’re being fair, we’re only halfway through the internship.”

Sirius let out a little laugh.

“I felt the same way during my internship and as a kid, I thought I knew what it meant to be a hero… reality turned out to be very different: it was a bunch of patrols and cleaning up after the rest of the crew.”

“So, you got tired of it?”

“At first… yeah. But then, after becoming the Capitan’s sidekick, I figured something out! I realized what was actually important when it came to being a hero!

“Oh really? What was it? Will you tell me?”

Sirius let out another laugh as she turned to face the young girl with a warm, mischievous smile.

“I could… but then where’s the fun in that? It’s far better for you if you figure it out yourself Froppy!”

Tsu was about to respond when a loud, gruff voice cut her off, causing the girls to turn towards the voice as Selkie turned the corner towards their perch on the steps.

“Froppy! What are you playing at, slacking off? And Sirius! I thought I assigned you to supervise her! Shouldn’t a frog be jumping to get her work done?”

Tsu wasn’t sure if she should respond; on the one hand, it might come off as confrontational, like Bakugou… but on the other hand, not saying anything at all would be complacent, which did not suit her tastes at all. Taking a deep breath, Tsu stole whatever courage she could.

“I finished cleaning the deck, Capitan, Sir.”

 “And I’m totally supervising her properly!”

Sirius cut in chipperly, wrapping the frog-girl in a side hug as the stern face of the hero morphed into surprise and, if she didn’t know any better, shame as he rubbed the back of his head.

“Oh, is that right? Guess I jumped to conclusions… sorry about that ladies. I apologize—my bad! Forgive me?”

In that moment, Tsu could have sworn the otherwise manly and rugged hero’s face was absolutely the cutest thing on the face of the earth… of course Tsu herself didn’t think she had the proper brain function to vocalize the surprise revelation, which caused the hero in question to laugh and give a small wink.

“Hahaha, too cute for words, aren’t I Froppy?”

Sirius looked like she was about to respond when a voice called from the upper deck.

“Capitan Selkie, sir! An urgent message has just come in from the Coast Guard!”

Selkie called back and moved up the steps as the two stood, Sirius addressing the other girl calmly.

“Froppy, will you help me unfasten the ropes? It looks like we’re heading out.”

Tsu didn’t need to be told twice, nodding in affirmation

Ribbit.

There was a moment of silence before Sirius spoke again, ruffling Tsu’s hair a bit as the two walked towards the ropes that held the ship to the docks.

“You know, unlike the Capitan, you’re actually adorable Froppy… and you aren’t even trying!”

Sirius was expecting to jump in and save the girl from the near-impossible knots her shipmates were fond of, but was pleasantly surprised when the girl loosened them without a hitch.

“Hey, you’re pretty good at this!”

Tsu undid the final knot and smiled as they climbed aboard once more, bringing the gangplank.

“When you have two little siblings, you learn how to untie the impossible, ribbit.

The two made their way to the command deck, where Silkie briefed everyone on what the situation was.

“The coast guard got a tip that there were stowaways on the trade ship Nysan, but things may not be what they seem. Officials inspected the ship and didn’t find any stowaways; However, upon further investigation they did find that important cargo from the ship’s fright list was missing. Now I’m sure you all know what that means… but what do you think that means Froppy?”

Tsu knew this was a test for her; a way to prove her intellect and critical thinking with information presented to her… she knew what it was like to let someone down in such an important moment and she refused to let them, no…she refused to let herself down again.

“hm… It’s likely that before the coast guard arrived, the stowaways moved the cargo to another ship somewhere close by and fled the scene of the crime… In fact, it’s possible that the stowaways had plants on the ship!”

“Correct! It’s our job to find these criminals! Based on the information we have, they probably escaped on a small boat. We will deliver them to the coast guard! Considering the Nysan’s position, we can look at this area for the most logical sense as an escape route. Authorities and other sea heroes are also looking for them, so we only have to focus on this area here. The sun is going to set soon, so you’ll be searching for the boat via radar, while I search from the sea. Got it? Let me hear you sailors!”

“Aye, Aye Sir!”

With that, the crew set to work and Sirius pulled Tsu to the side as the crew settled into their positions and Selkie readied himself to launch his search.

“Froppy, before all this goes down… mind if I ask you something?”

“What is it Sirius? Ribbit.

Sirius’ eyes were full of concern. In the moment of thought before the crew, she noticed a strange look across the frog-girl’s face… a look she recognized as deep guilt and the resolve to atone.

“If I’m not imposing…why do you want to be a hero?”

Tsu looked down, not wanting to meet Sirius’ eyes as she spoke.

“Well you see… when I was a kid, I let someone down when they needed me most. I want to be the hero they needed. I guess having the Capitan ask me something so important brought back those memories, even for a moment… I’m sorry to have worried you Sirius. Ribbit.

“It’s okay Froppy… in fact, it looks like you’ve already got a good start on what being a hero is actually like, even if you’re not 100% on the mark just yet!”

******

“To be perfectly frank, I don’t like you very much Bakugou. I know why you chose my agency: I’m one of the top five heroes.”

Katsuki really wished he hadn’t made that promise to Auntie, because the so called “pro hero” was really pissing him off. Sure, the guy’s standing was part of the reason, but it wasn’t the full story either. He angrily moved forwards as he spoke.

“Look, you’re the one who made an offer to me; don’t tell me you wanted me just to lecture me!”

An instant later, he felt himself being restrained almost instantly, looking down to see the thread that bound him as he followed it to the man in front of him.

“You didn’t let me finish… this is why it’s my duty to correct people like you… Truth be told, I don’t like you because you remind me of myself at your age; brash, prideful, arrogant and temperamental. I got to where I am today because somebody had enough kindness in their heart to call out my bullshit, show me my errors and then help set me on the path that lead me here. I did not offer you this position to simply lecture you… as if it would do any good; it never did for me. I brought you here so that I might act as the one to call out your flaws and set you on the path to fix them at best, or overpower them at the least. It’s like I said when we first met; you have potential… you just need what I did, at your age.”

Best Jeanist didn’t expect the explosive boy to halt his struggles or his insults so soon, obviously taken aback at the hero’s words. He decided to take this as a step in the right direction, freeing the boy as he walked closer to walk with him and guide him deeper into the agency, intent on once again attacking the disaster the boy called hair. Halfway to the destination, no one expected the boy to stop dead in his tracks, eyes fixed on an outfit one of the many sidekicks had been working on putting together. In Jeanist’s eyes, the outfit could have been better, but he knew it was their first attempt by themselves… although he noted that the explosive boy seemed to have the same idea as he broke free from the hero to storm over… Jeanist decided to watch, curious as to what had come over the boy so suddenly.

“Hey, what the fuck are you doing dumbass?? Who the fuck told you those colors go together, especially in this fucking season! It’s Fall, dumbass, so save the colder colors for winter, or you’ll have the shit wearing it sweating out their asses! Even a fucking idiot would have used oranges and red for the fucking fall, you shitfaced fuck!”

The outburst was not surprising, but the subject matter seemed to take everyone within the vicinity by storm; almost all the sidekicks and assistants mumbling about how the changes would be better and more aesthetically appropriate while Best Jeanist… Best Jeanist smiled behind his costume with the revelation; the explosive boy was competent, and maybe even gifted, for fashion… this was something to be nurtured and guided, he knew. The boy seemed to realize everyone was staring at him as he walked back to the hero, growling lowly.

“Your status ain’t shit, Jackass… My dad’s in the fashion business… it’s where he met the old hag… and he wanted me to learn the trade. As stupid as all this shit is, it makes him happy when I get involved… so don’t think you know everything about me when you clearly don’t!

The hero paused, surprised but pleased; the boy’s restraint made much more sense now and Jeanist would make the most of what he had to work with, as he always did.

“It seems I misjudged your intentions… Tell me then; why do you want to be a hero?”

The boy seemed to pause, as if thinking about choosing his words carefully before turning to the hero and speaking, his face a deadly glare that would have caused terror in the Hero if he had not once given the same look to those who were getting to close to what he held dear.

“I want to be a hero because I was a fucking weakling that couldn’t protect someone. I’m going to get stronger and be the hero that’s strong enough to stop what happed back then from ever happening again. So, let’s make this clear; I’ll listen to whatever you say, but just know I’m going to do things the best way I know how and if you or anyone else gets in my way, then you’re nothing but a bunch of dumbasses. I’ve seen what happens when a hero isn’t strong enough to protect someone… and I won’t be that kind of hero.”

Silently, Katsuki Bakugou repeated the promise he made to himself as a child sitting beside Deku’s hospital bed, wondering when the other boy would wake up, if ever.

I’ll be a hero strong enough to stop people like Him from ever hurting people like Deku ever again…

I failed to protect him once, and he lost his sight because I was weak Never again.

Chapter Text

“Hey, you big headed dolt; don’t turn your back when I’m coming to talk to you, young man!”

Shouto turned around, thoroughly surprised that the sudden voice seemed to be directed at All Might, who instantly flinched and turned to face the speaker… if Shouto didn’t know any better, he would even say All Might looked scared of the person; a short old man with grey hair and a stern look, wearing simple civilian clothes and walked with a cane of sorts, who was making a beeline for the other hero.

“G-Gran Torino?! I d-didn’t know you were in the neighborhood…”

The old man seemed to ignore his words as he walked up and kicked at the man, earning a yelp of pain and a yell of indignation from Shouto and Izuku, who were still very much unsure of what was going on as the newcomer, Gran Torino, continued his tirade.

“You write me one letter! One little letter, coming nearly a year and a half after my last visit! You really are an idiot, boy! And now some other idiots thought it was a good idea to leave you with two children, one of whom also seems to be just as big of an idiot, if not more so, than you!”

Shouto wondered if All Might had lied in knowing that the old man would be looking for the group, the remote patrolling location suddenly making a lot more sense as All Might tried to speak and explain as he quite literally shook in his boots.

“W-well you see, I uh… I mean, they aren’t… I’m not… Say, why don’t you two introduce yourselves!”

Redirection, All Might? Fear? What kind of person is this Gran Torino?

Izuku smiled and held his hand out towards the old man as he introduced himself, Shouto himself hanging back wearily.

“Uh, Hello! I’m Izuku Midoryia… It’s nice to meet you Mr. Gran Tori- Ack!

Shouto felt bad for Izuku, the big-hearted idiot, as the old man moved with near blinding speed, throwing the boy overhead and onto the sidewalk, which was followed by a deep groan of pain. Shouto expected All Might to attack the man for the assault on his son student, but he only sighed as he helped the boy to his feet.

“Gran Torino, Young Midoryia is not me you know… Please don’t use our training on him… his mother will kill me.”

The man just gave an expectant look to the other before speaking.

“It serves him right for being so stupid! Anyone with a shred of common sense would have seen it coming a mile away… The other one got the right idea!”

“… My name is Shouto… All Might, how do you know this man, if I may ask?”

All Might just sighed once more and looked down, rubbing the back of his neck as the old man just stared.

“Well you see my boys… This is Gran Torino; he helped train me when I was around your age. If I had not been under my mentor’s guidance and endured his training, I highly doubt I would be the same man I am today… even if his methods were a tad brutal.”

The old man only grunted in response, looking the two boys up and down before rubbing the bridge of his nose and turning around, speaking as he did so.

“It worked didn’t it? Nothing else got through that thick skull of yours… I guess I can see whatever you saw in these two, odd as it is. Just don’t fuck them up… And don’t go getting attached to them either; don’t make the same mistake Nana did. Call me when you need some sense knocked into any of you, got it?”

As the man walked away, Shouto saw how All Might tensed and gritted his teeth, as if he wanted to say something, but either thought better of it, or was too angry to move. Izuku, who had been surprisingly quiet called after the man, stepping out in front of All Might, as if trying to shield him from something.

“Gran Torino!”

The old man turned, and Shouto could see the curiosity burning in his eyes, even from this far away.

“Eh?”

“You’re wrong. What Nana did… that wasn’t a mistake; not doing it sooner was. Besides, she wouldn’t want you to think like that because I bet, she’d do it again in a heartbeat!”

From behind the small green haired boy, All Might was suppressing a smile as the old man seemed to study the boy with more intensity before giving a small smile himself.

“So, you’re not as much of an idiot as you look… Interesting.”

And with that, the man continued on his way, leaving the three of them alone in an abandoned street. Shouto had never been more confused in his life, unsure if what had transpired had actually happened as All Might sighed once more before giving another one of his signature smiles.

How odd… The more time I spend with All Might, the more it seems his smile is just a façade... the old man would probably kill for this information… or anything to make him look weak in the eyes of the public. Although… who is this Nana they’re talking about?

Taking a deep breath, Shouto turned to All Might and spoke quietly.

“All Might… who’s Nana? That man seemed to think you are in danger of making some kind of mistake, as she did…”

The only response the boy got was All Might moving to grab both boys and jumping off the ground, taking to the sky and soaring towards a forested area in the city that Shouto recognized as a public park, where they landed gently in a small clearing. In the center of the park clearing was a statue of a woman in a hero costume, smiling proudly.

“That, my boy… is Nana. She was my mentor, leading up to and all through my time at U.A.”

Shouto could see the deep sadness in the man’s eyes and noticed the downcast expression on his friend’s face as All Might continued to speak.

“As I said the other day, my boy; for every battle fought and won, there is another that is lost… Nana and I fought a battle together some time ago and, in an attempt to spare my life…. She lost her life… I bested the very same villain with anger and hate in my heart, and I wish to never do so again. Nana’s ‘mistake’, as Gran Torino called it, was simply getting emotionally attached to me; She valued my survival over her own and she paid the ultimate price because of it... because of my failure… Nana was an incredible woman and a great hero, and Young Midoryia was correct in saying her attachment was not her weakness, so please; never assume loving another will make you weak. Love and caring for those around you… that is what makes good heroes great.”

Shouto nodded thoughtfully before speaking in a deadpan voice.

“Like how you care for Auntie?”

Off to the side, Izuku made an unholy sound as All Might himself seemed to choke on air.

“What? When we went to check on her the other day, you said ‘My Dear Inko’; you emphasized and phased it sounded like you were calling her ‘dear Inko’, rather than ‘Dear’, pausing, and then her name… insinuating you care for her more than just a co-worker… not to mention how you accepted the food she made specifically for you before we left, and how she knew why you refused to eat initially.. it says quite a lot.”

The Hero and student sputtered and spewed some nonsensical excuse that Shouto wasn’t buying in the slightest.

“I-I don’t… I didn’t…Y-Young Todoroki, it’s not like that at all!”

“Shouto for the last time; I’m not related to All Might!”

Chapter Text

 “What do you make of them Tomura? These children may very well be your enemies on day; you must prepare for the inevitable.”

“Does it matter? They’re all weaklings. The green haired one though… he seems familiar, Sensei… and the explosive one seems to respect him. Why is he familiar, Sensei?”

The old man placed his hand on the younger one’s shoulder, looking at the other’s eyes through the hand attached to his face with an unseeing face before speaking, his tone seemingly kind and full of empathy.

“Many years ago, just before I found you, I had a man who wished to deal with me and build up our little organization. Under the guise of another, I sent him to do a simple job in the hopes he would succeed and plant the seeds for your success in destroying the society we live in, but he failed miserably. His only order was to attack a hero in front of the public, but he went… off script, as you would say; He attacked a child, whom I would later learn was his own, and failed to kill the hero I sent him to deal with… I will admit, I’ve kept a close eye on the boy, just to see where he’d go… it’s interesting that you’d single him out Tomura…”

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you wanted him under your watch, rather than me, Sensei.”

The venom in the young man’s words were almost palpable as he glared at the looping footage of the green haired boy. The old man took note, wondering to himself if the other would have been a better successor; had he not been in a better situation after the fool’s attack, rather than the boy he had found and raised.

“Tomura, you’re not jealous of the boy, are you? How would you deal with him, should he ever become a threat?”

“I’m not jealous at all Sensei… if we still had Kurogiri to get around, I doubt we’d have to worry about the brat being an eventual threat, though… it’d be game over for him…”

The young man’s voice was bitter and resentful; two surefire signs that a tantrum was on the way as the man started scratching and clawing at his neck, causing the old man to sigh as he took hold of the younger man.

“Tomura, I do not wish for the Midoryia boy to replace you… everything I do, everything I have ever done, is for you… Do you know what happens when a quirk manifests within a stressful or dangerous environment? It is a rare phenomenon, but powerful nonetheless; when in such an event, the quirk develops far beyond what it should have been in a normal environment… That is why I have kept an eye on the boy; he is far stronger than anyone could have thought, and yet is treated like he is made of pure glass… You need not worry about what I have planned for the boy… his time will come; I only ask you trust me to act in your best interest, as I have always done. So, I ask you this, what do you think of the boy?”

The young villain seemed to relax into the other’s hold, growing quiet in thought before speaking slowly.

“I think… he could still be a resentful and scared little boy and, with the right push… we could use that against him and those he cares about… or we could give him the hope of vengeance against the one who wronged him?”

The old man smiled wickedly, his protegee looking to him for some kind of confirmation.

“Indeed Tomura… Indeed. There is much work to be done to prepare for that moment: plans to be laid, debts to collect, and that ‘Hero Killer’ loose end to tie… Would you enjoy planning a little jailbreak for our friend, as well as…a long overdue loose end?”

The young man only smiled, as if he could see the threads of fate his teacher had strung throughout the years, all leading to a future for the young man to rule.

“Of Course, Sensei.”

****

“Tsukauchi please, he can’t just walk out of there like he’s done nothing wrong!”

Inko was furious: She had spent the past week fighting tooth and nail to keep the asshole of a ‘hero’ in police custody and away from the children, only to have Tsukauchi come and tell her the man pulled as many strings as he could to walk out and return to his home.

“Inko please, I know it’s tough and it sucks to no end… but you have to remember that he’s not off the hook yet; we still have the court dates and all the evidence we’ve been gathering.”

Inko sighed, sitting down while rubbing her temples. Of course, Endeavor would use his position to get what he wanted, and of course he’d do everything in his power to spin the public in his favor: A drunk and lonely man worrying for the safety of his children, who were taken by the government on false charges and placed in the care of a villain’s ex-wife. The stories he commissioned made Inko sick to her stomach, especially when he dug up the truth about Him…

“I know Tsukauchi, I know… I’m worried about the boys and how this is going to affect them in school… or how my students will see me now! We have to win this! He can’t go unpunished!”

Inko hated that she was on the verge of tears.

“Inko, has someone like him ever stopped you from doing what was right? I know it’s not much, but I promise my team and I will do everything we can to bring him to justice... he can’t run from it forever, especially with the case we’ve built… The Todoroki kids are a tough bunch; if anyone can tell the truth and bring to light what he’s done, it’s them… Have hope Inko, please.”

Inko wiped away the threatening tears as she smiled her signature smile…If time and experience had taught Inko anything, it was that when Tsukauchi made a promise, he kept it. Her kids would finally be free of their father and she would see to it that the remaining Todoroki family wouldn’t crumble, but would thrive after He faced justice.

Chapter Text

As the Internships ended, the students were given the weekend to rest before having to face the daily grind of classes. Inko, Shouto and Fuyumi had all taken refuge within U. A’s walls to avoid both the press and any rabid Endeavor fans, leaving the Midoryia household empty and Izuku himself to seek refuge in the Bakugou home. Izuku and Kacchan were both in the living room with Hero News playing idly in the background as Izuku came to the conclusion that he was bored out of his mind until a brilliant idea popped into his head, causing him to smile with wicked mischief.

“Hey Kacchan.”

“What Deku?”

“On a scale of one to ten, how much do you want to fuck with everyone tomorrow?”

The ashen blond turned to his friend, eyes wide as his friend’s smile seemed to infect him.

“What are you thinkin, nerd?”

****

Aizawa was in a particularly good mood, having spent the past week beating every piece of information from the beginning of the semester to the lesson for the day into a student, who seemed to understand the importance of learning quickly. He wanted his mood to last the entire day, he really did… he was thinking of even giving some of the academically suffering students some easy extra credit… until he saw the unmistakable glint of mischief and fuckery in Super-Problem and The Other Problem’s eyes as Iida caught sight of the two and moved to speak to them, arms flailing randomly.

“Midoryia! Bakugou! How did you fair during the internships, if I may ask?”

Aizawa could have sworn the split-second smile on the Super-Problem’s face could rival the other’s ‘I’m about to blow something up for fun’ smile in terms of sending a shiver down Aizawa’s spine as the boy spoke cheerfully.

“My internship went as well as it could have, given we had to avoid the flaming trash pit and his idiotic supporters, but Bakugou was just telling me how his went! Apparently, Best Jeanist was surprised that he knew a thing or two about fashion… I mean, why wouldn’t he? His parents met at a fashion show and his dad’s in the business after all!”

As soon as the boy finished speaking, all the students who were in the room fell deathly silent in shock as Kaminari gathered the courage to speak in a deathly quiet

“Midoryia, bro… what did you just say?”

“…his parents met at a fashion show…”

“No before that.”

“Best Jeanist was surprised he knew a thing or two about fashion?”

“No, before that!

“Bakugou was telling me how his internship went?”

“That!

“What about it?”

“Deku, are you feeling okay? I don’t think you’ve ever called Bakugou by his name… did something happen to you two?”

Kacchan growled aggressively at the girl’s interjection, causing her to jump slightly.

“Shut the fuck up Round Face. You fuckfaces call me Bakugou all the damn time, so why’s it any different if Midoryia does the same thing?”

The response to those words coming from Kirishima and Sero was not normal and too unholy for even Tokoyami, who covered his ears with wide eyes.

“W-Who are you two??? What did you do to Bakubro and the Broccoli boy??”

“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU TO STOP CALLING ME THAT, SHITTY HAIR?”

Broccoli boy? Kirishima, why must you hurt me this way!”

Aizawa wanted to crawl into his sleeping bag and disappear into the void in that moment, knowing the two problem children were absolutely thriving on their classmate’s confused chaos… but he had a job to do and their little game wasn’t going to stop him from doing said job.

“If either of you make that sound again, I will expel you both. So, if you’re done freaking out over the Problem Children calling each other by their names, there is classwork to do: I want everyone to take turns summarizing their internships and one important thing you learned. After that, your assignment is to write an essay on everything that happened during them and list everything you learned, the only limit is for you, Midoryia; don’t write more than three pages, front and back if you must, but anything more and I will dock points.”

Iida raised his hand after he finished speaking, causing the poor man to sigh and respond.

“Yes, Iida?”

“Why is Midoryia the only one with a limit, if I may ask Sensei?”

The Erasure Hero’s look to the young boy with glasses was nothing short of bone chilling as he responded in an absolute deadpan tone.

“The last time Midoryia wrote an essay with no cap, I had to listen to Midnight complain for a week about my teaching methods and how it was my fault he was too thorough and turned in a fifty-page essay. I’d rather not have to repeat that week.”

“I see... apologies Sensei.”

The man grunted as he returned to his sleeping bag, feigning sleep as, to his surprise, Koda volunteered to speak first. The boy’s self-consciousness, doubt and anxiety worried Aizawa, opting to sign rather than speak… part of him wished he could help the boy with these issues somehow, but he smiled to himself internally; whatever he did during his internship seemed to give him a boost, and his volunteering showed it... if only he could build it up more, to get the boy to a point of confidence he desperately needed as the class watched him signed shyly

“During my Internship, I worked with Gang Orca! We mostly did patrols and paperwork, but we visited an aquarium one day and gave a tour! He answered a lot of question and they let me talk to the fish, which caused a lot of kids to crowd around us and learn a lot more, since I knew what the fish were saying! And the next day, we went to an Animal Shelter! I learned that when it comes down to it, you can be really, really scared, but still do what’s right! Gang Orca told me it’s okay I get scared, because he does too!”

The class clapped politely as Koda returned to his seat, blushing profusely as Kacchan turned and relayed everything to his friend quickly, who listened intently and nodded in understanding, which caused a few heads to turn in confusion as Koda signed in surprise.

“Bakugou, you know sign?!”

Aizawa had to admit, unless he hadn’t seen the language listed on the boy’s file, he wouldn’t have thought Bakugou would have taken up that language either. Apparently, the boy needed something to do during his long list of detentions during his middle school years and he had taken up learning the language, if Aizawa could remember correctly as the boy in question spoke semi-aggressively.

“Of course, I know sign, stupid… My quirk makes literal explosions! I’d have to be a dumbass to think my hearing wouldn’t suffer from it. According to the fuckface audiologists, my hearing will be gone completely by my mid thirties if I’m not careful. It’s not bad enough for hearing aids right now, but I had… a lot of free time in middle school, so I learned it to be safe. I’ve been trying to teach Midoryia for years, but his quirk never really sensed where people’s hands were or what they were doing exactly, so it was kind of redundant… Now that it does though, don’t think you’re getting out of lessons that easy.”

“Stop calling Midoryia that, it’s too weird!”

“Sero, interrupt when it’s not your turn to speak again and you will be getting detention. Someone else, take your turn.”

“Yes Aizawa-Sensei!”

Chapter Text

“Sir, I understand you’re upset, but you need to focus your priorities.”

Endeavor really, really hated PR Agents; they were always telling him what he should and shouldn’t do and those who were foolish enough to not check over their shoulders would often whisper about how they’d rather be working for All Might… before he kicked them to the curb anyways. Nevertheless, he supposed their services were impertinent to what he was dealing with at the current moment… the media was having a field day with his arrest the week prior and their damn speculation was running rampant, as well as having the hero rank he spent decades cultivating for himself rapidly falling farther and farther from his grasp. As much as he hated admitting he needed help reeling the media back in, it needed to be done as Endeavor growled angrily and sharply.

“What do you have in mind?”

“W-Well I, uh… I’d suggest doing an interview! Spin the media a story they can eat up… give them something sappy and let me dig up whatever I can on that woman and I guarantee this whole thing will turn around; the police will drop your charges and Shouto will be home and training again in no time!”

Endeavor could feel his face turning into a snarl… sure, an interview could work, but not just any interview.

“So, you want me to do an interview to fix this mess? To just any reporter?”

There was a small sense of satisfaction that settled into his chest as the PR Agent turned into a stuttering mess with his response.

“W-well I, uh... No sir, of course not! O-Only t-the biggest interviewer! S-Someone the p-public will trust wholeheartedly! I-It might t-take a-awhile, since h-he’s always busy, t-teaching and all... but I can p-pull some s-strings!”

Endeavor had a sneaking suspicion he knew where this was headed, and he hated it.

“You don’t mean you want me to do an interview, an interview that is supposed to save my career mind you, with the Loud One, do you?”

“I-It’ll be j-just one interview! A-And i-if we wait to do it u-until after I’ve d-dug up dirt on the woman, t-then it’ll be e-easy to turn everyone on her, Sir!”

If the two of them were caught trying to purposely dig up anything that could discredit the woman, there’d be hell to pay… but Endeavor was a desperate man and the gilded walls of his status were crumbling fast.

*****

Shouto was smiling to himself as his best friend seemed to vibrate with excitement as Fuyumi moved about the campus kitchen busily, having insisted on cooking for Auntie after the woman nearly fell asleep on her feet, taking their stay in the confines of U.A as a chance to work herself to the near bone, stating she would go mad if she did nothing.

“Hey Mom, can you turn on your radio app? Mic-Sensei’s show is starting soon and he told us his guests for today were some American Heroes!”

“Of course, sweetie. Shouto, could you help your sister? I feel terrible knowing she’s doing all the work…”

Shouto smiled brightly as he stood.

“Of course, Auntie! Fuyumi, is there anything you want me to do?”

If they weren’t hiding from rabid reporters and Endeavor fans, the scene would have been cozy and domestic… but the world is a cruel thing as Present Mic’s voice spoke from the speaker Inko had attached to her phone.

“Hey there listeners! Today’s show has a…surprise guest…”

Present Mic’s usual upbeat and over-the-top tone of voice seemed tense and forced, as if he was trying to keep it up for his viewers/listeners, but was having extreme difficulty.

“While I did plan on giving you listeners an Interview of a lifetime with American Pro-heroes, something I know a few of the little listeners would have adored, my current guest seemed to have… other ideas, so joining me today is the highly controversial Hero… Endeavor.”

The four occupants of the kitchen froze in shock and terror, listening with baited breath.

“I’m afraid I didn’t prepare anything for you Endeavor, so I hope the listeners will forgive the suddenness of this interview!”

“It does not matter. What I am here to do is simple: I wish to give you and your ‘listeners’ my story… the story the rest of the media is choosing to ignore!”

“Ah… and what is that, if I might ask?”

“I did not intend to cause property damage, and I most certainly did not intend to have the entire country think I abused my position as the Number Two Hero! I regret causing the residents distress, but there is something you must understand: I am a father, and any father would worry when they discover the authorities had placed their children in the care of a known associate of a dangerous villain!”

“Well as my loyal listeners would know, I myself don’t have children, but I think of my student as no different, in fact just last week I took up half a segment gushing about all the juicy school gossip! But… I can’t help but point out the person you’re referring to was unaware that the villain was just that.”

“I have reason to believe she did know, and yet she continued to live under the same roof with him and her child! And to think she still calls herself a mother... and think she could care for my children? I know it hasn’t been easy on them, and I’m sure they would attach themselves to the first woman who showed a shred of kindness after what my wife, Rei did to my youngest… but one does have to wonder.”

Endeavor was shouting now as Shouto grit his teeth… how dare that bastard talk about his mother and Auntie that way… as if he had ever cared! Slowly, he reached for the phone in his pocket as he slipped out of the room, everyone noticing but no one moving to stop him.

“I see… Pardon my bluntness, but the reason she did as you so… passionately explained, was actually to act as an informant to protect not only her son, but everyone else! It was quite a while ago, but I remember it clearly; it was my first major investigation and villain hunt after all… But look at the time! It’s time to take calls from the viewers for their inputs! Welcome to the show listener! Can you tell Endeavor here your name and say what you think on the matter?”

“My name is Shouto Todoroki, Mic-sensei. The only things I have to offer are these: if you are so innocent father, then what pushed mother to harming the side of my face that reminded her of You? What caused sister to shake with fear at the sound of your footsteps? What happened to my brother, Toya? His burns didn’t just disappear like he did, did they? What happened to him, Father? I doubt you have the courage to admit the truth, spewing lie after lie in order to protect yourself… my final advice is this: leave my new family alone, unless your sleaze-ball of a PR agent has a miracle quirk.”

The next day, as the media erupted into an uproar and half of the hero agencies in the country were looking into the case of the missing Todoroki child, the remaining children smiled to themselves as they found their current guardian asleep on the Staff Room Couch, gently placing a blanket over her… and somewhere far from the city, the lost boy with burn marks across most of his body found a smile; it had been years since he’d heard the name “Toya”… but part of him remembered the warm embrace of a mother and, hiding in the shadows, silently hoped and prayed the bastard of a father would face justice… maybe then he could return home…

Chapter Text

“Aizawa, can I talk to you for a moment?”

The usually tired man turned to face the person the voice had come from. Somehow, it didn’t surprise him that it was Inko, with a look of concern on her face and a file in hand… a file on one of his students; the one with the electric, brain-frying quirk.

“What is it, Inko?”

“I’m sorry for intruding, but you left this file in the staff room and I couldn’t help but notice how low his paper grades were, despite the fact the file says he’s actually very knowledgeable. Pardon my asking, but it seems rather odd.”

Aizawa sighed, internally cursing himself for forgetting the damn file… if he hadn’t seen Inko use her quirk throughout the years, he would have sworn she had some kind of empathy quirk, meddling in whatever place she could see a problem involving children.

“I know and it’s annoying as fu-…fudge because I know he knows the damn material; I’ve seen Bakugou and him studying, but Kaminari always spaces out when given tests, quizzes or worksheets. The kid’s got potential, I’m not going to lie… but if he can’t focus then I’m going to have no choice but to move him down or out altogether… why are you asking?”

 Inko smiled shyly and shuffled on her feet, relieved he decided to listen to her. Even though the two had known each other for years, she was always worried he would ignore her.

“Well, uh… My friend Mitsuki, Katsuki’s mother, was telling me about how odd quirks are when it comes to reacting with the human brain. See, she works with kids who have some form of learning difficulty or another after their quirks manifest, because quirks tend to act out based on what the kid is doing or how they’re processing things. ‘Suki told me about this little girl she’s been working with; she has a strength enhancement quirk… but she’s also on the spectrum, so she doesn’t understand what she’s doing or how to regulate it fully. I was wondering if Kaminari ever got tested for any educational disabilities or any mental disabilities in general, since he kind of… fried himself during the sports festival after using too much of his quirk. I’ve actually been meaning to talk to you about it sooner but… things came up, as you know.”

It took Aizawa a moment to process what Inko was saying and what she was exactly implying, staring blankly at the woman as it dawned on him. How could he have been such an idiot when he had seen something so obvious with his own eyes?

“Inko… you’re a genius. I’ll see if I can get his parents to look into it… if I missed something so obvious with Kaminari, I don’t think we should take any chances with the other students… maybe I should bring it up during one of those meetings Nezdu is so fond of, get others in on this… god I feel like an idiot…

Aizawa turned to leave, trailing off as he was beginning to be lost in thought as Inko stopped him momentarily, smiling that kind smile of hers.

“Why wait? I’m sure Nezdu wouldn’t mind bringing this up as soon as possible! Knowing him, he might want to turn it into a learning experience!”

*****

“Hey Deku, what’s Bakugou so upset about? Think it has something to do with this guest Principal Nezdu invited to speak with the entire hero course?”

Izuku turned to face Uraraka, slightly startled as he processed what she had asked. He’d noticed how Kacchan had been quietly simmering that morning, but he couldn’t get an answer out of the boy for the life of him.

“I’m afraid I don’t know, Uraraka… he won’t tell me anything. The best thing to do is just leave him be until we train; he can blow off whatever’s bugging him then, like he always does.”

Uraraka was confused, but nodded and relayed the information for everyone coming in, since she didn’t want anything to set the explosive boy off, especially if he was in a mood beyond Deku’s knowledge. Eventually, with Iida’s direction, the class managed to find their way to a large classroom where the students of 1-B were waiting impatiently, with the exception of Kendo, who smiled and waved as they approached.

“It took you long enough! What was the hold up? Had to stop and admire your own ‘popularity’?”

Izuku was internally grateful for Kacchan growling lowly at the boy’s words, not trusting himself to say anything without landing in trouble or a fight.

“I am not in the mood for your bullshit today, fucking copycat.”

Izuku was certain the boy would have tried to goad his friend further if the teachers hadn’t rushed them inside the room and into seats, waiting until everyone was quiet. As Izuku let his field of intake expand, he began to gain an understanding of who the speaker was going to be and why Kacchan was in a sour mood as Nezdu took center stage and spoke in his usual, cheerfully deceptive voice.

“Hello students! I am going to give you a scenario and I want you to tell me what you’d do, got it?”

Both classes responded in unison, waiting with baited breath.

“Say you are a Pro Hero on the field; you have defeated a villain and happen upon a scared child. The child does not understand what is going on and is panicking, causing their quirk to act out. By a show of hands, who can tell me how you handle it... Yes Iida?”

Unsurprisingly, the boy in question spoke confidently.

“Take the child out of the stressful situation, then calm them in safety!”

The collective intake of breath told Izuku that Nezdu had donned one of his ‘I know more than you think and I’ll take you down with it’ smiles that his mother had told him about.

“A wonderful idea, but not quite! Any other suggestions?”

The voice of Monoma spoke out, no doubt wanting to get one up on 1-A.

“Well I would obviously amaze the kid then and there, then take them away!”

“Sadly, you are getting further from the truth. You see, children’s quirks are prone to act out under extreme duress. It’s actually a wonderfully strange phenomenon that many researchers and scholars, myself included, are looking into to explain. When finding a child at such a site, many heroes will do as young Iida suggested, unaware that the quirk is no longer within the child’s control. It is a tricky situation to find oneself in, but that is the reality we live in. Therefore, today we have invited a specialist and someone who works with children with unruly quirks to come discuss the matter. Don’t worry, we plan on giving this lecture to as many Pro Heroes as we can to educate both the general public and hero agencies, so that we can get the proper procedure out! What kind of heroes would we allow you to be if we didn’t give you everything you would need to know? Without further ado, might I introduce Mrs. Mitsuki Bakugou, who works not only with unruly quirks, but children with special needs. I do hope you pay attention and learn from her; the insight to such worlds could provide astronomically impertinent in the future!”

There was a moment of silence as Izuku sensed the speakers changing before chaos erupted.

“Is that your sister Bakubro?”

“A striking family resemblance!”

“Bakugou? I don’t want to take anything from anyone related to that asshole!”

“Shut the fuck up Copycat! No one disrespects the old hag but me! And no she's not my fucking sister, shitty hair! That's my fucking mom.”

Over the chaos, Mitsuki’s voice rose and cut off any other outcries that would have formed and added to the fire.

“Don’t fucking swear in front of your teachers Brat! Show your school a little respect! And you! Don’t disrespect me punk, or you’ll regret it!”

The room died down instantly and filled with fear as they saw the youngest Bakugou obey, growling quietly… until Izuku cheerful voice spoke out.

“Good morning Auntie!”

“Hey Squirt. So, let’s get this lecture started punks!”

Chapter Text

“For the last time Monoma; When you come into the situation where a child is overstimulated and isn’t hurting themselves, you do not pick up them up or touch them!

“But how do we get them out of there then? And why not?

Izuku was surprised his Auntie hadn’t cracked and smacked the boy, though he knew she probably wanted to more than anything at the moment.

“If you let me finish, rather than interrupting me every five seconds, I might be able to explain.”

Izuku could hear the boy grumbling and he could only hope Kacchan was shooting the boy enough death glares for the both of them.

“Anyone other than Monoma, please answer this; Say you’ve just defeated and apprehended a villain, and I’m a child you find who is panicking, my quirk is acting out… what should you do? Yes, Koda?”

“First, make sure they aren’t hurting themselves; if they are, try to get them to stop while outright touching them as little as possible until they’ve calmed down... if they’re not hurting themselves or anyone around them, approach slowly and let them know you’re there. Find out what might be triggering them and removing it if it’s there…”

“Finally, someone with some common sense! That’s probably the best course of action you can take until you learn more about the kid and what’s wrong. The reason I’m trying to tell you that grabbing them outright is the worst possible scenario is because when a child is too overstimulated, they’re probably too overwhelmed to tell you what’s wrong or to tell you to stop, so the most logical thing for them to do in order to get the bad thing away, which in this case would be you touching them, would to be to physically lash out and hurt you… and potentially those around you as well, depending on the quirk… I’d love to tell you punks more, but I think copycat over here used up all the time we had for today, but don’t worry; you’ll be seeing me quite a bit from here on out; Principal Nezdu has invited me to give you punks everything you’ll need over the next couple months, once every two weeks, when my schedule allows it. As for right now though, go eat some food, punks.”

Mitsuki didn’t think she’d ever seen a boy leave a room as fast as that Monoma kid had as soon as she was allowed to dismiss all of them. She really wanted to cover more ground, but that punk just had to decide he was the most important thing in the room and use up 95% of her lecture time. How the hell did Inko put up with high schoolers all day every day anyways?

As Mitsuki gathered her things and made her way to leave the room, she was stopped b the small rodent like Principal, who was smiling and spoke cheerfully.

“Mrs. Bakugou, thank you again for doing this for the students. How would you say they faired?”

“I’ll be honest with you Sir; Koda was the only one who had a shred of common sense. Everyone else was either too headstrong, ignorant or didn’t feel like speaking up. I know it’s not my place to ask, but if it’s possible to reel in that Monoma kid’s attitude while I’m trying to explain, that would be a tremendous help.”

“but of course! I will talk to Vlad on the matter! But look at the time; You must be hungry Mrs. Bakugou! Before you leave campus, I insist you join us in the staff room for lunch! I’m sure Inko would be delighted!”

Nezdu moved to open and hold the door out of the classroom as he spoke, smiling ever so cheerfully and Mitsuki couldn’t help but silently compare it to…. something that made her skin crawl with unease… still, she couldn’t say no to seeing Inko, could she?

“I’d be delighted; thank you sir. Let’s go see what trouble Inko’s cooked up for herself, shall we?”

With that, Mitsuki found herself walking beside and idly chatting with the Principal, who had taken it upon himself to regale her with all his theories about why Quirks act out more often with the kind of children Mitsuki worked with, as well as all the evidence he currently had to support his ideas. In all honestly, it was probably the most informative and interesting walk Mitsuki had ever endured, and she was almost sad when he opened another door that she assumed was to the staff room, which was currently filled with a various assortment of heroes, as well as Inko, some gruff looking man in a sleeping bag and some kind of skeletal figure in a suit that looked too big for him.

Mitsuki almost wanted the principal to continue talking, if it wasn’t for the fact Inko was talking to the skeletal man and was apparently laughing at something he had said, the man in question’s face blushing lightly, his gaze flicking to the opening door and Mitsuki herself, to which Inko’s gaze followed and smiled brightly, making her way towards the two newcomer and that’s when Mitsuki saw it; the sparkle of joy, happiness and admiration that Mitsuki hadn’t seen in Inko’s eyes in a very, very long time…. And looking to the skeleton man, Mitsuki could see the same look in his eyes as his gaze lingered ever so slightly in Inko before meeting Mitsuki’s eyes.

“’Suki, how was the lecture? Were the kids behaved? Come over here, we were just about to start eating, I want you to tell me everything!”

Mitsuki couldn't help but laugh and oblige, noting how Inko’s eyes seemed to darken for a moment at the mention of Monoma, but otherwise kept her stunning smile while the skeleton man seemed to listen thoughtfully and nod silently until he caught Mitsuki staring absentmindedly before Inko thought to introduce the man.

“Oh, Mitsuki, this is Toshinori Yagi. He’s an assistant here at U.A for All Might, since he’s a busy man and all. Toshi, this is my best friend Mitsuki Bakugou! She works with special needs children and their quirks, but Nezdu invited her here to talk to the hero course students about how to handle those kinds of kids properly.”

The man gave a small smile to Mitsuki, who noted that Inko was not only on a first name basis with the man, but a casual name basis with him.

“It’s wonderful to meet you, Mrs. Bakugou. I’m told your son is quite the student, temper aside.”

Mitsuki sighed quietly, making sure to meet the man’s eyes, making sure his piercing blues ones saw every ounce of steel and fire within her own.

“Brat’s got an attitude, I know… too many shallow complements from incompetent teachers growing up if I had to guess. But it could be worse; I hate to think of what he’d be like if he hadn’t befriended Izuku.”

“’Suki, don’t be too hard on him! Katsuki’s got a good heart at his core; it just takes a little while to see it! Our boys are fine young men, and the hero course will do them good, just you wait. They’ll be upstanding heroes in no time.”

Mitsuki couldn’t help but break her intense gaze and smile, looking to her friend, who looked like she was about to say something else but Nezdu’s voice cut out from across the room, to which she excused herself and walked over briskly, leaving Mitsuki alone with Mr. Yagi, who looked incredibly nervous as he leaned forwards and spoke quietly.

“Pardon my manners, but I must ask you something… It is my understanding that you and Inko have been good friends for a long time, yes?”

Mitsuki nodded quietly, having her own sneaking suspicion on where he was headed.

“As her friend, I was wondering if you, um… uh, know of anything she might be interested in? I must admit… I’ve grown quite fond of her in the past months, but I do not wish to intrude or assume! I’m so sorry I shouldn’t have asked, it was stupid of me to- “

The man was about to go into a rambling spiral, which reminded her of Izuku for a moment, before Mitsuki cut him off, discreetly holding out a small business card to the man, who took it quizzically.

“It’s to a restaurant; My husband and I went there for out first date and our wedding rehearsal dinner. It’s got good food and atmosphere… but if you do anything to hurt Inko, I will hunt you down, Mr. Yagi, got it?”

The man visibly gulped as he nodded frantically, slipping the paper into his pocket as Inko reappeared at the table, slightly confused but happy Mitsuki hadn’t decided to do anything to her friend, smiling brightly as she picked the conversation up as if it had never been interrupted.

Chapter Text

“My boy, are you certain that this is what you wish? I do not want you to do anything you cannot handle; but I will not stop you if you feel you are ready for this.”

Shouto knew the hero meant well, but upon the fiftieth inquiry… the question was starting to wear on his patience.

“All Might please; I need to do this. If I can’t face her… if I can’t look her in the eyes and tell her ‘I love you’… if I can’t tell her we’ll be here when she gets out... then how can I face Him in a courtroom? How can I call myself a hero? I just… I just need her to know.

The man could only nod solemnly, doing his best to keep his voice low and soft, not wanting any potential bystanders to listen in. The USJ incident and Endeavor’s arrest had shaken society and he knew a lot of people were on edge… especially the youngest Todoroki child. There was only a month and a half until the end of the semester and their final exams… with the added stress of the media trying to breathe down the boy’s back, it would have been enough to make even the most diligent of heroes’ crack under all of it. He was glad the authorities had allowed the boy to visit his mother, even if a hero escort was a requirement for the visit. The pair made their way into the large hospital silently; All Might placing his hand on the boy’s shoulder as a sign of silent comfort and companionship as they went to face what was most certainly one of the boy’s biggest demons.

Together, they walked to the counter, ignoring all the starry eyes of visitors and passing staff as they asked for Rei Todoroki. The receptionist stuttered a bit at the sight of All Might, but pointed them in the direction of where they needed to go. All Might couldn’t help but let his mind wander as they followed a hospital intern down the halls… What kind of man was Endeavor to knowingly hurt his wife and children? What kind of man would be responsible for sending the mother of his children to a mental institution? If there was nothing to hide, then why lie about what happened? How had he not seen the hurt and pain behind the eyes of the boy beside him? Could he have prevented it or stopped it sooner? Why didn’t he save the Todoroki children sooner? What happened to Toya Todoroki and where was he? What did Endeavor do to his eldest son?

All Might almost ran into Shouto from being lost in thought as they stopped in front of a plain looking door. He could see the boy tensing as their escort told them this was her room and left the two standing in the empty hallway.

“All Might… what if she doesn’t recognize me? What if she only sees my father and lashes out in fear again? What if… What if she hates me? What if I’m not strong enough to save her?”

As the boy turned to look at the hero, All Might could see what he knew all too well; pain, suffering, fear and isolation. Shouto Todoroki was training to be a hero, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t a scared and abused child who, now that he’d been freed from his abuser, had no idea who he truly was… he probably thought he had no personality to himself and was left feeling as though he was in a free fall, reaching out for anything on as he was filled with dread and fear while the rest of the world moved about their lives as if someone with such a “perfect” life couldn’t be suffering. All Might knew that pain more than he was willing to admit and he wasn’t about to let someone so young spiral downwards into the near inescapable pit he himself had found himself many, many years ago. For this boy’s whole life, he had been ignored by other hero and authorities while his suffering continued… but Toshinori would not let it continue as he looked the boy in the eyes, doing his best to summon that smile that had come so easily to Nana.

“My boy… if there’s anything I’ve learned thought my life, its that a mother’s love is far stronger than any Hero or Quirk… I doubt someone as cold-hearted as Enji could ever truly understand such a concept, but I’ve seen the lengths a mother will go to protect her child. I know you doubt yourself my boy… but if nothing else, you must know this Shouto; Your mother loves you, and Inko, your siblings and your classmates love and care for you too. They say Rome was not built in a day… You are still young my boy; your mother has come a long way, but these things take time. She is not as she was, and I do not know if she will ever be… but I know this; if either of you are to heal as best you can, you need this, as you told me earlier. Do not forget my boy; you are not alone. You are far stronger than you think and you need not do everything alone. Inko, Izuku, your siblings, all of U.A… We are here, and we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, I swear it.”

******

It wasn’t fair.

Ever since he’d told Sensei he thought All Might’s brat could be swayed, his teacher and mentor had been paying notably close attention to the kid as much as he could, since the kid rarely left U.A thanks to the hot-headed “hero” who threatened that woman… If he wasn’t a villain, Tomura would have thought it frightening how quickly his Sensei had managed to keep tabs on the weakling and learn everything he could. Hell, he’d even seen a shit ton of papers and notebooks in a file about the kid!

The papers were old and had obviously been smoothed out after being crumpled, some of them stapled together or shoved into the notebooks and parts of them were singed… Tomura didn’t understand why Sensei had the useless scraps; some of the paper contained crude drawings of heroes and writing befitting a young child, with pointless observations to match… He found himself wondering how long Sensei had actually been keeping tabs on the kid, and bitterly thinking about why he was there if Sensei had such a keen interest in the brat.

Nevertheless, Tomura knew better than to test his Sensei, the man being as punctual and cruel as he was… That day Tomura had confronted the brat after doing what Sensei had asked of him. He knew it was risky, and he no doubt placed those stupid Heroes on high alert… but he had to understand the brat… had to understand himself , if he ever wanted to be what his Sensei needed him to become.

“Everything is in place Sensei. By this time tomorrow, this pathetic society will see itself beginning to crumble.”

The young man stood alone as he spoke to the blank screen, trying his best to not smile with glee at the plans he would soon set in motion. He wanted nothing more than to make the man who had saved him proud, and if getting revenge on the world that abandoned him was what it took… well, that was all the more reason to try, wasn’t it?

“Well done Tomura…. Well done. Patience is a virtue that will soon yield the highest of rewards. Very soon, we shall be reaping those results. You left the body in one, recognizable piece, as I asked… and that little speech of his is out and about… soon his pathetic ideology will bring us what we need… You’ve done well, my boy.”

“Thank you, Sensei.”

“Now there’s just one more loose end to tie. I do wonder how prison has treated old Dragonfire… I wonder even more how that boy of his would have fared, had the fool not damaged him… You see Tomura; he did not understand the virtue of Patience and thus, he has suffered the consequences. Do not be like him.”

“… Yes Sensei…”

Chapter Text

The training camp was about a week away for the Hero Course students and for reasons only Nezdu knows, the U.A Principal decided it was a good idea to hold a talent show for the students to participate in, citing it as a “stress reliever”. With wind of a “talent show”, the media flooded U. A’s phones and after a couple hours of debating and favor cashing, some of the media would be allowed to attend and broadcast the event… provided they didn’t interrupt or rush any of the student. Of the 1-A class, many were excited to see what their classmates would do and others were excited to show their talents…. Jiro in particular seemed elated and eager for the day to arrive as soon as possible, although a close second was Izuku himself, who refused to say what he would be doing to everyone… including Kacchan.

Usually Katsuki would be worried if his friend was keeping things from him, but the subtle spring in Izuku’s step, as well as the jittery and enthusiastic mannerisms of late told the Explosive boy this radio silence was just Izuku’s bullshit being given an outlet and a stage… and when Nezdu admitted he would allow profanity, provided it was relevant to the material at hand, Katsuki’s hopes were higher than ever. The wait was agonizing to him but about two days or so after the announcement the talent show was underway and everyone was abuzz with curiosity and excitement, the word next to Izuku’s name was simply “Stand-up Comedy”.

Izuku himself was conflicted; he wanted to listen and enjoy whatever everyone else was doing… but he also really wanted it to hurry up for his time to come… he wasn’t sure how the rest of the school or the world would react… but if he was being honest, he didn’t really care; if he could make Shouto laugh, then nothing else would matter. Nevertheless, it was a half hour into the show when it was finally time for him to make his way towards the stage as Jiro jammed out, being gleefully in her element. Izuku was silently glad he’d committed his bit to memory because he was certain he wouldn’t be able to stand in front of everyone and keep track of notecards... Truthfully, he knew he wasn’t the best in front of crowds, but months of training had taught him to zero-in on a single person and a one-on-one session was doable.

Midnight’s gentle tap told him it was his turn and as Izuku walked onto the stage, he zeroed-in on Shouto as he took a deep breath before speaking.

“I’ve never really cared about controversies… Never talked about ’em much. But then, a few months ago, the strangest thing happened! Now, I don’t know if you’ve been following the news, but I’ve been keeping my ears open and it seems like everyone everywhere is super-mad about everything all the time… I try to stay a little optimistic, even though I will admit, things are getting pretty sticky….”

Izuku paused and he just knew Kacchan had guessed where this was going… he just hoped Shouto would understand as well.

“…Here’s how I try to look at it, and this is just me, with a flaming garbage pile as a controversial ‘hero’; it’s like there’s a horse loose in a hospital.”

Izuku was pretty sure he heard most of the country choke on air.

“… It’s like there’s a horse loose in a hospital. I think eventually everything’s going to be okay, but I have no idea what’s going to happen next. And neither do any of you, and neither do your parents, because there’s a horse loose in the hospital! It’s never happened before, no one knows what the horse is going to do next, least of all the horse! He’s never been in a hospital before, he’s as confused as you are! There’re no experts!”

At this point the person he was focused on had started to violently shake with repressed laughter, which was good, but not quite what Izuku was going for.

“…They try to find experts on the news. They’re like, ‘We’re joined now by a man that once saw a bird in the airport.’ And I’m just like ‘Get out of here with that shit! We’ve all seen a bird in the airport. This is a horse loose in a hospital!’… When a horse is loose in a hospital, you got to stay updated. So, all day long you walk around, “What’d the horse do?” The updates, they’re not always bad. Sometimes they’re just odd. It’ll be like, ‘The horse used the elevator?’… I didn’t know he knew how to do that…”

At this point Shouto had cracked and Izuku could hear him laughing uncontrollably. He was vaguely aware of everyone else making noise, but he tuned it out to focus on his friend.

“… The creepiest days are when you don’t hear from the horse at all. You know, it’s like you’re down in the operating room like, ‘Hey, uh… has anyone… Has anyone heard-’ and then out of nowhere, there’s clopping hooves and then their gone! … Those are those quiet days when people are like, ‘It looks like the horse has finally calmed down.’ And then ten seconds later the horse is like, ‘I’m gonna run towards the baby incubators and smash ’em with my hooves. I’ve got nice hooves and a long tail, I’m a horse I can do what I want!’… Like, that’s what I thought you’d say, you dumb fucking horse!

Shouto was doubled over laughing, and Izuku couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face as he kept talking.

“And then… Then… Then you go to brunch with people and they’re like, ‘There shouldn’t be a horse in the hospital.’ And it’s like, ‘We’re well past that!’ Then other people are like, ‘If there’s gonna be a horse in the hospital, I’m going to say the N-word on TV!’ And those don’t match up at all… And then, for a second, we were like, ‘Maybe the horse-catcher will catch the horse.’ And then the horse is like, “I have fired the horse-catcher. Literally fired him, you should call the fire department.’… Like, He can do that? That shouldn’t be allowed no matter who the horse is…. And I don’t remember that in Hamilton!”

Izuku was smiling so brightly and was so happy Shouto was laughing that the full force of the audience’s laughter didn’t hit him until he allowed his focus to spread out and the noise of applause nearly deafened him… but he didn’t care, because Shouto Todoroki was laughing and that was all that mattered.

Chapter Text

Midnight’s heart was pounding as she ran through the halls of U.A, ignoring all the students and staff that were giving her looks of confusion and worry. She couldn’t care less as some business course teacher yelled after her… she had to find Inko and she had to do it quickly. Nezdu had said Inko was going to go collect some things from her little apartment, but could be caught if Midnight hurried, which lead to where she was at the moment, finally spotting the familiar sight of Inko as she was quietly closing her classroom door as Midnight called out to her, a bit louder than she probably should have been.

Inko!

The sudden and loud noise startled Inko, who dropped her bag in surprise and turned to face the speaker, eyes wide with confusion, tensing as she did so, only to relax after identifying the speaker.

“Oh, Midnight! You startled me!”

Inko herself had been in a slight mood, having sent her four boys off to that training camp two days prior, but she understood why they needed it and was even happy they’d be off doing their best at whatever hero things they were learning… until she saw the panic and fear hidden in the eyes of the Pro-Hero before her.

“…. Do you need something? Is something wrong? Did Katsuki blow something up?”

Midnight just wrapped Inko into a hug as she managed to choke out an explanation.

“Inko… It’s…oh god Inko I’m so sorry. It’s Hisashi. Someone broke him out... He’s free.”

Inko’s blood ran cold as all thought stopped dead. She didn’t just hear those words… he wasn’t free. He couldn’t be and yet… Midnight held her tighter as Inko’s legs tried to give out from underneath her. It was impossible for someone to break him out… he’d been under constant surveillance and heavily guarded.

“Midnight, I need you to be honest with me and tell me everything.”

Inko knew she had every right to be panicking and demanding they bring her son home instantly. She had every right to be crying hysterically and cower in fear at the mere mention of… that man. But if her time at U.A and with Toshi had taught her anything, it was that she was far, far stronger than she had been all those years ago. She wasn’t the crying woman who was scared of finding a cheating husband anymore. She was Inko Midoryia; the woman who was an informant and helped bring down a dangerous villain. The woman who raised her boys towards the path of being heroes and she was a teacher at U.A; dedicated to teaching and protecting all of her students.

Inko was a Mother and that made her far stronger than Hisashi ever was or could be. Inko was worried for her boys, anyone would be, but she knew they were strong enough to take him, if it ever came down to it. She knew Aizawa would rather die than let Hisashi near Izuku again and she knew Katsuki would never let him even breath near Izuku… and if those other kids in 1-A found out the truth, she knew they’d fight for Izuku. Sure, Inko was no hero… but she didn’t need to be one to know that class was full of Heroes who would stand by her son, no matter what. She took comfort in that as Midnight explained, slightly unnerved at how reserved Inko seemed to be, the simmering anger and fear abundant in the smaller woman’s eyes.

“They found his cell empty after a shift change… a few days ago, the warping villain from the USJ escaped during all the hysteria with finding Stain’s body. We think they’re working together for the League of Villains, but we don’t know why or how… Aizawa’s been notified, as well as the others at the training camp, just in case. Inko, I’m so sorry… we’re doing everything we can to track him down and bring him to justice again… Izuku should be safe, if that’s worth anything.”

Inko knew the tears were starting to fall… how could she be so stupid? How could she just assume everything would be okay after all these years? How could she not think he would have outside contacts?

Inko could only hide herself in Midnight’s arms as the full reality of what was going on hit her and a sinking feeling found its way into her stomach… somehow, she just knew her boys were in danger and something…bigger was at play. She could only pray silently that they would be safe through it all… that the heroes would bring her son home safely.

*****

Izuku’s legs were burning and his heart was pounding with fear. He was running through the forest of the training camp to find the boy Kota, who had run off and hid sometime before the poison gas had appeared. Izuku wasn’t scared for himself, but for the young boy who, in this dangerous environment, could easily be killed if a villain found him. Izuku refused to let anything happen to the boy… he figured the kid had issues with quirks and the hero society in general, but Izuku couldn’t afford to fail Kota and have him end up like Izuku had once been himself. If it hadn’t been for All Might and Kacchan, Izuku knew he very well could have been like Stain… or worse. But that didn’t matter… what mattered right then and there was getting to Kota.

He could sense the boy just up ahead… and a larger figure was already with him. Izuku felt like his heart was going to burst out of his chest as he ran and threw the ground around him at the second figure, rushing to Kota’s side and moving him away from the figure. The larger man regained his footing and Izuku heard him give a gruff laugh.

“I came here to find a good view and yet, you found me… You were top on the list… Midoryia.”

Izuku could feel the boy beside him shaking with fear as the man took one step closer and Izuku could only catch parts of whatever he was mumbling… something about his parents. It didn’t take much to connect the dots and Izuku stood straighter, dragging the boy behind him, speaking with extreme confidence, hoping it would ease the boy’s fears.

“It’s going to be okay Kota. I won’t let him hurt you.”

The villain laughed.

You’ll save him? But who’s going to save you, hm? These heroes failed you once before… what makes now any different? Why bother?”

Izuku realized it was a diversion, trying to get his mind to wander as the man charged and Izuku threw up a wall, grabbing the boy as he did so as he made a tunnel into the mountainside. He knew the villain wouldn’t stop his onslaught… that his walls wouldn’t hold him. Izuku knew what might work... but the idea sickened him. Then… the moment of panic seemed to stretch and it felt like an eternity to Izuku as a small, familiar voice whispered into his mind.

“You can’t fight him like this on your own Kid… I can help.”

Izuku didn’t understand what Nana meant, but he trusted her and silently agreed as time seemed to resume and the two of them slid out of his tunnel at the base of the mountain. Izuku could feel that the villain was hot on their tail. Despite the adrenaline and fear, Izuku felt a wave of Peace wash over him as his usual darkness became brighter and brighter until he could see the base of the mountain, Kota by his side, everything having a sort of blue-ish tint. At his other side, guiding his body’s actions was Nana, a steely look in her eyes as the villain broke through the barricade Izuku had hastily created. The two spoke in unison to the boy beside them, a comforting smile crossing Izuku’s face.

“It’s okay Kota. I won’t fail you, I promise.”

With that, Izuku and Nana rushed the laughing Villain and threw everything Izuku had at him. Kota was still frozen in fear, unable to run away like he knew he should have. He didn’t understand why this boy, who he’d only pushed away, was trying to save him… why he was risking his life for Kota. The boy had come for him, knowing the danger… Kota didn’t understand why his voice was suddenly like there were two people speaking… or why his eyes had suddenly started glowing of all things.

Is this what Auntie was talking about? Is this… my Hero?

Izuku knew he and Nana were fighting a losing battle. They were too concerned for Kota and if he’d get in harms way… and he had an idea as he and Nana launched the villain skywards, before rocketing after him and summoning every ounce of power they could into a single jet of white-hot flames

One for All… 1,000,000% Power

The hero and villain crashed into the mountainside, Izuku humming with energy as he willed the wind to whip around him, sensing his foe was still. Nana’s guidance had faded and Izuku felt drained… but he couldn’t afford to quit now; not when Kota still needed him and other villains on the loose. Kota was where he’d left him and Izuku walked over and, after gaining permission, lifted the boy into his arms before taking off in the direction of the camp.

*****

The room was dark and damp and Hisashi hated it. He didn’t really want to be freed… he’d seen how close All Might, of all people, had gotten to that fucking bastard of a son… he’d have to be an idiot to break himself out… but it seemed his old business partner had other ideas.

“It’s been quite a while, hasn’t it old friend?”

Hisashi growled angrily, shifting in his bonds.

“Don’t give me that ‘old friend’ bullshit! You knew I’d get caught at the damn Aquarium. You knew there’d be more than one hero there. You fucking set me up!”

The man in the doorway sighed as he shook his head disapprovingly.

“tsk tsk… Hisashi, you really shouldn’t shift the blame in such a manner! Your capture was your own doing. I gave specific instructions to attack the hero and the hero alone… And yet, you wasted your time and energy on a child.”

“I put that miserable brat in his place!”

The villain slammed the door behind him as he entered the room, his voice not raising in volume, but the displeasure was growing into anger and venom.

“You damaged what very well could have been an asset to us. Imagine how much more valuable your boy would be if he could see. Imagine what he would be like if you had just learned to be patient… No matter; Your boy will join us soon. My current ward will see to it… then, and only then, will you see your mistake.”

At the mention of the creep with the hand on his face, Hisashi found himself shuddering, phantom pains of the recent encounter with the brat panging violently… and yet, something about the way the older man had phrased his words caught Hisashi’s attention.

“You say that as if you plan to have a different ward.”

The man laughed, walking closer and closer until he placed a single hand on Hisashi’s shoulder, crushing it slightly.

“Don’t worry about it, old friend… Just know that you are only alive because I plan to give the boy what he’s been denied all these years.”

Hisashi’s throat went dry, the situation dawning on him as he spoke once more.

“And…and what’s that?”

The older villain’s laugh sent chills down Hisashi’s spine and boiled his blood.

“Revenge and a second chance… You know, I should be thanking you, my friend; without your foolishness, the boy and his quirk would never have caught my eye… Izuku is far stronger than Tomura will ever be, and has far more hate in his heart than he will admit. Very, very soon, everything will fall into place.”

With every word, the hand on Hisashi’s shoulder clamped down tighter and tighter until they heard the crunching of bones.

Their plan was already in motion…. And All for One hoped Tomura would be rational enough to keep Izuku alive… not that it would matter. As soon as Izuku was within his grasp, Tomura was as good as useless to him.

Chapter Text

Aizawa really should have known the Problem Child would have found some form of danger as soon as something went down, because of course something had to happen. He didn’t expect the crying child that clung to the boy or the strange glowing behind that damn visor of his, and yet here they were. Aizawa would be lying if he said he wasn’t worried about Izuku. Sure, he’d trained the kid as best he could over the years, but part of him couldn’t stop seeing the little boy he failed to protect (and yes, he would lie about it). He was reminded once more of the boy in the hospital room he swore to protect as he stared for a moment, taking in the sight of a battered and bruised kid, holding desperately onto the smaller one.

“Problem Child... what the shit happened?”

His tone was a lot harsher than he meant it to be, but part of him was just relieved to see the kid in one piece, and he couldn’t afford to sound soft in such a dangerous situation.

“Villains attacked during our training exercises; some of us were already in the woods when everything started. I think there’s a large amount poison somewhere… it smells kind of faint from here but I smelled a bit earlier. Mandalay gave me permission to go find Kota… there was a villain there when I found him, but I kept him out of harms way. The villain mentioned a list of some kind... given the circumstances, I have to think it’s a hitlist. They must have waited until we were spread out, if I had to guess.”

Aizawa cursed under his breath. If Midoryia had done what Aizawa assumed he did, it could land him into some hot water… but if he hadn’t, then the kid would have been toast. Before Aizawa could speak, he found a small child being handed to him as Midoryia spoke again, voice full of hidden fear and doubt.

“Can you take him to safety? I have to tell Mandalay that he’s safe… and I have to find Kacchan.”

He was already starting to run off before Aizawa processed everything and called out to stop him, making what he was sure would be the worst decision of his life.

“Midoryia! I…. I give you permission to fight any villain that comes across you as self-defense. When you find Mandalay, tell her to relay the same notion to all the other students. Do you know how many villains there are?”

Izuku stopped and focused, expanding his field of intake outwards, mentally counting everyone he found and paired it against everyone he knew was there.

“There’s six people I don’t recognize. One of them is out cold, so there’s five left.”

Aizawa nodded shortly and readjusted his hold on the young boy in his arms. He had to get back to Vlad and the students…. The kid would be safe there, if any villain came that close.

“Go.”

And with that, Aizawa briefly watched as Izuku disappeared into the night. As he ran, part of him wondered if he should have told the boy about the jailbreak… but he shook that thought away. If anything, it would have distracted him almost instantly from the problem at hand. Still… there was a nagging voice in the back of Aizawa’s head that told him that he should have sent the boy to safety… that he should have gone to Mandalay himself… something was going to go wrong, but Aizawa was just concerned for the boy in his arms, silently hoping he didn’t fuck this up a second time.

******

Izuku had fucked up…. he couldn’t tell where he was or what was happening. It was like he was suspended in mid-air with none of the air and all of the suspension. He’d been running to find Kacchan and had been so focused on looking for him that he’d inadvertently forced himself into a tunnel vision of the ground alone… because of course the villain had to be in the trees. He could distantly hear someone calling for him, but he couldn’t move or do anything. He could even think properly, he was too disoriented… and after what felt like an eternity, everything came back into existence… and it was completely wrong.

The trees were gone, and he was surrounded by unfamiliar figures in a small room with some kind of metal restraints encasing his forearms and strapped to a chair. He had no idea how much time had passed, or where he was.  Part of him wanted to melt the metal away and fight his way out of there… but he knew better than to be rash. In a corner, he could sense… was that Kurogiri? There must have been a jailbreak... If any significant time had passed, he knew the school would be working with heroes to launch a rescue… he just had to bide his time until they came to get him. Lucky for him, it seemed the leader seemed eager to out themselves, as they walked forwards and spoke.

“Finally awake, are we? You’ve been a pain in my ass, did you know that? You’re the reason we had to waste time getting our dear Kurogiri. You’re the reason my Sensei is quite furious with me.”

The person was getting closer and Izuku had a bad feeling about them as he rashly willed the metal around him to bend away from him, shooting upwards and away from the villain. Something told him not to let himself get touched by them as he stood defensively. The room shifted into positions of attack before the head laughed.

“Metal... of course you’d break free so quickly. But where are my manners? We must treat you as an equal, mustn’t we? You see, I know you better than you think Midoryia. You like to get strong, don’t you? You like proving everyone wrong… you’d be a perfect fit here, don’t you think?”

Before Izuku could respond, a new voice spoke up.

“My apologies for taking you forcefully. You seemed out for blood, so I thought it best to act then and ask forgiveness later... it’s quite sad we couldn’t get that friend of yours though… those other students grabbed him and left you to us.”

Izuku grinned like a madman at those words, rushing forwards as he thought to himself;

So, they went after Kacchan… but he got away. If I know anything, it’s that Kacchan won’t let anyone rest until he knows I’m okay... and if they wanted me dead, they would have killed me already.

His fist connected with the villain’s chin, rocking him backwards as he just laughed.

“Getting strong? Proving everyone wrong? That’s what you’ve got on me? You bigger dumbasses than I thought, if that’s the case! Sure, I want to get stronger… who doesn’t? But I want to get strong and help people, just like All Might. So, you’ve got another thing coming if you think I’m just going to jump ship on the people who’ve known me my whole life, just because you think you know me.”

Izuku ducked and kicked outwards as another person rushed him, raving like a lunatic as she did so. The one he’d punched had recovered and was standing once more. Izuku didn’t need to see to know he was probably pissed off as he spoke coldly and quietly, before raising his voice loudly.

“Toga, that’s enough; Sensei wants him alive… but I see nothing wrong with handing him over a little roughed up… the brat’s mine to deal with… Sensei! Lend me your strength!”

And it was at that moment there was a knock on the door… just before the wall was smashed to bits and a loud, booming and familiar voice spoke as Izuku smiled with relief. All Might had brought the rescue team. There were heroes acting faster than Izuku could and he felt the hunk of metal that he recognized as Kurogiri fall to the ground… and yet, something felt wrong... It was similar to the feeling from Kurogiri’s appearance at the USJ, but it was so, so much worse.

“All Might!”

Even as Izuku called to him and reached out for someone, anyone, he felt the air around him shift and pierce his skin as he became disoriented and disappeared from the Hero’s sight in a black portal… with Nomu-like creatures emerging from similar portals. The villain with a Hand on his face was calling out desperately.

“Sensei? Sensei bring me to you! Sensei?!?

He remained where he was and All Might felt his blood run cold… he had his suspicions… but there was no time. With a sift nod to the others, he launched himself to the secondary location. He’d made a promise and he would rather die than break it, Inko’s voice ringing in his ears as he gathered his strength and nerves.

“Bring him home Toshi… Please… bring my baby home.”

****

Katsuki was sulking more than he usually did. Deku had been taken and it was all his fault. He was supposed to protect him! And he failed… again. Tears threatened to surface on Katsuki’s face as he bitterly thought back to the promise, he made all those years ago… when he had refused to leave Deku’s hospital bedside after The Attack.

It had been two days since that bastard’s attack and no adult had the heart to tear the Ashen Blond away from the boy in the bed, his eyes wrapped in bandages as machines whirred in the background quietly. Katsuki was hiding his face, because he’d been crying again. He only moved when he heard a light knock on the door, turning to face the newcomer. He saw that, in the doorway was a tall and slender woman he didn’t recognize, but she was in a hero costume. Her dark hair was in a partial bun and he could see a little mole on her right cheek… and she was staring in horror and sadness at Deku.

“what are you lookin’ at? You here to coddle and pity Deku like everyone else? Well it won’t work! He’s going to get better and be a lot stronger than anyone! Even All Might!”

Katsuki had hoped his harsh tone would drive her away… that he could defend Deku with his words from the stranger… but her gaze only turned to him and he was taken aback at how different the emotions he saw were. Most heroes who came to leave little presents and well wishes had either pity or ill-hidden disgust or mistrust in their eyes... but this woman’s eyes were kind, and so full of righteous fury and sadness that it took Katsuki off guard as she gave him a smile.

“I don’t doubt it Kid. I was asked to come here to make sure no one who isn’t wanted gets in here to bug you guys. Is that okay?”

“Like who?”

“Reporters mostly. They seem nice, but where there’s conflict, there’s a ‘story’… nasty bunch if they think there’s a scoop.”

Her honesty had startled him… most adults or heroes would have been pandering or condescending.

“Oh.”

His short response had made her laugh. It was a nigh laugh, he remembered thinking. She looked him over with an intense gaze before speaking again, leaning against the door frame casually, keeping an eye on the outside as she did so.

“Mind if I ask you something Kid?”

“What?”

“I know a bunch of other heroes have probably told you that none of this is your fault… but why do you think it is?”

Katsuki didn’t know what it was about this strange hero… or why he felt so safe when she’d smiled, but he found himself telling her everything.

“because it is my fault! I told Auntie I’d look after Deku… and I failed. Heroes are supposed to protect people, but I just… couldn’t. I just took Auntie’s hand and ran like a coward. All Might wouldn’t have run… Deku wouldn’t have either. It’s my fault he’s hurt because I was too weak to protect him!”

The tears were falling again as he spoke angrily. He was angry at the world and himself. It wasn’t fair this happened to Deku! It wasn’t fair the ‘heroes’ were saying mean things about him because of everything Hisashi did when they thought he was asleep or not listening! It just wasn’t fair! He didn’t even notice the woman abandon the doorway until he felt the arms wrap around him… he didn’t even have the strength to push her away. He just sat there and cried as Deku slept and the woman hugged him quietly before speaking softly.

“Everything will be okay. You’re still growing, you know. And I bet that one day, you’re going to grow up to be very, very strong… Stronger than you already are! If you weren’t strong, you wouldn’t have taken your Aunt’s hand and brought her to safety. You saved her… Part of being a hero is accepting you can’t always save everyone… but because of your actions… the heroes did save everyone.”

“But Deku still got hurt! I wasn’t thinking! I just grabbed the nearest person! What if it hadn’t been someone I knew? Then they both would have been hurt!”

He had stopped crying at that point, looking up to her in silent awe. She was treating him far more maturely than any adult ever had… and he respected that. As she spoke, she wiped his tears away, her smile even kinder and gentler than before.

 “Sometimes, bad people do bad things and people get hurt… That’s just the way the world works… but everything turned out for the better. Tell you what Kid; If you get stronger as you grow up, then you can be the hero your friend needed for someone who might need it later on.”

“What if I’m not strong enough to be a hero?”

Sure, he had a strong quirk… but it hadn’t been enough to protect Deku! What kind of hero couldn’t even protect their best friend?

“I talked to a lot of adults before coming here to keep an eye on you two… you’ve got a good quirk and, from what I’ve seen… an unbreakable bond with your friend. This is only the beginning Kid... trust me?”

Her smile had grown infectious as he weakly smiled back.

 “…Okay… What’s your name anyways?”

She laughed again as she ruffled his hair before standing up to her full height, which towered over him at that age.

“Nana. What about you, Hero?”

Katsuki looked to Deku before looking back to the woman, Nana, with a confident grin on his face.

“Katsuki Bakugou. And I’m going to be the hero Deku needs! No one is ever gonna hurt him or anyone else like that ever again! That’s a promise!”

Chapter Text

It took Izuku a moment to regain his composure and asses his surroundings: He was in an unknown location with three structures within them to store something, Nomus if he had to guess; there were four people scattered across the ground behind him and two more figures before him… one was standing stall, while the other was hunched over on the ground and… and Izuku recognized the smell from his breath instantly, even after all these years. The standing figure, a man with some kind of machinery on his face from what he could tell, didn’t move towards Izuku, but spoke in a voice that calmed the tense anxiety and adrenaline Izuku felt almost instantly, which he only distantly thought of as strange.

“Hello Izuku. I’m terribly sorry for the messy transportation… it’s not as precise as Kurogiri’s I’m afraid. You’ve grown a great deal since I last saw you face to face, although I doubt you would remember; you were quite small back then… not even able to hold your own head upright.”

At those words, the man by his side started shaking violently, struggling against some sort of metal bonds. Izuku wanted nothing more than to run and abandon this whole situation… he didn’t want anything to do with that man… but he was no coward. He couldn’t leave the heroes alone, especially when he registered them as Mt. Lady, Best Jeanist, Ragdoll, Tiger and someone else he didn’t quite recognize. The realization that this man most likely took all of them down told him this was a threat to not trifle with... and he spoke as if he knew Izuku... the best course of action would be to bide his time again.

“Who are you? If your goal is the same as hand-face’s, then you’ve got another thing coming.”

Izuku meant to sound threatening, or confident... but the man just scoffed.

“Peace my boy, I wish you no harm. My name… it is lost to time I’m afraid, but that does not matter. What matters is you. You were always the end goal my boy. Tomura was quite the fool, to think you would become a villain of all things… that is not the path I see for you. You have the heart of a hero, don’t you? I’m here to help you Izuku… I always have been.”

Izuku was having trouble understanding… the more the man spoke, the foggier it seemed his mind became, silently breaking the resolve he had as he found himself listening and responding far kinder than he knew he should have.

“Always have? I’ve never met you before in my life. And if you want me to be a hero… why are you the sensei to someone in a group called ‘The League of Villains’? What do you want with me?”

The man chuckled at Izuku’s observation, casing the other to grow still in what Izuku could faintly assume was fear. Part of him knew this was wrong; this man was dangerous and he shouldn’t be talking so casually to the man… not when there were unconscious heroes behind him and more likely on the way to rescue him.

“Always the observant one. All I want is for you to get what you want, my boy. Tomura was unruly and undisciplined, despite my best efforts to lead him towards a better path… perhaps with time, he could have been great… but it is time I do not have. I want to give you what you have been denied all these years and send you far, far along the path you seek. You are aware of the concept of karma, yes?”

“What goes around comes around.”

“Indeed, it does. You see… what if I told you I acquired a healing quirk of sorts… I found it especially for you some time after my former associate decided to harm you, the innocent victim. With it, I can quite literally take a tooth for a tooth and an eye for an eye.”

An eye…for an eye? Through the strange stupor Izuku found himself in, he slowly connected the dots before him; His father, free of prison but not of bonds, the man with a strange connection to him and the apparent want to help Izuku… it was too good to be true. Something in the back of Izuku’s mind was whispering urgently to him, telling him it was a trap and that he should ignore the man’s honeyed words.

“And what do you get out of it? I doubt you would go through all this trouble, just to fix one mistake from years ago unless you thought there was something to gain.”

The man’s laugh was now loud and booming as he moved a step closer to Izuku who stepped backwards in turn.

“Sharp as I hoped you were… truthfully, there are two outcomes to this; You accept my help, I use that quirk to deal out the true justice Hisashi deserves, and I gain an ally to teach and mentor. You walk the path of a Hero, but that does not mean I am of no use because my acts from long ago are deemed ‘villainous’ by the society of today; We could help each other become stronger than ever… Or you refuse my offer and I will unfortunately have to take your quirk. I do not wish for it to come to that, as I have far too many quirks that are similar, but you yourself are quite formidable with it and I’d rather avoid unnecessary bloodshed, if I can help it.”

“So that’s your end goal? You want to ‘fix’ me and send me on my merry way, only to use me later on? To abandon everything and everyone that’s lead me to where I am? For the sake of my eyesight? And what if I agree? I get to see again and he losses his sight… then what? You’ll release him too? He’d be an even greater danger if he’s set loose to run around like a wild, cornered animal... there would be no telling how many people he could hurt!”

The man had stopped laughing and Izuku just knew he was looking at him with an intense and inquisitive gaze. All for One knew the boy was clever, but this was quite out of the ordinary as he thought to himself before speaking; Quite resilient, isn’t he? After I’ve been using that manipulation quirk for this long no less… perhaps I should have waited longer for that woman’s son to get his quirk… brainwashing would have been far more useful… oh well; it does not do well to dwell… my time alone with young Izuku is nearly up, after all… dear All Might will be here soon, I have no doubt.

“I would never let him repeat his mistakes, I promise you. Why else would I bring him here, only to restrain him? I have no ill intent towards you Izuku; I want what is best for you… and I never said my quirk wouldn’t work on the dead.”

Another step forwards and Izuku once again stepped backwards but the man was quicker this time, taking Izuku by the arm and practically dragging him back towards the man Izuku had spent the better part of his life fearing and avoiding, a sinking feeling in Izuku’s stomach helped fight away the cloud in his mind… he was using some kind of manipulation quirk on him, he just knew it.

“Strike him down Izuku. Take the fire he cursed you with and rebuke him… no one will blame you for it. Why would they, after everything he did to you and your mother? Send him to the darkest pits of hell and I promise you, I will grant you what he stole from you and more. Rebuke him Izuku! Refuse your place as his son… I can restore what he tarnished all those years ago… I’m the only one who can give you what you need… you will finally see your mother’s smile again.”

Izuku couldn’t break free. Part of him wanted to fight back…but another part of him wanted to unleash every ounce of pain and suffering he’d felt on Hisashi’s behalf at the man who had been the root of his problems for all his life…all the mockery and belittlement he’d ever endured because he was a villain's son... he wanted to repay it tenfold. But revenge was something Heroes shouldn’t seek out… it wasn’t right and it wasn’t justice… Izuku turned his head towards the man, straightening his back as he did so.

“No.”

“No?”

“No. An eye for an eye and the world goes blind. I refuse to act as Judge, Jury and Executioner… no matter how horrible he is.”

The man’s grip on Izuku tightened and he both heard and felt the bone snap… but the man’s attention seemed to divert from Izuku.

“Ah, there you are!”

Before Izuku could even think of a response, there was a rush of wind and a large figure launching themselves at the man, the impact causing the wind to rush wildly and the found to break up as the newcomer spoke in an all too familiar voice.

“I’ll have you return my student All for One; Your reign of terror is over!”

The man, All for One, spoke coldly.

“Have you come to kill me a second time, All Might?”

The wind had become too much and Izuku found himself flying backwards and landed on top of Best Jeanist, who stirred quietly. Izuku shook his head as if to clear it… if All Might was going to fight this guy, he couldn’t hold back… which mean Izuku had to get everyone out of there and fast… he turned to the Fiber Hero and whispered urgently.

“Best Jeanist, can you stand?”

The man shifted and tried to get up, only to fall back down. Nearby, Tiger was starting to stir as well, pulling himself closer to Ragdoll, who was still out cold. Izuku decided it was now or never, calling out over the wind to the other hero.

“Tiger, bring Ragdoll over here; Grab whoever you can.”

The hero was puzzled but obliged, limping slightly, but holding fast onto Ragdoll as he placed Mt. Lady down beside best Jeanist before repeating the motion with the other hero Izuku couldn’t quite recognize. Jeanist spoke quietly as the Number One hero tried once again to hit the Villain.

“What do you plan to do, young man?”

Izuku knew they had to act fast, so he silently gathered all his strength to do two things: firstly, he reached outwards for the metal cuffs that restrained Hisashi, and sharply dragged him towards the small group. He ignored the confused grumbling before willing the ground beneath them to rise away from the ground and high into the air.

“If we stay, All Might won’t be able to fight at 100%. I can get us out of here, but I’ll need you guys to direct me. My best guess is that… Dragonfire had some serious torture happening, from all the dried blood I can smell, and he’ll need medical assistance. If All Might’s having trouble with this guy, then the rest of you are defiantly going to need some help too.”

Tiger nodded solemnly as they continued to rise in the air and speed away at a pace that would clear the field for All Might, but he knew was still cautious… Midoryia didn’t want to run into anything or anyone. As they soared through the sky, the heroes were engulfed in a spotlight, looking to see a News Helicopter following them.

“Are they serious right now??”

“Ignore them Midoryia. Take a left here! We should be able to see the closest hospital in a minute or two. We’ll let you know where to let everyone down at.”

****

“Young Midoryia?”

Looking around, All Might couldn’t see the boy he came to save… nor could he see anyone else who was originally in the building. A large crater was in the place he last saw them… he hoped that meant they had fled to safety.

“It would seem Izuku took what he could and left you alone, All Might. You’ve failed him once more. You couldn’t save him in the forest and you needed him to save you. Pathetic. If I had my way all those years ago, then none of this would have needed to happen.”

All Might knew he didn’t have much time left in his hero form… not if they kept fighting at the pace they were.

“How sad… You know, I believe the holder of One for All before you told me the same thing… that my time was up… just before I killed her. If it makes any difference; her death was a pitiful one.”

It was there that All Might made his worst mistake; at the mention of Nana, his emotions took hold and he launched himself at All for One recklessly, pounding away as the villain just parried with ease. The building and the surrounding blocks crumbled as they fought until All Might was knocked backwards. As he stood, he knew his time was up, not looking to the helicopter that was overhead… no doubt broadcasting his true self to the world as his foe spoke once more.

“Hollow cheeks and sunken eyes; what a pathetic top hero you are! I came here for Izuku Midoryia and Izuku alone; I saw my younger brother in him the moment Hisashi showed him to me… he was so small back then; so defenseless against the cruelty of the world around him. You could not even save Nana; what makes now any different? I know you gave my brother’s quirk to him, so I know you see what I see. What kind of Hero are you, to come so far only to stand frozen in fear, when a Hero is meant to protect those around them?”

How could he be such a fool? How could he not have listened all those years ago and provided something for the boy he heard had been attacked… and how could he have not seen it sooner? From somewhere behind him, a woman’s voice called to All Might as he stood, frozen in shock and anger.

“Don’t… Lose. Keep… Going! All…Might! We need you!

Her voice jolted him from his thoughts. The moment after her call to him seemed to stretch into an eternity as a familiar voice spoke quietly as a sense of peace washed over him.

“You’re not done just yet Toshi… The people need their Symbol of Peace one last time.”

The peace and unseen presence of Nana turned to resolve as the moment caught up with him and he focused his strength into a single arm.

“Fear not Miss… I’m… not done yet. You’re right… a hero has so much to protect in this world… which is why I will defeat you!

As he lunged forwards, he could feel Nana running beside him, every step of the way as she guided his fist to their enemy.

“This power has been entrusted to the next generation by many people, praying it would be used for the good of all… that all their hopes would be come one. Can you hear them Toshi? Everyone is cheering for you; all their hopes and dreams are on you! It’s your turn now; do you best Toshinori!”

With those words, Toshinori felt a surge of unspeakable energy flow through him as his strength surged once more and his fist made contact, all his rage and energy manifesting into a single, devastating attack.

I promised Inko I’d come back and I’d have Izuku with me… I have to win this… for Nana… and everyone else!

…United… States… of… Smash…!”

Finally, with Nana’s encouragement in his heart, All Might stood over his fallen foe, staggering slightly before raising his hand in triumph… and he could hear it; the faint but deafening cheers of thousands upon thousands of people, all cheering for him… the hero who would no longer be able to do what he loved. But he would live on… not for himself, but for everyone he failed to protect and to fix his mistakes; for the Todoroki children, who he had once, foolishly, entrusted to their father, for the students under his wings… and for Inko, who he had failed most of all. He would live on, for them… and as a wave of exhaustion washed over him, he heard the voice he missed the most once more.

“You did good Toshi. I’m proud of you.”

Chapter Text

It wasn’t too long after that final blow that the other heroes showed up with authorities and, unsurprisingly, the press. The woman who had called out to All Might had been the first to be rescued, the top hero limping over to her as the authorities restrained his greatest enemy as everyone flooded the battlefield. It took him a few minutes to hobble over and grab her hand gently, still doing his best to smile as others rushed to move the ruins surrounding and trapping her as he tried to speak gently.

“It’s… it’s alright Ma’am, the paramedics are coming.”

The woman clung to his skeletal frame, only having the strength to nod quietly as the two made their way to far kinder ground as those with healing quirks got to work. With the woman to safety, All Might turned to watch his greatest enemy be led into the Maiden as some reporter prattled on nearby… he was too tired to fight their presence, but it did give him an idea as he felt the embers of One for All die away at last, letting him know that his time was up. With what strength and resolve he had left, Toshinori lifted his arm and pointed directly at the camera, causing the reporter to stop and turn her attention towards him, as well as the attention of the rest of the world.

“Now… Now it’s your turn.”

And with that, he let the world think what they wanted as he was lead away to seek medical assistance and he quietly hoped that the message would reach the ones it was truly meant for; Not the criminals who would take it as a warning, nor the civilians who would see it as a promise that their Symbol endured onwards… but for his students, and any others hoping to become heroes. For them, it was a prediction and a promise for a brighter future… a future they would make for themselves and one that they would need to fight for and protect.

****

(about a week-long time skip… because why not)

Alien Queen: Has anyone seen Midoryia since the big fight in the Kamino Ward?

Class Adult: I would assume he’s still in a hospital… Bakugou would know for sure, one would assume.

Lord X-Plosion Murder: Fuck off; Deku’s still recovering.

Lord X-Plosion Murder: Damn bastards broke his arm.

Idiot Pikachu: Holy shit, is he gonna be okay?

Lord X-Plosion Murder: I said his arm was broken, not gone, Hair for Brains! Deku’s tougher than you fuckers think.

Class Mom: I’m relieved to hear Midoryia will be alright… I hope whoever he rescued is going to be okay as well…

Icey-Hot: Don’t. He doesn’t deserve it.

Lord X-Plosion Murder: The fuck you know about that, Half and Half? And you, @Class Mom… which one are you again?

Class Adult: Bakugou, don’t be so disrespectful! Albeit… it is slightly confusing…

*Alien Queen Changed Class Mom’s name to All Powerful Creator*

Alien Queen: Better?

All Powerful Creator: I’m afraid I don’t understand Mina…

Lord X-Plosion Murder: I don’t fuckin care. Just know that you shouldn’t feel sorry for that bastard and Deku should have done anything but recue him.

Idiot Pikachu: ….

Class Adult: ….

Small Might: Are you guys done blowing up my phone? @Icey-hot and @Lord X-Plosion Murder; it’s okay you two; don’t make me regret it any more than I already do…

All Powerful Creator: Midoryia! How are you doing? Is everything okay? Do you need anyone to bring you anything? Would you like some tea? What kind do you like?

Idiot Pikachu: 1) How did you type that fast and 2) How are you typing Midoryia…and how do you know what we’re saying?

Small Might: 1) Not all Phones are touch-screen you know… keypads are a thing. 2) Text-to-speech.

Idiot Pikachu: Oh… sorry man… How are you holding up?

Small Might: I’m okay. It was only a couple fractures in my arm, so as long as I don’t do anything stupid, it should heal up in a few weeks or until I can see Recovery Girl.

A R M S: That is good to hear… did anyone hear about the changes U.A wants to make?

Red Riot: Yeah, saw it on the news… my moms are really worried about it, but convincing them to let me go should be easy.

Small Might: Changes? What’s going on?

Alien Queen: Apparently U.A wants to switch to a Boarding School system. They want to keep an eye on all the students to ensure their safety at all times… it’s been getting a lot of flack about our safety ever since the training camp.

Small Might: Seriously? It’s not even U.A ’s fault! They did everything they could… it wasn’t like they knew all that crap would happen!

Icey-Hot: Right as you are… I’m afraid my father’s arrest and All Might’s abrupt retirement has taken a serious toll on society… everyone’s scared because if they can’t even trust their heroes, what does it mean for those teaching the next generation?

*Lord X-Plosion Murder has added Aizawa to the group*

Red Riot: What the fuck, Bakubro? How the hell do you have his number anyways??

Lord X-Plosion Murder: None of your fucking business, that’s how.

Aizawa: Enough. Before I waste my time, is the entire class here?

Class Adult: If they aren’t active now, they will see it later, Aizawa-Sensei!

Emo Birb: I’ve been watching from the shadows…

Anima: I’m here!

*9 others have marked themselves as present and listening*

Aizawa: Firstly, U.A has the all clear to transfer to a boarding school and dormitory system. Teachers will be coming by later in the week to ask permission from your parents and guardians, so if you’re serious about this, you might want to start convincing now.

Aizawa: Secondly, Bakugou told me some of you were wondering about the man Midoryia saved. Most of that information is currently classified, but what I can tell you is that it is up to Midoryia and Midoryia alone to reveal that information… If I catch even a whisper of someone trying to pry for information, then that person will find themselves expelled in a heartbeat: do I make myself clear?

*17 people have agreed*

Aizawa: Who's the three that disagree.

Lord X-Plosion Murder: It's me, Deku and Half and Half, dumb-ass.

Aizawa: Good. It’s late, so I want all of you to go to bed this instant, or so help me you will all get a 20-page assignment.

Aizawa: oh, and before I forget

*Aizawa has added All Might to the group*

All Might: Oh? What is this?

Aizawa: The Problem children decided to have a group chat. I added you so I don’t have to deal with them 24/7.

Aizawa: Now bed; all of you… Especially you, All Might.

Chapter Text

“Inko, I need to speak to you.”

Inko jumped slightly at the sudden noise, looking up from her papers to see Detective Tsukauchi standing in the doorway, a look of concern crossing his face as their eyes met.

“Tsukauchi, you startled me… Please, come on in and have a seat! What is it?”

Tsukauchi sighed quietly, removing his hat and closing the door behind him politely as he walked closer to Inko, who he would consider a dear and close friend after that night all those years ago. His heart was heavy and torn as he sat and looked Inko in the eyes.

“I’m sorry to disturb you... There’s something that’s come up in the new case; Hisashi has a lot of crucial evidence and is in a very good position to bargain with it…”

Inko nodded quietly, listening intently.

“So far, his demands have been doable and within reason; leniency with sentencing, transfer to a better prison, the works and such…”

Tsukauchi could feel his heart break just a little more as he saw dark clouds gathering within Inko’s gaze as she looked onwards continuously, seeming to draw the next few words out of him.

“…But for his last demand… he wants to talk to Izuku. We’ve been trying to negotiate, but he refused everything that didn’t include talking with him.”

Inko felt her blood run cold at Tsukauchi’s final statement. Hisashi wanted to talk to Izuku, her Izuku… her baby… the baby he hurt. If she wasn’t already sitting, Inko was certain her legs would have given out from under her. The rational part of her knew something like this was bound to happen; that he might want to understand why Izuku had chosen to save him, and she knew deep down how important that information would be… but the part of Inko that had done everything in her power to protect Izuku ever since she’d discovered those files told her to take Izuku far, far away from the man that hurt him. Her motherly instincts were screaming at her to do whatever she could to protect her baby. Inko wanted nothing more than to keep Izuku away from him, but she knew couldn’t run from reality forever.

“I…I don’t want him anywhere near my son… but ultimately, it’s not my choice to make, is it? Izuku’s so much stronger than I am, and it’s not my place to speak for him… not anymore.”

Tsukauchi nodded quietly and placed a gentle hand on Inko’s shoulder as he leaned forwards and spoke softly.

“He’s a good kid Inko and if you trust his judgement, then it’s good enough for me… I’ll talk to him about it.”

Inko could only smile weakly in response, taking silent comfort until the sound of the door opening broke the silence as a familiar voice spoke.

“Inko are you hungry? There’s this place Midnight was telling me about and I was thinking we could stretch our legs and- Oh, Naomasa! This is a pleasant surprise!”

Tsukauchi found himself smiling quietly as surprise sprung across Toshinori’s face, followed by a deep blush, which he tried hiding behind the hand that wasn’t still in a cast. Glancing over to Inko, Tsukauchi could see a faint blush creeping its way onto her face as well as he stood up calmly.

“I could say the same thing about you, Toshi. Aren’t you supposed to be recovering?”

“Tsukauchi, leave him be… I asked him to come by so we could talk about Hitoshi.”

Tsukauchi raised his eyebrow questioningly.

“Hitoshi Shinso; the brainwashing kid?”

Inko nodded quietly, the look of fear and dread from Tsukauchi’s news fading away and being replaced by steel determination.

“U.A is transitioning into a dormitory system, and so everyone is working on home visits and I accidentally read his file and… I did a bit of research on the place he’s staying.”

The detective said nothing as he found himself sitting back down to listen intently.

“He… he’s been in the foster system ever since he was little; before his quirk ever manifested and when it did… kids can’t always control their quirks and his got him in a lot of hot water. The home he’s in right now is… it’s the last stop until they kick him out or send him to… somewhere else that’s worse. It’s not his fault though! Hitoshi is a really, really sweet kid and he wants to do what’s best for others!”

Toshinori walked over as swiftly as he could to comfort Inko, who was growing visibly upset. Tsukauchi had a feeling he knew where this was going, but he decided to press on gently.

“I don’t doubt it Inko… do you mind if I ask why you’ve been looking into this?”

Toshinori spoke up as he tried to sooth Inko, rubbing circles in her back methodically and gently.

“Inko wants to take Young Shinso in and add him to her growing family, but she’s quite worried about if he would even be willing to let her, among other things.”

Before Tsukauchi could inqure further, Inko spoke once more, her voice filled with worry.

“I mean, I’m his teacher! Or... I was his teacher… but I don’t really think it’s enough. What if he secretly hates me? I mean there was that time he gave me flowers to cheer me up, but I could be reading too much into that… Was I stupid for requesting the applications? What if I don’t have the qualifications to fully adopt him? Would he even want to be adopted? What if the boys can’t get along with him? Would it really be fair to adopt him only to chuck him off to a dormitory?  What if I’m just an old, worried woman who’s looking too much into this? What if-”

Tsukauchi hated seeing Inko like this, having only experienced this hysteria once before… just before she entered the courtroom to testify against Hisashi, and he knew just what to do.

“Inko.”

Tsukauchi’s smile was soft as he took both of Inko’s hands as she stopped to look at him.

“Your worry is rational, but your methods are not. You are Inko Midoryia; You are by far the most qualified person on the planet to take care of a child. This Shinso kid sounds like a good egg who was dealt a nasty hand, and if he cares enough to cheer you up with flowers, then I doubt he hates you, secretly or not. And I don’t doubt for a second that you aren’t enough Inko; when Toshi and I were at odds as to what to do with the Todoroki children, you opened your heart and home without hesitation and now, you want to offer it once more, even if he’s in a dormitory and even if he’s not your student anymore; your love for him won’t diminish, will it?”

“…N-No…”

“Then I see no reason why you shouldn’t extend this offer, if you haven’t already.”

“W-Well….”

“I believe that’s where I come in, my friend! Inko asked me here to help finalize the paperwork… she’s been working on it for a good while now... I will admit, i have not known Young Shinso for that long, but from what I know from my time teaching him; he's a good student who deserves a bright future.”

*****

“You wanted to talk to me… so talk.”

The air was tense, even through the two-way glass. Izuku had agreed to help and let the bastard talk, but he wasn’t going to be in the same room as him. Every passing second that Izuku knew the bastard was looking at him was a second, he regretted his decision in the Kimino Ward just a little more.

You’ve grown… it was hard to get a good look at you through all the pain.”

Izuku didn’t trust himself to say anything, so Hisashi continued.

You know… if you hadn’t gotten experience with brainwashing beforehand, you’d already be putty in that asshole’s hands by now. It just takes a couple minutes for him to work that damn quirk and then he’s got you… At first, it’s not entirely you; it’s like his quirk finds whatever emotion you try the hardest to hide and it brings it to light, stoking the flames until it’s not needed. Once it’s done, the need to do and act and obey him is ingrained into you… it feels like you’ll die if you don’t act the way he trained you.”

The nearby police officer was scribbling furiously onto a notepad and Izuku sighed.

“Is that all?”

“…How’s your mother? And little Katsuki?”

At the mention of Kacchan and his mother, Izuku’s temper flared.

“Why do you care? You didn’t seem to care when you attacked her all those years ago. You didn’t care when you attacked all three of us. Why the fuck should I disgrace them by dignifying you with a genuine response? As if you were just catching up with the news? The only reason I’m here is because Uncle Tsukauchi needs all the information he can get, and you decided it’d be fun to taunt me one last time.”

“Izuku… I know you’re upset; you have every right to be. I… I was a terrible father and a even worse person… I did so many horrible things because of him Izuku… I wish I could take it back; all the lying and law breaking and… and all the bloodshed. But I didn’t ask for you to come just to give some half-assed excuses; there’s something I wanted to tell you.”

Izuku snarled at his words, and whatever remained of Hisashi’s heart ached at the sight before him… because it was his fault Izuku had so much on his shoulders… that Izuku could have died and Inko would have been alone.

“Then say whatever it is and we can be done with it. I don’t have all day and I’m still recovering from, oh you know… everything you put me through.

“I… I wanted you to know that I’m sorry… and I’m proud of you son.”

“Hisashi… you can take that pride and half-assed apology and shove ‘em up your ass. I’m not your son… for all I care, the only father I’ve ever had is Aizawa-Sensei… at least he didn’t give up on me before he really knew me.”

Izuku didn’t wait for the response, choosing instead to take his leave as the man beyond the glass tried to call out after him, demanding he return and explain himself… but Izuku was long gone and as far as he was concerned, he was never going back... from now on, Izuku was going to focus on a future without Hisashi's shadow looming over him.

*****

“Someone… want’s me?

“That’s what I said. Don’t go getting your hopes up… don’t know why the whack-job requested you specifically, but she’ll send you back soon as you use that devil quirk, I guarantee it.”

Despite the harsh words and warning, Hitoshi couldn’t help but feel the burning fires of hope rise within him, even if he knew he shouldn’t have. The foster lady was most likely correct; whoever it was… they’d send him back, just like everyone else, even though he would thankfully be staying in the U.A dorms at the beginning of the next week. Hitoshi was jostled from his thoughts as he felt a sharp pain in his shin as the foster lady snapped at him once more.

“Well don’t keep them waiting; get your bag and get out of my house.”

Hitoshi mumbled a response, grabbing the bag full of his school supplies and few belongings, narrowly avoiding the stiff bristled broom that was nearly brought down upon him as he stumbled out the front door into the browning lawn, barley managing to avoid landing onto the massive ant-bed outside. Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi stood slowly and braced himself as he turned around to see… Ms. Inko, who was smiling brightly, only to have it falter as the foster lady opened the door once more and threw something onto the lawn haphazardly.

“Ms. Inko? What are you doing here?”

Inko turned her attention from glaring at the house behind him to Hitoshi himself, smiling warmly.

“I’m here to get you of course… I’m so sorry if this seems sudden and I know you’re going into the dorms, but I just… I just felt like you belonged in a family; my family, if you’ll let me.”

Hitoshi’s mind went blank and then a mile a minute, trying to process everything.

“But I thought- I mean… I’m not the kind of person who- and you have the Todoroki’s and Mid- I mean, you have your son… I’m not the kind of person who deserves someone like you…”

It took only a few seconds for Inko to cross the lawn to where Hitoshi was standing, wrapping him in a hug as she spoke gently.

“Don’t you dare talk like that Hitoshi. You deserve love and family and more… Truthfully, I don’t deserve someone like you, Hitoshi… I want you to know that. Right now, Fuyumi is overseas with investigators, talking to her brother who’s at college over there and Shouto and Izuku are already sharing a room; There’s plenty of space back home for you... there always will be, even when you’re in the dorms and after.”

“But… But I… My quirk-”

“Is wonderful and amazing, just like you Hitoshi… Now no more moping! Let’s go home, okay?”

Hitoshi couldn’t help but laugh at the smaller woman as she led him towards her parked car and for the first time in his life, he felt at peace and the fires of hope turned into bonfires as his former home- no… his former house, it had never been a home- faded from view.

Chapter Text

The Midoryia household was bustling with motion as the four occupants double and triple checked their belongings as they finally gathered at the entrance, readying themselves to travel to U.A, Inko fussing to the three boys quietly.

“Do you three have everything you need? All your school supplies and anything extra you forgot to send to the dorms already? Everyone has my phone number, right?”

Izuku sighed as he shifted his backpack semi-nervously before speaking, the two other boys following his lead quickly.

“Yes Mom, everything’s here.”

“I believe I sent everything and my supplies are all accounted for Auntie.”

“I have my bag and everything, Ms. Inko… and Todoroki put your number in my phone, so I think I’m set.”

Inko smiled brightly as she nodded and opened the door, turning to face them once more.

“Mitsuki asked us to bring Katsuki with us today; She doesn’t want him going by himself and starting a fight somewhere.”

The three boys nodded and quietly followed their guardian, quietly chatting amongst themselves as they did so. The trip was relatively short, Inko and Izuku having traveled countless times to the Bakugou household, the ashen blond himself waiting outside as he yelled profanities to his mother, who was watching from the doorway, stopping mid-response to smile and wave towards the oncoming group.

“Hey squirt, nice to see you out and about! Be sure to keep Katsuki out of too much trouble, yeah?”

Before Izuku could respond, his friend took it upon himself to snap back only semi-aggressively.

“Shut the fuck up, you old hag! I’m the one who’s going to keep Deku out of trouble!”

Inko sighed before calmly leading the fuming boy towards the other boys, one of whom seemed indifferent, while the other’s eyes were full of either terror or shock, which Mitsuki noticed and laughed good-naturedly.

“Relax kid; the yelling is just a family thing.”

Hitoshi wasn’t convinced, but nor was he willing to argue with the yelling woman with a literally explosive son… so he found himself nodding and trying to hide his face in embarrassment. He was silently thankful when Inko gave a huge smile and lead the four boys away from the Bakugou household and towards the train station, only partially paying attention to whatever Bakugou was shouting.

As the group left, Mitsuki couldn’t help but crack a smile and snap a picture from her camera phone, turning to call her husband, who looked slightly exhausted as she held her screen up for him to see.

“Honey look; It’s a momma duck leading a squad of ducklings.”

The look of pure confusion from her husband’s face caused Mitsuki to burst into fits of laughter and was totally worth it, in her opinion.

******

Koda shifted nervously as he knocked on the large door leading to the principal’s office. He didn’t know why he had been asked to come to campus early, and he especially didn’t understand why he was asked to see Principal Nezdu… to the best of his understanding, he hadn’t done anything wrong. A moment after his knock, Koda heard the principal’s voice call for him to enter, which he did hesitantly. Inside the room was, of course, the Principal himself and a man Koda knew he’d seen before, but didn’t entirely know.

“Ah, Young Koda! I’m terribly sorry to call you to school so early, particularly with the big move into dorms, but I’m afraid there was no time to wait.”

The Principal’s words didn’t exactly set Koda’s nerves at ease as he signed his response.

“Am I in trouble for something Sir?”

The look of alarm from the other man made Koda’s gut twist… did he not know sign? Did Koda do something wrong?

“Not at all, not at all! It’s quite the contrary actually… But I’m getting ahead of myself and forgetting my manners, allow me to introduce an associate of the school’s; Detective Tsukauchi.”

The man, Detective Tsukauchi, smiled wearily as he stretched out his hand to greet Koda, who returned the gesture politely as he spoke calmly.

“Hello Koda. I’m afraid I don’t have time to mince words here, so pardon my bluntness; My colleges and I have been working on a case for quite some time and while we’ve accumulated a decent amount of evidence, it might not be enough to hold up in a courtroom; the perp was very thorough with his clean-up and there wasn’t a human in sight to testify as a witness… there was a family pet however and if I remember correctly, you have a quirk that let’s you communicate with animals, yes?”

As Koda listened, his nerves died away and he found himself nodding in affirmation before signing.

“Well, yes and no. My quirk itself allows me to command and control animals, but only when I think about it… otherwise, I can just passively converse with animals. When I talk aloud, animals feel the need to find me and talk, which is partially why I sign, aside from the… anxiety.”

Detective Tsukauchi nodded thoughtfully before speaking once more.

“I see… so your quirk is to command animals, but if you don’t think about it, then you can communicate with them… Do you know the extent of your quirk? For how long are you able to do this, if I may ask?”

“Well, like I said… the communication is passive; as long as I talk, I can communicate. I think I understand what this is about now; there were no human witnesses, and you need someone to get statement and answers out of a non-human witness, correct?”

Before the detective could respond, the principal demeanor brightened significantly as he spoke.

“That is indeed the case! Detective Tsukauchi has been talking with me for quite a while about this case and I felt this would be an excellent learning experience for you, as well as insightful for those working this case! Would you be willing to help, Koda?”

“Of course! That’s what a hero would do, right? What kind of animal is it, sir?”

Tsukauchi was surprised by the sudden turn around of the boy before him; in just a few minutes his demeanor had turned from shy and worried into confidence and earnest.

“Uh… it’s a dog… a Saint Bernard if I remember correctly.”

The boy thought for a moment and nodded firmly, his eyes shining with confidence as he opened his mouth and a small voice spoke.

“T-Thank you sir… Dogs are usually very forthcoming when questioned… I’ll do everything I can to help sir!”

Tsukauchi couldn’t help but smile and let out a small chuckle, the boy’s enthusiasm seemingly infectious. Even Nezdu was grinning like a mad man, although Tsukauchi wasn’t sure if it was due to the Koda boy’s response or if the principal had thought of something completely different. Either way, he knew the case at hand had just taken a turn for the better and, with the hero-in-training’s help, they would finally have enough evidence to convict the perp.

********

The group of four made their way towards campus, where the dorms were now located and as they walked closer, they noticed a lone figure fidgeting nervously near the entrance, who Izuku recognized instantly and called out cheerfully.

“Hey Koda, what are you doing here so early?”

The boy in question jumped slightly and turned to face the group, waving kindly before signing.

“Nezdu asked me to come early today and help with something! How are all of you? You all travel here together?”

Kacchan quickly relayed the response to Izuku, who had started to follow signing, but knew Koda was still too fast for him to understand fully, before responding in kind.

“We’re fine… and yeah, we traveled together… the old hag didn’t want me coming by myself today… how about you, huh? Are you doin’ okay?”

Kacchan had mumbled the last part of his response, but by the surprised and damn-near happy look on the other’s face, he knew Koda had heard it, signing back quickly.

“I’m doing great Bakugou, thanks for asking!”

Kacchan only growled half-heartedly, which Izuku knew he just did to keep his appearance of toughness up.

“…whatever…”

From behind the group, a female voice rang out as they turned to see Uraraka sprinting towards the group, a big smile on her face, followed by a very distraught Iida.

“Hey guys!!”

“Uraraka, please slow down!! There’s no need to run!!”

The two slowed to a stop and happily joined the group. With every passing minute, another member of their class arrived and exchanged greetings, until ever member of 1-A was present and waiting for their homeroom teacher, conversing happily.

“I’m so pumped man! I can’t believe all our parents agreed to let us stay… it’s gonna be awesome!!

The group nodded quietly as Tsu spoke up thoughtfully.

Ribbit… my family was actually reluctant, but once we found decent people to babysit regularly, they were happy to let me stay. Ribbit.

Shinso found himself speaking before he could realize.

“…well I’m glad you’re here Tsu…”

The frog-girl turned to him in surprise, but gave him a big smile as she spoke once more.

Ribbit. Thank you Shinso! I’m glad you’re here too.”

Shinso didn’t have to worry about responding again as Aizawa arrived, his neutral expression hiding his surprise at the early students.

“All here I see… good. I’m going to explain how your dorm assignments work shortly. Firstly, we haven’t forgotten about the provisional hero licenses you were supposed to get during the training camp. Secondly, I want you all to listen well, because I don’t feel like repeating myself; Each dormitory holds one class. Boys on the left, girls on the right; the first floor is a common area… that’s where you’ll find the kitchen and baths and laundry rooms. The living quarters start on the next floor; four boys and four girls each; you have your own rooms, AC, toilets, fridges and closets. The belongings you sent ahead are already there, so spend the day unpacking and getting settled… I’ll tell you more tomorrow. For now, get to work.”

“Yes sir, Aizawa-Sensei!”

And with that, Class 1-A entered their dormitory and started exploring. As luck would have it (or rather, Inko Midoryia telling Aizawa what to do ahead of time) the three boys of the Midoryia household were on the same floor as the young Bakugou, who rushed into his friend’s room and started unpacking with him, placing the ridiculous amount of hero merch on the walls and shelves, almost identical to the set-up back in Izuku’s actual house. Izuku himself only sighed and absentmindedly handed Kacchan items to set up silently, only stirring when there was a knock on the door, moving to open it and coming face to face with Shouto, to which Izuku cheerfully smiled and spoke.

“Hey Shouto! Did you need anything?”

Shouto himself looked into the already fully decorated room and chuckled slightly.

“I came to offer help you set your room up, but it seems Bakugou beat me to the point.”

From inside the room, Kacchan yelled to Shouto, not bothering to turn around.

“Damn right I did Icey-hot!”

Izuku laughed cheerfully as he stood to the side to offer entrance to his friend, who accepted the invitation quietly, much to the explosive boy’s chagrin, who muttered some profanities before excusing himself to unpack his room, leaving the two alone.

“So… you unpack everything already?”

Shouto smiled as he spoke.

“Yeah… and I might have done a little remodeling as well.”

Izuku couldn’t help but laugh, because of course Shouto did. In that moment of silence, everything felt so right to Izuku, as the room grew quiet and still until he could hear his own heartbeat before breaking the silence.

“We should go back downstairs and regroup with everyone before bed!”

Shouto chuckled and was only slightly saddened that the peaceful moment had ended, standing up and walking out the door with Izuku, who sprinted down the hall to where he could sense Kacchan, briefly explaining his plan before returning to Shouto and walking downstairs, grinning as they approached the small group in the common room, plopping himself onto a couch, Shouto following suit quickly, only to lean onto Izuku peacefully. Neither boy said anything about it, having the position feel as natural as breathing as they waited for everyone else to finish unpacking and regroup.

Chapter Text

Tomura stared through the screen before him, his eyes full of anger and betrayal, as the screen flickered to life and the image of the only man to ever care for him filled it, strapped to dozens of medical machines. The two guards nearby barked that they had five minutes to say what they wanted to. Tomura blinked and, after a few moments, found himself speaking angrily.

“Why? Why did you leave me Sensei? Why did you throw everything away for one pathetic child? Did I ever mean anything to you?”

Tomura didn’t even realize he was crying as the man, the villain and mentor who had saved him just let out a dry laugh before coughing and speaking in a harsh and cold tone.

“No, you didn’t. You were a means to an end; nothing more and nothing less… Your relation to Nana Shimura is the only reason I took you in; you were always a way to get under the skin of anyone who knew that woman. Perhaps if things had been different… if you had been just a little more patient and ruthless, or if Izuku never had a quirk to begin with, that might have changed.”

The air in the room seemed to get thinner as the villain spoke and Tomura was fighting to breathe correctly as the onslaught of words continued.

“As for why I risked everything… Midoryia is far stronger than you could possibly imagine; I could tell that the moment I saw him all those years ago. Hisashi had brought him along to a meeting, as his dear mother was sick as a dog and there was no sitter to be found… I could sense his dormant power, but stealing quirks from children before they manifest is a line even I would not cross. Yes, there was the chance he would reject me, but if All Might had not meddled, I would have taken the boy’s quirk and, as a result, break the precious symbol of peace in one fell swoop. In summary… you are nothing to me; you are not my student, you are no ‘disciple’ that I wish to bind myself to, you are not my ward; you are a pathetic child whose usefulness has expired… as I shall also expire, very soon.”

A few moments passed in silence before Tomura spoke in a hoarse voice, the light of hope slowly dying within him.

“So… it was all for nothing. All the promises and the preparation… all the obstacles I removed at your will… for your approval; it was all for nothing.”

The man- no… Tomura didn’t know if he deserved that title anymore… the monster said nothing and Tomura moved to stand, momentarily forgetting that he was still very much restrained, and speaking coldly.

“I see. Then this is farewell for good… All for One. I hope you rot in hell.”

The old villain smiled through the screen at his former ward’s anger… how pathetic. As one of the guards moved to lead the boy away, All for One decided to call out one last time.

“I’ll save your place when I get there Tomura!”

Tomura didn’t even turn look behind him as he heard the screen flick off, the cold realization of his actions and situation piercing him like a knife of ice, the chill spreading throughout his entire body. Once he was back in his cell, all he could think to do was curl up on the bed and sob silently into the thin pillow and rough blanket he’d been provided. He once knew he could have escaped easily, should his Sensei wish him to… but that hope was dead and gone. He had no intention of leaving, knowing he would pay whatever price this pathetic society deemed fit to give him… anything would be better than living his life thinking that monster still cared for him… even thinking of the name he’d been given caused him to die slightly more inside. He looked up to see a man he didn’t know, but assumed was important nonetheless, standing before his cell with a sad look in his eyes.

“Hello… Tomura, correct? My name is Detective Tsukauchi; I’m here to ask you a few questions regarding your case, amongst other things.”

At the mention of that name, he nearly broke down again… but he couldn’t look so weak. Not now, after everything he had been through… he’d fucked up big time, but maybe… just maybe, he could try to atone for something.

Tenko. My name is Tenko Shimura.”

The detective seemed surprised, but it wasn’t enough to defocus the man completely.

“I see… my apologies Tenko. I heard the conversation you had, and I’m sorry for what that… for lack of a better term, asshole, did to you. See, I don’t think you’re necessarily a bad kid Tenko… you just had someone setting you on the wrong path and you did bad things because you believed in that person… if you’ll let me, I would like to help you fix that. It’s not too late.”

Tenko stared at the detective blankly for a few moments… how could someone believe in him, after everything he’d ever done? Was this a trap? Would they abandon him the moment he became useless as well? What if he said no? How could there still be a chance for him? It was a lie! It had to be… and yet, he wanted to. It was like some long buried part of him was crying out to the present him, begging him to do the right thing for once in his miserable life. Tenko knew he was a hopeless case, but even still… this felt like a turning point in his fate. Sure, he was no hero… but that didn’t mean he couldn’t do something that might stop others from following his path, as well as disrupting anything that monster might have hiding up his sleeve.

“You’re wrong Detective… it’s far too late for me to be redeemed in any way that matters… but I will help you, if only to make the old bastard suffer.”

****

“I am terribly sorry you’ve decided to leave us after all this time, Dabi.”

Dabi, only nodded quietly, waiting for the man who was roughly his age, but his far superior within the Shie Hassaikai to dismiss him for the last time. It had taken months to detangle himself from the organization and he was so close to being free; free to leave the compound forever, free to leave whatever heinous experiments the young leader was cooking up and free to finally, finally face his dirtbag of a father and maybe, just maybe deliver the finishing blow to save his family… or what was left of it. Either way, Dabi knew this was his turning point; the day he’d finally take control of his own destiny. The man spoke once more, once he saw the other was not going to speak.

“I understand though; this lifestyle is not for everyone, and you’ve had your fill… now you must leave to attend to your own business, and carve your path… However, this is just one issue, my friend.”

Dabi found himself growling as he spoke.

“And what’s that, Overhaul?”

Though the man had a mask covering his face, Dabi just knew he was smiling cruely as several other lackeys entered the room and surrounded him.

“You know about our tests with little Eri, yes? Not enough for us to kill you, mercifully… but you are still very much a threat. Our friends here will see to your silence and then we shall send you on your way.”

Dabi took a step back as the words came out of the young boss’ mouth.

“We had a deal Overhaul! I do everything you ask and I get to leave peacefully!

The man sighed, as if the idea of hurting the other saddened him, though it truly didn’t.

“The deal’s been altered. Boys; deal with this… insubordination. Remember to leave him alive, then dump him wherever… as long as there’s no blood when I come back, I don’t care what you do, just ensure he’s gone by the end of it… I have business to attend to, so forgive me for leaving so soon, but do not think I don’t know what your leave is truly about… Toya Todoroki.”

And with that, the man left the room and the lackeys turned to the young man with burn scars across him and began pummeling him mercilessly for nearly an hour, until he was near unrecognizable, but still breathing… barely. And as he lost consciousness, Toya could barely register a voice talking to him as he felt the pull of gravity as he fell to something he distantly registered as concrete.

“Heh… some Son of Endeavor you are… I can see why he kicked you to the curb.”

And with those words, the lackeys left their former associate (maybe even friend to some of them) alone in a dirty back alley on the outskirts of town, where he would lay motionless for the better part of five hours before a patrolling hero group would stumble upon him, all of them alarmed at the discovery of a badly beaten and scarred man, rushing him to the nearest hospital. As they left him in the care of the facility, one of the sidekicks turned to their patrol partner and softly asked him a question.

“Who do you think he is, Lemillion? Will he be okay?”

Turning to his friend, Miro smiled brightly as he took hold of their shoulder, seeing how shaken they’d become.

“I’m sure the doctors will do everything they can! As for who he is… I have no idea! Maybe he’ll tell us when he gets better and wakes up!”

Chapter Text

Roughly two weeks had passed after the stranger was found and recused from that abandoned alley and it was exactly three days since the man had initially woken up and about twenty minutes before he had woken up and spoke quietly to the nurse on duty, the sudden noise coming from him startling her. Even though Tsukauchi was lucky enough to be close by, he was really starting to wish he had a speed or warping quirk at this point; with all the running around he was doing in between regular cases, keeping tabs and interviews over with all the Todoroki children, and his surprisingly regular visits to Tenko.

Normally, he wouldn’t have any reason to get himself involved, but Sir Nighteye had seemed adamant his quirk would be beneficial to some kind of covert investigation he’d been running and Tsukauchi couldn’t exactly say no to someone he considered a friend, which is how he found himself knocking and entering the room of the John Doe, who had yet to say anything beyond “Hello”, “yes”, “no” and “please”. Tsukauchi still knew he had to do the best with what he was given as he smiled comfortingly to the boy, who had terrible burns on most of his face and arms.

“Hello, I’m Detective Tsukauchi. A friend of mine asked me to come talk to you, if that’s okay.”

The young man stared at Tsukauchi for a few minutes before nodding slowly. Tsukauchi walked closer slowly, not knowing if there was anything that could set the young man before him off.

“Do you know where you are?”

“The…hospital…”

The voice that came out of the young man was hoarse and ragged, as if he’d been crying out and hadn’t recovered enough, which Tsukauchi assumed attributed to the short words given before his arrival.

“Do you know who attacked you?”

The man only nodded this time, seeming reluctant to speak on the subject matter, which didn’t surprise Tsukauchi, given how recent the even must seem to him… he would need time to heal before speaking about his attackers.

“What’s your name?”

The young man froze, as if he were a deer in headlights, every muscle in his wounded body visibly tensing as his eyes found Tsukauchi’s and stared, as if he were looking for any malice or trickery in them. Tsukauchi wondered what had happened to the boy to make him so terrified of his own name, and if it had anything to do with his attack. The young man remained tense for another few moments and, unable to find anything hidden in the Detective’s eyes, relaxed slightly before speaking once more, his voice full of hesitation and fear.

“T…Toya. Toya Todoroki.”

At those words, Tsukauchi very much felt like passing out, his quirk telling him the boy was telling the absolute truth. Toya Todoroki was alive and right in front of him and… oh god, did those scars come from Endeavor?!

Tsukauchi couldn’t afford to lose his head, took a deep breath before asking one final question.

“Toya, forgive me for asking but… are those scars from… Enji?”

The young man, no- Toya- seemed surprised that anyone would jump from his identity straight to insinuating his father had caused his old scars… Toya couldn’t stop the weak smile that made its way onto his face, realizing the Detective was using the old man’s Civilian name… which must mean they have enough evidence to go against him, if they’re refusing him his ‘hero’ title…

“Some of them… mine… to young to handle my fire… all the rest? His.”

Tsukauchi felt sick to his stomach; Sure, he’d been working this case with All Might for months … but to see the missing Todoroki show up nearly dead and then to blow the entire case wide open with that admission… He couldn’t help but wonder how sick in the head Enji had to be to do that to his own fucking children. Slowly, Tsukauchi reached out and gently placed a hand on Toya’s shoulder, making eye contact before speaking to let the young man see the determination and resolve within them.

“Toya, I’m so, so sorry this wasn’t seen sooner. I promise you, we are doing everything we can to bring your family justice. Just between us, the court proceedings for this case have been going on for a couple weeks now and it’s set to resume in another two weeks. Media will probably catch the tail ends of it all... and I’m afraid I have to ask you this; would you like to add everything you’ve been through to the charges present in this case?”

The eldest Todoroki smiled quietly and nodded solemnly before speaking once more, his voice starting to waver and go out from the extended use for so long.

“… m’ siblings… they’re okay?”

Tsukauchi’s eyes lit up with kindness and nodded, seeing Toya relax fully for the first time.

“Shouto is living on U.A campus right now and your other siblings have been staying with a close friend of mine. She’s a good woman and I’m certain she’ll want to meet you soon, if you’re up for it.”

Toya let out a weak laugh that only lead to a rough coughing fit before whispering, knowing his voice didn’t have much left.

“…office… video… threw a book at the old man… want to... see her”

At that, Tsukauchi couldn’t help but laugh aloud, silently glad Inko had insisted on ‘accidentally’ leaking that specific video, as it did cheer Tsukauchi up on rough days, he would admit.

“Naturally, naturally. But first, I think you should rest up and recover as much as you can; I’ll see what I can do to get your siblings to come visit you, if you want. Toya… we will save you and your family. If Enji thinks he can get away with this, then he’s got another thing coming.”

Toya nodded and let himself fall back into the mountain of pillows behind him, almost instantly falling asleep. Once he was, Tsukauchi moved to the corner and quickly dialed the number to his higher-ups on his phone, hearing it ring twice before the other line picked up.

“Hello sir, it’s Tsukauchi. No, I didn’t get anything Sir Nighteye could use, but I got something else… Our John Doe is Toya Todoroki… Yes sir, I talked with him about his father’s case. He needs some time to recover, but he’s willing to help us… I’ll write everything in my report sir. Yes sir. Good day sir.”

After that phone call, Tsukauchi moved to his contacts and pressed the familiar name, this time only ringing once before the other line picked up, the familiar voice of the now-retired hero coming through.

“Naomasa, is something the matter friend? Inko and I are having a picnic with the children... apparently, Fuyumi’s never had one before.”

“Not at all… I’m actually calling for something Todoroki related.”

“Oh? What is it? Did Enji do something again?”

“Not recently, no… It’s Toya, the oldest. Some of Sir Nighteye’s sidekicks found him on a patrol about two weeks ago and he was able to answer a few short questions. I recommend giving him time, but I’d get Young Shouto a release slip from the school… it’s high time we reunite the Todoroki family.”

The line was silent for a few moments, Tsukauchi had no doubt it was due to his friend telling the news to the others around him and after a heartbeat more, a soft female voice spoke to him.

“Is… Is it really him Detective? How can you be sure?”

“My quirk is lie detector. Had it not been him, I would know… but the nurses are waiting for some blood-work results. If my quirk isn’t enough, that should be.”

 “Where is he? Can we come see him?”

The young voice was so full of hope he wondered if it was really Fuyumi Todoroki.

“Not in his current state I’m afraid… he needs to rest and recover, but we want you to see him as soon as possible.”

“T-Thank you Detective. Thank you for bringing our brother home.”

Tsukauchi had a feeling she was crying.

“Don’t thank me by any means! I believe the intern responsible goes by Lemillion… a third year at U.A, if I’m not mistaken. I’m sure Nezdu would love having you on campus, if you asked, given your situation.”

There was another stream of thank you before the phone returned to Toshinori, who sounded like he was also on the verge of crying.

“Thank you, my friend… thank you. I will see if I can locate this student you spoke of. I may not be the top hero anymore, but I’m not done here yet… Enji will answer for these crimes.”

“I know Toshinori, I know.”

Chapter Text

“So, let me if I have this correctly; As this highly important case is nearing its highest point and near end, a patrol of sidekicks, one of which is a U.A student, just happed upon Toya Todoroki, who has been missing for a decade and just so conveniently is unable to testify, and we’re just expect to accept this as evidence based on the quirk of one man?  I apologize your honor, but this seems highly… suspicious, for lack of a better term. I would like to move to disregard that as ‘evidence’ and continue properly.”

It was taking all of Tsukauchi’s willpower to stop himself from jumping the courtroom bench and strangle Endeavor’s Lawyer, who was an American fellow and a fairly competent person who had worked with Tsukauchi a number of times in the past. The man knew Tsukauchi’s quirk was more than reliable and was choosing to ignore it for the sake of all the money Endeavor had been throwing his way in a vain attempt to make all of these problems go away, though the team Toshinori had put together was making it almost impossible. After a moment, the judge motioned for Tsukauchi to speak and defend himself.

“Upon the discovery of Toya, his identity was unknown and he was in critical condition… he almost died, there’s still an investigation into that aspect, so the details are going to have to be vague for the time being and I apologize. Secondly, my quirk, as it should be common knowledge between all those here at this point, is called Lie Detector and has help up countless times in many other cases. I understand the skepticism, but if my quirk isn’t enough for you, there was bloodwork and DNA testing that confirmed his identity… both methods of identification have help up and are supported by the system. Toya Todoroki, while being physically unable to join us, did send written statements in the form of an affidavit, which details all allegations and are supported by the previously available evidence; which the Todoroki Children’s legal team presented to the jury many, many months ago.”

A few of the people in the courtroom were nodding in quiet agreement at Tsukauchi’s explanation, while others glared daggers across the room; namely Inko, who had been asked to attend and give a statement, though they had yet to reach that part of the hearing. Tsukauchi’s attention was fixed on the judge however, his gaze never wavering as he silently hoped they would see reason.

“Thank you Detective Tsukauchi. Mr. Poe, your movement has been denied, as the Detective’s evidence is far more substantial than your claims. We’ll move forward with the rest of today’s hearings immediately… First up is a Ms. Midoryia; if you would come to the stand ma’am.”

As Tsukauchi sat down, Inko stood and walked confidently to where she had been directed, sitting and smiling politely at all those around her, save for the man she was there to defeat… for him, Inko reserved a passive death stare as the lawyers took the floor to ask her questions.

“For the record, would you state your name and involvement with this case ma’am?”

Inko nodded and gave that small smile of hers as she spoke, her voice seeming to reverberate within the courtroom.

“My name is Inko Midoryia and I’ve been taking care of Shouto and Fuyumi Todoroki, as well as housing Natsuo Todoroki when he came home for the trials and hearings.”

The lawyer nodded and continued.

“Ms. Midoryia, how would you describe Shouto and Fuyumi’s behavior when they first came to live with you, right after leaving their father’s household?”

Inko’s gaze darkened as she called those memories forth.

“Shouto was quiet and reserved, while Fuyumi was a bit of a nervous wreck, when she wasn’t trying to make herself as small and un-seeable as possible. Both of them were very jumpy, as if they were scared, I would suddenly turn on them… I raised my voice to call to my son once and Fuyumi started crying, while Shouto moved himself in front of her… I know this is beyond what you’ve asked, but the two of them have come a very long way since then! You should see it when Shouto smiles… and Fuyumi has such a wonderful laugh and personality…”

“Thank you, ma’am. I have one more question for you and then I will hand this over; How is it that you became involved with this case, and how has Endeavor’s actions affected your day to day?”

Inko sighed before speaking, her voice full of the weariness that had been weighing her down for the past few months.

“Well as I said before, I’ve been taking care of the Todoroki children, although my initial introduction was walking into a conversation at U.A, where I work as a teacher in the General Education course. I will admit, temper took over me at the time and I acted rather rashly, though I do not regret it, as it troubled me to hear someone referring to their child as nothing more than an investment, being a mother myself. As for how this has affected my day to day… well for starters, I had to live and hide away within U.A for a few months after the news of the allegations became public in order to protect me from rabid fans of Endeavor. And a few months ago, I believe he stormed a radio station and hijacked that program in order to try and smear my name and credibility, though I believe all he could dig up was past connections that no longer matter and have little to do with the matters at hand. Ever since then, I’ve been doing what any mother would do; I’ve been caring for those children… it breaks my heart to think of how they were at the start; knowing that their childhoods were stolen from them and tasking myself to try and give them some portion of that childhood back.”

The man smiled gently before nodding.

“Thank you, Ms. Midoryia. That’s all the questions I have for her.”

With that, he returned to his seat and waited for the other lawyer to start his questions, but the man only shook his head and recused himself of doing so, not willing to admit that the woman’s gaze and tone were far too damning for him to even try fooling with, to which the Judge had to try hiding a little smile, knowing full well the stories of Inko Midoryia’s presence from a case from years ago as they spoke firmly.

“Thank you again Ms. Midoryia. Before we move on, is there anything you would like to add?”

“well… information wise, I have nothing to offer up as evidence… but I will say this; I have met Toya Todoroki only a few times now, but the look in his eyes… that is something I will never forget and hope I have the chance to change in the future. In truth, all of these children remind me of my son, just after a horrible childhood incident; they were lost, alone and terrified out of their minds but unable to even breathe a word, for fear of tipping a very, very dangerous scale. Shouto and Fuyumi have both grown substantially over the past few months… but Toya is exactly the same, even if he doesn’t quite realize or admit it… a mother’s intuition has yet to prove me wrong when it comes to children. All I can offer now is the hope that those deciding the fate of these children will decide with justice in their hearts, and honesty on their lips.”

And with that final statement, Inko returned to her previous seat and the Judge called up Toshinori, although he was named as All Might for simplicity’s sake.

“I know you are still recovering All Might, so I will allow this to go quickly; I ask you say all that you feel you must and once you are done, we will recess court to allow the jury to debate. Proceed as you will, All Might.”

“Thank you, your honor. I will try to keep this short, but I can not make any promises. My involvement with this case stems from my position as one of Young Todoroki’s teachers at U.A, where I teach foundational hero studies. I first became aware of something awry at the last Sports Festival, where Endeavor exchanged some… distressing words with me. He was angry for Young Todoroki’s refusal to use his fire half of his quirk and told me he would deal with the boy’s ‘rebellion’, as he called it… He called Young Shouto an ‘investment that he created to usurp me from my former position as the Number One Hero.’ Afterwards, I had a discussion with another student, who is now good friends with Young Shouto, who expressed deep concern for the youngest Todoroki, but was afraid to say anything further than that for fear of it unintentionally hurting the other. As his teacher, I pulled Young Shouto aside and inquired as to why he refused his fire, though I did not want to force anything out of the boy. Eventually… eventually Young Shouto divulged information to me that was far too alarming to ignore, so I called Detective Tsukauchi, who is a good friend of mine, and asked him to start investigating quietly, and notified Principal Nezdu of the situation. After a few weeks, the Todoroki children brought forth most of the evidence submitted, as they’d been attempting to take their father to court for years, but were unable financially and without consequence befalling their mother. The rest is out of my hands, as all I really did afterwards was provide support, finances when Endeavor pulled funding from his wife’s hospital treatment, and I’ve generally just been here to support them as best I can while teaching my class.”

The whole courtroom was dead silent when Toshinori finished, save for the low, quiet growls of anger and malice coming from Endeavor, not that anyone could be bothered to care what he felt in that moment. After a moment, Toshinori excused himself and found his seat next to Inko once more and watched with baited breath as the judge sighed, gathering their things and looking to the small, but surprisingly crowded room, banging their gavel to let out for the jury to debate. Toshinori turned to Inko and gave her a small, reassuring smile.

“Let’s go get some lunch. Tsukauchi should call when it’s time.

*******

“Shouto, wait for me!”

Shouto found himself laughing at the overly dramatic voice of Izuku, who was hot on Shouto’s tail, the two boys running through the dorm towards the kitchen area, where Izuku could sense people and smell delicious food cooking. The two boys had been studying in Shouto’s room when their phones buzzed, signaling the beginning of dinner time, thanks to the reminder of Iida. Although they had been studying, Shouto’s mind was far from the textbooks, and Izuku could tell, though he didn’t say anything on the matter and simply allowed himself to be a comforting and grounding presence for his friend, who appreciated it more than he could think to say.

“Midoryia, Todoroki! There is no reason to be running so recklessly! I insist you cease and desist!”

Iida’s voice was sharp and full of false annoyance… he couldn’t really be angry at Todoroki today of all days and he knew Midoryia was simply being a good friend to the other boy. Iida couldn’t fathom how much stress the boy must be under; to have your own father on trial and have his very freedom to be himself on the line had to be far worse than any villain attack they’d ever encounter. Unsurprisingly, Bakugou sent a glare towards Iida before speaking.

“Calm down Four eyes; they can run as long as they don’t act like dumbasses and run through the kitchen while I’m cooking here.”

Midoryia stopped dead in his tracks, turning his head towards Iida and soke with horror in his voice and Iida couldn’t tell if it was sarcastic or genuine as he watched the strangest scenario play out before him

“You’re letting Kacchan cook?? Iida, do you want us to get food poisoning?!?!”

“Fuck off Deku, I’m a great ass cook!”

“Since when? And How??

“Since shut the fuck up and it doesn’t matter!”

At this point, Shinso felt it necessary to cut in nonchalantly from the common’s area couch, calling over his shoulder.

“I saw a shit ton of video tutorials pulled up on his computer the other day. Some of them were bookmarked, which leads me to assume he’s visited them for quite a while.”

Bakugou looked ready to lunge across the room and strangle the lilac haired boy, but at that moment, Shouto’s phone began to ring and all those present went dead silent, their eyes fixing on Shouto as he hesitantly answered the call.

“Auntie?”

None of the other students could hear what was being said by the person on the line, but they studied Shouto’s facial expression as it turned from apprehension to fear to shock to pure relief, the boy’s eyes growing misty as he managed a small thank you before ending the call, taking a moment to himself, staring at the floor before raising his head and looking directly at Izuku, who had worry in every tensed muscle, and spoke so softly, it was barely above a whisper.

“He was found Guilty.”

A heartbeat passed before the room erupted into cheers of joy, seeing their classmate’s face and hearing his voice full of hope, joy and some degree of reverence. Guilty. Enji Todoroki had been found guilty; the custody of the Todoroki children being passed to the eldest, working child and the medical custody of Rei Todoroki had also been given over to the siblings. The older siblings had already agreed to let Shouto stay at U.A, but the weight of everything had finally come down on top of him. It had been so, so long, but they were finally free, and Toya, while recovering, was home.

Without thinking, Shouto launched himself towards Izuku and wrapped the other boy in a tight hug, unwilling to let go of the only other person who could truly understand what he was feeling and, much to his relief, Izuku hugged back even tighter.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was running blindly through the forest, unable to determine where he was or if there was anyone around him. Off in the distance, he could hear screaming and fighting, but none of it registered itself as important to him; all he cared about, all he could think about was finding Deku. He was so, so stupid to let those fuckers separate them and now, there were vilians everywhere with Deku on his own… granted, so was he, but Katsuki didn’t fucking care as he frantically called out into the dense woodland.

“Deku?! Deku where are you; you blind bastard?!?”

The forest had gone still at his cries, and there was only eerie silence that followed… no screaming, no fighting and no Deku… but he couldn’t give up! Not after everything the two of them had survived all these years… as he ran, the forest melted away and the dirt under Katsuki’s feet was soon replaced by tile, everything around him gaining a blueish tint as he looked ahead, the tunnel he found himself running towards made of glass as various fish swam peacefully, which sent Katsuki into overdrive.

No, no, no, no, no! I’m not back here, I can’t be back here… this isn’t happening, this can’t be happening… not again… I can’t watch this again… I can’t fail him again and again and again... This isn’t real, it can’t be real!

As Katsuki was engulfed in his panicked thoughts, he found himself no longer in the attire he had worn that day in the training camp… he was a kid again, running desperately as shadowy figures appeared to hold him back and drag him away from his destination. He had to make it this time! He had to go save Deku! Why couldn’t he do it? He was right there in front of him as he was being dragged away, screaming in pain as Hisashi stood over him and laughed, his gaze turning to Katsuki, who was no longer being dragged away by the shadows… but being held in place by them, the man he once trusted walking towards him with a glint in his eyes.

“Don’t think I would forget about you, little Katsuki! Izuku didn’t want to leave you behind!”

And as he struggled, Hisashi motioned someone to his side and in a blink of an eye… Katsuki could see it was Deku… but not quite; there was something in his eyes… some kind of bloodlust and malice layered within those familiar emerald eyes that sent chills down Katsuki’s spine as his friend stretched his hand outwards and white-hot flames sprung forth towards him, the heat spreading over Katsuki’s small body as the boy distantly wondered where the heroes where; why weren’t they here? Why weren’t they coming to save him? Was it because he was too weak? Would they abandon them to die like this? Katsuki couldn’t understand and as the searing pain took hold, he found himself screaming, while a distant voice seemed to call his name…

“Bakugou? Bakugou… Baku-“

“-gou, you need to wake up!”

Aizawa’s voice cut through the panic as Katsuki found himself opening his eyes and blinking in the harsh light of his dorm room. His teacher was holding both of his arms tightly and the smell of burnt belongings hit his nose a moment later. Seeing that the ashen blonde had calmed and was awake, Aizawa sighed and released the boy, rubbing his temples as he sat beside the boy, speaking softly after letting the boy catch his breath for a few moments.

“Do you want to explain what’s wrong?”

Katsuki growled angrily. He wasn’t some child to be coddled. If he had a bad dream then who fucking cares? He’d deal with it.

“No, fuck off.”

Aizawa sighed, figuring that would be the case.

“Follow me.”

“What?”

The underground hero gave Katsuki a death glare.

“Follow. Me. Now.

Reluctantly, Katsuki did as he was told and followed his teacher down to the commons area, where he was surprised to see Icey-hot, Mr. Mindfuck, Frog-face and, not surprising in the slightest, Deku; all of whom seemed either surprised or indifferent to his arrival with their teacher, who ordered Katsuki to sit down before taking a seat across from the five students.

“All of you are here because of a nightmare; Any volunteers to explain first.”

It was poised as a statement, not a question… meaning Aizawa expected someone to start talking and start now. Thankfully for Katsuki, Deku spoke out first (of course he would… damn emotional nerd.)

“I-It was about my father. He was hurting everyone… and making me hurt them and I couldn’t stop itagain. I don’t understand… I thought facing him would make it better; that I could finally move on without his damn shadow looming over me!”

Katsuki wanted to lunge over to the other end of the couch and comfort his friend, to tell him it would be okay and that bastard would never do that again… to tell him that he was safe, but Aizawa motioned for him to stop and gave him a startling side glare before speaking.

“Thank you Midoryia. Anyone else?”

“I…also dreamt of… my father.”

“…I thought I was back in the system… god the things they did… I-I…”

The lilac haired boy was probably the most visibly upset out of all of them, his voice trailing off into ragged breathing and a panicked gaze as Aizawa took a good few minutes to work him back down before looking to the two students who had stayed silent, which Katsuki didn’t appreciate. Sure, it had been a bad dream… but this was blowing out of fucking proportion, so he only glared back as frog-face gave a weak and fearful ribbit, her eyes fixated on the carpet, which greatly worried the erasure hero.

“Okay, okay; I get it.”

The students, save for Tsu, looked to their teacher in confusion as he rubbed his temples. He was so fucking stupid for not seeing this outcome sooner or later! Sure, they were training to be heroes… but they were still kids and all this madness was bound to affect their mentalities! And… and oh god, he’d fucked up big time… he should have known Midoryia would relapse because of the Hisashi shit… Bakugou was stubborn, but it was obvious that he was shaken too… What kind of teacher was he to not see any of this?!

“Even though you are training to be heroes, I should have realized something like this would happen… Forgive my ignorance. It’s only natural for things like this to happen… so here’s what’s going to happen; all five of you are going to return to your rooms to grab blankets and pillows, then return here. When nightmares happen, I’ve found it best to keep company to ward them away or have a way out, so you’re all going to stay here for the rest of the night. Don’t worry Tsu; I’ll stay with all of you… I’ve got some grading to do anyways. I’ll make tomorrow a study day and all five of you are required to sleep in and, when you’re awake and ready, report directly to Hound Dog’s office. As of the morning; all of you are to attend counseling and engage honestly and openly. This isn’t a game or test; this is your mental health and as your current guardian, it’s my job to make sure you’re looking out for yourselves in every aspect, especially one as important as that. Do I make myself clear?”

The small group murmured out a ‘yes sensei’ before doing as they were told compliantly. Aizawa watched them leave and as he waited, he sent a quick text to the teacher group chat, explaining the situation and excusing them from tomorrow’s classes. He cursed himself as he waited for them to return; Bakugou, Todoroki and Midoryia were give ins.. how could he be so stupid!? And Shinso… he’d heard stories from Mic in between coffee and simple cuddle sessions back home about what they did to problem children in the system… but the way Shinso acted… he’d have to launch an investigation immediately. The only loose thread was Tsu; who was usually so reserved and happy that seeing a distress signal coming from his room had nearly sent him into cardiac arrest, as well as her responses, or lack thereof, afterwards... Whatever was on her mind, it looked like it was impacting her deeper than she was either willing or able to admit… he vaguely recalled reading about a childhood incident involving a quirkless friend and survivor’s guilt… but to see it in someone like Tsu? Aizawa was more than troubled as the students returned, forming a small pile in the middle of the room and falling asleep in each other’s company wordlessly. As they slept, Aizawa couldn’t help the small smile that found itself on his face as he looked at his children- wait no; his students… but he couldn’t deny the soft spot he felt as the slept peacefully… the worrying would have to wait for the morning; for now, they needed to rest.

‘I got Hizashi’s “dad-syndrome” bad, don’t I?’

Chapter Text

“Hey Toya… can I ask you something?”

Toya turned towards his sister, shifting as best he could to see her from his position on Ms. Inko’s couch, which he had promptly laid claim to the moment he had crossed the threshold of the little apartment roughly three days prior when he had finally been given the all clear to leave the hospital, provided he spend the next week on absolute bedrest… Overhaul’s lackeys had seriously fucked him up and, while he was grateful to be alive and even more so to see his bastard of a father get what he deserved, he’d be a lot better once he knew Sir Nighteye had successfully organized a raid and saved that little girl who’s cries he could still hear ringing in his ears. But that was out of his hands now, and he had to focus on the now.

“What’s up sis?”

Fuyumi looked nervous, which unsettled Toya as he remembered the reserved, but energetic and curious little sister he left behind all those years ago. Part of him knew leaving had been the only option… but the other part of him cursed himself for not taking his siblings with him, for leaving them behind and abandoning them with Him.

“W…Why did you leave? W-Was it something father did? Why didn’t you tell us? I’ve been trying to figure it out ever since you left and I just can’t and I thought… I thought maybe it was something I’d done…”

As Fuyumi trailed off, he could see the tears that were starting to form and it hit him at how much this must have been weighing on her… and how strong he had to make herself to bring it up, after everything that had happened. Toya took a moment to asses his options as he looked to his sister almost helplessly… That man wasn’t here anymore; they were in Ms. Inko’s home and it was safe… there was no reason for him to lie to his family now, after everything and after running from it for so long… and Fuyumi had the gentlest soul ever, surely she would understand… Toya took a deep breath as he motioned for her to sit down and she did so, looking at him intently, Natsuo standing idly in the kitchen as he listened in.

“It’s not your fault Fuyumi; don’t try to think that it was… there is nothing you could do to ever make me do something so idiotic and… and you deserve the truth; When I was entering junior high, I asked and begged and even bribed Father to let me attend a public school. He relented eventually, granted under a different name and I was to not socialize, for the sake of others potentially recognizing me as his son. Naturally, I disobeyed that last part instantly and tried to befriend the entire goddamn school. For a time, everything was… okay. I was socializing and building relationship and the bastard was none the wiser. But around my second year of attending, you and Natsuo were still pretty young and Shouto hadn’t developed his quirk yet, I… I fell in love with someone. Well, okay maybe not love, but I found myself crushing pretty hard. He was perfect in my eyes; charismatic, energetic, and had such a fiery whirlwind of a personality, it could almost match the color of his wings. I had it bad and I decided to be a cheesy romantic, because I was such a cringe-worthy child, and I wrote him a letter… I was too chicken to give it to him... I promised myself I’d slip it to him on valentines’ day. Knowing dear old father, you can probably guess how it went down when… when he found the letter in my backpack…”

Toya could feel himself getting chocked up as he spoke, bitterly recalling the look of anger and disgust on the bastard’s face as his burns ached with phantom pains as he forced himself to continue, his siblings deserved to know.

“After that… after that I knew I couldn’t look that boy in the eyes, much less give him a half-assed story about my father burning my love-letter and then myself… I knew Father would try to make an example out of me to both of you and especially to Shouto and I… I couldn’t let him do that to you, so I ran away like a coward. I ran away and told myself to never look back; I changed my name constantly and dyed my hair to drive myself as far away from the Todoroki name as possible… and the worst part is I don’t even remember that boy’s actual name… all that comes to mind is his hero alias… he probably forgot all about me, just like everyone else.”

Toya knew he was crying now because after all these years, he’d finally said it; he’d finally said the real reason he had left and he wasn’t ashamed of himself for it… he was only ashamed that he’d left them behind.

“B-But hey, it’s o-okay! W-We’re back together a-again and he’s not here; we can love whomever the fuck we want… right? I’m not ashamed of it… I just wish I’d done something sooner… I-I… oh god I never should have left any of you I’m so sorry… I’m a terrible brother and I should have done something!

Through the tears, Toya could feel the pair of arms wrapping around him; one set trembling and slender, while the other was calloused and muscular… then a set of footsteps the opening of a door brought them all away from the moment to look towards the hallway, where the youngest Todoroki was standing, a rather disheveled looking man standing behind him. The pair staried at the crying trio before the gruff man sighed, excused himself and walked back to the front door, leaving Shouto to stare at his family, unsure of how to proceed. He’d only been three or four when Toya left so seeing his brother crying and clinging to his sister was still unnerving as well as the fact, he’d never seen Natsuo cry in his entire lifetime. Through the tears, the three of them managed to recount the tale to the youngest, who listened intently and quietly before going still, looking to each of his siblings before speaking softly.

“I… don’t know how to respond to that… truthfully, Aizawa-sensei only agreed to bring me to see you guys because I told him it was a family emergency… and a detour to a cat café. I… have something I wanted your help with… if it’s not too out of place.”

The recovering siblings all wiped away their tears as they nodded and looked intently to their little brother.

“You can tell us anything Shouto; we aren’t him and we never will be. Everything is fair game here.”

Shouto took a deep breath as he spoke.

“Recently, I… I’ve been having nightmares about Father and all the things he did… Normally, I wouldn’t bring it up and just deal with it… but Aizawa-sensei’s been making me go to therapy sessions on campus and Hound Dog-sensei said I should discuss it with all of you; since it’s a family issue and… and recently, my dreams have…shifted.

Shouto glared at the carpet for no particular reason as he continued.

“Usually, I’m the one getting hurt in my dreams, with father laughing over me and I can hear Mother sometimes… but the past few dreams, the ones where I accidentally trigger my quirk, he… he’s not hurting me at all, in the beginnings… in those dreams… he’s hurting Izuku and I’m stuck behind some invisible barrier and I can’t get to him and help him and then father…. Father always kills him in my dreams, before turning on me and calling me a disgrace, telling me that I failed him and he’d have to pull Mother out of her treatment to ‘try again’ and he’ll find all of you or Auntie to make me regret my mistakes and I… I can’t do anything to stop him.”

Shouto knows he’s crying. He knows he’s being far more emotionally vulnerable than he probably should have been… but the dreams of his father… the dreams of that man hurting everyone he’s ever loved and Shouto being powerless to do anything had been weighing on him ever since they’d started popping up a few months ago… right around the time he realized his crush on his best friend.

“Wh…What do I do? H-how do I get him out of my fucking head?!?! Why can’t I live my life away from him…?”

Toya didn’t think he could get any angrier at his father and yet, here he was; beyond furious at the devil of a man for doing what he did to the point Shouto, the sweat and innocent little boy he’d left behind, was on the verge of a breakdown because their father had fucked his mentality up… but Shouto didn’t need anger; he needed a voice of reason which, admittedly, Toya was not… but he’d do what he could.

“Shouto… getting away from that bastard isn’t going to be easy. Sure, he’s spending a lifetime sentence in some maximum-security hellhole, but even that won’t make up for the lifetime of shit we went through because of him… Hell, I left nearly a decade ago and I still have fucking nightmares about the asshole hurting anyone I’ve ever cared about and honestly? The best thing I found was working through it one step at a time… you’re already doing therapy sessions, so you’re ten steps a head of the rest of us fuck-ups! Just… Just keep your head on your shoulders and keep that Midoryia kid close to you and eventually, everything will be okay. Not perfect, mind you… but okay.”

The Todoroki children let out little half laughs before Shouto looked to his brother with confusion and mild terror.

“Why mention Izuku? What made you say that?”

Toya couldn’t help the boisterous laugh that escaped him at the look on his youngest brother’s face.

“Shouto, just because I disappeared for a decade or so doesn’t mean I can’t tell when someone’s got it for someone else and bro… you got it baddon’t think your teacher didn’t tell me how you dove right into a hug to him specifically after getting the news; you aren’t slick.”

Shouto was reduced to a sputtering mess as his siblings looked on to him in amusement and, for another hour or so, remained in each other’s company as they finally, finally caught up as a family… before Shouto had to return to U.A., his siblings calling after him as he and his teacher left.

“Don’t forget to clue us in every so often! And send us pics of Shouto being adorable with his crush Mr. Aizawa! We’re counting on you!”

Chapter Text

“Are you sure about this Deku? You don’t have to do a damn thing if you don’t want to, dumb-ass.”

The hidden gentleness in his friend’s voice made Izuku smile and let out a half laugh as he turned to face the explosive boy, his entire form full of confident determination.

“I’m sure Kacchan. After everything that’s happened… after all we’ve been through… they’re our friends and they deserve to know the truth about everything… I don’t think I’ll be able to fully move on if I keep hiding everything. I mean sure, I think they probably connected the dots ages ago… but I think I’d feel better if they heard it from me.”

Kacchan grunted in understanding as he simply put a hand on his best friend’s shoulder, letting the boy know that he was there and he wouldn’t be going anywhere. Personally, he though Eraser-ass’s idea of “team and trust building” was stupid, but Deku had insisted it was a good idea and Katsuki didn’t have the heart to shut him down, which was how he found himself surrounded by the rest of his classmates in the commons area as their teacher sighed and started speaking.

“Now that you’ve finally calmed down, we can start; The goal of this exercise is to develop the bonds you’ve already created within the classroom, while resolving any potential tensions and building new relationships. I expect all of you to be honest and open; you can share whatever the hell you’re comfortable with, as long as you don’t physically hurt anyone else or act derogatory, in which case we will have problems. Got it?”

“Yes Aizawa-Sensei!

The gruff man sighed before speaking again as he situated himself within the sleeping bag he brought seemingly of nowhere.

“As your teacher, Nezdu said I had to go first… something about ‘showing vulnerability’ or whatever, so I’m only going to say this once; Mic and I have been married for the past five years, and dating for longer. Next person.”

And with that tidbit of information, most of Class 1-A, save for Izuku and his best friend, ceased to function properly as they digested that information… which naturally meant one of them had to go next and, with an attention-grabbing growl, the ashen blond took the initiative.

“Fine, listen up you fuck-wads; Ever since I started picking up how to cook… I found out that I really fucking enjoy it, especially baking and the spicy shit… and I think lions and big cats are cool as fuck. If any of you want to give me shit for it, I’ll fucking end you!”

Katsuki was expecting someone to laugh or smirk at the fact that yeah, big bad Bakugou liked to bake of all things. He wasn’t sure if it was because of the genuine honesty, or if everyone was still reeling from Aizawa’s tidbit… but no one said a peep. The class stared for a few moments before Kouda, one of the kindest people Katsuki had ever met, smiled and signed, catching everyone’s attention.

“Thank you for being honest Bakugou! Honestly… it’s surprising, but I think your hobby is really, really nice!”

After that, the class erupted into words of support, still slightly surprised at the honesty behind the statement… but the fact the most hot-headed boy on the face of the earth had been so open really put things into perspective for the class, as each spoke their turns, sharing either general information or confessing other things.

“So, uh… Mina already knows this, but my hair isn’t naturally Red… I dye it pretty often. Oh! And the scar on my eye is from when I first activated my quirk… I was rubbing my eye and it just kinda happened…”

The class voiced support towards Kirishima, who was looking at the carpet sheepishly after finishing his statement.

“Did I ever tell you the story of the first time I used my quirk? I used it to make a thimble of all things! I had the strangest fascination with them as a child and my nanny had taken my favorite away from me, since it was almost naptime, if memory serves correct. I was so mad that I remember wanting to will it towards me and instead I accidentally made a second one! My mother won’t let me live it down to this day…”

Yaoyorozu was having trouble with her story, laughing every few seconds at the absurdity of it as the others joined in, her laughter infectious before the next few people spoke, generally in the same vein of quirk activation and crazy shenanigans they ended up in until it was Shouto’s turn, who had a bashful look in his eyes as he spoke softly.

“I’m afraid I don’t have any stories like the rest of you… but I do remember this one time my siblings and I messed with our father; We were attending some big banquet for the holidays, I think I was five or so, and we were expected to buy him gifts to present publicly. Being five, I drew him a picture of my favorite hero, All Might… it didn’t go over well at home, but at the moment I felt so proud of myself as he was forced to publicly accept it. Then, Fuyumi got him a book on something… and Natsuo- “

Shouto genuinely cut himself off as he started laughing, taking a few moments to compose himself, trying to continue without choking himself with his own laughter.

“Natsuo got him a T-shirt that said, and I swear on all that is good in this world I’m not making this up, ‘I’m training to be like ALL MIGHT’. It was in big, bold letters with All Might’s silhouette against the front, with ‘PLUS ULTRA’ on the back. To this day, I still remember the look on the bastard’s face as the media forced him to accept my brother’s ‘gift’ and even forced him into wearing it for a few hours…. it was the most glorious thing to ever happen before my eyes.”

Most of class 1-A had dissolved into fits of uncontrollable laughter as Shouto recounted the only decent and truly happy story he could remember from his childhood… even Aizawa had an amused look in his eyes as he coughed violently, masking his fits of laughter, which he himself took as a good sign. If Shouto was being open and willing to talk about his past, then maybe this group exercise wasn’t a half bad idea, as almost all the students had spoken and entrusted the rest with private information… leaving Midoryia to speak last, which only slightly worried Aizawa as the boy in question waited for the room to calm down again before taking a deep breath (which, in Aizawa’s experience, was never a sign of something lighthearted) before speaking.

“I… I hate to be the one to bring the mood down, but there’s something I need to tell all of you, and it’s important you listen to everything I say.”

The atmosphere of the room darkened to absolute seriousness in an instant, all eyes on the green haired boy, who didn’t bother to hide the pained expression on his face as he spoke.

“As you all know, I’m blind… but only some of you know that I wasn’t born that way. I was born just the same as the rest of you, vision and all. When I was five, my mother had a sneaking suspicion that my father was cheating on her, so she investigated one night and… and he was doing far worse things than having an affair. My mom took the information she found to the police, who helped her understand the gravity of the situation and who my father truly was… for the next few months, she secretly acted as an informant and fed everything she could to a joint agency investigation before… before my father found out and attacked her. She made it through though, with only a few scars, and after that we moved in with Kacchan’s family, with heroes watching over us 24/7 to protect us from him. He… he was a villain; arguably one of the worst in fact. For a while, everything was okay… until my sixth birthday, when my mom surprised Kacchan and I with a trip to an aquarium, where Gang Orca was scheduled to do a lectured tour for kids and such… I remember being so happy because I was seeing a pro-hero for fun and he was listening to me ramble about his quirk… everything was perfect. But then… then my father showed up to attack Gang Orca… but he got sidetracked by me. He… H-He wanted t-to ‘put me in my p-place’… and h-he used his q-quirk and d-destroyed my eyes. G-Gang Orca and A-Aizawa-Sensei s-stopped him before he c-could hurt anyone else and A-Aizawa-Sensei s-saved me f-from my quirk, because that was when it m-manifested… for the rest of my life, I was the blind son of a Villain who was destined to become just l-like his f-father… I-I wanted everyone t-to know b-because after everything we’ve b-been through… you deserve to k-know the truth of my past… and why I hated myself for saving the very bastard that took everything from me in the Kamino Ward… I wanted to leave him behind… I wanted to listen to the other villain and make him pay for everything… but I couldn’t… I couldn’t face the very man who made my life a living hell… I-I wanted you t-to know t-that I t-trust all of you… and that I-I’m not l-like h-him… I-I mean, a-after everything w-we’ve been through… I t-thought you d-deserved t-to know the p-person you were b-befriending…

By the end of his story, Izuku was a stuttering, crying mess, but he had to tell them everything… he had to tell them why he was the person he was. This class… these people were his friends, and they deserved to know their friend as Kacchan knew him; the broken and stitched together boy who was so terrified of becoming his father… who was terrified of their rejection because of his past and, as the silence in the room stretched longer and longer, Izuku could feel his heart sinking more and more until the soft voice of Kouda spoke.

“I-Is that why Monoma was such a jerk before the Sports Festival?”

Izuku could only nod numbly, waiting for the yelling that he expected to follow… but it never came, Kouda’s voice speaking once again, this time stronger and louder.

“Well that’s just stupid and i think you just confirmed my theory that Monoma is just a whiney bitch. After all we’ve been through Midoryia, it’s safe to say you are not, nor will you ever be like that man. You’re our friend… and I thank you for trusting us so deeply to share something so personal.”

The class murmured their agreement before Hakugure’s voice piped up, her usually bubbly voice dead serious.

“Midoryia… that man doesn’t define who you are. You are our friend, and while I would love to hunt down that bastard for hurting you, hypothetically Aizawa-sensei, it’s not up to me to decide his final fate… We are friends with you because we love who you are… What that man did was beyond wrong and he has no right to claim any sort of relation to someone as wonderful as you and Ms. Inko… For better or for worse, we’ve got your back Midoryia!”

As Hakugure finished speaking, the entire class responded far more jovially, all smiling warmly and some even reaching over to wrap their arms around the boy, Shouto being the first to do so, as their teacher stirred and spoke calmly.

“As much as I’m going to regret this later on… I have to admit some things Problem Child; You are probably the strangest child I’ve ever taught… and that’s saying something. But you’re also the first child I’ve seen grow in age, maturity and strength and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t damn proud of you Problem Child… this information stays with this class and in this room, I hope you all understand… but for what it’s worth; I’m damn proud of all of you brats and if anyone needs an adult… probably go to All Might for the sappy shit, but the down to earth shit, or maybe cat related things, come talk to me. I’m always here and if I find out shit through someone else and it’s serious, I will ground you and then give you detention, are we clear?”

Through the tears and laughter, the entire class agreed and as the hero surveyed his children, he saw how half dead they all looked and decided they probably wouldn’t make it back to their dorms respectively as he sighed.

“There’s extra large blankets and pillows in the hallway cupboard… All of you are going to have a sleepover in the commons and since tomorrow is your free day, I’ll clear your chores to have a movie marathon or whatever… now go to sleep, brats.”

Yes Aizawa-sensei.”

As the class settled, Katsuki was almost asleep before the full weight of one tiny detail of the conversation dawned on him.
"Are we going to ignore the fact Kouda called copy-cat a 'Whiney Bitch'? Because i'm not... i'm fucking proud of you Kouda."

The rest of the class found themselves falling asleep half laughing to Iida muttering/rambling on why the explosive boy shouldn't encourage his classmate to engage in such profanities.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was casually flipping through the common room’s TV, looking for something suitable to use as background noise when a very familiar and bashful face appeared on the screen, which lead him to be filled with confusion, concern and, upon realization of what was happening, some pride as he quickly cupped his hands and yelled in the general direction of the kitchen area, where almost all of his classmates were scavenging for food.

“Holy shit, everyone needs to get their asses in here right now, Kouda’s on the TV and didn’t fucking tell us!”

Katsuki would have laughed at the mad scramble behind him if he wasn’t zeroed into the screen as he raised the volume up loud enough for him to hear it as the reporter asked another question to Kouda and the detective guy he’d seen around campus.

“We understand that this case very well could have gone unsolved or even thrown out due to a lack of witnesses if it wasn’t for this young man’s involvement, yes? Can you tell us how you got involved in such a situation?”

Katsuki could see that Kouda was blushing greatly, no doubt from all the attention directed at him as he signed carefully, the detective dude interpreting calmly.

“Well as you said, the case was going nowhere with the family pet as the only witness. Detective Tsukauchi remembered my quirk allows me to communicate with animals from the Sports Festival and he got in touch with Principal Nezdu, who thought this would be great practical application of my quirk and asked me if I was willing to help and of course I accepted! I mean… I’m in the hero’s course so I guess it’d be worry-some if I refused.”

As their friend finished signing, he let out a small, bashful chuckle as the reporter and those around the group practically melted about how honorable it was of him. The entirety of 1-A was watching and listening to the interview with rapt attention, often muttering words of encouragement through the screen at their friend who almost seemed to carry himself like a pro… albeit a shy and modest pro, but a pro nonetheless.

As the interview dragged on, the class failed to notice the arrival of one Inko Midoryia, who had decided she was in the mood to cook a rather large meal that particular day and distribute it throughout the dorms, her sons’ class being her last stop as she carted several large and deceptively heavy boxes into the kitchen area, where the remnants of the class’s previous scavenging remained, causing her to sigh with exasperation and clean up quietly before giving her full attention to the group of children in front of the TV, smiling to herself as she watched… Tsukauchi had mentioned closing a case with the help of a U.A student and a rare interview.

‘I’ll have to ask Shota what that boy likes so I can get it for him… Katsuki looks so proud of him!’

Discreetly as she could, Inko retrieved her phone and zoomed as far as she could with the camera option, allowing it to focus on the Ashen Blond before snapping a quick picture and sending it to two separate people.

To: Suki

“I think the U.A student on TV is a friend of Katsuki’s.”

Not even a moment after sending Mitsuki the picture did Inko get a response, the often times abrasive woman sending a surprising number of emojis and keyboard smashing before a coherent response came through.

“The Brat has a Friend that’s a sweetheart?! I told you the hero course would do him good!”

Inko stifled a laugh as she looked up from her phone, seeing a few of the students had finally begun noticing her presence before quickly hitting send on her second message

To: Toshi

“Either this is a clone or the rest of 1-A is rubbing off on Katsuki :P )

A moment passed before the response came, rather wordy in Inko’s opinion but Toshi had a habit of responding to messages in such a fashion, so it didn’t really surprise her.

“Ah Inko!! I am greatly amused by your sense of humor and I find even greater joy from seeing Young Bakugou so open in his support of a fellow classmate! Truly, he has grown by leaps and bounds and I cannot wait to see him grow even further!”

Inko didn’t have time to respond as there was now nineteen hungry kids crowding her and her food, greeting her warmly.

“Hey Ms. Midoryia!”

“I apologize for the mess Ms. Midoryia! You should have notified us and we would have rectified it instantly! We thank you greatly for the food as well Ma’am!”

“Thank you, Auntie… Don’t just stand there, you dumbasses! Tell Auntie thank you for the food or get the fuck out of here!”

“Hi Mom!”

“Hello Auntie!”

“Thank you, Ms. Inko…”

“Hey Mom.”

For a moment, the entirety of 1-A froze and turned to the final speaker, who caught what he had said and put his hands over his mouth in horror.

“I-I’m so sorry! It was a slip of the tongue, I apologize Ms. Midoryia!”

Inko, while taken aback, looked at the exceedingly flustered boy and surveyed the surrounding students, who’s faces held a range of sympathy, horror and a mix between amusement and turmoil. Inko turned her attention back to the speaker at hand and smiled warmly.

“Tokoyami, there’s no need to apologize! You wouldn’t believe how many times Katsuki accidentally calls me ‘Mom’! Really, I’m quite flattered you think of me that way… I don’t mind in the slightest! Honestly, if any of you, and I mean any of you feel comfortable calling me ‘mom’, then I welcome it wholeheartedly! If you don’t… then call me what you like.”

The relief coming from the boy was palpable, as his tensed shoulders relaxed instantly, causing the sudden tension in the room to drain as the group smiled and started acting rambunctious once more, laughing and eating contentedly, Inko resigning herself to keep an eye on them until Toshi walked through the front door sometime later, accompanied by Kouda, who looked beet red and completely drained. Inko noticed it was getting pretty late as half of the class trickled away to their rooms while the others mulled around longer, the two newcomers sitting down to eat, Inko having set aside food for Kouda and retrieving Toshi’s food from the fridge where she had placed it.

As the two finished eating, Kouda excusing himself to his room, Inko found herself faced with the remaining children and it seemed Toshi had the same instincts she did, turning to face them and speaking calmly.

“I’m afraid speaking with Young Kouda must wait until the morning, as it is quite late. Off to bed with all of you!”

The response was a chorus of “Yes All Might” and then there was Izuku’s final response.

“Night mom… Night dad.”

Once again, the room froze; neither Inko nor Toshinori having any idea of how to proceed as the silence crept by for nearly a minute before Shouto whispered in awe and triumph.

“I fucking knew it.”

Chapter Text

This class was going to be the death of him, Aizawa just knew it. It wasn’t enough that they had somehow inhaled all the food within the dorm itself, but they’d somehow managed to have Lunch Rush revoke kitchen privileges, meaning raiding for food was off of the table, which lead them to their current situation; Aizawa, Hizashi, Inko and Toshinori leading the twenty disgruntled students from the school-issued van into the shopping plaza.

“All right listen up; in order to get everything you need, we’ll be splitting up into groups, one adult to each group, five to a group… and before you ask, no you aren’t picking your groups; Inko and I already sorted you out to maximize effectiveness. Do you understand?”

“Yes Sensei!”

“Good. Mina, Tsuyu, Kouda, Sero and Jiro; you’re with Mic. Aoyama, Sato, Shoji, Kaminari and Iida; you’re with Inko. Ojiro, Krishima, Yaoyorozu, Hakugure and Tokoyami; you’re with All Might. The rest of you are with me. I’ll give you two hours max to get everything you need and rendezvous back here. After that, I’m leaving you and the others will probably launch a search party. Time starts now.”

With that dismissal, the groups condensed and dispatched into the plaza, shopping semi-leisurely as they purchased food, drinks, cloths (much to Aizawa’s dismay… then again, he should have figured Yaoyorozu would jump at the chance, saying something about “stimulating the economy” as she did so…) and generally having a good time, although Aizawa was certain they’d be asked to never return after the exchanges between passing groups, one of which went rather quickly but still gave Aizawa the headache of a lifetime;

“What the fuck is your problem with orange juice four-eyes?!?! You can’t even carry those correctly!”

“I told you Bakugou; the orange juice acts as the fuel for my engines!”

“I bet the fuck it doesn’t, you fucking Citrus Sponge!”

“Enough.”

Still, none of that compared to the sequence of events that unfolded roughly twenty minutes before the two-hour mark. Aizawa was guiding his group towards the van, shopping bags In hand, when a flash of movement caught his eye. Hastily, he shoved the closest students behind him as he readied himself in a fighting stance as the movement drew closer and closer, revealing a little girl, covered in bandages and surrounded by an aura of pure terror. The girl looked at the group as she ran even closer, her eyes locking onto the closest person as she rammed into them, causing him to stumble… In the back of his mind, Aizawa figured it was typical of the Problem Child to find himself in this situation, which would have been amusing if it wasn’t for the other figures, one of which he recognized as a person of interest in Sir Nighteye’s investigation and the others seemed to be patrolling heroes. As the first person seemed at a loss for words and actions, zeroed in on the little girl in Izuku’s arms as the two heroes yelled.

“Kai Chisaki, stop right there and don’t get any closer to that little girl! We’re placing you under arrest for illegal quirk usage and child endangerment!”

With those words, the pieces fell into place and Aizawa grit his teeth in silent rage as he erased the young man’s quirk, just to be careful as he uncovered a gloved hand and touched the ground, expecting something to happen, only to laugh callously.

“Eraserhead… of course you would be the one to show up... Very well; I see no reason to enter a fight I will not win... Just remember; their blood is on your hands Eri, and you wouldn’t want me upset with you when I come find you later…”

And just like that; it was over as soon as it started; The Chisaki kid being led away and statements were given. It seemed like everything would be okay… until an officer tried to remove the girl, Eri, from her death grip on the Problem Child. If Aizawa didn’t know any better, he could have sworn she was being physically tortured, from the screams of terror that erupted from the little girl as the officered tried in vain to calm her down, Aizawa himself ultimately having to stop them and, with a massive headache, agree to take both children to the hospital and station… after dropping the other kids back with the main group anyways, ignoring the confused, surprised and exhausted gazed the got at the little girl and police officers.

“Weird story; I’ll explain later. Inko, please make sure they get back to campus… Prob- I mean Your son and I have to take little Eri here to get checked over.”

****

Asui, as confused as she was about the strange little girl in Midoryia’s arms, found herself losing focus on the rambunctious conversations of her classmates as they returned to campus, clutching the bags that contained her belongings as she almost numbly followed the motions and her classmates into the dorms, putting all her items in their places and quietly walking over to where All Might-Sensei stood, his gaze seemed to be far away and unfocused, which quickly sharpened as she approached almost timidly before speaking.

“All Might Sensei… do you know when Aizawa-Sensei will be back? I requested a quick off campus trip after our shopping and he was supposed to take me…Ribbit…

Her teacher checked his phone and his face fell into a poorly masked grimace before turning to Asui and sighing.

“I’m afraid Aizawa says he won’t be returning until much later, given the nature of that girl’s… attachment to Young Midoryia.”

Asui must have let her face fall drastically, as her teacher pipped up quickly.

“But I would be happy to accompany you, Young Tsuyu! I’m sure Mic wouldn’t mind watching your classmates for the time being!”

Ribbit… thank you sensei…”

The former top hero and her teacher smiled comfortingly as he called the other teachers over, explaining the situation quickly and, after a brief debate, in which Inko insisted she accompany the two, returned to Asui, quietly guiding her away towards another car and nodded solemnly when she told the two adults where they were going and, as pulled away from the school once more, Asui spoke timidly.

“All Might-Sensei… do you… know any flowers shops nearby? Ribbit.”

In the rearview mirror, Asui could see her teacher’s eyes soften as he quietly affirmed and drove for another ten minutes, stopping and parking at a smaller plaza where flowers lined the outside of a little shop. As they entered, the little bell rang and a kind old man turned to face the door, his eyes lighting up with recognition as he spoke.

“Ah Toshinori! Time for another visit already? The usual arrangement, yes?”

The light flush of All Might’s face didn’t escape Asui, who wondered how often he had to come in here to be on a first name basis and have a ‘usual’ arrangement.

“I… I’d like that, though I’m actually here for Young Tsuyu! She wished to find a small arrangement herself.”

The old man’s gaze focused on Asui as she gave a small wave, the man’s expression hardening and turning serious, to which she was grateful.

“I see… in that case; tell me what you need young lady and I’ll get you all set.”

“I… I would like Asphodels and Cypresses, although Purple Hyacinths would also work sir... Ribbit.”

The man’s expression only darkened from there, and Asui tried not to notice the dark and sorrowful look in her teacher’s eyes as they waited, gathered their purchases and returned to the road. What Asui did notice was the flowers All Might had purchased; Marigolds and Daffodils…

“I do apologize Young Tsuyu for imposing… but I myself have respects to pay, if you wouldn’t mind the detour.”

“Of course, not All Might Sensei. Ribbit.”

And that was how Asui found herself standing a respectable distance from her teacher as he placed the flowers at the base of a statue of a single woman, which was surprisingly close to where Asui had intended visiting. As he payed his respects, Asui let her legs carry herself towards the all too familiar gravesite of her best friend. She placed her arrangement atop the stone plague that adorned the headstone, sinking to her knees and, not caring for anyone or anything in the world, found herself crying as comforting hands found her several moments later and, for the first time in years, she found herself saying everything on her heart.

“It…It was my fault. Ribbit. I thought it w-was s-safe to s-swim… and I k-knew h-he was still l-learning.,. but I insisted on going. Ribbit… T-The villain w-was too fast a-and i… I did nothing! Kyoya died because I d-did nothing! I…I promised I’d p-protect him! I-I knew he was quirkless, but I thought I was enough to protect him... Rib…Ribb...”

Asui couldn’t continue, though she hadn’t said much, crying far more than speaking… but the immense guilt had finally caught up with her. It wasn’t enough that she was living life and making the friends that should have been his… but that little girl had the same look in her eyes as Kyoya and Asui had, once again, been able to do nothing.

Asui just sat there, both adults comforting her, and let herself cry as her reality and the sense of growth from the past few months at U.A shattered into a thousand pieces as each member thought to themselves individually.

“Some hero I’ll be…”

“I hope you take heart, Young Tsuyu… You are not alone… we will be here for you.”

“Poor girl… so much like Izuku… so much guilt…”

Chapter Text

“Thank you again for doing this Inko… I know how busy everything’s been since you moved to the dormitory system.”

Inko smiled lightly as Tsukauchi spoke, leading her through the facility, their presence earning strange side glances and looks of surprise as she half-heartedly gave her friend a little shove.

“Tsukauchi I told you already; it really is nothing! I’ll admit… I don’t fully understand everything this boy has been through, but I do know when and where I can lend a hand. I’m more upset over the fact you waited until now to ask for my help!”

Tsukauchi scoffed a little at Inko’s not-so-hurt-but-defiantly-judging-you tone of voice as they drew ever nearer to their destination. He’d be lying if he said what was about to happen didn’t worry him; having to introduce the world’s most open, empathetic and honestly kind of terrifying mother to a young man who grew up without a childhood into villainy, but if the past few months of progress were worth anything, it was that Tenko wasn’t beyond saving and Tsukauchi had a gut feeling that maybe, just maybe, meeting the most amazing mother on the face of the earth was what that boy desperately needed.

“I know Inko, I know… just promise me you’ll be careful; Tenko has come a long way, but he’s still distant and thinks he’s beyond help… he might feel threatened if you act to quickly…”

Although she appreciated the warnings and worry, Inko gave Tsukauchi one of her “mom looks” before speaking sharply.

“Tsukauchi, I know all about children lashing out in fear; I’ll be fine.”

“…I know Inko…”

With that, the two found themselves walking on in silence until Tsukauchi stopped both of them in front of an unassuming door, distinguished only by the name on the door label. Calmly as he could, Tsukauchi knocked loudly, motioning Inko to wait behind him until they were ready, only opening the door when he heard the young man’s voice call out to allow access. Opening the door, Tsukauchi was met by the sight of a surprisingly colorful room, where Tenko Shimura sat cross-legged on the floor, holding an open book with his newly gloved hands and looking expectantly at the door and the Detective himself.

At the sight of the Detective, Tenko found himself relaxing inadvertently, having grown accustomed to the man and deeming him not a threat… unlike those who stole glances at him, ‘the hiding villain’.

“Hello Detective, what brings you here today? Any new cases that need my…insight?”

Tsukauchi found himself with a small smile, Tenko being as blunt as ever.

“No, nothing like that; With all your help, we’ve cleared up all of All for One’s remaining networks. I’m actually here today for you Tenko: I know the rehabilitation program is odd and you’re doing your best… but it’s designed for hardened criminals and near-psychotic cases, of which you are neither… so I thought you might like to meet a friend of mine.”

Tenko looked on in slight confusion and intrigue as Tsukauchi motioned for Inko to come forwards and stand in the door way, allowing the young man to take everything about her in.

“This is Inko; she’s a general education teacher at U.A, but she’s also dealt with All for One’s associates before… I though you two could talk, given your shared experiences.”

Tsukauchi knew he had no reason to worry, given how capable Inko was… but the part of him that was worried only deepened as Tenko’s eyes darkened quickly, turning from Inko to Tsukauchi himself.

“Why? Why are you doing this Detective? Both of you should leave now… while you have the chance. I don’t mind the rehab course…it’s honestly nothing compared to what… that man did before... but If either of you get any closer, there’s a good chance you’ll get hurt and I’ll be right back to square one; game over, reset and repeat.”

Tsukauchi was about to take a step back, the seriousness in the young man’s tone startling him, when he found himself being stopped by Inko, who had been listening intently and watching quietly, here eyes full of that determined spark Tsukauchi knew could melt any heart.

“Hello Tenko- can I call you Tenko? I don’t want to make assumptions, but I’m interested in your terminology there; ‘game over’ and ‘reset’… Do you like video games Tenko?”

Tenko was taken aback, having just threatened this woman and the detective, her friend, only to have her respond with quiet patience. Most of the time, when he used his game analogies, the caseworkers and rehab staff would only scoff and ignore him… After a few moments of silence, curiosity got the better of him and he decided to indulge the small woman, if only to see where the conversation would go.

“Uh… I don’t know? I…I used to catch snippets of people playing them, but I was never allowed to really watch… or play for that matter…”

The woman, Inko, lips pursed into a thin line, although her eyes softened as she took a step closer.

“Would you like to? My son used to have a bunch of video game things he played on with his friend before… before an incident. When Tsukauchi told me about your situation, I got worried that you didn’t have anything to keep yourself busy in your free time and well, my son doesn’t use them anymore and they aren’t broken, so I brought one of his old handheld games… it’s not the latest fad or anything, but it’s small and honestly, I know he wouldn’t mind… You don’t have to take or play it if you don’t want, I just grabbed it just in case...”

With that, Tenko watched as the Inko woman reached into her bag and pulled out a handheld device he vaguely recognized from some advertisement roughly a decade ago, but the devise was in surprisingly good shape, as well as the cartridges she pulled out to accompany it. By the look on the detective’s face; none of that had been planned or discussed, which caused Tenko to let out a small chuckle at the dumbstruck man… Tenko didn’t move an inch when the woman took another step towards him, opting instead to stand now, his book long forgotten and abandoned as he spoke.

“In the time I’ve been here, I don’t think I’ve seen The Detective look so stupid as he does now… You are very strange… but I know what you’re doing. I know why he really brought you here… and I told you before Detective: It’s far too late for me to be redeemed in any way that matters! I’m not a good guy and you will get hurt if you try to get too close to me, so just leave while you have the chance.”

While Tenko’s voice was raised and his tone flat, Inko refused to back down, looking kindly to the boy who, in all honesty, was fighting to keep his tone contained, or else his emotions would interfere, the phantom pains of his former mentor’s ‘corrections’ panging as he fought with himself while the Detective took a step towards Inko, reaching out to grab her shoulder… only to have her shrug him off and take another step closer, causing Tenko to take a step back for fear of his proximity causing her harm… just like he always did.

“Tenko… you’re so, so very wrong; you aren’t too far gone sweetie. You want us to stay away because you’re scared of hurting us; you push away those who want to help you in fear and, as a result, hurt yourself far more than we ever could. Your worry is proof enough for me to know what I need; you are not a bad person Tenko. You are a victim dealing with the repercussions of the actions of the real bad guy. You’re right in saying Tsukauchi brought me here to try and “save you” … but that’s not why I came here.”

Inko was no longer taking singular steps towards the young man. Now, Inko was walking confidently and calmly towards him, Tenko finding himself frozen in place by fear, apprehension and, dare he admit… hope. He found himself speaking as she drew closer towards him.

“T-Then why are you here?”

Inko drew closer and closer, until she planted a gentle hand on Tenko’s shoulder, casing the boy to look at her and see all the warmth in the world being held in her gaze.

“I am here because when Tsukauchi told me what that monster did to you and what he forced you to do in the name of approval, I knew ‘villian reform rehab’ wasn’t what you were missing; what you were missing was someone who loved and cared for you… you’re missing a mother and, while I don’t want to force myself or that title upon you… I wanted you to know I understand and I’m here for you and, when you’re ready, I’m here to try and give you the childhood that was taken from you… if you’ll let me help you.”

Tsukauchi couldn’t believe his eyes as Tenko, the boy turned villain by victim-hood, melted into Inko’s touch and embrace, hearing the soft sobs coming from the broken boy. Somehow, the unstoppable force of Inko’s love had come crashing down on Tenko’s unmovable certainty that he was beyond help… Tsukauchi turned heel and left the two alone, trusting Inko to do her thing and start helping Tenko on his journey to what he desperately hoped was redemption in his own eyes and those who were rooting for him, silently thinking to himself as he walked.

Inko really is something else entirely; isn't she? I hate to wonder what those kids of hers would be like without this woman..

Chapter Text

Aizawa was exhausted from yet another day of training his children… the provisional license exam was… A few weeks away now? If it hadn’t been for all the villain attacks and what not, he wouldn’t have had to push the kids so hard… but they needed to be pushed and, although he wouldn’t admit it, he almost felt bad for how dead they all looked as they plopped down onto the common room couches for another “trust exercise” and, as always, Aizawa spoke first, trying to push the image of Joke’s antics if his students weren’t ready out of his head as he did so.

“Great job working on those Ultimate moves today brats…. Although at this point Midoryia, I’m begging you to stop testing your water bending on your classmate’s sweat… it’s actually disgusting and we literally brought a bucket of water for you to use.”

The half-dead class chuckled at the cries of indignation from the green haired boy, who shied away a little before speaking.

“I just wanted to see if I could… I might not be in an area with water and might need to improvise…”

The “I’m-so-done-with-this-kid-and-his-bullshit” sigh was so long and deep, Izuku wondered how his teacher could even reach that octave… his thoughts were interrupted when Aizawa spoke once again.

“Anyways, I’m tired as fuck and don’t feel like wasting my time… so I’m going to leave the floor open for you to discuss whatever you want… just try and keep it reasonable… wake me up when it’s over.”

And with that, the class’s teacher promptly passed out and began lightly snoring, which left 19 problem children and Kouda by themselves, sitting in a confused silence… before Katsuki spoke up.

“Did Deku and I ever tell you about ‘street smarts’?”

The entire class jumped as Izuku’s face lit up and he roared with uncontrollable laughter, surprisingly to avoid awakening their teacher, managing to speak between laughter.

“Kacchan oh my god; Street Smarts’! I totally forgot about that!”

Sero was the brave soul who inquired further upon the two toning down their laughter.

“…Do we even want to know what you’re talking about….?”

Bakugou’s smile was almost sadistic as he spoke.

“Dipshits, Kouda, listen up because this is the most important thing you’ll ever hear; So, you remember how we always seemed to have assemblies as kids? There was the usual “don’t talk to strangers” bullshit where they tell you to never talk to an adult that you don’t know by an adult that you don’t know. That stuff, right?  The ‘Stranger Danger’ crap.”

Izuku took over as soon as his friend stopped speaking and it was honestly kind of terrifying.

“Kacchan and I had the same Stranger Danger speaker every year when we were kids and his name was Wilford Warfstashe.”

The entire room tried to stifle their laughter, to which Izuku grinned like a Cheshire cat as he continued

“Go ahead and laugh. His name is ridiculous! Warfstashe was this American guy… He wasn’t even a police man or anything, but there were times where Kacchan could have sworn there was blood on his shoes! Try being seven years old and you’re sitting five feet away from him; he’s looking at you in the eye, or at least trying to look me in the eye, to tell you for the first time in your very young life that some adults find you incredibly attractive and they may just have to kill you over it; Okay, c’est la vie, go be kids, go have fun… To this day, we have no idea why they let that man on campus… but they did. Warfstashe came every year and according to Kacchan, he wore this bright, candy cane like suit. Warfstashe had this candy cane suit and i've been told he had a bright pink mustache and no, I am not exaggerating.”

The group was openly half laughing, half staring in shock as Bakugou picked it back up.

“He also had these bright pink suspenders on top of a bright yellow shirt and a pink bowtie… For two years in a row this fucker came in wearing a Pink Afro, I’m not even fucking with you. To be honest, none of that really matters, but it’s important to Deku and I that you know that. He looked like he should be the conductor on a locomotive powered by fucking confetti. But, instead, he probably made his living in murder. He was the weirdest goddamn person I ever saw in my entire life. He was a man most acquainted with misery. He could look at a child and guess the price of their coffin.”

Aizawa, who had woken up due to the laughter around the point Izuku had been describing the strange man, was now listening intently as he pretended to sleep, the boy in question taking his turn.

“So Warfstashe came every year with a program to teach us about the violent world waiting for us outside the school gym, and that program was called Street Smarts! It was always ‘Time for Street Smarts with Wilford Warfstashe. Shut up! You’re all gonna die; Street Smarts!’ That was the general tone. He would give us tips to deal with crime. Kacchan and I will one of them with you, because it’s important for you to know how to not die, according to the man with the pink mustache.”

Aizawa let out a soft chuckle as the duo alternated once more.

“So, the pink fucker would always start out with a mugging, because we all remember the spike of muggings targeting kids with fucking All Might wallets full of nothing but empty laminated shit and some crackhead would think they’d be the perfect target to have enough money for their drug habits. He’d say something like ‘Let’s say a guy pulls a knife on you to mug you. What do you do? You go fumbling for your wallet. And you go fumbling for your wallet. Well, in that split-second, that’s when he’s going to stab you. So, here’s what you do. You kids get yourselves a money clip. Okay, you can get these at any haberdashery. You put a $50 bill in the money clip then when a guy flashes a blade, you go, ‘You want my money, go get it!’. Then you run the other direction.” And our shit-stain teachers were like, ‘Write that down.’… I usually told them to fuck off.”

The duo paused for Shouto to remember how to breath before Izuku continued.

“Everyone like, ‘Buy a money clip. Engraved, question mark?’, meanwhile I was just stareing off into nothing because I couldn’t exactly write anything down… pretty sure he thought I was crazy… then we’d go home to our families and say something like. ‘Hey, Mom; Can I have a silver money clip with a $50 bill in it, please? Don’t worry. I’m only going to chuck it into the gutter and run away at the first sign of trouble. The man with the mustache and pink afro told me to do it!’ I’m serious guys!”

Hakugure had fallen on the floor from laughing, where they heard her voice drift upwards as the group continued to howl with laughter.

“Oh my god you two… how the hell are you even alive with that kind of guy giving you advice?! Do you know what his quirk was?”

Katsuki smiled a genuine, fond smile as he laughed, looking towards where he’d heard the voice coming from.

“He never told us... but I've had ideas that he could warp reality, because nothing that man ever did was natural...I’m 99.9% certain that guy was insane… but damn if it wasn’t a fucking trip and a half when he came by.”

The Ashen blonde’s laughter and smile could have lit up the entire planet as the class looked on, wondering how the hell he managed to alternate between terrifying and an actual personification of a Pomeranian… Their answer came when the explosive boy stood to take a very begrudging Izuku and lead him away to bed, Aizawa having stood up and dismissed them… some of them shuddered to think what the boy would be like, had he not befriended U. A’s own sunshine child, as Iida had overheard Mic-Sensei call him over conversations with Tensei.

Sure, they had a lot of pressure with their development and ultimate moves and the upcoming exam… but they knew they would get through it together.

Chapter Text

Aizawa was keeping something from the class, Izuku could feel it. Their teacher had always been private and reclusive, even back when Izuku had first met the man all those years ago and while Izuku knew he always had his reasons... he couldn’t help but feel like there was something different this time but he couldn’t figure it out for the life of him.

The distant demeanor of the smaller boy caught the rest of the class off guard, all of them certain he would be the most ecstatic out of all of them as they piled onto the van in the early morning. Tsu decided to brave the tense silence, her worry getting the better of her.

“Midoryia, what’s on your mind? You’re being unusually quiet… Ribbit.

The sudden sound startled Izuku, causing him to jump slightly before registering what she’d asked, relaxing slightly.

“O-Oh! I, uh… I’m just thinking… I think Aizawa-Sensei’s hiding something about the exam, but I can’t figure out why… sorry if I worried you guys…”

At those words, the class turned to their teacher, who was driving silently and sending tired glared back towards them through the rearview mirror…. Which was pretty much on par for him and looked completely normal. Karishma spoke up next, confusion evident in his voice.

“Uh… how exactly do you know this? He looks the same as usual to me bro.”

Kacchan let out a coarse laugh as he moved from his seat in the back to be beside Izuku, much to Iida’s protests.

“When you know someone since you’re six, you pick up on things. Deku knows what he’s talking about. If teach is hiding something, then he’s hiding something… if you think it’s something to do with the dumbass exam, then we should go over what we know.”

Izuku nodded thoughtfully, the entire class paying keen attention to the pair.

“Well… we know U.A scheduled us for a different location from the B class to be fair, the people we’re up against have been working on their quirks for far longer than we have and we have no idea what any of their quirks are… not to mention we’re at a huge disadvantage, with all the villain attacks interrupting us...”

“So, we’re fucked?”

“Not necessarily… we’ve all been working together for a good while now and know each other’s quirks pretty well… For anything short of a one on one match, if we all stick together, we should be okay. At least, I’m fairly certain.”

The quiet contemplation of the class was broken as Kouda spoke, stuttering only slightly.

“D-don’t worry about the exam Midoryia! We’ve come a long way since the Sports Festival; they won’t know what hit them!”

The class all cheered and joined in, the weariness of sleep finally fading away and being replaced by anticipation as the realization of what their teacher had been holding back dawned on Izuku.
“The Sports Festival… That’s it! We don’t know their quirks, but they know ours! Kouda you’re a genius!”

The smile on Izuku’s face was damn near infectious as the van exploded into a state of chaos for the remainder of the journey, shouting and planning accordingly, to which Aizawa had to hid a smile. Sure, he could have given them a heads up… but where would the fun in that be? Besides, his kids were a smart bunch and he knew they would have figured it out on their own. Aizawa was pulled out of his distant train of thought as Jiro’s voice cut above all the others.

“okay, okay, okay everyone hold on for a moment; Planning is all well and good… but are we going to ignore the fact Bakugou said Midoryia’s known Aizawa-Sensei since he was six? Anyone else want to know that story?”

In the rearview mirror, Aizawa could see Bakugou tensing, silently cursing himself before Problem Child put a hand on the explosive boy’s shoulder, smiling lightly and muttering something to him before turning towards where Jiro’s voice had come from.

“It’s not actually a very interesting story; I met Aizawa-Sensei when my quirk manifested. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my quirk manifested during… during a stressful situation and I couldn’t control it at all… but Aizawa-Sensei shut it off before I hurt myself any further than I already was and offered to train me afterwards, considering he was uniquely qualified to handle my situation. At first, it was general quirk counseling, but Kacchan told him… told him about the bullying, so he started to teach me how to defend myself. About two years back, right after a villain attack, he started training me to fight and be a hero… he’s one of the few people who believed I could…”

The class quieted as Izuku spoke, their hearts breaking for their friend, who was about to close in on himself before Sero spoke up, his voice full of empathy and confidence.

“Well we believe in you Midoryia! We’ll tackle this exam and own it! We’ve got this!”

Izuku’s smile and small ‘thank you’ was lost to the renewed cheering.

****

Toshinori could rarely be described as a “nervous wreck”, but it seemed today was one of the days he could. His current state of mind was thanks to quite a few factors; His inability to accompany his student to their Provisional License Exam; Having to make several phone calls to the parents and families of said students (although he couldn’t very well be upset about that… Inko’s idea was quite sweet and Nezdu seemed to like the sentiment); His girlfriend going off to spend more time with Young Tenko (he was still trying to wrap his head around that whole situation… Torino had advised him against contacting Nana’s family years ago… but that seemed to have backfired on so many lives…); he was currently sitting in the teacher’s lounge watching over Little Eri, who had come down with a fever and was napping quietly; and to top it all off… Inko had insisted he try and call his old friend Sir Nighteye, stating he only had one life and there was only one Sir Nighteye… and as much as it pained him, Toshinori knew Inko was correct (as always).

Which was how he ended up staring at his phone blankly, the hand not holding the device shaking horribly as his thoughts took him over in the silence.

What if he hates me now? What if I ruined it forever? What if I can’t fix it? What if Sir is just another life I ruined?

He didn’t know if he could do this; talk to the man who’s only concern had been his well-being… the man he’d pushed away for the sake of “peace”. He had no doubt Sir would have been worried over the Incident in the Kamino Ward… Toshinori knew that even if Sir hated him now, he at the very least deserved a chance to yell at him once more.

With a shaky breath, Toshinori pressed call and waited.

One Ring

Two rings

On the third ring, Toshinori heard a familiar voice speak softly.

“All…Might…?”

“Hello my friend… I’m sorry this took so long… I uh... um… I’m not very good at this, I will be honest… how have you been?”

“I have… been well. It was quite annoying when the entirety of my investigation was uprooted by your successor… not that it was the boy’s fault though, I will admit. How is the child?”

The corners of Toshinori’s mouth twitched upwards… Sir might be a perfectionist, but the man did have a heart.

“Young Eri is still recovering… I’m afraid she has a bit of a fever currently. Eraserhead has taken her on as his ward... it was quite amusing to see him arguing with Inko, if I am being honest.”

There was a pause on the line, as Sir processed everything that had been said.

“Inko is the Midoryia boy’s mother, correct? Past evidence would suggest she is the reason behind your call to me, am I correct in this assumption?”

“Well… yes. She insisted I call to…to make amends for how I treated you. You deserved none of what I said and I was a fool for ignoring your advice…”

“So, you do not accept the future I foresaw? Is there yet a chance to change fate? Will you let me help you once more All Might?”

The hope in Sir’s voice stabbed Toshinori’s heart coldly… after all this time, he was still worried for him?

“I… Yes, my friend, yes there is a chance. I… I don’t want to die... not now. I promised Inko I would be here to raise Young Izuku into the best hero he could be and… and I do not want to hurt her in that way. If you still see me as a friend, I… I would love to fix the mistake I made… fix this friendship, if there is still a way… if you will still accept me.”

“…Was there ever a time I rejected you All Might? Although, it seems this Midoryia woman is rather close to you All Might; care to explain?”

Toshinori could feel his face heating up and somehow, he just knew Sir was smiling coyly.

“Sir, please call me Toshinori; my hero days are well and truly over my friend. Inko is… quite a force to reckon with… I hope you’re free my friend; this might take a while.”

****

“Before we go in, I want all of you to listen to me: If you pass this test and get your Provisional Licenses, then you novice eggs will become chicks; you’ll become semi-pros. So, do you best.”

“Yes Sir!”

Off to the side of the group, Kaminari and Kirishma were in the middle of a conversation when a stranger from another school caught onto the tail ends of it and decided to butt in with his own “Plus Ultra” … which startled pretty much half the class as his classmates scolded him.

“You really shouldn’t barge into other people’s huddles Inasa.”

The stranger, Inasa, stiffened at his classmate’s words and proceeded to apologize profusely, only to stop mid-sentence to stare at Shouto.

“You…”

Shouto didn’t seem phased by the interaction at all.

“Inasa, correct? You were recommended to U.A… I remember you.”

“I… Yes. Todoroki, I owe you an apology!! I refused U.A’s acceptance offer because when I saw you, I saw your father… I severely misjudged you and your character…And I felt even more horrible for assuming this when the news of what… that man had done came to light… I ask for your forgiveness!”

At this point, most of Inasa’s class was staring at the rather over-enthusiastic boy and the stunned U.A class before Shouto went to help the boy stand up straight.

“It’s… it’s okay, no need to apologize for anything. If it weren’t for… for my friends, you probably would have been right. You should probably seek your teacher out; you’re bleeding and that’s some pretty bad luck to be injured before an exam.”

Inasa stood and stared for a solid minute, unsure if this boy really was the son of that man.

“Ah… yes of course! I will do that immediately! I wish you the best of luck Todoroki!”

“You as well…”

Chapter Text

As soon as all the students were placed into the orientation room, Izuku knew something was off… sure, they were enclosed in a room… but outside of that small box. Izuku could sense an expansive arena, no doubt having to do with the exam itself. Izuku found himself muttering to his classmates, who discreetly passed the message around as the Heroics Public Safety Representative clambered onstage to begin speaking.

“Remember everyone; no matter what we stick together… don’t let anyone separate us.”

The poor man sounded more exhausted than Aizawa-sensei after putting Eri and his screaming husband to bed.

“… Frankly, all 1,540 examinees here will have to win through a free-for-all exercise… Our society is said to be oversaturated with heroes and ever since The Hero Killer’s arrest and murder, many have shown doubts about the current state of heroes… the sad truth of today’s modern society is that, whatever their motivations may be, heros have to throw themselves into dangers to protect us civilians… that is why you will be tested on speed. First 100 to fill the requirements will pass.”

The room went into an uproar.

“But I thought it was a 50-50 chance?!”

“There’s over a thousand people here! Only about 10% are gonna be accepted?”

“it wasn’t like this last year! This is bullshit!”

The man at the podium didn’t seem phased by this, although if it was based on the fact, he was probably too exhausted to comprehend he was supposed to be upset… well it wouldn’t surprise Izuku.

“So anyways, here are the requirements: the examinees will put three targets on their bodies. They can go anywhere as long as it’s an exposed area. You will have six balls to throw. The targets will light up and make a sound only when they’re hit by these balls. If all three of your targets light up, then you’re out. The person who lights up your third target will have it as their defeat. You get through this round by defeating two people. That’s it for the rules… After we open, we’ll pass out the targets and balls; then you’ll have a minute after we’ve passed everything out.”

As if on cue, the building, no… the box they had been standing in retracted, revealing the outside to all other applicants and, despite everyone scatting in the freed space to conduct their own preparations, class 1-A huddled closer together, Katsuki speaking in a harsh whisper.

“Okay, any plans Nerd?”

Izuku knew the class was looking to him expectantly, which didn’t bother him as much as it used to, and he took a deep breath, drawing them all even closer as he whispered.

“The other classes are probably going to ambush us as soon as we’re given the all clear. I say we wait for them and as soon as they launch their attacks, I’ll put a barrier around us and sink us down into the ground… once we’re underground, I’ll tunnel to those spires and we’ll turn their ambush against them… that’s all I really have, but I have total confidence in all of you!”

Katsuki grinned like a madman. Of course, Deku would have been scoping out the playing field while tired-tits was speaking… not to mention the damn nerd’s excitement was infectious as fuck, the class joining in with words of encouragement as official looking extras passed out the materials (once Katsuki had fixed his targets, he repeated the same for Deku… like the fucker would know what was “exposed” and yet protected…)

“Let’s do this!”

“Let’s show these punks U.A means business! This’ll be a slaughterhouse!”

Uraraka, I expected better from you!”

“I’m just messing around Iida, relax! … but we are going to show them we’re serious!”

“Exam starts in T-30 seconds… get this over with… I’m begging you… I just want to sleep…”

**********

“Eraser…. You’re fly’s down…!”

Aizawa really wasn’t in the mood for Joke and her antics today. He was too hyper-focused on his students, who had immediately huddled together after the room opened… no doubt to listen to whatever plan Midoryia had cooked up. Granted, the kid was still pretty rough around the edges, but his IQ was nothing to sniff at and, if the past decade of knowing the kid had told him anything, he’d already scoped out the locations and any opponents with distinctions… that kid and his analyses could scare even Nezdu at times...

“I’m surprised you still have twenty students! It’s unusual for you to not expel anyone!”

Aizawa could feel the headache already… he was more tired than usual, having to deal with his problem children, his actual child, and his man-child of a husband… and Joke was, as always, getting on his nerves.

“For the record, I have expelled someone this year; I just replaced him with a better student.  Now shut up.”

Joke, as always, laughed.

“I’m serious Eraser! And I have the feeling you didn’t tell them about… that, which is strange… I think you’d tell your students if you liked them so much!”

Eyes still fixed on the students below, it was Aizawa’s turn to grin; Midoryia had thrown up a stone bubble around the class and, if he knew that kid, had taken them underground to tunnel out and reverse the ambush. A few moments later, his suspicions were proven correct when his class curst from the stone spires and ambushed the ambush. It was a whirlwind of motion and, in the span of three minutes, everyone but Aoyama (who was recovering in Midoryia’s tunnels for it to be safe for his laser to be used once more) had eliminated their two opponents and were heading to the waiting room.

“I didn’t need to tell them. They’re a smart bunch and turned the ambush around instantly… I still wish Midoryia had more faith in himself though… he’s clearly a natural born leader… maybe phase two will help with that…”

“Eraser!! You’re smiling!! You really do love this class!! Oh man… you’re turning into such a dad!! Marry me!!”

“No; my husband and child are very happy together. You should really pay more attention to your own students Joke.”

“You’re hilarious Eraser!”

*****

Izuku was smiling. They’d turned the ambush around and, by the feel of it, were the first ones to the wait room… until about two minutes later, when he sensed that Inasa guy walking through the door, stiffening and then briskly walking over.

“U.A students!! You’ve all passed!! I am very happy to see you all here! I’ve heard tell about the infamous U.A Ambush, but it seems they underestimated you! I’m so excited to be here with you!!”

Does this guy ever run out of enthusiasm? Is this how Kacchan felt when we were kids?

As if sensing his thoughts, Izuku heard Kacchan’s laugh as the ashen blond turned to ruffle his friend’s hair and whisper so the newcomer didn’t hear

“For the record; you were way more annoying, you fucking nerd.”

Izuku could only laugh, walking over to where there seemed to be refreshments and snacks… Izuku grinned like crazy as he recognized the all too familiar smell of Watermelon.

Summoning the water within the melons, he lifted the fruit and allowed them to hover around him.

“Hey Kacchan! Look! I’m The Melon-Lord!”

There was a beat of silence before the room erupted into laughter.

“Deku, you’re a walking disaster.”

“Midoryia! It is inappropriate to play with your food! We are taking an exam to get provisional licenses! Please cease this childish behavior!”

“You have humor Midoryia! Your antics are truly Plus Ultra!!”

“Izuku… Izuku please put the melons down before someone else sees…”

“C’mon Shouto! You know to call me Melon-Lord!”

“…you’re dead to me…”

“Shouto!!”

Izuku put the melons back… eventually… after he was sure a good couple of people had seen him and laughed. After that, he listened and waited with his classmates, Aoyama coming much later, apparently one target away from losing. But eventually, he counted 100 people in the room and the next phase began; Rescue and evacuation.

For this, he knew it would be best if they split up and covered as much ground as possible and save as many people as they could. Izuku was currently running with a ‘child’, telling him things to calm him down when he stopped dead in his tracks, sensing Uraraka and others nearby… and Uraraka was on the verge of making a big mistake… one that he actually recognized.

“Uravity Wait!”

Thank god she listened, pausing to turn towards him.

“Remember the ruins zone! Keystone!”

Again, there was a beat until she responded, understanding clear in her voice.

“Right! Creati, I need some support to counterbalance this… you two, help her get it into position and be ready to pick him up…. Don’t worry sir, everything’s going to be A-Okay!”

With that, Izuku took off once more towards the med-site. Everything was going great… until it wasn’t. Because of course they’d throw a curveball and have ‘villains’ start attacking the other examinees and making their way towards the med-site… Izuku recognized the main ‘villain’ instantly; Gang Orca.

Right. Okay. Cool.

…He really needed to work on his timing...

*****

Katsuki was pissed. Of course, he was always pissed about something… but this? This was hitting way to close to home. And it Pissed. Him. Off.

“Oi, what are you two extras thinking?! Back away from the punk.”

The two people he was addressing looked at him as if he’d just shoved his foot up their ass, while the ‘kid’ was screaming and crying and flapping his hands desperately. Katsuki had spent too many times waiting on the old hag to know what this was… and that if this was reality, that kid was about .2 seconds away from using a quirk or biting the extras.

“What the hell? You think because you’re from U.A you can boss us around? Beat it; we’re handling this.”

“Like hell you two are; you’re making it worse on the punk! He’s about to blow and you’re overwhelming him, so Step. Back. Now.”

Maybe it was something in his tone, or something in his eyes… or something in his pourposful steps that made the two back off and move on, which only pissed Katsuki off further… he said back away, not leave!

Fucking idiots.

Still… he approached the still crying, but no longer screaming, ‘kid’ and bent down to his level and spoke gruffly, although managing to avoid having the anger seep through.

“Can you talk?”

The ‘kid’ shook their head, still crying and flapping.

“Can you point to what’s bugging you?”

The kid shook their head once more and Katsuki sighed, standing up once more.

“Well something’s clearly bugging you, so here’s the deal; I’m gonna stay right here and make sure nothing comes at you. When you’re ready and okay with me picking you up, I’ll take you somewhere safer. Got it?”

The ‘kid’ sniffled and nodded, though thinking to themselves as they did so.

Rough around the edges… but nothing to dock point from… those other two defiantly get major deductions for abandoning me… could have been a villain for all they knew!

****

Izuku was exhausted. It wasn’t enough that he’d managed to trap pretty much all of the “villain lackeys”, but he’d somehow sprained his ankle… although he really shouldn’t have been surprised at that; leaping in to kick a weakened Gang Orca was still leaping in to kick Gang Orca… But as tired as he was, he couldn’t help the bubbling excitement that dwelled within him; He had passed. The entire class had passed and gotten their provisional licenses! And Shouto had been so cool… working with Inasa to make a fire vortex around Gang Orca? Ingenious!!

He was so elated that he almost didn’t hear Aizawa-sensei calling his name.

“Midoryia! For the third time; come here! Gang Orca wants to see you and Kouda.”

Okay… Why? I haven’t been near the guy since The Aquarium… I doubt I’m in trouble if he asked for Kouda too… Although it’s not surprising… he did intern with him…

Walking towards where he sensed his teacher and classmate, Izuku could hear the tail ends of Gang Orca’s conversation.

“Keep up the good work Young Kouda! I was so very proud of you when I saw you in TV a while back! Your quirk has many practical applications and it’s good to see you being your best self!”

Izuku knew Kouda was beaming… not that he blamed him.

“Thank you, Gang Orca! For everything! I don’t think I’d be nearly as confident without your sage advice from the internship… I’m so excited about this! I can’t wait to tell my family! And… thank you… for believing in me… not many people did…”

In an unsurprising turn of events, Kouda rushed forwards and gave the Pro hero a hug, which was returned gladly. And then, Izuku could feel the small group turn towards him and there was tension in the air, brought on by the apprehension and repressed guilt in Gang Orca’s voice as he spoke.

“H-Hello…Young Midoryia… It’s been quite a long time since I saw you last…”

Izuku could only hope he wasn’t being looked at with pity as the hero continued.

“Forgive my intrusion… but when I saw your name, I knew this was something I had to do… if you will let me; there is something I want to say to you.”

Izuki braced himself for the worst.

“I’m all ears sir.”

“I…I am sorry for all you’ve gone through. All the pain and anger from living in that monster’s shadow… it would have turned anyone to villainy. But you persisted; you rose far above what anyone could have imagined and I have no doubt that once you graduate U.A… you will have no trouble succeeding All Might as both Number One and a pillar of society. But I also want to warn you of the coming trials; with this power and placement in society as a protector… others will look to you for guidance and shelter. You’ve done wonderfully dear boy… you’re so much stronger than the excited child in that aquarium. But you must be aware that you are setting an example for everyone, hell you’ve already done so much and you don’t even know. As long as you keep those classmates of yours by your side and that head on straight; there will be nothing that can stand in your way.”

Gang Orca…surprised Izuku; he could hear the edge in the man’s voice… and he could sense the tears that were being held back. Izuku knew the man had every right to try and apologize for what had happened all those years ago… but to offer up advice? That took Izuku off guard.

“I…. Thank you, Gang Orca; I’ll do my best to remember all of this… and thank you for everything.”

Izuku could feel the man relax and by the gruff chuckle of Aizawa, it must have been visible too.

“And… before you go, there’s something I wanted to tell you.”

“Oh?”

“I never blamed either of you for what happened that day. And if you’re dead set on blaming yourselves… then know I forgive you.”

There was silence…and there were tears, followed quickly by Aizawa’s gruff but soft and kind voice.

“Let’s go Problem Child… who knows what chaos that disaster class could get themselves into.”

Chapter Text

A: We’re at the gates. Kids are going to drop off their costumes and then we’re heading your way in T-10 minutes.

A: …please ask Inko for some cookies…

Toshinori chuckled at his phone; he had since grown accustomed to his coworker’s bluntness. After pocketing the device, he turned to face the surprisingly sizable crowd within the 1-A dorms and as he scanned the crowd, he couldn’t help but see the faces of his students in so many of the adults before him, although he could also see the anxiousness in their eyes as he cleared his voice to address them.

“Thank you so much for coming on such a short notice… I have a few things to say, but I will do my best to keep this short; Firstly, I’ve just received word that the students are at the Campus gates, which means we will have to tolerate each other for another ten minutes. Secondly, I believe a short thanks are in order for the mastermind behind this get together… although I personally doubt Nezdu would have the heart to say no to our dear Inko, who orchestrated and, despite my insistence to implore Lunch Rush, cooked all the food.”

Toshinori couldn’t help the laugh that escaped him as he spoke, the memory of the short woman’s playful indignation at his suggestion. Thankfully, his words were followed by scattered laughter and applause as Toshinori ducked his head and made his way towards the closest family, hoping to be a polite host in the student’s steads. The family in question seemed to be two women; one of whom seemed to have a butterfly quirk while the other had no apparent outward sign. Waving slightly as he approached, Toshinori could see the two light up as the first woman spoke, seeming to barely hold back her excitement.

“Thank you for inviting us All Might! We… We were pretty worried about letting Eijiro stay on campus and if that meant we wouldn’t be able to see our son… but Emi here was reassuring me it was for the best.”

The other woman nodded quietly, smiling softly and patting her partner’s shoulder as she did so, which caused Toshinori to smile.

“Young Kirishma is a wonderful student Ma’am; I am grateful you entrusted him to our care. While his academics could use some work, I have no doubt he will be a fine hero… In fact, I believe his constant support aided in mellowing one of our more… temperamental students. They became fast friends and share quite the comradery, if I am not mistaken!”

The other woman, Emi, was smiling brightly now and Toshinori could see a bright spark within her eyes as she spoke.

“That’s our boy for you! It means quite a lot to hear that coming from you All Might, though Eijiro always idolized Crimson Riot more so than you.”

Toshinori chuckled and nodded, having heard the boy speak of the older hero quite often.

“Crimson is a good role model to have. I haven’t spoken to the man for quite a while, but I remember him being a good man and a great hero. I see a lot of Young Kirishma in Crimson.”

The women beamed even brighter as Toshinori excused himself and looked around the room once more, Inko now in a deep conversation with Young Asui’s parents, Present Mic having a sizeable chunk of the crowd (read as; everyone but Tsu’s parents and Shouto’s family) gathered around him as he regaled them with stories of their children’s antics in his classroom. Which lead Toshinori towards the small family sitting on the couches quietly sipping tea and talking amongst themselves; the conversation dying as he came closer.

“Hello again… I am glad to see you all here.”

The first to speak was Young Fuyumi, who was smiling and laughing as a young woman should.

“We’re happy to be here All Might! Coming here for Shouto is the least we could do, especially after everything Auntie’s done for us.”

Toshinori smiled as he moved to sit across from the family.

“I hate to ask this… but do you plan on keeping Enji’s surname, by any chance? Nothing wrong if you do! I find myself quite curious, that is all…”

Before any of the Todoroki siblings could speak, a new, soft voice drew their attention towards the speaker.

“I… I cannot speak for my children, but I myself am in the process of returning to my maiden name, and I believe Shouto expressed the same sentiment in his letters to me… I refuse to live in that man’s shadow any longer… I am Rei Tsutsumi… and it’s quite a pleasure to finally meet you All Might… I would like to thank you; for everything you’ve done for my family… for saving my son from his father; for saving me when… when the funding stopped…; for seeing my Toya find his way home…; for giving us a fighting chance… I don’t think we’d all be here in one piece… that we’d gain our freedom without hurting one another without you…”

The owner of the voice, Rei Todo-… Rei Tsutsumi, looked far more alive than she had the last time Toshinori had seen her; her eyes held a fiery spark, her skin was still rather pale, but her cheeks were full of far more color than he thought he’d ever seen in them… and she seemed relaxed and content. Toshinori smiled and shook his head lightly.

“Ms. Tsutsumi, you need not thank me for anything; I was doing what anyone should have done… though I’m afraid I had nothing to do with Young Toya’s return… I merely paid for the hospital expenses… it truly was no trouble… though I am glad my contributions allowed for your family to become whole once more. I find myself learning that Family, whether it is founded by blood or by choice, is the strongest safety-net to have… and now I wish to tell you what I told Young Shouto: I will take care of you and your family and protect you as my own… You can be free without hurting those you love… because I am here for you, I swear it.

Professionalism be damned; Toshinori moved from his seat to gently hold onto Rei’s shoulders, looking her in the eyes as he spoke softly, so that none of the other families could hear him.

“I will admit… when I made that promise, I did not truly comprehend the weight of my words, as I had no family of my own to base my promise upon... but now… now that I do… and I have far more love in my heart than I ever thought possible… Now that I understand my words, I want all of you to know that I stand by my words. I have my family and, though I may be retired now, I want you to know that there is not a single dark crevese anything can hide in if they mean any of you harm… I love your family, Rei Tsutsumi, and I will be here to protect it… and I am honored you continue to trust me and this school with your son… I know Enji set him on this path to usurp me… and that you are his driving force; Young Shouto strives to be a better hero than his father, and to be the hero you can be proud of… and I will be there for him; every step of the way, I will stand with your son… I will be there, I swear it.

At that, Rei began to cry silently, her three present children swarming her and catching Toshinori in the crosshairs of their group-hug… to which Toshinori didn’t really want to protest and just encompassed the small family in his embrace, which he only relented when a sudden commotion broke them apart.

“Surprise kids!!”

The students had finally arrived and, based on Young Mina’s unearthly scream, had seen all the parents and food. Toshinori turned in time to see the students spreading out and embrace their parents, clearly full of excitement. Young Shinso and Izuku had found themselves near Inko, who was laughing at something Young Bakugou had said while handing a plate of cookies to Aizawa, who actually smiled… which left Young Shouto standing in the doorway, completely and utterly confused as he scanned the crowd, only to turn and have his gaze land on his mother.

“…Mom…?”

Shouto looked startled as he spoke, his voice full of heartbreak and hope as he proceeded to rub his eyes frantically, causing Young Toya to chuckle aloud before calling to his brother.

“You’re not hallucinating Lil’ Brother! Now get over here!”

Toshinori didn’t think he’d ever seen Young Shouto smile so bright and overjoyed.

And with that, the festivities of celebrating their children earning their Provisional Licenses began and, for a while, everything was perfect.

Until Tensei Iida got the bright idea to take advantage of the commotion, recruit both Kaminari and Sero, and somehow taped his wheelchair to the ceiling, and somehow keeping it moving, laughing like a madman and simply explaining with a simple phrase.

“Gotta go fast Shouta!”

“Why are you on the Ceiling Tensei?! There are civilians here idiot!”

“Exactly! I can’t go fast if there’s people in my way!”

“…brother… you’re dead to me…”

“Tenya!!!”

Toshinori didn’t know if Young Iida needed Recovery Girl’s assistance, given how red he’d become in such a short amount of time…

Oh well... at least it seems everyone is enjoying themselves.

Chapter Text

Katsuki was not one to let his emotions get the best of him… sure, he was usually angry at everything, or feigning anger to be more accurate, but for the past few weeks, Katsuki had been feeling something…different. It wasn’t a bad feeling… but he didn’t know if it was good either…he was really fucking confused at all this emotional bullshit. For most of his life, Katsuki had only cared for exactly four people in his life; His parents (though he would adamantly deny it if the Old Hag ever mentioned it), Auntie Inko and, obviously, Deku… so why did he give a shit about fucking Shitty Hair?!? Sure, the fucker could take a punch or two and had annoyingly given him a nickname and had stuck Katsuki’s aggressive mannerisms… and treated him like an equal…and rose to any challenge he’d thrown at him... and had a laugh that rivaled Deku’s… and a really cute smile…

Stupid fucking Shitty Hair with his fucking sunshine-child attitude…

As much as he wanted to deny it… every possible reason as to why he cared about Shitty Hair so damn much really pissed Katsuki off (read as: scared the ever-loving fuck out of Katsuki). Rationally, Katsuki knew that he had nothing to worry about… but the emotional and uncontrollable part of him was screaming at him to abandon ship now and pray to whatever higher being existed that these emotions were never brought to light. Normally, he knew there was nothing wrong with who he was… but a small part of him was terrified of what his parents would say if they discovered his inner dilemma…well, it was mostly reserved for his mother, who would never let him live down a dumb ass crush. Katsuki could only hope his kind and endlessly patient father would have some kind of advice for him...

That hope was how Katsuki found himself dragging his father down a hall to a secluded location within the dorms as the party continued on, his mother currently distracted and preoccupied with grilling All Might about something. Once they reached a safe distance, Katsuki finally released his hold on his father and looked long and hard at the man, who showed no signs of aggravation, as always, and was looking at his son with soft concern.

“Katsuki, is everything alright?”

Katsuki didn’t mean to glare at his father as he spoke, he really didn’t.

“If it was, would I have dragged you away from everyone stupid?”

His father’s gaze was warm and soft as always as he waited for his son to continue, quietly noting how… withdrawn his explosive child was being.

“I want your honest ass opinion, so don’t fucking hold back on me.”

Masaru nodded quietly as Katsuki continued, far more hesitant than he’d ever been before.

“If…If I were to have…feelings for someone… would you… would you hate me? And don’t drag the hag over here for this! I’m asking you!”

Masaru was taken aback, but unsurprised; Katsuki really was just like his mother with his sharp temper and hard time conveying emotions other than anger without being aggressive. Masaru had been jokingly referred to as “the angel of patience” amongst friends and extended family and while he would admit he did have his limits, he was never one to judge someone for their relationships or emotions.

“Katsuki… of course I wouldn’t! You are my son, and it’s my responsibility and honor to love you no matter what. Your mother, abrasive as she is, feels the same way. We could never, ever hate you! Truthfully, I don’t find it surprising you would have feelings for someone, you’re only human Katsuki… so, what’s her name, if I may ask?”

Masaru internally cursed himself as his son visibly recoiled at his final statement and, still tense and recoiled, responded with a stammer and apprehension in his voice.

“H-His name is… his name is Kirishma… Please don’t hate me…

Masaru stared for a moment before smiling comfortingly, pulling his ridged son into a hug as he spoke once more.

“Katsuki, I want you to know this; I don’t give a shit who you like; girl, boy, or anything in-between or anything excluded… If that person makes you happy, then I couldn’t be happier. I know you can’t always put your emotions into words and you don’t always understand what you’re feeling… but I want you to trust what you’re feeling and as long as you do that, you will never go wrong. As your father, it’s my absolute joy to see you thriving… and I’m so fucking proud of you for trusting me. I know it’s not easy… but I want you to understand that I’m here for you Katsuki.”

Masaru didn’t hear any response from his son, but the feeling of a dampening shirt and a tighter embrace told him everything he needed to know. Neither Bakugou said a thing as they stood, embracing each other, neither one willing to be the first to let the other go… and they stayed that way until Mitsuki came to find them maybe ten minutes later. Katsuki expected her to start yelling or goading him into responding… but she just stood there in shock and her usually steely gaze softened as she silently comforted her boys. She had no idea what had gone down… but it was clear the conversation was meant for her husband and him alone… the little brat would tell her when he was ready… and she was okay with that.

*********

Anyone who knew Izuku knew the green-haired boy knew that when it came to his emotions, Izuku was an open book; he stubbornly wore his heart on his sleeve, even when he didn’t want to… which was how Mitsuki Bakugou just knew something was off about the Squirt when she saw how he interacted around his classmates… particularly the difference between the class as a whole and that Todoroki kid. Normally, that kind of stuff was none of her damn business and she’d trust Inko to handle the kid… but she couldn’t help but feel worry clawing at her stomach as the boy asked to speak with her somewhere private, nodding and following as Inko busily rushed around and was looped into multiple conversations at once.

Which was how she found herself facing an extremely anxious green-haired boy, who had pulled her into an empty hall in the opposite direction of where she’d seen her two family members disappear a short time ago. Everything in her body was screaming at Mitsuki to hug the boy, but she managed to refrain from doing so until the boy had spoken.

“S-Sorry for d-doing this Auntie… I didn’t know who to talk to…since mom was busy…”

As it often happened with Izuku, Mitsuki’s eyes and expression softened as she spoke quietly.

“Don’t be sorry Squirt… Do you need me to kill someone for you?”

The surprise and panic in the boy’s voice made Mitsuki laugh.

“W-What?! No Auntie! I… I need some advice…”

Advice? Mitsuki was still very confused, but less worried now as she waited for the boy to continue.

“I… I was w-wondering how…how you a-asked U-Uncle Masaru o-out… I… I’ve been having…feelings lately… and mom’s been too busy for me to ask… and it’d just be weird to ask All Might…”

It took Mitsuki a moment to process the question before she smiled like a maniac.

“Oh Squirt, you wouldn’t want their advice anyways; All Might had to ask me how to ask your mother out and Inko’s always been helpless when it came to romantics… I might have threatened All Might, but I still stand by my words.”

“A-Auntie! You can’t just threaten All Might!

Mitsuki laughed again.

“I can and I did. But that’s not the point; My point is that I’m the best person you could have asked. So, first thing’s first; what’s their name?”

Mitsuki’s smile widened, if that was even possible, having never seen the boy blush as harshly as he was.

“H-His name i-is S-Shouto… please don’t laugh…”

I called it… Inko’s going to flip her lid when he tells her… but who says I shouldn’t have a little fun first?

“Right. First thing’s first; It’s always the thought that counts! You crazy kids train all the time, right? You should totally start by giving him your number… maybe you could burn it into something during your training!”

The horrified expression on Izuku’s face was 100% worth it.

“Auntie no!! I can’t do that!

******

"So, your brother told me you have a little crush Shouto… care to point out this Midoryia boy I’ve heard so much about?”

Even though his mother was speaking softly and quietly, it felt like a punch in the gut to Shouto, who snapped his head towards her, while Toya was shaking with silent laughter at his brother’s horrified expression as Shouto turned to attention directly at his eldest brother.

“You’re dead to me Toya… Ingenium’s my new brother.”

“Shouto!!”

Still on the ceiling, Tensei laughed and spoke as he briefly halted his antics to look at the small family, having only heard the last part of the conversation.

“My brother disowned me, so I’m game! Hope you like memes new lil’ bro!”

“Tensei… brother… please get off the ceiling or I’m calling mother.”

The entire room erupted into laughter at the former hero’s horrified expression as Aizawa finally yanked him down from the ceiling.

Chapter Text

As the hours dragged on, it came time for the class of 1-A to bid their family farewell once more as Inko gladly helped escort them off campus and to their respective vehicles. As the family left, Inko could see the all to familiar pride and love shining in the eyes of the adults as they spoke amongst themselves. On her second trip escorting the adults, Inko stopped dead as a woman, who she could only assume was Kouda’s mother, burst into tears and stumbled, trembling as she cried. Inko excused herself from the group, allowing Toshi to take charge, she approached the woman gently.

“Are you alright ma’am? Can I do anything to help you?”

Inko had seen enough tears in her lifetime to know the woman’s tears were that of relief as the woman looked to her, tears no longer falling but eyes still shining.

“I-I’m fine! I’m just… so proud of how far my Kouji has come… He was talking and laughing and was so… so sure of himself… I’ve always worried about him… he was bullied fairly regularly or wanting to be a hero… but seeing those kids together… and seeing how… how important my boy is… I-I’m just so happy!

Inko couldn’t help the smile that came to her face as she allowed the other woman to use her as support, the shock of everything leaving the woman a little unsteady.

“He’s not my student, I will admit… but your son is an extremely good kid. I’m a mother myself and… and I know how much it hurts to see others hurting your baby and feeling powerless to stop it… I think that’s what drew Katsuki to your son; he was reminded of how my son was after… after and incident. Young Kouda is a wonderful student and I doubt anyone in that class would let anyone get away with even looking at your son the wrong way…”

The woman laughed at Inko’s declaration, remembering how casual the ashen blond had been when addressing her son and how she had seen the pride in the boy’s eyes as he talked to her son. Strange as it seemed, she was grateful for the unlikely friendship she had witnessed… her son had always wanted to be a hero and after tonight… it seemed like he was already well on his way and she couldn’t be prouder as the tears started falling once more, the Teacher lady, Inko Midoryia if she remembered correctly, lead her towards her car… she had a lot to tell her husband when she returned home.

******************

The next day, Inko was humming to herself as she walked through the halls of U.A, hoping to get her papers to Nezdu and make it in time to go eat lunch with Toshi, who had insisted on taking her out to some American restaurant, which caused her to smile to herself…

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that man was born in America!

Of course, Inko just had to be lost in thought, casing her to bump into someone else who was sprinting down the hallway, casing both of them to fall. Inko looked around as she fell, suddenly acutely aware of her surroundings as a young man with what Inko could only assume was an untamable cowlick stumbled backwards.

“Oh! I’m so sorry ma’am! I wasn’t looking where I was going; I was just so excited! Here, let me help you with those papers!”

As soon as the young man spoke, Inko recognized him as a small smile appeared, the boy carefully gathering her now scattered papers.

“Thank you, so much young man! Mirio Togata, right?”

As he handed her the papers, Togata beamed as he spoke.

“Yes Ma’am! And you’re Inko Midoryia-Sensei from the General Studies! Your son is the element bender! The one with the odd sense of humor!”

Inko couldn’t help but laugh, the memories of her son’s… mischief being brought to the front of her mind.

“Yes well… Izuku’s always had an odd perception of humor… Might I ask where you’re headed to in such a hurry?”

The boy’s eyes were gleaming now.

“I was on my way to the front gates! I work study under Sir Nighteye and All Might-Sensei said he wanted to meet me there to ask about anyone I thought he’d like to meet for the work studies! Where are you headed Midoryia-Sensei?”

Inko smiled as she stood straight as she spoke with a slight blush.

“I’ve got to get these papers to Nezdu… then I’m off to lunch with my boyfriend.”

“Ah I see! Well, have fun Midoryia-Sensei! I don’t want to keep Sir waiting!”

Inko smiled as she waved him off, continuing her walk towards the Principal’s office… and if the Principal noticed the spring in her step, he wisely said nothing.

As sweet as that woman is… she is quite terrifying when she wants to be…

Still, he wanted to speak to her on something, so he motioned for her to stay a moment longer before speaking.

“If I may, I have an inquire for you… do you mind?”

Even if it was phrased as a question, Inko knew better than to think of it as such as she quietly nodded and took a seat across from the Principal.

“As you know, the preparations for our annual Culture Festival will soon be underway and with it comes an influx of people and activity… under most circumstances, this would not be a problem… but I understand that both you and Aizawa will be busy supervising your respective students, which leave little Eri in quite the pickle… of course, we do not wish to overwhelm the girl… but I also fear the limited interactions she has now may not be enough… I was considering having Aizawa introduce someone to her, so she may begin developing the necessary skills to socialize… but no one wants the girl to lash out in fear… so my question is this; do you know of any students, preferably older than those within 1-A, that might be a suitable candidate for this endeavor?”

There was a moment of silence as Inko thought quietly and, remembering the incident in the hallway not even ten minutes prior, smiled as she met the Principal’s gaze.

“I believe I do… though I myself do not teach him, I believe Mirio Togata would be a wonderful option… he already serves under Sir Nighteye, if I remember correctly, and Toshinori has told me the man greatly values those who can brighten up even the darkest of rooms and hearts… he’s rather personable, so I have a hard time imagining Eri being afraid of him.”

The Principal only nodded and smiled as he allowed Inko to leave, one thought on his mind as he watched her leave.

Once a mother, always a mother… even when the child is not her own; Inko cannot help but see what a child such as Eri really needs… and Young Mirio is a perfect candidate to reach the little one…

Chapter Text

Toya had to admit that although he hated himself for running away all those years ago, being unrecognizable did have its perks… Granted, he’d let his natural hair color return and he was probably too reserved than he would have liked… but it was a perk nonetheless, which was how he found himself casually strolling through the mall complex, shopping leisurely for groceries the small family needed.

Since Fuyumi had legally won all rights to the old man’s money, they’d all sat down to decide what they each wanted to do; Natsuo was going to return to college, finish the semester overseas and transfer to a closer college afterwards; Their mother, while still recovering and settling back into a day-to-day life, was going to stay home and, with Natsuo’s help, had set up a little online shop to get rid of all the crafts she’d ended up making during her stay in the hospital and all the ones she made to pass her time in the house; Fuyumi had decided to remain in her small-time job, since they weren’t going to need dire money any time soon and Shouto was still in school… which just left Toya himself.

Toya had considered returning to his education and following his youngest brother’s footsteps but… it just didn’t feel right to him. Sure, his quirk would have been pretty handy for that line of work… but after everything he had seen and had to do… Toya didn’t think he deserved to be a hero. Currently, he was in a limbo of “I want to do this” being pulled against “do I deserve to do that?” and honestly… it sucked major ass.

As he was pondering his inner turmoil, a flash of movement caught his eye as his gut told him something bad was about to happen… which was proven correct when an explosion went off just to the left of him, causing Toya to be flung backwards and his bags to go flying. From where the explosion originated, Toya watched in mild confusion and honest terror as a group of people emerged from the dust. The leader of the group was slim and had his face covered in white powder, had what Toya could only assume was some kind of beret on his head, and two crossing straps with nothing but Bombs… so naturally the entire mall went into complete chaos.

The Beret man started speaking, but Toys couldn’t understand a word of it, which clearly displeased the bomb man as one of his goons started speaking.

“Bomb doesn’t like screamers… Everyone hand over their valuables and wallets and we’ll let you go nice and easy… best hurry; Bomb here isn’t a patient man.”

Great… A Quirk that makes bombs…

Toya was drawn out of his dazed thoughts as he watched the group of villains spread out and one of them approached a cowering woman, who had no apparent purchases and a small child clinging to her legs for dear life… of course a villain was approaching him as well, sneering triumphantly.

“Come on burns; give us what you got.”

Toya didn’t need to survey his options; either use his quirk and get into serious legal trouble… or remain a defenseless civilian.

So naturally, he growled, lunged towards the villain and just swung with all his might, knocking them backwards and out cold. Thinking on his feet, Toya sprinted to where the mother he saw previously was trying desperately to keep her child by her side as the villain’s temper was growing visibly more agitated, to which Toya yelled before he could stop himself.

“Hey Bird Brain! Pick on someone your own size!”

The villain, who did indeed have some kind of Owl-like quirk, swiveled their head towards the sound of his voice as his fist once more connected, knocking them away from the kid, who just latched themselves to their mother. Toya was more than prepared to fight the Owl-head… but just as he went to swing again, the sight of red feathers caused him to falter and look around him; All the villains were being restrained by feathers.

It…can’t be…

But, despite his disbelief, there was Hawks smiling that charming smile from high above the crowd and by now the police were arriving. Toya forced himself to turn his attention away from the man high above them to the two people in front of him.

“Uh… are you two alright? Sorry if I scared you there….”

The woman and child were just sobbing, clinging to each other and nodding quietly… so Toya decided to just let the Police do their jobs as he scavenged for his bags. Toya knew enough about Hawk’s to know how the man operated; He swooped in, took out the villains, and then left his sidekicks to do clean up. Hawks was Number 3, now the defacto Number 1, for a reason… and most of that reason was his speed… the man was a whirlwind.

Just like I remember… hasn’t changed much, has he? Probably doesn’t remember me… it’s best to just get out of here while I can…

“Toya? Is… Is that you?”

Fuck.

Even his voice was like how he remembered it; warm, caring… concerned. Toya had no choice now but to turn and face the man who had 1) just saved the entire mall and 2) somehow remembered him from junior high.

“Hawks… it’s been a while, huh…”

At first, there was no response… then Toya found himself being wrapped in a tight embrace.

“Holy shit… Toya… I’m so sorry… I… If I knew what that bastard had done… I-I’m so sorry… it’s been so long… just… holy shit.”

Toya had no idea how to response. If he was still that kid from junior high, he would have returned the hug instantly… and while it felt nice…and warm… and safe… Toya just couldn’t bring himself to say or do anything… so of course that meant his brain had to spew out words to fill the void.

“Uh…I…Yeah… it’s been a while… H-How have you been? I mean I know what you’ve been up to of course… Number 1 right now; right? That’s… pretty crazy…”

Hawks just laughed.

“I’ve waited too long for this fucking hug Toya… so shut up and just hug me damnit… we’ve got a lot to catch up on… My shift ends in 10; wanna grab a bite to eat?”

Toya looked to the groceries in his arms, then back to Hawks… and smiled lightly.

“I need to get this home first but… I’d like that… Go save people, Hero.”

Chapter Text

Toshinori caught sight of his old friend as he regained his composure, holding his side carefully… while he himself had earnestly enjoyed the endearing tale Inko had been telling moment beforehand, it seemed his injuries took protest to the uncontrollable laughter that followed… but if he was being honest, the smile that graced Inko’s face was well worth the pain.

“Ah, it took you long enough to arrive my friend! Come sit down Sir! Inko was just telling me about the time Young Bakugou first discovered chili peppers! It seems he’s retained an affinity for such spicy food after such a long time!”

Sir looked uneasy as he borrowed a chair from a different table and sat himself at the couple’s table, looking warily at the small woman with a bright smile on her face… so this is the woman who captured the heart of The Symbol of Peace… she doesn’t look like I thought she would…

“Toshi, you should give him a little slack! I told you I ran into Togata in the hallway and he was on his way to speak with Sir!”

Sir noted how much playful sternness was in her voice as she swatted him playfully as All Mi-… as Toshinori practically beamed.

“Yes dear.”

Sir couldn’t help the small smile that found itself on his face as he spoke quietly.

“Indeed… Mirio has quite the character… One of his suggestions for me was actually your son, Ms. Midoryia… and I must agree, in all honesty; His past actions speak volumes to his character… and despite the... subject matter… he has an interesting sense of humor.”

At his words, Inko let out a laugh that Sir could have sworn made the room a bit brighter.

“Oh, that wasn’t even the start of it! You should have been there when Izuku found out watermelons are 98% water… He’d use the water inside of them to lift them up and proclaim himself “The Supreme Melon-Lord”, just to make us laugh! And when he and Katsuki were about ten, then decided to prank their entire school by switching everything for the day; they switched desks, backpacks, lunches… even their names! And when we went to pick them up that day, they even went to the other’s house!”

The genuine affection in the woman’s eyes was captivating to Sir and all of the doubt and worry melted away. All of Toshinori’s actions suddenly made so much more sense; Inko was the perfect foil to the now-retired hero, with her laughter, compassion, the drive he’d heard so much about, and the oblivious admission to help anyone who needed it… and the Younger Midoryia, while not Sir’s first choice as a successor, was suddenly a sensible candidate after Sir had uncovered everything he could about the boy… if he did not know any better, Sir could almost believe Toshinori was the boy’s father, given all the similarities.

Oh that would be a story the media would kill for.

Wait…That reminded him of something… or rather, someone he had seen upon entering the small establishment.

“I…I should probably mention I saw quite a few reporters outside… I think they might have recognized you my friend.”

Sir almost wished he hadn’t said anything as the color drained from Toshinori’s face.

“I…I forgot that my identity is recognizable in this form… I am so sorry Inko… I should have known better…”

Inko looked at the two men and sighed, reaching for Toshinori’s hand, squeezing it lightly, causing him to meet her eyes.

“Toshi, I knew this was always a possibility when I agreed to this relationship and frankly, I don’t care about the press. We are here and we are enjoying ourselves on our date. We are having a nice conversation with an old friend of yours and we are going to leave the reporters for our future selves to worry about.”

“But your privacy! A-And the privacy of the boys!”

As Inko gave a pointed look to the former hero, Sir suddenly realized the true power this small, unassuming woman held, as the look she held was one of pure determination, patience and a hint of something he had only ever seen Nezdu’s knowing smiles convey.

“Toshi, my privacy was violated the moment I took all that evidence to the police station all those years ago... I’m used to it. And our boys are going into the field of Heroics; They’re going to have their privacy invaded eventually… Right now, this is about our relationship and the fact they’re not only aware of it, but they’ll be demanding more from people they think they have a right to know everything about. Toshi, I’m not worried honey; if they see us, let them. If they ask us, then we’ll answer them. They won’t see you like you’re someone else completely; they’ll just get to see you and see how much I love you… and I’m okay with that.”

Sir watched as Toshinori leaned over and pressed a kiss to Inko’s forehead; his eyes full of love and admiration.th

“Oh, my wonderful, beautiful Inko… you’re right. You always are… what on this good green earth would I do without you my dear?”

Inko responded with a smile and a kiss of her own, only to seem like she realized Sir was still very much there.

“Oh dear… I’m so sorry for that Sir; that must have looked quite cliché, huh?”

The small smile on Sir’s face only grew as he shook his head politely.

“Not at all Ma’am… it was quite sincere… I believe I owe you my thanks; several years ago, I looked into Toshinori’s future and… the future I saw was a grim one with a grim ending… but here we are! You changed his future… maybe even his fate. You are the one who made him reach out to me, even after all this time… I dare say you are the reason he was even standing after the incident in the Kamino Ward… I owe you my deepest, most sincere thanks… is there anything I could do to repay you?”

Inko looked to the tall, slim man before her and she smiled lightly.

“There’s no need to thank or repay me Sir… my relationship with Toshi is good enough for me. All I could possibly ask of you is for you to follow your heart in whatever you do… Toshi trusts you and I doubt he would have found me in one piece if you had not been guiding him all those times before we met at U.A.”

With that, the three adults found themselves smiling and talked for a good while longer before parting ways, ready to brave the possible reporters waiting outside.

****

“Everyone get your butts to the common room or turn on your TVs!! All Might and Ms. Inko are on the news!!”

Mina’s voice carried through the dorms before the building erupted into motion to do as instructed because, true to her words, there was Inko Midoryia and All Might on their screens. All Might was answering questions as Inko smiled and responded herself, albeit blushing profusely.

“…Like I said, All Might and I both met at U.A, where we teach. Sir Nighteye told us you’d be out here and we decided it was high time to inform the public… You’ll have to forgive us, as we were rather wary about this… we don’t want anything to intrude or impede our duties as teachers, especially given all the children have been through this year… but we thank you for your kindness, as we must go; we need to return to campus… if you’ll pardon us…”

The news cut back to the news room and they continued to talk about the subject…. But Izuku wasn’t paying attention; he was too busy smiling at how much love and happiness he hear in his mother’s voice… Given everything; he was pretty happy with the strange family they seemed to have adopted at U.A.

Chapter Text

Icey-Hot: It’s over; I called it.

Icey-Hot: None of you are allowed to try and disqualify my theories now.

Icey-Hot: I have ascended to new heights.

Icey-Hot: And now… all that remains is to show the fruits of my labor.

 *Icey-Hot changed All Might’s name to Dad Might*

Dad Might: Young Shouto… This is neither accurate nor amusing.

Alien Queen: Sure, Jan.

Dad Might: Young Mina!

Icey-Hot: You can’t deny it any more All Might; you and Auntie have been in a stable relationship for far too long, not to mention how you act around Izuku. Blood relation or not, you are his dad.

Dad Might: … you have no idea how relationships actually work, do you my boy…?

Icey-Hot: I know enough. You can’t hide from the truth.

Idiot Pikachu: Oh man… we’re giving the teaches nicknames?! Sign me up!

*Idiot Pikachu changed Aizawa’s name to Coffee Cryptid*

Coffee Cryptid: ….

Coffee Cryptid: You’re damn lucky this is amusing Kaminari.

*Screaming in Gay has added themselves to the chat*

Screaming in Gay: Aw, you do love them Shouta!!!

Idiot Pikachu: What

Icey-Hot: The

Alien Queen: Fuck?!?!

Dad Might: Oh dear…

Alien Queen: You… can just… do that?!?!

Coffee Cryptid: Great job Zashi; you’ve made them paranoid.

Screaming in Gay: Oh, my sweet, innocent Listeners… I’m the least of your worries.

Icey-Hot: I don’t know if I should feel threatened or not.

Secretly plotting murder: Hello Naughty Children; it’s time for your homework.

Screaming in Gay: Omfg Nezdu; I think I hear them screaming from my radio station!

Secretly plotting murder: Good… I am going to close this chat so the students may focus on their school work, as well as their preparations for the Culture Festival… but before I do, there is something that requires my attention.

Dad Might: I AM HERE AND I AM AFRAID.

Secretly plotting murder: : ^)

*Secretly plotting murder changed Screaming in Gay’s name to Parental Microphone*

Coffee Cryptid: Nezdu, you broke my husband.

Secretly plotting murder: GOOD.

[ Chat room has been temporarily closed for 2 hours]

**************

[Chat room has been reopened]

Red Riot: I’ve never been more afraid of an old- timey emoji than seeing it in the possession of our Principal…

Small Might: Is that what it was? Emojis are too weird.

Anima: You know, I never considered how emojis like that might read out… but agreed; Nezdu having and using such things is actually kind of scary.

Defying Gravity: Speaking of scary… Kouda, are you aware there was a spider in your room???

Anima: Oh yeah, I know... Don’t worry, that’s just Dave.

Red Riot: …Dave…?

Anima: Yeah; Dave. He’s pretty chill and keeps a few eyes open for any fly issues the dorms might have… He’s super sweet and understanding about it too.

Defying Gravity: Aren’t you afraid of bugs though?? Jiro said you only passed your finals because of them, but you were really shaken up about it…

Anima: Yeah, bugs creep me out… but spiders aren’t bugs.

Red Riot: ???America Explain???

Class Adult: Spiders are classified as Arachnids Kirishima! They are actually quite different from bugs!

Idiot Pikachu: Okay but what else qualifies as an arachnid???

Small Might: Scorpions.

Idiot Pikachu: Wait, seriously?

Class Adult: Midoryia is quite correct!

Red Riot: Huh… learn something new every day it seems.

Chapter Text

It was a relatively normal day for 1-A; preparations for the culture festival were well underway (Izuku had suggested a song/performance, given that was really one of the only things he enjoyed… it wasn’t his fault everyone else loved it) and Kirishima was studying with Kaminari, both of them enjoying the day, given how drastically their grades had soared with both Bakugou’s help and, in Kaminari’s case, medicine. It was all in all a good, regular day… which is why Kirishima jumped in surprise at the sudden sound of Bakugou’s voice.

“Shitty hair, get over here! I need to talk to you.”

Kirishima didn’t know what to expect when he turned to face the voice’s owner, but it wasn’t the nervous look in his friend’s eyes, masked rather poorly with anger. Excusing himself, Kirishima walked over to the ashen blond, who promptly grabbed his arm and dragged him away to an empty hallway.

“Yo… You okay Bakubro? What’s up?”

The explosive boy looked at Kirishima for a good few moments before speaking.

“I want to go into the city and see a movie this weekend. You’re coming with me.”

A movie? That’s what this was all about?

“Oh! Oh… uh… I don’t think I have the money to go with you dude… maybe Midoryia would be up for it!”

Kirishima was worried; Bakugou’s eyes never darkened when Midoryia was mentioned… sure, they’d get a defensive edge to them… but never dark. Through Kirishima’s shock, Bakugou growled.

“I’ll fucking pay for your shit.”

Was… was Bakugou blushing?? No… No, Bakugou doesn’t blush! Kirishima was just imagining it.

“Oh… I don’t know man... that’s kind of unmanly of me to make you pay extra because I’m tagging along…”

Okay, he was definitely blushing now… but he also looked really pissed off

“It’s called a fucking date Kirishima; I pay for you because I want to.”

Oh…

Oh.

Kirishima couldn’t help the flush of color that took over his face as he noticed Bakugou tying to avoid eye contact.

“I… Okay then… I-I’d like that Bakugou… I’d like a lot.”

*******

“Shouto… can I talk to you for a moment? Alone...”

Shouto turned towards Izuku, who was hiding a smile, having just witnessed his closest friend drag Kirishima away to who knows where for who knows what.

“Of course.”

Quietly as they could, Shouto followed Izuku to the courtyard, where there was not a soul in sight. As they stood in temporary silence, Shouto could feel his heart flutter, but quickly told it to calm down… it was probably about training or something… some move he didn’t want to show the others yet…

“I, uh um… I’m sorry if this looks weird... I just... didn’t want the others to hear this… not yet...”

Izuku’s voice was chock full of emotions and anxiety; a fact that did not escape Shouto.

“It’s perfectly understandable Izuku… is everything alright?”

“I uh... yeah, everything’s fine. I just… was wondering… if you maybe wanted to go see a movie or something sometime…like… as a date?”

Shouto almost didn’t hear the question with how fast it had come out of Izuku’s mouth… but once he registered what had been said… It was like everything had come to a screeching halt. Shouto had been in the middle of planning his grand reveal to Izuku and planning the perfect date and… Izuku had just… done it for him?? But, like most things pertaining to emotions, Shouto’s brain decided that now was the perfect time to put his foot in his mouth and have his voice at of its own accord.

“I… uh… eh…uh duh…”

Shouto, realizing what had just happened, quickly cleared his throat to clarify.

“I… I’d love that Izuku… I really would…”

Dark as it was outside, Shouto had no trouble whatsoever seeing the giant smile on Izuku’s face and, as the two walked back inside where a rather flustered Kirishima and Bakugou had already reappeared, Shouto couldn’t be happier…

Well… once the media inevitable got ahold of this information and it was hopefully passed to his Father… that’d make him happier; even if he was just imagining the defeat in the man’s eyes as he realized his “perfect” creation wasn’t so “perfect” after all… not that it bothered Shouto in the slightest; He was far happier being his perfectly imperfect self than he ever had been under his father’s constraints of what was “proper and good”.

******

From their various places within the dorms, the remaining students of 1-A sighed a collective breath of relief. Uraraka smiled as she flopped onto Mina’s bed as the girls around the room all laughed.

“It’s about time… those boys were kind of hopeless…”

Mina was grinning.

“I know right?! I was wondering if we’d have to lock them in a closet to talk their feelings out! If I had to spend another moment watching them all silently pine for each other, I think I would have screamed.”

The girls all laughed and nodded quietly before Yaoyorozu spoke up.

“Actually, now that I think about it… we’ve been so preoccupied with the boys… I don’t think we’ve ever told each other who we find attractive… that’s what normal girls talk about, right?”

Hakugure squealed with delight.

“Momo, you wonderful, beautiful genius! Come on girls; It’s time for juicy gossip!!!”

And to that, all the girls laughed and obliged, indulging themselves for their small victory (even though they did literally nothing... but let them have this)

Chapter Text

Aizawa was sure these children were going to give him a heart attack and Izuku Midoryia was going be the absolute death of him.

All he wanted to do was sneak one of his cats onto campus, find his husband, drag said husband into the 1-A Dormitory and claim the TV as theirs for the day… but of course that couldn’t last! Because of course the Problem Child had, once again, managed to entangle himself into a villain attack and, from what Nezdu had said, it was a fucking serial killer to boot!

As soon as I get my hands on that child, I am permanently grounding his ass to campus, I don’t care what Inko might say… he’s in big trouble.

And so Aizawa was forced to abandon his husband, cat, and movie to go to the police station to pick up the two borderline Delinquent Children. As soon as he entered the building and saw the two boys, he assessed the damage: Problem Child 1 had a nasty looking bruise, several scrapes and heavily bandaged arms from what Aizawa could assume were from bigger cuts, given the amount of blood on the boy’s cloths. Shouto on the other hand, looked to be in roughly the same shape, save for the lack of visible bandages.

The problem child noticed him first and let out a surprisingly heavy sigh.

“I know what you’re going to say and I swear we weren’t looking for trouble! We were on our way to have lunch with Kacchan and Kirishima before our movie and then everything just kind of… happened!”

Aizawa felt like his spirit was trying to flee his body and enter the Void because instead of the scathing lecture he was planning on giving the two boys, all that came out of his mouth was a defeated sigh as he found himself sitting down across from the two.

“Okay, okay! Tell me everything that happened, including why Bakugou and Kirishima are not here.”

Midoryia seemed apprehensive for some reason, which caused Shouto to sigh and lean forwards slightly before speaking.

“It started when we left campus for our date; Izuku realized I’d never been to an Arcade and decided to take me to one. We spent a good hour or two before Bakugou texted Izuku and asked if we wanted to meet up for lunch, since he and Kirishima were out on their date as well. On our way to our rendezvous point, Izuku heard someone scream and, in true Izuku fashion, bolted off towards it to try and help whoever it was and I followed him because my boyfriend is an idiot and I love him. When we followed it to its source, we saw a girl standing over someone who was trying to scream but was losing a lot of blood and then she was… I don’t know how to describe it other than collecting their blood. I was going to freeze her in place so we could get the authorities, but she saw us and went ballistic… She seemed to hone in on Izuku, calling him stuff like “cutie”, “bunny” and… “a snack”? I don’t quite understand it but she had a large knife and was too unpredictable for us to use our quirks effectively without hurting or potentially killing the victim, which is how we got most of these injuries… when we managed to stop her, I called the authorities and while I kept her in place, Izuku did his best to try and stabilize the victim… I heard the Detective say they’re in critical condition right now, but it looks promising. After we showed out Provisional Licenses, we were taken here to get patched up and the police called U.A to get you to come get us. Izuku called Bakugou to tell him what happened and while they’re still on their date, I’m 95% certain that if Auntie doesn’t kill Izuku and I, then he most certainly will.”

Aizawa let the information process before speaking, silently curing whatever greater being in the universe that existed for having a personal vendetta against his kid.

He can’t even have a normal first date for fucks sake! They look so dejected… this won’t do one bit.

“Is that movie you two were going to still playing or did you miss the showtime?”

Neither child hid their surprise at their teacher’s words.

“Uh… It hasn’t started yet… we planned to be at lunch for roughly an hour and a half, and all of this-

Izuku motioned to the injuries with half-heartedly bitterness.

“Happened within an hour, so if we ran, we could make it? …Why...?”

Aizawa knew giving Izuku what Nezdu had labeled as The Look™, but he did it anyways and hoped the “are you really asking this to me” energy was picked up, which… after so many years of knowing each other, it should have.

“The pair of you ruined my date-day with my husband and our cat-child… I’m not about to let some homicidal lunatic schoolgirl ruin your first date… but I’m sure as hell not leaving the two of you alone either… so I’m chaperoning and when we get home, you two are on date-grounding: if you want to even think about going somewhere, you clear it with Me. And when you actually go somewhere, you are being chaperoned because you clearly cannot keep yourselves out of trouble. Got that Problem Child?”

The two boys were trying to hide their smiles, which was going terribly… and then, of course Izuku had to get back on his usual bullshit.

“Got it… Thanks Dad…”

Shouto started choking on air as Aizawa just stared for a moment before giving another, heavier, sigh of defeat.

“Izuku I swear to god you are one remark away from being demoted to my first ever Delinquent Child.”

Izuku cracked one of those infamous Midoryia smiles as he started cackling.

“Love you too dad!”

“Delinquent!”

As the two caused their commotion, they almost failed to notice Detective Tsukauchi approaching the group, looking extra tired.

“Aizawa… your boys are damn lucky they have their provisional licenses right now… the word’s somehow already making the rounds that two U.A students found and stopped a killer who’s been on the rampage and run for a good year or so… I’ve already called Nezdu so he can handle the reporters who will be asking questions… And you two are lucky I’m not your teacher, or I wouldn’t let you leave campus after all the heart attacks I’ve been through on your accounts alone!”

Aizawa could feel a headache coming on as he nodded silently.

“Thanks, Tsukauchi… These two have a date to get back to and I have a delinquent to babysit…again. And for the record, they most certainly are grounded.”

Tsukauchi nodded approvingly before turning to the boys one last time, a small smile tugging at the edge of his lips as he spoke.

Please try to stay out of trouble… you’re going to give your father a heart attack Izuku.

The boys started howling with laughter as they were being picked up effortlessly by their teacher who was making a beeline for the exit, which caused Tsukauchi to chuckle at the sight, as single thought running through his head.

…. He’s like a cat carrying their kittens…

Chapter Text

“Hey Uraraka; can I ask you something?”

Uraraka jumped slightly in surprise and turned to face Shouto, who looked relaxed and content.

“Yes? What’s up?”

Shouto took a deep breath before speaking, as if he was trying to phrase his words carefully.

“I’m sorry if this seems random… my brother Toya’s been looking around for what he wants to do with his life and he’s recently decided to become either an engineer or architect… he hasn’t fully decided, but he wants to build things and I know your family owns a construction company. I was wondering if either you or your parents would be able to help him out with like… pointers to get him in the right direction of what classes to take or recommendations on where the best place to work would be to gain experience… personally, I think he wants somewhere that’s understaffed so he can help them most... He’s already said getting paid isn’t his biggest concern.”

Uraraka was quiet for a few moments before smiling brightly, completely unsurprised by her classmate’s inquiry.

“Actually, my parents have been looking for help for a little while now! Ever since the Kamino Ward, business has been booming, but they can only do so much with so few people… so extra hands would be great! I can call them to ask them about your brother maybe joining them as an intern or something, since he probably won’t be full time and will be going to classes for his engineering degree, which is pretty essential if he wants to be hired on by any company full time… but that’s if he has his regular education… in which case he’ll need to play a bit of catch up and then do his courses for a degree…”

As Uraraka tailed off, Shouto found himself smiling because Uraraka’s sincere and utter joy at the prospect of being able to help her family through his brother… and being able to help someone else by building and creating things would keep Toya busy… as well as some education, but the helping others was way more important than the boring stuff. Before Uraraka could tell Shouto anything else, the voice of Bakugou caught their attention from the dorm common room.

“Hey everyone, get your asses in here! The Billboard announcement is about to start!”

The two made their way into the room, where everyone else was either already sitting, or hurrying to join the group as Bakugou turned the TV’s volume up, a glint in his eyes as the proceedings began. Of course, Bakugou’s eyes weren’t the only ones to be gleaming as the class waited with baited breath because, excited as they were for all the heroes, the ending was what they all really cared about… well, it was until the build up to the top ten dropped a bombshell on the class.

“This past year’s been plenty eventful; Especially for U. A’s first year students, which makes our next upstart entry all the more intriguing! At number 94, we have the Provisional Hero Anima! This young man may be in his first year of the Hero course, many civilians added him as a write-in candidate, given his humbleness, willingness to help, courage! Of course, the surprising number of cases he’s helped authorities solve with his quirk and intellect alone don’t exactly leave room for doubt! So good job and good luck in the future Anima; it looks like you’re already well on your way into people’s hearts! Stay tuned everyone; we’ll continue the listings right after this break!”

The dorm exploded into noise as Kouda stared on in shock while Bakugou wrapped the timid boy in a one-armed hug hold.

“Way to go Kouda!”

“Hell yeah, Bro!! That’s manly as fuck!”

“There’s never been a first-year student in the top 100 before… that’s got to be a record!”

“Kouji, you beat a few actual, literal pros! Now do you fucking believe me when I say you’re ten times the hero the fucking copy-cat will ever be? As soon as all this shit is done, we’re celebrating… Candy man and I are going to be making whatever the hell you want.”

Kouda said nothing, his hands shaking as tears just fell from his face, his phone now buzzing to life with messages and phone calls from family. Given Kouda was in absolute shock, Bakugou picked up his friend’s phone and pressed the speaker phone option

“Hey Mrs. Kouda! Kouji’s in shock right now… but we can all hear you!”

The response was nothing but absolute sobbing from Kouda’s mother as the class managed to quiet down enough for the TV to be audible again. As quietly as he could, Kouda somehow managed to stand up, take his phone, and walk away to speak to his mother in relative privacy and quietness, returning roughly a few minutes later, absolutely beaming as the program returned from a commercial break.

“Welcome back everyone! Now at number 93, we have another brand-new fan favorite from U.A, The Provisional Hero Deku! He might not have as many cases under his belt as Anima does, but what he has done under Sir Nighteye’s agency is quite something! Of course, that alone wasn’t what got this young man on the billboard… No, what got this hopeful hero was sheer popularity! Ever since Deku received his Provisional license, a feat few first year can claim mind you, we’ve received hundred upon hundreds of letters regarding the young man from parents of children all over the world, stating their approval for having inspired their children! This letter we have here, sent by 6-year-old Amelia from America, graciously gave us permission to read a portion of this letter on air in the hopes Deku would hear it, though you must forgive any mispronunciations… English was never really my strong suit;

‘I wanted Mr. Deku to know how much him being a hero means to people like me. I was born without eyes, even though my quirk lets me navigate freely… If Deku can be a hero without sight, then what’s gonna stop me from doing the same? I know a bunch of other people who have to go to the doctors’ a lot because they were attacked, just like Deku… and it really, really, really gives us something to aim for. A lot of kids at school look up to All Might or someone with an awesome quirk… but for me, I’m gonna look up to Deku, the hero who never gives up, no matter the odds because everyone says everything’s tried to push him down and he never gave up or gave in and now he’s gonna be a hero, so Deku is my hero!’

There was no cheering chaos as the broadcaster took a few moments to compose themselves, their voice having cracked multiple times as they read, tears shining on the camera for all to see. Likewise, the dorm of 1-A was all in tears as the latched onto the crying green haired boy, who was listening in rapt attention.

“Please excuse my unprofessionalism, I’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen again… But yes, you heard it here first; The Provisional Hero Deku is just a first year and he’s already inspiring hundreds, which earned him Number 93… Keep it up kid, People are rooting for you!”

The remainder of the Billboard program went by in a blur to 1-A, who were now all huddled around each other in silent companionship as it was finally time for the top 3:

“At Number Three, we have the Fiber Hero, Best Jeanist! No surprise there and no explanation needed! At Number Two, we have the Wing Hero, Hawks! I know there might be some confusion. Given this young man’s popularity and amount of case work, but the numbers speak for themselves because at Number One, we once again have All Might!! Now, there was some debate, given his… sudden retirement… but nevertheless, retirement or not, All Might is a hero you simply can’t replace after everything he’s done! True, he may no longer be able to protect us as a Hero, but his time as The Symbol of Peace is something all heroes, new and old, can and should strive to be like! Thus, with his overwhelming popularity, immense casework and service to not only our country, but the world at large, The Symbol of Peace remains as our Number One! Although, if you find yourself unable to see him as a hero, we can always name him the number one teacher… which brings us to a last-minute surprise, presented by Sir Nighteye!”

All of 1-A found themselves leaning towards the screen in excitement and anticipation as Sir Nighteye took the stage, a faint smile on his face as the camera honed in on his form.

“Thank you all for indulging us a tad longer. This is quite unorthodox, but it must be said… you see, there was a relationship that recently came to light between All Might and the most amazing, wonderful, brilliant and dazzling woman I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. At face value, she is a single, civilian mother of two, but if you have the pleasure of getting to know her, Inko Midoryia is far more than just that and is the True Number One Teacher. But of course, I can only say so much about a woman I’ve only recently gotten to know… so I will turn this over to those who can attest to her greatness;”

The screen faded into black before the beginning of the pre-recorded video everyone had been waiting for.

“Oh, it’s working? Okay! Hello everyone!! My name is Izuku Midoryia, but my Hero name is Deku and I’m here to tell you all about my amazing mom! But of course, that’ll come off as biased… so I’ve got some friends to help me out!”

The image of Izuku’s clip moved onto Shouto, who’s video-self was beaming.

“My name is Shouto Tsutsumi, hero name Kōshio: I met Ms. Midoryia, I call her Auntie, when my sister and I were put in her care while my father was investigated… I won’t lie; I was scared. But after an hour of being with her, everything I’d been worrying about faded away. Auntie Inko doesn’t look like much, but throughout everything that happened… she gave my siblings and I the childhood innocence and joy our father robbed us of. I doubt my family would be here and as whole as it is without her… of course, seeing her throw a book at the old man helped too!”

The TV station’s bottom left screen managed to lock onto Inko, who was sitting in the audience and clinging to Toshinori, her eyes welling with tears as she and the rest of the country laughed as the video continued, moving from student to student; from 1-A to 1-B to beyond the Hero course, with some students from the Support and Business departments, only to have the entire General Education department take their turns. When the students were done, the teachers appeared on screen, boasting and laughing about the simple-looking woman who whipped all of U.A into shape, to Nezdu’s gleeful remarks.

“Ms. Midoryia is quite the oddity; She started as a mother on the run from her devil of a husband, turned into Police Informant to protect her child… Once the danger was gone, she was a single mother who worked three different jobs to support her child and her education to become an educator! This is very much her first year teaching, but she’s done marvelously… although I must ask her to refrain from adopting six new family members next year, though I doubt I could stop her, given those she did not adopt herself have adopted her! I daresay Inko has become the Mom of U.A; a title not given lightly.”

Everyone was laughing as the video lead to the final clip of All Might himself, who’s eyes were so full of love and light as he spoke.

“Inko…where do I begin? I believe I first saw her in the halls of U.A while we all prepared for the students’ arrivals. At first, I thought she was a respectable coworker, being the only civilian teacher at U.A… but as I grew to know her, I daresay I fell head over heels in an instant, though it took some… encouragement from a close friend of hers to actually ask her on a date… but I couldn’t be happier that I did! Inko has this way with people; she can make the hardest, coldest heart feel warmth and gentleness, and she can, and has, put the fear of God in those who try to harm her children. You see, everyone says I’m their favorite hero… but my favorite hero is Inko; You see, all parents are their child’s first, highly unsung heroes and my Inko is no exception. Inko… Inko is a radiant, dazzling star in my life and I’m constantly reminded of how lucky I am to know her; She is very much the light and love of my life, and I have not the faintest idea of where this school would be without her.”

Within the audience, Inko sat crying as all the words washed over her, Toshinori rubbing her back comfortingly as everyone else had their hearts melt as the watched on as the video ended and Sir Nighteye took center stage once more.

“As you can see, this woman is far more than just your average teacher; She is a hero to not only her sons, but she is a hero to all of U.A for somehow managing to clean up All Might’s private life! Trust me, I’ve seen what he was like before her and his shirts thank her for ensuring he now has constant napkins!”

Izuku was pretty sure the entire country burst into laughter as the camera moved to a blushing and slightly, playfully indignant All Might as Sir Nighteye continued.

“Jokes aside, it was unanimously voted to name Inko Midoryia the Mother of Heroes, for her past contributions towards the public well being and her current work as a teacher to the future generation… after all, heroes aren’t the only ones who learn important life lessons in school! Many in the General Education department go on to be their own kind of hero; Doctors, Lawyers, firefighters, Police, florists on valentine’s day, parents and, of course, Teachers.”

The news camera showed Inko sobbing as she held onto Toshinori, who was beaming a real, true and genuine smile as Sir Nighteye relinquished the stage and the event came to an end, though not before reports of noise complaints came in from around The Heights Alliance, though nobody could blame the students, who were far happier for The Mom of U.A than any pro or provisional Hero on that Billboard.

Chapter Text

Christmas was two weeks away and the 1-A dorm was in absolute chaos as students sprinted up and down the halls and stairs in search of whatever odd-ended items and belongings while their class president was yelling in an attempt to calm everyone down and halt the commotion (he was sadly failing miserably). From the main entrance, Katsuki Bakugou’s voice rang out in full annoyance and volume.

“If you don’t get your fat asses down here dressed and ready to go, I will drop you bastards off to have some quality time with the Old Hag while everyone’s out and about!”

Kirishima ran up to his boyfriend laughing as the rest of the class managed to collect themselves enough to leave, a huge grin on his face.

“Aww come on ‘Suki… you know your mom loves us!”

Katsuki growled as his boyfriend pressed a light kiss to his cheek as the class converged on the exit.

“Shut the Hell up Shitty Hair. The Old hag only likes two people in this fucking nightmare class; Deku and Kouda.”

Kirishima only laughed as they lead the charge to the bus, their teachers in tow and soon enough, they were on their way to a nearby shopping plaza where the festivities were displayed in full swing.

“All right listen up; Iida and Yaoyorozu, you two need to form a groups of three to babysit. Mic will take a second group, Inko will take a third and I’ll take the rest of you. Midoryia, you are not to leave my sight and Zashi… please try to pick a reasonably sized tree this year… I’m actually begging you… and Nezdu threatened to fight us if you don’t calm down for the Dorm tree; he knows how you get.”

“No promises Sho! Come on listeners!! The holidays await!”

Aizawa could only sigh in defeat as his husband gathered his five students and practically dragged them into the shopping plaza as Iida and Yaoyorozu did the same, though in a far calmer and more organized way. Inko sighed heavily as she rounded up Kouda, Katsuki, Hitoshi, Tsuyu and Aoyama, leaving Aizawa with Kirishima, Tokoyami, Mina, Hakugure and the Delinquent child himself.  Turning to face his little group he spoke in his usual deadpan tone.

“Okay, tell me what you were planning to buy so we can manage this effectively.”

The students seemed to light up with excitement, Mina speaking first.

“I was going to get my mom some bath salts, because she loves those things! And then I was going to get some hair stuff for all the other girls… and maybe something for Ms. Inko!”

Aizawa nodded quietly, motioning for the next person to speak.

“I wish to find a bookstore… my uncle appreciates good poetry… and perhaps a poem or two for Ms. Inko as well.”

“I was actually going to rely on Midoryia for this… it hasn’t been very long and I have no idea what Katsuki would like as a gift…”

“I just wanted to get some candles… my dad loves those things…”

Aizawa had pulled out a notebook and was writing down the list at this point, nodding as he did so, waiting for the final child to speak.

“I uh… I wanted to find a jewelry or a shop that sells stones… I already have some ideas… I just need to uh… check them out.”

Aizawa nodded quietly before mentally prioritizing their list and ushering the group towards the shops… well, not before wrapping his capture weapon around The Delinquent like a child harness.

“There is no way in hell I’m letting you even have a chance at running off. You’re keeping the delinquent harness and that’s final.”

“That’s fair.”

****

“Kaminari, stop running through the hallways!”

“Iida, chillax dude!! It’s Christmas!!!”

“If anyone else shouts, I won’t hesitate to ground your asses.”

“that’s Shouta for; I need coffee”

“Shut up Zashi”

The dorms were abuzz with early morning activity as the students woke up (some peacefully and other’s…not so much) to a snowy Christmas day and far too many presents under their sensibly sized tree (courtesy of Aizawa because Hizashi can’t be trusted with anything moderate).

Izuku sighed sleepily as he made his way to the common room, where his boyfriend was waiting for him. Once everyone gathered, Aizawa shambled over to his husband and their daughter with an entire pot of coffee in his hands as he spoke.

“All right listen up; Iida, you’re in charge of present distribution. Take one present for each person, wait until everyone has one, then we’ll open then, starting with Eri and going clockwise. We’ll continue that until we’re done… and before you ask, yes you can spend all day watching movies… just alternate between people’s choices… and for the love of god, do not let Aoyama in the kitchen again.”

And so, the process began as Iida diligently distributed the presents and told everyone to wait as the little girl stared at her present before turning to Aizawa, a look of confusion on her face.

"You tear the paper… here, like this.”

The class watched as Aizawa carefully tore into the present and let Eri finish the job, a small smile on her little face as she revealed a small plush toy of Hizashi in full Hero get-up.

“It’s a tiny Papa!”

The small smile on her face and wondrous joy in her voice was infectious, spreading through the class like a wildfire as they all took their turns, all exclaiming with happiness as they did so. When Shouto opened his gift, he stared at in in mild confusion as the rest of the class looked on silently.

Inside the small box was a thin chain necklace, adorned by a teardrop shaped, red and white stone set in metal casing and, on the back of the case was engraved a short message.

For Shouto; the light in my darkness.

There was no doubt in anyone’s mind who the gift came from as Shouto spoke calmly.

“I love it ‘Zuku.”

The girls and some of the boys let out a little "aww" as Izuku’s small smile became a fully-fledged grin before the proceeding continued for nearly two hours before Eri, who had gained a plethora of custom plushies of all her favorite people (Her parents, Inko, Mirio, Izuku, Kouda… and then a lot of animals) decided it was time for food and movies, which everyone agreed to instantly… well, everyone but Shouto, who pulled out gifts from a hidden bag and handed them to his classmates as he spoke.

“Wait, before we do that… there’s one more round of gifts to do.”

Curiously, the class opened the final gifts to see knitted sweaters; all adorning designs resembling their hero costumes.

“My mom wanted to do something for all of you, so I gave her pictures of everyone’s costumes.”

The class erupted into applause and cheers as Izuku and half the class ambushed Shouto in a death-gripping hug.

Chapter Text

 Class 1-A of the hero course (soon to be Class 2-A) was known around U.A to have the weirdest group dynamic with both each other and their teachers; often times referring to said teachers as if they were their parents or close relatives. Quite possibly, the weirdest dynamic known to 2-A was the unsurprising but still somehow confusing Maternal Role Inko Midoryia took on for all of her students and then some.              

“Then some” in this case refers to how Inko adopted Tenko Shimura and facilitated the contact he desperately needed to re-enter society as a common citizen and lead a normal, decent life. It was puzzling at the very least and anyone who saw the two beside each other would most certainly be dumbfounded at the sight of the once-victim turned villain sitting and laughing and chatting happily next to the small green haired woman, who’s son he tried to harm… if nothing else, no one at U.A could argue or dispute the fact Inko Midoryia earned the title she held… They also couldn’t dispute the fact that The Symbol of Peace, All Might, was undeniably and absolutely in love with her.

Of course, so was all of U.A, but Toshinori held a special place in Inko’s heart, right next to her boys and Mitsuki Bakugou. In light of that information, what Toshinori needed to do had never been so obvious as he nervously knocked on the front door of the Bakugou household, looking around nervously as Mitsuki opened the door in surprise.

“Yagi? What’d the brat do this time?”

Toshinori laughed nervously as he blushed, speaking quietly.

“N-Nothing at all, Mrs. Bakugou! I uh… I actually came to ask you something about Inko…”

Mitsuki’s guarded expression melted away as she laughed and invited him inside. As the two sat down Toshinori somehow managed to explain the reason for his visit.

“T-Terribly sorry to intrude… but Inko is spending all day with Young Tenko and I thought it best to come talk to you while she was busy. When I wanted to… to ask Inko on a date, you helped me greatly and I know how close you two are and I uh… I wanted to ask if you would be okay with me asking for her hand…”

After what felt like the longest moment of silence ever, Mitsuki began to beam… which was honestly kind of terrifying to Toshinori as she leaned in to be closer to the skeletal man.

“Of fucking course, I’m okay with it; it’s her boys you need to get the all clear from… and if you ever hurt her, I will tear your remaining lung out and beat you with it, got it?”

Toshinori didn’t know if she was joking or not and was too nervous and terrified to ask, so he nodded silently as the look of murder vanished from Mitsuki’s eyes.

“Wonderful! Now get out of here and talk to those boys!”

****

The next time Inko went to visit Tenko, which was roughly a week later, Toshinori gathered Izuku, Katsuki, Shouto and Hitoshi in private and, after assuring them they were not in trouble, spoke apprehensively. 

“I’m sorry for taking you four away from your free-time boys, but there is something I wish to discuss with you four.”

The boys said nothing, only nodding for their teacher to continue.

“As you know, Inko and I have been in a relationship for quite some time… and all four of you are very important to both of us… which is why I must ask this of you, my boys; Would you be willing to let me ask Inko to marry me? I’m not sure if this is sudden or not, but rest assured I have given this plenty of thought and would never, ever bring Inko harm…”

Toshinori watched as the boys’ faces morphed into different emotions; Katsuki glared with false annoyance, happiness gleaming in his eyes; Hitoshi just stared before giving a small smile; Izuku beamed and started nodding excitedly and Shouto… Shouto looked like he was processing a complicated math problem before breaking out into an impossible smile before speaking. 

“If you marry Auntie and I marry Izuku, then that will make you my father-in-law, which is the best improvement to ever happen… and if Izuku and I attend the wedding together as a couple… and there’s pictures... We need send my sperm donor the wedding invite!

There was a beat of silence before the rest of the group erupted into laughter, Toshinori’s booming laugh echoing throughout the halls for a good few minutes before everyone calmed down and Katsuki and Hitoshi gave each other a look and spoke in unison.

“If you hurt Auntie Inko, we will hunt you down and kill you.”

Toshinori could only smile nervously and nod.

“Katsuki, your mother already threatened to rip my lung out and beat me with it, should I hurt Inko, so I expect nothing less.”

****

Tenko wasn’t quite sure why or how he found himself in the position he did… but here he was, face to face with the skeletal figure that was once his sens- his tormentor’s greatest enemy and the one who failed his family when they needed him most, standing before him looking like he was going to crumple to dust if the wind so much as brushed against him.

“What do you want? I’ve done nothing wrong ever since I got out of “Rehab” and into the civil world.” 

The skeleton of a man sighed and nodded as he twisted his hands nervously, a habit Tenko knew all too well.

“Well you see my boy… I know you care for Inko as a mother, and she cares for you as a son… and I know I’ve failed your family in the past… there are so many things I wish I could go back and change… but I came here today to ask this of you; would you be okay with me marrying Inko? I have yet to ask her, and I only want to do so after consulting all those she loves in her life.”

Tenko was taken aback, never having seen himself as important to Inko, who saw as the mother he never had (though he’d profusely deny such sentiments) and here was his once greatest enemy, coming to meet him not only as an equal, but as someone in need of approval and, although he still held resentment towards the skeletal man… he couldn’t deny how happy Inko looked as she spoke of him and their “adventures”, as she dubbed them.  

“I don’t give a rat’s ass about you! But if you ever hurt her, I will disintegrate your lineage and then kill you; probation be damned.”

To Tenko’s horror and confusion, the man only laughed.

“It seems there will be a line!”

Tenko stared at the man for a moment before speaking again.

“July 15th… if you’re going to propose, do it then.”

Toshinori looked at the young man in confusion, as July 15th was Izuku’s birthday, and he shouldn’t overshadow and impose on such a day.

“I know what you’re thinking; ‘but that’s her son’s birthday!’ No shit. It’s also the day Dragonfire attacked the brat and she’s told me she always gets nervous and depressed around that time, because that’s all she can think about… So, if you propose on that day, you might be able to override the bad memory with a happy one.”

Toshinori beamed.

“I see! Thank you so much, my boy! It would not have occurred to me otherwise!”

Tenko sneered half-heartedly.

“Whatever… I’m not saying it for you; I just don’t want to see her get upset… When she is, it’s like all the color’s been sucked from the world and nothing will ever be alright again… Just don’t fucking hurt her and I won’t have to become a villain again.

Toshinori could only smile and nod, already making plans in his mind as he left before he could catch the small smile on Tenko’s face.

Chapter Text

               Toshinori had never been so nervous in his life; not when he decided to ask Inko’s permission to give Izuku One for All, not when he fought All for One in an attempt to get her son back, not even when Nana decided he was worth of her quirk… No, nothing could even hold a candle to the pressure he was feeling at that exact moment as he waited for Inko to return to their table. 

              Toshinori knew he had little to worry about, having planned every detail of this meal with the help of their sons and Mitsuki, but it didn’t stop the twisting discomfort he felt as he checked his pocket for the millionth time in the past five minutes to make sure the small box was still there as he silently thanked Mitsuki for telling him Inko’s ring size. Still, he was grateful for everything all of their close friends and family had done to prepare him for this night, Tenko even visiting to make amends with Izuku beforehand in order to “clear the air and not upset Inko.”

               Toshinori found himself smiling at his dinner; if nothing else, it never failed to inspire him at how Inko had come into the lives of those around her and shake them to their core, building them back up as if it were nothing. Inko, whether she knew it or not, had the brightest and purest soul on the planet and, even if she said no, Toshinori knew he was the luckiest man in existence to even be near her. Toshinori was pulled out of his thoughts as he heard Inko’s voice cut through the background noise of the restaurant.

              “What’s got you smiling like that, hm?”

               Toshinori looked up to meet Inko’s bright gaze, seeing the hint of amusement within them and as he did so, he couldn’t help but think of how radiant she looked in the dark green dress she wore, and how the darker color brought out the brightness of her eyes.

               “I’m just thinking of how lucky I am to know you, my dear.”

               Toshinori was glad they were nearly finished with their dinner, because he didn’t know if he could take waiting any longer than he had to. Gathering their things, Toshinori lead Inko out of the building and towards the once trash filled beach, feeling immense pride at the knowledge that Katsuki and Izuku, their boys, had been responsible for such a noble and selfless act, as well as Mitsuki, who had the idea of parking quite a way down from the restaurant, forcing the two to walk down the beach by moonlight. The couple was halfway down the strip of land before Toshinori stopped Inko, looking around to ensure there was no civilian nor reporter (he wasn’t sure if he should curse or thank Nezdu for ensuring no reporter would be in the area for him… he’d pay hell for it later, but that wasn’t what mattered).

               Inko’s eyes sparkled with curiosity as she looked into Toshinori’s eyes, seeming to rake over his very soul before he managed to speak.

               “Inko… we’ve known each other for nearly a year now… and I know we’ve been dating for a little less than that… but there is something I must tell you.”

               Inko’s look of concern only deepened as she motioned for Toshinori to continue.

               “I… In all my life, I thought I would never get a chance at love or family; I had too much work and I still have too many enemies… I was certain I would never live a civilian life with all it came with… but I never, ever could have anticipated you. You, who could tame the infamous Bakugou with a single glance; You, who somehow burrowed your way into this old heart of mine and melted all the cold resentment and soothed the burning anger that lived there; You, who damn near single-handedly brought down someone who was untouchable with nothing but your words and a sturdy textbook… You, who came into the lives of so many like a burning star and stayed as the brightest beacon of hope and love that All Might could never have achieved.”

               Inko’s eyes were brimming with the beginings of tears as Toshinori continued, taking her hand in his and lowering himself to a kneeling position.

               “I guess, what I’m trying to say is… Inko, my dear… your love knows no bounds, reaching heroes, villains and victims alike, and has become a staple of U. A’s inner workings and hierarchy… we both know those children would have burned campus down if it weren’t for you…. So, would you, Inko Midoryia, love and light of my life, let me have the honor of becoming the father of your sons and subsequentially make me the happiest man on the planet? Would you… Would you marry me?”

               For a moment, everything was silent, save for the sound of the ocean’s tide, and in that moment, Toshinori felt his heart sink, feeling as though he’d messed up and everything was about to go horribly wrong. Then, time seemed to speed up as Inko threw herself at Toshinori, sobbing and nodding profusely, which in turn caused Toshinori to release the breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding and melt into Inko’s embrace as he pulled out the small box with a simple ring, adorned by a diamond, sandwiched by two emeralds, and slipped it onto Inko’s shaking hand, silently relieved that it fit perfectly. It was a good two minutes or so before Inko could speak.

               “Of course, I will Toshi!”

               Toshinori couldn’t help but smile into the hug Inko once again instigated as he spoke softly. 

              “I… I was so scared you would say no…”

               Inko was still shaking as she pulled away to look Toshinori in the eyes.

               “You don’t have to be afraid Honey… because I am here.”

               That cheeky comment earned a hearty laugh from Toshinori, who shook his head as they stood, dusting themselves for any sand before completing the walk to their car, arm in arm as they laughed about small nothings, with the moon and stars shining above them brightly.

Chapter Text

               The residents of U.A were more than thrilled when Inko broke the news the next day, who was telling Midnight, who told Mic who screamed so loudly, he told the entire school… Inko wasn’t the happiest camper when every student who saw her congratulated her and subsequentially told her they heard about it from Mic, but she brushed it off by the end of the day, reasoning that the students were bound to find out sooner or later, though that didn’t stop Mic from hiding in closets and behind groups of students to avoid the potential wrath of The Mother of All Heroes.

               At the end of the day, Inko decided to drop off some food to the dorms, still greatly concerned for the future of these children who seemed to run on nothing but junk food, unhealthy sodas and pure, idiotic determination when she didn’t intervene. Inko started her food run at the General Education dorms, as she was their teacher most importantly, and worked her way through the Business and Support dorms (making sure the odd Pink haired girl from the sorts festival ate something and somehow fell asleep, which earned praise from Power Loader, who had been trying to get the girl to sleep for a concerning amount of time), and finally making her way to the Hero Dorms. Inko decided she really wasn’t in the mood to hear Monoma complain about favoritism, so she visited the 2-B class first and was met with praise for her cooking and congratulations for the engagement, Kendo speaking up as they helped store the food.

               “Ms. Inko, do you know where you’re going to get your dress?”

               Inko couldn’t help but beam at the girl’s question, having known since she had divorced Hisashi, who had insisted she wear an expensive and name-brand dress.

               “My friend Mitsuki’s husband is in the Fashion Industry, so I was going to ask him to do it… of course, I still have the dress from my first wedding but… well, I’d rather not bring those memories up, if I can help it.”

               The 2-B students who were listening nodded in understanding, the girls smiling wistfully as Poni asked for clarification to those who were more proficient in her native language so she could properly understand everything. Inko couldn’t help but let her smile grow wider as she continually bombarded with questions, answering them happily. Despite their… rocky start, the class of 2-B were all genuinely good kids. Speaking of “rocky start”, as soon as Inko managed to detach herself from 2-B’s dorm, she heard the familiar voice of Monoma call out to her. Full of surprise and confusion, Inko turned to face the young man, who looked almost guilty.

               “Ms. Inko… I know you have no reason to accept anything I say, but I wanted to apologize for everything I said last year… about your son and how he was bound to follow the footsteps of… that man… I was out of line, and I’m so ashamed that it took what happened at the Training Camp for me to see that… and I know I should have said this sooner, I found that I couldn’t find the words… I guess what I’m trying to say is… I’m sorry for being an ass, and for taking so long to say it.”

               As Inko listened, she could see the pained look of shame and genuine guilt in the boy’s eyes and, while she hated to see such a look on his face, she couldn’t help the feeling of swelling pride at the boy’s growth.

               “Monoma, I forgave you a long time ago. If you feel like you really want to atone for what you did, you should talk to Izuku; he doesn’t bite, I promise… and maybe you should stop trying to antagonize your sister class and start building relationships with them. They’re all great kids like your class, and you may very well have to fight with each other on the battle field one day; It does us civilians nothing but harm if you try to constantly try to one-up those you should be working with. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

               Slowly, Monoma nodded and looked Inko in the eye, his own holding fiery determination.

               “I understand Ms. Inko and just you wait; Us of the B class are the best at everything, even befriending others! We’ll be close comrades with the A class in no time!”

               Inko couldn’t help but give the boy one of her brightest, proudest smiles as he ran back inside, most likely to inform his classmates of their new battle plan. Inko shifted the containers of food with a satisfied smile and walked to the final dormitory, where the students were waiting eagerly for her arrival, both for food and wedding details, which she once again, answered happily.

*****                   

               Several months passed since Monoma’s apology and, true to his word, the Hero Course Students had become surprisingly close, which was more than welcomed by the entire school. But that wasn’t the focus of the day… that honor was given to Inko and Toshinori, who were both pacing nervously with their respective groups over the soon-to-start ceremony. True to her word, Masaru had made the perfect dress for Inko, free of charge (“It’s a gift Inko, I insist!”), and he’d even thrown in matching suits for the boys, who all looked impeccable. Inko’s dress was simple and gave the impression of an upside-down, white anemone flower, with beads sewn into the cuffs of the sleeves, which might be odd if it were not for their arrangement and meaning.

               The elder Bakugou man had sewn the beads to read “I love you” in braille, so her son could have a special place in Inko’s wedding; a place that was tangible and something he could feel and know.

               The Ceremony itself was a small affair, Inko having already done the grandiose party and wanting something far more Intimate for the big day… of course, it was agreed to have a far greater and grander version of the wedding to please the media, who were not notified of the true date or location of the actual wedding, for fear of a villain crashing the party, which was always a possibility. They had, of course, invited all of U. A’s Hero course, who were beyond stoked to attend the wedding of their favorite teachers (don’t tell Mic).

               But the day was not complete just yet, as Izuku heard a familiar voice in the back of his head, gentle and kind as ever.

               “You didn’t think we abandoned you, did you kid? Today… Today, this is my gift to you.” 

              And with that, the presence of Nana washed over Izuku, who found himself blinking in surprise as the world around him jumped to life as it had done in the Forest all those months ago, when he had saved Kota and, there before him, he could see his mother in her dress, looking as radiant as the sun and beside her, he saw Toshinori, the man he had always seen as a father figure and the man who believed in him and told him that he could be a hero, despite his past. Through the whole ceremony and after party, not a single person said a word about Izuku’s glowing eyes as he happily laughed and danced and celebrated his parents, knowing the gift of sight wouldn’t last, but still using it to its fullest potential as he found himself beside his mother.

               “You look beautiful mom.”

               Inko blushed profusely as she smiled happily, Toshinori having explained the glowing eyes was the influence of a previous holder of One for All taking over a certain aspect of Izuku, which in this case, was allowing her baby boy to see his mother’s wedding.

               “Oh sweetie… I know you’ll look just as handsome at your wedding with Shouto… and, since I have you here… I’d like to ask whoever is letting you see right now to give you this gift again in, oh I don’t know… say… seven months?”

               Izuku was confused, furrowing his brows as he looked at his mother, who only laughed and leaned in to kiss her son’s cheek

               “Izuku sweetie… I want you to be able to see your sibling when they get here.”

               Oh.

              OH.

Chapter Text

               Seven months after his parent’s wedding, Izuku found himself running through the halls of U.A towards the gate, Hitoshi and Kacchan hot on his tail. Izuku knew everyone in his class wanted to go with them, but Aizawa was only so forgiving for such a situation, especially since the three of them didn’t even have time to change out of their hero costumes before they got the news. The trio ran all the way to the hospital Inko had been admitted to, not caring for any of the looks or cries to slow down that were given to them from bystanders, only slowing down once they reached the building and ran to the closest reception desk, completely out of breath as they spoke.

               “Hello? We’re looking for my mom, Inko Midoryia-Yagi.”

               The receptionist, some dude with a mutation quirk Izuku didn’t care to ask or observe at the moment, typed on his keyboard quickly and Izuku wasn’t sure if he could survive the mere moments long wait it took for the man to find what he was looking for.

               “Ah, here she is! She’s in the pediatric ward on the 4th floor, room 2221.”

               Kacchan was already dragging the two boys towards the elevators as the man finished speaking, barley leaving Izuku time to respond.

               “Thank you!”              

               Izuku spent the entire journey towards his mother either pacing or mumbling, which Katsuki couldn’t exactly fault the boy on, as he was also rubbing his hands together nervously as they walked towards the room they were directed to. Once they reached the room, the door was closed and there was none other than Sir Nighteye standing guard, who looked the three boys over before nodding silently as the screams of pain became extremely audible, leading to the group accepting their positions and standing guard for the next couple of hours, the exact amount of time lost to them as they all waited patiently and in an uncomfortable silence, wanting nothing more than to go and help alleviate the pain they never could.

               Eventually, the door opened and Toshinori stepped out beaming, tears in his eyes as he spoke.

               “Boys… we want you to come meet someone.”

               The group scrambled into the room as the doctors began clearing out, leaving just the small family to look at the two small pink bundles. Toshinori walked over and pressed his lips to Inko’s forehead before allowing himself to gently pick one of them up and brought them closer to the small group as they noticed the faint glow of light behind Izuku’s visor. The baby in Toshinori’s hands looked angelically peaceful in her blanket, with chubby cheeks, sparkling blue eyes and a tuft of dark green hair. The group crowded around the little one cautiously as Toshinori spoke.

               “My boys… meet Emiko Midoryia-Yagi.”

               Izuku was frozen in place as he looked on in awe, while he could feel Nana’s presence radiate her pride as they looked at the little baby while Hitoshi was at a loss for words. Katsuki moved first, walking over to be closer as he let her reach out and grab on of his fingers.

               “Hey there Emichan… guess we’ll see a lot of each other, huh punk?”

               Emiko gurgled happily as she giggled, her hold on Katsuki’s finger tightening as she did so, which caused the young man to smile softly before Inko’s soft voice called them over to her side, which the group responded to in an instant. In her arms was another baby, who looked around with Intelligent emerald eyes and a tuft of blonde hair.

               “This is Nana Midoryia-Yagi… these are your sisters.”

               All Izuku could do was cry as Inko motioned him closer still and gently transferred the small baby into his arms, making sure he was supporting her correctly. As Izuku looked on, Little Nana stared at him with wide-eyes fascination, while he could have sworn the Nana in his head was sobbing her eyes out… if that was even possible. As softly and non-threateningly as he could, Izuku somehow found the strength to smile at his little sister as he silently made a promise to himself.

               …No one’s ever gonna hurt you or your sister… not while I’m here…

               It took a couple of minutes for Izuku’s heart rate to return to normal as he handed his sister back to their mother, wiping away the tears from his eyes as the world began to fade away once more and his normal senses returned to him and the door to their room was ripped open in a surprisingly silent way and Mitsuki Bakugou burst into the room, her husband hot on her heels as he sheepishly closed the door behind them before their eyes fixated on their son who had yet to escape Emiko’s hold.

               “Oh Inko… look at ‘em… come here to Auntie ‘Suki.”

               And just like that, Mitsuki marched over to the two men and swept the baby from their hold, causing the little one to squeal with laughter. As this went on, Izuku noticed how quiet his mother was being before remembering how much pain she’d just been in and how her throat must be killing her.

               “I…I’m gonna go find something for you to drink Mom. Kacchan, wanna walk with me?”

               Katsuki didn’t need to read minds to know what his friend was trying to say and do as he nodded and grabbed the boy to drag out of the room.

               “No shit Deku; if I don’t, you’ll get yourself lost, ya dumbass.”

               “Kacchan, you can’t say that here! This floor of the hospital is full of kids!”

               “Whatever.”

               The two wandered the halls in relative silence in search of a vending machine that had a decent sized bottle of water, eventually finding one after a good ten minutes or so. Katsuki punched in the numbers after Izuku put in the money, deciding to buy two, just in case. When the pair finished their purchases, with some additional food just in case, they heard a small voice ring through the halls when they turned to leave.

               “I-Is that Deku a-and N-Nitro?”

               The two boys turned towards the voice in surprise. The speaker was a small boy, no older than five, who was poking his head out from a room a good six feet from them. As soon as the boy finished speaking, the boys heard a beat of silence before a mad scramble of sound of excited and curious children who burst into the hall to see, true to the first boy’s words, the Provisional Heroes Deku and Nitro, standing beside the vending machine.

               As the children’s voices raised in excitement, Izuku took them in quietly; He could sense hearing aids, walking sticks, prosthetics, IVs and more surrounding the variety of kids, who were now being herded back into the room they’d emerged from by hospital workers, who were apologizing profusely for disturbing the two… it only took one look to Kacchan for Izuku to smile triumphantly as his friend took the food and water with a low grumble before allowing them to part ways as Katsuki returned to the room and Izuku found himself knocking on the door frame, catching the attention of most of the kids and adults.

               “Forgive the intrusion… my friend and I had something to do, but I’m sure they’ll understand if I stay here a minute or two.”

               The adults started thanking him profusely, even though he tried to tell them to stop and that it really was nothing as the small children dragged him deeper into the room and started chatting or signing happily, which Izuku responded to patiently, silently thanking Kacchan for forcing him to relearn the second language as he did so.

               “um… Mr. Deku?”

               Izuku turned to face where the small voice came from, trying to have a kind smile on. The speaker was smaller than all the other kids and Izuku could sense the metal in her little robotic arm, motioning for her to continue softly.

               “I… I had a question…”

               The little girl shifted back and forth nervously, waiting for him to respond.

               “Well, I don’t know if I’ll have the answer you’re looking for, but I’m happy to see if I do!”

               The kids around him giggled as the girl looked down at her shoes.

               “D-Do you think someone like me… with out an arm and without a quirk… could I be a hero too?”

               The room fell dead silent, save for a mean-spirited snicker or two, which caused the girl to try and cave in on herself in embarrassment… but Izuku didn’t hear them… he heard the girl’s words ring around his head like an echoing bell.

               ‘could I be a hero too’ 

              It was almost hilarious how ironic those words were… he remembered saying damn near the same thing four years ago to his dad… and, just like his dad, he couldn’t let himself be the reason this girl’s spirit broke before she ever had the chance to find herself.

               “You know, I asked a question very similar to that a few years ago… I asked if I could be a hero, despite being blind and the son of… of someone who wasn’t very nice. You know what I heard that day?”

               The little girl shook her head in confusion, her eyes wide as she hung onto every word Izuku was saying.

               “He told me that, quirks are only half the battle; what matters is what’s in your head and in your heart. I won’t lie, without a quirk, becoming a hero will be near impossible… but that’s only because no one’s ever tried to make it possible… who knows, maybe you’ll be the first quirkless hero. Time can only tell.”

               At first, the girl said nothing… and then Izuku found himself thrown to the ground by the force of her little hug as she ran into him.

               “I’ll do my best Mr. Deku! I'ma train and…and be a hero like you!”

               Izuku was saved from responding in what probably would have been gibberish by the familiar voice of Hitoshi.

               “Katsuki said you’d be here; Dad wants to take us all out after we get back to campus and change.”

               Carefully as he could, Izuku excused himself from the children’s clutches as he followed Hitoshi with a near blinding smile.

Chapter Text

               The Midoryia-Yagi family moved on with relatively contained chaos as the two girls grew over the next four years, Emiko turning into a bit of a wildfire as she ran through the halls of their home and tackled anyone and anything in sight, much to Katsuki’s amusement as he’d comply with her shenanigans, as he was currently doing as she ran at him as fast as her little legs would carry her.

               “I’ll save you Nana!! Die, Villain!”

               At the moment of impact, Katsuki allowed himself to topple dramatically, which earned a delighted giggle from the little girl as Nana walked up to them cautiously. 

              “Emi!! You can’t keep attacking Kacchan… he could get hurt…”

               The little girl’s worry could make even the toughest villain’s hearts bleed, which earned a small smile from Katsuki as he sat upright and ruffled her hair.

               “Don’t worry punk, Emichan could never hurt me; I’m too strong!”

               That relieved Nana’s worry while also earning a cry of indignation from Emiko, who got her revenge by pouncing the ashen blonde once more.

               “Just you wait, you dummy! Once I get my quirk, I’m gonna be a better hero than you and Zuchan!”

               Katsuki laughed as he maneuvered the child into his lap as he rested his chin on her head, a playful gleam in his eyes.

               “I don’t doubt it Punk.”

               Before the little girls could say anything else, Inko popped her head around the corner.

               “Okay you three, it’s time to get ready! Katsuki, make sure you have all of your costume together; I don’t want another heart attack because you left a grenade behind… and can you make sure Emiko and Nana have everything in their bags while I finish their lunches?”

               Katsuki smiled as he stood up, making sure the little girl in his lap was safely up as well, before swiping their little school bags and started to dig though them to make sure everything was where it was supposed to be.

               “Sure, thing Auntie!”

               The little girls laughed as he gave them back to them, gathered his things carefully, and picked both of them up to hold like footballs as he ran down the hall to where their mother was waiting, who simply shook her head with a smile as she looked at the three of them. Nana looked around for a moment before frowning slightly.

               “Where’s Zuchan?”

               Inko sighed softly as she secured the lunches in the little bags.

               “Your brother was called out early for hero work. He’ll pick you and your sister up from school today though!”

               The little girl’s eyes lit up with excitement.

               “Oh, Okay!”

               And with that, Inko ushered the three out the door, one towards his job as a Hero, and the other two towards their school. As Inko dropped them off, she ruffled their hair gently.

               “Have fun on your picnic today; be good you two!”

               The air of them nodded and ran up to the gates as soon as they were in sight before calling back to their mother.

               “Bye Momma! We’ll be good!”

               “No, we won’t!”

               “Nana!”

               “Emi!”

               Inko laughed at her daughters, as did most of the other adults who were nearby and heard the sibling bickering. One such adult approached Inko, smiling warmly.

               “They’re so cute! Which one’s the eldest?”

               Inko returned the smile with pride in her eyes as she spoke.

               “Well my eldest is working right now, but they’re actually twins… Oh, but my manners! Forgive me; my name’s Inko Midoryia-Yagi, nice to meet you!”

               The other person looked slightly confused before a look of realization hit her, but Inko had already excused herself and was well on her way back to U.A to teacher her classes, while the twins were running inside to their class, which earned them a look from their teacher.

               “Emiko, Nana; no running in the halls!”

               Emiko giggled as Nana hung her head slightly, only running because she wanted to keep up with Emi.

               “Sorry Sensei.”

               The teacher smiled gently and herded the two towards their seats.

               “It’s okay Nana; we just don’t want you two to get hurt.”

               Nana perked up almost instantly as she nodded and followed her sister’s lead and sat patiently in her little seat, only to turn and face the person behind her; a boy who had some kind of mutant quirk where he looked kind of like a Rhino. The boy smiled when he saw her as he spoke quietly.

               “Hi Nana! You and Emichan have your quirks yet?”

               Nana shook her head.

               “Not yet! But it’s okay, cause Zuchan’s didn’t show up until later, so I know it’ll come! Are you excited for the picnic?”

               The boy started bouncing in his seat as he nodded enthusiastically and Nana smiled back proudly. She knew Emi’s quirk would be just as awesome as she was and would make her such a cool hero, just like Kacchan! A few minutes later, their teacher rounded everyone up and ensured they were all holding onto their buddies as they set out to the park that was roughly two blocks away from the school. The small class gathered around their teacher and her assistant as they sat down to play a game, followed by another and another. After an hour or so, the class collapsed onto the ground as their teacher handed out drinks and snacks to tide them over until lunch. Nana was going to do as she was told, she really was! But something caught her attention was a seemingly giant statue partially hidden by trees.

               “Sensei, what’s that?”

               Nana pointed towards the statue as her teacher followed her line of sight before smiling softly and spoke with a hint of sadness in her voice.

               “It’s a memorial for a Hero that… went away after saving a lot of people. Her name was Nana too.”

               Nana didn’t quite understand, turning her head in confusion.

               “Well, why don’t the visit her instead of the statue?” 

              “She… she went somewhere people can’t visit her, so people made that statue to visit in her place.”

               Luckily for the teacher, Nana was still four and had a relatively short attention span as she seemed to accept the statement.

               “Oh… Okay!”

               The next half hour went without incident, until the ground started to rumble and crack, causing their teacher to spring upwards and start pulling the students away from the cracks.

               “Kids, get behind me!”

               Nana was trying to stand up when a giant crack appeared in front of her, causing her to fall backwards as a golem-like figure emerged, laughing as Nana heard Emiko scream from across the park.

               Nana, run!” 

               But she couldn’t… Nana was too overtaken by fear to move as the villain (what else could this be?) turned and glared down at her.

               “If anyone tried anything, the kid gets it!”

               No, no, no, no! This isn’t supposed to happen… where’s Zuchan? Where’s the heroes???

               Nana could feel something bubbling upwards and, as the villain moved to grab her, she started crying in fear as she felt something go out from her. It didn’t register to her that the villain hadn’t touched her yet, or that there were yells of confused panic, but to any outsider looking on, they saw the massive villain be sent into the air, as well as any building within a three-block radius of the crying child. A moment later, the heroes arrived to see floating buildings, people, a villain and a crying little girl.

               The first hero on scene was Nitro, who’d only been told there was reports of a large villain in a park and he assessed the situation carefully before jumping towards the confused villain and delivering a single blow to render them unconscious. As soon as he was certain he was out, he slid off of them and walked up to Nana slowly.

               “Hey, look at me kiddo.”

               Tearfully, Nana obeyed the familiar voice as he knelt down to her level.

               “It’s okay kiddo, I got it taken care of… I need you to focus on what I’m saying, okay?”

               Nana nodded silently, taking a deep breath which earned a small smile from the explosive hero.

               “I need you to focus on getting everything down, can you do that?”

               Nana sniffled sadly.

               “I-I don’t know how… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean too!”

               Katsuki pulled the little girl close to him and rubbed soothing circles in her little back.

               “I know kiddo, I know… just… imagine everything as snowflakes! And bring it down like snowfall… can you try that?”

               Nana took another deep breath and tried to do as he suggested, the strange strain she’d felt since everything went upwards lessening until it was gone and, looking around, could see everything was where it was supposed to be. Still crying, she could see Emiko run past the line of heroes and their teacher to ram into the two, crying as well.

               “Stupid Nana! You scared me!”

               “S-Sorry Emi…”

               Katsuki sighed as he picked the two up and walked them away from the villain, who was being restrained by the other heroes. Their teacher looked like she was going to faint as she took the two from him, shaking like a leaf.

               “T-Thank you s-so much Nitro!”

               In front of the crowd, Katsuki gave a rare smile that was usually reserved for the twins and his husband.

               “It’s really nothing. Stay out of trouble you punks!”

               Emiko let out a little laugh as she ran over to cling to his leg before pulling away, smiling brightly.

               “Fight Me Kacchan!”

               The onlookers were stunned by the young hero’s chuckle.

               “Later Punk.”

               “Oka- achoo!”

               As Emiko went to respond, she was interrupted by a sneeze and, to the surprise of everyone, was sent skywards from the massive rush of air that followed. Before Katsuki could respond, a familiar red feather caught Emiko, who was looking around in confusion and sudden realization before laughing gleefully.

               “Kacchan, Kacchan!”

               Katsuki shook his head in light amusement as Hawks hovered overhead, lowering the little girl to safety before speeding off.

               “Looks like both of you are going to need to go get your Quirks registered.”

               Emiko and Nana were beaming as Katsuki excused himself… happy as he was to see them okay, he still had a patrol to finish up and paper work to start filling out, smirking to himself as he walked, a single thought running through his mind.

               Aizawa’s going to lose his shit when the Menaces of U.A come back with their quirks…

Chapter Text

               Izuku was having a rough day, all things considered; Nighteye’s agency called him in early, making him miss his sisters’ first day of school ; The “emergency” hadn’t been as urgent as they’d thought, meaning any other hero could have handled the situation, which wasn’t the worst part of Izuku’s day (if he were being completely honest); He found out his sisters’ class was attacked at their picnic and he’d missed their quirk manifestations and, the final straw to make his day a nightmare was the not-so-subtle flirting of the reporter across from him who somehow twisted Sir’s arm enough for him to agree to this when Izuku had so much more to do besides sit down and talk about himself when he should have been picking his sister’s up… and he really wasn’t looking forward to the sadness in their voices when he had to explain what happened.

               The lady speaking to him poked and prodded for anything she could, which Izuku either answered honestly or brushed it off, like his Dad had taught all of his classmates to do. For what felt like the millionth question, Izuku had to focus on not falling asleep as the reporter spoke.

               “So, Deku; if there’s one thing myself and the nation is wondering, it’s what you look for in a girlfriend? You’re always so secretive about yourself, it has us dying to know the real you!”

               Izuku really wanted to get out of there, but he knew how it’d look if he did, so he had to endure… he was also getting fed up with the constant stream of “girlfriend” this and “what do you think of this heroine on a romantic level?” … all he wanted to do was go home, apologize to his sisters and hold onto his Husband like the next day would never come.

               “Well for starters, I don’t really look for anything in a girlfriend, as my husband and I are perfectly happy together, even if we’ve only been married for about a year now. Of course, you have to understand that I never mean to make everyone think they don’t know me, it’s just a part of the job to keep personal lives and family members out of the spotlight shined onto us Heroes in order to protect them from any vengeful villains.”

               The reporter said nothing for a moment, letting the air fill with uncomfortable silence before regaining her composure, albeit her tone was far more reserved than before.

               “O-Oh! That is a good reason for keeping so much to yourself… I apologize Deku… but on the subject of family, care to update everyone on your sisters? Last we saw them, they were a few days old!”

               Something about this reporter trying to pry information about his family irked Izuku to no end and, while it was highly unprofessional for him to get angry, he couldn’t help but feel the emotion rise up. Didn’t he just say he wanted to keep his family out of the spotlight for their safety?! Izuku was getting fed up.

               “I’m afraid I can’t say much, as they are minors and, as their brother, I am unable to give consent on behalf of our parents to disclose personal information. From one person to another, I trust you and the viewers understand how jeopardizing it is to their well being to throw them into a spotlight they aren’t ready for yet… Right?” 

              Izuku felt a twinge of guilt for the harsh words, but he was luckily saved by the frantic waving producer off to the side, signaling the end of the program. As soon as he was free from the cameras and light, Izuku said a quick goodbye and bolted from the studio, not caring that he was recognizable as he sped through the crowds towards his Alma Mater, where his family was waiting for him.

               Izuku flashed a smile as he passed groups of meandering students whose heads turned at the sight of the rising hero who was more or less running through the halls to where he could sense his family. He didn’t mean to open the door as loudly as he did, but Izuku felt an immediate rush of guilt as everyone in the room jumped.

               “S-Sorry…”

               There was a beat of silence before Nana and Emiko squealed in delight, throwing themselves at their brother, who tumbled to the ground at their combined force, casing the two to giggle uncontrollably.

               “Zuchan!! Zuchan!! We got our quirks today!!”

               Izuku managed to get into a sitting position as he laughed at the excitement in Nana’s voice.

               “I heard… I’m so sorry I wasn’t there today… I promise I’ll make it up to the both of you.”

               The twins responded by hugging Izuku tighter, making Inko whip out her phone to snap as many pictures as she could, beaming proudly as Toshinori just laughed.

               “Girls, let your brother up already; Tenko should be here soon.”

               The girls muttered an apology before returning to the activity that had held their attention before Izuku’s entrance. Izuku himself managed to push himself up and walk over to where he could sense his husband, who was waiting with an outstretched arm, which Izuku rushed to embrace, melting into Shouto with a content sigh of relief, which didn’t go unnoticed by those surrounding them.

               “It’s not easy being a Pro with family, is it Delinquent?”

               Despite the deadpan delivery, everyone recognized the hidden fondness in the underground Hero’s voice. At that moment, Nana decided to run over and show off what she’d been working on, practically shoving it in Aizawa’s face… or rather, shoving it as close to his face as her short arms would let her.

               “Uncle Shouta, Uncle Shouta! Look, look, look!! I drew this!”

               Aizawa took the piece of paper to examine, scanning it for a couple of moments before handing it back to the child, letting her see one of his rare, kind smiles.

               “Not bad, Menace.”

               Nana giggled happily before running back to her sister, a slight spring in her step. The entire event that took place before him made Izuku’s heart melt as Shouto nestled himself just a little closer. A few minutes later, the door opened once more to reveal Tenko, who crouched down to meet Nana’s crushing hug attack, causing the young man to laugh lightly as she started talking a mile a minute before holding out the paper, she’d shown Aizawa to him, a huge grin on her face as she took a deep breath to speak once more.

               “I, uh… I made this!! For you!”

               Tenko delicately took the paper and looked at it before sweeping Nana upwards into a swinging hug, causing the girl to laugh happily as her sister begged for a hug too. As this was happening, Shouto grabbed Izuku by the arm and lead him into a secluded hallway, making sure there was no one within earshot before speaking softly.

               “I saw that interview… you okay Izu?”

               Izuku couldn’t help but smile as he leaned into hug his husband, wrapping his arms around him… what had he done to deserve someone like Shouto?

               “I’m fine now… it was just a long day and… and I just get so angry when people ask about the twins like they’re entitled to their lives! I-I’m sorry for spilling about us… I just… I’m so tired of all the romance drama when I have all I need here… with you.

               A moment later, Izuku felt Shouto wrap his arms around him, completing their embrace as he rubbed circles on his back, sighing deeply.

               “It’s okay… we were bound to tell them eventually, I’m just glad you’re okay… We’re okay.”

               Izuku laughed softly.

               “We really are, aren’t we? There’s nothing more I could ask for; a steady job, a wonderful husband, and a delightfully chaotic family with two menacing little sisters… what more could I ask for?”

               Shouto stiffened slightly before pulling away slightly and Izuku knew he was trying to look him in the eye before speaking.

               “…Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something…”

               Izuku was confused, but nodded in understanding as he motioned for Shouto to continue.

               “Natsuo… was working on a case, and there’s someone who could really use some hope right now…”

               Izuku let go of Shouto completely, going into what everyone called “business mode”.

               “How bad is it, Shouto?”

               Izuku could feel the rage radiating from his husband as he struggled to speak.

               “She… The kid was born without an arm, and she’s had prosthetics all her life; she’s quirkless… and her parents are absolute trash… When the authorities finally took her away and got her cleaned up… she just smiled, saying she was as strong as You.”

               As Izuku listened, something was forming in the pit of his stomach… something about that description sounded so familiar to him, but he let Shouto continue.

               “Natsuo said they’re looking for foster families, but no one wants to take a quirkless kid… so I was wondering… I mean, if you were okay with it… I was thinking…”

               As Shouto trailed off, Izuku picked up what he’d been saying, a small smile on his face.

               “You want us to foster her, right?”

               Shouto could only nod, trying to think of something to come up with to say, but Izuku found himself moving to hug his husband once more.

               “I’d love to do that, Shouto… What better way to help than give this girl a chance at a better future? Who knows… maybe we’ll make her a permanent addition to the family!”

               As soon as the words left his mouth, Izuku felt Shouto relax, all tension draining in an instant. Izuku could feel him smile against his shoulder as he barely made out the muffled words.

               “Thank god… I was worried you’d say no and she’d be left alone…”

               “Of course, I wouldn’t do that, Shouto! Everything’s going to be just fine… I promise.”

               The two stayed that way for another ten minutes before someone came to find and check on them, deciding it was best to not question what happened as the two walked back to the small celebration.

****

               “Gina, there’s some people who want to meet you!”

               Nine-year-old Gina Itō knew what those words meant all too well; it meant another family was going to come in and talk to her and the second they found out she was quirkless, they’d leave her all alone again. It happened far too many times to count now and honestly, she didn’t really care anymore. Sure, it hurt to know she wasn’t wanted… but at this point, she knew all too well that All men are not created equal, and that’s just how the world worked. Still, that wasn’t enough to deter her from her dream! Deku himself had said she could make the impossible, possible! She just had to keep trying!

               Deku’s encouragement was what lead her to sneaking out to learn martial arts, working with the weight of her newly-upgraded prosthetic and not against it. Deku had been the reason she had the courage to call the police all those months ago and smile as she was carted away in an ambulance to a hospital. Deku had been the one to tell her someone without a quirk could be a hero, and she was going to do it! Gina didn’t need the validation of people who didn’t understand what her world was like… she’d show all of them, one way or another.

               Still, if Gina had to go meet another family to be rejected in order for her to add another notch on her “I’ll show you” list, so be it. It was a sad reality for her to live in, but it was just how the world worked. After all, people like her were never lucky enough to have a decent chance at anything, right?

               …

               …

               If that was the case, why did Gina walk into the meeting room to see none other than Deku and Kōshin sitting in the place where the family that was going to reject her was supposed to sit? It didn’t make sense!

               When the two saw her enter, Deku smiled softly as Kōshin straightened up for a moment before relaxing once more before speaking quietly.

               “Hello Gina, it’s nice to meet you.”

               Gina’s brain decided it was the perfect time to disconnect from her mouth, leaving her sputtering nonsense before ultimately allowing herself to sputter out into a momentary silence before managing to speak just barely about a whisper.

               “Why me?”

               Deku leaned forwards calmly, his very presence giving off a sense of security and safety as he spoke.

               “Why not? “

               Gina was getting frustrated… this was all wrong! Things like this didn’t just happen to people like her! It just didn’t! People like her… people who where wrong weren’t supposed to meet Pro-heroes as potential foster families!

               “I-I’m not the kind of kid you should be looking to foster! T-There are plenty of kids with way better quirks to look into and t-to give hope to! They’re amazing and have amazing futures and I’m not supposed to!”

               Gina couldn’t stop the tears that started to fall… it wasn’t supposed to be like this! She just wasn’t the kind of person this happened to! In a flash, the two heroes rushed to her side to comfort her, something that just confused her even more as they tried to sooth her distress.

               “W-Why are you being nice t-to me?”

               Kōshin started humming a strangely familiar tune as Deku spoke softly.

               “Gina, everyone deserves kindness. We know there are plenty of kids who could use foster families, but there’s a thousand different families out there who would happily take them… We both talked this out extensiveley and we know what we’re signing up for. We picked you for you… I won’t lie, everything in life is going to push you down, just like it always has… but no matter how tough it got or will get, you pushed back. Do you remember what I told you back in the hospital all those years ago?”

               Gina couldn’t help but let out a watery laugh as she nodded.

               “Time will only tell… Maybe I’d be the first quirkless hero…”

               Deku smiled proudly as he nodded, wiping away Gina’s tears as she looked to him.

               “Exactly. What you did all those months ago? That was very brave, and very heroic. Shouto and I want you to be part of our family, if you’ll let us… we want to help foster your dream and, in time, turn it into a reality. Will you let us do that?”

               There was a part of Gina that felt this was all too good to be true, but another part of her wanted to believe this was realthat part won out as she rushed forwards to hug Deku tightly, which he responded with a hug of his own not even a moment later.

               “P-Please don’t leave me behind Deku… I want to be a hero like you…”

               Kōshin chuckled as he joined the embrace, his eyes full of a soft joy as he spoke.

               “Gina, you’ll find no one leaves anyone behind in this family… whatever happens and where ever we end up, we do it together.”

               That was all Gina had ever really wanted to hear… and for the first time in her life, it felt like she truly belonged as the social worker came in to see their little group, smiling with pride when Gina refused to let go of Kōshin’s hand for a good half hour of the adults doing paperwork, only agreeing to do so with the promise of their quick return.

               When Gina went to bed that night, she had no idea her future would hold so much love, appreciation and general Chaos that followed her little aunts; the Menaces of U.A… Nor would she know she would grow to become a symbol like her father and grandfather; One as the Symbol of Peace, the other as the Symbol of Hope… and Gina Midoryia- the Symbol of Perseverance.

               But that is another story entirely… for now, as she slept, the story of the rise of Deku came to a final close as he smiled warmly to his husband as they settled in for the night to look forward to the dawn of a new chapter for their new, little family.