Izuku woke but didn’t dare open his eyes. He couldn’t remember falling asleep, but he hadn’t slept sitting straight up like he was currently since late night study sessions at UA. He most certainly never slept bound.
His hero training kicked in immediately. Eyes still closed, he moved his body limb by limb, muscle by muscle, no more than a centimeter at a time. He didn't hear anyone or feel a presence in the room, but he wanted to appear asleep for as long as possible.
He was bound, alright; metal rings digging into the bare skin of his wrists and ankles and chains so tight across his waist and neck that he couldn't take in a deep breath let alone twist in his seat. His arms, laid flat against cool steel, palms to the ceiling, felt strangely bare. Izuku twisted one and felt a prick of pain at the elbow. They probably had him connected to an IV.
Someone was holding him captive and pumping him full of unknown drugs. The thought made Izuku nauseous. He had to get out of here. The Pro figured the chair was bolted to the ground, but with One-For-All—
Izuku's eyes flew open.
He couldn't call on his quirk. He tried again, memories of Overhaul and the League scratching at his eyes, but still nothing. No familiar electricity or shocks through his veins. And just as he was about to freak out, he looked down and froze.
Were those...quirk nullifying cuffs?
Not the old ones that covered a villains whole hands or the kind found off the black market either. The cuffs around his wrists and ankles were indestructible, quirk-nullifying, and most importantly, distributed to Pro-Heroes. Only. Every hero received a set that only worked properly when used by the designated owner. How would a villain get—
“Mornin’, sleeping beauty!”
Quirk or not, Izuku looked up with his body tensed to fight. A woman, almost young enough to be a girl, sat on the lone metal table at the far side of the desolate concrete room. Izuku looked her over, taking in her baggy pink sweater, short black skirt, and her all too-forgettable features. Only, the sight made him remember something very important.
“You’re the one who drugged me.”
The woman, the one he’d run into on the street, grinned. She pushed herself off the table, landing lightly on her feet.
“Ooo, you do remember! Glad I went with the familiar face. Though,” she began to walk closer, a slight bounce to her step, “I hope you would’ve recognized me either way. We used to be so close.”
At the last word she draped her arms on either side of Izuku’s bound shoulders, her face eerily close to his. He stared into her green eyes and he couldn’t help but feel like she was familiar, despite knowing they’d never met before. One thing was for certain, she was dangerous. She leaned in even closer. Izuku wished he could back away.
“I’m so happy to meet again, Deku baby.”
Those words gripped at Izuku’s chest, too similar to something someone had said to him years and years ago.
The stranger’s smile grew and she pushed away with such force that she rocked on her feet. She brought her hands up in front of her chest to make a heart with her fingers.
“You recognize me! It really is true love! I shouldn’t have doubted you.”
"How are you here? Weren't you locked up in Tartarus?"
"For a bit," the Alpha shrugged. "You Pro-Heroes put me away, but I guess there were some people's rights groups who didn't like the idea of locking up a 'child.' I was only 17 at the time. But don't you worry Deku baby, I went through all their rehabilitation programs, rejoined society, and now look! I'm totally new!" She chuckled as she twirled in a circle at her obvious joke.
“What do you want with me, Toga? Why did you kidnap me?”
Himiko tilted her head to the side, smile wide enough to show off her pointed canines. Izuku didn’t blink and he still didn’t see how she’d suddenly moved behind him to press the back of a sharp blade against the side of his throat. He kept his face flat as she leaned her head in close on his opposite shoulder.
“What do I want? Honey, if it was up to me we would’ve been having fun long ago. But Boss was pretty adamant, ‘no marks,’” Toga mocked before she whined, “how can I resist tasting the blood of the one I love?”
“What does your Boss want then?”
“You’ll seeeee. You really put in a dent in the plans, you know.” The villain’s free hand pulled at his collar and even though he couldn’t see it, he froze when he realized they’d discovered the Mark. An abrupt gush of Alphan pheromones, noxious copper that cut through the his chest, filled the air and then disappeared. “Couldn’t wait for me, Deku Baby?”
Both pairs of green eyes shot upwards to see a small group of people walking toward them. Two large men, obviously Alpha with mutation-type quirks that made them look more beast than man, flanked a petite woman but Izuku could only focus on her.
Straight shoulder-length black hair, chocolate eyes, and a soft round face. The villain (she had to be, didn’t she?) smiled at Izuku and, in any other situation, Izuku’s first instinct would be to smile back. She seemed kind, friendly, reassuring.
“Hello, Pro-Hero Deku.”
Ice traveled through Izuku’s veins and he couldn’t hide his flinch. Despite her appearance, the sharpness of her eyes as she said those words displaced any doubts about her intentions. She was the boss; she had to be. She was the one he had to defeat to get out of here. His body still tensed, Izuku opened his mouth to respond.
Suddenly, he felt calm. His muscles relaxed and his mind stopped racing. He could feel his heartbeat slow. If he closed his eyes, he surely could sleep.
Wait, what had he been thinking? What was he going to say?
“I’m sorry for the delay,” the villain’s voice came out smooth and soothing. “Our intention was never to keep you for long. Unfortunately we hadn’t accounted for,” her eyes flicked to his shoulder, “all the variables like we’d thought. At least now we will have more data. Toga?”
The Alpha stepped forward, twirling on her heel to face Izuku with that same grin. “Blow me a kiss Deku, baby.”
Izuku felt the calmed confusion clear at the Order, but nothing else. No pull in his chest or twitch to his lips. He didn’t have to even think about fighting it with Kacchan’s Claim in place. Instead, he kept his eyes on the dark-haired woman, once again tensed. Was that sense of calm her quirk? The villain stared back in turn, her smile twitching at one edge ever so slightly.
“To be expected with a Claim. No response. Alright, Ito?”
One of the Alpha, the giant to the left with a wild mane of spikes, stepped forward. His hand came to his mouth and when he lowered it, he spoke. “Nod your head.”
Izuku gasped in surprise. He’d felt that; felt the pull of the Order at the muscles of his neck. Not strong enough that he couldn’t fight it, but he’d still felt it. But how? Orders weren’t supposed to—
“Hmm, still not enough.” The lead villain finally frowned.
She turned away and began to run a hand absentmindedly through her hair. The rest of the villains stood still, silent while Izuku was frantic inside his head. Why could he feel that Order? What was so different about it? He waited and waited for someone to say something, but everyone maintained their positions, waiting on their boss. Izuku couldn’t handle the silence any longer.
“How did you do that?” The boss paused, her fingers mid-way through her hair. Izuku continued. “What do you want with me? What’s your plan?”
She glared over her shoulder. “Quiet, I’m thinking.”
Izuku didn’t care. “It’s you, isn’t it? You’re the one who’s been behind the string of cases that leave people with no memories of the crime. You’ve been Ordering them, haven’t you?”
“Oh, you heroes have gotten that far have you?”
“How are you doing it? Is it his quirk?” Izuku looked at the man behind her, even though he doubted that was true. It was unlikely for him to have two such separate quirks as the ability to Order anyone and the obvious one that caused his ghastly appearance. He looked back at the boss instead. “Or maybe it’s yours?”
“I said to be quiet.”
“Make me. Or maybe, you can’t. Whatever you can do, it didn’t work on me. Whatever you had planned—”
“Bring him in.”
Behind him a door opened, but Izuku couldn’t turn his head far enough to see who’d entered so he kept his eyes focused on the villains in front of him.
“Whatever you plan on doing to me, it won’t matter. Eventually someone will come looking and then what will you—”
Izuku’s neck nearly snapped at the speed with which he turned to the voice. “Hitos—”
A cloud fell over Izuku’s eyes as he felt the uncomfortable but familiar lull of mind-control. He stared ahead with a blank look, aware of his friend’s form standing in front of him, but unable to finish his response.
“Mark or not, quirks still work, it seems.” She paused, moving her jaw as if thinking or grinding her teeth. When she spoke again, her words held weight. “Make him look back this way.”
Shinso reacted instantly. “Turn to her.”
Izuku’s body did as it was told. He could already feel the vestiges stirring within him but they were of no help to Izuku now. With the quirk-nullifying cuffs still in place, there was no way for them to activate One-For-All for him and break him free from Shinso’s hold.
The villain smiled at Izuku. “I asked you nicely to be quiet, but now I had to bring out my trump card. Are you surprised to see your friend? We didn’t appreciate you sending a hero to spy on us. Thankfully, Mr. Inquisitor has been malleable enough.”
Izuku didn’t understand. His theory had been right; Shinso was an Alpha and yet the Order she gave worked so easily on him. He seemed completely unable to fight them or unaware that he even could.
“Since our first plan no longer seems feasible, we’ll have to take another route. Such a shame, really. You aren’t the perfect Poster Child after all. Inquisitor?” The Alpha turned to look at her. “Claim him.”
The Omega’s heart seized. No, no! Shinso couldn't Claim him! Claims only stuck if the two involved could connect somehow, on some level, but certainly Izuku would connect with his friend. Shinso turned and finally, finally Izuku could see some kind of recognition in his friend’s eyes. He could see pain so evident in the grimace on his face, surely he was aware and fighting the Order. And yet he stepped closer and closer and Izuku couldn’t even call out to him. He had no choice but to sit there and wait to have Kacchan’s Claim overwritten. Then the villains would have him. For what? He still had no clue.
Shinso stood close now, he leaned forward, his hand reaching up to pull on his collar.
Izuku couldn’t even close his eyes but his anxiety was at its max.
If he could, Izuku would let out a breath of relief. Shinso had frozen just inches away from the Mark on his neck.
“Did you really think we’d let your fellow Pro-Hero Claim you? And allow you to connect via the bond? Hardly.”
What was she talking about? He watched Shinso pull away.
“The last thing we’d need is for you to sway him between Orders.”
Sway him? What was she talking about? Did she mean via the bond? Was what Izuku had read online actually true? Did a Claim really connect an Alpha and Omega? Did that mean Izuku could contact Ka—
“You do it, Toga.”
“Got it boss!”
Just as he tried to connect with Kacchan, as Izuku screamed for the Alpha in his head hoping it somehow could reach him through the Claim, a sharp set of canines covered the Mark on his neck. Unlike with Kacchan, there was no dizzying pheromones in the air or calm in his brain. Izuku felt the villain’s canines pierce his skin. Then he felt the true pain.
He could feel every droplet of blood in his veins, taste is as it filled his throat and coated his tongue with thick metallic sludge. Giddy laughter bubbled in his chest but he felt so desperate, so much longing for something he couldn’t recognize. There was no thrum of One-For-All, no foreign quirk let alone his own. The world felt fake, unreal, and certainly not for him.
“Why can’t you just be normal?”
Cold settled just beneath his skin and Izuku knew the Claim had stuck. Shinso’s quirk had been broken; he could tell because he could move of his own volition once again. He slumped forward, his chin on his chest because he had no energy left. He didn’t even look up as the lead villain moved in closer, the clack of her shoes echoes of despair against concrete walls. He felt a hand in his hair and was surrounded by the calming scent of ocean waves and lavender.
“Let’s get started.”
Izuku burst into the bathroom and headed straight toward the sink. He gripped the porcelain edges with his fingers as he wretched into the basin. There was nothing for him to vomit, just spit hanging from his lips. He looked up to meet his own gaze in the mirror and the sight made him sick.
There was no sign of fatigue, no bags under his eyes. No scratches, no marks, save the one hidden by his usual means on his neck. He looked so fine, so normal. Izuku nearly gagged again.
His friends couldn’t tell. Shouto and Ochako stared at him with concerned eyes and furrowed brows.
“Are you alright?”
“Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to tell us?”
He’d thought they’d known something had happened to him, but after talking to Kacchan, Izuku realized they’d been asking about the Claim. They had no clue what the villains had done; the sadness in their eyes was of his doing. And Kacchan, oh god, Kacchan.
Izuku had been shocked to hear that he’d felt something through their bond after all. He’d known something was wrong. So, so very wrong. He’d told people about their bond. Kacchan would never had done that if he didn’t understand how terrible the situation must have been after whatever it was that he felt. Kacchan knew, but he also didn’t know. And the fact that he didn’t really know is what made this all okay.
“Act like everything’s normal, Deku baby. Lie to whoever asks, something believable too. Because if they seem to know something’s up, kill ‘em immediately. Okay?”
Toga’s smile infected his mind like her Claim still left a septic feeling in his blood. His friends didn’t know anything was wrong, though. They’d believed it. And Kacchan had dropped it, he would drop it. No one was the wiser. They were safe.
At least they were safe.
Izuku pushed himself away from the sink and turned away from the mirror. He couldn’t bear to look at his pathetic self in the mirror for a second longer.
He had to start his patrol.
And who knew when the other event would start.
Izuku had been on patrol for hours now. He walked the familiar streets of Shibuya more on alert than if he were on an active mission. The Pro-Hero made eye contact with every person he passed, his body tense and ready to run. He didn’t know when they would come or in what form they would appear, but he knew that it was only a matter of time. He had to be on patrol, the Order had been clear. But if he could avoid them—
“Start us up.”
Izuku didn’t even know who’d said it; Toga passed by in the skin of someone else and fit seamlessly in the crowd. The Omega never stood a chance.
He turned on leaden legs and walked back the way whence he came.
It took him minutes, but it felt like hours of pain as he fought against his muscles. Please, stop. Don’t do it. He didn’t have to do it!
But he did.
He walked past the Hachiko exit and waited at the light of Shibuya crossing with the rest of the pedestrians. While there weren’t as many people now as there would be in a few hours when the work day ended, the streets were still full of people out for lunch, tourists from all around the world, children still too young for school with doting parents.
His heart pounded against his chest as the light changed. Everyone pushed forward, eager to cross before the time expired. He walked straight ahead, step by step, until he stopped halfway across. Izuku could only take in a breath as he took the next step, this time with green lightning cackling along his leg.
The ground cracked beneath him and screams split the air.
Izuku had no choice.