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The Role of the Fool

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Toga Himiko had come up with a brilliant plan!

Okay, it wasn't that complicated of a plan, but it was still brilliant. She would use her quirk to make herself look like Midoriya Izuku and approach his mother. Midoriya Inko would of course think that Toga was her son and have no problem inviting Toga into her home, and when the woman least expected it Toga would knock her out and call in reinforcements from the League to bring the woman back to their base and use her as leverage against one of their most annoying (and cutest) enemies. Simple, straightforward, and bound to work. That's what she'd tried to tell Shigaraki anyway, but he'd rejected the idea. He said some nonsense about how he wanted things to be between himself and the enemy and no one else and how bringing family into it would make things too complicated or something. But really, what did he know? She would show him what a great plan it was, even if she had to get the ball rolling all by herself.

It wasn't too hard to get a photo of Midoriya Inko and figure out what area she lived in. Once Toga had the image in her mind she went to Musutafu and walked around with her usual look until she spotted the woman. Midoriya Inko was going into a grocery store, perfect! That would be a great place for 'Izuku' to 'coincidentally' run into his mother while he was on his way home to visit her. She ducked into an alley and changed into her 'Izuku' get up before entering the store.

She did her best to look casual as she searched for Inko. She found the woman in the section selling fresh meats, and planted a big smile on her face the moment the woman came into sight.

“Mom!” She cried, running up to her. “I was just coming to see you!”

“Izuku?” Inko's eyes widened in surprise. “I- you're here? You didn't say anything about visiting.”

“I know, but I suddenly got really homesick at school. I miss getting to see you everyday, and I thought it would be fun if I surprised you!” Toga replied, grinning at the thought of just how 'surprised' the woman would be later. “Aren't you glad to see me?”

Inko blinked once, and then gave 'Izuku' a warm smile. “Of course I am dear! You just startled me is all.”

“Oh, sorry Mom.” Toga made a show of looking embarrassed, and felt a thrill when Inko waved off the apology.

“Don't worry Izuku, you know how much I love it when you visit! In fact, I think I'll make your favorite tonight. How does fresh sushi sound?”

“Awesome! You make the best sushi!” Toga cheered.

Toga then followed the woman around as she gathered up the last of her purchases, and replied animatedly to her small talk. Inko even bought a candy bar for 'Izuku'. Score!

As they were checking out Inko said “You know how Mitsuki and I like to visit each other every other weekend? Well, this last visit she told me the funniest story...”

Toga agreed that Mitsuki was a wonderful neighbor and laughed at the story. She even remembered to offer to carry some of the groceries once they were bagged.

Inko continued to talk as Toga followed her out of the store and they started to walk back toward the apartment. Good grief this woman could go on. Toga was going to enjoy shutting her up later.

“Oh dear,” Inko suddenly turned to Toga in concern “are you sure you can visit tonight? It's just about time for your father's monthly video call isn't it?”

“Nah, that's not till tomorrow.”

Inko looked relieved. “Oh, I must have gotten my days mixed up. I'd just hate for you to miss out on talking to him, we see him so rarely already.”

“Yeah, I wish we could talk more.” Toga idly wondered if Inko's kidnapping would make Izuku miss that call. Oh well.

“Here we are!” Inko said, stepping up the main entrance of an apartment building. Toga followed her until the woman found the right door and opened it with her key. Then Toga Himiko was alone the apartment with Midoriya Inko.

Seriously, this was too easy!

“You want help putting anything away Mom?”

“Oh, don't worry about it dear. You can go relax and watch TV in the living room.”

“Are you sure?”

“You work so hard at school; just let me take care of you for a while. It's what I do best!”

“You bet it is! Thanks Mom!” Toga said with a laugh.

She had considered knocking the woman out as soon as the door was closed. It would have been quick and easy, with the woman so distracted with putting things away, but she had promised 'Izuku' dinner. It wasn't often Toga got a good home-made meal. Might as well take advantage right?

Unaware of what Izuku might normally watch, Toga settled on flipping through channels. She could always blame indecisiveness if need be. The woman called out questions from the kitchen a couple times, and Toga answered as confidently and brightly as she could. Izuku, cutie that he was, always did have so much energy and passion. She couldn't wait to see his face when he came looking for his mother.

Finally, Inko called out that supper was ready and Toga went to join her. She dug into the sushi rolls with gusto; Izuku was growing boy after all! It helped that the sushi was really yummy. The rice tasted a little different than she expected, and Toga wondered if Inko put in some sort of seasoning that Izuku liked. She took a drink from her glass, and was surprised by the sweetness that hit her tongue.

“What's this?”

“Oh, don't you remember? I asked you if you wanted to try a new juice brand I bought, and you said yes. Don't you like it?”

“Oh no, I do! I just didn't expect it to be so sweet. It tastes like it should be soda or something!”

“Maybe that's their selling point.” Inko said, nibbling on her own food.

“Well, it's good stuff either way.” She said, knocking back almost the whole glass to prove her point. “And so is the food! You're such a great cook Mom!”

Inko smiled as she looked at Toga's plate. “Thank you dear. It must be true with how much you've had! Which is certainly a relief to me. After all, you only needed to eat or drink about half of what I gave you, and you've gotten through more of that already.”

Toga paused with a bite halfway to her mouth. Something about the way the woman had phrased that made something cold and hard form in the pit of her stomach.

“Um, what do you mean? I'm, uh, not doing any training diets right now.”

The woman looked down at her own plate, and pushed her food around for a minute before speaking.

“It might interest you to know, that Izuku's favorite meal is not sushi. It's katsudon. Mitsuki and I did visit each other often in Izuku's youth, but we haven't done so it quite a few years. Also, Hisashi never video calls us. He's a bit old fashioned and only ever sends us emails. And the candy bar I bought you is a kind Izuku hates.”

Toga's stomach dropped a little more with every stated fact. From the very first thing that woman had said to her...

“You were testing me? The whole time? Seriously?”

“It was more like confirming than testing. I suspected you weren't Izuku when you came home unannounced.” Inko finally looked up from her plate, and Toga saw that all traces of warmth had left her eyes. “After all, what kind of mother wouldn't be able to tell her own son from an imposter? I'm assuming you're from the League of Villains. Do you have a name?”

“Like I'd tell you!” Toga said, jumping up from her seat. “And you think you're so clever?! Even though you knew what I was you brought me back to your home! That was a dumb move and now you're gonna-”

A sudden wave of fatigue swept over her, and she had to slap her hands down on the table to keep herself upright.

“You're gonna...you...what is...?” Toga's mind felt fuzzy, it made it hard to get words out.

“Oh, is it starting already? That was a bit quicker than I expected.”

“Starting...? What's...what did you...?”

“I've had a several different jobs over the years.” Inko said, using the same tone she had during their small talk on the way to the apartment. “Being a mother is a job all on it's own of course, but I've also been a cashier, and a seamstress, once upon a time I even worked in the Poison Control call center. You wouldn't believe the number of things you can find in a normal household that are quite harmful, if used incorrectly or consumed accidentally.”

Toga looked down at the meal in front of her with wide eyes, and realized she hadn't seen the woman prepare any of it. And her head was getting worse and she was so, so tired...

“Take anti-freeze, for example.” Inko continued. “Despite being a poison, it tastes very sweet. I got plenty of calls about kids or pets getting into some of it and ending up sick, even a few adults who didn't realize how bad it was.”

The sweet aftertaste of juice that still hung on her tongue suddenly felt like something vile trying to slither its way down her throat.

“I...you...get the...” Another wave of fatigue swept over her, and before Toga could figure what to do, her world tilted sideways and went dark.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Inko looked down at the collapsed body in front of her, watching as it shifted from the form of her son to one that was much more feminine.

“Hmmm, I wonder what she was trying to say.”

The front door suddenly banged open, and the real Izuku came running in.

“MOM! Mom are you here?! Mo- oh.”

Izuku was wearing his hero outfit. His fists were clenched and he was breathing hard, like he'd run a long way to get here. His face held both fear and determination, but that shifted to confusion as he took in the scene before him.

“You know I don't mind when you have friends drop by Izuku, but I wish you would give me a heads up in the future.” Inko admonished with a mischievous glint in her eyes.

“Twice told me that...” Izuku couldn't stop looking between her and the girl on the floor. “That's the morphing girl. Mom, what exactly happened here?”

“The young lady approached me, looking like you. When I realized it wasn't really you I invited her back for some fresh sushi rolls. While she was busy in the living room I crushed up some of my sleeping pills, the strong ones the doctor gave me just recently, and mixed them into the rice. She should be out for a while.”

Izuku stared at her.

“You should probably take her too a doctor of course, just to be sure she doesn't have a bad reaction to them. It's dangerous to take other people's prescriptions after all. Now, be a dear and call the police for me would you? I'd like to get a start on cleaning up the kitchen.”

Izuku did as he was told. Once the authorities arrived, they both stood together and watched the would-be imposter get loaded into an ambulance.

“Hey Mom.”

“Yes?”

“You're awesome.” Izuku said, smiling that bright, adoring way that was all his own.

Inko's eyes shined. “Oh, you really think so?”

“I always have, Mom. Also, remind me never to underestimate you.”

Inko laughed. “Of course dear.”