"Eraserhead, one of the members of the vigilante group Judgment is near your current location. Your new priority is to catch them and bring them in for questioning."
"Well, shit. Which one?"
"Blink. His quirk is not confirmed but he appears to have the ability of short distance teleportation. The limit is to be determined."
It's his third encounter with blink. He won't let him slip this time.
He arrives too late to stop the vigilante, alias Blink, from broadcasting a video that undoubtedly ruins Pro-Hero Whimsick for the rest of his career, but he does arrive just in time to arrest him: Midoriya Izuku.
"Does anyone really remember Icarus? All I ever hear about him is the way he fell from the sky."
The boy is rambling again, eyes unfocused and fingers stroking through strands of his hair. The casualty in the way he speaks is irritating to say the least, but Shouta knows better than anyone the way Izuku uses these moments to his advantage. The Pro-Hero keeps his eyes fixed on Midoriya, at this point they're burning with the urge to blink.
"Just be quiet kid. We're almost there. You're gonna be behind bars at last," Shouta doesn't like the way uncertainty still crawls its way into his voice. Izuku must notice this like a shark smelling water, because the kid flashes that stupidly predatory grin, innocence still in his eyes.
"You seem so sure, Eraser...Heroes have doubts too, y'know?" There's a finality in those words that don't belong there. Shouta braces himself, and yet nothing happens.
"Uh-huh...and what's that supposed to mean?"
Izuku shrugs. "It means what it means."
The armored van screeches to a stop. A baby-eating grin makes its way onto Izuku's face.
"It also means you should pay more attention to your driver."
Shouta stupidly glances to the bars that separate the driver's seat and the passenger's seat, hissing out a curse when he sees a blonde girl, who absolutely isn't the driver, smile back at him.
It's too late when he looks back, Midoriya is gone even though the doors of the van are still locked as tight as ever. The scarf that had served as a capture device was in shreds, and Shouta knew he would dread the embarrassing trip to the equipment department for weeks to come.
"What a fucking slippery bastard."
The fourth time he lost Midoriya from an arm's length away was on the rooftop of an office building, Izuku sitting with his feet dangling over the edge. The boy had new bruises blossoming across his face. He wasn't in the shadowy vigilante get-up as he was in most of their encounters; he looked quite normal with a sweater two sizes too big hanging off his shoulders and dirty converse sneakers on his feet. Midoriya doesn't glance up at the Pro-Hero when he notices him approaching.
"You caught me after hours, old man," Izuku murmurs, eyes looking longingly at the concrete fifty stories below. "That's just not fair."
Shouta decides it isn't fair either, and sits down next to him. The noise of cars and people only reaches them as a faint hum, this high up.
"You're a damn mystery, Midoriya Izuku," Shouta sighs, glancing over at the kid next to him.
Izuku smiles, revealing a mouthful of bloody teeth. "I know."
"What happened to you, kid?" Shouta's gunmetal gaze rakes over the cuts, scrapes, and bruises lining Izuku's body, grimacing when he notices the way Izuku is holding a twisted wrist in his left hand.
"Did you know Endeavor killed someone last night?" Izuku whispers, the wind almost drowning out the way his voice shakes. Shouta freezes, glancing at Izuku with wide eyes. "The vandal that's been painting those beautiful murals on the streets was framed for murder by Retract, the serial killer. A crowd was gathering from a far enough distance that nobody could hear what they were saying. Before he could even put his hands up, flames had already burst right from under him."
Tears are starting to well up in Izuku's eyes. Shouta wonders if he's been on the wrong side.
"He told the news crews that the case was solved with the necessary force, that the killer had threatened to blow up everyone below them with explosives set in the ground."
He pulls something from his pocket and pushes it into Shouta's hands. It's a photo, heartache written in the wrinkles and folds. It's a man he doesn't recognize, with a thunderstorm in his eyes and lightning in his smile.
"That vandal? He painted murals that were inspired by us, inspired by the truth. I didn't know him very well but...god, Endeavor's a hero, Mister Aizawa. He got away with it. Heroes like him are sick," Izuku runs shaky fingers through his hair, revealing the bruises covered by his bangs. "There's so many heroes like Endeavor it's fucking scary. Conman, this other hero, ignored a class of kindergartners trapped under rubble to chase after a villain. Dabi wouldn't let me hear the end of it when he saw me fighting off the other villains until the paramedics and firefighters arrived. That's why I look so shitty."
"So is that what your group does? The government declared you a threat with the way you've been hacking broadcasting buildings and exposing well known heroes," Shouta doesn't fight the skepticism in his voice. The government almost always acted out of fear, ramping up rising vigilante's threats far higher than they needed to be.
"...We do more than that, Mister Eraser," Izuku smiles sweetly and stands up, stretching out his arms as he edges closer to the fifty story drop. Shouta tenses, getting ready to catch him, only to freeze when Midoriya jumps with a cackle, his voice calling out as he plummets-
"Icarus didn't just fall, after all."
When Shouta looks down, Izuku's already disappeared.
It's the middle of the night when Shouta hears a feeble knock on his door. Without a word, he grabs his brand new capture tool and cracks the door open just a peak.
He almost strangles the shaking figure on his doorstep.
It's a broken, bleeding Midoriya. There's blood dribbling down his mouth and nose, the boy is shaking like a leaf. The Pro-Hero's gaze drops to where Izuku is holding his stomach, a deep red gash sending blood seeping through his shirt. Shouta drops the scarf with a hushed string of curses, gathering Midoriya in his arms and carrying him inside.
The usual calmness that accompanies being a Pro-Hero seems to have flown out the window in this case. Just a few hours ago there was a sweet smile on his face and life in his eyes. The boy seemed to be fading in and out of consciousness breath getting shallow and erratic.
"Fuck, Izuku, I have to take you to a hospital," Shouta murmurs, grabbing a towel from the kitchen counter and pressing it to the wound.
"No, no, no....no....you can't...can't...," Izuku tries to squirm away, bloody fingers fruitlessly trying to push at Shouta.
"I've already let you off the hook too many times, Izuku. You're gonna bleed out," Shouta was already carrying him to his car, the steady thrum of rain getting louder as he steps outside.
"Fuck...fuck you, that was only one ti-time."
"Why the hell did you come to my place, Izuku? I'm not even gonna ask how you know where I live," The car locks with a click and growls as Shouta zooms out of the alley driveway, whizzing past roads and definitely speeding down the wrong lanes.
"...was g-gonna ask you t...to kiss it b-better, dad."
Shouta almost crashes. Izuku lets out a muffled grunt of pain as the car swerves.
"Man, everyone on the road must love you, Eraser," He glares as Midoriya jokes, a pained smile on his face. "...'s not like I'm your p...pregnant wife or any...anything. T-Take it easy before w...we both d..die, yeah?"
"Izuku Midoriya, you are the only fucking person I know who can think of a comedy routine on the way to the hospital for a stab wound."
"Aw, you sh-should be nice...nicer to m-me. It migh...might be the last time I...last time I s-see ya, dad."
Izuku's voice gets quieter towards the end, coughing out the last part a little as blood starts coming through the fabric of the towel. Shit, he's gonna pass out.
"Just a few more minutes Izuku, keep talking to me."
"Y'think...," Izuku starts, voice getting more and more shaky as his breathing slows. "Y'think In..Ingenium is gonna b-be ok...ay?"
"It's after his hero hours. Why wouldn't he be?" They're getting closer. The hospital peeks out from behind a few buildings. Shouta slams the breaks next the main entrance and hurries to pick up Izuku again.
"I...I jumped in fr-front of the bla...blade. Stain...Stain was the atta...cker, I thi-think."
Izuku continues, even as the nauseating fluorescent lights signal their entrance to the hospital.
"'s funny, we share most of the same ideals," Izuku is going limp, Shouta begins to panic. The front desk employees wordlessly signal for a stretcher. Luckily help comes fast, Izuku doesn't even realize he's being strapped down until they start wheeling him away.
"One m-more thi...thing, dad."
Relief is starting to seep in when Izuku murmurs the fond nickname. Shouta starts to follow him as far as the paramedics will let him.
"Hang up that van...vandal guy's pic-picture for me, will you? Print out a copy and nail it to Endeavor's...Endeavor's fr-front door."
Shouta smiles, hoping it's not the last thing Izuku sees.