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The Golden Years

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Hisashi absentmindedly levitated Izuku, listening to the toddler screech in delight as he floated up towards the ceiling. It was odd, he thought, the… mood. Atmosphere? He couldn’t say.

There wasn’t any bags under his eyes. No weight to his limbs, constant sighing, aches and small scratches from irritating his skin to keep calm. All he had on his mind was whether to make katsudon or something exotic for dinner, if there was a florist close enough for him to pick something up for Inko. If he could teach Izuku his kanji yet, if there were any movie showings they could go to.

Where was the panic? The stress?

Hm.


He periodically went on small leaves, because that was what one did when they were in charge of hundreds of complete dumbasses. You got a week or so to yourself, because it was that or mass genocide.

So he took small vacations. And went home to his wife and eventually his child, playing around with them and inventing small, useless doodads and mostly just acting like he was a freelance inventor and not the paramount criminal cryptid of the Asian world.

But the thing was. Hisashi was sort of liking the vacations more than the work now. And that wasn’t weird, but he didn’t want to go back to work, which was an issue when you were your own boss. And he also couldn’t figure out why because yes, he loved them, yes, he’d do whatever he could to protect them. But he’d spent centuries working to his goals, sweat and blood and loss put to the ultimate product of agency for all.

So Hisashi spent the latest vacation contemplating it, taken right after Tsubasa diagnosed Izuku as Quirkless. Just as likely not true considering their family history, but not something he was going to bother arguing for now. He’d spent the days comforting the boy and distracting him with puzzles and the news, letting him gush about heroes that normally Hisashi would roll his eyes at.

It, finally, occurred to him as Izuku watched Yagi take down Starwarp, clapping his hands while the blond caused immense property damage slapping cuffs on a man who was trying to feed a ward abandoned by the yakuza.

Hisashi stared at Izuku blankly, careful as the toddler bounced up and down in his lap and babbled. Spending his days like this it hadn’t come to mind that it may be something this simple, because it usually never was for him, was something stupidly complicated like a hidden Quirk or a power only activated by ingesting blood. So he hadn’t thought of the possibility that he would. Prefer this, now. Cooking and taking care of Izuku, watching daytime television while he created and generally just.

Existing.

Not making some grand plan or meeting contacts or killing off some corrupt politician. And he wasn't-

"I think I'm happy," He said numbly, and Inko snorted and looked at him bewildered.

"Is that a bad thing?"

"I'm not used to it, I think," He said, letting Izuku grab his hand and carefully examine his pink nails. They were a travesty, painted with tiny hands that could barely hold the brush. "The last time I was this consistently happy was the leave I took when you were pregnant."

"...It sounds like your job is the reason for it, darling." She hesitated, leaning on his shoulder. "...Do you think there's any way to fix that?"

Well. He could abandon villainy.

Ha. Like he’d ever do that.


“Sir? Are you alright?”

Hisashi hummed, not looking up from the stack of papers he had. All profiles and locations, prospective employees and places to use as bases. The word employee loosely used, of course. At best they’d be shoved at Tomura when he was older or used for cannon fodder. Kurogiri cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably. He was standing behind the bar as usual, polishing his glasses and organising his booze.

“What do you think would happen without this all, Kurogiri?” He asked.

“...Sir?”

“All of this,” The man clarified, waving a hand at the bar at-large. “The maneuvers, manipulating heroes, setting up bad ends.” The walked cloud of a man looked at him askance, and Hisashi sighed. “Nevermind. Make me a bloody mary, please?”

He sipped it for hours on end as he contemplated the options. He didn’t want to think there was another.


“I- Hisashi!?”

“Hello, dear,” He said casually, continuing to stir the broth. She dropped her suitcase and ogled at him, half-out of his suit and wearing the apron. She gestured wordlessly, looking at the calendar, and he finally took pity on her. “I decided to alternate more often. I missed you two too much.”

Her face softened and she smiled at him, tugging him close to peck him on the cheek. “We’re glad to have you then, sweetie.” She paused, blinking. “Where’s Izukkun?”

As if on cue, a small shape came barreling down the hall in an orange jumpsuit, coming to rescue the “poor civilian”. Not that Izuku could actually say that word. Inko giggled as he latched onto and smacked her with tiny mittens. Hisashi smiled and turned back to the stove.

A Fatgum onesie was far more preferable to that… thing.


“Papa?” Hisashi didn’t look up from his fiddling, trying to get the components just right because computers were ever so fickle, and he wanted this to work well enough for it to last Izuku a long while.

“Yes, Izukkun?”
“You breathe fire, right?”

“Yes, I do.”

“So how can you make me float?”

Hisashi blinked and looked up. Izuku was chewing on his pencil, staring down at his new notebook with an intense look of concentration. There wasn’t actual writing in it yet but there was piecemeal kanji and pictures, which he supposed made sense to the toddler.

“You can move other stuff too without touching it,” He continued, “An’ I’ve seen you do this thingy, you sort of make everything blurry-”

Ah. Haha. He had not been careful at all, had he.

“I have multiple Quirks, Izuku.” His son’s face lit up, questions and curiosity on his tongue, but Hisashi held a finger up, shushing him. “But they’re a secret, little bunny. No one else can know, understand?”

Izuku vigorously nodded his head, zipping his lips. And hopefully, that was that.


He took Izuku out for a walk in the city, and it was not at all a benign thing.

Hisashi could full-well admit he hadn’t been near normality for a very, very long time, and it meant, well. He didn’t know how people actually were nowadays, Inko and her friends the few exceptions. So he went out and listened to conversations, watched groups. And what saw was…

Honestly not up to his standards, he could admit that. Barely any Quirks on display thanks to laws, heroes sticking out like trees and either being useless or obvious, and the mindless chatter of the masses that had irritated him when he was a teenager. But there weren’t any riots, no quiet murmurs of fear, no overt sneers at the less-than-savoury.

It didn’t mean nothing was there, but it also didn’t mean the dregs he saw everyday made all of society anymore. He’d forgotten that, maybe. Sitting with Izuku in an ice cream shop he let the taste of melon fill his mouth and contemplated his place.

Absentmindedly he fixed Izuku’s grip and kept him from spilling his spoonful all over himself. His little vanilla cup wasn’t all over the place, which was an improvement to his birthday, he supposed. Hisashi kept him from making a mess everywhere and let the thoughts in his mind particulate, condense to something solid.

Maybe he’d known when he first met Inko. The old methods, mindset he’d had no longer had a place in moving mountains and reshaping minds.


Hisashi had a feeling he’d sort of been doing things on automatic for the past years, because the closer he looked at his plans, the less… sense. They made.

Why the hell had he thought building abominations would solve anything? Built to take down Yagi yes but the man wasn’t the core of issues in the system, just the epitome when there were others like Endeavor, fools like Fourth Kind, disgraces like Uwabami-

Why had he thought to put Tomura in charge of everything? The boy’s quick mind? That wasn’t enough, not when faced with a cracked mind and terror at most things, lashing out so he wasn’t hurt again.

He’d let old hurts cloud him, and hadn’t thought to think past them, it seemed. He hated this society, but he’d gone the wrong way about destroying it.


There was a large issue he’d made for himself, and he didn’t realise it until he was faced with his own end.

Tomura was unstable as a stack in a game of Jenga, and he most certainly could not do something like put him in charge of an army. And he wasn’t going to groom the boy and waste all that time when he was uncertain now if he would even-

It was a dilemma.

“How would you feel about adopting?” He asked Inko at dinner, and he winced as she choked on her food and spent a minute rubbing her chest.

“I- what? Hisashi??”

“I…” He didn’t know how to explain this. There was too much history, and she still thought he was just an inventor. “Uh. Met an orphan, and he’s…” Hisashi sucked his teeth, thinking about how they’d had to put mittens on Tomura to get him to stop trying to smack himself. “He’s a huge trainwreck, and I don’t think he’d last in the system.”

He gave her a basic outline, how old he was, what he liked, his. Issues. She still looked uncertain, which he didn’t blame her for.

“Why don’t… We meet him a few times, first? Let him play with Izuku and see how they are.”

That was fine by him. Exposure to Izuku could only do the boy good, and he knew he was a bit of a danger right now. So he nodded fervently and arranged dates for them to meet, impressing it on Tomura that he needed to behave and to Izuku that this was a new friend, and if anything bad happened he just needed to tell Mamma or Papa. Izuku, being the good child he was, nodded seriously and continued trying to eat his hand.


Tomura destroyed an end table and Izuku started yelling SHIT whenever something broke.

Honestly not a bad outcome. That end table had been too small anyways.


“Why are we visiting them so much?” Tomura asked after the third or fourth visit, wrinkling his nose at the gloves Hisashi had shoved on him.

“Because they’re my family,” Hisashi said mildly, “And I thought it would be nice for you to have more than me and Kurogiri.”

“But I don’t need more than you two.”

God save him from little shit children.

“So you haven’t enjoyed playing with Izukkun?” Tomura pouted and didn’t say anything which, good, Izuku was indeed a positive influence. Hisashi cleared his throat, grimacing as someone sped through an intersection. “Moreover Tomura, there is… more going on than you know. It will be good for you to have someone else to go to, just in case something happens.”

Tomura was silent until they pulled onto the apartment street, parking in the lot for residents. Before he got out of the car, he muttered something, head turned down, and Hisashi pointedly hummed.

“He likes heroes too much, but he can sort of keep up with my games. And Inko-obaasan isn’t too bad.”

Ha. And here Kurogiri thought the boy wouldn’t warm up at all. He ruffled Tomura’s hair, ignoring his screeches, and nudged him up the stairs.

“I’m sure they like you too, my boy.”


“Hisashi.”

“Yes, darling?”

“What do you do for work?”

Hisashi froze and turned to Inko, quietly hitting the button switch over his laptop screen. Inko continued smiling amiably, holding a sheaf of papers. He couldn’t see what was written on them, but there was a very telling crinkled to the sides, the sort that only happened when he was close to burning the whole lot.

The recent notes on All Might, then, though recent meant a year back by this point.

“So I may not be forty-seven,” He started with, and Inko proved that he did not think about her Quirk very often by pulling out at least half his pubic hairs in one go. He laid on the floor twitching while she methodically went through his computer, occasionally messing with him just enough to keep him immobile on the floor.

“Some of these files go back to the 2000’s,” She said, and he grunted. She squinted and typed something, clicking through. “Your name isn’t Oogata Hisashi.”

“Sss-Saitou.”

“Mm.” There was a long pause, during which she didn’t rip anything else out or sit on him. He slowly sat up, eyeing her carefully. Her eyes were trained on an old scan he had of a newspaper, familiar face centered on it with a serious expression. Yoshiro looked so healthy in it. They must have edited the photo before publishing.

“...You’re a criminal.” He coughed and nodded. She hummed. “You’re the criminal. Basically the only one half the heroics conspiracy theorists talk about.”

Well. That was one way to put it, and not really an ego boost at this point, but he nodded anyways. She pursed her lips, obviously thinking, though he couldn’t say about what, so he sat nervously, trying not to fidget or make her think he was about to attack, and he really dug himself into a hole didn’t he? He should have said something before, mentioned it during Inko’s pregnancy, their honeymoon, fuck, when he proposed-

“Well, at least you’re getting out of it, I suppose.”

Hisashi blinked at her.

“What?” She looked at him like he was being slow and huffed, scooting closer.

“Darling, you’ve been practically a stay-at-home father ever since you realised you don’t like your job, and you don’t like your “job” . What else are you going to do but get out of it?”

“The underground will collapse without me there,” He said blankly. Inko kissed him and dragged him up, brushing off his button-up before sitting him in front of the computer.

“Then take care of it so we aren’t all suffering, you absolute nut.”

He took care of it.


She asked for a full explanation later, when tempers had cooled and she was mostly just sleepy. He gave one to her, and then let her digest and pick apart every single little thing. Some they didn’t agree on, arguing into the night, some he won her over, and some he admitted defeat, owning to the bias and emotions he’d felt overtaking him.

They never talked about his brother, which was fine by him. A hundred and sixty years was still too soon.


“I lead the police to a trafficking cartel,” He told her when she came home, and she kissed his nose and asked why the hell he had a trafficking cartel. He explained the intricacies of “villainous” Quirks and authority-sanctioned watches and not being allowed to leave countries and let her be angry near him, if not really at him.

“I destroyed the bioweapons,” He mentioned after she returned from a successful court case, and they celebrated by drinking sake and letting Izuku go insane in the living room watching an All Might movie. She poked him every time he made an expression.

“I think I’m worrying my second-in-command,” He muttered, and she looked at him and asked if he had told the man yet. He had not. Kurogiri must be tearing his metaphorical hair out. He put the man through so much.

“This is your fault,” He told Izuku solemnly, showing him and Tomura different kanji. Tomura had never been taught and four was a good age for learning this, wasn’t it? The boy didn’t understand, was too focused puzzling out stroke order, and that was for the best. It wasn’t really a thing to lay blame for.

He couldn’t really blame anyone, when he was glad to see bright smiles and teach the small things, to be there when there were tears and doubts. He hadn’t realised he was missing that all until now.


“So I’m retiring,” He said, and Kurogiri accidentally warped half a wine bottle away, making the contents splash everywhere. The bartender stared at him wordlessly before turning around, grabbing a thing of moonshine from an old Russian client, and turning back, uncorking and pouring it into his humidifier.

“Explain.”

He did. Sufficiently drunker than the start of the conversation, Kurogiri nodded and said it was a wise choice, because he’d been told stories about Inko. It was a wise decision. He was still sensitive from the night she found out.

They drank themselves stupid and Hisashi had a small existential crisis about what he was doing with his life. He woke up the next morning on the sofa with about five different contact cards hidden in his suit, some for people he’d never even spoken to. One of them had THEY’RE NICE ASSHOLES scribbled on the back in familiar handwriting, and he scratched his head at just what Kurogiri was doing associating with politicians.

Huh. The more you knew.

At least there was an easy option for what to do now.


The very end, he supposed, could be classed as a single night, unexpected and unplanned. He was with Inko and the boys, trying to get Tomura used to more people, trying to get Izuku to be less timid, trying to make himself relax from the fact he hadn’t done anything extraordinary in a- a year at this point. They were going to a nearby diner, the one he’d gone on dates with Inko to and the one she’d told him about Izuku in. It was a good diner.

He did not expect to see yellow and green heads when they walked in though, and couldn’t help tensing. And going by how they immediately froze, they saw him too. Inko still wrapped round his arm glanced up at him and back to them and figured it out in no time, sighing and shaking her head.

“I’m inviting them to eat with us.”
“Please don’t,” He said, and she marched over anyways, shooing him to go sit with the kids. He did, putting his head in his hands at the sound of her cheery voice, Yagi and his irritating sidekick hesitantly agreeing and trying not to sound like they were worried for the lives of three civilians.

“Are you All-” Izuku started right before Hisashi covered his mouth, Yagi and Nighteye’s eyes already bulging. Hisashi sighed and took his hand away, leaning down to Izuku.

“That’s another thing we don’t talk about sweetie, understand?” Izuku flinched, looking apologetic, and he ran a hand through the boy’s hair, heroes’ twitching be damned. “It’s fine, you didn’t know. Just try not to say it next time, alright?”

“I promise, Papa,” Izuku said and Yagi went and choked on his fucking spit. Thank god the diner employees couldn’t be phased by no less than the apocalypse, because their table was such a mess when the waitress appeared that a normal person would have been scared off. They all ordered, twitching, and thanked the woman. Hisashi would be tipping double the usual tonight.

“You have a family?” Yagi hissed when the waitress gone, and Hisashi could hear the crack as Inko kicked him in the shin.

“They’re also right here,” She said cheerily, ignoring his whimpers. “I know you three have some history, but this is also a family night out, and I want to enjoy it and celebrate my husband retiring with my sons. So get over yourselves and be comfortable with the fact we’re not hostages.”

“If I’m a hostage, does that mean I get to go home?”
“No, Tomura, not unless you don’t want to eat dinner.”

“Sh-”

“Tomura.” The boy shut his mouth before he could finish the swear. Yagi made a strangled noise. Izuku raised his hand until they all paid attention to him and managed to grab the blond’s attention again by asking a slew of questions that made barely any sense and were mostly about his Quirk and not having a Quirk, which lead to the most confused expression he’d ever seen on a grown adult’s face. Hisashi relished in it, because he wasn’t going to enjoy much else tonight.

After the food had come, the sidekick spoke up for the first time, glasses flashing in the lights. “Excuse me, I believe I heard you say before that- he- that One-san was retiring?”

“Oh look, at least you have manners.” Hisashi snorted. “Yes, I am. I’m happier at home, and there’s not much use left trying to change this society with the old methods, so I’m setting down the banners.”

“You expect us to believe that?” Yagi said incredulously, and Inko took the boys to the bathroom, pretending there was a stain on Tomura’s shirt. Which, well, there probably actually was, considering how he had to eat. It left the three men alone and they leaned in, faces close and voices dropping to hisses. “After all the agony and death you’ve caused, you really think I’m going to believe you’re just hanging in the towel?”

Hisashi’s lips curled into a snarl, but he paused. There was an easy way to prove to them, a remarkably simple one. He jerked his head at the lankier man, staring him in the eye. “Search me with your Quirk and you’ll have your answer. It’s never wrong, is it?”

Nighteye looked uncertain. That was fine. He could wait, since it was that or leave this table with his family in danger. Eventually, hesitantly, Nighteye blinked, and when he opened his eyes they were made of black and white targets, staring into his very soul for a fraction of a second.

“Oh,” The man breathed, leaning back, “That’s…”

“Osamu?” Yagi murmured.

“He’s not lying.”

The rest of the dinner was quiet, if for different reasons. Not that anyone minded, really. As they set back for home, Hisashi realised with an almost absent-minded amusement and then blank realisation that, hey. He. Probably just inadvertently got rid of his arch-nemesis.

“Am I really an evil villain anymore?” He asked Inko.

“That’s the point, Hisashi,” She snorted, hustling the boys into the apartment. He dragged him close by the tie and kissed him, dragging away reluctantly. “Congratulations,” She whispered.

He stood in the doorway for a moment, wondering when everything had gone and tipped on its head, where along the way he’d been defanged and declawed- but that wasn’t true, and maybe that was the realisation needed. He’d not lost his power or his ambitions. He’d just…

Decided what was important, and that it included his family and his own happiness, and society wouldn’t collapse just because he took some time.

Hisashi stepped inside, closing the door behind him and listening to the children yell and battle for the bathroom sink, Inko scolding them in the background. He sighed and shook his head, not fighting the smile coming to his face.

Not quite an “At last”, but damn if he couldn’t say he was satisfied with this result.