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a thousand paper cranes, yet i still can't hear you

Chapter Text

Izuku sighed, his breath forming a little dragon that slithered out of his mouth and into the cold winter air. He needed to go shopping, and not just for groceries and notebooks.

He needed origami paper.

It wasn't because he liked to make origami or anything, it was for his job. His quirk.

 [a thousand paper cranes]

Name: Midoriya Izuku

Sex: Male

Age: Fourteen (14)

School/Occupation: Orudera Middle School, Third (3rd) Year

Quirk: Paper Crane

  • Allows user to, when giving someone a paper crane, grant another’s greatest wish whether or not the person acknowledges it.

[yet i still can’t hear you]

No one people knew about his quirk, with the exception of his teachers (Who basically deemed him quirkless, the bastards), the Bakugou's, almost the entirety of Musutafu,  and his own family.

A family that had been torn apart years ago.

But that was a story for another time.

Katsuki ran up to the boy with his rat’s nest of hair and grabbed his shoulder to turn him around. Deku looked at him, tilting his head to the side and smiling softly. “Where are you going, Deku?” Katsuki said, using sign language as a means of communication with the boy.

Deku brightened slightly and began to sign swiftly. I need to buy some origami paper and groceries. We’ve run out. Katsuki grinned wildly, and grabbed Izuku by the arm.

“I’ll go with you,” He said, and Izuku nodded. The two then proceeded to race down the street, the wind pushing their hair back as they ran to the grocery store.

[act one, scene one]

When Izuku returned to his apartment, he dropped his bags on the floor and took off his too small shoes, setting them down in front of the ledge that led into the house. Picking up the bags once again, he set towards the small kitchen and began to put away his purchases. Eventually, he began to hum a tune, and didn’t even notice, for he couldn’t hear it.

How sad. 

Once Izuku had finished, he went to his room and changed into an all-white outfit, washing the green dye out of his white hair. He was wearing a white turtleneck and pants, his shoes soft black combat boots he had had for years. Finally, Izuku adorned his cloak, the black cloth soft and filled with holes at the edges from years of use. Izuku, unlike others, found it charming. It added character, in his opinion. The cloak, while completely black, had the design of a paper crane on the back of the hood, the design tinted silver so that it shone in the moonlight.

After eating a light snack and tucking his wallet and phone into one of the internal pockets of the cloak, Izuku left for the abandoned garage he kept his cart. In his hand were sixteen packets of silver, navy, and white origami paper, intended to be used on tonight’s run.

Izuku approached the cart, his boots silently hitting the concrete as he walked. Tucking the paper into the hidden shelf in the back, Izuku swiftly set out the notebook and pen that he used to take requests. He began to push the old wooden cart out of the garage, the moon above radiating peace and quiet. Izuku began to sing softly, his voice out of tune and quiet from not being able to hear.

Whenever Izuku went out, he would remember what people had done to him - how they had stolen his hearing-aids to the point where he simply didn’t use them anymore, how they had bullied him and hit him until he was bleeding, how the would scream so loud that it made his ears bleed. He was reminded of how people with disabilities, no matter how small, would always be tormented over something they had close to no control over.

But at least the strangers he came across and helped in the street didn’t know he was one of those people.

At least they didn’t know he was deaf.

Chapter Text

Toshinori was wandering the streets, searching for the well known urban legend of Musutafu: The Wishing Cart, also known as The Boy with Paper Bones. Rumor had it that there was a boy who would grant someone’s greatest wish if asked, yet sightings were extremely rare or unreliable. Naomasa had sent him out, along with Eraserhead and Midnight, to search for the boy and ensure that he wasn't working with any villains.

The group crept through the darkness, which provided them shelter from searching eyes. It was around 3 A.M., the time where he was most often seen. Suddenly, Toshinori heard faint out of tune singing and the skipping of boots on pavement. Gesturing to the others that someone was close, the three heroes concealed themselves in the shadows as a child in all white and a black cloak came skipping down the alley, moonlight illuminating his features.

The boy had pale porcelain skin that glowed in the moonlight, his eyes a piercing jade. He had delicate freckles adorning his cheeks, white hair swept across his eyes. He wore white fingerless gloves on his hands, which were wrapped around the handle of the old wooden cart. Black leather boots were at his feet, and everything was white, the color of innocence.

He continued down the street, skipping and singing, the little bell hanging from the good fortune charm on the handle rattling along to the beat. The boy had almost left the alley before he stopped dead, the singing and chiming of the bell coming to a quiet stop.

The tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife as he grabbed a notebook, pencil, and three sheets of origami paper of various colors; black, green, and purple. The boy slowly turned around and walked towards Toshinori, who hesitantly stepped out of the shadows as the boy stopped a few feet in front of him. He raised those wide green eyes up to look at him, and the boy… Smiled. It was unnerving, a chill running down Toshinori’s spine as the boy, who the police had started to call Crane, raised the pencil to paper, and began to write.

After a minute, Crane held the notebook out towards Toshinori, who took it and read out what Crane had written. “Hello, It is a pleasure to meet you! I am The Wish Giver, known by the police as Crane, also often called The Boy with Paper Bones. If you have heard of me, I suppose you know what I do. If not, allow me to explain.

“My quirk is called Paper Crane, which allows me to grant wishes once providing someone a paper crane. However, there are limitations to what you can do; allow me to explain, if you will. 1) You cannot bring someone to life or kill another. 2) I can only grant one’s greatest wish if I have a current or fated personal connection to the person, whether or not the other acknowledges the relationship. And finally, 3) If your intentions or wish could cause harm to another, I will and can refuse to grant it. This is not an effect of my quirk, but simply a rule I have set.

“Now, if you want, tell me what your wish is, and I shall grant it.”

Toshinori looked up from the page and made eye contact with the boy before him, who was looking at him expectantly, as if he had done a million times before. So, Toshinori began to write.

While I do not have a wish, I do have a question.

Toshinori showed this to Crane, who gestured for him to continue.

Are you or have you previously worked with villains/criminals?

Crane read the text and smiled softly, shaking his head. Slowly, Crane removed the pencil and notebook from Toshinori’s hand. He began to write his response swiftly and quietly, the only sound in the alley was the faint scratching of graphite on paper.  

When Crane handed the notebook back to Toshinori, the latter began to read aloud the boy’s response.

“I have not granted wishes that do not align with my morals or are not morally grey. An example of this is are three wishes I have received before. ‘I wish to get a good grade on my test tomorrow,’ ‘I wish for my mother to no longer be ill,’ and ‘I wish for people to agree that hero society is flawed.’ I only granted the first two.

“While I agree with the final wish yet do have my own opinions on how our society depends on heroes far too much, I believe that granting a wish that could have so many side effects that could cause things like war could be catastrophic, thus I did not grant it. The other two were harmless for the most part, with perhaps some minor repercussions.

“When I said that I have not worked for or are currently working for a villain, I cannot say no to the criminal, however. I have aided the vigilante or two in the past, but it was simply for good fortune. Are my answers to your satisfaction?” Toshinori finished, feeling slightly out of breath. Crane raised his jade eyes, curiosity burning like a cold, raging inferno deep within.

It was slightly unsettling.

Yet Toshinori nodded stiffly, causing the boy before him to smile softly. Crane took the pencil and notebook from him and returned to his cart, resting the utensils on the top once again. He grasped the handle and began to trot along again, singing out of tune.

“Wait,” Aizawa said, grasping the boy’s arm lightly. Crane turned around and raised his eyebrows, tilting his head to the left. “Who are you?”

Crane frowned, signed something obscure, and proceeded to walk away, the bell jingling creepily in the dark alleyway as the cart, drenched in ethereal light, steadily faded from view.

“Well? What did he say?” Midnight asked, looking as confused as Toshinori felt.

Aizawa frowned. “He said, I guess you’ll find out. I have no idea what he means.”

“Weird kid,” Toshinori said under his breath, stepping back into the main street from the alley. He turned around to look at Aizawa and Midnight, only to find them staring at three paper cranes sitting in a small puddle of water, the paper slowly getting wetter by the second.

Three cranes, one for each of them.

Odd.

Chapter Text

“I must say, this is very strange,” Nedzu said, clasping his… paws? Hands? ...Clasping his paws together atop of the sleek mahogany desk before him. “Did you manage to get an image of the child?”

Kayama Nemuri, more commonly known as Midnight, shook her head. “Sadly. Although he looked… Numb, to say the least. He never actually said anything besides writing in a notebook.”

After a few minutes of questions and answers, Yagi’s phone rang. “Ah, sorry, I need to take this,” He said once he had checked the ID. “It’s Tsukauchi.”

“Put him on speaker,” Nedzu said calmly, having an inkling as to what the call was about.

“Toshinori, I found your kid,” Tsukauchi said, his voice filled with static.

Aizawa raised an eyebrow skeptically. “Is that so?”

Tsukauchi seemed to pause for a moment, processing that there were others in the room. “Yeah. Midoriya Izuku, age 14, student at Orudera Middle School. Quirk: Paper Crane. Allows user to grant another a wish once giving them a crane.”

“Midoriya Izuku, Midoriya Izuku…” Nedzu said, chanting the boy’s name as he searched for him in the national database. “Ah, here; Midoriya Izuku. Except, Tsukauchi, he doesn't match the appearance of the Crane.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Nedzu,” Tsukauchi said. “Apparently, Midoriya is a victim of Marie Antoinette Syndrome, which causes a person’s hair to turn white after a traumatic experience. He just dyes his hair green to keep up appearances at school so no one asks any questions.”

Kayama hummed in acknowledgement. “How did you get this information?”

Tsukauchi laughed grimly. “Well, Midoriya was the prime suspect, and we had Bakugou Katsuki, Midoriya’s childhood friend, confirm everything.”

Aizawa frowned slightly. “What was so traumatizing that his hair turned white? And why does he cover it up?”

“I couldn't find that out from his history file, and Bakugou refused to say anything. He mumbled a bit and said something like, ’They took it away.’”

Nedzu hummed, drumming his finger things on the hard wooden desk. “Interesting… I would like to have a conversation with this Midoriya character. Find out a bit about him. Can you arrange for that?”

“Wait, Nedzu,” Kayama suddenly interjected. “You know the entrance exam on Saturday? Midoriya is applying to enter Gen. Ed., so you can just talk to him then.”

“That’s a valid point, but I don’t want to scare the living daylights out of the boy.”

“He’ll be fine. Midoriya is said to have nerves of steel.”

Yagi clapped his hands together. “And thus: It had been decided!”

[a thousand paper cranes]

Izuku wandered onto the campus, his eyes widening at the sight of the tall, H shaped building before him. Swallowing thickly, he glanced down at the email he had been sent with directions to Principal Nedzu’s office.

Honestly, he was terrified of the mere thought of sitting in a room with Nedzu. From what he had heard, the mammal was extremely cunning and manipulative, which did not help to ease Izuku’s nerves.

Izuku slowly made his way through the winding and twisting hallways of U.A., getting lost on numerous occasions, and eventually found himself standing before the broad doors of Nedzu’s office. Izuku pushed his nerves down to the base of his throat, biting his bottom lip as he hesitantly pushed open the heavy doors.

Nedzu spun around in his chair, grinning like a madman once he laid eyes on the boy before him. Nedzu opened his mouth and began to speak, the words floating out of his mouth getting lost in the universe. After a minute or two, he looked at Izuku expectantly, as if waiting for him to respond or do something.

In response, Izuku pulled out his phone and opened the notes app. He began to type, his fingers hitting the keyboard quickly. Principal Nedzu, I hate to inform you like this, but I am deaf. If you could either write down what you said or use sign language, that would be much appreciated. Izuku handed the phone to Nedzu, who read over the short paragraph quickly.

While Izuku was expecting the mammal to sigh and shake his head and gesture for him to leave the premises, Nedzu simply smiled and began to type out his response. I apologize for not looking over your medical file earlier in order to accommodate your deafness. It was very unprofessional of me, and I hope you will forgive me. Now, I wanted to ask you a few things about your activities outside of your schooling and academics. Also, would you like some tea?

Nedzu handed the phone back to Izuku, who began reading immediately. Izuku frowned slightly, confusion clouding his gaze. It’s perfectly fine that you didn't realize that I am deaf, and there is not need to go to such drastic measures to ensure my comfort. Your apology is accepted. Although, I have to ask, why are you taking such an interest in me? And as for your final question, yes, I would like some tea. Preferably chai, if you could.

Izuku slid the phone across the sleek mahogany gently, his movements slow. Nedzu read over the words on the screen, which was softly illuminating his features. Nedzu then proceeded to add a contact to Izuku’s phone and retrieve his own.

Nedzu [09:12] I do believe that it would be easier for us to communicate if we simply texted back and forth. Is this alright?

Midoriya [09:12] Yes, this is perfectly fine. If you have any questions, please ask me now.

Nedzu [09:13] Midoriya, it has come to our attention that you are likely a person commonly known in Musutafu as The Boy with Paper Bones. Is this true?

Izuku looked up from his phone and made eye contact with the mammal before him, a mischievous glint in the other’s eye. Izuku quirked a smile and began tapping on his phone screen.

Midoriya [09:14] What makes you think that I am this Boy with Paper Bones?

Nedzu [09:14] Ah, I see that you are both quick witted and good at evading questions.

Nedzu [09:15] Well, you see, there is a lot of evidence stacked against you. We managed to match a description of The Boy (Who I will now refer to as Crane.) to your school ID photo.

Midoriya [09:16] And who ever said that I have white hair?

Nedzu [09:16] Said your history file. You are a victim of Marie Antoinette Syndrome, which causes the victim’s hair to turn white after a traumatic event.

Nedzu [09:17] So exactly what was this traumatic experience? And why do you cover it up with green hair dye?

At this, Izuku had had enough. He gathered himself and drank the tea that he had been provided, and then proceeded to make his departure.

Midoriya [09:18] That is something that you have no need to know. I am neither confirming to denying the statement of “Midoriya Izuku is the Crane,” but I do not understand what this has to do with you. Furthermore, you have absolutely no right to ask about this traumatic experience I had. Good day, Principal Nedzu, I do hope to see you around campus if I do get in.

Izuku made his way to the door when his phone vibrated in his hand, causing him to stop and look over the two texts he had received.

Nedzu [09:18] I apologize once again. It was, and still is not my place to ask such questions. I look forward to our next conversation, Midoriya.

Kowareta [09:18] hey, mido !! we still on for lunch and dnd later?

Izuku turned around and bowed to Nedzu, his hands folded neatly over one another in front of him. He then proceeded to open the door, step into the hallway, and slam the door on his way out. Izuku reopened the text app, and began to type.

Midoriya [09:20] Yo! Yeah, we can still do it. You gonna bring Keishin, Watanabe, and Michikashi?

Kowareta [09:21] yeah, sure. we can start a new one if ya want.

Midoriya [09:21] Great! Remember your dice, and I’ll see you then!

Kowareta [09:21] noice. don’t get yourself killed and youll be fine, bud. see ya in a few hrs.

Chapter Text

Katsuki frowned to himself, questioning the actions of his good friend. Deku had been off ever since it was taken, and he’s been… Ah, how to put it into words… More… Sociable? That’s probably the best way to put it. 

 

But it was weird, walking home without fucking Deku trailing behind him at around two meters. An empty silence filled the air more often than not, and Katsuki felt disturbed by it. Afterall, the two had been friends since their mothers first met one another in high school. 

 

Katsuki thought back on when their homeroom teacher was talking about high school applications and whatnot, and his shitty class’s reaction to shitty Deku wanting to go to U.A. 

 

“Seriously, Midoriya? You can’t get into U.A. with a only pretty gradebook, much less the hero course. Might as well give up,” Is what their homeroom teacher had said that morning, words that still caused Katsuki to bristled. Yet Katsuki was thankful; thankful for Deku’s fucking deafness. At least that meant that words couldn’t affect his shitty self esteem. But even so, their teacher had thought that he, along with the class, could say whatever they fucking wanted about the nerd just because Deku couldn’t hear. 

 

It’s been that way since they first got into middle school; since Deku started dying his hair, since Deku started acting relatively normal. It was fucking weird. 

 

But people still asked questions. And even if shitty Deku couldn’t hear them…

 

Katsuki could.

 

[a thousand paper cranes]

 

Izuku waltzed down the street to the little cafe he and his friends would visit for their Dungeons and Dragons Game Nights and just to hang out. People shuffled by him, not paying attention to the boy with the fluffy green hair. And Izuku relished the fact that no one was looking at him; no one was inspecting him. It made him feel… Safe. 

 

After a few minutes of mindless meandering, Izuku stopped in front of the cafe, the Amber Flower Cafe, to be more precise. 

 

For the sake of giving our readers an image, we shall provide one: The Amber Flower Cafe had it’s outside wall made entirely of glass, a light amber colored stain covering it. The place looked simple, sleek, and modern, with a few accents of steel and wood to accompany the glass. On the inside there was a bar pushed against the back wall, lined with candles and wildflowers. There were tables scattered across the cafe, each table dark stained wood with warm gold accents. There were glass mugs on floating shelves above the machines behind the bar, giving the cafe a sophisticated and eloquent aura. 

 

There was almost always someone playing either the piano, violin, guitar, ukulele, or cello that the cafe provided. The music was always soft and warm, people occasionally singing along when they recognize the song. The employees were welcoming and friendly, people that almost anyone could get along with. 

 

It was… Serene. Peaceful. Relaxing.

 

Until they would come, every Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. 

 

Every damn time. 

 

Of course, the staff cherished every customer, but these four kids could only be tolerated by few. That’s why specific people were on standby for whenever they would come in those days. 

 

Over time the group became a part of the cafe’s charm, a bunch of kids just having fun and enjoying life to the fullest (while they still can.) The employees eventually came to love these children, people who seem so normal yet so… Broken. Like they needed help. And they did. But no one ever noticed.

 

So Izuku pushed open the heavy wooden door to the cafe, wandering inside and sitting in his usual booth. Despite it being a Saturday, they had agreed to meet up to talk about the exam. Since Izuku was the first of the five, he opened his book and began to read. The barista, having noticed his entrance, eventually came over with his usual order -  a blonde americano with the tiniest bit of sweetener. Izuku nodded his thanks, and the barista smiled warmly before returning to his station at the register. 

 

Time drifted on, people wandering in and out of the cafe, never staying long. Eventually, Watanabe arrived and got out his papers and a pencil, touching the point to the sheet before him. Words came flowing out of that pencil, and the two sat in silence until the third arrived. 

 

Keishin had pale blonde hair that was pulled back with a thin elastic headband, his eyes warm and passionate. The boy radiated happiness and positivity, something the others lacked in various amounts. Keishin was basically rays of sunshine and daydreams personified. His quirk was Light Manipulation, which can bend and manipulate light to basically create illusions of whatever he desires.

 

Watanabe, on the other hand, was the living personification of night terrors and all things spooky. He had buzzed black hair and deep brown eyes that could stare into your soul - literally. Watanabe’s quirk allowed him to see one’s soul despite being blind, meaning that he saw more than most. Ironic, isn’t it? 

 

“Watanabe!” Keishin yelled, slinging one arm over the other’s hunched shoulders. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it? How are you?” 

 

“I’m fine. How are you, Keishin?” Watanabe said, his voice quiet and solemn. 

 

Keishin punched Watanabe in the shoulder softly, causing Watanabe to cuff him on the head. “Aw, don’t be so sad, dude! We’re graduating soon, you should be pumped!”

 

“I guess…” 

 

Izuku smiled softly at the two’s close friendship. After a few minutes of Watanabe and Keishin going back and forth, Izuku finally interjected. Where’s Kowareta? He signed, his moving limbs quickly grabbing Keishin’s attention. 

 

“Oh, she had to do some last minute testing to make sure she can leave. She should be here in a minute or two,” Keishin said, grinning like a madman. Izuku nodded, and the three friends sat in silence for a few minutes before the door opened slowly. Keishin tossed his head to look at the door and shouted, “Kowareta!” 

 

Kowareta had long, pale blonde hair that went down to her hips that was usually pulled back into a bun or low ponytail. Today, she had opted for space buns. Kowareta was standing upright, a quiet smile playing upon her lips. “Hey Kei,” she said, her voice hoarse from lack of use. “It’s been a while since we could actually get together with me actually here, hasn’t it?” 

 

Keishin nodded enthusiastically, grasping the girl’s arm to help her over to their booth. Kowareta’s legs shook with every step she took, her thin frame wobbling ever so slightly. As she sat down, she made eye contact with Izuku and began to sign. “Hey, Mido. How are ya?” 

 

This was why Izuku loved his friends; they would always sign as they spoke - even Watanabe managed to learn it, even if his signs were messy and slow. It warmed his heart to know that people actually cared. I’m fine, what about you? I heard that your condition got worse, Izuku signed quickly, causing Kowareta to frown slightly. 

 

“It’s not that bad, you’re just making it sound worse than it actually is. Stop fussing so much.” Kowareta stuck out her tongue to punctuate her words at the end. 

 

Izuku frowned. Stop lying, Ko. I know that you’re worse than you say you are. 

 

Keishin suddenly jumped into the conversation, quickly ending the argument before it could actually start. “H-Hey! You too the U.A. Gen. Ed. test today, right? How was that?”  Izuku’s frown deepened, causing Keishin’s smile to falter ever so slightly for the briefest of seconds. 

 

The test itself was extremely easy, but Nedzu - the principal, - called me into his office to talk. He- He wanted to know about my work. 

 

“Your work? Why would he want to know about that? You haven’t done anything to provoke this,” Watanabe suddenly said. 

 

Well, Izuku signed sheepishly, his hands shaking ever so slightly. I did run into three pros the other day… 

 

“WHAT?” They all yelled, one quieter than the other two. 

 

“What the fuck happened?” Kowareta said, her eyes wide with strangled panic. “Did they..?” 

 

Izuku bit his lower lip and began to sign furiously. No, nonono. They didn’t arrest me or anything, but I think Nedzu and a few others know who I am. Nedzu asked to see me today, and he asked me if I was Crane or not. 

 

All three collectively sighed, relief prominent in their movements. “At least you weren’t arrested or anything,” Watanabe said, his words slow and clumsy, causing Izuku to smile fondly. 

 

Well, you guys should order something! 

 

“That we should,” Keishin said brightly, perking up at the idea. “Hey, Shinsou!” 

 

Shinsou, - the purple haired barista, - turned at the call, meeting Keishin’s bright eyes with his own tired ones. “The usual?” He said, his voice was slow and monotonous. Keishin nodded aggressively, so Shinsou looked to Kowareta and quirked an eyebrow upwards in a silent question. 

 

“I’ll have a flower tea, if you serve it,” Kowareta said, her voice and demeanor quiet and timid. “It’s okay if you don’t, I just haven’t had it in a long time and it’s my favorite and oh my god I’m starting to ramble I’m so sorry-” 

 

Shinsou quickly cut her off with a light and airy laugh and smiled softly. “It’s fine - we actually don’t serve flower tea officially, but we can bend the rules for Izuku’s friends. I don’t think I’ve seen you before, though - are you new?” Shinsou swiftly and gracefully finished signing his words, cocking his head to the side. 

 

“O-oh! Right, I haven’t been here in years, haven’t I? I’m Kowareta. Kowareta Yurei, pleasure to make your acquaintance. Um, I’m the girl Mido and the others talk about a lot? We’ve been friends for about three or four years now,” Kowareta said, her hands shaking slightly. 

 

“Oh, you,” Shinsou said, pouring some water into the boiler. “I always tried to get your name but Watanabe and Keishin would never let me find out.” 

 

Kowareta smiled shakily, her lips drawn back into a sad and strained grin. “There’s a good reason for that, so I’m glad they kept it from you this long. Um, what’s your-?” 

 

“Shinsou. Shinsou Hitoshi, nice to meet you.” 

 

Izuku’s eyes darkened with sadness and despair as the two began to talk about the books they read recently, soon furiously signing as they argued over the plot of some other obscure novel. He was glad that Kowareta was finally getting out and making friends, but Izuku was worried about what would happen after she… Left. That’s probably the best word for it. 

 

“...Midoriya!” Kowareta signed close to his face, causing Izuku to startle back suddenly. Kowareta threw her back elegantly and laughed lightly, picking up her glass mug and sipping from it as the flowers swirled around in the pale green liquid.  “Finally, I got your attention. We’re going to head to the flower shop after this - Keishin and I, that is. You wanna come with us? Y- you don’t have to, I mean I don’t want to pressure you or anything I just want to hang out since I won’t be around anymore, probably in the next few months and I thought it’d be nice to see you outside of-”

 

Izuku sighed and put his americano down, reaching upwards and covering Kowareta’s hands with one of his own and lifting a finger to his lips, a sly smile painted on. Of course I’ll come, Ko. Who do you take me for? He signed, the corners of his eyes crinkling as his smile widened. 

 

Kowareta smiled brightly, a look that hasn’t been seen on her face in years. “Great! It’s been so long-” She was cut off by a sudden cough, causing Kowareta to raise one of her frail hands to cover her mouth. Izuku, Keishin, and Watanabe all looked to her, panic scrawled across their faces as Kowareta finished her hacking. Kowareta looked down at her hand, causing her eyes to widen ever so slightly. She swiftly pulled a small red cloth from her bag and wiped her hands off, forcing her smile back. 

 

“It’s been a while!” Kowareta said, quickly recovering by the time Shinsou came by with her tea. “Ah, thank you very much…?” She said, prompting for his name.

 

Shinsou sighed as he set down the glass teacup. “Shinsou. Shinsou Hitoshi. Didn’t I- you know what, never mind,” He said, his voice flat and bored. 

 

“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” 

 

And so, the day went on. The quartet played Dungeons and Dragons for a little bit ( “I hate you, I hate you so much Watanabe. I despise you with my whole soul,” ), shared random anecdotes from their lives, and just sat in comfortable silence until Shinsou offered to let them play whatever music they want. The cafe was deserted, as it was around 23:00, so they had the entire shop to themselves. They decided unanimously to let Kowareta choose the music, and she eventually decided on her favorite playlist, called ‘b0p2 + b4ng3r2,’ handing her phone to Shinsou so he could connect it to the cafe’s speaker system. 

 

“Wait, Izuku,” Watanabe finally said, breaking the comfortable air. “Don’t you have work?” 


Izuku laughed lightly. I can take one night off. After all, I wouldn’t be much of an urban legend if I was always there, right?