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Ghosts of Flowers

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After that irritating battle with the Meta Liberation Army and at long last getting Gigantomachia to bend the knee and acknowledge him as Sensei’s successor, Shigaraki finally gets the chance to think. He carefully sifts through the pieces of his recovered memories and tries to hold them close.

His family’s hands weigh him down, but the warmth of those simpler days (he shoves the memories of his father aside) suffuses him.

There is something that bothers him a bit though, building as he replays the memories again and again as the hours of the night tick by. Hana seems—oddly familiar.

Obviously, she’s familiar. She’s his beloved older sister who believed in him (up until and maybe still when she had shoved all the blame onto him, and he had killed her), but it’s like—like he’s seen her somewhere more recently.

That’s dumb though, it’s not like he has a quirk that lets him see ghosts.

It’s not until he’s reviewing the U.A. training exercise footage their mole got them that he realizes it.

The Yaoyorozu heiress, with her long, dark hair, her elegant eyes, and her confident smile, she looks just like—

But she can’t be Hana.

His memories are patchy, and he knows he’s still missing some, but her hands hang on his wrists, the Yaoyorozu girl lacks the mole he remembers on Hana’s cheek, and he knows that Hana was definitely older than him, so if she were somehow still alive, she should be in her twenties, not a teenager still running around in high school.

Besides, Sensei had said that he’d wiped out his entire family on his own, and even if he can’t quite remember it—well, he doesn’t want to, and anyway, Sensei would never lie to him.

Maybe she’s—a relative of some kind?

(A distant one he didn’t manage to disintegrate with his own hands?)

It itches at his mind until he finally instructs their mole to relay over any information she has on Yaoyorozu Momo. When that information seems to be slow-coming (he really needs to check in and make sure their mole still knows where her loyalties lie), he also pays Giran for any information he has on the Yaoyorozu family.

“The Yaoyorozus? You’re not planning something with them, are you?” Giran asks, stubbing his cigarette out and giving Shigaraki a dubious look. “It’d be splashy since the Yaoyorozus are very high-profile, but their security is no joke. They have enough money to host a small army and the kinds of quirks to produce any weaponry they need on demand.”

“Do I pay you to question me?” Shigaraki demands.

(Fine, Giran may have proved to actually have a rare sense of loyalty, and they may have rescued him from the clutches of the Meta Liberation Army, but like hell is he revealing any personal information to an information broker.

Even if he doesn’t sell the information, who knows who in the League he’d tell.)

Giran holds up his hands, “Okay, okay, I’ll go take a look and see what I can find you. Anything specific I should be looking for?”

“Just—check who they’re related to and stuff,” Shigaraki says before striding away.

In the meantime, he corrals the rest of the League for any information they have under the excuse of going over the U.A. students again to see if they have any other possible recruits.

“I don’t want any more teenagers. Besides, I already recruited someone,” Dabi says, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair.

“I would definitely like more teenagers!” Toga cheers, holding her hand up., “More friends would be great! Especially if they’re all bloody! Can we get Izuku-kun and Ochako-chan?”

“Realistic options only please,” Shigaraki says, rolling his eyes (what did he expect from Toga anyway).

“What about that kid who got hit with a quirk nullification bullet?” Spinner asks., “He might have some issues about that.”

(That’s—actually not a bad thought, they should investigate that kid some more.)

“I kind of liked that Todoroki kid,” Mr. Compress pipes up, carefully adjusting his coat in his seat. “We could use another long-range fighter, and he’s really powerful.”

“Didn’t he just say realistic options only? You think the heir to Endeavor would join us?” Dabi asks sharply, leaning forward. “He’d have to have gone crazy. We have enough Nomu to take care of the long-range part.”

“Not if you keep getting them killed~~” Toga sings out. “Ujiko’s going to get maaaaad at you one day if you keep wasting them.”

“It wasn’t a waste, we learned a lot,” Dabi says tightly, settling into his chair again.

“Dabi’s right! No, we learned nothing!” Twice says while both nodding and frowning at him.

(This is the first time Shigaraki has actually seen Dabi really participate in a group discussion.

His grudge against Endeavor is obvious, and it’s even helpful to their cause, but—

Wouldn’t managing to recruit Endeavor’s carefully trained successor be the perfect blow against the pro-hero?

Still, they’re drifting wildly away from the topic he called them here for in the first place.)

“What about Yaoyorozu Momo?” he asks.

He gets a bunch of blank stares from everyone.

“Who?” Spinner asks.

Toga snaps her fingers, “Ohhhhhhh the pretty tall girl with the super cute clothes who made that GPS tracker, right? Do you like her?”

“What? No, not everyone is like you,” Shigaraki says with a shudder (gross, she could be related to him! And she’s sixteen. ), “I just think—with the amount of resources she has at her disposal, she could be very useful.”

“Yeah, but with that many resources, why would she join us?” Spinner asks.

“It’d have to be a very special reason for her to give up her nice luxurious life,” Mr. Compress sighs.

“She could be rebelling against her parents!” Twice says, clenching his fist against his chest before slumping over with an added, “It doesn’t seem likely…”

“If you’re not being realistic either, I’m leaving,” Dabi says, standing up.

So that meeting was entirely useless, and Giran is still taking his sweet time with the information. Therefore, Shigaraki has to content himself with practicing with his prosthetic, figuring out the new limits of his quirk, paging through a report from their mole that’s so bland it could have been put together with a simple google search (that girl has gone entirely too native), talking to Ujiko about the next phase in Nomus and destroying everything, reigning in the League, budgeting out food expenses, and crushing Spinner at video games.

It’s actually—if it weren’t for this itching sensation that something isn’t quite right with how similar to his sister that girl looks and how even Hana’s hands cannot bring him the peace he seeks, he would say that things seem to be going pretty smoothly for the League.

Giran eventually contacts him to say that he’s finished his investigation and comes in to lay out the details on the Yaoyorozus.

The company information he more or less knew (flagship Japanese company, expanding overseas, more money than god, etc, etc), but the personal information he did not.

“We’ll start with Yaoyorozu Reira, since she is the current head of the family and the company,” Giran says. He sets a photo of a smiling tall woman with dark brown hair wearing a smart business suit in front of them. “Yaoyorozu Reira, born an heiress and with the quirk to refresh any kind of food as long as she touches it. Champion polo player, has a golf handicap of five, and fairly good tennis player and concert pianist by all accounts. Educated in all the best schools, went abroad and got an English degree at Oxford then followed it up with an MBA from Wharton, whereupon she was crowned CEO of the Yaoyorozu Company and has led it successfully ever since.”

Giran then tosses a photo of a tall, more expressionless dark-haired man onto the bar.  

“Yaoyorozu Daiichi, formerly Mori Daiichi before he married her. His quirk is being able to build anything as long as he sees it, and he’s from a family of fairly well-to-do engineers. His golf handicap is also pretty low, and he studied at Tokyo University. He was working as one of the lead engineers of the Yaoyorozu Company when Yaoyorozu Reira, newly minted as the CEO of her family’s company, was touring the R&D department and met him. It was by all accounts love at first sight, a whirlwind romance followed by a big, flashy wedding, and they appear to have had a very happy marriage, despite their struggles to have a child for a while.”

“Did they adopt?” Shigaraki asks.

(It makes sense, as he’s fairly certain his family wasn’t related to the Yaoyorozus in any way. Wouldn’t his father have made use of those connections at the time?)

Giran nods, “It’s actually a rather heartwarming story. Yaoyorozu Momo—although back then, that wasn’t her name—was recovering in some kind of experimental cryogenics chamber in a hospital wing that the Yaoyorozus had donated. She finally woke up, and the Yaoyorozus came by to see the girl and just loved her. They had been trying to have a kid for years, so they just adopted her there and then. Since then, sounds like they’ve treasured and adored her.”

(It is a heartwarming story.

Why couldn’t something like that have happened for him?

Where were people like that when he had been starving on the streets before Sensei had saved him?)

Shigaraki scratches at his neck to rid himself of these thoughts. “What was she recovering from? What was her name before?”

“Don’t know.” Giran shrugs and takes another drag from his cigarette. “The adoption records were sealed—maybe the Yaoyorozus didn’t want any biological parents suddenly popping up and wringing them for money—it’s going to take a lot of money and work to get them open. You want me to go do it?”

“Don’t bother,” Shigaraki says standing up, thinking of a better, and more importantly, faster idea (the sooner he has answers, the better—he can’t stop speculating about it at night). “We have an inside agent in the government now, we should use him.”

(It’s time for Dabi’s recruit to finally earn his keep.)

“You want Hawks to get a bunch of sealed adoption records?” Dabi asks dubiously, staring at Shigaraki. “Why?”

“It’s a test. By how fast and in how much detail he manages to get the records to us, we’ll know what kind of access he has. And if he leaks this information back to his handlers, doesn’t really harm us,” Shigaraki says confidently.

(It wouldn’t really be a bad test if he wasn’t already convinced that the #2 pro-hero can’t be trusted.

Still, given Hawks’ reputation, it gets him the information he needs, and then they can really figure out how to best utilize this supposed turncoat of theirs.

Plus even if Hawks, or anyone else, looks at the records, they’re not going to be able to find any connections to him.

Shimura Tenko doesn’t exist anymore.)

“If you say so,” Dabi says, not looking the least bit convinced. “But why adoption records?”

“They’re confidential enough to require higher-level access, and we can potentially use them for blackmail purposes or to find new members,” Shigaraki bluffs (although it’s not a bad idea to use them for that too). “There’s also nothing in there your pro-hero recruit could use against us.”

Dabi shrugs. “Right. Doesn’t seem really all that useful, but I’ll let him know.”

(He’s got to keep a closer eye on Dabi; that guy has always had his own agenda.)

Meanwhile, there’s still a lot of planning to be done regarding the League’s next steps. They’ve taken over the Meta Liberation Army’s resources, so things are a bit easier in terms of headquarters and clothing now (food is still an issue just because no one in the League wants to eat the same things. Toga wants pastries, Mr. Compress wants sushi, Spinner wants ramen, Twice wants beer, Shigaraki just wants something fresh, he thinks Dabi is forcing Hawks to buy him food, and thank god they don’t have to feed Gigantomachia, or else even the Meta Liberation Army’s resources would run out in like a day), but they still have to make their next move in the public eye.

All Might is no longer a threat, so maybe another attack on U.A.?

But what if Yaoyorozu Momo really is a relative of his and gets caught in the crossfires again—

He can’t make exceptions for someone who is just maybe a relative and someone else his grandmother managed to abandon.

(Still—actual family that is still alive, doesn’t that count for something?

Even if they never came looking for him.

Maybe they didn’t want a monster.)

Hawks lives up to his speedy reputation and delivers all the files to Dabi within a week. Dabi hands him the flash drive (sealed or not, Hawks probably has a copy, and Dabi has already either seen or will see it, but he can’t worry about that right now) with a frown.

“Ujiko canceled his meeting with you to talk to me, don’t interrupt,” Dabi says, striding off.

“Like I would want to,” Shigaraki grumbles before hurrying to his room, locking the door, and plugging the flash drive into his computer.

He had asked Hawks to get the entire section of sealed off adoption records for people with last names Y-Z, and he can go through the rest later, but of course, there’s only one record he really cares about at the moment.

He searches for Yaoyorozu Momo and gets a hit.

        

         Yaoyorozu Momo

         Adoptive Parent(s): Yaoyorozu Reira and Yaoyorozu Daiichi

         Former Name : Shimura Hana

 

(That—

No, that can’t be right.

Hana is dead.

He killed her.

He has her hands on his wrists.

There must be some mistake some clerical error or the same name—Hana is a common girl’s name—her age still isn’t right—could the file have been tampered with—but no, all the hash values and MAC dates look right—)

He frantically reads on.

 

         Reason for Sealed Records: Shimura Hana is the only known survivor of an attack on her family, possibly by villains. In the interest of her safety, although her age has already been preserved by the experimental cryogenics treatment she received, her name has been changed, and her records will henceforth be sealed until the perpetrators of the attack are identified and apprehended.

        Medical History: Shimura Hana was heavily injured in an attack by an unknown quirk. Her face was scarred, and many of her internal organs had become necrotic and were no longer viable. She received skin grafts for her face, and an experimental cryogenics treatment was used for six years while new internal organs were cloned and transplanted into her. 

 

(Then—

It’s her?

She’s alive?

De-aged and now somehow his younger sister, but alive?

But Sensei said they were all dead—

Did Sensei somehow get it wrong?

Did he not notice that she was still alive?

But that can’t be right, Sensei notices everything and gave him her hands—

Whose hands are these if she’s alive?

She’s alive, and she’s in the class that he had attacked? And is currently planning on possibly attacking again?

What is—what the fuck is he supposed to do with that ?)

He just keeps scrolling through the file for the whole night, back and forth, page by page, line by line, word by word, scratching at his neck until there is blood under his nails, and when he’s sure there’s no detail he’s missed, no mistake that could have been made, he goes over all the information he has on Yaoyorozu Momo from their mole and just general public knowledge.

(Alive, alive, alive.

Alive and on the path to becoming a hero, just like the two of them had dreamed of.

Alive, but so young now, with so many potential dangers in her way.

Not least of which are his own plans—

Okay, that at least is something he can control. He can scrap those plans and focus on other targets. After all, it’s not like there’s much left to take from All Might. He’s already been reduced to a husk of his former self, and he’s sure that stings. And his successor is just some snot-nosed teenage brat—who’s his sister’s classmate. Possibly friend too, weren’t they all at that mall together?

There’s a lot of other high profile pro-heroes he could hit—or Shiketsu is pretty renowned too.

But even without him, it’s a dangerous path she’s walking.

Maybe he could get a Nomu to specifically watch over her—

But can he trust Ujiko right now? Both he and Sensei had given him her hands—maybe Ujiko had kept it from Sensei that someone had survived, that would be like Ujiko.

But that ruse couldn’t have continued without Sensei eventually knowing about it and approving—

Still, maybe Sensei didn’t care about such a small matter when he had so many more important issues to consider. )

He wants—he desperately wants to ask Sensei questions, to get some advice, but that can no longer happen.

Hell, he’d even settle for Kurogiri right now, but he’s also gone.

And even if it could—he can’t help but wonder if either of them would tell him the whole story.

(After all, Sensei had let him lock away his memories of everything for so long.

Obviously it was for his own good, and this probably was too, but—

Now that he knows, he can’t stop wondering.)

Either way, Nomus are out. They were probably a bad idea anyway—knowing Ujiko, he’d make something disgusting that would make Hana (Momo?) sick. That leaves either the other League members or himself, and he would literally rather let Toga suck out all his blood or Dabi set him on fire than talk about this to them right now.

He’ll have to keep himself hidden though. She—even if she thinks he’s dead, he must be the monster of her nightmares. And—he’s only become worse since then, so it’s better that she doesn’t see what her brother has become.

So—what are things that would make her safer.

Probably a better internship, Uwabami is better known for her modeling skills than her combat ability.

Fat Gum could be an option, given Hana’s quirk, and Hawks could be useful to make that happen—although somehow manipulating Eraserhead to take on an intern would be even better.

And of course, there’s that disgusting little purple pimple of a pervert that even their mole has complained about before.

The sooner he’s sorted out the better. 

Chapter Text

It’s been—a rather strange few weeks for Momo.

Besides the usual 1-A dorm shenanigans (she’s had to create yet another fire extinguisher for the kitchen, because Todoroki is sadly a disaster in that area no matter who is trying to teach him, Ashido decided that an eating competition was a great team-bonding experience and forced Momo to participate and win, and both her and Iida have been trying their best to orient and welcome Shinsou to the heroics class), a few odd things have occurred.

First, Uwabami contacts her to let her know that due to a malicious hacker stealing close to 55 million yen from her agency, she can’t possibly support any more interns. Momo offers to donate some money to make up for the loss (shouldn’t take more than a few weeks for her allowance to accumulate, and she can always cash in some of her stock options), but Iida tells reminds her that it would be a potential ethics violation, so she lets it go.

(She has to say, she felt some relief at that.

She hadn’t wanted to do any more commercials.

She still anonymously donates some money to Uwabami. The poor woman didn’t deserve to have her money stolen like that.)

Next, she gets an internship request from Fat Gum’s Agency. She’s not sure if she or Kirishima is more excited about it, with Kirishima scrambling to extol how nice Fat Gum is and how cool Amajiki-senpai is.

Then, Mineta turns up trembling and grovels on the floor in front of all the 1-A girls while they are busy watching a drama together, begging for their forgiveness for all of his previous perverted actions and swearing that he’s turning over a new leaf and will never bother them again.

None of them really knew what was going on, and honestly, none of them thought his new phase would last long (it’s been a long year of Mineta’s harassment), but surprisingly, he actually seems to stick to it. When Momo gets a costume change from Support (welcome, although unexpected), and she overhears Kaminari complaining to Mineta about how her new costume covered more, Mineta actually stiffly informed him that her costume is her choice and everyone should respect that in all cases. He even runs the other direction when he sees any of the girls now, which seems a bit excessive.

Hagakure just laughs and tells her to enjoy it.

“Isn’t it a nice change?” she says brightly.

“I’m definitely enjoying it,” Ashido says with a nod.

“It really is, but such an abrupt change in behavior… perhaps we should inform Aizawa-sensei?” Momo asks worriedly.

“It is strange,” Tsuyu agrees, placing a finger to her chin, “But maybe he’s just growing up?”

“Or he’s decided to actually live up to becoming a proper hero,” Uraraka chimes in.

Jirou snorts. “I say leave it. What are we complaining about after all?”

And Jirou does have a point. It is nice to not have to worry about the security of the girl’s bathroom or locker rooms anymore.

So none of these things are—bad per se, but added together, they seem strange.

And then there’s just this sense that—someone is following her around.

It started with just an odd feeling, a stray thought that would pop into her head and she would quickly dismiss as paranoia (her therapist says it’s understandable after all the villain attacks this previous year).

But lately—she thinks she’s seen a man dressed in a black hoodie in the vicinity a lot.

“You have a stalker?” Jirou wrinkles her nose in disgust. “Make a net, throw it at him, and haul him in in front of Aizawa-sensei, Yaomomo.”

“Do you think that’s rather too reactionary?” Momo muses, tapping her pencil against her chin. “It could just be a coincidence after all.”

“It’s definitely not a coincidence if you keep seeing them everywhere,” Jirou says flatly. “At best, it’s a really creepy fan.”

“Well, that wouldn’t be nice to just tie them up if they’re a fan, even if—they could express it better,” Momo says, tucking a strand of her hair back. “Maybe I should just try to talk to them?”

Jirou frowns. “…I still don’t think it’s a good idea, but if you have to, make sure you do it in a big public place. It’d—make me less worried about you.”

Momo smiles at Jirou (it’s so nice having a close friend). “I’ll be sure to. Thank you Jirou-chan.”

Jirou flushes, twisting her earlobes between her fingers, “Well—I mean, just the other day, Hagakure said that there’d been some unsavory attention towards U.A. female students, so we should all be on guard, right?”

Momo nods. “That’s true.”

She takes Jirou’s advice and waits until she’s out patrolling a busy street with Fat Gum and spots the man in the corner of her eye. He’s pretty much a constant presence, always hanging a little bit back until she and Kirishima are busy tying up a petty thief (still so much better than hanging around studios with Uwabami). Then he seems to be hurrying away.

This is her chance, so she quickly stands up and bows to Kirishima, “Kirishima-san, I think I saw someone I need to talk to, could you please handle this criminal on your own?”

“Oh yeah sure, go ahead! I got this!” Kirishima says cheerfully, shoving the thief against the wall when he tries to run away.

Momo throws Kirishima a pair of handcuffs and then runs after the man in the hoodie. He’s pretty sneaky and fast, but Momo is U.A. trained and manages to catch up to him in an alleyway.

It—doesn’t have as many people as Jirou would probably like, in fact it’s completely abandoned, but Momo follows regardless. This is her chance and who knows when she’ll be able to catch up with this person again.

“Excuse me! Sir!” she calls out, holding a Taser behind her back (it’s best to be safe, and she’s gotten pretty good at creating these on the fly), “Excuse me!”

He doesn’t bother to turn around. Instead, he hunches even further into his hoodie and heads deeper into the alleyway.

She’s going to lose him at this rate, so she quickly jumps onto the side of the wall (Tsuyu has been teaching her some tricks), parkours up, and leaps down right in front of the man.

The man’s head jerks up, and—

(His skin is far too pale and pasty and dry, he has scars over his eyes and mouth, his lips are cracked, and his hair hangs shaggily down in a pale blue shade, but—

She recognizes that mole near his mouth, and his eyes are red.

Those are her little brother’s eyes staring back at her.)

Tenko? ” she breathes.

He flinches as though she'd struck him.

“Tenko, it’s—it’s you, isn’t it?” she asks, stepping forward and placing a hand against her cheek, where her mole had once been (he’s alive . She had always hoped but had always worried—). “It’s—you recognize me, right? It’s Hana.”

At that, he bolts as though he’s running for his life, and she doubts she could catch him even if her legs weren’t wobbly with shock.

(It really is him.

It’s Tenko.

He’s alive , and he’s finally found her again.

She can finally apologize to him for shifting all the blame for stealing that photo from their father’s study onto him and for running away when he needed help the most.

Is that why he ran away from her?

Because he hasn’t found it in himself to forgive her yet?)

The rest of the day passes in a blur. She’s not sure how she makes her way to her house, just that she does (she needs to talk to someone who understands). Both of her parents quickly appear in the blue reading room when they hear that she has returned.

“Momo, darling, are you alright?” her mother asks, sitting down on the couch next to her and smoothing her hair back from her face. “Did something happen on patrol? Do you not like the internship?”

Momo shakes her head, “No—the internship is fine. I—I think—my brother found me.”

“Your brother ?” her mother asks, exchanging a glance with her father. “Oh my—that is wonderful, Momo! Where is he? Is he alright? Would it be possible for us to meet him as well?”

“I—I’m not sure. He found me, and then he—he ran away,” she looks up at them. “Do you think—do you think he still blames me for everything—”

“Absolutely not,” her father interrupts solidly. “You were both children, and whatever exactly—happened to the rest of your family was an abominable attack that had nothing to do with either of you.”

Her mother nods. “Exactly. Still—if he ran away—would you like us to hire private detectives again, Momo? We still have a number on retainer from before.”

(But they had never found him before, had they?

They hadn’t even been able to find any trace of whether or not he was even alive.

Still, she at least has an updated physical description now, so maybe they can work with that?)

“I—would you mind?” she asks, looking between her mother and father.

“Of course not!” her mother says, taking her cellphone out of the pocket of her suit jacket. “Let me call them right now.”

“We would very much like to see you reunited with your brother, Momo,” her father says quietly, placing a hand on her shoulder and taking her mother’s place by her side as she walks off to make the call. “We would like to meet him too. I’m sure he’s been through a lot.”

Momo nods, looking up at him gratefully.

(Sometimes she can’t believe how lucky she was to get her adoptive parents.

They have given her everything and have always respected her dreams and wishes.

She occasionally misses her biological parents, but… while she finds it hard to compare her gentle, quiet biological mother with the vibrant, vivacious Yaoyorozu Reira, Yaoyorozu Daiichi has been the kind of steady, reliable father she had desperately wanted her biological father to be.

Neither of the Yaoyorozus have ever raised a hand against her or even punished her all that much aside from a slight scolding or serious talk when she tried to take on too much coursework or physical training all at once. In that aspect, there’s no comparison.

Did Tenko manage to find parents like that as well?)

Her parents send out the private detectives and she checks her phone every day after class to see if there are any updates.

“What are you up to Yaomomo?” Hagakure asks, coming up from behind her. “You’re sure checking your phone a lot—do you have a boyfriend?”

“Ohmygod, you have a boyfriend? ” Ashido asks, practically zooming up to her. “What’s he like? Where’d you meet him?”

“Lay off, Yaomomo doesn’t have time for that—right?” Jirou asks, frowning.

Momo nods gratefully at Jirou. “No, I do not. Nothing like that, I just—there’s some family news I’m waiting to hear back on, that’s all.”

(If they find him, the first thing she’s going to say to him is going to be an apology this time.

It won’t make up for anything, but maybe—maybe it’ll at least get him to stay and talk for a little bit.

Let her at least figure out how he’s doing.)

“Oh,” Jirou grins at her. “Well—I hope you get good news for whatever you’re waiting for!”

Momo smiles back at her and glances back at her phone, but there’s no news that day. Or the next. Or the next.

She’s looking over a list of other private detectives her mother has compiled for her to review before sending more out when her phone pings with a text.

 

         Unknown number: if i meet up with u, will u stop your PIs from investigating me

 

Her breath catches in her chest, and her fingers tremble as she manages to type out a response

 

         Momo: Tenko?

         Momo: Is that you?

         Unknown number: will u stop your PIs from investigating me

         Momo: Yes, of course! I just wanted to find you again to apologize to you.

         Unknown number: apologize for what?

 

Momo bites her lip as she considers what to say next (does he want her to explicitly spell it out?)

 

         Momo: For lying to dad about who took out grandmother’s picture and for not helping you during the attack.

         Momo: I am truly sorry, but please, I really want to see you again.

        

There’s a long pause, three dots flashing over and over, as Momo holds her breath.

 

         Unknown number: theres nothing for you to apologize for

         Unknown number: kiyashi ward shopping mall, saturday at 3pm by the fountain

         Momo: I will definitely be there!

 

She immediately lets her parents know the good news. Her mother sends a series of exclamation marks and emoticons while her father simply asks if she wants anyone to go with her. She says that she thinks it’s best for her to go alone (Tenko already seems freaked out enough as it is). Her parents agree and tell her to let them know how it goes.

She’s veering between excitement and sheer nervousness for the rest of the week (it’s her brother , but also she’s so different now—she’s not even the right age she should be, will he find that strange? How different from her memories will he be?). It gets to the point that she’s not quite as meticulous in her studies as usual, and she drops below Iida in English.

“Are you alright, Yaomomo?” Jirou asks worriedly, sitting next to her. “You seem kind of—off.”

“Oh, I—I’m meeting someone tomorrow,” Momo says, tucking a strand of hair back before leaning forward and lowering her voice (after all, Jirou would probably appreciate the good news). “It’s—my brother.”

“Your brother ?” Jirou whispers back. “I mean that’s great Yaomomo, but—I didn’t know you had a brother!”

“Yes, he went—missing,” Momo explains. “Before I was adopted. But now he’s back!”

“That’s amazing!” Jirou says with a grin. “How’d you guys find him?”

“He actually found me,” Momo corrects. “Do you remember that guy in the hoodie that was following me around? It turns out, that was actually him.”

Seriously? ” Jirou asks, her eyebrows shooting up before adding, “I mean—I guess that’s good but—still a little creepy?”

“He probably just didn’t know how to approach me. I—barely know what to say to him,” Momo says softly. “It’s been—a very long time.”

(Fifteen years to be exact, but that would require explaining her cryogenics treatment and the reasons behind that, and that’s—

A lot to dump on anyone, even a best friend.)

“I think as long as you two meet up again, you’ll know what to say,” Jirou says warmly. “After all—if it’s been a long time, you guys have a lot to catch up on, right?”

“Yes, that’s true,” Momo says, brightening up a bit (in fact, enough for several conversations, she hopes). “I—really hope it goes well.”

“It’s you, Yaomomo. Of course it’ll go well,” Jirou says staunchly. “Just tell your brother not to use such creepy methods next time! He can’t blame people who get the wrong idea!”

Momo laughs, “I will see what I can suggest.”

Saturday comes bright and clear. Momo arrives at the mall early, dressed carefully in the nicest gray blouse and pale pink long skirt she owns (she has to make a good first impression). Sitting at the fountain, Tenko is already there, still in the black hoodie.

(Perhaps—later, if things go well, she can buy her brother some nicer clothes?)

“Tenko,” she greets him, sitting next to him and smiling, reaching out to take his hands.

He flinches, keeping his hands out of her grasp, and she lets her hands fall (ah, she guesses that would be too much to ask).

“Tenko,” she repeats, “Are—how are you?”

“Okay,” he mumbles, glancing at her. “You… look good.”

“Thank you,” she says (oh, this conversation is so stiff). “Tenko—I just wanted to say again how sorry I am. I said I would protect you, but I—I completely failed. I have no right to ask for your forgiveness, and—”

“There’s nothing to forgive,” Tenko cuts in, his voice suddenly stronger and his eyes intense. “You—you were just a kid. You were scared of dad, and of—what was happening.”

“That still doesn’t excuse me. I was wrong,” Momo insists. “You were a kid too, and I was your big sister—”

“And you were like six,” Tenko says before leaning forward slightly. “Look, I—thank you for saying that, but—I’m serious. I had—nearly forgotten about it.”

Momo frowns (really? That seems strange). “Oh. But—but how have you been, Tenko? Where have you been? We’ve sent so many private detectives over the years, but none of them could find you…”

“I was somewhere safe. I’m here after all, aren’t I?” Tenko asks, spreading his arms out.

(And that’s true, but—

Now that she’s getting a closer look at him, she can see that the hoodie is quite threadbare and raggedy, his hair hangs limp, his skin seems too dry, slightly sallow, and slightly cracked around his lips. His eyes seem sunken, and he clearly has scratch marks on his neck—did he never drop that nervous habit?)

“And I’m really happy you’re here,” she says softly, “And… if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine, but if you want to tell me anything or ask me anything, please do.”

“The Yaoyorozus—they’ve treated you well?” he asks.

Momo nods, “Very well. Better than I deserve.”

Tenko manages to crack a small smile. “You deserved—the best. I’m glad.”

“You did too,” she says, “Did they—again, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but did whoever take you in treat you well?”

“They saved me,” Tenko says intensely, his hands curling into fists, “When no one else would.”

(What did her brother have to endure before this person found him?

How had they missed him for all these years?)

“That’s good then,” she says with a tentative smile.

“How—how did you survive?” Tenko asks, his eyes dropping down to his hands. “I—I thought I saw you fall to pieces.”

(Mostly, what she remembers about that attack is pain.

Pure lacerating pain that shot through her body and overwhelmed her brain, then just blessed darkness.

By the time she had woken up again, six years had passed and none of her family remained.)

“I—I think I did,” she manages to say. “But—someone apparently passed by, found I was breathing, and took me to the hospital. The hospital had an experimental cryogenics treatment they put me under… and I woke up six years later, healed.”

(More or less.)

“…I’m sorry,” Tenko says, one hand clenched into a fist, the other frantically scratching at his neck (oh—that’s not a good sign).

“Why are you sorry? I was lucky,” she says, patting his knee, “Really, Tenko—I’m good.”

Tenko’s hand stills, as he looks at her, “…I can see that. You’re—really, you’re better than I expected you to be.”

Momo smiles at him. “And—what are you doing these days? Are you in university, or are you working?”

“I’m—working,” he says, his hand dropping from his neck.

“Do you like it?”

He shrugs, “It’s okay. Sometimes my teammates are a bit—annoying, but… we’re making a difference. Changing the world.”

She nods with a smile (that sounds good at least, even if he looks overworked) and says, “As long as you like it, I’m glad. I’m—well, I’m in the U.A. hero course right now.”

“I know,” he says quietly, “I—saw you at the sports festival.”

“Oh—that wasn’t my best showing,” she flushes, clasping her hands together (kind of a pitiful performance really).

“I thought you did pretty well, considering that Tokoyami kid was a beast,” Tenko says adamantly, looking at her. “And you got through that race even with that disgusting purple kid pinned to your back.”

Momo winces (that had been very unpleasant). “I—I have improved since then.”

“I know you have,” he says, still looking at her, his mouth tugging upwards. “You’re Hana, after all. You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Momo can feel her eyes tear up (oh—it’s been so long since anyone has called her that), “I—thank you, little brother.”

“I feel like you should call me big brother now,” Tenko says contemplatively, kicking his feet against the edge of the fountain. “I mean—I’m in my twenties, and you’re still a teenager in high school.”

Momo puts her hands on her hips. “Tenko, I was born first.”

“So what? You still have to go to school, and I’m working. Plus—I’m taller than you,” Tenko argues, standing up and straightening up.

Sadly, he really is taller, but not by that much.

“That has nothing to do with it!” Momo insists. “Big sister rights remain even if little brothers grow taller!”

“Sure, sure,” Tenko lets out a dry chuckle, carefully bumping shoulders with her.

“Tenko, do you think—”

There’s a streak of green, and suddenly she’s on the other end of the mall, Midoriya standing in front of her and glaring at Tenko, who is standing stock-still, staring back at them.

“Are you alright?” Midoriya frantically asks, glancing behind at her, “He didn’t—he didn’t do anything, right?”

Midoriya-san ?” Momo says, completely bewildered (what’s going on?), “I’m—I’m fine, I was just talking with—my brother.”

Midoriya’s eyes go wide, “Your —your brother?” he practically shrieks, head whipping back and forth between Momo and Tenko, “Yaoyorozu-san that’s—that’s Shigaraki Tomura !”

(What?

No, that’s completely ridiculous.

Yes, Tenko’s current hair color is a similar shade to that of the madman who attacked them at the USJ, but he’s not—Tenko didn’t even have a quirk when they were younger—

But wasn’t the attack on her family back then strangely similar to a quirk like Decay, just less controlled?

Like it would be if it had just activated?

But—it can’t be.

That villain had wanted to tear apart everything around him—had nearly killed Aizawa-sensei and Tsuyu-chan—had sent those Nomus after them at the training camp—and Tenko had hated it when anyone had even squashed a bug.)

“Midoriya-san—you must be mistaken,” she says with a shaky voice.

Midoriya shakes his head, clutching at her arm, “I’m not —I met him here before—he threatened me—threatened the entire crowd—look at his hands , Yaoyorozu-san!”

Tenko is clutching at the fountain, and she can see that part of the fountain has dissolved under his hands.

(And—Tenko didn’t let her touch his hands earlier, and they couldn’t find him for so long—it had been as though someone had hidden him away—

Someone like All For One?

And what would a man like that have done to her kind, sweet little brother?)

“Tenko,” she calls out, ignoring Midoriya’s attempts to pull her away. “Tenko, you—”

His expression has gone rictus grim, and he spins around and quickly vanishes into the crowd.

She runs forward, breaking out of Midoriya’s grasp, but he’s already gone.

(Just like all those years ago.

She has failed him even worse than she had first believed.)

 

Chapter Text

Shigaraki rushes away from the mall, barely managing to keep from disintegrating any of the people around him or the railing he is clutching onto.

(This had been such a bad idea.

Why did he even try it?

Because despite everything—he had desperately wanted to see her again.

To talk as though they were just normal siblings.

What a joke.

How can he ever be normal?

He was the source of everything bad that had happened to her. Everything he touches, he destroys.

Why did he ever think he could try and do something good?

He’s a villain, and that’s good for threatening little shits like that U.A. pervert into sobbing submission, but that’s shit for actually… what? Wanting to build something?

Dream on.

Just because he had gotten her a nice internship and new costume and kept some villains from going after her, would that really make up for what he is?

Sensei always said that he had been born for destruction, so why is he veering from that path?

She’s not going to want to have anything to do with him after this.

And—shit, now she’s going to use all the Yaoyorozu’s resources to hunt him down and lock him up.

He needs to think of a plan—if he could just think through the cloud of suffocating panic enveloping his mind—)

“Hey—are you okay, Shigaraki?”

Shigaraki looks up to see Spinner staring at him. He blinks and glances around—it seemed that he had managed to get back to their hideout alright, even if he’s now just sitting on the floor of the entryway.

“You’re bleeding,” Spinner says worriedly, gesturing at his neck. “Do you—want me to get the first-aid kit? You don’t want Toga to see that.”

Shigaraki moves his hand from his neck and notices that his fingers are red (oh—did Hana see that?). “I—I’m fine, this is normal. I’ll go clean up.”

“I’ll get the first-aid kit,” Spinner says decisively, pushing him back down when he tries to stand up. “You stay here.”

Sitting would be great, but he is the leader here, so he pushes himself back up, “You don’t give orders to me,” he manages to get out.

Spinner has already rushed away to get the first-aid kit in this room and started back. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re the boss,” he replies, taking out some iodine and bandages before continuing, “It’d be more impressive if you were actually around more these days. I haven’t crushed you in Mario Kart in weeks.”

Shigaraki scowls as Spinner dabs iodine on his neck. “You mean, me crushing you .”

“Are we talking about crushes?” Toga chirps, skipping down the stairs. “Izuku-kun looked so cool in the latest surveillance video of him! And Ochako-chan looked super cute too! Also, I think Dabi has a crush on Hawks—he’s always hanging out with him instead of us and talking about setting him on fire. And Spinner—”

“Doesn’t have time for any of that!” Spinner says quickly, slapping a bandage onto Shigaraki’s neck.

Toga pouts. “You’re no fun!”

“We’re not here to have fun, we’re here to fulfill Shigaraki’s vision!” Spinner argues back.

“There’s always time for lo~oove,” Toga whines, rocking back on her heels and pointing a knife at Shigaraki. “Even Shigaraki-chan here has a crush on that Yaomomo girl!”

“For the last time, I do not ,” Shigaraki spits out, feeling like he’s on slightly more level ground (all of this is at least familiar, dealing with Toga’s love talk and Spinner’s loud-mouth).

“Then why are you following her around so much?” Toga asks, tilting her head.

“He’s just—he’s got a plan,” Spinner defends him, crossing his arms.

(Shigaraki makes a note to use some of the money hacked from Uwabami to upgrade their headquarters’ video game system before handing the rest to Mr. Compress to manage.)

“Are we talking about his new stalker tendencies?” Mr. Compress asks, walking down the stairs. “It’s good we’re having this conversation now. Twice, go get Dabi.”

“You’re not the boss of me! But I’ll go get him!” Twice says, popping up before heading off.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Shigaraki demands as Mr. Compress gestures for everyone to sit on the stairs and Twice bounds up with an ambling Dabi.

“I know we are villains, but there’s still certain lines we shouldn’t cross, like stalking teenagers,” Mr. Compress says sternly.

Toga’s hand shoots up. “Unless you’re in love with them! Then stalking’s fine!”

“Stalking is only fine for purposes of information gathering,” Mr. Compress corrects firmly, looking between Shigaraki and Toga.

“Then it’s fine, I told you, I was information gathering,” Shigaraki says, glaring at Mr. Compress.

Mr. Compress clicks his tongue. “You’re setting such a bad example for Toga. What are you going to do if she gets worse?”

Can she get worse?” Spinner points out, looking worriedly at the grinning Toga.

“Don’t tempt fate,” Dabi mutters.

“I don’t know what you guys are talking about, I’m having the ideal schoolgirl romantic life!” Toga says happily, clasping both her hands around her knife. “I have both Izuku-kun and Ochako-chan!”

“Good for you, Toga!” Twice cheers. “But be careful!”

Toga salutes Twice. “Will do!”

Mr. Compress coughs. “Back to the subject at hand—I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’re a bit—concerned about your latest obsession.”

“Really,” Shigaraki says flatly, gripping the railing of the staircase.

“You say it’s for information gathering, but exactly what information have you gathered after all this time?” Mr. Compress presses forward.

Shigaraki leans forward, moving his hands so that they’re propped on his knees. “You’ll find out when you need to,” he hisses.

(He needs—more time at least to figure out what to do, and he still doesn’t know who to trust, so it’s better off that no one else knows for now.

Or ever really, given what has happened.

He needs—to make sure she can’t track him.

Which—shouldn’t be too difficult, the private detectives had been more of an annoyance than anything else.

And even if she tells any of the heroes or police anything, the only new information is her own relation to him, which should be a double-edged sword for her.

If he just stays away from now on, they should all be fine.

But—

There are villains other than them out there.

And she’s training to be a pro-hero, a job that requires people to run into danger.

Should he—somehow prevent her from becoming one?

No, then he would be like their father.

But then—how can he keep her safe?

Is there anyone he can trust with this?

He wishes Sensei were here to explain things right now—starting from why he thought she was dead in the first place.)

“Okay, good enough, right?” Spinner asks, glancing around. “We trust that you have a plan after all.”

(Spinner really has improved since that confrontation.

It’s nice to have someone so supportive.)

“Whatever, if we’re done here, I’m going out to go find more members,” Dabi announces, standing up.

(Probably more like go bother Hawks again.

Toga has a point. Dabi is spending a lot of time with Hawks these days, which—on one hand, he’s supposedly converting him to their cause, but on the other, he’s sure Dabi has his own agenda, as always.)

“The only member you’ve managed to find is a bird-brained pro-hero we can’t trust any further than we can throw him, and we can’t throw him because guess what? He can fucking fly ,” Shigaraki snaps.

“Still better than stalking a teenager,” Dabi shoots back before walking away.

The rest of the members take this as a signal to disperse, although Spinner hangs back to talk with him.

“Hey, um—whatever the plan is—it’s not good to have our leader always distracted by surveillance work, so—if you want, I could do it?” Spinner offers in a rush.

(That’s—not the worst idea.

Spinner more or less follows orders and doesn’t turn into a complete loony at the sight of blood like Toga.

The only concern he has is that Spinner may fall in love with his beautiful sister.

He’d have to kill him if that happened.

It’d be a shame. He likes playing video games with him, and hanging out with him isn’t—too bad.)

“…just watch her and make sure she doesn’t run into something she can’t handle,” Shigaraki finally says. “And make sure she doesn’t try to find us.”

“Like she did in Kamino Ward?” Spinner asks flippantly with a slight twitch of his mouth.

“Especially that. Don’t underestimate her, she’s very smart,” Shigaraki warns.

“Yeah, I figured.”

“And don’t get any ideas either,” Shigaraki says, waving a hand in front of him. “I already threatened one pervert away from her; I’d hate to find out there’s another in my own group.”

Spinner sputters. “I wouldn’t! I already—it’s not going to happen, I swear.”

“I’m holding you to that. She’s with Fat Gum’s agency on an internship, just—watch over her patrols and make sure she doesn’t—”

“Get into any trouble, got it,” Spinner says, rewrapping the bandages around his arms. “And—you think she already knows the League is watching her?”

“Oh, she definitely knows that,” Shigaraki sighs, running a hand through his hair (goddamnit, he has no one to blame but himself for that). “Just—make sure she doesn’t investigate any more. But subtly—no harming her.”

“…right, okay,” Spinner replies, his brow furrowed. “Subtle—sure, I can do that.”

“Do it well, and I’ll buy the latest Pokemon game,” Shigaraki adds (that should be good right? Sensei always gave him nicer toys and video games when he had gone all out after all).

Spinner gives him something that looks like a grin before heading off.

Shigaraki also starts to depart, walking deeper into their headquarters, when Dabi’s voice rings out.

“If you really care about your sister, maybe you shouldn’t hang around her. You’re only going to hurt her if you stay too close.”

He whirls around to see Dabi slouching against the wall, arms crossed, and staring at him impassively.

“What the fuck did you say to me?”

(He had initially thought that Dabi had probably put the pieces together with access to those files—after all, Dabi knows what his former name was, but since he hadn’t said anything, Shigaraki had assumed he was going to stay out of his business the way Shigaraki stays out of his.

If that isn’t the case, then Dabi needs to learn that there are some lines he isn’t going to allow anyone to cross.)

“You heard me,” Dabi says, glaring at him. “If you just wanted to see her—that’s one thing. Actually talking to her though, you’re only going to get us and her into shit.”

Shigaraki’s fists clench. “And what would you know about that Dabi ? Haven’t you stayed away from your family this whole time, and haven’t things only gotten worse for them?”

Dabi stills, his eyes narrowing. “…what would you know about them?”

(An educated guess really, but after realizing that Dabi probably knew about Hana, he had put aside some time to try and dig up dirt on Dabi himself.

Flame based quirks might not be rare, but people who have a similar fighting style to both Endeavor and his heir and harbor a definitive grudge against the now #1 hero?

Add in the dyed hair and weird way Dabi always tries to change the subject when Todoroki Shouto gets mentioned, and chances are that Dabi is somehow related to them. With Endeavor having a wife in a mental hospital and his heir having so many issues with his flame powers, he doesn’t think home life with the Todorokis is very smooth.)

“Enough to know that you running away didn’t solve anything for them,” Shigaraki spits out.

“You don’t know anything about that,” Dabi growls, shoving himself away from the wall.

“I know that Endeavor is still the #1 hero while Todoroki Shouto struggles to do anything with the flame-side of his quirk,” Shigaraki shoots back, crouching into a fighting stance. “I know that his mother is still confined to the mental ward of a hospital—”

“What do you think is going to happen now that she knows you’re alive and you’re Shigaraki Tomura? Do you think she’s just going to hug you and act like nothing’s changed? No—you’ve gone too far, and there’s no coming back from that,” Dabi interrupts mercilessly, a muscle in his jaw twitching. “Better to let her be and live her life.”

“I’m not expecting some kind of—some kind of acceptance . I just want to keep her safe ,” Shigaraki hisses. The banister that he is holding onto starts to crumble. “The pro-hero life is a dangerous one—”

“And who put her in most of the danger she’s been in?” Dabi cuts in, “Besides everything with the League, who put her in the condition that needed cryogenics treatment to begin with—”

“You fucking Todoroki, you couldn’t even kill Endeavor with our best Nomu,” Shigaraki taunts with a sneer. “You’re just a failure. Nothing you do ever works. And now you’re just cozying up to the #2 hero, trying to beg for his help—”

“Better than stalking my only remaining family and just causing more trouble for them,” Dabi says. His arms are also moving into a fighting stance now. “Better than thinking I can fix things that have already been broken beyond repair.”

(Oh he knows that everything bad in her life has been because of him, but doesn’t that mean he has to try and make up for it now?)

“Watch your mouth, Dabi,” Shigaraki warns, wanting to flay the skin off of the scarred man.

“Why? Are you going to run to Yaoyorozu Momo, or should I say Shimura Hana—”

You keep her name out of your fucking mouth!” Shigaraki yells, rushing forward with a hand.

Dabi immediately brings a wall of blue flames up in front of him, so Shigaraki rears back and puts a hand on the wall next to him to disintegrate it. He runs through the gap it creates, slamming a hand to the floor to try and destabilize the other man, but Dabi is dodging and weaving and hurling fireballs at him.

“Flaming bastard, ” Shigaraki spits as he barely manages to avoid one, his coat getting singed by blue fire.

Dabi sneers. “Sister complex,” he taunts.

“You aren’t going to live through the night, Todoroki—”

Suddenly, Shigaraki can’t move. It’s as though something is caught on his coat and pulling him back. When he glances up, he sees red feathers hooked into his coat. Whipping his head around, he sees Dabi in the exact same predicament, and Hawks striding forward between the two of them while Mr. Compress is searching for a fire extinguisher and Twice and Toga are just goggling at them.

“Well,” Hawks says, surveying the damage, the fire in the hall, and then the two of them, “I have to say, this explains a lot.”

“Hold on, hold on, hold on,” Twice says, holding up his hands. “Dabi is a Todoroki , and the Yaoyorozu girl is your s ister ? Who could have seen a twist like that coming?”

Toga is holding out her phone and texting frantically. “I’m telling Spinner!”

“More importantly, can you two please not destroy our headquarters?” Mr. Compress sighs, using the extinguisher to put out some of the fires. “Our budget cannot take this level of constant devastation.”

“What do you mean, ‘this explains a lot’?” Dabi snarls at Hawks, lighting several of the feathers holding him back on fire and shrugging them off.

“I mean, you wouldn’t tell me anything about the files, but Yaoyorozu Momo’s name did stick out given your group’s previous attacks on U.A. And you can’t imagine I haven’t been trying to investigate you from the start,” Hawks says, crossing his arms and looking like a picture of nonchalance. “The family resemblance is there. Not so much for you though, Shimura.”

Shigaraki immediately turns the feathers holding him back into dust and stalks toward Hawks (he doesn’t care if he’s a valuable asset, that bird is going to die today), but Dabi steps in front of him. “If anyone is killing him, it’s going to be me,” the Todoroki asshole snarls.

“Aw, Dabi,” Hawks coos, “I didn’t know you cared.”

“Shut up, bird brain, unless you want to go back to eating takeout every day,” Dabi snaps, looking over his shoulder at him.

“Oh my god Dabi, you can cook? You’ve been holding out on us!” Twice protests before quailing at Dabi’s withering glare. “I mean—that’s totally fine too! You can just cook for Hawks!”

“Hey, if Momo-chan’s your sister, do you think she’ll take us shopping?” Toga asks, tapping her phone against her lips. “I really love her style.”

Spinner bursts into the room and cries, “ What the fuck? Shigaraki—you actually trusted me enough to watch over your sister? And—Dabi, you’re related to Endeavor?”

Shigaraki feels the start of a headache brewing (this is just turning into a farce at this rate). “Why is Hawks here?” he demands, ignoring the frantic-looking Spinner.

“Thought I’d drop by and let you know how the rankings are going and Shiketsu’s security arrangements, like we talked about before,” Hawks says lightly. “But—hearing this revelation, I assume your focus is changing?”

“None of your business,” Shigaraki immediately snaps, wanting to reach out and grab the blonde hero, but Dabi is still in the way.

“Kind of is, if you want me involved in any meaningful way,” Hawks replies, more feathers breaking off of his wings and hovering there.

“Shigaraki’s in charge, and whatever he says goes,” Spinner says loyally, walking over to his side. “We should address the bigger issue here: are you working for Endeavor, Dabi?”

“Like fucking hell I am,” Dabi says with a voice full of loathing. Turning toward Spinner with narrowed eyes, he challenges, “You want to repeat that again?”

“Seems unlikely. He did try to kill him,” Hawks points out while Shigaraki steps in front of Spinner (Spinner is definitely not strong enough to take on Dabi after poking at his sore point).

“Killing someone is also a sign of affection though!” Toga giggles, walking over.

Hawks eyes Toga dubiously. “…I’m pretty sure not in this case though?” he offers.

Toga pouts before latching onto Shigaraki’s arm. “Shigaraki-chan, tell Momo-chan to take us shopping. I want some new cute outfits.”

“While you’re at it, tell your sister to just go ahead and fund us,” Mr. Compress chimes in, finally having put out all the fires. “Or at least renovations to this place. And sushi-to-go.”

“Have you guys forgotten that she’s a pro-hero in training? ” Shigaraki demands, looking around.

“Oh, right,” Mr. Compress says with a frown.

I haven’t forgotten,” Dabi mutters as Hawks shoves him with a wing.

“Well—maybe we could recruit her like you were saying before?” Twice suggests, only to counter, “But no—that’s not a good idea…”

“Hell no, we’re not recruiting her,” Shigaraki snaps. “She wants to be a hero, let her be a hero.”

(One of them should achieve their childhood dream after all.)

“So, is the League’s purpose now just the safety of your sister?” Dabi drawls, looking distinctly unimpressed.

No , it’s—we’re still going to turn society upside down, we just need to avoid U.A. for now,” Shigaraki says.

“I can keep your sister safe in the meantime,” Spinner quickly offers.

Toga raises her hand. “If I also go on Momo-watching duty, can I go shopping with her?”

“Besides that,” Mr. Compress interjects, “I have to point out though that if you want to destroy everything, that’s including her. And her adoptive family. And probably all her friends?”

(He—

Hadn’t thought that far before.

Perhaps he hadn’t wanted to think that far.

Hana wouldn’t like it if he destroyed everything.

But—

That’s all he’s good for, isn’t it?)

“I have a suggestion for something you guys could look into to destabilize things,” Hawks says.

Shigaraki glares at Hawks (why did he ever outsource recruiting to the other League members? First Twice brought in Overhaul, and now there’s Dabi with this guy). “You don’t honestly think that we believe you want to take down society, do you?” he demands.

“I might, you never know,” Hawks says breezily. “Never really wanted to be a hero in the first place. And—starting to find out some nasty things about what I thought pro-heroes were. Anyway—while I was doing my own investigation into how exactly Shimura Hana concerned any of you, do you know what I found?”

“If you’re going to go for the Shimura Nana angle, I already know that.”

“No—who’s that? No, here’s the thing: Shimura Hana spent nearly six years in a very expensive, experimental cryogenics treatment. Who paid for that?”

Shigaraki frowns. “It’s—it was an experimental treatment. The Yaoyorozus needed a test subject, or something and found her—”

“The Yaoyorozus donated money to build the wing; they had nothing to do with the actual treatment,” Hawks interrupts. “The cryogenics was funded through an anonymous party, but the lead doctor’s last name was Tsubasa.”

(Tsubasa.

One of Ujiko’s favorite aliases.

Ujiko.

He knew that fucking piece of shit was somehow involved in this.

But—

All of Ujiko’s money came from Sensei.

Was it possible that Sensei somehow hadn’t noticed?

That didn’t seem likely—

Then—

Had Sensei known?

But that—

But why ? Why let him think that she was dead?

Had he not wanted to disappoint him when he wasn’t sure the treatment would work?

But it’s been nine years since she woke up all healed.

Why wouldn’t he tell him?)

“Ujiko needs to give me some answers,” he manages to croak out. As he speaks, he tries to scratch at his neck but hits the bandage instead.

“If you want me to kill him, I can, but I want control of all the Nomus before that,” Dabi says.

“I don’t think tossing more Nomus at Endeavor is much of a plan,” Hawks notes.

An especially ugly expression twists Dabi’s face. “Of course you would still want to preserve the status quo and his precious reputation—”

“I might not know exactly what happened to you and your siblings and mother, but I can guess, and I’m going to help you, Todoroki Touya,” Hawks says evenly. “What do you think Endeavor would hate more: to die in battle against a villain in a blaze of glory or to live on without his quirk?”

Dabi reels back as though he’s been slapped in the face. “You— what did you call me ?”

(So—that’s his real name.

And it would seem he’s Endeavor’s son?

No wonder Dabi is such an edgelord; he must love how much Endeavor would hate the idea of one of his spawn becoming a villain.)

“Like I said, I investigated you. I wasn’t sure until now though,” Hawks quietly says, his wings shifting closer around him.

“Oh my god , that half and half kid is like, your brother then?” Spinner asks, clutching at his face.

Mr. Compress taps his chin. “Huh—you always had a bit of a former rich kid vibe, now that I think about it.”

“Oh cool, so your brother is friends with Izuku-kun and Ochako-chan, right?” Toga asks, turning to Dabi. “Could you ask Shouto-chan—”

“Don’t call him that,” Dabi says immediately, eyeing the hole in the hallway before his eyes flick back to Hawks, “And—what, you really expect me to believe that you of all people suddenly want to depower Endeavor?”

Hawks shrugs, his wings seeming to flap erratically, “Believe me or not, but you’re going to need me to get a shot at Endeavor, especially after your last attack. Let me give you some other options, Touya.”

“Todoroki Touya is dead,” Dabi automatically says through gritted teeth, “But—you might— might have a point, Hawks.”

Hawks nods, “Don’t you guys have those quirk nullification bullets you stole from Shie Hassakai?”

“We can’t replicate them, and we gave them all to Ujiko—” Twice pipes up before Shigaraki can gesture for him to shut up.

(Great, now their double agent knows even more shit.)

“Even better then,” Hawks says, clapping his hands together. “You can shake him down for answers about Shimura Hana while also getting your hands back on the bullets. One stone, two birds, you’re welcome.”

“And how does this destabilize anyone besides us?” Shigaraki scoffs (now that he thinks about it, Hawks could be lying—all he has is Hawks’ word on all this anyway). “Very convenient for you to have members of the League at each other’s throats.”

“If you don’t believe me, you can verify what I found,” Hawks says, tossing him a flash drive. “And—well, you take down Ujiko, you ask questions about exactly how All For One’s network is set up, and you follow those connections all the way up to the top—I wouldn’t be surprised if you end up toppling some very important figures after all. Besides Endeavor.”

Shigaraki catches the flash drive (he’s going to go over this with every single tool he can think of, and then some) while Dabi folds his arms together and broods for a bit.

“…I’m willing to ask some questions and get the bullets back,” Dabi finally says, “It’s good to have options.”

“We’ll go find Ujiko only after I’ve gone over all of this and done our own investigations,” Shigaraki says, turning his back on Hawks and giving Spinner a look. “In the meantime—you guys know what to do.”

“I won’t let you down,” Spinner says with a nod.

“I’ll help keep your sister safe too, Shigaraki-chan!” Toga says cheerfully, linking her arm through Spinner’s. “It’ll be fun!”

(Well, that’s another thing to potentially worry about, but Spinner can probably keep her in line.

Besides, Shigaraki thinks Hana isn’t quite Toga’s type—as long as she doesn’t get into any bloody fights. Which is what Spinner is for anyway, so it should be fine.

More importantly, he needs to the bottom of everything with Ujiko.

And maybe Sensei as well.)

 

Chapter Text

Momo isn’t sure how long she would have just stayed slumped there if Midoriya hadn’t half-dragged, half-helped her over to sit at a bench.

“Um—here, Yaoyorozu-san,” Midoriya says, proferring up a pack of tissues.

Momo blinks and takes them, then touches her face.

(When had she started crying?

That—isn’t that important right now.

What is she going to do now that she knows?)

“Are you sure he didn’t do anything to you, Yaoyorozu-san?” Midoriya asks anxiously.

“Yes, we were—we were fine,” Momo says tightly.

(She knows it’s unfair and ungrateful of her to be angry at Midoriya for chasing Tenko away.

After all—after all, why did Tenko seek her out now, after all this time?

She had assumed that he hadn’t known where she was or that she had survived until now, but Shigaraki had appeared in the middle of USJ. By the time of the training camp incident, he seemed well-aware of class 1-A’s roster.

Had he—was it some kind of ploy? To get her to take him in so he could later reveal himself and unleash hell?

But—no.

She might not know her brother anymore, but she doesn’t think that brief moment of softness they had together was an act.

And besides—who knew what All For One had whispered into his ears over these past long years.)

“You said—you said he was your brother?” Midoriya timidly asks.

“…yes,” Momo whispers, wiping at her eyes with the tissues in still-shaking hands.

“Then—when he attacked all of us—did he know? That you were there?” Midoriya asks, his tone matching his wide eyes.

“No—I don’t—I don’t think so? I don’t know,” Momo admits. “If he did—then why didn’t he go after me first?”

Midoriya’s eyes somehow widen even further, “Why would he target you first?”

“I—it’s a rather—rather long story,” she takes a deep breath to try and gather her thoughts. “You don’t—you can’t possibly want to hear it, Midoriya-san.”

“Try me,” he says patiently, his gaze unwavering.

Momo bites her lip and starts, “My biological father—he didn’t like pro-heroes. At all. We—would get in trouble for even mentioning them. Still, my little brother and I—we still dreamed of becoming them. Especially Tenko—he was always defending his classmates and getting into trouble with our father…I promised him we would be a sibling team. Then one day—I took a picture of our grandmother who was a pro-hero out of my father’s study. He didn’t like that. He didn’t like that at all. And I was so scared—not that that was an excuse. I pushed the blame on Tenko, and my father—lost it on him.”

Midoriya looks properly horrified, “That’s—that’s awful.”

Momo nods, staring off into the distance, “I know. And then as if that wasn’t bad enough—well, I didn’t know what was happening at the time. I thought we were being attacked, but I guess—I guess Tenko’s quirk finally activated? And that—did not go well.”

(Then—

Tenko had killed all of them, all of those years ago?

All because she had put her own crime on his head?)

Midoriya’s face is quite pale, “Then—your family is—but the Yaoyorozus—”

“I was adopted,” she says quietly. “My former name was Shimura Hana—they changed my name for safety reasons. I—was in a cryogenic treatment for six years, that’s why—he’s now older. I thought—no one knew where he went after that incident. And I was so happy to finally see him again—”

(But all this time, while she had been living in the lap of luxury, loved and adored by her new adoptive parents, Tenko had been trapped with a man who had such a dark presence that she had wanted to vomit the first time she had encountered him.

And he had twisted and molded her baby brother into Shigaraki Tomura.

But—

Tenko was still there, wasn’t he?

He had responded to the name, he had come and met her, he had even teased her, and—

She refuses to believe that her brother is completely gone.)

“So—he was—he was normal back then? Before the accident?” Midoriya asks, his brow creased.

Momo nods, “He was such a sweet boy. Kinder than me—hated to see anyone get picked on, be it a kid or an animal.”

“Then—do you think—what do you think happened?” Midoriya asks.

Momo bows her head, “I don’t know. But—but I think—I think I need to talk to him again and find out.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Midoriya asks nervously as Momo takes out her cellphone and tries to text that unknown number, “Maybe we should—we need to talk to All Might.”

“All Might-sensei?” Momo asks, frowning, “What does he—oh, All For One’s involvement?”

“That and—his mentor was—your grandmother. Shimura Nana, right?” Midoriya manages to get out.

Momo’s eyes widen. “You know of her? Wait—All Might’s mentor?

(She has never been able to find any records on her grandmother.

She had assumed that she must not have been especially notable and was just lost to the sands of time, but if she had been All Might’s mentor—

Why wasn’t she famous?

Why was this the first time she was hearing of this?)

Midoriya nods while wringing his hands together, “Yes, she’s—she was. I was surprised to find out too!”

“Then—All Might might—help?” she asks hopefully.

(Even with All Might de-powered and skeletal, she can’t help but feel like he can solve all problems as long as he becomes aware of them.

She also grew up under his golden reign as #1 after all.)

“He definitely will!” Midoriya says, perking up, “He’ll know what to do!”

--

When they returned to U.A. to tell him, All Might seemed more overwhelmed than anything.

The amount of blood he spat out when Momo told him that her former name was Shimura Hana did not reassure her.

He immediately called up a hero called Gran Torino, who Midoriya assured her was very reliable and had even taken down ‘a member of the League of Villains all on his own!’

Momo had smiled weakly back at him.

(It’s—spiraling a bit beyond what she had been expecting.

She’s not sure she wants this many people involved—but she wants her brother found.

He’s not answering any of the text messages she keeps sending, so she has to use any resources she can find.)

The tiny old man dressed in a white and yellow hero costume with a cape takes one look at Momo and whacks All Might’s shins with his cane.

“Toshinori, how did you not know?” he berates a wincing All Might. “She’s Nana’s spitting image!”

“I thought—I was just seeing what I wanted to,” All Might says quietly, looking down. “It’s not—the first time I thought someone looked like her.”

Both men fall quiet at that, and Midoriya seems on the verge of tears while Momo is—just uncomfortable.

(They obviously knew a lot more about her grandmother than anyone else, potentially even including her biological father, had.)

“So, he found you,” Gran Torino says, turning to her, his face serious behind his mask. “After all this time—why?”

“I think—I think he didn’t know where I was until now. Or even maybe—who I was.”

(His face upon seeing her had been equal parts trepidation and surprise.

It had been a long time after all—maybe he hadn’t put all the pieces together until now.)

Gran Torino shakes his head, “Maybe up until he attacked U.A., but after that, he must have seen you, even briefly. That doesn’t explain why he would suddenly decide to seek you out now.”

“Maybe he—maybe he had a change of heart,” All Might speaks up. “Maybe after fighting both Shie Hassakai and the Mutant Liberation Army, he wants to see what else is possible—”

“You have too soft a heart, Toshinori,” Gran Torino says. “We have seen no evidence whatsoever so far that the boy wants to amend his ways—”

“All For One had him for years,” Momo interrupts, her fists clenched in her lap. “Fifteen years to be exact. And none of you—where were you when everything happened? Why—why was he allowed to just disappear?

(This isn’t the first time she had that thought.

So many pro-heroes, and yet her brother had never been found.

Although, of course—now she knows why after all the private detectives the Yaoyorozu money could hire, despite all the pro-hero and government connections they had, she had never even caught a glimpse of her brother until he had wanted to appear.)

“Nana—told us to stay away from her family,” Gran Torino says, frowning. “We both promised her that.”

“She thought it would keep all of you safe,” All Might says.

(Well—that obviously hadn’t worked even before Tenko’s quirk manifested.)

She doesn’t say anything, but All Might and Gran Torino must be able to read her expression, since All Might grows paler and Gran Torino coughs.

“Well—you want us to find him again, right Yaoyorozu-girl?” All Might asks, folding his hands together and leaning forward. “We really are still trying to find him—or rather Gran Torino is, I’ve become rather—lacking in firepower these days.”

“I could try interrogating Kurogiri again,” Gran Torino muses. “See if he has any insight into what Shigaraki is planning. While keeping your name out of it of course—we don’t want to give them any more information than we can help.”

“Thank you,” Momo says quietly, “But if you think mentioning me would help—”

“I’m not telling them about another one of Nana’s grandchildren if I can help it,” Gran Torino says angrily, tapping his cane against the ground. “Bad enough that they already ruined one.”

“He’s not ruined ,” Momo says sharply. “He’s still—he’s still my brother.”

Both All Might and Gran Torino look at her.

“Kid, your brother—he attacked all of you multiple times. He’s killed more than a few people at this point as well,” Gran Torino says gently. “He might still be related to you but—you can’t just forget that can you? Didn’t a Nomu put you in the hospital as well?”

(All of that is true, and yet—

She doesn’t believe her brother would have turned into this without some pressing, insidious influence, and she doesn’t believe that he can’t return from what he has become.

She cannot believe that.)

“Heroes are supposed to rescue people, aren’t they?” she asks, looking up. “No matter who they are?”

“They are also supposed to catch villains,” Gran Torino reminds her, not backing down, although All Might looks somewhat stricken.

“Catching him could be rescuing him, couldn’t it?” Midoriya pipes up. “At least—at the very least, we need to find him before we can do anything.”

Momo looks at Midoriya with some gratitude (maybe she’s managed to convince him? Hard to say though), “Yes—I’m texting him, but he’s not replying,” she says, holding up her phone.

All Might frowns, “Perhaps—you should turn your phone over to the police? They can attempt to track the number that way.”

(If the police get to Tenko before her—

She’s not sure if she should be more worried for Tenko or the police, but either way, there would be a higher body count than if she were the one to find him first.)

“I only have this one phone though,” she lies, placing her hand against her cheek. “Perhaps—perhaps I can copy everything out and then give it to the police later?”

All Might nods, “That would be wise, Yaoyorozu-girl.”

(She feels a little guilty lying to All Might, of all people, but it’s for the best.

If no one else is willing to think her brother can be saved, then she will have to try on her own as best she can.)

--

All Might and Gran Torino do not follow up on her cell phone, but that doesn’t mean Momo is in the clear.

Her parents immediately ask her how her meeting with her brother went, and she tells them that after a little initial awkwardness, he had loosened up somewhat, only to freak out a bit and run off later on.

(It’s—the closest thing to the truth she can tell without completely unleashing a bombshell on them.

They would want her to move back to the mansion and have bodyguards all around her if she told them that her brother had turned into Shigaraki.

She thinks—if she can just figure out exactly what happened and what he thinks about everything now—maybe her parents can be persuaded to come around?

Her therapist, who is sworn to patient confidentiality, seems a bit dubious about her plan, but for all her medical and psychological prowess, Dr. Tsuda is no pro-hero after all.)

She reassures them that she is trying to get back in contact with him and it’ll be okay (she has to believe that).

Midoriya, on the other hand, is unfortunately more persistent, hanging around and asking questions, to the point that the other girls take notice.

“Uraraka, you’ve got competition!” Mina squeals, after Midoriya comes by to, once again, remind Momo that she hasn’t dropped her phone off with the police yet (she doesn’t know how many times she can use the excuse that she forgot or she was busy before he catches on).

“You really do not,” she rushes to reassure a blushing but slightly worried looking Uraraka. “Midoriya-san just has—some matters that both of us must tend to.”

“Ohhh?” Mina asks, propping her hands on her chin. “Do tell.”

“Give it to us in detail!” Hagakure chirps.

“Oh, it’s nothing much. Just some stuff with—my brother,” Momo says, tucking a strand of her hair back (it’s best to say the truth when possible).

“Is he helping you get back into contact with your brother?” Jirou asks, twirling her earlobes. “Does he know him or something?”

“He has a few contacts that could come in handy,” Momo improvises (no need to worry Jirou as well).

“Well—okay. Just let me know if I can help at all,” Jirou says, biting her lip.

Momo smiles and nods (Jirou is such a good friend. She hopes that she can come clean to her once things are more resolved).

Sadly though, despite all her efforts to try and track the number and look through all the public records on the League of Villains (and perhaps a few of the more confidential records through Yaoyorozu government contacts and the Fat Gum Agency), it really seemed that the most recent sighting of Tenko was her own.

Left with no other options, she returns to the mall where she saw her brother in the hope that he would also return.

It’s not that much of a sacrifice; Kiyashi Ward Shopping Mall has a great variety of goods for all manner of people, but she can’t quite enjoy the lively setting when every glimpse of a black hoodie or pale hair has her moving forward, only to be disappointed once again.

She’s sitting on a bench after yet another boy in a black hoodie turned out not to be her brother (this one had actually had a lizard-like appearance. She must really be losing it) when Midoriya sits next to her.

“Are you looking for him?” he asks seriously.

(She knows that Midoriya means well, but she is starting to find this very annoying.)

“I’m not sure that is any of your business, Midoriya-san,” Momo says tightly.

“It’s—I guess it really isn’t, but—Yaoyorozu-san, you can’t just do it all on your own!” Midoriya says earnestly. “If you talk to the police—”

“Then they’ll go after my brother and probably die,” Momo interrupts. “No. I need to find him first.”

“He’s hurt you before though,” Midoriya points out.

“I don’t think he knew it was me. And—there’s a lot of things I need to ask him, Midoriya-san.”

“I understand, but—”

“Do you, Midoriya-san?” Momo asks, looking directly at him, “Because neither All Might nor his mentor seemed to think there was much of my brother worth saving.”

Midoriya nervously wrings his hands. “I—their viewpoint makes sense. He has hurt a lot of people. But—anyone trapped with All For One for so long would be—would probably be changed. And the fact that he actually sought you out—maybe he’s not completely Shigaraki Tomura yet?”

Momo blinks and can feel a smile forming across her face (at last, someone else also sees some hope). Then there’s a sudden yelp from behind her and Jirou falls out from behind a column.

“Jirou-chan?” Momo asks, getting up to help her friend. “Are you okay? What are you doing here?”

“I—this was a stupid idea—I can’t believe Mina and Hagakure talked me into it—although I can’t believe this girl just shoved me—I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping—although when were you going to tell me that your brother is the League of Villain’s boss ?” Jirou scrambles up as her rambles trail off into a demand.

“I—I—” Momo stutters, looking down at the floor (after this, will Jirou even want to talk to her anymore?), “I—didn’t know how to tell you—”

“But you told Midoriya ?” Jirou asks, raising an eyebrow.

Midoriya raises his hand. “I—accidentally found out on my own,” he says weakly.

Momo takes a deep breath. “If you—if you don’t wish to associate with me anymore—”

“Of course I still want to hang out with you!” Jirou exclaims. “What does your brother being psycho have to do with you? Wait—is that why you didn’t tell me? That’s bullshit, Yaomomo. I’m here for you, no matter what.”

Momo blinks and stares at Jirou.

(She’s—not sure how to respond to that.

All these years, she’s known her adoptive parents love her, but she has also felt that the only way she could return their tremendous generosity was by playing the part of a Yaoyorozu heiress. That wasn’t hard, but there were certain things an heiress was not, and most of the friends she had made along the way had known that.

This is the first time she’s heard that from one of her peers.)

“As long as—as long as you want me there,” Jirou belatedly adds, scuffing her boots against the ground and looking down.

“I would be more than happy to,” Momo says warmly.

Jirou grins back. “Great! So—so you’re actually looking for him?”

Momo nods, carefully tracking Jirou’s expression.

“Well—you don’t do anything by halves,” Jirou comments. “But—I guess he did seek you out and not kill you, and plus, if anyone can make that guy better, it’s probably you. Midoriya’s helping you track him down?”

“I—I can try,” Midoriya says, rubbing the back of his neck. “Although—Yaoyorozu-san, it’s your brother. What do you want to do?”

(She wants to find him.

She wants to save him as she couldn’t before.

And—and if there really are others around her who wish to help her with this goal, then all the better, because walking a lonely path has never been her strong suit.)

“We need to figure out if he comes here often. Also—we need to investigate the Meta Liberation Army some more,” she says decisively. “They may have taken over parts of it, and I have been looking into it, but I don’t quite have the right level of access to get all the data—”

“Momo-chan is so smart!” a high, girlish voice pipes out.

Midoriya pales as another voice frantically says, “No, Toga—don’t—we’re supposed to be hidden—”

“She’s going to figure it out, and plus we could use her smarts to help us figure out all the stuff with Ujiko! Also, I want a shopping trip, and Izuku-kun is here!” a blonde girl with pigtails and a knife skips out from behind the column Jirou had been hiding behind, followed by a visibly nervous man with a lizard quirk wearing a black hoodie.

(Wasn’t that—the guy she had just mistaken for Tenko?

Have they been following her this whole time? )

“Hi, hi Momo-chan! Or should I call you Hana-chan? I’m Toga Himiko, and we’re going to have so much fun!” The girl giggles, brandishing a knife.

Lizard-quirk man sighs, shoving down the girl’s arm while taking out his phone. “I’m calling Shigaraki,” he announces, placing his phone against his ear. “He’ll take care of this, don’t worry.”

(They’re in contact with her brother?)

Midoriya’s body starts to crackle with green lightning and Jirou shifts into a fighting stance, but she grabs both of their arms and shakes her head.

(If they’re in contact with her brother, then she needs to get them to tell her where he is, no matter what.)

 

Chapter Text

Shigaraki ignores the beeping of his cellphone as he pages through all the files on the cryogenics treatment Hana had received that he’s been able to get his hands on.

After he tossed some extra money at him to delve deeper, Giran had managed to deliver a pretty sizable load of information.

Nothing he’s read so far has contradicted the information that that asshole bird had given him.

Tsubasa was the lead doctor on everything, and more disturbingly, some of the procedures that had been planned for after the cryogenics seemed—familiar.

Very similar to the reports about the Nomus Kurogiri had tried to get him to read.

(He had wanted to turn Hana into a Nomu ?

Just killing him is too easy. He wants Ujiko to suffer. )

“Are you going to get that?” Mr. Compress asks, nodding at his still- beeping phone.

Shigaraki rolls his eyes but still jabs at it (it’s probably just Spinner calling to tell him how annoying Toga is being again).

“Heeey, Shigaraki, uh—we kind of have a situation here,” Spinner says, his voice unusually high.

Shigaraki traps the phone between his shoulder and his ear so he can keep paging through the medical files (the Yaoyorozus had truly been Hana’s saviors—although he still isn’t sure why they had been permitted to just take her. Maybe—Sensei had caught wind of the experiments and let her go? But—he knew exactly who Ujiko was too), “If Toga wants to go try on clothes again, just let her and tell her she looks cute or something.”

“That doesn’t even work, she just drags me around looking for more—but that’s not the point,” Spinner sputters. “It’s—well—I tried to stop her, but—don’t kill me but—”

There’s a shuffling sound, and then a clear female voice rings out. “Hello, Tenko.”

Shigaraki just barely manages to keep from disintegrating the phone in his hand.

( Shit.

Why had he thought that Spinner and Toga could be inconspicuous?

But it’s not like he could have asked Dabi to follow her, and Twice and Mr. Compress were too old and creepy-looking to be following his teenage sister around.)

“Give the phone back to Spinner,” he manages to say in what he thinks is an admirably even tone. “I need to tell him exactly how he’s going to die.”

Toga whines in the background, “No one can die yet! We haven’t even bought anything!”

“Don’t blame your friend, Tenko,” Hana scolds him. “He—Spinner is it? He’s been very helpful! He and Toga-san have been telling me a lot about what you guys have been up to—”

Shigaraki immediately slams his phone shut and starts pulling off his hands and pulling on his hoodie.

(He needs to salvage this situation himself.

He needs to make sure she’s alright and then shatter whatever bond she thinks they have.

That shouldn’t be hard—he killed their entire family and reveled in it after all.

He can watch from the shadows, but if she gets involved with his real life… There’s nothing for her here except death and despair.)

“If you kill Spinner, we’re not going to have anyone who knows how to drive,” Mr. Compress warns, not even bothering to get up.

Shigaraki snorts and pulls his hood up with hands that are definitely not shaking, “I’m not going to kill Spinner; I won’t have anyone to crush in Super Smash Heroes if he’s dead. I’m just going to make him wish I had.”

--

By the time he gets to the mall though, Spinner already looks like he wants to die.

“Wouldn’t you like better clothes, Spinner-san?” his sister asks, looking earnestly at him.

“Yeah, you look like a hobo right now,” the girl with the long earlobes says.

“Don’t tease poor Spinner,” Toga says, pouting while hanging off of the arm of All Might’s successor, who looks thoroughly traumatized by the entire situation (great, he’s here too?). “He just wants to look like his favorite person!”

Spinner’s scales turn a weird mottled color, “I’m not like you! This hoodie is just—comfortable!”

“Suuuuure,” Toga drawls, looking unimpressed. “Still, Momo-chan is right, you should have options. And I want some too!”

The earlobe girl (what was her name again? Jirou, right?) frowns at Toga, her earlobes hovering in front of her, “Why should Yaomomo buy anything for you guys?”

“Wellllll she doesn’t have to,” Toga admits, tapping her chin with her knife and tugging Deku back, “But if she doesn’t, that’s not really taking care of her brother’s friends, is it?”

Hana waves a hand in front of her, “Oh, I’m happy to regardless—your situation sounds appalling! Tenko really should budget all of you more money for proper food and clothing.”

(Okay, he doesn’t know what Toga’s been telling her, but the budget definitely accounts for food and clothing.

Sure, maybe it’s not as fancy as Toga and Mr. Compress would like, but they’re too picky.

Sensei had always made sure he never needed anything too fancy.)

Toga beams at Hana, “We’re going to be such good friends, I can tell!”

He does not like the look in Toga’s eyes at all , so he pulls out his cellphone and calls her.

“You need to leave right now ,” he hisses when she picks up, glaring at her from where he’s lurking on a bench in a corner.

Toga spins around a few times, looking for him. “Shigaraki-chan! Your sister is soooooo nice! I really like her!”

“Keep your hands and teeth to yourself,” he warns.

Toga makes a face. “Not like that! She’s not my type.” She waves apologetically at Hana. “No offense, Momo-chan.”

“None taken,” Hana says dryly while Deku finally manages to wrench himself away from Toga’s grasp.

“Where are you anyway?” Toga asks, looking around. “Come with us! You also need new clothes!”

Shigaraki attempts to stuff himself deeper into the corner. “No way. Toga, you and Spinner are leaving now.”

“Not until the shopping trip with Momo!” Toga says as Jirou’s head seems to swivel in his general direction (fuck, did she hear him?). “You promised!”

“Since when?” he snapped. “I never said that.”

“Well, you never said no,” Toga says, dodging Spinner’s attempt to snatch away her phone and plucking at Deku’s sleeve as he talks to Jirou. “So that totally counts!”

“It does not ,” he insists, scratching at his neck. “Hang up, walk away, and go back to headquarters—”

There’s a blur of green lightning, and before he can react, All Might’s curly-haired protégée is standing right in front of him.

(He could kill him right now.

He could disintegrate the boy into nothing and crush all of All Might’s hopes and dreams right here, right now.

But—

The boy is Hana’s friend, isn’t he?

She had helped him track them all to Kamino Ward, and he was here in this mall with her right now.

If he killed her friend right in front of her—well, that would probably make her back off, but—but he doesn’t want to do that.

He’s already killed enough of her loved ones in front of her.)

“What do you want?” he spits out, shoving his hands into the pockets of his hoodie.

“…I don’t really trust you, but Yaoyorozu-san does,” Deku says quietly, hands clenched into fists. “She really—wants to see you again. To talk to you.”

(She—she does?

He had known that she was still looking for him, but he had assumed that had been to try and bring him to justice—and if it had just been him on the line, maybe he would have let her drag him off to jail. There’s no one he owes more than her. But there’s also the League to think of, and he can’t just abandon them.

They’d never get anything done without him.

But—what could she want to talk about?)

“Why?” he asks, glancing at her and then back at Deku.

“Because you’re her brother,” Deku says, his face seeming to soften slightly, “And—well, if you want to know more, you should probably just go talk to her.”

(It’s a bad idea.

Coming here was a bad idea and going to see her would just exacerbate the mess that he’s made for himself.)

“You really—want to see her, don’t you?” Deku asks as they stand there in silence for a few moments, unmoving. “You should. I’m sorry that—that I interrupted your guys’ conversation before—but you can pick up from where you left off?”

“You already made that impossible,” he hisses, staring at the boy, barely managing to keep from disintegrating his own hoodie.

“No, that is simply not true—Midoriya-san was just worried about me, but you ran away before I could say anything, Tenko,” a voice says from around the corner, and Hana appears.

(He still can’t get over how young she looks.

In his rediscovered memories, she used to stand so tall.

Not that she doesn’t now, of course. He has to make sure to not slouch to keep her from looming over him now.

Still, she—she doesn’t seem as confident as she used to be.

Then again, he’s not the trembling child from her memory now, either.)

He scratches at his neck, willing his hands to stop shaking. “…is there anything left for me to say?”

“Of course there is!” Hana says, her hands clasped together in front of her. “I have so many questions—why didn’t you try to find me until now?”

“…I didn’t—I didn’t remember—any of you until now,” he says haltingly, looking down at the floor. “Everything was—blurred.”

He glances up to see Hana’s eyes gleaming with tears. Deku’s eyes are also suspiciously red (why the fuck is he tearing up? Why is he even here? ).

“Oh! Then—then do you—do you remember—everything now?” Momo asks, walking closer.

“Yes,” he says heavily, wanting to run but—but she’s right there, and he doesn’t trust himself to try and shove her aside right now.

“But—that still doesn’t quite answer my question. Did you—did you just want to see how I was doing? Or—did you want to talk?” Hana asks, a hopeful lilt in her voice.

“I—I wanted to keep you safe ,” he blurts out before biting his lip and digging his nails into the side of his neck ( stupid, as if that could make up for all that he has done to her).

Hana breaks out in a smile. “Tenko—that’s not your job. I’m your big sister, remember? I haven’t done a good job, but—but I’m the one who is supposed to keep you safe.”

(She had said something like that when they had met before, but back then, she hadn’t known who he really was.

And yet—she’s still saying that now?

Is she insane?

Or—she said she had passed out from the pain. She probably doesn’t realize that he had wanted to kill their family.)

He takes a step back, “You—you don’t want that, Hana. I—I nearly killed you—I killed mom, grandma, grandpa—”

“You didn’t mean to!” Hana says firmly, reaching out to try and touch his arm. “It was all an accident—”

“I wanted them dead,” he whispers, jerking his arm away from her hand (not right now, he’s barely keeping himself restrained—). “I wanted all of you dead.”

Hana lets her hand fall, but she doesn’t back away. “…because I really took the photo from the study, but I blamed it on you?”

He lets himself nod (hadn’t the injustice of it all and the punishment that had followed just overflowed in his brain? Even now he remembers the sheer fury mixed with the sickeningly weak feeling of helplessness that he had been consumed by), touching the scar on his mouth. “I—father tried to stop me. I grabbed him and—”

Hana’s eyes sharpen, and she gestures at the scars on his face. “Did—did father cause those when he—?”

“Yeah,” Shigaraki says (there, now she won’t want to have anything to do with him, or Deku will pull her away again, and he can just guard her from afar like before, right?). “He did.”

“…it’s a terrible thing to say, but I don’t miss him. Our father,” Hana finally says in a soft voice. “And—I remember the way you looked with Mon. You were—so scared. And I ran away from you.”

(That’s how she remembers it?

That’s not—

Is that how it was?

Didn’t he want everything around him to disappear?

He doesn’t—he’s not sure anymore.

All he knows is that somehow she’s blaming herself for all of this, when it obviously wasn’t her fault at all.)

“You—you were smart to run away,” he points out, “If mother had run away then—”

“She couldn’t have. You were her baby, and—we all failed you that day,” Hana says heavily.

(He doesn’t know why his eyes are stinging.

He has spent so long telling himself that he wanted them all dead, that it was proof that he had always been born for destruction, that it was all he was good for, and that was what Sensei had always told him too, but—

But that doesn’t explain why he is so happy that Hana is still alive and standing in front of him right now and still trying to understand him.)

He turns away to try and discreetly wipe his eyes (why the fuck is that Deku kid still standing here, and shit—when did the other three in that group also get here?), but Hana notices and immediately takes a tissue packet out of her purse.

“Don’t use your sleeve Tenko, it’s filthy,” she instructs as she stuffs the tissue packet into his hands.

“Whatever, it’s fine,” he argues, shoving the tissue packet back into her purse.

“It definitely is not! And your hoodie is so ragged…” she clicks her tongue as she plucks at his hoodie with two fingers before grabbing him by the arm. “We are getting you some proper clothes.”

“What? No,” he argues, tugging his arm back. “I’m good—”

“No you’re not,” Hana says, placing her hands on her hips. “Is this the same hoodie that I saw you wearing last time? It doesn’t even look washed! And your jeans—I’m getting you a new wardrobe, Tenko.”

“Yaaaaay, makeover time!” Toga cheers.

“She never said she would buy anything for you!” Shigaraki snaps.

Hana smiles. “Oh, it’s fine—a better wardrobe makes so many things better for everyone, doesn’t it?”

I don’t want to go shopping,” Spinner protests, crossing his arms.

“That’s fine, I can just text Twice for your measurements,” Toga announces, flipping her phone out and typing into it.

Jirou tugs on Hana’s sleeve. “Yaomomo—are you sure this is okay?”

“It seems as good of a way as any for us to all get to know each other,” Hana says calmly.

Toga nods enthusiastically. “Shopping is the perfect way for all of us to get to know each other! We already learned so much about you just today Shigaraki-chan, and I can’t wait to tell everyone else—”

“You aren’t telling anyone any of this,” Shigaraki quickly snaps. “Wait—you texted everyone already, didn’t you?”

“Nope, I got her phone away from her just in time, boss!” Spinner quickly says. “I only gave it back to her after she promised not to tell!”

(Okay, just for that, Spinner deserves something nice.

Maybe he could direct Hana towards a video game store—

But no, he’s not getting dragged into this madness!

This whole plan is dumb and not safe for any of them!)

“Really? You think us walking around in public will go well?” Shigaraki demands. “What if someone notices us?”

“Oh—well that’s easy enough to arrange,” Hana says, looking up to the top floors of the mall. “Let’s go up there. I’m pretty sure I can find us somewhere private to shop.”

(That’s—really not the main point.

But—he can at least check and see what space Hana thinks is safe before rejecting the notion outright?)

“Fine, let’s see,” he finally says, looking away.

Hana smiles at him before proceeding to the escalator, Jirou following close behind her, both herself and Deku keeping a close eye on their group.

As they go up the escalator, Shigaraki’s phone beeps.

 

         todoroki bastard: were u seriously crying?

 

Shigaraki’s head immediately swivels around (what the hell—even Dabi saw that?).

 

         Shigaraki: wtf are u stalking me?

         todoroki bastard: hawks kept some surveillance on your sister

         todoroki bastard: he pinged me about it

         todoroki bastard: nagged me until I went

         todoroki bastard: guess it was worth it

 

(Fucking Dabi and Hawks.

As if Dabi wasn’t already a pain without the bird pro-hero, now he practically seems to be living with him.

He’s not sure exactly how many details Dabi will share with Hawks, but either way, Hawks will probably end up hearing about it.)

Hana walks them into a designer store that Shigaraki is sure would throw them out of their marble and glass and chic minimalist displays without hesitation if not for her presence. She talks quietly with the shop attendants for a minute before all of them nod, quickly lock the doors, and take them into the back of the shop. There they find a sumptuous waiting area with plush carpet and leather chairs. The attendants bring over sparkling water and lemonade on a platter in delicate glass flutes before finally leaving them alone.

“What—is going on,” he asks flatly, eyes darting around the room.

“Are we even allowed to be here?” Deku squeaks.

“Yeah, are they calling the police right now?” Spinner asks, twitchily pacing around the room.

“No, they won’t,” Hana says confidently, taking a glass flute of sparkling water and sipping on it. “My mother is on the board for this brand. They’re closing up the shop for us and letting us browse to our heart’s content.”

Toga’s eyes gleam. “Soooooo, I can try on anything I want here?”

“Of course!” Hana beams at her.

“Great! Izuku-kun, you sit right there, I’m going to find us the perfect couple outfit,” Toga says as she skips out of the room. “Don’t worry, I’ll pick out one for Ochako-chan too!”

Shigaraki shakes his head, looking at his sister. “…you realize she’s going to clean out your credit card?”

“That’s fine, I have three,” Hana says calmly.

(Well what’s he supposed to say to that?)

“So—what’s your long-term plans here anyway?” Jirou cuts in, leaning forward and glaring at him. “You planning on just having your—League follow Yaomomo around forever?”

(He can’t say that isn’t an appealing option, but—if Hana is still willing to talk to him after everything he has revealed, then maybe it’s time to tell her a few of the things he’s found out.)

“I—may still have Spinner keep an eye on you for the time being,” he admits. Spinner seems to sit up straighter in the chair he had been slumped in. “We—found out some things about the doctor that was overseeing your cryogenics treatment, and we’re probably going to have a talk with him.”

Hana frowns, leaning forward. “Dr. Tsubasa? What about him?”

“He’s—that’s not his real name. Or at least I don’t think it is. We know him as Ujiko, and he is the one who—makes the Nomus,” Shigaraki says slowly.

All three of the U.A. students’ eyes widen.

What?” Midoriya exclaims. “Are you saying that—he wanted to turn Yaoyorozu-san into a Nomu ?”

(Even the thought of it makes him sick.

And—had Sensei and Kurogiri been aware of Ujiko’s plans the whole time?

Had they cared?)

“There were plans to,” he says quietly. “We—recently found them.”

“And this is the kind of people you work with?” Jirou spits out.

(He—has always known who Ujiko is, and he has never liked the man, but he had never refused any of his Nomus either.

He had never once asked who they had once been.

Could any of them have been lost children like Hana?)

Hana holds up a hand. “Then—when my adoptive parents took me in—”

“They saved your life,” Shigaraki says heavily. “Or—I don’t know, I guess Sensei—didn’t want to mess with them.”

Hana’s eyes sharpen. “All For One knew I was alive?”

“Sensei—maybe sensei was the one who found you? I don’t know. He told me you were dead—he gave me your hands—I need answers, and we’re only going to get them out of Ujiko.”

(If he has to burn every bridge between himself and the good doctor to do it, so be it.

The Nomus had never really worked out well for them anyway.)

“…then I’m coming with you,” Hana says firmly.

“What?” Shigaraki stares at his sister (that was the opposite of keeping her safe), “No! No way! It could be dangerous—”

“So was sneaking into Kamino Ward to get back Bakugou-san, and we managed to do that anyway,” she points out with a nod to Deku.

“You were extremely lucky there,” Shigaraki says. “I am not letting my little sister—”

Big sister,” Hana corrects. “And besides—how are you planning to sneak in? None of your recent exploits have been—subtle.”

“We have someone who is good at sneaking into places unseen,” Shigaraki says. “So you can just wait, and I’ll let you know—”

“No,” Hana insists. “If you’re about to fight someone connected to All For One, then you need all the help you can get, and I am a trained and certified U.A. student who has survived multiple villain attacks and who can create any equipment you may need.”

“And if All For One is involved—I think I have to come too,” Deku says, his voice steady. “Yaoyorozu-san could also use some backup.”

Jirou cracks her neck. “And if Yaomomo is going, of course I am too.”

“This is not a discussion—”

“I want answers too, Tenko,” Hana says, looking him in the eye. “Let’s—be a team again?”

(Can they?

He desperately wants that.

But—those villain attacks that she survived— he had caused most of those.

Yet—isn’t this a chance to make up for that?

She still trusts him even now to watch her back, and she deserves answers as much as or more than he does. If she comes along with her friends, at least they won’t be trying something and messing up the League’s plan from the side.)

“…if you tell anyone else at U.A. about this or any of your teachers, or god forbid, All Might, I’ll have Mr. Compress turn you all into tiny little marbles until everything is over,” he threatens.

Hana beams and gets out of her chair to walk over to him.

“Can I hug you?” she asks, her arms already slightly outstretched.

“No,” he immediately says (goddamn Deku is right there and so’s Spinner and Toga’s bound to come back any minute now).

Hana’s face falls (oh no), and he quickly stands up to give her an awkward hug with his hands hovering above her shoulders, glaring over her shoulder at Deku and Spinner, just daring them to say anything.

Deku seems to be on the verge of tears again (the weirdo), Spinner just gives him a thumbs-up, and Hana leans into his shoulder and squeezes him as tight as she can.

(It’s—warm.

He can’t remember the last time he was hugged.)

He quickly disentangles himself as Toga comes clattering back in with an entire rack of clothes.

“So we’re teaming up now? That’s so cool!” she enthuses, tossing some fancy shirts and pants at Deku. “Are we bringing any other friends? Like Ochako-chan?”

“No,” Shigaraki snaps reflexively. “Toga, you keep an eye on—your new friends, and Spinner, you stick to the task I gave you before.”

Spinner’s chest seems to swell. “You can count on me, boss!”

“Really? That’s too bad—kind of wanted to see the whole Bakugou-rescue squad in action,” Jirou muses out loud, kicking her feet back and forth. “Only got to see Todoroki’s glacier slide thing on T.V.”

(Now there’s a powerhouse who actually might scare Ujiko.

And even better, someone to thoroughly piss Dabi off with.)

“…you can bring him if you like,” he generously says. “He could be useful.”

“Really?” Hana says skeptically, eyeing him. “You wouldn’t mind us telling him about—all this?”

Shigaraki shrugs. “From what I hear, it’s not likely he’s going to tell Endeavor, is he? And besides—ask him if he wants to see Touya again. He’ll probably go along with you after that.”

Deku’s brow furrows. “Who’s Touya?”

Toga giggles and croons, “Shigaraki-chan, he’s going to kiiilllll~~ you~~~.”

Spinner shakes his head. “Oh man—Toga’s right. But hey, he’s no match for you, right boss? Hey, Yaoyorozu-san—you can make some fireproof stuff for us, right?”

Momo’s eyebrows rise. “I can. But what does this have to do with—”

“You’ll see,” Shigaraki cuts in. “Just tell him.”

(Besides royally pissing Dabi off, they probably do need all the firepower they can get.

Ujiko has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, and even with the entire League and their mole and these U.A. kids—he’s setting their chances at around 50/50 if he’s being generous.

Still—with Hana at his side—it’s dumb, but he feels like they really do have a chance.)

 

Chapter Text

Arranging a secret mission with the League of Villains is nothing like missions with Fat Gum’s agency.

Really, she supposes that should have been obvious, but her phone is going off so often with messages from Toga that she has to switch to another phone.

“When did she get your number anyway?” Jirou asks as Momo answers yet another text from the blood-thirsty girl.

“I needed Tenko’s measurements for a proper suit, and she said she would ask Twice for them,” she says with a frown as she once again tells Toga that she couldn’t possibly just give Uraraka’s private number to her. “I do hope it’ll be done soon.”

“Where’s he going to wear it though?” Jirou asks, frowning.

“You never know, Jirou-chan. It’s like a cocktail dress for girls,” Momo replies, hitting send and setting her phone aside. “You always need to have one handy.”

“…so wait, do you always have a cocktail dress ready?” Jirou asks, eyes wide.

Momo nods and says, “Of course! Usually multiple, just in case the party has different themes.”

Jirou considers that for a moment. “Guess that’s good, since that’s why you had an extra dress for me on I-Island.”

“Oh, yes—although you looked better in it,” Momo says with a smile. “You really should have taken the dress!”

“I wouldn’t have known how to clean it. Or store it!” Jirou laughs, waving a hand dismissively. “You’re way too nice, Yaomomo.”

Momo makes a note to somehow sneak the dress into Jirou’s closet at some point later. As she is gathering up her textbooks, she notices Todoroki being stopped by Midoriya in the hallway.

Jirou glances over at where she’s looking. “Oh—you really going to tell him what your brother said?”

“…yes,” Momo says slowly. “I don’t know who this ‘Touya’ is, but—well, having Todoroki-san with us will be good. We couldn’t have rescued Bakugou-san without him.”

“Sure, just—well, OP-roki can probably take care of himself. And you can probably get your brother to back down anyway by just talking sternly to him,” Jirou muses.

“I really think—Tenko is trying,” Momo says, looking at Jirou. “He’s—obviously he’s a bit—he’s not normal, but no one really is, and—I think he is trying to find his way forward.”

Jirou nods slowly. “…I think that he is trying for you. Not sure if he would bother otherwise, but—I guess it’s a start.”

“He seems to like his friends a lot too?” Momo offers.

“Yeah I guess—that Spinner seems to—like him a lot,” Jirou says, fiddling with the ends of her earlobes.

“Yes, I think they’re close! Tenko asked me to buy him a video game—some kind of game where you catch pocket creatures?”

“Oh yeah, that one’s fun,” Jirou says. “That’s—nice of him I guess. And—wait, have you never played Pokemon before?”

Momo tilts her head, “No, is it fun?”

“Oh yeah, you’re in for a treat,” Jirou says with a grin, flagging down Kaminari. “I’ll get something set up. You go talk to Todoroki.”

Momo nods at her before taking a deep breath (she’s—not entirely sure how Todoroki will react to her situation. On one hand—he does seem to have an odd amount of confidence in her, and she’s fairly sure Midoriya could convince him to do nearly anything. On the other—the League of Villains had sent a Nomu after his father and severely wounded him) and walking over to where Midoriya and Todoroki are.

“Yaoyorozu,” Todoroki greets her calmly, “Midoriya says you had something you needed help with from me?”

“Yes—it’s a bit—hard to explain really,” Momo says, clasping her hands together. “But—do you know someone named Touya?”

Todoroki shows no visible reaction, but Momo thinks he tenses slightly. “Yes. Why?”

“I know someone who—wanted to know if you wanted to see him again?”

Todoroki’s eyes narrow. “…Touya is my eldest brother. He went—missing a long time ago.”

(She had no idea the Todorokis had a missing child—but it seems that the Todorokis are very private in general.

Even her mother, life of the party and information broker of the elite, knows very little about the family.

But—doesn’t she know how that feels, having a missing brother and hoping against all reason that he’s somehow still alive?

Also, does that mean that—Tenko had somehow found him?

She wonders if he’ll be as shy and skittish as Tenko had been when he had first found her, or if he’ll just be overwhelmed with happiness to be reunited with his family.)

“Oh—well, my—my brother says that he knows him?”

Todoroki’s frown just deepens. “…I didn’t realize you had any siblings.”

“Yes, I—you might know that I’m adopted? My brother recently found me, and—well, it didn’t go quite the way I had expected, but—I really think it was for the best. And—he has a plan to go after the person who created the Nomus.”

Todoroki’s eyes go wide. “Your brother wants to go after the Nomu creator? Does he have a quirk like yours, or—? And—is he going with other pro-heroes or—?”

“Not—quite,” Momo manages to get out. She glances at Midoriya, who is nervously muttering something under his breath.

“—canonlybeateamifeveryoneisonthesamepage—It’s—I think we should tell him, Yaoyorozu-san,” Midoriya finally says, looking up at her.

“Tell me what?” Todoroki demands, looking between the two of them.

“I—” Momo glances around to check the hallway, quickly pulls them into an empty classroom, and shuts the door before producing a white noise machine from her arm and setting it up.

She finally turns around to look at the boys and takes a deep breath (no backing out now Hana—you need all the help you can get against the doctor who stitched you back together and apparently wanted to turn you into one of those slavering monsters that landed you in the hospital), “My brother—his name is Shimura Tenko, but—you know him better as Shigaraki Tomura.”

Todoroki actually lets out a hiss of breath at that. She can see the wheels in his head turning. “ Shigaraki Tomura? As in, leader of the League of Villains and master of the Nomus, Shigaraki Tomura? Why would he want to attack the person who makes the Nomus? Does he want to wrest full control or something? And how does he know Touya?”

“I’m—I’m not sure, he just said that he knows him—and as for the Nomus—it turns out that the doctor in charge of that was also in charge of my cryogenics treatment in the past, and—I want answers. And so does my brother, considering he thought I was dead,” Momo explains as best she can.

Todoroki just stares at her. “…you had a cryogenics treatment? And—is Shigaraki now on our side because you’re his sister?”

“I—” she hesitates for a bit. (She doesn’t want to say that Tenko has joined them just because of her—she still thinks that even if it’s been crushed and buried, deep inside, Tenko is still the same boy who stood up for other bullied kids. Look at his friends in the League after all—he keeps threatening to kill them, but not a single one of them seems to take the threat seriously)

“He seems—to be on our side for now,” Midoriya offers. “At the very least—I am very sure that he does not want to see Yaoyorozu-san come to any harm.”

“But he’s having you come along to raid the lab of the Nomu creator,” Todoroki states.

I wanted to go—he doesn’t even want me there,” Momo corrects. “And—we could use your help too, Todoroki-san.”

Todoroki mulls over the idea for a while before looking at them and slowly saying, “…well, I guess this is the reverse of Kamino Ward? Should I go get Kirishima and Iida too—”

“No, I think it’s best if we just stick to us for now,” Momo interrupts. She inwardly winces at the thought of what Iida might say if he found out, and as much as she enjoyed Kirishima’s company, she worries that he’ll tell the entire class.

Todoroki nods, “That would probably keep things easier. Then—are we meeting with the entire League of Villains? And my brother?”

“Yes,” Momo nods. “It’s in a few days, and—I think it will go well!”

--

The meeting had a semi-promising start at least.

Toga had cheerfully greeted everyone, promptly calling them by their given names. Todoroki seems slightly off-put by her enthusiasm and glares when she glomps Midoriya. The man wearing a top-hat and mask who introduces himself as Mr. Compress seems happy to see them, pouring tea and pulling out the chairs at the long table in the meeting room for them.

“The MLA really knew how to furnish a meeting room,” he happily says, settling himself into another chair. “I could sit in this all day.”

“It is rather comfortable,” Momo says truthfully, taking a sip of the tea (it’s—passable she supposes, but she will need to buy Tenko better tea leaves than this). “Where is—everyone else? Will the MLA also—be joining us?”

“Oh no, we can’t trust possibly trust them with something like this. Twice is pulling Spinner away from the latest Pokemon game Shigaraki got him, and Shigaraki is making sure that Dabi actually shows,” Mr. Compress replies, glancing at Todoroki. “None of us can possibly miss this meeting after all.”

Jirou frowns and leans forward. “You guys do have a plan, right?”

“Of course we do, Kyouka-chan!” Toga says, tapping her knife against the wooden table. “Tomura-chan has it allll planned out.”

“And it’s a good plan too!” Spinner says, walking in with a costumed man behind him. “Ujiko won’t know what hit him, we already sent in—”

“Enough talk, we’ll discuss it all now,” Tenko says, striding in, and a taller, dark-haired scarred man following behind him.

(Based on the descriptions of the League and Toga’s chattering texts, that was probably Dabi?

But where was Todoroki’s brother?)

Dabi glances around the room, and his gaze catches at the sight of Todoroki sitting there. He freezes in place before sending a venomous glare at Tenko.

“What—oh, hell no,” Dabi hisses before turning and starting to walk straight towards the door.

“Twice,” Tenko says with a gesture at the costumed man, “Make sure he joins us.”

“Yes, sir! Sorry, Dabi!” Twice says, saluting. Suddenly a bunch of duplicates step from his body and grab Dabi by the arms.

Dabi struggles against Twice’s holds, blue fire crackling in one hand while he fishes out a red feather from his pocket with the other. “Do you really think I won’t burn up your clones?”

“I can make more now!” Twice reassures him.

Midoriya looks worried, glancing between Dabi and Tenko. “Um—if he doesn’t want to be here—I’m not sure it’s necessary—”

“Touya?” Todoroki suddenly asks, standing up and staring at Dabi. “Touya—is that you?”

( What?

The man who had set fire to their training camp, the one who had attacked Endeavor—that was Todoroki’s brother?

What had happened to him to make him this way?)

The feather in Dabi’s hand snaps from the way his hands clench, and he stops struggling against the Twice clones to stare at Todoroki.

“…Touya is dead, don’t you know that, Shouto?” Dabi finally says, jerking his arms away from Twice’s hold.

“Not when he’s standing right in front of me,” Todoroki snaps back.

Mr. Compress winces. “Ooh, brutal.”

“You shut up,” Dabi says reflexively, crossing his arms. “And—what are you even doing here? Did dear father engage you to girl Shigaraki, and you feel obligated to defend your fiancée or whatever?”

“I’m not engaged,” Todoroki says before Momo can leap in to deny it (she admires Todoroki-san of course, but she doesn’t see him that way at all —also she’s not sure if she likes being called girl Shigaraki). “I—came here because she said her brother knew you.”

Momo is surprised that the glare Dabi sends Tenko’s way doesn’t incinerate him. Quite the contrary, he looks—rather smug.

“Who’s crying now?” Tenko demands, leaning back in his chair.

“I will murder you,” Dabi says quietly.

“This—isn’t exactly what I was expecting when you broke my feather,” an amused voice says from the back of the room.

They all whirl around to see a blonde man with red wings standing there in the corner, lifting his visor up.

(Isn’t that—the #2 hero?)

“Ohmygod, that’s Hawks !” Midoriya practically squeals, whipping out a notebook and starting to scribble in it. “His wings are really that big, and oh my god, you can see the feathers moving, and he can sense all his feathers—but wait, why does Dabi have his feather—and why is he here?”

(These are all extremely good questions.

It seems that Tenko has still kept her in the dark about a lot of his dealings.)

“Hawks, get me out of here,” Dabi demands, striding over to him.

Hawks raises an eyebrow, glancing at Todoroki, then back at Dabi. “…you know, not entirely sure why all these U.A. kids are here, but I think this is good for you actually. Didn’t you say just the other day that you kind of missed your siblings sometimes?”

“Fuck you Hawks,” Dabi says viciously.

“Maybe later, hot stuff,” Hawks leers at him before turning and waving at their group. “Hi kids! I’m the Winged Hero Hawks—as you probably know.”

They all just stare at him.

(So—Hawks is working with the League?

How long has that been happening?

Why would he decide to work with a bunch of villains—unless he somehow got involved in this plan against Ujiko?

But—he seems very—familiar with Dabi.

Dabi was even carrying one of his feathers around.)

“So—you were working with my father—but you were also working with my brother?” Todoroki finally asks, frowning and breaking the silence. “Then—did the two of you set him up for that Nomu attack?”

Dabi snorts. “You can rest assured little brother, that was all my idea. Hawks over here is the only reason that piece of shit is still breathing.”

“…you joined the League to get the chance to kill him,” Todoroki breathes.

Dabi’s eyes go hard, a hand sliding across the burn scars littering his face. “After what he did to me, after what he did to mother, after what he did to you —wouldn’t you?”

(Then—

Endeavor somehow caused those burns?

But—how could no one know about it?

But then again—her biological father had had a sterling reputation too, despite what he was like behind closed doors, and he had only been a wealthy business owner, not the #2, now #1 pro-hero of Japan.

Perhaps—she should ask some of the media companies her family has relations with to look into Endeavor’s personal life a little more closely.

People should know about these kinds of things.)

Todoroki’s hands are clenched into fists, “I—he’s a terrible person, I know that. But—I don’t want him dead , and he says that he wants to change now—”

“Convenient, now that he has everything he ever wanted,” Dabi sneers. “Meanwhile, mother is still locked up in that hospital, and he is still revered as a hero.”

“Would killing him solve that though?” Todoroki asks quietly.

Dabi pauses before his mouth twists. “It’d be a start,” he hisses.

“Or—you’ve complained that death is too good for him, and you guys are all here to talk about raiding Ujiko’s lab anyway for the quirk-nullification bullets, right?” Hawks interjects, looking between the two Todorokis.

Dabi turns and narrows his eyes at Hawks, “Why are you still here?”

“To make sure you don’t just make a break for it,” Hawks says cheerfully. “Penthouse is closed until you guys hug—”

“What is wrong with you,” Dabi bites out. “And if the penthouse is closed, guess who isn’t getting any handmade chicken karage.”

“…now you’re just playing dirty. I’ll just have to make do with the store-bought kind, until you give in,” Hawks says with a shrug.

Dabi turns to look at Todoroki, who has pulled out his phone. “I’m telling Fuyumi,” Todoroki says, typing something in. “She’ll know what to do.”

“No!” Dabi says immediately. “She—don’t tell her.”

Todoroki looks up at him. “Why?”

“…let her and Natsu remember me the way I was,” Dabi says softly, looking down. “It would be—kinder that way.”

“No, it wouldn’t.” Momo finds the words tumbling out of her mouth without her permission.

Dabi’s shifts his eerie gaze to her. “…and what would you presume to know about it?”

“I—I always wondered where Tenko was and what happened to him. The uncertainty—it’s awful,” she confesses, looking at Tenko. “I was so happy when he finally found me.”

(Even if what happened to him was awful, even if he’s done terrible things, even if he now calls himself a villain—

At least he is still alive, and only the living can change.)

“…well how sweet,” Dabi says, glancing at Tenko. “I’m so glad things worked out so well for you two, but my family—is not yours.”

“I—I am glad you’re alive, Touya,” Shouto speaks up steadily, not taking his eyes off of his brother. “And I know that—Fuyumi and Natsu have missed you this entire time. And mother.”

Dabi freezes, looking genuinely uncertain for the first time since he walked into the room. “…what they miss—isn’t here anymore.”

“If that were true, why are you still trying to avenge us?” Shouto asks sharply.

Dabi doesn’t say anything for a while as Shouto slowly walks up to him.

“…it’s the least I can do,” Dabi finally says. “I couldn’t fix anything before, and I still—can’t put back together anything that’s been broken, but I can see that bastard pay.”

(She needs to find out what Endeavor did, and looking at the hard expression on Midoriya’s face, she might have some help there.)

“Then—why don’t you include us in that plan?” Shouto asks, standing in front of him.

Dabi’s head jerks up. “ You want to help me kill Endeavor?”

“I mean—you said it yourself, Touya. After all he did to us , so shouldn’t we get a say in how to make him pay?” Shouto argues.

Dabi considers Shouto for a long, tense moment before snorting and looking away. “…make it through this mission after we get the quirk nullification bullets, and—we’ll talk.”

Shouto nods solemnly. Then, he  awkwardly wraps one arm around Dabi’s shoulder in a hug before backing off.

Dabi just stands there, shell-shocked, until Hawks claps while walking up to him, brushing his side with one of his wings.

“There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” he asks with a smile.

“I took a picture!” Toga calls out, waving her phone around.

“Good job Toga,” Tenko says in a satisfied tone.

“That was so sweet,” Twice sobs into a handkerchief before perking up. “But now to business!”

“I’m going to set this place on fire,” Dabi mutters, shoving Hawks’ wing off of him.

“Also—since I’m here, I might as well hear the plan too,” Hawks says blithely, not moving from Dabi’s side as his wings draw in slightly.  

“Why? It’s not like you’re part of it,” Tenko says rudely.

“Er—if Hawks-san is—working with all of you—wouldn’t it be best for him to be part of the plan?” Momo interjects as Shouto returns to his seat and Midoriya whispers something to him.

(She’s—still not sure exactly what Hawks’ role in all this is, but she does know that the man is #2 hero for a reason, and he’d be a boon to have at their side.)

Hawks grins at her “I always knew you were the smart one.”

Hawks will be on stand-by, where Dabi will call him in if he absolutely thinks it’s necessary,” Tenko cuts in, glaring at the winged hero. “ Only if absolutely necessary.”

(It seems—that Tenko doesn’t trust him very much.

Then again, Momo isn’t even sure if she does, given that she still has no idea what he’s is doing here.)

“In which I do still need to know what I might be getting myself into,” Hawks points out.

“He’s already here. Clue him in,” Dabi snaps, kicking a chair out for Hawks before sitting in one himself.

Tenko grimaces, but clicks on the projector that shows a map.

“This is the layout of Ujiko’s lab that we’ve got. As far as we know, the bullets are in the central chamber—and either way, Ujiko is usually there himself too. We will need to neutralize John-kun—that’s his teleportation Nomu—first. That’ll be on you, Compress.”

Mr. Compress doffs his hat. “I will do my best—although having Twice as a distraction would be good?”

“Twice, make some copies and get Ujiko’s attention,” Tenko nods, looking at Twice. “Put a couple in reserve too, and see if you can also make some copies of Dabi and Toga for backups.”

“Got it boss! Although they won’t be able to take many hits!” Twice salutes and warns.

“The originals can’t anyway,” Tenko mutters. “Dabi, you hang back to hit any Nomus he tries to let out. Toga, Twice, you come with me and keep a close eye on Ujiko. Spinner, you watch the kids.”

“And what is our role, Tenko?” Momo cuts in.

Tenko pauses, looking at her. “You—I may need you to hack into some of Ujiko’s files, can you do that?”

“Yes, I think so,” Momo says, running through some technical specifications in her head (she should probably load a few biomedical texts and some of her father’s inventions into the new visor Support had given her). “And—I will be there to ask questions as well.”

Tenko’s mouth turns down, but he still gives a short nod. “Just—stay close to me.”

“And we’ll all be there to back you up, Yaomomo,” Jirou speaks up, glancing around the room.

Toga props her head on her hand and beams at her. “Aw, so cuuuuute,” she coos.

Jirou flushes. “You—back off!”

Toga pouts. “So meeeaaan Kyouka-chan, I could definitely help you out—”

“Anyway, how likely is it that any Nomu will show up?” Midoriya cuts in quickly.

“He has a lot,” Tenko admits slowly, scratching his neck. “Which is why we need to incapacitate him before he can release any.”

“But we also still need answers from him,” Momo points out.

“As long as we restrain him up, he can’t harm us, right?” Todoroki asks.

“Ujiko is tricky, but—yes, I think,” Tenko says. “The important point though is we need to try and get in as sneakily as possible as disable him as quickly as possible.”

Momo nods.

(It sounds like—a fairly good plan.

They have a map, they have the element of surprise, and they have a lot of allies.

Hopefully it’s enough.)

--

They sneak into the lab, Tenko taking the lead, Toga skipping along, Mr. Compress and Twice making their way forward, Dabi striding behind but pointedly at a distance away from Todoroki, and Spinner sticking to the walls near her group. In her own group, Todoroki and Midoriya look surprisingly calm, but Jirou seems more nervous, constantly starting at odd noises.

Momo catches Jirou’s hand. “Do you hear something, Jirou-chan?” she whispers.

Oddly enough, Jirou turns red, looking down at their linked hands, “N—no, sorry, I’m just—I haven’t done this before.”

“Mm, it’s okay Jirou-chan. Just keep an ear out, and make sure to let us know if something is about to happen,” Momo says quietly and lets go of Jirou’s hand. (Maybe—she didn’t like that because that was infantilizing?)

Jirou bites her lip and nods.

They all hide in another room (they protest this, but Tenko promises to call them in if necessary, leaving Spinner behind to watch over them) as Tenko and the League go forward to talk to Ujiko.

Jirou crouches down, her earlobes pinned against the wall as she relays what is happening to them.

“So they’re chatting—sounds kind of ominous really—oh, something smashed—someone’s cursing—I think they’re fighting—something definitely broke—now they’re calling for us to come in?” Jirou says, frowning.

Spinner holds up a hand as he clambers across the wall to go and check before scrambling back. “Okay, looks like they have him restrained—you guys can go ahead and go in.”

She trades glances with Midoriya before stepping forward (it seems—too easy).

In the room, an old man with a bushy mustache is restrained with what looks like measuring tape, Mr. Compress is tossing up and down a small sphere, and Tenko is straddling a chair in front of the captive, staring at him.

(She recognizes that man—

He had been there briefly when she had woken up and had told her that her whole family was dead.)

Ujiko’s head pops up when he sees them come in, “Ah—now I see. Pity, I told Sensei that we should have just wiped your memories.”

“My sister has some questions for you,” Tenko says, kicking at Ujiko’s chair.

Momo approaches, holding her shaking hands together (no matter what kind of monster this is, he’s restrained now, and her brother is here too). “You—you were the doctor who oversaw my cryogenics treatment.”

“I was indeed,” Ujiko says with a nod. “Pity Sensei never let me experiment on you—a Nomu with a Creation quirk would have been lovely. And then you would have been working with your brother the entire time as well, just like you two talked about!”

Tenko looks as if he’s about to rip his face off. Momo—also feels a burning rage rise up in her, intermixed with disgust.

(But at the same time—

How did he know about their childhood dream?)

“What did All For One have planned for me?” she asks.

“Oh—you needn’t worry about that. It’s a little off-track, but it can still happen. We’ll just need a bit of—realignment,” Ujiko says with a sinister smile.

Tenko leans forward, moving a hand forward threateningly. “Do you just want to be dusted?”

“Oh, Tomura, that’s not happening,” Ujiko says condescendingly. His arms suddenly move through the measurement tape and he starts to look translucent.

Compress! ” Tenko immediately yells, and Mr. Compress hurries over to grab Ujiko, but his hand just falls through.

“You didn’t really think I would have only one teleportation Nomu on me, did you?” Ujiko asks, clicking his tongue. “Steve-kun isn’t as fast, but he’s always in my coat. Also—well, let’s see if you survive the next few minutes. Then Sensei and I can properly discuss how things should now progress.”

“We shut down all your Nomu systems!” Tenko yells.

Ujiko’s smile just widens. “But you didn’t bother to get Gigantomachia on your side, did you? Not that he would have joined you—good luck trying to beat him into submission again.”

The top of the roof rips off as some gigantic man roars, and Ujiko disappears. Tenko immediately runs forward, as do Toga, Mr. Compress, and Twice. Dabi hangs back, and when Momo starts forward, Spinner grabs her and pulls her back.

“Let me go!” she yells, trying to get out of his grasp, “I need to help him!”

“You’ll help him best by staying back!” Spinner yells back. “We fought this guy for like a month—

“Then he needs my help even more!” Momo yells back as Dabi suddenly slices forward and aims blue fire at the gigantic man’s eyes.

It seems to hit, the gigantic man clawing at one of his eyes, but he’s still standing, and even angrier than before, going by the fist he smashes at Dabi.

An ice wall appears above Dabi to block the blow as Todoroki runs forward. Tenko takes advantage of the distraction to grab the gigantic man’s leg. Part of it seems to dissolve, but it also regenerates almost just as quickly.

(Okay so it seemed—some kind of healing factor on top of the strength quirk and the gigantic size—

She knows the formula for industrial-strength tranquilizer, and she can up the dose as much as she wants, but how to inject him with it?)

“Yaomomo! Can you make a cannon or something?” Jirou yells, plugging in her own speakers and trying to blast the man with her quirk. “That Toga—maybe she can get it close to him?”

Momo sees Toga weaving in and out of the giant’s grasp, constantly trying to stab at him, and gets an idea.

She pictures the components in her head, trying to ignore the yelling and the crashing (please let Tenko and everyone else be okay), and creates a giant syringe with the tranquilizer from her stomach. She strains to lift it up and brings it to Spinner.

“Can you get that to Toga-san or Midoriya-san?” she asks, pointing at where the two of them are dodging attacks from the giant amid flares of blue and red fire and ice, and her brother in the middle of it all, dodging, whirring, and trying to disintegrate the ground around the giant or any parts of the giant he can reach.

Spinner glances down at the giant needle in his hands, hefts it up onto his shoulder while tying his bandana back more securely, and nods at her. “I’ll get it to her.”

He sprints forward. Momo takes the moment to use the last bit of her reserves to create larger, more powerful speakers for Jirou to use.

Spinner manages to toss the giant needle to Toga, who can barely lift it, but suddenly shifts forms into—is that Uraraka— and floats the needle over to Midoriya, who grabs it and shoves it into the patch of regenerating skin on the arm that Tenko had just tried to disintegrate and Dabi and Todoroki had both focused their respective quirks on.

At first she thinks it didn’t work. The giant is still swinging, but then—he stumbles, his eyes blink slowly, and like a giant tree—he finally falls with a loud crash.

She barely has a second to catch her breath before Tenko rushes over to her. “ Are you okay ?”

“Yes, fine—are you alright, Tenko?” she asks, tilting his head up so she can see the bruises on his jaw and noting how he winces when she brushes against his arm. “We need to get you to a doctor.”

“Quirk nullification bullets and intel first,” Tenko says, gesturing with his working arm at the League members.

“I’ve got the bullets,” Dabi says wearily.

“And we copied out what we could earlier, and there’s some files that spilled out of this cabinet here!” Mr. Compress says from a tipped over and smashed filing cabinet. “Looks like—there’s a file on you?”

The two of them walk over, and Tenko frowns as he pages through the file that Mr. Compress hands him. “…this just looks like my medical history. Nothing new—”

“Wait,” Midoriya says, pointing at an X-ray scan in the file, an odd expression on his face. “That’s—you’re saying that that’s your scan?”

Momo looks closer at it. “It—appears that way. It has your original name, and it looks old—oh look it’s dated from when you were—four.”

(Why do they have his medical files from that far back?)

“…did you know that—quirkless people are born with an extra joint on their foot?” Midoriya asks, pointing at the X-ray of Tenko’s foot.

Both Momo and her brother stare at the scan. The extra joint is plainly visible.

(That’s not—

At one point she remembers her mother worrying if Tenko really was quirkless, but that had been, tragically, proven false.

But if he had this extra joint—and Momo remembers reading about it as well, and Tenko back then really had been quirkless—

Where did his quirk come from in that case?)

“What—what are you saying?” Tenko demands.

“I’m—I think—you were born quirkless,” Midoriya says quietly.

“That’s not possible,” Tenko snaps, his hand clawing at his own neck. “My quirk has always been this one—you don’t just randomly develop extra quirks—”

“Unless there was someone who could take and grant quirks,” Momo says, her stomach roiling with the implications (she thinks she might vomit). “Like with the Nomus and—All For One.” 

 

Chapter Text

Shigaraki’s hands shake as he stares at the X-Ray scan.

(There’s no possible way he was quirkless.

Hadn’t he been born for destruction?

Hadn’t that been what Sensei had always told him?

But—Hana is saying that Deku isn’t lying, that there really have been studies showing that quirkless people have that extra joint that is shown on his X-Ray.

Could Ujiko have faked it?

But for what purpose?

And how would he have even known that they would find it? None of them would have even looked twice at the scan if Deku hadn’t pointed it out.

But if it’s real then—

Sensei had given him a name. Had he also given him his quirk?

But his quirk had disastrously manifested before he had ever met Sensei—right?)

“Tenko,” Hana’s voice breaks through, “We need to go. I’m not sure how long the tranquilizer will hold.”

Shigaraki manages to pull himself away from the scans, stuffing them into his bag (he can worry about what all this means later) “Let’s get going then,” he snaps, taking stock of their group.

Hana looks fine, Spinner’s looks like he got in a few close calls, but nothing serious. Toga’s shifted back, and she looks a little rough, but it’s nothing compared to her condition from the MLA battle. Mr. Compress looks barely scathed, Twice looks like he’s been batted around a few times, and Dabi looks like shit, smoking a bit, although his little brother is creating and applying ice to him. Deku looks annoyingly just fine (what, he didn’t even break a limb this time?) and staring at him with big watery eyes (does he have some kind of tear-based quirk also?), and Jirou is hanging close to Hana and seems shaken but unharmed.

(And what had Ujiko meant about how his and Sensei’s plans for Hana could still work?

Did they still want to turn her into a Nomu?

Or did they want to give her a quirk like his—)

“Are we going or what?” Dabi spits from where he is struggling up from his brother’s grasp.

Shigaraki jerkily nods as he leads them forward, Hana walking worriedly by his side as Mr. Compress also catches up.

“We’re probably going to need a doctor,” he notes, taking off his coat to wrap around Shigaraki’s arm.

Shigaraki wants to pull back, but—his arm really does hurt (hopefully it’s not broken, he can’t even reach up to his neck without pain right now), and Hana is staring at him with wide eyes, so he winces and lets Mr. Compress make a makeshift sling as they hurry out of the lab.

“We’ll head back to headquarters, and then—” he pauses.

(Can he trust any of the MLA doctors right now?

If Redestro got wind of the way he was right now, there was no way he wouldn’t take advantage of it. He could even launch an attack, and they’d be sitting ducks this time.)

Dabi reaches into his jacket and pulls out his cellphone, “Don’t you dare bring the MLA into this—they’ll happily try to attempt a coup if they see us right now. I’m telling Hawks—he definitely knows someone with a medical quirk.”

“I’m telling Natsu then, he can help,” Dabi’s little brother says, pulling out his own cellphone.

Dabi immediately tries to snatch the cellphone out of his brother’s hands, “What the fuck Shouto—how can he help?”

“He’s studying medicine,” Todoroki says calmly.

“He’s in his first year of pre-med!” Dabi retorts.

“Well, it’s too late; I already texted him the address of your headquarters,” Todoroki says without a change in expression.

(He thinks he should probably either be gleeful that Dabi has to confront even more of his siblings or pissed that yet another person is learning the location of their supposedly secret headquarters, but all he can feel right now is—

He doesn’t even know how to describe it.

Confusion, disbelief, anger, sadness, stress—

It’s just a maelstrom.

Had Sensei—been using him this entire time?

He doesn’t want to believe that—it wasn’t possible right?

Sensei had been the only one who had helped him back then, the only one to even see him, the only one to acknowledge his pain.

But—he remembers the barely held back rage in Sensei’s voice when he talked about Shimura Nana, and Hana had been kept away from him for some dark purpose all these years.

If he had given him this quirk—had he known how it would activate?

Had he been counting on that?

Then—everyone who died—he may have been the bomb, but Sensei all along had held the trigger?)

“Tenko.”

Shigaraki jerks up to see Hana firmly holding his hand.

“You were hurting yourself,” she says softly, dabbing at his neck with a clean, lacy handkerchief with his other hand. “Talk to me, Tenko.”

Shigaraki jerks his hand out of her grasp, “Are you insane? I—I could hurt you right now—”

“I trust you, Tenko,” Hana says calmly, looking him in the eye. “Just—tell me what you’re thinking, please.”

“I’m thinking that the sooner we’re back at headquarters, the faster we can think of what to do next,” Tenko says, walking faster.

Hana just lengthens her footsteps (damn her long legs). “That’s true, but—but Tenko, All For One—”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Shigaraki hisses. “Sensei was—he took care of me! He made sure that I had a place to live and food to eat! He trained me up—”

“What was he training you for though, Tenko?” Hana asks quietly.

(He thought—

He had believed that Sensei had been raising him for destruction and for eventually taking over his organization, but now—

He probably had always wanted him to rain chaos on destruction for the world, but in the end— Sensei had been jerking his strings along as if he was a puppet.

If your nemesis had a family that they had loved enough to try and send away, what would be even better than just killing them?

Making sure one of the children of the family killed them all instead, forcing them into a desperate corner, and then what wouldn’t they do for their savior?)

Shigaraki gags and heaves, clutching at his stomach as he spews the little he had eaten all over the ground.

“Tenko!” Hana cries, immediately rubbing his back.

“Where the fuck is Hawks’ medical person?” Spinner demands, glaring at Dabi.

“They’re at headquarters,” Dabi replies, limping along.

“Natsu says he’s on his way,” Todoroki adds.

Dabi looks like he’s considering pushing his brother over, and Shigaraki has to admit that even in this situation, that kind of cheers him up.

Hana half-supports him all the way back to headquarters, Spinner hovering worriedly at his side, and Shigaraki is too tired to try and shrug either of them off.

(It’s probably fine—he’s so tired right now that his powers won’t work properly anyway.

He really should be wary about whoever Hawks is bringing in, but—they’re all beaten up. They need some help.

Worst comes to worst, maybe he can track this medical person down later and kill them if they become a problem.)

At headquarters, Hawks is standing there with a silver-haired woman who is carrying a large pack on her shoulders. Upon seeing them, Hawks rushes over to Dabi’s side, feathers supporting him over to a chair.

“Hey—you okay? You didn’t overdo it, did you?” Hawks asks worriedly, motioning for the woman to come forward.

“He’s fine, he had his brother icing him— have your doctor come look at Shigaraki,” Spinner demands, stepping in front of the woman.

The woman eyes all of them, setting the bag down on the ground with a thump. “…how long ago was the damage sustained?”

“What does that have to do with anything? You—”

“Anything that happened over three hours ago, I can’t help,” the woman says calmly, unzipping the bag to reveal a dead body. “Anything else, depending on how recent and how severe, I can transfer over to this. So, how long ago was it?”

“Battle was an hour ago,” Hana quickly says, supporting Shigaraki over.

The woman nods and starts looking him over.

Meanwhile, Dabi moves away from Hawks’ fluttering wings, staring at the corpse in the bag.

“…so that’s where you got the guy you tried to pass off as Best Jeanist to us,” he comments.

What? ” half the U.A. kids burst out in varying degrees of confusion and panic.

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Hawks says, making calming gestures at the kids while taking a tube of some kind of gel that the woman hands him. “Just a little—test. But now we’re all on the same side, so I can show all my cards, right?”

Dabi snorts, taking the tube from Hawks’ hands and slathering the gel onto his skin, “Finally deciding to show your true colors?”

“Something like that. Got to keep a little mystery to match you though,” Hawks says with a wink at Dabi.

(He should probably care more that Hawks tried to trick them, but then again, he never really bought his whole double-agent act.

Whatever Hawks says, he’s pretty sure that something else is going on in his head.

Same as Dabi really, always scheming. No wonder the two of them are always together.

They’re welcome to all their mind games together, but Shigaraki—

Is starting to think that he’s been manipulated like a puppet this entire time, and he can’t deal with anything else right now.)

The woman’s arm suddenly cracks in a weird angle before rapidly straightening out again, and then the cadaver’s arm suddenly cracks, and Shigaraki notices that the pain in his own arm has completely disappeared. The woman takes her hands off of him.

“Fixed,” she announces, turning to peer at Dabi. “As for you—I think the ice and the cooling gel should have mostly stabilized you, but let’s take a look.”

Dabi suffers the woman to examine him, but then the door bursts open again, and a tall, built, white-haired guy wearing a volleyball jersey comes striding in with a small first-aid kit in hand.

“Shouto, getting to know you better now is great, but if you’re going to make a habit of getting into weird fights and then texting me in the middle of practice to come patch you up, I’ll do it, but I need more emergency medicine classes in that case. And we definitely need to talk about if you’re in some underground fight club—”

The guy stops talking as he takes in the sight of the battered League, the woman with the corpse at her side, the U.A. students, and Hawks.

“…I have no idea what’s going on, and I don’t think this kit is nearly enough,” the guy announces, “Shouto—what is all this? Is that—oh my god, are you Hawks?”

Hawks waves cheerfully, while pinning down Dabi’s jacket with his feathers to keep him from bolting, “That’s me!”

The guy beams, striding forward to shake his hand. “I’m a big fan! Oh—so like Shouto, did you switch internships to Hawks’ agency? Dad’s going to explode when he finds out, it’s going to be so amazing—”

“Do your ice thing on Touya,” Todoroki cuts in, pointing at Dabi.

The guy drops his first aid kit as he stares at Dabi, and Dabi glares at Todoroki.

“…you are definitely my least favorite sibling,” he declares darkly.

“Touya?” the guy says tremulously, carefully stepping forward and looking at him closely, “You’re—you’re alive?”

Dabi shrugs as the feathers fall away. “You could call it that I guess,” he says.

The guy immediately wraps his arms around Dabi, completely engulfing him in his bulk as his shoulders heave.

Touya ,” he sobs, “You’re back.

Dabi’s arm comes up to slowly pat on the guy’s back. “Hey, Natsu. It’s okay, I’m—it’s been hard on you.”

“Not as hard as it’s been on you,” Natsu says, drawing back and scrubbing at his eyes with the back of his hand as he uses his other hand to grab Dabi’s arm, and frost starts spreading across his skin. “You—what is going on here?”

“The League of Villains is going against All For One now, and we’re helping out,” Todoroki says simply.

“Who says we’re going against All For One?” Shigaraki demands.

“I mean—are we not?” Mr. Compress asks, tilting his head. “We’ve kind of blown up all our relations with Ujiko and Gigantomachia.”

“Plus, All For One doesn’t sound cool,” Twice points out.

“Twice is right,” Toga whines, swinging her legs back and forth as she sits on a table, and the silver-haired woman Hawks brought in transfers her injuries to the corpse. “He seems to have set you up, Tomura-chan. That’s not a nice thing to do to your friends.”

(Just a puppet dancing on Sensei’s strings from the very beginning, just a pawn in his game—

He can’t lose it right now, he can’t, he can’t, he can’t )

“Hey, hey, hey, can you hear me? Just listen to my voice,” Natsu says quietly, crouching down at Shigaraki’s side despite Dabi trying to grab at him. “Okay, just listen and breathe. In and out, on the count of three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, just focus on your breath, there’s nothing else here…”

It’s stupid, but nothing else seems to be working, so he focuses on this Todoroki’s voice, breathing in and out and centering on the feel of his breath whooshing in and out of his lungs and Hana’s hand rubbing up-and-down his back while Spinner’s grip stays on his shoulder.

“Okay, just keep doing that until you think you feel better,” Natsu says, glancing around the room. “Also can someone get him a glass of water?”

Spinner scrambles over himself to head to the kitchen and rush back with a cup.

“Okay, small sips,” Natsu says authoritatively, pushing the cup into his hands.

As Shigaraki takes small sips of water, trying to just concentrate on his breath and not on the ongoing sense of doom (if he can’t depend on Sensei—then what exactly is he supposed to count on?

Himself?

Shit, that was terrifying.

The League?

Would they even want to go along with him now that they know how badly he’s been played?

Hana?

She could do a lot, but this was really too much—)

“Don’t think, here,” Natsu says, rummaging around his bag before pointing at the mess of the first aid kit on the floor, “Can you help me clean that up?”

“Fuck you, you think you can just order me around?” Shigaraki demands, pushing himself up.

“Would keep your mind off of things—does anyone have a game or something?” Natsu asks, looking at the League.

Spinner immediately takes out his phone and loads up Monument Valley, “Try this?” he asks, turning it to Natsu so he can look.

“Oh, that looks nice. Yeah, try that,” Natsu nods, and Spinner offers his phone to Shigaraki.

“You sure like following orders from anyone,” Shigaraki sneers, grabbing Spinner’s phone and moving the puzzle pieces, ignoring the vaguely hurt look that flashes across Spinner’s face.

“That’s not fair, Tenko-chan, Spinner’s just trying to help,” Toga pipes up, crossing her arms.

“It’s fine,” Spinner says hurriedly, “Just—anyway, as long as you feel better.”

Hana smiles at Spinner, “Thank you, Spinner-san.”

Spinner shuffles awkwardly in place while Dabi pulls Natsu back and looks him over.   

“Where did you learn to do all—that?” he asks.

“We just learned about panic attacks last week, lucky for all of you,” Natsu says, picking up the supplies that had fallen out of his first aid kit. “So—you’re going by Dabi now?”

“Yeah?” Dabi says warily as Hawks guides the silver-haired woman to his side.

Natsu snorts as the woman examines Dabi and transfers some burn damage to the cadaver, “Could you have possibly picked an edgier name? Was Lord Death taken?”

“Actually, Lord Death was a villain All Might fought about 15 years ago,” Deku corrects.

“Near Kyoto,” Todoroki adds. “He wanted to—take over the city or something?”

Shigaraki twitches, a puzzle piece in the game rotating the wrong way.

(No, Lord Death had wanted a geisha to notice him!)

Dabi looks between the frowning Deku and himself hunched over, flashes a malicious smile, and says, “And his quirk was tentacles or something.”

“It was not!” Shigaraki bursts out, setting the game down and glaring at all of them (honestly, why didn’t people just know these things, it was all in the public domain after all). “That is totally wrong! Lord Death had an instant-death touch as long as he knew your real name, his death toll was hovering in the thirties, he wanted to impress a geisha, and they had to call in All Might because—”

“No one knew his real name,” Deku cuts in, an expression between excitement and bewilderment.

(Great, of course Deku is some kind of weirdo All Might fanboy.

He should have known given how his move-sets were all modeled after All Might’s.

And—damnit, Dabi had goaded him into revealing his own nerd knowledge.

Look, he had needed to know his enemy, so of course he knew all about All Might’s battles and opponents. And to be thorough, he had made a spreadsheet.

He needs to make sure that spreadsheet is super encrypted.)

Dabi looks smug even with Natsu shoving at him, Hawks looks vaguely surprised, the silver-haired woman is still busy transferring wounds over to the cadaver, Hana is smiling warmly at him, Todoroki looks nonplussed, and most of the rest of the League didn’t react at all except that Spinner is staring at him with a weird expression on his face Shigaraki can’t name.

“…yeah, that’s right,” Shigaraki says, deciding to brazen it all. “Anyway—it’s been a long day, and we still have Gigantomachia who may wake up at any minute.”

“I already told Midoriya-san to call Gran Torino-san to let him know where Gigantomachia is,” Hana quickly says. “I am fairly sure he can take care of him.”

“You called the guy who captured Kurogiri?” Shigaraki demands before realizing that—

Kurogiri had been so close to Sensei.

Had Kurogiri also known all along?

“Yes, but don’t worry! I didn’t tell him about any of you!” Deku reassures them.

“You’re almost like a member now, Izuku-kun,” Toga coos, trying to link her arm through his, but Todoroki blocks her way.

“Still—all that stuff is probably going to be on the news,” Jirou says worriedly. “What are we supposed to tell anyone?”

“For now, let’s just keep it quiet,” Hana says, looking at Shigaraki. “We—still need to figure out later where we go from here. For now—let’s rest?”

Shigaraki nods and gestures for the League to go, and they file out along with the U.A. students, Hawks, his associate, and Natsu. Spinner shoots him one more look over his shoulder before the door shuts, and it’s just him and his sister.

“…do—do you want to talk about it now, Tenko?” Hana asks softly. “I’m here—or we can call my therapist, and you can talk to her maybe if you want on outside opinion—”

 “No,” Shigaraki says immediately, scratching at his neck. “No, I—I’m not talking about this to anyone else, too many people already know that—know that I’m—I’m—”

“Quirkless?” Hana suggests, clasping her hands together. “It’s not—it’s really not something to be ashamed about—”

“I’m a quirkless puppet who’s been led around by the nose for nearly his entire lifetime,” Shigaraki says, clutching at his head. “This—this power isn’t even mine—how did— when did he find us? Why—why—?”

(Why him ?

Had he sensed a weakness in him that wasn’t present in Hana?

Or had he sensed that ugly side of him that made him briefly wish his own fate upon his sister?)

“…do you remember a couple weeks before—everything went wrong, you got lost, Tenko?” Hana says slowly.

Shigaraki frowns, stopping his hand and mind racing as he tries to comb through those faint memories. “Yeah—I—someone found me right? And brought me home?”

Hana nods, “I don’t remember any real details but—what if he found you then?”

“And then he somehow knew that I would mess up and detonate,” Shigaraki says dully.

Hana grabs his hand and shakes her head firmly. “He knew that—the activation of such a quirk, especially with someone who didn’t grow up with the quirk would be sudden, and given the nature of such a quirk, potentially devastating.”

“And I didn’t fail to disappoint,” Shigaraki says, starting to laugh and suddenly finding that he couldn’t stop , “Except—ha, except he still wasn’t satisfied with nearly all of Shimura Nana’s family being dead, hahaha, no—he wanted me to be a villain, and you—”

(He still doesn’t know what Sensei wanted with Hana.

At some point, perhaps the plan really had been to make her a Nomu and let him control her, Sensei would have probably gotten a sick kick out of that.

But since the Yaoyorozus were permitted to just go ahead and adopt her—

What did it all mean?)

Hana’s hand tightens around his own. “We still don’t know what he wanted with me—maybe my survival was a happy accident or maybe it was planned, but either way—Tenko, he made a mistake.”

“What do you mean?” Shigaraki whispers, pulling his hand away. “He has us all exactly where he wanted us to be.”

“He thought that he could just mold you into whatever he wanted, but he failed. You still want to help people, and—that’s what heroes do,” Hana says steadily.

Shigaraki shakes his head. “No, that’s—when did I ever help anyone?”

“You’ve helped everyone in the League,” Hana points out. “Toga tells me that if it wasn’t for you and the rest of the League, she would have died in that fight against the MLA.”

“She also wouldn’t have even been in the fight if she wasn’t in the League,” Shigaraki points out, making a note to try and get Toga to stop texting his sister. (God forbid she gets a crush on her.)

“Still,” Hana says stubbornly. “You’ve helped a lot of people that—heroes couldn’t help.”

“Heroes didn’t want to help,” Shigaraki viciously bites out. “They were all too happy to forget about them and let them rot—like you and me.”

Hana bites her lip. “That’s—heroes have helped me, Tenko.”

“You were lucky. You got out and became a Yaoyorozu—but what did heroes ever do for us before that?” Shigaraki demands. “We were all left there like sitting ducks—and even without Sensei, where were they when father was hitting us and locking us out of the house?”

(None of this—should really matter given all the implications of what Sensei has done, but this issue, this argument at least—he’s on familiar ground.

Something to clutch at while the rest of his mind spins.)

Hana is quiet for a while before slowly saying, “…I’m not denying that I was lucky or that the hero industry in general needs to change, but—but I think they still do more good than harm.”

“If our grandmother hadn’t run off to be a hero, I don’t think we’d be in this situation right now,” Shigaraki states.

“You might be right, but—she obviously thought fighting All For One was more important than anything else. And—you’ve seen now what All For One is capable of, personally. I’m not saying she made all the right decisions, but—can you see why she thought she had to fight him?” Hana asks, leaning forward.

(Can he now?

Of course he’s known what Sensei has been up to; he’d used all the Nomu he gathered with hardly a second thought and reveled in the destruction that Sensei had encouraged.

But now—

Sensei did this to their family.

How many families did he tear apart for his Nomu?

How many other plans did Shigaraki not know about?

How many had he been complicit in?)

“Tenko—Tenko!” Hana’s hand pulls his hand away from his neck. “Take—take deep breaths, like Todoroki-san said. Listen to me, breathe in, one, two, three, breathe out, one, two, three, in, one, two, three, out, one, two, three…”

He breathes in time with his sister’s voice and tries to still his hands. “How—where do we go from here?” he asks softly.

Hana stills and bites her lip. “…what do you want to do next, Tenko?”

“I don’t know!” Shigaraki cries, throwing his hands up. “That’s why I’m asking you! I can’t—I don’t—this isn’t what I planned for. This isn’t—how anything was supposed to go.”

Hana is quiet for a moment before slowly saying. “Do you remember when—there was that time when you wanted to make a cake for grandmother’s birthday?”

A dim memory bobs up in his confused mind.

(He—had seen a fancy cake on T.V. or something, and when he had shown it to Hana, she had been full of confidence that they could make it.

They definitely had not been able to, and the only reason their father hadn’t locked them out of the house for the night was because their mother had found them first and had hastily cleaned up the kitchen.

The next day, their mother taught them to make riceballs instead, and their grandmother had seemed to enjoy it for her birthday.)

“We messed up,” Shigaraki reminds her.

“We did, but—we learned something else, didn’t we? We had help, and—grandmother was so happy.”

Shigaraki draws his knees up to his chest, muttering, “She probably was just pretending to like them.”

“Maybe, but—I think she did really like that we made them for her,” Hana says carefully.

“So—what are you saying? That this is somehow like messing up a birthday cake and learning to make riceballs?” Shigaraki demands.

“I’m saying—that this is an opportunity to figure things out,” Hana says, voice not entirely steady, but not backing down. “All this time—you’ve been doing what All For One has wanted you to do. What do you want to do now?”

(He doesn’t know.

Well—he wants answers, that’s for sure, but other than that—

It turns out everything he was raised for was a lie.)

“I don’t know,” Shigaraki repeats, looking down at the ground.

Hana nods, placing a hand on his shoulder. “And that’s okay—just—get some rest and—we can talk again tomorrow? You can text me or call me anytime you want though.”

He would like nothing better to have her stay, but her adoptive parents must be getting worried, so he waves her off.

Sleep though, will not come.

He stares at the ceiling, panic welling in his chest and drowning him until he has to sit up, and he can’t stop any of his racing thoughts.

(What is he going to do, what is he going to do, what the fuck is he supposed to do now? )

He tries to breathe, but the darkness in his room feels suffocating, so he stumbles out of his room, into the kitchen to try and get some water.

“Can’t sleep?”

He nearly spits out his water as he whirls around to see Dabi quietly sitting in the corner, reading something on his phone.

“What the fuck—why aren’t you at Hawks’ place? Or with your siblings?” Shigaraki demands, slamming his glass onto the countertop.

Dabi shrugs, “Why would I be with any of them?”

“Trouble with your boyfriend?” Shigaraki asks in the sweetest tone he can manage (he channels Toga for inspiration). “Let me guess—he wanted you to talk to your family, and you ran away like you always do?”

Dabi glares at him, “You had no right to bring Shouto into this,” he says coldly.

“You had no right to be spying on me,” Shigaraki shoots back.

I got called in by Mr. Compress,” Dabi snaps. “He was worried.”

“Since when do you take orders from Mr. Compress?”

“Since he’s the only one of you who has more than two bits of common sense,” Dabi says, crossing his arms.

“Still—you could have just told him instead of creepily texting me .”

Dabi shrugs. “Well, I’m thoroughly repenting that now.”

“Good,” Shigaraki says waspishly. “Maybe you’ll finally learn to mind your own business.”

“Like you minded mine?” Dabi asks.

“What? Did you expect to just take your revenge with your siblings none the wiser?” Shigaraki snorts.

“They were supposed to think I was dead ,” Dabi hisses, slamming his palms against the counter. “They were supposed to remember—I’m not having this conversation with you, I’ve already had it too many times already.”

(Would it have been better if Hana had just remembered him as he was?

Would it have been kinder?

Maybe, but—he is fairly certain that if he asked her, she would always say that she wanted to know the truth.)

Dabi’s phone vibrates, and he glances at it before typing into it.

Shigaraki snorts. “You say you’ve talked enough, and yet here you are, still at it.”

“You were the youngest sibling, weren’t you? You never had to try and keep your siblings in line,” Dabi says, frowning at his phone.

“I’m the oldest now,” Shigaraki points out. “I’m also taller.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re technically older than her or taller than her, eldest sibling privileges always last,” Dabi says haughtily.

“Whatever,” Shigaraki scoffs. “You would say that. Your youngest brother is already almost as tall as you, and your other brother makes you look like a dwarf.”

Dabi looks up from his phone. “Your sister is easily going to be taller than you,” he shoots back.

“You don’t know that!” Shigaraki says, somewhat nettled. “She could—she could stop growing soon!”

“She eats way better than you.”

“She was in cryogenesis for years! And plus her quirk—and I’m still growing too!”

“Sure, keep telling yourself that,” Dabi snorts. “I’ll say this one more time, even if it falls on deaf ears—she has a good life. Possibly one of the best. Cut her off and leave her be.”

“This is her fight as much as mine,” Shigaraki argues back, hands clenched in his lap.

“…perhaps. But it would still be safer for her to stay out of it,” Dabi says steadily.

“She’s already in it, and there’s no way she’s going to let me push her out,” Shigaraki snaps. “Besides—your siblings are on your side now, aren’t they?”

“…to an extent.” Dabi dips his head. “Mostly because you butted in and brought them in, but—we’ll see.”

“We’re soon going to be outnumbered by Todorokis,” Shigaraki comments.

Dabi shakes his head, clicking his phone shut. “So—your dad wanted to turn you into a weapon against All Might, huh? That’s—familiar”

Shigaraki stares at Dabi.

(Was Dabi—actually trying to relate to him?

What the hell?

What was he up to?)

“Are you—what are you planning?” he asks suspiciously. “That’s not—that’s not what happened!”

“Isn’t it though? Why else would you be up in the middle of the night?” Dabi continues ruthlessly. “It’s not so bad though, figuring it out. At least now you can pick what you want to fight for yourself.”

(This sounds disturbingly close to what Hana was saying. He likes it even less coming out of Dabi’s mouth.)

“You want me to become obsessed with revenge like you?” Shigaraki demands.

“Weren’t you already? Didn’t you always say you wanted to drag down All Might and the rest of the world because no one helped you back then? Just change the target.” Dabi shrugs.

“You—it’s not that easy—you think I can just switch over just like that ?”

“Well, you’re going to have to sooner or later since we’re all looking to you for what to do next.”

“I know that, I—since when did you care what we were planning, you’re always doing stuff on your own anyway!” Shigaraki points out, trying to change the subject (he’s fine, he’s fine, he’s fine ).

“Yeah, but—” Dabi frowns and shifts uncomfortably. “It’s—can’t let an asshole like All For One just run around like that. What if he tries more sick shit on someone else?”

“Fine time for you to start caring about that,” Shigaraki sneers.

(Fine time for himself as well.

It—just hadn’t seemed real until it touched him and his sister.

But is that any excuse?

Shouldn’t he always have known?)

“…that’s true. But—I’ve never liked assholes who manipulated their kids and think they know better than everyone else,” Dabi says slowly.

(He seems—actually sincere?

Shigaraki isn’t certain if he feels surprised or horrified or a combination of the two.)

“…great. So glad you finally decided to join us,” Shigaraki snaps, crossing his arms. “When I’ve figured out what we’re going to do next—I’ll let you know.”

Dabi’s phone vibrates again. He clicks it open and stills.

“…well, you’re going to need me, and you better figure out something soon,” he says, scrolling through something. “You—may want to turn on the news.”

“Why? Did they connect Gigantomachia to Hana?” Shigaraki demands, snatching at Dabi’s phone.

Dabi lets him take it, and Shigaraki sees the headline:

All For One Escapes From Prison

(No, no, no, no, no.)

Chapter Text

Momo sits down before her legs can give out and shakily puts her hands over her face.

(Escaped.

Because Ujiko had been tipped off?

Because she had wanted answers so badly?)

“Yaoyorozu-san, do you know anything about this?” Gran Torino repeats, leaning forward.

Momo looks up at Gran Torino, trying to focus.

“I—I just heard about it,” she says truthfully. “It—it was on the news and—”

(And she had immediately tried to call Tenko after she had heard.

Her brother hadn’t picked up the phone, but he had texted her back to let her know that they had heard and that they were working on a plan.

Toga on the other hand told her that Tenko had locked himself in his room and that Spinner practically broke down the door before Mr. Compress just used his quirk on it so that they could make sure he was okay.)

“Sensei, is this really necessary?” All Might asks, hovering at her side. “I’m sure Yaoyorozu-shoujo could have nothing to do with any of this—”

“That I believe, but not that she doesn’t know something,” Gran Torino says in a steely tone. “Izuku isn’t very good at subterfuge; all of you were definitely involved in knocking out Gigantomachia and wrecking Ujiko’s lab.”

“I—”

“If we were, we did all of you a favor, didn’t we?” Todoroki demands, leaning forward. “You’ve been looking for Ujiko for ages from what I hear.”

“We appreciate the help, but there’s a reason you guys are still in training,” Gran Torino snaps. “You may think you know what you’re doing, but besides the fact that all of you could have died, the entire lab was completely wrecked, very little of the information is salvageable, and Ujiko ran off and broke Kurogiri and then All For One out—”

“Is there a plan in place to get him back?” Midoriya asks seriously, leaning forward.

Gran Torino leaps forward and kicks Midoriya back into his chair, “Of course there is! Do you think you kids are the only ones who are capable of planning anything?”

“N-no, but—”

“All of you have already caused enough trouble, and All For One is probably out there reuniting with the League of Villains right now —”

“What if—we could tell you that the League of Villains—is no longer affiliated with All For One,” Momo broke in.

(This much, she knows for sure.

There can be no working for a man that plotted their family’s downfall so viciously and used Tenko so abominably for his own ends.

And—even if Tenko doesn’t really want to work with heroes—he’s working with her and her friends, isn’t he?)

Both Gran Torino and All Might stand stock still.

“Is that true, Yaoyorozu-shoujo?” All Might asks, a hopeful lilt in his voice.

She nods, “Tenko—has discovered the truth about All For One, and the League follows his views.”

“…it seems you’ve had more contact with your brother than you chose to reveal to us, Yaoyorozu-san,” Gran Torino says, looking half grumpy but half impressed, tapping his cane against the ground. “If that is true—it’s a good thing. But how certain are you that he isn’t just telling you what you want to hear?”

“I have no doubts in my mind,” she says steadily.

(The only reason she hadn’t fallen apart herself at the knowledge that All For One had orchestrated everything was because she had to be strong for Tenko.

She had let him down before, and she couldn’t let him down now, and so she had taken a deep breath and tried to calmly talk to him and soothe his worries that were also her own.

Thank goodness for Jirou who had been by her side the entire time and after the conversation with her brother, had asked her if she was alright and had held her hand and sat with her until she thought she could pull herself back together again.

Had someone managed to do that for Tenko too?)

“Then—would they be willing to turn themselves in and work with us now?” All Might asks.

Yaoyorozu shifts in her seat, “I—I’m not sure about that.”

(Even if Tenko no longer trusts All For One, that doesn’t mean he trusts pro-heroes very much either.

She also—doesn’t entirely trust them aside from All Might to not immediately throw Tenko in jail on sight.)

Gran Torino snorts, “I didn’t think so.”

“He—we just found out a few days ago—he’s still trying to find his way!” Yaoyorozu says, her tone hardening. “You can’t just expect him to turn around immediately—”

“When it’s a matter of knowing what’s right and what’s wrong, I would expect more from one of Nana’s grandchildren,” Gran Torino says sharply.

“Why? It’s not like she was ever a part of our lives. All we knew about her was a photo our father kept locked in his study that he never wanted us to look at.”

(She’s not sure where these words are coming from, but—

No one knew her father for who he was, they just looked at his veneer of success and took it at face value, just like the way they are now judging Tenko.

Of course Tenko has done some horrifying things, and she isn’t excusing him for that, but shouldn’t All For One’s influence be factored in as well?

Her father had always justified his rage by how his mother had abandoned him after all.)

Gran Torino pauses, looking somewhat taken aback. All Might looks confused as well.

“Did—did he resent her?” he finally asked.

“He never wanted us to be heroes because of her. He would lock us out of the house if he caught us playing and pretending to be heroes,” Momo says quietly. “That never stopped Tenko though. He couldn’t help it—and I promised him we would be heroes together.”

(And she has always tried to keep all her promises.)

Gran Torino’s gaze shifts a bit, and he just steadily looks at her before someone knocks on the door, and Aizawa-sensei walks in.

“If you’re quite done interrogating my students, they still have homework they need to do,” he says tonelessly, gesturing for the three of them to get up.

“Ah—Aizawa-kun, we still have some more questions—”

“They can wait until tomorrow. Midoriya and Todoroki both have remedial media studies, and Yaoyorozus parents want to see her,” Aizawa-sensei says, already ushering the three of them out.

Gran Torino doesn’t seem especially happy about it, but he just nods, “Very well. Yaoyorozu-san—whatever you’re doing, be careful.”

Aizawa swiftly dispatches her to her parents before she could have a chance to say anything to Midoriya or Todoroki, and her parents soon rush her into their car thereafter.

“Darling, are you alright?” her mother asks, running her hand across her cheek.

“I’m fine, mother,” she nods, patting her mother’s hand, “I heard the news—”

“We have all our best investigators looking into Ujiko,” her father interrupts. “We—we had no idea he was Dr. Tsubasa all this time—”

“That awful, awful terrible man! When they find him, I’ll have all our lawyers piling on him to make sure he rots in jail!” her mother says fiercely.

“We will find out why they had you in the first place, Momo, we swear,” her father says, his eyes intense.

(And—that should reassure her, all the Yaoyorozu resources placed on this, but—

But this is trouble that should have never touched them save for them taking her in.)

She bites her lip, “Do you—do you regret choosing me now to take in—”

“Darling no!” her mother says in a shocked tone at the exact time her father says, “Of course not!” in a horrified voice.

“Whatever reason they had you, whatever reason they had to let you go, we would have always chosen you,” her mother says firmly, grabbing her hand along with her father’s. “You were always meant to be ours, and we are so, so proud of you.”

“We love you, Hana,” her father says in a steady voice, squeezing her hand reassuringly. “We—just want you to be safe.”

(She loves them so much, and she cannot be any more devastated that they didn’t somehow find Tenko first.

And—secrets weren’t going to help anyone, she can see that now. They need to know so that they can know what to prepare for.)

She takes a deep breath, “I love all of you too, and—there’s something I need to tell you. About my brother.”

Her parents exchange looks then nod.

“We thought the situation seemed a bit odd…tell us then,” her father says steadily.

So she does. She tells them the entire story, starting from what they knew to her actually figuring out who her brother has become to meeting him again to learning more about him to finding out the truth of All For One.

Throughout it all, her parents let her speak, although at certain points they both grow pale, especially when she at last reveals that All For One was the one who gave her brother his quirk.

“That’s monstrous!” her mother bursts out at the end, her hands clenched white in her lap and her eyes narrowed to nearly slits. “That’s absolutely horrifying ! That All For One should be shot where he stands!”

“Indeed,” her father agrees, his lips pressed together tightly, “I hope he suffers everything he put everyone else through. But more importantly—would it help if we brought a psychiatrist to your brother, Momo? It seems that—that may be helpful?”

(This is a better reaction than she had ever imagined.)

Momo stares at them. “That’s—all you have to say to me?”

“Needless to say we’re increasing the security around you as well,” her father continues, “And we were already attempting to investigate everything about the hospital we adopted you from. But—he is your brother, and from everything you have been saying—it seems that at his core, he remains the same person he was.”

“And we still really want to meet him,” her mother adds, leaning forward and clasping her hands.

(No one else has ever believed her that her brother was changed but still essentially the same.

Even Tenko himself denied that.

She had always known that her adoptive parents were the best thing to ever happen to her, but she hadn’t dared to hope that they would accept her brother as well.)

She just barely manages to not start sobbing right then and there, but her mother easily notices the way her eyes well up and pulls her into an embrace.

“Oh my darling girl, it’s been so hard for you,” she says, kissing the top of her head. “Did you think we wouldn’t want to meet your brother?”

“He’s—I thought a villain would be a bit much,” Momo says weakly, clutching at her mother.

“We will admit, he’s not—what we were expecting,” her father says dryly, handing her a handkerchief, “But—that doesn’t mean we don’t want to give him a chance. We trust your judgment.”

“I—thank you. I—I really would like it if Dr. Tsuda could talk to him. I think—he could really use someone to talk to right now,” she says

“I’ll call her right now,” her mother says, immediately drawing out her cell phone. “I’ll let her know it’s an emergency.”

“Let me talk to Tenko about it first,” Momo says, reaching out and placing a hand on her mother’s arm. “He—wouldn’t like someone just sprung on him.”

“Of course,” her mother nods, switching to a different contact on her phone, “In the meanwhile, I think I’ll see about getting him a defense attorney. He will need a good one. Luckily Legal just picked up some young hotshots, I’m sure one of them will pounce on this.”

“You’re—you would do that?” Momo asks, astounded.

Her mother blinks at her, “Why wouldn’t I?”

“It’s—isn’t it the Yaoyorozu reputation on the line there?” she asks, her fingers wrinkling the pleats of her skirt, “I don’t want—to drag anyone down—”

“We’re supporting our family, how could that drag anyone down?” her father asks, patting her hand. “We—acknowledge of course that your brother has done things that he must atone for, but there are still certain circumstances that we can use to argue for rehabilitation rather than just locking him up in Tatarus and throwing away the key.”

(She thought she couldn’t love them anymore than she already did, but she was wrong.)

“Thank you,” she chokes out, hugging both of them, “Thank you so much .”

“No thanks are needed in a family,” her mother says firmly, hugging her tight.

“Yes,” her father says, his arms tight around her, “So, next we should—”

Their car suddenly screeches to a halt, sending the three of them slamming into the front seats.

She manages to scramble up first, looking at their driver, “Mori-san, what—”

The doors of the car are is wrenched open, and standing there are two Nomus flanking—

All For One.

The same nauseating feeling of evil and pressure like the time she had been in his presence before overwhelms her for a second, and she wants to vomit.

Her mother and father immediately try to push her behind them, screaming at their bodyguard and driver, but in a flash of black, the Nomus have seized her parents and their guards.

(This—

Oh no.

Oh no no no .)

“Hana-chan,” All For One says in a voice that should be raspy and sinister given the apparatus strapped to his face but is instead smooth and disturbingly—fond, “I haven’t seen you in such a long time.”

“Let them go,” she manages to get out, seeing Mori-san try to activate his strength quirk only to be gripped harder by the Nomu. “Just—don’t hurt them.”

“Oh, I don’t want to Hana-chan, but that will all depend on you,” All For One says calmly.

“You bastard !” her mother screams out, struggling in the Nomu’s grasp, “Don’t you dare do a thing to our daughter—”

All For One gestures at the Nomu, and the Nomu tightens its grip on her mother until she gives out a pained gasp.

“Stop it!” Momo yells, “Stop—what do you want?

“To finish what I started. Come with me, and I give you my word I’ll let them go,” All For One says.

Her father frantically shakes his head, “Momo—Hana— don’t —”

“I’ll go,” Momo says, forcing one shaking leg in front of her after another, “I’ll go—just let them go. Let me see them go.”

(She can’t watch her entire family be killed in front of her eyes again.

She just can’t.)

All For One tilts his head, “You don’t trust me, Hana-chan?”

“You killed almost all of my family before,” Momo can’t help but say tightly.

“But I left you your brother, didn’t I?” All For One tsks, “You should be grateful for what you have left.”

“Let them go,” Momo repeats, her nails digging into the palms of her hands.

“Step over here, and I will,” All For One says simply, gesturing at the familiar man of flickering black miasma standing next to him.

Her parents and their guards are yelling behind her, but she steps forward anyway, looking back at them over her shoulder.

“I’ll—I’ll be okay. My—my cellphone is still in the car, and—”

The black miasma man grabs her shoulder, and as she is pulled through the portal she sees the Nomu take off, and her parents and guards run towards her.

There’s a prick at her neck, darkness fills her vision, and she can only hope they check her cellphone and tell Tenko.

--

It’s cold.

Her head feels weirdly stuffed and groggy, there’s a sheet draped over her body, and she seems to be lying on some kind of cold bed, and there are straps on her arms—

All For One kidnapped her.

(Okay, breathe Momo.

Her father and mother are fine, if probably frantic with worry about her, but they’ll probably at least check her phone and perhaps think to call Tenko, who probably has some idea about All For One’s preferred hideouts.

So what she has to do—is make sure to survive this, and if she can, get out on her own.

So what can she make?

All For One has so many quirks—she can’t possibly counteract every single one of them.

If only she had Aizawa-sensei’s quirk—

Wait.

She had seen the files for the quirk nullification formula that Tenko had taken from Ujiko’s lab.

It—wasn’t complete, and she wasn’t entirely sure she could produce it perfectly but—

Even something that could destabilize him would be good, wouldn’t it?)

She takes a deep breath, sorts out the files she can remember in her head, and begins to formulate what she can from her back.

“Ah, you’re awake,” Ujiko’s voice oozed from nearby. “As always, Sensei is correct—he will be here soon.”

She tries not to show any fear on her face (and she’s lucky they don’t have any medical equipment attached to her yet so she can continue to try and create the serum in a needle).

“What do you want from me?” she asks instead, with a voice that isn’t quite steady, but at least it isn’t completely trembling either.

“Oh, you don’t have to do anything, Hana-chan,” All For One’s smooth terrible voice echoes from across the hallway. “You’ve already done enough.”

“Tenko knows,” she calls out (hopefully if she gets him mad—maybe he won’t notice her creating something?), “He knows that you gave him his quirk. He knows that you set him up.”

“I did wonder when he would figure it out,” All For One sighs. “I suppose it was inevitable after he found you alive.”

“Why do you hate us so much?” she asks, making her voice as pathetically reedy as she can manage (it’s not hard right now, with terror running through her veins and the start of the serum trickling into the syringe).

“Your grandmother and her protégé took everything from me,” All For One snarls, the veneer of civility and politeness abruptly torn away, his voice seething with rage and hate. “I am only returning the favor.”

“She’s dead. Dead by your hands, and still that isn’t enough for you? You had to kill our family and take my brother and—and I still don’t know what you want from me,” Momo says, carefully worming her hand beneath her back as much as she can with the straps.

(She’ll need to form a knife in her hand to cut the strap.

And the more she can keep All For One talking, the more she can try to piece together his plans.)

“I will admit, you were not originally part of the plan,” All For One says, sitting down next to her. “But surprisingly you were still alive after Tomura manifested the Decay quirk, and I am not one to waste resources, so I told Ujiko to keep you alive. He was just starting his Nomu experiments, and having one with your quirk, well—that would be quite useful. Having both of Shimura Nana’s grandchildren undertaking my vision was too delicious of an idea to pass up.”

(She didn’t gag when Ujiko had told her this before, and she certainly wasn’t going to give All For One the pleasure of seeing how much the idea disturbs her now.)

“And then my parents stopped you,” she interjects.

“The Yaoyorozus? They—did change the plan a bit. Not people who would disappear quietly or easily, and not people who would bow to my plans, but—by then I thought of something even better than both of Shimura Nana’s grandchildren serving me,” he says, stroking her hair.

She tries to not shudder at his touch, turning her face away.

(The knife in her hands is nearly through the strap—she just needs to saw a bit more and she can get her hand free—)

“Do you want to know, Hana-chan?” he whispers next to her ear. “One of the first things you said to the Yaoyorozus was that you wanted to be a hero. And I had a thought: why not let you do that?”

“Why?” she demands. “What possible—”

“Wouldn’t it be delicious for you to face-off against your own brother, completely unawares? And wouldn’t it just break Tomura when he killed the last living family member he had left?”

She jerks back, staring at him, “What—why would you want to break Tenko? Didn’t you want him to take over your organization—”

“This body that I have has been quite ruined by All Might. Thankfully though, I do have a quirk to transfer myself into a willing host. And who could be more willing than someone I raised up myself who had just shattered?”

(He—

She had thought she already knew how evil All For One was.

Now she sees that there are terrible, murky dark depths here that she cannot even fathom.)

“He won’t go willingly with you now,” she spits out, “You’ve failed—”

“On the contrary, I think he will break even worse now,” All For One muses. “Before, he was only attached to his memory of you. Now—it would hurt him so much worse to kill you now.”

“Tenko would never kill me—”

“Not even if you were rampaging as a Nomu, and he had no idea who you were?”

Her grip on the syringe nearly slips, but she manages to keep it clenched in her hand.

(Should she lash out with a kick first—

No, she needs to utilize the element of surprise as best she can, and she’s only got one syringe, so she has to make it count.)

All For One continues in his terrible, smooth voice, “It’s not quite as poetic I know, but I do believe that after he kills you, he’ll take whatever punishment anyone will mete out to him. You keep calling him Tenko, but that’s wrong. Shimura Tenko is gone. Only Shigaraki Tomura remains, and I know him very well. He might even be thankful to be taken over—”

“You’re wrong. My brother is still there, and he can still be a hero,” Momo says adamantly.

All For One lets out a low chuckle, “Ah—so naïve, Hana-chan—”

Momo slams the syringe into All For One’s wrist, piercing through his flesh as she pushes the syringe down and leaps away.

All For One shakes his wrist as his other arm twists into a mass of black whirling things , “Oh Hana-chan, so like your grandmother. I’m going to enjoy this.”

Momo runs like she has never run before, but she can see the mass of All For One’s arm shoot her way until suddenly it shudders, once, twice, jerks, twitches, and—stops.

All For One seems surprised, but Momo doesn’t try to gauge his reaction anymore, racing down the hall at top speed as she can hear the screams of Nomus being released.

(Where to go?

How to get out?

Should she just hide somewhere instead?

But where—)

Someone grabs her and pulls her into a small nook. She nearly lets out a scream, kicking out, but a hand goes over her mouth, and someone hisses in her ear, “Quiet!”

She looks wildly around, but she can’t see anyone, even though she can definitely feel someone holding her.

A bunch of Nomus stomp past, and then even All For One glides past, but none of them seem to notice this tiny nook.

After they leave, she feels a breath against her ear.

“Oh thank god, they’re gone for now.”

(That voice—

It’s very familiar.

It’s usually much chirpier, but—)

“Hagakure-san?” she asks in disbelief.

“Knew you would get out on your own, Yaomomo,” Hagakure says, the pressure against her mouth and wrists being released. “Told Shigaraki that. Now listen, the way out is: left at the next door, right at the next hallway, left at the intersection, second to the left door, got it?”

“Left at the next door, right at the next hallway, left at the intersection, second to the left door,” Momo repeats numbly. “But—Hagakure-san—what are you doing here? And you’re in contact with my brother?”

“No time to explain. Get out of here while I go kick up a mess for them to follow,” Hagakure says as there’s a rattling noise. “Go!”

Momo hurries out, following Hagakure’s directions while her thoughts whirl in her head.

(Why in the world was Hagakure was here?

Had she come here on her own?

But how could she know she was here?

Had Tenko sent her?

But—how did Tenko know her?)

Something explodes behind her (she hopes Hagakure-san will be okay), and she runs down the hallway to the door.

She rattles at it (oh no—is it locked?), before it suddenly disintegrates before her, revealing Tenko’s furious face that relaxes as soon as he sees her.

“Hana, thank god .” he says, reaching out and pulling her into a hug before pushing her behind him towards the rest of the League that is assembled there. “Get her out of here.”

She shakes off Mr. Compress’ hand, “Tenko—what are you doing?”

“Ending this,” he says tightly.

“Then you need me here,” she insists, standing her ground.

“No,” he says immediately, “Hana—”

“I destabilized him, and I know his plan—I’m the one he wants, let him target me.”

No ,” Tenko shakes his head, gesturing at Spinner, “You can’t—you have to be safe —”

The door behind them bursts out, and All For One strides out with Nomu at his side.

“Oh, we’re all here. How nice,” All For One says gently. “Shall we begin?”