Chapter 1: Prologue
“Hisashi, I just don’t understand.”
“I never wanted you to know, Inko-”
Inko scoffed, silencing the taller man. “Well, that’s more than obvious from the lies, the business trips—I bet the ‘plane crash’ that nearly killed you was fake, too! You tried to kill All Might! ”
“I was trying to protect both of you.” His voice was still a low murmur, and if there had been a car passing by, Inko wouldn’t have heard him.
“Protect us from who, Hisashi? Someone trying to get revenge for someone—someone who’s quirk you stole? Or someone you killed?”
“Inko, please.” Hisashi's voice was still soft but nonetheless emotional.
In a room down the hall, Izuku Midoriya was sleeping, unaware of what had befallen his quaint little family. He had turned nine years old three weeks prior, and his room was filled with the merchandise of his favorite hero, All Might. Down the hall, the man whom All Might hated most tried to gently calm his hysterical wife. After years of careful protection of his little paradise, a suicidal punk had to come in and fuck it all up .
It had happened so quickly that Hisashi hadn’t the time to even consider what he was doing. He was sleeping, his wife curled against his chest, when he heard the window break. When he opened his eyes, a man was leaning over the love of his life with a knife poised to enter her heart. He brought a strength quirk out that grossly enlarged the muscles on his right arm and slammed his fist into the man’s face. He crashed into the opposite wall, shaking the house and causing a picture of Inko’s mother to fall and shatter.
Hisashi was staring in complete shock at the man crumpled on the floor, at the cracks he left in the wall, and at the knife clutched loosely in the trespasser’s fingers. The only clear thought running through his head was, “ I liked that wall. ” (And he did; he and Izuku had painted it together.) Distracted, he didn’t see Inko’s forest-green eyes open as she woke up or the way they widened in fear as she processed what she saw. He barely heard her murmur his name, her voice like a bell tinkling across his ears.
She asked. And he explained everything.
When they met, she had been a student at university. They crossed paths when a villain attack had stopped their commutes—Inko’s to her apartment in Sugamo and Hisashi to visit the hospital where Dr. Ujiko was working as a quirk specialist under the alias of Tsubasa. He didn’t usually take the train, preferring to travel by car lest he run short on luck and encounter All Might or Nighteye, but he’d decided on a whim to test his luck and catch the train passing in the nearest station. One could say fate brought Inko and Hisashi together, but Hisashi would argue that fate was currently pouring lava down his pants and thus could stuff itself into a trash can for all he cared.
The two commented on villains being sloppy and messing with the routes of people who were just trying to live their lives. Hisashi had watched, slightly amused, as Inko ranted about someone trying to rob the store she’d been in the other day buying groceries. He’d been a teenager, and his voice shook as he threatened the cashier with razor-sharp talons. A hero eventually came to stop the kid, but it had made Inko late for one of her classes. Hisashi casually mentioned that, perhaps, the hero should have shown up quicker, or maybe the teenager should have put more thought into his actions and robbed the store more quickly. She’d eagerly agreed with him, which had taken him off guard. Most people, when he decided to make small comments as such, chastised him for criticizing the heroes, who were doing their best, or suggesting that a villain be better at villainy.
The delay had ended with Inko giving Hisashi her number, and the villain behind the traffic jam going missing under mysterious circumstances. The doctor was pleased to have another test subject to play with, and Hisashi figured that it was one less villain to get big-headed and challenge his authority. It most certainly had nothing to do with Inko’s sad green eyes or enthusiastic ranting about heroes.
Nothing at all.
In the end, Hisashi had given her a fake name—Hisashi Midoriya, one of the identities he’d created. Midoriya was a cute name, anyway, and it fit her. He never told her about Ujiko, or All for One, or the annoyingly persistent quirk he and his brother had accidentally fostered. He kept her ignorant. He kept her happy. And, for the first time in 600 years, he was happy too.
Now, all of that flashed through Hisashi’s mind. The universe just couldn’t allow him to be content. He’d only had nine years with the little family he’d created. He never got to see Izuku develop the quirk he’d inherited. Never got to see him drive a car, or get his driving license. And it was being ripped away from him because he was too stupid to just burn the intruder alive.
“Izuku has thought he was quirkless for four years , Hisashi. And now you tell me he has a quirk—your quirk?” Inko was too angry to cry, at least right then. She thought of their son, asleep in the other room, who wanted nothing more than to be like All Might, the man who tried to kill his father. She thought of him crying after that day at the doctor’s office, the day they were told he was quirkless. Of course, he might as well have been. In order to take another’s quirk, he’d have to ingest their DNA and possibly leave them quirkless forever.
“I knew it wouldn’t make sense to you,” Hisashi murmured, feeling like a child who had been caught in a lie. “I thought it would be easier for both of you to believe he was quirkless. Think about it, Inko.” He wanted to badly to move towards her, to wrap her up in his arms and make her forget this night. He could. He had the quirk to do it. But he refrained. He couldn’t bear to use that quirk on Inko. “A boy who wants to be a hero with a quirk that requires that others fail. He’d never make it in this society. They’d never understand.”
“I just…” Inko’s anger had dissolved while he spoke, and left behind only pain. She knew that he was right, but still. Hot tears threatened to spill down her cheeks and she hugged herself tightly. Hisashi made a move towards her, to comfort her, but she stepped back. He swallowed hard as a pang shot through him. “Hisashi, you’re… you’ve…” She could barely get the words out. She choked back a sob and looked up at him, tears pooling at the corners of her eyes. Hisashi felt pressure in his throat and pain behind his eyes. He forced himself to keep eye contact. “Throw it all away. Turn your back on it. Leave it behind. Stay here with me. With Izuku. Do that, and I’ll forget it. It’ll be like I never knew.” Please, Hisashi. There was an unspoken plea. She was begging with everything she had in her. But Hisashi knew—and she knew—that he couldn’t. He stayed silent and forced the tears that dared to try to form in his eyes away with a hard blink. He swallowed hard and raised his chin, trying to gain his emotional footing as the only woman he’d ever loved broke down in front of him.
“Get out,” she whispered, cringing at the words like they were a curse.
“Hisashi, please .”
“Inko, let me at least make it easier for him. For both of you.” Hisashi said, barely a whisper. The words surprised him, but the shock faded quickly into his grief. Inko stared at him for a moment and then knowing crossed into her puffy expression. She sniffed, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. She looked down at the floor and nodded.
“Mitsuki, it’s just for his job,” Inko smiled and playfully hit her shoulder across the table. They were sitting in a restaurant in Musutafu, a few blocks away from Izuku and Katsuki’s school.
“Still, it’s shitty for him to leave you and Izuku just for some job, no matter how well it pays.”
You have no idea, Inko said to herself. Instead, she just waved dismissively. “It’s a great promotion.” Mitsuki scoffed into her drink and rolled her eyes, but Inko ignored her. “Izuku and I are going to move to an apartment closer to the middle of the city because of the raise he’s getting.” And because I can’t stay in that house without him there . “It’ll be closer to you and Katsuki as well.” She smiled brightly at her friend. She had the best intentions, but Inko had to admit that she had been right, in the long run, about Hisashi. She’d said from the beginning that he gave her a weird vibe and she didn’t think he was right for Inko.
But, in the same vein, Hisashi was such a wonderful father and husband. He never yelled or even seemed to get angry. He was so kind, and the way he would comfort Izuku when he scraped a knee or lost a toy was so endearing. He cared so much for them—
“Hey, Inko, are you alright?”
Inko realized that she was crying. She startled slightly and quickly wiped her tears away with her sleeve. “Y-Yeah, I’m alright. It’s just a...hard transition.” Mitsuki’s expression changed instantly to one of empathy.
“I bet. I don’t know what I’d do if Masaru had to move for work,” Mitsuki shook her head. “Where’s he going?”
“For now he’ll be in the States, but he said it’s possible he might get moved around, maybe Europe, Canada…” Inko swallowed hard and looked down at her untouched bowl of soba. The last few nights had been rough. Hisashi hadn’t been any less kind or loving than he had been in the nearly fourteen years she’d known him. In all honesty, he was more so. His gaze lingered longer, and his hugs with Izuku when he was going to school were tighter. He had his things packed quickly, and did everything that Inko asked and more. After he left, she found a small envelope filled with cash and a small note.
Collected through legal means.
The money was enough for Inko and Izuku to sit comfortably for years, and probably enough to put Izuku through college if he wanted to go. But Inko put it deep into her suitcase in the closet. She knew better than to deposit it but didn’t want to do anything with it right then. All she could think about was the man she was losing. When she had that thought, she had to keep reminding herself that he was never that man that she met on the train, not really. He was a villain. A murderer. He’d spent centuries killing people and taking their quirks.
And he was the love of her life.
Mitsuki leaned across the table and thumbed away Inko’s tears. Inko forced a smile for her friend and blew her nose into the napkin she offered. After she composed herself, Inko cleared her throat and forced herself to see the noodles in the bowl in front of her.
“Well, you know Masaru and I are always here for you-and for Izuku-if you ever need anything.” Mitsuki reminded her. Inko nodded.
“I know. Thank you, Mitsuki.”
Hisashi stood across the street from the school, using an invisibility quirk he’d acquired some time ago. He watched as the horde of small children organized themselves to go inside. Hisashi never did care for children. They were loud and annoying and somehow always managed to be sticky. He saw green hair pop up in the crowd and suddenly warmth flowed through his chest. They were all deplorable, except Izuku. Izuku was the kindest little soul, even to that Katsuki boy. Hisashi whispered goodbye to his son, the son that shared his quirk, the son that shared his blood, the son for whom he’d lived these past nine years.
And his son didn’t hear him.
Over the next five years, Izuku never quite forgot his father. The sound of his voice faded from his ears and the feeling of his hugs left his skin. He forgot what exactly his job was, how his quirk worked, and the way his eyes would change colors when he was particularly excited. But he never forgot the man that had held him after he’d been proclaimed quirkless, when he cried for hours until he fell asleep. He never forgot the plane crash that had disfigured his father until he was unrecognizable. He never forgot how he and his mom had spent a week in a hotel while he was treated in Shimo-Kitazawa. He never forgot the day he left, suitcase at his side, for the Americas.
One morning, when Izuku was leaving to train on the beach with All Might, he opened the door and nearly tripped over a small package with his name written on the top in neat calligraphy. He bent down and picked it up, adjusting his bag on his shoulder. As he walked down towards the road, he ripped open the brown paper that encased the package. There wasn’t an address anywhere to be found, not even for the post, and there was no return address. Inside were a small flip phone and a folded piece of paper.
Should you ever find yourself with no one to turn to, I’m always here. Our secret, my little hero.
Izuku blinked. He stopped short of the stairwell, his hand shaking slightly. Thoughts of his father rarely crossed his mind these days, as he hadn’t heard from him since he left for the Americas all those years ago. He’d never felt all that attached to the man, and had quite honestly tried to put all emotions related to him in a locked box in the back of his mind. Now, it was like this note took a sledgehammer to that box and threw everything everywhere. Izuku swallowed hard and, in a rough motion, shoved the note and the phone into his bag. He stepped forcefully onto the top stair and shook the tears from his eyes. He forced his thoughts to All Might and his training on the beach. He had to be focused, or he’d never be ready for the entrance exams.
The phone and the note stayed in his bag. He was probably overthinking it, but it felt like he could feel the piece of paper pressing against his back as he walked into the apartment later that day.
“Izuku!” His mom’s voice rang from the living room, full of light and happiness. He felt the darkness that lingered in his chest lift just a little bit and the corners of his mouth turned upward involuntarily. He sat his bag down by the dining room table and went to hug his mom, who was standing up from where she’d been seated at the couch, reading. She smiled wide and engulfed him in a hug—as well as she could now that she was a good five centimeters shorter than her son. She didn’t even care that he was sweaty and smelled like the ocean and hot dogs, just that he was there. Izuku let himself sink into her embrace for a moment, nuzzled in her hair and enjoying the intimacy. He opened his eyes and lifted his head. Over her head, Izuku saw a photo on their mantle. It was from well over ten years ago, but the frame hadn’t a speck of dust on it. Three people stood, hugging and laughing: a woman and a small child with green hair and eyes and a man with dark grey hair and blue eyes.
Izuku pulled away and looked down, but didn’t meet his mom’s eyes when he spoke. “Have you heard from dad?” He asked quietly. His mom took his right hand in hers and cupped his face with her other hand, gently forcing him to look at her.
“Here and there, yes. He’s doing well. He’s just not allowed to have contact because of his work,” Inko told him. The lies had gotten easier and easier to tell over the years, but this was one of the times where what she was saying was at least, in majority, true. Hisashi had left her things over the years. Every few months, she would get something. Sometimes, it was a note. Other times, the petal of a flower. Every now and again, he would leave a number with a reminder that he loved her and Izuku and was there for them if they ever needed anything. Inko only called once. It was after Bakugou had been caught up in the sludge villain, and it had been to relentlessly question him about it. She knew Hisashi had never much cared for the boy as he was pretty vocal about it when Izuku and the Bakugous were out of earshot. However, Hisashi had a clean alibi and assured her that he’d had nothing to do with it. He knew that it would upset Izuku if anything happened to Katsuki, anyway. And, besides that, he’d pretty much had Tomura and his lackeys stay away from Musutafu. He had his forces and underlings focused in Tokyo, safely away from his wife and son. Not that he said any of this to Inko, but he assured her that he had nothing to do with it.
Hisashi and Inko were still legally married, and Hisashi had taken care of everything in trying to make things as easy as possible for Inko and Izuku to live without him there. There was, in fact, a Hisashi Midoriya working with the government in the States, that could be reached by the contact in Inko’s phone. If anyone got suspicious, they could dig and find nothing of concern (excepting the fact that Izuku had no contact in his phone for his father). In a way, Inko thought it was kind of Hisashi. But part of her reminded her that he’d learned to skirt the police through years of crime. Every time she started to have a good thought about him, she reminded herself of who—of what he really was.
He’d ended the phone call by telling her he loved her. She hung up.
“Right,” Izuku nodded. Inko squeezed his arms and he focused on her. She gave him a hopeful half-smile.
“He loves us, Izuku. It’s just complicated.” Inko assured him. Izuku nodded. “So, how was your workout?” Izuku smiled and went into a long-winded, animated story about the morning. Soon enough, he forgot about the phone and the note in his bag.
Later that evening, he picked up his bag and went into his room. When he laid back on his bed and let the bag fall to the floor, he heard a little knock. He crinkled his eyebrows. There had only been a jacket in that bag, hadn’t there? Then, it hit him and he sat up, ramrod-straight: the phone. The note.
Izuku picked up his bag and reached inside. His hand lingered on the phone and he stood for a moment, unmoving. His heart pounded in his head, louder than the thoughts racing through it. He swallowed hard, took a deep breath, and grabbed the phone and the note. He read it over again, and then again for a third time. His hands shook as he stood up and walked over to his desk. He opened the drawer on the bottom, shoved aside some papers, and stowed the phone and the note beneath them.
The boy jumped and slammed the drawer shut, barely missing his fingers. He whipped around and leaned against his desk, staring at the closed door.
“Y-Yeah, mom?” Izuku called, voice shakier than he’d intended. The door opened slightly and his mom poked her head in.
“I wanted to let you know that I washed your uniform for the entrance exam next week,” Inko said, seemingly oblivious to Izuku’s nervous tapping against the desk. “It’s hanging up to dry now.”
“Thank you, mom,” Izuku said, relaxing a little bit. His mom smiled but hesitated at the door.
“I just want you to know that I’m so proud of you, Izuku.” Inko told him. “I know you’ll make a great hero someday.” Warmth swelled in Izuku’s chest and he smiled back at her.
Chapter 2: Hidden Pieces
Here’s the sad truth: all men are not created equal.
Here’s the lie society tells itself: heroes can make everything okay.
All for One leaned back in his chair. The breathing machine to which he was attached beeped softly and a low hum sank into the room. The biggest threat to peace in Japan removed a clear breathing mask from his face and placed it on the top of the machine. He rubbed his chin in thought.
“You called for me, Sensei?”
All for One didn’t move for a moment, collecting his thoughts. The man who’d come into the room waited patiently. His form shifted and pulled at the light in the room. His quirk, Warp Gate, allowed him to create and control portals between locations he can see or remember the coordinates for. It would’ve been a remarkable quirk for hero work, had Kurogiri been inclined to that sort of thing. But life had dealt him a different deck of cards and so, here he stood, in front of the most dangerous man in Japan.
“What have you found, Kurogiri?” All for One always spoke in the same tone. He sounded like a tired father who was trying his best not to lose his patience. At first, it had kept Kurogiri feeling like the man would snap his neck at any moment. Now, it just seemed like that was simply his master’s diction. Of course, arrogance came naturally with a cavalcade of powers at his disposal.
“He’s been accepted to UA.” Kurogiri informed his master.
“What about that quirk? The enhancement one you said you saw him with?”
“He hasn’t used it since the entrance exam,” Kurogiri murmured. He didn’t quite understand his master’s obsession with the quirk the boy had, but he’d learned quickly not to ask such questions. “It seems like his body can’t handle it.” All for One hummed, drumming his fingers against his chin. Kurogiri used to be skilled at reading his master’s expression, but after that fight five years prior, it had become basically impossible to do so-after all, emotions were hard to express when one had no eyes.
“Thank you, Kurogiri. Keep an eye on him. Go ahead and inform Tomura that his plan to attack UA will not involve Izuku getting hurt, if he can avoid it.” All for One said, his tone almost sounding bored. Kurogiri nodded and stepped back into a portal.
“So, All Might trusts him,” All for One said out loud once the warp gate had faded. It was painstakingly obvious from the reports Kurogiri had brought him that Izuku was training under All Might on the beach. Of course, Kurogiri hadn’t known that it was All Might, but his description was clear enough to the man that had caused the Symbol of Peace’s decline. This had been incredibly amusing to All for One. He couldn’t wait for the day when he could reveal everything to his enemy. He’d been relishing the idea of the hero’s face when he told him Tomura Shigaraki’s true heritage, but this . This was something completely different. The boy he’d decided to take under his wing, son of the man who killed his master and nearly killed him. Of course, he could endanger Izuku by revealing his identity. He’d also jeopardize Inko’s safety in the process. No, it seemed that he would have to wait. But, in eight generations, that had been something that All for One had gotten good at.
The one thing All for One was unsure of was where this enhancement quirk of Izuku’s came from. He knew Inko would never have explained the true nature of the boy’s quirk to him, and that even if she did, he likely wouldn’t have the stomach to take someone’s DNA. So what happened? A small suspicion within him whispered that the quirk he’d created had been passed to his son. It would explain why All Might was training him, and how he’d gotten into UA without being able to control his quirk. A sour taste settled in All for One’s mouth. The thought of how much Izuku idolized All Might made him sick. If he truly was the next wielder of One for All…
All for One smiled and stood up from his chair, beginning to pace. A plan was forming. He didn’t know if he’d be able to subdue his son as he had the past holder’s of his brother’s quirk. It had been the same with his brother: he just couldn’t bear to put up much of a fight, not more than was absolutely necessary, anyway. But, if he could convince the boy to give it to him, or better yet, use it for the right purpose, then All for One would have Japan in the palm of his hand, if not the world.
Meanwhile, Izuku was standing outside in a group of UA students, waiting to start a practical exam.
Over the course of the next few days, Kurogiri kept a closer eye on Izuku Midoriya. Kurogiri wasn’t one to wonder about things on normal occasions, but he did wonder about Izuku. Why was his sensei so concerned with the boy’s doings and wellbeing? It wasn’t like the boy would be of any use. He was obviously hellbent on being a hero and idolized that pompous number one hero, All Might. He’d never support All for One, not unless something insane happened to change the boy’s heart. Granted, if he didn’t already despise heroes, it was unlikely he ever would. For God’s sake, he had a quirk that he could barely control-in their society, that wasn’t looked upon with favor. Kurogiri was surprised the boy harbored no ill will against his classmates.
Kurogiri let out a slow breath and smoothed down the front of his suit. Today would be a little more interesting, at the very least. Just as they’d expected, the news had been hounding the school for two days, and they were only getting more antsy. It only took a tap to get the news through to the doors, and Tomura Shigaraki was more than happy to do just that. He could have just sent Kurogiri to get the files, but Tomura wanted to do things his way, per usual. Kurogiri allowed the young man to go along with his own plan. It did manage to throw the UA staff off guard, after all. In the long run, it would look much more interesting to the press than simply sneaking in and finding what they needed. Sneaking in and killing All Might with a horde of villains was obviously meant to be seen, but when they realized that they’d been in and out before without being detected...that would uproot the public’s deep-seated trust in the institution and, by extension, heroes as a whole.
Once the reporters had begun to flood through the gates, Kurogiri smirked and placed a hand on Shigaraki’s shoulder. For more of a public operation, Kurogiri allowed his-less noticeable-true form to be revealed rather than hiding himself in his warp gates. They passed through one quickly and ended up in a corner within the school. After a few days, Kurogiri had gotten to know a few enclosed places. It made their mission here much easier. They were in and out without a hitch. Kurogiri kept watch while Shigaraki quickly took pictures of schedules and lesson plans, careful to put everything back exactly where it had been.
All for One had been pleased with Kurogiri’s reports. The boy he’d renamed had certainly gotten much better at forming and executing plans, but he still had so much further to grow. He couldn’t quite match Izuku’s knack for analyzing heroes and their quirks. But then, Hisashi thought to himself with a frown as he spun a pen in hand, Izuku had gotten it from him. Tomura’s lineage didn’t have much to offer him, other than being painstakingly annoying and entitled from time to time. All for One spent a good few months tracking down Nana Shimura’s descendants the moment he found out she’d had children. He intended to slaughter the lot of them to spite the fallen hero, but when he found Tenko, terrified of his own power after murdering his family, he couldn’t help but see his son in the boy. Sure, Izuku had never killed anyone and had no knowledge of his own quirk, but Hisashi knew that if Izuku ever found out the nature of his power, he would be just as terrified as Tenko had been. And, after having the experience of training and raising Tenko to be Tomura, All for One knew that he could train his son to wield their shared power like a staff from God.
“ I wanna be a hero just like All Might! ”
The pen snapped between All for One’s fingers and the pieces went flying. He sighed and stood, pacing the office slowly. The space was away from the city, underground. All for One had always found it amusing that, while neither the police nor the heroes knew where his headquarters was, they always referred to his activities as taking place in “the underground”. He had been in an office building, before the fight that had nearly killed both him and that wretched Symbol of Peace. It was nice. He had a view, and he could take Izuku and Inko to visit to keep them ignorant. After the fight, they had moved their operations underground while Dr. Ujiko worked to keep him alive.
All for One glared at the broken pen as he paced. If only his son wasn’t so insistent on being a hero . Society’s notions of heroes had long since dried up and become simply Hollywood-esque monikers for people with specific quirks. There had been true heroes, once. Like his brother. But All for One hadn’t cared for them, either. They were too much like All Might and Nana Shimura. Too caught up in trying to stop him, bring him down. These days, he wasn’t known to the greater population. A ploy by All Might and his sidekick to make the public feel at ease, no doubt. His power and his identity had become something that was only whispered of in shadow.
In the meantime, while All for One waited for Izuku to realize that the heroes didn’t really care about him, he trained Tomura. He taught the boy how to use his quirk, how to analyze others. All for One taught him all the things he wanted to teach Izuku. The boy soaked up everything he said as gospel. But, while All for One knew that Tomura would make a fine successor for him, he knew that deep down, Hisashi would always wish it was Izuku.
“So, do you usually read student files for fun?” All Might leaned awkwardly against the door, trying (and failing miserably) to look nonchalant as he watched Aizawa pour over a few student files.
“Considering I’m their teacher, I’m trying to get a feel for where there all coming from. Particularly a few of them, that boy you’ve been attached to being one of them.” Aizawa said bluntly. All Might started to sputter, but the stealth hero waved him off. “Frankly, I don’t care why you’re concerned with him, but just don’t let it keep you from being involved with the growth of the other students.” He glanced up. “You’re smoking.”
Toshinori cursed under his breath and his form fell, revealing his true state. He coughed away the heartburn that came up and took a few breaths to calm his heart rate. An ache settled into his bones and he walked over to the couch against one wall of the records room. Truth be told, Toshinori himself had come to do a little bit of reading, but it just felt awkward now that his attempt at small talk had turned into more enmity between him and the other teacher. He sat for a few minutes, flipping through emails on his phone and allowing himself to settle into his true form, before standing and stretching.
“Have a nice night, Aizawa. Don’t work too hard,” Toshinori called as he walked out the door. Aizawa just grunted in reply, too concentrated to really notice his colleague leaving. Something just didn’t sit right with him about the three students whose files were sitting in front of him.Bakugou and Todoroki were both cases he’d seen before, things he knew how to handle. But Midoriya, that was new territory. He had a quirk that seemed like it was meant for someone with a completely different body composition. It just didn’t make sense. Quirks developed to work with the body in the same way that the brain told you not to bite down hard enough to break your finger: he shouldn’t be able to use the quirk to the extent that it shattered his bones. Not only that, but he analyzed every move the people around him made, and yet he seemed like the most anxious kid in the world. Aizawa was tempted to get his middle school records to find any past diagnosis of anxiety or something of the like. Tourette’s, maybe, with the lack of a filter he had when he was emotional or excited. It wasn’t that Aizawa held it against him, it was more that the hero needed to know how to deal with the boy. He liked logic-things that he could analyze and understand. He didn’t want to stifle anything that was simply natural for the kid, but he wanted to help him grow as much as possible.
“Father...no picture provided,” Aizawa murmured as his eyes slid over the words. There, in the file, was a photo of Inko Midoriya. The only real resemblance there was the color scheme. Aizawa wondered about the boy’s father, Hisashi, who was apparently a businessman in the Americas. No phone number or photograph was included in the file, but it had Inko and Hisashi listed as married. Aizawa considered pulling up a public record to see how long Midoriya’s father had been away. Perhaps that’d had some effect on him? The other student files lay forgotten on the desk as Aizawa pulled up a database on the laptop sitting in front of him. After a few minutes of searching, the hero found an article from about five years prior that mentioned Hisashi Midoriya.
As a result of the villain attack in downtown Kamigata, some business owners have been forced to relocate. Hisashi Midoriya, CEO at Ligos Incorporated, told the press that the Japanese sector of the international Ligos corporation was officially closing and some workers were being laid off while others were being moved to Europe and the United States to open new offices.
The rest of the article talked about different businesses and other villain attacks from the same year. Aizawa skimmed over it and went back to the search bar. This time, he entered “Ligos”. He wasn’t sure why, but something just didn’t sit right with him. He’d seen the Midoriya address: it wasn’t a neighborhood of people with CEO’s in the family. The first thing to pop up in the results was a record of promotions, including Hisashi Midoriya, to the position of Assistant Manager in the Texas, US sector of Ligos a year ago.
If he was the CEO, why was he just promoted to Assistant Manager? Sure, moving locations would change his position, but the CEO of a company didn’t just get knocked down to managerial staff. A little more digging showed that Midoriya was not, in fact, the CEO, but some American woman was. He’d never been in a position that high, according to the records here. But the article citing him as a CEO was of a reputable source, meaning that they wouldn’t have slapped the title down for no reason. Aizawa was missing something.
And it seemed like he wouldn’t be finding it tonight.
“Hizashi, you know this is essentially a library, right?” Aizawa murmured, annoyance twinging in his tone. The blonde man appeared in the doorway, grinning from ear to ear.
“Technically, it’s a book room,” Yamada replied brightly, but admittedly with less of a reverb in the walls. “And you’ve been in here forever. Miss is gonna hate us when we get home.” Aizawa glanced at the clock. It was nearly 8 o’clock. The majority of the other teachers must have been long gone by then.
“Alright,” Aizawa stood and stretched. “Help me put these files back. You put Bakugou over there.” He handed the taller man the aforementioned file and took the other two in hand to the other side of the shelf. Yamada whistled happily and zipped over to the bookshelf. Aizawa couldn’t shake the unease he felt, but he couldn’t understand why. So what if a newspaper messed up some random man’s business title? It’s not like it mattered that much. Yamada threw an arm around Aizawa’s shoulders, humming. Aizawa quickly forgot about his concerns.
When they got back to the apartment, Miss was yowling and wove between their feet as they walked through the entryway. Miss was a little tabby cat Aizawa rescued one night while he was coming back from a patrol shift. The kitten had been wet and bleeding, probably from a stray dog attack. Aizawa had a soft spot for cats, so he’d brought it home and Hizashi hadn’t questioned anything. For the first few weeks, Miss wouldn’t move from the bundle of towels Aizawa had left her in. He’d had to fight to get her to eat anything. It took some time and some antibiotics from the vet, but eventually Miss was jumping and batting at them as they walked by.
Aizawa settled into a blanket cocoon on the couch with his computer sitting on his lap and a stack of papers next to him. Hizashi bopped around in the kitchen, humming and talking to himself. Aizawa smiled softly as he waited for his computer to start up. He glanced over at the papers he’d graded. Midoriya’s was on top. Red circles filled the page. The boy had probably only missed one or two questions. That unease settled down in the pit of Aizawa’s stomach. When his computer finished waking up, instead of opening the program for his gradebook, Aizawa opened the record he’d downloaded of Hisashi’s promotion. He noticed on this read-through of the file that there was a picture of a group of people, probably the promotees. Aizawa scanned the caption and traced the name Midoriya to the face third from the left, standing in the back. The man had brown eyes and dark, straight purple hair. His eyes were narrow and he had a heavily angled face. He stood taller and more muscular than the workers around him. Inko had been short and somewhat chubby. Izuku was lean, short, and had curly green hair. That just didn’t add up.
“Shouta, do you want cinnamon in your cocoa?” Hisashi called. Aizawa blinked, looking over his laptop to his husband. He nodded. Hisashi smiled and turned back around, ad-libbing a song about cinnamon buns. Aizawa watched him for a minute.
“Hizashi, how much do you know about genetics?”
One Month Earlier…
Toshinori sealed the letter and addressed it. His old teacher would be pleased to hear he’d finally picked a successor. He’d been with Nighteye after the fight with All for One, saying that he thought Toshinori should retire and pass on his quirk. Of course, he hadn’t gone as far as to completely alienate himself after Nighteye had revealed that he would meet a gruesome end and Toshinori made it clear that he had no intention of retiring. He’d retired and found himself a place outside of the main city, leaving Toshinori with just his address. He had a phone, but stubbornly refused to give his number to the younger hero.
Toshinori stared at his phone, laying on the table next to the envelope. He knew he needed to call his old sidekick. It would make him happy that he picked a successor, but he knew the man would be pissed when he told him he still wasn’t retiring. He picked up the phone and dialed the number. His thumb hovered over the “call” button for a moment, and sweat gathered at the back of his neck. He rolled the tension in his shoulders away and hit the button.
“Hello, All Might.”
“Nighteye!” All Might said brightly, trying to read into the other man’s tone. “How are you? It’s been a while since we’ve spoken.” There was a short pause.
“I’m fine, thank you. Have you considered our conversation?” All Might snorted at Nighteye’s urgency in getting to the point. He’d always been like that; not that it was a bad thing at all, but All Might had expected at least a little more formality beforehand.
“I have,” All Might said. He paused and took in a deep breath. “I’ve chosen a successor.”
“You have?” Nighteye asked. All Might nodded, and then realized that the man couldn’t see him.
“Izuku Midoriya.” All Might said. Nighteye was completely silent, so All Might continued. “He’s a promising boy with a heart of gold.”
“Is he a student at UA? I don’t recognize the name.” Nighteye asked, his voice softer. All Might could tell that he was trying hard not to sound disappointed. After all, he thought that Mirio Togata was the perfect successor for Toshinori. He had a powerful control over his quirk and the outgoing, compassionate personality that the Symbol of Peace needed. He was responsible enough to carry One for All with honor.
“He just finished at Aldera and he’s applying to UA.” All Might told him. He heard the man let out a slow breath.
“What’s his quirk? How’s his usage?” Nighteye asked, anger barely controlled beneath his calm voice. All Might winced.
That set Nighteye off.
“A quirkless junior high student?! ” All Might quickly turned down the volume on his phone. “What are you thinking?! How could someone like...like that become the Symbol of Peace?” All Might felt a pang off offense spike through him. After all, he had been quirkless when he met his master.
“He’s trying to become someone who can save others,” All Might said calmly.
“ Intentions aren’t enough! I mean, hell, if that’s all that makes him worthy, then there are thousands of kids out there! You’d have more luck plucking some random kid off of the street!” Nighteye shouted. All Might could hear the strain in his voice and could perfectly picture in his head Nighteye’s wide eyes and the desk chair that was likely thrown back away from the man.
“True,” All Might said, still gentle. “There certainly are others, but he’s a quirkless junior high student.” He paused, thinking back to the day when he saw Izuku running at the slime monster to save his friend without knowing what he could do. “He’s a befitting candidate.”
“All Might, you don’t understand what’s at stake here,” Nighteye said, desperation clear in his voice even over the phone. “Mirio is so much more fitted to be your successor. He can-” He cut off. The unspoken words that crossed his throat and got stuck at his lips were protect you .
“I know you’re worried about me, my boy,” Toshinori said, his voice soft like that of a father comforting a son, “but you have to trust me on this. You haven’t met Izuku. You’ve never even seen him. If you did, you’d understand.” Nighteye was quiet for a full minute. On his end, he muted the phone and set it down, stepping back from it. He covered his mouth and closed his eyes. The scene he saw five years ago was playing back in his mind, forcing its way into his eyes. That vision had haunted him all these years, chasing him in his darkest moments. He felt a hot lump form in his throat and he squeezed his eyes shut tighter. He forced himself to breathe, his lungs rattling with the effort. There was a knock at his office door.
“Not right now, Bubble Girl!” He yelled, his voice cracking and surprising him. He cleared his throat and forced himself to gather his bearings. He swallowed the pain in his voice and unmuted himself. “I wish you would have met Mirio before you did this,” Nighteye told his old friend quietly. “I’ll continue to cultivate him should Midoriya fail you.” All Might said nothing. Nighteye wanted to continue to scream at him, to force him to see things from his point of view. He wanted to go back to how things were before All for One had ever gotten anywhere near All Might. If he could go back in time and destroy All for One, or just find where the coward was hiding, he would pay any price. It was a living hell, watching All Might slowly deteriorate towards his gruesome end.
“I would expect nothing less.” All Might smiled.
Chapter 3: Old Friends and New Enemies
Aizawa knew it was inappropriate for him to pry, but he had Inko Midoriya’s phone number sitting in his phone, waiting for him to press “call”. He could simply ask her about her husband. See what her response was. But he knew he couldn’t. She’d want to know why, and what would he tell her? “Oh, Mrs. Midoriya, I just think that your son has a quirk that doesn’t physically make sense and your husband was given the wrong title in a newspaper article five years ago, so I’m investigating to see what the deal is.” Yeah, that wouldn’t fly. All of his unease was from his own hunch that something wasn’t right-he had no true evidence. He could ask All Might if he had anything to do with it, but Aizawa doubted that he’d get a straight answer from the man.
After talking things through with Hizashi, Aizawa was sure that something was up. While neither of them knew a lot, Hizashi remembered the basics of Punnett squares. Hisashi Midoriya, at least the one working in the States, was not Midoriya’s father. There was no way. Of course, that could be explained away by saying that Inko had had another husband or a fling with someone because Izuku had to be her son. He looked just like her when it came to his eyes, nose and hair color. Another thing that bothered Aizawa was the genetic probability of Izuku’s quirk. Inko, according to the record, had a simple telekinesis quirk. Hisashi had a fire-breathing quirk. Those just couldn’t combine to create an enhancement quirk like Izuku’s, could it?
Aizawa looked back down at his phone. He flipped through his contacts and found who he was looking for. He hit the call button.
“Shouta, you know it’s like four in the morning, right?” A sleepy voice came through the phone.
“I need your help with something.”
“You never call when you don’t,” the voice quipped back. There was a sound of shuffling and the person on the other end cleared their throat. “Alright, what’s up?”
“I’ve got a student with an enhancement quirk that, when used, destroys their bones,” Aizawa explained. “Their parents have a telekinesis quirk and a fire-breathing quirk. Is that feasible?”
“Feasible?” The person scoffed. “I mean, anything’s at least a little feasible. Who’s got which quirk? Are both parents biological?”
“Mom’s got the telekinesis, dad’s got fire-breathing. I’m not positive about the father being biological.”
Across Japan, a figure was hunched over a laptop, a flip phone sitting next to them on a small bed. They had short red-dyed hair that stuck out in all directions, big blue eyes, and a thin frame. A huge shirt with the faded name of an old foreign hero hung off of one of their shoulders and shifted as they stretched and yawned. Dr. Ripley Sato, a twenty-something with two doctorates: one in mutation genetics and one in biotechnology. They were working on a third in criminal psychology. Currently, they were pouring over a database that included various quirk-trees that were available to the scientific community.
“It’s not unheard of to have enhancement quirks form from that kind of combination, but it doesn’t really make sense that this kid’s quirk would damage them so severely. You said it breaks their bones?”
“Mmm,” Aizawa said on the other end. Ripley rubbed their chin.
“What do the quirk counseling records say about the kid?”
“That’s the thing,” Aizawa groaned. “There are no quirk counseling records. According to his mother, the kid was a late bloomer.”
“A he…” Ripley drummed their fingers against their chest, thinking. Aizawa cursed under his breath. He was trying his best to save Midoriya’s anonymity. Granted, if they really wanted to, Ripley would figure out which student Aizawa was talking about.
“Cisgendered?” Ripley asked. Aizawa made an affirmative noise. “Quirks tend to blend with more variety for males. Something to do with chromosomes-I don’t remember exactly what. But I don’t see any documented cases of enhancement quirks coming from an elemental-quirk parent and a mental-quirk parent. Enhancement quirks usually come from other enhancement quirks, or at the very least a combination of two physical or mutation quirks.” Ripley paused in thought. “Is there a possibility that his mother may not be biological?”
“No, he’s definitely her son,” Aizawa murmured. Ripley sighed.
“Like I said, it’s possible, but I think that there’s something odd about an enhancement quirk coming from that combo.” Ripley scratched the back of their head and squeezed their eyes shut. “If it just surfaced, that would give an explanation as to why it harms him, but enhancement quirks aren’t usually quirks that show up that late, so I’m not sure. I’ll talk to some people and get back to you.” They opened their eyes and looked down at the phone. “In the meantime, you need to sleep. I get you’re a stealth hero, and your quirk is best used at night, but I made you those goggles to help in the daytime, too. Constant night shifts aren’t good for you.”
Aizawa rolled his eyes. “I’ve gone down to three shifts a week since it’s in the school year. It’s not logical to spend time doing hero work when I should be focusing on my students.”
“And it’s not logical to try and focus without sleep. That’s just not how the brain works.” Ripley retorted. Aizawa rolled his eyes again. “Alright. I’ll let you know what I find. I’ve only got a few calls a week though, you know how it is here, so I’ll just get everything together and once I’m sure I’ll call you. Try and help that kid figure out how to not break his bones.”
Ripley hung up. They looked down at the phone, snorted, and set it back on the nightstand. The room was small, about the size of a college dorm room.
“Well, I’m already up.” Ripley rolled out of bed, grabbing their laptop on the way and snapping it closed. They walked over to the wardrobe and pulled it open. Almost every item of clothing hanging on the rack was identical; Ripley often felt like they were on an animated television show. Black bomber jackets, black lab coats, black pants, and grey turtlenecks. The only two things that broke the form was the silvery tank top made of shock-nullifying fabric and the binder hanging behind it that matched Ripley’s skin tone.
Ripley shifted back and forth on their feet for a moment, doing a quick mental checklist. He hummed softly and grabbed the binder. In a span of five minutes, he had it pulled over his head and adjusted, which did nothing good for his already wild hair. Five minutes later, he was zipping up his steel-toed boots and straightening his grey shirt on his shoulders. It wasn’t really that cold, so he decided against the jacket, and he was doing in-cell diagnostics, so he wasn’t going to need a lab coat. He slung his lanyard around his neck, his ID bouncing softly against his stomach as he bopped around, getting things together. He glanced in the mirror and did his best to finger-comb his hair into submission, but eventually gave up and settled for the tousled look. He pulled on a blue band over his shirt sleeve, placing it on his right bicep. Below that, he put a white band. He threw his messenger bag onto his shoulder, looking inside and doing a mental inventory. Laptop? Check. Notebook? Check. Soft pencil? Check. Sharpened pencils weren’t allowed, because if they were dropped, they could be used by one of the prisoners. Ripley thought that, if a villain really wanted to pull something, a soft pencil could be just as effective, but he wasn’t about to forfeit a pencil for crayons or something. Ripley whistled as he saw the pistol sitting in the back and pulled it out, checking the chamber, and strapping the holster it was in to his belt. He had a full clip of tranquilizer bullets in a special pocket in his pants. When his superior first told him about the requirement, it had thrown Ripley off. Well, more like pissed him off. Ripley had shouted at the woman for a good two minutes about assuming that he couldn’t protect himself before she showed him the holster on her hip.
“Just a requirement for all workers, Dr. Sato. It’s nothing to do with your condition.”
Condition. Ripley hated that word. Being quirkless shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Of course, to anyone else, it wasn’t. To the outside world, no one really cared that much in most situations. But, in this place, it could be the difference between life and death if something went wrong. It was a “condition”. Of course, nothing had ever gone wrong here, but security measures were there anyway. It had taken some getting used to, living in a prison, but Ripley supposed that some of the regulations made sense. Allowing workers to freely come and go would create a risk for prisoners sneaking out. With it this way, it was a hassle just to allow visitors. People rarely visited, and the general public wasn’t allowed in at all. Ripley hadn’t been off the premises since he’d accepted the request from the police chief. It put a small damper on his thesis work, but the pay was enough for the geneticist to deal with it. That, and he got to really see the effect and implementation of his work. That was something that not many researchers could say. Plus, Ripley got a few days leave to attend the I-Expo on I-Island to exhibit his inventions.
So, all in all, it wasn’t that bad.
Even the prisoners weren’t unbearable, mostly. Part of Ripley’s job was maintaining the tech that was already implemented in the cells. This, nine out of ten times, required him to go into the cells and run diagnostics on the machines to which the prisoners were attached. Ripley felt pretty bad for the prisoners, as odd as it seemed. None of them had anyone who ever came and visited, either because their only connections were other villains in hiding, family who’d disowned them, or people who just didn’t care enough to do the work required to come. Under his contract, Ripley wasn’t allowed to talk about how the tech worked or any current events, but everything else was free reign, so Ripley tended to talk to the prisoners. He’d decided against doing any digging into who these people were, to try and bring down any bias he may have. Everyone deserves to be treated like a human, even villains. He’d learned that the hard way. So Ripley made sure he had no opportunity to judge any of them. The guards didn’t get it, his fellow researchers didn’t get it, but Ripley didn’t care. He was the one that had to go into the cells, not them, so he got to call the shots.
Some of the villains had been rude. Some of them cussed Ripley out, threatened his family, talked a lot of big talk about their friends busting them out. Both parties knew that it was all talk, and at this point, none of the villains could say anything that bothered Ripley. Some of the villains just stayed silent, or rolled their eyes, or made nonverbal responses. None of them, so far, had ever asked Ripley any questions or contributed much to the conversation. Ripley didn’t mind. He could talk enough for the both of them.
With a flick, Ripley opened a panel next to the door and placed his hand on it. A scanner ran down his palm, checking for a pulse, and then checking his handprint. The scanner beeped happily (or, at least, Ripley had come to think that it was happy) and heavy clicks confirmed that the door had unlocked. Ripley always got a little paranoid when he had to do this, like maybe his handprint would change overnight and he’d get trapped in his room. Granted, he had pretty fast wi-fi, so he figured that would be okay.
Ripley took a deep breath and pushed the door open.
“You know, Bakugou, it’s pretty telling that we’ve only known you for a little bit and you’ve made it clear to us the unpleasantness of your steamed turd of a personality,” Kaminari teased. The blonde immediately bristled and shot out of his seat.
“Sure, Mr. Vocabulary! How about I pound you?” He shouted, but Kaminari just laughed.
“Gay,” Kirishima muttered under his breath. Bakugou’s eyes shot in his direction.
“What the fuck did you just say, shitty hair?” Bakugou called. “What’s the matter, don’t have the balls to speak up?” Kirishima snorted and rolled his eyes, ignoring Bakugou.
“What a vulgar conversation,” Yaoyorozu murmured. Uraraka laughed.
“I think it’s funny,” she replied.
“Could you get any more foul-mouthed, Bakugou?” Kaminari asked. Bakugou riled up to respond, but before he could, Aizawa looked back and called that they were almost there. That effectively shut him up.
Aizawa hadn’t had much of a chance to look into Bakugou’s file, having been preoccupied with figuring out what Midoriya’s deal was, but he’d gotten enough information to get a gist of what the kid was about. He had a powerful quirk that he hadn’t had to develop much, which blew up his ego. This, combined with a home life that necessitated being brash and loud to get attention, was likely what created Bakugou’s asshole attitude. Beneath it, however, the kid was smart. He wasn’t disrespectful, not to the teachers anyway, and he did have a good handle on his quirk. Aizawa figured that, when pushed a little, Bakugou would even out and become more comfortable around his classmates. Once he started having to work was when that would happen. Generally, with big egos came big inferiority complexes, especially with powerful quirks. He’d get knocked down and never want to experience it again. Aizawa wasn’t all that worried about his progression. Today would be good for him.
They parked the bus and gathered at the entrance. Aizawa glanced around, somewhat bored, in search of All Might. He waited a little bit, in case the hero decided to make another one of his dramatic entrances, but nothing happened. Aizawa crossed over to Thirteen.
“Thirteen, where’s All Might? I thought he was supposed to meet us up here.” He asked. Thirteen shook their head and held up three fingers. Three cases.
“He’s almost reached his limit,” Thirteen informed him. “Took care of some villains during his morning commute.” Annoyance twinged at Aizawa’s side. All Might was generally a smart guy, but he could be so dumb sometimes.
“The height of irrationality,” Aizawa grumbled. He glanced around the USJ. It made him a little nervous, having the students at the facility right after having a security breach. “So be it. Let’s get started.” He turned towards the USJ, looking out and surveying the different training zones. It really was a remarkable facility. Thirteen had certainly outdone themselves with this one. There obviously weren’t zones for every possible situation, but this would be a good opportunity to force some of the more combat-oriented students to take a new approach and to give the rescue-oriented students some practice.
“During Aizawa’s physical fitness test…”
Aizawa turned back towards Thirteen, hoping they wouldn’t ask him to say anything. Luckily, they just went on about the multifacetedness of quirks and the importance of using them for the right purpose. Bakugou, surprisingly, actually seemed to be listening intently to Thirteen’s words. Aizawa smiled slightly behind his capture tape scarf.
“I hope you leave here today with the understanding that you’re meant to help people,” Thirteen concluded. They took a large bow, laughing. “That is all! I thank you for listening.” The students gave a little cheer. Aizawa sighed and stepped forward.
“Great. Now, first off–” Aizawa stopped short. He heard something, like a fizzing sound, from down on the main level. He turned around to see a black hole swirling into existence, a hand pulling through. Aizawa’s heart plummeted into his stomach and he grabbed his goggles. “Huddle up and don’t move,” he snapped back at his class. “Thirteen, protect the students!”
“What the heck is that?” Kirishima saw what was happening down on the main level and took a subconscious step back. “More battle robots? Like the entrance exam?”
“Don’t move.” Aizawa ordered. “Those are villains!” Fucking-of course, with All Might out of commission and two non-combat specialized heroes. This is fantastic .
Down on the main level, warp gates swirled around Kurogiri. He looked up at the group of students and the two heroes standing in front. He ground his teeth as he realized that All Might was missing. “Thirteen…” he acknowledged the space-suit-wearing hero, and then looked over at the other. It took him a moment, but then Kurogiri recognized him. “Eraserhead, is it? According to the schedule I saw, All Might is supposed to be here.”
“Where is he?” Shigaraki couldn’t help himself. Anger was mounting in his chest and that damn itch was pulling at his focus. “We’ve come all this way with all these players to meet him. All Might. The Symbol of Peace .” Shigaraki spit the title. “I wonder if some dead kids will get his attention.” Shigaraki’s eyes raked over the students, hatred bubbling in his stomach. Look at all of them. They all looked so pristine, so scared. Privileged little shits . His eyes fell on a green-haired boy. His curly hair, the way he stood, his expression…
This had to be Izuku. Suddenly, Shigaraki swore that he remembered a photograph on Sensei’s desk, a green-haired boy inside. But the memory was gone just as quickly as it flashed into his mind. Tomura shook away the emotion that he didn’t understand. There was a longing, a longing for people he couldn’t quite remember. He adjusted the hand on his face and forced himself back to his task. As he watched, Eraserhead leapt from the entrance platform and started taking out the npc’s.
“He’s skilled at close-quarters combat and he’s got those damn goggles so we can’t see whose quirk he’s canceling,” Tomura grumbled, scratching at his neck in thought. “Even a mob of goons isn’t slowing him down. I see…” Tomura groaned and dragged one of his feet across the ground. “I hate pro heroes. Low levels don’t stand a chance against them.” Kurogiri left the young man to his task and went to deal with the plotting students. Tomura continued to watch Aizawa fight. Hero or not, he had to admit that Eraserhead was cool . He was able to beat Tomura’s NPC's with barely any issue. It would be cooler if they weren’t people Tomura had chosen. Granted, he knew that they would just be used to fan out the students and wear down the heroes, but Eraserhead was cutting through them quickly. Tomura’s neck itched more and more and his scratching grew somewhat frantic. He needed to figure out how to read Eraserhead. He needed to calm down. What was it Sensei said about mental-class quirks?
A physical manifestation, that was it. Because of the nature of most mental-type quirks, there was generally a physical change when the quirk was activated. He hadn’t explained the science behind it, but Tomura didn’t much care. Eraserhead’s eyes turned red when he used his quirk. Tomura cursed under his breath as he followed Eraserhead’s movements. Those damn goggles!
Tomura squinted. Eraserhead threw one of the men away and his hair fell in front of his eyes. He turned towards a new opponent and his hair lifted up, away from his face. Tomura grinned. “Got you,” he whispered. He counted silently, timing Eraserhead’s usage. His hair fell. The hero had barely used his quirk for half a minute. This was going to be much easier than it seemed. The next time, it was twenty-seven seconds. Then twenty-three. Then twenty. Seventeen. Tomura held back a laugh. Eraserhead turned toward him, standing over dozens of fallen villains.
“So, you’re the boss?” He asked, sending his capture tape flying out. Tomura dodged and grabbed it. Before Tomura could react, he was pulled forward and Eraserhead’s elbow slammed into his stomach. He coughed but smiled through his pain.
“It’s hard to tell when you’re scampering around, but, heh,” Tomura chuckled. “Your hair’s long, Eraserhead. It falls every time you finish a move. And your max use time is going down.” As he was speaking, Eraserhead pulled his elbow out. He was at fourteen seconds, and his hair fell in front of his eyes. Tomura caught his elbow as it moved towards him and secured his grip, feeling the flesh disintegrate beneath his fingertips. “Don’t overdo it, Eraserhead,” Tomura teased, his last word punctuated by the hero’s fist slamming into his jaw. Tomura fell and two of his NPC’s jumped up to his aid. Annoyance flashed through him, stifling the appreciation there.
“Your quirk isn’t good in long, large battles, is it?” Tomura groaned as he slowly got to his feet. “This is a little different from your usual gigs. You specialize in quick sneak attacks. And yet, you jumped right into this fight. What was your aim? Hoping to make the kids feel safe?” Tomura stood and turned towards him. “So cool…” His eyes hit the noumu, standing behind Eraserhead, unnoticed. “By the way, hero, I’m not the boss here.”
Eraserhead realized the noumu was behind him and went to fight it off, throwing back his ruined elbow, but the beast just grabbed it in a giant paw and snapped his arm. The hero grunted in pain and noumu pushed him down with his other hand.
“Meet the anti-symbol of peace,” Tomura called. “The bio-engineered noumu.”