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Common Sense is not so Common.

Chapter Text

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

-Voltaire



Another wonderful fucking day at UA for one Denki Kaminari. He was absolutely exhausted today, his siblings just won’t ever leave him alone anymore. Ever since they reconnected, it’s been one thing after another. “Denki! Cook dinner!” “Denkiiii clean blood off our clothing!” “Denki! Do the dishes!” Like, what more could they possibly want from him at this point?

 

All the second year teen wanted himself was a nice relaxing day at UA. 

 

Of course, can anyone really have a nice relaxing day at UA?

 

Today was looking to finally be an exception! He didn’t fall asleep once in homeroom, he got praised for being the only one who could spell antidisestablishmentarianism in their English spelling bee today. Though, the looks Momo were sending him were more than a little unsettling at this point. In math he scored a 60% on a pop quiz which is way more than he expected since he played Mario cart with his sister until 3am the night before instead of studying. 

 

Of course it was fucking Aizawa who had to fuck it all up.

 

-

 

“Alright, I’ve noticed you all have been placing too much emphasis on your quirks. That’s not what heroes should be doing.” The man crawled out of his sleeping bag as he spoke, already dreading this lesson. He could practically hear Bakugo trying to remain in his seat and not interrupt. Any minute now he would interrupt. He sighed, mentally counting.

 

Three

 

Two

 

One

 

Sweaty hands slammed down onto a desk. Right on time as usual.

 

“That’s fucking bullshit! Of course we fight with our quirks first! Maybe dunce face over there needs to learn more since he can’t control shit, but I don’t need any stupid weapons training!” The boy remained standing, not shrinking at all under Aizawa’s glare.

 

Surprisingly, Kaminari Denki didn’t say anything when being called out by Bakugo. In fact, it even looked like he had a smirk on his face... weird.

 

-

 

“This lesson feels kind of weird doesn’t it? I don’t see why we need to learn weaponry... it feels kinda villainous.” Mina’s voice carried across the locker room to all the other girls.

 

Momo paused in placing her hero costume on. She’d been thinking about the objective of the lesson for a while now, as she always does. “I think this lesson may be good for us to understand the other side of the field a bit better. If someone had a quirk like Aizawa-Sensei, then we would not be able to do anything about it. Or if someone had a quirk that expels a base that would nullify your acid, you would have a back up, Ashido.”

 

Behind Momo, Uraraka was doing her best impersonation of Midoriya, finding a nearby notebook and writing down everything she could. The girls all dissolved into giggles at the comparison.

 

Becoming more straight laced and serious looking, Jirou covered one side of her face and looked at Momo. “Answer me seriously. Are you sure you are not also Allmight’s secret love child and Midoryia’s twin?” 

 

That of course sent them into another laughing fit. Momo herself gave a few breathy chuckles that Jirou can’t stop herself from blushing when she heard the sweet noises from her girlfriends lips.

 

“It was odd of Kaminari to not be offended at Bakugo’s comment kerro.”

 

“Like, yeah! He almost looked glad!” Hagakure nodded at Tsyuu’s comment.

 

Denki was always itching for an excuse to speak. He said it was because he had a huge family.

 

Mina just giggled more. “He was probably just staring at Momo’s tits again and forgot where he was!”

 

“Pretty sure that’s my job!” 

 

Jirous’s comment of course sent them into more giggles as a furious blush coated Momo’s face.

 

-

 

The future heros were sent to an empty field just behind Ground Zero. Well, one shouldn’t say empty. There were ten targets set up outside, each three feet apart and the grass had spray painted markers at various distances away from the targets. Next to Aizawa was a table full of knives. 

 

It was quite clear to most what they’ll be trying today.

 

“Whoa- dude, why are there so many D36 Throwing Knives on the table?” 

 

Denki Kaminari does not fall into the ‘most’ category. 

 

Twenty other pairs of eyes fall to look at the electric blonde.

 

“Uh- Kami, my bro, how do you know what kind of knife that is?” Kirishima curiously approached one of his best friends, laying a heavy hand on his shoulder.

 

“Uhhhh-“ Denki’s nervous laughter floats through the air. He was too prone to speaking out of turn. Why on earth does anyone trust him with secrets? “I saw a porn with-“

 

And Kirishima’s hands clamped right over his mouth to cut him off. Hell yeah! A perfect excuse!

 

Aizawa sighs again. Why was his class like this? “Uraraka, I understand you have some knife training? You and Kaminari will go first as an example.”

 

Kirishima released Denki’s hand with a groan when the boy’s tongue darted out to lick his hand. “Dude? So unmanly…”

 

Denki winked at his best friend, turning to look at Aizawa. He opened his mouth to protest but that look on his teacher’s face leaves no room for such protests

 

-

 

It made him think of men in lab coats. Pure white rooms. Test after test after test. 

 

Why can’t it stop? 

 

Why can’t it stop?!

 

-

 

And before his brain could process it, he had three knives and he was standing ten feet from a target.

 

Aizawa started to tell them how to properly stand and hold the knives, but it’s clear Denki was not listening. Does the boy ever listen when it was class time? So, their teacher cut himself off because he knew Uraraka could do it successfully. 

 

“And go-“

 

Well that snapped  Denki out of his daze. He assumed that Aizawa explained it all already, rather than just him saying two sentences, followed by those two words. Denki should probably listen better- 

 

See, Denki had a secret that he can’t really let anyone else in the class know. Well, he had many secrets that he couldn’t  let anyone else know, but in this moment all that mattered is that he had thrown quite a few knives in his lifetime. All of his family has. And after the commission interfered it-

 

That’s irrelevant Denki. Fucking focus.

 

A splattering of applause made him focus again. Uraraka had presumably thrown her knives: one missed entirely, but the other two landed fairly close to the bullseye. Not bad!

 

I could do better.  

 

No! No this wasn’t the time for thoughts like that. Everyone was looking at him. People were telling him good luck, that it was okay if he fucks up, but that wasn’t not what he’s worried about...

 

Then it hits him!

 

They couldn’t see him! His back was turned! So he could just- he could just close his eyes right? So he did. Denki closed his eyes and threw the knives. It was fine. It’ll be fine.

 

The first knife hit the edge of the target.

 

The second hit the bullseye.

 

The third hit just outside the bullseye.

 

He did better than Uraraka.

 

Denki turns around to face his classmates and got pulled into a bone crushing hug from Kirishima.

 

“Dude! That was so manly! I’m so proud of you! Have you ever done that before?”

 

Similar praise and questioning started to crop up from his classmates. But they’re all cut off by a sigh from their teacher. That sigh could easily cut off their talk. That sigh never meant anything good.

 

He knows. He knows. He knows.

 

“Kaminari. Do it again but stand further away. Twenty feet.”

 

Okay. That was fine- it was just another test. He doesn’t know. He just wants to make sure it’s not a fluke!

 

“With your eyes open this time.”

 

He knows. He must know. He knows.

 

The class remained silent for a while. It was an ugly, long, boring silence that drove the electric blonde insane. He couldn’t stand silence on any given day…

 

Denki slowly marched himself to get three more knives from Eraserhead… How on earth did the man know? Did he know who Denki was? Did he know who his sister was who his brother was?

 

He knows. He knows. He knows.

 

Denki tried to hold the knife wrong but Aizawa glared at him. He tried to stand wrong but Aizawa glared at him. He tried to trip but he was caught with a capture weapon and given another knife. He- he tried! 

 

Eventually, there wasn’t not much more the teen could do but throw the knife the way he knew he could. 

 

Three bullseyes sent in quick succession landing right next to each other from twenty feet away.

 

-

 

A man dressed all in white with a clipboard clamped a hand on Denki’s shoulder. He looked angry- so so angry.

 

You can do better than that. 

 

Again.

 

Again.

 

Your sister did better.

 

Again.

 

Again.

 

Your brother did better.

 

-

 

He was snapped back to reality when a hand was clamped onto his shoulder- no.. not clamped. It was gentle. Todoroki always was gentle with Denki. Sometimes Denki thought Todoroki could tell that they went through similar things… because Denki could tell the minute they locked eyes the first day of UA.

 

“Denki.” He was always so stoic and serious. What was he thinking? He was figuring it out wasn’t he? He’s always been so smart… “Are you Edgeshot’s secret love child?”

 

That was not what he was expecting. He stared at Shouto for some time before he let out a nervous giggle which turned into a full blown laugh by the end of it. And suddenly the whole class was laughing at the absurdity of the situation they found themselves in.

 

“Oi! Half and Half- what drugs are you on?”

 

“T-T- Todoroki! We talked about this! You can’t accuse everyone of being someone’s child! Though- Denki’s eye shape is pretty similar… ramble ramble ramble -“

 

“What a mad bouquet of darkness~”

 

“Ah! Denki twinkles too magnifique for that!”

 

“Todobroki- Denki is too manly!”

 

Todoroki nodded his head with a tiny sigh. “You all may not see the truth yet. But you will.”

 

Aizawa was the only one not laughing. He was still staring at Denki as if expecting him to cough up some reason for what they just saw. 

 

“Uh- well, you see. My sister she’s-“ Denki needed an excuse. He needed a reason. He needed something. Think Denki- “She uh, she works for the circus! A knife thrower! I come from a family of circus workers and it’s really embarrassing guys… so I don’t really talk about it much.”

 

Aizawa slowly nodded his head at that with a bit of trepidation. Denki knew it wasn’t a flawless lie but.. but he bought it. Everyone would just chalk it up to weird shit Denki said or did. Like when he didn’t go after Bakugo, or when he said he admired Stain, or when his parent’s phone on record wasn’t correct. Just a series of situations that were unrelated.

 

They were all unrelated.

 

-

 

“Hey guys! I’m home! Sorry it took me so long, Sero wanted to go get Ramen so we had to go there and then walk back to the dorms so I could sneak out to come here and apparently school me really loves food even though you all know I fucking hate-“

 

“Denkiiiiiiiiiiiii!” And his speech was cut off by a flying blonde girl jumping onto his chest and knocking him over. A knife was held right to his neck and the smell of peaches and blood overtook his senses.

 

A small whoosh sound echoed behind him, and the golden eyed girl was being pushed off the golden eyed boy via a bunch of a golden eyed man’s feathers lifting her off. And now his senses were assaulted with cigarette smoke, whiskey, blood, and peaches. 

 

He loved that shit.

 

He missed that shit.

 

“Uh-huh, missed you too sis. Oh! And if anyone from my school calls and asks what you do at the circus, Himi, you’re a fucking knife thrower, and bro- by the way you reek of smoke! Are you fucking Dabi again?- you’re a ringmaster! Fun right?”

 

His family certainly didn’t look amused, and thus he was tackled by his sister and it wasn’t stopped this time.

 

But Denki? Denki wouldn’t have it any other way.

Chapter Text

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

-Voltaire

 

If Denki had to pick one moment in his life that he regretted above all else, it would have to be the time he told Shinsou Hitoshi that he was attractive.

 

-

 

You have the face of a popular guy. You’re popular with the ladies, yeah? Trust me, I can tell.

 

-

 

Okay, maybe regret wasn’t the right word, because he then had an amazing boyfriend, but it certainly threw a wrench in his whole plan to not get attached. Friends he could stomach leaving, he’d done that before, but Hitoshi? The beautiful and brave and smart and cunning and hot and sexy and tough and aloof and-

 

Focus Denki!

 

Anygays, the point was, Denki was getting distracted. When he was asked who he thought would make a good villain by Toga, his thoughts immediately went to his darling Hitoshi. But no- that wasn’t right. Shinsou would never be that person because he fundamentally was against the very notion of being a villain. He may outwardly look and act the part, but the purple haired boy was the softest boy Denki knew- softer than Kirishima and Midoriya combined!

 

They’d moved fairly quick in their relationship, every kiss was like it was their last one. And to Denki, it very well could have been. He never knew when he would be pulled out of the school and sent back home. 

 

Home .

 

What did that even mean? Was that where he was raised? Because he hadn’t been there in years. Was that the Commission? Because the training rooms there have never signified home to Denki. Was it the tiny safe house he shared occasionally with Hawks and Toga? Was it the dorms at UA? Was it the foster place he had on record?

 

As shitty as it felt to think, Denki always thought home meant somewhere safe. And the only safe place for him was in Hitoshi’s arms. Hitoshi never asked why Denki would cry at the littlest things sometimes, or why he would crack a window open at three AM to smoke a cigarette. They both had had shitty birth parents.

 

It was an unspoken rule that they never spoke about their families together. They didn’t talk about foster homes or failed adoptions, they didn’t talk about villain and hero siblings, and they certainly never talked about the past. They moved fast because they were all about the future.

 

Denki liked to think Toga would be proud of him for finding love and Teigo would be happy he was moving so fast. Normal sibling stuff right?

 

-

 

“K, so, does this mean I can have his blood? Or can’t? Are you tasting his blood?” 

 

Leave it to Toga to make Denki’s sweet love story into some gross fetish shit.

 

“Oh I’m pretty sure Denks is the one getting his blood sucked if that hickey is any proof!”

 

And leave it to Keigo to make Denki some horny teen. Why was his family like thisSsssss?

 

“Certe ego me non ardeat marcas in collum!” Denki’s smug voice replied to his older brother. That was Latin.

 

“Denki what the fuck?” The simultaneous response from both siblings, and a fairly common response at that, led to a mess of laughter.

 

-

 

His classmates finding out about him and his darling Toshi was honestly an accident! Hitoshi was transferred to the hero course at the start of their second year after the incident with Mineta. Denki wished he could say rest in pieces, but could you really mourn your ex-homie if you sort of accidentally maybe caused their death?

 

In any case, Denki and Shinsou, after that joint training time, really had hit it off! Well, more like Denki hacked the school for the hot boy’s number just so he could ask Shinsou to get an American burger with him! Shinsou said that was kind of creepy.

 

-

 

An electric quirk is very useful 2768.

 

You can do so much with it 2768.

 

Hack.

 

Splash.

 

Charge.

 

Nerves.

 

Damage.

 

Shock.

 

Eighty-seven percent of people with an electric quirk are villians 2768.

 

You’ll be better than them 2768.

 

-

 

Still, they went! Well, went is used very loosely. Went implies that Shinsou accepted the offer with a hint of trepidation and they had a darling time in a wonderful restaurant and made sweet love to each other, the end.

 

No.

 

Went, in this case, meant Denki created a Discord bot that sent Shinsou an advert in his DMs for a fundraiser raising money for a cat shelter taking place at an American cafe not too far from UA. Denki may not be test smart, but no one could deny how people smart he was.

 

-

 

Oh dude! Shinsou! What a cOiNciDEncE! I also wanted a cat! I mean… I wanted to give money to cat. Cats… not cat. Haha- wannagetamealorsomethin’?

 

-

 

Several months later, exactly one week after the knife incident and first day of school Denki was sitting in the common room with his marvellous boyfriend. And by sitting, that is to say, Denki was straddling Shinsou’s waist and they were kissing. A lot of kissing. It was the weekend, which meant almost everyone went home. 

 

Denki never really did go home. He didn’t really have a single home. Beyond meeting up with his siblings, he never went anywhere. Shinsou also never went home, but to ask him about that would break their no family talk rule. Denki really wished he could-

 

“oKay! That is not what I needed to see right now.” 

 

Denki lazily leaned back from his boyfriend's lips at the sound of another human in the room. Shinsou had a slight smirk present, hands tightening on the smaller male’s waist.

 

“Uraraka! I totally forgot you didn’t go home cause you’re poor!” A pause. “Oh dude, totally didn’t mean that to sound mean! I’m poor too! Just three poor bros tryna find their way in life… Good morning?”

 

The girl looked like a deer caught in a headlight. Like Todoroki whenever someone said a weird modern slang. Like Ida when he saw anything Stain related. Just this aura of confusion- she couldn’t look straight at them, eyes constantly shifting.

 

“Uh- I’m very happy for you? Okay… bye.” She took one quick image of the two before bounding up the stairs, glass of water forgotten on the table and sure to leave a water stain that Ida will chastise her for later after conducting a thorough investigation to locate the culprit.

 

By the end of the day, that image was all over the class 2A group chat. So much for secrets right?

 

-

 

When he was allowed to leave the Commision for— uh, reasons, Denki never actually thought he would have a normal life. He hadn’t ever had a formal education, he couldn’t cook or clean or even talk like a normal person. So maybe his current self was a little… overacted. He wasn’t really playing up a persona or anything!

 

Well, okay, that’s a lie. He wasn’t really that ditsy. Sure he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the drawer, but he knew a few things! He could probably be higher than last in the class, but that would require focusing a lot more, and, sorry Aizawa, but focusing on class work wasn’t exactly a priority for Denki. He had bigger fish to fry! Or would it be bigger fish to electrocute?

 

Honestly, one of Denki’s biggest problems was that he thought too much about everything. He would start on multiplication tables, which then he would see the times symbol, and think of Shinsou x Denki, and suddenly he was texting him to come over with some horrible pick up like.

 

-

 

Babe are you busy? If not, do you wanna be ;)

 

Baby, you and I are so perfect. Do you wanna make a complete circuit?

 

I ran out of extra batteries- wanna help me charge up ;)

 

Our love has no choice but to be electric!

 

-

 

“Denki-baby, do you ever think you and Shinsou might be a little too close?”

 

Kaminari tilted his slightly the way he always did when he was horribly confused. Mina had paused her ministrations on his nails, having been painting them black with little gold lightning bolt stickers.

 

“Mina! Of course we’re super close, we’re dating!”

 

“Well, yeah… but Sero and I are our own people without each other you know? Your entire personality since you started dating him has just been about him.”

 

“Pinky’s tryna say none of us care about fucking mindfuck’s lunch plans for next Thursday discount-Pikatchu!”

 

Denki was confused… very confused. Did this mean he wasn’t supposed to talk about his boyfriend? To be honest, he learned all of this behavioural stuff from film and television. All girls seemed to do in television aimed at his age was talk about their partners, he assumed that was just normal behaviour.

 

“Oh. Sorry my dudes and dudette. I just really love him you know?”

 

“You know Kami- Kat and I didn’t say the L word until a year of dating. You and Shin-bro said it after a week.”

 

Now Kirishima had stopped painting his boyfriend’s nails a bright orange. He’d tried doing a green, but Bakugo said that was too much like shitty Deku. The pomeranian instead wanted a BLOOD RED, but Kirishima was able to talk him down from that.

 

“Oh. I didn’t know that wasn’t normal….” That was barely a mutter, since he didn’t really want them to hear him. It was true, of course, he didn’t know that wasn’t normal.

 

-

 

When he’d left the Commission, he’d lived on the streets for a bit. His training allowed him to not eat for a bit, and steal to survive until he lucked into a rather dangerous job, one he had only about a fifty percent chance of survival, and a sixty percent chance of certain death… did he mention he couldn’t do math? But he didn’t care. His brother had sacrificed everything for him to be able to survive.

 

The Hero Commission took every single fucking thing from their family. They didn’t even have names anymore! If all it took to take them down was to sell his soul to the devil and pretend to love heros for a few years, that seemed like a cheap price to pay.

 

All For One could give him anything he wanted if he just did a simple job:

 

Help rebuild society from the ground up, after burning hero society down for good.

 

Simple… right?

 

-

 

Present day

 

“Well that clearly didn’t work out for you did it kid?”

 

“Children often have ideals they can’t live up to Eraserhead. Shinsou had them too, you know.”

 

“You have no damn right to say his name!”

 

A smirk stretched across the blond’s lips. “Hush now- this is my storytime isn’t it? I do so hope you enjoy the rest of the show!”

Chapter Text

All men are born with a nose and five fingers, but no one is born with a knowledge of God.
-Voltaire

 

Denki Kaminari wouldn’t describe himself as a bad guy . To be fair, he also wouldn’t call himself a good guy. So he may be a traitor for some pocket cash, he also has lied a few times to the League of Villains. Really, he liked to think he served himself more than anyone else.

 

As a child, before Denki’s mother went all psycho, she used to read to him and his siblings every night. Usually it was some Japanese tale, but there was the rare time that she would read to them in her native English tongue. Those were his favourite stories! And if he had to pick an all time favourite American tale, it would have to be Percy Jackson.

 

Denki really resonated with Percy as a child! ADHD, Dyslexia, feeling different or dangerous constantly, and though Denki had a phobia of water from that incident with Himiko as a kid, Percy was just him! He was positive and kind and brave.

 

When he was thrust into the Hero Commission world not long after they finished the second novel, he only further felt like Percy. He was forced to do something he didn’t want to- to be a hero, a saviour. Someone special. Sure all children want to be special and important, but on their own terms.

 

When he lived on his own for the first time, Denki started reading a lot of English novels he found in a bargain bin outside a tiny shop near his alley he’d taken refuge in. Sure he may not have actually paid the so-called bargain price, but not having security cameras next to a sketchy alley was just asking to get robbed. Not like security cameras mattered much to Denki.

 

-

 

Eighty-seven percent of people with an electric quirk are villians 2768.

 

-

 

Whatever. They deserved it. In anycase, the bin contained a very beat up copy of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, a novel Denki hadn’t thought of in years. A novel that helped him feel accepted and validated as a young child who never quite fit in…

 

-

 

“And so like, yeah… that’s who I would compare myself in literature! Percy Jackson!” Scattered applause filled Present Mic’s classroom after Denki had finally concluded his presentation. 

 

As Denki scanned the classroom, he saw varying reactions from his fellow students. He was last up to present, so by now, over the past week, they’d listened to nineteen other presentations on the same topic: who is most like them in English literature. Now of course, most people picked a book they’d read during the school year, or in Momo and Todoroki’s case, some Shakespearean classic. No one was expecting Denki to compare himself to the main character of an American kids novel that barely anyone had heard of.

 

Deku was taking methodical notes, Shinsou was clearly trying very hard to stay awake, Sero was asleep, Mina was texting under the table, Kirishima was somehow sitting on the floor, Bakugo was doodling a picture of Deku being shitty probably, Todoroki was staring at Deku taking notes. Everyone was doing what was expected of them. 

 

Everyone except Denki.

 

“Wow! What a presentation little listener!” Present Mic screamed. “I totally see how you could compare yourself to Percy! And great job thinking outside the box with your book choice!”

 

Denki smiled a bit, as though happy with the praise and returned to his desk to wait out the last five minutes before the end of the school day.

 

-

 

Stupid. The presentation was so fucking stupid. It was all lies, all complete and absolute lies. 

 

It was only after first meeting with Dabi that first time that Denki got a chance to reread that book again, curled up in the dark, dank alley with a cup of coffee he pickpocketed someone for change to buy. He had no blankets or pillows or… or anything. Just a cup of coffee and a beat up old book.

 

Upon that second reading, the destitute thirteen year old found horror in now being older than Percy was. Where as a kid he looked forward to finding his place in life and making his mark, he wasn’t anywhere near that goal. He didn’t care about saving anyone, or being loved, or being adored.

 

Because of stupid fucking heros.

 

So maybe as a child he looked up to the magical wonderful likeable Percius Jackson. But Denki knew better now. The gods in those books were never supposed to be good people. If one asked Denki as a child who his hero was, he’d say Percy Jackson! But now? Now he felt bad for Percy Jackson. He felt bad for anyone like Percy Jackson.

 

Denki adored Luke Castellan though. He was a hero. He was everything a hero should be. He was the Stain of the halfblood world.

 

-

 

Stain was someone else Denki looked up to in his life. At one point, just after he joined up with the league, he was given a room at the base since they didn’t want their precious spy living on the streets.

 

He stayed there until the dorms opened up, though like stated before, that was also never really his home. It did feel better once he met Himiko again, but that was a story for another day.

 

When the heroes discovered and took down the bar they called a base, they went into every room in order to try and identify as many members as they could from the contents of them. They had falsely linked one room with Dabi; a room covered in Stain posters and memorabilia. A room with burn marks and cigarette butts. A room had pictures of heros used as dart boards.

 

When Denki saw the police report with pictures of his room under Dabi’s name, he couldn’t stop laughing. He knew Dabi would hate that assumption- that Dabi even lived with the league. He liked the league sometimes, but the trust issues Dabi had made him want to do anything but have personal items anywhere near them.

 

Stain was an idol to many people. People down on their luck with no one helping them. Sure heros help in the public stopping criminals, but what about homeless people? Or kids with abusive parents? Or drug addicts? Or poverty? What are heros doing about that that isn’t just for publicities sake?

 

Stain took down heros who didn’t deserve the moniker. So maybe Denki was a bit of a fanboy, but can you blame him? Stain was everything Denki stood for too!

 

And so maybe Denki made a mistake when he called Stain cool in front of Iida, but Stain was so fucking cool!

 

-

 

The saturday after his presentation was Aoyama’s birthday. Now, everyone in 1A, neigh, the whole school, was aware of how overwhelmingly flamboyant Aoyama was. He was so proud of who he was. Aoyama was the type to dodge every question about his sexuality because he didn’t exactly enjoy any label at all.

 

Aoyama, Midoriya, and Denki were a part of an unofficial group of ‘kids with quirk drawbacks that hurt a lot ( tm)’ patent pending of course.

 

Denki had once mused in an inebriated state to Dabi that he should be in the group as well. He still had a burn mark on his shoulder from the incident.

 

The party planning committee of 1A, consisting of Tsyuu, Denki, Mina, Bakugo, and Momo was created by Denki because of his favourite American TV show: The Office. They had so many birthdays in the class so they might as well have a dedicated group of people who can plan it each time! Or at least, that’s how he pitched it to Iida.

 

In reality, it was an easy excuse to spike some punch and sneak some weed if you’re on the committee. Or at least, that’s what he pitched to his friends.

 

Perhaps the right reason was that people were more loose-lipped when they were inebriated and were more likely to divulge secrets. Or at least, that’s what he pitched to the League.

 

He did things like that a lot: lying so much that he wasn’t exactly sure of the truth. It was probably a quirk defect- memory issues. A lot of things were quirk issues for Denki… he was living on borrowed time after all. Like an unofficial ticking time bomb ready to explode. Not that he was planning on telling anyone in his class the truth. He couldn’t remember if he used to lie so much before the Commision… back when everything was peaceful.

 

-

 

Moommmm!! He’s hitting me again!

 

Am not! I am not you little liar!!

 

Are too and I’m not little! She’s little!!

 

-

 

So Aoyama’s party was mainly planned by Mina and Bakugo. Mina because she was almost as extra as Aoyama taste wise, and Bakugo because he seemed to, quote, “actually have taste you damm extras” and letting Mina run everything would, quote, “make the stores run out of fucking bleach from how much we would need to purge our eyes.”

 

His comments were not unfounded as everyone found out when Kirisima showed pictures from all his birthdays Mina had planned for him back in elementary school. They looked more like a cotton candy machine had been consumed by a leprechaun and then promptly been thrown up everywhere. If that doesn’t make sense to imagine, you’re on the right track.

 

All the usual birthday hijinks happened, Aoyama pretended to be surprised, Momo and Sato inhaled the cake prepared, Koda lost an animal somewhere, and someone, certainly not Sero, spiked the punch. And as normal, Iida did not notice the alcohol and got accidentally drunk, just like how Todoroki did notice the alcohol and thus consumed so much of the special punch.

 

At some point, they all assembled for the customary tipsy game of truth or dare! The questions were always pretty tame with the occasional “have you and so and so kissed???” thrown in there for spice. It was Kirishima who asked Denki his first question of the night, a question of who was Denki’s actual favourite hero.

 

Denki felt the wind get knocked out of him at the very simple question. How had he not thought of a favourite hero? Everyone had a favourite hero? Even Keigo had been an Endeavor fanboy! And Himiko liked Deku best! So why didn’t Denki have one? How in his year and one month of education at UA did he not get asked this question?

 

Well, that’s not entirely true. He was asked this question several times, but he always sidestepped it with some joke answer or change of the subject, hence the slurring Kirishima’s use of the word ‘actual’. 

 

Everyone was staring at him. It felt, in Denki’s buzzed state- ha! Buzzed!- that everyone was staring at him. Like, if he didn’t answer right then and there, that they were going to figure out that he hated all heros, including Allmight. That, he was a morally grey apathetic nihilist who disliked pretty much everyone and everything to do with Hero Society. That, they were going to lock him up in jail again but throw away the key this time.

 

So he did the logical thing, and blurted out the only hero worth a shit in his books. “Hawks man! Keigo’s really cool isn’t he?” Shit. 

 

Shit shit shit shit shit.

 

Had he really just said his brother’s actual name aloud? In front of everyone? A name that wasn’t really public? A name that they shouldn’t know? That he shouldn’t know?

 

He recalled going to open his mouth to clear up the strange situation but then he promptly blacked out. 

 

-

 

He couldn’t remember a single thing from opening his mouth, to waking up on the kitchen counter with solely black boxers on.

 

His first knee jerk reaction was to panic because of the lack of clothing. Denki had old wounds- old scars- across his body. Most were fixed by his current employer, but the lichtenberg figures remained: memories of a past life he could never run from.

 

Then he noticed the back of his head was wet and quite cold. He immediately thought it was blood, which wasn’t unusual with how he grew up, but no it was just water? His eyes blinked rapidly, trying to process what was happening. He tried to twist around so his face wasn’t facing a table, only to get a robe thrown on his lap. Right. The lack of clothing.

 

Then his ears finally stopped ringing and he could finally process words that could only belong to Bakugo- “-and then I’ll shove it so far up your ass that even your spit will taste like it for weeks! Do I make myself clear dunceface?”

 

A pregnant pause followed that, with Denki’s pounding head only allowing him to focus on the heavy breathing of his fuming pal. “Whaaaaaa?” The almost silence had to be broken eventually after all.

 

An amused breathy little laugh drew his foggy brain into focus. Shinsou always had that effect on him, and the light kiss to his cheek made him feel even more alert. “You’re lucky Aizawa owed me a favour and I asked him not to check up on us for once. You’d be a lot of shit otherwise. I told you not to drink so much punch babe.”

 

-



Sweet little Denki, it’s two hours past your bedtime. Go to sleep.

 

Stupid ungrateful child!

 

I told you to never let me catch you doing something like this again 2768!

 

What kind of hero kills someone 2768?

 

You’re going to make the worst spy kid. 

 

-

 

Before he had even realized it, he was bowing from his seat on the table, apologies cascading out of his mouth. At some point, tears started slipping out too. It got so… exhausting holding it all together didn’t it?

 

Shinsou just hugged him tight, whispering for him to calm down, that no one was upset. Even Bakugo remained quiet, fixing together some breakfast for the three of them- a small act of support. “Common Denks, you said it yourself, you’re the number one Hawks fan remember?” The voice was soft, a hand cupping his cheek. “What would he say if he saw you like this?”

 

Shit. The Keigo incident. It seemed like drunk Denki smoothed it over right? He was just a stalker fanboy! A stalker fanboy who was currently sobbing on the kitchen counter while his sort of best friend made him pancakes, and his boyfriend was whispering sweet nothings.

 

Fucking hell- he was supposed to be an actor right? He was trained to be good at lying, and he was! He could lie easier than breathing. He could lie to everyone- but it never hurt as much as it did in that moment to say “I’m fine babe” to Shinsou. He wasn’t fine.

 

He wasn’t allowed to be fine.

 

-

 

Denki wasn’t sure if he believed in a god per say. His mother, being American, was raised in a very Catholic household and was a firm believer that quirks were small acts of god. And considering the uniqueness of her three children’s powers, they must be destined for great things.

 

So, Denki had believed in God with a capital g as a child, of course he did, he wasn’t exactly given a moment to question it. The type of education he received didn’t lend itself well to randomly asking other children in the park what their religious beliefs were.

 

He did not exactly have the best social skills either, despite what 2A might think. He just didn’t fear the reproductions of talking out of turn like he used to.

 

The commission never approved of his devotion to religion- the only power he needed to believe in was the power of heroes. Hawks and Toga adopted that mentality rather quickly, but Denki, permanent momma’s boy, was much slower at getting with the so-called program.

 

As resentment and bitterness grew and festered in the boy, he stopped searching for a star in the sky to pray to. What was the point? 

 

No one was coming for him.

 

Present Day: one hour before capture

 

Run.

 

That’s all they could do anymore.

 

Run.

 

Outrun everyone. Outrun every lie, every mistake, every piece of guilt.

 

They realized now, in that final hour, that their defeat would only be credited as a win. Everyone would know everything- every single damn thing the blond had done.

 

Would it be worth everything though? Being a martyr.

Chapter Text

One merit of poetry few persons will deny: it says more and in fewer words than prose.

-Voltaire

 

Very few knew just how good Denki Kaminari was at languages. The boy could speak seven of them after all.

 

He learned English himself when he was too small to even read proper novels. He was obsessed with American Comic Books, they were so much more exciting than the standard Manga. X-Men comics were certainly his favourites: Mystique was like his sister, and Angel was like his brother, and Storm was like him! Only, Storm was so much cooler wasn’t she?

 

He learned Italian from his mother. Apparently her father was Italian as she drunkenly rambelled to him once. Denki always was her favourite; their own private language . Toga always hated that… Good thing dad liked her more.

 

Russian came from his time at the Commision. The main handler Denki had was a Russian lady, small but strong. Denki always hated red lipstick after her.

 

He taught himself Latin, and Greek, and Spanish in his free time, nothing very exciting there. The Commission encouraged his thirst for more languages in his arsenal.

 

-

 

English was hope. Good Denki!

 

Italian was private. Great job my darling!

 

Russian was survival. Khorosho!

 

Latin was useless. You’re so smart Denki!

 

Greek was pointless. Amazing Denks!

 

Spanish was a duty. I’m so jealous of you Denki!

 

-

 

So Denki was smart. He wasn’t always book smart, but he was street smart.  He could navigate to anywhere in Japan. Maybe it was strange to his classmates how Denki was always the first person to act as a guide if they needed to find a specific location, but it kept him useful. Denki really needed to be useful.

 

-

 

2767 wasn’t useful to our cause.

 

2767 was cut off.

 

You’ll do better 2768.

 

-

 

It was almost unfair how 2A got far more opportunities than 2B. Well, no. It was just plain unfair. But 2A wasn’t complaining. Just another instance of classism that Denki could add to his ever growing ‘why I hate UA’ list.

 

The best opportunity they had, in Denki’s opinion, was a chance to visit the World Hero Expo. It was a bi-annual convention that was essentially exactly like the Olympics mashed with a comic book convention but with heros instead of athletes or hormonal teens in cosplay.

 

Not that a hero in training wasn’t exactly like a hormonal teen in cosplay.

 

Which, by the way, when does a hero stop being in training? Who decided that? How could they go from knowing nothing to knowing everything? Denki hated pressure enough as it was. Maybe that’s why he could never be a hero?

 

Or, maybe that was just reason twenty-seven on his list. Maybe twenty-one? He was losing track.

 

Focus! Back to the subject at hand, this year’s World Hero Expo was being hosted in Japan. An honour they say. A chance to prove themselves they say.

 

Bullshit Denki says. Did that sound a bit like Yoda? He’d been watching far too much Star Wars recently. Though the languages in Star Wars were often stolen from real life dialects and-

 

Look- point is, Denki didn’t want to go. He’d already been once as a child in England with his brother; the Commission dolling them up in matching costumes and making them do a showing of ‘The Future of Japanese Heros.’ Ironic that 2A called their booth the exact same thing.

 

He wasn’t ranked high enough to merit being given a time slot to show off or answer questions. It was honestly rather insulting. He got to attend, but was basically told to be quiet and let the real talent shine- Bakugou, Kirishima, Deku, Todoroki, Ochako, Momo, Hitoshi, Iida, even Koda- they were deemed more special than he was.

 

Why was no one else in his class upset about it? They just congratulated each other like this was some prize to be won. They wished the chosen few good luck and went off to do something more fun. They went to watch the American Heros performances. But Denki decided to stay for Shinsou’s segment. His darling amazing beautiful Hitoshi who would amaze the crowd with his mind control quirk!

 

Only problem? Scheduling. Of course scheduling would get in the way. And obviously no one in their class spoke Russian like the main organizer’s assistant, who’s translator was across the hall with his boss talking to the real talent- Hawks. Well, Denki did. But why would he get involved? It was just some confusion that had nothing to do with him.

 

Why should he care that Bakugo looked one step away from murder? Or that Midorya looked close to tears? Or that Kirishima looked so flustered? In all honesty, he could live with those. Those were normal. What got to him was Todoroki flinching as the assistant- a burley retired hero with a physic similar to Endeavour and a temper built from the same cloth- turned to yell at Todoroki.

 

Words that weren’t even volitie, the tone was just too angry for them. So Denki sighed, kicked off the wall he was leaning on, and approached the quarrelling group.

 

“Enough,” His voice was colder than usual. The argument hit close to him for reasons he didn’t quite understand. No one paid him any attention, of course they wouldn’t. Nothing was particularly helpful about Kaminari Denki. “Hey! Enough!” A raised voice caught their attention finally. He pinched the bridge of his nose.

 

“Look- The Russian is trying to say that Shinsou, Todoroki, and Koda have to perform on the other side of the hall. The animals for Koda can’t be in this section and he’d rather have a high attack quirk and a high mental quirk over there too. If you follow me I can take you.” He held up a finger when people tried to ask questions, turning to the frantic assistant to tell him he would handle it in Russian. The assistant, finally hearing something he understood, nodded frantically and ran to do one of his hundreds of other tasks.

 

And cue questions in five, four, three, two-

 

-

 

“So then, our little brother went all like, assassin mode and said in the most serious voice I have ever heard- ‘enough.’”

 

Himiko was practically rolling on the floor with laughter at the reenactment from Keigo. Honestly, Denki would have never involved himself if he knew Hawks was paying attention and had a feather tailing him.

 

Stupid ass overprotective ass brother.

 

“O-M-G,” Toga exclaimed. “You’re so cute when you try n’ be scary Denks!!”

 

“I hate this familyyyyy!” Denki then picked up a pillow, and promptly screamed in it.

 

-

 

A flurry of questions were fired off. Questions that Denki easily sidestepped with a level of grace that his sister would have been proud of.

 

“I only know a bit of Russian! I got really into this soap opera and picked up some conversational sentences.”

 

“No, I’ve never been here! I just memorized the map so I wouldn’t get lost like usual!”

 

“Todobroki- don’t be silly, of course I’m not a secret Russian spy!”

 

“Wow Momo! Do I really not have an accent? I must be a natural!”

 

“Oh, I’m pretty good at English too but that’s about it, Deku! You have to let me look at my page in your notebook later, k?”

 

-

 

Denki sometimes felt he was broken. Well, he felt that a lot, but this was in terms of his emotional connection with people. He may not understand people’s problems because they all seemed so trivial, but beyond that, he often found it difficult to care even when he did understand. Things that were destroying people’s lives he met with a certain ambiguity.

 

So maybe languages were so important because it, on a fundamental level, allowed him to understand more. It made him feel less unusual even if from an outside perspective, it made him seem so not normal.

 

He had a habit of clinging to things others never cared to understand. Shinsou, Luke, Stain, languages, anger, bitterness- 

 

Denki had another secret talent where he could manipulate some of his nerves to get a feeling of- well, nothing. Nothing at all.

 

It was better than any high a drug could give him. Failed a test? Zap : nothing. Someone grabbed him suddenly? Zap : nothing. 

 

But no matter what electrical current he sent to his brain, he still was still able to understand people. He, himself, may speak gibberish, but he could fully hear the mocking laughter about his overcharged state. 

 

In that case, perhaps his need for more languages was a coping mechanism for the way he couldn’t communicate in those phases. It was terrifying to be trapped in your own head with no way to do anything beyond a thumbs up.

 

So was it an obligation? Obsession? Escapism? Honestly, Denki could barely remember the days at this point. He was only growing worse and worse. Borrowed time after all. Sometimes he had to invent reasoning to rationalize his own behaviour- like a character in a D&D sesion… God, what would his friends say if he told them he was so broken?

 

He sometimes lost feeling without zapping himself. Sometimes his eyesight blurred and morphed. Sometimes he couldn’t remember where he was or how he got there. Sometimes the electrical buzz got so loud he felt he would never hear anything else.

 

-

 

Watching his classmates perform was almost dull? Sure they did do what they set out to accomplish, showcasing their unique powers and all, but it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen before. His boyfriend’s was the only one he cared about, since it showed how far he had come.

 

There was a time where ‘Toshi would never even consider using his powers on anyone but an opponent. To see him using it on volunteers? Volunteers that applauded him and laughed after that fact? It was… sweet. It almost made Denki reassess his belief that he had a lack of empathy.

 

Almost.

 

“Bolt?”

 

-

 

The electric one could pass for American. We can take him off your hands.

 

What if he shorts out the power? Keep a tight leash on him.

 

Mind your tongue child. Impress everyone always.

 

-

 

Denki froze at that name- said with trepidation from across the hall. He hadn’t been called Bolt in a long long time… it felt like another lifetime, like Todoroki’s ramblings about reincarnation theories. But Denki peeled his eyes away from where they’d wandered to Hawks’ own display across from Shinsou’s- picking up kids with his wings and sending them flying around the space. Surprise, surprise: Hawks was told to come and not Endeavor. Hawks had always been the better people-person, even if he would not admit his soft spot for kids with blond hair.

 

His own golden eyes met ash grey ones- eyes he only vaguely could remember. His memory was absolute shit on the best of days, especially from before he got that power up that cost him his freedom yet again to the League. It was totes worth it though.

 

He could recall the girl had a common exotic dancer name. Sapphire? Rose? Candy? Almost everything was better than the horrible ‘Bolt’ moniker. The girl, no, woman, smiled though her eyes showed shock. Most were not taught the art of schooling their emotions like Denki, and then Hawks. They stared in silence for a moment, both being reminded of lives that had already been lived- people they used to be and yet still were.

 

-

 

2768 should not have been spying on his brother, he knew that, he had been trained better, and yet- he was still so young. If people talk about him, he is going to try and listen.

 

Don’t take this the wrong way Hawks hun, but Bolt is creepy. His eyes specifically.

 

No he isn’t. He’s just… he shouldn’t b-

 

Shouldn’t be here? *Sigh* They’re carting me and Cerebral off to England tomorrow. I’ve outlived my use here... You know, one day they’re gonna pick between the three of you. No use for people with attachments ‘round here, especially familial bonds… His quirk is too good for them to waste.

 

Crystal-

 

None of us should be here. Everyone knows that. So you have to decide who has to be here. Because they’ll kill your brother the moment he steps out of line, he’s going places- and if they can’t control it, then they’ll end it.

 

-

 

“Sorry my dudette! You’ve got me confused with someone else! I’m-”

 

“Kaminari Denki.” He was interrupted by another familiar ghost of his past. Denki had forgotten the woman had had a sort of love affair with another of the HPSC trainees- seems they had reunited in their adult times. Freedom really did do wonders for people didn’t it? “Class 2A. Quirk: Electricity. 168cm. Siblings-”

 

Denki cut the man off with a nervous giggle, checking left and right to ensure they were not being watched. He would never hear the end of it from Hawks if he got figured out then and there. “Oh damn, bro! Have not seen you lot in ages! Not since that party a few years back?” Sero was watching him. That wasn’t bad, he was easy to fool. Easy to manipulate. “Hanata! Mind telling ‘Toshi I went to get coffee with old friends if he comes looking for me? Appreciated! You want me to bring you back your usual? Pog, kay!”

 

-

 

Lying is easy 2768.

 

Smile to hide any cracks in your words.

 

As long as you keep talking no one has time to question inconsistencies.

 

Sound confident and they’ll hang onto the edge of your breath.

 

-

 

He led the group to an empty holding room for demonstrators. Did people really not want to spend the extra money to use locks electrical quirks couldn’t hack? In this day and age? Though, he supposed most would not risk breaking a law at a place like this. How very boring.

 

The moment they slipped through the door and Denki assured himself there were no cameras or people present- again, the security was so laughable, people really trusted their heroes too much- his smile dropped. His eyes emptied. His voice was cold and clipped. It was almost frightening how easy it was for him to switch back, to revert back, to how he was trained to be… he hardly even remembered that time and yet it felt more natural than his most realistic smiles.

 

Crystal sighed, hand laced with her partner’s. “B- Kaminari-”

 

“Quanto sei stupido? You are so lucky that was one of my more foolish classmates or I could be in so much shit right now,” Denki switched his dead eyed gaze back and forth to thoroughly chastise the older, and taller, ex-child hero trainees. “Vous têtes du noeud almost blew my cover. Do you know how hard I have worked on this?”

 

He wouldn’t deny that it felt thrilling to be able to let loose for once. He could rotate between his arsonal of languages for more colourful insults, he could yell if he wanted! He couldn’t remember a thing he did in his past beyond the odd fact here and there, but he knew he had done things his siblings didn’t have to because of his rather handy quirk. He knew he did not have clean hands. He knew he had never really cared about the concept of life. Was that taken from him too? Hell, he was almost tempted to kill them just for the reminder of what that was like...

 

He bashed that thought away as quickly as it came. He was not a villain. He was not a hero. He was the middle line. He had to remember not to forget that, no matter what ghost of his past popped up to say hello.

 

Crystal glanced at Cerbrial, eyes conveying a silent conversation. “Okay. We didn't mean to cause problems or blow your uh, cover? Honestly, I’m just shocked you’re still alive, kid. Cause clearly your brother is. And uh, what was her code? 2767? Anyways, I’m guessing she is considering the news?”

 

“The odds were 6.76% all three of you would survive,” Cerbrial added very unhelpfully.

 

“Well, not like you two were meant to survive either. I was pretty sure everyone was dead from back then,” Denki rolled his eyes. “Not that it would make a difference to me. Actually, it would be way easier if you all were dead. Я бы вас послал, да вижу вы оттуда.”

 

Crystal again locked eyes with her partner, eyes conveying a level of trust that Denki was incapable of producing no matter how much he cared for his own boyfriend. It made him miss something he was unable to have yet. That made him feel something unpleasant. Denki always was prone to jealousy.

 

“You know kid,” Crystal reached forward to ruffle his hair. “you seem happier. That’s good, real good.” She sighed when he instantly batted her hand away. “Perhaps not happy , but happier.”

 

“You’re lucky I did not fry a nerve in your hand. The median maybe? No, I find the ulnar is much more painful.” Bolt sneered. “If I recall correctly, I did not enjoy touch then, and I certainly do not now.”

 

Whatever Crystal was going to say got interrupted by the door opening. In walked Jirou and Kirishima- because of course they did. Jirou was… dangerous for Denki, if she overheard him talking, it could be bad, really really bad.

 

“See, told you I heard him in here.”Jirou snapped her fingers in front of his face. “Hey, idiot, we’re talking to you.”

 

There was a brief moment of hesitation before Denki’s smile popped back up on his face. “Huh?”

 

Kirishima noticed the moment of blank frustration on his no homo best bromo’s face for the half second. Strange. “We’ve been looking all over for you, Sero said you went to get coffee? It’s time to go back to the dorms.” A pause. “Who are your friends?”

 

“You have friends?” Jirou was astounded.

 

Denki giggled a bit, easing back into his persona. He could practically hear Cerebral wanting to interject with some logical assessment of the situation. “Aw man, sorry to worry y’all! These are some of my old friends from my hometown.”

 

“Uh-huh.” The purple head had heard something, she must have. She was being too suspicious. “And why are they shocked you’re alive?”

 

Okay, that’s not too bad to lie past. As long as the people behind him smile and wave, he can talk his way through it all. “Oh, you heard that? Sorry if that worried you! You know how like, my hometown is all uh, shady and stuff?” She didn’t, but to acknowledge that would be to acknowledge she didn’t know him well, and Jirou was too headstrong for that. And Kiri would be too upset he didn’t know everything about his bro from another mo’ to let slip he didn’t know either. Let them know just enough to want to know more… “So, there were some villain attacks that were really close to me, blew up my school so I got moved to a different one. Guess my fam kinda fell off the radar. I was gonna get coffee but I was close to crying and didn’t wanna be so unmanly around strangers you know?”

 

Jirou backed down, he could see it in her eyes, and Kirishima’s smile became much less nervous. Mission success. Denki turned around and hugged the two he had just told to not touch him. “You should totes reach out to my brother guys, he’d love to hear from you!”

 

He wished he could have hissed some great going away threat to the two ghosts of his past that he hardly remembered, but he couldn’t- not with Jirou there. So he settled with a smile and a wave, marching out of the room with his friends. Denki mask firmly in place.

 

It made him confused though… Denki Kaminari was a mask, of course it was, but was Bolt/2768 not also a mask? Why did they feel so similar to each other despite being so far apart. It clicked in his head- somewhere way back in a place he would reserve to process later- that perhaps he never had once ever been allowed to be himself. Perhaps his languages were only a craft he honed to please others. And, perhaps he was just as weak and submissive as he shamed others for being.