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Never Alone

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This night had been a night they’d been planning for since they’d first actually talked, somewhat, his brother couldn’t really talk, not around his muzzle, that was not supposed to come off, something he’d learned on his very first night, the hard way, he’d never tried to remove it again, and the strap on the back had been fortified with a lock, an actual lock, like, lock and key, kind of lock. So he couldn’t take it off even if he wanted to, and he did, his brother hated it, it rubbed into his skin painfully, it looked like it hurt, and it did, he could tell, even if his brother couldn’t actually say so.

Izuku tugs their bag, a backpack, up over his shoulders, and turns to his purple haired brother. “Ready, Toshi?”

The purple haired boy nods mutely, as ever, and takes his hand when he holds it out to him. Opening the door to their room, the greenette peeks around to see if anyone could be seen, thunder rumbling above them, of which they were going to use as their cover when the stairs squeaked under them when the ran down them.

Stepping out of their room, he pulls his brother along with him, quietly, as quietly as one can walk on the creaky flooring of their dreary orphanage, and they turn down the stairs, making their way slowly, pausing when the booming thunder falls silent, waiting on terrified baited breath until it rumbled again, and they could continue their way down.

Relief flooded over them when they came to stand in front of the door, he let go of his taller brother’s hand in favor for unlocking the door, knowing that he’d curl his hand in their backpack instead. He glances over his shoulder to the purple eyed boy, and he nods, signaling that he’s ready. Throwing the door open, they both dart out into the storm, sprinting down the street, not bothering to close the door behind them, it’s not like anyone would come looking, right?

The rain feels like daggers cutting into their skin, it’s cold and biting, but still they run, trying to put as much distance between them and that place as they can. They run until the physically can’t anymore, panting and heaving as they bend forward, resting their hands over their knees, looking around, squinting through the rain for anywhere to escape it.

Hitoshi smacks his brother’s shoulder for his attention, and when the greenette looks up at him, he points at a bridge just a bit further away.

Not really the best of accommodations, but beggars can’t be choosers, now can they.

The first person that notices them is Hawks.

Izuku had been adamant about going to see a villain fight so he could continue his notes, he listened to him mutter under his breath, something of which he was used to, watching Hawks and Gang Orca fight against a shape shifting villain.

Now, he couldn’t care less, but his brother loved them, watching heroes, taking notes on them, exploring their quirks in ways he was sure the heroes themselves didn’t think of, and, admittedly, sometimes it was interesting to listen to him lead himself down a rabbit hole of mutterings, he’d spew some interesting shit that would peak his interest.

As surprising as it was, after they got past their initial fear of being out in public in the event people would notice them and ask questions, no one seemed to care enough why both boys were the definition of homeless and the one was wearing a muzzle that had a lock on the back so it couldn’t be removed.

Hitoshi’s eyes widen when gold meets purple, the hero tilting his head, turning their way, probably because of the muzzle, he stuck out like a sore thumb, and smacks his brother fiercely until he looks up, following his gesture when he points at the approaching hero.

The greenette is quick in scooping up their backpack, grabbing his hand, and tugging him around, as they dart away from the hero watching them as they disappear in the crowd of gathering fans wanting the number three hero’s autograph.

The second one who notices them is Eraserhead.

They’d decided to stay up on the roof of an apartment building that night, the sky was clear, cloudless, and the stars were stunning. Hitoshi listened as Izuku told him the stories about the constellations, and pointed them out for him, it was interesting, he liked them, they were cool. The stars twinkling in the dark sky, the moon was full, it cast a light glow over them, where they lay, holding hands.

Izuku tried to talk as much as possible, for his brother’s sake, he’d just chatter about everything and anything.

“Hey.” The voice makes them jump, and they’re quick to their feet, Hitoshi already clutching their backpack, as Eraserhead approaches cautiously, acting as though they were startled animals that needed to be treated with caution, lest they lash out, and knowing Izuku, it was a good assumption. “What are you doing out here so late?” Dark eyes focus on his muzzle. “Kid, why are you wearing that thing?” He steps closer, and they step back, if the hero caught them, they’d be taken to the police station, if they were taken to the police station they’d be interrogated, if they were interrogated they’d find out about the orphanage, and if they found out about the orphanage they’d have to go back, and if they had to go back they’d be punished, and they didn’t make it this far only to be sent back. “Are you two safe at home?”

Hitoshi decides he’s had enough, no matter how much he likes Eraserhead, his job as a hero was to take them in, and no, no thank you, he was not going back, and he was not letting Izuku go back either, so he turns, tugging his brother around with him, listening to the hero shout behind them as they taking a running start and leap over the gape between this building and the next. He shoves Izuku to the side and he darts to the other when he hears the whipping sound of Eraserhead’s capture weapon snap out, it nearly snags his wrist, but he wrenches his arm up, as they both jump over the next gap.

Now, they both know that Eraserhead is more then capable of following them, so the first chance they get, they hop down a fire escape attached to the side of a building, and run into the dark maze of alleys, holding their breath behind a dumpster as they hear the hero curse as he walks passed them, muttering under his breath as he takes off into the night again, and that’s when they exhale and pant from the exertion.

Then, they meet Gang Orca.

Izuku curses when the hero spots them as he talks to the police at the wrap up of a villain fight, he nods to the officer as he finishes, and turns in their direction, he grabs his brother’s hand, backpack already slung over his shoulder, tugging him around as they run away, panicking when they hear the hero make chase, the first one to do so, they know Eraserhead most probably let them get away, it was nearing the end of his shift, who would really want to capture two kids and take them in.

Hitoshi screams behind his muzzle when his legs just stop responding, and the greenette curses again, muttering under his breath about paralysis and Gang Orca, and how it’s so fucking cool, as he tugs his brother over his shoulders, it’s a slight struggle, seeing as to how he’s taller than him, but he manages, and darts around the corner at the end of the alley, careful and struggling as he climbs up a fire escape as silently as he can.

The paralysis wears off an hour later.

Kamui Woods is next.

Hitoshi really has no idea as to why they keep coming out to watch these villain fights, despite how entertaining they are, they clearly stick out, they’re wearing the same clothes they’ve left the orphanage in, and it had been nearly a month since they’d left, so they can’t look all too great, and as much as he hates to admit it, his muzzle automatically draws attention to them.

But, even still, it made Zuku happy, and he thought Zuku had the right to a little bit of happiness.

At least, this fight is mildly entertaining for him too, he likes Kamui Woods, he’s powerful, obviously, and he takes heroic’s seriously, and, obviously, he’s cool too.

However, that does not mean he likes it when he turns his head and locks onto him and his damned muzzle, tugging Izuku’s arm, he breaks the greenette out of his own little world of quirks and notes, and throws an arm out at the hero approaching them.

His brother gets the memo, thank god, and leans over to snatch their backpack up, getting sort of heavy from the notebooks he’s been collecting, but it’s not too bad, as he tugs the purplette around and tugs him forward as they dart away.

The purple haired boy lets a muffled shout when his hand slips from his brothers, wood curled around the greenette’s ankle, and he turns to see the hero quickly approaching for his captured pray, panicking, he turns back, stomping at the wood with as much as he’s worth, until he hears it snap, and tugs his brother up by the back of his hoodie, Izuku stumbles as he’s forced forward, but doesn’t fall.

They don’t realize they left their backpack behind until it’s too late.

Tsukauchi doesn’t have enough coffee to deal with this, numerous heroes have reported the sighting of the two boys at their villain fights, and none can manage to capture them, and keep them captured, they clearly have no proper training, but they were street smart, and that could be just as good as actual stealth and combat training.

“They left this behind, I don’t think they meant to.” Kamui sets a yellow backpack on the detective’s desk, and backs away, crossing his arms over his chest. “I almost had one, but the other broke my hold, they got away again.”

“Yea,” Hawks nods at the yellow backpack. “But, hopefully something in there can give us some sort of hint to their identity so we can help.”

Eraserhead groans softly, chugging down the rest of his coffee. “They’re problem children, that’s their identity.”

The blonde hero rolls his eyes. “No, I know, I agree, but I meant like, real life identity, so we can help them if they’re in danger.”

Gang Orca sighs. “The one wears a muzzle.”

The detective nods. “That’s concerning, it undoubtedly has to be quirk related, but what the quirk could be remains a mystery.” He reaches for the backpack to search it’s contents, he pulls out a number of notebooks and opens to a random page, the writing is small, but it’s pristine, clear, easy to read, and not coded. “One of them has a knack for analysis, Hawks,” the bird themed hero perks up at the call of his name. “This one’s about you.” He catches the notebook that’s tossed to him and reads the script carefully, it was about him, and it was amazing, the setup, the sketch of him, the skills and downsides and weaknesses and strengths, it was better then most pro analysists he knows.

Tsukauchi pulls out a handful of granola bars. “Something tells me our boys are going to be hungry soon.”

Eraserhead sits up straighter at the granola bars. “That can’t be all they have.”

“There’s nothing else edible in here.” The detective sighs as he pulls out an envelope, containing two birth cerficates, and he sets the envelope aside. “Here we go, this is what we’re looking for, identification cards. Midoriya Izuku and…..Shinsou Hitoshi……the one is quirkless and the other’s quirk is brainwashing.”

Kamui hums. “I’m assuming the one with the muzzle is the one with the quirk, it would make more sense than the other.”

Hawks hums himself. “Midoriya wrote these notes, which is amazing, that he’s quirkless, and managed all of this, there’s six pages in here about me alone, if I hadn’t known any better, I’d say he’d have had an analysis quirk, or something along those lines, intelligence, mental based.” He tosses the book to Eraserhead, he catches it, barely. “Check those pages out, they’re about you.”

Detective Tsukauchi sighs, staring at his computer screen, this is what he’d feared. “They’re orphans.” All of the heroes in his office to look at him in silence. “Their orphanage just put out a missing person’s report for them.”

The blonde hero holds up a hand. “Wait. Wait, wait, wait, I saw them nearly a month ago, for the first time, at least, and their orphanage just now put out a missing person’s report?”

Eraserhead closes the notebook, impressed with this kids analysis, he had potential. “If they ran away, as we assume they did, it can’t be for a good reason.”

Tsukauchi shakes his head. “That’s the feeling I’m getting too, I’m going to run an investigation into them, under the table, until we can get some actual evidence to start an official investigation.” He turns his attention to the heroes, particularly on the blonde, they seemed to favor him, he’s reported seeing them the most. “Hawks, you’ve reported seeing them the most, they seem to like you the best, I’d say you’d have the best chances of catching them.”

He nods firmly. “I’ll get us a pair of baby birds.” He raises his hand. “I call dibs though, I saw them first, they’re mine.”

“You can have them.” Eraserhead pushes himself up to his feet and waves the notebook slightly. “I’m going to take this to Nedzu, though it terrifies me, he should see it.”

The detective nods, turning back to the faded pictures on his computer screen. “As Hawks said, let’s catch us some baby birds.”

Both of them knew it was only a matter of time until they were ganged up against, numerous heroes had seen them at this point in their life on the run, and Izuku cursed at himself because he knew it was his fault, but Toshi hadn’t made any inclination that he’d blamed him for it, so he kept his cursing at himself to himself.

Eraserhead had chased them out of the alleys with Kamui Woods, they could hear Gang Orca and Backdraft running after them from behind, Izuku shoves Hitoshi to the side, he stumbles slightly, but his pace goes uninterrupted, when he hears the sound of wood and cloth whipping out at them, they miss, by a mere hairs length.

Now, it would be smart of them to split, they both know this, but they made it this far together, and they weren’t going any farther without each other, they were brothers, they were a team, and teammates stick together.

They both scream, one clear, the other muffled, when fingers curl in the backs of their shirts, and then they’re swept up off the ground, rocketed into the sky, they scream again when they look down and see just how far they are, then the fact that they’ve been caught and that means they’re going back returns to them, and they start struggling.

Was the orphanage bad enough that they’d rather be road pancakes then go back? Yes, yes it was.

“Hey, hey, stop squirming so much, I don’t want to drop you.” They both hear Hawks say this, but it does nothing to stop them from their struggling. “Okay, if you want it that badly.” And then, they’re free falling, screaming again, watching the ground grow closer and closer, and then they huff, when they’re caught midair, arms wrapped around their middles, and they hover midair. “Wasn’t fun, was it, baby birds?” Purple and green shake their heads fervently and curl their fingers into his sleeves. “Good, then stop squirming, and I won’t drop you again.”

They don’t struggle this time.

Upon arriving at the police station, they start struggling again, the one screaming profanities behind his muzzle and the other screaming them as clear as day, as they’re dragged into an interrogation room, in which, they’re let go and they retreat into a corner, staring at the detective and their kind chauffeur cautiously.

Hawks holds his hands up placatingly. “Look, baby birds, we just want to talk, you look like you need help, and we want to help.”

Izuku feels Toshi clutch at the back of his shirt, the only sound of distress he can make behind his muzzle is something between a whimper and a whine, and the greenette forces him back a step, neither here nor detective moved, but they weren’t being too careless. “That’s what they always say, and we still go back!” He snarls at them. “We’re not saying shit! First chance we get we’re blasting away from this popsicle stand!”

The hero shakes his head. “No one said anything about going back, baby bird, we just want to help.”

The greenette glares at him. “Oh, yea, where we going then, to another orphanage where nothing’s going to change!”

“No,” Hawks shakes his head and waves a hand at them. “No, you’ll come stay with me.” He’s not sure exactly what the sound the purple haired teen just made behind his muzzle, but he’s going to take it as curiosity, and he smiles at him. “Yea, baby bird two, when we’re done here, you’re coming home with me. You’re not going back there,” he spares the greenette a glance. “You’re mine, officially and legally, you’re mine.”

Izuku stares at him with wide green eyes for a moment before they narrow. “Fucking swear?”

He makes a gesture over his heart. “Cross my heart, baby bird one, cross my heart.”

The greenette turns to the purple haired boy behind him. “Toshi, you believe him?”

Hitoshi tilts his head slightly, making another noise, it sounds like he hummed, and lets go of the back of his brother’s shirt, taking a cautious step out from behind him, and another, and another, as he crosses the interrogation room, until he’s standing in front of the winged hero, Hawks raises an eyebrow when he curls his hands around his face and tilts his head downwards so he can stare into his eyes, but says nothing, letting the kid do what the kid had to do.

Both adults watch for a moment, before the taller teen turns to the smaller and nods, yes, I believe him.

The purple haired teen whines and steps forward, curling his arms around the hero’s chest as he presses his face in, just holding on, whining again when arms curl around him in turn. “It’s okay, baby bird, I got you.” He turns his attention over to the other boy, biting his lip anxiously, staring at him and his brother, and he holds an arm out. “Come’re, baby bird.”

Tsukauchi smiles when the boy darts forward, letting the both of them curl around the hero for a long while, before they have to get down to business. “Okay, boys, we have to talk.” The purple haired boy whimper and holds on tighter while the green haired boy glares at him mutely from under the hero’s arm. “Hawks is staying in here with us, he’s not going anywhere.”

The hero smiles down at them when they look up at him for confirmation. “I’m stayin’ baby birds; they couldn’t get rid of me even if they wanted to.”

He turns to the other boy when Hitoshi points at his muzzle and nods. “I can cut the leather with one of my feathers, if you’re okay with that.”

The taller teen nods, and steps back slightly, watching the blonde pro pull his wing around slightly for a feather.

Hitoshi holds onto his wrist for the time it takes to cut his muzzle loose, and once it’s off, he steps another step back, rubbing his hands over his face, over his mouth, wincing when he touches irritated skin.

Izuku turns to him, his fingers still clutching the sleeve of the hero’s beige coat. “Toshi, say something!”

The purple haired teen stares at him. “You fucking stink, Zuku.”

The greenette laughs and jumps forward to shove his laughing brother. “You do too, you asshole!”

His brother shoves him back, his hand pressed to his forehead, pushing him back into the hero behind him. “I smell fucking fine!”

“You both reek.” They laugh when the hero steps forward and drags them down into the seats across from the detective. “Answer his questions so we can get you home and bathed so I don’t get sick.”

“Okay, first things first, now that you don’t smell like a dumpster fire.” Hawks presses a hand to his chest. “Takami Keigo, you can call me Keigo, what should I call you two, other than baby bird, obviously.”

The purple haired boy presses a hand to his chest. “Shinsou Hitoshi, you can call me Hitoshi, or, like, a rendition of that if you’re a nickname kind of guy.”

The greenette presses a hand to his chest. “Midoriya Izuku, you can call me Izuku, or like, what Hitoshi said, if you’re into making nicknames.”

“Okay, baby birds,” Keigo smiles at them, gesturing over his shoulder. “That’s the kitchen, you’re welcome to it, you want something to eat, just get it, you don’t have to ask.” They turn when he gestures over their shoulders to the room on the right. “That’s my room, you’re welcome inside any time you desire.” They turn to the other side to another room. “That’s your guys room, I only have the basics right now, but we can go shopping tomorrow for things you want.” They watch him step forward, gesturing for them to follow when he steps through them, for the pit in the floor, conversation pit, filled with pillows and blankets. “And this, this is my favorite feature, is the nest.” They both shriek when he shoves them forward into the nest. “Get in, it’s mandatory nest time for the baby birds.”

Hitoshi just lays face down where he landed, and, if that’s not a big mood, he doesn’t know what is.

Izuku laughs. “You’re an asshole for hero!” And chucks a pillow at him.

He laughs as he catches the pillow. “You’ve got quite a potty mouth for a baby bird.” The blonde steps down into the pit and flops over, nudging the purplette with his foot. “Baby bird two, you doin’ okay?”

The purple haired teen turns his head slightly. “This pillow is so soft and squishy; I would die for this pillow.”

Keigo laughs softly. “Well, don’t die, people will say I’m a bad papa bird, you can have the pillow.” He finds that he doesn’t quite like the look they share for a moment. “What are you up to, baby birds?”

Hitoshi turns to him and smiles. “Hey, Keigo, what time is it?”

He reaches for his phone. “It’s two—” They both laugh when the man falls limp.

“Zuku, what should I make him do?” The purple haired teen turns to his brother. “I did my part, it’s your turn, you’re the idea guy.”

Izuku taps his lips for a moment. “I heard he loves chicken nuggets.”

Hitoshi grins and turns back to their new parent. “Keigo, what’s your favorite food?”

“Chicken nuggets.”

Izuku snorts and nods at him when he spares him a glance, and he returns his attention to the hero. “Keigo, throw all of your chicken nuggets out the window.”

They watch the man rise, tilting their heads in confusion when he just stands there, and the purple haired teen shrieks when he’s suddenly tugged forward, into the mans lap as he flops back down, laughing when he digs his fingers into his side. “I don’t fucking think so, you brat.”

He pushes at the man’s stomach in an attempt to escape and the fingers move up to claw into his ribs and he immediately throws his arm down. “Hohohohohow! Hohohohow eheheheheven!”

Keigo hums, lifting his legs up, crossing his ankles as he rests his feet on the small round table in the middle of their nest, curling his hand inwards to get to the kid’s higher ribs, smiling when he shrieks and arches his back. “You said pain would snap someone out of it, I pinched myself a few seconds after you brainwashed me, you little shit.”

Hitoshi pushes at him as best as he can with one hand. “Stoohohohohoop! Stohohohohop!”

The blonde man hums and shakes his head. “I’ll stop when I think you’ve learned your lesson.”