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The Ties That Bind

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Izuku was so excited. He didn’t have to do anything today which meant he had plenty of time to play with his toys. Skipping to his playroom, he almost tripped over the untied laces of his red sneakers. Humming an old nursery rhyme his father used to sing to him, Izuku quickly tied his shoes and went back to thinking of what toys he wanted to use. Clearly he would be playing heroes and villains, but who got to be what? After all, he had a limited number of action figures and they were almost exclusively heroes. Hmm, maybe he could pretend some of the heroes were villains for this. Villain action figures would certainly help, but they weren’t something Izuku was generally allowed to have.

 

Turning the corner, he scanned his fingerprints on the sturdy steel door and entered the massive underground facility that was his playroom. There was a large room at the center of the Izuku’s wing of the compound. The walls and floor were padded and a control pad that sat by the door could be detached to alter the terrain. Shoving the pad into the pocket of his tattered green hoodie, he happily continued skipping towards another set of steel doors. This time both fingerprints and facial recognition were required to pass. Behind the door were halls and halls filled with his toy boxes. 

 

As Izuku walked past rows and rows of the containers, he peered through the clear plexiglass of one of the toy boxes. The furniture set was simple, containing a futon and small bathroom. Some of the other boxes had more furniture with them, like desks and books, but those were sold separately and Izuku saved them for the good toys. Speaking of good toys, he’d finally reached the box sitting in the prized position at the very end of the hall. The action figure was sitting on the futon.

 

When Izuku got closer, his favorite toy jumped off the bed to stand in front of him and pound on the glass. He smiled as the action figure used the built in explosion effects. This one wasn’t a very nice toy, but the nostalgia always made playing fun. Using his handprint to unlock the control pad, Izuku pushed the appropriate button and the door to the box slid open.

 

“Hi, Kacchan.” Before the action figure had time to react, he lashed out with his quirk. Memories slid through his mind. A villain made of sludge, a hand held out to a boy who fell, a burned notebook.

 

You’re so cool, Kacchan!

 

Why don’t you take a swan dive off the roof and hope for a quirk in your next life!

 

You looked like you needed saving!

 

Shut up, Deku!

 

Guess you were right, I didn’t become a hero.

 

You’re seriously a villain now!

 

As the shared memories swirled around them, full of so much emotion, thin black tendrils that they both could see reached out to wrap around Kacchan’s limbs. A tendril on each ankle, one for each wrist, one that wrapped around the neck like a collar. Soon enough, the tendrils sunk underneath the skin and Izuku sighed as the pleasant feeling of control came over him. Half a thought had the toy walking obediently forward.

 

“Deku-”

 

“Uh uh, you know the rules, Kacchan. Toys don’t talk.” It had been so long since he had time to play like this and he certainly wasn’t going to let it be ruined by action figures that thought they were people. Izuku gave a pleased yet smug smile as Kacchan’s mouth was forced shut. Sometimes it was nice to have sound effects, but dolls were often so much prettier when they were silent. 

 

“Hmm, what other toys should I play with today?” Izuku wandered past the boxes with his favorite toy silently walking behind him, following his command. He giggled as Kacchan tried to fight his control. It wouldn’t work. His quirk wasn’t one he was born with, it was a gift. It was a gift from his father when Izuku called on the worst day of his life in tears and wondered if there was anything left worth fighting for, anything left worth living for. That was the day he left home, the day he learned who his father really was and gained a cause.

 

And now he even had a quirk! Izuku loved his quirk, it was the perfect thing for someone like him who had been society’s little puppet to play with. He was uncertain about being a villain at first, but the feeling of control was addictive. All it took was shared memories. The stronger the emotions behind them and the more there were, the stronger his control. All the people in the world around him began to look more and more… plastic. Soon everyone looked like toys to him. After all he had been through, it was finally Izuku’s turn to play!

 

A flash of movement caught his eye. Stain walked up at the glass to give him a judgemental glare. It wasn’t a very good toy, but he didn’t have enough villains to be picky. Still, he could grab the Iida and Todoroki action figures later and play Hosu. Izuku played Hosu a lot, but it was really fun! Sometimes his dad even let him borrow Nomu for it. Still, Stain wasn’t right for this game.

 

“I remember this one...The Chivalrous Toy: Red Riot! This one was branded as part of the Bakusquad, isn’t that right, Kacchan?” A push of a button and the action figure was lunging forward with a yell that was quickly cut off. The memories only took seconds to play through as the black strings of his quirk faded underneath the toy’s skin, but it always felt much longer to Izuku.

 

It was supposed to be rescue training but now Bakugou was attacking them while the green haired villain watched with glee.

 

“I’m playing with him right now. You have to wait your turn.”

 

Running through a dark forest, lunging to try and stop Bakugou’s possessed body from walking through a portal even as he lost control over his own limbs.

 

“I thought I told you already, the Kacchan toy is mine .”

 

Izuku had the heroes now. These two toys were always fun to play with together, but the way they looked at each other… it made him so gleeful every time he saw it. He made sure to keep their boxes far enough apart that they only saw each other when it was time to play so he didn’t waste their battery. Kacchan’s eyes, the only part of the toy Izuku didn’t take control of, seemed full of despair and grief. The emotion effects only emphasized the amount of control he had. It was exhilarating.

 

Now, who would make a good villain? Tomura had given him Overhaul a while ago. Apparently the toy was really bad and no one liked him. Izuku normally wouldn’t accept Tomura’s broken toys, but villain toys were normally off limits and in short supply. Still, Overhaul didn’t seem quite right. 

 

Ah! Now he had it. A toy that was rough looking enough to pretend it was a villain. Plus it usually had a lot of emotion effects built in. Izuku liked to keep all his dolls in their exact costumes, but this one required an accessory when he wasn’t playing with it. He couldn’t remove the headgear that blinded the toy until he took control. The memories swept him away as his body shook with the anticipation of a quirk high.

 

The disembodied hands on the older one were disturbing, but there was decidedly something...not right about the younger one, something that made him seem disconnected from reality.

 

“Wow, I didn’t expect Eraserhead to be here! He’s a cool hero, Tomura.”

 

Charging into a bar filled with villains, his eyes desperately searched until they landed on Bakugou.

 

“I don’t like sharing my toys. Hands off!”

 

The set was assembled, now he could play. Yet another button was pressed and the blinding headgear came off the Eraser Toy: Eraserhead. They all followed him to the playroom like the good dolls he forced them to be. 

 

“Heroes and villains today! Red Riot and Kacchan are the heroes while Eraserhead is the big bad villain.” Izuku soaked up the dread in their eyes. He could feel them fighting, desperately trying to wriggle out of the strings his quirk had attached to him. It was so cute! A giggle burst forth, shaking his sides. There were so many memories. All the times they had fought, all the times he had hurt and played with them left hooks that were perfect attachments for puppet strings. Sometimes Izuku found it funny that he had to remember them as people to make them into toys. He giggled again, a deranged expression of glee crossing his face.

 

It was easy to play with them. He barely even had to think about it. Blocks rose out the floor to act as city buildings. Eraserhead, the feared villain of Tokyo charged at the unaware hero duo patrolling. Before either of them could react, the number one hero, Kacchan, was being strangled with a grey scarf while quirk infused eyes glared down at it. Izuku relaxed his control a little so the toy would make the appropriate sound effects.

 

“You’ll never beat me, Number One Hero!” he called in a gruff voice meant to belong to Eraserhead. A giggling fit overtook him as the Kacchan toy began turning blue.

 

“But you have to blink sometime, Scoundrel!” Izuku didn’t mind acting out all the voicelines himself. It used to bother him, but the frustration of never having toys with the correct voice lines led him to just keep them silent save for the occasional groan of pain or wheezing sound when they were thrown against something. He made the eyes blink, deactivating one toy’s special effect before turning on Kacchan’s. Fierce explosions forced the villain away.

 

“I’m number one! I always win! Take that stupid villain!” It was hard to shout loud enough to voice Kacchan’s lines, but it was always fun. The sound of rattling metal made him look towards the door. Only one other person’s fingerprints were keyed to grant access to his playroom.

 

“Big brother, can I play too?” A warm smile bloomed on his face as his little sister walked in. Eri looked at him hopefully. She was wearing her favorite hoodie, sky blue with long slits cut into the back to make room for the stunning white wings sprouting from her back. All the time that Izuku had been with the Yakuza alongside Twice and Toga, he was focused on making an impression on everyone around him in case Tomura let him pick out toys to take home. As the heroes were squabbling with Overhaul, he took the opportunity he saw and grabbed the girl. 

 

At first Izuku intended to make her a toy, but she reminded him of what he used to be. Other people had been controlling and using her all her life. She was nothing more than a puppet. So, Izuku decided to do for her what his father once did for him. Breaking off from the League, he took Eri to the doctor. It turned out that being repeatedly disassembled and reassembled made someone’s body surprisingly resilient. His little sister survived the Nomu procedure with both her memories and intellect intact. Now she had four quirks: rewind, a quirk that let her walk into other people’s dreams (so she could escape her nightmares), a copy of the same memory based puppeteer quirk Izuku had, and her wings. Eri would never be able to fly with them, but that wasn’t what they were meant for.

 

“Of course you can, which one do you want?”

 

“Umm, can I have the Kacchan doll?” Izuku smiled and nodded. He slowly withdrew his quirk as Eri’s silver strings began sinking into the toy. With stiff, jerky movements, Kacchan turned towards his little sister and curtsied. Eri’s soft giggles filled him with joy. After all the world had put her through, it was amazing that she was still able to laugh.

 

“We’re playing heroes and villains. The Eraser toy is the bad guy.” Eri nodded in determination. 

 

“I’m the tough hero and I’m gonna beat you up Mister Bad Guy!” The way Eri lowered her voice to sound older made Izuku smile and ruffle her silvery blue hair fondly. 

 

“Nuh uh, I’m gonna win because I can stop your quirk. How can you expect to be a hero without a quirk?”

 

“I’ll use friendship to-”

 

“YOU STUPID BRAT!” Kacchan shot forward, hands raised. Before Izuku could do anything, a massive explosion shot towards Eri. She reacted instinctively, drawing her pale wings around her protectively. When the smoke cleared, black rope was sinking into the rebellious toy’s skin. White wings unfurled to reveal an unharmed girl. While the wings couldn’t fly, they were practically indestructible.

 

“Are you okay Eri?”

 

“Yeah, I think I’m okay, but that was scary.” Tears filled her ruby eyes.

 

“It looks like you haven’t interacted with Kacchan enough to have a strong enough grip. Maybe we could switch out the toys?”

 

“Can we get the Uravity and Froppy toys? I’ve been playing with them in their dreams a lot.”

 

Ten minutes later Izuku was acting out all the villain’s parts as Eri fought with her new toys. He frowned when he saw tears roll down Uraraka’s cheeks as she was made to throw a weightless Eraserhead into a wall. It seemed like his little sister still had a lot of work to do on her quirk control.

 

“Are you done playing heroes and villains, Son?” 

 

“Dad! You’re out of Tartarus!” Izuku ran forward to embrace All for One. 

 

“Of course. It’s been so long since I saw you. I just had to come visit. Have you found new toys?”

 

“Yeah! Tomura’s war gave me a lot of great chances for shopping, but sometimes they’ve been roughed up and I need to make the doctor fix them for me.” All for One ruffled his son’s hair fondly, delighted to see more captive heroes turned submissive. A pair of wings fluttered nervously and pulled tight around Eri’s small frame shyly.

 

“Ah. this must be the lovely young lady who keeps visiting my dreams.”

 

“Hello Mister Deku’s dad,” a tentative voice greeted, its owner unsure of herself.

 

“Eri, you’re my sister now, he’s your dad too.” There was a moment of careful deliberation as gears turned in a little head.

 

“Hello Mister Dad.” All for One was fond of few things in life. Stealing quirks and his son were the only things he cared about for a long time, but he thought this little one might be growing on him. He stepped forward and patted the girl’s head, stroking a finger along her fluffy wing. Interesting. It seemed his son had adopted a nomu into their family.

 

“Why don’t you two put your toys up and we can all eat together?” The kids ran to do just that. Izuku was so excited to have his father back.  Maybe there were new toys waiting for him! He ducked down to lift Eri on his shoulder, her wings flailing as she balanced herself. When they walked out of Izuku’s playroom, Tomura was waiting outside for them. Only Tomura didn’t seem like...well, Tomura.

 

“Dad, what’s up with him?”

 

“Oh, I’m afraid the process of him receiving my quirk was a little rough. He just needs some rest so I’ve taken over his mind for now.”

 

“Mister Dad has a toy too?” All for One chuckled.

 

“I suppose you could say that, but he’s a very special toy. I have big plans for him.”

 

The family all took the elevator to the living area of the compound, sitting down for a nice meal together.

 

Meanwhile, the toys were all sitting in their boxes.

 

Some cursed.

 

Some cried.

 

All tried to remember a time when they were human.