“We’ve got them!” the Heroes are shouting. Tokoyami fears that it may be true. There are lights all down the alley Sero’s swinging them down, and no end in sight. No chance for him to use his quirk, no way to help. He’s trying to find any hint of darkness he might be able to use, but there’s none. They were backed into this corner on purpose. Every weakness has been exploited. One of those heroes knows them, and knows them well. Which can only mean–
A thick fabric wraps around Sero’s ankle and he pushes Tokoyami away with more force than he has ever used on him before. There’s an accompanying shout, but Tokoyami can’t catch it over the force of the wind in his ears as he just barely catches himself in a roll.
Sero has a much rougher landing. He’s still being dragged by the fabric as he hits the ground, scraping painfully against unforgiving concrete. He frantically pulls the knife from his thigh strap. A quick few slashes and he’s through it, but there’s space between them now. Too much space. Tokoyami can hear the approaching “hero” before he can see him.
“Give it up, kids.” Their ex-homeroom teacher lands squarely between them. “You still have time to stop this.”
Neither of them give him the satisfaction of an answer. Aizawa’s attention is fixed on Tokoyami, so Sero takes the chance to bring himself up a wall. They need this high ground. They’ll need everything they can get if they want to win this fight.
Tokoyami can feel his last traces of Dark Shadow evaporating with Aizawa’s glare. He backs up, keeping the eye contact, letting him think he’s trapped.
And then he strikes.
By fighting quirkless himself, Aizawa made the mistake of teaching his students that it was more than possible. More than that, he made the mistake of expelling the only martial arts-trained member of the class, and she was more than happy to share her knowledge.
Tokoyami lunges forward, no attention paid to his missing quirk because he doesn’t need it. He has Aizawa on his back before he can lash out with his scarf. There’s a split second where he considers holding him down, but this isn’t a face-off. It’s an escape. He gives Aizawa a kick in the stomach to distract him and runs.
He sprints down an intricate series of alleyways, all far too bright lit. Electricity crackles around the lights, exposing their tactic. They should have known it was a trap from the start, should have known Kaminari would never join them. It was a sentimental mistake to trust him, and one they will never make again, Tokoyami swears to himself as he keeps running, now finding unfamiliar twists and turns. Though he can’t see him, he knows that Sero is somewhere close behind – he can hear the sharp thwips of the tape following from above.
Until he can’t.
Tokoyami pulls to a halt. Sero’s tape has gone silent. He backtracks a couple turns until he finds him, twisted up in tape and purple balls.
Son of a–
Sero kicks Mineta away, but he can only struggle for so long. Tokoyami can’t get up to him, he can’t save him, and he can hear the thunderous footsteps of other approaching heroes. The lights are glaring into his eyes, Sero’s too high, the heroes are coming, how is he going to get up there in time, those fucking lights–
The lights shut off.
The alley plunges into darkness, with only the pale light of the moon remaining. A light that will never be strong enough to stop him.
Tokoyami doesn’t even need to think for Dark Shadow to burst out. His vision goes black as the quirk envelopes him, and all he can hear are his ex-teachers, mentors and classmates screams as his control – and the world – fades.
Tokoyami wakes up to Sero’s arms around him. There are lights around them, but they are soft and dim; non-invasive. Uraraka is talking gently to Jirou as she patches her up, scuttering footsteps that can only be Midoriya run from place to place, and quiet, pained groans are coming from the other room. He can taste blood in his mouth, and all he can feel is Sero supporting him, holding him, so delicately.
“Someone had a nice nap,” he murmurs, sensing that Tokoyami was coming round.
His throat was dry and scratchy as he reached up to cup Sero’s face. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. We’re all fine. Jirou’s a bit banged up, but she should recover just fine. Bakugou’s twisted something and he’s being a big baby about it; nothing serious though. You’re the only one we were worried about.”
Sero’s voice stays smooth and even – no trace of any dishonesty. Even so, Tokoyami doesn’t believe him. He can see the bruises peeking out from under his shirt, and the crust of blood around his nose. Craning his neck, he can see Jirou and the dark, blistering marks covering her arms. Bakugou’s groans next door are only getting louder.
“Liar,” he says.
Tokoyami tries to sit up, carefully, aware of the sheer exhaustion weighing down his limbs. Sero shifts as he moves to keep him supported and take as much weight off of him as possible.
“You saved us,” he tells him softly. “We would’ve been goners without you.”
“I didn’t go too far?”
“You did what you had to. You got us out.” Sero presses his forehead against Tokoyami’s, then kisses him lightly on the base of his beak. “I love you.”
“I love you,” Tokoyami replies, his voice almost gone.
“I love you,” Sero repeats. “I love you, I love you.”