My name is Shinsou Hitoshi, and I was bitten by a radioactive spider - samthehyena - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)

Chapter 1: Origin Story


(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

The sterile bedroom ceiling drilled into Hitoshi’s eye sockets, seemingly taunting him over his pounding migraine. He shut his eyelids and instead fixated on the warmth of Cappuccino, the family cat, curled up on his chest. Running a hand over cream-colored fur, Hitoshi let out a wistful sigh. Think calm thoughts.

Yet flashes of landmines on the obstacle coursed through his mind. Images of fire and ice swirling in the arena. Adrenaline pumped through Hitoshi’s veins at the memory of Midoriya almost stepping out of bounds. Apparently, it was one of those nights. Sleep would be wishful thinking at best, impossible at worst.

Hitoshi relented and gently shoved Cappuccino aside. The tendons in his legs ached despite the irony of spending most of the Sports Festival being carried atop the backs of his peers. Still, a smirk reminiscent of his uncle crawled across his face as he slipped on a hoodie over his pajamas.

Because he’d shown that even with a villainous quirk, he’d made it to the one-on-one battles. And if he listened to his uncle’s advice about exercising more, the hero course could become a reality rather than a distant dream.

The floorboards creaked as Hitoshi slipped on his sneakers waiting by the front door. A groggy voice broke through the near silence accompanied by the rush of the air conditioner. “Where are you going, Hitoshi?”

Atop the couch, Uncle Shouta lay. Almost unrecognizable save for the tuffs of black hair peeking out from the cocoon of bandages. His head rested against his husband's shoulders, and upon noticing that Hizashi’s glasses were slipping, Shouta set them onto the coffee table. Hitoshi shuddered as he sensed his uncle’s glare despite Shouta’s mummified state.

“Getting coffee. Can’t fall asleep anyhow so might as well make sure I have the energy to do homework or something.”

For a split second, Shouta held his chin high – as if proud that Hitoshi had decided to spend his sleepless nights in a productive manner. Until he snapped out of it and grumbled, “Caffeine won’t help with insomnia.”

“What can I say? I learned my habits from a pro.”

“Touché.” Uncle Shouta reached beneath the coffee table and tossed Hitoshi a can of pepper spray. “Be safe out there, kid.”

Catching the can, Hitoshi wiggled his brows. “Wouldn’t I be safer with say… a capture weapon?”

Red eyes flashed at Hitoshi, making his shoulders slump amid the reality that Uncle Shouta hadn’t fallen for his ruse. Chuckling slightly, Uncle Shouta snuggled against Hizashi’s shoulder. In spite of his penchant for being loud, Hizashi’s snores were as quiet as a whisper. With a grin, Shouta shooed Hitoshi out the door.

“Can’t have you trying to swing from rooftops and ending up in a dumpster. I needed six years to learn how to use it for a reason.”

“But you’ll teach me eventually, right?” Hitoshi asked as a note of hope entered his voice.

“Of course, kid,” Shouta said. “Now, go get your caffeine.”

Waving goodbye to his uncle, Hitoshi stuffed a ring of keys into his pocket. “Will do. And I’ll grab some for you too.”

Outdoors, the chill of the nighttime air hit Hitoshi’s face. Craning his neck, he eyed the outlines of constellations obscured by Musutafu’s light pollution. He reveled in the breeze rustling against his hoodie’s sleeves. A blissful change of pace after spending most of the day basking in sweat beneath the searing sun.

Ahead of him, the neon sign shone like a beacon. Stepping past the sliding doors he gave the cashier a curt nod and plucked Uncle Shouta’s preferred brand of instant coffee from a display near the entrance. Like a moth drawn to the flame, he headed toward the coffee aisle. For a moment, Hitoshi stood frozen – overwhelmed by the sheer variety of technicolor labels. After all, choosing the best coffee brand and getting his money’s worth was an important matter. And unlike Uncle Shouta, Hitoshi had standards that went beyond purchasing the cheapest coffee the store carried.

On instinct, Hitoshi’s hand drifted toward the to-go Starbucks drinks. Lumps formed in Hitoshi’s throat at how basic his choice was. Sure, he liked the way that the excessive sweetness would blend with the milk – but he’d always liked to think of himself as sort of edgy. Then again, Starbucks was popular in the mainstream for a reason, namely because it was good – though Hitoshi wasn’t convinced that the flavor justified the high price tag.

Entangled in the pressures of decision-making, Hitoshi felt the hairs on his arms rise.

“Ooh, great pick! That’s my go-to.”

A blonde kid with a black streak in his hair blinked at Hitoshi. Faint sparks seemed to crackle off the guy’s jacket as he gave Hitoshi a smile that was way too upbeat for 1 AM. Recognizing the guy from as a 1A student, Hitoshi froze. sh*t. What if the guy hated Hitoshi because of his declaration of war? Best to try to diffuse the situation and salvage what he can. Hitoshi held out the bottle. “Want it?”

“Oh, no thanks. Took my meds a bit ago so decaf only for now.” Humming to himself, the blonde plucked a bottle of vitamin water out of the refrigerated shelf. In silence, the two boys headed toward the cash register. As the blonde paid for his water, Hitoshi sagged with relief. The blonde must not have recognized Hitoshi without his hair gel.

Yet the second that Hitoshi had paid for his coffee, the blonde leaned in closer. “By the way, you did great at the Sports Festival.”

“Don’t patronize me,” Hitoshi spat out on instinct. His stomach instantly curled with regret. Not an ounce of contempt shone in the blonde’s eyes. Rather he continued to grin at Hitoshi brightly.

“No, dude. I mean it. Seriously.” The blonde paused, carefully considering his words. “Your quirk isn’t suited for combat, but you made it so far. Meanwhile, I fried my brain and my teammates like an idiot.”

Heat rushed to Hitoshi’s face as his nerves buzzed from the blonde’s words. Sure, Uncle Shouta and Hizashi had congratulated Hitoshi for his performance at the Sports Festival – but for some reason praise from a virtual stranger warmed Hitoshi’s soul even more. As the blonde stared back at Hitoshi, sweat pooled down his back. Quick. He had to think of some sort of response before the quiet stretched on for too long.

“Still, you got to the final round as well. I think that’s a sign that you’re not an idiot. I mean do you think you made it by dumb luck alone?”

“Hmm. I guess you have a point,” the blonde said. “With smarts like that, you’ll make it into the hero course in no time.”

Hitoshi stared down at his shoes, hoping to disguise how flushed his face had gotten. He’d always resembled Uncle Shouta’s stoic attitude. Why on earth was Hitoshi suddenly wearing his heart on his sleeve? “We’ll see about that.”

“Well, I’d be happy to have you as a classmate. You seem like the kinda dude who’d have girls head over heels for you.” The blonde winked. “Or guys.”

A dizzying haze consumed Hitoshi for a split second. With a foggy mind, he almost wondered whether he’d been hypnotized by the blonde’s upbeat voice. “If you say so.”

Just as Hitoshi was about the reach the sliding doors, the blonde ground to a halt and pointed toward his hoodie. “Wait, is that Spider-Man?”

“No, it’s obviously Venom,” Hitoshi said sarcastically.

“Is Venom your favorite Spider-Man villain?”

“No, actually I’m more partial to Kraven.” Before Hitoshi knew it, words were spilling out of his mouth. A tidal wave of adoration for the comics that had always been there for him. Through his parents’ passing. Through his adoption. When his quirk manifested. “The last hunt arc is everything. I really wish they’d use it in the movies.”

“For real!” the blonde exclaimed. “Personally, I like Black Cat best.”

“It’s because of the body suit, isn’t it?”

“You got me. But you have to admit she’s hot. Plus, the tension between her and Peter is like insane.”

“Well, you’re not wrong.”

“Man, it’s so cool to run into another fan.” The blonde’s eyes widened with panic as he looked down at his watch. “Anyways, I gotta head back home. Wanna talk about Spider-Man more at school?”

“Yeah, that sounds nice.”

“Awesome! See you around.” Sprinting away, the blonde called over his shoulder. “Oh, and I’ll have to introduce you to Sero. He loves Spider-Man too!”

As the blonde raced out the door, Hitoshi’s heartbeat raced. He dismissed it as the lingering rush of the Sports Festival. After all, he couldn’t possibly be infatuated with a guy whose name he didn’t even know. Still, Hitoshi’s body felt lighter than ever as he exited the convenience store with his plastic shopping bags in hand.

In his mind’s eye, he conjured an image of the blonde’s smile. His chest throbbed at how he’d met yet another person who didn’t brand him as a villain. A kid who prioritized a shared love of Spider-Man and an instant connection with Hitoshi. Uncapping the Starbucks drink, Hitoshi took a long gulp. The coffee trickling down his throat was like ointment to a wound. Just like the blonde’s laughter had been. Between him and Midoriya, it was starting to dawn on Hitoshi that his first impression of 1A had been dead wrong.

Yet admittedly the declaration of friendship – whether direct or implied, made the tension in Hitoshi’s limbs dissipate. He could hardly recall any instances of his peers genuinely wanting to talk with him – let alone spend time with him – after his quirk manifested. Strolling toward the familiar alleyway that led to Uncle Shouta’s apartment, Hitoshi looked forward to talking with the electricity kid (god, Hitoshi really needed to find out his name) about which Spider-Man movie series was best.

Heading for the fire escape, Hitoshi longed for a capture weapon of his own. It’d be miles easier to get up to his bedroom window in one swing instead of having to deal with the tedious onslaught of stairs. But just when he’d reached the platform on the same level as his uncle’s apartment, Hitoshi spotted a silvery glow flicker in the moonlight.

Setting his plastic bags aside, Hitoshi crouched on the steps. A spider crawled toward him. Too small for a tarantula. Too large for an ordinary household spider. The number 42 shone on its back. Against his better judgment, Hitoshi reached toward the spider. A mesmerizing chorus drew him in as the arachnid radiated otherworldliness.

Squelch. A searing ache shot through Hitoshi’s index finger. Suppressing a scream, Hitoshi curled onto the ground. He couldn’t worry Uncle Shouta. Otherwise, late-night coffee trips would be a no-go. Hitoshi felt tempted to whip out his pepper spray. Though he doubted that it would be effective against an arachnid. Even more so since the dark spots dancing across Hitoshi’s vision made it difficult to aim.

Flashes of hot and cold ate away at his skull. Taking deep breaths, Hitoshi focused on the sense of tranquility that accompanied his quirk usage. The deserted landscape of a puppeteered mind.

At last, the bite had subsided to numbness. When he looked down at his hand, no trace of injury remained. No puncture wounds, not even a scratch. Scratching his head, Hitoshi decided that he must’ve been getting too tired. Perhaps all the talk with the blonde about Spider-Man was making him see things.

With a sigh, Hitoshi stepped through his window and stowed his purchases away. Perhaps it was for the best to try to get some rest rather than remain awake fueled purely by spite and caffeine. As he crawled into the bed and Cappuccino climbed on top of him, Hitoshi pulled on a sleeping mask and banished all thoughts of the spider. It had to be nothing. Even in an age of quirks, something as outlandish as a radioactive spider couldn’t possibly be fathomable, right?


Next update: 07/04/2023

Chapter 2: Second Puberty


Hitoshi never asked for superpowers - after all, he already had a quirk.


Happy Birthday, Hitoshi!

To celebrate I'm posting this chapter early <3

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Life was unfair. Of course, that fact was nothing new for Hitoshi considering his quirk status. Still, the ache cutting through his skull made him want to ram himself into a wall. Sure, he’d gone to bed well past midnight, but he’d gotten a whole five hours of sleep – a miracle by Hitoshi’s standards. His body had no good reason whatsoever to plague him with yet another migraine.

Tucked in the back seat of Hizashi’s bright red convertible, Hitoshi dragged his hands across his face. Every sound was amplified tenfold. The engine drilled into Hitoshi’s eardrums. The sharp scent of gasoline filled his nostrils. Attempting to massage the tension of his fingers, Hitoshi felt like a cat on high alert prepared to pounce on anyone who dared attack their territory.

Deep green uniform fabric clung to Hitoshi’s thighs. Pulling a leg closer to his chest, Hitoshi noted how the hems of his pant legs had risen two inches above his ankle. Another growth spurt? Beads of sweat formed against his neck even though a cool breeze whipped around Hitoshi. Wiping his skin with the sleeves of his blazer, Hitoshi wondered what he’d done to deserve a sudden onslaught of some weird second puberty.

Photographs of 42 and a spider crawling onto Hitoshi’s hand emerged. He buried the thoughts. His sleep-deprived state had made him unusually imaginative. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.

Still, every crunch of the cars’ tires was agony. The hair fluttering in Shinsou’s face hit his cheeks hard and felt like wires. He frowned at how his meticulous styling had fallen apart and leaned toward Hizashi.

“Considering how much hair gel you and I use, I dunno whether this car was the best idea.”

“Well, excuse me for having style.” Wearing his typical radio-show-host grin, Hizashi rolled his eyes in false frustration. “Get your own car if you don’t like mine.”

Hitoshi raised a brow. “In this economy?”

“Fair enough, little listener.” Hizashi paused, focusing on swerving around a tree-lined street in downtown Musutafu. “I’ll talk to Shouta about getting you a ride once you’re old enough for a license.”

Nodding in satisfaction, Hitoshi envisioned driving along an empty street late into the night with only the stars scattered across the navy sky to accompany him. Until he pictured a certain blonde, wrapping his arms around his waist while they rode on a motorcycle. Hitoshi gulped. Maybe cars were overrated.

Every nerve crackled. Hitoshi could hear the blood pumping through his veins. Or at least he was imagining it – because it wasn’t humanly possible to hear his heartbeat while sitting deathly still. Without fully processing his thoughts, he asked “Would a motorcycle be on the table?”

“I don’t see why not. Hard to brand it as dangerous when your uncle and I are both in heroics.”

Relief pooled from Hitoshi amid the fact that Hizashi didn’t suspect that there was a deeper motivation behind asking about the motorcycle. Not that Hitoshi saw Kaminari – thank God he’d asked Uncle Shouta about his name – in any romantic way whatsoever. He was just nice to talk to and his smile radiated warmth in a way that Hitoshi lost his train of thought every time Kaminari looked his way.

With a wistful sigh, Hitoshi leaned against the car door. Maybe he’d have the time to talk more with Kaminari before class. After all, any distraction from his splitting headache was welcome. He squinted at the searing sun breaking through the clouds. Why was it so bright? Hitoshi wondered whether he was some sort of vampire and just never realized.

As the car came to a stop, Hitoshi spotted Kaminari pass through the gates. Drawn in like a sailor by sirens, Hitoshi gathered his belongings and stumbled onto the pavement. Through all the intensified sounds and colors surrounding Hitoshi, Kaminari was just as loud and bold – yet something about him was as comforting as coffee on a Sunday.

From the driver’s seat, Hizashi chuckled. “Hmm, you’re in quite the hurry today.”

Hitoshi’s eyebags deepened as scrambled from any sort of excuse. “What can I say, haha? I value my education.”

“So… it doesn’t have anything to do with a boy?”

“Kaminari’s just an acquaintance I swear.” Then, he started to mutter under his breath. Because the voice in his head felt its volume had been turned up to one hundred percent. “Though I wouldn’t be opposed to becoming more than that.”


“Hizashi, tone it down,” Hitoshi sighed.

“Oh, sorry.” Hizashi lowered his voice. “It’s just so exciting. You grew up so fast. I can’t believe my little listener has his first crush.”

Hitoshi froze up. A crush? No, not in a million years. He just thought that Kaminari was objectively attractive. There was absolutely without a doubt nothing more to it.

“I mean as friends, Hizashi. As friends!”

“Aww, and I thought you weren’t here to make friends.”

“Things change,” Hitoshi said. With Hizashi smiling at him, Hitoshi felt some of the bitterness lingering in his bones recede. Maybe the hero course students mostly had flashy quirks. Maybe many of them didn’t understand the weight of a villainous label. But at the end of the day, 1A was just like him. Students who wanted to stretch beyond their limits. So for better or worse, friendship wasn’t entirely out of the question.

Hizashi cleared his throat. “I’m proud of you, Hitoshi. It also took your uncle a bit to socialize.”

“If he had a choice, Uncle Shouta probably never would.”

“Cheers to that!” Hizashi reached over to ruffle Hitoshi’s hair – and despite his frustrations over all the styling that had gone to waste, he appreciated the affectionate gesture.

“See you in homeroom, little listener.”

“Later, Hizashi.”

With a curt wave to Hizashi, Hitoshi swung his backpack over his shoulders. Forcing the blush to fade from his cheeks, he marched toward UA’s double doors. Hitoshi had to stay focused on his priority. Get into the hero course and prove the entire f*cking world wrong about him being a villain by nature. Though maybe getting a little sidetracked by some fandom chatter with a certain blonde wouldn’t throw his goals too much off course.

Absent-mindedly, Hitoshi strolled through UA’s halls. He felt half-tempted to stuff his index fingers into his ear canals so that everything would be quiet for one second so he could take a breather. Maybe he’d need to wean off the caffeine since his health was starting to take a blow. No, that’d be ridiculous. Coffee is like eighty percent of my personality.

Then, just as he rounded the corner his body tensed. An invisible switch flicked on and on instinct, he sidestepped just as an apple core soared past his head and landed right beside a nearby rubbish spin. Scratching his head, Shinsou raised a brow at the close call.

A kid with dark hair and a grin eerily similar to Hitoshi’s own ran by. After disposing of the apple properly, the guy turned to face Hitoshi and let out a whistle. “Woah! Dude, you got sick reflexes.”

“Huh, guess I do.”

The guy froze and pursed his lips together apologetically. “Crap. Sorry for almost hitting you.”

“It’s fine. No harm. No foul.” Hitoshi sighed.

Forget the friendship dealio. Socializing was so emotionally draining. Mistakes happened. No big deal. Hitoshi had no interest in dragging out uncomfortable small talk for eternity. Stuffing his hands into his pockets, Hitoshi looked at the clock hanging over the hallway. Seven minutes til class. Thank God. Hopefully, he’d have time to take a power nap.

Just as Hitoshi started to walk away, the guy called out. “Hold up. You’re that gen-ed kid with the brainwashing quirk, right?”

“What’s it to you?”

Unfazed by Hitoshi’s defensiveness, the guy lit up. “Man, you wouldn’t believe how much Kaminari’s been talking about you. He spammed my phone last night. Shinsou’s voice is so mesmerizing this, his eyes are so gorgeous that –”

Out of nowhere, Kaminari stormed through the hallway and slammed a hand over the guy’s mouth. “Cut it out, Sero! How could my best friend expose my innermost feelings like that?”

Shaking Kaminari off, Sero laughed and elbowed him in the side. “Oh please. Odds are that you’ve blatantly flirting with him from the get-go.”

“That’s fake news!” Before Sero had the chance to retort, Kaminari gestured between him and Shinsou. “But enough about me! Time for you two to become Spider-Man buddy besties.”

Hitoshi shuddered. Interacting with strangers? Ew. On the other hand, at least he and Sero had something in common. Plus, Kaminari was giving off the same energy as a little kid who held two of their dolls together and exclaimed now kiss – and the blonde’s million-dollar expression made Hitoshi feel like he was melting into a puddle.

Sero spoke up first. “What’s your favorite Spider-Man franchise?”

Jesus f*cking Christ, there were too many to choose from. Maybe Hitoshi would be in the clear if he picked the most inoffensive option. “Spider-Verse?”

“Oh, f*ck yeah! That’s just a masterpiece of animation. But I’m like a stan for the Tobey Maguire movies. Maybe that’s just the nostalgia talking.”

“I don’t think so. I mean come on. It’s definitely not as if the train scene is a masterpiece?”

“Exactly!” Sero paused and shrugged sheepishly. “But then again… Spider-Man 3 does have the emo dance.”

“Eh, could’ve been worse.” Then, Shinsou shuddered as he recalled the gelled hair and Peter swirling his wrists around one another. Okay, maybe not. That dance was pretty bad.

“No, dude. You don’t get it.” Sero fidgeted with the openings on his elbows. “When I was little, I wanted to be just like Spider-Man.”


Smirking sheepishly, Sero stared down at his feet. “I did the emo dance in front of my middle school cafeteria.”

“Oh my f*cking God. I wish I’d seen that.”

“No, you don’t. You’d want to gouge your eyes out if you did.”

While the two of them snickered over the idea of a younger Sero standing on a cafeteria table, Kaminari leaned in closer. And Shinsou was not paying attention in the slightest to the citrus aroma that clung to the blonde.

Placing an arm around Sero, Kaminari announced “The Amazing Spider-Man’s the best one in my books.”

“Kaminari, don’t you have any standards?” Hitoshi asked.

“Hello? It’s the only one with Electro. I appreciate having some representation in pre-quirk media.”

Sero cleared his throat. “Well, he was also in No Way Home –”

“Lalala. I can’t hear you.”

Rolling his eyes, Hitoshi decided to cut to the chase with the most universally agreed upon Spider-Man opinion out there. Otherwise, they’d risk arguing in the hallway long enough to miss out on the entire school day. Not that Hitoshi was opposed to missing out on math class. Every series of equations fueled the temptation of folding up his blazer and using it as a pillow.

“I think we can all agree that Spectacular Spider-Man was the best show,” Hitoshi said.

“One hundred percent!” Kaminari nodded enthusiastically. “Electro was in there too.”

“Mood, you’re so biased, Kaminari,” Sero commented.

“And you aren’t, Mr. my quirk makes me a knockoff Spider-Man so now he’s my favorite superhero?”

“I can’t help it if he’s – objectively speaking – the most compelling one.” After a couple of seconds, Sero slumped over in defeat. “Why did they have to cancel it after two seasons? They did so well covering the comic arcs. I need more. Maybe there’s still hope for a continuation.”

Wincing, Hitoshi bit his teeth together. “Well, it’s been two hundred years – ”

“Shinsou! That’s just heartless.”

“No, it’s alright. I need someone to be blunt with me.” Sero looked toward Hitoshi. “Thanks for being a real one, dude.”

Sero lifted a hand for a high five. Upholding a poker face, Hitoshi buried his hesitance to return the motion. It had been an eternity since someone had wanted to indulge in these small moments of camaraderie with him. His peers had seemingly been afraid that Hitoshi’s touch would ensnare them the same way his voice could.

Yet as soon as he’d given Sero a high five, Hitoshi’s palm grew oddly sticky. His first thought was well, that’s fantastic – sweaty hands make for a great first impression. But as he attempted to pull away from Sero, he found that their hands were welded together by some sort of invisible super glue.

With pearls of sweat hanging to his neck, Hitoshi tugged hard enough to make it seem like he actually exercised. Why the heck was this random bout of second puberty doing him so dirty? Or was he on some kind of televised prank show? Awesome. More obstacles. Just what he needed.

Please stop sticking. Then, a vision of the spider flashed before Hitoshi. Suddenly, he was five again and curled up in the corner of his room. Seated on a beanbag he flipped through yellow comic book pages while his father read the story aloud. He couldn’t quite recall the tone of his deceased parent’s voice, but he still remembered which hero’s origin story the comic had revolved around.

sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. I hit my head, right? I got heat stroke or something from the Sports Festival and can’t think straight. Because it’d be insane if I’d gotten bitten by a radioactive spider. I already have a superpower – or well, a quirk. This just makes no goddamn sense.

Stares drilled into Hitoshi as he stood latched onto Sero. Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi flexed his palm. Now wasn’t the time for attention. Who knows what would happen if others discovered the emergence of another quirk? He didn’t need to become even more ostracized than he’d been throughout his childhood.

At last, as his pulse slowed down, Hitoshi’s hand finally detached from Sero. Shell-shocked, Hitoshi’s stared at his fingertips – grateful that no skin had been torn off. Holding his hands close to his side, lest there be any more incidents, Hitoshi muttered,

“Sorry, about that.”

Sero swatted at the air. “Ah, don’t worry about it. It’s not your fault. I accidentally get stuck to people all the time.”

Kaminari scrunched his face. “Wait. Why would Tape make you stick at the hand instead of the elbow?”

“Eh, no idea. Quirks these days I guess.” Sero shrugged. “Maybe Roki has a conspiracy.”


“What? Roki makes good points. Plus, he’s got corkboards with red strings and everything. And you can’t tell me that the Aizawa-secret-love-child theory is completely unfounded.”

“Sero, don’t talk about that now.”

“Oops,” Sero looked Hitoshi dead in the eye before abruptly flipping his head in the opposite direction.

Maintaining a blank expression, Hitoshi hurried toward the teacher’s lounge. Kaminari called after him, but he didn’t stop. Hitoshi could apologize later. Dang, he and Sero probably thought that he was mad about the rumors. And while people talking behind his back was the last thing Hitoshi wanted, he couldn’t help but find the conspiracy comical since he and Uncle Shouta were in fact biologically related.

Every cell in Hitoshi’s body jumped as he raced the hall, passing by students showing off quirks that ranged from acids to blades. Was he going to be stuck forever with his Spider-Sense perceiving everything as a threat? What if he got stuck to something and couldn’t let go for hours?

Breaths hitching, he dreaded to cascade of unwanted physical changes. He’d already gone through this bullsh*t once. It must be karma's retaliation for all his lamenting over how he lacked a flashy quirk. f*ck, did spider powers mean that his voice was gonna go wackadoo, again? No, thank you. If it got any deeper, he’d probably panic. After all, he kind of needed his voice for a hero career and he didn’t exactly want to wreck it.

Hyperventilating, Hitoshi stepped through the doorframe of the teacher’s lounge. The scent of the same brand of tea Dad would brew at home wafted toward Hitoshi. While he trembled, Hitoshi just wanted Dad to call him his little listener, stroke his back and tell him that everything was okay. To speak to Hitoshi gently regardless of a lack of blood connection.

Hitoshi couldn’t breathe, lungs ablaze he stumbled toward Dad’s desk. Because everything was wrong. Because couldn’t tell anyone about the spider bite. For all he knew he could get shipped off to a lab by the Hero Commission. Or the powers could vanish as swiftly as they appeared, making him look like a liar.

Stumbling toward Hizashi’s desk, Hitoshi choked out. “Dad, I feel sick. I need to go home.”

Tears swelled in the man’s eyes as he hugged Hitoshi. Sinking into Dad’s embrace, Hitoshi anchored himself. Everything was going to be alright. His family cared about him – it was alright to break down in front of them. He wouldn’t be a weak target for kids with more heroic quirks to strike down.

A hand stroked through Hitoshi’s hair. “You called me Dad.”

The realization finally sank in. Hitoshi wondered what his deceased father would think. Whether he’d hate Hitoshi for replacing him and not even remembering his face clearly even with all the photographs tucked away as reminders. Wiping away a single tear, Hitoshi sat taller and hoped that his father’s ghost would be at peace knowing that he still had parental figures in his life.

“I did,” Hitoshi finally answered.

Dad wailed. “HITOSHI!”

Upon noticing Hitoshi shake at the noise and clutch his forehead, Dad quieted down and helped Hitoshi to his feet. “Let’s take you to Recovery Girl, little listener.”

“Uh, it’s a migraine. I don’t think her quirk would help.”

Dad bent to pick up Hitoshi’s fallen backpack off the ground and steered him toward the door. “Alright, take care of yourself, Hitoshi. We love you.”

“I love you too,” Hitoshi said.

The earnestness of his response surprised him. Sure, it was a knee-jerk reaction just like his Spider-Sense, but Hitoshi also meant it. Dad had been there to walk Hitoshi through every panic attack, through every question he was afraid to utter. As Dad whipped out his car keys and rotated them around his index finger, Hitoshi wondered if Dad would be the type of parent who’d still accept him even with the inevitable disasters that were bound to accompany newfound superpowers.

As he curled up in the back of Dad’s convertible and shut his eyes, Hitoshi cast the idea of confession aside. For the time being, he could manage to figure out his new and annoying abilities on his own. He’d already been dealt a sh*t deck in life once. Come hell or high water, Hitoshi forced himself to adopt the sense of certainty that he would find a way to play his cards right this time around.


What your fav spidey adaptation? (I'm on the same page as Sero lol. I watched the Tobey Maguire movies a lot as a toddler. Prolly one of my earliest fangirl moments.)

Anyways, this fic has made me realize that I hardly ever write the same ship twice. Wild! I'm half-tempted to add Seroroki as a side pairing, but I want this fic to be a little more streamlined than some of my other multi chaps. (But I'll write Seroroki someday, I promise.)

Have a great week y'all, while I work on chapter 3 and hope that my ear infection finally clears out.

Next chapter: 07/08/2023

Chapter 3: Wall-crawler


Hitoshi tests out his webs and climbing walls. He gets humiliated in the process.


Thanks to the lovely Dadzawa sprinters for helping me choose between web shooters and organic webbing.

Now, time for me to run because Hitoshi is chasing after me and is mad about all the humiliation I caused him.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Back in his room, Hitoshi folded over his pinkie and ring finger, letting a string shoot across room. Huh, organic webbing? Good, he didn’t have the tech to manufacture his web shooters anyhow. Though he supposed he could’ve asked the support course students for help. However, so much as setting foot in their labs came with the risk of being bombarded with explosions. And he'd prefer to die in his eighties surrounded by cats.

Footsteps echoed outside his door, making Hitoshi shake with panic as he sprinted toward the mirror covered in his webbing. Wiping away the substance with tissues, Hitoshi was well aware of how much it looked like… something else.

As the door creaked open, Hitoshi gawked at the tissues in his hand covered in white sticky fluid. Good grief. All his hand work and it still appeared as if he’d been caught masturbating. Hitoshi considered whether he should just admit that a radioactive spider had bitten him. At least, that wouldn’t be completely and utterly humiliating.

Petrified, Hitoshi gawked back at Dad with the same expression criminals he caught wore. As Dad stepped through the door, Hitoshi chucked the tissues into the garbage bin a minute too late. His face turned as bright red as a stop sign when Dad’s gaze lingered on the stained mirror.

“Hitoshi, I thought you were resting.” Dad choked on his own spit but managed to collect himself. His hesitant smile sent Hitoshi into a cold sweat. “Though… that sort of thing might relieve stress – just speaking from experience, ha ha.”

“Ew! Gross, Dad. I don’t want to know.”

Dad placed his hands on his hips indignantly. “Hey! The taboo around sex is problematic. I think it’s important to destigmatize –”

“Stop, Dad. Please for the love of God. Talk about that stuff next time Nemuri visits, alright?”

Hitoshi covered his hands over his eyes. What on earth had he done to deserve this agony? He should’ve locked his door. Then again, he hadn’t actually been jerking off, so where was that sort of foresight supposed to cum from? Ugh, no, come from. Stupid brain. Don’t make the situation even worse.

“But Hitoshi, wanking is normal. There’s nothing to be ashamed about.”

“Why did you phrase it like that? Are you British or something?”

Dad wiggled his brows. “Well, I am an English teacher.”

Wiping his hands on his pants, Hitoshi stormed into bed. He crawled under the covers quickly enough for Cappuccino who’d been hiding under his bed to hiss. As he turned his back toward Dad, he muttered. “Very tired now. No energy to talk. ‘Til later, Dad.”

“Alright.” Dad flashed a finger gun. “But remember, little listener. Sex is good. Masturbation is good.”

In response, Hitoshi let out a muffled scream into his pillow. With a chuckle, Dad exited Hitoshi’s room and the door fell shut with a click. Leaning over his mattress, Hitoshi picked up Cappuccino who nuzzled against his arms. All was forgiven. Her soft purring as he scratched her ears wasn’t enough to get his mind off the conversation with Dad. Wait, was going to tell Uncle Shouta?

Before he could spiral into a panic yet again, Hitoshi fixated on the hum of Dad’s car engine as he sped away. Woes about the talk could be future Hitoshi’s problem. With a yawn, he snuggled against his pillow and drifted off to sleep.

By the time he woke up, the embers of a sunset were already dancing across the heavens. Dad was probably on patrol and Uncle Shouta must've been at the station with Tsukauchi. Hitoshi rubbed the crust out of the corners of his eyes while Cappuccino snored soundly. Stretching his arms over his head, Hitoshi picked up his hoodie. He quirked a brow at the realization of how ironic the Spider-Man design had become. Still, he slipped the hoodie over his head as he slid open his window and stepped onto the fire escape that had contributed to his derailing reality.

As the honking vehicles in the distance made Hitoshi’s head pound, he sent his bed a longing glance. Yet he cast that desire aside. He’d already rested enough. No need to throw off his circadian rhythm even more. Though since he was home, he might as well test out his new abilities. Preferably somewhere that his guardians wouldn’t find any incriminating evidence.

While Hitoshi scaled the stairs, he passed by the apartment of the lady right above Uncle Shouta’s place. Through a gap in the curtains, he spotted her glaring at him with catlike pupils devoid of any warmth to be found in Cappuccino’s eyes. Sure, he knew a teenager climbing a fire escape on a weekday might look a little sketchy – but that didn’t give her any right to gape at him like he was some sort of co*ckroach. Hitoshi held up a middle finger toward her, leading his neighbor to stomp off with an indignant gasp.

Running a hand across his hair, Hitoshi let the wind banish the knots curling in his stomach. He really hoped the neighbor would move out someday. He imagined that she’d be ranting for days to her coffee circle friends about the “villainous punk” who flipped her off. Honestly, Hitoshi felt no remorse. If it weren’t for the fact that vandalism was a crime, he would have spray-painted crude imagery onto her window years ago. But at least she didn’t insult Uncle Shouta and Hitoshi to their faces anymore. Not since Dad moved in.

But it was fine. A few months. Maybe a year. Then, he’d prove everyone who ever doubted him wrong. That his quirk could be perfect for heroism. Spider powers weren’t going to change that.

Hitoshi steeled his breath as he strode past the pigeon coop. The birds squawked amid the arrival of their newest visitor and Hitoshi assumed that they were weary about the cat he’d brought with him last time. He hadn’t expected Cappuccino to jump at the cage – he couldn’t see why his precious pet wanted to consume the type of birds prone to eat garbage when she had perfectly good gourmet cat food available.

Flexing his wrist, Hitoshi eyed his skin. A small opening beside his veins stretched out before him. With a deep breath, Hitoshi walked toward the edge and eyed the next closest rooftop. You got this. It can’t be that hard. Just like in the movies. Standing taller, Hitoshi started to hold out his arm and fold his fingers inward. His chest swelled at the thought of how proud Uncle Shouta and Dad would be to find out that’d mastered his newfound abilities independently.

Then, Hitoshi looked down and his cheeks got several shades paler – which shouldn’t have even been possible with his complexion. An abyss of dumpsters and cement swirled beneath him. Shards of glass littered the sidewalk – bound to earn him a myriad of stitches if he failed to catch himself. Plus, he had no idea how durable the webs were or how to aim. With his luck, he’d end up crashing into some poor household’s kitchen instead of landing on the rooftop.

With a sigh, Hitoshi backed away from the ledge and ventured back toward the fire escape. Why did I think swinging from rooftops was a good idea? If I’d wanted to be that kind of idiot, I could’ve stolen one of Uncle Shouta’s spare capture scarfs years ago.

Once Hitoshi had reached the bottom of the stairs, he headed for a brick wall on the side of the apartment building. Better to start small rather than end up with a concussion and to have to conjure up some sort of excuse for his parents.

Scanning his fingertips, Hitoshi searched for any visible signs that were reminiscent of five-point activation quirks. Nothing. He had to assume that a bunch of tiny hairs were responsible, and he retched at the mildly disgusting thought.

Setting his hands on the wall, he recalled how hairs would rise with goosebumps. So, he closed his eyes and recalled that night he’d hidden in a closet while gunshots rang. How his mother and father’s bodies had echoed when he hit the floor. Sweat pooled down his back. Words caught in his throat – unable to escape the web of fear. One question. That’s all it would’ve taken to save them. Instead, six-year-old Hitoshi wept while clinging to a ragged stuffed cat as an anchor.

He'd been silent. He’d been a coward. He’d been a bystander – practically supporting a criminal through inaction.

Tethering himself back to the present, Hitoshi noted how his grip had fastened to the wall. He inhaled deeply and focused on latching his feet to the gaps between the bricks. Before he knew it, Hitoshi was two meters from the ground. Craning his neck toward the sky, he let out a euphoric chuckle. He wasn’t that scared little kid anymore.

Just when he’d passed the windows of the next floor the world warped around him. Technicolor lights flickered around him. His body glitched with the static and his grip failed him. An unfamiliar vision drowned out the reality of the alleyway. Bang. Hitoshi envisioned a red bullet soaring through the air. The faded silhouette of a hunched-over man with a manic smile. Uncle Shouta’s red gaze disappeared as his eyes got as glassy as a doll’s – no, hollow like a corpse’s.

The image vanished as soon as Hitoshi collided with a dumpster. Garbage bags cushioned his fall. Still, he had to hold back vomit as week’s old eggs seeped through the fabric of his clothes. Cradling his forehead, Hitoshi wondered that the f*ck that hallucination had been. He crawled over the edge of the dumpster and sighed. It was probably nothing to worry about. Thinking about his deceased parents had been making him paranoid. Besides, Uncle Shouta was a man of his word. He’d promised Hitoshi that he wouldn’t let a measly gunshot take him out.

That he wouldn’t leave Hitoshi behind.

“Hey, dude. You okay?”

With hair slicked back as if he’d just gotten out of the shower, Sero approached the dumpster. His running shoes squelched when they hit the puddles in the alleyway. He had on athletic shorts and a shirt that had clearly battled with the washing machine one too many times and lost.

Hitoshi scrambled to his feet and looked in both directions for any available escape route. A hopeless Endeavor. Dammit. Just how many 1A students lived in Hitoshi’s neck of the woods?

As Sero furrowed his brows with concern, Hitoshi stuck his hands in his hoodie pocket. He ensured that his eyes gave off a tired and bored attitude because the last thing he needed was more embarrassment after the incident with Dad that morning. “Yep. It’s not a big deal.”

Sero grinned. “So, what you’re saying is that you go dumpster diving all the time?”

Hitoshi rolled his eyes, letting sarcasm drip from his voice. “That’s right. It’s my favorite hobby.”

“Wow. It’s so amazing to find a trash enthusiast. I thought I was the only one who liked digging through garbage dumps in their free time.”

Tilting his head, Hitoshi did a double take at the other boy. He had to be joking. Then again, the sincerity in Sero’s tone seemed authentic. But he could also just be very committed to the bit.

“You are trolling, right?” Hitoshi asked.

“Yeah, dude.” Sero fished out a tissue packet from his short pockets. Hitoshi gratefully accepted and wiped the grime off his clothes while Sero continued to ramble. “Though speaking off trash, Roki has a theory that Midoriya cleans up Dagobah beach in his free time.”

“No f*cking way.”

“I swear the theory’s legit. Just think about it. Midoriya is jacked. Could be from cleaning up the trash. And the beach was a total wreck until a few months ago.”

“Causation isn’t correlation.” Shaking his head, Hitoshi flung a fistful of drenched tissues into the dumpster. He let out a whistle as they reached their target. If nothing else, his spider abilities weren’t completely useless and had made his aim better.

“Think whatever you want but I’m taking Roki’s word on it.” Reaching for a towel, Sero wiped the sweat off his forehead. He bit down on his lower lip as he guiltily stared down at his feet. “Also, sorry about mentioning the love-child theory earlier.”

“It’s fine. I wasn’t mad about that,” Hitoshi said. “I just started feeling sick because of unrelated reasons. Besides, I guess the resemblance is kind of uncanny.”

“What a relief. Kaminari would’ve never forgiven me if I made his crush hate him.”

“A crush? Doesn’t rumor have it that he flirts with anything that breathes?”

Sero winked. “Mayhaps.”

Leaning against the side of the dumpster, Hitoshi narrowed his eyes at Sero as he noted how jittery the guy’s voice had gotten when talked about a certain classmate. “Speaking of crushes, you really like Todoroki, huh?”

“As a classmate! He’s been fun to talk to after we’d gotten over the whole freezing me in a glacier thing. He’s smart and funny – what’s there not to love?” Sero shrugged.

“Bet you’re leaving out that you think he’s pretty.”

“Oh, shut up,” Sero snickered. “Like you’re one to talk with how you blush around Kaminari.”

“I don’t.”

He knew with one hundred percent certainty that he didn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. And so what if he was blushing? Maybe that could be passed off as a consequence of the summer heat. Besides, Hitoshi was feeling a bit overheated… especially when he thought about Kaminari’s laugh. Crap.

Sero teasingly grinned at Hitoshi. “Hmm, guess you don’t want to join me in meeting him at the park then.”

Clearing up any potential awkwardness didn’t seem like the worst idea. “Eh, I wouldn’t say no to that. Not like I have anything better to do.”


In silence, the two boys strolled down the block. A canopy of trees loomed in the distance. Whenever Hitoshi turned toward his left, he noticed Sero cross his arms in front of his chest. Despite Sero’s confident smile, a faint quiver lingered beneath the surface. The black straps of a sports bra peeked out from Sero’s shirt. Hitoshi nodded in understanding.

“Want to borrow my hoodie?”

“The one that was in a dumpster?” Sero asked incredulously.

“Well, it is cold.”

It really wasn’t. With the sun going down, the uncomfortable afternoon heat had just started to dissipate. Not to mention that Sero clearly was in the middle of a workout. Still, Hitoshi slipped off his sweatshirt and held it out toward Sero. After one last uncomfortable glance at his chest, Sero accepted.

“Hmm, alright, dude. I guess it’s a little bit… cold.”

Once the boys had reached the park, Hitoshi spotted Kaminari leaning against a tree. His attention was fixed solely on his phone and the sunset made his tracksuit look agonizingly bright. Neon yellow. Seriously? So tacky. Though Hitoshi had to admit that Kaminari made the color-coordinated look work – it even was a teensy bit cute.

Popping out the earbuds he’d likely been wearing while jogging, Kaminari faced Sero and Hitoshi. He lit up like a golden retriever as he approached them. “Hey, Sero. What’s Shinsou doing here?”

He pulled his eyes away from the sweatshirt and Hitoshi could’ve sworn he’d spotted a twinge of jealousy on Kaminari’s lips. Hitoshi assumed he was seeing things yet again. Sero nudged Hitoshi in the side, but he didn’t shirk away since for once he felt included rather than mocked by the gesture.

“I found him in a dumpster,” Sero proclaimed.

Kaminari asked, “What were you even up to?”

Sero snickered, “Nothing good I bet.”

“Then it’s a good thing that I’m trash for bad boys.”

Hitoshi almost felt like sprinting away. Those sorts of jokes were as bad as Dad’s commentary. Well, almost. “Puns? So hilarious. Definitely not the lowest form of comedy.”

“I thought sarcasm was,” Kaminari said.

“Great. Now I feel called out,” Hitoshi huffed with false annoyance.

“As you should.” Fidgeting with a string on his jacket sleeve, Kaminari abruptly shifted the conversation topic. “Anyways, Sero. So, the other day I ate a battery –”

“That’s a horrible idea. You could’ve died,” Hitoshi groaned flatly.

Was this really the hero course? At this rate, Hitoshi was surprised that his peers hadn't been taken out by villains or their own antics yet. Then again, Hitoshi knew how much leg work Uncle Shouta put in to keep his problem children alive. Dad had practically shattered his family’s eardrums when Uncle Shouta had gotten hospitalized in the aftermath of the USJ.

“No way, I’m fine just got a bit of indigestion. No big deal.” Kaminari patted Hitoshi on the shoulder reassuringly. The gesture had Hitoshi tense up all while he prayed that Kaminari hadn’t noticed.

“It’s all in the name of science.” Sero smirked mischievously. “Say, Kaminari – what do you think would happen to Tape if I drank superglue.”

“There’s no way of knowing unless we test it out.”

“You two are idiots.” Hitoshi sighed as he sat down on a nearby bench.

“Yeah, but we’re the best kind.” Kaminari settled down beside him. Close enough that Hitoshi could feel his breaths. The blonde pointed toward him. “And you’d better watch out. Otherwise, you might be next with the quirk experiments.”

“What are you going to have me do? Brainwash people by singing?”

“Ooh, like a siren. I see honestly not a bad idea.”

“I was joking.”

“Not my fault that your voice is so freaking gorgeous.”

Hitoshi’s brain short-circuited, making him consider whether he and Kaminari had switched quirks for a split second. Kaminari was probably exaggerating. Like any person, Hitoshi was disgusted by the sound of his own voice – but even though Hitoshi knew was biased, he knew that his voice was the kind that made people clamp their jaws shut rather than respond.

Kaminari spoke up. “Hey, Shinsou. Want to join us on a trip to the beach this weekend?”

Well, that came out of nowhere. “Why are you asking me that?”

“Because you seem like you have no friends, and we pity you,” Sero teased.

Rude,” Hitoshi said.

“Knock it off, Sero.” Kaminari swatted him on the back of the head and faced Hitoshi. “But seriously, dude, talking with you is great. Hanging out could be fun… I guess… hypothetically speaking. Plus, Sero has to make up for the whole love-child theory thing.”

“I said I was sorry!” Sero protested.

“But you see, my friend, that’s not enough. You have to show that you’re sorry.” Kaminari pushed his hair back in a way that made Hitoshi's heart pound. “So what do you say, Shinsou?”

Hitoshi picked at his cuticles. “I suppose I have time this weekend.”

“Then that’s a yes?”


With the next school day on the horizon, the boys bid each other farewell. Hitoshi told Sero to keep the hoodie for the time being, leading the other guy to insist that it'd be extremely easy to return the sweatshirt cleaner than he'd found it. Yet just as Hitoshi was about to leave the park behind, he found himself gravitating toward Kaminari once again.

“We should probably exchange contact information.”

Kaminari fanned himself as he handed Hitoshi his phone. “A guy asking for my number? You’ve got me blushing, dude.”

As he strolled down the sidewalk and headed back home, Hitoshi kept staring at the two new numbers in his contact list. UA was different than his old school after all. Sure, he was only acquaintances with Kaminari and Sero – but still, he was having his character development moment ™. And if he’d put a yellow heart next to Kaminari’s name – well, no one needed to know.

After an eternity, Hitoshi reached the fire escape. God, that was too much walking. Maybe he should ask the hero course students about their workout routines so he wouldn’t be entirely out of shape. Plus, the idea of jogging alongside Kaminari sent jolts down his spine.

Back in his room, Hitoshi discovered a box waiting on his desk. He reeled back from the packaging and the sticky note scrawled out in Uncle Shouta’s neat handwriting. Use protection. And to make things worse, the label read XS. What kind of assumptions was Uncle Shouta making? Not that Hitoshi wanted this sort of unexpected gift in the first place. Mortified, Hitoshi dug his hands into his hair, wondering why Dad couldn’t have just kept the incident to himself.

Grabbing the box, Hitoshi stomped toward the office where Uncle Shouta sat at his desk while still encased in bandages. Hitoshi scowled as he waved the box in his uncle’s face. “What the heck, Uncle Shouta?”

Wordlessly, Uncle Shouta proceeded to type on his laptop without giving Hitoshi a second glance. “It’s for your own good.”

Hitoshi pointed toward the label, ready to hurl a dozen frustrations at his uncle for picking the wrong size. Instead, Hitoshi tempted the fumes steaming from his ears. There was no guide to parenting. Uncle Shouta was trying his best – even if it made Hitoshi want to sink into a hole.

“Dad was bad enough already. It didn’t need more of these situations.”

“Dad?” Uncle Shouta asked as he pouted. Hitoshi pinched his nose at his uncle’s expression. How out of character. For once his gaze looked more sullen than tired.

Then, he snapped out of it and crossed his bandaged arms. “No, dating loud blondes.”

“Hypocrite,” Hitoshi chuckled. “And why would you even make those sorts of unfounded assumptions?”

“Why did you ask about Kaminari’s name this morning?” Uncle Shouta’s voice had a faint threatening air – as if he was about to march up to Kaminari’s front door with a shotgun in hand.

“f*ck you,” Hitoshi said as he walked through the door. But he didn’t really mean it. Uncle Shouta was just looking out for Hitoshi’s health. Besides, the situation could’ve been far worse if he’d decided to have the talk with Hitoshi.

Hitoshi curled up on the couch and let the mindless fights between heroes and villains on the screen wash his worries away. He didn’t know whether he’d ever live down the day’s humiliation. Or whether he’d ever get a grasp on his powers. Worst case scenario, he’d spend the rest of his days falling into dumpsters.

He knew that progress would be slow and steady – but damn, he wished all his troubles could be solved in an instant.


I really appreciate the kudos, bookmarks and comments y'all. My little writer heart gets so happy whenever I check my email inbox <3 <3 (This is my first crossover fic so I was worried that it wouldn't do as well as my other ones, but it seems like I was being paranoid lmao)

Based on my pre-drafted chapters, the next couple of updates will be more on the chill end of things (think of it as the calm before the storm muahaha).

Chapter 4: Beach Episode


Hitoshi's secret gets exposed.


Me: Hitoshi, please. It's been hours of you chasing after me. Aren't you tired? Neither of us have the stamina for this.

Hitoshi: Joke's on you, Author-chan. You gave me spider powers so now I'm much more athletic.

Me: Will you forgive me if I let you see Kaminari shirtless?

Hitoshi: Eh, sure. But it's not like I'm interested in him or anything. Just want to see what the hero course's standards are.

Me: Right...

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Did Hitoshi regret borrowing Dad’s concealer? A little bit. With a beach towel draped over his shoulder, Hitoshi examined his reflection in his phone mirror. Pale streaks replaced his eyebags. He didn’t look like himself. Who knows whether Kaminari would even notice? Not that Hitoshi cared whether the blonde found him attractive of course.

Plus, the odds were that the makeup wouldn’t survive a dip in the water. Not that Hitoshi planned on swimming. He’d prefer to remain in the shade to avoid turning the same shade as a bright red tomato, thank you very much.

The worries were only confirmed when he reached the beach. Huddled beneath a parasol, Kaminari and Sero blinked at Hitoshi while rolling on the sand with laughter. Sending the boys a death glare, Hitoshi set down his tote bag and began applying sunscreen on his arms. Still, there was no ignoring Sero’s mischievous grin as he readjusted a faded band shirt.

“What happened to your face, dude?”

“I got a good night’s rest for once,” Hitoshi lied.

Twisting his baseball cap backward, Kaminari cooed, “Oh, really? Sure, it’s not concealer?”

f*ck, he’d been found out. With a nonchalant sigh, Hitoshi pulled out a pair of sunglasses, hiding the absence of his eyebags far too late. “Now, why would I do that?”

Sero perked up “Because –”

His expression went slack as Hitoshi activated his quirk. Looking into Sero’s glossed-over gaze, he commanded, “Drop the subject.”

Of course, that wasn’t quite how Hitoshi's quirk worked, but it was worth proving his point. And there was also the off chance that his spider powers had given him a quirk upgrade. Still, Hitoshi froze up at the realization of what he’d done. What if his friends – the first ones he’d found in years – rejected him over a half-assed manipulation attempt? Yet when Hitoshi severed the invisible marionette strings Sero beamed at him.

“Woah, your quirk is super trippy! It’s like being asleep and awake at the same time.”

“Dude, that’s wild,” Kaminari chimed in. “You need to give me a turn someday.”

Hitoshi flushed and attempted to cover his cheeks with his sunglasses. “Alright.”

Giggling, Kaminari leaned backward and fell onto Hitoshi’s lap. He was wearing a shirt but Hitoshi’s nerves crackled just as much as if Kaminari had been shirtless. Get it together, Hitoshi. He’s just touchy. Don’t overinterpret. But his brain only went further into autopilot mode as Kaminari ran an index finger along his bicep.

“Though you know, Shinsou, some people might think that you wore makeup to impress me.”

With the moment broken, Hitoshi shoved Kaminari off his lap with a chuckle. “In your dreams.”

A yawn escaped Hitoshi’s throat and soon enough he found himself curling up on a picnic blanket beneath the parasol his friends had brought. Yet it was difficult to rest even with the ocean’s soothing lullaby nearby while Kaminari kicked sand in his direction.

“Ew, Shinsou! Why are you napping that’s so boring?”

Hitoshi pushed his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose and folded his hands behind his head. “Guess I’m boring then.”

“But we’re at the beach! Come on let’s go swimming.”

“No thank you.”

Teasingly, Kaminari pulled up the corner of his shirt. “And miss the opportunity to see me shirtless up close?”

“Like that’s anything worth getting excited for. You’re scrawny as hell.”

Kaminari pulled his shirt over his head, revealing rows of abs. He wasn’t nearly as built as Todoroki or Midoriya, but his muscles were still defined. To be honest, Hitoshi found Kaminari’s lithe physique even more attractive. Tongue-tied, Hitoshi felt his knees go weak. Thank goodness, he wasn’t standing. Stupid raging hormones had taken over again.

Excuse me. I’m a hero student for a reason. Besides, it’s not like you’re one to talk.”

Tearing his gaze away from Kaminari, Hitoshi smirked. “Bet.”

Once Hitoshi had removed his own shirt, Kaminari turned away from him immediately. With a self-conscious glance, Hitoshi observed his abdomen. It wasn’t that disappointing, right? Yet as he noticed Kaminari biting on his fingernails, hope rose in Hitoshi’s chest at the idea of the blonde even being remotely interested in him. And upon closer inspection, Hitoshi's muscles were more toned than he remembered. Thanks for that spider powers.

“Hmm, I guess you’re passable,” Kaminari choked out.

Wow. I’ll treasure that compliment forever.”

Walking away from Hitoshi, he dug through a handheld cooler and retrieved a bottle of water. As he chugged its contents, Hitoshi noticed Kaminari stealing glances at his exposed skin. Huh, looks like Kaminari was pretty thirsty. Oh no, Dad’s jokes were rubbing off on Hitoshi. Still, that wasn’t the end of the world if his sense of humor had gotten a little warped. Moreso it was a sign that he could pretend to be a normal teenager who totally hadn’t gotten bitten by a radioactive spider.

After one last sip, Kaminari hurried over and tugged at Hitoshi’s arm. “But let’s go swimming. I’m sweating buckets here. I’m gonna die from dehydration.”

“Not with the amount of water you’re drinking.” Hitoshi tossed his hair back and was pleased when Kaminari gulped. “What sort of motivation would I have for swimming? I’ve already seen you shirtless up close.”

“Then I guess I’ll have to do something for your own good.”

Kaminari nodded at Sero, prompting him to grab Hitoshi by the ankles while the blonde looped his arms beneath Hitoshi’s armpits. It took a bit for Hitoshi’s brain to get over the fact that he was having skin-to-skin contact with Kaminari. Then, he began to shake as his friends dragged him toward the sea. And to his surprise, their grip on him somewhat loosened.

Oh. The spider powers must have given him a bit of that good ol’ fashioned super strength. Nevertheless, Hitoshi let his muscles go a bit slack. After all, with the sun beating down on him, the idea of wading through the ocean did seem refreshing.

He took that thought back as soon as he hit the water hard. Salt went up his nose and Hitoshi questioned why on earth everyone fantasized about the ocean. The way the sun illuminated the water like a thousand glittering sapphires was enchanting and all – but he couldn’t deny how much of a pain in the ass the sand clumped in his hair was.

Sero began to laugh hysterically as he pointed at Hitoshi. “So you were wearing concealer!”

Nostrils flaring, Hitoshi kicked up a wave at Sero. “Shut up!”

Kaminari raced toward the shore as Sero splashed water back at Hitoshi in retaliation. The ocean sounded like a symphony as the boys swept waves toward one another and fought to shove each other deeper into the sea. Hitoshi forgot all about the coarse grains beneath his toes as he fought to get Kaminari’s untouched hair soaked. The blonde gasped as Hitoshi briefly ducked his head underwater. Resurfacing, he playfully kicked ripples toward Hitoshi.

“The hair? You really are ruthless.”

“Hey, I had to get revenge for you ruining mine.”

“I didn’t ruin it. You look freaking gorgeous with your hair down.”

“Nah, sounds like you’re getting heatstroke and are seeing things.” Hitoshi shook his head as he headed back toward the picnic blanket. Yet out of view from Kaminari, he held a hand to his chest. He was definitely considering the impulsive decision of foregoing the use of hair gel back at school on Monday.

Hitoshi picked up his tote bag and headed toward the changing room at the edge of the beach. Meanwhile, Kaminari gathered up the rest of the scattered belongings and Sero wrung the water out of his oversized shirt. Hitoshi efficiently hurried through the door and exchanged his swim trunks for sweatpants. Because his brain was not ready to see Kaminari buck naked – though he probably did have a cute butt – no, no, no, thoughts be gone. At this rate, Hitoshi worried that he’d be smitten with any pretty blonde who smiled his way. And don’t get him started about the time Denki said he ate batteries. Am I a moronsexual or something?

Once Hitoshi had changed clothes, a group of students burst into the dressing room. Kaminari and Sero followed, leading Hitoshi to head toward the adjacent restrooms where he could fix his hair instead of having more indecent thoughts. Sero headed the same way and locked himself in a bathroom stall. He nodded toward Hitoshi who returned the gesture. Changing rooms were a warzone even without crushes in the picture.

By the time Hitoshi had gotten his locks to rise once again, Sero emerged with a dripping wet swim binder in hand and his chest was flattened with a dry binder. Hitoshi smiled at the familiar logo he’d seen during family trips to the beach.

“Dang, you got the fancy brand.”

Walking up to the sinks, Sero gently squeezed some of the water out of his swim binder. “I’m more than willing to splurge if it means that dysphoria will shut the hell up for once.”

“Totally fair,” Hitoshi nodded as flushing sounded from a nearby toilet stall.

A lanky kid with pale brown hair emerged. He wore a Hawaiian shirt and a backward purple baseball cap. His fingers were oddly long – likely due to a quirk. Hitoshi backed away as the stranger stared daggers at him. He wasn’t a coward, but he also wasn’t the type of idiot to provoke random assholes for no reason. After all, he’d provoked 1A for a very good reason – namely to make sure they wouldn’t underestimate him. Besides, it wasn’t as if the hero course was exclusively comprised of jerks anyways.

Fingers reeled as he spotted Sero washing his binder in the sink. His gaze drifted toward Sero’s shirt as he stuck out his tongue. “You’re one of those people, aren’t you?”

The words were spat out onto the bathroom tiles with the utmost contempt. Sero paled as he dropped his binder in the sink, allowing it to get drenched all over again. Hitoshi glared at Fingers. Who the f*ck did he think he was? Hitoshi flipped off the guy and stomped toward him. He was so fed up with idiots looking down on people for things out of their control. Sero probably had more balls than Fingers anyways considering how he’d managed to actually do something with his life instead of harassing complete strangers.

“What do you mean one of those people?” Hitoshi hissed.

“It’s none of your –”

Activating Brainwashing, Hitoshi transformed into a puppeteer and led Fingers out of the room like a marionette. As soon as Fingers was out of sight, Sero slumped against the counter in relief. Staring at his shoes, Hitoshi coughed into his hand – relieved there hadn't been a crowd witnessing his unlicensed quirk usage.

“Sorry, I’m sure you can fight your own battles. I just thought it’d be best to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible.”

“It’s fine. I appreciate it.”

“No biggie, bro.” Hitoshi had never been one to use dude or bro. But he was aware of how important it was to Uncle Shouta when Dad belted out the words my darling husband on particularly bad days.

Kaminari stumbled into the bathroom with a bag slung over his shoulder and he looked back at the area where Fingers had just passed through all glassy-eyed. “What happened?”

“Just some dumbass giving me hell about having boobs,” Sero sighed.

“Crap. I’m so sorry, dude. Want some ice cream to cheer you up?”

“Yeah. That sounds nice.”

The trio headed outside, and Hitoshi settled onto a bench where he watched over their belongings. As Sero and Kaminari went to go fetch ice cream scoops, Hitoshi pulled his legs against his chest. He reveled in the rush of the waves, reveling in how he’d taught someone a lesson with his quirk. Still, Hitoshi hoped Sero would be alright. Who knew that actual real-life people could still said the most stereotypically transphobic lines? Though in an age of quirks where genetics determined one’s worth, Hitoshi was disappointed rather than surprised.

Suddenly, barking echoed to Hitoshi’s left. Tied to a lamppost, a dog buckled against its leash. Oh, hell no. Hitoshi was a cat person for a reason. And he wasn’t sure if he was imagining things, but the dog stared at him as if it wanted to rip his throat apart. Then, the dog pounced forward, and its leash snapped.

As the dog ran toward Hitoshi – fangs bared and saliva dripping down its chin – he knew for certain that he wasn’t mistaken. The dog could tell he wasn’t entirely human and was out to get him.

Out of sheer panic, Hitoshi raced toward the nearest building – the back of the ice cream shop. Knots formed in his stomach as he started to climb. But everything would be alright. He could play off his spider powers as a quirk. Also, he couldn’t let himself get mauled to death by a dog. Not when he still had Cappuccino to take care of.

At last, the barking ceased. Hitoshi let out a sigh of relief as he turned around to see that the dog and its broken leash had vanished. As he set his feet back on the boardwalk, Hitoshi couldn’t help but condemn the dog’s owner for not issuing an apology after reclaiming their pet.

Thump. A lilac puddle of ice cream spilled out of its cone. Kaminari stared at Hitoshi with his mouth agape. On instinct, Hitoshi pulled his fingers inward, and a strand of webbing shot out. Great. So much for lying that he was simply crazily good at climbing.


Hitoshi rushed forward to cover Kaminari’s mouth, but the blonde was vibrating with excitement that was impossible to contain. “Wow, oh my God, oh my God! How did it happen? Wait, I know – that’s obvious. So, when did it happen? Can you really do everything a spider can?”

All the words turned into an upbeat song Hitoshi couldn’t quite follow. Melodic yet difficult to process. But at least Kaminari was jumping to the natural conclusion that any Spider-Man fan would rather than accusing Hitoshi of hiding another quirk all along.

Kaminari collapsed onto the bench with all their stuff and finally caught his breath. Disbelief filled his gold eyes as he slapped his cheeks. “I can’t believe my best friend is frickin Spider-Man!”

Baffled, Hitoshi stumbled. “Best friend? Wouldn’t that be Sero?”

“Pah, I can have as many best friends as I want.” Kaminari perched a hand atop his fists. “Don’t tell me you see us as acquaintances. My poor fragile heart couldn’t take it.”

Hitoshi didn’t do something as sappy as best friends. And he was convinced that Kaminari was being hyperbolic considering that they hadn’t known each other all that long. But the fact that Hitoshi didn’t have many other friends likely made Kaminari his best friend by default.

Relenting, Hitoshi placed himself next to Kaminari. “Sure, we’re friends. I mean, we are hanging out outside of school and all.”

“You got that right.”

Internally, Hitoshi repeated the mantra everything will be alright. Kaminari had taken the news well – so Hitoshi's mission to surprise his parents with prowess in his news abilities was still a go. Hitoshi clicked his tongue as Kaminari swung his legs back and forth. The blonde’s chin pointed toward the ice cream shop.

“You’re going to spill the beans to Sero aren’t you?” Hitoshi stated.

“Well, I can’t keep secrets from my bestie. Plus, Sero might be able to give you some pointers on web-slinging.”

Hitoshi envisioned himself hanging upside down from telephone lines and doing a three-sixty spin around a lamppost with his webbing. Succumbing to the temptation, Hitoshi breathed in the salty ocean air and flashed Kaminari a genuine smile. One that wasn’t masked with false bravado.

“True. And I suppose he’s my friend too.”


Trans!Sero has taken over my brain. I blame peterokii's fabulous art.

Oh, and as is tradition with WIPs I've hyperfixated on, I've made a Spotify playlist.

Chapter 5: Webslinger


Sero helps Hitoshi get a hang of web-slinging.


It's been a productive weekend, so yay here's another chappy!

All your sweet comments have definitely helped with getting into my drafting flow :D

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Standing atop the radio tower, Hitoshi let the wind blast in his face. He clenched his fists and observed the cars crawling across the streets like ants. While he leaned against the railing, Hitoshi basked in the streetlamps flickering in the evening light. One stumble, one wrong footstep and he’d be left falling to his doom. Envisioning his caved-in skull scattered across the sidewalk, Hitoshi questioned where he was making a mistake by being so high up.

Emerging beside Hitoshi with his hair pulled into a man-bun, Sero perched his bulky elbows on the railing. “You scared, dude?”

“Do I look like a coward to you?”

“No. Just like someone with some sense of self-preservation.” Sero gestured toward the base of the radio tower. “We are a few hundred meters up in the air.”

Perking up, Kaminari strode over in a bright yellow hoodie that Hitoshi immediately decided would be his new favorite color – Kaminari just had a way of making his surroundings look a million times more saturated.

“Don’t worry. Sero will catch you if you fall.”

“Kaminari, as much as I appreciate you giving me hype, you can’t go around making promises for me,” Sero said.

“But Sero! Shinsou’s too hot to die.”

Sighing, Hitoshi rolled up his sleeves as he marveled over Kaminari’s comments and all the other little things that made him so annoying yet perfect at the same time. But there was no way that Kaminari could genuinely like Hitoshi in a romantic way. Not with eyebags that made him resemble a zombie. Or a corpse. Nevermind, same difference.

And who would possibly want a romantic relationship with someone who could manipulate them every step of the way with their quirk?

Friendship was already more than Hitoshi could’ve hoped for. He’d be damned to sacrifice it simply because his treacherous heart failed to get the memo.

Hitoshi crushed the butterflies in his stomach and pinched his nose while looking at Kaminari. A sign they were just friends – nothing more.

“If only being hot made me bulletproof," Hitoshi joked.

“You never know. Maybe bullets will take one look at you and go stop shooting – he’s too handsome.”

“Kaminari, you’re being ridiculous.”

“Only because you’re ridiculously sexy, babe.”

Hopelessly wishing for a scarf despite the humidity, Hitoshi gave up on concealing his blush. Fortunately, Sero jumped in front of Kaminari before the blonde had a chance to comment on it.

“Anyways, Shinsou. I got you, dude. I’ve had Tape like my whole life. You aren’t going to fall to your death.”

“Thanks,” Hitoshi said. “I really wasn’t looking forward to a legacy that consists solely of being hot according to Kaminari.”

“Anytime. You ready?” Sero pointed toward the streets below.

“As much as I’ll ever be. Which is to say not at all.”

Bell-like laughter escaped Kaminari. “Mood. Anyways, good luck while I face my biggest threat yet.”

“The League of Villains?” Hitoshi asked.

“Nope. Candy Crush.”

While Sero fastened his tape to the railing, Hitoshi pressed his lips together as Kaminari walked away. Kaminari’s giggling as he hunched over his phone and sat down on the platform sent an arrow through Hitoshi’s heart. Heeding Uncle Shouta’s warning, Hitoshi asked himself whether a fondness for loud blondes was genetic.

Ignoring the thumping in his chest, Hitoshi instead fixated on shooting out webs and attached them to the radio tower. Both he and Sero treaded the railing as if it were a tightrope, leading Hitoshi to whistle. The hero course is really something else. How is Sero’s balance that good without spider powers?

Then Sero jumped without warning and hurled toward the ground with tape carving imprints into his palms. Lest he drowned in a sea of self-doubts, Hitoshi stepped off the edge. He had to go beyond his limits if he wanted to show that he could become a pro regardless of society’s constraints.

Take a leap of faith.

A cyclone swarmed around him, but Hitoshi forced his eyes to stay open. Despite his urge to scream, he kept his lips sealed shut so bugs wouldn't fly in. Together, he and Sero wove around the radio tower as their webs and tape wrapped around it in a spiral. With a wave as a signal to Hitoshi, Sero shot out a stream of tape and latched onto the nearest apartment complex. Hitoshi inhaled deeply as Sero soared over cars.

Grab. Release. It’s simple. You’ll be fine.

Folding over his fingers, Shinsou released webbing. His breaths hitched as he waited for the string to snap, but instead momentum had him hurling in Sero’s direction. Euphoric laughter sounded. He’d made it! He had a hunch that he looked a little silly while holding onto the web with both hands for life. A small price to pay for the feeling of having invisible wings sprout on his back and carry him to freedom.

Sero flipped over in midair and cupped a free hand around his mouth. “Shinsou! You’ve got to use both hands separately.”

“You can’t tell me what to do,” Hitoshi joked. He removed his left hand from the web and shot out a new one, grabbing hold of it as it stuck onto a balcony.

Grinning at Hitoshi, Sero pulled his webs taunt and springboarded himself off the side of a building. “Well, I’m your web-slinging teacher so that’s kind of the job description.”

“No arguments there.”

Swinging past buildings, the polluted city air tasted so much fresher. Hitoshi had no idea how webslinging came so naturally even with minimal instruction, yet a little voice in the back of his head gave a loud and clear answer. Spider powers or not, he’d always been destined for a landscape of urban parcourse.

Exhausted, Sero and Hitoshi collapsed onto their backs once they’d reached the rooftop of an abandoned train station. Loose strands of hair pooled around Sero’s neck as he pinned them back up.

“Are you really a rookie? Dude, that was insane.”

Not properly processing his thoughts, Hitoshi shrugged. “What can I say? It’s in my blood. Uncle Shouta isn’t half bad himself.”

Oh, shoot. If Kaminari were there, Hitoshi would still have hope that the family connection wouldn’t be exposed. After all, what if he got into the hero course on his own merit only for Uncle Shouta’s merit to be cited as the cause? Which would’ve been stupid anyways considering how many relatives of heroes walked through UA’s halls.

Yet much to Hitoshi’s dismay, Sero’s eyes widened. “Wait! Shouta? As in Aizawa Shouta?”

“Would you believe me if I said no?”

“Fat chance.” Sero grinned as mischievously as usual and tension left Hitoshi as he concluded that his friend didn’t see him any differently. “You know, this makes me wonder how many of Roki’s other conspiracy theories are true. Like maybe the Earth is flat.”

“Hmm, that’s doubtful.”

Sero gasped in false distress. “How could you say something so cruel to such a devoted flat earther?”

“I don’t know what to tell you. I’m a firm believer in the hollow earth,” Hitoshi joked.

Chuckling, Sero sank against the rooftop again. He and Hitoshi sat in silence for a while. Trains screeched against rails in the difference. Cardboard boxes scratched against the pavement as a storeowner hauled shipments of fruit inside. Hitoshi was left in awe over how even in a world dominated by improbabilities, normalcy was still possible.

“I hope you end up with us in 1A rather than 1B,” Sero said.

“And be stuck in a room with Kaminari and you all day? No way.”

“Aww, come on you love us.”

“I’d beg to differ,” Hitoshi lied.

Sero seemed to see right through him as he gave a curt nod in acknowledgment of Hitoshi’s unspoken affection. Sitting upright, Sero wiped away some of the dirt that had gathered on his arms. “Hmm, after all that exercising grabbing a drink is probably smart. There’s a café near here.”

Hitoshi tapped his chin. “Well, I’m always a slu*t for coffee.”

“Good to hear.” After a brief pause, Sero looked at his phone but didn’t turn on the screen. “Oh no, something came up. Guess you’ll have to go alone with Kaminari.”

“Hidden agenda much?”

Hitoshi had never asked for a wingman. It’s not as if he even stood a chance with Kaminari. Still, it was pleasant to know that Sero gave a sh*t about Hitoshi’s well-being.

“Sue me. You and Denki are cute together, okay? The yellow and purple color palette is chef’s kiss.”

“That’s a dumb and subjective reason you know.”

“You say that like you aren’t pining over Kaminari’s looks.”

Sero hopped to his feet and released strands of tape. Low on web fluid, Hitoshi failed to follow suit and persuade Sero to retract his statement. Hitoshi’s phone buzzed, revealing the address of a café. At least, I won’t have to walk far.

Tucked in an alleyway, a canopy with pastel stripes hung over a window. Cursive letters spelt out café. A rug shaped like a cat waited in front of the entryway. Hitoshi raised a brow at the pink tables with lace covers upon their surface. A little too cutesy for Hitoshi’s taste but the tart aroma streaming through the gap in the door promised that the coffee would be digestible if nothing else.

Weaving past the streetlights, Kaminari arrived and waved at Hitoshi. Sparkles seemed to flutter around him, and his gold gaze drilled into Hitoshi. Rubbing his eyes, Hitoshi greeted Kaminari back. Was Hitoshi in a Shoujo manga? No, this is probably just what people mean when they say rose-colored glasses.

“Do you think they have anything without caffeine?” Kaminari asked.

“Nope. It’s a coffee shop.”

“Darn it.” Kaminari crossed his arms and pouted.

Half of Hitoshi wanted to reach out and pat Kaminari’s head – completely charmed over how the blonde had taken his comment literally. Someone whose first instinct was to trust Hitoshi. That was a pleasant and new change Hitoshi didn’t intend to jeopardize in the slightest.

“I’m kidding,” Hitoshi said. “There are probably decaf options.”

“Hell yeah!” Kaminari cheered.

As Hitoshi headed toward the counter, Kaminari claimed a table in a corner framed by bookshelves. The scent of yellowed pages lingered, and Hitoshi could imagine sitting in the café for hours. He locked his gaze onto the menu, struggling to decipher the items listed while Kaminari spun a saltshaker around on the table.

Hitoshi pulled his shirt collar away from his neck as he ordered because he definitely wasn’t a sweaty mess over going to a café with his totally-just-a-friend. Before, he knew it he’d ordered two vanilla bean shakes. This body would probably scream at him for cutting back on his usual caffeine intake, but matching with Kaminari would one hundred percent be worth it.

Lovestruck, Hitoshi didn’t second-guess handing his ID over to the barista when she asked for it. Yet the second she’d taken in his personal information she shirked away from him. “No. You are not welcome here.”

He almost punched himself in the face as he snatched his ID back. Why did he do something so mindless? He knew better than to show his card – he wasn’t legally obligated to, and Uncle Shouta had drilled into him how irrationally biased storeowners could be. Hitoshi buried his face in his hands. Fantastic, now he’d wasted his chance at spending time alone with Kaminari all because he couldn’t think straight. Literally!

Kaminari dropped the saltshaker as he sprinted toward Hitoshi’s side. He slid in front of the barista and batted his biggest puppy-dog eyes at her. “Please, I’m sure we can figure it out.”

Shoving his hands into his pocket, Hitoshi strode toward the door. He hadn’t wanted to make himself more of a burden to Kaminari. If he dragged Kaminari down with him even as a friend, then maybe Hitoshi didn’t even deserve platonic relationships.

“It’s alright, Kaminari. I’m not thirsty anyways. You can enjoy your shake in peace.”

“Nope. If you’re not welcome here, they’re not getting a dime from me. Let’s go.”

Outside, Hitoshi kicked pebbles beneath the streetlights. Worried glances hit Hitoshi’s back as Kaminari followed after him. He’d never want you. Not with all the baggage you come with. Look at you. You destroyed any chance at enjoying even the littlest things like a trip to the coffee shop. Just like you killed your parents – if you’d manifested a normal quirk, that villain never would have...

Hitoshi pressed his nails to his palms, forming crescents as he made the invasive thoughts quiet down. Regret was worthless and wouldn’t do sh*t to bring his mother and father back from the dead. But what if everyone who Hitoshi let behind his walls ended up dead? After how close he’d gotten to Dad and Uncle Shouta, it’d be greedy of Hitoshi to allow anyone else into his heart and risk their lives with his existence alone.

Kaminari set a hand on Hitoshi’s shoulder. Ordinally, he would’ve gone hysterical over the contact, but all of his nerves had gone numb. The soft honey-smooth voice grew jagged and static. “Shinsou, let’s file a complaint. I’m sure –“

“Drop it, Kaminari. It’s fine.” Hitoshi shook him off.

“Shinsou, enough. It isn’t fine. You and I both know that you deserve better than this.”

“I know. But the world’s a cruel place and we have to f*cking deal with it.” Hitoshi wondered whether life was trying to send him the message that he couldn’t have nice things. Fingers crossed that Sero would actually do research into the café next time he put his wingman skills to the test.

“But hey. One of these days I’m going to show those motherf*ckers how wrong they were to treat me like dirt.”

Kaminari seemed to relax at the confidence in Hitoshi’s tone. “I’m counting on it.”

The two boys walked beside one another in comfortable silence. Hitoshi could tell that Kaminari was shaking with a dozen questions, but he appreciated that the blonde had chosen to stay quiet for his sake. That gave Hitoshi room to think.

In a hypothetical situation where a robber burst into the café and raided the cash register, Hitoshi decided that he wouldn’t stop them regardless of whether he had the power to. And it wasn’t like he was a stickler for unlicensed quirk usage. Call him petty, but he didn’t think shops like that deserved to stay in business – especially when the owner was such a disgrace to the sanctity of coffee.

Kaminari reached out to grab Hitoshi’s hand, prompting him to pull back. Lumps formed at the back of his throat as Kaminari failed to mask his disappointment with a smile. Not yet. But we can hold hands someday when I know I won’t hold you back.


I sure hope Author-chan has nothing evil planned next chapter. *nervous sweat ensues*

Chapter 6: Tragic Backstory


Hitoshi is confronted by the reality that Shouta = Uncle Ben.


Me: Well, if that chapter title isn't concerning.

Hitoshi: Author-chan, I'm going to strangle you with my webs over this.

Me: Huh. Kinky.

Hitoshi: f*ck you!

Me: My oh my, I'm flattered but I'd much rather stick to shipping you with Denki *sprints away*

Hitoshi: AHHHHHH

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Grinning like a maniac, Dad entered Hitoshi’s room. Hitoshi broke out into a nervous sweat as he slipped out of his pullover and tossed it behind his bed lest anyone spot the webs glued to the sleeves. Evidence that he hadn’t walked the way back from the café on foot.

He didn’t protest as Dad slipped a ridiculously frilly apron over his head and dragged him into the kitchen. As Dad quaked with excitement, Hitoshi decided that his parent’s antics would likely be an ideal way to take his mind off the barista’s contempt.

In the kitchen, sheets of sushi spread out on the countertop that hardly saw any use because no one in the household could be trusted with so much as a pot and packet of ramen. Wrinkling his brows in suspicion, Hitoshi accepted the knife Dad handed him while gesturing toward a slab of salmon on the cutting board that had just been taken out of its original packaging. Whistles filled the apartment and Dad stepped forward to pour rice into a pot. After going through half a packet of matches, Dad managed to spark a blue flame atop the stove

Curious, Hitoshi set the knife that he feared he’d be more likely to slice off his fingertips with than prepare a meal. The tingle at the back of his skull that signaled danger was absent as he stepped closer to Dad’s side. Hitoshi crossed his arms and nodded his head. Color me impressed. For once Dad wasn’t whining about how gas stoves were an impossible mystery to unravel. Instead, he cheerfully stirred the rice around.

“Dad, since when can you cook?”

“Ah come on, Hitoshi. You can learn anything from YouTube.”

Skeptically, Hitoshi turned back toward the platter of salmon. Had Dad even refrigerated the fish properly? Tapping his fingers against his forehead, Hitoshi concluded that it had been foolish to believe that Dad’s cooking skills had magically leveled up overnight.

“Are you planning on poisoning Uncle Shouta?”

“Absolutely not! We just need to commemorate his first day back on patrol somehow.”

With a sigh, Hitoshi returned to the cutting board and kept his fingers a respectable distance from the blade – after all, he didn’t completely trust that his newly found spider reflexes would prevent him from losing a digit or two. Regardless, the air warped around Hitoshi like a soft embrace because of Dad’s gesture. Seeing Uncle Shota walk around without bandages reconstructed some of the normalcy Hitoshi had lost after getting bitten.

Staring at the knife, Hitoshi struggled to find the motivation to slice through the meat. He was half-convinced that any food that required chewing wasn’t worth Uncle Shouta’s while. After all, he didn’t have much energy to spare between his two jobs. Now that Hitoshi thought about it, Dad had three jobs between hero patrols, teaching and his radio show. Shuddering, Hitoshi dwelled upon the implications that being raised by workaholics would have on his future work-life balance.

“Does Uncle Shouta even like sushi?

“Who doesn’t?”

Schooling his expression into a neutral one, Hitoshi reached for a soy sauce packet. After opening it, he traced a line reminiscent of Uncle Shouta’s scar beneath one eye. He banished every sardonic trace in his voice as he gave Dad an unimpressed glare.

“Raw fish. What do I look like to you? A cat?”

“You really are like Shouta’s mini-me,” Dad cooed before leaning over to pat Hitoshi on the head. “But to be fair, the two of you really do resemble cats.”

“I don’t see it.”

Of course, you don’t, little listener.” Dad pointed toward Cappucino who was lunging on top of the refrigerator, convinced that would be enough to prove that he was in the right.

Swaying his hands like a conductor, Dad urged Hitoshi to get back to work. Unfortunately, cooking wasn’t half as easy as the online tutorials made it look. By the time Hitoshi had finished slicing up the fish, he had reduced it to an inedible pile of mushy flesh. In an attempt to salvage the sushi, Dad retrieved cucumbers and avocados from the refrigerator to convert their meal into a vegetarian option.

Yet a hiss sounded from the pot and Hitoshi ran to cover up the smoke detectors with a rag, narrowly avoiding dropping the kitchen knife into his own palm amid the chaos. Meanwhile, Dad pulled the pot off the stove and winced as the metal clattered to the floor. Angry red imprints formed on his fingers in the aftermath of neglecting to use a potholder or wear gloves. As overcooked burnt rice spilled onto the ground, Dad raced over to the sink and let icy water run over his hands.

Hitoshi opened the window and let the smoke clear. Once he’d switched the stove off, Hitoshi crawled onto a stool and grabbed a bottle of fish sauce. As Dad dunked his burns into a small dish containing fish sauce, Hitoshi vowed never to cook again even if it meant eating microwave meals for the rest of his life. Uncle Shouta had been right; meal prep was far too much trouble.

Light footsteps resounded through the kitchen. Staring at the wreckage of seaweed and rice, Uncle Shouta reached for his eyedrops as if the sight alone had made his dry eye flare up. Hitoshi curled in on himself, concerned that Uncle Shouta would ban him and Dad from the kitchen – which would be a catastrophe because Hitoshi needed the coffee machine to remain an even remotely functional human being.

“What happened here?” Uncle Shouta asked.

“We were trying to make dinner for all of us.” Dad waved his arms at the failed dish in defeat while emphasizing those last few words – likely in hopes of softening any possible chastisem*nt headed his way.

Rolling his eyes, Uncle Shouta simply grabbed a broom and passed a dustpan to Dad. While Hitoshi’s parent’s swept up the disaster, Hitoshi gathered up the ruined salmon and threw it away. Uncle Shouta clicked his tongue at the instructions Dad had written on a sticky note in scraggly print.

“Gel pouches are sufficient.”

Dad swatted at him with the hand devoid of minor burns. “SHOUTA! You’re no fun.”

“Too bad. You were aware of that fact when you married me.”

“Well, you are a big ol’ softie on the inside.” Wiggling his eyebrows, Dad looped a finger around the wedding ring Uncle Shouta had fastened to a necklace. Once he’d reeled Uncle Shouta in closer, Dad planted a kiss on his cheek.

“That’s just a rumor.” Blushing at the gesture, Uncle Shouta buried his face in his scarf. Hitoshi reeled at the realization of how similar his own mannerisms were to that when he was in Kaminari’s vicinity.

Smiling cheekily, Hitoshi leaned on the counter. “Hmm, Uncle Shouta, wouldn’t your body appreciate solid food for once? Could make hero work more efficient.”

“Fair point.” Uncle Shouta paused and headed toward the stack of papers by the fridge. “We can get take-out.”

As Uncle Shouta fished out the menu from Dad’s go-to Chinese restaurant, the latter beamed bright enough to make it look like it was daytime rather than well into the night.

“Ha! There you go proving my point, you softie. You do love us.”

Uncle Shouta simply pressed his lips shut and ignored Dad as he input a phone number into the landline. I love you wasn’t the sort of thing that Uncle Shouta would say unless he was on his deathbed. But he didn’t have to since the way he recited Dad and Hitoshi’s favorite orders from memory sent out the same message loud and clear.

In the living room, Dad sat crossed-legged on the carpet while Cappuccino snored on his lap. Oblivious to his surroundings, he hovered over the instruction manual and tinkered with his headphones. He’d joked that he wasn’t going to rely on online tutorials for assistance that time after the thorough betrayal with dinner.

With Dad preoccupied and his burnt hand covered in band-aids, Uncle Shouta took on his chore of washing the dishes. Hitoshi dried off the plates Uncle Shouta passed toward him and set them onto the rack and ensured that they were neatly aligned. As much as Uncle Shouta neglects his appearance, Hitoshi knew that he preferred to have a tidy home that felt like a haven compared to the chaos of patrol.

Once Hitoshi had wiped the last plate dry, he noted that the fibers of the dishrag were still attached to his hand. Knowing that trying to shake off the cloth would be hopeless, Hitoshi held his palm out of view and prayed that the rag would detach sooner rather than later.

Head abuzz with the static of running water, Hitoshi tried to ignore how blinding the kitchen’s fluorescent lights were even after having his powers for a week. Sure, he could mostly go about life as usual despite the heightened senses – even if the clacking of pens during exams now frustrated him to no end – but he hardly wanted to add more minor inconveniences to his ever-growing list.

He wondered whether Uncle Shouta had contacts who knew how to stop every sound from sounding ear-splitting and prevent every aroma from being suffocatingly intense. Hitoshi’s mouth started to move on its own.

“Uncle Shouta? I have something to tell you.”

Shutting the silverware drawer, Uncle Shouta looked back at Hitoshi intently. “Alright.”

Hitoshi’s jaw clamped shut like it to had fallen victim to stickiness. Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi focused on letting the tension in his body melt. The rag released from his grip and unceremoniously fell to the floor. Yet all the words he yearned to say had liquidated.

Do you really want to burden Uncle Shouta more than you already have?

He took you in when he was twenty-one.

You stole his youth.

Figure it out on your own. You didn’t earn your powers.

At least, learn how to use them on your merit. That way you can be good for something even if you’re a good-for-nothing with a villainous quirk.

Turning away from Uncle Shouta, Hitoshi bent over to pick up the fallen rag. “Nevermind. It’s dumb. Forget about it.”

“Hitoshi, nothing about you is dumb.” Uncle Shouta didn’t give Hitoshi physical reassurance through embraces like Dad would have. However, Uncle Shouta settled down on one of the wooden kitchen chairs and patiently waited for Hitoshi to answer.

“I am here. I’ll listen.”

“Did you just drop All Might’s catchphrase?” He failed to suppress a chuckle that allowed the lumps in his esophagus to dissipate.


“Spending all that time teaching with him must be rubbing off on you, huh?”

“Shush, kid,” Uncle Shouta said in false annoyance.

He placed mugs at his and Hitoshi’s spots at the table before heading to the Keurig to place some pods in it. As the coffee machine chimed, the circles beneath Uncle Shouta’s eyes deepened. Fidgeting his loose ends on his capture weapon, he stared at Hitoshi like he could spontaneously combust at any moment.

Hitoshi picked at his nailbeds while Uncle Shouta poured both of them coffee. Does he know about the spider bite? Was I not careful enough about hiding it? Is he mad that I lied to him? Though I can argue that I wasn’t technically lying. Not that omitting facts made any difference. Uncle Shouta still had every reason to give Hitoshi a look that said I’m not mad, just disappointed.

Uncle Shouta clasped his hands together. “Hitoshi, I saw a report about some unlicensed quirk usage. At the beach. You wouldn’t have anything to do with that, right?”

Adrenaline spiking, Hitoshi rammed his fingers into the kitchen table. He’d broken the law. What if Uncle Shouta pushed him aside for playing into the villain role assigned to him a decade ago?

“Sorry, there was just this guy, and he was harassing Sero over his binder which was so many levels of f*cked up – and I know that quirk usage is illegal, but I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing –”

“Slow down, kid. You did good.” Uncle Shouta poured cream into Hitoshi’s coffee, tempering panic with sweetness. “I'm glad you de-escalated the situation without getting recognized. Just be careful, okay? Wouldn’t want any charges on your record before you enter the hero course.”

Hitoshi clung to the mug’s handle like a lifeline. With his index finger, he traced invisible spirals along the kitchen table’s surface.

“It isn’t fair. If I had a flashy quirk, no one would have ever said anything.”

“I know, kid. I know.” Uncle Shouta held up his mug and clinked it against Hitoshi’s in a sarcastic form of cheers. “Society is a dumpster fire.”

“That’s an understatement. It’s more like a sinking ship that’s on fire – multiple disasters wrapped into one.”

Uncle Shouta chuckled only to school his face back into its stone-cold expression. “Still, kid. You really shouldn’t let spite guide everything you do. You have a powerful quirk –”

“No, Brainwashing isn’t anything –”

“It is. And with that power comes great responsibility.” The surrounding air around Uncle Shouta glitched in a kaleidoscope of lights as he reached to grab Hitoshi’s hand, serving as an anchor.

“Just try to remember what heroism is about. Like you did at the beach. We all get lost along the way, but everything’s fine if you find your way back in the end.”

Paralyzed, Hitoshi gripped his mug hard enough for it to creak from the force of his superhuman strength. The same words echoed in his mind over and over again.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Hitoshi burrowed his hands into his thighs because he had to be overthinking things. The parallels between him and Peter Parker were purely coincidental. So what if they were both orphans ostracized by their peers? Uncle Shouta wasn’t Uncle Ben. He couldn’t be.

Yet the 42 on the spider's back evoked a very particular Spider-Man franchise. The kind with canon events.

Sweat dripped down Hitoshi’s spine while Uncle Shouta sipped on his coffee. Calm as chai and blissfully unaware of the death flag looming over his head. Hitoshi bit his lower lip, forcing himself to think sensibly. Uncle Shouta was a hero. Uncle Ben was a civilian. After over a decade of fighting villains, Uncle Shouta couldn’t possibly become collateral damage in an amateur burglary gone wrong, right?

What kind of cruel punishment would that be? A mundane, unheroic demise after he’d lost his best friend, his brother-in-law, and his sister in the same abrupt unrighteous way.

Hitoshi summoned nonchalance back into his voice because Uncle Shouta hardly deserved to become the subject of possibly unfounded paranoia. Just because the age of quirks resembled the pages of comic books didn’t mean it had to follow every plot beat of a Spider-Man origin story.

“I thought you weren’t one for preachy speeches.”

Uncle Shouta reached out and ruffled Hitoshi’s hair. With tears brimming in the corners of his eyes, Hitoshi treasured the contact because it could be the last time he experienced his uncle letting his cold exterior slip.

“I’m not. But sometimes being a good parent takes precedence.”

Hitoshi tiptoed into Uncle Shouta’s office and swiped a map with his patrol route off the desk. He slipped the paper into his hoodie pocket and paused in front of the mirror. Stuffing his hair into a black beanie, Hitoshi slipped a medical mask over his face. He wouldn’t want to be recognizable enough for the cops to condemn him for unlicensed quirk usage. Though the spider powers weren’t a quirk so that meant Hitoshi had a legal loophole to slip through so he could avoid vigilantism if need be.

Not that he planned on getting into fights. But the multicolor glitching was a bad omen – and since it evidently wasn’t a quirk something far worse had to be in store. Pausing in front of the entryway, Hitoshi itched his wrist while Cappuccino curled around his leg. As he crouched to scratch his cat behind the ears, she narrowed her eyes at him, communicating you’re panicking over nothing.

Yet sure in his resolve, Hitoshi grabbed his phone and stood taller. He couldn’t take any chances even if it meant chasing after merely a hunch. Besides, he doubted that he would have been able to fall asleep with worry tugging at his neck like heartburn.

Outdoors, he held onto his phone’s pop socket with a death grip lest he drop it while sprinting across the side of the building. The gunshots that burst through his mother and father’s chest ricocheted through his memory. He suffocated on his own breath at the thought of Uncle Shouta succumbing to the same fate. Realizing he had frozen in place, Hitoshi shelved such thoughts for later and flung a stream of webs across a telephone wire. He held both ends of the string as he sped downhill with his makeshift zipline. While he pressed in anticipation that the web could snap, Hitoshi found his feet on solid ground on a rooftop.

Swimming in a pool of his own sweat, Hitoshi latched webs on a dumpster’s lid and tethered himself to the sidewalk. Inhale. Exhale. He could afford a breather. Just five minutes. Then he would find Uncle Shouta. He massaged his face and looked forward to having peace of mind once he could see that his uncle was safe and sound with his own two eyes.

A shrill alarm rang in the distance. Even with the wailing sounding several blocks away, Hitoshi’s head pounded with the noise. It was of course from Uncle Shouta’s patrol route, but Hitoshi still web-slinged past buildings. He had to confirm that the alarms were not a prelude to ambulance and police sirens serenading Uncle Shouta’s death.

Standing in her nightgown with her hair in rollers, the café owner leaned out of the windowsill above her establishment. In horror, she gawked at a scrawny masculine figure who stormed out of the café. Bills fluttered out of the garbage bag the thief held clutched in their hand.

Hitoshi stared daggers at the café owner while the robber ran past him. She gestured toward him expectantly, but instead, he walked in the opposite direction and nodded at the robber’s whispered thanks. He didn’t owe the café owner sh*t – and he was determined to stay true to his previous statement about a hypothetical scenario.

Yet as the robber faded in the distance, he noticed their skin start to melt away into grey. Static glitched around the thief as they rounded the corner. Suddenly, Hitoshi was five again, watching television. Peter Parker vindictively glared at the people who screwed him over with a wrestling match while he let a thief get away. A flood of gunshots and tears followed.

His internal organs tangled together and tightened. Hysterical laughter rubbed his throat raw. He really was an idiot, wasn’t he? Falling straight into the trappings of an Uncle Ben scenario because he wanted to get back at the world for chipping away at his soul.

No, stop that. You can still save him. Folding his fingers over, Hitoshi shot to the rooftops and zoomed past apartment buildings. The thief couldn’t have possibly made it that far – unless the mysterious glitching played its cards.

Finally, Hitoshi spotted Uncle Shouta shrouded in black. The same color worn to Western funerals. Hitoshi shook off the thought as he slammed into the side of a building amid his distraction. Despite the splitting headache that followed, Hitoshi headed toward Uncle Shouta even as his knees wobbled with every step.

But while the walls titled around him and he could barely stand straight, the thief reemerged. Dropping the bag of money, the thief let skin melt away, revealing a blonde schoolgirl standing butt-naked. Even Uncle Shouta froze at the abrupt transformation.

In sync with one another, Uncle Shouta reached for his capture weapon while the schoolgirl retrieved a knife. Whipping out his scarf, Uncle Shouta knocked the knife out of the thief's grasp. As the scarf tightened around the thief, the air flickered around her palm in a bright iridescent flash. A knife that had been several meters out of reach moments ago had returned to her hand. Not a gun like in Hitoshi's vision. Not the type of weapon that had offed Uncle Ben - yet equally deadly. Wielding the blade, the thief beamed with a crazed smile.

“You're old, but oh well. Your blood will still be pretty.”

The world froze and for a moment honking no longer sounded from late-night traffic. Bells hanging over convenience store entrances didn’t ring. Neon signs quit flickering. The thief threw the knife and glitching flickered around it, redirecting its trajectory toward Uncle Shouta's chest. Forcing his vision to no longer blur, Hitoshi aimed toward the blade and released a web. It barely nicked the weapon, veering it off course by only two inches.

Time quit flowing like honey as blood splattered onto the pavement and Uncle Shouta collapsed like a ragdoll. The thief raced away while Hitoshi ran to his uncle’s side. He knew that this might be his only chance to capture her – but Hitoshi could only hope that he’d find a way to keep Uncle Shouta alive so he wouldn’t have to avenge his murderer.

Hands shaking Hitoshi typed in the emergency number as he rambled details about his location while trying to decipher street signs through his tears. Pulling off his beanie, he pressed the fabric to Uncle Shouta’s chest to stop the bleeding. Still, red seeped onto Hitoshi’s hand – a brand for his responsibility regarding the wound. He wanted to yank out the knife and had to remind himself a thousand times that such an action would only intensify the flow of blood.

Uncle Shouta’s dark eyes widened in recognition, but he failed to get any words out as he choked on blood. Instead, he cupped Hitoshi’s face just before his eyelids fluttered shut.

Hitoshi screamed as he held Uncle Shouta’s wrist. He couldn’t tell if the faint pulse was real or whether it was a delusion resulting from how he wasn’t ready to let his father figure go.


Thank God, AO3 is back!

I've missed you, my beloved.

Chapter 7: Retcon


Hitoshi deals with the aftermath of the stabbing incident.


I accidentally fell off my chair while drafting the last parts of this chapter lmao. I felt a bit light-headed after so I think that threw off the pacing. (Don't worry I'm not hurt. Just very clumsy. My physical pain is for reasons unrelated to the chair incident :D)

Anyways, time for me to find the energy to finish drafting chapter 8.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

A citrus aroma lingered on sterile white walls. In the waiting room, Hitoshi paced back and forth as he passed a can of co*ke from the vending machines between his hands. The ice-cold touch of aluminum numbed his urge to sit down on a rickety plastic folding chair. He didn’t want to sit down and wait for an eternity only to discover that the new cavity in Uncle Shouta’s chest might never heal.

Not a trace of gel in sight, Dad’s blonde hair cascaded over his face as he reached out to grab Hitoshi by the wrist. As he sunk into Dad’s embrace, Hitoshi’s chest tightened. Because if Hitoshi hadn’t let the thief get away or hadn’t gotten the spider bite, then Uncle Shouta wouldn’t be strapped to a hospital while surrounded by a chorus of heart-rate monitors.

“It’s all my fault,” Hitoshi muttered.

“No, Hitoshi. It isn’t – you’re just a kid.”

Setting the soda can aside, Hitoshi rubbed the corners of his swollen eyes rawer than they already were. “Doesn’t matter. I was right there. And I didn’t stop him from getting stabbed.”

“You sound just like him.” With a stern sigh, Dad placed both hands on Hitoshi’s shoulders and looked him directly in the eye.

“Just because you didn’t intervene in time doesn’t mean it’s your fault he got hurt. You know that, right? Besides, you did call the ambulance.”

Hitoshi answered with a non-committal hmm. If he’d managed to reach out a little further – attach his webs to the knife and reel it in rather than simply graze it, then Uncle Shouta wouldn’t have bled onto the asphalt. Contacting emergency services paled in comparison to what Hitoshi could have done.

Nevertheless, he hoped that getting Uncle Shouta to the hospital would be enough to ensure that he and Dad wouldn’t find a corpse lying on a thin mattress after passing the twenty-four-hour mark of the hospital stay.

As the door to Uncle Shouta’s hospital room creaked open, Hitoshi untangled himself from Dad’s embrace. The doctor’s clipboard clacked while Dad and Hitoshi rushed past her and headed straight for the hospital bed. Perched upright, Uncle Shouta sat with his hands clasped together and bandages wrapped around his chest.

He let out a grieved sigh as his family hugged him. Hitoshi marveled over Uncle Shouta’s warmth which confirmed he was still alive. The doctor’s words became background noise as the sound of labored breaths overshadowed them.

“He was lucky. The wound was mostly surface level. The shock of the impact triggered most of the bleeding.”

“Thank God!” Turning away from Uncle Shouta, Dad nodded at the doctor. “His health really doesn’t need to take another hit.”

Hitoshi’s jaw stiffened as he took in the faint aroma of gel pouches that seemed to follow Uncle Shouta everywhere. The timing of his hero’s destiny couldn’t have been worse. Uncle Shouta had just escaped from his mummified cocoon – and here he was encased in bandages yet again.

The doctor spoke up again. “You should take out the stitches in a week."

“Understood,” Uncle Shouta sighed.

The doctor tapped a ballpoint pen against her clipboard as she turned to leave. “You’ll be good to go in another couple of hours. We just need to run some tests on the knife to confirm there isn’t a tetanus risk.”

As soon as the doctor was out of sight, Uncle Shouta summoned his strength to whack Hitoshi in the shoulder. Hitoshi could tell the blow was hardly a percent of what his uncle was capable of. Regardless, he found himself gaping at Uncle Shouta over the act. What the hell was that for?

“Idiot,” Uncle Shouta grumbled. “What were you even doing outside in an alley at that hour?”

“Restless leg syndrome is a bitch,” Hitoshi lied. He couldn't exactly proclaim, oh I thought you were going to get murdered because I was bitten by a radioactive spider. It’s one of those niffy promo deals. Buy one spider bite, get one father figure death for free.

Crossing his arms, Hitoshi buried his panic. “Plus, it’s not like you can ground me for saving your life.”

Uncle Shouta’s glare softened as he conceded, “I suppose calling emergency services is difficult when you’re unconscious.”

He settled back under his thin plastic-like covers while Dad switched on the television in the corner of the room. Hitoshi expected nothing but boring documentaries would be on, and his suspicions were confirmed when baby penguins waddled across the screen. As a skua bird lurked overhead, spinning around a glacier, Hitoshi darted out of the room and announced that he was going to get more snacks from the venture machine. The last thing he needed after watching his uncle get stabbed on his account was to see a penguin get mauled to death.

Two inches. Two goddamn inches had been the difference between life and death. If he'd hesitated for even a second, who knew whether Uncle Shouta would still be around?

Hitoshi's phone buzzed in his pocket once he’d slipped coins into the vending machine. While bag of chips fell down the chute, Hitoshi turned to the screen which displayed a familiar contact name – not that Hitoshi had ever had many numbers saved to begin with.

Kaminari 💛

You good Shinsou?

Just didn’t see you at school 2day

Or some of my teachers for that matter

Want me to bring you some soup or sth?


Is that supposed to be a romantic gesture?

Kaminari 💛

Is it working?


Ew. No.

Reaching into the vending machine, Hitoshi retrieved a chip bag and fiddled with the edges. He told himself for the millionth time that Kaminari was just naturally flirty. Even though Sero had implied that Kaminari was interested in Hitoshi, he was convinced that the infatuation only ran skin deep. Not that Hitoshi thought of himself as much to look at. Yet the thought of how Kaminari wanted the little things – like taking care of Hitoshi when he was sick – made Hitoshi’s metaphorical butterflies swarm.

Kaminari 💛

But srsly? How are you doing?


As well as I can be seeing how my uncle got stabbed

Kaminari 💛

OMGF I’m so sorry


It’s fine

Not like it’s on you or anything

he’s a pro

this kinda thing was always a possibility

and he’s recovering at the hospital rn

Should be let out soon

Kaminari 💛

Well, that’s a relief

Also hold up…

Your uncle is a PRO?

Since when?


Um… 12 years

Shouldn’t you know that?

He is your homeroom teacher

Kaminari 💛

Eraserhead is your uncle? Are you sh*tting me?


Uh, I thought you knew

Wouldn’t Sero have told you?

Kaminari 💛

He’s been keeping secrets from me ????? *insert dramatic gasp*

Wait here while I have a little TALK with our fav spider expy ;)


Huh? It’s not me?

Kaminari 💛

Nope lol


Fine, not like that was my life goal anyhow

Just don’t kill Sero when you teach him a lesson

Kaminari 💛

No promises, love

Returning to the hospital room, Hitoshi made sure to wipe the lovesick smirk off his face. Though it turned out that there was no need since Dad was preoccupied with wrestling with Uncle Shouta who kept trying to slip his boots on and leave the bed.

“I still have time to catch up on yesterday’s patrol.

“Shouta! You need to rest.” Shoving Uncle Shouta’s head against the pillow, Dad sighed disapprovingly at how his husband was prioritizing workaholic tendencies over health. “This is like top surgery all over again.”

“Rest is for the weak.”

Dad flailed his arms, mirroring a frazzled chicken in the process. “Rest is for people who don’t want to give their darling husbands a heart attack”

“Then perish,” Uncle Shouta answered.

“No! I demand seven days of bed rest!”



Hitoshi raised a brow at his guardians’ antics. “What is this? An auction?”

“Apparently.” Dad chuckled and held his hands up in defeat. “Anyways, how about three days?”

“Two. Final offer.”

“Deal.” Dad leaned over and planted a smooch on Uncle Shouta’s forehead while the latter pretended to be disgusted by the public display of affection. “I think if you stayed housebound for any longer than that, you’d smother me in my sleep.”

“As long as you don’t test my patience, you’ll be fine.”

“Ooh, you’re so seductive when you make threats,” Dad purred.

Wincing, Hitoshi cupped his palms over his ears. “Gah, Dad! Not here, not now. Please, don’t scar me for life.” I already have enough trauma as it is.

Laughter sounded as Dad crawled onto Uncle Shouta’s bed and curled up beside him. Hitoshi switched off the television – freeing himself from the burden of the nature documentary. Instead, he settled on the ratty carpet and munched on chips while watching funny cat videos on his phone.

The tranquility was broken when two teenage boys burst through the door. As Kaminari and Sero waved at the family gathered in the hospital room, Hitoshi dropped his chips in shock. “What are two doing here?”

“Well, we just headed to the hospital closest to where you live and wanted to make sure Aizawa is okay,” Kaminari said.

Fishing a slightly wrinkled paper out of his pocket, Sero held a card toward Uncle Shouta. “We made you a get well soon card. Neither of us is much of an artist – but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?”

Hitoshi stared that the squiggly drawing in purple crayon. He assumed it was supposed to be a cat yet he couldn’t tell whether he was looking at whiskers or spider legs. Sero and Kaminari really hadn’t been exaggerating about their lack of artistic talent. Nonetheless, Uncle Shouta suppressed a fond smile as he placed the card on the nightstand.

“Not bad.”

Snickering, Dad rose from the hospital bed and leaned in toward Hitoshi. “Are these your friends?”

Hitoshi put his hands in his pockets and tried to act aloof because he had a goddamn reputation to uphold. “I guess so.”

“YOU ADMITTED IT!” Dad wrapped him into yet another bear hug. “Hitoshi, I’m so proud!”

“Dad, you’re embarrassing me.”

Wiggling out of the embrace, Hitoshi flushed red. He didn’t want his friends to see him get coddled by Dad. What if guys like that weren’t Kaminari’s type? Of course, it wasn’t like Hitoshi cared even in the slightest about what Kaminari’s ideal type was or anything.

Kaminari grinned. “You have two pro heroes as parents? That’s so cool!”

Hitoshi quivered as Uncle Shouta sent Kaminari a death glare and knew that his mind was about to change regarding that statement.

“What intentions do you have with Hitoshi?”

“Nothing, sir.”

“Nothing? Are you trivializing your friendship?”

“No, no, not at all.” Kaminari’s knees shook, earning Hitoshi’s pity – who was uncomfortably well acquainted with Uncle Shouta’s sharp gaze. “Just want to be friends with him. Nothing more. Definitely don’t think he’s gorgeous enough to be a model. Hand on my heart.”

Uncle Shouta narrowed his eyes at Kaminari in suspicion. “You’re getting an extra assignment due next week.”

“But why?”

“I have my reasons.” Hitoshi could envision his uncle pulling out a shotgun as he continued by saying, “Clearly, you could benefit from learning professionalism instead of pining over your peers.”

Dad squawked and nudged Uncle Shouta’s arm. “Like you’re one to talk. Or need I remind you that you confessed during our internships?”

“Huh. I wouldn’t have expected Mr. Aizawa to be the one to confess. Or even be in a relationship in the first place,” Sero stated bluntly.

Uncle Shouta was too preoccupied with glaring at Kaminari to pay the peanut gallery any notice. But Dad beamed at Sero as brightly as the sun.

“Well, my Shouta is full of surprises. Besides, I never could say no to his scruffy sort of charm.”

While snickering echoed through the room, Hitoshi examined the ruby flicker of Uncle Shouta’s eyes. How Dad pressed his fingers against his neck to remind himself not to activate his quirk while laughing. The crudely drawn card on the table. All the little things Hitoshi had been dangerously close to losing.

Two days later, Hitoshi snuck after Uncle Shouta while he was on patrol. Beanie pulled over his lilac hair that would’ve been a dead giveaway, Hitoshi kept close to the rooftops so as not to alert the seasoned pro hero of his presence. Using webs to slingshot himself across an alleyway, Hitoshi watched his uncle like a hawk.

Even if Shouta had been cast as Uncle Ben, Hitoshi had managed to ensure that the wound wasn’t fatal. He could only hope that they were finally out of the woods. He had to be sure though. Life wasn’t a dress rehearsal – and if a bullet pierced through a performer’s chest, there would be no encore.

Yet the damning evidence came as tell-tale kaleidoscope glitching sparked in Uncle Shouta’s blind spot. A scarlet gaze shone as Uncle Shouta approached a thug at the end of the alley. Reddish-brown hair and a wide sneer reminded Hitoshi of one of the files he'd seen on Uncle Shouta's desk. A League of Villains underling arrested in the aftermath of the USJ. The thug flexed his arm, presumably failing to activate a quirk, and eyes widened behind a bulky silver mask. Desperate, he held out his fingertips and directed them toward Uncle Shouta, seemingly expecting them to transform into gun muzzles - but not even the faintest trail of gunfire sprung forth.

As the capture scarf tightened around the thug, the glitching intensified. The barrel of a gun emerged in the thug’s hand despite him previously being unarmed. On instinct, Hitoshi shot out his webs and tugged the gun out of the thug’s grasp. Once Hitoshi had the weapon, he looked at it as if the gun had burned him and discarded it in a dumpster with a resounding echo.

Uncle Shouta paused for a split second until he fastened zip ties around the thug’s wrists. Then, his head whipped toward Hitoshi who was perched on the edge of a building. Face ashen, Hitoshi sprinted away as the sound of a capture weapon whipping through the air sounded behind him.

His lungs burned as Uncle Shouta pursued him. Train tracks loomed ahead, and Hitoshi leaped across them just before train cars passed by. Sweat dripped down his back and he couldn’t tell whether it was from fear or exhaustion. With his hands twitching and trembling, Hitoshi reached the fire escape and looked over his shoulder to confirm that his uncle was no longer in sight. Yet Hitoshi found it impossible to breathe a sigh of relief.

After all, his worst fears had been confirmed.

Uncle Shouta was like a father to him.

Tragedy was inevitable.

Because the plot demanded the death of Hitoshi’s pillar of security.

Scratching at the pavement, Hitoshi fell onto his knees. How long would Uncle Shouta be able to remain in the eye of the storm and evade the rain of bullets and blades fate threw at him? Would Hitoshi be able to do anything about it? It was only a matter of time before he became that same helpless six-year-old again. With stubby fingers that couldn’t even input 9-1-1 in time. A quirk made redundant through paralysis from fear.

He bit the inside of his cheek and tasted iron. Didn't he already have a tragic backstory? He didn't need another. Staring at his palms, Hitoshi wondered whether he was cursed. Whether laughter at hospitals and outings to the beach were nothing but fleeting illusions. That every joyful moment was only the calm that preceded a storm. He condemned himself for having the naive childish wish of aspiring to be happy when every second of bliss was destined to wither away like flower petals.

Decked in a sweater that bunched around his knees, five-year-old Hitoshi waddled toward the entryway next to the kitchen. Uncle Shouta had bought the sweater in far too large a size since he had no sense whatsoever for children’s clothes – but it was still Hitoshi’s favorite due to the Calico cat printed on the front. A tantrum ensued practically every time Mom insisted on washing the sweater.

Grunts sounded as Uncle Shouta and Mom lifted a TV through the doorway. Setting the appliance onto the ground, Mom stepped forward. Her violet pupilless eyes shone in the afternoon light as short disheveled dark hair fell around her chin. She reached around Uncle Shouta’s shoulder, failing to give her younger sibling a suitable noogie because he was a good foot taller than her. Only one of them had been granted the Aizawas’ tall genetics.

“With all your martial arts and fitness training you should’ve been able to carry the TV by yourself.”

Uncle Shouta shoved Mom away while grinning ear to ear. “Quiet, Hina. I’m competent when it comes to strength, but the television is darn bulky.”

Mom rolled her eyes and flapped her fingers together to imitate moving lips. “Excuses, excuses. Probably just don’t want to admit that my muscles are on par with yours.”

“Have fun living in your delusions, Hina,” Uncle Shouta sighed. “Besides, you really shouldn’t antagonize the brother helping you move books. Why do you even have so many?”

Excuse me. Wanting to be educated isn’t a crime.” Mom swiped her sweaty palms on her pant legs and strolled over to pick up Hitoshi. “And this also gives you the perfect excuse to pay your adorable nephew a visit.”

Uncle Shouta stepped closer and accepted Hitoshi from Mom’s embrace. His grip was a little unsteady – like he wasn’t quite sure how to hold something as fragile as a living breathing human being. Nevertheless, Hitoshi felt safe in his uncle’s arms.

Hitoshi patted Uncle Shouta’s cheek and frowned at how itchy the skin was.

“Why is your chin all scratchy?”

“I worked hard to get this stubble. So the last thing I’m going to do is shave it off.”

Biting his lips, Hitoshi nodded as if he understood his uncle completely even though he was very confused. Still, Hitoshi’s own hair had taken a while to grow out and he could infer that beard hair worked the same way.

Yellow goggles hung around Uncle Shouta’s neck. Preparation for the evening patrol that would follow after dinner. With stars in his eyes, Hitoshi ran his fingers along the support gear. Like any five-year-old Hitoshi changed his mind about what job he wanted to have constantly. Last Monday he wanted to be a mermaid and yesterday he wanted to become a firefighter. But this time he was certain he’d found an idea he’d be able to stick with for longer than a week.

“Momma, I want to be a cool pro. Just like Uncle Shouta! Can I have gel? I want my hair to float like Uncle Shouta’s does when he uses his quirk.”

Mom stepped forward and wrapped her family members into a group hug – much to Uncle Shouta’s dismay Hitoshi presumed. Squishing Hitoshi’s cheeks, Mom smiled.

“Of course, Sweetheart. I can’t wait to see you become an amazing hero someday.”

An abrupt pull tugged Hitoshi out of his memory. Sitting upright, Hitoshi blew the soup out of his nose because evidently, he’d fallen face-first into the bowl during his impromptu nap. With his sinuses aching in the aftermath, Hitoshi tried to latch onto the details of his mother’s laugh. The way her violet eyes shone. He hadn’t dreamt of her in ages – though he supposed that the previous night of following Uncle Shouta on patrol had made long-forgotten moments resurface.

His head pounded following the involuntary nap. His late-night wandering certainly hadn’t been doing his health any favors. At the opposite end of the table, Sero and Kaminari looked up from the servings of noodles and furrowed their brows at Hitoshi with concern.

Heart pounding, Hitoshi schooled his expression. He couldn’t let a trace of sweat show. He couldn’t burden his friends with reprise of the glitching. No! Stop. He didn’t have the luxury of bottling everything up – not when a life other than his own was on the line. Besides, Sero and Kaminari already knew his secret. Perhaps he could take that leap of faith and trust them.

He cleared his throat. “Uh, could I tell you guys something?”

“Of course, Shinsou. We’re all ears.” Kaminari reached out to place a hand atop Hitoshi’s, instilling him with the resolve to speak up.

Hitoshi took a deep breathe before blurting out, “Uncle Shouta is Uncle Ben.”

“Wait, what?” Kaminari tilted his head.

“Like you let a robber get away and then he got injured?” Sero asked.

Hitoshi let out a defeated laugh. “Essentially. Why do you think he was in the hospital?”

Horrified, Sero and Kaminari trembled in their seats. Hitoshi’s stomach sank as he feared that his friends would call him insane. Instead, Kaminari bit at his nails while Sero muttered. “f*ck this is bad.”

“Damn right. Reality is literally warping around him so that criminals get the upper hand in a fight.” Hitoshi dragged his hands across his face. “It’s like the world is trying to deliberately kill him. I’m not sure I believe in God but I’m tempted to believe in the devil. This is all one cruel joke.”

Tapping his chin, Kaminari offered a suggestion. “Well, you could stop crime.”

“Kaminari, the idealism’s nice and all, but that’s not realistic,” Hitoshi replied.

“No, dude. Just hear me out. If you managed to step in and directly limit crime or even eliminate it on Aizawa’s patrol route, then there won’t be as many criminals around. Fewer criminals mean that there'll be fewer people around to off him, right?”

Seconds later, Kaminari looked at his shoes and sank his head so his face was concealed behind his hair. “Sorry, vigilantism could jeopardize your chances of getting into the hero course. That was a dumb idea.”

Hitoshi shook his head. “No, it isn’t. In fact, it’s so crazy it just might work.”

The chatter in the cafeteria rose around Hitoshi like the bridge of the song – the part that proceeded one last powerful reprise of the chorus. Kaminari’s idea wasn’t even that far out there. After all, Hitoshi had already stopped villains from offing Uncle Shouta twice. Besides, he just needed to focus on Uncle Shouta's patrol route, not Musutafu as a whole. Steading his posture, Hitoshi nodded at his friends.

Whatever it took, Hitoshi would retcon Uncle Shouta’s death. Even if that meant bending the law a little and becoming a vigilante like Kaminari had suggested. And on a side note, there was no better way to prove his middle school bullies wrong than getting a little bit of a headstart on heroic feats.


Hitoshi: Why did you include that scene with my mom?

Me: Because *sniffles* she dead. So much pain.

Hitoshi: Are you a masoch*st or something?

Me: That's what my fanfic tastes would imply.

Chapter 8: Shopping Spree


Every vigilante needs an outfit! (And my fav character makes an appearance. Spoiler: it's Endeavor's credit card.)


Hitoshi: This better be a lighthearted Mnishaiwbbars update after the sh*t you put me through last time.

Me: Is that some kind of pharmaceutical?

Hitoshi: No it's the abbreviation for this fic.

Me: Ew. Hell no. Just call it SpiderShin like a normal person.

Hitoshi: But then it sounds like I'm being shipped with a spider.

Me: *gestures toward beach episode* I can assure you no one thinks that.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kaminari sat at the edge of a fountain, sobbing as he clutched onto his phone. Snot dripped down his chin as red splotches reminiscent of a rash covered his cheeks. Dumbfounded, Hitoshi accepted his Americano from the coffee shop at the edge of the food court while faced with the reality that Kaminari was an ugly crier.

His heart cinched at Kaminari’s tears because someone as bright as the sun deserved to be happy. The paranoid voice in Hitoshi’s head whispered that he was at fault for the emotional outburst. Because he’d dumped the burden of his canon event onto his friends. Taking a long wistful sip that scorched his throat, Hitoshi suppressed that notion. After all, the world didn’t revolve around him. And with the sh*tshow that society was, Kaminari could have a whole number of reasons to be crying.

Water droplets sprinkled onto Hitoshi as he settled down beside Kaminari. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Kaminari sniffled.

Hitoshi sighed softly. “Sure, you are. It isn’t like you read like an open book. Want to talk about what’s wrong?”

Kaminari stared down at his shoes. “Not really. It’s a dumb reason. You might think less of me for it.”

“So little faith. And here I thought we were friends. You sure you don’t want to at least give me a chance?”

Friends. The word stung Hitoshi’s tongue. But he couldn’t be greedy, couldn’t ask for more. Not when Kaminari was willing to support him through the tribulations of canon events. Not when he had hurried to the hospital in record time even though Hitoshi wasn’t the one injured. Kaminari was a good friend and Hitoshi had to let that be enough.

Scooting closer, he let Kaminari lean on his shoulder. As tears bled into his shirt sleeve, Hitoshi patted Kaminari on the back even though gentle comfort had never been his forte. At last, Kaminari spat out three words that – try as he might – Hitoshi couldn’t quite make sense of.

“AO3 is down.”

“Is that a game?”

Kaminari pursued his lips together as if he wasn’t quite sure whether he wanted to laugh or cry. “No, it’s this fanfic site that’s been around since before the dawn of quirks.”

“Oh.” Great job, Hitoshi. Such eloquence. Many words, bravo. What a great way to respond.

Fists clenched, Kaminari lifted his chin off Hitoshi, unable to look him in the eye. “If you’re gonna judge me for reading fanfic, then spit it out already.”

Panicked, Hitoshi waved his arms in front of himself. “No! I’m not. I swear. I think it’s cool you’re so passionate.”

f*ck. Now Kaminari probably thought he hated him. His attitude of condescension from the Sports Festival had come back to bite him even though it had only been a veneer. Quick. He had to say something. Anything. Too bad Hitoshi didn’t know the first thing about fanfic since he preferred to nap rather than read in his free time.

Still, he gathered his bundle of nerves and turned to Kaminari who was looking at him expectantly. Sheepishly, Hitoshi scratched the back of his head. “I mean if you really love the world a story created, it only makes sense for you to want to see more of it.”

“Yeah, it does,” Kaminari chuckled. “I practically live on the site, to be honest. Reading about found family or slow burn romances that definitely aren’t in my cards… is comforting.”

“I don’t think romance is out of the cards for you. You aren’t ugly.”

“Not ugly? Amazing, I’m so flattered.” Kaminari waved at himself dramatically like he was overwhelmed with compliments.

“But you don’t patronize me, Shinsou. You literally flinched away instead of holding hands.”

“That was because of me not you.”

Kaminari laughed forcefully enough that spit splattered onto Hitoshi. But where Hitoshi normally would’ve slapped someone on the back of the head for that, Kaminari had a smile tugging at the corners of Hitoshi’s lips. Wiping tears from his eyes, Kaminari snickered.

“Well, that’s cliché.”

For a few beats, Hitoshi and Kaminari sat beside one another in silence. While Hitoshi tapped his sneakers against tile, Kaminari remained entranced by his phone screen. Repeatedly refreshing the page to no avail. Soon enough, Kaminari was left trembling left notifications about a cyber-attack flashed on the top of his phone. Massaging his forehead, Hitoshi wondered why society as a whole couldn’t just let people enjoy fanfic. Isn’t wasn’t that hard. Just don’t be an asshole. Really simple instructions to ensure that a sun like Kaminari wasn’t shrouded by storm clouds.

“Hmm, if we get started on that shopping spree, it might take your mind off the site being down, Kaminari.”

“I guess,” the blonde sighed. “And you kinda do need a whole outfit to be a professional vigilante.”

“Professional? It’s not like I get paid.”

“You get paid in an increase in Aizawa’s lifespan.”

“Eh, I guess that’s a reasonable payment method.”

Tugging at the loose strings of his jacket sleeves, Hitoshi marveled over how he’d found someone who was on the same wavelength as his warped sense of humor. Though Hitoshi did have to admit that Kaminari’s occasional puns were endearing annoying.

From the revolving doors of the mall’s entrance, Sero emerged with Todoroki in tow. Hitoshi furrowed his brows at how Sero looked a tad overdressed for the outing. Admittedly, Hitoshi mostly saw Sero in a workout setting outside of school, but Sero didn’t really give off the vibe of someone who wore blazers in his free time.

Is Sero trying to make this a double date or something? Doesn’t he realize that Kaminari and I aren’t meant to be? Even something as small as hand-holding is bound to turn into a disaster. Plus, Spider-Man’s loved ones being targeted by villains is a staple of the superhero’s everyday life. Hitoshi didn’t need canon events to target Kaminari the same way they did Uncle Shouta.

“Why did you bring Todoroki?” Hitoshi asked.

With a slight bow, Sero gestured toward Todoroki. “Well, he’s paying for your vigilante outfit.”

Kaminari and Hitoshi’s expressions darkened but for very different reasons. Striding over toward Sero, Hitoshi whispered in a low grumble. “You told him about that? You know he’s the son of the number two hero, right?”

“It’s fine.” Sero threw an arm around Hitoshi’s shoulder. “Roki hardly ever talks with his old man. Ain’t that right?”

Todoroki nodded solemnly. “f*ck him.”

Hitoshi stiffened. So there were clearly a lot of daddy issues to unpack with one certain peppermint boy. Then again, the edge to Todoroki’s voice implied that the odds he would keep his lips sealed were high. Which was an absolute must considering how Hitoshi's secret vigilante plan had been spilled. Though Hitoshi couldn’t exactly fault Sero for not thinking straight when it came to his crush. That would’ve made him a hypocrite.

Meanwhile, Kaminari pouted and placed both hands on his hips. “Sero, it ain’t cool to use your friends as a wallet.”

“Don’t worry. Spending Endeavor’s money is my hobby. Especially on things he hates. Like vigilantes,” Todoroki said.

Everyone blinked at him dumbfounded – incapable of fully processing Todoroki’s statement. Kaminari was the first to snap out of his stupor and pointed finger guns at the nearest department store.

“Uh, time’s ticking I guess.”

Inside the store, Hitoshi winced at all the bright colors. They were far too intense – practically blinding. He couldn’t pull off neon yellow the same way Kaminari could. Besides, stealth was the key objective. Hitoshi unleashed a grieved sigh. Can’t the store have at least one thing in black to enable my emo ways? Please! I’ll even take an extremely dark gray if there are no other options. Or navy if I really have to.

Then, at last, hidden in the back corner among the clearance rack, Hitoshi spotted a black jumpsuit. He rushed forward and grabbed it before anyone else with taste could snatch his prize. He ran his fingers over the fabric and couldn’t understand why something so breathable and lightweight was on sale. Honestly, what a steal.

Laughter sounded from the adjacent jewelry section as Kaminari looked Hitoshi’s way. Sero briefly paused putting cheap necklace after necklace around Todoroki’s neck and started snickering as well.

Kaminari cupped a hand around his mouth. “Boo! Boring.”

Hitoshi rolled his eyes. “No. Efficient.”

“Aww, you’re cosplaying as your uncle then?” Kaminari cooed.

“f*ck off. You’re the worst,” Hitoshi said half-heartedly.

Okay, so his act of pretending not to want friendship clearly wasn’t working. But from the looks of how Todoroki flashed a half-smile, Hitoshi could tell that he was far from the only one shifting his views regarding human interaction.

As the boys headed toward the upper levels of the department store, they huddled close together upon the escalator. Standing behind Todoroki, Hitoshi noted the purple bruises peeking out from the collar of his shirt. Schoolyard bullies had made the imprints of knuckles against skin a familiar sight for Hitoshi. Breaths hitching, Hitoshi concluded that only one person could be capable of injuring someone who had seemed practically indestructible at the Sports Festival.

Guilt stirred in Hitoshi’s gut as he recalled Todoroki standing in the arena – encased in flames and glaciers. How he’d thought it unfair that Todoroki had gotten a heroic flashy quirk, a recommendation letter – everything handed to him. Yet cracks could form even upon the most intricate of vases.

Hitoshi pressed his nails into the escalator’s rubbery railing. He knew better that quirks weren’t everything better than everyone. Evidently, Endeavor wasn’t as righteous as the media portrayed him. After all, with how quiet Todoroki was, Hitoshi had a hard time imagining that he’d said something to set his father off. Not everyone was as lucky as Hitoshi to have Dad and Uncle Shouta as parents.

Stepping off the escalator, Hitoshi bit his lip as he passed racks of clothing. He was practically fuming, and he’d upheld his fiery glare long enough that his eyes had gone dry. Why the f*ck was everything so unfair? Why were abusers cast as heroes and preschoolers proclaimed to be villains? Hectically shoving clothes hangers aside, Hitoshi vowed that he’d get revenge on the likes of Endeavor – screw what the cost may be. Forget about how spite is far from a heroic motivation.

“Hey, Shinsou! Are you doing alright?”

Hitoshi shot up as straight as a lamppost and summoned his poker face. “Yep, never been better.”

Then, he proceeded to march toward the opposite end of the hall where Todoroki and Sero had conglomerated. With Kaminari in tow, Hitoshi cooled his nerves. He didn’t know Todoroki all that well. Plus, they were in a public setting. Best not to cause a scene.

As Kaminari picked up a tracksuit that admittedly looked comfortable but also made Hitoshi want to gag.

“Ooh, how about this, Shinsou? I mean look at the sick pattern.”

“You won’t catch me dead in a leopard print tracksuit.” Hitoshi snatched the outfit and folded it to set the tracksuit back onto the display case Kaminari had pulled it from. “Plus, stealth is kind of the whole point here.”

“Aww, darn. What a party pooper.”

Hitoshi snorted, silently remarking that it was Kaminari’s own fault for deciding to become friends with someone so boring. And it wasn’t as if there was anything wrong with enjoying the simple things in life like cats and coffee. Hitoshi truly hoped that he could get the death flag situation sorted out sooner rather than later so that he’d be able to return to his status quo outside of school hours.

Suddenly, Sero waved at Hitoshi and Kaminari while Shoto blankly stared off into the distance. Sero held up a black Spider-Man suit with white detailing. Remarking that the suit was reminiscent of the symbiote one, Hitoshi winced at the thought of how tight the glistening spandex would be.

“Isn’t that kind of on the nose?” Hitoshi asked.

“Come on. You are basically Spider-Man,” Sero answered.

With Todoroki raising a brow and Hitoshi’s friends grinning at him all excited, Hitoshi quickly succumbed to peer pressure. He took the suit out of Sero’s hands and headed toward the dressing rooms. Just as Hitoshi was about to shut the door behind him, Todoroki raised his hand.

“What is a spiderman?”

For a beat, Kaminari gawked at him in disbelief. “Damn, you left out the hyphen.”

In the background, Sero gave Todoroki a detailed account of Spider-Man lore while Kaminari busted out the occasional onomatopoeia sound effects. Shaking his head, Hitoshi was fairly sure that the explanations had turned to static for Todoroki. After all, chatterboxes like Kaminari and Sero can be difficult to follow at times for those uninitiated.

Meanwhile, Hitoshi wrestled to get in the suit. He winched. Christ, that’s gonna chafe. Gotta get some baby powder or something. But it’s fine. I’m just trying the suit on – I don’t actually have to buy it. Because fighting crime in a Spider-Man costume would be absolutely ridiculous, right?

Yet the second Hitoshi emerged from the changing room, Kaminari whistled and gave Hitoshi a once over. “That’s one fine ass.”

Flushing beet red, Hitoshi turned in the opposite direction. Welp, looks like I’m buying this suit now.

The high price tag still lingered in Hitoshi’s mind. Sure, the costume was in fact very authentic – and not exactly what he expected a department store of all places to have in stock – but good grief, that was the kind of money that would take him six months of cat-sitting to accumulate. Still, Todoroki had swiped Endeavor’s credit card with no hesitation and had even given Hitoshi a brief bow of thanks for upping the spending. So, all was well that ended well. It was hardly a blip in Endeavor’s massive bank account anyhow.

Returning to the food court, Sero led the troupe to the nearest McDonald’s. Hitoshi made sure to tuck the suit deep into its plastic bag. The costume was bound to get damaged sooner or later anyhow – no need to make things worse with grease stains – the only substance in existence more challenging to get out of clothes than glitter.

Once Sero had ordered for everyone, the boys settled around a rickety plastic table with their McFlurries. At first, Shoto prodded the ice cream hesitantly, but after taking the first bite he kept shoving spoonfuls into his mouth, reveling over the icy treat. Sero held his chin high as his plan of putting the tried-and-true strategy of “the best way to win a man’s heart is through his stomach” into motion.

Still, Hitoshi’s gaze kept lingering on the shopping bag, making him wish he’d gotten something more comfortable. He wasn’t even sure how much of an advantage the suit would be for acrobatic stunts. Like an idiot, he bought an outfit just because a boy said it looked good on him. Hitoshi chewed on the inside of his mouth. If he couldn’t even get the costume situation quite right, how could he possibly expect to be capable of saving Uncle Shouta?

“I won’t be able to do this on my own,” Hitoshi muttered under his breath.

He froze at the realization that he’d spoken aloud, but Kaminari set a hand on his shoulder before he could spiral. “You don’t have to. If you want, we’ll be right there with you every step of the way.”

“Well, I will. Kaminari’s another story since he doesn’t have a snazzy mobility quirk,” Sero commented.

Scowling Kaminari flicked a spoonful of ice cream at Sero who only narrowly dodged – though the reaction time made Hitoshi consider the possibility that Sero had a secret hidden version of the Spider-Sense. Nah, that’s ridiculous. Being in Todoroki’s presence probably made me catch the conspiracy theory bug.

“Hey! I can run just fine, thank you very much,” Kaminari huffed.

Sero snickered. “The quirk apprehension test would say otherwise.”

Empty cups in hand, the boys walked over to the nearest trash can. As Sero dumped his rubbish, he turned to face Hitoshi.

“You know, you could tell Aizawa about the canon events. He’s pretty good at holding his ground.”

Always blunt and to the point. Hitoshi sighed as he considered how much Uncle Shouta already had on his plate. “Well, I don’t want him to worry the whole time about his looming death.”

“Still, it might be best to have him or Yamada involved.”

“No, I can’t do that do them!” Hitoshi blurted out. His friends reached out to pat him on the shoulder amid the outburst and even Todoroki seemed perplexed. After taking a deep breath, Hitoshi decided to elaborate.

“Besides, what if telling him the truth turns his fate into a self-fulfilling prophecy? Like that me telling him about the canon event will lead directly to it.”

Sero paused before finally relenting. “I suppose that it’s not worth the risk.”

Not one to linger on awkward silences, Kaminari gestured toward the shops stretching out before them. Might as well browse for games, merch and other miscellaneous knickknacks since Todoroki had the challenging mission of maxing out Endeavor’s credit card that he needed to accomplish.

At the stationary store, Todoroki fiddled with a tower of washy tape. He looked at his shoes as Sero approached him.

“So. Elbows. You have them," Todoroki said.

“Yep. You do too.”


Sero scratched himself behind the ear. “Umm… you have nice elbows. And a nice face. A nice everything. Sorry, I’ll shut up now.”

Todoroki blinked. “Don’t. The sound of your voice is nice.”


A very dignified answer. However, it had been enough to make Todoroki blush. And discarding all social norms, Todoroki reached out and took Sero by the hand, causing him to stiffen. Yet a wide smile spread across Sero’s face as he dared to lean against Todoroki’s shoulder.

While Sero and Todoroki fiddled with tape rolls together, Hitoshi longing looked in Kaminari’s direction. His fingers that paged through notebooks on a rack seemed impossibly delicate. Hitoshi wished that he could be as bold as Todoroki – reach out and embrace Kaminari’s warmth. Yet Hitoshi had to keep his priorities in check which didn’t include chasing after a boy he might never have a chance with. Regardless, Hitoshi was sure that soon enough Kaminari would grow infatuated with someone else. Someone better.

Hitoshi glanced down at the shopping bag containing the costume – unsure of whether he’d even make for a decent vigilante. But if nothing else, at least he’d look the part.


I'll work on responding to comments this evening. Social anxiety has been uncooperative for the last couple of days lmao, but know that every single one of your lovely comments has me looking like lil' Izuku when he's watching All Might's debut.

Next time, there'll be vigilante shenanigans - I haven't settled on the details yet 'cause that's a future Sam problem.

Chapter 9: Vigilante sh*t


Hitoshi has his first vigilante adventure.


I dunno what I think of this chapter - but SOMETHING definitely materialized. I think I'll get around to Stain by chapter 11 (that chapter's probably gonna kill me bc of the fight scene, but at least I don't have to deal with the sports festival in this fic.)

Also, thanks DrWalpurgisnacht for the disposable villain suggestion.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Crouched atop a dumpster, Hitoshi readjusted the neckline of his suit. As he inhaled deeply, he wished that the outfit were a little less tight but add least the constriction came with the benefit of warming up his muscles. Raindrops sprinkled from overhead and mingled with his eyelashes. A faint drizzle. Not enough for Uncle Shouta to put patrol on hold – which meant that Hitoshi’s first official outing as a vigilante was still a go.

Breathless, Kaminari emerged from around a corner and collapsed against a brick wall the second he realized Hitoshi had taken a brief intermission from nighttime parkours. Sero swung around a lamppost and settled down next to Hitoshi with ease once he had detached his tape from drainage pipes.

Alert, Sero turned from left to right in search of any potential enemies. Panting, Kaminari reached into the dumpster and retrieved a pipe as a weapon – likely because his quirk was bound to electrocute villain and ally alike in the rain. While his friends looked at him with determination, Hitoshi’s desire not to do vigilante sh*t alone wavered.

“You really don’t have to do this. Uncle Shouta’s patrol goes until 2 AM.”

Kaminari shrugged. “Can’t be a teenager if you don’t f*ck up your sleep schedule along the way. Not that mine was good to begin with anyhow.”

“Still, I don’t want to be an inconvenience –”

“Then, we’ll only step in if it’s too difficult to take down criminals on your own.” Sero dramatically rolled his eyes as he rolled up his hoodie sleeves and fiddled with a plastic trans flag bracelet. “Sound like a good enough compromise to ya?”

“Eh, fine.” With a backflip courtesy of spider-powers, Hitoshi leaped off the dumpster. “Guess there’s no getting rid of you barnacles.”

“Excuse me!” Kaminari gestured toward his body. “What on earth about this screams barnacle?”

“The way you stick to me like one.”

Teasingly, Sero raised a hand and clapped it with his other to imitate a high five. “Like you’re one to talk, Mr. sticky spider fingers.”

“Point taken.” Tucking his lavender hair in a black beanie, Hitoshi stepped through puddles along the pavement. “Anyways, let’s get this show on the road.”

“No mask?” Sero asked.

“Nope. The Spider-Man one is a little suffocating.”

“Aww, you’re ruining the whole aesthetic,” Kaminari lamented.

“Who cares? Medical masks do the same job.” Hitoshi pulled a packet out of his drawstring bag and slipped on a medical mask. Then, he tossed his bag to Kaminari. “And you’d be better off wearing them too if you don’t want to risk an accomplice charge.”

Both Sero and Kaminari slipped on masks. Grinning, the blonde also added a hat to cover up his distinct hair. “Wow, you really are all prepared. Hope we end up at the same hero agency together.”

“Doubtful. Aren’t you aiming to become a limelight hero?” Hitoshi sighed. Sure, Dad and Uncle made it work – but the gap between an underground hero and twilight hero still wasn’t the biggest rift out there.

Kaminari winked. “I’d go underground for you, babe.”

At the commentary, Hitoshi unleashed a web and shot onto the rooftops. He knew Kaminari mostly used the pet name out of habit – that it didn’t necessarily mean anything. Still, he set Hitoshi’s heart aflutter every time. And while there was comfort in the flirty routine, Hitoshi prayed that Kaminari wouldn’t let himself get held back. He was charming and a bit of an idiot – so people would love the hero Chargebolt. Kaminari shouldn’t be restricted to the shadows.

Tape shot out while Sero raced across roofs beside Hitoshi. As rain made his dark hair stringy, Sero asked. “So, you know how 1A picked their hero names… Kaminari and I were wondering if you wanted a vigilante one?”

“No thanks,” Hitoshi grumbled as he swerved past scaffolding, and Sero struggled to keep up.

“You’re missing the opportunity for a perfectly good spider-themed one.”

“No. Mindjack. Hypnotist. Anything like that would work.” The rain did an excellent job masking how his eyes had gone slightly water. Which was dumb to begin with since wasn’t even sad or anything. Just a little frustrated that no matter how hard he worked – whether at the Sports Festival or anywhere else – the world kept trying to drag him down.

“I want to become a hero to prove a point.”

“Still, dude. You’ll probably be stuck in this vigilante situation for a while.”

“The vigilante thing is separate from wanting to become a hero. I need to become a hero with my so-called villainous quirk. Taking the easy way out because I got flashy powers defeats the point.” I doubt I’ll pick a name until I enter the hero course on my own merit.

Sero opened his mouth as if he were about to prod Hitoshi further when the sound of shattering glass sounded from below. As agreed upon, Sero stayed behind while Hitoshi rushed to the scene of the crime. Tempted to imitate Saturday morning cartoons, Hitoshi latched his webs to a streetlamp in front of the broken-into kiosk and spoke to the robber while hanging upside down.

“For a burglar, you really have no taste. Couldn’t have gone for a more high-end store?”

A lean man with brown hair emerged. Trench coat dripping with rain, he clutched onto a bag of stolen goods. Hitoshi attached his webs to the bag and pulled but the man seemed to bulk up more as he grimaced, and his face went red. When the robber managed to snap Hitoshi’s webbing off the stolen goods, the vigilante spun off his perch on the lamppost and landed onto the ground with a grieved sigh.

“Seriously? Why are you going after small businesses of all things? Why not large corporations? Have you no shame?”

Sweat dripped down the robber’s face as his knees visibly buckled, but he charged toward Hitoshi with the bag draped over his arm. Hitoshi charged toward the man – certain that his super-strength would give him the upper hand – but the robber hit Hitoshi with more force than expected. While the robber wrestled Hitoshi against the sidewalk, he noticed how the hands holding him to the ground appeared to get buffer by the second.

Unable to see clearly with the rain spilling into his eyes, Hitoshi lashed out aimlessly. A tear echoed as Hitoshi’s fingertips lashed through the robber’s plastic bag. Panicked, the thief hobbled away to reclaim his stolen goods. Standing up, Hitoshi face-palmed as he saw the packaging in the thief’s hands and questioned the robber’s decisions yet again.

“Vapes. Seriously? Were you planning on overcharging and reselling them to make a profit?”

The robber’s shoulders slumped at Hitoshi’s commentary, but he didn’t speak up. Stubborn bastard. Answer the damn questions so we can end this quickly. “Just steal one phone. It’s more profit with fewer items.”

“Should I step in bro?” Sero called out as he stood at the curb of the opposite side of the street.

“No, I’m alright. I should have this sorted out in another minute or two.”

Rubbing the water out of his face, Hitoshi stood taller. He wanted to avoid having his friends join the fight if he could help it. Putting his future on the line to prevent canon events was one thing, but having Sero or Kaminari make the same sacrifice was another thing entirely.

Hitoshi pulled his fingers back and managed to attach his web to the trench coat. As he yanked at it, the jacket tore, revealing that the robber was wearing nothing underneath. Hitoshi’s eyes widened. What sort of thief commits a robbery in little to no clothing? Was it quirk related? Didn’t matter. Now was the time to leverage the situation so he could get the thief to talk.

“Good grief. What’s the point of getting off on flashing people when you pull that sh*t when everyone’s asleep?”

The man bit his lip as if embarrassed. And then his flesh expanded. Eyeing the robber’s now bulging legs everything clicked for Hitoshi. No wonder his provocations had been making the situation worse if anything. The man’s quirk thrived off the primary way Hitoshi went about fulfilling Brainwashing’s activation requirements. Gritting his teeth, Hitoshi flexed his fingers and was prepared to hit the man where it hurt most.

“Need help, dude?” Kaminari asked as he passed by Sero, having finally caught up to everyone else.

“I got this.” Probably. Hopefully. Hitoshi marched toward the robber. “Just a little pissed about how tight-lipped this jackass is.”

As Kaminari and Sero stepped closer – ready to jump in if necessary – Hitoshi stared at the robber and dropped his gaze downward. He didn’t exactly want to stare at the dick of someone who was old enough to be his father, however, some sacrifices had to be made.

“I’d say that I’ve been scarred for life, but there really isn’t much to see, now is there?”

The robber reached to cover his crotch. “Hey – ”


Shivering from the rain, Hitoshi headed forward and fastened zip ties around the robber’s wrists after knocking the thief out cold with the pipe Kaminari had been clinging onto. After dropping an anonymous tip to the cops from a burner phone, he checked the tracking app on his regular phone and noted that Uncle Shouta had returned home from patrol early. Thank heavens. Hitoshi thought the night had been eventful enough already.

Still, the buzz in Hitoshi’s head that signaled danger had remained little more than a faint hum for the entire confrontation. There had been no mounting pressure in his chest like there’d been when he was on the cusp of living out a canon event. Let alone the strong tug of an invisible string, of fate like on the night Uncle Shouta had gotten stabbed.

Multi-color glitches entered Hitoshi’s periphery as pain shot to his temple. Once again, images shot through his head. No bullets soaring through the air. Only a silhouette that was both hulking and wiry all at once. And a murderous aura that rippled off the figure. Deep and melodramatic like music from a bass in an orchestra.

As Hitoshi shook off the vision – the omen signaling how the canon event might play out, and who might be responsible – Sero caught him.

“You good?”

“I’m… not sure.” Hitoshi turned toward the unconscious criminal. “I don’t think that villain ever was going to get close to killing Uncle Shouta. Even if I hadn’t intervened.”

Kaminari gave Hitoshi a comforting pat on the back. “Well, better to be safe than sorry.”

Sero nodded, grinning brightly as he waved his phone. “Plus, I got a great video out of it.”

Gobsmacked, Hitoshi stared back at his friend. When had he even had time to film the encounter? Also, the robber had been naked for part of the fight. Who would want to see that? Nonetheless, Hitoshi supposed that the video was mostly harmless fun – especially considering how many civilians enjoyed recording vigilantes in their free time. Besides, if his friends were happy, so was he.

“Can you send that to me?” Kaminari asked.

Sero held a thumbs up. “Of course, bro.”

As Sero and Kaminari snickered over the footage, Hitoshi sighed. The situation had been uncomfortable, but considering that he hadn’t sustained any significant injuries, his vigilante career was off to a decent start.

Every cell in Hitoshi’s body screamed in agony with the soreness serving as a reminder of his fight with the embarrassment quirk villain the previous night. However, he forced the tension out of his face lest he showcase that fatigue was weighing on him more than usual. He clutched onto the scarf around his neck, trying to grow accustomed to the length of the weapon. Sighing, Hitoshi concluded that he would’ve napped during math class if he’d known that Uncle Shouta was going to teach him how to use a capture weapon that same afternoon.

Standing on a field near UA’s main campus, Uncle Shouta swung his scarf at a tree several feet ahead. The fabric looped around the trunk and he nodded at Hitoshi to follow suit. Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi gripped the fabric. It was heavier than his webbing but still lightweight enough so as not to drag in the wind. Plus, the capture weapon had the same sharpness and fluidity to its motion as Sero’s tape. With a deep breath, Hitoshi lashed the scarf out. After all, with the practice from fighting villains and swinging across rooftops with Sero, he could certainly manage to loop the weapon around the tree.

Failure was not an option. He had to prove that he could get into the hero course. Without relying on unearned powers. So he could prove his childhood tormentors wrong. So he wouldn’t be the villain who watched as his mom bled out. And so Uncle Shouta would get to see Hitoshi enter the hero course in time. Because the possibility remained that the canon event would steal Uncle Shouta away before Hitoshi ever left Gen Ed.

As Hitoshi’s capture weapon wove around the tree on his first try, Uncle Shouta raised a brow in suspicion. “With no previous practice? Impressive.”

Lumps formed in Hitoshi’s gut at how he’d been keeping secrets. But he had to – otherwise Uncle Shouta would stop Hitoshi from intervening and he would have to stand by as that helpless little kid again. Biting the inside of his mouth, Hitoshi lied through his teeth.

“Well, I might have tried to practice with your spare capture weapon once or twice.” Please, don’t punish me too harshly for it. I never actually borrowed your capture weapon without asking. But I can’t exactly tell you that I’m a crime-fighting vigilante with spider powers.

Yet to Hitoshi’s bafflement, Uncle Shouta patted him on the head. “Good initiative.”

Then, Hitoshi’s phone started to violently vibrate in his pocket. With an apologetic shrug, he stepped away from Uncle Shouta and scrolled through a frantic series of messages.


I’m so sorry

I meant to send that video to Kaminari

Not my sister

And now

Well f*ck

Just check twitter

Trembling, Hitoshi pulled up his social media account to see his feed flooded with blurry footage. Barely a few seconds. Hitoshi’s voice had been drowned out by the pitter-patter of rain. Yet his distinct costume was unmistakable. And the swift motion with which he yanked away the trench coat had evidently triggered a flood of hysterical laughing emojis. At least, the robber’s privates weren't on full display in the video.

Lest he hyperventilate, Hitoshi focused on counting his breaths as he pulled up his messages and responded to Sero.


What’s done is done

Might have been inevitable

The public kinda goes crazy over

recording vigilantes anyway


I really f*cked up

You shouldn’t just forgive me like that


I can do whatever I f*cking want

Besides it was an accident

I just need to be careful about my quirk usage

so I don’t get recognized


Still I was supposed to help you

Not make things more difficult


I’m literally making your and Kaminari’s lives more difficult

with all this vigilante sh*t

so don’t you even get me started

Plus as long as I can stay off Uncle Shouta’s radar

it’s all good

Yet with that very text, Hitoshi had managed to jinx himself. As he wandered across the lawn, he spotted Uncle Shouta looking at his hero phone while murmuring about an inexperienced vigilante walking the streets of Musutafu.

Well, frick. Hitoshi had never wanted to become internet famous, and with the tags trending on Twitter he understood better than ever why Uncle Shouta was so keen on evading the press. And despite Uncle Shouta’s favorable views on vigilantes, getting his attention was a recipe for bad news.

So, with a sigh, he curled into a ball on the lawn. Uncle Shouta furrowed his brows. “Hitoshi?”

“Just trying to hide from all of life’s problems,” Hitoshi muttered.


These boys really are quite silly. 9 chapters in and they still call each other by their family names *cries*

Anyways, if you want to chat about my fics, I live on miscellaneous Discord servers. Otherwise, my DMs are open on my socials. I'm @samthehyena on Tumblr and Insta, while my Twitter is @evilgreendorito.

And here's this chappy's villain that I stole from the pro hero arc:

My name is Shinsou Hitoshi, and I was bitten by a radioactive spider - samthehyena - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (1)

Chapter 10: Bonding Moment


Another future LoV member makes an appearance.


Happy Friday! Very tired (because menstruation effin sucks) but putting this chappy out into the world will prolly make me feel better :D

Chapter Text

Hitoshi strapped on a pair of combat boots and an aviator jacket because going out in the rain in just his Spider-Man suit had left him a shivering mess drenched in rain. Massaging his forehead as he walked through the hallway of his family’s apartment, he resolved to only use Brainwashing as a last resort. No matter how much he wanted to showcase that his quirk was useful for more than villainy, he couldn’t risk getting recognized.

He wandered to the kitchen cabinets and pulled out a packet of granola bars. Munching on the snacks, he aimed to get as many calories into his system as possible. At least, there was the consolation that Hitoshi wasn’t going to burden his friends with vigilante activities that particular night since they had gone outside of Musutafu for their internships. Of course, they had insisted for him to call them in the case of an emergency, but that wasn’t going to happen if Hitoshi had any say in the matter.

As it was, a suboptimal situation had arisen, considering how Hitoshi had garnered unwanted attention. And worst of all, the public had chosen a horrible name for him. The Cosplayer. Hitoshi shuddered. Sure, he knew that vigilantes rarely got to pick their own monikers, but the one he’d gotten stuck with made him want to sink into the ground out of complete and utter shame.

While Hitoshi stuffed his keys in his jacket pocket, a bright voice sounded from the opposite end of the kitchen. “Are you sneaking out to see A BOY?”

Scooting behind the counter, Hitoshi made sure his legs weren’t visible. Even though Dad was a tight-leather-pants enthusiast, Hitoshi had a feeling that the spider-print spandex would stir Dad’s suspicions. Then, Hitoshi’s cheeks went candy-apple red as he started to fully process Dad’s words. He didn’t know what was worse – having Dad think he was a horny teenager or a crime-fighting vigilante.

Hitoshi froze like the rainbow static effect on a television. “Ehhhhhhh…”

“Oh, my God! You’re all grown up now!” Dad clasped his hands together and leaned over the counter, forcing Hitoshi to bend his knees awkwardly to keep his costume out of view. “Who is it? Kaminari. I bet it’s him.”

“Uh. Sure.” With sweat bleeding from his hairline, Hitoshi gritted his teeth. “You guessed right, Dad.”

“Well, I do have excellent instincts.” Dad nodded proudly before giving pause. “Wait, Shou’s probably gonna rip him a new one. But don’t worry I’m great at keeping my lips sealed.”

Hitoshi raised a brow. “Uh-huh.”

“Don’t give me that look, Hitoshi. Hand on my heart, I’m not going to spill the beans.”

“Thanks, Dad,” Hitoshi sighed. Grabbing the granola bar wrappers he tossed them into the rubbish bin with perfect aim. Dad’s eyes went wide but he didn’t comment on it.

Instead, he shot a finger gun at Hitoshi. “Just remember to use protection.”

“Gah, not this sort of conversation again.”

Dad cheekily stuck his tongue out as he fetched a glass of water and strode out the doorway. As soon as Dad had left the kitchen, a weight fell from Hitoshi’s chest. Cracking his knuckles, Hitoshi approached the nearest window. Time to get back to business.

Brown coffee stains bled through Hitoshi’s mask, making it look as if he had either gouged on chocolate or had decided to smear sh*t all over his face. Panting, Hitoshi sprinted across the tiles of a rooftop before leaping off and rolling under a bridge. Nonetheless, footsteps still echoed behind him. Damn it.

Can’t he have even the little things in life? A five-minute coffee break was all Hitoshi had asked for. Instead, Uncle Shouta had caught sight of him, and it was a miracle Hitoshi hadn’t burned himself when he got started and spilled his drink. Hitoshi scowled at the recognizable webbing design on his outfit that undoubtedly made him a target for his uncle. Still, he refused to part with the costume that now felt like a second skin. Sure, the Spider-Man attire was a little on the nose considering his power set – but can you blame him for getting attached?

Just as Hitoshi latched onto a brick wall, fabric wrapped around his torso. Buckling against the scarf, he heard it tear – but Hitoshi stopped struggling as he noticed the cream-colored hue. sh*t, that’s Uncle Shouta’s favorite capture weapon. A gift from Dad. I can’t break that.

Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi stilled his shaking knees even though the buzz in his head screamed danger. He squinted so that Uncle Shouta would not decipher his purple irises. With the medical mask clinging to his jawline, Hitoshi cursed himself for not wearing the Spider-Man mask after all. He swore that’d wear it if he found a way to make it out of Uncle Shouta’s trap. As much as Hitoshi fancied himself a guy with iron-clad resolve, he knew his stubbornness wasn’t worth getting recognized.

“Come with me, kid. It’ll be easier for the both of us.”

Hitoshi nodded, tempted to use his quirk. But he knew without a doubt that even if Uncle Shouta failed to recognize Hitoshi’s voice, that the fog following Brainwashing would be unmistakable.

“If you want to save people, there are other ways. Legal ones.”

No, you don’t understand. This is the only way for me to save you. Hitoshi’s chest constricted as he bit down on his tongue so he could resist the temptation of screaming out. He couldn’t jeopardize his chance of saving the one person who refused to surrender Hitoshi to the clutches of foster care. Where a kid like Hitoshi would have had a muzzle fastened to his face. It was time for Hitoshi to save his uncle right back. He owed Uncle Shouta that much.

Then, for a split second, Uncle Shouta’s grip loosened. Something Hitoshi wouldn’t have noticed without his senses tingling. Hitoshi craned his wrist and slung out a web and shot upward as if he were holding a grabbling hook. As Hitoshi settled onto the rooftop, he noticed that he’d made Uncle Shouta faceplant into the pavement. Wincing, Hitoshi sprinted away out of sight.

Sorry, Uncle Shouta. This is for your own good, I swear.

After speed-running the path Uncle Shouta would take during the next thirty minutes of his patrol route, Hitoshi settled on the roof of a convenience store. Hitoshi stripped off his medical mask and replaced it with the Spider-Man one regardless of how it made even breath laden with a musky scent.

Below kids in uniforms swarmed in an alleyway near the store’s entrance. Beer bottles crashed against the roadside. Liquor dripped down the chins of students too young to legally acquire it. And through the dark, Hitoshi spotted hair made of water. The same hair that would lash out at him in school hallways, and pin him to classroom windows as it froze around his neck.

Clutching a hand around a bottle, the girl lugged her arm around a shorter teen who resembled a gargoyle. Skin as coarse as stone. Horns that had certainly been branded as demonic. As Hitoshi prepared to unleash his webbing at the girl no thoughts of saving the gargoyle-quirked teen from a potential bully went through his mind. No. He was finally strong. Strong enough for payback and to return the hurt his bully had caused him tenfold.

Her laughter resounded like bullets, leaving Hitoshi clutching his wrist. He hesitated to fold his fingers over. It had been years since the traces of frostbite had crawled across his skin. Half a decade since his teachers had swept the girl’s actions under the rug despite Uncle Shouta’s protests. Because the authorities claimed she could still change. That her chances at heroics shouldn’t be martyred for a villain.

Shutting his eyes, Hitoshi refused to look for signs of genuine camaraderie between the girl and the gargoyle kid. Because no matter how brightly she beamed at her friend, all Hitoshi could hear was the screams of his younger self.

No, she can’t have changed.

She was a kid, but she was old enough to know better.

Why does she get to laugh and smile?

How come I have to carry the pain of her words with me every day? Why does she have the luxury of forgetting?

Hitoshi’s webbing fastened to a rickety trashcan lid. The edge grazed his former bully. A bruise blossomed on the girl’s cheek. The gargoyle kid rushed to her side and the girl clung to her friend as she sobbed uncontrollably.

Hitoshi stared at his hand in horror. An eye for an eye makes the world go blind. Look, you’re proving that you’re exactly the kind of monster everyone thought you were. You’ve even used your spider powers to cause unnecessary hurt. How did you think you could be a hero? You’re never going to show them that you’re more than a villain.

Because you aren’t.

And Hitoshi was off sprinting back in Uncle Shouta’s direction. In hopes of replacing one problem with another. A futile attempt to outrun his true nature. Just as Uncle Shouta’s head came into view a grating sound ricocheted through the streets. A kaleidoscope of glitching flashed before him. Armed with webbing, Hitoshi constricted a looming silhouette – one as hulking as the figure in Hitoshi’s visions – and pulled the assailant away from Uncle Shouta. Hitoshi’s eyes widened as he noted that the criminal had aimed a weapon akin to a battering ram in Uncle Shouta’s direction.

Not missing a beat, Hitoshi sealed webbing over the criminal’s mouth so as to muffle any screaming. Hitoshi didn’t stop dragging the criminal away until Uncle Shouta was no longer in view. Exhausted, Hitoshi fell onto his knees. f*ck. A close call. If he’d been any later, the criminal would’ve had a straight shot at Uncle Shouta’s head. All because Hitoshi had gotten himself distracted by petty revenge.

Webs fell to the wayside as the figure glared at Hitoshi. Tall with brown hair. Magne. A woman with several murder charges. Not quite enough to be considered a serial killer yet an ominous enough presence that all of Hitoshi’s organs were reduced to a gooey mess.

Hitoshi backed away – grateful that not another soul was close enough to be within the vicinity of Magne’s quirk radius. Nevertheless, the magnet was heavy enough to bash in Hitoshi's skull. Frantically, he typed out messages to his friends because he’d put more on his plate than he could realistically handle. Yet as soon as he hit send, the magnet flew toward him, shattering his device into a million pieces.

With no way of knowing whether his messages actually went through, Hitoshi balled his fists. Time to put all that talk of standing on his own merit to the test, and f*cking stay alive dammit.

Slinking past dumpsters, Hitoshi bounced out of Magne’s range. He kept opening his jaw to prompt a question only for fists to swing at him. He had to clench his mouth shut even as he tore his gum in the process lest he lose a few teeth.

The magnet swung dangerously close to his leg and managed to graze his hip. Not forceful enough for the bone to shatter – but Hitoshi could already picture the yellowed bruises bound to swell on his side the following morning.

Grunting, Hitoshi flipped onto a window and just once he’d flown a couple of meters in the air – a hand grabbed his ankle and dragged him onto the floor. He kicked at Magne’s eyes and scrambled away. He hoped that his speed would level the playing field for Magne’s strength, but evidently, her reflexes were keener than Hitoshi had anticipated.

A hand wrapped around his neck and held him against a wall. He aimlessly tried to fling his webs but failed to direct them properly as his vision went blurry. He attempted to ask a question but only choked gurgling came out. And that invisible string yanked at his spirit. That tell-tale sign signaled Magne’s connection to the canon event. She lacked the same intense murderous aura of the visions, but Magne was by all accounts homicidal. As Hitoshi started to lose the oxygen flow to his brain, he grew even more certain that Magne was woven into his web of fate even if she was only on the outermost edges.

How long had Hitoshi been fighting Magne? Five minutes? An hour? Honestly, he couldn’t tell. But as his eyelids became like lead, he settled on the wild overestimate that he’d been holding his ground against Magne for six hours. That way his ghost could be proud at least. With his limbs turning numb, Hitoshi wondered if his death would mean his uncle was spared.

Can’t have Uncle Ben without Spider-Man.

Tape twisted around Hitoshi’s legs and tugged him out of Magne’s grasp. Gasping for air, Hitoshi fell into Sero’s arms. The other boy was also panting as thin streams of tape spilled out of his elbows. A clear sign of quirk overuse. He must’ve traveled using Tape to get to Hitoshi in time. Sero propped Hitoshi upright.

“You alive, dude?”

“Think so. Feel dead inside.”

“Well, good news is that Kaminari likes the emo ones,” Sero chuckled before nodding toward Magne. “Want to take her down together?”

“No, thanks,” Hitoshi quipped with his throat still raw from near suffocation. “Kinda wanted to have all the fun to myself.”

Sero snickered before joining Hitoshi as they made a mad dash toward Magne. Yet just as they got close enough to punch Magne, the boys started to glow blue and were repelled by one another. Hitoshi landed in a dumpster and his first instinct was to rub his throbbing head. Meanwhile, Sero’s initial reaction was euphoric laughter.

“I thought Magnetism only worked on folks with the same genitals.” Wiping a thin trail of blood off his forehead, Sero grinned widely. “Talk about gender validation!”

Magne’s weapon clattered onto the ground. Her gaze latched onto the pastel bracelet around Sero’s wrist, and she raised her hands in defeat. “Whoops. My bad, kid. Guess I shouldn’t fight you. ‘Cause trans solidarity and whatnot.”

“You’re trans too?”

Seemingly, forgetting how Magne had been choking his friend moments before, Sero lit up like a puppy. And Hitoshi couldn’t blame him for it. After all, queer representation was hard to come by – so he understood why Sero was more than willing to find kinship with a wanted murderer.

“Yep, sure am. And since the world is already against us, no need to make things worse and turn on each other.”

As Sero nodded enthusiastically, Hitoshi crawled out of the dumpster. Making sure not to put too much weight on his sore ankle he eyed Magne warily while she taped on her chin. She furrowed her brows as if the haze had finally cleared and the weight of the situation dawned on her.

“Actually, I don’t want to fight either of you regardless. Jesus, you’re just kids.”

Hitoshi examined Magne more closely. A certain warmth simmered in her gaze that had been absent during the fight. When Hitoshi had fought Magne, her eyes had been glassy like a doll’s. As if she were under the influence of Brainwashing, which couldn’t have possibly been the case.

He wondered whether she was really as cold-blooded as the media claimed. Or whether the image painted of her was an attempt to villainize Magne for not fitting within society’s rigid constraints. Not once did she even step close to her magnet after setting it back down. Was it possible to have such a one-eighty out of the blue? Or had the plot been guiding Magne’s actions until Sero had broken the spell?

“Why did you go after Eraserhead? What did he do to get on your bad side?” Hitoshi knew he was supposed to activate his quirk as soon as Magne uttered a single syllable, but he needed his answers.

“I don’t… know. I guess you could say my arms moved on their own.” Magne blinked and pursued her lips before proceeding with sardonic commentary. “Which is no surprise for someone evil like me, huh? Someone supposedly lesser than everyone else.”

“So you really don’t have a vendetta against him?”

“No – ”

Entranced by Hitoshi’s quirk, Magne strolled down the alleyway. He didn’t have her pick up her magnet. She could retrieve it later – and even though Hitoshi doubted that she’d want to harm him again, it was better to be safe than sorry.

Staring after Magne, Hitoshi wondered whether the villains were just like him. Not only in how they were unwilling puppets cast as the antagonists as canon events played out but also in the sense that they’d been pigeonholed into a life where lashing out at the society that had broken them was the only real option.

Chapter 11: Canon


It's Stain time!


Little Author-chan must slow down on updates (gonna aim for weekly). Alas, her summer internship has almost ended and she will be reunited with her fam. Gotta make sure my 'rents don't find out about my fics because they WILL stop me ;)

Thank you notsuchawonder for giving me input on this chapter <3

Also, if all goes according to plan chapter 15 should be called "Barbenheimer". Draw your own conclusions about what I'm scheming.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

My hair’s going to go gray before I turn twenty. Pain. Just Pain. Everything about living is a pain.

Angsty rock music blared through his earbuds as Hitoshi buried his face in his palms. He had dramatically fallen onto the train car’s aisle as if it were the carpet of his bedroom floor. While the wind rushed outside the train, Hitoshi wished the ground would swallow him whole.

Now what exactly caused this emo outburst? Well, Hitoshi had just discovered that Uncle Shouta planned on heading to Hosu of all places to track down a freaking serial killer. Why on Earth had Endeavor even requested that Eraserhead work on the case? After all, the two heroes were polar opposites and hardly interacted. Hitoshi took the situation as yet another sign that the world was trying to kick him in the balls.

Hitoshi stumbled to his feet as a couple of other passengers gave him funny looks. Not even the faintest flush painted his cheeks because Hitoshi was simply too done to bother with feeling embarrassed. He buried his phone deep in his pocket to resist the temptation to contact his friends. Last time he’d been lucky. Without Sero, he would have died. But he was so tired of being a burden. Exhausted over being the knife that bled his loved ones dry. It was high time that he did something on his own for once rather than rely on others to lift him back up again if he stumbled.

Besides, if other heroes had gathered in Hosu, what was the worst that could happen? Speaking of other heroes, Hitoshi decided that messing with Endeavor a little wouldn’t hurt. Especially since he was traveling all the way to Hosu. Plus, Todoroki would likely endorse a vigilante giving his father a hard time.

Hitoshi backtracked on the idea. Learn your lesson, you idiot. Every time he got caught up in revenge or entangled in a web of insecurities about his quirk, bloodshed would follow. Like a prelude to his superhero origin story. As much as he wanted to give Endeavor a middle finger, he couldn’t jeopardize Uncle Shouta’s safety as a result - at least, not as long as there was a serial killer with a vendetta against heroes on the loose. Nothing is free in life. Everything comes at a price.

With a deep sigh, Hitoshi settled back into his seat. An invisible blade twisted in his skull with the buzzing sound rising like a chorus. Clutching his forehead, he sprinted away from the window. Hitoshi latched his webs onto a schoolchild and yanked them out of the way while he pulled his mask over his face. Seconds later, screams flooded around Hitoshi as a mess of limbs crashed through the window. Glass scattered where the child had been standing moments before.

Screeching from the top of their lungs, the child raced toward their mother’s arms. Hitoshi’s ears rang as he sprinted across the caved-in train car while passengers stormed out. Grey decaying flesh coated in blood bulged before Hitoshi. Beady eyes drilled into his soul and rosy brain matter shimmered in the moonlight.

Nomu? Good grief. And here he had thought that a serial killer was going to be the worst of his problems. Hitoshi charged toward the Nomu, and it grabbed one of his arms so hard he could hear the bones creak. With a kick to the Nomu’s chin, Hitoshi flipped under the Nomu’s body. Yet once Hitoshi was standing behind the Nomu, it twisted its head one-hundred-and-eighty degrees. A manic grin formed on non-existent lips.

Fastening his webs to a busted door, Hitoshi pulled the shrapnel toward himself. As the door accelerated, Hitoshi jumped out of the way in time for the door to slice clean through the Nomu’s legs. Blood squirted everywhere, leading Hitoshi to gag as some of it got into his mouth despite the mask. Worse yet, muscles bulged around the Nomu’s stumps instantaneously, and soon enough the monster was standing on newly formed legs.

Of f*cking course. How could I forget about the handy-dandy super regeneration? No, I’m not being dramatic – the world really is out to get me. Backing away from the Nomu, Hitoshi started to fold over his fingers while he swore internally. It’s almost like I’m a character in a story who’s the author’s favorite punching bag. As he shot webbing at the Nomu only for the creature to rip through it, Hitoshi amended his prior thought. Or I’m just Spider-Man. Because heaven forbid, Spider-Man has a stress-free life.

Leaping out of the Nomu’s reach, Hitoshi recalled how the creature had gripped his arm earlier. How it felt like the crushing palm was bound to cut off his circulation if the bone didn’t snap first. A lightbulb went off over Hitoshi’s head as he wielded his webbing. Maybe there was a way to get around the regeneration ability.

Hitoshi shook enough that he feared his skeleton might jump out of his body. Still, he sprinted toward the Nomu and wrapped webbing around its neck like a noose. Then, he pounced onto the roof of the train which more closely resembled a crater. As he tugged, the webbing cut through the Nomu’s neck like a wire, and its lifeless head rolled onto the ground.

With clammy hands, Hitoshi didn’t waste another second and ventured toward the city below. Endeavor’s flames roared as Hosu was set ablaze. Monsters roamed the streets as pro-heroes whisked away civilians. Complete and utter pandemonium.

And at the mouth of an alleyway, Hitoshi spotted a flash of an engine. As Iida raced away from the fires and Nomu, Uncle Shouta followed his student into the labyrinth of Hosu. Stuffing his jacket into his drawstring back, Hitoshi rose to his full height and groaned. Crap. It was going to be a long-ass night.

Hitoshi sped past alleyways several hues darker than the ones back home. The bricks reeked of mold and death. Arms still sore from the Nomu encounter, Hitoshi struggled to close the distance between him and Uncle Shouta. What was wrong with Iida? Wasn’t he supposed to be a hero student? Why was he running away from the puppets of villains?

An ache throbbed through Hitoshi’s battered wrist, and he shelved his question for later. In the distance, a battle cry sounded. A proclamation of avengement for Ingenium. Hitoshi’s heart sank as reality dawned on him. He remembered how Dad had dropped the phone on the kitchen tiles at the announcement that his high school friend had been hospitalized. That Tensei’s career was over.

Gritting his teeth, Hitoshi swung around the corner as quickly as his webs would carry him. Ingenium’s dumbass little brother was going to get himself killed if Hitoshi’s suspicions about why he ran off in Hosu were correct.

The aroma of iron weighed heavily in the air while katanas flickered. Hitoshi froze as he spotted Uncle Shouta strewn across the ground. Similarly wounded, Iida was lying against a wall. Impaled. Motionless. Yet still breathing.

Unsheathing his sword, the Hero Killer approached Uncle Shouta. Multi-color glitching encased his hand as Stain’s gaze went blank. As if he were either controlled by his bloodlust or an invisible puppeteer set on bringing canon events to fruition. A deep red murderous aura rippled off him – so similar to the one that graced Hitoshi’s visions.

Hitoshi lashed out with his webs and tugged. Yet the Hero Killer’s grip was so strong he hardly even shifted. He beckoned Hitoshi to run – to save himself because he wasn’t a fake. Iida to called out that it wasn’t Hitoshi battle to fight, while Uncle Shouta lay unconscious. Hitoshi’s stomach turned at the implications of Stain’s fighting prowess considering he’d managed to knock Uncle Shouta out despite Erasure. But Hitoshi remained rooted firmly in place. He wouldn’t abandon Uncle Shouta in a million years.

Grinning, Stain swung his blades toward Hitoshi, and in the darkness, he only had his spider-sense to thank for not being cut into shreds. But even in the heat of battle, Hitoshi found himself glaring daggers at Iida. He had his whole life ahead of him. Why would he risk it all to act homicidal? Mr. Goody-two-shoes of all people? His brother was a beloved hero. Iida’s quirk is flashy. Another injustice of several in the world. And that idiocy might be the death of Uncle Shouta.

It isn’t Iida’s fault, Hitoshi. It’s ours. If you’d just been a little faster, Uncle Shouta wouldn’t be as still as a corpse.

One of Stain’s blades nipped Hitoshi’s elbow. Blood dripped onto the weapon and Stain started to curl his tongue around it, Hitoshi snatched the sword away. Like hell, he was going to let some creepy motherf*cker lick his blood. Plus, it could have something to do with the paralyzed state of Stain’s victims. Hitoshi wondered whether the condition was permanent – though he supposed Uncle Shouta could perhaps resolve such an issue if everyone made it out alive.

At lightning speed, Stain lashed out at him. Hitoshi’s bad arm not only handicapped his ability to shoot webs efficiently but he was also left crawling up the walls while only using one arm for support. From his perch, Hitoshi shot webs onto Stain’s face, but he tore them off in seconds. A katana zeroed in on Hitoshi’s throat and he kicked out at Stain, thinking he was dead meat.

Suddenly, a pair of obnoxious red shoes hit Stain right in the jawline. As Stain skirted across the alley, green electricity crackled. Midoriya glared at the serial killer with a feral expression while he held out a hand toward Hitoshi.

Accepting Midoriya’s gesture, Hitoshi coughed up blood through his mask. Hitoshi snatched one of Stain’s blades off the floor and adopted a nonchalant posture as if he hadn’t been on the verge of dying mere moments ago.

Hitoshi deepened his voice and gave Midoriya a half-hearted thumbs-up. “I’m a vigilante, kid. I got this.”

“Kid? But you sound like –”

“No, no, no. I am definitely an adult of legal drinking age. It’s a school night. Would I be out here if I were a kid?”

Midoriya raised a brow skeptically. Stain raced toward him and gave the killer a kick in the gut before answering Hitoshi’s question. “I guess you have a point.”

“Now, get those two out of here. They’re too much of a liability.”

Midoriya crossed his arms as Hitoshi gestured toward Iida and Uncle Shouta. He jumped from foot to foot – skittish as if he weren’t willing to leave Hitoshi to fight Stain on his own. Hitoshi assumed that Midoriya would’ve been even more unwilling if not for the mask.

With his chest pounding, Hitoshi latched his webbing to a trashcan lid and impacted Stain on the back of the head. As the Hero Killer slowly rose again, Midoriya took the attack as a sign that Hitoshi could hold his own to some capacity.

In a flash, Midoriya grabbed Stain’s victims and ran off. Hitoshi knew Midoriya was a powerhouse and his stomach twisted at the thought of fighting Stain alone. But the knowledge that Midoriya was faster and stronger made him sure that his peer would guarantee Uncle Shouta’s safety.

Hitoshi’s world was spinning. Stain’s attacks had grown even more sporadic in the absence of other victims. His bloodthirsty gaze kept drifting toward the mouth of the alleyway which Hitoshi had encased in webbing. Stain destroyed the webs with ease as Hitoshi dodged his blows.

“Did anyone ever tell you how ugly your mug is?”

Jaw sealed shut into a snarl, Stain didn’t react to the taunt. Like Hitoshi was an insect who one couldn’t even register speaking. Hitoshi had no idea how much longer he could hold out. He assumed that enough time had passed for Midoriya to transport Iida and Uncle Shouta far enough to get out of Stain’s reach. Balling his fists, Hitoshi settled on the fact that the time had come to make his escape.

A knife sliced through his ribs – not deep enough to puncture any organs. Hitoshi reached out with his webs, but it was too late. His body fell onto the ground with a resounding thud. Dizziness filled his skull and Hitoshi regretted not telling his friends where he had gone. That they might blame themselves for not knowing he was in danger. But he was in danger almost every day and he couldn’t keep eating away at everyone’s peace of mind. Just like when fighting Magne, Hitoshi longed for the embers in his gaze to flicker out. He was so tired of running. Of trying to prove the world about him.

Hitoshi just wanted to sleep. Forever.

As Stain pressed a sword against Hitoshi’s numb ribcage, a wave of ice washed over the alleyway. Encased in frost, Stain snarled at his newest opponent and redirected his blade. With flames bursting on his shoulder, Todoroki dodged Stain’s blows. Using his quirk to create steam, Todoroki made any chance of getting a clear view of the alley impossible.

With one hand radiating near excruciating heat and the other freezing cold, Todoroki gripped Hitoshi and dragged him away. After making it a few meters, Todoroki constructed a dome of ice to further separate himself and Hitoshi from Stain. There was no chance of outrunning Stain if Todoroki had to drag Hitoshi’s limp body along.

Frosty air spilled from Hitoshi’s lips, and he spat out a tooth. Reeling, he gawked at the molar. How was he supposed to explain his new dental situation to his parents? Nevermind, teeth were future Hitoshi’s problem – assuming he made it out alive in the first place.

“How did you find me?” Hitoshi asked.

“Midoriya. He sent the location.”

Hitoshi nodded since he wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth even if he would have preferred to deal with the Stain situation on his own – though apparently, he lacked the skills to achieve such a lofty goal.

“Make sure he doesn’t drink your blood. That’s how his quirk activates.”

“Understood,” Todoroki said.

Todoroki’s makeshift dome shattered as Stain’s katanas crashed through and nearly pierced through Hitoshi’s shoulder. Treating Hitoshi with the grace of a ragdoll, Todoroki hurled him toward the opposite end of the alleyway and faced Stain with fire billowing in his left palm. Holding up one blazing hand, Todoroki redirected the knives’ trajectory, and he parried the rest with ice spikes.

Lying on his face, Hitoshi couldn’t quite make out further details of the fight. Yet when he pressed his lips together and tried to twitch his toe it finally tired. Phew. The paralysis was temporary after all.

While Hitoshi willed sensation to gradually return to his hands, he noticed Todoroki back away from Stain. He cupped a wound on his shoulder, trying to prevent any blood from spilling that Stain could lick up. Cracks forming in his stoic expression, Todoroki blurted out something completely outlandish.

“Are you Wash and Vlad King’s secret love child?”

Stain dropped his weapons and his jaw fell open as he stared at Todoroki like he was some kind of alien. Completely unperturbed, Todoroki extinguished his flames and gestured toward the brick wall behind him as if it were some sort of conspiracy theory corkboard.

“I needn’t elaborate on one of your parents. Your quirk and Vlad King’s speak for themselves.” Nodding toward Stain, Todoroki tapped his chin. “Finding your connection to Wash was some of my finest work.”

“That doesn’t make sense! Why would Wash be my father?”

“In denial from the trauma? I understand.” Todoroki sent Stain a pitying look. “Now, your relation is simply undeniable. You despise corrupt heroes and Wash made it to the top ten through lobbying laundry detergent. Clearly, your bloodlust is the result of deep-seated parental resentment.”

A smirk crossed Hitoshi’s expression while Stain remained in a dumbstruck stupor. Todoroki was buying Hitoshi time for the paralysis to wear off. Or better yet, he’d provided the perfect opening for Hitoshi to provoke Stain into answering one of his questions.

“Plus, Wash’s face has never been shown to the public. For all we know, he shares your lack of a nose. That must be genetic,” Todoroki elaborated.

“You know what, that theory sounds plausible. Don’t you think, Stain?” Hitoshi asked.

“I would not dare share genetic material with such corrupt –”

Stain’s gaze finally went glassy. Hitoshi let out a sigh of relief as the murderous aura no longer enveloped him. Todoroki pulled Hitoshi to his feet. Slash. Blood pooled from Todoroki’s leg as the homicidal flicker glowed in Stain’s eyes once again.

Hitoshi’s eyes widened with horror. As Stain sped toward him, he grabbed Todoroki and attached him to a nearby wall with a web. The only thing that would let people snap out of Brainwashing was pain. Hitoshi clutched his head as he grappled with the gravity of the situation. How severe was the extent of Stain’s chronic pain if it was enough to pull him out of the influence of Hitoshi’s quirk? And considering how Stain was once a vigilante, Hitoshi wondered whether an endless ache in his bones also awaited him in the future.

Knives grated against the asphalt, sounding like funeral bells. Yet the symphony was interrupted by a flash of green lighting. Sprinting through the alleyway, Midoriya hit Stain in the stomach and sent him flying a few feet in the air. Rubbing his wrists as he prepared to shoot webs again, Hitoshi allowed himself a small grin. Right. How could Hitoshi forget that Midoriya was stubborn as hell? Of course, he’d come running back guns blazing the second the Hero Killer’s victims were out of reach.

“Is the Cosplayer your friend, Todoroki?” Midoriya asked.

“Yes. Endeavor wouldn’t like me having friends who are vigilantes. Which is nice.”

Hitoshi kept his lips sealed tight, hoping that Midoriya wouldn’t recognize the hypnotic quality of his voice. Instead, Midoriya’s viridian gaze proved far more terrifying than being found out. Rushing toward Hitoshi in between landing hits on Stain and evading blades, he whispered his plan. Hitoshi simply nodded and was grateful for how the mask hid his shocked expression. He sure hoped that he would never find himself on Midoriya’s bad side.

Bouncing along the walls of the alleyway, Midoriya sent Stain blindly chasing after him. Both were so fast Hitoshi could barely follow their movements, but he did his best to methodically shoot out webbing. And Midoriya proved to be faster since soon enough Stain found himself entangled in webbing that only pulled tighter the more he struggled.

Relying on the fact that he was far more built than the average teenager, Midoriya peeled Todoroki off the wall. He grabbed Todoroki’s right hand and held it against the prison made of webbing so Stain could be frozen inside it for good measure. Of course, Midoriya made sure to snatch Stain’s weapons away first as a precaution.

With the adrenaline in his veins dying down, Hitoshi marched toward Stain. His voice dripped with venom as he attempted to speak an octave deeper. “Why attack Eraserhead?”

“He’s a false hero.”

Hitoshi was so tempted to punch Stain in his stupid noseless face. To brainwash him. But God, Hitoshi knew how pointless that would be. He managed to hold himself back and stuck with spitting in Stain’s eyes. Though he found that the mask made that plan go awry.

“Dafuq? Do you have any idea how many lives he’s saved?”

“Heroes are in it for –”

“Fame? Fortune? Eraserhead isn’t in it for any of that. Hence why hardly anyone even knows he exists. Heck, Ingenium was in it mostly to rehabilitate vigilantes. So tell me why you tried to slaughter Eraserhead!”

“I don’t… know.”

Crossing his arms, Hitoshi eyed the Hero Killer. Something about the entire encounter had felt inevitable even though the pit in Hitoshi’s stomach told him that he wasn’t meant to be in Hosu. One story’s canon collided with another’s. As his head grew light from blood loss, Hitoshi wondered whether he had found yet another pawn in the plot’s game.

“You’re right about the hero system being bullsh*t. But your conviction is pretty empty.” Hitoshi spared a brief glance in Todoroki’s direction. “Go after heroes at the top of the food chain. Prove their corruption. Or you’ll just create martyrs.”

“I never had a choice. My quirk was always seen as –”

“Well, you’re not the only one! You could’ve become a hero instead of a hero killer. You could’ve proved them f*cking wrong!”

Storming out of the alleyway, Hitoshi felt as if his chest were collapsing in on itself. When he stared down at his hands they were covered in blood – more than had been there before. And no matter how much he rubbed at the stains they remained glued to him like a brand. Hitoshi wondered whether in another life he would have been overwhelmed by frustrations like Stain. Drowning in a sea of blood that followed him.

With his back toward the alleyway, Hitoshi had a clearer view of the pyres of flaming Nomu. A capture weapon whipped across the night sky like a snake. And even though Hitoshi’s legs threatened to give away beneath him, he started running toward the chaos. Because he’d be damned if he let any more risks to Uncle Shouta’s safety run wild.

Tell-tale kaleidoscope glitching formed above Hitoshi’s head. Nomu sped past Hitoshi and snatched Uncle Shouta by the shoulders. As an animalist shriek echoed, Hitoshi shot his webbing toward Uncle Shouta’s ankle and missed by inches. Hyperventilating, Hitoshi scaled the side of the building only for the Nomu to fly further out of his reach. He kept aiming for the Nomu to no avail until he ran out of web fluid in his body.

While civilians scattered across the pavement gawked at the whisked-away hero, the voice in Hitoshi’s head rang louder than ever.

Poor, weak, little Hitoshi.

You’ll never be able to save anyone.

You were never meant to be a hero.

You’re just a catalyst for hurt. Nothing more.

Then, Endeavor shot up like a rocket in a fiery blaze as he shot a fireball at the Nomu. While Uncle Shouta entangled himself out of the creature’s grasp, Endeavor got a hold of his fellow pro hero before speeding back toward the cityscape.

Huh, guess he’s good for something other than his credit card.

The second Uncle Shouta was standing on solid ground, Hitoshi’s body shut down from exhaustion. For a second, he wondered whether was under the impact of Stain’s quirk again only to find that he could still move his hands.

Midoriya and Todoroki gave each other knowing looks as the blue-and-red police sirens refracted off the alleyway. Todoroki leaned over and whispered to Midoriya as he pointed toward a nearby dumpster. While Todoroki raced toward Stain and unfroze the ice so he was not left covered in webbing. Under hushed breaths, Todoroki proclaimed that he would reveal Stain’s relation to Wash on a popular theory blog if he failed to cooperate and keep his mouth shut about the vigilante's quirk.

Meanwhile, Midoriya scooped up Hitoshi and stuffed him in a dumpster. Hitoshi almost vomited at the smell of rotting eggs. He could tell that Midoriya was sparing him from the consequences of vigilantism, but he really didn’t appreciate being dumped like a piece of trash.

Nonetheless, he managed to get some satisfaction as he stared through a crack in the dumpster while Todoroki gestured toward Stain. Todoroki grabbed the reporter’s microphone and nodded stoically. “The Cosplayer took down the Hero Killer. Endeavor had nothing to do with it.”


Please let me know whether you enjoyed this chappy. 'Twas a tricky one to write.

Credit goes to the kind folks of the clouds server for helping me craft Shoto's newest conspiracy theory.

Chapter 12: Doctor's Visit


Hitoshi gets patched up.


Did I find a way to shoehorn Natsu into the fic? What can I say? I love the Todosiblings.

I'm editing this from a car so no grammarly helping me out this time 😂

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Hitoshi was one-hundred-and-seventeen percent sure he had a concussion. The fact that he struggled to do math properly was the most obvious symptom. Of course, the possibility remained that the persistent pounding in his head could have been triggered due to his spider senses being on high alert for well over an hour.

His mind felt as foggy as his brainwashing victims while Todoroki dragged him up the stairs. Hitoshi really wished that his friend wasn’t treating him like a sack of potatoes. He winced every time his ankles hit the steps with a thump as Todoroki haphazardly lugged him around by the arm. In a scenario in which Midoriya entered the downtown apartment complex, Hitoshi imagined that he would have been carried to the fifth-floor bridal style. Though he was grateful Todoroki had sent Midoriya away less the Cosplayer’s identity be revealed to yet another person.

The headache hadn't been helped by Stain's long rant about false heroes after he'd been detained by a few high schoolers. Sure, Hitoshi was relieved Stain hadn't mentioned Brainwashing on live TV, but did he really have to go on an endless tangent? Yeah, hero society sucks. What a surprise. So damn self-righteous acting like he isn't as bad as those he condemns.

Gazing at the stair rails, Hitoshi lamented how the building lacked an elevator. Then again, he could hardly blame a university student for cutting costs by renting a mediocre apartment. Respect the hustle.

At last, Todoroki set Hitoshi down on the carpet. And despite how scratchy the material was, nothing had ever felt softer to Hitoshi. He swore that he’d never complain about walking again. Even running a marathon sure beat dealing with the sack-of-potatoes lifestyle.

Todoroki knocked on the door a few times more than what would have been considered socially acceptable. Decked in faded Powerpuff Girls pajama bottoms, a white-haired man built like an ox opened the door. His kind grey eyes were slightly bloodshot, and creases were etched onto his cheeks as if he had fallen asleep on his textbook.

The man let out a deep yawn. “What are you doing here, baby bro?” His eyes widened as he began to dwell on what he had just said, and he proceeded to wave his arms in front himself in panic. “Not that I don’t want you to visit, Shoto. Though it is one in the morning. Did that bastard of a father do something?”

“Not exactly, Natsuo.” Shoto shook his head and pointed toward Hitoshi’s fallen figure. “That’s my friend. He fought Stain. Fix him.”

Hitoshi faced-palmed and wished he had kept his mask on after fleeing Hosu, but he had really needed to breathe. Even more so after his unsolicited adventures in dumpster diving. He pinched his nose together to ward off the stench, while Natsuo mimicked the gesture – though that was most likely a reaction to Shoto’s rudeness.

Rubbing the bags under his eyes, Natsuo raised a brow. “Uh, what’s the magic word, Sho?”

Shoto pressed his fingertips together as if deep in thought. If Hitoshi had any energy left, he would have shaken his head in exasperation. Who on each taught this kid manners? Though on second thought, Hitoshi could piece together why growing up with Endeavor would have made Shoto a tad socially inept. Nevertheless, Hitoshi could appreciate that Shoto was taking any means necessary to get him patched up without Dad and Uncle Shouta finding out.

After an eternity, Shoto finally spoke up in his trademark monotone. “Abracadabra.”

“Close enough,” Natsuo sighed. “But seriously. Sho, I’m not a doctor.”

“I can’t take him to the hospital. And you are good enough.”

Natsuo seemed to deflate as Shoto blinked at him with hope-filled eyes. Hitoshi counted his lucky stars that he was an only child all while Natsuo continued to try to reason with his brother. “I only have a year of uni under my belt.”

“I thought you wanted me to have friends.” Shoto looked toward Hitoshi and hummed wistfully. “Dead friends don’t count.”

“Fine. I’ll see what I can do,” Natsuo relented as he ushered Shoto to follow him.

Just as unceremoniously as with the stairs, Shoto dragged Hitoshi behind. His head hit the doorframe, worsening his already bad headache. Though at this rate Hitoshi supposed the ache couldn’t get much worse unless he somehow found a way to actually split his skull open.

Thankfully, Natsuo proved much better at handling the injured regardless of how limited his experience was. As Hitoshi was set down on a worn-out sofa that smelt faintly of bleach, he blissfully sunk into the weathered fabric. Maybe he was delirious, but he could swear that the couch felt exactly like cotton candy. Not like clouds – because that would just be water, duh. Yet Hitoshi struggled not to succumb to the temptation of drifting off to sleep lest he worsen the possible major head injury.

A flashlight flickered at Hitoshi’s pupils, confirming that he didn’t have a concussion. A small consolation. Yet Natsuo let out a noticeable hiss as he raised Hitoshi’s tattered costume to find a deep cut etched into his ribcage. After composing himself, Natsuo headed to the bathroom and retrieved a first aid kit. Masking his concern with a smile, Natsuo poured hydrogen peroxide over a needle.

“Lucky for you, stitches are my specialty.”

Sitting on the carpet, Shoto tilted his head. “I thought burns were?”

“I can have multiple specialties, baby bro.” Natsuo looked tempted to ruffle Shoto’s hair, but he instead remained focused on threading string through a needle.

With a shrug, Shoto wandered off and switched on Natsuo’s television. His gaze grew completely transfixed as if he were a toddler given hardly any screen time. Admittedly a soap opera was playing in which a woman was swatting her cheating husband with a sandal – so Hitoshi could hardly blame Shoto for being completely mesmerized.

Plus, the program helped distract Hitoshi from the sting of disinfectant against his skin. Natsuo’s stitches moved so seamlessly that Hitoshi hardly felt the prick. Steady hands that spoke of years of experience rather than a nineteen-year-old. Recalling the bruises that had covered Shoto at the mall, Shoto had some idea of why Natsuo was so skilled at treating wounds.

Hitoshi considered asking about it, but his tongue weighed down in his jaw like iron. So he instead drifted toward thoughts of multicolor glitching and tried to gleam some sense of the connective tissue that bound all of the plot’s attempts on Uncle Shouta’s life together. Photographs of flames and Nomu loomed in his mind. Images of that USJ underling holding a gun. Could the League be the fibers of the web binding the canon events together?

Recalling Magne’s tall stature, Hitoshi decided that the answer was yes. She was certainly capable of standing on the same playing field as a volatile gamer who could reduce his opponents to dust. He wondered whether he would be able to eliminate threats on Uncle Shouta’s life entirely if he got rid of the League of Villains. Not that he thought he was capable of such a feat since Stain – a single opponent – had given him quite a run for his money.

The television continued to hum in the background, and Natsuo broke through the near silence. “Shoto, why does your friend…smell?”

Shoto didn’t even bother to look away from the screen. “I had Midoriya throw him in a dumpster.”

“Do you have any idea how bad that is for the risk of infection?”

“Oh. Sorry.”

“It’s fine, Sho.” Natsuo snipped off the end of the strings, completing his handiwork for the stitches. “Not your fault that the old man focused more on training than teaching common sense.”

Hitoshi simply nodded as Natsuo formed a block of ice in his palm, wrapped a towel around it and passed it to Hitoshi. With the impromptu icepack resting on his stomach, Hitoshi decided that he could see why Sero had grown so infatuated with Shoto. Sure, he was a little silly – but at the end of the day, weren’t they all? Smiling over how quickly he had been patched up, Hitoshi shut his eyes. A power nap was long overdue. Only five minutes, I promise.

As it turned out, Hitoshi was very bad at keeping promises to himself. Shaking out of his slumber as a blurred silhouette stomped across the floor, Hitoshi looked at the watch beside the television to discover that an hour had passed. Kaminari loomed before Hitoshi with crossed arms while he fumed like a teakettle. Behind Kaminari, Sero stared at Hitoshi blankly as he marched over toward the sofa. Oh sh*t, Shoto must’ve called him. Hitoshi quivered at the prospect that he could be a dead man amid the wrath of his friends.

Natsuo briefly poked his head out of the bedroom. “Please, don’t stomp. I have neighbors downstairs.”

Sero’s frosty expression thawed as his eyes widened his panic. “Oh, sorry, Mr. Todoroki, Sir. We’ll keep it down.”

“No need to call me that, please. That makes me feel old.” Sighing, Natsuo shook his head and shut the door behind himself. “You sure have interesting friends, Sho.”

Trying not to look at Shoto for too long, Sero fixed a glare on Hitoshi. “Why didn’t you call us? Are you suicidal?”

“I thought I could handle it on my own,” Hitoshi muttered under his breath.

Sero threw his hands up. “Stain is a freaking SERIAL KILLER. What made you think a high schooler could stand up to him?”

“Dude, you’re lucky you’re alive,” Kaminari grumbled.

Hitoshi schooled his expression into a nonchalant one even though her could still feel the phantom touch of Stain’s blades. “I’m fine. Besides, all’s well that ends well. Plus, I’m pretty good at this vigilante schtick. Are you doubting me?”

“Yes!” Kaminari cried. “It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. Stain has taken down pro heroes with decades of experience.”

“Well, Stain’s on his way to Tartarus. You won’t need to worry about me confronting him again.”

“That’s not the point,” Sero said. “You got hurt this time.”

“Think I’m f*cking weak or something? Don’t think I can handle it on my own?” Am I not really a hero to the two of you? Am I just a charity case with a villain’s quirk? Do you actually like being around me or do I just make you feel better about yourselves?

Hitoshi bit back a dozen ugly unspoken sentences and instead proceeded to flip over to face the wall. Shoto’s gaze had broken away from the screen and he flicked off the screen. Sincerity dripped from his frame as he plopped himself in front of the couch.

“No one here ever thought that. Not even at the Sports Festival.”

Blushing slightly at Shoto’s words, Sero scratched himself behind the ear. “Yeah, you faced Midoriya back then. That takes a whole lot of balls.”

Kaminari stepped closer to Hitoshi and started to run his fingers through his hair. Ordinarily, Hitoshi would have shaken him off and turned every shade of red in the book, but he was far too worn out. Instead, he let the gesture chase away the lingering tension in his body. Kaminari pulled away and furrowed his brows.

“I know I can’t measure up to webslinging, but Sero and I are always available. Why didn’t you reach out for help like the other times?”

Hitoshi dragged a hand over his eyes. “I’ve already had a lot of help from you. I can’t be too greedy.”

Kaminari bunched up the fabric of Hitoshi sleeve. “Relationships aren’t transactions! There isn’t a limit to how many times we’ll help you. We’re not a crappy insurance plan!”

“But you always help me and I never –”

“Fine, then help me study for math and we’ll call it even. Does that work for you?!”

Letting his grip on Hitoshi’s sleeve drop, Kaminari held out a hand. Hitoshi took it and answered with a low, “Yes.”

Sero and Kaminari nodded at him, seemingly having been mostly appeased. Still, Kaminari’s expression remained somewhat pinched together like a grumpy Pokémon or something. While Kaminari grumbled to himself and slumped onto the couch beside Hitoshi, Sero scurried away from the drama and over to Shoto’s side. He leaned against Shoto’s left shoulder and Shoto did not dare push him away even are Sero started to play with his hair.

“That costume looks nice.”

Shoto briefly turned toward his outfit that still was littered with dust from the Stain fight. “Thank you.”

“I liked your first one too. The one with the ice.”

“Want me to change back to it?”

Hitoshi caught Sero choking on his own breath. “No, you don’t have to. You look great in everything you wear.”

With Sero on the verge of hyperventilating into a blushing mess, Kaminari intervened. “Speaking of costumes, it’s a shame about yours, Shinsou.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll buy another one,” Shoto said.

Hitoshi smiled gratefully at the offer. He’d be back at square one, good as new – kind of like an avatar who had perished in a video game. He exhaled deeply as he watched Kaminari pull out is phone and become absorbed into Candy Crush.

Even after a fight, everyone fell back into the usual rhythm. Because it wasn’t a fight, not really – moreso an expression of care. As Hitoshi sank into the couch, envy brewed in him over how naturally romantic gestures came to Sero and Shoto. Instead, he sighed and shut his eyelids. With the night as long as it already was, it would have been foolish to attempt disrupting the carefully crafted routine with Kaminari.

Stitches pulled taunt beneath the hoodie he had retrieved from his drawstring bag. He could already envision the hideous purple bruises would blossom over the following days. He wondered how many more hits he could take until he was forced to give his final bow. But at least he had the hunch that the League would be responsible for his canon event. A small yet important starting point.


For those who haven't seen them yet, I made mnishaiwbbars doodles.

Ah and if you want to see more of my stuff, I started Dear Google, is my girlfriend a vampire? because I've entered my Togachako era

Chapter 13: Filler Chapter


Hitoshi goes on a family zoo outing and has a study session with Kaminari.


Hitoshi: Hello again, Author-chan.

Me: Um... Hitoshi why do you sound like you want to murder me?

Hitoshi: Because you had to audacity to straight up call this chapter "Filler Chapter"! How shameless are you?

Me: Give me a break, okay? I'm spent from writing fight scenes. You're tired from fighting a literal serial killer. Are you really that opposed to a family outing and a study session?

Hitoshi: I guess that doesn't sound terrible.

Me: Good to hear! Anyways, I'll make sure you get your ass kicked next chapter since you apparently HATE filler chapters so much.

Hitoshi: Wait! Nooooo!

Me: Muahaha, I hold ALL the POWAH!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“Hitoshi, we’re going to the zoo.”

The kitchen stool teetered as the coffee mug slipped out of Hitoshi’s hands. He just barely managed to catch the porcelain with his webbing. Making sure that the webbing was concealed behind the counter, Hitoshi set the mug down and tried to regain his posture.

His gaze drifted toward the ceiling, expecting a hidden camera. Any second now, Dad could jump in through the doorway and proclaim that everything was an elaborate prank. Instead, when he leaned over the window, he spotted rummaging in the passenger seat of his convertible to throw away all of his discarded candy wrappers.

Mouth agape, Hitoshi gave Uncle Shouta a double take. Could there be a chance that he’d fallen victim to a possession quirk? Yet considering how Uncle Shouta’s glare was paradoxical as ever – both cold and comforting all at once – Hitoshi decided that scenario was unlikely.

“Wait, you want to go outside willingly?”

Capture weapon resting over his Uncle Shouta shrugged as if he hadn’t just turned Hitoshi’s entire world upside down. “Hizashi got the day off – might as well make the most of it.”

“From all of his jobs?”

Uncle Shouta stepped forward to pat Hitoshi on the head. The usual pout Hitoshi would have given over someone messing with his styled hair melted away. “You aren’t going to be a kid forever, so he insisted on making some time for family bonding.”

Hitoshi raised a skeptical brow at the softness in Uncle Shouta’s voice. “Sure, it wasn’t your idea?”


Hands in pocket, Hitoshi trailed after his uncle as they left the apartment behind and headed for Dad’s car. Uncle Shouta was without a doubt a shoddy liar. But save for the occasional quip, half-truths usually went unacknowledged in their household. Hitoshi hoped that the same trend would extend to his growing web of lies. Because he knew if his parents ever suspected that he was the one behind the Cosplayer’s mask, the sanctuary of the apartment would vanish.

As Hitoshi settled in the convertible’s back seat, Uncle Shouta clutched his abdomen at the spot where Stain’s blade had pierced through it. Drawing his eyebrows together Dad leaned in from the driver’s side.

“You know you don’t have to go, you homebody,” Dad sighed.

“Can’t let these constant stabbings get the best of me.”

“Guess you’re right,” Dad chuckled as he gripped the steering wheel. “Though with how much you’ve been getting injured lately, I’m wondering if you move to the hospital full time.”

“No thank you.” Uncle Shouta pulled out his yellow sleeping bag, curled up inside it, and pulled the zipper over his face. “Their disgusting pudding and Jell-O pales in comparison to gel pouches.”

“Hmm, really? I kinda like their green Jell-O. It has a nice tangy taste to it.”

“You’re delusional.” Uncle Shouta slumped against the passenger seat while in his sleeping bag. “That’s the worst flavor of all. Taste like Advil.”

“Can you two cut out the talk about hospital food?” Hitoshi groaned.

“Aren’t you a grumpy one, little listener? Seem to take after Shouta more and more by the day.”

“Don’t I know it,” Uncle Shouta said.

With a full-bellied laugh, Dad threw his hair back and stepped on the gas. Uncle Shouta’s snoring was soon carried by the wind. Heartburn clawing his throat, Hitoshi twitched uncomfortably in the backseat. Talk of the constant hospital visits cemented how Hitoshi wasn’t good enough. Didn’t matter that he’d done his best to spare his uncle from his canon event. No, Hitoshi should have gone beyond his limits. Plus ultra style. Leaning against the car door, Hitoshi let the engine’s hum lull him into a sleepy haze. Hitoshi should have been the one experiencing serious injury after serious injury. After all, Hitoshi should take the fall for the spider bite, not Uncle Shouta.

Pulling his arms around himself, Hitoshi drifted off into a half-sleep. Best to get rest and attempt to shake off his anxieties rather than receive unwelcome questions about his nighttime adventures from his parents. Still, he hadn’t expected memories that were nearly a decade old to resurface in the process.

Six-year-old Hitoshi held his orange cat plushie close to his chest as she strolled along the paved path. Humidity radiated around him, and the faint stench of manure lingered in the air as he kept close to the shadows cast by enormous leaves hanging overhead. Panting, Hitoshi marched forward on stubby little legs. No matter how weary and worn-out the tendons in his knees were, he was set on making it to the tigers as quickly as possible.

The plushie's fur had gotten all matted together and at this point, Sparky smelled about half as bad as the nearby cages containing quirked parrots with iridescent feathers. But Hitoshi refused to wash Sparky since the fabric softener Mom used to clean Hitoshi’s plushies had been discontinued. It hadn’t even been a whole year since the funeral and Hitoshi had already begun to forget the sound of her laugh. He didn’t care if he was being bullheaded about keeping Sparky away from the washing machine at all costs – he couldn’t afford to lose yet another part of Mom.

As Hitoshi’s knee buckled, Uncle Shouta leaned down to scoop him up. He placed Hitoshi onto a bench by the co*ckatoo cages. Despite his exhaustion, Hitoshi couldn’t help but let out a giggle over how the yellow feathers resembled Hizashi’s hair. His giggling only escalated when the birds squawked at him. Seemed like the co*ckatoos were loud like Hizashi too.

Melting away in the heat, Hitoshi tried to stand up on trembling legs and continue his march toward the tiger cages. Yet Uncle Shouta gently nudged Hitoshi back onto the bench and handed him a bottle of water.

“The animals aren’t going anywhere. Gotta take care of yourself, kid.”

After taking several deep gulps from the bottle, Hitoshi pouted. “You’re a hippocrat!”

“Where did you learn sure big words, kid?”

“From Mom!” Spilling some of the water on himself, Hitoshi pointed an accusatory finger at his uncle. “Also, she said that you’re bad at taking care of yourself.”

“Well, I suppose Hina wasn’t wrong.”

Pulling off his capture weapon, Uncle Shouta wiped off the mess Hitoshi had made. Pressure built up in Hitoshi’s throat as he stared at home the midnight black of his uncle’s hair only deepened in the sunlight. The same shade as Mom’s hair. The same patient expression that graced Mom’s pursued lips was reflected in Uncle Shouta as he cleaned up the spillage.

Digging his hands into his pant legs, Hitoshi sniffled and struggled to hold back the onslaught of tears. “Uncle Shouta, I miss Mommy.”

With a deep sigh, Uncle Shouta wrapped his arms around Hitoshi. His embrace was as warm and soft as Hitoshi’s father's. He drew circles on Hitoshi’s back in an identical fashion. “It’s okay. You can cry. I miss here too.”

Hitoshi held onto Sparky with a death grip. As soon as Uncle Shouta gave him permission to wear his heart on his sleeve, Hitoshi couldn’t stop his tear ducts from overflowing. “But heroes don’t cry. They’re supposed to be big and strong.”

Uncle Shouta stroked Hitoshi’s hair. “I can assure you that heroes cry too.”

Blinking through the August sun beating down on him, Hitoshi croaked, “Even All Might?”

“Yes, even All Might.”

Holding out his capture scarf, Uncle Shouta nodded at Hitoshi to use it as a tissue. His face was locked into the same calm poker face as ever even once the fabric was dripping with scarf. Hitoshi pulled his arms around Sparky so tight he was almost choking the plushie. Stricken with guilt over the act, Hitoshi stared down at the dirt in shame. As other thoughts swelled to the surface, Hitoshi muttered barely above a whisper.

“I think I got Mommy in trouble.”

“How come, kid?”

“The man attacked because my quirk is evil. And now Mommy is gone forever and she’s going to be in trouble because she can’t keep her promise to take me to see the tigers and it’s all my fault.”

“No, Hitoshi. Your quirk isn’t evil.” Uncle Shouta took a long pause to carefully consider his words. Hitoshi knew his uncle was generally blunt, but he made sure to be softer with Hitoshi. Honest but kind. It’s part of what made Uncle Shouta Hitoshi’s favorite uncle – though admittedly he was Hitoshi's only uncle.

Uncle Shouta cleared his throat. “My quirk takes away other’s gifts. The thing that makes them unique. Am I evil because of it?”

“Of course not! You use Erasure to save people!”

“Exactly, Brainwashing is the same. You can use your quirk to help or to hurt but it’s not inherently good or bad.”

“If… you say so.”

“And Hina’s not going to get in trouble for not keeping her promise, okay?” Uncle Shouta reached out to cup Hitoshi’s cheek to wipe away some tears. “I know it’s not the same… but try imagining me taking you to see the tigers as a way of fulfilling her promise.”

“I think I can do that,” Hitoshi whispered.

With a reassuring smile, Uncle Shouta held out his hand and Hitoshi took it. Walking toward the enclosure in the distance that resembled a miniature jungle with its bright fuchsia flowers and makeshift waterfall, Hitoshi loosened his grip on Sparky somewhat. Maybe it was time to give his favorite plushie a thorough washing after all. Whether the fabric softener was discontinued or not, there was a chance that pieces of Mom would remain imprinted into Hitoshi’s mind.

After all, part of her lived on in Uncle Shouta.

Back in the present, a wayward sparrow chirped overhead as Hitoshi stood in front of the glass barrier. Stripes shining against their orange coats, tigers paddled through the water and turned on their backs for midday naps atop rocky ledges. The patterns on their fur served as a sort of anchor for Hitoshi. A constant in his fractured world. A reminder that mundane things like trips to the zoo remained the same no matter how much older and wearier Hitoshi had gotten.

A yawn escaped Hitoshi and he was tempted to curl up on a nearby bench. No time for resting. He had to enjoy family outings while he still could because a single bullet was all it would take for Hitoshi to lose everything.

As Hitoshi raised a hand to cover up his mouth while yawning, a shirt sleeve rode up his elbow, revealing yellow bruises from getting tossed into a dumpster. Dad took a pause from photographing the tigers. Behind his glasses, heaviness weighed in Dad’s gaze as he looked toward Hitoshi.

“Hitoshi, is anyone at school hurting you?”

“What? No. Why would you think that?” Hitoshi yanked his sleeve down to conceal the evidence, but the damage had already been done. The beginnings of tears swelled in Dad’s eyes and Hitoshi could already envision the questions about to form on his lips. Why don’t you trust me? Why do you think you have to do everything alone?

Shuddering, Hitoshi wished his spider-sense could have warned him in advance about accidentally showing his bruises. But nothing was foolproof. And perhaps it was on Hitoshi for wearing a more loose-fitting top. Quick. An answer. Anything. A ticking timebomb for Hitoshi to say something before Dad started digging for answers himself.

With a rehearsed shrug, Hitoshi grinned sheepishly at Dad. “This is from Parkours. I was trying to be more like Uncle Shouta… and well, the end result, is all this.”

“Kid, you don’t need to suffer unnecessarily to prove that you’re strong. We know you are. Because you’re our problem child.”

Hitoshi froze up at the sound of Uncle Shouta’s voice. He hadn’t even noticed him emerge from his sleeping bag and approached from behind. Stomach turning, Hitoshi wondered whether Uncle Shouta had analyzed the most minute details of body language and determined Hitoshi to be a liar.

Instead, Uncle Shouta’s voice grew soft. Earnest even. More than what a liar of a son who hurt anyone close to him deserved. “I’ll add the parkours to your training, alright?”

“Yeah,” Hitoshi answered emptily.

Months – no, even weeks ago, Hitoshi would have been over the moon about training more with his uncle. But now every minute spent together, every heart-to-heart conversation felt like it could be the last one. Part of Hitoshi wanted to run and hide to avoid every instance that could later be unveiled as blatant lampshading.

Gripping onto the railing in front of the tiger’s enclosure, Hitoshi stared at his wrists and wondered whether a razor blade slicing through pale skin would solve his problems. Ease the constant pain of running. The ache of spite. Perhaps a sacrifice like that would satiate the plot’s bloodthirst.

Golden tiger eyes drilled Hitoshi and ripped him out of his train of thought. No, he couldn’t make that sort of impulsive decision. Dad and Uncle Shouta would blame themselves if they found Hitoshi collapsed on the bathroom tiles unable to ever open his eyes again. Hitoshi’s parents had already lost enough people. They didn’t need yet another grave to mourn in front of.

And for all Hitoshi knew, the plot could retaliate for losing its protagonist in a Spider-Man story. A scenario in which Hitoshi would be lying six feet under rather than capable of web-slinging his uncle to safety.

As tension cut through the air like a knife, Dad marched off and announced that he was going to fetch some ice cream from a nearby kiosk to lighten the mood. Left behind with Uncle Shouta, Hitoshi rubbed over the opening in his wrist for webbing. Stain had been above Hitoshi’s pay grade. Who knew what the plot was going to throw at him next? Sitting in a classroom all day, hunched over little else other than algebra problems and English textbooks wasn’t going to cut it. He needed to get into the hero course as soon as possible.

Refraining from letting a pleading tone enter his voice, Hitoshi tapped his fingers against the railing. “Do you think I’ll be able to enter the hero course soon?”

“That depends.” Uncle Shouta took a long pause as dew from the surrounding vegetation dripped down on him. Why do you want to become a hero?”

“To show I’m not a villain.”

“I don’t think you’re ready,” Uncle Shouta sighed.

“Why not? You became a hero out of spite.”

It wasn’t him Uncle Shouta to express hesitation. What made Hitoshi so incapable in his uncle’s eyes? Sure, he hadn’t won the Sports Festival like Uncle Shouta but he’d gotten better with his capture weapon and he knew how to wield his quirk to bring enemies down. What right did Uncle Shouta have to judge Hitoshi’s motives? Wasn’t he the same? He was supposed to understand Hitoshi better than anyone after experiencing the same sort of prejudice over a so-called villainous quirk.

Uncle Shouta’s dark eyes gleamed as intensely as if he were using his quirk. “At first, yes. But you know that spite isn’t the right reason to become a hero.”

“Who cares? Aren’t most people in it for the money?”

“You’re better than that, kid.”

“Why do I have to be?”

“It’s just… I had to learn that spite was the wrong motive the hard way.” Uncle Shouta’s voice broke as he burrowed his face in his capture scarf while he failed to look Hitoshi directly in the eye. “You shouldn’t have your version of Oboro.”

Crossing his arms, Hitoshi turned away from his uncle while images of a blue-haired boy involuntarily entered his mind. But being a hero without spite surely didn’t guarantee that everyone would be saved. Even All Might – despite his seemingly limitless powers – had his fair share of failings. Besides, Hitoshi’s spite was his entire drive, his entire being. Without his pent-up frustrations, Hitoshi didn’t know if he could find the motivation to stand up in the morning considering how the world constantly gave its all to put Hitoshi in his place.

No, Hitoshi couldn’t risk giving up the root of his ambition. He couldn’t let that fire extinguish when there were lives on the line. Yet when Dad returned with popsicles and the treat melted in Hitoshi’s hand, the knots in Hitoshi’s stomach only tightened. And the little voice in the back of his head kept asking if it was because deep down, he knew that Uncle Shouta was in the right.

To say that Kaminari was stressed about final exams would have been an understatement. His hot pink glitter pen kept tapping against the table. Not that Hitoshi was one to judge since the way Kaminari kept chewing on the squishy bobble at the end of his pen turned Hitoshi’s chest into a jittery bundle of nerves. As blonde hair shone beneath the warm glow of the lamps hanging overhead Hitoshi wondered how it would feel to lean across the coffee shop table and kiss those full lips.

Mentally slapping himself in the face, Hitoshi turned to the pages in his calculus textbook. He wasn’t supposed to have those sorts of thoughts about his friends. And even if the feelings were mutual, Hitoshi wasn’t keen on stringing Kaminari along when he hardly even had the energy to keep non-romantic relationships afloat.

With a dramatic huff, Kaminari slumped over on the table and Hitoshi nearly choked on his own breath over how cute exaggerated his friend’s pout was. “I’m going to bomb the written exam. Aizawa’s totally gonna expel me.”

“No, he won’t,” Hitoshi sighed. “It’s hardly like integrals are the backbone of saving lives.”

“Still, I know math isn’t about calculations. It’s about the way of thinking. And I dunno this might be a sign that I won’t be able to handle situations where I need to think fast, think logically as a hero.”

“You know, Kaminari. Most people would’ve said math is stupid. I think your outlook is smart.”

“Don’t lie, Shinsou. I know I’m an idiot.”

“No, you’re not. At least, not more than the rest of us.” Hitoshi turned the math textbook around and scooted it toward Kaminari. “Just tell me what you don’t get.”

“Don’t waste your time. It’ll take hours for anything to click.”

“That’s doubtful. Besides, even if it takes literal days, I owe you one for putting up with all my vigilante sh*t.” Hitoshi lowered his voice to prompt frantic blushing from Kaminari. “We did make a deal after all.”

“No arguments there,” Kaminari chuckled. “Anyways, u-substitution is throwing me in for a loop.”

“You understand derivatives, right?”

“Yeah, it’s just that the reverse is trickier.”

“Well, essentially it’s kinda like the chain rule but backward if you want to think of u-substitution in more of an abstract way…”

As Hitoshi delved into an explanation and scribbled some example problems onto the back of a napkin, he felt Kaminari’s breath brush against his skin. A faint metallic scent seemed to radiate off of Kaminari. The same smell as burnt wires and coins buried deep in the jacket pockets. Comforting. Homely. Alive. He barely resisted the urge to lean on Kaminari’s shoulder that looked so incredibly soft and inviting. But some barriers weren’t meant to be crossed – it wasn’t as if Hitoshi and Kaminari were on a date or anything.

Though Sero’s meddling would imply otherwise. What a coincidence that he just so happened to have a “family emergency” right before the study session. Still, Hitoshi did have to give Sero credit where credit was due. Between the weathered books that smelled of parchment stacked on shelves, paintings of calico cats and lack of quirkist staff, Hitoshi definitely thought that this café sure beat out Sero’s last recommendation. Honestly, the only way to top the coffee shop would have been if it were a cat café.

Ignoring how he was on a sort of date but not actually a date – just bros hanging out – Hitoshi’s heart rate skyrocketed as Kaminari tapped his forehead in contemplation.

“Ah, so if I don’t want to bother with recalculating the bounds, I can just revert to the original variable.”

“Exactly! You got it.”

“Huh, guess I’m not so stupid after all.”

“You were never stupid.”

As much as Hitoshi’s soul went fuzzy every time Kaminari made the sorts of remarks that gave the same energy as “What day of the week is Tuesday?”, it’s not like he thought Kaminari’s head was hollow. Sure, Kaminari’s expression had flickered to the bookshelves and window during Hitoshi’s explanation – but so what if his attention span was sh*t? Kaminari was perceptive in plenty of other ways.

“After all, you were smart enough to see that I needed friends,” Hitoshi said.

“Cheers to that!” Kaminari laughed.

“How? We don’t even have our drinks yet.”

“Do too!” Leaning back in his seat, Denki gestured toward the barista approaching with two drinks and a cinnamon bun balanced atop a tray. The barista set down a drink that was more sugar and milk than it was coffee as well as Turkish coffee served black save for the tiniest pinch of cream. Her brows contorted with confusion as the boys swapped the drinks, she set in front of them. Tucking the tray under her arm, the barista muttered ‘makes sense since they’re clearly a case of opposites attract’.

Flushing bright red, Hitoshi tried to dismiss the notion that his taste in drinks in any way resembled his taste in men, and he took a long gulp from his sugary drink. The cream melting on his tongue made every regret fade away. Well, except for the fact that he’d forgotten to order food. His stomach gurgled at the sight of Kaminari cutting into his cinnamon bun. Trails of sugar cascaded down his chin as he lifted a bite of the pastry to his lips.

After swallowing the piece of his cinnamon bun, Kaminari wiggled his brows at Hitoshi as if to silently communicate ‘you hungry?’ Hitoshi simply slurped loudly from his straw, wordlessly saying ‘what’s it to you?’ Grinning in response, Kaminari broke off another piece of his cinnamon bun and held it out on a fork toward Hitoshi. Sweat breaking on his shoulders, Hitoshi considered refusing but he didn’t want to make the situation awkward – plus, his loud stomach was acting incredibly annoying.

It was only once he had finished chewing the cinnamon bun that Hitoshi realized what had just occurred. With widened eyes, he stared down at the textbook like it would magically erase a decisive moment from the space-time-continuum. Instead, Hitoshi flailed his arms in panic and covered his mouth while letting out an uncharacteristic squeak.

“Indirect kiss.”

Fiddling with the hem of his sleeves Kaminari seemed equally shaken.

“Two dudes sitting in a café… five feet apart cause they’re not gay.” As Hitoshi stared back at him blankly, Kaminari coughed into his fist. “Sorry for the dumb joke. Guess I’m not straight tho. Anyways, not like we have to make out or anything. ‘Cause that would be weird, haha.”

“If you say so.”

“Umm… completely off topic, do you find dudes attractive?”

Hitoshi gave a long pause as he strung together an answer. He didn’t want to lie to Kaminari but he also wasn’t ready to explicitly scream out ‘I have a major gay crush on you.’ “Hmm, there’s only one I can think of.”


“Hey, don’t look so disappointed. I swear this one is a real catch.” Hitoshi stirred his straw around in his drink. “He’s very upbeat – like if sunshine on a rainy day were a person. And one minute he’ll say the stupidest sh*t, but the next he’ll be spouting the smartest words I’ve ever heard. He’s got the kind of voice I could listen to for hours.”

Kaminari crossed his arms as his face pinched together. “Who’s this oh-so-perfect mystery guy?”

“I promise you know him well.” Hitoshi paused. “And I’m definitely not good enough for him.”

“Why don’t you let him decide for himself?”

“Because I can’t let him make the mistake of getting close to me in that way. Don’t want him to end up like my parents, you know?”

“Mic and Eraser?”

“No, my bio parents.”

f*ck. Hitoshi wished he had a time machine. No, he did not just hit his friend with the beginnings of a trauma dump. Jesus Christ, if this is the sort of disaster that casual hangouts derailed to, there was no way Hitoshi was ready for dating. Luckily, the time on the clock hanging over the café’s door came to Hitoshi’s rescue.

“sh*t, patrol’s staring soon. We should head out.”

“Okay,” Kaminari answered emptily.

The boys shuffled around the café table as they stowed their books away into a backpack. Hitoshi suppressed the thought of picking up another piece of the cinnamon bun with Kaminari’s fork. He hoped that the adrenaline pumping through his veins would prove useful for vigilantism. God, he sure needed a good villain takedown to take his mind off how much he screwed up coffee with Kaminari yet again.

Just as Hitoshi stepped through the door, gold eyes widened with realization. A sign that Kaminari understood who Hitoshi’s mystery guy was. Yet both boys kept their lips sealed on the matter while storming through alleyways.


I've been trying to stick to a strict word count range for this fic (2K-4K) so I don't get carried away like with my Shindeku longfic (jfc some chapters in that one were like 10K rip).

I failed this time, sorry :(
The chapter had a mind of its own and really wanted that indirect kiss

Anyways, I'll be taking a hiatus from posting for this fic from late August (I have 2 buffer chapters left) until November. The semester's starting up again soon and I have various fic event deadlines on the horizon.

Chapter 14: Parallel Arcs


Hitoshi gives Endeavor some payback and encounters a villain with a similar backstory.


F it we ball! We're doing double updates now!!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

With the café far behind him, Hitoshi swung between buildings as gusts of fire spewed his way. Amid the heat, Hitoshi’s webs melted away, forcing him to cling to a wall lest he fall into a dumpster for the millionth time. Sweat glued his suit to his skin in an extremely uncomfortable fashion. As Hitoshi crawled off the rooftop, he barely managed to evade another fireball thrown his way, making Hitoshi grit his teeth. He knew that being a vigilante was illegal and all, but that didn’t mean he deserved to straight-up f*cking die.

A fiery mustache loomed in the darkness as Hitoshi web-slinged away. He couldn’t even blame Kaminari for dipping out into a random alleyway. Aside from the fact that Kaminari lacked the mobility to evade Endeavor’s flames, Hitoshi was well aware of how much of a pain the hero’s makeshift facial hair was to look at.

Powered by flames, Endeavor sped through the air. Sticking to the shadows, Hitoshi bounced across streetlamps in hopes of escaping Endeavor’s line of vision. Why couldn’t Shouto have warned me not to get on his dad’s bad side? What did I ever do to piss him off so much? All I did was take down a serial killer.

Fire ensnared Hitoshi’s backpack, leading him to tear off one of the flaming straps as he dropped his bag into a dumpster. He winched at the crashing sound and hoped that his phone had been spared. After all, with his vigilante activities, he was going through phones like water, and his allowance savings had been reduced to practically nothing. Though maybe he could leverage his friendship with Shoto to get Endeavor to unknowingly reimburse Hitoshi for his damaged property.

Hitoshi slightly singed fingertips ached as he swung around a corner. It’s not like Stain is the only serial killer out there. If Endeavor is so jealous, all he has to do is walk around the sketchiest parts of town and he’ll be in luck eventually.

Behind Hitoshi, a crystal blue gaze flickered with ambition. Ducking underneath a bridge, Hitoshi wondered whether Endeavor’s frustrations were justified. After all, vigilantes were usurpers of public support while Endeavor struggled for years to climb the popularity polls. And as much as Hitoshi hated the guy, he couldn’t deny how impressive the number two hero’s arrest rate was.

Midnight traffic finally got Hitoshi into Endeavor’s blind spot and he finally slinked away into an abandoned warehouse. Covering his mouth, Hitoshi muffled his breaths lest Endeavor undercover him. Yet sparks ignited in his veins as he recalled the contempt in Endeavor’s eyes. Like Hitoshi was an intruder who didn’t deserve to fancy himself a hero. How hypocritical when Endeavor too proved to be an illusionist considering how he acted behind closed doors.

Cracking his knuckles, Hitoshi stood taller. Stain wasn’t a threat anymore. Now was Hitoshi’s chance to get payback for Shoto’s sake and for all the falsehoods that Endeavor represented.

He scooped a piece of splintered cement off the floor and hurled it through a warehouse window. The crackling of flames roared outdoors as glass shattered. Bright flashes urged Hitoshi to crawl onto the ceiling where he was out of view. Endeavor landed in the hall with a resounding thud while Hitoshi clung to the walls for dear life.

Pulling back his fingers, Hitoshi narrowed his eyes with determination. He only had one shot. And a little whisper in the back of his head told him to be foolish – but it wasn’t as if he could get even more on Endeavor’s bad side. Who cares if I’m petty? That’s kinda the whole point of being a teenager. Plus, it’s not like the Commission is ever going to let the public believe that the number two hero is an abuser. We gotta steal back the little victories ourselves.

Even in the dark, Hitoshi could decipher that Endeavor was blessed with generous assets. After all, the fabric of his skintight bodysuit really clung to the curves of his very round butt. Hitoshi wanted to strangle himself over staring at Endeavor’s ass for an uncomfortable long time. Not that he saw Endeavor as a DILF – Hitoshi was strictly interested in blondes his age, thank you very much. Hand on his heart, Hitoshi had only been gawking at Endeavor’s butt cheeks for research purposes.

Hitoshi’s webs shot out and latched onto Endeavor’s behind. Looping his webbing around a pulley on the warehouse roof, Hitoshi jumped off the ceiling and sped toward the ground while Endeavor flew upward. Of course, seeing how Endeavor’s body had hundreds of pounds of muscle – meaning that the imitation wedgie didn’t last for long. The webbing snapped, making the spandex material of Endeavor’s costume slap him across the butt.

Flames flickering even brighter around his face, Endeavor rubbed his sore behind while Hitoshi suppressed manic laughter. As he snuck out of the warehouse amid the pro hero’s distraction, Hitoshi couldn’t resist pumping a fist in the air. He found himself frowning at the enthusiastic gesture. Was Kaminari rubbing off on him? Still, Hitoshi couldn’t stop grinning over how he’d given Endeavor some comeuppance. A small step toward reclaiming the injustices of hero society.

As Hitoshi scaled rooftops that lead toward Uncle Shouta’s patrol route and Endeavor’s cursing faded away behind him, Hitoshi spotted Kaminari racing across the road below. He was basking in enough sweat to fill a swimming pool, but Hitoshi saw the way Kaminari panted like crazy strangely charming. A sign that despite a lack of endurance, Kaminari was willing to push himself past his limits for Hitoshi.

Turning toward the blonde, Hitoshi reached out and a thousand unspoken words lingered on his lips. You don’t need to do this. There are better guys out there. Ones who can reciprocate your feelings. Someone who deserves your sunshine smile. Still, Hitoshi kept his mouth shut – it wasn’t like he’d be able to change the mind of someone whose stubbornness rivaled his own.

Burying the knots in his stomach, Hitoshi let a grin spread across his face as he looped around a lamppost and upside down behind Kaminari. He poked the blonde in the back and gave a small wave as Kaminari faced him.

“How ya doing, Tiger?”

“I thought Spider-Man was the one who gets called that.”

With a shrug, Hitoshi let go of his webbing and backflipped onto the pavement. “Eh, it’s not like I plan on sticking to Spider-Man canon. Who’s to say I can’t make my own rules about who gets called Tiger?”

“Fair enough, dude.” Kaminari swallowed deeply. "Speaking of which - completely off-topic - what if that guy you liked kinda maybe liked you back?"

"Then I'd say he had no idea what he was talking about."

"Hey, at least let him argue his case. He thinks the way you turn everything into a sarcastic remark is funny. Loves your ambition to overcome quirkist stereotypes. Thinks the sound of your voice is dreamy -"

"Kaminari, stop. You don't like me like that. It's just the pity for me or something talking." Hitoshi dragged a hand over his face. "Besides, even if I were interested in a relationship, I wouldn't have the time. I got bigger things to focus on. Like keeping my uncle alive. So can we please get our teenage hormones to shut up and act like nothing is there?'

"Alright." Water seemed to glisten in the corners of Kaminari's eyes as his shoulders slumped over. Laughing nervously, Kaminari changed the subject yet again. “Anyways, how on earth did you throw Endeavor off your trail.”

Hitoshi grinned beneath his mask. “Let’s just say I made him feel a little butthurt.”

Kaminari chuckled for a minute before his brows furrowed with concern. “As funny as that is, dude – are you sure getting sidetracked when your canon event could kick in is a great idea?”

“Well, Endeavor was already pissed at me, to begin with. Plus, a little multitasking never killed anyone.”

Mouth agape, Kaminari seemed like he wanted to argue but he ended up saying nothing. Instead, he wiped away some of the sweat off his face and nodded toward Uncle Shouta’s patrol route. Clattering sounded from a nearby corner and once Hitoshi arrived at the scene with Kaminari at his side, he spotted a man shrouded in a tight black costume standing in an alleyway.

No shattered glass. No weapons in hand. Hitoshi’s chest sagged with relief. Just a false alarm. Yet as Hitoshi stepped away the telltale kaleidoscope glitching enveloped the man. Narrowing his eyes, Hitoshi surveyed the gray detailing of the man’s outfit. A villain costume? Guilt swelled in Hitoshi’s chest as he lashed out his webs. You can’t just attack an innocent man. But what if he wasn’t innocent? What if the glitching was the nail in the coffin? Proof of an affiliation with the League of Villains. Hitoshi had no time to doubt – no time to hesitate.

Yet as soon as webbing constricted around the man, a brown slick formed at his fingertips. Laughing faintly, the man buckled in his restraints. “This is a nice change of pace. Let me go!

The glitching intensified and a girl in a school uniform and a copy emerged before Hitoshi. His pulse slowed to a stop as fangs flashed in the moonlight. Trembling, he stared at the girls and searched for any signs of knives clutched between their fingers. Suddenly, Hitoshi pictured himself back in the alleyway as ice-cold pavement pressed into his kneecaps. He recalled how the schoolgirl’s laughter as she ran away. Hitoshi could smell the stench of iron from the blood seeping out of Uncle Shouta’s chest.

With a deep breath, Hitoshi grounded himself in the sensation of the sticky webbing clinging to his palms. He shoved away the memory of the night the plot made its first move. He couldn’t afford to falter. Not when the strange man’s quirk had conjured Hitoshi’s would-be murderer. No, Hitoshi had to prove that he wasn’t a villain – that he was capable of saving people.

Determined to end the fight quickly, Hitoshi handed the end of the webbing restraining the man and launched himself toward the schoolgirls. He gritted his teeth while he flew through the air. Mid-motion he grabbed a trashcan lid and held it in front of himself as he collided with one of the schoolgirls. Upon impact, her face melted away into brown mud rather than the greyish goo he had seen that fateful night. Hitoshi’s eyes widened with realization at what the man’s quirk could entail.

Certain that the remaining schoolgirl wasn’t the original one, Hitoshi channel his inner Captain America and tossed the trashcan lid like a shield. It cut through the girl’s neck like butter and her body turned into a brownish puddle.

New schoolgirls materialized in front of the masked man. Dizziness fogged Hitoshi’s mind as he sprinted away from the new set of opponents. God, his encounter with Endeavor had beaten his stamina to a pulp – every footstep had become laborious. Hitoshi knew he couldn’t last in a fight for much longer.

Hurrying to Kaminari’s side, Hitoshi muttered the details of a plan quickly enough to give Midoriya a run for his money. Using his webs like a slingshot, Hitoshi flung himself as high as possible. As he sped toward the stars, he felt a bit like Miles Morales – even though Musutafu’s skyline paled in comparison to New York.

Below, the crackling of electricity grounded Hitoshi back in reality. A wave of sparks rippled from Kaminari, making the masked man foam at the mouth. Once the lightning had faded, Hitoshi formed a net before hopping onto the pavement. Muddy puddles from failed attempts at copies were scattered everywhere. Dazed, Twice blinked several times post-electrocution. Meanwhile, Kaminari aimlessly wandered through the alley while holding both thumbs up.

Hitoshi patted Kaminari on the shoulder and was grateful that his mask prevented his hair from going static. The wayward expression in the blonde eyes made him resemble a Pokémon more than ever. Thanks for taking one for the team, Kaminari!

Despite smoking from the aftermath of Kaminari’s lightning, the webs still clung to the man. As he bent over, his silhouette radiated sorrow. The cinching in Hitoshi’s ribcage intensified. Had he been wrong to strike first? To strike before he had the man’s League connection fully confirmed. Before the man had even done anything illegal in front of Hitoshi.

Dragging his hands across his face, Hitoshi pictured Endeavor’s fire. He wondered whether being so laser-focused on his end goal had blinded him to everything else. He stared at his reflection in a puddle – searching for a fiery mustache – some sort of parallel that confirmed he had taken on Endeavor’s veneer of heroism.

The man spoke up and his speech was somewhat slurred. Just like earlier, two voices contradicted every statement. “I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s all my fault!”

With a grieved sigh, Hitoshi stood taller. For once it was time to let his grip on stubbornness slip. “It wasn’t on you. Sorry for assuming you’re a villain.”

“I’m just an innocent civilian. Nope, you’re face to face with an extremely EVIL villain.”

“Oh, guess I wasn’t completely off the mark then. Still, it’s not like I actually saw you commit a crime or anything.”

The man failed to cross his arms bound to his sides. The juxtaposition of his voice drained away as he adopted a tone that seemed like a blend of both voices. “It’s never mattered before. Not since my folks died in a villain attack back in middle school.”

Snapping out of his quirk-induced daze, Kaminari strode toward the man. He frowned at how the webbing was steaming ever so slightly. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

“I appreciate that. Don’t pretend to care.” With a wistful sigh, the man’s shoulders slumped over. “No one ever has. Not without any other relatives. And in modern society, when you're someone without roots... Well, not a lot of people can relate to that.”

Hitoshi stared at a mask with white patches covering the man’s eyes. Black fabric that paralleled Hitoshi’s costume. A distorted reflection. Hitoshi wondered whether in another life – if he hadn’t had his uncle, hadn’t had Dad, that maybe he would’ve ended up like the villain before him. The type of person who ended up tethered to the path of villainy no matter how hard they tried to pull away.

“Well, you’re wrong. There are other people… like that too,” Hitoshi said.

“Huh, guess I’m not the only one. It’s a lonely world for you and me.”

The man’s voice had grown slightly gentle, and Hitoshi liked to imagine that he was smiling behind the mask. That regardless of the fight, regardless of being on opposing sides – they found some solidarity in recognizing the way society tugged on their strings of fate.

Kaminari cleared his throat. “So… Mr….?”


“My bad about electrocuting you, Twice.” Kaminari scratched the back of his head as he looked away sheepishly. “If we let you go, would you be okay with letting bygones be bygones?”

Of course! Hell no, I’m holding a grudge for the rest of my life.”

Hitoshi nodded his head, deciding the more insistent of the two voices likely reflected what Twice actually wanted. While Hitoshi unwound the webbing from Twice, the man stood taller and massaged his sore wrists. Biting his lips Hitoshi tried to ignore the knots in his stomach. Glitching or not Twice didn’t seem like the type to want to hurt others. But Magne had been strung along by canon too regardless of her will.

Still, Hitoshi couldn’t preemptively imprison Twice. Not when he hadn’t made any actual move against Uncle Shouta. Perhaps there was some sort of comprise.

“Twice.” Hitoshi asked. A statement, not a question.

Yes? Leave me alone.”

Hitoshi inhaled deeply as Twice approached the edge of the alleyway – prepared to disappear. “Can you promise not to harm my uncle?”

“No way! Sure thing, kid.

But the promise sounded hollow. Puppets like him and Twice couldn’t possibly pull the strings. They weren’t like revolutionaries tearing down the walls of the Bastille. No, the plot was like a monarch bound to sit on its throne indefinitely. Maybe Hitoshi had been lying to himself about thinking he could ever make a difference.

Raindrops began to trickle overhead. Hitoshi craned his neck and sighed as he turned toward the sky. Maybe there is no point in trying at all. For every person someone saved like Hitoshi, another fell through the cracks like Twice. They were all ants. Insignificant. Little more than a speck in the grand scheme of things. Incapable of breaking vicious cycles.


Hitoshi: Author-Chan are you okay?

Me: Yup, just dead inside because I find Act 2 of stories difficult to write.

Hitoshi: Serves you right! Suffer, Author-Chan!

Me: Aren't you a vindictive little one? And here I was wanting to send you to the movies next chapter.

Hitoshi: Wait! I'll be nice! I wanna go!

Me: Fine, I'll let you go to the movies... for a price.

*cue dramatic thunderstorms and evil laughter*

Chapter 15: Barbenheimer


A trip to the mall doesn't go as planned.


To my little brother who reads this fic sometimes but isn't caught up: yes, there are more sex jokes.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The awkward silence left Hitoshi fiddling with his hoodie string while class 1A clustered in front of a fountain at the center of the mall. The space between Hitoshi’s eyebrows had grown tender a clear indicator that he’d spent his night fighting crime. Part of him wanted to pull out sunglasses to block out the blinding fluorescent lights.

Come on, have some decency. You’re gonna look like you have a hangover if you wear sunglasses inside. That or you’ll come off as really anti-social.

Though even without sunglasses, Hitoshi hardly needed help in that department considering how his first encounter with 1A had gone. But hey, if Hitoshi’s warning prior to the Sports Festival had put his peers off maybe that was on them. After all, they’d certainly have a hard time holding their ground against villains if a ‘declaration of war’ from a GenEd student was enough to throw them in for a loop.

Still, Hitoshi found himself huddled close to Kaminari, reveling in his warmth while Hitoshi hoped that his friend would serve as some sort of human shield that blocked out that stares from fellow UA students. Fiddling with a cat keychain fastened to a chain looped on his jeans, Hitoshi cursed his decision-making. Sure, he was relieved that Uncle Shouta had agreed to let Hitoshi tag alone to the training camp so he could ‘refine his quirk usage’ before entering the hero course.

And it wasn’t as if Hitoshi was upset Kaminari and Sero were going to the camp too despite not passing the practical exams. Heck, Hitoshi was over the moon about how well Kaminari had done on the written exam. Admittedly, the way Kaminari had praised Hitoshi’s tutoring skills made his organs melt into a gooey puddle. Not that Hitoshi thought he served to get the brunt of the credit. He helped Kaminari lay the groundwork sure – but at the end of the day he hadn’t been the one to take the exams and absorb the new information.

Now, what Hitoshi did regret was how he managed to let Kaminari convince him to tag along for an outing to the mall with his potential future classmates. But Hitoshi couldn’t resist the soft glow in the golden eyes and found himself agreeing to join in and shop for camping supplies. Supplies he didn’t even need! Uncle Shouta had enough sleeping bags to supply a small army, and Dad had no shortage of thermos and bug spray. Why did Hitoshi have to be such a gay disaster?

Hitoshi’s stomach did somersaults while Iida and Asui raised weary brows at him. The result of his terrible first impression. Darn. Why do I have to face the consequences of my actions?

The lumps in his throat slowly dissipated as the class dispersed into smaller groups, leaving Hitoshi behind with his tight-knit circle of friends. Thank God. Hitoshi had never been great with large crowds – he liked to cite Uncle Shouta’s aversion to people as the cause.

Sero elbowed Hitoshi in the side. “You good, dude? Are you trying to give Iida a run for his money? You look like you got a stick up your ass.”

“Yeah right.” Rolling his eyes, Hitoshi shoved Sero back and followed Kaminari and Shoto as they left the fountain behind and strode toward the nearest shoe store in search of sandals. While Shoto prodded a glittery pink Birkenstock and eyed it the same way that a five-year-old would look at a plushie through a window, Kaminari smirked at Sero.

“Give Shinsou a break, Sero. You know he’s allergic to people.”

“Why does he hang out with us then?”

“Guess he’s treating us as one of those allergy exposure therapies or something.” Kaminari dramatically leaned back and held his wrist against his forehead. “Oh, why must you take advantage of us, Shinsou? Using us to get used to spending time around people.”

With a huff, Hitoshi shook his head. “If memory serves, you were the one who insisted I join in on the outing.”

“Hey! Don’t act like it’s my fault. You were the one who agreed to come along.” Kaminari pouted with false indignance.

“That I did. Now aren’t we supposed to stock up on camping supplies?”

Choking on his own spit, Kaminari muttered. “Actually, I’m all set with camping supplies.”

Sero nodded. “Same.”

“I only need sandals,” Shoto said.

With an exasperated sigh that rivaled the ones his uncle gave every time he had to deal with problem children, Hitoshi waved toward his friend group. “Then why are we even here if we’re hardly getting anything?”

Kaminari shrugged. “It was supposed to be a bonding experience.”

“So, you dragged me out for nothing? And to think that could’ve spent my Sunday watching funny cat videos and hiding away from the world instead.”

“Hang on, I have a way to make sure that the outing is worth your while. Those sandals remind me of a little event at the cinema today.”

“Does that mean I have to buy these?” Shoto asked.

Sero patted Shoto on the shoulder in a way that made both of them blush. “If you want. Birkenstocks are really comfy. Plus, I think you’d look great in them.”

“So would you. I can buy you some too. We will match.”

Knees going weak, Sero turned away bashfully. “I’d like that.”

“Aww, aren’t you two lovebirds cute?” Kaminari cooed before clasping his hands together and giving a poor imitation of maniacal laughter. “Anyways, go get Endeavor’s credit card, Shoto. We’re going to need fabulous outfits.”

Popcorn bucket in hand, Hitoshi settled down on his spot in a row of plush red chairs. He warily eyed the assortment of pastels and hot pink accessories he and his friends had acquired in less than thirty minutes. Kaminari’s oversized heart-shaped sunglasses were particularly cheesy, but the way the blonde kept pushing the glasses up the bridge of his nose was annoyingly endearing. To the extent that Hitoshi had to keep reprimanding himself for wanting to pinch Kaminari’s cheek.

Hitoshi grimaced at his ‘I am Kenough’ hoodie and lamented how he’d gotten himself caught up in a pun yet again. But the sweatshirt was softer than most of Hitoshi’s sweaters so he wasn’t complaining about the newest addition to his closet. The way the hoodie had added an extra sixty dollars to Endeavor’s bill was an added bonus. Jesus, why is merch so expensive though?

Fiddling with a brochure, Hitoshi wondered what exactly had prompted to the movie theatre to host a weekend screening of two-centuries-old films. Then again, based on Kaminari’s tangents on how Barbenheimer was a pivotal moment in cinema history Hitoshi supposed he could see the merit in the screening. Plus, it gave him the opportunity to pretend he was on a double date before letting himself sink into his usual spiral of denial.

To Hitoshi’s right, Shoto frowned at the mix of pink and dark fonts on the brochure. “What’s Barbenheimer?”

Kaminari leaned over Hitoshi’s lap, making him freeze up in the process. Yet some of the tension in Hitoshi’s body faded when Kaminari patted Shoto on the shoulder instead.

“Oh, sweet sweet Shoto. You have so much to learn. How could Endeavor be so cruel as to shield you from the chaos that is pre-quirk-era meme culture? But don’t worry we’re more than happy to educate you.”

“Do we have to watch Barbie? Can’t we watch Oppenheimer instead?” Sero asked.

Horrified, Kaminari gasped. Hitoshi couldn’t help but chuckle at the dramatic mannerisms as the blonde “Don’t make me disown you as a friend! Why wouldn’t you want to watch Barbie? The sets alone, Sero. The sets alone! Real-life dreamhouses!”

“I dunno. I just thought it’d be educational to watch Oppenheimer. Creation of the atomic bomb and all that jazz,” Sero’s voice sounded stilted. Almost rehearsed even. A hypothesis further supported by how (according to word of mouth) Oppenheimer was more of a character study rather than a geeky science movie.

Climbing over Hitoshi and Shoto’s laps, Kaminari emerged in front of Sero and held a hand to his forehead as if he was checking for a fever. “Have you been possessed? Were you hit by a quirk? You don’t sound like my Sero at all.”

Hitoshi observed how Sero evaded direct eye contact with Kaminari. The way Sero’s gaze kept drifting toward the screen proved that he was impatiently waiting for the Barbie movie to start.

“Sure, you aren’t saying you want to watch Oppenheimer so you seem smart? So you can impress Shoto?” Hitoshi asked.

“No way!” Sero proclaimed defensively. Yet all the while he kept looking back and forth between his and Shoto’s matching pink Birkenstocks which were essentially a piece of merch that captured the spirit of the Barbie movie. “And it’s not like you’re one to talk. I bet you only want to watch Barbie because Kaminari does.”

“Don’t put me together with your lot. I’m here for the existential crisis and societal critiques.”

“Well…” Sero slumped over with a laugh as he gave up on arguing with Hitoshi. “Actually, yeah that does sound right up your alley.”


In contemplation, Shoto tapped his chin. “I think it would be interesting to watch Barbie. My sister used to watch the animated ones. Endeavor never me watch them.”

“Then I guess there’s no room for debate. We’re gonna see Barbie!” Kaminari proudly announced as if they weren’t seated in the cinema for the movie already.

As Kaminari crawled back over Hitoshi and into his seat, Hitoshi prayed that his member wouldn’t get too excited over the close physical contact. The last thing Hitoshi wanted was to give Kaminari an excuse to tease him. Especially after Hitoshi had been the one to say they shouldn't let hormones take the reigns.

With the opening sequence illuminating the screen, Hitoshi found himself grinning ear to ear. While hadn’t ever played with dolls himself, he could appreciate the campiness. It seemed like Kaminari had taste after all. Hitoshi considered streaming the movie online when he got back home since it definitely seemed like Dad’s cup of tea.

Yet Hitoshi’s body temperature rose by several degrees as the scene shifted to the beach. Okay, Ken was hot. He was a blonde. He was a himbo. And Hitoshi was a moronsexual. Turning away from Kaminari, Hitoshi desperately tried to ignore how he clearly had a type.

Then, everything took a turn for the worse. Hitoshi wasn’t sure what exactly set him off. Maybe it was the way Kaminari threw social conventions aside during the first ten minutes of the movie and asked the sort of question that had likely been on everyone’s minds.

“Do you think live-action Ken has a dick?”

A bulge rose around Hitoshi's crotch, making him curse his selection of pants. Face beet red, Hitoshi backflipped over the seats – accusations over unlicensed quirk usage he damned. Not caring how his popcorn had spilled over, Hitoshi sprinted away like he was in the middle of the quirk apprehension test.

“Be right back.”

Out in the hallway filled with blinding lights, Hitoshi stayed near the exit and paced back and forth. Taking deep breaths, Hitoshi had his fingers crossed that his boner would go away as quickly as possible. Because he didn’t think he’d be able to show his face at UA anymore if someone from there happened to walk by and realized Hitoshi had gotten turned on in public. Why do I have to be such a gay disaster?

At last, the bout of excitement faded, and Hitoshi sent a silent thanks for how no one had seen him at his lowest. Yet just as he was heading back toward the cinema, a figure in a dark hoodie looped an arm around his shoulder. A raspy voice whispered next to Hitoshi’s ear, dripping with the same sarcasm Hitoshi used on a daily basis.

“A UA student. Were you in the Sports Festival? Can I have an autograph?”

Four fingers settled around Hitoshi’s throat. Too close to his vocal cords. The pillar of his identity. Warily, Hitoshi glanced at a tell-tale scar on the stranger’s face. Blueish-gray hair. Dry skin. Physical descriptors Hitoshi had only seen in police reports. Hitoshi considered freeing himself using his webbing – but he wasn’t ready to test his luck since Shigaraki was bound to set his fifth finger down faster than Hitoshi could escape.

Trapped in Shigaraki’s grasp, Hitoshi choked out, “f*ck you.”

"The hell brat?”

“You put Eraserhead in the hospital. Why do you think I want you to f*ck off?”

“I could dust you right here and now.”

Hitoshi was tempted to activate Brainwashing instantly. But he needed to hear Shigaraki’s reasoning. Find any clue as to how the League of Villains was connected to his canon event. So he would just keep having to keep a series of questions going so he could use his quirk at any moment. His gaze drifted toward promotional posters of Barbie and Oppenheimer. Hitoshi needed a distraction – an opening created if he got Shigaraki to let his guard down.

“What are you even doing at the movies?”

“Because f*cking Dabi said we had to watch Oppenheimer because it was Christopher Nolan. Why did I even hire that flamef*cker? He’s such a pretentious prick.”

“You make it sound like you have a crush on him, huh?”

“Hell no, brat. His taste is horrible! Atomic bomb my ass. Only ten minutes of the movie – barely any onscreen destruction whatsoever.” Shifting his fifth finger dangerously close to Hitoshi’s neck in frustration, Shigaraki gestured toward the Oppenheimer poster with his free hand. “It’s three damn hours of NPC dialogue that you can’t speed through.”

“Sucks to be you. Couldn’t you have seen Barbie?”

“As if I’d lump myself together with the capitalist masses.”

“Are you a pick-me or something?”

“Quit the smart talk. This mall is kind of crowded, isn’t it? I wonder what would happen if I used Decay.”

Hitoshi swallowed hard. Shigaraki was far from rational, and Hitoshi doubted he could extract any useful information from him about canon events. Best to use Brainwashing and end the encounter quickly. “Why are you here?”

“Thought you could outsmart me with your quirk? I got some defenses against your little cheat code.” Shigaraki lifted an arm and the sleeve of his hoodie slipped down, revealing a knife pressed against his skin. Not too close to an artery, but enough pain to rip Shigaraki out of mind control. “I know that you’re the one who took down Stain. Magne also told me about you. I know you’re that kid from the Sports Festival. The one with a villainous quirk.”

“I’m not a f*cking villain. Not like you.” Hitoshi wished he could move so he could stare daggers at Shigaraki. “What do you even want from me? You aren’t gonna get much out of threatening to expose my identity. Can’t exactly blackmail a teenager with no money.”

“So you still want to be a hero-brat. Why do you want to help the society that’s done nothing but tear you down?”

“I don’t owe you a f*cking explanation, do I?”

“Don’t test me.”

Hitoshi flexed his wrist, fuming over the fact that neither his quirk nor his spider powers could give him an easy way out. If only the Sports Festival hadn’t broadcasted his quirk – no that wasn’t the only reason. He’d used Brainwashing liberally as a vigilante. And with his sh*tty luck, villains were bound to exploit his quirk’s weaknesses. So Hitoshi had to keep Shigaraki talking. Anything to convince him that Hitoshi wasn’t a slime in a videogame worth squashing.

“You’re not actually here to talk about why I want to become a hero, are you?”

“I couldn’t care less.” Shigaraki’s voice darkened. “You fought Stain so maybe you can answer a question. Why do you think Stain didn’t want to join my party?”

“I thought you were on the same side.”

“Hardly. He refused. And I don’t know why. We both want to destroy.”

Hitoshi schooled his face into a stoic expression as a family with small children walked by. Be like Uncle Shouta. Stay calm. Don’t cause a panic. No need to alert civilians about the villain in their midst. Shutting his eyes, Hitoshi carefully considered his words and hoped he wouldn’t be reduced to a pile of ashes.

“Well, I hate Stain as much as the next person with a handful of brain cells. But he’s still better than you. His convictions are broken but at least he was them. Unlike you, right?”

“I have convictions.”

Hitoshi flinched as Shigaraki’s grip tightened. Yet he kept his voice steady. Without his powers being effective, all Hitoshi had left to cling to was his pride. “Only if conviction is the same thing as mindless destruction. Stain had beliefs. Even if most of them were based on his false heroes obsession and him stanning All Might.”

“I see. So All Might is the key.” Fingers pulled away from Hitoshi’s throat. “Thanks, vigilante-brat.”

Gasping for air, Hitoshi dropped onto his knees. As a dizzying haze filled his head, Hitoshi struggled to stand upright. While Shigaraki rounded the corner, Hitoshi aimed his wrist toward the villain only for a sharp pain in his temple to cut him off.

He collapsed onto the ground and glitching consumed his world even once he had closed his eyes. The same kaleidoscope of colors that signaled visions of the future and canon events in motion. He still didn’t have a clear image other than Uncle Shouta’s eyes glowing red until they went glassy. Like a corpse. A murderous aura rippled off a silhouette in the distance. But one detail was new. The echo of a bullet. A sound that served as Uncle Shouta’s eulogy.

Once the vision faded, Hitoshi’s chest rose and fell in quick succession. Tears stung his eyes as his throat grew rawer with every breath. Inescapable fate. Was the League really just going to see a movie? Or did they have something big planned? Could the confrontation with Shigaraki be a sign that Uncle Shouta’s death was closer than ever?

Trembling, Hitoshi reached out and typed in the emergency number. Maybe it wasn’t too late for the police to find Shigaraki. Because Hitoshi could never be good enough. Even if he followed his uncle everywhere – whether to training camps or on patrol – he was still a useless little kid deep down. He could barely hear his own voice as he muttered an explanation to the emergency line, and as soon as he hung up Hitoshi didn’t even have enough energy to keep his eyes open. Light-headed from a lack of oxygen, Hitoshi passed out.

Sirens sounded as police swarmed into the mall. No trace of the League remained save for how one officer emerged from a cinema hall carrying a copious number of knives and a sticky note that read ‘bad movie, not enough murder’. If Hitoshi had more energy, he probably would’ve made a quip about how the fact that nuclear massacres were not considered ‘enough bloodshed’ was beyond him. But he didn’t have the capacity to even sit upright on his own.

He wished that he’d called the cops sooner. Gotten the League behind bars regardless of his sympathy for those strung along by society. He had a chance of guaranteeing Uncle Shouta’s safety – maybe for good even – and he royally f*cked up.

As Hitoshi sat on the edge of the fountain. The gurgling of water calmed his nerves while he leaned against Kaminari for support. Shoto and Sero sat several feet away to give Hitoshi the room he needed. Their presence gave Hitoshi an anchor as the world raged around him like a tempest.

Hitoshi rolled his tongue over the gap left by his missing molar. The League was planning something. Hitoshi didn’t know quite what yet, but considering how intensely his senses buzzed long after Shigaraki left, Hitoshi could tell that it would be something cataclysmic. Maybe even a canon event.

Kaminari whispered, “Sorry about not checking on you sooner.”

Gold eyes grew wide – almost teary even. But Kaminari had never asked for Hitoshi’s bad luck. It wasn’t his fault. Besides, Kaminari had been the one to find Hitoshi collapsed in the hallway only a few minutes after he went unconscious.

Disregarding how he was bound to regret the close physical contact with his crush later, Hitoshi nuzzled against Kaminari’s shoulder. “It’s fine. Disappearing for ten minutes isn’t the biggest red flag.”

“Nah, it can be. I thought you had explosive diarrhea or something – not that a villain confronted you.”

Hitoshi and Sero made identical gagging noises while Shoto looked more perplexed than anything.

“Eww, Denki. I really didn’t need that visual,” Hitoshi said.

“Yeah, yeah. But hey, I’d still be your friend even if you were sh*tting your pants.” With a smirk, Kaminari ran a hand through Hitoshi’s hair. “Also, did you just call me by my first name?”

“Sorry. I can stop.”

“No, don’t. I like it. Besides, with all the vigilante sh*t we’ve been through together, I guess it’s a bit weird to call each other by our family names. I’m sure Hanta sees it the same way.”

Nodding, Sero – no, Hanta held both thumbs up. “Yeah, Hitoshi.”

Some of Hitoshi’s lingering nausea dissipated at the sound of his given name. A milestone reinforced how Hitoshi and his friends had moved beyond the acquaintance stage. With a deep breath, Hitoshi decided that it was time to tell them about the most recent development with his canon event. Otherwise, the weight placed on his shoulders would make him fracture sooner or later.

“Uh. I had another one of those visions.”

“Oh no,” Hanta and Denki gasped in unison. Shoto’s frown deepened. Yet no one pressured Hitoshi to reveal the exact details before he was ready. Trying to drown out the background noise of police sirens, Hitoshi clenched his fists.

“I know how Uncle Shouta’s going to die.”


Gonna miss working on this fic but it's time for a breather so I can make this story AND my grades shine.

Though never fear! I'm a prolific writer and I'll still be posting the occasional shorter fic or update one of my stories that never had semi-regular updates to begin with.

If you want some of my works to hold you over for the hiatus, I think the following completed works are the most similar in vibe:

Insomniac Club

Quirks For Sale!

Chapter 16: Teen Angst


Hitoshi's anxious about how the summer camp might go horribly wrong.


Yo, I'm back from hiatus! Here's a new chapter. The next one will be out whenever I have time to write :3

I had a couple more scenes I wanted to include in this chapter but didn't get around to it so I'll add them to the next chapter.

Also MariaGeraldIvo made some awesome fanart for this fic!! LOOOOK AT IT!! so cool :DD

My name is Shinsou Hitoshi, and I was bitten by a radioactive spider - samthehyena - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2)

Chapter Text

The post-it in Hitoshi’s pocket crinkled as he mentally recited the notes scribbled onto it. Everything he knew about his canon event.

Gunshot. Murderous aura. The League.

He knew the how and why of Uncle Shouta’s death now – but would that be enough to prevent his demise?

He could already picture Shigaraki drenched in rain and standing at the mouth of an alleyway while blood rippled out of the cavity of Uncle Shouta’s chest. Hitoshi envisioned a gun wresting in Shigaraki’s hand – the only way that hand f*cker could realistically take down a hero who could rule his quirk void.

A hand settled onto Hitoshi’s shoulder, metaphorically zapping him out of his stupor. Denki’s brows knitted together – and Jesus f*cking Christ, Hitoshi hated how gold eyes sent his heart aflutter. Taking a deep breath, Hitoshi buried both his anxieties and the butterflies swirling in his stomach. He didn’t have the time for either.

“Hey, Hitoshi. You okay?” Denki asked as he scooted toward Hitoshi in crowded bus.

Meanwhile, Shoto’s expression pinched together with concern as well as he emerged from behind Hitoshi and leaned against the backrest of a bench. Even Hanta’s wide grin had dimmed a little. Crossing his arms, Hitoshi turned toward the window and stared at the emerald trees passing by. His friends didn’t need to put up with any more of his bullsh*t.

“I’m fine.”

“You sure? Seemed like you were dissociating a little,” Hanta commented.

With a brief snort, Shoto pretended to send an angry glare at Hitoshi. “That’s my hobby. Please don’t steal it. Find your own, Hitoshi.”

“Heh, you sure are something else, Shoto.” Snorting, Hitoshi ran a hand through his hair.

He hadn’t even bothered to gel it that morning because the nightmares of Uncle Shouta’s demise had left him more sleepless than usual. In fact, the sudden bout of even worse insomnia had left Hitoshi’s eyebags large enough to house a country. Well, a small country that is. Maybe one of those itty-bitty tax evasion haven city states like Liechtenstein.

“But seriously, man. There’s no need to stress out.” Hanta fist-bumped Hitoshi’s shoulder. “Not like villains are going to fight Aizawa out in the middle of nowhere.”

Denki nodded enthusiastically. “Exactly! Just see the training camp as a vacation.”

Hitoshi could see that Hanta and Denki meant well, but he couldn’t exactly afford false optimism when the plot was deadest on making his existence an absolute living hell. “It’s not a vacation. We’re supposed to be training.”

“Okay, fine. Then it can just be bonding experience with your maybe future classmates,” Denki argued.

Shoto nodded sternly. “Mhm. Plus, you’ll prove without a doubt to everyone that you’re more than ready for the hero course.”

Okay, Shoto actually made a good point. Hitoshi wondered whether his motives in life truly read like such an open book. Regardless, it was not as if Hitoshi would admit out loud that Shoto had actually said something sensible.

Instead, he channeled the same annoyance into his voice that Uncle Shouta had before drinking his morning coffee. “You all are idiots.”

“Yup, and you’re stuck with us forever now. There’s no escape,” Denki laughed.

And God, Denki’s laugh was ugly. He snorted like a pig. But Hitoshi found himself falling for that dumb laugh, that dumb grin, the way Denki tried to make light out of every situation. Part of Hitoshi wished he could have chosen who would reel his heart in like a fishing line. At the same time, Hitoshi couldn’t imagine anyone else shining as brightly as Denki.

Finally, Hitoshi smiled softly at his friends. “Guess I just have to accept my fate.”

Seemingly satisfied, Hanta and Shoto settled back onto their bench. Hitoshi’s stomach did a somersault at the sight of my Shoto and Hanta holding hands. It wasn’t fair and Hitoshi hated how jealously formed knots in his chest. Plus, his jealousy was stupid anyhow.

He was the one who decided to bury any chance of something more between him and Denki. It wasn’t his other friends’ fault that they took advantage of their right to go ahead and be happy with one another.

Trying to tear his gaze from the blonde mere inches away from him, Hitoshi focused on other conversations on the bus. Ashido and Bakugo were fighting over who could eat an entire bag of flaming hot Cheetos quicker. Midoriya muttered as he scribbled away in a notebook.

Meanwhile, Uncle Shouta was glaring into the distance as he clutched a to-go coffee cup in one hand and held a phone to his ear with the other. For a split second, it looked like Uncle Shouta was going to chuck his coffee out the bus window, but instead he downed its contents in one wistful gulp. On the other end of the phone line, Dad’s voice was so loud that Hitoshi could hear him even though he was sitting several rows behind Uncle Shouta.

“Think of your kidney!”

And on paper Hitoshi knew that Dad was probably right. Ever since a villain tore Uncle Shouta’s right kidney to shreds several years ago, he should have cut back on his caffeine intake to give an organ working overtime a break. But Uncle Shouta couldn’t have possibly given up coffee.

After all, he and Hitoshi ran exclusively on spite and caffeine. And based on how Hitoshi’s mom drank her weight in coffee on a weekly basis, Hitoshi was pretty sure that an affinity for coffee was universal for his maternal side of the family.

A light tap on Hitoshi’s shoulder pulled him out of his thoughts. Denki had an earbud stuck in his left ear and held out the remaining one toward Hitoshi. “Dude, you have to listen to this song.”

Hitoshi found himself accepting the earbud before he could second-guess his choice. He was well-aware of how vaguely romantic listening to music together was. Still, just this once he allowed himself the luxury – especially since he knew that the summer camp would kick his ass. Intense was an understatement for describing how Uncle Shouta got hero training.

Yet as soon as Hitoshi stuck the ear bud in, he regretted everything. An extremely shrill bubblegum pop song rang through his head. Hitoshi found himself massaging his temple and glaring at Denki. Was the blonde messing with him by purposely having Hitoshi listen to godawful music? No, the way Denki bobbed his head to the melody seemed far too genuine.

Hitoshi pulled out the earbud out and threw it toward Denki. “Your music taste is sh*t.”

Pretending to be offended, Denki held a hand against their chest. “Well, you don’t need to listen if you’re gonna be mean about it.”

“But making fun of things is the best.” Hitoshi shrugged.

“Is that so? Then how about I make fun of your taste. I bet all you listen to is My Chemical Romance.”

“Oh please. Have you seen Gerard Way? Pretty sure his looks alone could win anyone over,” Hitoshi snickered.

“My oh my, and to think you prioritize appearance over everything else.”

Dramatically pointing at his face, Hitoshi adopted a Cheshire-cat smile. “I thought that obvious from my eyebags.”

“Hey! No self-deprecating humor.” Denki swatted at Hitoshi half-heartedly. “The eyebags are part of your charm.”

“You have no standards.”

“Sure, you aren’t pushing me aside because you think you’re out of my league?”

Oof. Denki had hit the nail right on the head. It was so goddamn easy around Denki to fall into a rhythm of light teasing that Hitoshi saw between Uncle Shouta and Dad every day. And for as horrible as Denki’s music taste was, Hitoshi would still listen to it if that meant he could remain right beside the blonde.

Still, Hitoshi couldn’t afford more attachments when the world was out to give him a tragic backstory. Friendship was risky enough already. Hitoshi’s saving grace was the fact that Spider-Man stories typically kept Spidey’s friends alive.

But romantic partners… weren’t always so lucky.

Hitoshi couldn’t help but picture every nightmare scenario. Sure, he knew that Denki had a powerful quirk – he’d managed to take out sleuths of villains at the USJ for a reason. However, what if Denki was left hanging from a bridge with a snapped back just because Hitoshi and him had dared to be more than everyone thought a kid with a villain's quirk could be.

Heroes weren’t Gods. They weren’t perfect. And sometimes they couldn’t save everyone. With how set canon events had been on offing Uncle Shouta, Hitoshi was well aware of the plot’s determination to bring that message home.

So, Hitoshi turned away from Denki, leaned against the window and closed his eyes. “I’m tired.”

Maybe Denki had gotten used to getting the cold shoulder from Hitoshi because this time he didn’t even say a word. Instead, he popped in his other earbud and continued to sway to the music.

Yet even with his eyes shut Hitoshi remained as restless as ever. All day long his eyes kept twitching from sleep deprivation, but he couldn’t get the thoughts swirling in his head to shut up and let him rest for once. And the bitter irony was that despite listening to blaring bubblegum pop, Denki managed to accidentally fall soundly asleep within thirty minutes.

Denki’s head rested heavily against Hitoshi’s shoulder, and as much as Hitoshi both loved and hated the close proximity, he couldn’t bear to push Denki away because he looked so peacefully.

Behind him, pages rustled as Hanta flipped through the pages of a manga, completely absorbed into his own world. Yet Shoto stared directly at Hitoshi with his trademark stone-cold look.

“You are worried.”

Hitoshi raised a brow. “No even going to ask whether I’m worried or not, eh?”

“Why would I question the obvious?”

“Fair enough, Shoto.” Hitoshi scratched the back of his head, making sure he didn’t startle Denki awake. Shoto had always been painfully blunt so there was no point in beating around the bush. “I think something horrible is going to happen at camp. Like there was more to Shigaraki’s appearance at the mall. It was like… damn, I don’t know how to put it.”

“Foreshadowing?” Shoto asked.

“I guess I’m acting a little paranoid but then again the world kind of is literally out to get me.”

“Then we’ll remain alert. No one gets hurt on our watch. We’re heroes after all.”

Something about the absolute certainty in Shoto’s voice untangled the knots in Hitoshi’s stomach. He hadn’t dismissed Hitoshi’s worries as unnecessary. Besides, Shoto was strong – and so were many others on the bus. Perhaps outsmarting whatever the plot would throw at them at the camp wouldn’t be an impossible dream.

Dripping with sweat, Hitoshi punched what had to be his seventh mud monster through the gut. Dirt oozed around and seeped beneath his nails as he blinked at the sunset. To absolutely no one’s surprise Uncle Shouta had gone overboard!

And yeah, Hitoshi understood that school had to throw everything possible at hero students to prepare them for the perils of fighting crime. Heck, part of Hitoshi was just relieved that he could finally participate in hero student activities and prove everyone who doubted that a kid with a “villainous quirk” could make something of himself wrong. But walking for six hours and battling literal dirt was not even remotely like the kind of summer camps you’d see in movies.

To make matters worse, Hitoshi had to hold off using his webbing against monsters because there would’ve been too many students around to witness his newfound abilities. Even relying on his enhanced strength every once in a while had been risky. Though it wasn’t like he had any choice.

How was Brainwashing supposed to work against mindless monsters anyhow?

A few meters from Hitoshi, Hanta dragged a golem across the ground with his tape. Reeling with disgust, Sero prodded at the openings in his elbows. Jesus, it seemed like cleaning all the muck would be a pain. Maybe Hitoshi could dig up an extra toothbrush to clean out the filth.

Another monster charged toward Hitoshi before he could give Hanta another thought. And well, maybe Hitoshi should’ve done the brave thing and made a last stand – but he was just too spent. So he sprinted away from the monster – or at least tried to. Mostly he ended up nearly tripping over his own feet while jogging at an excruciatingly slow pace.

Thankfully, a red sneaker soared past Hitoshi’s head and socked the golem running after Hitoshi in the jaw. As the monster dissolved, Midoriya held a thumbs up at Hitoshi while reeling over and catching his breath. A whistle escaped Hitoshi.

Flashy quirks were an entirely different league, huh?

At last, 1A and Hitoshi finally managed to reach the clearing and by then Hitoshi had felt more than ready to punch someone. If he wasn’t so scared that Uncle Shouta could drop dead at any minute, Hitoshi would’ve been more than ready to rip him a new one for basically putting him and his peers through hell. Exhaustion filled Hitoshi with so much numbness that he couldn’t even feel his toes anymore.

The world started to blur around Hitoshi and all he could hear was his own heart beating off-key. Pain filled his head – not the sharp tingling from his spider-sense but rather a dull ache. Without the need to continue wandering through the woods, his system must’ve been starting to malfunction.

As his legs began to turn into jelly, Hitoshi graciously attempted the shoulder Denki offered him to lean on. Trying to make the worries that were the reason he’d only gotten two hours of sleep subside, Hitoshi kept telling him this is a totally normal thing for friends to do.

No need to read too much into it, no need to make things weird, no need to jeopardize Denki’s safety.

The only thing that briefly pulled Hitoshi out of his stupor was some kid who punched Midoriya in the nuts. Yeesh, that looked more painful than falling into dumpsters.

Still, something about the cold look in that kid’s eyes seemed familiar. Like the expression Hitoshi had worn at the wake, stuffed into a crinkled suit that was too big for him – all while he wondered why heroes hadn’t been able to save his parents.

For a split second, Hitoshi was sitting on the apartment floor as the blood from his father’s chest seeped through the fabric of his jeans. His throat had been raw from screaming all the questions he should’ve asked to activate Brainwashing before his parents became martyrs.

Sirens wailed as Uncle Shouta wrestled cuffs onto the assailant. Embers had flashed in his eyes and Hitoshi had never seen Uncle Shouta so tempted to make someone suffocate using his capture weapon.

And suddenly Hitoshi was five years old, asking himself the same question repeatedly. Why me? What did I do to deserve to be the one who survived?

Trapped in his own memories, Hitoshi barely even registered Denki leading him to a bench. The second Shoto placed a jacket on top of him as a blanket, Hitoshi drifted off into a dreamless slumber.

When Hitoshi blinked his eyelids open, the sky had shifted from an orange hue to a deep red one. Massaging his forehead, Hitoshi concluded that he probably hadn’t gotten too long of a nap in – but well, it was not exactly his fault that his body refused to cooperate with catching up on sleep.

Absent-mindedly, Hitoshi reached out for the bowl of curry placed in front of him. He shoveled a spoonful into his mouth and frowned at the flavorless broth but at least the texture wasn’t too creamy.

“Jesus, this tastes so bland.”

Several meters away, Bakugo shot Hitoshi a death glare. With his fists curled at his side, his bomb incarnate practically fumed as he stomped away and muttered something about there being no spices available.

Nausea twisted in Hitoshi’s gut, making him wonder whether that was the root of his lack of appetite. So, on second thought, he felt a twinge of guilt for critiquing Bakugo’s cooking. But only a teensy bit of remorse – because let’s face it with his powerhouse heroic quirk, the guy basically had everything handed to him in life.

With a sigh, Hitoshi shook off the jacket that had been draped over his sleeping form and rose from the bench. Maybe he could walk off the knots in his abdomen and eat afterwards. After all, skipping a meal was a one-way ticket to being kept awake all night by a gurgling stomach.

“Gonna stretch my legs a bit. Be right back.”

“I’ll come along,” Denki interjected.

Hitoshi had to bite his cheek to prevent his mouth from curling into a smile. Denki’s cheeks radiated a soft rosy glow that made Hitoshi want to have all the walls he had built around himself crumble away to rubble. But Hitoshi had already cast aside his vow not to make friends at UA.

Considering his track record, he doubted that he’d have success swearing off romance if he kept basking in Denki’s presence at every given opportunity.

“Sorry, Denks. I need to be alone right now.”

“Oh, okay.”

Trying to ignore the slump in Denki’s shoulders, Hitoshi sped away through the underbrush. Logically, he knew that there was no escaping fate but as he raced past trees and away from the bustle of students chattering away over bowls of curry, he prayed that he could at least pretend that there weren’t death flags looming over his dead twenty-four-seven.

Hitoshi collapsed against the stony edge of a cliff and let the echo of birds reverberate through his skull. The warmth of the setting sun that shone over the canopy of trees made the crawling sensation on Hitoshi’s skin fade somewhat. But he could still feel the cuffs of Shigaraki’s ratty sweatshirt brushing against his throat. He shuddered at the memory of how one more dry finger is all it would have taken to reduce him to a pile of ash and blood.

“Go find your own spot.”

In front of Hitoshi, a small kid pouted back at him. A red hat sat on his head as he crossed both arms. Based on the annoying energy the kid put out, Hitoshi internally let out an impressed whistle for how his parents managed to put up with kids that had equally bad attitudes. He couldn’t see himself becoming a teacher in a million years. Uncle Shouta and Dad must have nerves of steel.

“What? Got a monopoly on cliffsides?”

Not bothering to wait for an answer, Hitoshi shut his eyes. It probably was excessive to have yet another nap so soon after the last one – but so what? Hitoshi was tired. Sue him.

Hitoshi brain suddenly ached as if a jackhammer was impacting it. Springing upright, Hitoshi jumped back from the kid just as he was about to hit Hitoshi directly in the crotch with his boot.

Gasping for air, Hitoshi threw his hands in the air in exasperation. “Is kicking people in the dick how you deal with everyone who does something you don’t like?”

“I thought goody-two-shoes heroes aren’t supposed to use curse words,” the kid muttered.

Hitoshi nearly reached for his own scalp and tore fistfuls of hair out. What a f*cking smartass. Okay, admittedly Hitoshi was just as bad as a kid. But after he’d been slammed against pavements by his classmates one too many times, he figured that would have to bite back first or risk getting bitten.

“Then it’s a good thing I’m not a hero student let alone a hero,” Hitoshi scoffed.

The kid’s boot finally set his foot onto the ground. Hitoshi tried not to let it show that all the tension in his frame dissipated the second the kid sat down and leaned against the cliffside. Because damn that kid had quick reflexes – and Hitoshi wasn’t sure that even with his spider sense he could evade getting kicked in the crotch indefinitely.

“So then why are you here?” the kid asked.

“Well, I’d like to become a hero student, kid.” Hitoshi shrugged.

“My name’s not kid. It’s Kota.”

“‘Kay, Kota.” Hitoshi nodded firmly as he settled down next to him. Gazing past the trees glowing emerald beneath the setting sun, Hitoshi smirked slightly. The view wasn’t half bad. He could tell why the kid would want to monopolize it.

“Why do you even want to become a hero? They suck,” Kota said.

Hitoshi ran of fingers over his throat. He pictured his vocal cords, noting how similar they were to marionette strings. The voices from middle school echoed through his mind, chipping away at his psyche about what the limits of his quirk were. If he could wield his quirk as a weapon and do the unthinkable. Have his marionettes sever their own strings before they returned to their senses.

“Heroes are still better than villains.”

“Are not!” Kota argued. “Both are just obsessed with their flashy battles.”

With a defeated sigh, Hitoshi brushed his unstyled hair out of his face. “Then, maybe I’m a bit biased since Dad and Uncle Shouta are heroes.”

“Oh.” Kota’s eyes went wide. “Your parents are heroes?”


For half of an eternity, Hitoshi and Kota sat in silence. Hitoshi kept his senses on high alert because he refused to risk getting his nuts cracked open like an egg. Yet wrath wasn’t rippling off Kota anymore. Instead, he wore the same blank gaze Hitoshi had adorned while staring at sleek black urns lining the floor of a temple.

“Do you ever worry that they’ll leave you behind? That they’ll decide that dying a hero is more important than staying alive for you.”

The memory of a murderous aura washed over Hitoshi. All he could hear was the ringing that followed gunshots. “I think about it every day.”

“Oh,” Kota gasped.

“Yep, it sucks. But hey at least for now Dad and Uncle Shouta are still kicking.”

Though with the ticking time bomb canon had set Hitoshi had no idea for how much longer that would remain the case. Unlike Kota, Hitoshi didn’t think that he could ever blame Uncle Shouta and Dad for dying due to their status as heroes. Besides, the web of fate had made it abundantly clear that if anything Hitoshi would be the final nail in his loved ones’ coffins.

“Why do you think that heroes go so far?” The kid’s voice cracked. “Why do you think that they don’t flee the scene even when the know they’re not going to win?”

The weight in Hitoshi’s chest grew larger. He could see Uncle Shouta pouring vodka into his coffee, making the sharp scent of alcohol bled into the apartment well past midnight. Photographs of Mom and Shirakumo still rested on the kitchen counter. Constant reminders that no matter how many arrests Uncle Shouta made he hadn’t been able to save the people who mattered most.

“Eh… I guess it’s the plus ultra mindset or whatever.”

“That sounds like crap,” Kota huffed.

“Hey, weren’t you complaining about cursing earlier?” Hitoshi asked.

“Well, I’m not a hero either.”

“Fair enough,” Hitoshi snorted. “But in all honesty, I think heroes go overboard because they’ll think that if anyone dies on their watch it’s because they didn’t try hard enough. Like my ‘rents homicide thing.”

Kota furrowed his brows. “I thought your parents were still around.”

Realizing what he had said, Hitoshi froze up and barely processed what he said next. “Ah, I meant my bio parents.”

The kid’s eyes went glassy as he stared down at his own shoes. “You’re like… me.”

Hitoshi wanted to facepalm. Sure, he’d never been the best with people but trauma dumping to a child was several steps too far. There was no going back though. Hitoshi wondered whether his brain-to-mouth filter had gotten fried because he saw too much of himself in the kid.

Standing up, Hitoshi brushed the dirt off his pants. It was probably for the best to leave Kota alone in the sanctity of his hiding spot rather than making the situation even worse by having a conversation with the kid that would be better a therapist’s office.

“And for what it’s worth I don’t think that your parents meant to leave you behind. There’s not pretty about death no matter how heroic it is.”

As Hitoshi walked away from the kid in a daze, Midoriya walked past him while carting a bowl of curry. Hitoshi doubted the mediocre food would be considered a suitable peace offering, but he couldn’t fault Midoriya for trying to get on the kid’s good side. That would definitely lower the chances of Kota kicking Midoriya in the balls again.

Hitoshi could only hope that Midoriya would prove more adept than him at addressing the kid’s buttload of trauma. With stomach acid eating away at the lining of his stomach from worry, Hitoshi hardly needed more concerns to angst about.

Chapter 17: Rogues Gallery


Seroroki has a moment. The summer camp goes to sh*t, limbs are lost along the way and Kota gets traumatized.


As per usual I got carried away... let's just say a special someone looses their arms and gets the honor of twinsies with overhaul.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The wind whipped through Hitoshi’s ratty shirt – a hand-me-down from Dad with a tacky print from Mamma Mia. Part of Hitoshi’s stomach squirmed at the thought of what 1A students would think of his current attire. Then again, ABBA was infectiously catchy and honestly it wasn’t Hitoshi’s problem if someone failed to acknowledge how catchy Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) was.

Besides, there were far more pressing worries drilling into the back of Hitoshi's skull.

Draping a towel over his shoulder, Hitoshi craned his neck toward the night sky. Pisces curled its flickering stars around other constellations as Hitoshi took a deep breath. With every step across the wet grass, the aches in Hitoshi’s bones from a long day of training intensified. Sighing, he pictured the soothing water brushing against his skin.

Soon enough the aches and pains would fade away with the warmth of the hot springs – and maybe with it the knots in Hitoshi’s stomach would dissipate as well. He could only hope that he’d find some reprieve from the ever-looming death flags.

Wood planks creaked as Hitoshi approached the hot springs. Steam billowed toward him, making the shadow under his eyes withdraw somewhat – until he spotted Hanta pacing back and forth in front of a pair of benches. Sweat pooled down Hanta’s neck as he clutched onto his thin shirt – though Hitoshi doubted the beads of sweat were due to the heat from the springs.

Walking up to Hanta, Hitoshi placed a hand on his shoulder and raised a questioning brow. At this distance, Hitoshi could tell that Hanta’s lips were cracked and bloodied. Wincing sheepishly, Hanta stared down at his worn-out knock-off Birkenstocks.

“I mean I know my classmates and such would probably be chill…” Hanta scratched the back of his head sheepishly. “But well blood practically spouts out of Mineta’s nose like a water fountain near anyone with boobs.”

Turning his head toward the springs, Hitoshi nodded in understanding. Sure, he wanted to believe that the 1A kids were good people. That Midoriya telling Hitoshi that his quirk was perfect for heroics wasn’t an exception to the rule. That Hanta wouldn’t be faced with a million stares as he stepped into the water.

Shivers ran up Hitoshi’s spine. There was no room for optimism. Once people decided you were a villain, that you weren’t normal, that you didn’t fit neatly into their perfect little boxes – you’d be stuck for the rest of your life desperately trying to prove them wrong. Just a goddamn hamster of a rickety wheel that’d never stop turning.

“I can brainwash him if you want,” Hitoshi offered.

“Thanks, dude. You don’t have to though. Wouldn’t want to cause an inconvenience.”

Hitoshi rolled his eyes. “You wouldn’t be. Giving people their comeuppance is sort of a passion project.”

“Huh, interesting choice in passion project.” Gripping the towel haphazardly flung across his shoulders, Hanta sighed. “Still, it would be awkward to see Mineta every day at school after something like that.”

“Maybe you won’t have to. A little birdie told me that Mineta might get transferred to make more room for the hero course.”

Hitoshi could only hope that the transfer would go through. That the training and months of vigilantism would finally pay off. That he could slowly but surely detach himself from the label of villainy that he’d been branded with for the better half of his life.

“I take it the ‘little birdie’ is your uncle.”

“Heaven knows.” Hitoshi shrugged.

“Still, I don’t want a repeat of the beach incident. That was pretty f*cking sh*tty,” Hanta said.

“So f*cking sh*tty.” Shutting his eyes, Hitoshi could still picture that kid with long-ass fingers and a sh*t-eating grin.

Yeah, no wonder Hanta was wary of wading through the hot springs. Call Hitoshi antisocial but people f*cking suck. Or at least most people. Even Hitoshi had to admit that there were a handful of exceptions.

Light graceful footsteps and energetic ones echoed through the waiting area. With a frosty expression on his face, Shoto dried his hair with a towel while making a beeline toward Hanta and Hitoshi. Meanwhile, Denki walked a couple of meters behind him and shook the water out of his hair like an over-excited puppy. What an idiot. Wish he could be my idiot.

Coming to a halt, Shoto scanned over Hanta. Hitoshi had no idea what on Earth was going on behind Shoto’s cold expressionless gaze. Then, without missing a beat Shoto wrapped his hand around Hanta’s wrist and nodded in the direction of the forest.

“Hanta, follow me.”

Not bearing any resistance, Hanta let Shoto tug him along. “Why?”

“Wait and see.” Stepping out into the icy night air, Shoto winked at Hanta. Or at least Hitoshi thought he saw Shoto wink – but who knows maybe it was a trick of the light; winking hardly seemed like something Shoto would typically do.

As Shoto and Hanta began to wind past trees, Denki nudged Hitoshi in the side. “Should we follow them?”


Hitoshi cast his towel aside on the bench and turned toward the woods. Denki rocked on the balls of feet, tapping his index fingers together as he waited for Hitoshi to follow him outdoors. The second Hitoshi stepped onto the grass, Denki sped in the same direction Shoto and Hanta had left.

Jogging after Denki, Hitoshi clicked his tongue. How on Earth did Denki still have so much energy after a day of training? The last thing they needed was a bonus workout.

Still, he had to admit that the adrenaline pumping through his veins started to banish the persistent pressure at the back of his skull. As the cicadas chirped through the twilight and twigs cracked beneath his shoes, it dawned on Hitoshi that his spider-sense had been dormant for days. Maybe it was the calm before the storm – but maybe it was a sign that Shigaraki wasn’t lurking within the corners of the training camp, holding a doom flag.

With wheezing lungs, Hitoshi finally came to a stop when he finally reached Denki who was standing at the edge of a clearing with his mouth agape. Hitoshi’s eyes also went wide as he took in the scene before him and Denki.

A glacier rose past the trees and toward the heavens. It wasn’t nearly as large as the glacier Shoto had frozen Hanta during the Sports Festival (an action that Hitoshi personally attributed to gay panic) but it was still massive enough to sink into the soft ground of the forest.

Holding his hand to the side of the glacier, Shoto let the ice melt and afterward he dunked his palm in the water until it was bubbling. Upon realizing that he had been given his own personal hot spring, Hanta raced up to Shoto and wrapped him in a tight embrace.

Contrary to his usual grace, Shoto lost his footing and stumbled into the makeshift hot spring along with Hanta. With a laugh, Hanta brushed Shoto’s drenched hair out of his face and placed a sloppy kiss on his cheek.

Sticking his hands in his pocket, Hitoshi started to walk back in the direction of the hot springs. Shoto and Hanta’s moment just felt too intimate for Hitoshi to step in on. Especially when the couple was basking in tranquility while Hitoshi had been reduced to a bundle of nerves.

“Let’s leave ‘em to it,” Hitoshi told Denki.

“Yep. The last thing they need is not one but two third wheels,” Denki snickered in response.

Leaves rustled as the breeze whistled past it. Lanterns glowed in the distance. Moonlight trickled in through the canopy of trees. Hitoshi inhaled and exhaled deeply. And for a moment Hitoshi was able to see the getaway for what it was. An escape from swinging through alleyways on spiderwebs and chasing after criminals.

As Hitoshi emerged from the forest and approached the building that led to the hot springs, Denki tapped on his back.

“Hey, Hitoshi.” He bit his lip, making Hitoshi desperately try to ignore how cute the gesture was. “You know if anything’s wrong you can tell me. Right?”


Denki cleaned in closer. “So what’s up?”

“Just a little wound up I guess,” Hitoshi relented.

“About Aizawa’s Uncle-Ben-ing?”

Turning toward the sky, Hitoshi took in the twinkling stars. Laughter sounded from the hot springs. Taking in the concern knit into Denki’s brows, Hitoshi decided that maybe peace wasn’t completely out of the cards even for someone in his position.

“Yup.” Hitoshi popped his lips. “But camp’s been pretty uneventful so far… so maybe everything’s gonna be okay.”

Stepping into the woods, Hitoshi grumbled to himself. He had never been a huge fan of games. Especially not something as dumb as a test of courage. As if jump scares could remotely gauge whether he had the guts to not back away from an actual fight. Worse yet, he hadn’t even been paired with another student for the exercise.

Huffing, Hitoshi bunched his fists together. It was fine though. He knew he would in the very least not embarrass himself by screaming at 1B’s attempts at scaring from the get-go. After all, very little compared to the horror of how Dad’s hair clogged the shower drain. Especially since scrubbing the shower was Hitoshi’s household chore.

Hitoshi shuddered at the night air, wishing Denki were by his side. Not because he liked Denki in a romantic way or anything – just for shared body heat etcetera so Hitoshi wouldn’t be freezing his ass off. But alas there wasn’t much to be done about the fact that Hanta and Denki were stuck in remedial lessons.

Though to be honest, Hitoshi kind of envied them. Being in a stuffy classroom sure beat a sh*tty bonding exercise in the woods. Plus, who knows? Maybe Hitoshi could’ve learned a thing or two from Vlad King. Regardless, Hitoshi supposed he could tolerate a test of courage if his other option would’ve been the plot targeting Uncle Shouta’s life for the millionth time.

The sharp scent stung Hitoshi’s lungs. He prepared to raise his middle finger at whoever was giving him a hard time when it came to breathing. A sharp pain shot through Hitoshi’s skull and he fell to his knees in shock, scraping his kneecaps open in the process. Massaging his forehead, Hitoshi let the pain fade to a dull persistent throbbing.

When he looked up, he saw purple fog billowing toward him. It looked like a cheap smoke show in a haunted house. But as dizziness swelled in Hitoshi’s head, he realized that the gas was lined with poison.

Stumbling to his feet, Hitoshi covered his mouth with the collar of his shirt. His knees felt more like jelly with each step, yet he pressed forward. The smoke could only mean one thing. If memory served, Uncle Shouta was near the building where the remedial classes were being held – and Hitoshi had to make it there at all costs.

Then, a mental image of a brooding kid in a red cap flashed before Hitoshi. Hesitating, Hitoshi turned toward the cliffside – only to grip his scalp in frustration seconds later.

He had to save Uncle Shouta. He couldn’t let another family die because of him again. Because he was a villain, because he couldn’t be better. Besides, Midoriya knew where Kota was. Maybe he’d get there first and protect the kid.

Though what if Midoriya didn’t make it in time? What if Kota was left blinking at the night sky while he was bleeding out and reunited with his parents far too soon?

Straightening his spine, Hitoshi sprinted through the woods even though the effort made his ribcage dore. He ran across logs and latched his webbing to trees to propel himself forward. With great power comes great responsibility.

It was high time that Hitoshi put the Spider-Man mantra first for once and reserved his need to prove he was more than a villain who hurt everyone for later. He had to hope that Uncle Shouta wouldn’t throw himself headfirst into danger in the meantime.

The fog cleared as Hitoshi flung himself past trees. Branches kept snapping off, dragging Hitoshi’s webbing to the ground with them. Cursing under his breath, Hitoshi rolled onto the forest floor. God, he missed Musutafu’s skyline. It was such a pain in the ass to websling through the woods compared to skyscrapers.

Still, Hitoshi bit his tongue since he couldn’t afford to lose any breath to the soiled air. By the time he reached the cliffside, Hitoshi’s vision had gone as hazy as the fog. Crashing sounded from overhead and Hitoshi heard a feral scream so similar to the ones Midoriya had made at the Sports Festival. The thud of a head hitting rock ricocheted. And based on how deep laughter echoed from the mountainside Hitoshi doubted that Midoriya’s opponent was the one who had gotten the head injury.

Not wasting any more time, Hitoshi rolled his sleeves up and stuck himself to the cliffside. Shimming up the cliff, Hitoshi winced at the thought of how his climbing made him resemble some weird imitation of a spider monkey. Hitoshi suppressed those thoughts aside and held his breath. He couldn’t afford to lose concentration and fall to his death because the stickiness holding him to the cliff had retreated.

Once Hitoshi dragged himself onto Kota’s hideout spot, the first thing he saw was the massive gash on Midoriya’s face. Blood dripped into his eyes to the extent that he kept blinking it out of the way. He didn't have the luxury of wiping the blood away because his arms were preoccupied with blocking the blows of massive fists.

Muscles and tendons wove together, flinging Midoriya against stone like a ragdoll. Broken bones crunched. Midoriya’s teeth bashed together enough to nearly splinter. Hitoshi’s eyes widened. Jesus, if even Midoriya and his godlike quirk were outmatched by this villain, how was Hitoshi supposed to compete?

But on the opposite end of the cliff, Kota stood frozen. Petrified as he stared at the flesh torn away from the villain’s artificial eye. Kota shuddered like any kid would at the sight of the villain. However, there was something more to the quivering in his knees. Something akin to the sense of dread that swelled in Hitoshi’s stomach whenever he remembered that the man who shot his bio-parents had never been caught.

Part of Hitoshi wanted to bolt back down to the forest and escape a fight far above his pay grade. Maybe he could even snatch Kota and get the kid out of the crossfire. But with how fickle Hitoshi’s ability to stick to walls was, there was a high risk he’d sentence the kid to an early death in the process.

Staring daggers at the villain, Hitoshi slung his webbing around a small boulder and braced himself. Dad and Uncle Shouta didn’t raise a quitter.

Leaning against the rocks, Midoriya muttered something about the villains targeting someone called Kacchan. Hitoshi gritted his teeth until his teeth ached. It didn’t matter if the villains were targeting whoever Kacchan was. The web of canon would warp until Uncle Shouta was at its center and right for the reaping. And this villain clearly wasn’t targeting Kacchan now that he had decided to make Kota his prey.

Lifting his makeshift web-lasso, Hitoshi impacted the boulder against the villain’s head. To no one’s surprise, the villain didn’t bat an eye. Instead, his muscles swelled up and a murderous flicker entered his remaining eye as he faced Hitoshi. Gulping, Hitoshi decided that his only saving grace was the fact that this villain was nowhere near Uncle Shouta.

Hitoshi’s spider sense cut through his head and he narrowly dodged the fist launched toward him. He held back his barf at the unsightly way muscles wrapped around the villain’s exterior like armor. Kirishima not wearing a shirt Hitoshi could understand, but this f*cker of a villain was not nearly attractive enough to have earned himself that right.

Wheezing, Hitoshi repeatedly rolled out of the way of the villain’s attacks. But he knew he couldn’t keep up the game of cat and mouse forever. Not when a literal child he had to protect was only a few meters away. Dizzied by how his spider-sense was on constant alert, Hitoshi nearly stumbled off the cliff.

Then, he heard Kota’s shrill voice call out “plus ultra” and Midoriya’s body started to twitch. As green lightning shone sparked, Hitoshi focused on the villain. He had to keep the villain distracted long enough for Midoriya to even the playing field with a punch strong enough to leave his arm in tatters.

Zigzagging past the villain, Hitoshi shot out webbing until the openings on his wrists were raw. He kept weaving past the villains until he was breathless and his opponent was encased with a cocoon of webbing. In theory, Hitoshi that spider silk was surprisingly strong – but it was no match to the villain who broke free from his restraints almost instantaneously.

Nonetheless, it was enough of an opening for Midoriya to land a full-force hit right at the center of the villain’s gut.

In a blaze of green light, Midoriya sent the villain's tendon dissolving and flying through the air all while screaming until his voice went hoarse. “ONE FOR ALL!! 1 000 000 %!!!”

The villain encased himself in muscle tissue but the air pushed back against him in a powerful gust pressure. Shirking from the blinding light surrounding Midoriya, Hitoshio cast a net-like web over him and Kota to avoid getting sent off the edge of his cliff.

When the gust of wind had vanished, hitoshi untangled himself from Kota. The villain had slumped toward the ground with the lower half of his body still wrapped in muscles attributed to his quirk. His mouth hung slack-jawed though. A sign that he was knocked out cold.

And standing in front of the villain was Midoriya with his shirt torn away from the force of his own quirk. His bloodied and bruised arm was even more of a swollen mess than it had been at the Sports Festival.

Shaking his head, Hitoshi side-eyed Midoriya. “1 000 000%? Really? Aren’t you supposed to be a nerd? You know that doesn’t make sense mathematically, right?”

Midoriya didn’t even bother to acknowledge Hitoshi’s comment. “Holy sh*t! Shinsou, you’re the Cosplayer?!”

Great. Of course, it was no surprise that a hero nerd knew of Musutafu’s newest infamous vigilante. “Please, don’t use that horrible vigilante name.”

“But it has a nice ring to it.”

“Just keep the identity on the down-low, okay? Too many people know as is.” Hitoshi mentally chastised himself for not being more guarded about his secret identity. He felt for his mask in his pocket. Maybe he should’ve remembered to slip it over his head. On the other hand, his secret identity had kind of been secondary to making sure a kid didn’t die on his watch. “You too, kid.”

Snapping out of his stupor, Kota stared at his sneakers. “Fine. I guess I can do that. Especially since you’re a cool vigilante and not some lame hero.”

“Thanks, kid.” Hitoshi ruffled his hair and Kota didn’t pull away.

Smoke rose in the distance. Hitoshi winced at the stench of sulfur. He pictured ashes drifting from Uncle Shouta’s burnt corpse. But no, he had to be okay. He was a pro-hero. Hitoshi had to trust that he could hold his ground for a little bit.

As if to break through the tense atmosphere, Midoriya made a weak attempt at a quip while flapping his battered arm. “Guess you got that flashy power you wanted.”

Hitoshi snorted. He really should have been careful what he wished for. The spider powers hadn’t erased the years of trauma throughout school and honestly only doubled his troubles. “There’s a price… for all this though.”

Midoriya nodded sympathetically. “Ah, I get it. My powers came with a centuries-old nemesis.”

“Huh?” Just when Hitoshi thought Midoriya couldn’t get any stranger he said the most out-there things. “You know what? We can address that later.”

“Okay, but you’re gonna tell me more about your spider powers in exchange.”

Hitoshi shook Midoriya’s intact hand which was unlikely to make it through the night unharmed with the green gremlin’s bone-breaking track record. “It’s a deal then.”

Preparing to crawl back down the cliff, Hitoshi looked over his shoulder at the villain one last time. Bile rose up his throat, stinging his tongue. Hitoshi could still see that ruthless look in his eye. The same expression that the kids in middle school claimed Hitoshi had. The reason Hitoshi always tried to school his face into some semblance of stoicism.

Steam practically rose in Hitoshi’s ears as he approached the villain. He was the type of person who ruined Hitoshi’s life. Who deepened the wedge between people deemed heroic or villainous. Who tore families apart. Who wasted the potential to a flashy physical quirk to only draw bloodshed.

Biting his lip, Hitoshi wrapped webbing near the sockets holding the villain’s arms to his shoulders. As Hitoshi held onto the webbing with a death grip and backed up, Midoriya gasped with realization.

“Shinsou, are you sure that isn’t excessive? He’s already down.”

Hitoshi didn’t even bother to answer and lest Midoriya stop him. The webbing sliced through the villain’s bones and flesh no longer shielded by his quirk. A horrible squelch echoed through the mountain and blood squirted onto Hitoshi. Spitting out the blood, Hitoshi kicked the arms he’d served with his webbing aside. As the villain started to raise his head, Hitoshi summoned all his strength to knock him unconscious with a rock - a feat that actually succeeded this time thanks to the villain's injuries.

“I have to be sure that he doesn’t hurt anyone else ever again.” Hitoshi didn’t dare to look in Midoriya’s direction yet. “It’s bad enough people like him give people with villainous quirks a bad wrap.”

In response, Midoriya nodded slowly while he held onto the kid with his intact arm. Meanwhile, Kota looked like a deer in headlights as he gawked at Hitoshi like he was half-expecting the vigilante to snap in a murderous rage.

f*ck, he traumatized a kid. Well, Kota was already traumatized but Hitoshi made it so much worse. Maybe Muscular’s arms could get reattached at the hospital. Then again, why would Tartarus’ clinic bother to reattach a serial killer’s arms anyway?

Hitoshi had gone too far.

He was a villain.

He was everything his old bullies thought he would be.

Ruthless. Wrathful. Stepping over the line with violence when he didn’t have to. And there was no reversing his actions. Even if Midoriya bought the lie that Hitoshi had severed Muscular’s arms for altruistic reasons, Hitoshi would remain haunted by the truth deep down.

Raking his hands through his hair, Hitoshi turned toward Kota who stood there shellshocked. Hitoshi struggled to cough up an apology for the blood covering the mountainside, for the lifeless limbs scattered in front of him.

Then, the air around Hitoshi glitched in a horrifyingly familiar kaleidoscope. And a gunshot echoed through the woods. The same sound that accompanied Hitoshi’s visions of Uncle Shouta’s death.

Hitoshi's stomach turned as he looked between the edge of the cliff and Muscular’s unconscious form. There had to be an entire rogues gallery spelling out Uncle Shouta’s doom down there.


Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments or on Discord. It was a bit nervous about posting this chapter since it was fight-scene-heavier than most of what I've written in months.

Chapter 18: Spider Sense


Kidnapping time :3

Chapter Text

Kacchan, Kacchan, Kacchan . The name echoed through Hitoshi’s head in some distorted loop. His head throbbed no matter how brief that telepathic link was. Spitting out blood onto the soil, Hitoshi hurried into a sprint, wishing he were enveloped by a cityscape rather than trees not tall enough to efficiently sling from. Hitoshi hadn’t the faintest idea which hero kid had the misfortune of getting the League’s attention, but he could only assume Kacchan had some sort of flashy quirk.

Because why else?

Hitoshi bit his lower lip bitterly. After all, what other reason was there a reason to give two sh*ts about a random person in society that revolved around quirks more steadily than the Earth did around the sun.

Overhead, Hitoshi spotted flashes of green lightning filled the night sky, making constellations shrink away from the brightness. Huh? Midoriya must know Kacchan. The dull ache of the safety of someone other than Uncle Shouta’s safety faded. Hitoshi knew all too well what the fiery determination of green eyes on the battlefield looked like. Midoriya was a menace in a fight even when villains didn’t fall into the equation. Plus ultra incarnate or something like that.

Yeah, with Midoriya chasing after him whoever this Kacchan kid was would be fine – villains out to capture him be damned. But no one knew that Uncle Shouta was in more grave danger than anyone could possibly fathom. Hell, for all Hitoshi knew that gunshot resounding through the forest had already been the final nail in the coffin.

The sound of the gunshot kept replaying in Hitoshi’s skull, impacting his thoughts over and over again – leaving him feeling like his mind was drowning in bloodiness. Taunts echoed telling him he was too slow, too weak, too pathetic. It didn’t matter if he had fancy spider powers or not.

Because if he was too late, it was as clear as day that he was no hero. Just a pathetic villain kid who got the people he cared most about killed.

The scent of smoke filled the air and trails of deep purple mist coiled around the underbrush, dissipating into invisibility with each passing second. Hitoshi’s head pounded abuzz with a little voice screaming danger, danger, danger , making it impossible to tell when a sniper was hidden in the trees aiming a gun toward his head or if his senses were just on high alert non-stop because of the blue flames rising from the forest.

One Hitoshi’s sneakers clanked against metal and his eyes went as wide as saucers at the sight of the gold casing. Drops of blood soaked the capsule. Ribs closing in tightly enough that Hitoshi felt like the bones were digging into his lungs. All the air in his chest turned as sour as the traces of poison gas still lingering in the forest.

Stumbling across the forest, Hitoshi spotted a girl leaning against a tree with her enlarged hand lying limply to the side and littered with bruises. Some f*cker in a middle school uniform had a gas mask lying beside him and shards of broken teeth framed the grass around him.

“Aizawa. Did Aizawa get shot?” Hitoshi croaked.

“No, he’s not even here, man.” A silver-haired kid who Hitoshi hadn’t initially noticed at the edge of the clearing choked out. His arms hung heavily beside him and didn’t seem like he could muster up the energy to turn in Hitoshi’s direction.

“But the bullet –”

“Hit Tetsutetsu,” the girl said. “Might have killed pretty much anyone else but he’ll be okay.”

Tetsutetsu briefly lifted his head and Hitoshi spotted the small flash of red on his forehead. That was that kid with a quirk who could turn his skin to metal, right? And even with his quirk he still had a bullet wound. Thinking of how anyone else would have been dead on arrival, Hitoshi gritted his teeth hard enough to taste tiny grains of enamel.

“Do you know where Aizawa is?”

“I think he’s back toward the building where the kids who flunked finals are at.”

Not missing a beat, Hitoshi spun around and bent down to hurry into a sprint. His chest contracted over the idea of persistent running, but he couldn’t stop, couldn’t rest just yet. Because if any of the villains were on Muscular’s level and Uncle Shouta had no one fighting by his side, he practically had a foot in the grave already.

Well, he had a foot in the grave as it was with canon event gunning for him and all, so maybe saying he’d have a foot and a half in the grave would have been more accurate?

Before Hitoshi could race away, Tetsutetsu called out, “Wait, you can’t go. It’s not safe –”

“Of course it’s not. This hellhole is swarming with villains.”

Hitoshi stomped on the ground, making the girl and Tetsutetsu’s exhausted expressions furrow with concern. He could only imagine how crazed he looked with his hair flying wildly around his face and eyes bloodshot enough to give Uncle Shouta a run for his money.

“But I can’t just f*cking stand here while the pros fight themselves into a corner and getting themselves f*cking killed by biting more off that they can chew.”

No protest. Not giving those hero students a chance to change their minds or recover from their fight, Hitoshi raced into the woods. Right toward the heart of the fire burning a thousand times bluer than the controlled flames in the Gen Ed students’ chemistry labs.

Dark hair fluttered around Uncle Shouta’s face like a funeral veil. Blue flames roared as Uncle Shouta spun from the blast like an acrobat. The edges of his capture weapon caught fire and at light speed Uncle Shouta uncleaved the shreds, letting the small simmering pieces of fabric drift onto the ground.

Smoke billowed from patchwork skin as crazed blue eyes flashed through the night. And Hitoshi froze. Sure, he’d faced Stain, Magne and so many other villains. But something about this guy was different. More in line with Shigaraki as he pressed his fingertips against Hitoshi’s throat. A whirlwind of destruction willing to reduce anything in its path to nothing but dust and ash.

Ruby eyes sparked to life and the fire sputtered out. Staples flashed beneath the moonlight as the villain’s stunned expression shifted into a manic smile in the blink of an eye. Cackling sounded as the scarf wrapped around the villain, pinning his tattered arms to his side.

Relief swelled in Hitoshi’s chest and he would have fallen into a heap had his kneecaps not been firmly locked in place by remnants of worry. Sure, fire didn’t seem like the plot’s go-to plan for wiping Uncle Shouta off the face of the earth – but suspected that if whatever ungodly entity pulled the strings of canon events would resort to non-bullet deaths if need be.

But before Hitoshi could race to Uncle Shouta’s side, a searing pain cut through his skull. A kaleidoscope of flashing lights cut through the clearing. As Uncle Shouta blinked at the glitching lights, Hitoshi’s skull stung enough that he had to choke down a scream. The blink was enough of an opening for flames to flicker back to life, spilling outward like a shockwave.

Senses tingling, Hitoshi couldn’t see through the smoke, couldn’t see where the worst dangers lurked because the skull-splitting ached screamed about the risks in every direction. Then bursting through the haze as the sound of cracking tree bark echoed, firm arms shoved Hitoshi out of the way.

A heavy thump and cranking bones sounded as a flaming tree trunk landed on Uncle Shouta’s torso.

A sea of red wafted from beneath the tree and as Uncle Shouta’s eyes rolled back all Hitoshi could see was a crooked tree branch protruding through his abdomen. Uncle Shouta's temple hit the ground hard as he drifted into unconsciousness. Whipping his head around, Hitoshi began to scan the burning clearing for a sign of the fire villain. He could hardly keep his eyes open after all the smoke inhalation. Just as he started to pull his fingers back, prepared to fling out webs at any moment, a voice called out,

“I wouldn’t do that, brat.”

“Why not?”

“Because –”

The villain’s eyes faded into a stupor. Dripping with sweat, Hitoshi shot out webs and flung them around the villain. He pulled the restraints unnecessarily tight because that motherf*cker had decided to let flames rain down on Uncle Shouta. The taste of iron consumed him as he pulled on the webs tight enough to draw blood from the villain’s cracked skin. A reminder of the type of person everyone had expected Hitoshi to become since the day his quirk emerged.

Suddenly, mud oozed from between the webs. Where a scarred silhouette once was, only a dark grimy mess remained. Hitoshi stared at the mess in horror. Had the fire not really been the villain’s quirk?

Cracking wood snapped Hitoshi out of it and he turned back to Uncle Shouta. Adrenaline pumping through his blood stream, Hitoshi heaved the tree stump out of the way. Heaving Uncle Shouta over his shoulder, Hitoshi applied pressure to the wound on his abdomen. Clinging onto his enhanced strength like a lifeline, Hitoshi stumbled away from the fire, the danger.

Maybe if he was fast enough he could outrun the tell-tale kaleidoscope of lights swarming behind him and keep his uncle alive.

Dizzied Hitoshi stumbled over the roots in his path. He patted the back of his head, leaving behind a bloody patch on his palm. The world seemed to swim in front of him, trees wobbling and swaying like he was trapped in some godforsaken abstract paint.

He strengthened his grip around uncle Shouta, wrapping webbing around him so that he couldn’t slip away even if Hitoshi stumbled a little bit. The air turned frigid as Hitoshi marched deeper into the forest, further from the glitching surrounding the pile of mud he’d left behind. Blurrily, Hitoshi made out waves of shadows and a gigantic glacier in front of him.

His heart sank. Great, he’d run from one danger into another.

Barely making out the silhouette of patchwork skin, Hitoshi clung onto Uncle Shouta with a death grip and called out.

“Do you f*cking bastards have nothing better to do that make high schooler’s life a living hell?”

But before a response could escape the patchwork villain’s throat, blinding iridescent lights refracted around Hitoshi. As he tried to dance around the static a black and white mask flashed before him, and an intense wave of pressure hit Hitoshi. Pressure cramming him into an infinitesimally small space as he got swallowed up into a marble all while still clinging to Uncle Shouta.

At the entrance of the portal, Dabi rolled two marbles between his tongue. He mused over how one of those tiny glassy things contained multiple people. As ice clashed against blue fire and Toga raced across the dirt toward a kid with his arms encased in makeshift splints, Dabi grinned at Kurogiri. Spitting out one of the marbles and casting it aside, Dabi reminisced over how similar that fiery red gaze was to a man with blue eyes desperately trying to close the gap between him and the number one hero.

“Forget about kidnapping the blonde. Seems like the f*cking stubborn type.” Dabi opened his mouth to clink a finger against the remaining marble. “Now this one. He seems much more easy to break.”

“And why is that?”

“For starters, he has a liability. And a villain’s quirk.”

Yellow glowing eyes narrowed skeptically. “Is that enough though?”

Sending Kurogiri a death glare, Dabi let an ember dance on his palm. “Your precious little master put me in charge, f*ckface. Plus, wouldn’t it be better to drag that dumb vigilante with some fighting experience into our ranks?”

Letting out an aggrieved sigh, Kurogiri shook his head and stepped through the portal. “You are only saying that because Tomura finds him irritating.”

“Well, that’s just an added bonus,” Dabi cackled as he followed Kurogiri, the smoke rising from the gaps in his staples intermingling with the portal’s mist.

Chapter 19: Other POV


Denki and friends form a rescue team to save the kidnaping victims.

Chapter Text

At first, Denki didn’t even register the paramedic draping an emergency blanket over his shoulders. Seconds later he found himself clinging to the gold foil like a lifeline. Under any other circ*mstances he would have likely electrocuted himself as soon as he touched the metallic layer. But all the static on his skin had been drained away leaving nothing but a hollow shell behind.

Denki felt himself drifting, his limbs turning dumb with the subdued current throbbing beneath his skin. Images flashed before him of a boy with hair the same hue as a lilac sky at dusk. A melodic voice that ebbed and flowed amid Denki’s attempts to make a fool of himself to distract the people around him from the tide trying to pull them under.

As sirens screeched and an unconscious Momo got rolled into an ambulance, Denki curled in on himself. His mouth tasted sour as he recalled himself telling Hitoshi not to worry, that the camp would be nothing but a vacation from nighttime vigilante patrols and deflecting bullets headed for Aizawa.

Choking down a sob, Denki shoved the mental image of him sitting beside Hitoshi on the bus linked by earbud cords and the music drumming through their ears.

If only he hadn’t bombed the practical exam. Hitoshi had spent so long nestled beside Denki at a cafe to help him prep for the written portion – and low and behold in classic Denki fashion he’d still found a way to f*ck everything up.

He wished that he weren’t such an idiot failure who couldn’t think logically if he depended on it, he might have been there in the forest with everyone else. Not locked away within the sanctity of a sterile classroom, far away from the villain who reduced Midoriya’s bones to shards or the blades slicing through the trees.

Biting the inside of his gum, Denki dug crescents into his palms. Maybe that villain doused in blue flames had burst into the classroom sooner, he could have been by Hitoshi's side when it mattered. Because for as much as Hitoshi said that a relationship was out of the cards, Denki still knew him well enough to understand the depths of his stubbornness. To know that Hitoshi would forget he had shoulders to lean on and charge into battle on without enough help if he got too caught up in his own web.

The humidity weighed down on Denki, crawling up his throat – clawing at it, suffocating him. His vision blurred at the corners, twisting the flashing sirens into blue flames. The foil blanket around Denki crinkled ever so slightly as Shouto settled down beside him.

Still twitching, Denki took in how Shouto looked more aloof than usual. Pupils blown wide, jaw set a little less firmly. Maybe a concussion. Turning in Denki’s direction, Shouto tried to look Denki straight in the eye even though he couldn’t quite focus his gaze.

“It’s not your fault.”

Letting out a defeated laugh, Denki fiddled with the corners of the blanket. “You don’t get it. I wasn’t there, I should’ve been there, I should’ve –”

“No. It’s not your fault. If anything it’s mine. I was there when Hitoshi got taken. And it didn’t matter that I was right there , or had two godforsaken quirks – he’s gone.”

Shouto choked up and stared at his hands like they were weapons. His lip curled as if he’d personally kidnapped Hitoshi. Part of Denki wanted to scream at Shouto that it wasn’t his fault. That Denki was the stupid one – dumb enough that he hadn’t been in Hitoshi’s periphery even though the web of endless inconveniences could strike at any given moment.

He’d been foolishly optimistic – Denki had told Hitoshi he could let his guard down. Looking down at his sneakers, Denki curled his toes like that would somehow anchor him and make the fog in his head dissipate. But he couldn’t help but wonder whether Hitoshi would’ve still been in the forest if Denki hadn’t tried to alleviate his completely and utterly justified paranoia.

A slap on his shoulder snapped Denki out of his stupor. Mouth agape, he stared at Hanta. What a betrayal of friendship! Sure, the slap didn’t hurt and was honestly pretty gentle – but still .

Crossing his arms, Hanta flashed Denki and Shouto a stern glare. “Can you two stop blaming yourselves? The plot is literally working against us. The odds aren’t even remotely in our favor.”

“That shouldn’t matter. We should have been able to stop the kidnapping from happening anyways,” Shouto spat out and as bunched up the fabric of his pant legs in his fists.

With a huff, Hanta plopped himself in between Shouto and Denki. He delicately traced circles on their backs. Firm yet soft motions. Denki felt himself getting lost in the repetitive gestures and decided that if heroics didn’t work out for Hanta he could most definitely have a promising future as a masseuse.

Craning his neck toward the sky, Denki looked at the constellations. Legends of heroes etched into the stars. Stories that started with slaying monsters and ended in disaster. Recalling the tales of labyrinths and voyages he had enveloped himself as a kid, Denki stewed over how only the hero who sliced off a Gorgon’s head had escaped an unfortunate demise. Like molten wax wings. Or watching one’s father tumble from a cliff all because of a flag that was the wrong color.

But maybe if Denki ripped the strings of fate from the three sisters lurking in the underworld’s depths, his story wouldn’t be a Greek tragedy. Maybe he could be more like a hero from comic books. Always victorious – well, maybe not always but at least happy endings weren’t completely out of the cards.

Stoic voice cracking a little at the edges, Shouto broke the silence. “I suppose… there’s no changing what’s already happened.” He clenched his fist. “But… we’ll get Hitoshi and Aizawa back.”

Denki laughed dryly. “And why am I supposed to believe that’s more than an empty promise?”

“I swear on my father’s credit card,” Shouto deadpanned. “And you know there’s nothing more important to me.”

Hanta let out a gasp in fake shock. “You know, normally I’d be offended that you prioritize money over me. Then again, I’ve always known you’re a material girl.”

Shouto tilted his head, making his dilated pupils look even more dazed. “A girl made out of material? I don’t get it.”

“I’ll explain the reference to you later, Shouto. But first things first. I think Denki needs a group hug.”

Nodding, Shouto wrapped his arms around Denki. He held his arms jaggedly and far away from Denki, hesitant to get too close. If it were a class assignment, Denki would have probably given Shouto a passing grade for effort. Maybe a B- or a C+.

With a snort, Hanta embraced the two of them so snuggly, Denki half-wondered whether Hanta had used his quirk to bind all of them closer together. Sinking into his friends’ warmth and the slight chill from Shouto’s right, Denki let the numbness fade away.

“We’ll get him back, bro. The plot wouldn’t let Spider-Man die,” Hanta said.

Denki nodded. “I know, but –”

“His uncle is another story,” Shouto said.

His trademark smile widening, Hanta added, “Yeah, but maybe there’s hope. Spider-Man’s friends don’t usually find out about his powers so soon after he’s gotten bitten. So I don’t know. Maybe we can make some sort of difference.”

Hugging his friends back, Denki tried to ignore how their hair rose from direct contact with him and whispered, “I hope so.”

After the doctors had inspected Denki and Hanta one more time, the two of them headed for the waiting room where Shouto was expecting them. His pupils were still slightly dilated from how the nurses had held a flashlight in front of them to confirm he was in fact concussion free.

Winding around the corner, Denki spotted Shouto standing at the mouth of the waiting room. He held an ice pack to his forehead as he remained frozen in place, staring at a certain English teacher holding back sobs.

In shock, Denki stumbled, knocking over a toy car track at the edge of the waiting room and alerting Mic of his presence. Looking up at his students, Mic wiped at the corner of his eyes.

“Hey, little listeners. The camp was rough, huh? Don’t worry everything will be alright.” His cheery voice sounded uncomfortably stilted as he held out finger guns. “And you’ve got a killer substitute teacher looking out for you until Aizawa comes back.”

Walking up to Mic and plopping himself down in a rickety plastic chair next to him, Hanta sighed. “You can drop the act around us. Your husband and son literally just got kidnapped.”

As Denki and Shouto followed suit, keeping a respectful distance but remaining close enough to Mic to maintain solidarity, the river of tears intensified. Yet, his sobs remained near-silent – probably so he wouldn’t accidentally bust anyone’s eardrums amid his heightened emotions.

Denki’s chest cinched as he watched a pro hero crack apart. Just as vulnerable as any ordinary person. He was a good guy. A great teacher. A loved father. Crap. Mic really didn’t deserve any of the sh*t happening to him. No one did.

“I should have never agreed to Hitoshi going to that training camp,” Mic sobbed.

“You couldn’t have known,” Shouto said bluntly.

Not missing a beat, Hanta grabbed a box of tissues and held it out toward Mic.

“It was supposed to be safe. A good way for Hitoshi to prepare for the hero course.” Mic grabbed a tissue and blew his nose into it heartily. “Why does everything have to go to sh*t?”

Sitting in stunned silence, Denki stared at his feet. Was there a reason for everything derailing? The canon events were the most likely culprit, considering how bullets were targeting Aizawa at every turn. But recalling how the vortex of smoke had swirled at the USJ – well before Hitoshi’s spider bite – Denki couldn’t help but wonder whether the summer camp had always been destined to take a horrible turn.

Hanta cleared his throat. “Umm… Mic. I have one of Hitoshi’s hoodies if that helps.” Reaching into a backpack slung over his shoulder, Hanta fished out a sweatshirt with a Spider-Man design printed on it. “I finally got around to washing it after he let me borrow it. I promise it doesn’t smell like a dumpster anymore.”

Mic raised an eyebrow. “Dumpster?”

“Hitoshi fell into one,” Shouto said.

Denki barely managed to stop himself from saying more like several .

“Ha, I bet he was messing around with one of Shouta’s capture weapons.” Mic let out a laugh that was defeated and wistful all at once. “You couldn’t imagine how many dumpsters Shouta fell into when he first started learning parcours.”

As Mic accepted the hoodie and held it close to his chest, he muttered more quietly than Denki had ever heard him talk before. “Hitoshi has been acting strangely lately.”

“Maybe it’s because he’s never had friends before,” Shouto said.

Shaking his head, Hanta elbowed him in the side. “Dude.”

“It’s not as if it’s a bad thing. I didn’t start making friends until the sports festival.”

Mic’s eyes lit up for a moment. Like that statement sparked every reminder of what Hitoshi was like. Lacing his fingers together, Mic titled his chin down toward the carpet.

“It’s just… I think he’s hiding something. He keeps sneaking out late… I mean he’s always done that for late-night coffee runs and we’re in a safe neighborhood… but something just feels different.” Mic turned toward Denki and looked him directly in the eye. “You’ll let me know if Hitoshi is hiding something, right? I mean I’m a hero – I can help.”

“Of course,” Denki lied. It wasn't his place to reveal that Hitoshi was freaking Spider-Man

With the faintest smile, Mic reached out and patted Denki on the head. “You’re a good kid. Tell you what, I’ll sing your praises to Hitoshi when we find him.”

“No shovel talk?” Denki asked.

“That can be Shouta’s job once he’s back.” Nudging Denki, Mic let his eyes light up. “Besides, is it so wrong to want a fellow blonde as a son-in-law?”

Flushing beet red, Denki practically drowned on his own spit. “Ha, ha. Son-in-law. Yep, definitely have been thinking that far ahead into the future.”

“Blondes gotta stick together,” Mic sighed. The comm attached to his belt flashed red and bright. Scrambling to his feet, Mic tucked the hoodie under his arm and sped away with a swift wave at Hitoshi’s friends. He must have gotten called in to track down the kidnapees. No doubt about it.

With Mic gone, Shouto nodded toward Denki and Hanta conspiratorially. They’d all been confirmed to be mostly devoid of injuries. No more time to waste. As the three of them sped down the hallway, they heard Midoriya’s voice echo in tandem with Iida’s. Denki could make out the silhouettes of his classmates behind the door. His heart cinched as Iida repeatedly said that inferring and attempting to rescue Aizawa and Hitoshi was reckless.

But he didn’t get it. He didn’t know. Iida had know idea that the plot itself was stacked against the heroes’ favor.

As Midoriya stormed out of the hospital room, his arms still encased in bandages, Shouto looked back and forth between Midoriya and Denki, looking for confirmation. Approaching Midoriya, Shouto whispered under his breath so quietly the students in the hospital room likely didn’t hear.

“We’re going to find Shinsou and Aizawa.”

“So already ignoring the class prez’s words?” Midoriya asked.

“We can’t afford to wait.

“Because Shinsou’s spider situation is such a wildcard?”

Denki's eyes went wide. Looks like yet another person discovered Hitoshi's secret. Not like he was particularly good at hiding it.

“Yes,” Shouto said.

Dwelling on the gravity of the situation, Denki picked at his nail beds as his voice rose with panic. “But how are we even going to find him? The League has a warper. Who knows if Hitoshi and Aizawa are even still in Japan?”

Midoriya gestured toward the end of the hall. “Umm, there’s someone in the hospital who should be able to help us track him down.”

Following Midoriya into another hospital room, Denki, Shouto and Hanta came face to face with Momo perched atop a thin mattress. Unfurling the bandages from her forehead, the bags beneath her eyes had never looked deeper. Still, her expression burned with determination.

“I placed a tracker on one of the Nomu.” Momo folded her hands over. “I think it is only appropriate as vice class president to help get our homeroom teacher and future classmate back, correct?”

Denki’s chest heaved over in relief. “Absolutely, dude.”

Shivering in the night air, Denki pulled his light jacket tighter around himself. A few meters away, Hanta muttered under his breath that he half-regretted giving Mic that hoodie. Cutting his boyfriend off, Shouto leaned against Hanta with his left, making Denki’s chest ache with how far away Hitoshi was.

Gritting his teeth, Denki shook his head. One ride with the bullet train. Then he’d finally have a chance to be by Hitoshi’s side. It didn’t matter if Hitoshi insisted that being more than friends was out of the question.

Just having Hitoshi be safe and sound again would be enough.

Soft footsteps sounded across the grass as Momo pulled the tracker out of her pocket. Bandages no longer wrapped around her forehead. Good. One less risk when charging headfirst into villain territory. Anxiety seemingly crackled in the air as Midoriya muttered under his breath at record speed.

No one stopped him though. Because Denki at least was equally unnerved by the whole kidnapping ordeal.

As Momo held up the tracker, showing that the location had not changed, a twig snapped near the steps leading up to the hospital entrance. Stern as ever with his squared glasses, Iida furrowed his brows at the rescue team.

Sweltering beneath the disapproving glance, Denki turned toward the class president. “You’re not stopping us. You’re outnumbered. We’re saving Hitoshi and Aizawa whether you like it or not.”

“I wasn’t planning to. You are going to break the rules no matter how much I interfere. I might as well improve the success of your mission,” Iida sighed. “Besides, the only way for us to get reprimanded for breaking the rules would be if we got our homeroom teacher back.”

Letting out a sigh of relief, Momo smiled. “No truer words have been spoken.”

Forcing a laugh, Denki pumped a fist in the air. “The League’s got no idea what’s headed their way.”

With a grin, Hanta jokingly puckered his lips. “Do you think you and Hitoshi will kiss Spider-Man 2 style once you’ve saved your damsel-in-distress?”

“Oh, shut up.” Denki elbowed Sero in the side. Yet, despite the teasing his chest had become a thousand steps lighter. Because he was so many steps to fixing the derailed plot crumbling around him.

Arms crossed as he stood in front of some department store counter, Shouto sent Momo a death glare as he placed a wig on the counter. The cashier wearily looked between Shouto and Momo as the two of them piled clothes in front of her. Denki greedily looked at the leopard print faux silk top and a pompadour wig – he hoped he’d get assigned those purchases as his disguise.

“We’re using my credit card,” Shouto grumbled.

“But Shouto I would very much like to make my contribution to supporting the economy,” Momo protested.

Stepping between the two, Iida held out both his arms as if he were keeping two bickering street cats at bay. “Would it not be more efficient to use your quirk to make disguises, Yaoyorozu?”

Momo shook her head. “No, I need all the lipid reserves I can get. We have no idea what awaits us where Hitoshi and Aizawa are being kept.”

“Yeah, fair enough,” Hanta called out as he rose from the tiles he’d slumped on while Momo and his boyfriend indulged in an impromptu shopping spree. Jumping to his feet, Hanta stretched out his arms over his head. “Okay, okay. Shouto you can pay this time, Yaoyorozu you can pay for disguises next time.”

“Are you certain there will be a next time?” Momo asked.

Hanta shrugged. “With how villains have been constantly targeting our class? Probably.”

Nodding in agreement, Momo let Shouto face the cash register with his credit card. As Hanta spiked his hair up with gel and added fake horns, Denki didn’t even bother to refrain from whistling. Woah. My dude looks completely unrecognizable .

The other disguises weren’t half-bad either. With the dark wig draped over his face, Shouto had somehow transformed from brooding hero student to someone reminiscent of a male lead in a Shoujo manga. Of course, Denki fancied himself as being best-dressed. After all, leopard print and a pompadour? What a score!

Yet, there wasn’t much of a chance to rejoice over his fashion upgrade as he strode past TV screen booming with the voice of a newscaster who sounded far too upbeat considering the recent dire developments in Japan.

The vigilante known as the Cosplayer has been oddly inactive lately. Where has this wannabe Spider-Man gone? Is he dead or alive? Was he covertly apprehended by the authorities? More information to follow after another update on UA’s press conference.

Turning away, Denki gulped hard as Midoriya sent him a knowing look. The monitor swiftly switched to Kayama-sensei as she stepped onto a podium beside Nedzu. Decked out in a gray two-piece suit with her hair pinned back in a tight bun – she looked like the popular opposite of her hero persona. Not because of the outfit though – but because the expression behind her red-trimmed glasses hadn’t looked so sullen before.

“Jesus, I don’t think I’ve seen Kayama look so down-trodden before,” Hanta said.

“I heard she’s close with Aizawa and Yamada,” Momo added.

Denki tried to infuse some optimism into his voice. “Well, hopefully she’ll be back in higher spirits soon enough.”

He had to believe their reckless rescue scheme would prove successful. Because Aizawa and Hitoshi had so many people who cared about them waiting, goddammit.

Practically quivering in his boots, Denki crouched behind the factory wall. Itching his wig shaped like a pompadour that Hanta kept rolling his eyes at, Denki kept trying to chase away the visions of reanimated corpses suspended in tanks. The stench of formaldehyde still weighed heavily enough in Denki’s surroundings that he was practically choking on the smell.

Punches boomed in the distance as All Might pulled his fists back and a murderous aura rippled off the that unknown masked villain. A deep hiss echoed from life support gear, as a skull mask flashed beneath the moonlight.

Breaths hitching, Denki spotted Hitoshi. Dried blood clotted on his face as he dragged Aizawa across the ruined ground. As rubble from the cascade of blasts between All Might and the masked villain slicing Hitoshi’s temple open, Denki winced.

sh*t, sh*t, sh*t . The ramshackle rescue team were a bunch of teenagers. How on Earth were they supposed to retrieve Hitoshi and Aizawa from a patch of land more volatile than a minefield?

Hushed muttering from Midoriya dragged Denki back to the present. A reminder that time and time again going plus ultra and defying the odds was possible. That maybe just maybe the tragedy of canon events wasn’t set in stone.”

“... so Yaomomo, you’ll be staying back with Kaminari’s quirk once you’ve made the rollerblades. Kaminari’s quirk is long-range enough to ward off any villains who happen to notice you’re hiding behind the wall. Make an isolating blanket like you did at the Sports Festival just in case.”

Momo nodded firmly, “Will do.”

Mind buzzing from trying to catch up with all the words he’d inadvertently tuned out, Denki tapped his chin. “Dang, that’s some sort of plan you got, Midoriya.”

Rolling up his sleeves and glancing at the battlefield, Midoriya laughed awkwardly. “What can I say? I love quirks.”

Nerves crackling with a current running beneath his skin, Denki could already sense bad jokes bubbling beneath his tongue. “Oh, so is the real reason you want to save Aizawa and Hitoshi because they’ve got cool quirks?”

Midoriya’s eyes went wide. “Of course not.”

“So you think their quirks aren’t cool?”

“No, Brainwashing and Erasure are such versatile –”

“No need to tease him, Denki,” Sero interrupted as he set a firm hand on Denki’s shoulder.

Staring down at his worn-out sneakers, Denki sighed in defeat. “Sorry, Hanta. I was trying to… you know… lighten the mood.”

“Yeah, I see what you were going for, dude.” Hanta curled his fist for Denki to give a weak fistbump against. “How about we focus on the rescue now and you can crack all the bad jokes you want later?”

“Alright, man,” Denki said.

The moonlit alley turned into a blur for Denki. Bright flashes of light emerged as roller skates materialized from Momo’s palms. As Midoriya and Shouto got in position on each side of Iida as she slipped on the skates, Hanta placed himself at the front of the formatting – ready to reel in Hitoshi and Aizawa with his tape.

As Iida prepared to rev his engines, frost crawled up Shouto skin. Green lightning sparked around Midoriya. During the countdown for select members of the rescue team to blast themselves across the battlefield, Denki knelt down and whispered to Momo.

“Hey, Momo. Can you make circuits?”

Momo furrowed her brows. “Yes, of course. How come?”

“We’re gonna put capacitors in parallel.”

Growing paler by the second, Momo gawked at Denki. “But as my first physics textbook said… ‘in parallel sends you to hell’ .”

Denki bit down on the inside of his mouth hard as the masked villain sent out another wave of his murderous aura. “Well, if worst comes to worst we’ll need something really flashy to distract the villains.”

My name is Shinsou Hitoshi, and I was bitten by a radioactive spider - samthehyena - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)
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