I Hold With Those Who Favor Fire
It's always Deku or one of the kids that go back in time to fix things. It's always the children that bare the burden, that remember the horrors that required such drastic measures to overcome...
But what if it was Enji?
Warning: So SO AU, Time Travel, starts Pre-Canon and moves on into it, I WILL HAVE MIGHTY PARENTS OR DEATH, FIGHT ME.
Enji Todoroki hit his knees, sucking in a sharp pained breath. His eyes darted around even as he braced himself with a hand on the ground. Blood dripped from his body, his hero costume was in tatters, and every breath felt like glass over his throat.
Sweet kami, it worked.
Enji pulled in a breath that turned into a sob midway. It worked. He was- he didn't know what he had been doing before, but he was in a forest he hadn't seen standing in a little over a year. A Noumu had destroyed it. Leveled it until it was only ashes and craters left. A desolate wasteland barren of any vegetation.
His legs shook as he shoved himself to his feet, ignoring the grating scrape of his broken ribs with long practice. His leg tried to buckle under his weight, but Enji locked it and refused to allow his knees to hit the ground a second time.
He turned, scanning the surroundings. A forest fire. He could see the smoke ahead of him- he must have been on rescue duty. Considering he had been headed out and he hadn't had any civilian in his arms nor could he sense any in the surroundings, he must have been done with containment.
In the distance was the distinct sound of helicopter blades beating the air. Probably a news crew, par for the course in these instances. Enji lifted his head, barely catching the blue of the sky over the dark haze of the smoke that was beginning to dissipate. Between that and the fire, visibility was low and as he was the only witness, there should be no problem with his story once he finished.
He'd check one last time, just to be sure, even with his injuries. He pushed away the pain and lifted a faintly trembling arm to wipe the blood dripping down his face. He'd taken several hits trying to get back, when Shigaraki had tried to interfere, but he couldn't leave anyone in this forest with what he was planning to do- what he needed to do.
Deku had planned for it all. He'd been meticulous in it, and Enji couldn't help but respect the hell out of the man that boy had become, even if it was at the cost of his mentor. Deku hadn't been sure where he would show up in the past, only that it would be near some conflict, but this was something Enji could work with. That boy's encyclopedic knowledge of practically every fight in Endeavor's career definitely helped.
Once he was sure the forest was empty he placed himself near the fire and he let go.
His flames roared as he built them up, hotter and hotter and bigger. He knew the Rescue Protocols with a fire like this, and the civilians would have been evacuated out even as Heroes with water quirks would be containing the mess to the forest that had already caught fire.
He would be able to let go, to vent, and to set up his cover story without worrying too hard about the fire that would cause getting out of hand.
He screamed alongside the raging flames, watching the orange brighten and change colors as he cranked the intensity up. He shoved his rage, his pain over everything in the future that was no more, everything that had happened into his fire, watching it dance around him.
The lingering trees around him disintegrated into ashes around him and the ground cracked from the heat he was releasing. The air was visibly wavering and had anyone other than him been anywhere near, they would have either burned to death or suffocated from the lack of oxygen.
Enji let his head tip backwards, looking up at the sky, as his flames- a bright blue-white at this point- surged over the tree line. When his legs shook underneath him again, and his vision blackened just a bit at the edges, he pulled his rage, his pain back, shoving them into the darkest corners of his mind. He made sure to pull his own flames back as much as he could even as he staggered for the tree line in the distance. Just because it could be controlled by the others didn't mean it had to be.
He wobbled, using the few trees left standing as an aide for moving as he weaved his way to the news crews and ambulances that protocol mandated be present. He'd need it. His vision was spotty and while he was moving under his own power, his strength was quickly fading. It was only long practice with forcing himself forward even with injuries that kept him moving.
He cursed under his breath as his bones- bruised, cracked, aching- or just flat out broken- protested carrying his weight, and every movement pulled on his lacerations and cuts, visible skin painted black and blue with bruises.
He looked like hell. The cameras and reporters would absolutely be recording this and taking pictures and soon they would be plastered all over the news.
He didn't care, he was just so glad it worked.
Bless that boy.
Enji could see the flashing lights of the police and ambulances on the scene through the trees, despite the growing darkness of his sight. Over the ringing in his ears, he could hear the crowd's murmurs growing louder as he neared them. They couldn't see him yet, but his flames had certainly caught attention. The barrier has definitely moved back some distance, which was wise considering the amount of firepower he had displayed.
He staggered again as he released the trees holding him up, stepping into sight and scanning the crowd. It was getting harder to breathe and there was the familiar taste of blood in his mouth. The noise level swelled from worried, confused murmuring to a chorus of cries and screams of horror and shock as he came fully into view.
Enji ignored it, bee-lining for one of the paramedics, who unfroze after a moment and rushed to meet him with a collection of team members. Bless every crisis management class those people were required to take. Enji couldn't help but be thankful as the leg that hadn't wanted to hold his weight, and the black that edged his vision finally won over sheer willpower.
His legs folded under him, even as he usually flung out an arm as his vision blackened completely before the paramedic made it to his side. He crumpled to the ground, wheezing as his ribs screamed and he felt more than heard the hands on his broken body before his consciousness slid away.
Enji woke up sluggish and slow. There was a heaviness to his limbs and it was difficult to open his eyes. It amped up his anxiety, as he never did that, not even before the Disaster, back when he had simply been Number Two. He'd always been the sort to wake up all at once, ready to go, able to fight.
He couldn't do that right now.
Something was in his blood, in his system, that made him slow.
Had he been captured?
Had someone shot him with a tranq?
Did he fight someone with a quirk recently?
Where was he?
What had happened?
Where were his kids?
Blue flames, ash in the air, ice on the ground, a moment frozen in time, red and white, a scream trapped in his throat-
Enji sucked in a harsh breath, and vaguely registered the beeping sound he could hear getting faster. He heard movement beside him, and shoved his body forward without thinking, ignoring how sluggish it felt, forcing limbs to obey his command. His hands lashed out- the drug slowing his movements, but not enough to stop his hand from closing over fabric.
His lips pulled back over his teeth, baring them as he yanked whoever he had grabbed into view, as they had been coming at him from the side and behind his head. His flames barely managed to rise to his call but there was warmth down his limbs.
He blinked in confusion as the fight left his body and he came face to face with a startled nurse, who had their hands up and open. Her body language was relaxed and as his surroundings were lighted by sunlight, he could clearly see her features. There was a familiar pressure that gently forced his body to automatically calm and the dots connected in his mind.
Ash blonde hair that was immediately recognizable, the nostalgic feeling of a well known quirk used by a nurse who has treated him many times. Hero nurses tended to be assigned to Pros, as they had habits of coming up swinging and angry after a fight that put them in the hospital. It was better- safer- to have someone the Pro recognized taking care of them when they woke up. Hero nurses were trained to deal with Pros waking violently, to judge their moods and the best way to react to the situation.
Shinsou-san had been his personal nurse for years- before the Disaster.
He relaxed his position as memories came back, letting his flames to recede back into his body. He loosened his hold on the nurse's uniform, allowing himself to lay back into the bed.
"Sorry," he grunted at the woman, the word coming out hoarse and whisper thin. Her quirk was voice-based, a variant of persuasion and thus able to calm him down. Which was why she had been assigned to him- aside from her calm and easy going temperament. "Didn't recognize you."
"It's alright, Todoroki-san, please don't force yourself to speak. You've been in our care for eight days. Your wife just left for the cafe to get your family lunch."
Enji froze in his bed, ignoring the dull throbbing of still aching wounds, tuning out the rest of Shinsou-san's words even as he registered them and cataloged them in the back of his head.
Koyuki was still-
Enji shoved himself up, much to the alarm of Shinsou-san, and couldn't help the hiss of pain that involuntarily left his lips. The nurse quickly and efficiently pushed him back down, although she did adjust his bed into a more upright position. Regardless of the light, fluttering touches as his nurse checked his IVs and oxygen before whirling around with the promise of water, Enji's thoughts were far away.
What was the date?
How far had he come back?
And how could he get ahold of Toshinori?
His eyes focused on Shinsou-san as she began to ask what he remembered, a cup of water held out to him, as she questioned- when he remembered silent- if he could tell her what had happened.
Right. Right. He had a job to do. People- Deku screaming at him, screaming for him to go-run and save them, save us-to save.
He sipped carefully at the water, absently checking it for drugs or poisons before he actually tasted it. It slid pleasantly down his abused and dry throat and he was temporarily racked by a coughing fit that sent shooting spikes up pain across his ribs. He quickly calmed and downed the rest of the liquid before he spoke.
"There-" he paused, narrowing his eyes as if remembering, "there was a villain."
He let his eyes widen, shoved his body into a sitting position again, ignoring the pain that lanced through him as he rushed through his next words in a rough tones-
"I need to see All Might!" He let his need, show in his eyes, the determination that he carried in his soul. He would see Toshinori, would see his future- his kids' future-
-Shouto screams, and fire rages even as ice spikes into the sky-
-rubble rises into the air and Uravity snarls-
-electricity crackles over the air and Charge Bolt is screaming at them to run even as he charges forward, his face twisted in determination-
"Todoroki-san, we can't-"
"I need to see All Might, right now, Shinsou-san. It's important!" he hissed as the nurse attempted to push him backwards once more, but Enji resisted.
Instead, his own hands clamped down on her wrists, his grip firm, but not painful as he stares into startled and concerned purple eyes that rose to meet his gaze. Something in her gaze firms and she nods sharply, once and takes a step back as Enji releases his grip on her.
"I have a number I can call, Todoroki-san, please wait patiently."
Enji nodded firmly, relaxing back against the elevated bed, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. He knew she'd be able to get into contact with him. They wouldn't give out the information, but the hospital- especially ones that looked after Pros- has ways to get into contact with all the big name heroes for quick response time and protection.
This was it.
This was the beginning.
If he could talk to Toshinori- if he could convince him right here- everything would change. He wouldn't be able to change what he needed to change on his own. He'd need people in his corner. Earth shakers, big names, people who could get things done.
But most of all, he'd need the pillar that held up the world. The Symbol of Peace, the Number One Hero.
Toshinori was the most important to convince.
It was why Enji would be telling him- and only him- the truth. He knew it would take some convincing, but Deku- Izuku- had helped him with that. Had given him information he would have no way of knowing without being told by Toshinori himself or someone very close to him.
Someone like his successor.
He swallowed hard.
Everything rode on this moment. His hands shook just a little as he stared at the wall without seeing it.
Izuku had been Toshinori's son in all but blood. Enji wouldn't hesitate to tell All Might that. Their time together- it wasn't enough before it ended.
None of them had enough time, but Enji was the only one who wasted nearly all of it.