Shouto sat in Grassy patch with his mother. They were in the class 1A memorial Park. It was for all the fallen heroes of class 1A. They were currently in front of Izuku's Stone. It had a picture of his smiling face. Kind words and facts were carved into the stone. Shouto was deep in thought as he stared into nothingness. The past 4 months had been so incredibly stressful, moving, cleaning, cooping…... Why did he feel so alone? Even with the support of his classmates and boyfriend, hell, even endeavors been nicer. Yet, he felt alone, as if everyone had turned their backs to him. He felt a hand on his shoulder and blinked, looking over to see Rei, his mother, smiling softly down at him.
"Everything okay? You've been in your head a lot" Rei asked, moving a strand of hair out his face. Shouto looked at his mother, eyes glossy. He'd been thinking about this for awhile, maybe a talk with his mom would help. He took a deep breath and shook his head.
" Do you think Izuku is proud of me?" he asked, his voice strained " It's been 4 months and I haven't done nearly as much as he did in his first 4 months. He save us from the U.S.J, saved me during the sports festival, saved koda from the camp, saved Bakugou, Eri. He's saved so many people, and yet… I can't even save myself from these stupid nightmares!" Tears brimmed his eyes as he shook slightly.
"Oh baby," Rei smiled in only a way a mother could. She cupped his face in her hands." Of course he's proud of you. It's only been 4 months since that game and you've come so far in recovery. I've been recovering for over 10 years and i'm still not fully better, even if you still suffer from nightmares, you're getting better. I'm sure izuku is more than pleased that your okay." she wrapped her arms around the the man who would always be her little boy as he finally broke down letting out all the emotions he bottled up since the dreadful day. He gripped the front of her shirt as he sobbed, his head buried in her chest.
" I miss him, mommy. I miss him so much" he sobbed brokenly, tears flowing freely down his cheeks. A brief thought of how much he was acting like his fallen lover brought more tears to his eyes.
They sat like that for an hour, Shouto's sobs diminishing into sniffles. His mother pulled back to stare at him, a warm smile on her face. "Shouto, I love you, and he did too. Please do not blame yourself for what happened. Just Work hard on being a hero. For him?" She gently wiped a tear away.
Shouto rubbed his eye, taking in another shaking breath. " F-for him" Rei nodded and picked herself off the grass, pulling him up with her. " It's time to go back already?" He asked, surprised and sad at how fast time had gone by. Had he really spent all their time together crying?
"Yeah, I promise we'll do something fun the next time the hospital allows me to leave." she smiled. Shouto liked that about her. Even after her normally stoic son sobbed his heart out, after all the things life put her through, she still somehow manage to smile. Just like him.
He quietly walked her to the hospital, waving as they parted ways. He walked back to the park, where he saw a familiar purple haired boy standing in front of the same grave he was at moments ago. He smiled sadly, at least happy to have both of lovers in the same proximity even if it would never be like it used too.
" Hitoshi….." He muttered, coming to a stand next to him.
" It's been a whole 4 fucking months. We've cleaned the school, spent 3 months in a different school while we relocated U.A. And spent 3 weeks at home. It's just been so long and I.." Hitoshi muttered quietly, eye never leaving the stone which was the last remains of their Boyfriend. Shouto grabbed his hand and gave it firm squeeze.
" It's okay" he mumbled, voice barely above a whisper. Hitoshi turn to face him. He brushed his free hand under his eye, whipping away a tear he didn't even know was there.
" You were crying, what happened?" Shouto looked at the ground, not wanting to admit to him that he had a breakdown. He felt a hand grip his chin and was forced to meet his lover's remaining purple eye." Please, don't lock me out again." His eye was glossy.
Shouto felt a pull at his chest. After that day, Shouto had pushed everyone away, even his own mother. He honestly didn't know how to express how he felt, and it wasn't until they had to go back home that he opened back up.
He still didn't want to talk about how he felt, and even had a hard time talking with his therapist. He hated feeling like that, but it was starting to take a toll on his relationship, and if he had to drop his pride, and personal safety net, so be it. Because he wouldn't last without Hitoshi.
"I-I had a talk with my mom, somethings about Izuku...I don't wanna talk about it right now because I know I'll just have another meltdown." He muttered. Hitoshi nodded and tucked him into his side, tilted his chin up with a steady Hand and kissed him lightly, softly poured all the love he never thought he could carry into his kiss.
" When you are ready to talk and I don't care about what it could be, I'll be here to listen baby." Hitoshi offered and smiled that heartstopping grin that made them fall head over heels with him. Shouto took a shaky breath and nodded his head, took comfort in having somebody to share his grief with. The others lost a friend, their classmate but Shinsou and him lost their lover and their best friend. A big hole laid where their soulmate used to reside.
" God I miss him, more than I thought was possible." Hitoshi croaked. " but I would always be grateful for the love he given me in such a short time period, for giving me you." Shouto didn't say anything but the tears making their way down his face said more than his mouth ever could.
Hitoshi wiped the tears away. " I'm gonna be here for a few more minutes. Do you wanna go say hi to Yaoyorozu?"
Shouto nodded and looked over to a brunette, long hair laying flat against her back, unlike the ponytail they saw time and time again. Shouto slowly walked over to her, standing beside her. In front of them was a stone, similar to Izuku's, with the the words
Here lies Kyouka Jirou, a hero who gave her life so others could prosper, Here lies a True Hero.
They stood there in silence, before momo finally spoak, eyes never leaving the remains of her lover. " Do you ever have nightmares? About that day?"
"Y-yeah, every night" he responded, staring at his hands. God, the nightmares were the worst.
" Does… does it feel real?"
"Yes, phantom pains are a big part of that"
"Sometimes I try to stay up, to delay it."
" But, it never works for me. Because whenever I'm alone in the dark, It's like he's still there. I can't be alone at night because then I start to think…."
" And thinking is worst than a nightmare because.."
" You can't just wake up!" they said in unison, eyes momentarily meeting before they both looked away. Tears filled Shouto's eyes and he rubbed harshly at them. He didn't want to cry, he had to be stronger. For him!
" I feel like i've betrayed her by going out with Toru. I know she'd want me to move on, but I just…." Momo muttered, rubbing her arms.
Silence filled the air once more, no one daring to speak. Finally Shouto had enough of the painful quiet and grabbed Momo's hand, looking at her as she met his gaze. " Promise me we'll help each other when it gets tough?" He stared deeply into her eyes as she collected herself.
Momo gave a watery smile as she wiped her eyes. " Promise!" She threw her arms around him, and while he normally hates physical contact like hugs, he hugged her back. She giggled slightly.
" What's so funny?" Shouto asked.
" How soft you've become" she teased as she pulled back and wiped the remaining tears away. Shouto stuck his tongue out and she playfully punched his shoulder. " Lets go back to the dorms, Mina wants to throw a sleepover."
Shouto grimace and groaned. " I'm not sure. It's just too much social interaction."
"Come on. You can't just stay in your room for the rest of your life, It's not healthy! Please? For at least a little bit? He wouldn't want this."
Shouto's breath hitched. It was a low blow and she knew it. Tears in his eyes burned as he willed the feeling away. He barked out his nexted words" Fine, for half an hour, then I'm going back to my room." He crossed his arms in a bratty type way. Momo jumped with a small 'yay!'. A sliver Of a smile crossed his face because it feels like it's been so long since they were able to smile.
Momo grabbed his wrist and dragged him over to his boyfriend, who was standing next to a one legged girl. " Asui, Shinsou! Shouto is actually coming to the sleepover" she called once they were close enough.
The frog girl turned to face them, shifting on her crutches. " Kero, call me Tsu!" She said sternly, eyes narrowed.
Momo flinched slightly " Sorry" She looked to the ground. Asui nodded.
" I can't believe you're actually coming" Hitoshi said, trying to relieve the tension.
" Yeah," Tsuyu said, looking over " You've been pretty to yourself, not that I can really talk." Shouto sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time.
" I'll only be there for a little bit" he said. Hitoshi rolled his eyes and grabbed his hand.
" How about we go shopping for some pj?" Momo suggested. They all agreed and quickly got there stuff and left to the train station.
" Man, that was amazing!" Momo sighed, hugging the bag in her arms.
" Yeah, kero, that was pretty fun." The frog girl sat in the wheelchair she was given, Hugging a stuffed bird like her life depend on it. Shouto pushed the wheelchair to the front of the mall, humming a song his mother sung to him.
" I hope they like the snacks" hitoshi muttered, sifting the bags in His arms.
" I'm sure they'll love them, there is chocolate after all" Shouto said, helping Asui out the wheelchair, and onto her crutches. "By the way, when are you due for your prosthetic leg?"
"Kero, next week I think" she steaded herself before they continued their walk to the train station, chatting about mundane things.
It was a quick train ride and by the time they walked up to the dorms, the sky was painted a beautiful array of oranges and pinks. Yaoyorozu stopped quickly to snap a few pics. They were, of course, scolded by Aizawa for returning past 6pm. To anyone else, 6 seemed a tad too early for a bunch of 17 year olds, but going through what they went through, the teachers wanted everyone in the dorms before the sun began to set, the latest being 7 During the hotter months. As an extra preconstruction, Aizawa now lived in the dorms with them, it might've seem a bit to much, but U.A was making sure nothing else happened to their students.
They took the stuff to the kitchen and went to change into their PJ's. They came downstairs, they could see everyone had moved into the common room, taking the snacks with them.
"Aww, you guys look awesome." mina said as they entered the common room.
Tsuyu was in a all black onesie, a big stuffed bird in her arms. Momo had a big white and purple dress shirt. Hitoshi had a pair of white pants and a red and white cat jacket. Shouto had a green bunny onesie, a deku doll gripped tightly in his arms.
" Thank you, mina." Yaoyorozu smiled happily. " sorry we went to the mall without you"
Mina waved it off and ushered them over. They'd moved all the couches over so they formed a semi circle of sorts. The middle floor was covered in pillows, two tables in the middle with the snacks neatly in bowls and cups.
Shouto sat in one of the plush chairs, looking over his classmates. Kaminari was fiddling with his air tank on the opposite couch, Uraraka was floating stuffed animals around, Iida yelling at her. Kirishima and sato playing some game on the tv with most of their (remaining) classmates watching. Bakugou had already dozed off and Mina was now drawing on his face. Tour and Momo were sitting on the ajasont couch, reading quietly together. Shouto smiled softly to himself, content with the class.
Shouto watched with amusement. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all. After a few more rounds of Kirishima's game, and bakugou waking up, things got a bit more rowdy. Uraraka and iida managed to keep bakugou from exploding Mina. After the hipe, everyone decided on a movie. Shouto sighed as he curled into hitoshi side as Mina and Uraraka fought over which movie to watch. After much bicker, they settled on a movie called 'men in black'.
Everyone quieted down as the movie started up. After sometime, shouto feet his eyelids grow heavy. Feeling that he deserved at least a little break, he allowed himself to slip from consciousness.
Loud screams filed Shouto's head, and at first he thought it was another nightmare. That was until he realized that they sounded much clearer and closer, almost…..real.
Shouto shot to and frantically looked around. Arms gripped his midsection, and when he turned, he met the terrified purple eye of his boyfriend. Bit his eye ware not on him, but rather the screen behind him. Turning his head, Shouto felt his breathing stopped. He felt his heart skip a beat as his chest grew unbearable tight as he took in everything.
On screen stood six figures in a circle, bathed almost pitch darkness. But even in that darkness, he was able to make out on person. That unruly green hair was impossible to miss. "W-what is happening?" He spoke finals, able to find his voice.
"We don't know. All that's been said is that this is live" Momo croaked. Shouto looked back to the TV, god how he wanted to scream and cry right then and there. He was so close, yet so fucking far. He so fucking weak. It wasn't fair! He wanted to be there-No- he needed to be there for Izuku. He watched as the green-haired boy on screen began to stir.
Salty tears burned hot paths down his face as he understood what he was about to watch. The game never ends.
Dead weight. That's what Midoriya's limbs felt like as his minded finally stirred to consciousness. His eyes fluttered as he tried to focus on his surrounding, allowing them to adjust to the faint light. In the cold confines of this unfamiliar place, six bodes, including his own, stood motionless. Midoriya's heart began to race. His first instinct was to lighten the room with One for All, but nothing happened. His breath begane to quicken as he looked for doors, Windows, anything that could identify his location. Instead, all he could see were stones bare walls. It was at that same moment that he spotted 5 of his classmates. They stood frozen, in a circle around the room, their eyes shut as if in peaceful sleep. With no obvious light source, Midoriya strained to make out what illuminated their bodies. When he focused hard enough, he could make out a single translucent sliver of magic that surrounded them like a ring. His eyes darted to his own body and he realized that he was surrounded by what seemed to be a quirk. Though it was rare , this quirk was unmistakable.
Across the room, Kota began whimpering softly as he too came to consciousness.
" Kouda?" Midoriya asked, Trying to keep his composer.
"Midoriya….where are we?" Kouda whispered
" Don't move, Kouda! The magic surrounding us is dangerous. Whatever you do don't leave the circle. Do You understand?"
Kouda mearly nodded.
"Why? What is it?" Tokoyami asked. Midoriya and kouda turned to him, his stance suggested he was about the to take a step, but was hesitant after hearing Midoriya's warning.
" It's a very old magic. It was used to contain extremely dangerous things….. And people. Anything that leaves the circle will be met with a shock. The tip of the finger can send a wave of electricity through the Body, but anything more than that can be deadly." Midoriya explained, his expression grave.
" That doesn't make any sense. Who in the world would do such a thing, to a bunch of High Schoolers nonetheless" Tokoyami asked angrily
" Ugh...what….what's going on? Tokoyami...is that you? " Aoyama called out groggily.
"Hey...What's going on?" Sero interjected
"My head feels like mush, I think I'm dying" Jirou added
" DON'T MOVE! keep yourselves inside the ring until I figure out how to get us out of here" Midoriya warned.
"Very good Izuku. I knew I could count on you to keep everyone before our little test."
Midoriya picked up at the seventh voice. His head snapped to the source of the sound. He tried to focus his eyes on it. Midoriya knew that voice.
" Aika, what's going on, and how did we get here?" Midoriya asked cautiously.
A woman with straight, short red hair and a white mask that covered the left side of her face stepped out of a dark corner and used her quirk to ignite torches resting on each wall, an additional torch appearing above the camera. Her face was devoid of any emotion. " A short time ago, I had a thought. You see, my quirk is almost as powerful as your, which is quite impressive. And that got me thinking….is Being a hero all it's cracked up to be?" she asked, positioning herself in the middle of the circle of hero's
" What are you talking about? let us go!" Sero insisted, shifting and suppressing the urge to attack.
" All in good time, Sero. All in good time. Now, where was I? Ah yes, I am almost an adult with enough power to control and entire city, after a time-travel spell, and defeat a villain with the flick of my wrist. Does that sound like someone who still needs lessons on how to be a good hero or friendship?"
" What are you saying?" Aoyama asked, confused.
"I'm saying I don't need your friendship, and I certainly don't need the second hand power it gives you. Still, your class is impressive. You've saved Japan enough times to warrant some attention. I couldn't get more of you so you six will have to do. I merely want to test your magic against my own. I want to see what happens when six spirit of heroism are forced to face the traits they embody. Maybe then we will now what true power hero's have in this world."
" You don't know what your talking about! You've seen first hand how powerful heroes and teamwork can be. I thought you embraced it and understand where you went wrong" Midoriya insisted.
" I DID try! I did EVERYTHING you stupid little hero's said would bring fulfillment to my life. But you can't erase a lifetime of emptiness and disappointment. You can't mend a broken soul so easily just because you assign it to Me like a little girl's homework! HE didn't think I could become a hero… No one THOUGHT I could be a hero. You hero's would have sent me straight to jail if Midoriya hadn't stopped you. Hero's are a LIE!" Aika screamed, the vengeance seeping from the last word. She cleared her throat and replaced he tears with the mask off unfeeling, pretending the lapse of emotion hadn't happened.
" That's not true! I've saved lots of people being a hero" Jirou interjected, huffing angrily.
" There's really no point in reasoning with me, the test has already begun. You see, your heroism has always based on your ability to embrace generosity, kindness, laugher, loulty, honesty, and power. But what if you were given a situation where those same traits could hurt rather than help you?" Aika proposed.
"You're sick" Aoyama exclaimed.
"As Midorita so kindly explained, these rings are very deadly. It was quite hard to get my hands on, but it was only a matter of time. There's no use in trying to use your quirks, as they've been disabled. You won't be able to use them until I remove your magical , there will be six tests conducted on each of those six traits. When the tests are over, you may go and punish me how you see fit, proving once and for all that heroes surpass all. If, however, you can't or won't perform;I doubt you'll be leaving this room, Alive."Aika held her chin up height, looking into midoriya's eyes
"Alive?" Kouda quivered.
"Well it's not a very good test of extreme situations if the stakes aren't high enough. But let's not waste anymore time on questions. I'm sure your all eger as I am to began." Her hands began to glow as she dragged a strange device from another corner into the center with her. It appeared to be a large mettle egg resting atop fire wood. Inside the egg were coals and a long metal road. Akia's remained locked with Midoriya as her magic engulfed the wood in a fiery blaze. They all stare in wonder and horror as the metal began to turn a red-orange color. Midoriya's eyes widen as he understood what the metal rod really was. Akia twirled the branding iron around the teens before her.
"The first test is a test of kindness."