English is not my native language, so forgive me if there are any grave mistakes.
Rated T mostly because of Bakugo.
Have fun, drop off a review!
"Did you hear?"
A young boy smiled excitedly. "About the Avatar, of course!"
The other stared at him incredulously. "Yes, I heard of the Avatar. It's hard not to, you know."
"That's not what I meant!" The child's eyes rolled dramatically. "There's word on the street that he was over at Sugiya village a few days ago!"
The teenager shook his head. "Can't be. Even with a flying bison, there's no way he could have been there so soon after that festival over at the Fire Nation palace."
"Oh! Talking about the Fire Nation!" The child's smile grew even wider. "I'm sure that Fire Lord Zuko was with him!"
The older merely sighed. "Now why would the Fire Lord be in an Earth Kingdom village out in the middle of nowhere?"
"What do I know! But," his voice lowered dramatically, "According to Lee, there were two men. He saw them taking down some thugs who were sneaking around at night! Anyway, one of them froze those guys to the ground, but he also held a flame in his hand! There are no other people who can bend two elements, silly!"
This had finally caused the older boy's interest. "That sounds… possible. But are you sure Lee's eyes didn't play a trick on him?"
"No! His brother Sensu was also there and said the guy used two elements!"
A thoughtful nod. "And why are they so sure the other one was the Fire Lord?"
"Because he was shooting lightning around and the two seemed to be really good friends! And I didn't even tell you about the weird hair!"
"Yeah! The Avatar wore a hood, but it fell down. Apparently he has white and red hair! Sounds so strange, doesn't it?"
"White and red hair."
"Yeah! Split down in the middle. Could be an airbender thing, don't you think?"
Silence fell over the two boys. It didn't last long before the younger jumped to his feet. "You are no fun! I'm going to find someone else who will believe me!"
Tired eyes watched the boy run towards an unsuspecting traveler, asking him if he had heard the news about the Avatar.
He run his hands through his hair. Strange. I know that Fire Lord Zuko was still at that solstice festival not even a week ago. Even if he did hitch a ride with the Avatar, he couldn't have been here in under a week! His eyes darted in the direction of their neighbor village. It would make sense, considering this rumors about that fire bender back then… but what about the Avatar? Why should he be here? And why would no one have seen him? And of course… what was he talking about with the hair color?
He let out a long suffering sigh. Their eyes must have played a trick on them. The Avatar doesn't even have hair from what I've heard!
Deciding that the rumors were nothing more than that, he slowly rose to his feet. He had to go out into the woods to hunt. It had become cold outside, with heavy snowfall impairing his vision. But their village was low on supplies and he'd rather hunt today instead of postponing it again. While life had become significantly easier now that the war was over, there was still much to be rebuilt. Many of the village's men had not come back from the war. Some would never.
It had been half a year and the villagers had become accustomed to the thought. It also meant that a lot of the younger children were helping where they could. Children just barely on the verge of adulthood, like himself.
He checked himself over and decided to treat himself a warm drink before heading out again.
Entering the tavern, he nearly bumped into two people enveloped by heavy cloaks to keep out the biting cold. "Sorry", he grunted out.
One of them flashed him a smile underneath his hood. "No worries, man. Should have looked where I was going."
Slightly put off by the man's (teenager's. That guy couldn't be much older than him, right?) articulation, he tried getting a closer look into his face. For a second, he couldn't believe his eyes.
Before he could get a second look, the teenager drawled out a "Take care!" and left with his companion.
They left a completely bewildered teenager behind. Had he just seen that? He could have sworn that the man's hair had been… yellow! And hadn't it become slightly warmer as the second guy had passed him?
He shook his head. Perhaps it would be better if he did not go hunting today. His senses were playing tricks on him.
He settled into a seat and enjoyed a warm drink, listening with half an ear to the chatter around him.
Most of it was about the Avatar and his friend, the Fire Lord.
He payed it no mind.
Denki Kaminari pulled his cloak tighter once the first gust of wind hit him head on.
His companion slowed his step and finally halted. "You alright over there?"
Denki resisted the urge to growl at him. "I'm freezing!"
"Take my cloak, then."
Some part of Denki's sleep deprived brain found the situation hilarious as he watched the other boy take off the cloak and slowly drape it across the shivering boy's shoulders. "Oh, it's warm. Who's to say chivalry is dead?"
The other snorted, his brain likely creating the same image before his eyes.
"You know, you should have probably kept the hood. Or at least put a scarf or something around your head. You heard those kids talking before, right?"
Heterochromic eyes stared at him for a second before his classmate shook his head. "We're entering a blizzard right now. Nobody in their right mind would be out here at this weather."
"Which is precisely why we are here! No, seriously, is this okay? Are you not cold at all?"
"I'm using my left to keep myself warm."
They slowly trudged through the snow, their acquired goods bumping heavily across their backs. Denki rubbed his hands together in an effort to keep them warm. He wasn't even surprised that he failed.
Part of him cursed their situation to hell and back. Here he was, cold and wet, never mind hungry and tired. And his partner didn't seem in the mood to talk – then again, he never was – which left Denki's imagination to run wild whenever a tree up ahead creaked. Save for those sounds and the rustling of the wind it was ominously silent.
"So", he started, just wanting to get rid of the silence. He didn't know what to talk about, so he shut his mouth. The other merely glanced at him before continuing forward as if he hadn't heard anything,
Denki cursed himself. He should really have asked a third person to come along. Then Todoroki could enjoy his silence alone while Denki would have someone to talk with!
"So", he tried again, "what do you think is an Avatar?"
This time, Todoroki actually slowed down enough so that he was directly besides him. "I'm not sure. It sounded like a title though. Did you notice how everyone talked about The Avatar? As in only one person?"
"Yeah, I heard. So, did we miss something? I mean, we saw there were people here who manipulate elements, so it shouldn't have surprised anyone to see you use your quirk, right? And while electricity seems to be rare, one of those guys did throw lightning at us, too! And the last few times, nobody even bothered to look twice!"
"Not counting that woman trying to exorcise you because of your hair color?"
"Pssht. She was not trying to exorcise me."
Todoroki gave him the blankest look Denki had ever seen. "She hit you on the head with her broom."
"See? Not an exorcism."
"She also tried to drown you in – what did she call it again? - holy oil meant to dispose of violent spirits."
"Dude, I'm pretty sure she only wanted to wash my hair with that stuff."
"She did also call the town's warriors because there was an evil spirit trying to destroy the town."
"Nah, I think… okay, you may be right. Back on topic, what was different?"
Todoroki mulled the thought over in his head. "I'm not sure. I have used both fire and ice before when people saw us. Even though most seemed uncomfortable or even downright hostile when I used my flames. I don't know what I did differently this time."
"I managed to overhear some people talking about the Avatar's companion, which would most likely be me. They were wondering if I was the Fire King or something."
"Fire Lord I believe is the term they used."
"Yeah. Seems to be because there's a guy who can use electricity who's a friend of that Avatar guy." Denki squinted his eyes trying to see the path ahead, but the storm made it nearly impossible. "I hope the others are okay. Nobody frozen to death and all."
Todoroki gave a slight incline of his head. "We've all had survival training. I'm sure they are fine."
"Just saying. It's freezing, you know."
"Yes, I know. I can't even remember the last time I had to put his much energy into regulating my own body temperature."
Denki startled. Todoroki always seemed to possess no real limit as to how much energy he used up. The only time his dual quirk seemed to have a drawback was when his own temperature was getting too high or too low. He bit his lip. In this strange world, Todoroki was the one who could use his quirk the most, simply because it did resemble whichever elemental powers the natives used. He himself could pass, but there had been an incident a while back where someone had seen him use his electricity and asked him about a demonstration of his fire. Which had nearly escalated.
Bakugo too seemed to be accepted easily. Except his hair, which wasn't that much of a surprise anymore. Apparently there were only black and brown haircolors in this world as opposed to their own. He thought back to the strange reactions of people upon seeing his bright yellow hair and snickered. Todoroki threw him a strange look. "You alright over there?"
"Just thought back to that other village. How do you think would they have reacted if it had been Midorya walking down the streets with me instead of good old Bakugo?"
"Less yelling and even more exorcism."
If the sound coming across Denki's lips was less of a snicker and more a giggle, nobody would ever know. Save for Todoroki, who wouldn't even think about telling a soul.
Thinking about his friend sombered his mood instantly. While he and Bakugo could apparently pass as people with fire power as long as nobody watched close enough, most of them couldn't use their quirks at all. Which meant that they really couldn't lose Todoroki. "You sure you don't need your cloak? Don't want to get you sick only because I'm a little cold."
Todoroki gave him the tiniest smile. "Seriously, it's alright. It's only taking a bit more effort than normally. I'm miles away from my limits."
Denki suppressed a relieved sigh. Their situation was bad enough already. "Just let me know if it starts getting worse, right?"
"If you want me to."
With nothing to keep his mind preoccupied, Denki started thinking about the whole Avatar thing again. He knew he wasn't necessarily the brightest of U.A.s students. No, he actually knew he was among the less intelligent. But this screamed trouble. If this Avatar really was a single person and that rumor was going to spread, wouldn't the real Avatar know something was up?
Not that he knew if that was good or bad.
They simply didn't have the needed information. They knew that there were people here that could control elements, there were people that couldn't, and save for some tiniest inventions there wasn't even a hint of any technology. There were apparently some tanks and war balloons though. That thought made Denki shudder in revulsion. There were so many cool things technology could bring to humans, and the only thing this world had were war machines.
He looked up to find Todoroki standing a few meters up ahead, regarding him with a slightly concerned expression.
"Sorry. My mind wandered. How long do you think it will get us to get back to camp?"
"Took us roughly two hours to get here without a blizzard. Not counting the fight, we lost quite a bit time there. I recon about three hours, depending on how much worse the wind gets."
"Aw man. And it's already completely dark! Can't you just make us an ice slide or something?"
"We could try. I hope you can skate. You will have to gain a lot of momentum, else you can't use it to go upwards. Too much of it and you slip."
"Seriously? You always make it look so easy. Let's just try. I think I can figure it out. Besides, it's not as if you can't warm me up if I crash into the snow, isn't it?"
"We'll have to stop every few hundred meters though."
"Huh?" Denki looked at the other completely bewildered. "Why's that?"
"Normally, I skate with my right foot forwards. Allows me to alter the slide faster if something comes up ahead. Also to steady it and keep it even. Plus, I can melt the ice behind me with my left." As if to affirm his claim, Todoroki's left side burst into flames, the red strands of his hair seeming to fade directly into tongues of fire. It seemed to dance around him, the scar above his left eye making it seem like his face was set aflame. "I don't really want a direct trail to our camp. I will have to melt the ice every few hundred meters. We still don't know enough about this world. I don't want to take any risks we can avoid."
"Should not have burned the wig Yaoyorozu made you then."
"It's not as if that was planned."
"Yeah, I know. Just messing with you. So, let's slide!"
Momo Yaoyorozu shivered as she pulled her hand out from beneath her coat. In her hand lay a fire starter which hadn't existed a few seconds before. She wiped her black hair out of her face for the umpteenth time that day only to have the wind push it back again.
They had initially planned not to keep a fire on after dark, but the storm made them all uncomfortable and cranky. Even Uraraka and Midorya had nearly taken a few heads. It hadn't gotten better since Todoroki and Kaminari were running late. They were running low on food and their shelter was not nearly enough. They had at least found some kind of rock formation that allowed them a respite from the neverending wind.
Putting her frozen fingers back under her coat to press them against her skin Momo shivered again. When she pulled her hand out she held another blanket which she threw over to her bickering friends.
She didn't particularly want to take part in that conversation. It sounded like the same one they had since they first woke in this strange world nearly two weeks ago.
Half of them wanted to hide and wait. Since it was only a part of their class that had been transferred here, it was obvious that help would come sooner or later. They could just stay put and wait for help to come. She heard Iida loudly proclaim that they couldn't just rush into this. They had to be smart and stay as far away from anyone who might notice they weren't ordinary.
The other half wanted to enter any town, offer to work there in exchange for a place to sleep, with all of them scouting the respective area for any signs of how they might get home. If they didn't find anything, the would continue to the next town. Bakugo's angry voice reminded her once again that their situation couldn't get any worse.
Lately, they had all started to agree with Bakugo more and more. They were tired of running around in the forest while a storm raged around them.
They had even more reasons now to get out of the cold, especially since the almost-incident not even an hour ago where a tree directly above them had snapped and went straight down. Bakugo's quick reaction had saved them from being crushed. He had simply put his hands up and let loose an explosion that shattered the tree before it could hit them. They had all managed to get hit by splinters but had avoided serious injuries.
But next time, they might not get so lucky. Bakugo's explosion had been much weaker since he was barely sweating at all. Without the nitroglycerin in his sweat, there simply were no explosions.
Even Iida was only arguing because he knew he should be a voice of reason, not because he wanted to stay outside. Everyone of them knew. It was the only reason the fight didn't escalate. Again.
Finally having enough, Momo rose to her feet and called for the others' attention.
"We have to spend tonight here. Todoroki and Kaminari still aren't back and I'm not that fond of us traveling in a blizzard anyway. If we can, we set out for any town tomorrow. Do you all agree?"
Nods accompanied by relieved and thankful glances answered her.
Iida took a step back from where he tried restarting the fire and let Momo set it alight again. He had tried using sticks, but they were too wet and the wind too strong. Even with the lighter it took a few tries until it kept burning.
Their class president thanked her silently before he turned towards the others. "Even though no one should disturb us here, I would like someone to stay on guard all night." Groans and muttered protests were silenced by Iida's raised hands. "Two of our classmates have not come back yet. It is possible that they were hurt in the storm. If they are not back in three hours, we will start looking for them. Even if they were delayed that would be the longest period of time we can spend waiting."
Yaoyorozu decided to chime in while everyone was still paying attention. "We will have to decide where to go tomorrow. The small villages in this area will not be sufficient. The less people there are, the more attention we get. If the boys got everything, we should take a look at the map and figure it out as soon as we can." Again she was met with a series of nods. "Also, we will have to get even more careful with our quirks. We will have to buy clothes to blend in. I can't create them for us since I am not sure what kinds of clothes we will need. Luckily, none of our classmates who can easily be recognised as superhuman are here with us, so we can blend in more easily."
Bakugo let out a snort at that, clearly remembering the debacle on their third day in this world. "Sure we do. Half'n'half doesn't stand out like a sore thumb at all. And neither does Shitty Hair."
Kirishima sputtered as he tried forming a retort. His hands flew up to his bright red hair. "Oh please, as if you didn't! I get the impression that I would stand out less than you!"
Uraraka rubbed her hands slightly before she spoke up. "So the plan is disguises, right?"
Iida nodded. "Not necessarily for you, you don't look that different from them. But for some of us definitely. And as Yaoyorozu already mentioned, our quirks will have to be under control the whole time. No random explosions" Bakugo didn't even bother looking offended, "No teenagers lifting things that five adults couldn't carry" Both Midorya and Uraraka looked slightly ashamed, "Just… nothing. I know that we have used our quirks rather freely since we moved into the dorms, but we are way out of our comfort zone. Please don't do anything rash. Now. Who wants to take first watch?"
Toph sat by a window and stared outside. To her unseeing eyes it was the same as if she were staring into the room, but she was feeling drawn to the outside today. So she sat by the window and thought about going on another adventure. Things had calmed down considerably after the end of the war, but tempers were still running high in some instances. This was the reason she was at this meeting after all. There had been rumors from a small Earth Kingdom town somewhere in the north that some strange looking firebenders had caused a ruckus. Nobody had been hurt, but people just liked to complain about the big, bad firebenders. Apparently it had been two teenagers. One of them had reacted badly to some insult or another and had exploded a cart of cabbages. Toph suppressed a yawn and turned her head back to the officials.
"And what exactly is the problem? This is not exactly the kind of story I can waste my time for." Which, frankly, was a lie. She had nothing to do at the moment. She had been thinking about visiting Sparky in the Fire Nation or going up to the South Pole to visit the Water Tribe siblings. The latter idea had been discharged immediately. It wasn't often that the Earth Kingdom had such harsh winters. For a girl who had to walk barefoot else she was blind it was a tiring experience.
She didn't mind snow as long as it was within reasonable amounts. This was far from reasonable.
"Ma'am, we had three fire nation kids bothering citizens in an Earth Kingdom village. They have to be held responsible!"
"Three? I thought it was two."
An older man sitting by the fire shook his head. "The one with the explosions. One who caused quite a stir when he showed of his lightning bending. And one who put out the flames and pulled the other two away before the authorities could arrive."
Now this caught her interest. "Lightning?" She knew it was rare. To have some kid stroll around casually using lightning was… disturbing. She knew Sparky had gotten the hang of it recently but it still wore him out quickly.
"Not in the usual way. He used tiny amounts of lightning, only sparks of it. He held it and entertained a few kids."
"They don't sound bad to me, you know. Except the boom-boom-guy." Damn, that was her inner Sokka speaking. She could nearly her the men frown. "It wasn't. Until the explosion startled him and he lost control."
Toph's heart skipped a beat before she remembered no one got hurt. "What happened?"
"The lightning spread out and knocked a few people right off their feet. They couldn't move for a while, but it didn't kill them. Still, I want words with that kid. But they disappeared."
Toph's thoughts raced a million miles per minute. "Today's your lucky day, then", she said, "for as the teacher of the Avatar I feel it is my purpose to take this matter into my own hands."
"I was hoping you'd say that. But they have disappeared without a trace."
"There's another matter. About their appearances. It will not help you much though, considering your condition." Toph turned to the other man. She nearly couldn't believe her ears. "I am quite able to hold myself in any situation, thank you very much."
"Yet you cannot perceive color. Two of the young men possessed some strange hair colour, the third was wearing a wig, but he had some hairs sticking out. White hair. Which is quite uncommon among younger people." Toph could nearly feel his sneer. "And the other both had some kind of yellow or golden hair which I have never seen before. You wouldn't even recognize them if they were standing right in front of them."
"Then I will have to ask someone to accompany me." Toph made sure her temper stayed in check. It took nearly everything in her to keep her voice steady and her words tame. For once she was thankful for her parents' insistence of her behaving lady-like. Else she would have probably run a third of the men into the ground already.
"This was a few days back? In this weather, they will not have been able to move much. I'll call in a few favors. Leave this to me."
The men courtly excused themselves and Toph let out a shaky breath. How she hated this situation!
She turned to a servant girl standing by the entrance. "Can you write a letter for me?"
The girl gave a twitch. "I could, but wouldn't it be better if you asked -"
Toph didn't let her finish. "I'm writing a letter to my friend. I don't even care if you tell the whole world about what I'm writing. But I have to get into contact with him as soon as possible."
The girl went to the table and prepared a letter. "What should I write, Miss?"
"Write exactly as I say. Not one word different, got it?"
It's been a while. Obviously I'm not writing this myself, but I have something important to tell you.
There has been a small ruckus a while back in Yuketsu, a small village at the northern border of the Earth Kingdom. You probably haven't heard about it. I sure as hell didn't.
Anyway, this ruckus was caused by some firebending children. One didn't do much, don't know why they even bothered telling me about him. They said something about strange haircolor. Also for the other two. I'll tell you more about that later.
Now the other two are interesting. Remember Sparky Sparky Boom Man? One of the kids had similar skills in blowing things up. I call him the Boom-Boom-Guy, Don't laugh.
The last could be interesting for both you and Twinkle Toes. He played around with concentrated lightning – must have held it for some minutes – and managed to paralyze some people without actually hurting them. Save for some spasms afterwards. You interested?
Truth to be told, I just want to have my personal heater while I sniff around. It sounds quite interesting to me!
If you didn't notice, this was no request. You still owe me a life-changing field trip after all!
Don't write me back, I can't read it anyway. I'll be in Yuketsu, meet me there.
The girl scrutinized the lines and smiled. "Must be a good friend, huh? Whom do I adress it to?"
Toph allowed a smirk to come. "Fire Lord Zuko."
Judging from the girl's incredulous sputtering, this had not been expected.
Well, what did they expect? She was the world's greatest earthbender after all!
Todoroki gave a small huff in confirmation. Despite his earlier claim Kaminari could easily see the frost covering the right side of his body. Not the frost from the outside. Using his icepowers for such a long period of time while also fighting the ice from the outside had obviously taken it's toll on the reserved boy. Kaminari pretended not to notice the way Todoroki's steps seemed to falter ever so slightly. Most likely it would be alright if he got a good night of sleep.
God, he hoped it would.
It had taken him more time than he cared to admit to get the hang out of the ice slide. Todoroki had done his best to align them in a way that gave them shelter from the storm, but had to stop after an hour of constantly fighting against nature. From then on, their trek had become even harder. Despite their hopes the storm hadn't ceded even the tiniest bit. It had taken them more than the three hours estimation that Todoroki had given. Not by far, yet Kaminari shuddered to even think about how long it would have taken them without the slides.
Kaminari could make out individual people now. He could see most of his classmates sleeping around the fire. Two were sitting up and keeping watch, though they hadn't noticed the two boys yet.
"Who's standing there?" Kaminari wasn't sure he had ever heard Todoroki's voice that strained before.
"Can't you see? You getting old already?"
"My vision's been kinda blurry the last twenty minutes or so."
Kaminari slammed to a halt. Todoroki barely avoided stumbling into him. "Why didn't you say so?"
"Didn't matter. I'll be fine after a couple hours of sleep. We had to get back as fast as we could. You started getting blue around the lips about an hour ago. I didn't bother trying to warm you up, it wouldn't have worked. And if I started a fire in this storm I don't know if I would be able to control it."
Kaminari tried formulating a response, but his brain decided that he had had enough excitement for one day. His legs started buckling underneath him. Only muscle memory stopped him from falling face first into the snow. His mind was foggy and his thoughts slower than a slug. "It's Iida. He's looking really concerned. Looks like Midorya is also awake, he's sitting by a fire. Why do they have a fire? Didn't we decide not to have a fire at night the day we arrived?"
"Who cares. I'm tired."
Kaminari smiled slightly. It had taken them so much longer than expected, but they were finally back. Catching sight of Iida finally noticing them, how his face lightened up immediately, he took the last steps into the camp.
He just barely managed to get a blanket over his body before he was out.