Chapter 14

Hitoshi was numb.

There wasn't a better way to describe it. Everything felt muffled and distant, yet at the same time far too real and clear as he sat on the floor of the dark apartment staring up at a smiling and bloody Midoriya Izuku.

He'd been right in front of him. The killer, the murderer, the infiltrator, had been right in front of him since the third week of school.

And Hitoshi hadn't noticed a damn thing.


Bakugou's roars felt distant and dull to Hitoshi as Midoriya smiled down at him. He still wore the same tank top and running shorts he'd worn with Uraraka's face, looking so off on his masculine frame. His arms were thin and lanky, and Hitoshi could see so many scars along them and his collarbone.

Jirou's blood still looked fresh on where it splattered his clothes.

"Shinsou, you really surprised me," he commented, so casual despite the fact he literally just stabbed someone. "I mean, I'm always happy to see you, but I didn't really expect to see anyone here."

The timid, stuttering teenage boy he'd met was gone—no. That boy probably hadn't ever existed, not really. It was just a facade, to lower Hitoshi's guard and mask his true nature. Those green eyes were brighter than he'd ever seen them, in the worst way possible. They shined with madness, a demented ecstasy that no sane person would ever experience.

Even if he wasn't gagged, Hitoshi didn't think he'd be able to speak. He just felt paralyzed.

Midoriya turned and casually strode to a pile of clothes in the corner of the room, grabbing the top one and pulling it on. The gakuran jacket, he realized distantly. It was the uniform Midoriya always wore, the one he'd been trying to place, only it was slightly bigger on him than he remembered.

"Are you kidding me?" Bakugou snarled. "You fucking creep! Stop wearing my damn clothes!"

"But Kacchan, my uniform got all torn up!" Midoriya replied with a frown, pulling on a pair of matching pants over the running shorts. "And I can't wear Sero-kun's UA uniform, it stands out too much! No one would look twice at Aldera though."

Aldera. No wonder the uniform hadn't been in that database Aizawa showed him, it was a middle school uniform.

"I know some people are comfortable with cross-dressing, but I just can't get into it when I'm not transformed into a girl," Midoriya commented casually. "It feels better wearing a boy's uniform. But even when I'm transformed, it can feel weird and uncomfortable. That's why I switched from Uraraka."

Uraraka? Hitoshi's gaze flickered to her, and she swallowed thickly, sensing his unspoken question. "He, he got me on... on Th-Thursday. After, after USJ."

Hitoshi's blood ran cold, eyes growing wide. That far back? The Uraraka from Monday, the one who'd gone to get ice cream and expressed doubts about staying at UA, hadn't been her? Had been Midoriya all along?

No. Wait.

His eyes snapped to Bakugou, realization hitting him hard. As if sensing Hitoshi's revelation Uraraka confirmed it, voice thick and heavy as she tried not to cry. "He, he was Bakugou-kun all along. T-the transformation fell apart, right in front of me..."

"Yeah, it was really unfortunate," Midoriya confirmed with a loose shrug. "At first I thought I'd have to kill her, but then I realized something: Uraraka lives alone!" He beamed at the girl even as she winced, continuing brightly, "I needed a new place to live because I knew that people would start looking for Aunt Mitsuki and Uncle Masaru soon. So it was a super lucky coincidence!"

"You bastard," Bakugou snarled, his voice carrying more seething, simmering hatred than Hitoshi had ever heard. Even as he glared at the green-haired boy Hitoshi could see tears in the corners of his eyes, something that felt oddly out of place. "We took care of you after Auntie Inko died, they even paid for your apartment when you didn't want to move out, and you fucking killed them!"

"I know, but I had no choice," Midoriya replied with a frown, seeming dejected. "There's no way they'd go along with my plan. So they had to go. But I didn't really think it through," he added with a sigh. "I was so excited, I forgot that they couldn't just call out of work forever. Someone would come to check on them sooner or later. And when they did, I couldn't be you anymore because it would be too suspicious for you to not notice they were dead or missing."

Hitoshi's mind swirled with the implications of what he'd just heard, making rapid-fire connections. Midoriya had impersonated Bakugou the first week, up until USJ, and then kidnapped Uraraka.

Bakugou glared a moment longer before scoffing and sharply bowing his head. "Then just fucking kill me already," he grit out bitterly. "I'm sick and tired of this, Deku. Stop drawing this out, you freak, and get it over with already."

Midoriya's smile softened as he walked over, patting the blond's head and making him flinch. "Oh, Kacchan, I'm not going to kill you," he said reassuringly. "You're my best friend! I could never kill you." Bakugou grit his teeth and seemed to be visibly holding back from responding. "It's too bad I couldn't pretend to be you anymore, though. But luckily Uraraka-chan showed up then!"

The girl in question winced at her name, shrinking against her chair with a barely suppressed whimper. "Uraraka-chan and I are so similar, so I thought she'd be perfect! But, then I went to school and had to use the bathroom, and, um..." His face turned a bit pink as he stammered, "Y-yeah, th-that was, um, yeah. S-so!" He clapped his hands. "I needed to trade with someone else! Preferably, um, a boy."

Sero sobbed now, his head hanging and eyes squeezing shut. "K-Kirishima," he choked out, and Hitoshi's blood went cold, glancing at the bathroom door. He could still hear water running inside, the noise almost as ominous as the lingering odor from when Jirou had opened it.

"Yeah, Kirishima-kun was really good!" Midoriya said. "He and I are pretty similar when you get down to it. He was really insecure about his Quirk too, that's why he kept talking about being manly all the time. He was trying to build up his confidence, you know? So, I thought he'd be a perfect fit! But then..."

His face darkened. "Then Monoma-kun copied my Quirk."

Hitoshi's world froze.


Midoriya shouldn't know that it was Monoma copying Quirks.

A muffled noise escaped him, smothered by the filthy, bloody sock and duct tape over his mouth. Midoriya perked up, and grabbed something from the pile where he'd gotten his uniform before scurrying over to crouch in front of Hitoshi. He thrust something forward and Hitoshi winced, half-expecting a knife, but instead he saw... a notebook. A wrinkled notebook that had clearly been drenched at some point, with "Hero Analysis for the Future" written on the cover and partially obscured by a marker.

"You must have a lot of questions, so I thought this would be a good compromise," Midoriya said, smiling sheepishly. "I can't let you use your Quirk for obvious reasons, but it's only fair you get to ask your questions since everyone else did. So go ahead and ask, okay? Anything you want!"

Hitoshi took the notebook and marker with shaking hands, slowly flipping through the wrinkled and warped pages until he found a clean one. His hands trembled as he tried to uncap the marker, his sweaty palms making the cap too slick to grip. He winced when Midoriya reached out to take it, removing the cap for him before placing the marker back in his hand.

"There you go," he said. "Go ahead and write." Hitoshi swallowed and began writing, the characters shaky.

'How do you know it was Monoma?'

Midoriya brightened as he watched the question form. "Oh, so you did know! I thought you might, after the conversation on Thursday. I was Sero back then, by the way," he added nonchalantly. "In case it wasn't obvious." Fuck. Hitoshi had been right to be paranoid back then. "Anyways, I actually found that out yesterday! I can't say how I found out, but I figured the test must be related to someone with a copying Quirk. I mean, the fact there were two of that one mantis boy by your table was a dead giveaway!"

He laughed while Hitoshi stared, before continuing ever so casually, "So anyways, I obviously needed to do something about the tests. So I took care of him."

Everyone jolted at that, Uraraka smothering another sob and Sero whispering curses under his breath. Bakugou's pupils were pinpricks as he stared at Midoriya, eyes wide with rage. "You son of a bitch," he whispered. "You—that's why you—" He stopped short, barely able to reign in his rage.

"Well, yeah!" Midoriya replied cheerfully. "Your Quirk is so great for killing people, Kacchan!"

Hitoshi cringed, feeling the blood drain from his face even more. Bakugou's own face drained of color, even as he continued to glare at him and grind his teeth as Midoriya continued thoughtfully, "I don't think I killed him though. I used it on his face, but I think he was still breathing when I left? Tsu was there, and I didn't really want to hurt her. She's so nice, and she really helped save us at USJ. She'd probably fight once the shock wore off, so I just left before that. I figured Monoma wouldn't be able to do the tests anyway, so it was good enough."

He shrugged, and Hitoshi just stared. He spoke so nonchalantly, just picked and chose whatever lives he wanted to spare or end almost whimsically. The boy seemed oblivious to his growing disgust, adding almost sheepishly, "Actually, my first thought was to just replace him. It'd be perfect, you know, since he was the one doing the tests? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it wouldn't work. I don't know Class 1-B nearly as well as 1-A. I mean, I don't even know their names!"

He frowned and nodded to himself, as if confirming his own thoughts. "Joining 1-B would be too hard at this point. I'd stand out too much. And, well, after yesterday, I didn't have a chance to study them any further."

"Yesterday?" Uraraka whispered shakily, and Hitoshi suddenly realized something. He practically stabbed the notebook with the marker, harshly dragging it down the page as he wrote his next statement.

'You killed Kuroiro'

"Kuroiro?" Midoriya repeated curiously, blinking almost owlishly. "Oh, right, that's his name! I kept forgetting because it didn't come up much over in 1-A even after he went missing. But yeah, I did."

"Y-you killed him?" Sero yelped. "Y-you—you—"

"I didn't have a choice," Midoriya said with a frown. "That day I stayed after school a little later to look around like I usually did, but I forgot I hadn't taken as much of Uraraka's blood that morning, sheʼd been kinda pale compared to usual. So my Quirk wore off while I was still on campus! I was so worried about how I'd leave, but then..."

He was panicking, trying to control his breathing as he stood on the stone path, feeling so exposed. The gray sludge from his Quirk had already dissipated into nothing, leaving him standing there alone in a girl's uniform. It had been lucky that he'd been alone and away from the main building when his Quirk faded, but now he was trapped.

He had no idea what to do. He knew that UA had cameras by the entrance, there was too much risk of them noticing an unfamiliar student leaving campus. Having his face—his real face—on camera was just too risky, and he didn't exactly have a hood or hat he could use to cover it. His breathing was starting to pick up, his mind desperately racing for any way out of this.

"Is something wrong?"

He whirled to see a boy standing behind him. A boy with pitch black skin and ghostly white hair that almost seemed to glow in the light.

Izuku blinked, and then turned to face him fully. "M-my friends," he stammered, pitching his voice higher, more effeminate. "W-we had a fight and they threw my bracelet somewhere, a-and I don't know where it is! I've spent the past hour looking for it, b-but I can't! It belonged to my mom, i-it's all I have left of her!"

He choked out the last words, tears welling in his eyes with ease. The boy sighed, seeming a bit annoyed, but nodded. "Okay, I'll help you look, then."

"Thank you!" Izuku said, bowing in gratitude. "Thank you so much!" The boy grunted as he walked past Izuku, not noticing the pen slide out of his sleeve.

"He was so nice," Midoriya mused. "I was almost sad I had to kill him, but I needed a face to be able to leave! So I at least made it as painless as I could. I choked him out from behind until he passed out, and then stabbed a pen into his carotid artery. It was actually kind of a hassle to deal with his body," he added with a huff, actually pouting. "I had to hide it, but also take enough blood to transform into him so I could call out the next day. Then I had to find someone with a Quirk that could help dispose of it, and get enough blood to transform into them after school."

So there was probably at least one more murder. Shit.

'Cherry blossom.' Hitoshi's hands were back to shaking as he wrote it out, only able to write the kanji for 'sakura' and nothing else. Midoriya brightened as he read it though, eagerly explaining, "Oh, the cherry blossom trees! Actually, see, I killed him there, because it was so far away from the main building. Then the next day I noticed that some of the blood in Kuroiro's hair made it look kinda pink from a distance, and that's when I realized that was a great idea!"

He clapped as he explained brightly, "So, I cut up his body and hid it in the cherry blossom trees! I made sure every part was small enough that it wouldn't stand out, but I could leave the head intact!"

Uraraka gagged, her breathing lurching and sounding like she was close to vomiting. Sero didn't fare any better, whispering "oh god, oh god, oh god" under his breath like a mantra. Bakugou meanwhile recoiled, hissing out, "You're even more fucked up than I realized! Holy shit!"

"Honestly, I thought someone would find it way sooner," Midoriya laughed. "I mean, I figured someone would eat lunch there sooner or later because it was so pretty! But then, after I killed Fukidashi-kun, everyone stopped going too far from the main building."

Once again Hitoshi's world froze, the marker falling limply from his hand as he stared. After I killed Fukidashi. Fukidashi Manga.

"I-it wasn't a mugging?" Sero whispered shakily, eyes wide, and Midoriya blinked in surprise.

"Oh, right, that happened before I brought you here so I never told you!" he said, and then bobbed his head. "Yeah, I killed Fukidashi-kun. Like I said, I don't really like transforming into a girl more than I absolutely have to, so I kept a change of clothes in this one alley and change there. I thought I'd be safe since I was in the alley, but when I dropped the transformation I heard a gasp and saw him behind me. It was honestly just really bad luck on his part," he mused lightly. "I couldn't let him live after he saw that, so, I killed him super fast, and transformed back into Uraraka and ran."

Midoriya killed Fukidashi. He'd been behind every murder. Literally every single one so far. Every murder, every disappearance, everything.

"Actually, I think Aoyama-kun might've seen me too," he mused lightly. "I swear I saw him when I was running away from the alley, but when I looked again he was gone. I did change my clothes, since Urarakaʼs uniform was bloody, but I mean, I still had Uraraka's face. I decided it'd be too risky to go to school, so after the news announced his murder, I called her parents and said I wanted to withdraw."

Uraraka sobbed, biting her lip to keep the sound from completely escaping. Hitoshi couldn't blame her. The idea of someone calling his own parents, pretending to be him, and them not noticing... It was terrifying and heartbreaking at the same time.

"That's part of why I was outside school on Monday," Midoriya continued. "I wanted to look for Aoyama-kun, just to be safe. But he never showed up. On Tuesday, I realized he must have withdrawn too. He was pretty nervous after all. But more importantly, it seemed like he didnʼt tell anyone! So, I called Uraraka's parents again and said that I'd decided to stay in Musutafu because I'd made friends there, and one of them helped me get a part-time job! And there's no point wasting the deposit we put down on this apartment, right?"

Uraraka's head hung as she cried more openly now, sniffling and trying to suppress her whimpers. Hitoshi just stared at her with a sinking heart, feeling nothing but sympathy for her. He could imagine her confiding her family's money woes to Bakugou on Thursday after school, totally unaware that it wasn't "Bakugou" at all.

He tried to swallow, but found himself unable to. The sock held his mouth open just enough to make the motion impossible, and his attempt only helped spread the filthy taste from the dirty garment further. He shuddered, all too aware some of that wretched taste was blood, and tried to ignore it.

He picked up the marker, forcing himself to write again.

'Kirishima. What did you do to Kirishima?'

Midoriya glanced at the page and smiled. "Oh, right, Kirishima-kun!" All three of the prisoners cringed at the name. "We got totally off-topic, huh? Well, after Monoma-kun saw through my Quirk while disguised as him, I obviously couldn't be him anymore, and keeping him around would be a hassle. So, I needed to get rid of him. But, I couldn't stab him."

His smile faded, becoming a more serious frown. "Every time I tried to stab him, he'd use his Quirk. He'd harden his neck, his torso, his face, even his arms. Even if I tried to sneak up on him while sleeping, Kacchan and Uraraka-chan would make too much noise and wake him up. I thought about stabbing out his eyes since he couldn't harden them," and Hitoshi's stomach lurched at the thought, "But I thought doing that would upset Kacchan and Uraraka-chan too much."

"Of course it fucking would!" Bakugou snapped, chains rattling as he struggled again. "But fuck," and his voice grew strained, "even that would've been better, you fucking sicko—"

"So," Midoriya continued, "After I got Sero-kun, I got an idea." The boy in question inhaled sharply, giving another whimper as Midoriya explained, "See, Sero-kun wouldn't tell me how they were testing for me at first. I mean, obviously UA would have some sort of test, right? So, I had to pull out his fingernails."

Hitoshi winced, eyes reflexively darting to Sero's hands. They were bound to the arms of the armchair where he sat, and he could see one had dirty-looking gauze wrapped around two of his fingertips. The boy in question was totally white, eyes squeezed shut and whimpering as his hands reflexively clenched at the memory. He gave a tiny, smothered yelp, the motion no doubt making the gauze graze his sensitive nail beds.

"Obviously that was messy, so I did it in the bathroom. I had him in the bathtub for it, there's a pipe in there that I could handcuff one hand to. And afterwards I realized: Kirishima could fit in the tub too!"

Uraraka and Sero both stifled sobs, and at that point, what happened suddenly became all too clear, making Hitoshiʼs stomach churn.

"So, since I couldn't kill him with a knife, I just tied him up and left him in the bathtub!"


Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Suddenly the running water and that odor made so much more sense. So much more, sickening sense. As if to confirm his horrified thoughts, Midoriya turned to the door with a thoughtful look and wondered aloud, "I wonder if he's still alive."


Uraraka choked and heaved, and Hitoshi knew by the sound she was vomiting. Midoriya jolted and frowned, hurrying to her side. "Oh no, Uraraka-chan, are you okay? Here, let me wipe that up for you—"

"Don't touch me!" she shrieked, making his hand snap back with a surprised look. "Don't touch me, don't touch me, don't touch me, just go away! Go away and die already, you monster!"

She broke into ugly sobbing when she finished, hiccuping and shaking violently. Midoriya frowned, but his eyes glazed over, looking apathetic and distant now. "Hmm," he said. "I guess I pushed you too far."

"Damn right you pushed her too far!" Sero yelled, finally seeming to snap. Tears streamed down his face but he glared at Midoriya nonetheless, expression twisted with hatred. "Kirishima doesn't deserve that! None of us deserve what you've been doing to us! You're a monster!"

Midoriya turned to survey him, still frowning. "Hmm." That was it, just "hmm" and nothing else. It felt so aggravating, so underwhelming, and so dangerous.

"Deku," Bakugou snarled. "If you dare lay a damn finger on them—"

"Sorry Kacchan," Midoriya cut in with an apologetic smile. "But, I kinda don't have a choice anymore."

And then suddenly he was in front of Sero, plunging a knife into his chest.

Bakugou lurched in his chair with a furious shout. Uraraka screamed. Blood bubbled from Sero's mouth as his head lolled to the side, the light fading from his eyes even as Hitoshi watched.

Bile rose up his throat and he found himself gagging, the sock and duct tape keeping it from leaving his throat. His vision started to fill with spots as he found himself literally choking on his own vomit, tears filling his eyes. Of all the ways to die, he never predicted this one. Especially not after the past five minutes.

Suddenly Midoriya was at his side and the tape was torn off though, and Hitoshi spit out the sock along with a good chunk of his lunch. He doubled over while hacking and sputtering, feeling absolutely repulsed as Midoriya hovered by him.

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry Shinsou-kun," the murderer said frantically, rubbing his back. "Choking on vomit seems like a nasty way to go, I'm really sorry you almost died like that!"

"But a knife to the chest isn't!" Bakugou exploded, and Midoriya frowned.

"That's at least quick, so the pain doesn't last long. That's why I like stabbing people—well, along with the blood, of course. Itʼs quick if you stab the right places. But drowning in your own vomit would suck way more. So I'd prefer if he doesn't die that way."

Even as Midoriya explained his twisted logic Hitoshi could hear a quiet whisper of "no, no, no, no" like a shaky mantra. Except, when his eyes flickered to Uraraka her lips were totally still, parted open in shock. For a moment he was confused, but then realization slammed into him once more:


His eyes flashed to Jirou, unconscious but still breathing shallowly. Her eyes were shut, a trickle of blood staining the corner of her mouth, but now that he looked closer he noticed something. Floating splatters of blood right next to the knife, forming the outline of fingers.

Hagakure was still there. She'd been by Jirou this whole time, applying pressure to the stab wound in her neck to further slow the bleeding. His heartbeat picked up pace as he quickly tore his eyes away, looking back to Uraraka. She'd turned to look too, and from how wide her eyes were she'd also noticed. After a moment her gaze flickered back to him and their eyes met.

'Cry,' he mouthed, praying she'd be able to read his lips, or at least pick up his intentions. 'Cry. Cry. Cry.'

Because if Midoriya noticed, Jirou really would be dead, and Hagakure too.

Uraraka blinked and did exactly as he hoped, not that she'd need to put in much effort. Her sniffling and soft whines soon covered up Hagakure's own horrified noises, even softly repeating "no" to further cover it up.

Bakugou and Midoriya remained unaware of the exchange, the blond glaring down the other. "It's such a shame though," Midoriya mused. "Sero-kun was so perfect. His cousin's a shut-in so it was easy to tell her he was just living with friends, and she'd never question it. Even when I called her to pick me up, she went along with it with no questions. And his personality was easygoing and plain, so pretending to be him wasn't too hard! Well, mostly," he amended with a small frown. "He wasn't as smart as I'd hoped, so I wasn't looking forward to having to do badly on tests on purpose."

He frowned but then shrugged it off, as if he hadn't just murdered Sero in cold blood. Hitoshi spit up a bit more bile, rubbing his mouth with a grimace.

"Why?" he managed to choke out. "Why do any of this?"

Please respond, please respond, please respond!

Midoriya didn't respond right away, but then, "Hey Uraraka, I told you about how I applied to UA, right?" She flinched and cried while hanging her head while Hitoshi internally cursed, knowing trying to catch Midoriya with his Quirk would be futile at this point. Midoriya continued on blithely, addressing Uraraka the whole time, "I applied but when I took the practical exam, I failed. My Quirk is useless without someone else's blood to transform, and I didn't want to get in trouble by attacking other examinees, y'know? So. I failed."

He frowned slightly, but then beamed again as he then exclaimed, "But of course Kacchan passed! I wasnʼt even surprised he got first place! He's always been so amazing! In fact, he's too amazing," he sighed dreamily. "Even without the complication with his parents, I just couldn't be happy with my portrayal of him. I couldn't ever match up to him, he's just too cool and incredible, and that just made me feel dirty and cheap. So I'd have to switch from him anyway."

The blond didn't look pleased by the praise, glaring at Midoriya with hate-filled eyes as he ground his teeth. Midoriya ignored it easily, frowning as he wistfully mused. "It's also too bad I can't use Shinsou-kun now."

That had Hitoshi freezing, twisting his head to look at him in horror as the boy began rattling off points. "Shinsou-kun would be just as perfect as Sero-kun was—no, even better. He's smarter than Sero-kun, so I wouldn't have to pretend to fail tests, or at least not as badly. And he's a lot like me, too!" he added brightly, making Hitoshi's eyes bulge. "Your Quirk is just as 'villainous' as mine is. I could tell you were feeling sympathetic when I talked about not having friends at school because of it.

"And," and now his eyes suddenly gained a new light, one that made Hitoshi feel sick, "You're also perfect to get close to Eraserhead!"


The boy's eyes grew ever brighter as he rambled, "You and Eraserhead are so similar! Both of you have non-physical Quirks, so you'd have to depend on your physical skills. And he's sure to notice that, and want to help you personally, especially since your physical skills are obviously lagging so much! So if I became you, I'd get to train with him one on one, and that would be just so cool!"

Midoriya pulled his hand from Hitoshiʼs back and stood up, almost skipping as he twirled towards the center of the room. "Just think! Me and a pro hero—possibly the best underground hero—all alone! It's like a dream! I could learn so much more about him! I was already so excited to find out he carries that sleeping bag around with him everywhere, and that he has a record for expulsions! But, if I was you, I'd learn so much more!"

Hitoshi swallowed dryly, his mouth tasting disgusting between the filthy sock and the lingering taste of his own vomit. "All of that," he ground out, "all those d-deaths, murders, everything, j-just for Eraserhead?"

"Do you hear that, Kacchan?" Midoriya giggled, turning to the glowering blond. "He thinks I did it just for Eraserhead!" He laughed, turning back to Hitoshi as he continued, "Eraserhead is cool and all, but I wouldn't do all that just for him! No, I did it so I could meet all of the teachers!"


The green-haired boy threw up his arms with a laugh, a mirthful sound that sent chills down his spine. "Going to UA has always been my dream! I just love heroes so much, and UA has some of the best heroes of all! It's where All Might went to school, so of course the teachers must be great too! And they were!"

He began twirling in place, eyes shining as he radiated excitement and ecstasy while raving. "Present Mic's always so enthusiastic even in class when teaching English, just like his radio persona! Midnight is so passionate about art and youth! Ectoplasm is so patient with explaining math, and Cementoss acts calm when he talks about modern literature but you can really hear his interest in it, even if he tries not to show it too much!

"And All Might!" he gasped, eyes somehow sparkling even more as he began bouncing in place. "I've always, always wanted to meet him, and seeing him walk in for that first foundational heroics class was just as amazing as I'd always dreamed! It took so much not to break character and scream! Even though I didn't get to see him much, just being around him, and getting praised after the battle trial, I was so happy I could almost die!"

He clasped his hands together with a delighted squeal, squeezing his eyes shut as he wiggled in place while raving, "It's all just so amazing! I've seen so much of these heroes that no one ever gets to see! All because I could pose as a student for a while!"

The gushing felt psychotic to Hitoshi, more like the ramblings of a fanboy than a murderer. He should say something, try to get another response, but he couldn't. He could only stare as the murderer laughed and shouted in utter joy, waving blood-stained hands in the air above his head as he gave a final twirl.

"I've had so much fun! Every day really is a dream come true! But... the fun is coming to an end," he said, smile losing its manic edge as he lowered his arms. His expression became bittersweet and melancholic, smile still present and almost wistful as he spoke more softly. "I knew going into this that it wouldn't last forever. I mean, the chances of one of you just happening to be an orphan with no connections so I could replace you all year was just too low.

He smiled sadly as he looked at the floor, twiddling with his fingers. "With Kacchan's parents having jobs and friends and all, I knew I'd have a couple months at best after they got reported missing or dead. And after I had to kill Kuroiro, I knew I'd have even less time. And now that time is up, because I have to kill you and Uraraka."

The statement had Hitoshi jolting, Uraraka's cries sharply cutting off. "W-why?" she demanded. "Why do we have to die?"

"Because even though I know my time is up, I don't want to go to jail," Izuku explained with an apologetic smile. "I mean, I want to treasure these memories for the rest of my life, you know? And spend time with Kacchan, too. So, you guys have to die."

The pair were growing more horrified by the second. "Why not impersonate Shinsou then?" Uraraka asked frantically. "J-just become him, and stay here, l-like before! Y-you could've even still kept being Sero-kun! Y-you didn't have to, h-have to...!"

She trailed off into quiet sniffles, unable to finish the sentence. Midoriya's smile finally vanished, heaving a sad sigh. "Uraraka, I already killed Jirou-san. Well," he glanced back at her and Hitoshi stiffened, praying he wouldn't notice Hagakure's bloody fingers. "She's still hanging on, but it's only a matter of time. And even without that," he said, thankfully turning away, "I'd still have to kill at least two people.

"Shinsou-kun and Jirou-san are smart." He glanced at Hitoshi now, making the teen's skin crawl. "There's no way they didn't tell someone they were hanging out together. If one of them disappears, the other is automatically a suspect. It wouldn't be worth impersonating them, even if I somehow deflected suspicion. So, I have to kill both of them. And even if I did try to impersonate one of them, I wouldn't be able to impersonate Sero too, so either way, that's two people."

He held up his fingers and began counting. "Between Shinsou-kun and Jirou-san, Class 1-A would be down to six empty spots. Mineta-kun has been super nervous this whole time so he'll probably drop out too, so that's at least seven. Meanwhile, Class 1-B was already down three students, and with Monoma-kun and Komori-chan, it's now down five. And I don't know the other students there too well, but I'm willing to bet at least one other person will leave after all this."

He frowned and shook his head, shoulders rising in an exaggerated shrug. "There's forty hero students total, but after all this, it would be down to just twenty-eight, if I still tried to attend as Sero. If it was just Monoma-kun and Komori-chan it might be doable, but losing four students in one day is too much. That'll probably screw up the rest of the year, y'know? UA might even close.

"So, it's time to stop," he summarized with a nod. "And I can't leave any loose ends, so I need to finish it now." He walked over to Sero and yanked out the knife with a meaty squelch, making everyone else flinch. Sero's body jerked and slouched a bit more but his expression remained unchanged, barely any new blood seeping from the now-exposed stab wound. It just further highlighted the fact he was dead.

Midoriya opened his jacket so he could wipe the bloody blade against the tank top, the action so disturbingly casual. "I just attacked Monoma in broad daylight, there's no way UA won't check on everyone. When Shinsou-kun and Jirou-san don't respond, they'll go looking for you, and neither of you are dumb enough to not tell anyone where you're going. So, they're going to search the area, and it will only be a matter of time before they check Uraraka's apartment. And I need to get out of here with Kacchan before that."

"Are you fucking kidding me!" Bakugou exploded, struggling against the chains with renewed fervor. "I'm sick and tired of this, Deku! Just fucking stop already and don't drag me along with you! If you're gonna kill them, kill me too, you sick bastard!"

"But Kacchan, you're still my best friend," Midoriya replied with a frown. "I already said, I can't kill you. So since I don't want to be caught, I need to take you with me. But keeping people alive is a big hassle, so it's easier to just kill them."

Bakugou screamed with rage, pulling against the chains even harder, while Midoriya turned to face Hitoshi and Uraraka with an apologetic smile. "So I'm really sorry guys. It's been so much fun getting to know you two, but you need to die."

Hitoshi just stared, any words caught in his throat in the face of that smile. Something about it chilled him even more than the demented glee he'd shown earlier, just the way he looked so genuinely sorry, apologetic and sheepish. He was going to kill them, and he'd probably actually mourn and grieve for them, but that wasn't enough to change his mind and spare their lives.

His smile faded then, looking at Hitoshi with a curious frown. "But actually, I do wonder one thing," he mused. "How did you know to come visit Uraraka's apartment?"

Once again Hitoshi couldn't respond, still too stunned to speak. As he tried to will himself to respond, to take advantage of what would likely be his final and only opening to hopefully use his Quirk, movement caught his eye from behind Midoriya. A single, soft footstep sounded through the thick silence of the room.

In an instant the other boy had spun around, ready to fight the newcomer, only to find himself face to face with Komori Kinoko.

Her earlier smile was gone, her eyes eerily blank as she stared at Midoriya. The sunny yellow dress looked sickly in the dimness of the room, giving her skin an almost jaundiced-looking tint. Hitoshi's breath caught, looking between her and Midoriya with wide eyes.

So she wasn't Midoriya? She was... real?

"I told them," she declared, voice flat and dull. "I don't like this anymore, Izukun. I didn't know you killed someone. If I knew that's what you were planning, I wouldn't have helped you yesterday."

"I know murder is wrong, but they all saw my face," Midoriya replied with a frown. "I can't just leave them alone anymore, you know? Not if I don't want to go to jail. But after this, no one else will have to die. I just need to—"

He didn't get to finish that sentence, because Hitoshi took the opening and threw himself forward, tackling Midoriya's legs from behind. He might not be that good at fighting, but he didn't need to know how to fight to take down a distracted opponent, and he might not get another opening. At the same moment Komori lunged as well, managing to grab the knife from Midoriya's hands as he stumbled.

She then flipped it around and stabbed him in the gut, making Hitoshi freeze. Midoriya froze as well, eyes wide as he looked down at the knife sticking out of his stomach.

"I don't want to go to jail either," Komori said coldly. "But I'll make sure you can't hurt anyone else before the police arrive."

She yanked out the knife, causing blood to spray onto her dress, and Midoriya collapsed to his knees while clutching his stomach. She turned her gaze to Hitoshi then, making him tense. "I told you so you could call the police. I didn't expect you guys to actually go inside. Sorry it ended this way instead."

With that she turned and walked away, but paused as she passed Jirou. "Oh yeah, sorry invisible girl, but I'm gonna need to borrow your clothes. This dress isn't part of the transformation but it stands out too much, and walking around naked gets a lot of bad attention too."

"T-transformation?" Hagakure repeated, reminding Hitoshi she was still there. Still there, pressing her fingers against Jirou's neck.

"Yeah. I'd offer to leave this dress instead, but it's got blood on it now, so you probably don't want it." The girl offered a halfhearted shrug, and bent down to put the knife on the floor near Jirou and Hagakure, well out of Midoriya's reach. Even as she straightened Hitoshi could see her hair start to turn to gray sludge similar to that of Midoriya, clumps falling away to reveal pale blond hair. "Sorry for all the trouble, I guess."

With that she turned and left, leaving the room in silence. They didn't even have a minute to process everything before they heard the door slam open, and Aizawa's familiar voice calling their names.

As his teacher raced into sight, wild-eyed and frantic, Hitoshi felt all the tension and adrenaline fade from his body, nearly collapsing with relief. Things were still awful and too many people were dead, but he knew this nightmare was now finally at an end.

And so it comes to an end.

Epilogue should be out tomorrow, or the day after. I haven't actually written it yet, and I'm a bit burnt out from writing/posting every day. But with this, the main story's all wrapped up, just got a couple loose ends left.