in darkness blooms the spider lily - Chapter 14 - redninjalass19 - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)

Chapter Text

Shouto huddled protectively over his soba from his position on the couch as he watched the chaos unfold in the kitchen. Things always got a bit rowdy after the end of term exams and their third year was no exception. It was like everyone on the dorm had been dosed with an upper or something. Kaminari and Ashido were the worst culprits but Sero, Satou, Hagakure, Kirishima and Uraraka were easily swept up in the excitement. He knew they were all just blowing off steam after the stress of the recent exams, but sometimes he wishes everyone would calm down a bit. He was just glad Bakugo hadn’t come down yet. His soba had been a casualty to their antics before and it was something he never wished to live through again.

“Are you heading home too, Todoroki-kun?” Momo smiled beside him, a pile of strawberry mochi on her plate. She was swimming in a massive, woollen red sweater that covered down to her knees and her hair was soft and loose around her face. A cup of tea was gently steaming on the coffee table in front of them.

Shouto admired her patience and ability to handle the chaos that their class brought to every situation; it couldn’t be easy being their class president. It would stand her in good stead after graduating. Shouto personally trusted Momo with his life and he knew civilians would feel the same. Iida, the vice-president was going grey stressing over every little thing. He wasn’t nearly as bad as he’d been in first year though, having mellowed out a little over the past couple of years. Running the Idaten agency after graduation would probably less stressful than dealing with their class.

They were allowed to go home for a few days before they set off on their final summer training camp and for once, Shouto was looking forward to it. Endeavour was still in the hospice trying to get back into fighting shape so things were peaceful in the Todoroki household. Natsuo visited more often and Fuyumi had even talked about bringing Mom home for a couple of days so they could spend time together as a family. It had been good to visit his mom in the hospital and build their relationship back up but there hadn’t been that many of them gathered in one place since Toya died since Natsuo was never home when Endeavour was. He wasn’t sure what was supposed to happen when his mom came home but he trusted Fuyumi.

He hoped Endeavour never came home but he knew saying that out loud would just make Fuyumi sad. Natsuo agreed with him and although he wished Endeavour was out of their lives forever, he could enjoy the peaceful time with his siblings. Fuyumi had finally stopped trying to tell Shouto anything about Endeavour’s recovery. He didn’t know why Dabi didn’t just finish him off.

“Yes,” he nodded, slurping some of his noodles. “I will resume my work study with Edgeshot after the training camp.”

“I have the same arrangement with Fatgum,” she nodded, leaning forward to pick the teacup off the coffee table just moments before Ojiro’s tail knocked against it. “It will be nice to spend some time with my parents but I feel like I could spend the time better training.”

Shouto understood that. Endeavour had driven the urge to train into Shouto’s very soul from an early age and it was hard to shake that sort of mentality. He’d learned at UA that time to rest was just important as training and at times when he really struggled, he just thought of how much Endeavour would hate that he was relaxing instead of working; that always improved his mood.

Edgeshot was a very different kind of mentor. He wasn’t overwhelming or loud or brutal like Endeavour. He was patient and calm and focused and took the time to assess a situation. It had been entirely foreign to Shouto. It was a far cry from Endeavour’s ‘react first, think later’ policy. He’d had to learn to tone himself down for the first few days which wasn’t something he’d ever thought he’d have to do. His large fire attacks and ice bridges didn’t work well with Edgeshot’s style; the hero was too quick for him to have the time to melt his ice creations and his large fire attacks had the risk of property damage.

Shouto had to figure out how to use his quirk less, something that would have been unthinkable at Endeavour’s agency where it was all about the most powerful quirks and throwing that power around. He’d learned a lot under Edgeshot, like it wasn’t the power or scale of his attacks, but how he applied his quirk. Creating an ice step to get to the roof of the next building was just as effective as creating a full bridge between them. He had wanted to focus on quirk control for his last year and he was definitely doing that. He was much faster now too which was an added benefit of working under the Number Four hero.

They were interrupted by the front door to the dorm opening. Midoriya walked in and his presence even managed to dampen the kitchen chaos for a moment. Shouto was too taken aback by Midoriya’s appearance to notice.

He was dressed in a loose green hoodie that was unzipped at the front to reveal a white t-shirt with the words ‘sheets’ written across it in black font. Shouto couldn’t look away from that t-shirt; it was so similar to the one Midoriya had worn when he’d broken into Endeavour’s agency last year. He wore olive green cargo shorts that showed off the chunky black tracking anklet, just above red high tops shoes that Shouto had also seen him wear as a villain. The scar on his neck and the few scattered around his legs were visible and his black knee brace was still strapped to his leg. Shouto wasn’t sure what to think. It was so different to what he’d been wearing up until now. The colours suited him although the outfit did take years off of him. He looked like a totally normal teen.

The thing he couldn’t figure out was why he was wearing a shirt like that. It was something Midoriya had done as a villain but Shouto hadn’t realised that his preference for nonsense shirts pre-dated his time as a villain. The ensemble wasn’t that far off what Lily had occasionally been seen in. For some reason, Shouto thought he’d dressed differently as a villain compared to his time as a civilian but that wasn’t the case. Were villains not supposed to have costumes of their own? He almost expected the boy to grin and brag about the shirt as he did back then.

“You look great!” Ashido spoke up, grinning. “The shopping was a success then!”

Midoriya immediately blushed, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. His hair at the sides was growing out and Shouto knew that even the piercings would soon be concealed.

“T-thanks, Ashido-san,” Midoriya replied hesitantly.

“What brings you here?” Kirishima asked curiously. “You don’t usually come to the dorms on your own.”

“Oh, um, Aizawa-san sent me to tell you to go to the classroom tomorrow morning, usual time?”

“How come?” Sero asked. “Classes are over.”

“I-I think he wanted to talk to you about the summer?” Midoriya winced. “He didn’t really say.”

It was probably a schedule thing. Their third year summer was structured differently to the first two years since they were preparing to enter the workforce.

“Thank for letting us know,” Uraraka smiled. “Do you want dinner or something?”

Midoriya immediately lifted his hands in protest.

“No, I’m okay, I need to get back, but thank you.”

Midoriya turned and left although Shouto couldn’t help but think he was running away from them. He wasn’t sure what they could do to make the teen less nervous around them. Midoriya was as much of a puzzle as he had been when he’d first come to UA and Shouto was no closer to figuring out the villain. This newest development had not helped in figuring out much other than the fact that Midoriya’s fashion sense was the same whether he was a civilian or villain. It was more jarring than he expected it to be.

“Todoroki?”

He turned back to a concerned Momo.

“He looks different, doesn’t he?” she offered with a soft smile.

“I think it’s the opposite,” he replied but didn’t explain further, turning his attention back to his soba.

Spider Lily had been an impossible puzzle and he’d expected Midoriya to be an answer to that puzzle, not another mystery to solve. There had been no indications that Midoriya’s memories were returning so Shouto just had to keep waiting and keeping an eye out. He still had questions only Spider Lily could answer.

“You can do it, Ochako! Come on, you got this!”

Eijiro cheered on his friend, his fists clenched and shoulders tense as he watched her struggle with the dead lift. It would be a new personal best for her and he knew she could do it. She was the manliest rescue hero intern he knew and he’d seen her smash all her weight-lifting goals over the past couple of years and this would be no different.

“You totally got this, Ochako!”

She strained and he watched the barbell slowly lift off the ground, the circular weights on either side rising evenly. He held his breathe as she straightened out, her legs shaking and her arm muscles tense. She held the position for a moment before releasing. The weights bounced off the soft mat on the floor with a loud clatter but Eijiro was too focused on his friend to notice.

“You did it!” he cried and Ochako smiled back at him, sweat dripping into her eyes.

He and Ochako had bonded over a love of weights way back when they’d first moved into the dorms and had the room competition. Ochako had seen the weights in his room and had asked him about them. She hadn’t been able to afford her own and Eijiro had been more than happy to share. Weights were better with a partner to spot and it was great to be able to talk about it with someone. He loved his friends, but Denki, Hanta and Mina were not weights people. Katsuki used the weights but he wasn’t into the group training like Eijiro was. His best friend liked to listen to music and work on his own which Eijiro could totally respect. Katsuki trained with them for other stuff.

He was grateful for Ochako. She pushed him to do better and he hoped he did the same for her. He hadn’t considered how much weight training could be required for rescue work but Ochako had been the one to make him think of going down that route in the future. He wanted to be an all-rounder and that would include rescue training. They used the UA gym weights more often now but they still occasionally had a session in the common room.

“It took long enough!” Ochako laughed, shaking out her hands. “I thought I wouldn’t reach the 100kg until after I graduated!”

“Nah, you’ve been working super hard!” Eijiro grinned. “Super manly!”

Ochako flexed a bicep in response and they dissolved into more laughter, elated at her success.

“You’re going to give Mirko a run for her money.”

The pair turned to see Shinsou walking towards them in workout gear. It had taken the purple-haired teen a while to warm up to them after he’d joined their class at the beginning of their second year but Eijiro had slowly convinced him to join his and Ochako’s weight sessions. Shinsou was going underground like Aizawa-sensei which was super physical and he’d been working on his physical fitness loads. He wasn’t building muscle like Eijiro and Ochako, since he still had to be fast and flexible, but he was way stronger than he’d been when they’d first started training together. He didn’t come to all their weight training sessions but he did make it to some. Eijiro was amazed at how he’d managed to make such manly friends since coming to UA.

“I could crush a man’s skull with my thighs,” Ochako agreed. Eijiro still wasn’t sure why that was a measure of success for Ochako but he was happy to support his friend.

“Amen,” Shinsou replied, deadpan.

“We don’t usually see you at this time,” Ochako continued. “Where have you been spending your Saturday mornings lately? With Kaminari?”

Shinsou rolled his eyes but Eijiro could see the faint blush on his cheeks. He was totally rooting for them.

“Aizawa-sensei asked for my help with Spider Lily.”

That caught their attention.

“Wait, why?” Eijiro asked. “With what?”

“He’s started his physical therapy for his knee so I was the demo,” Shinsou replied, stretching his arms above his head. “He just copies me with stretches and stuff while Aizawa-sensei corrects his form. It won’t be for much longer; he’s a fast learner.”

Huh, Eijiro didn’t even think of that. He’d never seen the former villain without the knee brace but he hadn’t connected the dots.

“How’s he doing?” They looked at Ochako. “He’d looking better now but he’s still pretty quiet with us.”

Midoriya was looking better these days, now Eijiro thought about it. The former villain was less gaunt, with some colour in his cheeks. His hair was growing out and with his recent wardrobe change, Eijiro could imagine him as a totally normal teen. The little things that connected Midoriya to his villainous past were vanishing one after the other and he’d shown no signs of getting his memory back. It wasn’t as difficult to imagine that Midoriya would get to live out the rest of his life without Spider Lily hanging over him.

“I would say that’s just what he’s like as a person,” Shinsou pointed out. “He’s also a lot more observant than we’re giving him credit for. He pretty much guessed my quirk in the first session.”

Eijiro shared a wide-eyed look with Ochako. That wasn’t good; Shinsou’s whole underground career pretty much depended on people not knowing what his quirk was. He was surprised though. Shinsou didn’t exactly advertise it and there were no physical quirk traits to give him away. How had Midoriya managed to guess?

“He’s not what I expected.” Ochako folded her arms, her expression thoughtful. “He thought everyone didn’t like him because he was quirkless, not a villain. I just wonder what it was like to grow up like that.”

“I had a sh*tty time with people and my quirk,” Shinsou scowled. “He isn’t special.”

There had been a few in their class that people had judged for their quirks. Shouji and Shinsou were at the top of that list but Eijiro knew Mina and Tokoyami had experienced some incidents too. It wasn’t fair. They were some of the manliest, most heroic people Eijiro knew and it wasn’t fair that they got judged on their appearance and quirks. He hadn’t realised how unfair it was until he’d come to UA and heard their stories but Eijiro swore he would always have their backs.

“I guess the weird thing is he’s been discriminated against for not having a quirk rather than the type of quirk he has,” Ochako shrugged. “You have to admit no one took him seriously the moment they found out he was quirkless. It took him running circles around people for months for the police and heroes to take him seriously as a threat. We’re guilty of that too.”

“Well now he’s the poster child for quirkless people and people worry that every quirkless person is going to explode and turn into another Spider Lily,” Shinsou raised an eyebrow. “He hasn’t made things any easier for the quirkless.”

“Maybe they wouldn’t explode if they were treated a little better,” Eijiro wondered aloud. “I’ve never heard of a villain with a happy childhood.”

“There are plenty of heroes with crappy childhoods,” Shinsou argued back. “I’m not saying that being sh*tty is okay and I am more than aware of the discrimination in Japan but that doesn’t excuse villainy. He’s just making people think he was right about him.”

Eijiro nodded. Shinsou was totally right. There was no excuse for hurting people. There had to be better ways to deal with the bad stuff that happened.

“Now are you going to continue talking about him or are we going to train?”

Ochako held up her hands in surrender and Eijiro joined her. Spider Lily and by extension, Midoriya, were such a mystery and he wanted to know more about the boy who now shared his classroom. He could tell Shinsou was done talking though and he would respect that.

“How’re things with Thirteen?”

“Great!” Ochako grinned, beginning to take the weights off the end of the barbell in preparation for Eijiro’s turn. “I need to increase my weight limit so I’ll be working on that this summer but being stronger physically can only help! Then I can pick things up without the use of my quirk and I can save some stamina.”

“I can’t believe it’s summer already,” Ejiro added, moving to help her. “It’s our last one as UA students.”

“Need to make the most of it then,” Shinsou shrugged, moving to start his stretches.

They fell into a familiar routine and Eijiro took a moment to appreciate it. It would be a lot harder after graduation to meet up and train like this so he didn’t want to take it for granted. He didn’t know if he was ready to be a hero full-time but he was happy to know his friends would be right there with him. He knew his classmates were going to be amazing heroes. He just had to keep training and working hard so he could be half as manly as them one day.

Naomasa held up the next picture of Shigaraki.

“Do you recognise this man?”

Midoriya shook his head.

“No.”

True.

Naomasa placed it down and picked up a crime scene photo of the bar that had previously been a base of the League’s.

“Have you ever been here?”

“No,” Midoriya denied. “I’m too young to drink.”

True.

Naomasa placed down the picture, finished for the day. Midoriya had made no progress with his memory, including today, so he would recommend that they decrease the number of these sessions. It had taken up a lot of his time coming up to UA twice a day these past few weeks and he felt like it was no longer necessary to test him this frequently. The doctors had said that the longer he went without recovering his memories, the less likely he would be to regain them and with the complete loss Midoriya had suffered, no one knew when or even if he would ever get them back.

“That’s us done for today, Midoriya-kun.”

Midoriya nodded, his hands twisting in his lap. It had taken Naomasa a moment to adjust to the kid’s new appearance. The red high top shoes in particular had been a blast from the past. He looked much better at least. Since the incident that landed him in Aizawa’s care, Midoriya had been looking healthier in each session they had and Naomasa was glad to see it. With his new wardrobe he just looked like a regular kid; saying that, Spider Lily didn’t have a costume and tended to dress casually even when he wasn’t wearing one of his disguises.

“I think I’m going to suggest that we reduce the number of sessions,” Naomasa shared. “We’ll continue meeting up every couple of days.”

Midoriya looked at him with wide green eyes.

“Wait, why?”

“Your memory shows no sign of returning and meeting up this frequently is a waste of both our time, don’t you think?”

Midoriya looked away. The kid was too polite for his own good but Naomasa could tell that he was bored of these sessions. He was shown the same variety of pictures days after day, with the same answers day after day. Naomasa would be bored out of his skull if he was in the kid’s position; hell, he was bored of asking the kid.

“Is…is that safe?”

Naomasa blinked at the unexpected question.

“What do you mean?”

“What if my memories came back on a day we didn’t meet?” Midoriya refused to meet his eyes. “What if something happens?”

“Midoriya, have any of your memories returned?”

“No,” the kid immediately answered.

True.

“Are you making plans to escape UA?”

“No!”

True.

“Then what are you worried about?”

Naomasa wasn’t sure where this was coming from. He’d thought the kid would be thrilled to not have to do this every day.

“I…” Midoriya bit his lip. “I was a villain. Villains are dangerous, right?”

True.

“Spider Lily is a dangerous villain, yes,” Naomasa agreed. “You, Midoriya Izuku, as you are now are not. We trust that you wouldn’t turn on us as you are now, kid.”

Midoriya’s head snapped up, surprise evident in his eyes. Naomasa hoped that the kid saw this for what it was. It was an offering of trust that would hopefully build on what they’d already started with the recent shopping trip. With each day that passed, it was less and less likely that Midoriya would regain his memories and they had to account for that. He could be an amazing asset to the heroes and police with his analysis and it would be one less villain in the system. His memory returning was still a possibility though. That was the problem with head injuries and amnesia; it was impossible to predict.

“Thanks,” Midoriya said quietly.

The kid was a lot less nervous with him than he’d been at the beginning. It was inevitable with how much they saw each other. He’d never thought he’d actually come to like the kid.

Naomasa was rooting for him. While Spider Lily returning would be good for the police in building their case against the League, Spider Lily being gone forever was the best thing for Midoriya. The kid would never be able to escape the shadows of his past, would never have a normal life, but he could at least try and build some sort of future that he could be happy with.

“I’ll see you in a couple days then, Midoriya,” Naomasa packed the pictures into his suitcase, standing from the dining table. He would need to go see Nezu before he left campus.

“See you then, Tsukauchi-san,” Midoriya replied, remaining seated.

Naomasa frowned, but he didn’t say anything, turning to leave the teacher’s dorm. There was something a little off about Midoriya today but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what. He definitely wasn’t regaining his memories and he wasn’t up to anything that he could figure out. Naomasa sighed, a wave of exhaustion hitting him as he stepped out into the crisp night air. It was probably due to the kid’s new clothes or his physical therapy or something. The kid hadn’t lied to him once and Naomasa had no reason to doubt the kid. He’ll keep an eye out. For now, he had a couple phone calls to make.

Toshinori coughed into his red handkerchief. He’d though the blood would be less obvious with the colour but he knew it was a fruitless effort. Everyone knew the condition of his lungs and his habit of coughing blood when stressed or surprised so he supposed it was more for his own peace of mind.

Retiring had been difficult. He’d spent forty years as a hero, the majority of them as the Symbol of Peace. It had hurt when he’d had to admit to himself that he could no longer continue in that role. The final fight with All for One had taken the last embers of One for All and with the world witnessing his true weakened state, there had been no going back.

Something even more frustrating was that he was not even the one to end All for One. He’d had to find out some time later that his nemesis had been killed in police custody by an assumed villain or corrupt officer. His master had died for this cause and he’d given up his body and health to bring down the scourge that was All for One and yet someone else had managed to kill him so easily. They still did not know who had done the deed but Toshinori was determined to know; it was the least his master deserved.

The silver lining in all of this was that his successor could live his life and walk down his own path of heroism without All for One hanging over him, as he had for Toshinori. Mirio was a wonderful hero and kind boy, someone he knew Nana would have approved of. Accepting the boy as his successor had also gone a long way to mending his and Mirai’s relationship and Toshinori was happy to be able to call his former sidekick a friend once again. It had been incredibly awkward at first but two years was plenty of time for old wounds to heal.

One thing that Toshinori had kept close to his chest was his thoughts of One for All as a quirk. The origin and purpose of One for All was solely for the purpose of defeating All for One and Toshinori was not sure of the future of the quirk without that purpose. It was already strong when Toshinori had been the holder but only got stronger with each generation and Mirio was sure to strengthen the quirk even further. Part of the problem was that with All for One dead, there was nothing in the world that could really face One for All on equal terms. It meant that Mirio was well prepared to face any dangers, but Toshinori worried it would be too much. It had been a difficult quirk for Mirio to handle, with many broken bones along the way, and it had taken a lot of training to even get the boy prepared to receive the quirk.

He finally reached his destination, opening the door to Recovery Girl’s office.

“Mirio my boy! Are you alright?”

The rookie hero smiled back at him, throwing him a double thumbs up.

“Of course, All Might! Tamaki went overboard in taking me here; I’m in great shape!”

With his large smile, cheerful demeanour and even his blond hair, he reminded Toshinori of himself so much. It was also for that reason that he knew Mirio was not saying everything. He looked at Recovery Girl. They were very fortunate that despite the fact that Mirio had graduated UA over a year ago now, Recovery Girl was still willing to be his primary physician. It helped that she was one of the few that knew about One for All.

“He collapsed in rescue training at his agency,” the elderly heroine revealed. “His energy levels are not where they should be and his blood results are a bit concerning.”

Toshinori coughed into his handkerchief and hurried forward.

“What can you tell us?”

“I’m totally fine, All Might!”

Toshinori ignored his successor. Mirio was a wonderful boy but he was just as bad as Toshinori when it came to his own health.

“I think we need to run some more tests,” Recovery Girl replied and although she didn’t say anything, Toshinori had known her long enough that something serious was going on. “I also need all his results from before he inherited your quirk.”

“Do you think this had something to do with One for All?” Toshinori felt sick. Had he done this to his boy?

“I don’t know,” Recovery Girl leaned on her cane. “For now, I would advise Mirio refrain from using the quirk until we can run some more tests. Do we know much about previous holders of the quirk?”

“No, but I can look into it,” Toshinori immediately offered. If there was anything he could do to help his student, he would do it. “I will let you know the moment I find anything.”

Recovery Girl nodded.

“You weren’t serious about the whole not using my quirk thing, right?” Mirio grinned nervously. “I kind of need it to work.”

“I’ll write you a sick note,” Recovery Girl replied. “You are limited to desk work until we get to the bottom of this.”

Mirio sprang to his feet.

“I can’t do that!” he insisted. “I can’t take time off! I won’t be Number One taking sick days!”

“And what if you collapse out in the field, when it is not just training,” Recovery Girl returned ruthlessly. “What will you do when you are the one that needs to be rescued?”

“That won’t happen…”

“Mirio, my boy,” Toshinori rested his hand gently on his successor’s shoulder. “I understand how you feel but believe me, my boy, you need to prioritise your health. You are a fine hero who I have no doubt will reach your goal of saving one million people but you cannot do that while you are unwell.”

Toshinori knew the hypocrisy in his words but at the same time, he needed to say them. Perhaps if he’d taken his own advice, he would not be in the position he was now; missing a chunk of his organs, barely able to stomach a meal, dependent on a pile of pills and supplements just to keep going. If he had just taken a break from hero work back when he’d first fought All for One, he would have been able to be a hero much longer than he’d been able to. He did not want his student to take on his regrets along with his legacy.

“Okay, All Might,” Mirio caved. “How long will this take?”

“I’ll arrange for a full work-up by the end of this week,” Recovery Girl answered.

Toshinori squeezed Mirio’s shoulder reassuringly before he let go. They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Recovery Girl hobbled over to open the door and the anxious face of Midoriya Izuku was revealed. The young boy spotted then over the heroine’s shoulder and his eyes widened. He mumbled something to Recovery Girl before bolting.

“He really isn’t Spider Lily anymore, huh?” Mirio commented as Recovery closed the door and walked back to them,

“No, he is not.”

Toshinori had not seen the boy since he’d found about his retirement. He had not expected such a severe reaction and honestly, he’d been more than happy to avoid the boy as per Recovery Girl’s instructions. He felt terribly guilty for hurting the boy, even if it was unintentional, and he wanted to avoid causing any more distress in the future. The couple of times he’d run into the boy when he’d been unaware of his true nature, he’d been endeared to the boy. Midoriya was nervous but kind and earnest. Toshinori found himself mourning who the boy could have become if he hadn’t turned to villainy at such an early age.

“Never mind that boy,” Recovery Girl tapped her cane lightly on Mirio’s head. “You need to focus on yourself.”

Toshinori sighed and banished any further thoughts on Midoriya Izuku. Recovery Girl was right. He needed to focus on his successor. His student had to be his top priority right now.

in darkness blooms the spider lily - Chapter 14 - redninjalass19 - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)

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