Three days and not a single sighting of the Hero Killer, Izuku knew that his sensei was getting impatient; he could hear it in the man's voice when they would check in over the radio, or when they'd meet up for their meals.
"He's still in town," he would mutter, "he's only injured one hero, he goes after at least four in the previous towns he's been in."
"Maybe we should tighten our search pattern." Izuku had suggested, "focus more on the back alleys."
But Rin had been adamant that they'd stick to the search pattern he'd set in place on the first day.
Which is what led to Izuku watching over a busy town square, watching civilians and heroes mill about. "This is Ghost checking in." izuku spoke into his radio, "still no sign of the Hero Killer, will be moving a click to the southeast."
"Copy that Ghost, be advised, received some intel that Pro Hero Native missed his check in time, you see him you radio in copy?"
Copy, Ghost out." Izuku sighed as he turned off his radio, jumping rooftop to rooftop as his eyes scanned the back alleys, "what the…" he muttered, stopping on one roof and pulling his rifle off his back, looking down the scope at a small child running away from three goons, "Ghost to Deadshot, I have three goons trying to run down a small child, moving to intercept."
"I'm denying that request, we have bigger fish to fry Ghost."
Izuku hesitated, watching as the goons cornered the obviously terrified girl, "sorry Sir, but that wasn't a request.' Izuku said firmly, turning his radio off as he jumped down into the alleyway.
Eri was terrified.
She had been lucky to escape the underground base with little difficulty, and had even managed to get deeper into the city then she ever had before.
But Overhaul's goons were already on her trail, and these three did not look happy with her.
"Come on ya little brat." one sneered, holding a hand out, "come with us quietly, we don't want Overhaul to get involved in this do we?"
"Yeah, just come with us, and we don't even have to tell him that you ran away." the other added, "you won't be in trouble."
"She won't be, but you three are."
The three goons turned around quickly, tensing as they looked at the armor-clad individual behind them, his skull faced helmet unnerving.
"Beat it, this don't concern you." one said, flexing his fire quirk as the man slowly stepped forward.
"I think it does." He said, "that girl doesn't look too comfortable with any of you, leading me to believe that she's not any of yours."
"She's our boss's daughter.' the third said, "he wanted us to take her home."
The man looked at the little girl, who was trembling in fear amidst the three goons, "then he won't have a problem picking her up at the precinct." he said firmly.
"We don't have time for this." the fire user growled, unleashing a torrent of flames at the man.
"NO!" Eri shrieked as the flames disappeared, the man was gone.
"You turned him to ash!" one of the other goons said in surprise.
"I gave you an out." The man's voice growled out a split second before he appeared in the middle of the goons, Eri watched in awe as the armored man took down the three goons in record fashion, dislocating arms and kicking in knee's until all three were passed out on the ground.
"Are you okay?" the man asked her.
"I...I…' she whispered, backing up further against the wall.
'It's okay…" the man whispered gently, kneeling in front of her and pulling his helmet off, "I'm Izuku, what's your name?"
"E-Eri…" she mumbled.
"That's a nice name," Izuku said with a smile, "do you know what I am Eri? I'm a hero, my job is to protect people, help them when they're in danger." he held a hand out, "i want to help you Eri, will you let me?"
Ever so slowly, Eri reached out, and took Izuku's hand.
"What were you thinking?"
Izuku sighed, pulling the phone away from his ear for a moment, before bringing it back, "she was in trouble, the three guys who cornered her are all Yakuza, wanted for various things. The girl herself has signs of abuse."
"We have a mission to do Izuku, I need you out here right now."
"Give me fifteen minutes to make sure she's settled, and I'll head back out."
"You have ten."
The line went dead and Izuku fought the urge to throw the phone across the room, instead he returned it to it's spot on his belt and walked back into the Observation room of the hospital, where Eri was quietly sitting on the examination table, "how are you holding up kid?" Izuku asked.
The little girl simply shrugged, looking down at her hands while Izuku leaned against the wall.
"The people here will take good care of you," Izuku said, "try to comply with them as best you can-"
"-you're leaving?" Eri asked, looking at him with scared eyes.
'Not yet," he reassured her, "I still have a little bit before I have to get back to patrol, and I promise you that I'll be checking in with you after the patrol as well…" he trailed off as her gaze moved away from him, specifically to his helmet sitting on the counter, he pushed off the wall and picked up the helmet, holding it out to her, "Here," he said, "Try it on for size."
Eri slowly took the helmet, her hand running over the face of it, fingers tracing the divots and dents in it, then she slowly put it over her head, giving a small 'oh!' when it sank too far.
Izuku chuckled, "bit big for you huh?" he asked, slowly lifting it up to look at her, "maybe one day you'll grow into it.
"Maybe." Eri said, her eyes shining slightly as she pulled the helmet off completely and looking at the skull on the front, "why is it so scary?" she asked.
"It's not supposed to be." Izuku said, running a gloved hand over it, "someone I really care about designed this helmet, they said the face is supposed to protect me from evil."
"It does." Eri said honestly, looking up at Izuku, "Can I meet them?"
Izuku smiled sadly, "No, not anymore they're uh...not around…"
Suddenly an explosion shook the building, causing the lights to flicker as Izuku instinctively covered Eri, "you alright?" he asked her, looking to the door when she nodded, "get under the counter and stay there, I'm going to go see what's going on."
"You'll come back right?" she asked worriedly.
Izuku looked at the scared little girl, "of course," he said, putting the helmet in her hands again, "here, so you know I'll have to come back."
Eri hugged the helmet as she moved under the counter while Izuku left the room; closing it behind him and grabbing a running doctor, 'what's going on?" he demanded to know.
"I...there's...a..a-a thing! It attacked the heroes outside! It's trying to get in!" the Doctor spluttered.
"Get your staff somewhere safe." Izuku commanded him, pulling his Barretta's as he ran down the hall, turning his radio on as he went, "Deadshot, we have a situation at the hospital, unknown hostiles are attacking, we'll need immediate-" he was cut off as a dark fist shot out and slammed into his chest, sending him flying back down the hall, 'Fuck…" Izuku groaned, tumbling back to his feet as he brought his guns up and firing, "WE HAVE NOMU AT THE HOSPITAL! NEED IMMEDIATE BACK UP NOW!"
Rin ran across the rooftops as fast as he could go, "Nomu in Hosu, what the hell…" he growled as he jumped over alleyways, "hang on kid, i'm coming…' he trailed off as he heard a cry of pain, quickly he turned around and looked down the alley he had just passed, seeing Native and what could only be Ingenium immobilized by Stain, "Hero-Killer…" Rin growled.
Stain looked up and locked eyes with Rin, "Sensei," he sneered, "Come to save these fakes?"
"Save them and put you in the ground." he snarled, diving down into the alleyway, wrist guns firing as he went.
Izuku dodged another punch as he unloaded his handguns into the Nomu, beside him another Hero was using their telekinesis quirk to send nearby objects crashing into it, "we need reinforcements!" the hero shouted to Izuku.
"My mentor should be on his way, until then we need to hold this freak here." Izuku snarled, reloading his weapons.
The Nomu in front of them shrieked as it charged once more, going straight for Izuku who dove down the hallway, firing as he went. The other hero sent a tray full of scalpels into its chest, making it scream again and slam it's fist into the heroes stomach, sending him flying through a wall.
"Psyche!" Izuku shouted, glaring at the Nomu as he pulled his single shot 40mm out, "You son of a bitch!"
The high explosive round tore through the monsters arm, making it scream in pain as it began to reform.
"You like that you piece of shit!?" Izuku roared, reloading and firing again, this time taking out it's leg.
"Coming through!" a familiar voice shouted a split second before a hardened fist punched the Nomu in the mouth, sending it staggering back out into the street, "Midoriya!" Kirishima exclaimed as he and Tetsutestu ran into the hospital, "you're here too?"
"Where's your mentor?" Izuku asked as he limped over to them.
"Fourth Kind's in the town square helping local heroes contain two other nomus!" Tetsutetsu reported, getting into a defensive stance as the Nomu lumbered back into the hospital, 'He sent us here to help!"
"Get ready, this thing has hyper regeneration and who knows what else." Izuku said, holstering his beretta's and bringing his M4 up, "aim for the head, if we can kill it we can end this."
"Kill it? What business are you in?" Tetsutetsu asked rudely.
"He's right,'' Kirishima said, "that last Nomu we faced almost killed him and Aizawa, we don't put it down then it may just destroy this entire hospital.'
Tetsutetsu growled as his skin turned to metal, "I don't like it but you're right! LET'S HIT IT RED RIOT!"
"GOT YOUR BACK REAL STEEL!" Kirishima snarled as the two charged in and began hitting the Nomu, dodging it's kicks and punches while also delivering devastating blows to the monster.
Izuku, meanwhile, was trying to get a good angle on the monster, hoping to get a headshot without hitting Kirishima or Tetsu, "aim for the head!" he ordered as he fired a three round burst, blasting a chunk of it's brain away; only for the damage to heal on its own as the thing darted at izuku and swatting him away
"This thing isn't letting up!" Tetsu shouted, groaning as a powerful punch sent him flying out of the hospital.
"Tetsutetsu!" Kirishima cried out in concern.
"KIRISHIMA DUCK!" Izuku ordered as he brought the 40mm up once more from where he lay, Kirishima dove out of the way as the round tore into the monster's brain, exploding within and sending gray matter and bits of skull around the room.
"You good?" Izuku asked, limping over and helping Kirishima up.
"Bit banged up but fine." Kirishima said, giving him a thumbs up.
"You two alive!?" Tetsutetsu called, running back into the hospital, his costume worse for wear as he reached the two.
"Fine….there's no fucking way…" Izuku groaned as he watched the Nomu's head begin to reform, "We're not out of the woods yet!"
The three Heroes in Training readied themselves for another fight, only to relax as fire enveloped the Nomu and Endeavor appeared behind it, burning it so thoroughly that it couldn't regenerate. "Midoriya!" Shoto called, running over to his classmates,
"Sight for sore eyes." Izuku muttered as he fell to his knees, Kirishima steadying him.
"You good man?" Kirishima asked.
"Might've broken some ribs," Izuku gritted out as he turned his radio on, "Ghost to Deadshot, Nomu has been neutralized, I repeat, Nomu has been neutralized."
"Deadshot to Ghost, I need you here now! I am currently engaging the Hero Killer and am in need of reinforcements."
"Gotta be shitting me…" izuku swore as his mentor relayed the coordinates to him, "my mentor's engaging the Hero killer, and I'm combat Ineffective."
"Where is the Hero Killer?" Endeavor asked gruffly.
"Alleyway about two clicks to the south," Izuku muttered, wincing as Kirishima helped him up, "Deadshot is currently engaged."
"Then we'll go reinforce him." Endeavor said, "Shoto, with me."
"Let's get you to a room Midoriya." Kirishima said, guiding the injured teen down the hall while Tetsutetsu checked over the injured Psyche.
Gunfire filled the air as Stain darted from wall to wall, narrowly avoiding the rounds from his former mentor, "the heroes of today are unworthy to hold such a title! The fakes of society will be culled to bring forth a new era!"
"You talk too much!" Rin snapped as he reloaded his weapons, the Ingenium boy had dragged Native out of the alleyway moments before, leaving the two on their own.
"I never thought I'd end up fighting you, my former master," stain said, landing on the pavement and charging forward, Katana at the ready, "You are one of the few true heroes left! But you step in the way of my mission!"
"Your mission is bullshit!" Rin snarled, dodging Stain's strikes, "you call these heroes fakes and unworthy, yet they still do the job of a hero! Protecting the innocent!"
"For their own profit and gain!" he sneered, jumping over a barrage of bullets and throwing two knives, "a true hero would never ask for anything in return!"
"Humans are allowed to be imperfect!" Rin declared, catching his knives and throwing them back, following up with another barrage of bullets, "you're not judge, jury and executioner Akaguro, and it's high time someone remind you of that fact!"
Stain let out a gasp of pain as his knives shot into his chest, he barely had the presence of mind to dodge his former masters shots, each bullet grazing his skin as they sped past, he pulled another knife to throw it, only for a large hand to grab him around the throat.
"Hero Killer." Endeavor sneered as he unleashed his Hellflame, within moments Stain was unconscious and on the ground.
"Endeavor." Deadshot greeted, "I'm guessing you're the back up my protege sent?"
"Yes, your Ghost is a talented young man-" He stopped as he saw Stain slowly stand, several other heroes come running towards them, "out for more Punishment aye?"
"ENDEAVOR!" Stain roared, everyone in the area freezing at the pure bloodlust pouring off the man, "COME ON YOU FAKE! JUST TRY IT! YOU THINK I'D LET ANY OF YOU PHONY'S TAKE ME OUT!? THERE'S ONLY ONE MAN WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO KILL ME!"
"ALL MIGHT IS WORTHY!"
The heroes present stared in shock as Stain fell to the ground, a bullet in his head courtesy of Deadshot.
"Shut the fuck up." he growled as he lowered his arm.
"You...you killed him…" Endeavor whispered as his son looked sick.
"He was too dangerous to be kept alive." deadshot said. "And I'm sure there's bigger fish to fry right now."
"He's right!" Manual shouted, "Native and Iida need the hospital, and we still have a lot of search and rescue back in the square."
Endeavor clenched his fists, "fine, let's get to work, but this isn't over Deadshot."
Rin said nothing, simply walked away.
The Next Day
Izuku sat listening to Fourth Kind fuss over Kirishima and Tetsutetsu.
"You both showed everyone just what it means to have chivalrous hearts!" the four armed man exclaimed, eyes seeming to shine as the two boys stood at attention, "I couldn't be more proud!"
"THANK YOU MR. FOURTH KIND SIR!"
Psyche chuckled, wincing from his bed, "stop, it hurts to laugh." he groaned, the telekinetic hero was covered in gauze save for his eyes; "but seriously, you boys really saved my ass, especially you Ghost."
"It was a coincidence that I was at this hospital." Izuku said, thinking of Eri next door.
"Coincidence or not, glad you were here."
"Glad someone is." Rin said gruffly as he entered the room.
"Sensei." Izuku greeted, keeping his eyes averted.
Rin glared at him, then sighed, "you did good work yesterday kid," he said, "looked further into those Yakuza guy's you caught, they had some funky shit on them. Once you're cleared I want you guarding that little girl.'
"Yes sir...how are you holding up?"
Rin scoffed, "ask me again after these bureaucrats are done fucking with me." He grumbled, walking back out.
"That guy's kinda an asshole isn't he?" Kirishima wondered aloud.
"Not the nicest of guys." Tetsutetsu agreed.
"You two show some respect!" Fourth Kind thundered, "That there is a veteran hero and you'll show your respect!"
Izuku sighed, standing up and wincing slightly, his ribs aching, "i'm gonna go check on the kid, Kirishima, can you let me know when Iida is done with the doctors, I need to talk with him."
"Got you class Prez," Kirishima gave him a thumbs up as Izuku walked into Eri's room, the little girl was watching a tv show one of the nurses had put on.
"Ghost!" she greeted happily, her eyes shining as she jumped out of bed to run up to the injured hero in training, "are you okay?"
"Of course, can't take me down that easy." Izuku said with a friendly smile as he ruffled the girl's hair, "besides, had to come back for my helmet right?"
She nodded, "right!"
"Have you eaten yet?" he asked, receiving a quiet no from the girl, "let's head to the cafe, then get some food in ya."
They walked out together, Eri sticking close to the larger boy, holding his hand as she looked around worriedly.
"Don't worry kid," izuku said, squeezing her hand softly, "you're safe here, I promise."
She nodded, "Okay." she mumbled, but still stayed close.
Meanwhile Rin was speaking with a CPS worker, "So you're saying the girl has no documented guardians?" he asked.
"Her mother had signed away her rights to the grandfather, but we've been unable to reach him, and the gentlemen we've talked to…"
"More Yakuza?" Rin guessed, getting a nod from the doctor.
"And we have another problem; the girl doesn't trust anyone save for your protege, she won't even talk to us unless he prompts her."
"With all of her injuries, I wouldn't be surprised if Midoriya saving her is the first positive experience this kid has had...is there a way to sign temporary custody to myself?" he asked, "it'd keep her close to him, and I'm a pro-hero, should deter any attempts by the Yakuza to reclaim her."
"...does the boy have a mother?" the doctor asked uneasily.
Rin rolled his eyes, "he does, I'll give her a call."
Izuku carefully set the two trays of food down, "dig in shortstack." Izuku said, smiling as he sees Eri's mouth water at the sight of a bright red apple on her tray.
"Thank you!" she breathed out as she took a big bite of the apple.
"Guess you like apples huh?" Izuku chuckled, "don't forget to eat your hamburger too, can't just live on fruit you know. "
"Okay," she hummed, still focused on the apple.
Izuku kept his attention on Eri, talking with her as he ate, soon both were done and simply conversing, Izuku was telling Eri about the amazing All-Might when Kirishima walked over, "hey Midoriya! Iida's done talking with the docs, said he'd be waiting in his room for you.'
"Thanks Kirishima, could you watch Eri for me while I talk to him?"
"Of course!" Kirishima grinned.
"Can you stay with Kirishima while I go take care of something Eri?" he asked the girl, who looked worried, "don't worry, he's a good friend of mine, and a hero too."
"Okay…" she mumbled as Izuku walked away, Kirishima sitting down next to the girl.
"So! Who's your favorite hero?" Kirishima asked the girl with a big smile.
"Um...Ghost…" she said shyly, 'who's yours?"
"His name is Crimson Riot!"
Iida sat in his room, mulling over what the police chief and the doctors had told him.
My one and only warning, and my arms are damaged…
"You look like hammered shit."
Iida looked up, averting his gaze when he saw Izuku, 'Midoriya…" he greeted.
Izuku walked in and sat down in a nearby chair, "been a pretty crazy night huh?" Izuku asked him, "Hero Killer's dead, and those Nomu showed up again…"
"I heard you had to go up against them, I'm sorry I couldn't help."
Izuku sighed, "No, I'm sorry Iida, I should've known you'd want revenge, and as your Class Rep and your Friend, I should've been watching out for you."
"Midoriya no! This was all my fault and-"
"-I should've pushed Aizawa to bar you from Hosu, No matter the cost, as well as counseling, you weren't in a good spot mentally after your brother's injury." Izuku put his hand on his shoulder, "don't get me wrong, I'm also pissed you did what you did, but I can't put all the blame on you."
Iida looked down, "I...I'm so sorry…I just...I couldn't handle…"
Izuku sighed, "Gotta get your head on straight man, how do you think your bro would've felt if you had died?" he stood, "use the next week to come to terms with what happened, if you need anything, don't hesitate to ask."