Voices of the Past @aglobuzzy
The Pillars We don't know Uwabami's real name, so I named her Hebimi.

Kyojuro Rengoku. Quirkless.

The Symbol of Evil encountered his first serious opposition from his stubborn, rebellious younger brother. His second serious opposition came from this man with flowing golden hair and wild eyes of fire standing before him now.

They had something in common, this man and his brother. They were both Quirkless, and seemed to believe in an idealistic perfectly-flawed system of justice.

“The exploitation of the weak and powerless is despicable!” He proclaimed with a determined grin. He drew a deep crimson katana. “Destroy Demons” was engraved in it. “I promise you that I will put an end to your evil ways!”

All for One detested that idealistic, naive worldview. He sought out to destroy it. But, he found, it did not come as easily as he foolishly expected. This man didn’t challenge him out of misplaced hubris. Despite not having a Quirk, he fought with unprecedented skill.

It was certainly odd. He had experience beyond his years. He fought as if he had ample practice fighting against opponents with powers in his fragile, unpowered body. It wasn’t so much of a strict swordplay style as it was a beautiful fiery dance. It was his breathing, All for One realized. This man was using some sort of breathing technique to fight beyond the stretches of normal human stamina.

And, for most of the fight, he smiled.

Still, regular human endurance will always be unmatched by the force of Quirks. After almost two hours of an endless back and forth, the Symbol of Evil sent his adversary flying into a building, where he struggled to stir. The sword shattered to pieces.

“You fought valiantly,” All for One told him with his signature faux kindness. “But, it seems you were mistaken when you said you’d put an end to my evil ways. Making promises you can’t keep really is unfashionable. Any last words?”

The man did not panic, scream, cry, or beg for mercy. He grinned and reached for his broken sword once more. “Even if I die today, other Pillars will always rise in the face of demons!”

The next blast annihilated him. No Quirk to steal, no body to bury. No trace that he ever existed. But the ghost of his smile continued to taunt All for One from beyond the grave.

The Symbol of Evil came to the conclusion that he detested Heroes who dared to smile in his presence.

Yuichiro and Muichiro Tokito. Quirk- Omnipresent Rage. While in a state of rage, their physical prowess skyrockets.

Chiyo - Hero Name, Recovery Girl - left the nurse’s office and saw Yuichiro seated outside, legs in a criss cross position.

“Your brother-” she started to say. The older student gripped the side of the chair, crushing it.

“Mui’s an idiot!” He screamed. “What was he thinking, jumping in front of that attack? Did he forget he has a disturbance tactic move? He- idiot!”

Chiyo grimaced. The Tokito twins were UA’s golden children. The first ever class managed to have a bright pair of prodigies. The twins were placed with separate teachers, but were inseparable in every other account. They trained together, they fought together. Even their Hero names spoke to this. Fog and Mist. Permanence and Infinite.

So, when Muichiro was gravely injured during the latest internship, the entire faculty and student body was thrown into disarray. First year Chiyo was called to make use of her healing Quirk, but it was clear that it was too late.

“It was his idea to become Heroes!” Yuichiro’s tirade continued. The metal chair frame was reduced to twisted scraps. “I-I warned him it would be dangerous, but he didn’t listen! He never listens!”

“Well, he’s going to listen now!” Chiyo interrupted. Yuichiro glared at her with tears shining in his eyes. “Your brother wants to see you!”

Yuichiro stared at her for a few more seconds before pushing past her to go into the hospital ward.

Muichiro looked smaller than usual. He smiled weakly when he saw his twin. Yuichiro stood by his bed, and curled his hands into fists.

“Yui-” Muichiro spoke softly. “Nii-san. It’s okay.”

“It’s not okay!” Yuichiro yelled back. “This is anything but okay!” He ignored the motions to lower his voice.

“I-I just don’t understand,” Yuichiro forced out, tears streaming down his face. “I listened to your stupid suggestion this time! I did what you wanted! We became Heroes! So why- why is this happening?!”

“It- it just happens,” Muichiro said softly, pain dancing in his eyes. “But, please- please don’t be sad, nii-san. I’m happy- because you are going to live-”

“That’s supposed to be you! You’re supposed to live! Come on, these are supposed to be just flesh wounds for you, right?! Walk it off!”

Yuichiro either didn’t notice the tubes hooking his twin up to life support or chose to ignore them.

Muichiro chuckled through the pain. “I- I wasn’t blessed with Uzui-san’s physique. I’m going to die- very soon. But, Yui, please- if you don’t want to be a Hero- you don't have to. Be what you want to-”

Yuichiro cut him off once more with a sob. “I’ll do it! I’ll be a Hero! I’ll be a Hero for you, Mui!”

The younger Tokito twin smiled for the last time.

Tengen Uzui. Quirk- Score. He can use echolocation to read enemy movements, compressing them into base sounds and expanding them as sound based shockwaves.

“And first place goes to… Toshinori Yagi!”

The golden haired boy beamed as the medal was placed around his neck. The stadium burst into applause. He tried his best to remain humble about it, but honest pride brimmed from every corner. He had worked hard, and he had earned this.

Gran Torino ended that day’s lesson with a reminder about upcoming internships. It was their final Sports Festival, and everyone had fought hard to make a good impression.

The class began to file out, though one boy remained behind in his seat, painting his nails. The second place medal hung around his neck.

“Uzui, are you ready?” Toshinori asked, packing up his bag and waiting for his friend.

“Almost,” the other said, applying the final coat of polish and packing his own things.

Toshinori and Tengen left the classroom together. The afternoon sun was peeking in through the windows.

“Thank you for a good match today,” Toshinori said. “You almost had me at one point.”

“Nonsense,” Tengen scoffed, ruffling Toshinori’s unruly hair. Tengen was still considerably taller than Toshinori, though the gap had been shrinking. “Believe me, I’m a flamboyant guy for whom praise is music to the ears, but dishonest compliments are anything but flamboyant.”

“No, I really mean it. You’re surprisingly fast, and your Quirk allows you to predict my attacks with ease.”

Tengen seemed to accept the compliment this time. “It was a good match. But, I’ll accept the loss this time. Besides, our medals go with our respective aesthetics, so at least it’s not a fashion meltdown.”

They left school grounds, still walking together.

“I take it you have a plan for after school,” Tengen brought up, taking out a piece of gum and sticking it in his mouth. “For after we graduate, I mean.”

Toshinori nodded thoughtfully. “I’m considering going to the States to get international experience first.”

“An international debut! Sounds extra flamboyant!” Toshinori smiled. He could appreciate Tengen’s eccentricities. They often matched his own. “Is ‘Flamboyant’ going to be your Hero motto? It’s already in your Hero name.”

Tengen nodded. “I’m thinking something like ‘MAX FLAMBOYANCE!’” He screamed the last part, making Toshinori jump back a bit in shock. “Yeah, that one will make people remember me. You’ve got any ideas for your motto?”

Toshinori paused. “‘I am here.’ To reassure people that they’re safe, that I’ll protect them. I will become a Symbol of Peace, a Pillar for the world.”

Tengen scoffed, seemingly unimpressed. “A singular Pillar is bound to crack under all that stress. Why just one Pillar?”

“What makes you say that?”

“Yagi, when you get to be my age, you gain some certain wisdom.”

“Aren’t you four months younger than me?”

“Never mind that,” Tengen said quickly. “Back to the topic at hand, a singular Pillar to support the entire world? A classic recipe for disaster. Would be pretty unflamboyant of you to fall from grace due to being overworked. You’d need more to redistribute the weight. You know, the kanji for ‘Pillar’ has nine strokes. So nine’s a good number. Also works if you throw in number symbolism.”

“It sounds like you have been thinking about that for a while,” Toshinori noted.

Tengen nodded enthusiastically. “And I know just the people for the job! Just… have to find them first.”

The rest of the school year passed uneventfully, and soon Toshinori was on a plane to the States. He kickstarted his debut as All Might with great success. He made friends with David Shield. He got even stronger.

He returned to Japan four years later, and his old class invited him to a reunion. He expected to see Tengen there.

Instead, he got the news that the Flamboyant Hero had died in action not even a month earlier. He listened numbly as the others recounted the event.

“He saved so many people, but-”

“Sorry we didn’t tell you right away. It’s just… still hard to believe-”

“I was there at the scene,” a girl with a speed Quirk said. “It’s weird. I remember him saying ‘at least Iguro can’t get on my case about retiring early this time.’”

Toshinori grieved for not being there to help his friend, and vowed to become the Pillar Tengen couldn’t.

When he met a pair of vigilantes who called themselves Pillars at a rescue mission debrief, he failed to make the connection.

Obanai Iguro. Quirk- Snakespeak. He can communicate with snakes. Mitsuri Kanroji. Quirk- Eightfold. Her muscular density makes her up to eight times stronger than the average person.

Hebimi loved her grandparents. Grandpa Obanai doted on her and spoiled her rotten. He talked to the snakes in her hair, got her the most expensive jewelry for special occasions, taught her sword fighting. She inherited his rare right eye color. Grandma Mitsuri showered her in affection. She cooked fluffy pancakes for her, braided her hair, taught her the finest tricks of hand to hand combat. She inherited her slender build.

In modern slang, her grandparents were a power couple.

Hebimi remembered an occasion when a lowly house robber broke into her grandparents’ house when she was staying the night. Obanai’s trusty pet snake  - or friend snake as he called it - alerted her grandfather to the thief’s presence. Mitsuri knocked him out with a single punch. It was fortunately ruled as a case of self defense.

“How did you and Grandma met?” Hebimi asked Obanai one day when he was working.

He hummed thoughtfully, as if deciding to humor her. “We met almost five hundred years ago, in a different lifetime.”

Hebimi gasped in awe and jumped in place for him to continue.

“We were… I suppose Heroes is the right term,” her grandfather continued after a moment. “She was the kindest and most beautiful woman I have ever met. We vowed that if we are ever reincarnated as humans that we would marry each other. And through every single lifetime our fates remained intertwined.”

“And then you finally got married!” Hebimi cheered.

“Yes. Yes, we did.” Obanai’s voice sounded strangely wistful.

Mitsuri knocked on the door. “Obanai, we have dinner scheduled with Himejima-san at eight today.”

“It seems it is time to go. We will see you soon, Hebimi,” Obanai said, walking over to his wife.

“And then you’ll tell more stories, right?” Hebimi demanded.

“Sure, we’ll tell you all the stories you want,” Mitsuri promised.

On their way to the dinner, a careless driver t-boned right into their car. Both of them were killed by the accident. Hebimi later discovered that their killer had a long standing record, and she began to ponder if it really was an accident or not. She never figured out the answer.

Hebimi often wondered if this lifetime would be considered a tragedy for her grandparents or not. Even after becoming a Hero herself, she never figured out the answer.

Gyomei Himejima. Quirk- See Through. He can perceive another person’s blood flow and pulse, painting a clear picture of them in his head.

Gyomei wondered what this eccentric doctor could want, visiting his orphanage. He was preparing breakfast that morning when he received a call that one Kyudai Garaki wished to speak with him.

He had heard of the man due to his vast influence in the field of Quirk research. He was also a philanthropist, using his vast wealth to fund his own orphanages. For those reasons, Gyomei tentatively agreed to the meeting.

He could sense from the doctor’s pulse that he was old and not very physically fit. He also appeared to be quite short in contrast with Gyomei’s giant frame.

“Ah, Mr. Himejima,” the doctor exclaimed, eagerly shaking his hand. “I have heard many great tales about you!”

There was something off about this doctor. Still, Gyomei tucked those worries into the corner of his mind and pulled up a chair for the elderly man.

“What can I do for you?” He asked.

Garaki tapped his fingers against the chair arm. “Your orphanage is well renowned for having one of the best Quirk education programs for the youth. In many other institutions, there have been reports of high levels of Quirk based violence. Understandable, given the circumstances, but still! But, under your care, those numbers are almost nonexistent.”

Gyomei felt a few tears slip from his eyes. The children under his care were his pride and joy. He simply did his best to give them a good life under less than ideal circumstances.

Still, Garaki wanted something, he could feel it. The compliment stuck out of place and hung awkwardly in the air. One of the kids walked past them with a pitter patter of bare feet, chasing after a ball rolling across the ground.

Garaki leaned forward. His pulse increased. “I am very interested in the study of Quirk evolution. I wish to ask for your permission to study the kids at this orphanage. The amount of control they display over their Quirks at a such a young age, the scientific knowledge it can reap-”

He reached for the child.

Alarm bells blasted in Gyomei’s head. There was something off about the doctor. His voice, ingenuine. His mannerisms, out of place. Pulse and heart rate, far too high.

He was much older than he appeared to be.

He couldn’t let him near the children.

Gyomei grabbed hold of Garaki’s hand. Firmly enough for it to hurt, with just enough restraint to avoid breaking bones.

“I think we are done here,” he said, voice far more threatening than anyone thought he was capable of. “I’ll have to decline your offer.”

Gyomei personally saw the doctor out the door. He called Kanae and Shinobu that night, asking them to check the legitimacy of his strange visitor.

A month later, simply a week before the two sisters were meant to report their findings, the orphanage mysteriously caught fire. Authorities suspected foul play, but could not prove anything. Gyomei single handedly saved every orphan from the flames, running in and out of the building. That spelled his own end, though, as the amount of ash found in his lungs during the autopsy was enough to suffocate even a giant like him.

Kanae Kocho. Quirk- Wisteria. She can cause wisteria to flower in her close vicinity. Shinobu Kocho. Quirk- Poison. She can secrete wisteria poison through her skin.

Shinobu was quick to spot the young girl all by herself in the play area of the hospital. The girl had ebony black hair tied back in a braid and deep blue eyes. She looked oddly familiar in a strange way. The girl would play by tossing a stuffed rabbit toy into the air and catch it in thin air on its way down.

“A forcefield Quirk?” She asked with curiosity, sitting down next to the girl. The girl nodded vigorously.

Upon closer inspection, a very thin blue wall formed beneath the toy on each descent, cushioning its fall. This child must have recently gotten her Quirk and was experimenting.

“Are you waiting for your parents?” Shinobu asked, scanning the crowd for people who could resemble the girl’s parents.

She nodded again. “They’re with a doctor. They need to make sure that the baby is okay.”

Ah, so her parents were expecting another child.

“Do you know if it’s going to be a boy or girl?” Shinobu continued to ask. “Either way, you’re going to be a big sister. That’s a big responsibility.”

Shinobu thought of her own sister, passed on as of last year. It still stung deeply, but not as much as last time. Kanae lived a long life this time, married a loving man and had a beautiful child, so there was no sense of incompletion. And, she had no physical thing to take her anger out on. Ironically enough, wisteria poisoning had destroyed Kanae’s immune system in the end.

“Do you work here?” The girl asked in return, cradling the toy bunny to her chest.

“Sometimes,” Shinobu said. “I research medicine, and I needed to run some tests at the nearby facility. Nogata is the only place that had the exact materials I needed.”

“So you’re a doctor?” The girl asked excitedly. “I also want to be a doctor!”

“That’s a beautiful dream,” Shinobu said with an airy smile.

“Tsutako!”

It seemed to be her father calling, because the girl jumped to her feet.

“It was nice to meet you, future doctor,” Shinobu said. “My name is Shinobu Kocho.”

“I’m Tsutako Tomioka!”

Shinobu blinked. She recognized the surname. The visibly pregnant mother, the name… A certain Water Pillar awkwardly trying to empathize with her after Kanae’s death by telling her that he also lost an older sister…

“Well, best of luck, Doctor Tomioka!” Shinobu told Tsutako as the child ran to rejoin her parents.

“It appears we’ll have a chance to meet again, Tomioka-san. Or I suppose it’s Tomioka-kun now.”

They did not get the chance to meet again. Five years later, when Giyu would have been only a child, Shinobu died of natural causes, a mixture of her increasing age and exposure to chemicals. Their paths crossed in another way, though. The medicine she crafted was used to save the lives of Giyu’s parents when they almost succumbed to illness.

Giyu Tomioka. Quirk- Dead Calm. While in a state of complete calmness, any non living object that comes within two and a half meters of him can be turned into dust. Sanemi Shinazugawa. Quirk- Rare Blood. His blood possesses the qualities of strong alcohol.

Sanemi and Giyu waved the three boys out the door. Only Izuku waved back.

“How did we get ourselves into this situation?” Sanemi sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Looking after three brats just because they sound like people we care about-”

“I don’t think so,” Giyu cut him off gently. “It might have started that way, but it’s not just that anymore. We’ve acknowledged that they are not Sabito and Genya. So, the only logical conclusion is that we care about their wellbeing as their own individuals.”

“Sappy again,” Sanemi teased him.

Giyu felt a smile tug at the very corners of his mouth. “Besides, I have to admit, it- feels less lonely with them around.”

Though he didn’t say it out loud, Sanemi was inclined to agree.

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