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Don't Shoot the Messenger @blackpolaris
Chapter 2

I totally uploaded the wrong chapter... MY BAD!

Izuku returned to The Library covered in dirt.

Well, what can he say? Eikou was really heavy and it took forever to dig a big enough hole for the larger man! So what if Izuku got a little dirt on him?

Ah, well, he couldn't track that dirt around the Library, so he needed to take a shower and change. He slipped into the cool water and started scrubbing.

Showers were a godsend. Izuku revelled in the downpour, letting it wash away all the grime that had accumulated through the day.

He pretended it washed away the scars and the horror, also.

He was also free from his darker thoughts, for a while! It was hard to be villainous surrounded by bubbles. Instead, Izuku thought about organizing the library again. Alphabetical order was just not doing it. He'd run from one side to the other, looking for a specific piece of information to connect to another, but it was wasting too much time! Perhaps by subject would be better. But then he'd have to reread all of it again…

Not that he didn't like rereading. It was nice, just being absorbed in information that was, ultimately, useless. But he didn't have the time to waste on reading, there was so much work to be done!

He turned off the water and toweled off. Where was his notebook? He put his otou-san's orders in there, it would be really, really bad if he had lost it. He pulled on a soft gray shirt and yoga pants and left the bathroom. Ah, there was his notebook. And his orders were right there, nestled in the pages.

Preventative measures against Gang Orca and the ideal route of escape from Musutafu Harbour.

Ooh, it had been so long since he'd looked into Gang Orca's quirk! What was it again…? Oh, yes, his physical mutation gave him enhanced speed and strength! He also produced hypersonic waves that paralyzed people. That was so cool! Well, unfortunate for a villain, but really useful for a hero! He could catch someone running, or stop someone chasing, or halt an attack! It would also be useful for hostage situations!

"Focus, Izuku!" He muttered, collapsing on one of the stiff armchairs. "Counter-measures."

Since Gang Orca was a larger man, his speed most likely didn't help with quick corners. So a zig-zag route through many tight alleys, was probably the best bet. But what about his paralyzing hypersonic waves? They were faster than the speed of sound, so there was no way to outdistance them, and there was no guarantee that ear-plugs or headphones would muffle or erase the effects. Hey, where was that paper he read a while ago? He vaguely remembered a scientific paper on hypersonic boundary-layers, or something of the sort. Like, layers of mesh that maybe absorb or redirect the sound? Like this, yeah, yeah, exactly. Izuku held up rough sketches of head-phones with the mesh layered inside. It might work! He'd have to send the sketch to someone to make the headphones, but if it did work, it would pretty much put Gang Orca out of the running anyway!

At that, Izuku faltered. The familiar feeling of wrong bubbled up again. If there was any good in him, Izuku should just scrap the idea and pretend he couldn't figure anything out. He should come up with some other value method of prevention. He should…

He was a villain. He wasn't good. Any good he had left as soon as his otou-san decided to introduce him to the family business. This was what he was supposed to do. If Gang Orca was no longer a problem, wasn't that good for him…?

Izuku picked up the sketches and a marked-up map of possible routes and sealed it in a heavy envelope for his otou-san to pick up later.

His phone buzzed. Izuku picked it up to see who was texting him.

K: ingenium is fighting on 23rd street

K: pretty sure the fucking media is already there so its probably on tv

I: Thanks!

Izuku picked up his notebook and headed for the elevator. Hero fights were always fun to watch.

I: How was school?

K: boring as hell

K: were going on some stupid field trip tomorrow

I: At least you won't be sitting around in a classroom all day!

The elevator opened to the Media level and Izuku made himself comfortable on one of the desk chairs. He unmuted the TV focusing on the hero fight and turned back to his phone.

K: shitty extras wont stop talking about it

I: Where are you going?

K: dont know, teachers wont tell us

I: Oh, that's unfortunate. I bet it will be cool though!

There was suddenly a loud BOOM from the television. Izuku jerked up, eyes wide, to see dust rising from a fallen building.

I: Whoa, what happened? You saw, right?

Izuku watched, entranced, as the villain Heartstrings became visible through the dust.

Oh. "She collapsed the building…" Izuku mumbled to himself.

Ingenium was clearly yelling at the villain. The cameras were too far away to clearly make out what he was saying, but to Izuku, it was pretty obvious he was demanding she surrender.

"Good luck with that…" he muttered.

Heartstrings laughed. Ingenium shifted into a fighting stance.

His phone buzzed with a notification.

K: 1 mo busy

One of Ingenium's sidekicks suddenly lunged forward to attack. Izuku looked away. He knew what would happen next.

One movement from Heartstrings' hand and it was over for him.

The other sidekicks reeled back, but Ingenium stood his ground. Heartstrings let out a soundless cackle and hopped off the rubble.

In one corner of the camera, Izuku noticed a couple heroes helping others escape the ruined building. A few more people, dressed in some school uniform, were holding back the crowds and clearing a way for the emergency workers.

His phone rang with a familiar ringtone. "Messenger speaking."

"Izuku!" his otou-san's jovial voice rang through. "So we may be out here longer than previously expected, so go lock down everything, alright? And close your okaa-san's shop."

"Yes sir." Izuku replied. "Is that all?"

"Did you get that assignment done?"

"Yes sir."

"Brilliant! A man with a purple bowtie is going to knock on the door at precisely 10:44, so give that report to him for me."

"Yes sir."

"He owes 650 thousand yen, so make sure to collect."

"Yes sir."

And with that, the line died.

On the screen, Heartstrings was cheerfully removing a sidekick's ability to have progeny. Izuku couldn't help a wince of sympathy.

Izuku checked the clock, then bolted up. Was it that time already? Analyzing Gang Orca must have taken a lot longer than he thought. He needed to eat and prepare for tomorrow!

After shoving a cup of instant ramen into a precariously perched microwave, Izuku located two blank notebooks and a black marker. On one he wrote 1-A UA Quirks and the other he wrote LOV Quirks. Coded, of course. So really, it read A-1 211 17219181119 and 121522 17219181119. Not the most complex of codes, but not one that could be broken on sight. He slipped the notebooks and several sharpened pencils into a worn red backpack, along with a spare mask and hoodie. Izuku placed his pocket knife on top to remind himself to put it in his pocket tomorrow.

An alarm blared through the Library. Crap. Izuku checked the time - sure enough, it was 10:44. He grabbed the packet and snatched up the knife before heading upstairs.

A paranoid-looking man with a purple bow tie fidgeted in place in front of the store. Izuku carefully covered the trapdoor with the rug and went out to meet him.

"Sorry sir, we are closed for the night," Izuku greeted. He silently flicked his knife open.

"Oh," the man jerked at Izuku's sudden, silent appearance. "I'm just here to pick up an order."

Izuku smiled. "I have it here." He held up the papers.

The man held up a black briefcase. "And I have the payment we agreed upon."

Izuku held open the door to the shop, waving the man inside with his knife. The man gulped and complied.

"Great Dragon-san-"

"He is my boss." Izuku interrupted. He led the man to a table in the backroom.

"...R-right. Um, thank you for your assistance…"

"It was our pleasure." Izuku gestured at the briefcase. "You don't mind counting it out for me, do you?"

"N-no sir…" The man flicked open the briefcase and began pulling stacks of money out. Izuku carefully watched as he counted out each bunch, knife calmly flipping around his fingers in slow circles.

"649… 650 thousand yen." The man put the final stack down.

Izuku flicked the knife shut and passed the envelope over. "If you tell anyone where you got this, there won't be a body to find. Am I clear?"

"Yes, a-absolutely. Thank you so much." The man bowed out of the store. Izuku locked the door behind him and shut off the lights.

What a day. He glanced at the clock. 11:07. He needed to get to bed.

Tomorrow would be yet another busy day.

Shit, he forgot to redo the page on Mount Lady.

The first thing Izuku noticed upon arriving in the alley was the body of a dead rat that was definitely not there last night.

The second was the distinct lack of Shigaraki.

Izuku groaned. "Please don't be late again…"

He stood there for several moments, half expecting the man-child to show up out of no-where again, but there was nothing. Izuku pulled out his phone and leaned back against the wall.

Or, what should have been a wall.

Instead, he fell to the ground with a crash! He scrambled up quickly, retrieving his fallen phone and pulling his hood (which had fallen off) back over his striking green hair. Izuku glanced around to see if anyone had noticed his embarrassing fall, then jerked back at the change in scenery.

He was in a bar. How did he get here? It was almost completely empty, save for a stringy blue-haired man and the foggy bartender. The bartender was rubbing a glass, completely unphased by Izuku's impromptu arrival, and the blue-haired man-

Wait, were those hands? What-?

"Messenger-Brat!" The handy-man rose from his barstool. "You showed up!"

Izuku's eyes widened at the familiar voice. "Shigaraki-san?"

"Yes, brat, it's me." Shigaraki shook his head. "You can't be that stupid."

"Take off your hood indoors." Izuku's hood came flying off once more. The smokey villain glanced up. "Didn't your mother teach you manners?"

Izuku bristled. "She did. She also taught me how to castrate a man. Don't touch my hood again, or you'll find out exactly how it is done." He punctuated his threat by pulling his hood back into place firmly.

The silence was deafening. Clearly, the two villains weren't sure how to handle the sudden threat from the previously diplomatic teen.

"Tell me, Messenger-Brat," Shigaraki suddenly squeezed his glass - but instead of shattering, it crumbled to dust. Izuku stared, eyes wide with shock. So that's his quirk. "What makes you think you can just come in here and threaten us like that?"

"I apologize for my rudeness, but I have rules to follow." Izuku said resolutely. "The hood stays on."

Shigaraki snarled and lunged forward. Izuku whipped out his pocket knife to defend himself, but the action was made unnecessary by Kurogiri's Warp Gate diverting Shigaraki's hands elsewhere.

"Kurogiri!" Shigaraki complained.

"Shigaraki, I believe it is in our best interest to keep Messenger alive." Kurogiri said. "The Great Dragon is a valuable ally."

"Tch!" Shigaraki turned and stomped back to his stool.

Izuku was hesitant to relax, but he allowed his hands to fall to his side, the knife still open. "Was that your quirk, Kurogiri-san?" His voice returned to his normal polite tone. "May I ask what it's called?"

"Indeed, Messenger." Kurogiri replied. "It is called Warp Gate."

"That's so cool!" Izuku brightened, the previous offense pushed to the back of his mind by the allure of a new quirk. "There's so many applications for a quirk like that! Can you teleport anything? How far can you go? Can you open multiple portals at once? Can you cut something in half? How've I never heard of you before?"

"I believe that information is a secret of All-for-One's, Messenger-san." Kurogiri replied.

Ah. Dangerous territory. Izuku bit his lip to quiet his questions.

"Why wouldn't the Great Dragon know? Sensei and Great Dragon are partners, right?" Shigaraki asked.

"Yes." Izuku nodded. "All-for-One has his secrets, and the Great Dragon gives him his privacy."

"Hm." Shigaraki idly drew a finger through the dust pile he'd created. "Partners...equals… I guess that makes you my Player Two, huh?"

"Uh…" Izuku blinked, unsure what to say. How do you answer that?

"Players are equals. We can be equals, like Sensei and the Great Dragon."

Where was he going with this? "I guess so?"

Shigaraki's grin poked out behind the hand clamped to his face. "You and I, we will burn the hero society to the ground."

Izuku was speechless. "I…"

"Sensei said I could destroy whatever I hate." Shigaraki said, an edge of madness in his voice. "What do you hate, Messenger-Brat?"

"...Nothing, really." Izuku hesitated.

Shigaraki huffed. "There's got to be something."

"Um… I guess… my p-parents?" Izuku's voice caught. Shigaraki doesn't know who his parents are, right? Right? Shit, shit, he's dead now, they'll kill him-

Shigaraki clapped his hands. "Yes! Yes! You help me destroy what I hate, I help you destroy what you hate!" The villain cackled. "I can tell this going to work out wonderfully."

...Well, otou-san, you wanted a connection with the League of Villains...

"So, ah," Izuku paused, hesitant. "What's the plan?"

"We break into the USJ-"

"Universal Studios Japan?"

"No, brat, we break into the USJ at UA," Shigaraki said gleefully. "And we kill All Might."

Izuku blinked. "Sorry - we're doing what now?"

"Well, you'll be gathering stats on the brats - but I'll be fighting a boss battle against All Might." Shigaraki let out a cackle. "I can't wait to see the look on those kids' faces!"

"And, uh, if you don't mind me asking… how are you going to… uhm…"

"Win?" Shigaraki's eyes glinted madly between the fingers pressed to his face. "I've got a very powerful ally! But I don't want to ruin the surprise. You will get to see Nomu soon enough!"

Izuku felt a chill go down his spine.

"Shigaraki." Kurogiri spoke up. "It is time."

"Time. Time! Yes!" Shigaraki suddenly pulled Izuku to his side, an arm draped over his shoulders. His hand gripped Izuku's shoulder tightly, his pinky raised like one might hold a wine glass in a fancy setting. "You're going to love this, Messenger-Brat. Together, we will be the strongest players. The final boss doesn't stand a chance!"

Briefly, they were plunged into darkness as they passed through Kurogiri's quirk. Then they were on a raised platform in a large warehouse.

Izuku's breath stuttered. There were so many people.

A hush fell over the previously chatty crowd.

Shigaraki stepped forward. "I'd like to introduce you to someone."

A hundred pairs of eyes flicked to Izuku.

"My Player Two, Messenger, a representative of the Great Dragon." Shigaraki scratched at his neck. "Stay out of his way."

A murmur crawled through the League's ranks. The Great Dragon? No way!

"You all know why you are here." Shigaraki said. "Kill the brats if you want to. I don't care. Just stay out of Nomu's way."

Izuku nearly jumped out of his skin when Kurogiri's Warp Gate opened next to him and a huge person stepped out. Their skin was all black and- was that their brain? And was that a beak? What kind of quirk was that? Izuku's fingers itched to scribble down his thoughts. Was it some kind of bird mutation? What kind of bird though? A crow? But what kind of bird had an exposed brain?

Izuku was drawn out of his thoughts when Shigaraki loudly yelled. "Let's go kill All Might!"

The crowd roared. Shigaraki, looking pleased with himself, spun on his heel and disappeared into Kurogiri's Warp Gate. Izuku followed just a footstep behind.

Wow, the USJ was huge. Izuku couldn't help staring at the cityscape, the volcano, the lake, the- His wonder abruptly stopped when he spotted a small crowd of students at the top of a series of steps and a dark figure racing down toward them, a gray rope-like thing flying behind it.

"Go do your objective, Messenger-Brat." Shigaraki waved him away. Izuku nodded and raced away to the cityscape, where he'd spotted a vantage point in one of the decently-tall buildings. Villains poured out of the portal behind him, but he paid them no mind, save the few who stepped out in front of him.

How many stories was the building? Six. That's a lot of stairs… but Izuku made it to the roof easily enough. He pulled out his two notebooks and opened the villain one first. He would have plenty of time to work on the student one.

Shigaraki Tomura, Quirk: Disintegration? Dust? Five-finger activation. Childish, one-track mind, creepy. Easy enough. He could elaborate later.

Kurogiri, Quirk: Warp Gate. Range, unknown. Activation, unknown. Coordinate based? Memory based? Did Kurogiri have to have been there before? Did that make Kurogiri an ex-UA student? Unlikely, the heroes wouldn't let a quirk like that go. Was previously a secret of All-for-One, but clearly isn't anymore if he is letting himself be seen.

And finally, the last villain that Izuku knew anything about: Nomu, Quirk: Bird mutation? Black bird, yellow beak. If crow, likely capable of speaking (crows have tongues). Weakness: exposed brain. How does that work? Why is it exposed? Is it necessary? No discernable personality.

He closed the notebook with a snap and put it back in his bag. Now, for the students. What about that black figure before? Could be Eraserhead, that was the only hero he knew of that fought with some kind of scarf thing. It was hard to say for sure.

Who was that by the boat? Someone had jumped onto it from out of the water. Were they a hero student, or a villain?

Izuku startled at a sudden clang that was immediately followed by explosions that rocked the building. Was the place coming down? He had to get out before it did.

"Damn, these guys just keep coming."

"Holy moly, your reflexes are so fast!"

The voices were getting closer, louder. Villains, or heroes? They sure sounded like students, judging by how young they sounded, but Izuku himself was a counterpoint to that logic. Izuku slipped his notebook back into his bag and slung the backpack onto his back. Just as a precaution.

"Come on, we can see the area better up here."

"Don't tell me what to do!"

The rooftop door burst open with another explosion. A blond and a redhead stood on the other side, both with spiky hair and red eyes. And they were dressed in costume.

Izuku felt his heart sink. Hero students.

"Who the hell are you?!"

Izuku: *is the only thing keeping this business afloat*
Great Dragon: Go do this super dangerous task for me. You'll be fine.
Also Izuku: *gets cornered by hero students*
Great Dragon: *surprised pikachu face*

Am I funny yet.

I hope you guys liked the chapter!

Appreciate you all! ~BP

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