Breaking Time

BY : Demonized
Category: +M to R > My Hero Academia
Dragon prints: 559
Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia or any of the characters within it, nor do I make any money off of this work.

The streets are clear for the moment—not that Izuku takes that as a sign that he can relax. He knows better, especially since the last few raids that had forced him and his ever-dwindling group to keep on the move, but they're all in dire need of rest. They're running on fumes at this point, and Mei is still working on a device that will let Eri use her Quirk on time itself so until it's complete they have no choice but to keep All For One distracted. They'll probably lose more of their group in the process—a risk that they're all well aware of and willing to take if it means keeping All For One in the dark about Mei and Eri.

Izuku turns and looks over his group, gauging just how tired each of them is, while he calculates what moves they can make next. Katsuki and Eijirō are sitting back to back in the middle of the alleyway as they nap for the moment, getting what little sleep they can. Shōto leans against the wall near Izuku, his eyes closed and his chin tucked against his chest. At the other end of the alleyway and also keeping watch is Dabi—the former villain has come a long way since he had joined them nearly eleven months ago.

A pop sounds faintly in the distance to their southwest—Dabi's end of the alleyway—and Izuku's mind races to recall whose group is in that area while Katsuki, Eijirō, and Shōto all jerk awake in response to the noise. Katsuki and Eijirō both climb to their feet as Dabi leans around the corner to check the sky. After a few seconds, Dabi raises one finger, meaning that the flare is red and All For One is attacking that particular group.

'Tenya's group,' Shōto signs to him and an icy pit of dread settles in Izuku's gut as he registers the words. As much as he wants to—as much as each of them wants to, they can't go rushing to help Tenya and his group. Tenya, Denki, Hitoshi, Ochaco, and Toga are all capable fighters, having survived thus far, so he tries to stay positive. He has to.

'We should move,' Katsuki signs after a moment of uneasy silence. 'We need to check in with Mei in fifteen minutes.'

Izuku nods his agreement and turns to scan the streets and skies ahead of them for any Nōmu. 'All clear,' he signs to his group then waits for them to gather behind him before they take off.

They move as one, skirting along the fronts of the buildings for several blocks before they cross the street and duck into another alleyway, just as Nōmu soars past overhead with a shriek. They collectively hold their breath as they flatten themselves against the side of the building where the shadows are their deepest and darkest, and wait.

One minute. Two minutes. Nothing.

Dabi carefully edges towards the mouth of the alleyway, just shy of where the light can reach, and scans for the Nōmu. 'Clear. Will wait here. Check the other side, Izu,' he signs after a good thirty seconds.

Izuku pulls away from the wall and starts to make his way to the other end of the alleyway when a large form lumbers into view at that end. He immediately freezes up at the sight of a Near High-End Nōmu now blocking the path forward and holds his breath as it stops on the spot. It's easily twice the size of the Nōmu that they had encountered at the USJ, as bulky as Muscular had been, and it has four arms. It's missing its eyes, which becomes obvious when its head swivels in his direction, but the long, vertical flaps above its gaping mouth are enough to make Izuku worry.

The flaps quiver and twitch as the Nōmu scents the air like an animal, its head bobbing from side to side as it tries to locate whatever has caught its attention. It steps towards the mouth of the alleyway, a large, meaty hand rising to grasp at the corner of the building on its right, and leans in while still sniffing at the air. After what feels like an eternity, it lets out a huff and withdraws from the mouth of the alleyway to continue on its patrol, lumbering in the direction they have to go.

Arms wrap around Izuku from behind and he lets himself sag against Shōto while he takes a moment to calm down. He's barely aware of Katsuki stepping around them with a quick signing of, 'I'll take lead for now,' and he doesn't have it in him to argue as Katsuki makes his way to the end of the alleyway. He closes his eyes for a few seconds, his fatigue starting to weigh on him heavily, only to snap them open as the earpiece Mei had given him crackles to life.

"Call everyone in, Izuku, because my super cute baby is ready to go!" Mei exclaims over the earpiece and Izuku suddenly doesn't feel tired anymore. He pulls away from Shōto as he takes out the flare gun and the flare that Mei had designed for this very moment and heads for Dabi's end of the alleyway.

'It's time,' he signs before replacing the flare in the chamber and pointing the gun up at a steep angle. Once he's sure of his aim, he squeezes the trigger, and the flare arcs upwards. They watch as it ascends, reaches its peak, and then ignites into a brilliant green light.



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