Chapter 1: Freed then Ensnared
Katsuki smiled happily at the scene before her. A beautiful scarlet elixir running in rivulets through the floor tiles cracks, staining her pajama pants and sticking to her toes and feet
Drops of it continued to unabashedly drip from her clenched hands, tracing convergent paths the length of her forearm
Katsuki was relieved, it has been so long since she had felt this safe and free, the eviscerated body before her and the smeared blood in her grip was proof of those things.
But she wasn’t done yet, she needed closure after this. A real ending, like an Icarus who flew too close to the sun and fell to his death, she too had to fall to hers.
Katsuki clenched her teeth, turning the blade on herself and plunging it in her stomach over and over again.
There was no need to scream, she had already screamed enough and now she would pass with a smile.
But she wasn’t fainting or feeling dizzy, even after stabbing her guts for the fourteenth time. This wasn’t doing it, she had to be gone fast before….. Before….
She threw the blade near the lifeless body and limped up to her apartment balcony. She could feel the gaping void in her abdomen and the hanging of her intestines. She dragged her feet into the early morning sun.
The gasps ad screams below her sounded like background noise, she heard someone asking her to stop and another frantically calling the police, but it was too late…
Too late for her… She wasn’t sure she was even allowed this world anymore…
-« Hah… »
She let gravity do its thing.
-« …On today’s scoop, a tragedy strikes the quiet streets of Musutafu City. At 8 AM this morning, a woman commits suicide by jumping from her apartment balcony. The police called into the scene would later find out that it was a double suicide attempt when they found a child’s body stabbed to death in the house. The woman has sustained grave injuries from her jump and her attempted stabbing but was found to be still alive as the EMTs rushed her to the hospital. Details on the incident have yet to be revealed but the traumatized residents of Aida street will forever remember the shocking incident.
-« Was it a burglary? » The detective asked their prime suspect. The blonde woman in question had been in a medically induced sleep following her surgery for the past couple of days.
The moment she woke up, the police were immediately called on-site to interrogate her; but from what the nurses had told them she had been in a catatonic state since then.
-« Miss Bakugou,… » Shoto gritted out, already getting overly frustrated by the unsettling silence. « I am going to start from the top again this time, so please answer my questions accordingly. »
Shoto exhaled: « In the morning of July the 15th, at around 8 in the morning, you fell down from your second-floor apartment and onto the hood of a car. The police broke into your flat at around 8:30 to find the body of a child stabbed to death in your living room. The forensic identified that the kitchen knife with which the kid was stabbed was the same that hurt you, did you do it ? » he urged again, scrunching the papers in his hand in frustration.
He was one of the first on the scene, to come face to face with the horrid scenery. The murder was so brutal you would think it was an execution. Shoto didn’t believe what he heard from the eyewitnesses and the neighbors: Tales of a violent woman and her illegitimate son, her overprotective tendencies and dismissive attitude has always been a sign of the worst to come.
But no one could’ve expected something like this.
The investigation in the past few days was a hectic matter, the crime taking headlines and social media blowing up with scandalous polls and petitions to find the perpetrator. Shoto and his team were working in the clutch to find the person responsible for the crime.
But the evidence, the neighbors' stories, and the fingerprints on the handle all pointed at the same unbelievable thing: That this mother was the one to murder her 3-year-old.
Again, the woman wasn’t responding; her gaze far away as she stared ahead.
Shoto fisted the paper in his hand, resisting the need to take her by the shoulders and shake her into forced submission: « Miss Bakugou, I want you to be aware that all the evidence are pointing at you as the prime suspect, but you still have room to explain what actually happened that morning and change the course of the investigation entirely. So please, I urge you to tell me what happ… »
-« I had to do it. » He cut himself off when he heard a new voice. Katsuki murmured, still retaining an empty gaze. « I had to do it. I had to rid the world of him. He was growing stronger every day and the bond too… I had to… I had to… Because if I didn’t then … » She muttered frantically, her whole frame shaking with unexplainable tremors.
Shoto stared at the muttering woman, taken aback by her words. The way she shook and muttered like she was responding to an unexistent presence.
Could it be…?
-« Miss Bakugou… Please get it together. » He reached out to her shoulder, a placating hand rested on her omoplatea but she didn’t stop mumbling: « he looked like him… he felt like him. I had to …. Had to… had to. » he screamed, her hand scratching harshly at the skin of her neck, dragging the nails on the flesh and marking it with swelling welts, almost drawing blood
-« Miss Bakugou, miss Bakugou … STOP ! » He tried to hold her wrist to stop her from self-harm, she resisted in his grip, trying to push him away.
The squawk of a crow outside the window caught Shoto off guard. He didn’t know crows hang out at this time of the day. The bird was perched on the windowsill, tilting its head from side to side at them.
He was entranced by its behavior and human-like curiosity, that Shoto didn’t notice how the struggling woman just froze in place.
-« ah… ah… AAAAAAHHHHHHHH. » She cried suddenly, smacking Shoto in the face and falling to the floor herself. « NOOOOOO, NOOOOOOOOO PLEASE STOP. NOOOOO, HE FOUND ME. HE FOUND ME AAAAAAAHHHHH. » She screamed in a fit of hysterics, crawling into a corner and cocooning on herself as she yelled.
Soon enough, the nurses were rushing into the room, all trying to calm the panicking woman; they pushed Shoto out of the room.
-« The investigation will have to continue at a later time, the patient comes first. » The head nurse told him dismissively, clearly not pleased by what he caused.
But Shoto was no idiot, his father thought him that perception is a detective’s best weapon. And he saw how the blonde woman glared in terror at the window where the crow just flew off at the sound of her wails.
Chapter 2: Malediction and Obsession
-« Welcome home, Shoto »
-« Oh hi, Fuyumi. You are back early. » Shoto greets his sister as he walked into the house taking his shoes off and taking his house slippers.
-« Of course I am. Natsuo and Touya are off for this weekend. I thought it would be lovely to have a big family dinner with everyone. I made soba. » Shoto perks up at the mention of his favorite food.
He was having a rather shitty day honestly. Ever since he interrogated that woman in the asylum, he was feeling pretty awful for the rest of his day: His afternoon coffee spilled all over his desk, he stubbed his toe twice against the light post, a reckless driver drove right past him and broke his mirror. He couldn’t even see the fucker.
All and all, his day was bad. But some soba would make any day better.
The jovial woman smiled wider, walking further into the house on light steps. He follows after her.
He walks into the old Japanese mansion, the layout has not changed in the past 10 years he left it to establish on his own.
He slides the obi and comes in the face with his brothers.
-« Ah Shoto !!!! Lil’ bro showed up finally. » Natsuo cheers rising from his seat to come to hug him tight.
Touya smirks and nods in acknowledgment, coming to stand up when he freezes in place.
His nostrils flare as he takes a big whiff of the air and his face contorts in disgust and shock. He rapidly stands up and stomps to his brothers.
He stands in front of Shoto and looks him up and down and squints hard.
Shoto gets a little fidgety at the scrutiny.
-« Um, Touya… You are making Shoto uncomfy. I know you haven’t seen him in months but don’t.. »
-« Bath now. »
-« Huh ? » the two youngest balked at their frowning brother.
Touya just huffs and takes Shoto by the wrist and drags him out of the living room and into the bath area.
-« Fuyumi! »
-« Ah yes Touya. » She peaks into the hall with a head tilt.
-« Do you have Himalayan salt? »
-« Um yeah, we have some. »
-« Could you bring it to the bath after I soak Shoto in, and some scented candles too? Maybe the herbal one Mom buys for her meditation classes. »
-« Huh, but.. »
-« I will buy more of them later, but could you now? Please?"
-« Um yeah okay, I guess thank you. » She agrees as she watches them swiftly disappear into the bath.
She looks at Natsuo for answers, and he just shrugs.
-« Touya, I can perfectly bath on my own. »
-« Shut up. » Touya scolds his whining brother, splashing his hair with salted water and pushing him by the shoulders to soak fully in the tub.
Touya had insisted on dragging him to the shower and bathing him personally. He dropped an ungodly amount of salt in the hot water and lit their mom’s very pungent candles around the room.
He emerges from the warm water; squinting his eyes at the burn of the salt and the water sticking in droplets to his long hair.
-« Hey Shoto… » Touya catches his attention, brushing his bangs off his face and eyes. « Have you; by accident or anything, been to a cemetery or a mortuary today? » Shoto cocks a brow at his brother’s question.
-« I am a detective, Touya. Being close to those places is frequent in my job. »
He huffs with a light smack: « Stop being a smart ass, brat and answer me properly. »
-« Okay okay, you are very assertive today. Anyway, no I haven’t been there today. I just had a very exhausting case. » he sighs heavily, shoulders stiff from the tension of the day
Touya’s hands stop cradling around his body and settle to the side, staring at the youngest with scrutiny.
Shoto tilts his head curiously: « Is there something, Touya. ? »
The elder hums slowly and shakes his head: « No, I was just thinking. Hey, turn around and give me your back. »
Shoto complies and turns around. He feels the gentle touch of his brother’s fingers running in leisurely patterns on the plane of his back like he was writing something on it.
Touya has always been superstitious: Like their grandma, he believed in demons, angels, and curses, that is also why Dad and he butted heads constantly. But he loves his brother.
Despite everything, Touya is cool.
Warm water is poured down his back, washing the suds off him.
-« That is it! » His brother finally cheers, coming around with a towel. « Now get out you little tyke. I know you love cold Soba but at least go spend time with Natsuo. »
-« Huh? »
-« Now get out. Get out! » Touya drags him once again out of the water and throws the towel over his head in haste, pushing him out of the bath. « I will set things up here. So get out and get dressed. » Shoto is soon thrown out of the bathroom as the door slams behind him.
He stands still for a minute trying to process the weird instance.
-« Touya is being weird again. » he concludes before jogging his way to his childhood bedroom.
Left to his own accord in the humid bathroom, Touya breaths out through his nose.
His socks and feet are soaked to the very bone and the candles have burned out at one point, he doesn’t really care.
He has more pressing matters to tend to.
He looks to the side, glaring fiercely at the fogged-up full body on the wall.
-« I know you have been listening to everything. » he speaks into the empty bathroom. The soft plop of a water drop into the full tub echoes.
-« HEY, do not ignore me! » He growls at the glass again, his glare deepening.
Soon enough, a rambling laugh resounds from every corner of the room, the condensation raising and returning to smoke that gets sucked into the mirror.
The smoke dissipates into a whirlpool inside the translucent glass until a dark silhouette makes itself apparent through the barrier to the netherworld
-« Ohoho, little Touya wants to be a good brother now. » The disfigured shadow in the reflection smirks, the staples stitching its wretched skin with whatever was left of the pale one. Blue eyes staring back at his cyan soft ones.
-« Cut the bullshit, Dabi. » Touya growls at his Guardian Demon. Yes, Guardian Demon.
Touya has had his spiritual abilities since the ripe age of 5. He is used to seeing spirits, demons, cursed critters crawling all around the place. He was admittedly scared the first time he met Dabi; a lower tier demon that his grandfather exorcised and trapped under their control.
The ghastly creature along with its grave voice had haunted young Touya’s nightmare, making him a constant at his brother’s room or crying to his mother for safety.
As time went by; however, Touya came to realize that he has much more power over Dabi than initially predicted. The demon was cocky and quite the tough speaker, but other than that, he had no power over anything.
His primary assigned duty was to protect Touya and follow his commands, his tether to the eldest Todoroki forbids him from everything, and watching his show resistance is kind of amusing.
Either way, this wasn’t why Touya summoned him. He needs answers, and Dabi might provide him some.
-« You felt that too, didn’t you? Shoto… » He purses his lips, the past sensations making him shiver slightly. « The curse that was put on him, what the hell was that? »
The demon smirks and gives him the usual condescending glance: « Oh, could it be that it scared you? That kind of curse. Even if it was more of a sigil for misfortune than anything. »
-« A sigil? What are you talking about? » The demon snickers, stepping out of the glass mirror and manifesting in front of Touya.
-« You had to use a protection spell to rid him of the curse, right ? Since even after having used salt, it still persisted. A normal curse wouldn’t be able to resist that much. Which means… » he bends to Touya’s height, a sly grin on his face: « It’s a sigil. »
-« How do you know that, though? » Touya bites back, still confused. He didn’t invest himself in demonology or developing his abilities farther than controlling Dabi.
It sighs, groaning a little bit: « For someone who inherited me, you have no awareness of the things you should know of. » he stands back, taking a moment to contemplate his choices.
Which he didn’t have many, especially with the liability pact that forced him to be honest with his holder.
Dabi groans again, he was so dumb to let that old fart catch him: « What I mean is that whoever cast that sigil for misfortune on your brother it must’ve been a high-class Demon. »
-« Wait WHAT? » Touya screams in shock, panic starting to rise in his guts in worry for his baby brother.
Dabi snuffs those flames as soon as he feels them, calming the boy down immediately: « Chill the fuck down, goddamn it. He is gonna be fine now since you dispelled it so early after it was cast. Sigils are dangerous when they settle for long. »
-« b-But why would a high demon target Shoto? He literally has no connection to the spirit world. He is just an airheaded brat who is too blunt and serious for his own good. »
-« Maybe he got himself on a demon’s bad side. As I said before, demons can disguise themselves as people. And I advise you get him out of it because if not, he might get damned at this rate. »
-« Holy shit. » Touya pales at the concept, rushing out of the bathroom in a panic.
The boisterous Shibuya street with its usual evening momentum of noise, colors, and lights. Office workers hanging out at bars, couples going on night strolls, delivery men rushing to serve and provide.
It was a lively evening, full of life and glee to the populace.
A jubilance that disgusted Tomura greatly.
He huffs at the scenery from the high-standing building, his urge to destroy and pillage rising above his own control.
He inhales and exhales to calm himself, looking into the skyline for their messenger.
A crow appears on the horizon and lands on the windowsill, obsidian feathers falling into the floor before them.
The bird begins cawing as its flesh retorts and molds into a pseudo-human form; veins and muscle stretching and expanding into full human length, and the dermis flaking on the surface.
A female body is now sitting in front of Tomura.
-« Toga. »
-« Heyo Tomura-Kun. » She sends a peace sign to her leader as she leaps off the aluminum frame on bare feet.
-« How did it go? » He questions her, unbothered by the naked Incubus before him. The girl hums in delight and she shifts playfully her tippy toes.
She squeals joyfully: « Yep, it was a magnificent day. I got to terrorize some children in the park, and this man who cheated on his wife HEHEHEH he was so guilty, but not anymore. » She giggles happily, recalling the man’s blissed face under her, losing all sense of rationality as she rode him into the purgatory.
Tomura sighed in frustration. God, why did the Great power of Shapeshifting end up in the hands of such an airheaded brat? It was such a hassle to keep an eye on a demon as fickle as an Incubus.
-« T.O.G.A, you were sent on a mission. Lucifer has gotten antsy from the past events and you were supposed to spy on her. Right? » He hisses out, his anger lashing out as two horns appear atop his head, the pentagram manifesting in a flash of fire.
She flinches back, memories of the devil’s earth-shattering fury rushing back to her. She really doesn’t want to face that ever again.
-« Yeah yeah, I did. I found her location. She’s apparently locked up in a mental hospital since she tried to kill herself, and she was being interrogated when I found her. The police think she murdered her child. »
-« It isn’t like that didn’t actually happen, after all, she did her damn best to butcher the future Prince of Hell’s body. I… I still can’t believe it. I didn’t even get a chance to hold him. »
-« It doesn’t matter. » A voice echoed around them, their hair standing on its ends as the presence in the room grows heavy and cynical.
The shadow of the night, unreachable to the lamplight outside, slithers up and snakes like tree branches up the walls around them.
Toga starts to shake until her knees buckle to the ground and she finds herself, face on the cold marble and eyes tightly closed, incomplete submission.
Tomura watches as the dark tendrils of Blackwhip rise above them into the ceiling before falling in a heap of powdery mist and unfortunate cries of lost souls: The ever-terrifying form Lucifer ; his little brother, appears before him.
I don’t want to hear about those things anymore. What I want right now is Kacchan under me once and for all. I am not taking any more chances. »
Tomura sighs. His brother has always had the very fierce tendency of being possessive. Deadly possessive.
-« But Izuku… You already drove her to madness, got her pregnant with your child, cursed her to raise your spawn of great evil; and she still fought back. I still think you doing all this for a human is futile and stupid. There are many Druids ready to offer themselves to you so why are you so obsessed with one human? »
I WANT KACCHAN . » The walls quake at the force of his aura, the creaking of the pillars, threatening that any further outburst might bring this building down on the unsuspecting masses.
Tomura was tempted.
But not enough to let his brother loose in such a state. Izuku was reckless angry.
I only want Kacchan. I only NEED Kacchan. No Druid could ever measure up. NO ONE. If once wasn’t enough, I’ll do it twice. Thrice. How many times do I need to make her mine and mine alone? Make her my bride and mother of the Great Lord of Pandemonium. If breaking her before wasn’t enough, I’ll just have to do it again. » The black armor covering most of the demon begins flacking at the edges. The soot floats down to collect under spotless Derby shoes.
A man in a slick black tuxedo and a dark green tie walks up to his brother, the pile of cinder under his feet has crawled away like roaches skittering away for hiding.
A scarred hand comes to play with his emerald cufflinks, the gold-studded D gleaming in the full moon.
He looks at Tomura right in the eye.
-« I am not giving up, Tenko. I have already claimed her as mine. And I won’t rest until she can’t breathe or exist without me. » Deku smiles, his eyes crinkling from its intensity while his freckle-dusted cheeks gleam with simple joy
It looked innocent. A simple sweet charming smile on a handsome face.
But to Tomura and the souls of the Styx, there was no crueler thing than that smile. Toga remained frozen on the floor.
Tomura sighs again, there was no denying Lucifer’s desires.
And Bakugou Katsuki was his newest obsession.