Heroes in the Dark

Taking place during the School Trip Arc, we center on Tokoyami in the aftermath of his quirk Dark Shadow's rampage. Villains continue to fill the forest, their mission to capture Bakugou made clear. But their sights have also been set on Tokoyami, and the unfortunate connection these two students have had since their battle against each other in the Sports Festival will decide what happens after they are both captured.

Tokoyami tried to settle the conflicting emotions still ravaging his body, weary from being possessed by Dark Shadow. He thought he'd be able to control it this time, but he should've known that the events unfolding before him would be too much to bear. His heart thumped wildly in his chest, and he could still hear the wails of his quirk demanding to roam free once more. If possible, he'd like to refrain from using it again this night, but with villains running around the woods that might be too much to ask for. If not for Todoroki and Bakugou keeping him at bay with the light of their own quirks, he shuddered to think where he'd still be, rampaging through the terrain attacking indiscriminately.

Tokoyami tried to tune into the conversation going on around him. Apparently he'd missed a lot during his brief time of irrationality. Was it brief? He couldn't remember anymore. But he could call to memory a voice, urging him on: "Tokoyami, don't fight against it! Give yourself over to Dark Shadow!"

He hung his head. "Shouji…Midoriya…I'm sorry. My spirit was not prepared…" He didn't know how he could apologize enough for being so weak during such a crucial time. It was lucky that the only one to receive any significant damage was the villain. Otherwise he wasn't sure he'd be able to deal with the guilt.

"Save it," Shouji mumbled from behind the mask covering his mouth. "If I were you, I wouldn't be worrying about that now."

"That's right!" Midoriya added. Tokoyami wrenched his eyes up to where his classmate was lying on Shouji's back, horribly damaged from something he had no part in. The sight of his broken limbs and deeply bruised skin made it hard to look at him. "We know now that Kacchan is one of the villains' targets."

"Bakugou…? Why would they be after his life?" His mind blurred as he staggered to his feet, tendrils of his quirk's possession still clouding his thoughts, but physically he was fine, so he had no right to complain. He listened for the most part as they discussed how to keep Bakugou safe, with the explosive boy growing ever more impatient with their nonsense. Tokoyami snapped back to attention fully when he heard his name.

" – What's more, if Tokoyami's all right, then we still have a method of controlling the unrivaled power of Dark Shadow."

Wait, hold on now. You can't just assume that without knowing –!

"With this line-up, not even All Might would be a match against up!"

Bakugou ended up interrupting their spiel, not on his behalf but still in a way he appreciated. "What the hell is with this plan, you pricks?!" he roared in his typical adamant fashion.

Todoroki turned to him in that cool, demanding way that was so customary of him. "We just need you to walk in the middle. Now come on."

They went along the path through the forest at a relatively swift pace, with no idea of what would lie ahead of them. Tokoyami took up the rear of their unit, falling in behind Bakugou. This newest encounter with him made Tokoyami begin to wonder if it was a good thing to be alongside him. After his defeat during the Sports Festival at those flashy explosions, he'd worked hard to rely less on his quirk and build up other parts of himself. Having his weakness be so easily exploited now had been something of a relief, or as Bakugou had said, "unfortunate chemistry." Even now he marched just a few paces ahead of him, ready and willing to set of his explosions at a moment's notice. It was truly amazing how much control he had over his quirk. It was no wonder the villains were after him, especially if they had been watching the tournament. Such a ruthless and powerful student had come out on top, screaming obscenities all the while.

Tokoyami didn't regret losing to him back then, but he does find himself wondering if he could've attained first place if not for their poor compatibility. No, I got only as much attention as I deserved for my efforts. Anymore and I would find myself on the villains' kill list like Midoriya, or worse yet in Bakugou's situation. I can only hope that Dark Shadow's outburst didn't cause too much unwanted interest.

Voices could be heard from ahead, the maniacal laughing of a girl and the more familiar cries of some of the class A-1 girls. Was Tsuyu alright?

This was enough to encourage Todoroki and the rest to burst into a full-on sprint, heading towards the commotion. Before he and Bakugou could have a chance to follow, a cold feeling swept over him, stopping him dead in his tracks. He couldn't bring himself to turn his head, and his usually hot-tempered classmate was also unusually subdued, freezing him to one spot. A hand brushed past the feathers on his head to rest on his shoulder, and a villain wearing a white mask leaned into his line of sight.

"Two for one isn't so bad a deal. After what you did to Moonfish, well, we have to compensate our numbers somehow. You and young Bakugou don't mind too terribly, right?"

A black veil covered his eyes, not unlike the feeling of when Dark Shadow had taken control from him. That's what this was: control being taken away from him yet again. The world around him fell away and he lost sense of what was happening. He was dimly aware of Bakugou, in the same situation, still visible to him. His mouth was open in what could only be a long howl of pure rage. Tokoyami kept his beak shut, recognizing the futility of crying out to those who can't hear you.

Mr. Compress looked down at his new prize, two lovely little spheres containing incredible power for such young and impressionable students. Their mission was complete. Shigaraki would be more than happy with these results, especially with the added bonus of the dark feathered monster.

In another part of the woods, Dabi and Twice waited expectantly for the arrival of the other villains at the rendezvous place. Toga joined them shortly thereafter, smiling gleefully. Most important of all, though, was the arrival of Mr. Compress, having announced the success of the mission. Twice and Toga were chatting with insipid excitement.

"Both of you, shut up," Dabi sneered. He listened in on his surroundings, and his attention was once again brought back to a bush that he thought had rustled earlier. The idea that someone thought they could hide from them was annoying. Before he could think to reveal the hidden brat, a raucous came from above and a team of notorious class A-1 students burst through the trees in heavy pursuit of Mr. Compress.

"These brats! I know them! Who are they?!"

Dabi ignored Twice. "Mister, dodge." And he fired off a blast of flames against the kids that had so foolishly come to stop them.

As chaos ensued in a final fight against the villains, Aoyama couldn't bring himself to leave his sheltered position in the nearby bushes and join the fray. His classmates were holding their own, but right now he couldn't find the courage to sparkle like he so often claimed. But it wasn't just his safety at stake. If he made the wrong move, he'd also be exposing Kyoka and Toru, who were lying unconscious on the ground beside him. He couldn't believe Momo had been so willing to leave them in his care. What was he supposed to do?! It had been nothing but a miracle that they hadn't already been discovered.

Aoyama peeked through the bushes at the battle unfolding before him. The villains…their mission had been completed. That could only mean that…

But Shouji held up a hand in triumph, holding two small capsules and declaring that he has Bakugou and Tokoyami. Aoyama breathed a sigh of relief. There was no reason for him to intervene if they were able to handle the situation. And yet it seemed that just as quickly his hopes were dashed by the villain's revelation.

Mr. Compress laughed, reaching up to remove his mask as he made a grand reveal worthy of a stage magician. "You see, one of the fundamentals of magic is that you flaunt things…only when you have other things to hide."

Aoyama felt his heart sink as he watched the villains begin to escape through an all too familiar swirling dark mist, the same that had transported him and everyone else when they were trapped in the USJ. Nothing had changed. The villains had wrecked horrid damage on everyone and were now walking away with two of his classmates within their grasp. There was no way he could sit by and just watch! He had the ability to act now and take them by surprise. If he could just do that, then he might have actually been of use in this whole fiasco! With his quirk, he could make a difference and shine brighter than anyone else at the very end!

"Well then, until the next time," Mr. Compress smirked.

The sinister tone of the villains struck Aoyama to his core. Just when he had positioned himself to shoot of his naval laser to intercept the villains, he found himself frozen and unwilling. The crushing reality of his cowardice produced a sob that rattled his body. Non, I can't do it. I can't…be a hero right now.

Dabi coolly looked down at the defeated heroes. "Confirmed. Release it."

"Aww, they really didn't put up much of a fight. My show went right as planned." With a snap of his fingers, Mr. Compress released the captured states of Tokoyami and Bakugou as they were already disappearing into the portal. Hands seen visibly wrapped around the students' necks reaffirmed their status as prisoners of the League of Villains.

"Bakugou!"

"Tokoyami!"

"KACCHAN!" Midoriya made one last desperate leap towards the two of them, but it was clear to everyone else already that it was futile.

Bakugou looked down with a pained look of what might've been fear, but the words he said rang clear. "Stay back, Deku."

Tokoyami stretched his hand out ever so slightly in one last desperate attempt to reach his friends as the darkness enveloped him. "I'm…sorry."

And just like that, both of them were gone, stranded in a hostile situation with an uncertain future. All of them, every student standing out in a forest filled with fire, ice, gas, and blood, had lost that night. The failure of their rescue stinging like a fresh wound, the students could only stand by in utter disbelief as Midoriya cried out to the sky at the loss of their friends.