[Chapter 4]: Resigned

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"Sorry." You laughed weakly. "I don't mean to act so cautiously. I should have assumed as much since you're on this side of the cell."

"It's alright. I don't blame you." The boy responded. "I'm Shouta Aizawa. What's your name?"

You attempted to reach out towards the extended hand, your arm shaking. Aizawa noticed and met you halfway, taking your hand in his.

"It's (y/n), a pleasure to meet you."

He pulled away and took a seat in front of you. The other kids gathered around too, perplexed by the newcomer.

"How long have you been here (y/n)?" Aizawa asked.

"Hmmm let's see..." You pondered. "About 4 years ago? I'm not sure... I've lost track of time honestly!"

"That long?"

"Big sis has been here a long time!" One of the younger boys grinned. "She's super tough and knows all the ropes!"

"That's right!" You smiled softly at the child. "Super tough!"

"Hey..." Aizawa called out.

But you were distracted by telling the children of your conquests in the ring, shading it in a light that wasn't so cruel. It was a defense mechanism, both for you and for them.

"Hey!" Aizawa told hold of your shoulders now, forcing your attention on him. "Are you alright?" Your jaw only dropped for a brief second.

"Of course." You answered quickly.

Aizawa was quiet for a while after that, allowing you to calm the rest of the kids. As the night drifted on and you told the story of your 'adventures' outside the cell, the children promptly began to drift off to sleep one by one.

"Why do you do that?" Aizawa finally asked. Everyone else was asleep, it was just the two of you up now.

"Do what?" You said, rubbing the back of the child who had fallen asleep against your leg.

"Why do you lie to them like that?"

You peaked down at the mound of kids who were now snoring around you, making sure each of them was asleep.

"To maintain hope." You simply answered. "These kids are scared. They need a pillar down here to not fall into despair."

"And you're that pillar?" He raised an eyebrow.

"I supposed..." You smiled weakly.

"You don't have to do that in front of me."

Your brows furrowed and the smile dropped from your lips briefly. The words of the newcomer were surprising.

"Aizawa, come here." You whispered. He leaned forward and lent you an ear. "Check and see if the guard is nearby."

He pulled away and nodded, getting up and making his way to the open cell bars. He leaned as far forward as possible in an attempt to see as far down the hallways as possible.

"It's clear right now." He confirmed. "Are you sure there's no recording technology in here?"

"There's not."

"How can you be sure?" He looked back.

"What do you think I've been doing on my trips outside of this cell?" You smirked. "I've been gathering intel on this base." Aizawa walked back over and sat down across from you.

"Is that why you retaliate against the guards?"

"Yeah, partially. It also gets them to leave the other kids alone."

"... Do you typically get injured like that?" He muttered bitterly, eyes tracing your battered body.

"Depends on the day." You casually retorted, shifting so that another child's head rested more comfortably in your lap. "But that's enough about me. What about you? You clearly weren't kidnaped."

"Why would you say that?"

"You're way too calm. The first few days that somebody is here, they're frantic and terrified."

"That doesn't extend to everyone. I'm a bit older than most of the kids here." He calmly said.

"That only confirms it further," You chuckled. "Trying to defend yourself like that."

"You're oddly calm for somebody who got the crap beat out of them." He scoffed, clearly annoyed by your persistence.

"Heh, you should see the other guy." You bragged.

"Do you enjoy fighting that much?"

"I don't." You said confidently. "But sometimes it's just necessary."

"When would you consider it necessary?"

"When? Well..." You pondered. "I guess when there's something at stake."

Aizawa's once wandering gaze was locked in yours now. Despite the darkness of the cell, the dryness of the air, there was still a light in your eyes.

"You know, you have the makings of a hero." He softly said.

Your heart tightened at his words.

"How ironic." You smiled. "I always dreamed of going into a hero course when I was young."

"You can still go when you get back." Aizawa insisted.

"I'm a little too old now." You sighed. "Not that it would matter... I wouldn't be able to become a hero with my quirk anyway."

"Why is that?"

"Well..." You rested your hand against your chest. "My parents thought I was quirkless. I don't blame them, it's not exactly something you can see. I can feel when bad things will happen, like some kind of premonition."

"What are you talking about you idiot, that sounds incredibly useful." Aizawa scoffed.

"It is, I won't deny that. But... I don't know how to turn it off. It kinda leaves me in a perpetual state of dread. Ahh geez, I just don't know Aizawa!" You gasped, ruffling through your hair shyly. "It just doesn't seem like a power people would rally behind."

"It's less about your power and more about how you use it." He retorted. "Well, at least I think so."

You were taken aback by his words. Just like you had been for others, he felt like a beacon of hope for you. In your mind, it was a dangerous reliance.

"I gotcha, but you talk like I'm gonna get out of here at some point."

"Do you not believe you will?"

"I want to. But with each day that passes, this place grows more impenetrable and we grow more hopeless." You muttered. "Even now, it's all I can do to protect those who are already here. Sooner or later they'll get tired of me not getting sold, tired of watching me fight, it won't even be worth giving me rations. Maybe they'll kill me, and I'll know when it's coming. When I see it, I'll pass everything I've learned onto someone else. Maybe they'll find a way. That's all I can hope for."

Aizawa couldn't say anything to that. How could he? You had resigned yourself to death at such a young age. And as much as he wanted to rag on you to hold out hope, he understood why you didn't.

He wanted so badly to tell you.

He wanted to tell you that the heroes were coming. He wanted to tell you that you'd soon be free from this hell. But that would go against orders and potentially jeopardize everything.

So, against his will, he resigned himself to silence.

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