[Chapter 8]: I realize now

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Aizawa paced back and forth across his apartment. He hadn't even realized he was doing it. He was busy thinking. It had been 10 years. So many things could have happened in that time.

So many things did happen in that time.

You had done bad things.

You had broken the law, but despite knowing that he couldn't see you as anything else than what he remembered so well.

"I can't believe this..." Aizawa muttered, almost annoyed by how antsy he was. "It's her own fault she's in this situation."

He tried to go about is usual routine. He showered, put his hair up, and proceeded to stay up way too late doing work. And when it was finally time to sleep, he still couldn't because he was perplexed by who you had become and why it contrasted so much with who you were before.

- - -

"Morning Eraserhead!" Tsukauchi grinned as the hero entered the station.

"Morning..." Aizawa grumbled back lowly.

"You seem extra tired today? Hard time sleeping?"

"Not in the slightest."

Aizawa was lying through his teeth. Most of the night had been spent tossing and turning. Yesterday, he had only told the parts of the past that were relevant to the investigation. It was at night, when he was alone, that Aizawa truly went back and retraced the events in his mind.

With everything fresh now, he couldn't seem to just leave it alone.

"So, what are you doing back here?" Tsukauchi questioned. "The police are handling the rest of the girl's investigation."

"I know." Aizawa groggily sighed, running his fingers through the front of his hair. "There are just a few things that aren't sitting right with me. Could I speak with her again?"

"You can try, but I doubt she'll reveal anything else."

"She trusted me once. If anyone is going to get anything out of her, it's going to be me."

Tsukauchi studied the man for a moment before releasing a small huff. He reached across his desk and picked up the landline.

"I can get you clearance. Please don't rile her up too much."

- - -

"Can I fucking help you?"

You attempted to make the question come off volatile. But the second Aizawa showed up at your cell door, your brain converted into useless putty. You couldn't help but sound more and more unsure with every word that left your tongue.

"From here, it seems like you're the one that could use a little help (y/n)." He crossed his arms. There was a bit of humor in the way he said it. The remark came off more friendly than snarky.

"Shut up..." You grumbled, pulling your knees against your chest. You looked back at the wall. Maintaining eye contact with the man only made you more anxious.

Part of you was feeling pretty pathetic. The cell was stark besides the bed you sat on. It hung down from the wall, nothing more than a thin cushion attached to a metal frame.

After a moment of not speaking, Aizawa shoved his hands into his pockets and let out a sigh.

"Listen... I know this is the last place you want to be-"

"I said shut up!" You reiterated, more sternly this time. He complied and grew silent. "I know that you're about to tell me that if I cooperate, I'll get a lighter sentence and better treatment. I know that you'll use my past trust in you to pander your words to my needs. Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot. And above all else, don't talk to me like I'm the same pathetic girl I used to be. I don't want your pity."

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