Naruhata is often called the crossroads city of modern Japan. The title fit in more ways than one.
During the original mass reconstruction of Japan, it was one of the few places that hadn’t been razed to the ground during the period of civil war caused by the emergence of quirks in the general populace. The city was actually built near the median tectonic fault line, and thus the foundations and buildings had incredibly squat and sturdy designs. During that time of uncertainty it was a popular place for people to seek shelter when other cities had been destroyed or leveled during the emergence of the superpowered populations. It was a temporary home to millions during one of the most dramatic times of change in the country’s history, giving them a place to hope for their future.
The quirk of the older standing city being built close to the ground made it the crossroads for another reason. While lots of the old buildings still stand, other areas that were too damaged to live in were destroyed to make support for some of the biggest, most prevalent highways and train systems in Japan. The high concrete roads were easy to construct over the low standing buildings, making it a standard hub for passersby going to other cities either by train or car. The older buildings and frequent highways and overpasses also drives down the average housing in the city area while making it convenient for people to travel from, making it a favorite for both college students needing easy transport access to school and new families and couples looking for a place with flexible travel for their careers. The large population of younger people also increases the demand and build for entertainment places. Though not to the level of places like Shibuya in terms of entertainment per square inch it’s still well stocked with bars, clubs and restaurants for people to work, play or take a break on their own commute.
Most of these crossroads is considered a positive, but there is a negative to the city’s local culture. The mix of old and new construction creates numerous side streets and alleyways, making it a hotbed for criminal activity because of the ease of lawbreakers using the layout to lose someone less familiar with the area. There are several local gangs that have made their start in Naruhata, both from casual high school miscreants doing muggings to full grown super villain organizations trying to make their start, like the infamous Villain Factory. It’s for this reason that Naruhata houses the headquarters of Ingenium, the Turbo hero and his agency, which is one of the organizations that utilizes the most heros and sidekicks that use travel and movement based quirks in Tokyo. Indeed, Naruhata is one of the most popular cities for movement based quirk users of all types, as well as villains, and this is fortunate in a lot of ways.
Because some villains you can only run the hell away from until the pro heroes show up.
“Move, move, move!”
Haimawari Kouichi yelled as he glided along the streets, both feet on the ground with one hand on the building next to him for stability. In his other hand he had a lit baton that he borrowed from one of Ingenium’s sidekicks as he directed the flow while heading towards the disaster at a steady pace gliding with his quirk slide. He wasn’t much to look at, average height with dark hair and eyes and plain features, the limited edition custom merchandise All Might hoodie was the only thing that caught people’s eyes. The fact that it was over a salaryman’s suit was more or less ignored, most people were well acquainted with the ‘Nice Guy’, ‘Gentleman’, or even…
A cry makes him turn his head towards the back as a girl, maybe ten years old, stumbles and her parents get swept away as the crowd pushes them forward like water. She screams out as people shove and push around her, a stray foot accidentally steps on her leg making her fall further and hit the ground and then Koichi moves. Both feet on the ground leaning forward he pushes through the empty spots, startling people but turning one hand on the ground to steady himself as he reaches out and grabs the girl; gliding out of the sea of people to the edge, where he meets her parents. They pull into an alley when the dad picks the girl up.
“Kaiko! Thank god!”
The woman grabs Koichi’s hand, almost crying as she looks at him.
“Thank you, thank you so much Hauler.”
He rubs the back of his head, looking to the side.
“Crawler, my name is actually the Cra…”
A crash from just a few meters behind them makes all four of them jump and Koichi gets behind them again, pulling the baton out of his hoodie pocket.
“Move, move, move!”
The small family started bolting down with the crowds as the building behind them started to crumble under the assault of a villain with a highly destructive quirk. Kouchi risked a glance, only to gulp at what he dreaded to confirm from his previous look at the situation.
Yes, there was still a black hole in the middle of the street, and yes it WAS getting bigger.
Dropping into a crouch and gliding forward with the crowd, Koichi can’t help but think aloud.
“Why do all these hardcore villains just pop up? What the hell happened to the pervert brothers? They were way easier to deal with than this.”
The hood of his official All Might merchandise went back as the suction tugged at his clothing. Yeah, nope, he was speeding up as he followed behind the crowd to make sure stragglers didn’t get pulled in. Thankfully, as densely packed together as the crowd was they created their own barrier from the back, he just had to opps, there went a bike. He had to slide to the right to move past it. Then some trash cans, then a… He had to slide up the side of a building to avoid the abandoned baby carriage. Wait, he turned to look, real quick, and yes, it was in fact empty of occupants, which was good, because it was pulled to the center, where it just got folded into itself.
Grimacing as he glided off a display window and back onto the ground changing position, he kept an eye on the crowd from behind as a looming figure approached and, oh thank god.
He caught sight of the large mountain with an almost featureless face save for a white mask with half lidded eyes and a circle mouth on black flesh stepped from between the buildings, cutting off the fleeing civilians from the suction force of the black hole. A giant hand grabbed one side of the buildings as it stepped between, anchoring itself as Koichi slid between the creature’s legs and spun around.
“Enigma! How are the heroes handling things?!”
At first it seemed like there was no reply, but then a small bump formed on the back of the black inky giant and it grew, falling off the blob and forming a white mask identical to the one of the hero the blob fell down from. As it fell between the legs, Koichi actually reached out and grabbed the tiny clone before it got caught in the suction before sliding forward with it on his back. The wind was getting louder, but the clone leaned forward, its voice high and a bit garbled but still audible.
“The other sections have all cleared out. We have an alternate team trying to pinpoint the source of the black hole. Based on its location we think it’s on one of the rooftops.”
“Who else is coming?!”
Koichi knew a few pro heroes in the area, none of them seemed to be a particularly good counter for this kind of chaos.
“Don’t know, lost my radio! I was going to report in with my other clones but they’re all so light they’ll be sucked in! I can cover the exit for the civilians, would you be so kind as to take me to the others so I can report in?!” The smaller clone replied.
“Hai! Where to?!” He said.
“It’s by the Canteena Train Station.” The clone replied.
“Alright, hold on!”
He felt the grasping of small black arms wrap around his torso as he sped off the street and up the side of a rising overpass. Once he got to the top, he used the height it had over the buildings to launch off to the lower buildings below. Before landing on the rooftop he hovered for a few seconds to slow descent onto the surface before he started gliding across the rooftops. He was still much more comfortable using his quirk at ground level instead of roof hopping. Even when he could keep himself airborne it was unnerving to hang there midair. Still, his fear of hitting the pavement too fast because of a lapse in concentration took a backseat to sheer necessity with how crowded the streets below were.
A few jumps later and he hovered down just a little bit before hitting the ground in front of the station. Enigma’s clone climbed off his back and headed towards one of the many assistants employed by Ingenium agency. Koichi watched as he went and sat himself on the curb as he let out a deep breath. Well, guess that meant…
“Oi, didn’t think I’d see you around all this.”
The gruff voice made him turn to see a disheveled man with tired eyes and long black stringy hair. His outfit was plain black and he had wraps around his neck like a loose scarf. For most people he might have been mistaken for some sort of social wash out.
Koichi just rubbed the back of the back of his head as he looked at the underground pro hero.
“Well, Eraserhead, I do kind of live here.”
“Still? Didn’t you move when you shacked up with Tsukauchi’s sister? I’m kind of surprised she’s not sniffing around leading some sort of rescue effort.”
He said it in his usual deadpan. Honestly, Koichi wasn’t exactly sure if the hero was actually glad to see him or not. There were few times Koichi had even seen the man smile when he was working around the area.
“Oh, well she’s currently working on tour with Pop and… Wait, shouldn’t you be hunting down the black hole user?” He replied, looking towards the city.
“I just got here. Also, I need to wait for a signal for….” There was a beep on Eraserheads phone, which he pulled up. “Now.”
Without much more warning than that he turned and ran off to the buildings. Koichi looked around at everything, seems like most of the people here were accounted for. The civilians were being escorted by the various employees of Ingenium’s hero agency. In all practical respects he should just sit there and let the pro heros do their jobs.
So naturally as he watched Eraserhead run towards the black hole in the distance he got into a crouch position and started moving as well. It didn’t take long for Koichi to catch up.
“You realize you might just get in the way.” Eraserhead said without looking back.
“I’ll stay near the edges.” He replied.
“Sure you will.”
Eraserhead replied, but didn’t further berate him as they looped around the black hole. The underground pro hero reached into his wraps, pulling a pair of yellow goggles. He scanned the buildings for the target. The wind rushed around them as the hole sucked things in, but as he continued he found something and his hair stood on end even as the wind rushed around it.
“There!” The black hole started to lose power, but the figure moved back and out of sight behind some glass. Eraserhead asked, then looked at the window. “Shoot there.”
“What?” Koichi asked.
“Charged shot, that’s tempered glass, needs some holes.” He said as he got into a crouch position.
Koichi nodded, held out two hands and waited for a few seconds as he held it. A few more, then he let both the blasts go off. It hit into the building and the glass went from clear to opaque with cracks. He did so once more before Eraserhead swung down, having hitched his capturing cloth on some railing and rappelled down into the window feet first.
The scruffy hero disappeared into the building and finally the hole started to shrink in size. Koichi let out a sigh of relief as he watched it move in on itself only for him to be startled as the visage started to shake and shutter. Even as it shrunk, the suction increased. Koichi had to crouch and stick to the roof to not be pulled off as it continued. Though as the wind roared he watched with one eye closed to see what was happening. It continued to shrink until it was only a few meters wide, then there was an explosion as it seemed to finally collapse on itself.
However, that wasn’t what caught his eyes when it was done. No, what did was the bundle of pink that appeared. A bundle of pink, a flare of red and light peach, a distinct shape.
Koichi was already moving, gliding off the rooftop to a lower one, then another one, until he slid down the side and pushed off. Gliding through the air, hands reaching out, he caught the person about two stories before they would hit and…
Good lord were they heavy!
Even as he tried to adjust, he hit the adjoining building and had to focus his two limbs to slow him down. He still smacked his shoulder in the building. Wincing, he felt something crack as he used the extra point of contact to slow his descent and pull them both down from the building with the person clutched to his chest.
As he got to the bottom he took a deep breath and he sat against the small pile of rubble on the street just at the edge of the building. Looking down at the person he caught, he was met with a head of dark red violet hair, more red than violet with what looked like an odd piece of wood hanging on the end. He shifted and the head moved back, showing a pale tiny face with a trickle of blood down the forehead. Oh, head injury, that was no good. Still, close as she -he was pretty sure they were a she- was he could feel regular breathing coming from her and something else. He also felt something else, something shifting. A small fuzzy black head popped up right under the chin of the tiny girl’s head.
He loosened his grip on the girl so he wasn’t crushing the poor creature as it started to climb out of the girl’s clothing up to his shoulder. He tried to move his other arm to pet the creature, but pain shot up it and he aborted the action. A shadow fell over him and he looked up to see Eraserhead looking over him.
“Found a civilian?” He asked.
“I guess?” Koichi said. “She appeared in the air after the black hole collapsed. I don’t know where else she could have come from. Was she causing it?”
“Nah.” Eraserhead pulled on the cloth in his hand and tugged. Looking behind him, he saw some guy tied up in it. “That would be this idiot.”
The pro hero leaned down and set two fingers on the girl’s neck. “Pulse is steady. Though there could be bleeding we can’t see. Should get her to evact. Can you stand?”
Koichi nodded and tried to do so. However, he almost tumbled forward, the girl’s unusual weight too much for him to support with only one arm.
“Well, I might need someone else to hold her. Down an arm.”
Eraserhead looked back at his captive and pulled up his phone before hitting a button.
“Someone will be here soon.”
Sitting down on the rubble, the underground hero pulled a bit to look at the captured crook, then at Koichi, who still cradled the girl. He didn’t move either of them, just seeming to take in the destroyed landscape caused by the man he had tied up.
Koichi just seemed a bit awkward sitting there as he looked over the scene himself. He wasn’t exactly friendly with this particular hero. The fact that said hero tended to overlook the less than legal activities he occasionally did as a hobby with his blatant use of his quirk in public which also led him to occasionally confront villains in the past meant that maybe he could be considered an ally or a friend.
It still didn’t mean when the man turned to him that he didn’t flinch just a tiny bit looking at his expression before he began to speak.
“So, I heard you became a salaryman.”
He almost moved to scratch his cheek with the hand holding the girl, but her form shifted and he clutched her quickly as the cat jumped off his shoulder before walking over towards Eraserhead. The pro hero held out a hand, which the cat started to sniff.
“So, I heard you became a teacher.”
The pro hero kept looking at the cat as he examined his hand for a few seconds before deciding it passed muster and rubbing its head into it.
The two men sat in silence in the wreckage of the villain attack. The debris shifted not too far from them and hit the ground, but the area they were in held steady. At the end of it all, there had been injuries, one or two civilian casualties, but the evacuation had gone well.
The villain was caught, the danger had passed and the crossroads of Japan had its crossroads close. Even though said crossroads left it with one additional occupant far off the beaten path.
I didn’t make these characters up, they’re from My Hero Academia: Illegals, though in this case they’re about six years older.
If you need context, just see the prologue for Plum In the Dark, basically same thing happened, different world than RWBY.
For those of you who haven’t realized, this is a My Hero Academia crossover. I’m very fond of the manga myself and have read a lot of fanfiction from it.