Todoroki Shouto, now known as Comet Tail, has graduated from U.A. and into his father's agency, robbing him of his own. Endeavor may have become the Number One Hero, but he's still keeping a tight grip on his supposed 'masterpiece', even as he regards his son with bitter suspicion, suspecting him of sabotage. Meanwhile, the other members of his agency regard Shouto as a rival with unfair advantages or with carefully veiled sympathy even while pretending not to notice.
He's trapped. And as part of his latest punishment — for daring to do his job and take down a criminal without express permission, Endeavor assigns him to look after the sole witness of a brutal murder: a quirkless janitor by the name of Midoriya Izuku.
Thus begins Witness, the first entry in PitViperOfDoom's Good Neighbors series. Despite Endeavor's intent to keep his son well away from any action and out of the limelight, Shouto finds himself working with Izuku and Detective Tsukauchi Naomasa to learn just what is going on with the Silverteeth gang.
Be aware: entries below Witness presume familarity with the first story.
For other examples of this author's work, consider checking out Yesterday Upon The Stair, Powdered Gold and Pottery, and It's Over, Isn't It (it's only just begun).
Unrelated to the Canadian thriller Good Neighbors.
Witness, the first Fan Fic in this series, contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Endeavor, unsurprisingly.
- Accomplice by Inaction: How Shouto regards Mortar, Secretary Yanagi, and all the other members of Endeavor's hero agency who are well aware of how he treats his son and do their best to ignore it.
- Armor-Piercing Response:
- This exchange, when Izuku interrupts Endeavor rounding on Shouto:Endeavor: Do you have any idea how a security breach like this reflects on my agency? Did you even think of that when you decided to do a half-assed job just to spite me—
Izuku: If you don't want to look bad, then next time make sure your sidekicks don't leak information to the villains trying to kill me!
- At the climax of a heated exchange between Naomasa and Endeavor:Endeavor: [leaning into Naomasa's space to try and force him to move back] I would urge you to remember your place, Detective.
Naomasa: [standing his ground] I know my place, Todoroki-san. But it seems to me, that ever since you had your rank handed to you, you've forgotten your own.
- This exchange, when Izuku interrupts Endeavor rounding on Shouto:
- Attention Whore: Fracture has two different versions of his costume. One's for standard hero work; the other he keeps as pristine and polished as possible, bringing it out whenever he thinks there's a good chance that he'll get caught on camera.
- Blackmail Backfire: At the crux of the plot: Minami's attempt to blackmail Fairchild into working for him leads to the 'Good Neighbors' getting involved and taking down his whole organization in one fell swoop.
- Damned by Faint Praise: The best Todoroki can truthfully say about both his father and Bakugou is that they are skilled in combat.
- The Ending Changes Everything: Simply by revealing precisely what series this AU is inspired by.
- False Flag Operation: By the climax, evidence suggests that the black masks were also members of Silverteeth, meaning that they were running one of these. Only that doesn't make sense, and turns out to have been untrue all along.
- For the Greater Good: This is key to Mortar's self-justification for staying silent and not doing anything about Endeavor's myriad cruelties. He even tells Naomasa outright that "It's worth putting up with a few missteps for the sake of the greater good."
- For Want of a Nail:
- Midoriya Izuku did not attend U.A.; therefore, Shouto meets him for the first time when he's assigned to protection detail, and things unfolded rather differently for U.A.'s 'Trouble Class'. In particular, something happened to Iida Tenya that Shouto and Izuku skirt around, and Bakugou Katsuki/Cluster Bomb had troubles of his own...
- Todoroki Enji has never had any kind of Heel Realization regarding his treatment of Shouto. (If he has, it's gone completely ignored.) Becoming the Number One Hero has not changed his ways for the better; if anything, he's gotten worse.
- As part of the climax, it's revealed that Dabi has never been involved with the League of Villains.
- Foreshadowing: One of the members of the black-masked gang wields blue flames.
- He Knows Too Much: Why Izuku is being targeted, as well as why Yoshida was killed.
- I Know Your True Name: Key to Robin Fairchild's Quirk: Name Command lets him compel others to do things. It works more effectively if he has it in writing, such as on a business card.
- I'm Your Biggest Fan: Exploited at the end. When Todoroki realizes that Izuku is Phantom Black and threatens to arrest him, Izuku loudly points him out and declares he's his biggest fan, causing him to get mobbed by civilians and providing Izuku cover to escape.
- Innocently Insensitive: Upon first seeing Fracture, Izuku mistakenly calls him 'Shatter' and asks what it's like working with Comet Tail and getting to learn the ropes from the younger hero. Or maybe it wasn't so innocent.
- It's All About Me: Endeavor is so self-absorbed that he honestly believes Shouto took down Point Break purely to upstage and embarrass him. In fact, he seems inclined to twist everything Shouto does around in his head to make it personal.
- Meaningful Name: As Naomasa observes, Shouto is an ice user at his core that still burns brightly. Comet tails also become visible when caught by the Sun's illumination, reflecting how Shouto feels as though he's trapped under his father's watchful glare.
- Monster Protection Racket: The crux of the plot. Minami hires gangs to rough up innocent people and then forces them to buy his security on pain of total destruction.
- Nepotism: Several of Shouto's coworkers mistakenly believe that he benefits from parental favoritism, and that his assignment to protect Midoriya is coddling rather than punishment.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Witness opens with Endeavor berating Shouto for pursuing and taking down Point Break, as he believes Shouto only did so to embarrass him. He then backhands him and declares that he needs more training to "make sure there aren't any other lessons that have slipped your mind."
- "Not So Different" Remark: When asked about Bakugou, Shouto mentally compares him to his father, wondering if he acted the way Endeavor did when he was younger: ambitious, powerful and eager to live up to the promise said power held, only to be embittered by his failures. He ends up using the same line he uses when forced to say something positive about his father: that "He was skilled in combat."
- Only in It for the Money: At the end of the story, Dabi rejects an offer to join the Good Neighbors for drinks and makes it clear he was only involved in the plot for the paycheck.
- Psychological Projection: One of the ways Fracture needles Shouto is by suggesting that he's the one who needs to focus on his job more, such as when he turns up late to escorting Midoriya to a safehouse and tries to make it sound as though Shouto was the one who kept everyone waiting.
- Race Against the Clock: As it turns out, Shouto and his allies are on a timer: specifically, they need to finish their investigation and get solid proof before Minami's appointment to the Public Safety Commission Board is officially announced.
- Sketchy Successor: Endeavor may have become the Number One Hero after All-Might, but he's nowhere near the same caliber, and sees no reason to change his ways.
- Smug Snake: Fracture, Shouto's self-styled rival. And Minami Eitaro as well.
- Wham Line: Midway through Chapter 5, Todoroki comes to a realization that recontextualizes the role of a certain character throughout the entire story.Todoroki: [to Izuku] You're Phantom Black.
- Witness Protection: As the only witness to Yoshida's murder, Izuku is placed into this under Shouto's care.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After using their Quirk to get information from them, Minami attempts to pull this on Naomasa, and fails.
Tropes found in Bleeding-Heart include:
- Adaptational Backstory Change: Shinsou has a Dark and Troubled Past — bad enough that he was on the streets before meeting Izuku, and met him via lifting his wallet.
- All-Loving Hero: Despite everything, Izuku is empathic enough that he not only forgives Shinsou for stealing his wallet, he offers to let him stay at his apartment.
- Almighty Janitor: Even though he passed the police exam with flying colors, placing in the ninety-fifth percentile, Izuku gets rejected purely for being Quirkless and finds himself working as a janitor, struggling to keep his head above water. With time, he learns how to turn this to his advantage.
- Armor-Piercing Question:
- When Izuku finally asks the office worker at the station "Was I rejected because I'm quirkless?", the man is clearly shaken. Mostly because the answer is 'Yes', though he tries to talk his way around it.
- When Inko apologizes to Izuku, saying that she didn't support him well enough after his diagnosis, Izuku reassures her that she was just being honest. Inko asks "Is that what you wanted to hear, Izuku? Did you want to hear me be honest, brutally honest, when you were four years old?"
- Armor-Piercing Response: During an argument, Shinsou attempts this with Izuku, only to be countered with a more effective one:Izuku: I've gotten this far in my life without a quirk, I don't need to use others for theirs.
Shinsou: Oh, yeah. Janitor. That's pretty far, good job, Midoriya.
Izuku: Just because people won't acknowledge you doesn't mean you haven't accomplished anything. And I think you know that, Shinsou.
- Attractiveness Discrimination: The staff at the high-end boutique Saitaka falsely accuse Izuku of shoplifting and kick him out of their store purely because they judge him 'not attractive enough' to be part of their customer base. As Shinsou puts it, "That place is so smug they'd bottle their farts and call it perfume."
- Battleaxe Nurse: Raichi Mieko, one of Izuku's coworkers at the hospital. A strict Control Freak who shows No Sympathy for others, looking down her nose at her peers and giving them crap for showing any signs of vulnerability, weakness or general humanity. She's also complicit in a scheme to test drugs on helpless psychiatric patients.
- Death Glare: Raichi's Quirk lets her weaponize this, literally paralyzing her victims with fear and shame. Even if they don't have anything to be ashamed about. She makes them feel ashamed.
- Dissonant Serenity: Rei lapses into this as she explains to Izuku that her husband won't do anything to save her, as he's fine with her disappearing.
- For Want of a Nail:
- As Bleeding-Heart details, in this universe, Izuku tried to take Toshinori's advice and changed career paths to become a police officer instead... only to be rejected for his Quirklessness. Despite officers not being authorized to use their Quirks.
- Izuku himself cites this as part of why he follows news of U.A's Trouble Class so closely: they're all around his age. Had he managed to get in somehow, they might have been classmates.
- Foreshadowing: When comforting Izuku about the Saitaka incident, Shinsou offers advice about how to dress up and make it look like he belongs there. Izuku later uses this advice in another way when setting himself up as bait to lure Shinsou out of hiding. And then later precisely the way Shinsou suggested.
- From Bad to Worse: Bleeding-Heart sees Izuku struggling to keep his head above water and make ends meet in the face of a seemingly uncaring world.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: Shinsou points out to Izuku that even if they successfully expose what Ketsuda and Raichi are doing, the truth about what they did can never come out. Izuku doesn't care:Izuku: What, you think I want to do this for a medal? She's in trouble and I want to help her. I'd like your help, if you want to give it, but I'm doing this whether or not you're in.
- Internal Reveal: Izuku learns from Todoroki Rei about why Enji married and had children with her, and that she was responsible for Comet Tail's mysterious scar.
- Justified Criminal: At the beginning of the story, Shinsou is homeless and unable to find legitimate employment, forcing him to resort to pickpocketing.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Heartbreakingly, Rei believes that her doctor illegally testing drugs on her may be karmic punishment for hurting Shouto when he was six.
- My Greatest Failure: Inko feels that she let her son down after he was confirmed to be quirkless, and is doing her best to make up for that in adulthood.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Deliberately exploited in order to pit Ketsuda and Raichi against each other.
- Playing with Syringes: Ketsuda secretly tests drugs on patients like Rei, banking on the idea that nobody would believe them.
- Prequel: Set well before the events of Witness.
- Sherlock Scan: Having honed his observational skills for the sake of surviving Bakugou and his abusive peers' attention, Izuku immediately recognizes that Shinsou was the one who stole his wallet in the first place. As well as his generally haggard condition hinting at why he was driven to take it in the first place.
- Smug Snake: Uwabami, fittingly enough, given how she opts to gloat about how arresting Izuku will get her manager off her back and let her avoid actually fighting someone.
- Spotting the Thread: Uwabami uses her powers to pick up on the fact that Izuku doesn't smell like a press intern.
- Superhero Origin: The fic details how Midoriya Izuku starts developing into a Guile Hero. The last chapter is even titled 'Midoriya Izuku: Origin'.
- Trash the Set: After learning that the police force won't accept him because he's Quirkless, rendering All-Might's advice and years of work effectively useless, Izuku wrecks his bedroom while breaking down, tearing down things that remind him of his failure until he's left glaring up at the only poster of All-Might that survived:Izuku: They didn't want me, either.
- We Used to Be Friends: Izuku and Cluster Bomb, aka Bakugou Katsuki. As he admits to Shinsou, "He was a pretty crap friend."