top of page
  • Writer's pictureslexenskee

BNHA: That Man is Dressed to Kill

He comes to the depressingly casual realization that being a fashionable villain is— by and large— more fun than being politely quirkless.


Title is from iconic Sister Sledge 'He's the Greatest Dancer' this is my love letter/immortalization of my endless adoration for Cintra Wilson's mastery of the english language. And fashion. That too.

-


If there is one thing Izuku simply cannot abide in this life, it is the universally acknowledged truth that there exists some intractable divide between heroes and villains, despite the fact they both parade around his city in the most iconically deranged and impractical outfits he’s ever seen in his life, looking entirely identical to each other.


As if to prove his point, the young boy watches with clinical disinterest as a Heroine in full costume frantically battles against a Villain with a quirk like a malfunctioning McDonald’s frosty machine in nothing but the visual equivalent of a chastity belt on stilts. As he observes from his spot far from the chaos, she loses ground in her valiant battle against evil as frosty the abominable snowman ratchets up the ice, and hypothermia likely starts to set in her highly exposed appendages, starting with the toes peeking out from her stilettos. The outfit choice brings forth a wellspring of intriguing questions to Izuku; how did she even get here? Was she carried? How is she meant to escape? Does she run directly from the scene into an armored sauna? It’s the onset of winter and her outfit is better suited for a prison escape in the Bahamas.


Eventually a fellow Hero in an equally tasteless ensemble swoops in to assist her, and the matter is solved, arrested, cleaned up, and jetted off to booking before the slog of Tokyo salary employees on their lunch breaks descend upon the street corner.


Just in time too, as the cafe is besieged by the morbidly stress-thin, pilates-tortured Tokyo workaholics that account for half the store’s business, and Izuku is too preoccupied with increasingly dietary specific drink orders to internally lampoon the city’s crime industry.


He’s just finishing up a lactose-free order for his favorite sort of unflinchingly feminist power-mad CFO customer when he spies his actual favorite customer strolling through the doors.


Izuku pushes the fruity latte towards the businesswoman with a distracted air, and she gives him an equally distracted nod of gratitude in response before picking up her order and continuing on with expertly gouging out her husband in what is shaping up to be a legendarily brutal divorce. He’ll have to ask her for the juicy details when she comes in tomorrow, because for now he’s thoroughly distracted with his favorite scarecrow turned mannequin.


“Dabi-kun,” he greets, voice laden with fondness and despair, “why do you insist on wearing coats that make you look like a dislocated Missoni clown suit? Especially in front of me?”


“That seems better directed towards Twice more than me,” he demures, nearing the counter.


Izuku considers this as he turns around to start on Dabi’s usual order. “Yeah probably,” he allows after a beat, frothing the milk, “but the simplicity of his suit in parallel with his explosive and totally chaotic personality is sort of a paradoxical art in and of itself.”


“You’re just giving up because every time you try to secretly swap his outfit with something else he cries in joy and then lights it up in a kerosene fire,” Dabi accuses.


Izuku shrugs unabashedly. “There’s just no accounting for taste,” he sighs grandly.


Dabi narrows striking blue eyes at him. “...Why do I feel personally attacked right now?”


“Hmmm?” Izuku blinks innocently, whirling around with a chai tea latte that’s perfectly seasoned to exactly how his resident pyromaniac likes it.


And as Dabi is thoroughly distracted by his favorite drink, Izuku continues, casually; “I’m just saying— I get that you have a regrettable affection for shiny black things with superfluous zippers, and through decades of boring, even traumatically parental associations, you’ve come to disregard anything that doesn’t look like it’s been fished out of a dumpster, but you just have so much potential.”


Dabi takes a long sip of his latte, and then sets it down with a look that threatens to burn the entire building down with Izuku in it.


“You’re too pretty to dress like frankenhooker for the rest of your life.” Izuku says.


“Say that again. One more fucking time.” Dabi’s brow twitches.


And because he has absolutely zero self-preservation, he barrels on:


“It’s true there are worse ways to misspend a youth than living it in a vampire costume but Dabi-kun, listen to me, you are so cool, and like, everything about your aesthetic just screams unconfrontationally badass, and if you would just work with me a little here you’d be the most iconic villain to ever exist.”


“For the last fucking, time— absolutely not.” Frankly, Izuku is impressed he’s not halfway to cremation right now. Either Dabi likes him more than he ever lets on— which is probably true— or he’s too aware of what a lynchpin Izuku is for the League— also true— to make a move on him.


“Okay but what if I, hypothetically, had access to a half-dozen samples from Balenciaga’s F/W show that possibly happen to be in your size, would you at least try it on?” Izuku presses on, because clearly immolation doesn’t scare him.


Dabi, bless him, decides to de escalate the situation by side-stepping the question. Evidently those forced therapy sessions Izuku mandated when he first agreed to join the League were worth the hassle of starting a health insurance policy. “Why do you even, hypothetically, have access to that?”


“Money laundering client,” Izuku says dismissively.


“My answer is still no.”


Izuku’s shoulders slump. Well, it was worth a shot. Everything about Dabi just screams ‘alt emo runway darling’ that Izuku can’t help but press the issue sometimes. He’s well aware that the discolored skin and metal accouterments aren’t ‘lifestyle choices’ so much as they are ‘scarring and medical devices’, but that doesn’t make Dabi any less of an imposing and impressive figure. And anyway, now that they’ve got a payment structure in place to bankroll a legitimate doctor with a healing quirk and a support engineer, even the worst of Dabi’s injuries should be treatable now.


Still, even renowned chaos gremlin and the League’s number one irreverent punk knows when to pick his battles, so he just helpfully snags a muffin out of the display case and pushes it in Dabi’s direction.


“One of these days I’ll get you to wear something that doesn’t look like a naked fugitive assembled it in a warehouse full of garbage bags with nothing but an x-acto knife.” Izuku promises, gravely.


Dabi takes the muffin with the look of someone who clearly knows he’s won this round. “I wouldn’t hold your breath on that.”


-


At just fifteen years of age, Midoriya Izuku likes to think he’s made it in life. He’s more or less got his shit together, when most kids his age are still pondering over algebra and the quadratic formula. He’s the overlord to the most robust villain infrastructure system, is the landlord of an entire city block and owns his own cafe. It sounds like a lot for a kid his age, and it is, but he’s long since learned the art of delegating and most of it is surprisingly hands-off; hence why he doubles as a part-time high school barista with a penchant for gossip.


It’s a total one-eighty from where he’d thought he’d be at this point in his life— mainly, taking the entrance exams for UA and trying his damndest to be a Hero in a world that refuses to believe he could amount to anything.


But he’s come to the depressingly casual realization that being a fashionable villain is— by and large— more fun than being politely quirkless.


At some point, he’d had the begrudging revelation that at the rate he was going with his life he really would never amount to anything, and he’d either spend the rest of his life as an invisible nobody or he’d take a page out of Kacchan’s book and toss himself off a bridge. It was a gradual realization; the slow and unremarkable understanding that he lived in a boring dystopia and the world wasn’t so clear cut as Villains are evil and Heroes are good.


It had been his dream to save people and change the world, or something grand like that. He doesn’t really remember; it’s probably written down somewhere in one of his endless childhood notebooks.


-


What Izuku does remember, is how he made all his hard earned cash money.


Namely: gambling.


With limited edition trendy sneakers.


Well, and the stock market. But the sneakers came first. Their resale value was absurd and it wasn’t that hard to start a hustle out of scouring the web for mint condition collectibles and turning them for a profit. This was also, incidentally, how Izuku became so absurdly knowledgeable on the ins and outs of the fashion industry and all its dizzyingly eclectic trends. Somewhere along the way, the absurdity of it all must have rubbed off on him, kind of like a fungus or venereal disease, and he started to genuinely appreciate the excessiveness and grandeur with a sort of fatalistic intrigue.


And if he continues to be the best dressed person he knows, well, that’s just a byproduct.


-


It’s a lovely and perfectly mild-weathered Tokyo afternoon so of course it’s appropriately wretched going. An explosion shudders down the street, followed by the distant echoes of screaming, terrorized civilians, and Izuku just sighs and continues to wipe down the counter and silently thanks his foresight to splurge on a reinforced tungsten-coated steel foundation for his building(s). He’s the only property owner in the city who’s weathered back to back All Might, Endeavor and Mt. Lady fights without suffering structural integrity, and yet people still think the precaution was excessive.


Izuku smiles vindictively as a building collapses down the block. Who’s laughing now, huh?


“Someone’s in a good mood.” Dabi observes, prodding at Izuku’s latest attempt at iced cookies with a vaguely disinterested air. The street behind him turns into a fist and reaches upwards; Dabi continues to stare down his cookie, as if debating whether or not he’ll regret eating it three hours from now when the possible food poisoning kicks in.


“Just reminded of my own greatness,” Izuku grins cheekily, tossing his dish towel back into the sink as he leans across the counter from the villain.


The hours between the lunch rush and the after work rush leave the cafe blessedly empty of everyone aside from his favorite pyro, so he takes the opportunity to relax for a bit and stretch out his legs. The street outside rumbles as a Hero with some kind of cement quirk (not Cementoss though, Izuku would recognize him) turns the pavement beneath his feet into a rolling carpet. A Villain trussed up in what looks like a garish bumblebee outfit clings for dear life as the ground beneath him bucks to throw him off.


Dabi spares a disinterested glance out the window. It turns into revulsion as he catches sight of the spectacle.


He scowls. “Why are they like this?”


“Which one?” Izuku asks, because both sides of this fight look beyond bizarre.


“They’re both awful,” Dabi concedes. “But in this instance I was referring to the Hero.”


Izuku considers this, then shrugs.


Here’s the thing about subpar Heroes: to compensate for an appalling lack of talent or character in an oversaturated market, they employ intrigue by being visibly more eccentric than their peers, not entirely unlike the cutthroat world of avian mating cycles.


“I mean, can you really blame the guy? The popularity game is murder, and his quirk is… rather pedestrian.”


Not everyone can just conjure lavishly sapphire blue flames that magically skyrocket their attractiveness as well as the nearby air temperature, after all.


“It’s the shoes that really get me.” Dabi says, after another moment of observing. “You’re spending your days patrolling the city and chasing villains. Why would you wear something so impractical?”


Izuku looks down at his own shoes. Limited editions with incredible panache and utterly no hope of endurance. But he’s also not a Hero, so. He looks back at cement-man, who looks like he’d cobbled together his outfit in between shifts at the local hardware store. It’s true his costume makes absolutely no sense, but Izuku sort of appreciates that.


“I happen to be fond of them,” Izuku announces. Dabi looks at him in disgust. “Those shoes tell you exactly what a moral coward you are for not being queer-positive enough to wear them. They’re dainty like a gold-plated, semi-automatic Kalashnikov.”


“See, this is why I’m never letting you dress me.” Dabi declares.


Izuku just shakes his head. “You’ve got terrible taste, but I’ve already accepted that. I’ll wear you down one of these days; I’ve already managed it on everyone else.”


The world has never seen such a stylish League of evil-doers before, and Izuku takes pride in that.


-


The fact that Dabi— whom Izuku is reasonably sure could land a modeling gig for any major brand if he had the time or inclination to do so— is the last holdout in the League to submit to a frenzied and somewhat involuntary Midoriya ‘Rebranding’ is disappointing, but not entirely surprising.


However Shimura being the first still, to this day, astounds him.


In hindsight, maybe it shouldn’t have been. The guy prowls around with severed hands attached to his sweater like a patina of dispossessed cabbage patch kids, is never afraid to speak his mind, and considers his life a video game. Obviously his main-character syndrome was going to kick in at some point, and when it did he summarily agreed with Izuku that ‘if he was going to live in this simulation he wasn’t going to do it looking like a nameless NPC.'



-


Both Dabi and Izuku turn to stare in unison as the JP Billboard’s Number Three Hero— and additionally Hero Networks’ Number One in popularity and Cosmo Magazine’s best smile winner three times in a row— strolls into the cafe.


Izuku can tell you a lot about Hawks, in the same manner he can involuntarily word-vomit out whole analysis on basically any Hero or Villain registered as active by the HPSC, but all of it seems rather inconsequential when confronted with the man himself. He’s certainly a man that’s going to turn heads whether he wants to or not, with a look that’s dramatically memorable in both height (or lack thereof) and silhouette, and definitely deserved those best smile awards and probably a handful of others besides. He has the skills and talent to be ranked third at his staggeringly young age, and the charisma to skyrocket him to the top of the popularity charts.


Izuku clocks him within seconds of laying eyes on him: here is a man with both looks and character— not entirely unlike the laconic man giving the Hero a thoroughly unimpressed look by his side— crippled by an utterly appalling or perhaps just willful lack of stylishness.


The jumpsuit, upon closer inspection, is both not too flashy and irredeemably unsexy; blamelessly efficient, totally non confrontational and so utilitarian the whole ensemble looks like it got mulched into a taupe-colored, self-affirming groupthink pulp by a boardroom of middle-aged executives.


To wit: for a man with a persona of such blindingly magnetic appeal, his Hero costume was unreasonably uninspiring.


-


Izuku dislikes both Heroes and Villains as a general rule of thumb for a variety of reasons both philosophical and petty that he’s not interested in listing out currently— with the sole exception of Best Jeanist, who has his unfailing adoration.


He’s often considered an eccentric and borderline bizarre artist by mild critics, and an unhinged wackjob with a denim fetish by the more incendiary ones, and Izuku usually agrees with both sides but thinks they’re both missing the point. Mainly, that Best Jeanist by his own making exists in a stratosphere beyond repute and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of him anymore. Best Jeanist now enjoys the kind of papal fashion infallibility that global fashion houses across the world attain, at a point in his career where he has the freedom and power to indulge his whims and caprices. And fabulously enough, he did.


Does Izuku, personally, find denim-on-denim to be a crime upon humanity that should probably warrant a couple years of community service as an unpaid intern on fifth avenue? Yes. But Best Jeanist can do whatever he wants and editorials will lavish praise on him regardless, and Izuku respects the hell out of that.



467 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page