yes tell us the kid au
ok it comes with a title, which is "there is something wrong in this house." Also this is obscenely long and may not even make sense
and all the crack stuff is in the backstory, bc elias is the one doing it and the fics from the kids' perspectives. elias going "actually screw this, I'm making one from scratch" is a time-honored excuse to get lil baby Jarchivist, and it's what we're going with here. but, like, making a kid is a lot of effort, and they can't even talk at first, and Agnes didn't work out anyway
So he adopts. Attempt #1: Timothy Stoker, recently lost his whole family to a tragic accident, marked by the Stranger (he hasn't hit on the ritual idea yet but he figures that having some awareness of the supernatural to start with can't hurt. But for now it's all very normal). He can be very subtle about priming Tim to be Archivist, and what better way to ensure loyalty that to be Literally Family?
Unfortunately for Elias, we've seen how Tim reacts to grief in canon, and it's making drastic life changes and getting angry, depending on how much control he feels like he has and how much support he's getting. And not having control is a big theme in this, so he goes for angry. It rapidly becomes pretty obvious that Tim is not going to be a good Archivist.
So we try again, like within a year of adopting Tim. Sasha is Tim's age, and v lightly marked by the Spiral. She's great, Elias is v excited, Sasha is going to be Archivist.
But he still has Tim. And murdering a kid who's not even to double digits is a bit much, even for Elias. But Tim and Sasha bond hard and fast, which, y'know, Archivists do need Assistants. And connection to a beloved brother is probably a pretty good way to get your Archivist back if they end up in the Lonely or the like. You can't use them as cannon fodder, but he figures that Sasha can have one keeper and he can hire randos to fill the other assistant slots.
So Elias' life is going great. Second part of plan: He needs to get rid of Gertrude... some day, but he wants the time to plan it, and she's still useful. But kids grow up, and he doesn't want to put Sasha in place until he's sure he's got a timeframe nailed down for his Ritual, and he doesn't want Sasha responsible for stopping Rituals. But kids grow up and get other careers and turn into their own people.
(Kids are already their own people, you say. Well, Elias barely treats adults like people sometimes. Obviously he's not going to be any better than the controlling and possessive and manipulative stuff we get with Jon in canon with people who also do not have the ability to fight back in the way adults can. Tim can't run away to Malaysia in this! He can't even get out of the city on his own!)
And Elias finds out that he really likes being a parent (this is not at ALL proportional to the quality of said parenting). He doesn't want to be done. And so he puts into use a lil Web artifact, which is that because I say so (and because the experience of being a child and not getting your opinion considered and all your stuff being filtered through what your parents think feels v Webby, to me) he has his kids take vitamins every night, some of which are normal and some of which are Evil Vitamins of Never Grow Up. (the Evil Vitamins have extensive world-building around how and when they're useful, they won't solve Jonah's dying issue bc they're playing on the kid thing, and he's not a kid. Also they are technically still aging, just v slow)
So Tim and Sasha just kind of. Stay 8 or 9ish. And kids that age aren't that observant. It takes them a looooooonnnng time to figure things out.
Meanwhile, y'know, Elias really does like having kids. And if one super-loyal assistant is good, surely more is better? And also, Tim leveled out when he had Literally Anyone besides Elias (because obviously your Vampire Kids have tutors, you can't exactly send em to school) to bounce off of, maybe another sibling will have the same effect. So if he were to find an entity marked orphan (or... not orphan. I think he straight up steals Martin), why not? So he basically acquires Martin and Jon the same way multiple people I know have ended up with extra kids, which is remembering how cute they are and deciding more is better. The kids take well to each other, and Tim in particular gets his big brother instinct activated hard.
And the thing is. Sasha was supposed to be Archivist, but no one really knows that. He didn't tell anyone. And he likes Jon. Jon is just as curious as Sasha, but also waaaay more susceptible to positive reinforcement (for a long time Elias is Jon's favorite as much as Jon is Elias') and reminds Elias of himself more, because boy. So now Jon is future Archivist and the rest will be his assistants. But for now they're all in Vitamin Limbo
And this all sounds very fluffy and goofy, but the actual matter of the story (though it's maybe more a series of vignettes) this is for is from the kids' POV, with them gradually realizing that there's something subtly not right with Elias, and exploring how they feel trapped, how they catch on to little things, and how each discovery has to be pitched to the other three, with varying success. And then focusing on how Jon especially just. Refuses to see it. And trying to convince him otherwise just puts distance between him and the rest and makes him closer and closer with Elias. And tonally it's kind of like a haunted house story? Only the ghost is what Elias is planning for them, and what he's already doing/done to them. Eventually at least Tim stops taking the vitamins, and then that worsens for him because he has more and more idea of how wrong things are, and can't convince the others, and can't take them all away from Elias if he can, and he feels this overbearing need to protect them all but he can't
I am having way too many thoughts about Principal Nezu out loud to my discord and they, with their big brains, came out with a concept I just couldn’t leave alone. So here’s some Nezu angst. First angst I’ve ever posted really.
This story involves Age Regression, specifically Age Regresser Aizawa, and a slight description of a panic attack, so please read safely!
Nezu was a smart man. Mouse. Bear. Dog? Perhaps cat.
Whatever he was, he was smart. Above intelligent, and attentive. He was observant above all else, even when he didn’t particularly want to be. He took in mannerism, small signals a person may give without even knowing it themselves. The littlest hint of change he could detect.
It made him tired.
Sure, it was a more than useful skill, as a pro-hero and as a boss to a handful of emotionally scarred 30-something, but the downsides more than outweighed the blessings.
He couldn’t relax, no matter how much soothing tea he’d sip, cigarettes he’d smoke, there was always something to see, to hear, to witness and note as a possible threat. Weather it was the animal instincts he’d been born with or the trauma developed living as a lab rat to someone else’s experiments he could never tell. Both were simply exhausting.
He wished more than anything to simply take a breath that didn’t ache his stressed heart, and rest.
Instead, as Nezu made his way down the halls of his beloved school, he found one of his previously mentioned emotionally stunted employees laying by a large hall window atop his bright yellow sleeping bag, stretched out on his stomach.
Nezu approached and gave a calm tilt of the head, a smile as always as he greeted, “Aizawa, you really shouldn’t nap here. You’re a tripping hazard.”
His words were not met with the grumble of a freshly awoken 30-something like he’d expected, but instead a whine of complaint. Nezu was a little startled by the sound and gently knelt beside his employer, who looked up at him with a sleepy expression, roughly rubbing one of his eyes as he stared.
When the man fully awoke, he stared at Nezu with a look only he could distinguish, a wide eye, kitten like stare of pure innocence and curiosity. The stare of someone who hadn’t yet lost so many dear friends, who hadn’t fought crime for 30 years in dirty back alleys. The stare of someone yet to face their own demons. A child laid before Nezu, barely a year old, basking in the sun after a long day of teaching.
“Ah.” Nezu stood back up, though it barely made a difference in his height, “Shall I call Kayama then?” He spoke to Aizawa, as if the little one could understand him, before taking out his phone and making a call to his resident CG.
“Shouta dropped too??” Kayama exasperated upon hearing the news over the phone, “He and Hizashi must have some psychic link, I’m in the dorms dealing with him now.” Though he words sounded sharp and tired, she really did adore caring for the two, being a big sister really was her own way of relaxing.
“How long would it take you to get here?” Nezu now stood much farther down the hall then when the phone call started, Aizawa left on his make-shift playmat with a ring of keys to jingle to himself.
“Hizashi’s hard to travel with,” Kayama started, “I can send All Might, but he’s on the track right now, I don’t know how long it’d take him to get there.”
Nezu gave a glance down the hall as he let out a slight sigh, “Well, that’s better than nothing.” Little Aizawa suddenly threw the keys, pouncing after them like a cat before sliding, his feet unsecured on the fabric of the sleeping bag. The entire motion made Nezu flinch, his smile forcing just a little hard than normal, “Tell him to hurry for me.”
Kayama gave a simple “Yes sir” before hanging up, leaving Nezu to stare at his phone. He glanced back at Aizawa, now rolled on his back, tangled in his own capture weapon like a cat in yarn, staring wide eyed and curious at Nezu.
Something twisted in the principal’s throat, but he swallowed it down, returned him smile, and reapproached the little one. “Kayama’s a little busy at the moment, but All Might should be on the way soon.” He explained calmly, untangling and removing the capture tape from Aizawa’s neck.
Aizawa continued to stare at him. He was certainly aware of Nezu’s existance, and recognized him as someone safe, but little Aizawa’s eyes had hardly ever perceived the principal.
That was on purpose, of course.
Nezu found being around regressers uncomfortable in a way he couldn’t quiet describe. He’d done his research on the topic of Age Regression, he fully understood it was a completely natural, and even encouraged part of the healing process for trauma victims and those under stress.
He understood the principle, and he’d seen the execution, All Might even gave him a book on everyone’s routines and needs while regressed and yet...
Looking down at the blissfully ignorant and innocent eyes of Shouta Aizawa, a man he knew to drink 5 black coffees first thing every morning, filled him with a feeling he’d rather not face.
Nezu’s paw found Aizawa’s head without thought, gently petting though his hair, his pink pads silking down the little’s jet black hair.
Envy seeped into his stomach as he felt Aizawa lean into his touch, watched the little close his eyes as he relaxed, a soft purr like sound coming from his throat as though the man was in fact actual a cat. The pure bliss on his face.
“I...” Nezu’s voice shook as his paw reached the back of Aizawa’s head, “I wish... I could be like you...”
Nezu without a smile is a rare sight.
“I would give anything to have this mindset you are in...” His paw began to move back up to the top of Aizawa’s head, his stare blank at the little before him, “To be so vulnerable, so ignorant, to just... forget and be... small...”
Nezu’s body gave a shake, his paw giving unsteady rubs, mussing up Aizawa’s already tangled hair.
“I want to be pet...” He spoke so quietly he could barely hear himself, “and held and hugged.. What I’d give to have a moment of blissful innocence like you...”
Nezu took a breath, sucking in his emotions. He’d let it all slip. He could see his paw shaking. He quickly retreated, counting three steps back and he began to forcefully regain his composer.
Aizawa couldn’t fully recognize what’d happened. Why did Mr. Nezu get so sad all of a sudden? Why did he stop petting Aizawa? Had Aizawa done something? Did Mr. Nezu want something from Aizawa?
Panic spiked Nezu’s ears as a ripple of shock ran from his head though his tail, he froze dead in place, stiff and wide eyed. Aizawa’s hand rested just behind his ear, gently stoking back and forth along the fur.
“There, there kitty....” Aizawa spoke softly, his voice small, infantile.
And yet it sent nothing but fear shooting though Principal Nezu.
Nezu found himself unable to respond, he couldn’t even move. He was trapped, forced stiff by the hand on the back of his head giving gentle scratches just below his ear.
So, so gentle
Back and forth
‘That’s a good boy... Relax now... This won’t hurt a bit...’
“Shouta!” Toshinori’s voice echoed though the hall, followed by racing foot steps. Aizawa was quickly snatched from the floor, his affections finally releasing Nezu from his frozen shock, “I thought I told you, we don’t touch Mr. Nezu.” All Might’s scolding tone was soft and truly left no real lesson learned.
“Are you alright, sir?” Toshinori shifted to hold Aizawa more securely, looking down to Nezu with concern.
The principal smiled with ease, his paws now firmly gripped together behind his back, “Right as rain.” He answered, chipper, “Now you two best be going. I’m sure Yamada is waiting.”
“R... Right....” Toshinori nodded, grabbing Aizawa’s sleeping bag from it’s place on the floor. As he walked Aizawa looked over his carer’s shoulder back to Mr. Nezu, who still stood stock still in place, a plastic smile splitting his fuzzy face.
Principal Nezu was a smart man. Attentive. Observant.
Such brilliance is what made him the man he is today, allowed him to nurture young minds and help others in ways only one with such a mind could.
And yet in moments like these
‘there, there, little one, you’re alright’
He would give anything to be rid of it.