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One Phone Call Away

Chapter Text

 

“Midoriya residence. We’re not home right now. Please leave a message after the tone and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Thank you!”

“O-Oh… Oh, you’re not… home. Hey, mom. Hey, I-. Um, okay, first of all, don’t feel bad for not picking up the phone, okay? Don’t feel bad. Please. I-I’m sorry, too, anyway. There’s- there’s been an accident. And I- We- We were on the train. Kacchan’s helping the rest of the passengers right now. I swear even he’s being serious right now. I want to help, too, Mom, but I-

He lent me his phone. Mine’s… broken. Bad place to be during the crash. I should have been-”

Shuffling.

There was a sound of a sharp intake, barely audible over the background noise. Yells, screams and whimpers. An alarm going off somewhere in the distance.

If one were to close their eyes, it would be simple to imagine the chaos, yet at the same time, it wouldn’t even be close.

“I want to help them, Mom. Aren’t I a hero? It shouldn’t end-”

Another pained gasp.

A frustrated groan.

“I think the battery’s… running out. I have one more- one more call I absolutely need to make. I’m sorry, Mom. I’m so sorry.

Please don’t feel bad. Please. Please don’t feel bad.

I’m sorry.

Don’t feel bad.

I love you.

I love you, Mom.”  

 


 

 

Scattered rumble cracked beneath heavy boots once he landed next to his fallen classmate. He took in the pale complexion, trembling fingers clenching his own phone, a wobbly smile a failed (annoying) attempt to be comforting, even though he was not the one who should be comforting other people right now. If he wanted to help, he should have gotten up already and-

“K-Kacchan?” the boy breathed, a scratchy yet wet sound that had no place coming from him. “I-I’m sorry, your phone-”

Shut up,” he growled at him, red eyes narrowed. He struggled to voice his anger (anger?) properly. “Just stick around, nerd. I don’t want you ruining my streak by dying on my watch. Go do it somewhere else.” Fucker had the audacity to laugh.

Or rather, attempt a short chuckle that rattled his chest enough to make him cough. For his sanity’s sake, he would pretend not to notice the red staining the ghostly pale face.

“I-I’ll try, Kacchan. Can I make another-?”

“You could get off your arse and do your damn job, but sure. Make another call.” The sarcasm dripped heavily from his tone, though the other seemed indifferent- used to it, perhaps.

With that, he turned away, having had enough of that image to be forever imprinted into his memory. Not that it made a difference, but-

But don’t let him die on my watch.

 


 

Neither Midoriya nor Bakugou were known to be particularly tardy people, but even when most of the class had already gathered with them still missing, it wasn’t immediately worrying. They knew the two boys were from the same neighborhood, so for them both to be late, it was safe to assume that perhaps there had been some delay with their transportation. The less likely -though not entirely impossible- scenario was they were decking it out somewhere, the way they had some time ago. Still, after that one fight there was a quiet, unspoken not-quite-understanding between them, or at the very least Bakugou, though still verbally… impolite, refrained from open, physical hostility.

When Aizawa entered the classroom however, to begin their first lesson of the day, their absence was just entering the state of worrying. The hero took one scrutinizing look at the two consecutive, empty seats and sighed, regretting ever letting his students have their two week break to return home in the first place.

“Does anyone know where they are?” Aizawa asked in a tone that sounded as lethargic as his expression betrayed him to be.

Another sigh, long and pained, at the collective shake of heads that answered him.

“When was the last time anyone spoke to either of them?” Three hands were raised hesitantly, one shot straight up. “Kirishima? Iida?”

“I texted Bakugou this morning?” Kirishima asked, scratching his chin as he recalled their conversation. “He was on his way.”

“I spoke to Midoriya-kun yesterday. He sounded perfectly fine and ready to return to school this morning.”

Another hand was raised at Iida’s statement. Aizawa nodded at him to speak.

“I also texted Midoriya this morning,” Todoroki frowned. “He was just getting on the train. But I tried again right before you came in and the message was never delivered…”

The statement quickly sobered them all up, as Aizawa narrowed his eyes at the revelation. In a tone much more awake now, he demanded: “Kirishima call Bakugou. Todoroki try calling Midoriya.”

A few moments later Kirishima, a soft frown on his features, shook his head. “Bakugou’s phone is working but it’s busy?”

That calmed them down for a bit. If Bakugou’s phone was busy then that meant he was talking to someone, which should mean he wasn’t in much trouble, right?

Todoroki didn’t share their relief. “It’s not working. I don’t know if it’s off or…” Or something happened to him.

Kaminari waved them off, yet there was still concern written on his face in the crease between his brows, the small trickle of sweat on his forehead. “Maybe he just ran out of battery, guys.”

“Yeah,” Uraraka chirped. “If they’re on the train, they’re together. And they’re both super strong, they should be fine.” Despite her words, the smile she granted them with was shaky at best.

Eventually it was Tsuyu who broke through their pretenses and asked what they were all, without a doubt, wondering. “But where are they?”

 


 

It was a quiet day. The kind where you don’t expect anything to go wrong. And All Might was glad for that, because ever since his rather ungraceful retirement, his inability to help whoever was in need was an ever present ache in his heart, which turned into a full blown fiery pain when the need was great and the outcome despairing. He would later wish he was more on alert. He would wish he expected something bad to happen, for maybe then, maybe then he could have sent help- no, he could have gone to them so much sooner than he did.

He was in the teachers’ lounge, preparing for his next class when the phone rang. He blinked at the unfamiliar number for a second before picking up.

“Hello…?” Toshinori answered the phone with some hesitation.

The voice that called to him from the other side chilled him to the bone. Not because of who it was, but for how he sounded.

“A-All Might..?”

Izuku’s voice would usually bring him a flutter of joy, as the kid had long ago wormed him way into his heart and settled there, snug and comfortable, with no intention of leaving. There was an underlying pride for the boy, fueling his affection, even when he was crying, sensitive as he was, for this and that, even when he was sad, because his successor always rose up to face the hardships that were thrown his way.

The voice that greeted him on the other end of the line was strained and panting. The loud, excitable boy spoke in small whispers, far too pained for Toshinori to suppress the protective instinct in his gut, or the burning, suffocating concern that had gripped the same heart he had given him and twisted until he was the one who couldn’t breathe.

“Mi-Midoriya, my boy… Are you all right? What’s the matter?”

A crash was heard somewhere in the background where Midoriya was, throwing the boy off-balance.

Oh-Oh, that sounded bad. Ka-Kacchan! Is everything okay?”

Although quieter, barely audible over the phone, the reply was unmistakable. “Shut the fuck up, Deku! What are you going to do about it?!”

“S-Sorry… I-I hope everything’s all- all right…” he trailed off, sounding almost like a kicked puppy.

Toshinori frowned at the conversation, his heart beating loudly against his chest. “My boy, what’s going on?

Static filled the line for a second, as Midoriya probably shifted and the agonized whimper that followed that motion brought a sting to the hero’s eyes.

What was happening, where was his student- just how hurt was he?

“There’s… there’s been an accident,” he rasped, his breaths starting to become longer, yet shallower the more he tried to speak. “O-On the train… Ka-Kacchan’s helping the rest of… the passengers- I’m sorry- I want to help but…” Toshinori held his breath. “I-I can’t really… move.”

And for a moment, neither could Toshinori, for the panic had blown up so badly he couldn’t breathe, his worry so overwhelming he was about to throw up. Bright blue eyes, blown wide with fear, looked around frantically, to tell someone, someone to go help those kids. There weren’t many things that could keep Midoriya Izuku down. Just how injured could he be, to become unable to get up, when the kid’s pain tolerance had always kept him on his feet despite terrible, terrifying wounds?

He rushed out of the room before he even had a destination in mind.

“Where are you? I’m on my way. Tell me where you are.”

“Wait, no,” Izuku gasped.

All Might didn’t stop, already halfway to his car waiting outside. “Young Midoriya, I need to get you some help. Tell me where you are.” There was an urge in his voice evident now, his previous attempts to conceal it fading away as his worry spiked.

“P-Pro heroes are on their way- that’s… not why I called, I…”

“My boy, please tell me where you are.”

He jogged to the door of his car, about to get in, when finally, finally he froze. The despair in his student’s pleads shook him to his core, shivers running down his spine. Realization dawned on him at last. Now he understood, the reason Izuku had called him.

“Please, please stay on the line with me.”

All Might turned around, leaned against the door of the car and slid down, drawing his knees close to himself. His chest was heavy with dread; he struggled to form the words he needed. “You can tell me anything, once you’re safe and sound. Let me come to you, tell-” his breath hitched. “- tell me where you are, I beg you.”

“No… I… need to tell you now, I don’t think I’ll…” He trailed off, his words replaced with attempts at steadying breaths, far too short to be comforting. “I’m… I’m sorry, All Might. I’m so sorry.”

Toshinori’s voice was barely more than a quiet whisper, just loud enough for his student to hear. He almost didn’t recognize himself. He sounded so old, so worn out. “Whatever for, my boy…?”

“I let you down,” Izuku choked out a sob, cutting through Toshinori’s heart like a knife, twisting and turning, until all emotion poured out of him like warm blood from a wound. Painful and out of his control.

“No-”

I was… supposed… to be your successor-”

“You are, you will be-”

“I’m going to w-waste your Q-Quirk… I’m sorry- All Might, I’m sorry…” He was openly sobbing now, even though the sound still echoed far too shallow in Toshinori’s ears. “I… I don’t know w-what to do! S-Should I just give it to Kacchan? He- I can’t let it disappear, All Might!”

Izuku!

The sound of his first name quieted the boy down. He almost opened his mouth to apologize at the whimpers still heard from the other side. Izuku beat him to it.

I’m sorry, All Might…”

You’re going to be all right, he wanted to tell him. You’re going to be fine, don’t talk like that. But if Izuku, of all people, who would always brush himself off as fine even when he was bleeding out right in front of you, reached the point where he considered handing over his Quirk, then he was scared, he was injured horribly enough to be scared, he was… he might be dying.

“Izuku…”

O-Oh… The battery’s running out, I-”

“Wait, my boy-”

“’Thank you, All Might. For everything-”

Izu-”

The dial tone was the final cue he needed for the tears to start streaming down his cheeks. The worry in his gut remained, though his chest felt oddly hollow right then.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

“How’s the situation coming along? Have the villains been apprehended?”

“Hello?”

“Yes- yes, the villains have been apprehended but-” Rustling, grunting. A yell somewhere in the background. All in all, too much chaos for an incident that should have been over with already.

“But what?” The assistant back at HQ barked into the intercom, closing his free ear to block out the background noise.

“We have a situation. Debris from the explosion it- it hit one of them bullet trains-” The hero trailed off with a suffering sigh.

“Oh- Oh, shit. Was anyone hurt?”

Static.

“Hello?”

 


 

 

Fuck this shit. Fuck them all. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

It was just so damn stupid.

They were on their way to school- to their ridiculous, unreasonably dangerous school where people tried to kill him more than once per year. And honestly, with their track record, you’d think things would go to hell there. For all their extra hero teachers, they were in more danger there than they were in the outside world most of the time. Not that Bakugou minded the danger-

But this was so stupid.

  


 

 

He slumped over to one of the few empty seats in the train, glaring out the window as though the passing city had personally offended him. His ever permanent scowl was redirected only for a moment, when fucking Deku of all people, almost dared to take up the seat next to him. Granted, it was the only seat available but there was no way in hell he was sitting anywhere near him. It was enough he had him behind him in class all the damn time.

So a pointed look later, Deku sighed and walked away to stand further in front of him, just a little to the right from the door. And Bakugou was content not to pay any attention to him until they reached their destination. Or even after that.

But that’s when it all turned to shit.

They found out later about the hero fight that was happening a few ways away from them, where quirks came and went, creating disaster after disaster in an attempt to stop one or two petty criminals. Bakugou would never care to find out the specifics afterward. It would have taught him enough as it was.

What they did notice first was the sound of an explosion, loud enough to rattle the windows of the train, to gain the attention of every passenger aboard, from students, to elders, every mother and every crying child turning to look outside the window to the right. And Bakugou, who was already staring outside anyway, saw the entire thing happen.

Cliche though it may have sounded, the world truly did seem to slow down at the moment, but sitting as he was, with his bag on his lap, entirely unprepared, even he was caught lacking the necessary speed to do anything to prevent it.

Debris from the explosion hurled at them with an impressive speed. The metal dented where it hit, the center of the dent got pierced enough for pieces to go through, while the force alone pushed the train off trajectory, successfully derailing it and the hundreds of passengers inside. Bakugou braced himself, holding on for dear life from the seat as it violently fell off track. The screeching of metal against metal was overshadowed only by the high pitched shrills of the people inside.

He didn’t know how it fell to a stop but it did, the chaos dying down to whimpers and cries and sobs. Some from terror, some from pain. The panic took a few moments to come, the shock rendering them silent for far too little time, before screams of help drowned out everything else.

And Bakugou, who would never admit he was trembling a little, raised his gaze to where he saw the debris hit, a little in front of him, to the right of the door-

Fucking. Hell.

Some had managed to jump out of the way in time. Some- some hadn’t and-

“Deku, what the fuck?” He swore under his breath, his eyes widening at the sight.

He had his hands in front of him, palms open as if he tried to protect himself and others with his bare hands and he probably had but he had failed and he had- he had-

For one traitorous moment, Bakugou took one look at the seat next to him. Still empty.

Deku coughed, the sound closer to choking. Red stained his lips instantly and he trembled yet couldn’t fall, not fully because- because fuck- fuck he was being held up by-

“Ka-Kacchan-” he gasped and ignoring any and all pride Bakugou rushed over there to inspect the damage for himself.

“What the fuck, Deku- what the fuck?”

He turned to him, deep emerald eyes wet at the edges. The smile he struggled to give him was wobbly at best, the trickle of blood escaping from the corner ruining any false declaration of being okay that moron had intended to throw his way. “I- I tried to- I used my quirk to stop it- but I- I missed some stuff and-” His gaze betrayed him, looked down at himself for just a moment, more than enough. He took a breath -shaky, miserable- before he could continue, now looking anywhere but at the wound close to his stomach. “K-Kacchan, I don’t think I can- move right now, could you- could you get everyone out?” A low whimper escaped him before he could stop it. “Please, I’m sorry- I’m sorry I can’t help but I-”

“Shut the hell up,” Bakugou ordered, yet there was no anger to be found. No, his voice was oddly empty at the moment, as his eyes shifted to Deku’s face, to his wound, still profusely bleeding, to the people behind and around him. Some had gotten hurt, some hadn’t. It was without a doubt better than it would have been had Deku not used his strength to protect them. But that nerd-

He took off his school jacket, shoved it at his classmate’s hands with a growl. “Here. Make yourself useful and stop staining the whole place, asshole. I’ll get everyone out, since you can’t be bothered to.”

Deku quickly complied, pressing the fabric to his wound as best as he could around the- fuck, there was still- He placed the jacket against the wound with a pained whimper, the blood staining it a muddy red with an alarming speed.

Deciding he really, truly, more than anything, did not want to look at any of this anymore, Bakugou turned to bring some fucking order to this mess of screams and yells and demands, as though an abundance of heroes would come and make everything all right just because they owed it to them. Before he could snarl at them too to just shut the fuck up and listen however, Deku’s meek voice halted him again, the tone of which caused his blood to freeze in his veins.

“Ka-Kacchan? Can I- Could I use your phone?”

He sounded tired. As if-

“Suit yourself.”

As if he had a terrible decision to make.

“Thank you...”

As if he had given up.

  


 

 

All Might didn’t stop trying when Izuku hung up on him. He opened every news site he could imagine, made a few calls to the police station to figure out if anyone knew anything about a train accident, if anyone was working on it already, or if-for heaven’s sake- those children were on their own out there. The information however, made his stomach churn harder, bile rising in his throat. An accident- collateral damage from a villain fight- a hero had gotten too loose, too careless with his quirk and dozens of innocent people-

Izuku, who had spent his entire life admiring heroes, trapped in the receiving end of one of their mistakes, that could have- should have been avoided.

What he also got though, was a location. A location to where he rushed, trying with a newfound desperation to keep himself focused. For a person who wasn’t known to panic, he certainly felt a little breathless right then.

Out there, he found hell.

The entire area was surrounded by police and a terrifying amount of ambulances, bystanders hastily kept away by flimsy police tape. He pushed through the crowd to the front to see the extent of the damage caused, gaping at the sight. Holes had been torn through the metal and heroes with the help of paramedics tried to evacuate the people inside through them as carefully as they could. The ambulances were quickly loaded and left for the nearest available hospital, only to be replaced with new ones as the injured people far succeeded the capacity of the vehicles gathered there.

He caught a glimpse of Bakugou- Bakugou, who had failed the provisional exam the first time because of the rescue training- helping their efforts, directing people where to go, assisting the passengers as they evacuated, with a shocking calmness to him. Even when he was yelling, his posture was certain, cautious.

But where was-

“Sir, you cannot come any closer.” A man raised a hand to halt him; only then did he realize he had tried to get past the tape surrounding the scene.

He wished for his hero form. For just a moment, just so he could go in there and help his student, his successor who had always placed too much faith in him. Not only could he not help like this, they wouldn’t even let him close!

“Just fucking get him out already!” Bakugou’s growl cut through his useless wishes that helped no one at this point. It wasn’t hard to guess who he was, but the fact that his student was screaming at the paramedics to help increased the rate of his heartbeat to a dangerous level.

He didn’t hear what the paramedic replied, but Bakugou was all but impossible to miss. “Screw that! You got everyone else out and he’s the one who needs help the most! What the fuck is wrong with you?” The medic waved his hands in surrender, again saying something to defend himself. “Well get on with it then! The fuck you waiting for?”

Toshinori didn’t know if they were truly intending to get Izuku out then, or if Bakugou terrorized them into it, but suddenly there was a lot more commotion around the opening, even when he didn’t think it possible.

An alarming amount of paramedics ran to the inside of the train, a stretcher carried with them. Bakugou and another hero All Might didn’t recognize went in as well, while one of the ambulances drove as close to the opening as it could to get the injured inside more quikly. A pathway was getting cleared for it to get to the road already. Orders were barked, curt and firm, everyone’s nerves on edge as they prepared to transfer the young student.

And Toshinori, All Might, Izuku’s mentor, who was closer to being his father at this point, could do nothing but stay away, behind the police tape. He couldn’t help, he couldn’t even see what was going on inside.

He caught one glimpse of Izuku when they got him out, far, far too much time later. Angry red on a familiar school uniform, the paramedics’ hands placed firmly on a wound he couldn’t see, but the blood pouring from it still stained everything in sight. Forest green hair framing a face too pale, matching eyes half lidded. The stretcher was taken in the ambulance, medics rushing in, closing the door behind them. And as simply as that, he was gone, taken away, leaving All Might with an image that lasted seconds, yet he was sure would remain for much much longer than that in his mind.

Only then did he make his presence known.

“Young Bakugou!” he called out, his chest tightening at the blood he saw on the boy’s hands and shirt when he turned to face him. He wasn’t dirty like that before- not that much, so this must be from- “Which hospital?” Toshinori all but pleaded, desperation clawing at his throat, making his voice crack pitifully.

Although Bakugou’s eyes widened, he replied. And All Might didn’t bothering wondering how he knew, if he had asked. He merely ran.

 


 

The hospital must not have been expecting for an entire classroom to come visit a single person and yet here they were, nineteen students and two teachers, with varying portrayals of grief, standing on edge in the waiting room. After the first few hours they had started to scatter, Aizawa kicking most of them out with the promise of updates as soon as they happened. It was getting late and they needed to return to the dorms.

A few remained regardless. Iida, Uraraka, Todoroki. Tsuyu and Kirishima took a bit of convincing but eventually relented as well. Bakugou stayed to give a statement to the police when they came for them both. Aizawa waited to watch over those and to wait for news on his student’s condition.

All Might was in the hospital too, somewhere close, trying to comfort a hysterical Inko Midoriya out of sight of the already distressed students. She had come a while ago, not too long after her son was admitted, deep, yet breathless sobs shaking her entire frame. Between her sobbing, the words voicemail and I wasn’t there- I couldn’t answer- I wasn’t there for him! stood out.

Quite frankly, Aizawa didn’t want to know what that was about.

He took a glance at his students. Uraraka’s tears had dried not too long ago, drained after crying for hours on end. She had her head on Iida’s shoulder and the boy couldn’t find the heart to turn her away. He sat there, stoic. A barely noticeable tremble in his posture betrayed him.

Todoroki stood further away from them, on his own, lest someone noticed the awful fluctuations in temperature he caused.

 


 

 

He woke up to a flaring pain in his stomach and he didn’t realize at first, that the groan he heard was his own.

“Midoriya, my boy…”

Fuck, it hurt.

Izuku, can you hear me?”

His lips parted to speak, but he was dragged back under before a single word could escape.

  


 

 

The second time he came to, the pain had dulled to a pressure uncomfortable, though not insufferable and his mind felt heavy, hard to navigate. What was going on?

His eyelids fluttered, settled open with some difficulty. He squinted at his blurry sight, colors of green and a bright bright yellow standing out, yet still indecipherable.

“I-Izuku?!” came a frantic call, which was either spoken with an impressive slowness for its panicked tone, or his hearing wasn’t all there either.

This time he did manage to speak, his words mumbled and slurred.

“Who drugged me?” he whined, before going under once more.

 


 

 

In his third attempt, his senses came back to him one at a time. First came the pain, as it always did, the most prominent of feelings in its fiery anger. It hurt, it hurt a lot but he didn’t moan, the hopeful voices from before halting any sign of consciousness from him until he could be certain he could handle the living world in its entirety for more than a few seconds this time.

His hearing had cleared, sounds reaching him from what he assumed was an open window nearby. The traffic, the birds and- rustling nearby, right next to him.

A voice.

“Izuku, my boy? Are you awake?”

All Might.

He didn’t notice the smile that tugged weakly at his lips until the familiar voice was heard once again, tired but relieved, a hint of joy in it granting  the boy enough strength to blink his eyes lazily open.

“Welcome back, my boy.”

Blinding blond hair and a piercing pair of blue eyes that held a gaze so soft greeted him when his vision returned, widening his smile into a grin. All Might was sitting on a plastic hospital chair next to him, leaning towards him, one of his hands placed by his side on the bed, as though silently asking for permission to take his own. He was smiling too, a fragile gesture, though genuine in its happiness, too tired to be steady.

Izuku rubbed the exhaustion from his face, doing a double take, not at the IV that was attached there, but at the second needle mark, no longer attached to anything.

All Might must have noticed where he was looking, for with a small voice he explained, “That was for the blood.”

“Blood?” he croaked out, throwing himself into a short coughing fit, his throat dry, scratchy. “What happened?”

The other man frowned at him. “You don’t remember? You…” he hesitated. “You were in an accident? On the train with young Bakugou.”

Izuku paused, feeling a headache coming as he gathered his scattered memories to make sense of them. “Bakugou…?” he mumbled to himself. “Wh- Oh.

And it all came back to him then. The cement and steel aiming straight for them, the rush to activate his quirk, the flaring pain in his stomach as he was- he was- “Oh,” he choked out, catching a glimpse of the agonized look in his mentor’s eyes for half a second before it disappeared.

He remembered the calls, to his mother, who never picked up and perhaps that was better in a way- he would have never been able to hang up on her.  To All Might, for comfort, for an apology and for- for permission to-

“I still have One for All,” he admitted, gaze glued to the thin blanket covering his lap. “Kacchan wouldn’t listen to me long enough to even make the offer and- and to be honest, I didn’t want to…” Tears prickled at the corners of his eyes. He could have lost it. The world could have lost One for All for good, because he wanted to be selfish.

“I’m glad.”

Izuku’s head snapped up to look at him.

“I’m glad, my boy,” All Might repeated, gentle yet firm. “I wouldn’t want anyone else for my successor. No one,” he added when said successor tried to protest.

Silence settled between them, long but comfortable, until he had to ask where his mother had ended up after all. He was sure he had heard her earlier.

“She actually stepped outside for a moment, only a few minutes before you woke up.”

The boy chuckled lightly, covered his eyes with an arm to hide his face. “She’s going to be so mad with herself for leaving. I’m sure she already feels bad enough for not picking up the phone.” All Might hummed in agreement. “I need a new phone,” Izuku muttered. “And a gift for Kacchan.”

All Might’s eyes widened at the comment. “A gift?”

“Mm-hmm.”

 

“A portable battery.”