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Renew

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Renew

It all begins when Izuku is four, the same night as the day that his hopes are broken by a doctor with a single word: Quirkless. That night, when he comes home it is in tears, with his mother holding him tight in arms as he cries until he falls asleep. But when the world of dreams finally overtakes him Izuku finds himself waking up to a world of white.

It is a devastatingly empty place.

Still young, Izuku, despite having just literally cried himself to sleep in the waking world, breaks into tears again. For what else could he do? His mother is nowhere to be seen, in fact, there is nothing to be seen.

On and on, wherever he looks, there is nothingness. Not even a ground to orient himself on, not even a horizon, just a crushing blankness of white where Izuku seemingly floats, existing all alone by himself until-

-yes, until he meets that person for the first time.

Maybe he had been moving without noticing it, which was understandable considering the lack of anything to orient himself with, but suddenly there is something in the distance. Something small, something that is moving, slowly getting bigger as though it was approaching Izuku. Or is it that Izuku was the one approaching them?

No matter. The important thing to Izuku then is that it was something and that it wasn’t white. Instead, it is something black, progressively getting bigger until finally, Izuku starts to recognize that this black thing is not just an object: it is a person.

A tall adult wearing a fedora and with curly sideburns, in fact. Fedora-san, Izuku immediately decides, even in tears.

“And I thought I heard crying coming from here, and what do I find? A crybaby.”

Izuku doesn’t feel better at being called that. At all.

So he cries some more.

After all, what else can he do? He is still in a white featureless void, with his only company being a stranger wearing an admittedly cool hat but with only an insult for Izuku. Just as Izuku is starting to think things can’t get any worse, a hand suddenly places itself on Izuku’s head.

“Stop crying. You’re reminding me of a hopeless student of mine. Look, if the problem here is that you have nothing to orient yourself with, I’ll make you something.”

Izuku turns to look up, just in time to see a bright yellow flame suddenly forming in the man’s hand, just over Izuku’s forehead. For a moment, Izuku is scared – was Fedora-san trying to burn away his hair, one part of him yells, even as the other part goes, fire Quirk, fire Quirk, just like Dad! – but he realizes that no, the fire wasn’t burning him.

Even as it starts to travel down Izuku’s hair to his shoulders, straight down to his legs and feet, Izuku doesn’t feel pain. Just a warm soothing heat that soon disappears as the flames reach his feet, and once it is there Izuku suddenly has something to stand on.

A bright yellow floor, perfectly circular and surrounding both Izuku and Fedora-san, a single island of color in a sea of white.

“There, you’ve finally stopped crying. Now, care to tell me how you got here? This is not a place where brats like you should be.”

#-#-#-#

Reborn, Fedora-san introduces himself to Izuku, as Izuku explains that he has no idea either on how he got to this infinite white void. Izuku, in turn, also introduces himself by his name to Reborn – Reborn-san, call me that – and just like that Izuku gets to know this strange man he has just found in an equally strange white world.

Reborn-san is, in a word, caustic.

In a way, Izuku is reminded of Kacchan as he talks to the man, the conversation going about just as well as it could with only Izuku keeping up the conversation and with the large age difference between them, but for some reason Izuku gets the idea that despite the acerbic replies and scathing tones the man uses at him, it could be a lot worse.

Like for some reason, Reborn-san is treating Izuku a lot nicer than he normally would.

Maybe, Reborn-san also was feeling lonely, Izuku thinks, and with Izuku being the only other person around Reborn-san was just putting up with him. Izuku knows that this reason is precisely why he was talking with the man in the first place – even with the golden ground that he is now standing on, this white void of a world is still terrifying enough that all Izuku could try to get his mind off of it is to talk with this stranger that he has found in the middle of it.

Still, Izuku despite his age also knows enough to not actually ask this of Reborn-san, so when Izuku finally starts to wake up and everything is going dark, Izuku doesn’t get to ask the man about it.

When he opens his eyes in his bed, with tear tracks on his cheeks and his mother still holding him in his arms, for the rest of the morning Izuku wonders if it was all really just a dream. This pondering is put on hold though, the moment he arrives in his school.

After all, by then the news of his quirklessness have followed him, and as he is surrounded by jeering classmates and Kacchan, Izuku begins to miss the white void.

#-#-#-#

Izuku returns to the dreaming world the following night, and this time, he immediately finds himself on the island of yellow flames Reborn-san had made for him. Upon seeing the man, Izuku immediately jumps towards him in tears.

“Kid, you’re crying again. Why have you come back into this world, and why the hell are you crying into my suit? Let me go, you’re going to ruin my clothes.”

Izuku pulls away, wiping away snot from his face. Reborn-san makes a noise of disgust.

“T-Today, school was the w-worst... Kacchan and the others, t-they, found out that I was Q-Quirkless...”

For a moment, Izuku regrets admitting to that, worrying that the older man would treat him the same as others at the fact that Izuku lacked a Quirk, but then the older man only responds with, “Quirkless? What’s that?”

Reborn-san is immediately besieged with stares from Izuku, his misery forgotten at being faced with someone that didn’t know what Quirks were.

“Quirks? Quirks are superpowers nearly everyone has! Like your Quirk!”

The man only shakes his head despite Izuku’s disbelief. “What I do is not a Quirk, kid. And as far as I know, not nearly everyone has superpowers. If things have changed that much since I came here, then the world outside this place must be very different indeed.”

For a moment, Izuku is shocked. At this point, he has seen Reborn-san use what Izuku previously thought to be his Quirk several times, mostly to make the occasional flame object to distract Izuku whenever he got too chatty.

Izuku’s favorite is the chameleon-shaped one, as it appeared the most often, but for that to not be a Quirk? That was... that was...

For a moment, Izuku tastes hope. “Reborn-san, can you-!?”

“No, kid, I know what you are already going to ask.” Reborn-san shoots him down, not even bothering to let Izuku finish his question. “I’m not going to teach you how to handle Flames. I’ve had enough students for two lifetimes and I’m not going to add you to that list.”

Despite the pain of being shot down so quickly, Izuku can recognize... sorrow? Was that sorrow in Reborn-san’s voice? But normally, the older man was calm and collected, with the occasional sarcastic remark and smug tone every now and then.

This is the second time Izuku is in this world and has met this man, but he already is sure that sorrow is not something normal for the normally-cool person he knows. And for this to be brought about by Izuku’s request of being taught...

At four years old, Izuku already has the emotional quotient of a person more than thrice his age. So, understanding that the subject brings the other person pain, Izuku doesn’t dare ask Reborn-san about it anymore.

Reborn-san seems to understand what Izuku’s has come to, so for once, he makes an attempt to proceed with the conversation. Izuku thinks that this is something like an olive branch for him, something that the older man is doing in thanks for knowing not to pry.

“So, Quirks. Kid, what do you know about them?”

#-#-#-#

A few months pass, just like that. Izuku remains Quirkless, and slowly the teasing that he receives from his classmates become more severe, the taunts carrying more and more malice. Izuku only manages to visit the sleeping world every now and then, but with both Reborn-san and Mom supporting him in their own ways – with his Mom being more overt about it of course, Reborn-san’s kind of support was to order Izuku around about getting over himself, advice interspersed with derogatory comments – Izuku manages, but then comes the straw that breaks the camel’s back:

Deku. Because you’re useless, and you need to be reminded of your place in the world!

That same night, Izuku is once again crying in Reborn-san’s island, and this time, the man doesn’t even try to resist as Izuku wails in his arms.

“R-Reborn-san, t-today Kacchan t-told me that I w-was u-useless. ‘Useless Deku,’ h-he said. The other k-kids, they all t-teased me, calling me n-names and telling me that K-Kacchan was right, that I would never amount to anything-”

Arms wrap themselves around Izuku. For a moment, Izuku hears Reborn-san mutter “Goddamnit, I must be getting soft” before Reborn-san is holding him tight, with yellow fire wrapping around the both of them.

As it is always with Reborn-san’s Flames, Izuku doesn’t feel pain, only warmth at being surrounded by them, and soon his tears are licked away by the golden flames as Reborn places a hand below Izuku’s chin.

Reborn-san makes him lift his head and meet him in the eyes. “Izuku.”

Izuku blinks away tears, because this is the first time Reborn-san has actually called him by name as opposed to Kid or Brat or something along that vein. “Y-Yeah?”

“I’m going to teach you how to unlock your Flames. I’ve had enough of hearing you repeat the same sob story over and over again, and you’re not even the only person I’ve heard it from. Get ready, because you asked for this.”

Izuku only has a moment to comprehend that before suddenly everything is on fire.

#-#-#-#

Congrats, Brat. You have Sun Flames just like I do.

S-Sun Flames?

Flames have multiple types. You share a type like mine. Strange, I would have normally thought that you would have Sky... but that would be too much of a coincidence, wouldn’t it? For all of the students I take on to have Sky Flames.

T-Tell me more, please! H-How do I use this? What do they do? Types, does this mean they have different effects? C-Can I use this in the real world?

I don’t know if you can use Flames outside of this place. And yes, I’m going to tell you the rest about Flames in time. This is not my first time in being a teacher and this time I don’t have anything else to distract me from teaching you everything you need to know.

I-If I can’t use Flames outside this world, then why...?

You asked for it, didn’t you? And as I said, I am merely unsure whether you could use it out of this world or not. Wouldn’t it be better to know how to use this than to never use it at all?

...

Any other questions?

Reborn-san... why did you finally decide to teach me?

...because you really frustrate me so by reminding me so much of my students. Nothing more, nothing less. Now get to work.

#-#-#-#

Months, then years pass. Izuku learns more about Flames from Reborn – don’t call me Sensei, and drop that damn honorific, your formality is starting to grate on me – but in the end, at the age of fourteen he never manages to use his Flames outside of their dream world.

He can easily use it in his dreams, yes, but in real life? Not so much. A strange sense of disconnect forms between the realms of sleeping and waking for Izuku: in his dreams, he has Reborn teaching him about Flames, teaching him stances and how to fight despite Izuku never developing muscle tone from said training, and in the waking world he is still bullied and mistreated for something he never had.

There is a time that Izuku worries about his experiences with Reborn being just that – dreams, figments of his imagination, and with how Reborn doesn’t even seem to age as Izuku grows up, it becomes all the more likely – but Reborn easily picks those worries out of his head and gives him something to do when he is awake.

When Izuku asks his Mom to order him suspension bands to train with at the age of nine, his Mom immediately checks if Izuku is feeling alright and if such training tools really would benefit Izuku. As soon as his Mom returns from a training instructor, confirming Reborn’s advice of doing stretches and suspension training, Izuku knows that Reborn is real and not just someone he had made up in his head ever since he was four.

So at the age of nine, Midoriya Izuku starts training himself. In the meantime, as he does so in real life, he makes an effort to protect himself from Bakugou Katsuki. While there will always be a part of Izuku that wants to be friends with Kacchan, Reborn’s advice on learning how to pick his battles tells Izuku that as he is right now, becoming friends with the other boy is impossible.

So despite feeling extremely lonely and becoming more and more introverted day by day, Izuku learns on how to avoid Kacchan and his wrath as much as he could. At moments, Izuku finds himself staring at the other boy’s direction, yearning to be accepted and to have a Quirk just like his, but the rest of the time Izuku is either hiding from Kacchan or being caught and bullied by the other boy.

Thus, the disconnect. With Reborn’s teachings, building up confidence comes slowly but surely in the dreaming world, especially with how Izuku learns to call up his Flames and use them to turn the featureless void just a little bit brighter, just a little bit yellower and less empty than it had been before Izuku met Reborn.

Outside the dream world, that confidence and the Flames leave him back into little useless Deku once again, despite Reborn’s lessons. At most, Izuku only learns how to keep to himself, to train and to keep up a facade well enough in front of his Mom to not make her worry.

Izuku also picks up the habit of analyzing Quirks, and soon enough Izuku has made around a dozen notebooks filled with Quirk analyses, though nobody else other than him manage to see them as Izuku refuses to let them see the light of day.

At this point, he has learned enough about subtlety, thank you very much. After the first time Kacchan blew up at the sight of Izuku writing in one of his notebooks, Izuku learned to not let anyone see them lest they start asking him what they were for.

Because if Izuku was asked that and had to answer that it was to make up for his lack of Quirk... no, he had enough. Better to hide it than to be taunted for it.

So, that is how Midoriya Izuku, age fourteen, leaves school for home one afternoon near the end of his last year in middle-school. He has just managed to avoid Bakugou’s attention, dodging out of class just in time before the teacher could call Izuku out for signing up for Yuuei, and is about to leave a tunnel when he is attacked by a villain.

It is, in a word, terrifying.

Mud wraps itself around Izuku, a villain whispering threats in his ears, and Izuku is choking, choking, just choking and wanting to use his Flames, but they aren’t coming out, they aren’t coming out-

And then quite suddenly, it changes as Izuku meets All Might for the first time.

#-#-#-#

Kid, I never thought to ask, but why did you ask me to teach you how to use Flames? Because I’m pretty sure that you’re not the kind of kid to want power for the sake of having it.

Reborn, I’m not a kid anymore!

Humor me.

Alright, but don’t laugh, alright?

I’m not going to promise anything.

I guess that’s all I can get. Look, I want to be a hero, alright? Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be like All Might, like the Symbol of Peace.

...

Hey, I thought I asked you not to laugh! Just because it sounds really stupid of me, this is serious!

No, I’m not laughing at you. Not directly, at least. I’m just amused by the irony.

What do you mean by that, Reborn?

Nothing. Now get back to calling up those Flames of yours. I’m still not satisfied with the control you have showed me.

S-Stop changing the subject, and that’s pretty much everything we can do here anyway! You can’t tell me that you can’t explain why you’ve found me so amusing just now when I know we have all the time we need!

Sure I can. I just did. And it’s not that I can’t explain it to you, only that I won’t. Now, get back to work, Deku.

...

What is it now, kid?

You never call me that. Deku.

...really, did I just call you that just now? I must be really wasting away here if I make mistakes like that.

Reborn, why don’t you call me Deku like everyone else does? In fact, only Mom calls me by name at this point, with you calling me Kid or something like that all the time.

Get to work, Izuku.

Alright, got it, don’t talk about it. You don’t have to say any more.

Funny, from all these questions I thought you would never stop talking.

#-#-#-#

Izuku is just recovering from his encounter with All Might and the following disaster of a talk with the Symbol of Peace when he grips his fists and slams them on a nearby lamppost. Beneath the blow, he hears his fingers creak and feels blood drip from his knuckles, but Izuku ignores the pain.

After all, it doesn’t compare with the soul-searing hurt that is the result of meeting with his number-one Hero.

It isn’t that he doesn’t understand where the Hero was going when he told Izuku what he thought. After all, it isn’t the first time he has faced those words, and even Reborn had commented a few times that without being capable of using Flames in the real world Izuku’s dream of becoming a Hero is a foolish goal.

But there is knowing that, and knowing that even All Might thinks that Izuku should change the course of his life. There is hearing those words from the other teenagers, from Kacchan, from his Mom and even Reborn, and there is hearing those words from the person who probably knew most about being a Hero above all else.

So was there any wonder that Izuku could feel nothing but heartbreak in this moment?

And it isn’t as though Izuku hadn’t tried to fight back, when Muddy was overtaking him. Izuku had indeed been struggling with all of his might, trying to make use of the physical training he had under Reborn’s advice and his Mom’s help, but what could mundane blows and hits do to something liquid?

He also had tried pulling on his Flames, as always, but it still felt trapped within him. Untapped. For a moment, Izuku thought that he could actually pull it up for once, while Muddy was choking him, but even that was a failure and were it not for All Might rescuing him he wouldn’t be alive.

So that left Izuku with nothing. Nothing but being Deku.

He is still wallowing in his grief when he finds himself watching a commotion in the middle of town. Old habits making him climb up something to get a better view, Izuku is shocked when he sees Muddy once again free and covering none other than Kacchan.

Despite All Might’s advice ringing in his ears, despite Reborn’s teachings of picking his battles, despite Kacchan’s mistreatment of him over the years and the fact that this is a very poorly thought-out thing to do, before Izuku knows it he is already running, making use of his legs to jump into the fray to try and rescue his childhood friend.

“Let Kacchan go!”

Izuku manages to kick at Muddy’s eyes, causing them to shriek out in pain, but soon enough Izuku’s actions are showing their stupidity as Muddy wraps himself around Izuku, the ongoing watchers and nearby Heroes gasping as an idiotic teenager jumped in into the fight with nary a plan nor a Quirk.

So this is how I’m going to die, huh? I’m so sorry, Mom, Reborn, even All Might. I failed you-

Something grabs at Izuku’s leg, and this doesn’t have the liquid consistency as the rest of what is capturing Izuku. Izuku turns, just in time to see Kacchan looking at him with irate eyes, the anger clear but not without showing just a hint of desperation that like him, the other teenager is afraid.

And suddenly Izuku is reminded of exactly why he did this. Why, despite it all, Izuku jumped into this despite there being no hope and Izuku having nothing that he could bring despite his usual Deku self.

Why do you want to be a Hero?

Yeah, that was it, wasn’t it...

Because I want to be like All Might!

How is it that Izuku has forgotten what brought him into this path in the first place? What made him want to become a Hero?

I want to save and protect people, to bring about peace and to be their Hope!

And he can’t become that if he dies now.

Just like that, something snaps, and as though in defiance with how reality has decreed things to be, Izuku suddenly bursts out into Flames. Lit up in bright yellow, Sun Flames of the highest purity spill out from every bit and surface of Izuku, having been waiting and saved up all of these years for the chance to finally show the world of what is within him.

I won’t be able to rest in peace until I become a Hero!

Something screams. Izuku doesn’t know if it’s him, Kacchan, or Muddy who is making that screeching noise that fills his ears.

#-#-#-#

When Izuku wakes up, it is to a familiar world, and this time it feels a little too final.

Unlike when Izuku first arrived in this world, nothing anymore is lit up in white. Instead, it is a place filled with yellows, the color somehow not painful in the eyes and instead warm and soothing as though a mother’s embrace.

And the first hint that something is wrong is that Reborn is starting to fade away.

“Reborn? Reborn! W-What’s happening?”

Despite the way the man is fading, his arms already gone up to his elbows and his body nonexistent below his knees, Reborn doesn’t look terrified. Not that Izuku expected of it from the man – to Izuku, Reborn has always been calm, collected, and unwavering. A pillar of strength that always existed in a place where Izuku and only Izuku could meet him.

“So this is finally happening, huh?” Reborn’s eyes turn up to meet him. “I thought so.”

Izuku is afraid. “I-Is this because I used my Flames for the first time outside this world? Is that the cost of using my Flames? Am I the one at fault for this?”

Before Izuku knows it, a small fireball of Sun Flames smacks him in the face.

“Stop thinking like that, not everything is about you. It just so happens that it is happening now instead of earlier or later.” Reborn scolds, and despite the situation, Izuku feels a little chastised. But then Reborn actually smiles at Izuku. “So you have finally used your Flames huh? Did you just have a life-threatening situation outside this world? Sure looks like it.”

Izuku catches on quick at the implications of Reborn’s accurate rhetorical questions. “S-So... it was necessary for me to be exposed to life-threatening circumstances to use my Flames? T-Then, why didn’t you tell me?”

“You mean to ask me exactly why I didn’t tell a reckless kid to not try and court danger? And I thought you were smarter than that, Kid.” Reborn snarks back, despite the way he is only left with his torso at this point. “I knew you were going to have one, sooner or later.  You’re the kind of brat to not be able to keep your sizable nose out of things.”

Izuku sniffs said nose, tears already forming in his eyes. “R-Reborn... Please. Why is this happening? Why now, of all times?”

Reborn closes his eyes. “Izuku.”

As with all of the times Reborn actually calls him by his name, Izuku straightens. “Y-Yeah?”

“I have never told you of who I used to be before this, so listen up and remember my words very clearly. Because this will be the only time you would be hearing them from me.”

And so, Reborn starts telling Izuku of his past. Of how he was a hitman, the World’s Greatest Hitman, in a world entirely different from Izuku’s own. Of how he was part of a Family called the Vongola, also the greatest of them all, and how he taught two students, the two of them growing up to be Mafia Bosses.

He speaks of one Dino Chiavarone and one Sawada Tsunayoshi, of how they used to be called weaklings like Izuku before Reborn entered their lives and trained them into becoming people of respect. Of how he had actually loved them like sons.

Of how they died before Reborn in a war between Famiglia and how Reborn soon followed in their footsteps.

To say that Izuku is shocked about this information is an understatement. Despite having moments of curiosity for the older man’s past, Izuku had always known to never ask because it would always bring about painful memories for his teacher.

At this point, the fact that Reborn actually used to be a criminal didn’t even matter. Because the thought of living like that, to actually outlive one’s most important people – and knowing Reborn, because Izuku knows the apparent hitman more than said hitman thinks – and to blame oneself for bringing them into the world of Mafia and thus their deaths, is not something that Izuku wants to wish on anyone much less the person who taught him and supported him for all of this years.

“So when you told me I reminded you of them...”

Reborn actually manages to look wry. “Let me tell you, kid. If Dame-Tsuna and Pipsqueak-Dino ever met you, you three would get on like a house on fire and I mean that literally considering your Flames. They’ll probably even adopt you as a brother – both of them do have the habit of doing that with random kids.”

“Deku.”

Reborn looks confused at Izuku’s response. “What was that, kid?”

Izuku has tears in his eyes. “You call your students by their nicknames, right? Call me Deku then, please.”

Reborn closes his eyes again, and for a moment, Izuku thinks that he is too late when Reborn meets his gaze and calls him, “Deku. Is that right, do you really want me to call you that, Izuku?”

Izuku nods, tearing up. “Y-Yeah.”

“Odd kid.” Reborn says, but the hitman has a smile on his face. “So this is how it feels like to finally move on...”

Izuku’s thoughts were right. Reborn really was moving on. And with how the rate Reborn was disappearing immediately started to get faster the moment Izuku got to call him Deku, Izuku has an idea why, which only makes him break further into tears. “R-Reborn...”

“Don’t make me say goodbye, Deku, because you better damn believe it that I’ll be watching over you even in the afterlife. I’ll even get those two idiots to do it with me, though at this point I don’t doubt that they are already watching over the two of us now. So don’t you dare make me say goodbye.”

Izuku shakes his head, making the best smile he can despite the circumstances. “A-Alright, I won’t, Reborn. Watch over me, alright? I’ll definitely meet you again.”

“And don’t you dare make me meet you again soon, you brat.” Reborn says affectionately, and these are the last words as the rest of his body glows and disappears all at once. “Because after no less than ten years of having to put up with you, you really should give me at least eighty years of peace to make up for it...”

When Reborn finally disappears, leaving nothing but motes of light in his place, that is when Izuku finally breaks out into loud sobbing.

“Damn it, R-Reborn. Eighty? That’s a long shot and you know it...”

The yellow dreaming world is once again empty of all inhabitants except one breaking into tears, and this time the child has grown into an adult the other person could be proud of.

#-#-#-#

Toshinori doesn’t know what to feel about this.

When Toshinori saw the kid that he talked to earlier that day jump into the middle of the other heroes’ confrontation of Muddy, he had been impressed. When young Midoriya Izuku burst out into golden flames despite supposedly being Quirkless, he had been shocked.

And when those flames lit up in a pillar of a firestorm that would make even Endeavor bow and weep in envy, Toshinori had been in awe.

Was this really the boy he had talked to earlier about having no Quirk and how it meant he couldn’t become a Hero? Because this wasn’t Quirkless, definitely wasn’t it, not with its power and how it caused a sudden blazing wind to pick up and start blowing things away around the kid.

Did this mean that young Midoriya had lied? Most likely not, considering the look that had been on the kid’s face when he asked Toshinori about being Quirkless. Especially not, once he hears several people yelling and confirming the boy’s Quirklessness prior to this.

So that meant that this boy had indeed jumped into the situation not expecting to be able to use anything other than his own fists, and had managed to somehow unlock his Quirk for the first time in the process. And with such a first debut, it was already pretty clear that this was no Quirk to underestimate.

“He’s going to burn both the other kid and Muddy into a crisp!” Backdraft yells beside Toshinori, and Toshinori grunts as he considers that possibility. Indeed, at this point, from the looks of it Midoriya could be more danger to others than the villain he was trying to save young Bakugou from. “Everyone, aim your fire hoses! I’ll assist!”

As one, the local firefighter team aims their fire hoses at the golden maelstrom of heat and flame, but to the shock of watchers, as soon as the streams of water touch the yellow flames they start evaporating, leading to a giant steambath.

Immediately, the firemen turn off their hoses, not willing to steam-cook everyone in the vicinity, and as though taking revenge for the attempt to put it out, the pillar of flames suddenly expands, seeming all the more powerful and golden for their efforts.

A wave of flame actually makes it towards the crowd Toshinori is in, and before Toshinori can even transform to try and do something, the wave arrives – only to do nothing but leave them comfortably warm.

“H-Huh?” One of the women beside Toshinori gasps, taking away her arms from over her face from how she had reacted at the incoming flames. “I don’t feel hurt. In fact, I actually feel a bit better-”

Toshinori doesn’t have the time to further study that as something wails out of the firestorm, rolling in the ground and trying to put off the flames on them. Toshinori manages to catch a glimpse of the other heroes just in time to see them separate a badly burned Muddy from young Bakugou, the teenager not looking harmed in any way.

I can’t believe it, but could it be? A Flame Quirk of this power, this ferocity, burning only inanimate objects and people the user considers a threat? Forget making Endeavour envious – this would outright make him want to adopt this boy as his!

But despite it finally seeming over with young Bakugou rescued, the firestorm continues, leading Toshinori to realize that young Midoriya still doesn’t have control over his newfound Quirk.

While the worry of the boy causing too much harm was gone now, that still left the possibility of young Midoriya literally burning himself inside out! Toshinori had to find a way to snap the boy out of it – if only Aizawa was around!

No matter. If that is the case, the answer is simple.

Toshinori takes a step away from the crowd and closer to the center of the flames. Behind him, he hears the firemen and other Heroes say something, probably to take him away and prevent him from doing the same thing as young Midoriya did, but Toshinori has to do this.

He would have normally done this as All Might, but he already spent up his time earlier. And really, this is only his responsibility – maybe, if he had treated young Midoriya differently, maybe if he had actually supported him instead forcing the boy to have to do this just to activate his Quirk, it would be different.

But the fact was that the boy who offered help first beyond all the Heroes, beyond Toshinori himself, needed help and only Toshinori could offer it now.

Toshinori enters the flames, and like he expects, it doesn’t burn him. It doesn’t even hurt, though there is a strange itching around the site of the wounds One for All had made.

He approaches the center of the flames, and the boy is there, crying in a ball as he held his arms around his legs. Despite having saved young Bakugou and defeated Muddy, it is as though the boy has lost something very dear and for a moment Toshinori doesn’t know what to do. That is, until he remembers something from a time far gone, from his own teacher.

Toshinori, don’t you know how to cheer up crying kids? It’s easy!

With a soft smile on his face at the memory, Toshinori pats young Midoriya Izuku by the shoulder. This takes him several tries, but finally it seems to take out the boy out of his tears and causes him to raise his head, just in time to face Toshinori’s smile.

“Young Midoriya, you will now be alright. Why?”

The boy catches his breath, and-

“Because I. Am. Here.”

As though a bubble has popped, suddenly the flames disappear around the two of them. Midoriya Izuku meets him in the eyes, looking shocked and happy for a moment before falling into a dead faint, and Toshinori manages to catch him just in time for the boy to not have a painful meeting with the pavement.

All around the two of them, Toshinori could see everyone watching the two of them. At the sight of Midoriya Izuku looking safe and sound in Toshinori’s arms, despite the emaciated form of Toshinori’s body and face, they react-

“WOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!”

It is amazing, how something so normal to him as All Might feels so new in his current form.

(And when Toshinori drops young Midoriya Izuku over to Recovery Girl for a checkup later that day, only to find out the sudden recovery of a good portion of the damage all over his body, Toshinori can only turn at the unconscious form of the boy he has brought to U.A.’s medical wing in awe.

As for young Midoriya Izuku though? He may have lost a teacher and a father-figure in one day, but in that same afternoon he finds himself another one, no less amazing than the person who helped him move onwards to his dreams before.)