Actions

Work Header

Kind casualties

Chapter Text

A six-year-old Izuku sped across the carpet of the living room, the party hat on his too small of a head slipping and bouncing behind him, holding on by the power of dingy elastic bands. His bright eyes sparkle, as his mother walks in, holding a freshly baked cake on a tray. A shimmering golden party hat rests on her head. She laughs at the sight of her son attempting to fly off the couch and grabbed him just as he leaped into the air. 

"Now, now, we don't want you getting hurt. Your dad will be super upset if he had to spend New years patching up your head and not eating cake" She cooed, holding up her grinning son on her hip. Her eyes trail her son's crude attempts at decorating the walls and gave a satisfied nod. Turning back to smile at her son, who barely fell from her grasp by the sheer buzzing excitement he exerts. 

"Dad will lose his mind! I'm gonna close the lights and "BOOM!' I'll surprise him and --and we'll eat so so much cake and then count down 'til midnight and then we'll... uhh..." He puts on an adorable frown before looking questioningly at his mother "And then what?".

Inko chuckles, placing Izuku back on the floor. She fixes his All Might onesie and readjusts the party hat on his poof of green curls."Then we all go to sleep and store our energy for the new year!"

The little boy let out an amusingly ecstatic cheer, his arms flying into the air over his head. He bursts into a bundle of laughter and bunny-hops his way over to the TV remote, diving back into the couch before changing the channel. He waits eagerly, seeing the news reporters discuss with glee about the new hero rank (All Might was still number one, duh) and Izuku's eyes scan the TV screen, loudly announcing every bit of information that found its way to the scrolling bar at the bottom. 

He was startled off his seat by the loud tune of the Breaking News. Immediately recovering, Izuku turns down the volume and takes in the scene that floods into the screen. Burning buildings and haste civilians rushing away from behind the reported onscreen. "Huh...?" Izuku's scowl deepened as he leaned further towards the TV. What was going on? Did the Fireworks cause this?

"Oh dear, it's so late. I hope your father didn't get stuck in traffic," Inko mumbled from somewhere behind him. Izuku was far too enamored by the sight in front of him to reply, and Inko seemed to realize, silently continuing with the task at hand.

["REPORTING LIVE FROM THE MUSTAFU, A RAMPAGING VILLAIN RAGES HAVOC ACROSS THE TOWN SQUARE!"]

The little boy's eyes widen, a growing smirk on his lips. Cake and a hero fight on the same day? Heck yeah! 

And as if on cue, a voice boomed through the speakers of their TV, and Izuku was positively beaming with joy.

"ALL MIGHT!" He exclaimed, jumping up and causing his party hat to fall around his neck "Mommy, mommy! All Might is here!" He turns back to her, pointing joyfully at the screen.

But she wasn't smiling.

She looked almost... scared?

"Mommy?" He quipped, brows knitting together in confusion. He turned back to the TV, awaiting an answer.

His expression falls to horror.

That's him.

That villain is Hisashi Midoriya.

That villain is his own father.

["ALL MIGHT HAS ARRIVED BUT THE VILLAIN DOESNT SEEM DISCOURAGED! WHAT'S THIS? THE VILLAIN ATTACKED!"]

Body freezing cold, Izuku follows the action unravel in stunned silence.

His mother screams at the top of her lungs, shattering his silent reverie into dust. 

"NO!"

Izuku stumbles back in dumbfounded shock, eyes stuck to the screen, unable to look away even with his stomach churning, mind begging him to stop. Stop looking. Stop standing there. 

His father --That villain jerked around like a feral beast, heaving fire onto every surface there was. All Might countered, throwing blow after blow that slammed Hisashi into the concrete over and over and over again. Houses detonated. People wailed. 

Izuku could only watch.

There was... so, so much blood...

His vision blurred. Hands shook. Everything seemed muffled. Everything felt so far away. And it was not getting closer. His lungs closed off. His eyes burned. Too much was happening and Izuku couldn't process it all. It was all too much.

Izuku knew it then, that at that moment, he would never be living the same, ever again.

Chapter Text

"Good morning, darling"

Izuku perks up and turns to face his mother with a wide smile before returning to making breakfast. Inko collapses on a chair, stretching and popping her bones before deflating back to the seat, letting out a long, dragging sigh.

"The job's been tiring?" Izuku asked, the slightest hint of humor in his voice. He already knows the answer to that. Of course it has. Working with the law enforcement plus their complexities in the system doesn't add up to a good sleeping schedule. Anyone within the system could use all of the rest they can get or else shriveled prunes would decide how the world runs.

"Mhm," his mother replied, an exhausted smile forminh on her face "But our office is getting cleared out and rebuilt after the recent villain attack. So I get a break for a couple of days." she opened an eyes to see her son sliding a still sizzling omelette and bacon onto her dish. The savory, mouth-watering aroma reaching her nose, only making her stomach rumble loud and clear. Izuku giggles, pouring a crisp, cold cup of apple juice into her glass, the air condensing on the cup.

He smiles again and sits across of her, saying his "thanks for the food"  alongside her before digging into his plate and just like every day, both Izuku and his mom would chat over anything and everything. Like how much time Izuku has for the summer holidays or the excitement about the upcoming rain season.

But oho.

Not today

Izuku inhaled, took a peek at his mother from between his bangs, and exhaled slowly, preparing the speech in his head.

"M-mom?" Inko looked up, and Izuku twitched seeing just how absurdly exhausted she looked. Shadows under her eyes and hair tangled into a mess, he wouldn't be surprised if the grim reaper itself helped with her morning routine "uh, I-I was thinking of, y'know, joining...U.A,"

His mother burst into a cough and immediately reached for the apple juice, downing it to the last drop.

"Oh god, h-here" Izuku cringed before handing her a tissue "I'm- I'm sorry,"

At least it was a reaction? Inko usually outwardly denied his request, saying something alongthe lines of "The schools irresponsible and dangerous. Remember that kid in the entrance exam who got his clothes phasing through him?" But he can read between lines: "We had to change schools and houses because of your oh-so-lovely father, why would you want to put yourself in the public eye? Do you want these people to come back and ruin our lives again? Also, that naked kid isn't what I want for you. Stay away from him"

Izuku inhaled again, he'd practiced this many times in front of the mirror but if his mom was one thing, it's unwavering. She'd always stop him before he could even start. Which only happened twice before, but to her, that's two times too much.

"Mom, okay, hold on. This far, I've never- I wasn't able to enjoy things because of Hisashi" His mother sagged her shoulders at the name "My entire life I'm scared of doing things 'cus of what my he did and what it caused in returned but, please, mom we can't let him do this to us. To you! I mean, imagine how great it'd be if i- if I could just help other people from becoming like him? can you -can you imagine that? I'm -I'm so tired from hiding!"

Izuku found himself breathless, staring at his mom as she studied him thoughtfully. Izuku blushed wildly when he noticed his arms had flailed their way into the air and awkwardly lowered them to his lap, ducking his head in the proccess.

"Bad idea. Bad idea. I knew this was a bad idea"

Inko stared at her son and sighed.

She wanted her son to be happy. She wanted him to live without having to hide his face or changing his name when talking so people wouldn't recognize him. And now, here he was, speaking his mind for the third time, looking strong and determined, like a puppy that can and will get that squirrel.

Izuku, her baby, wasn't much of a baby anymore, was he? Those scarlet eyes have seen into hell, his messy green hair has collected all sorts of memories and those freckled cheeks met all types of hands.

"Honey,"

Izuku stiffened, slowly casting his gaze back up "Baby, I'm-" She chuckled "Look at you! All grown up and brave... Izuku, I want you to be happy, ypu know that and I know you're not that little excitable 6 year old anymore," Izuku smiled a little, "Me, you... we've improved. You're getting amazing grades, making friends and, frankly, I know applying would make you happy, even with its dangers. Trying to protect you-"

She exhaled another chuckle "that wouldn't really work, and we both know that" Izukus eyes widened. 

"so I can-?"

"Yes, yes I you can"

Izuku leaped from his seat, face flushed with a wide toothy grin on his face, the bright face of an angel. "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!" he planted a big kiss on his mothers head and squeezed her in a tight hug, letting go when she held his hands. He grinned and she grinned back.

"We will have to organize some things first," She remarks "And I swear on All Might's muscles if you do anything stupid-" Izuku shook his head vigorously, that goofy, thin on the edges smile still planted on his face.

"I won't, I won't! I'll work hard, I promise!" Inko snickered, hugging Izuku once more.

"One question," she says, brushing her son's hair away from his eyes "You -what course are you joining?" Izuku beamed and confidently replied:

"Heroics!"

She choked again.

Chapter Text

 "I know! I know, but let me prove it, i-if-"


"Izuku" his mom interrupted, leaning over the water cooler, an empty cup of water that she chugged in her hand "Izuku, I would've understood if you chose the support course or general education, I'm -I -heroics!?" She combed her fingers through her hair and shook her head. Izuku panics, tries to counter with an argument of his own.

"I'm quirkless, yeah, but look-"


"No." His mom cut him off again, flatly, and with no other discussion. Her face set in a fixed stone expression, she already started picking up the plates and putting them in the sink, Izuku watching helplessly as his gut twisted into tight knots. He couldn't argue more, he's learned that over years and years of asking his mom for extra ice cream and he knew when a "No" was final and unchanging.

After his mom went to her work, Izuku looked at the grocery list she left behind and got ready. Dreading every inch of his being for starting the day like this.

 --

God, did he hate shopping.

It wasn't the actual shopping process that bothered him, but walking past his old school and how it threw him back to 8th grade; little Izuku Midoriya, beaten up and alone.

"What's the matter Deku?  Already had enough?" Laughter erupted from 13-year-old Bakugou and his 'friends'. "He's even a failure at being a proper villain!" He remembers one of the other boys saying, with the ugliest smirk Izuku had the misfortune to see. Izuku wanted to scream at them,  but he deserved it, he was the son of a villain and he had no one to care if Bakugo actually killed him. He's nothing but a weak, good-for-nothing Deku.

Eventually, they had gotten bored with him and spat on the beaten up boy, walking away while throwing more insults behind their shoulders.

And now, even the thought of the gates in front of that school made him cringe.

He hated the classes where kids would laugh at Izuku, the idiot quirkless kid who had no friends. He hated being defenseless and weak. He hated the uncaring teachers who only scoffed at him when he asked for help. He hated the roof where the air vents were, the words "Take a swan dive from the ceiling" ringing in his head as he sat at the edge of the building. 

Izuku hated the father that caused him this.

He shook his head, as if it'd get the memories flying out and gazed at the ground. His mother didn't know at the time, even to this day Izuku hadn't gathered up the bravery to tell her. She's already dealt with so much because of him, giving her other reasons to feel worse was the last thing on his list.

Only at the end of that year when they moved out that life became a little easier; neighbors didn't despise them anymore. When they walked out people don't whisper: "Demons somehow get a pass these days" and For once, Izuku was able to make some sort of friends. He got his mom to seek help, soon after that, she had a stable job and was able to provide for Izuku and herself. Even going to school wasn't as hard to the boy, all though interacting with people was near impossible with the fear that someone will recognize you, (Well, not so much when you're wearing a mask and a hoodie with overgrown hair to cover your features) even his current friends had decided to adopt this introverted green haired boy as their friend, to his pleasant surprise.

As Izuku passed his reflection on some café window, it looked back at him with lazy eyes, wearing a black mask and a dark red hoodie with its crazy green hair peeking out in all directions. it winced in sync with him and turned its head to sprint away just as Izuku did. He pumped a fist into the air with mock determination, shaking it like an old man.

"Damn millennials, can't even get a haircu-"

Izuku immediately froze in his tracks before a bridge when the noise of metal hitting the ground echoes through his mind.

Behind him.

Something or someone was behind him.

His muscles locked in place with his heart beating at ungodly speeds per second. Hesitantly, Izuku turned to look back, eyes widening at the sight. With no time to react, a form slammed into him, smashing Izuku to an opposite wall. His groceries flying around and falling on the ground.

"HELP M-!" the form leaked into his throat. It wrapped around his neck and each of his limbs. The gross squelch of it as it straddled him down mad the boy gag, and in a panic, Izuku realized:

He couldn't breathe.

He couldn't breathe. He couldn't breathe.

Midoriya thrashed, clawing at the goop surrounding him to no avail, whimpering when a sickening bark of laughter came from the slug -the thing that was holding him down.

"No point, kid!" it laughed "Just take it easy and I might leave you alive after being done with your body; quite a strong one might I add!" Izuku felt wrong every inch of his skin crawled in rejection to all of this, and he tried to yell but even if he could do that through the sludge, nobody would hear him. His last hope was at someone calling the police from all the noise.

Black dots formed in front of him and in a final desperate attempt to live for at least minute longer, Izuku elbowed the eye of the slime just how he's learned, and managed a gasp of breath when it spasmed and the sludge loosened it's a grip on him. He coughed and hacked and by some miracle, he was able to take a step out, onto firm ground and inches out of the sludge, but he was swallowed back in, hitting the ground as he fell, hearing a crack and pain attacking the side of his face.

He sobs, reaching for a dent in the ground as static filled his ears and eyes. He couldn't see, he was going to die, no one would know-

An explosion of pure force came from their side, sending both Izuku and whatever the hell tried to choke him back. His head met the wall and as he drifted into unconsciousness, Izuku helplessly watched as the slime reformed itself and cowered away from the silhouette of the hero as he stood there.

It was him.

it was All might. Here to save the goddamn day.

Chapter Text

Smack smack smack smack smack smack

Izuku jerked awake, sitting up so fast the world around him swam and turned for a second.

"Ah, there you are! I thought you died for a second!" Came All Might's thundering voice from above as he was crouched near where Izuku has been laying, a wide smile of reassurance. And yikes... if you'd told All Might this boy has been in an actual war in some swamp he would've believed you in a heart beat.

The boy's mask pushed under his chin and his hoodie pulled back to reveal his green, over grown, mad locks that draped over his shoulders right below his shoulder blades and frankly the brightest blood red eyes the pro hero has ever seen.

Familiar, blood red eyes.

"W-what the-" the kid sputters, snapping his head to gawk back at All Might, quickly fumbling to pull up his mask "T-thank you....All Might..." He mummbled nervously, barley a whisper while his hands went to a quick gesture that the hero barley had time to comprehend. 

It definitely wasn't what All Might expected; squealing, fanboying, fawning over the sight of the number 1 hero, that's the norm but this boy seemed the complete opposite of thrilled to see him. 

"That's alright, young man! Without you I wouldn't have been able to capture this criminal!" All Might bellowed, showing two soda bottles with the suldge thing stuffed into it, slushing and squirming around in the plastic. All Might twisted them in his hands before pushing them into his pockets then gave a flashy smile with a thumbs up.

Izuku could swear the american flag was flapping behind this actual hunk of hero.

"And I'm glad you are safe! Here, your groceries" All Might put out his fist which was holding a plastic bag, a huge "ALL MIGHT" signed in black marker. Izuku stared blankly at it before reluctantly reaching out and taking the bags, bowing politely.

"T-thank you again, A-all Might" he stuttered quietly, head down and his eyes darting to anywhere but the hero. All Might gave a confused but casual nod before taking stance to get himself out of this... odd situation. "Well, thank you for your suppourt, young man-!" Izuku's gaze traveled to all mights pockets.

The bottles were slipping.

"Plus ultra!" All might launched into the clear sky, his hair of gold fluttering behind him.

"ALL MIGHT WAIT!"

He whipped back to find the boy, clutching All Might's leg for dear life, the vicious wind making his face flap and sent with groceries falling down to unsuspecting citizens. 

"Young man! I truly thank you for your dedication but yo-"

"THE BOTTLES FELL!" The boy cried above the wind, his long green hair whipping around him like crazy. All might flinched and cursed under his breath, coughing and tasting the oh-so-beloved taste of blood in his mouth; a fizzy sound of steam coming off his arms.

Well now he has no more time before he turns into his original form. Let alone the fact that this kid was holding on to his leg.

Well isn't this the perfect afternoon.

Chapter Text

With his heart at his throat, Izuku heaved in all the air his lungs could take and blinked the sweat out of his eyes. His hair stuck slick on his forehead, and his knees shook like frail branches on a dying tree. All that kept him anchored away from a meltdown was the solid floor beneath him, slowed the tendrils in his mind into a point where he can actually comprehend his surrounding and ensure his body was still intact.

They were finally on the ground -Well, the rooftop of an abandoned building, but a ground nonetheless.

"I'm guessing the villain must have fallen right as I jumped, if we're lucky, we might find him still in the bottle when someone opens the door for us," said Allmight.

We? What does he mean by we? There was no one but All Might, the top pro hero who's gonna have to go to find that sludge monster and Izuku Midoriya, the coward quirkless kid who's going home and hopefully find some of his groceries on the way. 

But then again, there was something about standing here, with the number one hero... the one who caused Izuku's life to got to ruins.

Oh, yeah that's the word.

Awkward. And so very uncomfortable.

Was Izuku meant to say something? What are you even meant to say in a situation like this? His voice was stuck in his chest, somewhere deep inside that Izuku couldn't get a grip on it. He barely found the strength to stand up properly and face All Might's back, thinking of what he was supposed to do.

And then a realization hit him.

This was Izukus only chance at asking an actual hero about enrolling into U.A, and despite the choice of hero not fitting Izuku's tastes, he still couldn't pass up this opportunity. So, the boy collected all the minuscule amount of power he could muster up and croaked out.

"All Might?" The hero hummed but kept his back towards the boy. Izuku took the deepest breath and spoke, more clearly this time "Do you... do you think anyone can be a hero?" All Might, with all his muscular glory, howled in laughter, abruptly stopping to cough painfully into his hand.

"Why, of course, young boy!" He cheered, voice strained " Even people with terrible pasts deserve one last chance to do good!" And a small, teeny weeny part of Izuku's brain wondered where that wisdom was, 8 years ago. But he pushed it deep down and spoke again

"'E-even quirkless people?" The silence got Izuku to look up, minimum hope in his soul "I-I've always wanted to be a hero, and help others but -but I'm quirk....less.." Izuku stopped talking and fixated his attention to the odd steam coming out of Allmight with a frown.

Wait, was he sizzling?

Izuku couldn't see properly from underneath his hair but that was definitely steam and steam was the last thing meant to come off Allmight at this very moment. "A-are you alrig-" with a crackle and a gust of thick fog, Izuku yelped. He took a step back to squint past the clouds of steam. As it cleared, there, in All Might's clothes, stood a scrawny, tall man with dark shadows over his eyes. Izuku's stare lingered for what seemed like hours.

The decrepit man opened his mouth and blood came streaming down his chin and neck.

"Please don't scream"

Izuku screamed.

 -------

Bakugou grunts as he kicked a soda bottle, mouth stuffed with crisps while those leeches of classmates chatted with their annoying voices behind him. They just started the school year, spending the first day yelling about how much they'd become heroes.

Hah! what a joke.

None of those morons could ever get to Bakugo's level. He wasn't just going to become a hero, he's going to become the best hero the worlds ever known and when that happens, these idiots would be far too ashamed to be remembered by him.

"Ey, Katsuki! Wanna come with us to old Watane's bar 'n pick up some ladies?" Called Kaito, an annoying skinny slug that never fucking left Bakugo alone, with a stupidly cocky grin on his acne-filled face. The other boy, Yujin, nudged him sharply. Yujin was just another cowardly kid that never put any effort in his work, always whining and complaining about how 'unfair' the world is after being a lazy fuck and never doing anything relevant in his life. To cut the story short, a little bitch who's bound to grow into a neet.

"Pathetic," thought Bakugou, scoffing and throwing his crisp bag at them with a small explosion from his palm. All three watched as it hopelessly floated down then glared at Kaito with a snarl.

"You fucking idiot, if I go and do shit like that it's gonna be in my record! I don't need a bunch of dumbasses to ruin my chances of going to UA!" Kaito snickered at him and shrugged, but when he opened his eyes, his face fell, now pale with pupils the size of a pin. Yujin followed his stare and froze, taking a step back his mouth opened before he shrieked like a banshee.

What the fuck?

With a scowl, Bakugou looked back and before he could react, gross green slime filled his sight and throat. As the pitter patter of hurried footsteps faded away, Bakugou thought just how ridiculously sudden this all was.

If he didn't do anything, whatever this is can and will kill him.

 ----------

"So... this is how you actually look?" Izuku and All Might decided to sit down and talk. It was way better than him trying to keep a frazzled Izuku 14-year-old, on the other hand, wasn't as set and steady as he seemed to be. His mind ran tendrils until he forced them to halt. 

"Yes," rasped All Might, this man, this utter skeleton of a man, was All Might "it's like when people suck in their stomachs in public, pretend to be a shape they're not" All Might scoffed at the look of pure disbelief on this kid's face, a face that, for some reason, he recognises from somewhere.

"It's from this-" the hero raised his shirt to show a huge, lumpy and slightly bruised scar on his left side, right under his ribs where the stomach would be. Maybe it was the shock, but all Izuku could do is stare at it. Granted, he's seen worse, but never in person. It almost got him to feel bad for the hero.

Keyword: almost.

"Something an enemy of mine caused about 5 years ago," Allmight stated, his expression turning serious "The surgery for this basically burnt me out to a crisp. So now, I can only keep my form for about 4 hours of hero work" 

Five years ago, three years after Allmight fought Hisashi; that year the biggest media discussed villain All Might fought was Toxic Chainsaw. Couldn't be that fight, though.

Chainsaw was a chaotic villain but was his weakness, chaotic. It's his miscalculation that got him arrested in the first place. 

"I had to keep smiling, being the symbol of peace and all that" Allmight made an attempt for jazz hands but ended up coughing those lung wrecking, hoarse coughs, blood spraying everywhere. 

Izuku didn't know how to react other than look at the speckles of blood blankly, part of him wanted to laugh. Not the sort of laughter when you see something pathetic, but the kind you find yourself doing when something horrific startles the living light out of you. The other part just wanted to lay down in a corner and take a 5-year long nap.

His mind raced with thoughts and questions, one, in particular, was louder than the others.

"Why didn't you get away?" Asked Izuku, surely no one wants a secret like that to be known by anyone. And Izuku knew a thing or two(thousand) about keeping secrets. The hero sighed and flexed his hand, the look of exhaustion on his face reminded Izuku of his mother. And for a moment, just a moment, Izuku forgot he was talking to the number one hero and not some drained middle-aged man.

"I was already about to revert back to this-" All Might motioned to himself "and if I did decide to leave you here alone and escape, I probably would've reverted mid-air then fallen to my death. And besides-" He shrugged "you seem like a good kid, so I trust that you won't go and spread this around," 

Izuku nodded, his hand fiddled with the hem of his shirt while All Might played with his strands of blonde hair. Neither said anything for the longest time, so, to escape the situation, the boy got up and walked to the iron door leading to the inside of the building, "Maybe if I try to-" Izuku pulled a bobby pin from his hair and crouched to the keyhole, he has no idea how to unlock this door but it's worth a shot. He inserted the longer tooth of the pin and started pushing it up and down until something clicked, he inhaled and stood to open the door ready to get out of here.

But it was still locked.

He let out a defeated exhale and just kicked the door as hard as he could, making it snap off its hinges and slam loudly against the opposite wall. Izuku gaped with wide eyes and lowered his foot.

Okay, he was expecting it to budge a little, not get completely demolished.

All Might approached Izuku with a chuckle and a wide grin, looking laid back with his hands dangling loosely by his sides, he gave the boy a pat on the shoulder. "The place is old, lucky for us" he walked over the metal door and made his way down the stairs. Izuku's eyes bulged and the spot on his shoulder burned like a scorching hot inferno, his breath shuddered and pinched himself out of the haze. Slowly, he took a step forwards, following foot despite the thumping in his ears. 

"All Might-" Honestly, Izuku didn't really favor the man, but of course he felt concern, a curse at times but a gift at others "W-will you be alright chasing that villain?" The hero gave a thumbs up as they reached the bottom of the stairs. Both made it out, Izuku was about to apologize when All Might turned to him.

"To answer your previous question, eh, who knows," said Allmight with a shrug, his scrawny shoulders dropping back into a hunch. Izuku opened his mouth, closed it and pursed his lips together with knitted brows.

Wait, what?

"I knew another quirkless kid," All Might chuckled and looked to the ground "She wanted to be a hero, but couldn't. Her father made my hero costumes for the longest time and, well...I told her she could be a hero in other ways; like her dad" All Might let out a breath and looked at the young boy "If you want to be a pro-hero in this world, I don't think you'd get far enough without a quirk or some sort of advantage that allows you in a hero school, but if you mean a hero in some other way, then It's highly possible" 

Something in the very depth of Izuku twisted, but he ignored it and nodded. What more did he expect? Was he really eager for comfort from All Might? And besides, when was the last time he heard about a quirkless pro hero?

That's right.

Never.

After some silence, they both said their goodbye's, Izuku bowing in apology before parting ways.

A loud whistle whirled in Izuku's head as he looked back to one of the men that ruined his life. Watching this literal opposite of the hero known to the public make his way down the road, hunched and weakened. 

Izuku could go on some site and right about this, he could spread rumors around.

Although, Izuku was anything but petty.

Or maybe he was just a huge wuss that can't stand insulting anyone to save his life, who knows.

Still watching, the boy fixed his mask back in place before pulling the hoodie over his head. When he put his hands in his pockets, the rustling of a plastic bag made him look down to study it, the huge signature written on looked like it was mocking Izuku. He chastised himself for the flicker of anger in his chest before stuffing it back into his pockets with a sigh and closed his eyes to take a shaky breath.

What in the fresh hell was this day?

He walked, his heart a heavy baggage in his chest. Should he just go home? His phone read 3:15, and his mother would be home in about forty minutes, getting to a store to buy the groceries again and going back home to try and prepare it would take way too much time. So pizza it was. 

Well...

That was the plan until fire erupted in the midst of the road, and past the sparks there was a boy with ashy blonde hair, yelling his lungs out, encased in in goop that swallowed him like quicksand, people all around screamed and the heroes that swooped in couldn't stop the villain from rushing around and destroying everything it touched. 

Izuku's heart plummeted to his throat, attention was pinpointed on the villain that attacked him earlier.

And the other boy. 

Katsuki Bakugou, Izuku's old classmate, and childhood 'friend'.

He stared dumbfounded at how unstable the scene was, with Bakugo throwing explosions left and right and just how powerful- no, mind-bogglingly scary his quirk was.

If Izuku was paying attention, though, he would've seen the chunk of rubble as shot through the air at a terrifying speed, making it's way right towards him. 

Chapter Text

A high pitched ringing and vision darkened, Izuku felt his body being yanked up and then dropped back onto still ground a freezing chill coursing through his body. His heart was pounding Morse code in his ears, the rush of blood making them burn.

"Watch out, boy! Coulda been squashed flat!" Izuku blinked hard and craned his neck to see the new hero in the business, Kamui Woods.

He tried to say something but all that ended up coming out of his mouth was a restraint whine. The hero jumped to help the others, leaving the 14-year-old in a safer side of the road, gaping at the corruption in front of him. Buildings torn down to their metal foundation, fire burst left and right. everyone around him didn't seem too bothered. In fact, even the babies were calmer than the speechless Izuku, too busy blabbering about taking over the world or whatever babies talk about.

The adults around him did start muttering nervously to each other when the heroes hadn't yet caught the villain.

"Why is it still going? I'm getting late for my meeting..." one man in a suit grumbled, seeming irked as he glanced at his wristwatch.

"Give them a break, this is obviously way too much for the heroes to handle!" another person replied, sounding almost as irritated as the man in the suit.

"Nah, we'll be fine! All Might should be here any moment now!" Some woman with her baby chirped cheerfully. Her bright demeanor told Izuku that she must be lovely to have tea with. But also the poor lady didn't know what Izuku did.

All Might absolutely can't fight this villain right now.

"Hold on, wasn't this the villain All Might was chasin' this morning?" Someone behind Izuku said

"Whoa, All Might? Where's he now?" Another piped up. That's when all noise morphed into a jumble of white noise.

Once upon a time, Izuku would've also been similarly calm and instead, he'd go all fanboy mode at the number of heroes, but with all that's been happening today, this had to be the cherry on top of this utter cluster-fuck of a cake.

This was Izuku's fault, if he hadn't held All Might with his stupid child dreams, this -this thing wouldn't be causing this much havoc. Bakugou, as much as Izuku wouldn't like to be around him,  shouldn't have to feel the terror Izuku felt being grabbed by that villain. All these people will be hurt because of Izuku, he doesn't even know if the heroes are able to take this villain down. His brain yelled at him over and over:

'oh god, I'm so sorry-- someone will come and help, I'm so sorry I caused this. Stupid, weak, quirkless Deku. You were right, I'm sorry, you were right'

Izuku was scared and shaking.

Then Izuku was running.

 

All Might could only clench his fists and watch the scene unfold in front of him. God, he was pathetic. So, so pathetic it was almost laughable.

The symbol of peace can't save that poor kid -- all because of his stupid mistake; dropping the bottles? Really? He had one job and he couldn't fulfill the easiest part of it. And there he was, that kid from earlier running right at the villain.

-WOAH, WAIT WHAT. 

All Might stuttered, his heart hammered violently against his ribs, almost bursting out of his chest for the world to see. His stomach twisted into a knot, and all he could muster out was a single:

"Shit"

 

Why was he running? Why the FUCK was he running? 

The yelling behind Izuku was muffled, body cold with adrenaline and his legs kept thrashing their way towards the villain, staying away from the fire. His hands grabbed random rocks before he circled the sludge villain and Bakugo in his clutches, eyes studying the situation: Weaknesses, blind spot, and limitations of quirk --things he's used to analyzing In heroes. His eyes zeroed at his target and he flung one of his rocks straight towards the villain's eye. 

"GAH! What the fu-?" the villain cried, convulsing in pain. Izuku watched as it snapped around until his uninjured eye landed on Izuku. Despite the terror and literal pee Izuku was holding back, he threw another sharp stone, this time the villain evaded it, lunging at the boy with full force.

By some miracle from above, Izuku dodged the attack.

He looked up again and there, past the goop, was Bakugou staring with eyes so round and desperate it almost hurt to look at. But Izuku kept throwing the rocks and inching closer.

"Ya piece of shit! I'll show your fuckin' ass what happens when you come back and mess with me!" Is what Izuku guessed the villain was saying, but with there was cotton in his ears,  muffling all the noise around him, for all he knew anything could've been said.

A loud explosion of sparks from within the grease and another huge burst of fire came off the villain. Izuku swallowed back a sob as the attack set the nearby asphalt breaking. Izuku's eardrums pop and all the noise came rushing in. loud, shrill screams and what Izuku hopes were cheers from the crowd even the heroes on the outskirts provided somewhat of encouragement.

But it was the sound of someone yelling "WATCH OUT!" that got Izuku to concentrate again.

"C'mere ya fuckin brat!" And the sludge monster started clawing through the road. He could've ran, he could've called it time out and escape this place but instead, Izuku bolted full speed for it, making the villain stagger a bit in surprise. A low grumble coming from within its...chest? Whatever the slime equivalent of a rib cage was.

Izuku watched the villain as its 'arm' reeled back and brought as a punch that wrecked the ground behind Izuku as he slid underneath it. The villain recoiled but Izuku had already went to grab Bakugou by whatever body part that wasn't engulfed in slime; in this case, his shoulders.

Thank god --get the arms, then the hands and they'd have fewer explosions which means 90% of the problem would be solved. 

"Mmph hum uu huhim!?" Bakugo yelled past the muffle of goo over his mouth, his eyes didn't look as threatening as he remembers. Izuku couldn't speak either, and not because of the mask on his face, either, his voice was trapped in his throat and all he could do is dig into the muck and pray to god that the look he was giving Bakugou was translating well:

'Don't panic, please don't panic, just let me do something right for once and help you out, just ple-' 

Izuku pried one of Bakugo's arm from the sludge, yelping as his own hand was swallowed instead, but before he could try to resist, a larger hand grabbed at the mud restraining Izuku. He snapped up and saw All Might towering over him with that signature smile. 

"I learnt something from you, young man!" Allmight bellowed "A true hero always risks themselves for others!" and Izuku watched as the hero raised his fist, quickly bracing himself for impact.

 

A single Detroit smash later and Izuku was laying face up on the obliterated gravel. he exhales, sitting up and fixing his mask and hoodie. He admired the rain as it fell down from the sky, all thanks to All Might's astonishingly powerful punch. The rain washed away the hectic feelings that were holding Izuku. Rain had magical powers, it's just common knowledge.

And then all the goodness crumbled away when Izuku heard shuffling next to him. He froze, taking a quick glance to his left, where Bakugo was getting up himself.

Now he didn't feel as calm, the damp clothes clinging to his frame felt like hands grabbing him and the grim feelings came crashing in like a brick to the face.

"Agh, son of a-!" Bakugou paused before turning his head towards Izuku, his face twisting into a disgusted frown, and Jesus Christ --Izuku immediately takes back what he said about Bakugou's eyes not looking as scary as he remembers. Maybe it was the situation they were in;  a single mistake would've, quite literately, cost both their lives and was considerably a more terrifying.

But now?

Now Izuku wanted to curl up into a ball and roll away into the abyss.

Unlike Izuku's bright, blood red eyes, Bakugo's held a dark tint of menace to them that slammed memories from years ago back into Izuku's brain:

The teachers watching as Izuku got pushed into trashcans, the dirt covering every inch of the inside of his bag, fishing for his notebooks through the water fountain, scratchy writing all over his desk and -oh god, the cat behind the school...

Alarms went off in his head, the same as it always did. because he was Deku. scared, cowardly, useless Deku. always hiding, always bending to suit everyone, that familiar voice screaming at him: 

'please go away please go away please go away please go away --he'll hurt you, he'll do it all over again!'  He doesn't move. 'you fucking idiot, RUN!' 

Izuku averted his eyes, feeling the palms of his hands turning clammy and tears stinging at the back of his eyes. The wide open world around him started to cave in. The air wasn't enough for his lungs and the idea of that villain coming back to kill him didn't sound too bad. As if that wasn't enough, Bakugou started speaking again. his voice a piercing boom and echoing in Izuku's ears. Louder than anything else around them.

"I didn't need you to fucking save me, I could've taken that douche bag down by myself," he growled. Izuku turned his head slightly as to not show how he physically wilts under the other boy's bloodthirsty gaze and gave a nod, more like a jerk of the head but Izuku figured it was good enough before he stood up on wobbly legs, walking to leaving Bakugo behind with police officers. If he knew something about Bakugou, is that showing any fear around him would end up with you being buried alive.

Some of the heroes came up to where Izuku was, distant voices telling him off, only making the pit of dread in his stomach stretched wider. He didn't meet anyone's eyes. He didn't say anything. Just kept walking away. Just kept his composure for a little bit more.

Thank heavens for the rain, just ducking his head probably wouldn't be enough to hide the tears streaming down his face. It wasn't until the noise around him faded away and when he found himself in a dark, lonely alleyway that he allowed his shoulders to slump and his knees buckled.

He crashed to the ground and covered his muzzle with shaky hands. He wheezed, greedy gulps of breath that he tried to get under control, body shuddering with every inhale. This was the worst time for this to happen. But its nothing new, nothing hasn't dealt with before. You get used to them after so many years. 

but he counts to ten, and recites simple words to himself:

It's all going to be okay, because despite it all, right now, he's safe and he's alive. 

That's all that matters.

Chapter Text

After some cheers and reassurance along with shaking off the reporters, everyone at the scene went back to what they were originally doing. and let me tell ya, you wouldn't like to see the chaos that has become of the metro station...

"That hoodie kid was really something," remarked Kamui to All Might, who laughed in reply

"Yes, yes! Quite a brave one isn't he?" And All Might meant it. It takes some serious balls to throw yourself into a situation like that, especially considering just how petrified Izuku looked when charging for that villain.

Or a will to die.

Honestly, both work well.

Speaking of Izuku, he was nowhere to be seen. Allmight asked the other heroes but no one caught sight of him leaving. So he decided to check on the other boy, ashy blonde hair and pretty grouchy looking, to be expected after he was in that villain's custody. 

"Thank you for keeping that villain from going berserk, young..."

"Katsuki Bakugou" the boy grumbled, uninterested in All Might, and rather looking like he was trying to remember something that he couldn't quite put his finger on. almost troubled.

"Is something the matter, young Bakugou?" The boy looked at All Might and huffed, standing back up and swaying on unbalanced legs until he steadied himself.

"Nothing" he mumbled, slouching and shoving his hands into pockets. He looked even more aggravated, his gaze flickering to Allmight for a second before returning to looking at empty space. 

A police officer escorted Katsuki to somewhere else, asking about parents and such. the boy looked absolutely indifferent even when one of the heroes asked him about considering becoming his sidekick. a curious one indeed but All Might didn't have time to think about it too much, he'd deflate right here in front of everyone if he doesn't leave.

In typical Allmight matter, he announced his departure and rocketed into the sky and landed on the rooftop of a building, glancing around in hopes of finding the young Izuku. there were way too many people walking around, picking out a teenager in a hoodie and simple jeans is going to be like trying to find a string of hair in a stack of hay (All you have to to find a pin in hay is burn the stack and voila).

Cringing back and away from sight, his body started to diminish to its weaker form, All Might --or, well --Toshinori cursed internally; now, not only did he have to find that kid but also do it in this state. Toshi exhaled through his teeth and went back to the edge of the building to try and pick out where that boy could've gone to while his brain went through its memory, trying to pinpoint why the boy looked so familiar.

Green hair, red eyes, freckles.

He'd immediately recognize someone with such features.

Green hair, red eyes, freckles.

 Where did he see that before?

Green hair, red eyes, freckles.

It was after some time jumping from rooftop to another that Toshinori saw a small, thin figure lumbering down a sidewalk branching to a trail separating from the town square into an emptier street with an apartment complex and other houses. All Might puffed out his chest and, with the remaining of his energy, took a shortcut right to the boy. 

 

"YOUNG IZUKU!"

Izuku jumped and almost fell back as a mass of muscle skidded in front of him, the sand forming clouds behind him.

"Oh fu-" Izuku caught himself from falling, pulling down his mask and let out a heavy exhale

"A-all Might? What...what are you doing here? A-and how are you-" the boy motioned to the hero as a whole. All Might laughed loudly before falling into a fit of raspy coughs and he deflated back to his smaller form.

"Oh god, hold o-"Izuku tried to help somehow but stopped in his tracks as the blood splattered everywhere; On the ground,  All Might’s clothes and almost reaching the boy himself.

Ugh, that can’t be healthy in the least.

All Might wiped his mouth and gave Izuku a reassuring (and bloody) thumb up before readjusting himself. Standing proud and... strongly?

Sturdy was a better word.  

“Are you okay? H-how’d you get out of there?”  Izuku asked, mostly focused on the blood.

It didn’t get the same reaction from him as it did years ago. No heavy breathing or fearful sobs. No alarms in his head or shaky hands. To Izuku, blood was just…blood.

 Nothing more, nothing less.

“Don’t worry about it, my boy,” Allmight chuckled “I’m here to thank you for your bravery and selflessness back there, and to... rephrase, what I said to you earlier along with a proposal in mind” Izuku blinked and cocked his head to the side studying Toshinori with curious eyes but didn't interrupt.

"Without you, that kid and all the other civilians back there would have been severely injured, best case scenario" The boy lowered his gaze with a polite smile.

"N-no... you shouldn't thank me, it was my fault for wasting your time --I asked about becoming a hero and such even though I'm-" he signed to himself in defeat "quirkless"

But All Might put a firm hand on Izuku's shoulder, making the boy look up in surprise to meet sunken but determined blue eyes and a smile. 

"Damn right, you're quirkless and yet you were the one who acted out, it was you who gave me the motivation to strengthen up and help," All Might grinned wider "They say heroes destined for greatness spur to helping those in need, their bodies would move without even knowing it!" the touch of All Might's hand on Izuku's shoulder tingled with electric energy, his stomach fluttered with crazy butterflies.

"Stupid"

"That's what happened to you, right?" His hands shook and he put them over his mouth, nodding feverishly.

"Weak"

"Izuku, my boy..."

"Quirkless"

"You can become a hero"

"Deku"

Izuku couldn't help the strangled sob from escaping his throat, ducking his head as the hot tears fell down his face.

He can be a hero. A true hero.

All Might, the symbol of peace, told Izuku he can be a hero.

 

All Might...

...

Oh...

That's right...

Izuku forgot who exactly he was talking to for a second and suddenly, he found no more tears in his eyes to cry.

"That's why I think that you're deserving of inheriting my power," The hero started again, when Izuku looked up with his puffy eyes and teary, confused and awfully flushed face, All Might couldn't help but burst into laughter.

"That's my proposal, young Izuku-" He said through the blood pouring down his chin, jabbing Izuku's chest with a wide smile "would you attempt to accept my quirk, one for all?" 

uh... Attempt? Izuku narrowed his eyes. and what did he say afterward? one for...

"One for all?" Its like he's heard someone say something similar before, a long, long time ago. All Might nodded, flailing his hands dramatically with the (equally dramatic) raging wind.

"the public thinks my quirk is some sort of ultra strength, I've had to avoid it or joke about it in interviews, it's how plus ultra was born, and now this 'symbol of peace' persona has become a natural born hero. everybody thinks I've had this quirk since birth, but-"

"it was handed down to you..." Izuku completed breathlessly, his mind drowning in disbelief.

so that's what Allmight meant when he said: "accept". All Might's quirk has been subject to just so much debate, theories and threads plaguing Izuku's feed when he scrolls down his social media, but not once did someone suggests that Allmight got the quirk 'handed down' to him. not that Izuku has a single diddly darn idea of what that means, funny considering how much he's read up about quirks with the limited knowledge there was.

"young Izuku, you're mumbling" Izuku flinched and looked at All Might, who had an amused look on his face. the boy flushed pink and waved his hand bashfully. 

"Ah, sorry, sorry. so -uh -this One for all, what...w-what exactly is it?" he said with a small voice. cus what else was he meant to say? the second time he's asked himself that question today and yet he still doesn't know the answer. 

All Might explained the history behind the quirk, 'a crystalline network' as he worded it. and all Izuku could do is swallow all this information as his mind screamed, battled for a proper response. for the right thing to do because this man standing before him is All Might and has a history with Izuku that he obviously isn't aware of. should he tell? or stay silent? he's obviously going for the latter with the time he's spent thinking instead of doing anything. 

"but it all falls on whether or not you are willing to take up my proposal" stated All Might, and those simple words made Izuku's stomach drop.

Oh hell. Okay. Think, think, think...

"uh-I'm... god this is way too sudden uhh-" Izuku rummaged through his pockets and pulled out a crumpled plastic bag "w-would you help me with my shopping first...? I'll think about it on the way"

All Might eyed the boy of a long moment before shrugging "You know, my boy, I was going for this super dramatic mood and then you'd say 'yeah sure, why not?' and then we'd run into the sunset but I guess I do owe it to you" 

And that's how Izuku ended up here, shopping for the second time this day, with All Might, taking back his words from earlier.

This had to be the cherry on top of this absolute cluster-fuck of a day.

Chapter Text

It was very quiet in the court hall, save for the faint clicking of a keyboard and the low hum coming from the vents. The sound of his mother's shoes against the marble floor had to be the loudest thing at the moment. 

Six-year-old Izuku stared on at the walls blankly as he walked behind his mother, clutching her hand. He really wasn't a massive fan of the color choice. The stale white of the walls was awfully boring, even the hospital his father was held at had soft lighting and pastel yellow walls.

Hopefully, today doesn't end the same.

 

He had been waiting patiently until his mother had come out screaming from his father's hospital room, her face filled with terror as she collapsed on the floor before letting out a guttural wail making Izuku jump and run to her as the doctors raced past them into the room, some of the nurses paused at the door with wide eyes before going in to help the doctors but all Izuku could see was a pair of legs and a dark, dark blood puddle next to them.

One of the nurses, a young man with a pair of kind yet distressed brown eyes, tended to Inko while another older lady with bright orange scales on her cheeks and across her forearms quickly rushed Izuku away from his mother and into a separate office before crouching in front of him.

She said something that wasn't quite coherent with the cotton suddenly in his ears. He just gazed at her, half listening half focusing on the loud rattling of a stretcher passing outside with a figure on it, covered with a white sheet and the doctors screaming about an ICU.  

The next day, Hisashi was pronounced dead by means of suicide.

 

"Izuku, I need you to wait here for a bit" His mum croaked out. Izuku hated how she looked. How her green eyes weren't lively, they didn't sparkle with glee and energy. They were dull, vacant of any twinkle that was there previously. Almost as if someone snatched the remaining happiness in her then threw it into a blender and shredded it to fine dust.

Inko kissed her son's head and went into a room where a couple other people were, leaving Izuku on a metal bench with a paper and pencil. the door closed behind her and all Izuku could do is, again, quietly wait. It's what he's been doing for the last week. being silent and trying to help his mom somehow. He didn't really feel like all of this is actually happening.

Maybe he was still stunned. Honestly, how can he not be? Hell, when you see your father's limp, ragdoll, bleeding body on the floor, thinking he died only for him to actually die just to escape serving his sentence in jail, it really takes a toll on you.

And so, not knowing what else to do, Izuku pulled up his legs and crossed them on his seat before he started drawing. 

 

How long of time has passed, Izuku doesn't know, but when he looked up from his drawing, his neck was stiff and his back hurt. He heard the squeaking of the court's door and looked up.

All Might.

It took a moment of staring until Izuku realized his situation. Allmight stood by the door, he was talking to Inko, wearing a dark navy suit with black polished shoes. If you asked Izuku of what it reminded him of, he'd say the ocean at night on anyone else, but with Inko standing next to Allmight with her pale skin, baby blue cardigan and white dress, Allmight just looks like spilled ink on paper. 

 Unwanted. 

Doesn't belong.

Inko's eyes hovered to where Izuku was sitting and motioned for him to come over. He hesitated, and slowly made his way towards her, clutching his shirt along with the paper and pencil.

"This is my son. Say hello, sweetheart. " His mother said, an odd tone to her voice. Fakely soft with a hint of bitterness that reflected in her distant eyes. Like she was trying to hold herself together with cheap tape and elmers glue before she slammed a sparkling bow onto herself to distract from everything else. 

Inko smoothed his hair and the boy just held her hand tighter, looking at the floor with uncertainty. He heard his mother sigh quietly, sending a pang of guilt through his body. 

Alright.

He'd do it. Just for his mom.

Izuku bowed curtly, and whispered a "nice to meet you," throat hurting when he spoke, almost as if someone fed him rocks for the last week. Though it was understandable, he hadn't spoke ever since his father's incident.

All Might kneeled on one knee, leaning even lower to get on level with the six-year-old, but still towering despite his efforts. Izuku only cringed deeper onto his mother's dress as if he'll phase through it and away from All Might's sight.  

"Its nice meeting you as well, my boy. And... I'm so very sorry about your father" Inko's grip on her son's hand became tighter and Izuku squeezed back, still staring at Allmight "I wish I could do more to help. Do stay strong, young man! Good things are coming your way. Plus Ultra!" Izuku pursed his lips and hummed, giving a slight nod.

Now all he wanted was at least a continental distance away from this man.

All Might stood up and exchanged "goodbye"s and "sorry"s with Inko before he joined with, what Izuku guessed, was his lawyer and left the building promptly.

Inko's hand released slightly against her son's. When he looked up, she was pinching the bridge of her nose, taking deep breaths. Izuku found himself thinking of somthing, anything to lift her spirits, even if a little.

Then a light bulb turned on in his brain. 

"M-mom? Look, I-I drew you something..." his voice was raspy and throat still burned but he's willing to do anything for his mother. Inko looked down and crouched by her son, she cupped his cheek and gave him a warm summer smile before taking the drawing from him. She studied it before chuckling and oh thank god she was actually happy. Soon she was picking up Izuku from the ground and held him close. 

"I love it, darling. Let's go home and hang it up, okay?" Izuku nodded gleefully and wrapped his arm around his mother's neck, resting his head on her shoulders. He closed his eyes and listened to her heartbeat. Strong and steady, just like her. Her embrace was was warm and comforting like a fire place in winter. Izuku blinked his eyes open and stared at the drawing.

It was his mother as a hero, Miss Inryoku. He remembers deciding with her on the name. The drawing wasn't the best, but it's okay. He got his mother to smile for the first time in this entire week.

Thats all that mattered to him, really.

 

Chapter Text

Well, this was an... exceptional situation Izuku found himself in. 

"Do you prefer Mozzarella or cheddar, my boy?" Asked All Might, picking up the two respectively mentioned types of cheese in his skinny hands. It was humorous to see someone who's always set on a pedestal, always idolized for being flawless and beyond everything doing the most mundane of things like shopping.

And now? Now, all Izuku could do is reply with "Mozzarella, thank you" then blankly shuffle through different vegetables, trying his best to think of how the hell he's going to deal with all of this.  

The situation was so utterly comical, Izuku found himself snickering in disbelief. Never in his shit show of a life did he expect something like this to happen.

How often does a person find themselves in a situation like his?

Like, seriously, What was this?

A Fanfiction?

Almost done with the shopping, Toshinori cracked his lower back and sighed. Obviously, he'll pay for all of the things, and obviously, he's hoping that young Izuku will accept his request. He had no idea what he'll do if young Izuku refuses. Respect his decision of course, but then what? that Morio kid was a candidate All Might had been considering after principal Nezu's suggestion but this boy, with his long green hair and red eyes, felt like the right choice.

Maybe it was the eagerness to understand the odd recognition or maybe it was something else. 

Toshinori heard a looping ringtone coming from his right and turned to Izuku, who was clumsily fumbling for his phone. It slipped out of his hand like soap and he caught it quick before turning it to look at the screen. Toshinori frowned when the young man's expression turned sour at his phone.  

"I-I can tell my mom about this, r-right?" The boy questioned, looking up at Toshi with wide, hesitant eyes.

The hero thought for a second, considering the odds. He should, and he could. But with the desperate eyes staring at him, Toshi reluctantly gave in before nodding his head. "Yes, I'll talk with her about this if I have to," 

Izuku wrinkled his nose before he gave a jerky nod and opened the phone, but held it a good distance from his ear.

Right away a burst of horrified yelling erupted from the phone, unintelligible from where Toshi was standing, but he could make out a few words "ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!" and "WHY WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING SO RECKLESS?!" were the most prominent ones, both making Yagi chuckle. The young boy gave him an apologetic smile and slowly set the phone against his ear.

"H-hey mom, yeah don't worry I'm --I'm fine. Yeah, at the store. Mhm. Oh...I don't know I really wasn't thinki --what? No, no! It's not 'cus of that, I swear...Yeah, okay I promise. Oh, and one last thing-" Izuku turned to Toshi with uncertain eyes "I.. there's someone I want you to meet...Good or bad?" The boy chuckled nervously "uhhh --haha, depends? Oh, uh --I don't know, hold on-" Izuku lowered his phone and turned to Toshinori "Will you be coming over tonight or...?" Toshi hummed in thought.

"I have a meeting, later on, I'll be done by six tonight, so yes. Six and a half is an appropriate time for me," Izuku nodded with a still nervous look on his face and confirmed with his mother. 

"Alright, bye. Love you too" Izuku tapped the screen and slipped his phone back into his jeans' pocket, sighing quietly and pushing the palm of his hand onto his forehead. Toshinori scowled, lowering his hand from the dairy shelf. Was young Izuku not feeling well?

Actually, that was a stupid question. Considering how hectic this day must've been on the poor boy, it's perfectly understandable if he's overly fatigued. The bags under his eyes and his drooped shoulders were a clear indication.

A sudden stab of dread bloomed in Toshinori's chest, guilty about putting so much on Izuku's plate. Hell, when Nana decided he was worthy of One for all, Toshi was confused, overwhelmed but also excited.

Excitement was the last thing on Izuku's face. 

"My boy, please leave the rest and payment for me, its only fair," Izuku's eyes flickered up and he studied Toshinori for a second then slowly nodded and handed the basket over to Toshi. 

"Thank you," he said and smiled slightly. 

 ------

Izuku held the bags tightly until his knuckles turned white, biting his lower lip.

"I have to tell him, but school never had a course on how to confess to a person that your father was killed by them and that your life went to shit afterward because of it" He thought, utterly exasperated.

Should he...? No, that won't work. But what if... nah, still a no. Maybe if... Goddamn it. There was no easy way out, was there? Izuku found himself wishing from the bottom of his heart to be blessed by some sort of ex-Machina from heaven.

"You know my boy," All Might chimed in to which Izuku jolts out of his thoughts "-I truly am curious as to why you want to become a hero" The boy blinked and looked at the ground.

"Why?" Well, that one hella loaded question, It was hard to explain, but--

"I -I guess I want to help people who deserve a second chance to get on the right track. I want to be there as a friend to everyone who needs it the most, and hopefully a role model? And... to thank my mom, too" All Might's brows rose in surprise, admiring the sudden confidence in the boy's voice.

"Oh?" The older man said questioningly. Izuku nodded, fiddling with his thumbs and pursing his lips

"Yup, she --she's always been there for me and, well, she sacrificed so much," He gave a breathy chuckle "Absolutely the strongest and bravest person I've ever known," the boy smiled fondly "yeah, as cheesy as it sounds, she's my hero. I wanna be to others what she was for me" he admitted, a grin tugged at the corner of his mouth.

All Might beamed and clapped a hand onto Izuku's back, causing the boy to stumble a bit as he was taken off guard.

"That's very noble, my boy! And a respectable one, at that" He gave a thumbs up, "I'm looking forward to meeting her!" All Might could swear he saw this odd look cross over the boys face but it was gone in the blink of an eye and Izuku was back to smiling.

The teen nodded with a chuckle. "Yeah..." he murmured "she's the best"

 ------

Izuku stopped at a simple-looking house with a small flower garden at the sides, All Might paused as the greenette turned to him, pointing at the home with meek embarrassment. Toshinori honestly can't tell why, living in a house welcoming could only be a source of pride.

The smell of the flowers overtakes the air, soft yet rich. Everything about this house screamed "welcome! Ypu could break in and we'll give you cookies!". If he had to take a guess, All Might would say everything inside must be ten times cozier. It almost reminded him of fairy tail homes with their beautiful colors and green gardens. 

"...This is where I live and --uh, t-thank you for dropping me off, I'll...see you later...?"  All Might nodded and waved goodbye, Izuku bowing hastily before he entered his house. The hero overheard an "I'm home!" from young Izuku before a delighted scream came from within the home and the door was shut behind him.

The hero laughed to himself and turned around, exhausted muscles taking him back to the train station.

----

Once inside, Izuku sorted everything into the kitchen before collapsing into his mother's arms. Warm and comforting.

Home.

Just like a magic spell, the stress in Izuku's body fizzled away and he let himself enjoy the warmth of his mother's embrace. He loved hugging her; years ago, he didn't like it as much, at a time she was all sharp edges and bones, cold and frail. but now his mother gained a healthy weight. Much healthier, much happier and much more like a living human.

And it made Izuku happy in turn.

Inko smoothed out his hair and kissed the top of his forehead with tenderness only she can achieve, resting her cheek on his head. She was trembling. Jesus, she was trembling so much, her body was prepared to drop. She'd thought she lot her son.

God, she doesn't know what her life would come to if she did.

"Its okay now, darling," She whispered, mostly to reassure herself more than anything. She combed her fingers through her son's hair and hugged him tighter "Don't worry about lunch, I'll make it this time. You go get some rest".

When she had come home and didn't find Izuku cooking in the kitchen or writing in his room, she didn't think much of it and had just assumed he was still at the store. But when the news channel showed footage of a thin boy in a dark grey hoodie and a black mask running right towards the villain at the scene, her heart dropped through the ground and into the center of the earth.

Inko remembers dialing his phone with shaking hands and tears stinging her eyes. Fearful and mortified at the thought of her son getting hurt again, of not being able to protect him, of losing him.

Now he was here in her arms, wrapped in a tight embrace, as if she dared let go, Izuku would slip away and try to fight some other villain.

Why did he do that? To prove his point? No, that isn't something he'd do. He wouldn't purposely frightened her that way "I really wasn't thinking," he told her and she believes him.

But then again... There was that other thing he told her.

She pulled away and askdd him: "By the way, Who was it you wanted me to meet?"

Izuku stiffened at her words and stepped away from her, smiling as always.

He's always smiled, those freckled cheeks turning red upon genuine joy, but they weren't red. And his eyes weren't joyous in the least.

Part of her hated when he did that, and that part was actually all of her. Her son was independent, silent and always thought of others before himself. So he'd smile; smile for others, smile to himself. no matter what. If you look directly at him, he'll never meet you with a blank face.

Izuku always reacts to things with a smile, but it doesn't always mean he's doing it out of joy.

"Ah, right.That." He drawls through gritted teeth, the last word coming out heavy and grim. He stopped to looked at the side, inhaling deeply and spouting out a storm of breathy, jumbled words

"ALLMIGHTWANTSMETOTAKEHISQUIRKANDINEEDYOURHELP!" Inko blinked at her cringing son and crinkles her brows. 

"What was that?" Her son rolled his bottom lips under his teeth and turned to her with begging eyes, he took another breath and tried again, his facade cracking a bit. this time coming out in shorter, clearer words.

"All Might. He wants me to inherit his quirk. Need your help" again, Inko waited for a punchline and after a second,  like a water balloon to the face, realization struck her hard and her mouth hung agape as she stepped closer to Izuku, sputtering a bit before she was able to find her voice again. 

"Wait, Izuku, I...I don't think I follow" the boy clenched his fists and blew a raspberry. he pointed to the couch, and with a defeated look said:

"Let's sit down and I'll explain,"

Chapter Text

Izuku blanky stared at the ceiling with distant eyes, leg bouncing anxiously in beat with his racing heart while he lay sprawled across the width of his bed, picking at the already chewed skin around his fingernails.

"Bad habit,  he told himself, though showed no intention of stopping.

He drifted from thought to question to thought and deeper into an abyss of nothing but "what if?". 

He closed his eyes.

What would happen when All Might finds out? Will he take back his offer? Would he be disgusted with Deku, the good for nothing son of a villain? Will Deku give an answer or will he cower and run away?

No.

No, he won't do that.

He isn't Hisashi, after all.

Izuku grunted as he turned to lay on his side, looking around. His room, his comfort and safe space, wasn't proving that much comfort or safety.

Even after he organized it over and over again from stress, the place still felt too small, too cluttered with paintings in a corner, posters and figurines of heroes or comic characters that smirked down at him as if laughing, mocking Izuku and his pathetic self. Even the books on the shelves didn't seem inviting. Nor did the origami hanging from the ceiling and the hundreds more in a box underneath his bed.

About 380 more cranes and he'll be granted a wish. That was going to be 'become a hero' but now... now he really doesn't know.

Izuku, loathe as he was to do so, looked at the time on his phone.

5:47, less than an hour until All Might arrives.

The thought itself made his stomach somersault and his heart sink lower. Every passing second is torment, another reminder that he was a weak, worthless Deku and when he's presented with the choice to be the successor of All Might, to become a hero, he's too scared.

Because that's all Deku could do.

That's all Deku was. 

Izuku grimaced and pushed the thoughts aside, instead revising how the chat with his mother went. Thankfully, the conversation wasn't as bad as he expected it to go. Just a bit of screaming, enough so that he could tell he's gotten the message to her. 

 


 

"He doesn't know that I'm... His son" Izuku added with the smallest hint of bitterness in his tone, despite the smile he managed to keep on his face.

Izuku doesn't remember anything about his father; You could slap any face on to an average weight, black-haired man and Izuku wouldn't argue if you called it Hisashi. And it's not like Izuku found any photos, all were taken down. Even ID or passport photos have disappeared. Besides, Izuku wasn't interested in knowing how the man that ruined his and his mother's life looked like. He didn't care.

But he did despise that damn coward for leaving this fifty-tonne burden on the rest of his family.

 Almost as if his father had told them that they're going on a trip to Disney Land but when Izuku was in the car, Hisashi put a brick on the gas pedal, cut the brakes then sent Izuku and his mom flying over to shit town.

His mother just stared at the ground for a moment before she jerked her hand and, using her quirk, snatched the small pillow from mid-air before screaming into it. She turned back to her son with a serious expression and nodded. 

"No other choice. When he comes over I'll talk to him. but there's something more important..." she held her son's hand so that Izuku would look at her. "Do you want this? I know you've wanted to be a hero, and now you have this chance. But since its All might...I understand if you don't want anything to do with him" Izuku's crimson eyes lingered on her emerald ones for a while and that's when his smile dropped completely. He squeezed her hand desperately and looked back at his feet. 

"I don't know, maybe? It's all too..." Izuku exhaled, scrunching up his nose "I'll think about it" he ended up saying, releasing his grip on his mother's hand and standing up. He gave one last smile to her before stepping into his room and locking it behind him.

 


 

Izuku peered at his phone again.

6:05

In twenty-five minutes Allmight will be at his door.

Obviously, he wasn't going to be able to sleep, so Izuku opened his phone and looked through his social media timeline.

'ROBBERY ATTACK AT MUSTAFU, NEW HEROES SAVE THE DAY!' 

Oh, that was this morning. Izuku was probably at the metro stop at the time. A shame, really, he could've gotten more information for his hero analysis log. He hadn't told anyone about his fifteen volume long notes, it only attracts mockery from others. But he still kept it. It's one of the only things he's decided on keeping from his life before 2 years ago, everything else he's swept under the rug.

Except for Bakugou. You can't really sweep a person and the scars they left behind under the rug.  

Izuku shook his head and scrolled more, another article headline catching his attention.

'KID RUNS TO HELP AGAINST A VILLAIN?! READ THIS TO KNOW MORE!!'

Ugh. Never mind.

The internet won't help him today, so Izuku pulled up a video from 8 years ago saved in his phone, titled "Fire-breathing villain rampage" and waited for it to load. 

Maybe it wasn't the smartest way to cope, but if Izuku ever needed a distraction, this certainly was one. Even less nauseating than the ticking seconds.

But of course that didn't last long before the doorbell rang and suddenly, the thoughts crammed in Izuku's brain shrieked, making the fear bubble and rise up his throat. His chest sank seventy feet below sea level and he could feel it dragging him deeper and deeper until he was fully holding his breath.

Welp, here goes nothing.

 


 

When the door was opened for All Might, he really hated the way his heart skipped what felt like 3 beats. 

"Ah, good evening, All Might!" the lady greeted, her voice kind and welcominb. She owned a pair of bright green eyes that smile up at him and silky dark green hair that reached her hips, the top half of it pulled back in a bun alongside two strands framing her face. She wore a simple cardigan, the color of a million sunsets over a cream-colored dress that draped to her knees. She seemed healthy, with colored cheeks and a sparkling gaze, even the slight bags under her eyes seemed more of age than exhaustion.

Inko Midoriya was a completely different person from the woman he met all those years ago.

All Might's voice wouldn't cooperate, so the pro hero (not feeling so pro) nodded at her with a smile of his own, the one he gave everyone and everything, even with the terror eating at him from the inside, followed by needles pricking his skin all over.

This is why the boy looked so familiar. This is why Izuku was so uncomfortable. 

This isn't what All Might prepared for. 

She invited him in, and just like he expected, the house looked straight out of a fairytale.

The inside had a warm light that blended with the walls, pictures and painting hung off them. Vibrant reds and blues from the furniture in contrast with the pale colors of about everything else. Soft music played, bringing All Might's attention to a bronze gramophone with swirly designs etched on the wood. A coffee brown carpet laid on the oak ground. A small table stood above it, where a vase -crystal blue with silver roses on the ceramic that sparkled like the ocean- sat.

He would feel completely at home if it weren't for the --Oh you know --whole fighting Hisashi Midoriya all those years back. 

There were no actual photographs of the family, All Might noticed as he clumsily took off his shoes by the door, nothing but painting of scenery and nature. That itself leaves a sour taste in his mouth as he glances at Ms. Midoriya from her place by the living room entrance.

He found himself pulled out of his thoughts by the sounds of careful footsteps from the hall. Moments after, around the corner came Izuku, his wide, alert, red eyes now have a completely different meaning to the pro hero.

The boy hesitantly surveyed the hero before him and pushed his lips in a tight smile,  bowing politely with his hand moving to, what All Might has assumed, a sign but stopped and jerked his hands back, tangling his hingers together.

"G-good evening, All Might," he stammers, "I'm --I'm glad you made it safely,"

Unlike his mother's rich colors, Izuku wore a raglan shirt with green, camo-printed sleeves. The boy rubbed along the length of his arm left arm, the fabric of his sleeves lifting up slightly. And there was scars, ones the hero wouldn't have noticed if there wasn't so many of them; burn marks, dark patches and jagged lines slithering up and beyong his sleeves and if All Might focuses, there was more on the boys face.

 

Other than that, Izuku wore a new pair of black pants and skeleton slippers. Dull and underwhelming campared to their surroundings. His hair seemed short from the front, but All Might could see the long locks of hair tied back in a messy bun, some stray strands hung from the bun like vines.

Comparing both Inko and Izuku, All might could see the striking similarities that only emphasized the differences between them. Like the dark freckles peppering Izuku's face, neck, and forearms. Or how relatively calm Inko juxtaposed with how Izuku looked; apologetic and uncomfortable, even though he was the one with a smile plastered on his face.

Shit, he should really say something in return.

"W-why yes, of course young man! Thank you for having me," Even All Might heard the lack of enthusiasm in his voice, gulping down his nerves as he tries to keep his beam intact.

Inko stepped towards her son and put her hand on his shoulder.

"Dear, please make us tea while Mr. All Might and I talk," Izuku met eyes with her, looking like he wanted to say something but with a reassuring nod from his mother, the boy begrudgingly relaxed and excused himself to the kitchen down the hall.

Inko turned to the hero and put out her hands to the living room.

"Please, make yourself at home"

 


 

Izuku's hands were shivering, gaining a shaky laugh in return. They shivered so much, they might as well pop right off. 

"I don't want him here. Spilled ink on paper. Unwanted, overstepping, doesn't belong"

He took out the green tea from the cupboard, then the cinnamon and honey. pouring the water into a kettle and igniting the stove underneath it, his brain in a blurry haze.

"A useless Deku, a useless Deku, a useless Deku"

Izuku let out a heavy sigh and tried to calm down but his thoughts shouted, getting louder and louder.

"Villain, vilLAIN, VILLAIN, VILLA-"

He had to smack his cheeks to snap out of it. Accepting the familiar sting that came after the slap, it's more manageable than voices he has no control over. He was getting better with them,  yet still... They still need some more working on.

He dragged his hands from the sides of his face and over his eyes, letting out a groan universally known as the: "Holy shit. Please kill me now. I'll even pay you with my first-born"  kind of groan. It's one that this boy has grown used to. From an assignment he forgot to do, to tripping and dropping an egg on the floor, or even that one time Izuku was singing with nothing but a towel around his waist and a brush in his grasp, singing freely until his mother walked in on him. She's never let him live that down. 

It was a good memory, though.

the kettle whistled and Izuku carefully took it from the stove, pouring it into two mugs with tea bags and cinnamon in them. with a jar of rich golden honey, cream and biscuits placed on the tray, Izuku grabbed it's handles and took it to the living room, agreeing with himself on one thing.

He's made his final decision.

 


 

 Heavy air filled the living room. Both adults were silent, the sound of shifting fabric and cleared throats, glances to the door and the hallway. Attempts at small talk that last for mere moments. This silence was painful, like a cold blade on skin. 

Hisashi's death had caused many issues, Inko and her son suffered so much from it all but she was thankful to All might for stopping that undercover villain before it was too late. After interrogation, Hisashi admitted that the only reason he had a son with Inko was for the people he worked for's sick experiments. He never admitted who or what those experiments were.

 Hisashi was already dead by then.

After he got caught, Hisashi decided the only way to avoid the consequences of his selfish actions was death. Authorities were never able to pinpoint how, it's hard to do so when the criminal was on the hospital floor, in a huge puddle of his own blood but with no new injuries on his body.

Yet she's scared to think of what could've happened if Hisashi hadn't been arrested that day, what could've happened to her or her son.

God knows if Izuku would still be with her.

Even so, being in the same room as All Might held this perplexed feeling. Fear, shame and something she couldn't quite name.

Inko was sitting on a chair opposite of the hero re-revising what she planned to say the symbol of peace while he was adjusting himself on a chair of his own, which should be good enough to hold anyone, but apparently not this 220 cm, pure muscle mass of a person.

His clothes must've been custom made to fit him, because if this man was to try on a suit most people wore, he would not only shred it to pieces it, but he'd do it with a beaming smile. Inko was amused by the color choice, a radiant yellow, very different than the one she was used to, striped with black lines and finished off with a shiny, dark blue tie. He looked straight out of a silver age comic.

It was kind of endearing.

Inko could clearly see how he was eyeing every piece of furniture in sight with wonder. Stopping at every painting for a second before he moved on to another one.

"Like Izuku in a bookstore," She thought to herself with a smile.

Every time they went anywhere that sold stationery or merchandise, her son would be infatuated by anything and everything, muttering about the different brands and comparing prices. They'd always end up with five bags filled with whatever Izuku got at the lowest price but also the highest quality, it's a skill she's seen him develop over time.

Useful, but also quite saddening when you think about why it's exactly that way.

The hero cleared his throat "Uh --it's...been a while since I've seen you, Ms. Midoriya! How have you been doing?"

All Might, everybody. The number one pro hero and symbol of peace. Isn't he just the master of basic human interaction?

Inko blinks twice and sat straighter. She forgot All Might was sat (quite awkwardly) in her living room for a second. 

"Oh, we've been doing good as of lately! And you?"

He replied similarly, and with nothing else to say, the room was silent again. both adults racking their brains for something to say.

finally, Inko chuckled and All Might looked at her in confusion.

"You can change to your other form, sir," She laughed, waiting as the hero blinked, his body stiffening before he gave up, a smoke cloud later and a thinner, weaker looking version of All Might sat in his place. Inko opened her mouth but All Might cut her off quickly.

"Please don't scream"

So, Inko sat there, mouth agape and wide open but she wasn't screaming. Just the smallest squeak escaped her. 

Well, she'll be damned, when Izuku said All might looked like cheap Halloween skeleton decorations, she didn't know he meant it literally.

"I'm assuming Izuku told you everything?" He said, voice lower and empty of the cheer she remembers hearing on television. The lady nodded, raising her chin higher.

"O-obviously. And... I wanted to understand this whole thing from you. he's my son and I deserve to know about this," she stated, now fully serious. Allmight followed her mood and adjusted himself.

"Well, you see, because of your son's heroic actions today, I saw full potential in him-" He started "my quirk can be passed down by ingesting my DNA, but I'll need to train Izuku so that he can use it better. if I gave it to him now, his body would, to put it simply, explode"

Inko gulped with a frown and leaned forwards, "Excuse me, explode?  So sorry, but Izuku is all I have, you can't expect me to put him in danger like that"

"Of course not, it's why training him would be the first thing we do, and with eleven months until the U.A enrolment exams start, it gives us enough time to get him more accustomed to the quirk. If we're lucky, about two months or so to practice using it"

Inko sits back "Does that mean after he trains with you, he'd be able to use his quirk without any harm?"

The hesitance All Might showed couldn't be a good sign. 

"I'm... not very sure, it fully depends on how he uses it and its effect on his body," All Might explains "It's a power stockpiling quirk. Ergo, It's stronger after inheritance" Inko frowned and slumps back into, her hand tugging at her lower lip and thought for a second.

"What will this training consist of?" 

"Well," All Might replied "Firstly we need to get him in shape. Raise his stamina and endurance-" All Might brushed a lock of hair from his face and continued "From then on, it will be fighting practice so that I can get a better grasp on his fighting style, and finally we can try out the quirk"

There was a pause where All Might clasped his hand together and rests his elbows on his knees, "But...I'm not sure he'd want to, considering the -uh, past we share" He added, more quietly with concern lacing his voice "The choice is his, after all,"

Inko agreed with a hum and looked All Might in the eye. "I want Izuku to be happy, I really do. He truly deserves it and I will fully support him through and through but that's if  Izuku agrees. If he does, then I can't guarantee he would be immediately comfortable with you. So if you truly want to him as your student, then I have one favor to ask of you-"

All Might perked up, listening more intently as Inko took a breath "Reconcile with him, Izuku is the kindest, bravest and most understanding boy you will ever get to know, even if Hisashi and the terrible things he's done has affected him, I know Izuku would be willing to work along with you. It will take some patience, so please just give it time"

All Might stared at her for a long moment, assessing with those blizzard blue eyes before he finally smirked.

"You know, he said a similar thing about you" Inko's brows rose, "Izuku said you were the bravest and strongest person he knows. You're one of the reasons he wants to be a hero, after all"

Her eyes broadened before she ducked her head with a bright blush on her cheeks and a fond smile forming on her lips.

"Ah, he said that? Really?" She put her hand over her mouth and laughed "Honestly, I could never compare to him. He's the one to thank for helping with our poverty at the time"

All Might inhaled sharply, followed up with him coughing a, quite bloody, storm. His sleeved stained with dark maroon making Inko's face pale of any emotion she showed a second ago, she rushed to his side in a panic, grabbing a napkin from the coffee table for All Might that he took and pressed against his mouth. 

"S-sorry-" he hacked into the napkin "it's just --poverty?" 

"O-oh, um --Those were the wrong words to use im terribly sorry. Oh, dear. W-we just found ourselves in a little rut for some time, n-nothing serious" All Might stared at her in shock as cast her gaze to the floor.

"Its... the funds from the government were barely enough to cover Izuku's education expenses and the rent," she rubbed the Hero's back and handed him another handkerchief. "But Izuku --he helped me save up money, and he was there for me when I was in... not at my best. So, after a while, I was able to focus on my current job. If it weren't for him, I probably would be in the exact same place I was in six years ago,"

She stood up, her eyes skimming over Toshinori's form to check whether or not he'll topple over and die on her floor before she finished what she was saying "B-but, really! Don't worry about it, Mr. All Might, we're doing way better know!" Inko offered an uncertain smile and returned to her seat.

"Please, just call me Toshinori," He replies with a raspy voice, watching Inko as she bit her lower lip and nod.

"Alright then, Mr. Toshinori"

All Might felt a hole form in his stomach while he looked down.

Of course, they had a suffered from poverty. Of course, people wouldn't want to help them. Of course, he was an idiot and never thought of even checking on them before. And what angered him more? He could have done so much. He's the symbol of fucking peace for crying out loud!

But he didn't. The number one hero was too caught with his chivalrous hero work to wonder if this family needed support; It's All Might's only job and he failed.

"So much for being a hero, huh? " 

Izuku entered the room before Toshi could say anything else, shooting a quick glance at the pro hero before pouring him a generous amount of tea, stirring a scoop of honey into the cup and handing it to All Might. He did the same for his mother and stood awkwardly beside her. As if someone had thrown him onstage in front of thousands of people andd told him "Act".

The hero studies his drink, warm steam swirls from the green tea, a sugary aroma filling his nose. His shoulders relaxed, and slowly, Toshinori sipped his tea.

This was... really good. 

He drank it entirely, enjoying the warmth of it as it went down his throat, the heat spreading inside his chest before it settled in his stomach. A delicate flavor of cinnamon with the gentle sweetness from the honey stayed on his tongue, cozy and warm just like sitting by a fireplace in winter.  

"Do you like it?" She asked with a smirk.

"I LOVE IT!" The hero boomed, exploding into his muscular form. He stared back at the faces of a taken aback Izuku and a laughing Inko before blushing wildly and deflating back.

"U-uh..." he muttered an apology while Inko giggled as he downed the rest of his tea, smiling at her son with nothing but pride. Izuku returned the smile, following with quick gestures of his hands. Inko looks at him and does the same. All the while, All Might eyed them both curiously, trying his absolute best not to acknowledge the deep pit in his stomach.

Toshinori didn't know how to speak sign, not an impressive amount, at least -except for the very basic "Hello, my name is All Might" that a survivor of an earthquake taught him once. As far as he was aware, both could speak and hear without assistance. But what does he know, this is only his second encounter with them. Maybe another family member used it, maybe it was something else entirely.

Toshinori finished his tea placing the cup on its coaster with a hushed "Thank you", feeling the warmth from moments ago draining from his body, as he remebers who exactly he was to those two, and what he's caused them. His expression falls grim, clutching his fists onto his lap.

"It's my fault they suffered. If I weren't such a-"

They all collectively jumped when All Might's phone rang loudly.

"YOU HAVE A CALL! YOU HAVE A CALL! YOU HAVE A-" 

"H-hello?" All Might answered, blushing at Inko's snickers and Izuku's analyzing gaze. "Yes, yes. I understand. I'll be there soon," He hung up and peered at both the Midoriya's "I apologise, but I'm afraid I have to leave"

Inko hummed and stood up, quickly exchanging numbers with Toshinori before escorting him to the door. Izuku offered to walk the man to the train station and went to grab his hoodie, leaving both adults alone again.

"Ah, here, take this with you" She puts out her hands.

Toshinori stared at the container of biscuits, turning to the lady with a small smile. "Thank you. I hope I wasn't too much of a bother, and thank you again for the biscuits and tea" Inko beamed at him, hands held together.

"No problem at all! But again, please consider what I told you about Izuku," Toshi nods, twisting to see the boy walking towards them.

"W-we can leave now" Izuku stutters, prompting All Might to give one final bow to Inko before both Izuku and he left the house, Inko waving goodbye back at them.

 


 

The crickets chirped loudly as All Might and Izuku walked down the sidewalk.

Despite the pitch black sky, Izuku could see no stars, all thanks to the blazing lights of Musutafu; only the very brightest of stars glowed alongside the luminescent moon. Survival for the fittest, I guess.

Or, well, the brightest, in this case.

Neither spoke. Neither knew what to say. So, they kept on walking in uncomfortable silence filled with wind blowing and light posts buzzing. 

All Might glanced at the teen beside him, taking note of the heavy bags beneath his crimson eyes, his hunched, fatigued posture, and skinny frame. It made the clothes he wore look 2 times his size. If he hadn't shown what he was capable of, Toshinori would've been sure a slightly forceful wind like tonight's would knock Izuku off his feet.

Not that Toshi looked any better.

But All Might was old, unlike this poor boy. Izuku shouldn't have to deal with such things. he shouldn't have dealt with poverty and the burden of his father's doing, and now that All Might remembers the scars on the boy's arms, what the else did the boy have to endure?

"I'm so sorry," whispered Toshi, breathy and guilty. Izuku blinked, turning to him and the hero could see pain swimming in those eyes, but there remained to be a gleaming light of kindness in them, soft and comforting. They knew nothing other than empathy and gazed at him gently.

Just like Inko.

Just like Nana.

"It's --It's my fault you two went through so much, and to know I could have done so much to help but I didn't...." his voice trails off "I'm ashamed, and so very sorry... I-I hope you can forgive me, my boy" Toshi bowed low, arms tight by his sides with his golden hair falling over his face, almost reaching the ground.

Izuku was stunned in place, eyeing the hero with his hands gripping his the fabric over arm tightly, closing his eyes shut before letting out a slow, silent breath. He looked at All might.

"Uhm, p-please stand up," Izuku said calmly, hand over the hero's shoulder "And... I accept your offer" Toshi looked up, his wide eyes gawking back at darker, more worn out ones. Izuku managed a small smile.

"All Might," He mummbles to the disheveled man, "It's okay. I'll leave the past in the past, for your sake and everyone else's. I'll work hard, and become the best type of hero I can be, e-even if I'm not suited for you quirk. You weren't able to help us before, so... help me help the rest of the world by being the best mentor you can be," The confident situated strong in his voice "A-and, dont let me break any bones, maybe?" And there is was, the hopeful hesitation.

All Might couldn't help but admire the hero hidden within this boy as the strong wind blew his green locks in it's current. Toshinori firmly nodded and put out his hand.

"I promise, my boy. I'll give it my all to up to you and your mother." Izuku shook his hand, firmly and nodded "I'll meet you at the Takoba beach on Sunday, from there we begin training" He states, giving one last bow before he left for the train station just down the road.

Izuku watches him leave for a second and thinks to himself.

Yeah. What a weird day.

The greenette turned and made his way back home, hood pulled over his head, hands shoved into his pockets. He unconsciously kicks a pebble on the pavment and watches it sic away, his brain still in a cloudy haze.

"That really happened," he thought "It's no dream I --I'm gonna become a hero 

Reality slapped him across the face with a shovel and sneered at him, 'Never ask for anything again, you got it?' It growled at him. But he wanted nothing more. He was satisfied, more than satisfied, albeit still a little shaken up.

Yes, for all it was, the last 24 hours were certainly not what Izuku planned for his day to go, but in the end, he was going to do it, he's going to become a hero! Not only that but he also confronted All Might, and most of all, he didn't run away. He wasn't a coward. And yes, he was terrified shitless the entire time but he did it.

Izuku felt his cheeks rise with a smile, jittery giggles erupting from his mouth. The boy coved his eyes with his sleeve, feeling tears burn with tears of pride. Just like when he got his mother to laugh for the first time in years. Izuku was too busy on clearing his vision to focus on his surroundings, stumbling once or twice before regaining balance.  

 It was when he passed an empty alleyway that a hand reached out and grabbed him.

Izuku yelped, twisting to elbow whoever snuck up on him in the face, squirming when they blocked his attack and smirked down at the green haired nervous wreck.

"Hey, kiddo, remember what I taught ya? Aim higher or else you'll get your ass kicked," They remarked dryly allowing Izuku a moment to process the words. Finally, he relaxes with a sigh of relief. Izuku lowered his arms, now fully turning around to look at his friend with a grin.

"Didn't have to test me like that," Izuku huffed "scared the hell out of me, Dabi"

The older teen snickered, his hand ruffling Izuku's hair.

"What can I say? I saw my chance and took it, it's what happens when ya let yer guard down, Zuku"

Chapter Text

 

Dabi was bleeding up a river while he sat against a building's back wall.

And, frankly, it sucked.

"Destroy this rando's factory and we'll pay you," they said, "it's a fair deal," they said.

Psh. Assholes.

It's what he gets for trusting a bunch of low-level thugs to keep their part of a deal and thinking he'd get out unharmed, let alone from people with quirks like 'metal claws'. It's not like he expected a Wolverine wannabe to slash his dominant arm and leave him in this...place

Wait where was he, again?

...

Eh, whatever. 

His partner, on the other hand, was meant to be here an hour ago to get him somewhere that didn't smell like violent diarrhea and acid. Dabi grumbled, closing his eyes as he attempted to close the injury with fire. It didn't take long to decide that's a bad idea as the stabs and sting of pain swarmed his right side like stubbing your toe with the edge of a dresser.

Maybe even more, dare he say. 

Dabi slowly opened an eye to steal a glance when he heard shuffling from his left, expecting to see his partner but instead, a figure with red eyes and bushy, green hair that defied gravity stood at a cautious distance from the bleeding man. like a little kid finding a dead rat.

Wait -no, that's exactly what's going on.

"H-hello?" the kid stammered "S-sir?" their voice was hoarse and scratchy like an old VHS tape.

When Dabi gave no answer, their shoulders sank low.

"Oh God, he's dead, isn't h-"

"I ain't dead!" Dabi snarled, turning his head to the figure. Shadows completely covered their face, leaving the light to outline their stiff frame and forest green, bushy hair.

Not the eyes, though, those didn't need light for Dabi to see them. They glowed softly in the darkness, a sight that Dabi could've found fascinating years ago, but with his field of work, he's basically seen everything there is in this cruel world. 

Dabi scoffed, too tired to care or bother even as the kid approached carefully, still keeping their distance. Dabi watched as they took a step forward and slowly leaned closer. Obviously, Dabi took this opportunity and-

"BOO!"

The kid jolted sharply with a shriek, stumbling and pressing their back against the opposite wall. Dabi laughed weakly and pointed a limp finger at them.

"Gotcha," he slurred with a smirk, like a drunk man who thinks he's some comedic genius, but the kid wasn't so amused.

There was silence, and in the blink of an eye, they turned around and stormed off.

Dabi frowned. Come on, he couldn't have scared them that bad! Besides, his pranks are hilarious, that kid just didn't have a senses of humor.

Well whatever, there goes his chance for some sort of company until that psycho partner of his comes along. He sighed and settles back on the wall, finding pleasure in the colder cement before the pulsing pain in his arm reminded him:

"Oh, right, I'm kind of on the brink of passing out,"

Welp, It's not like there was anything to do besides wait and hope he gets out with nothing more than an infected wound. Maybe afterward he could go and get a steaming bowl of soba, that sounded lovely right about now. Just the way his mother used to make them, with eggs and onions.

He hummed at the thought, memories of a warm bowl between his hands filling his mind but the moment was cut short as a weight crouched in front of him and Dabi's eyes shot open, only to find the kid from earlier right in front of him, staring directly into his soul.

Now, with the light exposing the side of their face, Dabi could partly see the kid; a high school boy, telling from the school uniform he wore, face dotted by freckles alongside scars and plasters that were placed here and there. With one final look, Dabi found badly healed bruises on the boy's neck and arms as he just... sat there.

He was quiet, red eyes not even twitching from the fume packed air. Hell, Dabi has no idea if the kid was even breathing or not, he barely even swayed, still and silent like a statue. Dabi challenged with a silence of his own, gulping after an entire minute passed with nothing but the faint sounds of passing cars and the low hum of machines from around them.

Now the red flags were loudly being waved about in the man's brain but it's not like he could say much in his state other than an unsettled:

"Uh-"

"BAH!"

Dabi jumped, hissing as the already agonizing pain shot through his arm like an army of knives. The kid raised his brows with a huff, wry eyes watching Dabi as if saying "ain't so funny now, huh?"

"Alright, alright, ya got me," started Dabi with a smirk "Whaddaya want now?"

The boy's gaze lingered for a second before his expression softened and he took out a roll of bandages. He nudged it towards the bleeding man, who had his brows knitted in confusion. Still persistent, the boy pointed at Dabi's arm and made another fast motion. the man eyed the boy with a slightly raised brow.

"I get what you're sayin'," he forced past the cold buzz passing his body "but I'm on the verge of death, ?" The boy scoffed, giving a 'don't be so dramatic'  look while absentmindedly picking at his fingernails.

Finally, the boy stood up, lifting Dabi along with him. Only when the kid had made sure that Dabi was still breathing that he kneeled down to get his bag.

In a moment of pure shock, Dabi almost screams at what he sees.

There she was, standing behind the boy:

Toga Himko.

The killer held a knife above her head, watching the schoolboy with murderous intent. A predator about to pounce at its prey. Her sharp eyes met Dabi's, the corners of her lips slowly twisting to a smile that didn't belong on a human face, with glinting canines and unnaturally red gums.

Dabi shook his head with as much remaining energy as he could muster, mouthing "GO."  irritably repeating himself when all Toga did was pout like some toddler.

After an agonizingly long second, Toga lowered her knife and licked her lips as she shot one final glance at the boy then another towards Dabi.

Slowly, she backed off into the darker shadows of the lane just as the boy stood upright again. 

Behind him, Toga loomed over to the building's edge and threw her partner one last twisted grin, tongue sticking out between her teeth (Goddamn she needs to stop doing that, its unnerving as fuck). She waved with the knife in hand before she, quite literally, disappeared out of sight.

Dabi sighed in relief.

He needs to stop hanging around these types of people.

 


 

One moment he was coming back from another day in school, -- ostracization and mockery -- the next he was trying to help an injured, possibly dangerous man from behind a suspicious lane. A man, quite disturbingly, sitting about like his arm wasn't swollen and torn to bits.

With his heart a thousand tonnes in his chest, Izuku was ready to report a death. He's seen it all around. It was quite literally the only thing closer to him than his mother. He genuinely thought he wouldn't be fazed. 

But when he saw this man, Izuku's throat swelled tight, as if a snake was choking him and he couldn't muster up the words until about a couple of minutes of standing at the mouth of the alleyway, only able for a hushed "h-hello?"

The man had pierced ears and, telling from the smudge of dried blood across the man's face, there must have been more on his nose as well, ones that have been yanked from their place, leaving a tear in his right nostril.

He stared at Izuku with droopy blue eyes. Faded, dark and distant.

There were burn marks on his forearms, starting again at his neck and until the man's chin. Izuku thought there were more marks, but those are just dangerously dark circles under his eyes. The man wore a white shirt with a tattered, black coat, ripped respectively at the right sleeve. 

So, as any sane, cautious person would do, Izuku took this stranger to the homeless center he worked at and sneaked him into the infirmary.

Using a cart.

Of course.

 


 

Dabi found himself crammed tightly into the lower level of a metal trailer, the only thing veiling him was a white sheet draped over it. He had to lay in an uncomfortable, cramped fetal position as to not let his injured arm drag blood onto the squeaky clean floor.

With some sort of sneak factor (except the silence shattering rattle of its wheels), the cart was pushed and swerved down a thankfully baren hallway with the occasional "hello!" And "good afternoon" from passing workers.

Dabi couldn't see much more than their feet, but his heartbeat never failed to skip and hop whenever anyone got an inch too close.

Lit by the most oddly luminescent ceiling lights Dabi has ever seen, the walls of this place were painted a bland beige. He was way too drowsy to make a snarky comment about it but he still thought it was the most god-awful work of interior design his eyes have ever laid their gaze upon.

Who thinks beige is a good color? And those boring marble floor tiles, what sick person looked at this and thought any of it looked remotely okay?

His critic thoughts were cut short as the trailer abruptly stopped, the squeaking of the boy's red shoes rang through the hall. He could hear a couple of people complain at the noise.

"Ah, good afternoon, Midoriya!" Dabi frowned slightly. Wait, Midoriya? Wasn't that...

"I didn't think you'd arrive this early," admitted the person with a chuckle, "but I guess you've always been so dedicated to this job, haven't you?"

An old lady, from the sounds of it, had stopped them entirely from progressing. Dabi could see the black loafers she wore from beneath the sheets as she spoke some more. Dabi did his best to keep his heart calm since one of her feet had rested right by his face, at the corner of the trailer.

So instead of panicking, he focused on the thought occupying his mind.

"So this is what Hisashi's kid doing these days, Huh?"

"G-good afternoon, ma'am..." Exhaled Midoriya and yep, even with the hazey fog in his brain, Dabi recognize that voice, now that it's not a hushed whisper, "Uh, yeah I'm j-just going to get some medical stuff for my shift,"

The man had to hold back from laughing. This kid is just real smooth.

"Alright then, just take this to the infirmary with you, darling" there was a loud, metallic thunk from above Dabi, followed by silence. They still didn't move. 

"What's with the trailer, anyway?"

Shit.

The aura of distress seeped from Izuku as he fumbled for words and it wasn't long before Dabi felt his body crawl with a cold wave of chills because holy mother of soba they're gonna be caught.

"Uh, I-I'm just restocking th-the medicine?" Izuku blurted "Just, um, just checking w-with the other n-nurses on what they need,"  The lady was quiet and Dabi couldn't tell what she was doing but her foot remained planted in place so he guessed it was nothing good.

"Let me take a look, see what we need, hm?" Again, Dabi was uncertain on how Izuku reacted but the flustered blabbering did nothing to reassure him, certainly not when the lady's hand reached down for the hem of the sheet, but before Dabi could panic and throw a cloud of fire, 

"Hey, Kāngo! you have a call!"

The three of them looked up the receptionist with a phone in his hand and the nurse pressing it against her ear, the boy took this chance to drift out of the situation as Dabi peered from beneath the sheet with  a small grin.

"close one," he whispered and Izuku agreed with a soft whimper before continuing down the corridor.

 


 

He really only knew how to treat mild gashes, broken bones, and shallow wounds, what does a 12-but-almost-13-year-old meant to know about a disturbingly deep slash on someone's arm?

And it's not like he could tell the nurse either because:

  • A: If Ms. Kāngo found out, the rest of the workers would find out. Some already loathed him and would take any opportunity to fire Izuku.
  • B: it is, infact, illegal to bring in people without any identification or proper form filling, no matter the case.
  • C: How's the nurse going to react when she finds out that Izuku Midoriya, her angel of a student, brought some unidentified (possibly) dangerous person into her clinic?

It just calls for the usual white lie, absolute silence and complete vagueness about the entire thing. 

Well, it's not a lie if he doesn't speak.

Izuku sighs, glancing towards the ticking clock.

4:08.

Izuku bites his tongue. He knows that if he's late from home, his mother will worry and Izuku knew all too well that nothing good ever comes from a worried mother.

He turns to the stranger and points at his injured arm.

"The coat," he says, but when all he got from the stranger was the wiggle of his brows and a sly grin, Izuku added "I'm gonna calling the cops on you."

After being met with breathy cackling, the man slipped off his coat, letting it fall to the bin with a dull splat. 

Izuku didn't do much as bat an eye under the sight of gore and blood, or the unpleasant tearing noise as Dabi practically peeled the remaining sleeve of his coat and chucked it into the bin as well. Quietly, he mourned the loss of yet another leather jacket.

"Here, clean the wound first," Izuku hands the man a cloth which he takes and places over his wound.

"Gah! --fuck, what is this?" Dabi growls through clenched teeth and glared at the boy.

"Rubbing alcohol?" Izuku says, like its the most obvious thing in the world. Dabi only snarled in frustration.

When the cursing and pained hisses were over, Izuku motioned, awkwardly catching himself signing.

"I'll wrap it" he corrected himself, unraveling the roll and inching it over the wound, taking note of the burnt skin and dried blood clots veiling the flesh beneath.

"Huh, did he have something to burn it with? His quirk maybe?"

Izuku mentally punched himself before his thoughts would go full-on ramble mode.

"Focus, Izuku, focus! He's injured, dammit!"

"I can do it myself," the stranger declares, bringing Izuku back to reality. His hand was open for the bandages, making Izuku blink slowly. He reluctantly placed the roll in to the open palm. not even a moment later, it fell from the man's grasp.

"Okay, maybe not"

Izuku huffed and grabbed the roll of bandages, gesturing for Dabi raise his arm. Begrudgingly, he complied. Never was he going to admit to the weakness strangling his muscles. The last thing he wanted was to be treated, let alone by a little kid who'd he thought was dead. 

In seconds, the boy had already covered the wound and set it tight, and with a satisfied nod, he smiled. Dabi marvled quietly at the sheer mastery of it.

He realized in the silence that he hadn't even introduced himself to the person who is basically saving his life. 

"Where are my manners?" he says "I'm Dabi, by the way. Thanks for, uh, not letting me bleed to death I suppose."

The green haired boy kept his mouth shut, blinking owlishly --literally, owlishly --at the older teen in front of him. He frowned in confusion from underneath the mask he wore but gave a thumbs up either way, to which Dabi weakly laughed at before refocusing his attention to his arm.

He moved it slightly. It hurt like hell, but he could endure it until he was out of this place.

"I know you, you know. Can't really miss the son of the New Year's firecracker,"

Izuku froze. His eyes suddenly blew wide. Beads of sweat collected on his forehead and he took a step back.

Dabi only quirked a brow. Doesn't like talking about his dad, does he?

Hm. Relatable.

"Don't worry," Dabi assures the horrified boy "I ain't got anythin' against ya. You saved my ass and, really I'm no better"

The kid's shoulders barely loosen but it's there as a confirmation. 

It didn't last for long before a loud knock pounded on the door. Both of them jumped with a yelp. Immediately, they fussed to get Dabi out of the window. The slow creak of the door disturbed them, as did a voice from behind it.

It was the nurse.

"Izuku?"

"Quick!" 

But the door was third way open. The nurse was already stepping in.  Dabi slipped from the boy's grip and then-

"There you are!"

Ms. Kāngo stepped in to find Izuku sitting on the bed next to the window, his legs brought together while his hands rested on his knees. The boy's face held a bright, innocent smile.

Nothing suspicious. Nope. Never.

"Something I can help you with, ma'am?" He asked, eyes jutting from her to the trash bin. The nurse, a lady with coiled pink hair and wide similarly pink eyes smiled at him, the wrinkles deep and apparent on her tanned skin.

"Yes, yes. I just came to tell you- " she pulled up the sleeves of her white sweater "your mother called to ask if you were here, she's on the line at the front desk. Poor thing sounded so frazzled."

Despite her hearty chuckles, Izuku's heart drowns in guilt at the image of his mothers scared expression.

An urge to curl into a ball and disappear into the void overtakes him. Her emerald eyes were made for joyful tears and wonderous gazes, not dilated in terror and shaking as she contained her cries.

He knew how much she worries, how much she panics if he's even five minutes late and he understands; it's been like that ever since people started actively trying to kill him, people he was forced to be around everyday.

Izuku anxiously scratches his arm until the skin felt raw and hot to the touch as he spoke.

"Thank you, Ms. Kāngo, I'll just get my things," he went for his bag and, without the nurse seeing him, he stuffs Dabi's coat from the bin and into his bag "sorry for bothering you," he tells her bit she shook her head and ruffled her student's hair as he passed her. 

"Thank her for the cookies she sent us, while you're at it!" she calls. Izuku gives her a thumbs up and bolts for the reception. The nurse watches as he leaves and turns to her infirmary and looked around, landing on the window and scowling.

Curious, she walked up towards it and inspected the area outside.

"Hm, I could've sworn I saw something fall," she closed the sill and turned back with a final glimpse to the sunny day outside before returning to her duties.

Thank god she didn't think to look up, or else she would've seen the villain hanging over the ledge of the building by the grasp of another villain.

"Who was that boy? He was a real cutie and he looks like an old friend I had. Is he your friend? I like his face, it was bruised and all. He's totally my type, can you intorduce him to m-"

"Oi, im gonna fall!" The man snapped angrily.

Toga giggled and hauled Dabi to the ceiling where she stood, hopping from one foot to the other with excitement and energy Dabi could never for the life of him comprehend as she waited for him to catch his breath.

"Dammit, I lost my coat and my shoe" he grasped his arm tightly and looked at his partner "Also, I dunno who that kid was. No, he aint my friend and no I ain't introducing you."

Toga giggled again and gave him a pat on the back.

"Okie dokie~" she purred,something glinting in her squinted eyes "and about your clothes, we can just steal some more! Besides, they were old and ugly anyways" Dabi bared his teeth at her as he tried fixing his posture.

"Alright, fine," he fixed his posture and turned to the bandages, defeated. "let's go raid a Daiso or something."

 

Chapter Text

 Dabi stepped back from a vending machine and chucked a soda can to Izuku who caught it with a panicked fumble before his hands could properly hold the can. The boy snickered quietly, smiling as he pressed his forehead against the cold metal. All the tension woven into his muscles and head unraveling from place and allowing him to finally take a long, deep breath with the whispering of the wind and rest on the bench next to Dabi, who was standing next to a moth infested lightpole.  

"T-thank you," Izuku whispered, staring off into the dimmed neighbourhood, his eyes glowing faintly. And funnily enough, despite knowing Midoriya for over 2 years, Dabi somehow never caught sight of how the boy's irises reflected the lamps light, making him look like a radioactive racoon on crack.

That's the thing about Izuku, no matter how kind or loving or forgiving the boy was, his red eyes never looked but glared through an avalanche over grown hair that cast a shadow which clung over his expression. His freckles prominent on the pale skin with the faint, blue veins webbing beneath it, ending below his lips, where a small, pleasant smile was.

They were always warm and welcoming, those smiles of his, but every once in a while, they'd stretch a bit too far or a tad too slim at the corners of his mouth. Culminating back to feeding into people's cop-out for mostreating him; why would anyone treat a villain nicley? 

But Dabi knew better. No matter how accidentally off putting Midoriya could be at times, he was nothing like his father; not cowardly or selfish or greedy in the least.

Hisashi was known across the underground villain organisations as adopting this fake facade of whatever would get him what he wanted, alwaus tricking his way to success. Even if it's a wife and a child.

That pathetic excuse of a father was responsible for smuggling information and planning attacks on heroes and their agencies by sneaking around as some sorts of friendly buisness man. And he was the best at it, earning himself a reputation all over Japan. Hisashi's presence hung in the air ever so strongly, like the clouds of heavy smoke he puffed . 

After Hisashi's defeat, though, his wife and son were left to keep his name going, wether they liked it or not, and it didn't help that Inko had a quirkless son either.

There were... rumours that circulated around Hisashi. About him, his son and their link to the League of villains; Rumour of experimented by the hands of mad scientists. Rumours of forced quirks and biologically manipulated creatures and that it all came to halt on new year's eve 8 years ago, when Hisashi went beserk after he was caught red-handed by All Might. 

But that's all rumours, after all.

Dabi sighed, letting the ache of multiple new bruises spread as he leaned against the lamppost. He began to balance the drink on the back of his hand but it fell almost instantly and he could only stare at it in disappointment. Izuku chuckled, watching as the drink foamed and spilled over when Dabi snapped it open and Narrowed his eyes at the boy next to him.

He huffed, crossing his arms over his chest and spoke.

"So..." he started "Ya kicked that thing's ass earlier, huh?" Izuku's grin faltered while burning hot embarrassment won over face in a bright red flush and gibberish sputtering. Izuku shook his head feverishly as he settled back with darting eyes and half hazardly faked a laugh. 

"Ah --uhhh..." he draged out, "dunno, I just-" Izuku waved limply to nothing in particular "panicked" Izuku expected the chortles erupting from Dabi, blushing wilder until his face was a crimson, freckled mess

"Don't laugh!" He cried, but it fell to deaf ears as Dabi continued to snicker "I almost died, like, a million times!" But the man didn't stop laughing as he poked a grumpy Izuku's cheek. Even if his expression remained stoic most of the time, he certainly didn't shy away from torturing the boy intto a red pile of embarrassment.

"You coulda left it to the pros, y’know" He pinched the boy's cheek and shook it like an aggressively loving auntie. Izuku pushed his brows together, a slither of a scar showing from between his fringe.

"Yeah, I could've, but..." he shrugged "I couldn't just sit around and do nothing, and the boy..." Izuku chewed on his lip "He looked like he needed saving,"

Dabi paused to stare, a curious brow raised and the corners of his lip lifting up. Izuku squirm under his gaze and attempted a crooked smile before Dabi barked a laugh and went back to pinching both of the kid's cheeks.

"Alright, knight in shining armor," He declared teasingly "and what else are ya doing this week? Gonna go full-on 'Spider-man vigilante'?" 

He only meant it as a joke. Though, it wouldn't be a surprise if Izuku did. If there's one thing Dabi knows for sure about this kid its that he's a complete and utter maniac. 

Time and again, Izuku would jump head first, screaming into any situation if it meant helping someone else, no matter who or what he'd be dealing with. This child had the determination of a dumbass, but a dumbass with good intentions.

Could be a charming attribute if it wasn't for the boy's life being hung on a fine line every time he decided "screw you and your cow, I'm gonna go help and possibly get killed"

Izuku giggled as he poked back, his face softened only to sour a moment later, nose wrinkling with his grip on the can becoming harsh and unkind.

"Well, I'm starting school next week,"

Ah, Dabi now understood that bitter expression. 

Most kids hated school, Izuku was no exception and Dabi never asked why; the boy didn't seem pleased when its mentioned. Not that the man enjoyed going there when he was Izuku's age either, so it was a mutual understanding.

It's not like Dabi was dying to know, either. As selfish as it sounded (not that it matters, he's a criminal after all) he'd prefer not to know why the little boy used to come from school with bruised cheeks, wounded skin, and dull, dull eyes. Or why he wore bandages and plasters like a second skin. It's non of his buisness, after all.

Call Dabi a coward, but he's decided to acknowledge it his own way and teach the kid some self-defense instead of actual confrontation. It was also in return of Izuku's toleration of Dabi's constant injuries, the boy would learn how to fight. None of that prestigious shit either, Dabi taught him how to fight dirty and effectively, even though it was Dabi who constantly got his ass handed to him, but I digress.

Besides, judging by today's incident, he's guessing it wasn't too shabby of an idea. 

Izuku appreciated it aswell, to some degree, he'd just hope his friend wouldn't get himslef into life threatening situations the entire time. 

Ha, thats alot coming from the one who ran towards a villain attack.

 For a bit, both were quiet, sipping their drinks before Izuku spoke up. 

"Any new fighting moves?" Its an obvious attempt to change the subject to something lighter "You said you found a job, right? Should teach me something before you go" He suggested while Dabi looked on. Izuku glanced as his friend tapped his index finger on the rim of the can thoughtfully.

Yeah, a 'job'. Going around to find 'jobs' wasn't too hard when you wore the label of 'villain' like some boy scout.

Destructive, broken, fucked up villain.

He accepted the title, anything to get himself as far as possible from his past. Wipe the slate blank and start again as a criminal because nothing was worse than who he used to be. And now, he's turned from a scared, red-haired boy to a terrified, avid man.

The gangs and underground organizations are where someone like him would go, and that's where he went. It's where a certain white-haired dude offered a spot for Dabi that he agreed on. He's got nothing to lose except his scars and his name. 

"Yeah, tomorrow," Dabi finished his drink and crushed it in his fist igniting it into blue flames before its ashes fluttered to the ground "Gotta prepare somthin' for a raging power like yours," Izuku threw a playful nudge towards his friend. His eyes reflected the light and his disturbing yet heart warming smile coming through.

A smile that ended wars, everyone can agree on that (including me, that's for sure).

Izuku glanced at his phone and gasped, shrieking about how late it was before scrambling to his feet and accidentally signed "see ya!" over his shoulder, breaking into a full run, quickly disappearing from sight. 

At the sound of Shuffling, Dabi peered back and clenched his jaw.

"Aw, he's gone already?" A high pitched voice whined "I wanted Izuchan to stay longer! He looked so cute likke that" Dabi cringed, remembering the psycho's definition of 'cute'.

Toga pranced into his feild of vison, ready to plunge a knife into anyone's torso with a full, Cheshire cat smirk. She hooked her arm through his and dragged him through the empty street.

"Isn't that a shame," he grumbled dryly, not an inch of him in the mood to deal with her as they walked over to a shadowed part of the sidewalk, Toga didn't protest and gladly following with the enthusiasm of a 7 year-old and fiddled excitedly with the edge of her cardigan's sleeve.

"Yeah! A huuuuge shame! Aw, maybe next time..." Dabi's bored expression didn't do as much as twitch "Anyhow, those people contacted us again," Toga put her hands behind her back and leaned to him, following a he took a sharp turn to the left "Soooo, we're goin' there tonight!" The girl clapped her hands happily. Her smirk threatened to split the skin of her face but, miraculously, she managed to stretch it wider and wider until Dabi found his body spread with a cold shiver.

"Oh, I've been waiting to meet them again! Not looking forwards for the crusty hand boy, though. He's an ass,"

Dabi spat a flat scoff, turning to her with warning eyes.

"Don't try anything, ya got it?" She giggled, wringing her fingers together and nodded, granting Dabi no comfort as he looked back to the path in front of him with anxiety pricking the edges of his brain, immediately drowned out by even bigger anticipation.

"Great. Let's see what that Shigaraki guy's got for us" 

Chapter Text

 People have different experiences when begging with exercising, some feel refreshed, others get tired and give up, but the first week of training, Izuku concluded, was simply what you'd expect a near death to feel like.

He awoke (or maybe he stayed up the entire night) at 6:30 in the morning, after the "I'm proud of you darling!" pep talk that morning, a fist pump to the air and a quick kiss on the cheek from his mother, Izuku left his home prepared for the training feeling all but a little queasy, though some sort of confidence was there to keep him from tripping over his feet.

Well, maybe next time he wouldn't underestimate a training with All Might.

The hero met with him at the beach shore before they exchanged their (painfully awkward) greetings.

Izuku wore nothing more than a black sports hoodie and grey sweatpants. The only real color came from his red sneakers and hair tie keeping his mad jumble of hair in a neater bun than their initial meeting, whereas All Might was in a white shirt that bulged over his muscles and cargo pants.

Those clothes were... awfully similar to the ones he wore not too long ago. Wait, does All Might secretly have a bad fashion sense or did he just own the same 2 clothing items that he wore outside of his work? Both mental images had Izuku suppressing his giggles, so in an attempt to hide the grin tugging the corner of his lips, the boy turned around to look at the trash dump.

It's the pinnacle of beauty twisted into ruin. Trash and old furniture stacked in piles that blocked out the sun rays, only the smallest threads of light caressed the stray hairs of Izuku's head. People avoided the place and, according to Inko, it used to be a famous tourist spot years back. Now it was nothing but rubbish on rubbish on even more rubbish. 

But doesn't take a genius to tell why All Might chose this place; it's perfect for a closed off training. No one would see the symbol of peace past all of the trash or the petite kid he was trying to train standing by him.

 Izuku didn't know how this was going to work out, he glanced at the chiseled features of All Might's face and heaved a deep breath, feeling the hairs rise on his neck as new anxiety stabbed his gut and twisted like a cold knife until his stomach churned with worms and butterflies.

"Alright then! Let's begin with 5 laps around the area!"

And like someone bitch slapped Izuku across the face with a sledgehammer, All Might's voice boomed into the boy's skull and turning to see the grinning hero did wonders to the snapping dread in the 14-year-old's chest. But he just had to come in and add: "Then we can begin with the proper exercises!" ending on a cheerful note that made Izuku's heart just... stop.

Suddenly, he really wanted to go home.

 All Might stared back at the gawking boy in front of him with his drooped shoulders and the color drained cheeks, growing more and more uncomfortable the longer Izuku stared at him. Red eyes bored into his own blue pair and All Might's skin began to prickle with goosebumps.

Damn, was it him or was the kid's face twisting and contorting the more he looked at it?

All Might ignored the sirens in his mind to instead clear his throat and bring Izuku stuttering back to reality.

"Uh --right okay, I'm gonna.." Izuku took a step, only to stagger when All Might accidentally moved in front of him "u-uhm..." Both fussed and struggled to maneuver around each other until Izuku pointed to the right, a strained edge to his voice when he talked.

"I'm -uh, I'll go this way," All Might nodded frantically and replied with a "R-right" before hurriedly stepping to the left, allowing the kid to march away, his face burning hotter than the sun's surface. When they were out of each other's sight, both facepalmed hard enough for their foreheads to buzz for the next 5 minutes.

 

Izuku knew that he'll have to earn All Might's quirk through blood, sweat, and tears but even now, as he runs his fourth lap with collapsing lungs and a heavy head, Izuku couldn't help but wonder how long it would be before his body lets out, but he also couldn't allow doubt to get ahold of him. he had to stay strong and keep going because this is what's going to help him become a hero, and this is his future. So, he held himself together and cheered:

"I can do it! I can do it! I can do it!"

 

The boy passed out.

After the fifth lap, with his face red as the shoes he wore but sturdy and persistent as ever. Izuku had given a determined thumbs up when All Might voiced his concern before he abruptly went limp for a short while only to then jump back to life and insisting to continue with the drill seconds later.

"Y-young Midoriya, I think it's best if you rest for a bit. We can start again when you're ready," The muscle hunk offered. But this child wouldn't waver, once again reassuring that he won't faint with a firm albeit slightly crooked smile. 

Of course, that didn't last long and they finally decided to end the training for that day.

Izuku, looking like he was run over by a truck, packed his bag and chugged his water bottle until nothing but dews remained stuck to the inside. His hair stuck out like a maniac and the longer parts hung low from the bun they were wrapped in that stuck with sweat to his pink blotched face. His let his head drop to the rise and fall of his greedily heaving chest.

But he smiled wide, satisfied with his start of the training.

Red pumped into his ears as All Might spoke. Izuku raised his eyes and tried to read the hero's lips. Something about his now deflated form made it hard to decode the words but while his hearing cleared up, Izuku caught the end of the sentence.

"-e hard at the beginning but it'll get easier soon, my boy" Finished All Might, a sentence Izuku could only attempt to understand was about the training. He nodded and gave a weak thumbs up. And before the silence could settle between them, the "YOU HAVE A CALL" Ring tone erupted from All Might's pocket and got Izuku flying off his seat. 

Toshi fussed to grab his phone and when the ringtone cut off he pressed it against his ear. Izuku took a second to get his heartbeat under control while the hero continued talking into his phone.

"Ah, I see. Yes, I'll be there soon, thank you," getting off the line with a click, All Might glanced at the boy and chuckled heartily (ended up with him coughing blood) and raised his hand "Good job, kid," he rasps.

Izuku blinked once, blinked twice, and perked up when he realized what he was meant to do.

"O-oh!" Izuku gave a gentle high-five and said goodbye to a considerably happier All Might as he puffed into his hero form and launched into the afternoon sky. Midoriya let his muscles relax and slung his bag over his shoulder, scowling at the bits and pieces of metal poking from beneath the fabric and nudging his back. 

The boy grinned to himself and began to jog off the beach's radius and all the way to the metro station. He did well today and Izuku allowed himself to feel truly proud for the first time in years.

 

His pride, of course, came back to bite him in the ass when he woke up with agonizingly sore muscles the next day.

Inko announced her son immobile after bursting into his room prepared for war and equipped with all she needs plus her motherly instincts when he called for her in a panic.

Thankfully, All Might had already canceled their training session for the day and when Inko hung the phone, she turned to her son who had started screaming when their eyes met and the All Might's chiseled features plastered on Inko's face declared:

"Nap time, young man"

 

Chapter Text

Light bounces off the metallic surface and the boy squints, staring at it with itching intent.

Izuku stood before a metal body, layered and sleek with leather padding to define hit points, as All Might explains, at the chest, wrapped around the neck and along its arms. Its eyes were huge disks of light, soft in the sunshine but looking straight into them hurts the eye. You could call it humanoid, but it was nothing more than a torso, limbs and boxy head with, for some reason, blinking headlights. 

"This is a fighting dummy!" Declared All Might, Izuku still wondered how he wished to be hidden when his voice is so loud "This one is called Bob. say hello, Bob!" The robot jerked its arm up and waved it left to right. A stiff, appropriately robotic gesture. "Firstly, I need you to show me how you fight, technique. Fighting against me would be unfair, so Bob here will help me dedicate what fighting style you own and how to improve it!" 

The boy felt a soft buzz of electricity pass his fingers and chest before his jaw clenched. His nails dug into the palm of his hand without any intention of stopping until he drew blood.  "I see," he muttered, narrow gaze falling back on the still waving robot. He hesitantly waved back, to which Bob dropped it's hand and returned to its square posture. A small weight lifted off Izuku's shoulders, maybe the exercise will be more forgiving than he thought! Hopefully, he can just get a feel for how-

"Fighting start!"

The robot's eyes became a dangerous red and it shot towards him.

"Oh, shi-" Izuku ducked beneath its punch, dodging endless, weirdly swift jabs from all directions. He dropped to the floor to roll and jump away. Heart pumping blood to his ears in an unhinged melody, Izuku slid into a crouch and gaped at the robot. Of course, that didn't last long; Bob went haywire. It turned its head a full 360 and lunged forwards again, this time with the padded arms whirling into a drill.

Izuku saw his life flash before his eyes.

The kid leaped back just as the sand at the spot he was standing whirled and spread around, some attacking his eyes and declaring him blind. The rest of the world was a blurry, painful mush. Izuku struggled to continue dodging and rubbing the particles assaulting his eyes away.

Alas, a punch connects.

Bullseye. Right onto his stomach. The boy lurched forwards and another blow connects with his face, making him jerk up and fall, now scrambling to cover his maybe-maybe-not bleeding nose. 

Izuku makes a sound, strangled and pained. But no time to recover. The robot attacked again. Now Izuku stood blind, having to seek movement through the shadows at the corner of his vision and rack his brain for a plan. 

If not, he might as well drop dead right then and there.

And that's exactly what he does.

Izuku, just as the robot reeled back to throw another attack, went limp and fell on the floor. Face first, no breathing, no movement.

Really, it's not that hard to stay perfectly still, is what Izuku would say if you asked, but it's purely survival instinct. 

"Oh, god -Oh fff-rick, uh..." Izuku heard the hero stutter, granted, he was probably worried but Izuku could only mentally shake his head at him and try not to snicker. It's probably rude to fake death but at this point, he does whatever it takes to survive.

The air carried sounds of squeaking metal and footsteps on the hot sand. 

One step. Two steps. Getting closer and closer.

-When Izuku jumped and kicked the robot's feet beneath it, getting up and lunging behind it. The back of his foot met with something, whatever it was, he kept throwing fist after fist, kick after kick. And some were a success the rest was just, quite literally, a blind throw.

Izuku furiously opened his eyes wide to pinpoint his target and in an instant, tackled it to the ground and held it's head down with one hand. Stranded down and immobile.

"Ah, I found the shutdown button!" a beat later, after the sound of electrical discharge, Bob going slack, Izuku pushed all the held in breath into a sturdy huff and fell back into the sand. His chest rose and fell rapidly, an arm over his eyes. He could hear All Might walking towards him, but didn't really acknowledge him. Just focused on the twitching of his fingers and pounding of his heart. 

"Y-young Midoriya, Im so sorry about this," All Might took a final step to the kid, his hair stuck to his cheek and across his face, tacky and pressed together in limp strands of dark, dark green. The boy shook his head and formed a jittery smile. Collectively, Izuku and the ocean sighed, and after a moment, the hero diffused into his smaller form and joined in.

"I'm pretty sure I owe you a favor after all of this," He said as-a-matter-of-factly "Forgive me, technology isn't my best forte" Izuku burst into laughter and feverishly rubbed his eyes. Swollen and watery as they were, Izuku kept them open and sat up, now fixing his hair back. 

"No, don't worry -just maybe learn how to use the controls on that remote" 

The hero recalibrated his nerves into a ball and chucked it out, attempting to match Izuku's relaxed demeanor. He hopes the kid doesn't think he's done this on purpose out of petty spite. The last person he'd hold accountable for another person is an innocent kid who happens to be related. All Might remembers the fight with Hisashi with rising clarity

"Yes, that's for sure" He chuckled, "Hopefully the support department can help me..." Izuku was mid-braiding his hair when he snapped to the side with his mouth in an 'O'. 

"T-this was a UA property? Oh god, what if I broke it? I-i don't have the money to pay if that happens! whatifwegetsuedbytheschoolohnowhatif-"

And it took about 5 minutes to get the boy out of his flowing dam of mutters. Toshinori snorts a bit and places a hand on the kid's shoulder. Successfully,  Izuku snaps into silence with his hands floating mid-air. 

"I am a hero so..."

"You have hero benefits, right" Izuku scoffed and ducked his head in embarrassment, jittering fingers running through his hair and for a split second, Toshi catches a jagged, pale line that started at Izuku's hairline and across Izuku's hairline and down across his temple, disappearing behind his ear.

Toshi froze, eyes going wide and heart dropping like a rock from a cliff. His comfortable chuckles twisted into a shallow breath and as he stared back at Izuku, he broke contact and glanced down.

"I think... that's enough for today" he hisses "I'll -I'll see you tomorrow"

The boy blinks, taking a beat before nodding his head slowly, aware of the sudden discomfort in All Might's tone

"O-okay," he replies with a tinny voice "If you say so"

 


 

  

When he returns home that night, Inko asks her son about the training, he didn't look as run down as he did days ago. She was relieved when Izuku smiled brightly at her, told her about a robot All Might used for sparing and listened to him blabber about the mechanics of it and how it actually came from UA etc, Etc.

Inko, being an understandably protective mother, was more so worried that something bad would come up and both of them would leave the successor idea behind, but both seemed inclined to be on good terms, All Might especially. Izuku simply kept his own distance, and she knows it's more so lingering, intertwined threads of dislike that he was obviously trying to rip out of his mind. 

Shortly after dinner, Izuku excuses himself into his room. 

The boy enters, locks the door behind him and slumps against it, slowly sliding down to the floor and savoring the chilly surface of it. The cold was nice, he'd always enjoyed the winter, even if the new year's cold was grimy and slicing, everything else was a delightful wonderland of crisp, cold snow and days stacked on days of not going to school from the blocked roads.

Ah, that's right. School. 

Izuku wrinkled his nose in disdain and flipped on his back, his contracted muscles relaxing, the lodged pain between the fibers of his muscles melting away and leaving nothing but a tired 14 years old measuring his breaths with the ticking of the clock, his hatred the only thing grounding him. 

He hoped the sudden shot of anger would be enough fuel to keep him awake, Izukj felt like he needed to do something, maybe add a couple of paper cranes to his collection and calm himself in the same time. 

Hatred. Ugly, raw hatred was all he could feel when he thought of school. All he could feel when all those intrusive memories attacked his mind like stabbing craft knives. It's clustered and wriggled in his chest like molten and plasma.

But he could keep it in, he could suck it up and swallow it down. And it's what he did.

 But he had friends, at least. He had them to make the 8 hours in that hellhole bearable of by a single teeny weeny percent.

Then his mind flickers to Bakugou. And it's not a good thought.

He remembers, not the terrible years from before or the childhood he doesn't have any memory of, but what happened just about a week ago. And he asks himself: "Why did I help?". 

Maybe its the fear he saw in those eyes or just the panic, the need to help. Or maybe it was some fucked up loyalty to someone who was meant to be a friend but isn't. Maybe the idea that Izuku is still a villain that has to atone and help everyone is lodged into his conscience.

Either way, it tired him. 

So he closed his eyes and slept on the cold floor.

Chapter Text

 Something All Might noticed throughout the rest of the week when they started up warm-up again (other than the tense air between them) , was how Izuku would push himself over and beyond. The kid would mumble a storm about how he'd benefit from the piles of rubbish. Such as when they then began with the weightlifting, Izuku would move at least 5 heavy objects from one side of the beach to the other, surprising All Might with the strength he held in those boney arms. The boy even sorted some of them as being "still of use!" and would make himself a small pile of gadget parts that he'd take home.

Nothing but curiosity followed All Might after a car by the outskirts of the beach went missing. 

Despite what the hero had previously thought, he actually found Izuku to break expectations. Yes, the boy would faint at least once with every exercise but that's still better than what the hero did when he started. And it's not like Nana had brought All Might to a trash dump and trained him there either. Besides, he had way more than 11 months to train and a more... forgiving relationship with his mentor.

Izuku was quick and agile, more so than All Might had expected, at least. Not only that, but the boy had an impressive amount of strength and endurance in that he held in those bony arms of his, as much as they could before Izuku would knock himself out.

But there was one problem, though...

The boy had basically no presence. Absolutely none. The hero ended up jerking in surprise whenever the boy spoke up from beside him and had to frantically reassure the kid as he dispensed an avalanche of apologies like it were second nature. And it wasn't that All Might didn't know where Izukunwas, either, its just the fact that the kid basically teleported from one place to the other without making any noise. When he asked Inko about it, she laughed and said it had something to do with doing chores while she was asleep and not wanting to disturb her. 

Then there were the clumsy attempts on being as friendly as possible. All Might noticed the painfully knit brows or the tightly clasped fists as Izuku was obviously doing his best to keep up a bright aura. He still maintained a distance of at least a meter, following All Might's instructions from afar, the boy's indecisive, shifty eyes analyzing every single movement and listening with alert ears to every piece of feedback or correction.  

And so it went for the rest of the week, Izuku doing his best while All Might tried to put double the effort; offering to do the groceries which both the Midoriya's denied at first but eventually gave up when All Might insisted until they both agreed.

Soon enough, school was on the horizon, and the hero noticed something:

Izuku talked through clenched teeth and shoulders coiled stiffly. His voice was nothing more than a slither of his normal tone, whenever he ran, he ran fast, catching All Might off guard when the boy broke his high-score by a minute. He punched the training dummy with more force; kicking and jabbing much more violently, and when he went to the trash, Izuku went over twice his usual capacity; The boy, panting and on the verge of collapse, took no breaks. He kept going on and on and on until his legs gave out under him, knees digging to the sand when he fell, only to continue seconds later.

"Young Man!" All Might cut in front of the boy, his body blocking Izuku's progression. The hero watched Izuku heave, concerned word dying in his throat when Izuku looked up at him "Let's take a break, for now" he whispered, softer and mildly cheerful.

Thankfully, Izuku gave a defeated nod and, along All Might, walked to the benches. 

 


 

All Might stood watching as the kid wrapped the blisters on his hands with a disturbing amount of precision, layering it with sport tape for the sparing exercises. The hero wasn't so sure if he wanted to continue with those for today. Maybe it was the unhinged twist at the corners of the boy's face or the nails digging into his skin, but the Pro couldn't help but feel himself get progressively more and more worried. 

Toshinori slumped and deflated to his regular form, taking a seat beside Izuku and inhaling a deep breath. With an aching back, he settled onto the bench and takes just a moment to look at the beach. The water sparkled like liquid diamond, thanks to the empty space between the trash mounds Izuku cleared throughout the week, hell even the TV was moved (and sold off). The sky, now lined crimson and periwinkle, held the sun setting, barely tracing the edge of the ocean.

"You did a great job so far, my boy" Toshi stated, a small grin on his face "I'm very impressed," He turned to look at his successor, hoping to find him somewhat smiling but was instead faced with a blank slate of a face. Izuku watched his hands and broke through his frozen form to flex them, his face twisting with a mixture of emotions, but pride certainly wasn't one.

"Are...are you sure everything's alright, young man?" The hero asked, and Izuku's eyes, previously unfocused, seemed to zero and adjust to the world in a rush. He snapped up before meekly turning his head to All Might, a shaky smile spread across his lips, sincerity but discomfort hanging off its edges. "Y-you have no reason to tell me if you wouldn't like to," Toshinori rushed to add, feeling the urge to facepalm for the 10th time this week. 

"S'fine, jut -uh -nervous energy" Izuku replied, forced and tired. Obviously, Toshi had a hard time believing him but didn't push it any further, it wasn't right to intrude like that and he wasn't one to shove his nose in other people's business "I'm...I'm just so excited for the new school year,"  The boy continued as he chuckled weakly, then his expression fell, hand rubbing the side of his face, upwards and through his hair.  

Izuku leaned away and ducked his head to save himself the embarrassment, face covered by his hair before a laugh rumbled in his throat. Is he really gonna talk with All Might about this? And the airy laugh slips from between his lips before he reluctantly glanced to the hero who was waiting patiently for the boy to speak.

"Uhm, you --uh, did you... enjoy school as a kid?"

Toshinori lets out a startled noise and cleared his throat, he dared to do a take-back and look at the boy, wanting to check if he's heard that right. The pro rubs the back of his neck and a thin, uncertain grin breaks onto his face. He drags out an "uuuuh..." and finally spoke.

"Well, my childhood wasn't like yours, o-obviously, but-" Toshi huffs "ya know, I was quirkless too," he hears a scandalized gasp and stifles his laughter behind the back of his hand. Turning to the side, Toshi just about loses his composure at the boy's absolutely aghast face.

"Wha- hold on, huh!?"  Izuku blabbers for a second and abruptly stopped. But wasn't All Might's quirk a muscle enhancing one? Something that helps him change his body's form or something, wait then how does he turn from his muscular form to the regular one, how does that even-

"Kid, you're going on a tangent," 

Izuku paused between tugging at his bottom lip and squeaked out apologies at lightning speed. The hero chuckled and waved his hand casually, patting the boy on the head which always worked to quiet his flustered state down "Don't worry about it too much, young man," he pipes up and continued.

"You see, at the time I was a kid, the rate of quirkless people was higher but being mocked for it was still pretty common," The boy adjusts himself and listened eagerly "Most hero schools didn't allow anyone without a quirk to enroll, and being a vigilante wasn't the best course of action, either. I didn't receive one for all until I was just about your age so I did get my fair share of mockery as a kid --if that's what you were wondering. Otherwise, I made some long-lasting friends"

Izuku's shoulders went lax and his smiled flattered to a softer version of its past form. So even All Might dealt with bullying... it was oddly comforting, to know that someone like All Might (love him or not)  The waves crashed to fill the ever stretching silence between them, and Izuku searched the ocean like it'd provide him with an answer.

"Yeah, school sucks ass," he admits nonchalantly, taking Toshinori off guard with a startled laugh. Yes, ass wasn't technically a swear, but it never passed All Might's thought that the kid could say anything that even bordelined a curse "I do have some friends and... it's way better than my older school, so I'll live," the boy turns back and beams at Toshi, his hair waved from the wind, showing the pale crack in the skin of his forehead, small enough to be encased in the bush of hair, but big enough for it to send a cold shiver to crawl upwards and through Toshinori's skin.

"Thank you for worrying," Izuku began again "It means a lot,"

Toshinori inhaled to say something before he toppled over, blood splattering on the sand as he coughed violently and as if on a protocol, Izuku whipped out a napkin that the hero grabbed and hacked into. Really, he should get help for that, even Izuku found himself wincing a bit.

"Alright," All Might rasped in between chuckles "Let's call it a day. We have groceries to buy"

Chapter Text

 Lunchtime for Izuku is spent strolling aimlessly around the school with his head held low and his hands shoved in his pockets, but more so from habit than any actual (well, sort of) shame of himself. 

But it's different here. Calmer and with much more open.

This place was nothing like the claustrophobic halls or ear shredding shouts of his previous school. Here, he could breathe. He could sit in class and not have to be constantly on-guard or fearful of the next gazing pair of eyes that fall onto him. Although he's not made any friends yet, Izuku did learn how to speak to others again, even if just a mere couple of words. It's a step in the right direction, and it's a step that brought tears of joy to his mother's eyes.

It's good here and Izuku treasures that.

What isn't so nice is the floundering student with Tanuki features that came crashing towards him with distressed eyes and shaking arms. He clumsily caught them, but Izuku's fight or flight reflexes immediately kicked in, almost getting him to jump and run away before the Tanuki blurts out their words.

"p-p-p-please help! T-there's this b-b-boy and -and the delinquents are hurting him, p-please help!" A shard of something hit Izuku right in the chest. That sinking feeling, like your throat is closing in on itself and your eyes are stinging with fire. Like a rotten memory flickering back to life in your mind.

He books it to the direction the first-year points to.

 


 

Kirishima wasn't one for fights.

Sure, he'd go for a friendly quarrel with his buddies every so often, but full-on fights were never his thing, nothing he particularly enjoyed. 

at least not when he's the one being beaten up.

He grunts, recoiling as one of the three delinquents kicks him in the stomach.

Another swing hits him across the face and sent him stumbling back, falling and smashing his head against the floor. The first year behind him shudders with a sob and apologizes. Ejirou had no time to speak before the first-year took off, using the opportunity to run away from the scene. 

"Aw, look whatcha done! He's gone now!" The leader, a slouched boy with curly orange hair and square glasses, pouts mockingly "Oh well, guess we'll have to improvise, huh?"

Kirishima stands upright, only to be kneed in the stomach again. A spike of pain bursts again in his abdomen. He coughs wildly, tumbling back to the ground with a hard snap as his solidifying skin clashes with the wall behind him. He rasps, wiping his face and looks up determinedly,

"Who do you think you are, ganging up on a poor kid like that? And you call yourselves me-"  A sharp rock shot towards Ejirou's face and hits him seconds before he could block. The three laugh, one of them playing with another rock between his fingers as he aimed and hurled it. Kirishima barley dodged the throw, retaliating sharply to the right and twisting to stand in a defensive stance. He brings a hand to his brow and wipes at the stinging, new-made injury. 

"Hah! Man, and here I thought you were a strong dude with some sorta neat quirk!" Mocks the leader, one of his lackeys, some pudgy, snotty nosed kid, snickers and points at Kirishima with a cocky smirk. 

"All he can do is kinda make his skin an eensy bit tough! That's like, super sad, dude." the other two chuckle and the leader takes aim again, his eyes zero on the fallen boy

-Before a blur of red and green strikes him down. 

Ejirou gasps and before he knows it, the leader is being socked across the face while the other two stumble away in shock. Kirishima gapes as a kid with long, green hair turns to him, blood red eyes focusing into his Kirishima's own. The kid blinks, grabbing his mask from the floor before offering a hand to pull Kirishima up who, obviously, kept staring mouth slowly shifting to a wide grin. He goes to thank them but ultimately, the greenette looks back to the gang of third-years.

The Banchou before him angrily huffed, getting up with sloppy movements before lumbering towards them. His lips are pulled back in a snarl, his arms hanging limply by his side after smacking the other two away.

Oh, he done fucked up.

"What?" Snaps the leader "Think a piece of shit moron like you scares us? Fuck are you gonna do? Fucking freak" 

Izuku, on the other hand, wasn't really thinking when he dropkicked the guy. Pure impulse had driven him and now he wasn't listening; His ears are far too busy with the thundering of his heart. His hands trembling, Izuku keeps his ground and frantically looked for an exit as the other corner him. Izuku does realize something, though.

This wasn't nearly as scary as he thought it would be. 

He's sure the meltdown would hit him later, some way or the other, but the boy found himself more uncomfortable than fearing for his life. Maybe the three of them weren't so threatening, their hands didn't blow up with explosions and their words didn't scald his skin like acid. For a moment, he was actually thinking of standing up for himself. And if not, at least for someone else.

He stands there, watching as the lackeys hiss something to their leader with distress over their faces, eyes darting from him to the verdette who returned to Kirishima, hands twitch into a quick gesture before freezing in place. Finally, he points at Ejirou and then at the free opening with nothing more than a whisper.

"Go"

Kirishima just about shook his head, saying "no, absolutely not, you saved me, I'm helping you too! " if it weren't for the delinquents appearing from behind the boy.

A strangled shriek rings from Kirishima's throat. He's stumbling for words to warn the other boy before the greenette whips around and by some sort of reflex. Elbows the leader in the face. Yanks him forwards to knee him and staggers away in the matter of a moment. 

There was a beat of stunned silence where everyone was just watching the Banchou, passed out on the ground, in shocked acceptance. The other third-year simply grabs both of the leaders' arms and dragged him away, without so much as a final monologue.

"Wh- alright, I guess" Ejirou frowned slightly but soon faced the boy beside him, a bright, pleasant smirk on his grazed face "Guess that makes you the new Banchou, dude. Congrats!"

"Ah, uh..." the title itself wasn't something to be so thrilled about, but as he tried to find his voice, Midoriya did question if those three were even proper delinquents "Um, y-you okay?" He stammers finally. Kirishima nods gladly and boldly grabs the greenette's calloused hand, shaking it vigorously whilst he continued speaking.  

"Yup! Thanks so much, by the way! Ya really saved me back there!" Izuku was caught in the motion of his arm, jerking up and down with Kirishima's feverish thanks, making his body bob like a bobblehead doll.  

"Ah, n-no, it's alright..." he mutters bashfully "I just... couldn't stand by and watch," Kirishima gave a firm nod and powerfully smacked Izuku's back, having the boy stumble forwards while holding in a desperate wheeze. 

"So manly! Taking the initiative and all! You truly deserve the Bancho title!" Izuku startles at him fumbling to put babbles into coherent words as he refused the compliment with the finesse of a spoon. "I'm Ejirou Kirishima, by the way, what's your name?"

The boy faltered.

All of a sudden, the hand resting on his back felt scorching, painful, a constricting to his breathing. His head spins and it's so heavy, his mind gushes and he can't speak properly, only managing some strained noises.

"U-um," He gulped. No one knew his name. No one knew how disgusting it felt to say or the weight it holds. But, whether he liked it or not, Izuku still had to hold the name 'Midoriya' wherever he went. If people recognise him, then that's just an extra shitty bonus.

"I..."

He peeked back at the ruby eyes and blushes harder, squinting and rubbing his sleeve between his thumb and index finger. The intent behind that question didn't seem malicious. I didn't seem like Kirishima was about to switch against him the instant he uttered the words 'Izuku Midoriya'. But then again, it never seemed like that in the past, either.

The greenette cringed at the patience of the other kid and exhaled sharply, he met the ruby eyes once again and, with sudden "fuck this," squared his posture.

"Izuku..." He breathes out "Izuku Midoriya"

Kirishima tilted his head and smiled brighter, blinding Izuku with an Electrifying smirk, one that he hasn't thought could ever be a genuine reaction coming from anyone but Pro heroes putting on a show.

It was... quite lovely, actually. 

"Alright, Midoriya Banchou! We fought together so that already makes us buddies, right?"

And as another punch to the gut, Izuku flinched, taken aback.

Midoriya presses the side of his face to his shoulder, hiding the embarrassed smile that's made its way to his lips. The word echoed and repeated. Friends friends friends. His first friend. The reality, as it stands, was that 'Izuku is a sad fucking nerd who's best friend became his largest bully'. The thought of someone wanting to even look at him was sort of... hard to wrap his head around.

Part of him didn't believe it, rather deciding that it was all going to end up as a joke or that it's all out of pity. Throughout the years, Izuku has gotten used to the limited company he had, depressing as that sounds. But now, this shark-toothed, black-haired kid was genuinely interested in becoming, of all things, his friend. 

"Um, yeah su-" 

"There you are, Ei. Dumbass, why'd you go and stick your nose in others' business?"

Both spins to watch as three people pop out from a nearby bush, looking nonchalant as they approach. One of them, a tall boy. Lightly tanned skin, lidded eyes, and full lips. Behind him was an even taller, beefy guy carrying a brightly colored girl on his shoulder.

"Guys!" Calls Eijirou.

He darts to them, arms wide for a hug --wait, nevermind, he's holding the lidded eyed dude in a choke-hold. "Oh hey," he casually greeted "New Banchou, right? Nice to meet you" Izuku shared bows with him and blinked as an even taller, muscular guy and the girl with yellow patches on her skin look on pleasantly as Kirishima strangles his friend. 

"Were you guys here the entire time?" He chimes.

The girl beams and shakes her head, pointing to the far end of the field where the two ex-delinquents were being scolded by a pink skinned girl. Izuku hummed in acknowledgment and glanced at the boy, escaping the choke-hold but ending up with Kirishima's arms in an iron grip around his waist.

"You got in trouble for butting in, manly or not," States the lazy-eyed boy "Also, look. It's that Ashido girl from class 4,".

As if on command, everyone twits to look as Mina continues her reprimands, having the Tanuki kid from earlier wait anxiously beside her. They say something and before any other queue, everyone begins to breakdance, even the passed out ex-Banchou, who was sorta shimmying on the floor. Moments later, they all part ways with full smiles and in a new mood.

"Huh, they all just went home"

Izuku chuckled slightly, running his hand up and down his forearm. There's a small grin on his face, and as he glances to the floor, he spots a crumpled paper. The others talk whilst Izuku kneels to the floor and picks the paper, smoothing it out to read the contents. 

"Future Career Track Application:

UA. Hero school"

Midoriya stuffs it to his pocket and tunes back into the conversation.

"-For weaklings like us, becoming heroes or joining UA is outta the picture," Midoriya cocks his head slightly and considers sneaking out, he's probably not wanted as part of the conversation, anyway. But then his body stopped at the next words "what about you, Ei? Care to join Doroido as well?"

"Me? Uh -heh, I don't know... guess I haven't decided yet?"

 Midoriya raises a brow, fingers running over the paper of the application. 

The lazy looking guy shrugs and starts walking, saying something else that was probably targeted towards the beefy kid and the girl on his shoulder. But before Kirishima could follow, Izuku grabbed his shirt. The instant he looks back with a smile, Izuku caved into himself a bit and held out the paper, collecting up his voice to speak.

"I think you'll make a great hero," He mumbled, and instead of a confused look, Kirishima's smile somehow turns warmer and he claps both of his hands over Izuku's own. His face glows with glee and something in his posture becomes more relaxed, like coming home and deflating onto the couch.

"You really think so?"

Izuku nods surely.

"Heh... thanks, bud." Kirishima lets his gaze fall to the ground, cheeks turning a soft pink before he shook his head and beamed "C'mon, now, let's go join the guys"

Izuku hums gladly, smiling pleasantly as he, alongside Kirishima, catches up to his new-made friends.

 


 

Mina wasn’t one to judge, but that silent, smiling boy… he was a curious case. And it's been like that ever since she saw him two months ago, fighting for his lunch against a raven.

She knew everyone, and everyone knew her. Mina, not to toot her own horn, had friends all over town. Except him. She doesn’t know his name or his quirk and yet he seemed to be any and everywhere. He’s somehow befriended the loudest, most energetic people in the school; she could swear she’s seen him walking with some of the absolute gothiest of the goth kids as well. ]

So, when she asks one of his friends, a boy called Kirishima, about him, he just grins and informs her that the quiet boy’s name is Izuku Midoriya. It sounded so familiar, and wouldn't be that creepy that she had to look it up since she found nothing but corrupt websites and an edit of a green present mic...for some reason. 

Her attempts at befriending him, as much as she tried, only ended with failure. He’d always disappear after the bell rings, one minute he’s with his usual friend group, the other he’s chasing for the window to release a beetle that had made its way into the staff room (the teachers would deny their fear at any cost). He might as well be drawing another raven that's perched on his bag!

He has, but that’s not the point.

In the end, Mina decides to ask her closest friend about it on the way home.

“The one and only Mina? Stressed about making a new friend? Unheard of." Ai's usual droopy gaze and sleepy smile teasing the pinky  "Mina, he’s a sweet guy, worked as a nurse with my mom, too. Don't worry about it so much” She finished, promptly going to fixing her peach locks with a hair tie. The bracelets on her wrists rattle softly as Mina groaned in frustration, dragging a defeated hand down her face.

Ai's the only one Mina knows is the most familiar with Izuku, but to be honest, she isn't helping at all.

“Besides, Ashido, you don’t have to be everyone’s friend, y’know?” Points out the other girl, blowing a stray lock of hair away from her eyes with a huff “Maybe he’s got enough friends as is, you never know. He does seem to be a busy person, with all the... whatever he's doing”

Mina blows a raspberry “You’re no help,” she grumbles, “Besides, I’m pretty sure he wouldn't mind hanging out with just one more person –so let me live my dream life” Ai arched a brow with a snicker, nudging her pinky friend with a mischievous grin

“Heyyy, don’t tell me you’re interested in him in that way,”

Mina gasps, whipping around with an expression frazzled and horrified, causing Ai to snort into laughter. Mina shakes her with a pout on her lips and bright pink cheeks.

“I swear you -” Mina began, but was cut off by a towering -literately towering man shadowed in darkness. Around his neck was a mobile radio.

[We've got your letters here, listeners! The first letter comes from 'Allama' and they say:]

"Where are...the hero offices...of Sprringer"

The person had a slow voice that spills out like thick mud onto the pavement. He's wrapped in a dull, ragged cloth Nothing about him shows any expression beyond glowing eyes and a jagged mouth. The girls glance at each other, Ai quirking a suspicious brow at him.

"Why?" she questions, keeping her cool while Ashido presses up against her "I don't think I trust you with info about any hero office" 

The giant doesn't move an inch. Instead, he continued staring at them. The pressure tasted disgusting in the air, heavy and bitter just like stacks of salt built right on your tongue. Mina shudders under his gaze, her mind waves red flags and, feeling defensive, she puts herself as a barrier between him and her friend.

"We don't know. now leave us alone!" She snaps. For a second, Ashido thinks the point came through, but the towering man only paused.

Moments later, he sways a bit before slipping his arm out from beneath the ripped, dirty robe covering his entire body. He reaches out and taps the building parallel to them.

[I saw All Might the other day, on my way to work and-]

"You won't...tell me...why..." the building began to shake, dust and broken pieces of rubble burst from as the cracks form on the walls before falling on to the girls. Mina's legs began to shake she could feel the building groan under the touch of this... whatever this person was.

Mina winced as the dust fluttered to her face and onto Ai's hair, who had an iron grip on Mina's shoulder. With eyes closed shut, Ai kept her breath steady before opening them, holding her chin high and began to say something before-

"Um, excuse me?"

The girls, alongside the giant, pause and pivot to the side. Midoriya stood there, hand tugging at the man's robe before he pointed backward "you see the bend over there? Turn around it and take a right to 5th Avenue. from there, you'll walk 3 kilometers and the first place you see is the office" 

The hunched giant stays still, his eyes lingering on the boy before drifting away and he sluggishly moves to a bow, taking his time to rotate around a full 180° "thank...you..." He rumbles, before lumbering away down the road. "Everything I do... is for the Lord..."

...

...

"Holy shi-"

Mina collapses onto Ai, who was still watching the man leave with a cautious glare then turned to Izuku.

"Why'd you tell 'em?" 

"O-oh," Izuku stutters for a second "I -uh, I...lied," he blurts, daring to sound apologetic "he -he'll end up at a police station instead, they'll deal with him. Hopefully"

He smoothes out his cardigan and peeked from behind his fringe. "Are you... are you hurt?" Only now does his voice become more steady, and he clears his throat from any incoming voice cracks. Mina just stares at him for a second before smiling bright, but her legs failing her.

"Hm? Oh, aha, j-just p-p-peachy!" Stutters Mina, grabbing for any solid surface to stay steady on her noodle legs "J-just s-some adrenaline, is all"

He nods in relief and turns to Ai expectantly.

"Still alive, thanks for your help, Midoriya" Ai chuckles, ruffling his hair playfully. "Though I think we should scatter before that dude comes again,"

Izuku grins beneath his mask and waves the two girls goodbye before bowing at any incoming curious passers-by. His gaze doesn't meet their's, and he leaves before having to speak. It's when his eyes fall to Kirishima does he pause to stare.

Eijirou leered at the floor, his body locked in place.

Why didn't he jump in and help? Why'd he just stand here like an idiot? Why didn't he act out?

Why why why?

He'd just stood there at first, alarms setting off in his mind but his body not moving an inch. But someone else did, Izuku had erupted from behind him. Izuku helped while he had just stood there like a gaping dumbass.

"For weaklings like us, becoming heroes is outta the picture,"

Kirishima sealed his eyes shut, he wasn't a true man. He wasn't a true hero. He wasn't-

"Eijirou?"

A gentle hand goes to his arm and the boy looks up to meet the studying gaze of Midoriya. 

"If you're thinking what I think you're thinking then you better not be thinking it" Friendly in tone, Izuku nudges Kirishima, expression willing but still amiable. Kirishima knows he knows, there's no point trying to lie when it comes to Izuku, some way or another. Eijirou guessed being quiet meant becoming more observant. 

A watery laugh escapes Kirishima and he wipes his blushing cheeks and stinging eyes.

"I... I can't believe you really think I'll become a hero..." he admits, hands falling from his face and to his side in defeat. As he tries to brush it off with a joke Izuku only becomes confused. He studies Kirishima for a second before his expression turning softer, but his brows still knitted.

"I know you will! Because you want to help people and because you've worked hard! And if you didn't save someone today, then... the sun will rise tomorrow and you'll get another chance," His hands flail to the air and after gulping, he pushes them into his pockets.

"Heh," Eijirou rubs the back of his neck, ducking his head to puff his cheeks and laugh the heat in his face away "this is... really fuckin' cheesy"

Izuku turns a tomato red, his face turning flustered with humiliation and wraps his arms around his head, leaning to the side as if to inch away. An embarrassed grimace on his face, he giggles and squeaks out:

"Well! We both like cheese, so that's a good thing!" Then in a quieter voice "...r-right?"

They both watch each other in silence for a long moment.

-And erupted into laughter. 

They snort, the redness falling away from their faces and replacing with jolly laughs. The air around them dropping to a relaxed state, not as awkward but still a tad bit embarrassing. Izuku rubs his face, glancing up at a still snickering Kirishima. And, the boys being boys, they give each other a playful push and walk back homewards, getting ice cream and snacks on the way.

Cheese flavored crisps, of course.

Chapter Text

Amongst the fluttering blossom petals and the chirps of waking birds in a spring morning came the hurling sound of a certain third year throwing up.

Izuku wiped the remaining vomit off his mouth, feeling the lump in his throat subdue to some manageable extent. He shuddered, dread trailing its fingers down his back. 

The first day of the school year.

Goodie.

He recalibrated himself and looked to his side where Dabi sat, waiting patiently by Izuku's side for the boy to finish his mini-meltdown ordeal. 

"Hey, at least It ain't as bad as last year," It's the man's best attempt at comfort, which isn't exactly his forte but he tried nonetheless and the raspy laugh from Izuku was, if nothing, a reaction.

Dabi rubbed Izuku's back (with as much care as hands that could turn anything to ashes can provide) whilst the kid coughed harshly. Vomit seeped into the soil of a flower garden just blocks away from school. Hidden at the other side, shadows casting from packed trees, Izuku wipes the bile and remnants of his breakfast from his chin once again, still looking like a train-wreck. 

"Yeah," the boy rasps, hands twitching into a quick sign: 'thank you', from what Dabi has been taught "Way better, and we won't be late -I don't think," 

Izuku's throat burned with every swallow, insides squirming and coiling into knots. Clearing his throat didn't help at all, and the neck scratching didn't by one bit. Every inch of his body thrummed along his heartbeat, tics and jitters sewn into his muscles while sweat crowned his forehead as a final touch, making his face glisten grossly in April's sun.  

They were just walking, Dabi and Izuku, taking shortcuts from between openings separating old diners and shops, passing stray dogs and wildflowers cracking in the concrete of their path. Growing from the ground were shoulder length weeds blooming and crawling onto the walls. Dabi did most the talking while Izuku listened, fixing his mask over his mouth and smoothing out his uniform when the realization of: "Holy tits, it's the first day of school" hit him like a hammer across the face, the force of it causing a sudden churn in his stomach of hot panic and soon, he was throwing up like no tomorrow.

On the bright side, Izuku felt a little more relaxed after letting the anxiety (literally) spill out. Even though exhausted, he still held some energy to stand upright without tipping over. 

It's safe to say that Izuku wasn't particularly excited for stepping into that damn place.

Once he was properly up, Dabi snickered at the disoriented sway of his body as the boy attempted to puff his chest and look a little less like a corpse and more like a living, breathing human. Failing miserably in the process. Although, Dabi can say that the kid looks much healthier than he did last year, Izuku's stopped hunching over and speaking at the volume of an ant and even if Dabi didn't know the reason, he couldn't help but feel somewhat proud.

"Alright, yeah!" He pumped his fists and stood with a bit more confidence, trying to psyche himself up with a random tune "This isn't so bad! I'll be okay, I'll be alriiiight!" he half sang, dropping his hand to rub his arm with digging nails and, after keeping his stance for two more seconds, he deflates in defeat and slumps forwards.

"Ugh, nevermind"

Dabi snorts a laugh and tries to distract from it by ruffling Izuku's hair.

"Hey!" The boy squeaks, his face scrunching up and his hands rushing to tuck the locks back in place. He spent almost the entire morning trying to keep it intact, Goddammit! The pout plastered on Izuku's lips gained more teasing, and an attempt to ruffle Dabi's hair back began a hair-ruffle tag war.

As the laughter dies down and Izuku catches his breath, Dabi is mutually declared as the decided winner. The man offers to hold the pool of moss hair while the boy tied it back in a ready-to-explode bun. Dabi stifled any leftover snickers and finally calms down, eyes tracing the floor, his face melting to a glower. 

"Oh -hey, uh, and-" Dabi chimes again, his voice a nick strained than before. Izuku frowned, but with his focus completely on fixing his hair, the boy only hums as an answer. "Do ya happen to know someone called Shi-" Dabi cut himself off all of a sudden and, with a shake of his head, instead pushes his hands into his pockets.

"Nevermind..."

Izuku frowned and peeked up, catching the perplexed look on Dabi's face. "You sure?" Izuku asked, now confused himself. Izuku never pushed. Never. So when Dabi replied with "Yeah. Nah, forget it," he only nods and signs goodbye.

Dabi returns the gesture and with that, he was off. 

Once he found himself alone once again, the mutters fall freely from Izuku's lips "Shi? Shi...Shi..." his fingers begin to sign in sync. It doesn't ring a bell, not really. Maybe a patient he treated back when he was a nurse? Izuku continues musing as he sprints his way to the back of the school, where the incinerator and cleaning instruments were. He falters in his tracks and his brain flickers to another thread of thoughts while he slipped into the open window of the janitor room and into the stuffed halls. 

Izuku shook his head before he breaks down again and rubs his hands together. "God-" the boy cursed quietly, focusing on fiddling with the sleeves he decided to wear under his white blouse instead of his lousy, rugged cardigan from last year.

Student roamed around him, buzzing, literally and metaphorically, with energy and ecstasy (not that type). Most were already forming small groups, chattering on about how "excited they are" for the first day. Izuku only adjusted his mask and continues to march through the building, an iron grip on his bags' staps.

He sneaked away from the joyful voices and excited first years, some of which looked miserable out of their minds, but even they had a friend or two surrounding them.

Izuku took a soft, calming breath and allowed muscle memory to take him around every turn and hall. His head ten times heavier. His brain swimming in liquid lead.

"Okay." The boy puffs an agitated breath "okay, okay. Here we go..."

This time, he ran, repeating the name of his class over and over through his brain. He halts just as he about passes a maroon sliding door with the wall plate holding a fat, blue 'CLASS 3' on the plastic. Before he could react to the discomfort in his gut, an arm swings over his shoulder.

He turns to see Kirishima's bright smirk and even brighter aura.  

"Yo, Banchou! Long time no see!"

"Oh! Hey, Kirishima-"

"Eji-bro"

"Right, right. Eji-bro. Not that I'm not happy to see you, but didn't you, the others and I meet just last week?" 

"Yuh-huh, and?"

"Yeah. Fair point" Izuku chuckles, silent as usual.

Kirishima smirks at him, laughing along as he tugs the other boy towards the classroom. He gives a comforting pat on Izuku's shoulder before entering the room and greeting others inside the class.

The verdette looks at the door's threshold with all the people within and takes a deep, deep breath before stepping into his class, prepared to face the upcoming ten months.

Chapter Text

 Inko and Yagi watch intently as Izuku nervously sip his tea from sat across the table. Eyes sunken and shifty. Hair pulled in its usual bun. An obvious atmosphere of suspicion surrounding him.

They sat in the dining room, which was basically the place separating the living room and the kitchen. Some old folk music played in the background all the while and Izuku tried focusing on that. It's more delightful, comsidering everything else.

"So, Darling," Starts Inko, speaking in the voice every mother gives her child when she knows they know that she knows what's going on. And Izuku fully knows that she knows that he knows what's going on. 

In short, Izuku might have fucked up. Again.

"Do you maybe want to tell me why you've been..."

"...Overworking yourself?" The hero completes. He, on the other hand, has -and as much as Izuku hates to describe him like this- a fatherly, knowing tone. Even out of his hero form, Toshinori manages to keep an aura of stability to him.

"I-"

Izuku pauses when his mother raises her brows by a micrometer, it's so faint yet holds astronomical warnings behind it. "Don't you try to fool me, young man. I'll know." It warned. And Izuku doubts it, not meaning it as rude, of course, but he could easily pretend if he wanted to. He has been for the last ten years. Although, something other than the eyes leveling him with a parental glares tells him that might not be the wisest thing to do.

He's far too tired to try, anyway.

"Well, I just..." Izuku takes another sip, shooting a fleeting glance up to the eager faces and then back at the rim of his cup. "I just... wanna be better" he spills at last. "I have so little time and far too much to do. I don't -I don't want to fall behind when my time is limited. I wanna be good, mom. Better... y’know?"

He's mildly self-conscious admitting that with All Might in the same room but addressing his mother made it a tad bit easier. As did knowing the man for almost 6 months already. But Izuku can't help feeling traces of icy discomfort when he's sitting here, barfing his woes for someone other than his mom to see.

As a middle ground, Izuku silently decides to keep some things for himself. It's not lying. Not exactly. Just not the complete truth. He'll definitely tell his mother later on.

Probably.

Actually --is he?

...Maybe.

The lack of reply from the two adults evokes a thick gulps as Izuku he places his teacup back to the table. Easing moments later at the warm touch of a familiar hand around his. He peeks bashfully at his mother, trying to find anything to read, to know what she's thinking of. His mother is eyeing him cautiously, taking in all the lines of exhaustion littering his features.

She never wanted to see such a things on his face. Not again. Not ever.

When her son, after six months of hidden exhaustion, finally crashed into the couch and promptly passed out for six consecutive hours of sleep. Inko had felt her motherly instincts immediately kick in and knaw at her that something just wasn't right.

So, after gathering the courage to (reluctantly) call Mr. Yagi, Inko voiced her worries about Izuku’s health. The hero had completely agreed and suggested a plan to discuss the issue with the boy without getting him to escape the second he's cornered.

And, of course, Inko went above and beyond to calibrate a plan by doing intense research online that Yagi approved of with a hearty chuckle and a thumbs up.

"Aw, Izuku," she cooed, fingers moving his fringe away from his eyes "I know that, baby, I know, but you can't expect for your body to continue like this without getting harmed in the process, you'll just lose control and crash! You'll hurt yourself in the end. Believe me, I know that more than anyone," 

Both Izuku and Toshinori's breaths hitch in union. The boy ducked his head while the man averts his gaze with a wince.

Goddamn. 

Yagi turns back to look on at the exchange with an odd feeling of intrusion, slight guilt swimming in his gut. 

Emphasis on slight.

Inko is so...caring with her words it's almost mindblowing. He could see everything stick and stay stuck in the boy's mind with every sentence. Phrases don't enter from one ear and pass through the other. Any person capable of that is the one with the real superpower.

People might say the same about him, about All Might, the hero and saint that's become an idol in everyone’s eyes. A hero, one they wouldn't hesitate listening to. But he knew deep inside that, for others, words don't get through unless they're sharp. And his usual inspirational booming won't do any help. He's come to accept that years ago.

And he thinks to himself, Inko would probably be the exception. She'd be the person to coax logic and common sense with utmost love and be the best at it. She would and probably already has saved lives by being her usual Inko self. 

Toshinori could admit that he isn't the best at everything, but he wont admit envy. His heart would probably collapse before its time.

"Midoriya, my boy," Yagi chimes in. 

Izuku brings his attention to the hero. His wide eyes attentive to whatever there is to come "I'm the one to blame, here. I'm your teacher, I should have been more perspective and realised my regime isn't healthy or proper for some one at your age. So it is my fault, the responsibility being on my end." He lowers his gaze and clasps his fingers together, meekly studying the lines on the oak table. "And I'm sorry, Mrs. Midoriya, you trusted me and let you down"

"NO!" They instantly exclaim, in perfect sync with one another.

The hero blinks as a startled laugh escapes him. Inko continues countering him with an argument of her own, though it sounded more like a statement, if anything "It was on all of us! Don't take all the blame!" Whilst Izuku's face is overtaken with humiliation, confusion and what could be described as an existential crisis all at once. His entire face turning a bright, bright red. So bright, in fact, that Toshinori almost reaches for him in fear the boy would faint again.

"A-alright, my mistake, sorry" Stutters the hero, still focused on the boy as the all the seven stages of grief pass through his face. Meanwhile, Inko squints at him with perked lips and settles back onto her seat. Izuku is still flailing his hand in God-knows-what-emotion-that-is beside her and he finally looked up at empty space as if it'd answer his dire questions. 

"Okay, I'm gonna -I'll go make us more tea, alright?" Yammered Izuku, brows still furrows as he excuses himself to the kitchen. 

"Don't think this all we've got to cover, young man!" Inko calls "We're still gonna finish this later, okay, sweetheart?" A thumbs up from behind the corner is all she needs to relax into her cardigan. Pastel pink, with little flowers embroidered into the fabric. Toshi arches a brow and points it out with a simple "handmade?"

Inko's face lights up brighter sun and she beams, dimples dipping at her cheeks.

"Yes! Izuku made it for me a couple of years back! Oh, my poor baby had plasters all over his hands," She giggles, proudly showing off every detail "He loved hand-crafting things for me when he was younger, and he still does, actually! If he wasn't flaunting over heroes, he was making things" she traces her fingers of the flowers and Toshi notes the peach nail polish on her aged hands. He lingers on the sight and ignores the incoming thoughts as they scream.

"She went through hell. she probably never got any rest because of you. She probably couldn't find the time to even think of resting. You did this, All Might, hope you're proud"

The man shakes his head and tunes back in.

"He made all sorts of things: Origami, little animals from clay... Ah, where did I put them? He once crocheted a bunny for me! Oh, I wonder where that went. Gosh, did I keep those drawings? I must have-"

Yagi stares with wonder. Well, now he knows where Izuku got his rambling from and the sight puts a genuine grin on his face. It takes one hell of a strong person to remember good things from a time where life must've been absolute shit.

Inko really is admirable, isn't she?

Before Yagi could reel further into his thoughts, a thick, hardcover picture book is slammed on the table, jolting Yagi from his thoughts. He looks at the cover, dust floating off from it and the off-white leather peeling off the cover. The man laughs, eyes falling on the picture at the very start. 

A two-year-old Izuku in a bombastic pose. His tiny arms outstretched above his dandelion of a head, his legs a meter apart and face clad with an ear-to-ear grin. His small body was dressed in a bright green and white bunny onesie. Toshi studied closer, smirking at the sight of familair, oversized red shoes. Those obviously developed to become a part of Izuku as he grew up.

As Toshinori focused closer on the details, he did find one thing that made him frown. The boy's eyes were a sparkling green, just like Inko's, not the ruby red they were now.

"Mrs. Midoriya?" He politely cuts in, "Did Izuku develop red eyes? They're green in here," 

The woman leans closer, mulling over the photo with her hand tugging at her bottom lip (Inherited habit No#2). She nods to herself and slips the picture out of its place, eyes on it as she explains. 

"I'm not very sure, actually. When I visited the doctors for Izuku's quirk I did ask, they said it couldn't be from a mutant quirk," she sighs, flipping the pages until it showed a, what looked like, five-year-old Izuku. Here, his eyes seemed paler, one of them partially red; Maroon bled into the emerald of his iris, like a splash of blood against flush green grass.

The boy looked unbothered, though, far more focused on the hero figurines that he presented with a great smile. Another kid sat next to him, spiky blonde hair and their face covered with a pack of holographic hero fighting cards. Toshi hums, impressed, while Inko keeps on talking.

"They couldn't explain why, but it wasn't dangerous per se. My hus-" she paused to clear he throat "Hisashi, was quite glad, if I recall correctly. I think he still thought it was hope of a potential quirk" she chuckles quietly "Izuku was even more excited, he went and made piles and piles of theories on his soon-to-be-quirk."

Toshi stopped to turn at her, an apologetic glint in his eyes. She smiles at him and looks down to her hands. They remain temporarily silent, not the awkward kind, but a comfortable, needed quiet. A moment to grieve all things previously lost. The type where the sounds from the outside world filled in just right.

"It's amazing that you think so positively of your past," Began Yagi, fixing Inko with a determined look "I don't think I'd ever be able to do such a thing. No hero I know of would be, either." He could say much more, praise and praise and praise but what was he to say as someone who does nothing but dwell on past mistakes and failures? Words can't begin to describe, he doesn't trust they ever will.

Inko blushes at him, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear as her gaze trails off to the side "You're awfully kind to me, Mr. Yagi. But, you see, I've got Izuku to keep me going. I wouldn't have been able to go on without him. He is all I have, after all"

Izuku stood right by the room's threshold, out of sight from where his mother and All Might sat. His eyes traced the floor and then to his feet. A simper blossomed on his lips, chest growing with a warmth, branching and intertwining with his rib cage.

 He's glad those two get along. Even if it's over his horridly ugly baby pictures.

 A beat later, he steps into the dining area and places the tea tray on the table alongside three slices of cheesecake, one modified to fit their stomachless guest with his expression mirroring the delight in both adults' eyes.

"Right," Chirps the boy, swiping the picture book away from their grasps "Let's dig in!"

Chapter Text

The air in Izuku's room reeked faintly of cheap, store-bought dye and air freshener. The windows were kept open for ventilation, as to not choke on the eye-stinging fumes.

Izuku sat in the comfort of his own bed, chatting alongside Mina and Eijirou. The girl had her puff of pink hair pulled back hastily with a hair clip whilst Izuku tediously combed his own, frowning every time the comb wouldn't budge from a specifically stubborn area of tangled hair. 

Mina expertly -or sort of expertly- does her job of bleaching the dyeing Ejirou's black hair to a flashy, cherry red. According to her, Mina's mother used to run a hair salon and the girl has learned her fair share of hair styling tricks from observations over the years.

Today was the fated day that she applies that knowledge.

You could imagine Kirishima's joy when Mina had agreed to do his hair. Practically jumping over the moon with joy, unable to wipe the grin off his face for days afterward and, having just finished their finals, the three could really use some unwinding time.

When the hour struck two in the afternoon and Mina stepped in with all her bulky bags of equipment, clad with an intensity in her eyes, Izuku knew his room would be transformed into an impromptu hair salon in an instant.

He wasn't about to complain, that's for sure.

And so, here he sat, checking his still drying face mask for the hundredth time that minute, picking impatiently at the corners between brushing his hair back into the closest thing to a ponytail he could muster.

"-And I got you some dye-friendly shampoo since you're nasty and I know you'll end up turning it into cotton candy in, like, two hours. Tops." Mina yammered on with a speech directed specifically towards a laughing Kirishima "You have to, I repeat, have to use oil or cream to your hair. I don't want my hard work going down the drain!"

Kirishima breathed off his remaining laughter and threw his arms in the air "I will! I will! Obviously, I will, but I wanna know how to style it. You know, like a hairstyle" 

"Pigtails" Izuku deadpans, gaining a surprising howl of laughter from Mina. Eijirou smacked a dramatic hand over his chest, face aghast as he stares at the also laughing verdette.

"Dude, bro, you're a genius!"

The three pause.

-And once again lose it into hysterics.

The idea of side ponytails, beehive, and bowl cuts were thrown around, prompting more rounds of laughter from the trio.

In the middle of their laughing charade, Inko peeks in with an amused expression on her face.

"Sorry for the interruption, children" She chuckles softly.

Izuku diffuses his chortles and leaned his head back to find his mother excusing herself into his room, holding a tray of tea and pastries with her. He recognizes them as the gifts All Might brought upon yesterday's visit.

The other two zero on the food and immediately trample over eachother, racing for the plate of golden, glazed goods. 

"Alright, that looks amazing! Thanks a bunch, Auntie!" She exclaims, holding up her winning prize (aka a single croissant).

"Yesh, thankth yew!" Muffles Kirishima past the cinnamon bun already stuffed in his mouth. Mina collects more of her preferred sweets and snorts at him. She leans in closer to Izuku, who was peeling his face mask with as little pain caused as possible, before whispering "Cannibalism".

Their stifled giggles go unnoticed by the secret glutton and Inko; both far too busy chattering about desserts. 

"Ah, that's right, the two of you are also applying to Yuuei, correct?" Asks inko, mostly preoccupied with pouring the tea for everyone else.

"Yup," Mina chirps giddily, passing a cup to each of the boys before taking her own "Wish us luck!"

"Oh, you won't need it, darling, but do keep safe; Yuuei is a lot of... work," And as she says that, Izuku just knew she was glancing at him.

Kirishima hums with his mouth somehow filled with even more food. Mina, not fazed one bit by Inko's concern, only grins bright and waves her hand.

"I know, I know!" She exclaims dismissively, jumping forwards in excitement with her eyes glinting even brighter "But you gotta cheer us on!"

Inko is giggling quietly as she crosses her heart in promise. "Okay, okay, I will,"

Izuku chuckled at them and fixed his sleeves, hiding the marks trailing the skin. Despite his comfort in showing his face without its  usual cover in front of his friends, his scar-ridden arms remained hidden and concealed. They weren't cuts, only burns and pocks marks.

He knows where he got the former form but the latter remains a mystery. 

Izuku doesn't bother himself with it too much. He's having an amazing time and doesn't want it ruined.

After more chatter, his mother waves as she leavs the room and Izuku returns it before twisting back to his friends. Eyebrows raised, Izuku watches them chow down the food like it's the best thing they've ever had. Their blissful expressions only drive the implication further. 

"Did you decide on your hero names or fight moves yet?" He asks, pressing his lips to the rim of his teacup.

Kirishima gulps his food audibly and grins at him "You bet I did! Red Riot, baby!" He pumps his fist in the air and Izuku cant help but smirk at the predictable choice "And I've been training a whole lot, too!" Kirishima punches the air once again, aluminum dropping from between his hair. Mina rolls her eyes and curtly fixes it back in place. 

"Same here," chimes Mina, settling back on the bed. "You remember that gliding on acid thing?"

"-Hah!" Kirishima's eyes scrunch up with humor "tripping on acid"

"Stop, you actual third-grader," she snickers, shoving a croissant into his face "But I did try it and it works! Im basically invincible, there's no stopping me, now!" She pumps her hands over her head but hesitates after a second "I just hope Yuuei doesn't have a 'no quirk usage' policy around the halls"

Kirishima nods in agreement, chewing the makeshift croissant attack "thath shiths the wowtht!"

Izuku smiles at the soon-to-be redhead whilst Mina makes her way through the bed on her knees. She grabs a comb and points it at Izuku's hair, an excited grin spreading across her face.

Ever since the beginning, Mina asked, nay begged to do Izuku's hair. He doesn't know what it is about but people seem to always fixate on his hair. It 

Midoriya falters for a second but ultimately, he allows her the honors.

The girl just about screams with joy, releasing part of the dark green locks from the hold of a hair tie and digs in with the comb. She squeals as the comb goes down the length of his hair and gathers up the tangled parts to work on them separately.

Eijirou watches in amusement, chugging the rest of his tea "Banchou, dude, your hair --isn't it high maintenance?"

Izuku shrugs with a sheepish smile "it's not high maintenance if you don't maintain it, right?"

Ashido snickers and so does Kirishima, who was so very discreetly pulling another pastry from behind his back.

Mina snaps her fingers, catching Izuku off guard "-Oh! Going back to the subject, don't think I haven't seen you bulking up either, ya snake!" She prods the greenette's cheek, eyes narrowing with mischief.

There's a pause where Izuku says nothing, eyes bulging before turning a deep shade of red. He squeaks, flailing his hands in embarrassment. He blabbers gibberish, folding his arms over his head as he doubles over to hide in a haven of pillows. 

Kirishima shakes Mina, nods sharply and gulps down the rest of his croissant "Hell yeah! Dude, you've been seriously working out! What's your secret?"

Izuku drowned himself further into a forte of his sheets and pillows. Kirishima tries to yank him out but fails and Mina lunges on him to get the blushing mess out of his den. 

Oh, only some hobo that's possibly a vigilante and the symbol of peace. No big deal. He thinks to himself, but ultimately peeks from behind one of his smaller pillows "I just worked hard, is all..."

The other two click their tongues, almost dismissing his obvious attempt at modesty before Kirishima slaps a hand over his knee.

"Dude!"

"Uh -um, y-yeah?"

"What is your quirk anyways?"

Izuku's blood runs cold.

"Huh, I never really thought about that" Mina adds "Y’know, I always assumed you had an analysis quirk or something"

Goosebumps run down his arms, the hairs on his neck, ice in his weins. The greenette feels burning panic rise up his throat, swimming around his chest only to taint his blood and mind. 

"Well, I-"

He hesitates, fingers buzzing with fright. Oh shit, what should he say? What now? Tell them he's quirkless? Lie? It should be simple, he's always done it, even if its not a thing he takes pride in but he can't, can he? Would they hate him? Would they look at him in disgust and run from the quirkless boy?

The quirkless Deku?

"I..."

He wanted to cry. He wanted to escape and hide in the way past him would. It's what he did best at. Hide and sob and run and cower. Hide his face and hide his hurting and hide his voice for oh so long.

He used to be so weak, it's almost funny. 

And yet... 

He's changed. He definitely changed over the course of, not only that last ten months but the last two years. He could speak more, he could actually take off his mask outside of his house, he could trust people.

He's better, right?

Yeah... he's better. Even if a little.

Izuku gulps, grateful for the barrier of pillows surrounding him.

"It's, uh, sorta weird" He drawls, peeking his head out between the cushions "Like an --uh, stockpiling quirk? I just can't exactly use it," He sinks further under the growing intrigue in their stares before continuing with his speech "Um, I mean, not... not for now, at least. It's kinda complicated and... as I said, weird"

There's a beat of quiet where Eijirou and Mina sat back, absorbing the new information like water to a sponge.

"So you're telling me..." Kirishima starts, brows knitting together, eliciting a spark of panic down Izuku's spine "You beat up those delinquent punks without a quirk or nuthin'? Dude, holy shit!"

Mina's face is equally as ecstatic, poking Izuku's shoulder with a comb at lightning speed per second "Woah, really! I don't know how you survived your entire life not using your quirk! I'd go manic after only one week. Max."

Izuku sat frozen in place, wide-eyed at the other two. 

This was going considerably better than he thought, but a bitter voice hisses at him: "Only because neither of them knows you're quirkless. You lied, Deku. You lied."

He exhales, eyes downcast as he musters up a weak smile and props himself up, hair draping over his shuddering features. The conversation had somehow found way to turn back about Yuuei and, in turn, about life afterwards. Izuku wasn't listening.

Everything becomes unfocused in his vision. He feels the fog grow around his brain as his gaze pans over to the bookshelf behind his chatting friends and land on burnt, ripped and ruined notebooks; the Hero Analysis notes.

An image flickers in his mind, sounds of explosions and the feeling of burning on his skin, making the boy wince as a headache stabbed at his temples. Panic slithers up on his chest and chokes his chest from breathing.

It's okay. He's fine. Nothing bad happened. It's fine. Calm down, for Pete's sake. It's better now. Its better and they're better and it's going to be okay.

Izuku, wanting to believe himself, withers further before blinking slow and tuning back into the conversation right as Mina spun around to him.

"--To cut your hair!"

Izuku is jostled from his trance by a pair pink arms wrapping around his neck.

"H-huh?"

"A trim. You need a trim, Izu" Mina states as-a-matter-of-factly "How come your hair is this long and you haven't gotten it trimmed yet?" Mina questions, eyes setteling on a pair of scissors by her legs.

Izuku frowns, trying to calm his still slamming heart from pounding against his ribcage "I never bothered? A-and my mom said to take care of it if I was gonna let it grow to this length so I kind of--" He waved his arm and let it fall limply onto the matress.

"What a lad," Kirishima remarks with a snort. 

"Well, not letting that go on anymore," She rubbed her hands together and snaps the scissors at the air, a smirk on her face "Here we go! Snip snip time!"

Chapter Text

Work work and even more work.

Despite the lack of any school assignments, or school at all, keeping up with friends plus training while standing on aching legs and burning arms has been harder than expected. Even with his mother and All Might there to lighten the weight he was carrying, Izuku still found himself constantly occupied with work.

Though the outcome was absolutely worth it.

Izuku has been building up his stamina and muscle mass pretty well. 5-kilometer runs weren't so rare of an occurrence. And, sad as it sounds, Izuku could finally look himself in the mirror and not cringe at the boy that stared back at him.

Hell, he even tried Mina's suggestions of styling his hair away from his face leading for him to receive a compliment or two from his other friends. A compliment or two that sent him flying with radiant glee.

The beach has seen the most progress; Sunlight finally hit the sand in pools of warm orange, illuminating the beach for "The first time in years," As All Might had told him. Actual people came around to give the place a visit every once in a while.

And if the clean beach wasn't already gratifying,  the comments people made of how amazing the view from was served more than enough pride in Izuku's chest.

After some reworking had been done to the training regime and fighting dummies (Bob, the UA robot, was resigned of the job), All Might had more of a reason to have casual conversations with both Midoriyas about something other than the training, their talks varying from family recipes to odd happenings while on hero patrol.

Sometimes, they even laughed together.

Izuku's fighting tactics were developed further whenever Dabi was free; his job had taken up half of the time he usually spent messing around in trash dumps or getting into petty bar fights. 

"How's the job going?" Izuku had asked him one day. Dabi hadn't spoken much at all, he just sat and allowed Izuku to babble on about whatever. His eyes were lazy as he sat on the railing of a bridge onlooking Mustafu. He seemed... out of it. After a couple seconds of silence, Dabi just shrugged and scratched the side of his face.

"Boring. I just stand around most of the time"

"Oh," Izuku perked up "it's retail?"

Dabi twirled a dried leaf between his fingers before setting it aflame "Sure."

And that had sent Izuku for a loop. Sure? What does that mean? Was 'sure' considered an answer? But instead of asking further, Izuku just hummed and fell silent, allowing the words to bounce around in his skull.

Today, there remained one final stack. Izuku's spirit burned harder than the aching in his arms. He's so close to his goal. To think that this is it. This is the point he's been working for for the last eleven months. 

Just a single, remaining stack.

Izuku distantly recalled how he lived just over two years ago. How weak he'd felt and lonely he was. How everything proved to drain his energy and how talking seemed like an impossible task. He fought impossibly hard.

Half a stack. 

He remembers explosions ringing his ears and burning his skin. Remembers crimson eyes glaring down at him. He remembers the pain, fear and the pathetic boy he used to be.

He smiles.

 One, final, object.

He remembers the exhilarating burst of joy when he was called someone else's friend. How scared he was of the fifty-tonne weight that had hovered over him for so long, waiting for him to let down his guard and crush him under its weight.

And it never did.

Izuku's hands shake like leaves in winter. His stomach rolls and his breath tumbles.

"Villain." He's come to terms with that. But Izuku proved them wrong, he's never hurt anyone, he never will. Yes, his father may have been, but Izuku isn't.

"You can be a hero" Izuku doesn't think he'll ever believe someone actually told him that.

Nothing left.

 "You can be a hero."

Like a wash of all that is pure and sweet in the world, his body relaxes and a sound bubbles in his chest.

Izuku inhales, filling his chest with all the air it could hold and he lets out a scream. He screamed until his throat went raw and his head becomes light. Until his knees buckle and his body drops backward and falls onto the white, warm sand.

Sunlight hits his face and sets the sky in an array of oranges and pinks as it sets to the horizon. Bit by bit, it slips away, leaving him in the cool, dark blues of a sun-less sky.

He doesn't move at the sound of footsteps behind him and only throws a glance when a can of cherry soda was set beside him.

"Well done, my boy," the pride grew in All Might's tone, and as his fickle form drops to sit next to Izuku, he asks "Do you feel alright?"

Izuku looks on at the sky and laughs, assuming a shaky smile. He pulls his legs back and lurches to a seated position, feverishly wiping his eyes from the welling tears.

"Y-yeah... yeah I'm good" The boy sniffles, lowering his arms to show a pair of misty red eyes, gratitude dancing within them "Thank you, All Might. Thank you so much"

Toshinori beams, clapping a hand over the boy's back. "You've worked very hard my boy, you earned it. And I believe you are ready now"

With his eyes now wide and heart beating wildly, Izuku turns to his mentor. His jaw hung agape, fingers twitching with uncertainty. "D-do you really think so?" He quips, his voice fluttering with disbelief.

"Of course, my boy! But it also depends on you," All Might smiles warmly "Do you think you're ready?"

Izuku swallowed, his hands curl over his lap and he's compelled to jump up and scream his heart out to the wind. The waves softly rumble. Seagulls fly above them. Crabs skitter along the shoreline, leaving small dents in the sand.

All Might leans back, moments away from reassuring the boy to not force himself into immediate action; he still has a month left until U.A.'s entrance exam, there no need to--

"Yes, I'm ready" Izuku finals.

They both take a pause before grinning. Toshinori pats Izuku's shoulder, nodding gladly. There was a flash of light in his blue eyes, making them glow a luminous shade of cyan. His bony hand reaches up to his blonde hair.

"Then," He starts, plucking a strand of his hair. All of a sudden, Toshinori was muscular and smiling, back to his idol self.

"Eat this"

 

Izuku sat that evening making dinner and holding back the sick forming in his stomach.

"I'm sorry Izuku," His mother ushered, looking as if she'd burst out laughing at any second "Toshinori was very worried of how to pass down his quirk, his hair was the safest bet."

Izuku whipped his head to her, his face tinged green and his eyes squinting "Bleh," was all he could manage before turning back to the stove. He'll make sure that the many attempts at keeping his breakfast from spilling out are a repressed memory from now instead. 

He didn't feel any different, not yet at least. He feels very... Izuku. No sudden spurge of power or crackle of energy through his body. Nothing but normality. 

He set dinner and began eating, silently mouthing his thoughts to himself. There was the stray thought that it didn't work, and that, somehow, there was an error. Which in on of itself was ridiculous, he may not know everything about One For All, but what he did know proved that if All Might did want to pass down his quirk, then it should have worked. 

Izuku breathed out and stirred his food around on the plate, deep in thought. Thoughts poured down his brain in a continuous stream. Subconsciously, he went through and tabbed any theories that had some substance to them. All Might said something about not getting too excited if the quirk activates, one wrong move could cost him his bones.

A stoic sigh fell from his lips.

Tomorrow, he'll see what he can do.

 


 

They met up together at the beach the next morning. Izuku buzzed with nerves; electricity fizzes beneath his skin; his heart drums furiously in its cage. Unable to keep himself together, Izuku bounced on the heel of his feet, rubbing his forearms with the anxiety and the early dawn chill.

"Good morning, my boy" All Might greets. He wore a thick coat with a yellow scarf wrapped around his neck. Izuku, not having expected the cold, wore his sports jacket and a simple shirt beneath it. 

" 'Morning, All Might," Izuku walked alongside the hero and rubbed his hands to reserve some warmth. Glancing up, he saw dark clouds barely visible in the sky, outlined with the soft peachy pink of the dawning sun. They veiled the stars and covered the moon. He worried about rain, but the clouds seemed too thin to prompt any actual drastic weather changes.

"Now, about One For All" He starts "I know it might confuse you, so I thought it would help to test it"

Izuku holds on to the air in his lungs, stomach flipping around like crazy. Out of breath, he wheezes: "On what?"

"The ocean!"

"Wh...what?"

All Might places a hand over Izuku's shoulder with an encouraging smile "I admit, It's not exactly the most efficient. I tried renting out a gym for you but they were all closed. Besides, I don't think staying inside would be wise for testing out a stockpiling quirk"

Sputtering for a moment, Izuku gapes at the hero "So what am I gonna...?"

"Punch the ocean"

"Huh?"

"Punch the ocea-"

"I heard you but --Huh?!"

"Just start with flicking your fingers! But remember to think of it like an egg. Start small, don't let it crack."

Mind riled with confusion, Izuku scratches his arms and attempts to keep up with the hero "That's...uh, cool. But how exactly do I punch the ocean?"

"Ah, well," All Might chuckles, rubbing the back of his nack "I assume you'll just have to 'punch' the air over the ocean, not the water itself."

Izuku opened his mouth and closed it three times before his brain processed what the actual hell was going on. He brought both his hands together and pressed them to his mouth as he squints at the ground.

Okay. Sure. Let's do that.  

Yet again, Izuku found himself drawing a blank about this entire sitch. He had absolutely no idea or reference on what he was meant to do. Thinking of it logically, he guessed the first step was to activate the quirk before using the least amount of power possible to 'punch the ocean'.

One question remains: How?

Cautiously, Izuku extends his left arm out and flexes it, testing the waters. A low buzz passed under his flesh and just thinking that he has a quirk was enough to send his heart pounding ten miles a second. Jesus, none of this feels real. Honestly, he's afraid of the whiplash that's bound to come when the reality of it all punched him in the face.

Maybe if he...

Keeping his stature upright and tense, Midoriya clenches his muscles and takes a deep breath, bidding the power of One For All.

Nothing. 

"Take your time, young man," All Might calls from behind him, settling to stand ten meters away from his successor "Patience is a virtue." 

Izuku nods, bringing his hand back in front of him and straining his middle finger against his thumb. A surge of energy bursts in his veins. He yelps and let's go immediately. The sparks die down and Izuku is left ogling at his arm. 

"Its a start!"

 

By afternoon, Izuku had gotten hold of the activation part, managing to get his entire arm bustling with the quirk. He found himself more curious than nervous, now that he got a couple of hours to get used to the fizzing sensation that came with. 

"Was it this tough when you first got One For All?" Izuku asks, tugging at his bottom lips. He'd been mumbling, deep in thought, for the last ten minutes and it caught Toshinori by surprise to be suddenly addressed.

"Well, I suppose Nana had more of an idea of this entire thing than I did" He laughs quietly "She knew better, so I always trusted her. Barley any trouble. Though, I did have more time to get ahold of this power."

Izuku has always been curious of All Might's mentor, he doesn't talk much about her but when he does, its with such genuine endearment and affection that the boy couldn't help but wonder about her.

"How was she like?" He asks, only to be met with momentary silence. It gets his heart dropping to the bottom of his belly and he rushes to add: "I-if you don't mind me asking, that is!" Wow, Izuku. Asking about someone's dead teacher? Fucked up.

All Might, to Izuku's relief, only smiles slightly and considers the question "The closest example I can think of has to be Inko."

"My mom? Really?" Alright, he wasn't expecting that.

"That's probably because they share the same hairstyle" All Might jokes "But, they share a lot of traits" He seemed to be holding a list in his mind, opting to not bombard the boy with embarrassing details he noticed about his mother. 

"I see... she sounds amazing" Midoriya hums, narrowing his eyes at the pebbles being washed up by the shore. The only image that forms in his mind is that of the hero he made for his mother, back when he sat alone outside the court hall in anticipation to see her smile. What did he call it?

 Miss Inryoku. Hah.

"She really was," All Might goes on, a warm fondness growing in his voice "She was the one who helped me pick my hero name, you know"

"For real?"

"Mhm. The best mentor anyone could ask for" He states but a sadness casts over his expression. Almost bittersweet. "I hope I make her proud. I doubt I could ever live up to her name"

Oh. Midoriya falters; his brows knitting together, nose scrunching up. Does he think he isn't good enough? If he does, that's the utmost ridiculous statement he's ever heard. He gave Izuku a chance. He helped Izuku become a hero! He All Might, the number one hero for Christ's sake.

"I think you're pretty great"

Both of them recoil in shock, Izuku freezing to review the utter fuckery of what he just said and All Might baffled at the frankness of said fuckery. Toshinori recovers after several blinks, much faster than the time Izuku was taking to look back on the life choices that lead him to this very, dreaded moment.

"Heh. Thank you, my boy" He replies with a grateful smile.

Izuku shoots up with a burning flush covering every inch of his face. "U-uh, you're welcome. Er, I should --uh, start. With my training. Yeah."

"Of course, Izuku."

 Escaping the mortifying humiliation, Izuku went off to the end of the shore and awkwardly rolled his shoulders, shedding off the fluster from his nerves. Amazing work, Izuku. So inspirational. Pretty great? Yeah, such kindness. If Nana's spirit saw all that, she'd probably be laughing in her grave.

 Figuring that running off and out the country wasn't the best path to take, Izuku rubs the side of his face and wields the quirk and aims upward and flicks.

A tornado explodes and his entire arm burst with agony.

It detonates, crescendos, whipping him off his feet. He screams but doesn't hear his voice. He sees his blood flood from the shredded skin. He sees the sand zip around him. His arm flaps in the wind and his chest twist into a knot.

He turns to All Might with horror scrawled all over his face. The heat drains from his body. All Might was yelling. He couldn't hear it.

Before the inevitable collision, Izuku's eyes roll to the back of his head as he collapses helplessly to the dunes.

 

 

Chapter Text

He woke up to the blinding, luminescent white-blue light that burned through his eyelids and right into his retinas.

Izuku groaned as he got up, unharmed hand holding the sloshing inside his skull and the head-splitting migraine stabbing from his temples and all the way down to his spine and left arm. The snapping of his bones pierced his ears and Izuku whimpers softly to the empty air. He breathed, or at least tried to, past the pounding punches of his heart. 

Around him was the sterile blankness that came with the usual hospital chamber. A familiar, unwelcome, disgusting stench of disinfectant, hidden diseases, and death.

Ah, why of course, he was at the hospital.

Haha. 

Ha.

Fuck.

His nose crinkles and his eyes squint, trying to make out the shapes beyond the hazy film wrapped over his vision, claiming his sight and turning it blurry. 

His memory of yester-whatever sat with sharp clarity in his mind. His eyes flicker to the clean work of bandages around his left arm before his gaze pans down to the uncontrollable tremor and jittering in his fingers.

Breathing by itself brought mirage of crashing needles into his chest, pain crawling it way down to every fiber in his aching body and God this hurt.

And that's with him, presumably, on anesthetics...

Great. Just great. Amazing, actually! He trains for months and months then the second he tries to handle One For All, it turns his bones to mush.

There's a groan deep within his chest, powered by a growing, icky sensation that only expanded by the moment. The power to do as such, though, doesn't reach him. So, Izuku instead buries his face with its red-rimmed eyes into the crook of his elbow and lets out a slow, heavy sigh. 

When he tries to look back up again, his eyes only see a blur of white. A shake of his head rewards him with a cleared scene of the room. There stood a cupboard beside the bed, a fresh bouquet of flowers glowing brightly on top of it, a splattering of color in the otherwise achromatic room. Perpendicular to the cupboard was a person. 

Wait. 

He jumps, and rightfully so, when he sees how the person beside him is laying; crumpled over themselves on the guest sofa. In the light, their long silky hair shone and it's that what makes him sob into his hand. 

Izuku's chest tightens, squeezed and twists until it cages his lungs from breathing.

His mother. It was his mother and here she was, breathing slow as she slept on her suitcase, still in her work uniform. Silver hairs jut out from the pool of green that cloaked her weary face.

How long has she been here?

How long has he been asleep?

Following the initial shock, Izuku leans away from the pillows propped beneath him and instantly startles at the ear-piercing crumpling of the sheets. He's been so out of it, too much to process the deafening silence locked up in this room with him. Carefully, he slips out of the bed and down to the cold ceramic floor, hissing at the pain pulsating in his arm. 

Finally, after balancing his body so that it won't tip over and fall face-first into the marble ground, Izuku drops to his knees, using the armrest of the couch to leverage himself down to the floor In front of Inko. 

He watches her slightly knitted face, the way wrinkles thread around her mouth, the corners of her eyes and between her eyebrows. Izuku could only be grateful when, upon closer inspection, he didn't find any signs of the exhaustion he still fears to find etched on her face every time he sees her. He sighs and hangs his head forward.

She's okay, he thinks. At least physically. 

"Oh."

At the voice, he jolts. Izuku gapes up at his mother's gawking expression.

Without a second thought, Inko lunges towards him, eyes watering and arms stretched wide to lock him in a hug so tight that it just about knocks the wind out of his lungs. His body twitches on instinct, expecting pain to strike up his nerves but only senses the dull ache just the same as it always was. 

Somehow, despite the bone-crushing embrace, Inko managed to be gentle. 

Watery laughter rises out of his throat, making him unable to help to do anything but hug her back. Maybe if he was anything but relieved, he'd fluster over the tears pouring down his face but he only weeps. Laughs and sobs and laughs some more, giggling through the pellets of kisses she planted across his face. 

"My baby, oh, Izuku!" Her shaking arms squeeze him tighter before, warily, she steps back, studying him. Her irises shaky and her mouth trembling, Inko speaks again "I-I was so worried. Th-they got you here yesterday and you didn't wake up a-and Yagi told me a-a-and--" 

"Mom!" Izuku interrupts, holding his mother's arms to keep her balance from failing "I'm fine now. I promise. I just got reckless and... Here we are? Please don't look at me like that I'm really sorry, It's my fault. Aw, mom please don't cry--!" 

But Inko only looked closer to weeping, her mouth twitching through multiple syllables in an attempt to find a proper reprimand. Coming forward after a second of blubbering, and without a thing to say, Inko exhales, bringing her hands up to her face.

"We'll talk about this later, okay?" She croaks, lifting her chin up by a bit and letting her furrowed brows soften after another breath. Her sigh carries and echoes through the walls, blaring right into that corner within Izuku's mind that he'd tried to push down for years. This burning feeling that he's disappointed. That he did something wrong and can't atone for it.

"Sorry" he repeats pointlessly, awaiting some sort of reaction; tears, anger, anything he could act upon. She only remained quiet and calm.

Inko gazes at her son for beat or two. She knew he meant the apology, he always did. She also knew the dangers beforehand and, still, her weak heart couldn't handle the mere concept of her son being hurt again, let alone to this extent. 

She awws, bringing a finger below Izuku's chin and tilting his head up "It's okay, sweetheart. I'll call the doctor, okay? Rest a bit."

Tounge heavy and brain groggy, Izuku nods and shuffled his way to the bed as his mother left with a click of the door. He directed his attention to a random point on the wall and watched the empty space. He doesn't know when it happened, but at some point, while staring pointedly at nothing, the day began speeding around him.

Doctor checks, healing quirks, his mother talking in his stead. Moments that whirled past him, hours lost just gazing on, watching something and nothing in particular. He's discharged by the end of the day, and Izuku barely takes notice as All Might enters the room to talk with Inko. Izuku didn't listen to them. He did faintly crack a smile when his mother began laughing at something All Might said, a loud, clear noise that chipped at the gross feeling hiding inside. 

she's okay, something in his head assures, she's okay.

All Might, with the kindness of his heart, offered to wait with Izuku in the reception for a taxi to arrive. Both he and Inko had schedules jam-packed with work and it couldn't have burdened Izuku with more guilt than seeing the look on his mother's face as she kissed him goodbye and left to finish her shift at work, promising him Katsudon when she gets home.  

 


 

Idiot. Idiot.

It's all that repeated in his brain. An overlain layer of distant noise over the speech All Might was giving him. Something about taking a break, an apology or two, and some small talk in between. "Mhm." Izuku would say "Yeah." At times, and "Okay." Mostly. It was easier to just wait in silence, even if it was simply waiting for All Might to finish talking.

Yagi pressed his lips together when he glanced at Izuku. He can't blame the kid, especially not with his arm broken that much. He'd been so excited after the first successful couple of times One For All had worked. Still, he could only imagine what the young boy was thinking about. "I'm worried he'll stop talking again" Inko had told him "he was talking but... just please make sure he's okay". Of course, Yagi couldn't say anything but "yes, absolutely", he is the kid's mentor. It's the least he could do. And the last thing he wanted was to fail his successor.

"My boy," All Might started, watching the kid blink rapidly and turn to him "I... I'm glad this happened"

Izuku jolts, grimacing at the hero. He's what?

"o-oh. Shit. H-hold on, that sounded bad. L-let me rephrase," He wheezes, the blood drained from his already dreary complexion and some spilling down his chin "What I meant was: Its better that this happened now rather than days before or, lord forbid, on the day of the entrance exam." All Might said, attempting to sound comforting. 

Izuku shifted, rubbing his throat and then his eyes. "I guess? I know it was bound to happen" He takes a breath and slowly lets it out "It still sucks" 

All Might snorts, nudging the boy "Equal amounts to school?"

"Oh not at all," Midoriya grinned weakly "That's a special case."

A silence lapsed between them. Not the awkward type affiliated to their old conversations,but a more welcome sort of quiet.

When a taxi stops in front of them, Izuku finds he has to haul himself up from the bench. He's at a loss for balance at first but steadying himself right afterwards. 

"Well, there's my ride. Um," he stutters, lowering his voice so only Yagi can hear him. "Thanks for not hating me, All Might."

The hero's eyes widen. Oh. That's what he was thinking.

Several breathless seconds later, Toshinori places his skinny hand onto Izuku's mop of green hair

"Never." He promises, ruffling the green locks until they swirl in random directions "Now take care, son. Don't forget to rest."

And the second All Might says that, Izuku suddenly had to hold back another tide of tears. As best as he could, the boy shakes his head up and down, sniffing quietly.

"Yeah. Okay. Thank you." 

Was all he could muster before turning around and walking towards the taxi. 

It wasn't until the cab had already moved that he realized what All Might had called him.

"Son." he said. All Might called Izuku his son. 

 


 

He's stumbling into his house's bathroom before his mind registers it.

Every step sends his nerves into a mania of agony. Every breath making his chest ache, lodged with fatigue, pounding with exhaustion. His brain attempts to fill in the blanks but his mind itself is blank. 

Once there, Izuku wishes he never entered.

His face is as pale as the sheets of his assigned bed. Like white, splotchy parchment all over his body. Spots of sickly yellows and purples blotching the flesh beneath his jaw, trailing all the way down the gauze over his arms.

Swollen, reddish marks begin from behind his shoulder and threading outwards as bands of silver-ish scars. The veins from his temples bulge. His freckles pop out, darker and far too disorienting.

...And his eyes. Those ugly, ugly blood-red eyes. God, he hates them. They went too well with his protruding wounds.

He avoided the gaze of his own reflection by looking down to his right arm, staring intensely at the clean cast that covered the entire length of his forearm and up to the crook of his elbow while the rest of the way was covered in bandages.

Fingers twitching, Izuku reaches to the clasp that secured the entire thing together and unraveled an inch of it off. He gagged at the sight.

Slithers of antibiotics sends a putrid stench to smother the air, blaring fumes that sting his eyes into watering. The skin was blemished, partly healed but still splattered with red and lilac. 

Another shake of the head brought Izuku's attention to the emptiness surrounding him and how disturbingly quiet his house was. 

This damn silence is far too loud.

He doesn't go to his bed. Instead, trudging aimlessly into the balcony outside and squinting at the lazy shower of rain. His phone buzzes, text messages he had no heart to open sitting unreplied to. 

Part of him just wanted to lay down and nap until the rest of the summer holiday was over, but the other part of him just begged for an outlet. Some way to release the static beneath his flesh, threatening to split his skin open and explode outwardly.

He seethes deep within, bricks of frustration build up in Izuku's heart as he stares at those broken fingers of his.

The doctor gave him about 2 months before they heal and he, obviously, silently screamed with anger. Anger at himself for being so naive as to think that a quirk he had barely any grasp on would work the first time around. 

And so, he runs directly into the pouring rain and ran.

Sweat and rain rolled down his neck and face, burnt his eyes and tasted like acid on his tongue. His chest burned as a lump formed in his throat, closing off all passage of air. Feet slamming sporadically on the dicey beach-side sand and sent lightning of pain spiking from his hand up to his arm  

He kept running. Passing the beach. Passing all the familiar buildings. 

The ocean roared into the night as did the thundering clouds above him. The moon, engulfed in darkness, was nothing more than a white dot in the sky. There were no stars.

Izuku sneers in a fit of quiet rage. His feet slam on the asphalt. Irritation, pain and coiled tension explode out. He released and rocketed up into the air, a flash of green sparks bursting around him. 

Why, after all that, can't he control one for all? -and he wasn't angry per se, just... disappointed in himself. For thinking it was going to be that easy, for assuming he'll control it in 11 months while it took All Might about 4 years to properly be prepared to use the quirk, so why did Izuku risk himself that way?

He leaped from building to the other, hair rippling as his body ripped through the air and sparks of green charged in zigzags off his legs.  

Why couldn't he be good enough?

The streets zapped beneath him. The plasters flew off his face and disappeared behind him into the night. His breath hitched and finally, when a raindrop kissed his cheek, did Izuku finally notice the space between him and the streets below.

A frightened squeal escaped his throat and before he could even blink, the power coursing through his legs flickered and dissipated.

He started falling.

Izuku flailed his arms, a smear of green light slashing brightly around him, screaming louder than the roaring rain.

He hastily neared the edge of another rooftop. Impulsively, Izuku stretched his legs and took another leap that sent him higher, higher, higher. His heart swelled, turning into a balloon lashing around his chest cavity. His eyes water from the air but he still keeps them open when the top of a brightly litskyscraper passes right below him. 

And then, like that balloon had burst, a disbelieving laugh erupts from his mouth and he flings his hands into the air like a victorious wrestler.

"I DID IT! OH MY GOD, I DID IT! IM FLYING! IM-! IM-! Oh shit, I'm falling-! "

 Now. Now is the time to panic.

He tries to perch once again on a rooftop closest to him but even as his feet land on the edge, he slips and lurches forward.

The ground below him was lit by headlights of speeding cars. Air blows into his face and takes away his ability to see. His hands desperately flail for something to hold on to, to keep him from falling, from stopping what could've killed him only 3 years ago. 

Izuku passes the buildings and any chance he had of grabbing to a solid surface. He braces himself for the impact. 

It doesn't come. 

Izuku peeled his eyes open. The ground was still a hundred feet below him. His heart pumped adrenaline through every capillary in his body and his fear levels only spike to a thousand.

A scream stayed stuck in his throat, belting out when a force yanks him back onto solid ground.

Sparks continue to surround him and he panics again. He jumps and falls on his back, trying to get his body under control.  

He can't, is the problem. Breathing comes way faster than he can catch up with. He could only 

Despite it all, an involuntary laugh falls from Izuku's lips.

"I-it works!" he exclaims, laughing louder and louder until his cheeks burn and his eyes blur "m-my quirk! It's working!" 

... 

"What?" 

Ah, shit. 

Izuku gasps with the shock of the world around him moving once again; the rain, the neon lights and - Izuku cranks his head up to see a tall man towering over him, the city lights around them throwing veils of shadows over his face - a Pro hero. 

"Hey, kid? You there?" The man snaps his fingers as he repeats, kneeling down to Izuku's level. Midoriya suppressed the urge to vomit and forced his head to rewire to understand language once again.  

He doesn't even reply at first, mind floating in La Croix. All he could do was gnaw the inside of his cheek and think: shitshitshitI'm in trouble. Don't be suspicious don't panic. 

"Um. Hi." 

The reaction he got was an amused huff, soon followed by the alloy scarf unraveling from his torso and reeling back around the hero's neck.

Said hero scratches the side of his face then sweeps the hair from his eyes.

"Are you alright?" He deadpans, scratching the side of his face then sweeping the hair from the goggles over his eyes.  

This time Izuku is faster to reply. "Y-yes! Of course, gosh, I'm so sorry I was just going on a run and then next thing I know my quirk was working and I was flying and I didn't know what to do so I might've panicked a little but I swear I'm--" 

"Huh." The hero leans his head to one side "Quirk manifestation." and then, under his breath, he mumbles "the third this month" looking even more miserable as he says it. 

The rain filters to a stop, and it's no until the roaring of it has stopped that Izuku notices the sounds around them. Cars, police sirens, people. It wasn't as lonely as Izuku thought it was. It somehow calms him.

The hero clicks his tongue in thought "What's your name, kid?" 

There's hesitation at first. Izuku doesn't know if this hero is familiar with Hisashi and whether blatantly saying his name would get him sour treatment but then again, not answering was even more suspicious. It's better safe than sorry. 

"Izuku" he hisses, praying that that's enough information. 

"Second name as well." 

Dammit.

Izuku swallows, biting down at his tongue as he says: "Toshinori. Izuku Toshinori." 

The hero hums curiously, thankfully not with any hint of suspicion. Of course, right? No one knows the relation between the number one hero and Yagi Toshinori. Still, Izuku doesn't let out a relieved breath and opts to adjust his clothes. 

"Okay, let's get you somewhere safer," Says the man before pointing at his back "Hold on tight." 

Without further notice, the hero reels his scarf downwards and Izuku rapidly goes to grasp at the black jumpsuit.

They plummet down, Izuku's stomach drops along. They're anchored by nothing other than that capture weapon and any surface it hung on to. 

Everything in Izuku's brain focused on was letting out guttural screams and hysterical laughter. 

They land easily on the ground. Or, well, the hero does. Izuku tumbles on the slippery ground, grasping for the closest pole. He shakes the long  clumps of wet hair from his face. 

"Oh God," Izuku wheeze, doubling over as his face shifts from awe to smiling until finally landing on sickly. "I might pass out" 

The hero snorts, pushing his goggles over his head. Izuku could see his face clearer, now; Slim with a pale completion. Dark circles sat below his eyes, and Izuku means dark and given the red veins around his iris, this hero probably has never felt the sweet release of sleep for at least days. 

The man held himself loosely, even as he questions - rather, interrogates - Izuku, there was still a weight to the way he moved. Agile and smooth yet lazy and heavy. Similarly could be said about the way he swung around buildings 

A rough scratching startles the string of questions, followed by a voice crackling through the Intercom hung on the hero's waist. 

["Eraserhead, we've got vigilantes 30 meters from you, North-East towards the main road. It's the cockoroach boy again"]

The hero (Eraserhead, Izuku duly notes) curses under his breath. He cards his fingers through his hair, getting the water out of it. His dark eyes narrow before falling back on Izuku.

"There's a bus coming by in a moment," Eraserhead states "get home immediately. Got it?"

Izuku, still disheveled from their trip down, nods feverishly. Eraserhead takes that as a cue and throws the capture weapon at a faraway rod, yanking himself up and swinging away. 

"Wow. Okay. That happened? That happened." Izuku stares at the direction Eraserhead had gone to, taking a couple of seconds to compose himself again. 

How does he look like right about now? Hilarious, probably, worthy of a prize with him rocking the unhinged crackhead style. 

The screech of rubber tires sounds from behind him, an alert that, if he doesn't get home soon, his mother would probably scream bloody murder. 

The air inside the bus was humid and uncomfortable and, thankfully, empty. When Izuku found the perfect seat to collapse onto, he gagged at the squelch of his clothes, soon discovering that no amount of squirming in his seat would help.

Gross, he thinks, and slings an arm over his eyes. 

His injured arm. 

"GAH!" Izuku flinched, falling to the side, expecting  piercing pain. But, as things do when he expects them, nothing happens. 

He stares flabbergasted at the cast around his arm, twisting and flexing his fingers experimentally. There was a dull sting, barely an inconvenience, and nothing more. 

The bandages leak when squeezed, old blood and rain water making the clean white into a vile yellowish-brown. 

"what on earth?" he whispers. 

"Nice blood!" he got in return and shrieks when a girl pops out from the seat behind him.