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The Hero List

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"It's fine, they can stay. I don't mind, one of them is me and another of them is my brother."

"Your brother? In this world there are no other Midoriya in our class?" it figures that it's Kaminari asking, he's always been curious and Izuku is kind of glad to see that many things are the same. But... "Midoriya?"

"Your name is Midoriya Izuku, yes?"

"No, it's actually Todoroki Izuku. Sorry."

There's a stunned silence, the other Izuku looks at him like he's been hit over the head with something heavy enough to give him a concussion.

"...Todoroki? Mom? Wait, that doesn't make sense. If it's Todoroki then Todoroki-kun is my brother and we're practically the same age but we've got different mothers and if the other me recognized him anyway that means we don't have the same mother in that world but maybe mom married into the Todoroki family but there's no way that flaming bag of trash could make her happy so why-"

"You're mumbling, Midoriya. It's Midoriya, right? Since they thought that'd be my name. The good news is that mom didn't marry into the Todoroki name. The bad news is that I have the name because of an unfortunate meeting that resulted in Endeavor ending up as a sperm donor just in time to create me," Izuku explains, tone flat at the mentioned flaming bag of trash as the other him so aptly put it.

"...My dad is Midoriya Hisashi," Midoriya admits, looking like he got lucky. Which, well. He sort of did, sort of didn't if Izuku remembers his childhood right.

"I've met him. That's who my mom married in my life too, he was my dad before he left to work overseas. That the same here?"

"Yes, I haven't seen him in years," Midoriya doesn't seem to think that's wrong but their classmates are looking uncomfortably sad and Izuku can tell this is a thing he needs to learn about as well. He'd be happy if Endeavor fucked off for a few years, after all.

Shouto though? Shouto looks like he doesn't know what to feel. Like someone just ripped the carpet out from under him and he's still standing by sheer dumb luck.

"Have you always been a Todoroki then?"

"Since birth," he confirms with a nod, though to be fair it took a while for anyone to act like it was a big deal. His mom never introduced him as anything other than Izuku and he'd spent years being just that.

"Did you grow up with us?" Shouto asks quietly, like it's a dangerous topic to step through. He's right, too.

"Not until I was seven," and he knows, alright? He knows that'll make them curious as to what changed. But there's just no other way to truthfully put that and not make the teachers or the detective suspicious.

"Why not?" it's Ashido this time, tilting her head and outrageously expressing puzzlement.

"I moved in with them when I was seven," he says, pretty much repeating himself with no extra information, looking her in the eye.

"Izuku?" the air is a little colder and Shouto sounds worried. Izuku hates worrying Shouto so he smiles softly just like he'd do to his brother at home.

"Don't worry about it, alright? It's not a big deal, I just didn't have any parental unit capable of raising me at the time," and he winces, realizing he's repeating the words he's been told to use instead of the words he'd prefer to use. He hadn't meant to make it sound like his mom was unfit, which is clearly what Midoriya is hearing if that frown is any indication.

"Sorry, the lawyers were insistent I burn those words into my mind so I didn't ruin that man's reputation," it's probably uncomfortably clear how much he hates Endeavor, but Shouto and Midoriya and... Bakugo? Seems to understand perfectly fine.

"Can I ask... what happened to mom?" he obviously doesn't want to know, but he seems unable to not know at the same time. Huh, Izuku does that too. Did they inherit it from mom? The need to know? It sounds like a nice trait, better than anything he's got elsewhere.

"You probably don't want to know but," Izuku shrugs, attempting to mask the envy of the other him who clearly still lives with his mom. Who has a mom still alive. "She passed away. It was quick, so she didn't suffer. Probably didn't even realize, they said."

"None of this explains why you let that one fucker grab a few of the villains and leave," honestly he's more surprised that Bakugo isn't shouting the words but whatever. Maybe the current topic is problematic for him, Izuku can still remember the boy calling her auntie Inko.

"Well, that one fucker is named Dabi right? From the look of him, the scars and stuff, he's the same as he is in my world. A pain in the ass of an older brother who needs a reality check, but that's normal Todoroki behavior."

 

Chapter Text

When they step inside, Kacchan rolling his eyes at Izuku, it takes until they get off their shoes to realize how dusty it is, Izuku sneezing and Kacchan holding it back by what seems to be sheer willpower.

"Ah, it's dusty," Izuku mumbles, concern etched into the words as Kacchan strides in before him.

"Oi, auntie!" when there's no reply to Kacchan, Izuku grows twice as concerned, because he knows she should be home now. She typically is. And it's so dusty. And the walls are empty. Her shoes are all gone.

Her shoes being gone could mean she's just out, but then why is it so dusty and-

His focus shifts as he sees paper left on the kotatsu, even as he hears Kacchan say he's gonna check the kitchen. It has his name on it, and it's her handwriting. His mom wrote him a letter, which is weird because she's got his number. She knows where he's staying, she could've come visit just by asking Aizawa-sensei. She wrote him a letter.

Why.

Why would she do that?

He hadn't realized he'd picked it up until he's already reading it, something heavy resting in his stomach that grows more painful with every word.

By the time he's at the end of the letter, he automatically goes back to the top, scanning it and trying to figure out why it says what it does.

His mom would never write any of this.

Except the love you parts, she says those all the time.

But she never writes it. She knows she doesn't need to. And this is all wrong. The letter is all wrong-

"-Deku!" the letter is snatched from his hands and he blinks slowly, still seeing the words form in front of him like the letter never left his hands.

He hears her voice in his head, whispering all these words she'd been afraid to tell him. Izuku doesn't even feel Kacchan take his hand and drag him back out, or when he puts his shoes on for him and leads him out of the place. All he feels is numb.

His mom wrote him a letter. People like it when their moms write them. He should be happy she wrote him.

He's not.

Or maybe he is. It could've been worse.

What if she hadn't bothered? At least he knows she still loves him, now. Because she wrote that she does, that she always will. She loves him. She loves him.

She loves him.

"C'mon Deku," Kacchan sounds so far away, but Izuku can't manage to switch his focus so he offers no resistance and lets Kacchan do whatever he wants. He will, anyway. 

 


 

Katsuki is panicking, but he looks his usually angry so he's pretty sure no one can tell.

Deku isn't responding, he doesn't know what to do about it. Has no clue how to fix it. A part of him desperately wants to call his own mom and get her over here, but he can't.

Because what he really wants to do is check that she's still home and then cling to her, and that'll leave Deku all on his own.

To be fair, Katsuki hadn't seen this coming either. This is the one thing he never would've believed could happen. Midoriya Inko loves her son like he's the actual fucking sun that gives life. None of this is right.

What he can do, though, is get Deku the fuck out of here and back to the Dorms where he can go to bed and maybe forget for a few hours. Maybe be able to cope for the rest of the day while Katsuki figures out what the fuck to do.

It's not until he gets them there that he thinks of a solution and it's only because the others from class are swarming them in worry and he barks at them to, "fuck off, do you want him to have a panic attack or?!"

Uraraka bites back with a, "what did you do, why's Deku sad?" like it's all his fault and Katsuki flips out.

"Shut the fuck up! This is none of your fucking business!" which doesn't really solve any of the issues, but Deku isn't saying anything. Isn't responding. So it doesn't matter that he pisses them off, this isn't something they should butt in on.

"Oh, but it's yours?!" they might not know shit about their childhood but Katsuki isn't gonna stand for any of it. "Damn straight. You're not his family, so butt the fuck out of it!"

"I was not aware that you're related," Todoroki is glaring, but fuck him too.

"Deku's been calling my mom auntie for all his life, that's as fucking good as. Now get the fuck out of our way before I fucking make you," glaring right back, the hand that isn't holding Deku's clenches into a visible fist. No explosions though, not with Deku like this.

"We can't let you do that. Deku is our friend and we want to help him," she's clearly determined to piss him off, that Uraraka, but Katsuki has no fucking time for this.

"If you really want to fucking help, get Aizawa and bring him to my room. Just Aizawa, and don't fucking tell anyone else, got it?"

"...Fine," he hears Iida say, and he hears protests die out. He doesn't offer any answers to what he says next, which should be good enough an answer. "He will deal with you, if necessary."

Deku follows him like he's some sort of robot programmed to just that and Katsuki pushes him onto his bed, forcing him to lay down before throwing his blanket over him with his free hand, forced to keep holding his hand when Deku's grip grows tighter at the slightest attempt of letting go.

He sits there with him until there's a knock on his room and calls out a "yeah?"

"It's Aizawa," he hears the man tiredly call and part of him unintentionally relaxes.

"Come in, but just you. If anyone else fucking tries, I will end them," it's a promise he'll keep, too. They have no fucking right to stick their noses into this when Deku can't do anything about it.

Aizawa enters the room with tense shoulders, clearly eyeing the still unresponsive Deku until Katsuki drags the letter out of his pocket and holds it out with a, "read it."

There's suspicion lining his gaze but the man takes the letter, expression growing grimmer the further he gets. It's obvious when he gets to the part that Katsuki is still struggling to understand is real, because there's an anger in his eyes that is so familiar to his own.

Auntie had become selfish while Katsuki wasn't watching, and he doesn't know what to do about it. But maybe Aizawa will. He'd almost died for them before, he's got to care enough to find some way to fix this.

"He's read it?" Aizawa asks like it's not obvious, like there's a chance he hadn't and that Katsuki broke him first and he didn't get to read it. It pisses him off, but he has no time to be angry at anyone but auntie Inko right now.

"Yes. He went unresponsive right after, but he let me drag him here. We locked the door behind us, there was dust everywhere. All her things are gone," he doesn't know anything more, has no more information to give. This is all he can offer and it's just not fucking enough.

"...Good job, Bakugou," and there his anger goes again, tiredness replacing it.

"What do I do now?" how do I act around him, what the fuck do I say, he's asking. How the fuck does he help Deku who had his dad leave as a kid and now his fucking mom? Deku has literally no other family, what happens to him now?

"I will take it from here. There needs to be a meeting, we will have to talk to a few people. Can you keep watching him here or should I bring him elsewhere?" Katsuki doesn't know where he'll bring him if he says no, so he just nods in acceptance. Deku still needs him.

"I will need to make some calls, but I will be back within the hour," Aizawa clearly hesitates to leave and Katsuki is suddenly witness to another moment of protectiveness from their sensei as the man reaches over and gently pats both their heads before turning and striding out of there.

He can hear people questioning the man outside but he doesn't give a fuck so long as he doesn't tell them or let them in. Deku won't be able to take it.

 


 

Izuku doesn't quite come back to himself as they move, though he's vaguely aware there's people around all up until there suddenly aren't. It doesn't matter though, he's got Kacchan to make sure he doesn't walk into anyone.

His surroundings grow soft and he blinks once, knowing he's somewhere else now but unable to care where. Kacchan is still here, he can feels his hand. It's warm and a little sweaty but Izuku feels none of the anxiousness he would've a few months ago at just the sight of Kacchan's hands near him.

There is nothing but the quiet, his own breathing thundering in his ear and he wonders if he should've just taken Kacchan's advice before UA and spared his mom all this pain.

Maybe she'd still be home then.

Maybe she wouldn't have left him.

He broke her by staying. He broke her when he decided to selfishly become a hero, to accept One for All from All Might. He broke her, it's his fault she's gone.

The words from her letter keep forming in front of his eyes, even though it's long gone.

Why hadn't he asked her first? Why hadn't he told her everything? Why hadn't he been more careful?

His eyes itch and he closes them, but it doesn't keep his brain from repeating the letter to him over and over. All it does is slow the tears down.

He almost expects Kacchan to protest him crying like a baby but there's not a word from his direction. For a second he thinks he's left him and panics, but the hand in his grip is still there. Still warm. Still Kacchan.

Izuku quietly cries himself to sleep without noticing.

Chapter Text

Shigaraki and the other Villains have found a new way to fight the Heroes. By summoning forth the Biggest and Baddest Villain of all times from an Alternate Universe.

"We have a bonus weapon with us, you see. Something magnificent," Shigaraki laughs at the heroes as a circle in the very air forms between two of the minor villains he'd brought. Kurogiri protects them only until it is formed, they aren't necessary to keep the portal open. Or close it, though Shigaraki has no intention of closing it. Rather, he thinks it'd be a genius idea to leave it as is when they go, let the world be swarmed by the chaos about to come forth with nowhere to go but into the futile hope of safety on the side where the monster will come from.

This has been planned quite a bit more than their attack on USJ, and more so than their kidnapping of the Bakugou boy. Every part of the summoning has been researched until there is absolute certainty that what steps out of this will be the worst villain, the biggest and baddest boss of all time.

Part of Shigaraki hopes to see Sensei again with this, but he supposes they can always try again later if it doesn't work out as preferred.

None of them expects the green haired boy in civilian clothing that steps out of the portal, then looks around in blatant curiosity.

He looks exactly like Midoriya Izuku and there's half a moment on the battlefield where everyone pauses to stare. Maybe it's an attempt to determine if this is their Deku or not, maybe it's to figure out if a mistake was made and somehow it's not a villain called forth but a hero?

Some of them, however, are having half a moment of a heart attack, desperate plans of how to get Izuku out of harms way running through their minds.

Shigaraki is the first to react, screaming at a Noumu to grab him and bring him to him, an attempt to figure out if this really is the villain they expected or if the minor villains had failed their job. He suspects the latter and is ready to get rid of the boy when Izuku turns his way and smiles.

It's not a pretty smile, there's something dark and careless in it and despite himself, Shigaraki falters even as the Noumu reaches out for the boy. The heroes react by trying to save him.

They all know the heroes won't make it.

Unnoticed, the portal changes and the monster freezes into ice, then shatters into little pieces. Behind it stands Todoroki Shouto, frowning at Izuku.

"Shouto," Endeavor says, a mix of anger and disappointment clear to see when the boy doesn't hesitate to raise a net of flames between the heroes and villains, forcing the heroes back. "Don't get in my way."

Shouto ignores him, like Izuku had said he could whenever they met him. Sure, it's another version of him, but it's clearly still the same person personality wise. Good, Izuku won't feel guilty for personally destroying him later, then. He hopes whatever children the man may have in this world has a safe place to go, they're about to need it.

"Don't talk to him, don't even look at him. You have no rights to him," it's not an order, Izuku knows that man does not take orders, but it's a threat and a promise all in one, implied within the words. Izuku won't stand for his abusive behavior, not in their own world nor in this.

"He is my son, I have every right-"

"No, you really don't. He's not your anything, Endeavor. So do us all a favor and fuck off into a volcano."

"Watch your mouth, boy," and Izuku laughs, no one has called him boy for a long time now, too focused on calling him villain and killer and monster and everything between, every insult imaginable. But boy? That's not an insult, it's a compliment of innocence and kindness and the love offered by the people he protects.

"Careful, old man, or we'll have to insist on escorting you to the volcano," it's Shouto that speaks this time, still not bothering to look at the 'hero' covered in flames. He's too busy checking Izuku over to genuinely bother and it's clear that it's pissing the man off more than it's surprising everyone else. Which, well, says a lot.

"Your misbehavior will be noted," the man warns darkly and Izuku laughs again.

"By you? We're not from your world, you blind fool. We'll return to our own world and the only way the Endeavor of that one will ever know will be if we tell him."

"But to be fair, we might. We often go out of our way to publicly destroy Endeavor while kicking ass and it doesn't stop when we run out of asses to kick," Shouto has always found it a great relief to get to sass the man, that he can do it and later tell him about it is a double sass. He's clearly looking forward to it, so Izuku won't demand otherwise.

"You let this boy order you around, Shouto? Did you exchange your freedom for spite? Foolish boy!"

Somehow Izuku had expected the other heroes to butt in, to say something and attempt to get this show back on the road, but clearly it's a futile battle. He's actually a bit disappointed in them.

"Why," asks the Izuku that is so, so wrong, eyes focusing on Endeavor with a smile that frankly should be cruel and dark and not at all like the gentle little thing it is, "-should I force my friends to dirty their hands for peace of mind when I can do it for them?"

He reaches for Todoroki who falls into his arm, curling up against Izuku like a dog starved for attention. Izuku keeps smiling even as he pets his hair, like it's nothing out of the ordinary. And for them it isn't, it's just very different for these heroes, "certainly, I can't and won't stop them if they want to go kill someone, but I would never force them to face their tormentors. That's a burden I'll take on for any of them."

"Midoriya," it's Eraserhead that steps forward now, making it clear that he's using his quirk on him. "Are you a villain?"

"Well, how can I be? I'm quirkless after all. Useless and pathetic and absolutely worthless," he beams brightly back at him, amusement still in his words. "That's what they teach us, you know. That we're a stain on society and should be put down. So I guess I'm more of a survivor than anything. And if I happen to pick up some friends along the way, that's fine right?"

"So you're a villain after all," Shigaraki butts in on their other side, a hungry quality to his tone. "Why aren't either of you doing anything about the heroes then?"

"Why should we? They're not our problem," Shouto shrugs, still curled into Izuku as much as he can be while standing.

"Think about it like this. Why should we let them off that easy when we can explain to them exactly where they went wrong and watch them wallow in their mistakes?" Izuku's retort is a lot more cruel, which is the point. The more they believe he's the one to watch, the safer Shouto is.

He's still self-sacrificial after all.

Chapter Text

It's after class, Aizawa-sensei has just told them that they're all going to the training camp anyway, even the students who failed. Izuku had half expected it, it didn't make much sense to keep back the students who failed. It's training camp, they too need to get better. It just makes more sense to make them do extra work for failing rather than keeping them from it all just to give them remedial classes they can do anywhere.

It's a logical ruse alright, which well. Izuku would be sad to see those who failed stay behind so he's not even going to comment.

Besides, he's got a plan he'd like to go through with and if people stayed behind then that might become an issue. This way they could say the camp is mandatory. Not optional at all.

If it's mandatory then there's no excuse for Todoroki-kun to not go.

And thinking of him, he hurries to grasp his sleeve and tug him behind the class as they all left, giving him a look to make sure he doesn't ask. Everyone'll let them leave on their own, he'd told Uraraka and Iida already to go ahead.

"Midoriya, Todoroki," Aizawa-sensei eyes them, halfway into his sleeping bag. "What is it?"

"Todoroki-kun, do you think you can tell him? It doesn't have to be here and you don't have to be the one to say everything or anything-" Izuku keeps his tone soft as he guides him closer to their sensei.

Todoroki clearly hesitates, Izuku knows he's still not entirely willing but a part of him wants desperately for things to get better. If he has to, Izuku will promise to do anything to make sure he doesn't have to keep living like he is. No. Not living.

Surviving.

It's become a matter of survival and that's something Izuku can't sit and let happen.

"Todoroki?" Aizawa focuses on him, waiting patiently for an explanation. "Would you like to have this conversation in the teachers lounge or my office?"

"Your office, please," Todoroki grasps Izuku's hand, keeping his gaze downwards and Izuku hates how uncertain and afraid he looks right now. He hates it but it's a necessary evil to make sure he won't have to look like that ever again.

"Would you like Midoriya along?" it must be an offer, Aizawa-sensei must have noticed how much Todoroki-kun is leaning on him. Good, Izuku would've insisted otherwise.

"Yes," the reply is just as quiet as before and Todoroki falls entirely silent on their walk there, Izuku and Aizawa-sensei taking his lead until Aizawa-sensei has closed the door behind them.

"Now, what is it you need to tell me?"

"I..." Todoroki-kun can't seem to find a place to start so Izuku squeezes the hand still in his grasp.

"Would you like me to say it, Todoroki-kun?"

"Please," it's practically a whisper at this point, but that's fine. Izuku can still hear him.

"Sensei, Endeavor needs to be arrested for child and spousal abuse," it's short and to the point and the most important thing their sensei needs to know about the entire issue.

Aizawa-sensei is silent for a moment and it feels like an eternity. Still, Izuku is patient. He knows that this will be resolved somehow. How is still a question, but he has learned to trust these adults with his own life. Trusting them with a friend is not a stretch.

He's seen this man almost die for them. He knows he will help.

"There are some key figures that will need to be involved with this to pull it off, is it alright if I call them here now, Todoroki-kun, or would you prefer that I alert them to the situation after this?"

"Nod if it's fine that they come now, shake your head if you'd prefer I do it later," Aizawa-sensei follows up on his question when it's clear Todoroki-kun is struggling to speak still.

Izuku watches him shake his head and understands all too clearly why he'd prefer to not be there. What if they don't believe it? What if they tell Endeavor? What if everything gets worse? Izuku has had these thoughts too, has had terrifying worries of what will happen to his friend if it all goes wrong.

It's what makes him ask, "-is it fine if I'm there for that?"

The other boy looks at him and Izuku has eyes only for him right now, his opinion on this is what matters. When Todoroki-kun slowly nods, he turns to Aizawa-sensei who has been quietly watching their interaction, "-sensei?"

"Alright," the man agrees, clearly taking his cues from Todoroki-kun.

"Would you like to wait for me, Todoroki-kun? I can ask Iida to show you where I live if you'd prefer to not be on the grounds?"

"My place is open as well, if you'd prefer that," options are good. Options means giving him a choice he desperately needs to feel in control of at least some aspects of his life.

Izuku has been reading about this and he doesn't know a lot, but he's noticed that part.

Todoroki-kun points a shaking finger at Aizawa-sensei who nods in acceptance, "-my place then. We'll go there before the meeting and I'll introduce you to some of the cats I'm fostering."

That brings out a tentative smile, which Izuku considers a success of the day. Now if only everything else can go just as smoothly.

"Sensei, would you prefer to hear everything before the meeting? There are some things... That you should probably hear before then," Izuku hadn't been ready to hear any of this when Todoroki-kun had first started and he's vaguely sure he made an enemy of Endeavor already on the same day because of it. Sensei might not be able to afford that and giving him at least some preparation should help.

At least then he will know that Endeavor is a villain. And villains will do anything to get what they want, will not hesitate to remove any threat to what they are aiming for. Eraserhead is about to be a threat to Endeavor and neither Izuku nor Todoroki-kun wants Endeavor to hurt their sensei.

Chapter Text

 

Tap, tap, tap.

 

The sun is shining, warmth caressing his skin through a breeze of wind that's barely there. If he tries to listen, he might hear birdsong. He sees a few pass by. Today is a beautiful day.

 

Tap, tap, tap.

 

Izuku bends down and unties his shoes, pulling them off and setting them together, tying the laces so that they won't be separated. His socks follow and he shivers, cold cement feeling strange to the skin of his feet. He is not used to going barefoot anywhere but home. It's a little uncomfortable.

Silence takes over the previous tapping sound of his shoes hitting cement.

He settles his backpack besides the shoes, taking out the barely readable notebook to look through just one more time. The autograph from All Might screams out at him from two of the All Might pages.

 

you can't be a hero

 

Izuku closes the book and returns it to his backpack. He knows every word in it by heart, he hadn't really needed it, but all his hard work in creating it is undone and he feels regret that he won't be able to fix it.

Pulling off his jacket and carefully folding it, smoothing out creases, he puts that, too in the backpack. Just so it won't fly away with the wind. Just so that it won't disappear. Mom won't have to buy him a new one, but maybe she can sell or give this one to someone else who might need it. Maybe it can still do some good in this world.

Maybe what he leaves behind will hold some use to someone else and in death he won't be useless like he is in life.

 

take a leap of faith

 

Izuku slowly steps closer and closer to the edge, staring at the blue wide sky in front of him. It's pretty, the clouds are few and move slowly and form shapes he could try to figure out for the rest of his life. Short as it will be. He is so busy watching them that he doesn't realize he's at the edge until his feet hit it and he almost stumbles right over it.

That would've been embarrassing, good thing he caught himself there.

Ah, but then... What does it matter. He's going to fall anyway, how he does it has no say. It won't be a nice sight, but maybe then the bullies will be careful with what they tell others. He's a part of a small community, but a community all the same. There are other people out there just as quirkless as him.

He's part of a statistic and now he's about to add himself to another one.

It feels unrealistic to stand there at the edge and know that he won't wake up tomorrow, won't greet his mother good morning and eat breakfast with her, won't run to school and maybe be distracted by heroes and villains battling it out in the middle of the city.

Izuku will not buy that hero book he'd been eyeing, he will not be planning for a hero costume, he will not be thinking about a hero name, he will not go to UA.

 

if you want a quirk so bad

 

All it would take is a single step forward. There is no fence stopping him, there is no one shouting up at him to not do it, the door does not slam open for someone to beg him to live. It is such a simple thing to step forward, like he's walking home, and fall. Just one step.

 

take a leap of faith off the roof

 

Izuku closes his eyes and thinks of his mother and then, with a smile, falls.

It's not a jump, he'd never dare to. But imagining that he's walking home to his mom, that the wind rushing by him is just that of a windy day, he's going home now, he's-

Standing.

 

can't be a hero

 

Izuku opens his eyes to see a clearing surrounded by a forest taller than three of him but somehow still bright. He thinks he sees fireflies between them but that can't be right, it's the middle of the day and when he looks up the sun shines back at him.

For a moment he hopes, prays, wishes that maybe, just maybe this is it. Maybe this is his quirk. Maybe he teleported himself out of danger at the last moment, maybe it truly was a leap of faith and Kacchan was right. Maybe Izuku isn't quirkless and he can go home now. He can go home and smile at mom and tell her he has a quirk, he's not quirkless after all, he's going to be a hero! And All Might will tell him, too, that Izuku can be a hero now.

He'll take back the words that he can't. Kacchan will stop being mean and be his friend again. They'll be heroes together, way up at the top.

Izuku closes his eyes and imagines the roof he'd stepped off, thinking about the socks and shoes and backpack and jacket that he'd left behind. He needs them now. And opening his eyes he expects to see them again but no, he hadn't teleported. Maybe he needs to pick somewhere he really wants to be? It doesn't explain the forest, but traumatic activation of quirks can do strange things the first time.

When he opens his eyes and expects to be home, he finds himself disappointed again.

Izuku wants to dream that it's a quirk that just needs him to be in danger, but he knows he's reaching already. He has the toe joint, it can't really be a quirk. Not his quirk.

Maybe someone teleported him to safety instead? Someone could've seen, someone he hadn't seen. It... Sounds impossible thinking it, but just maybe an accidental quirk activation had happened. Maybe a civilian had made a simple mistake.

Someone will come for him, then. Someone will be looking.

He should make himself seen, but he doesn't know how to build a fire. Should he try anyway? He can't burn down the forest. But... He can look for people. Not far, in case they know where they sent him. Just nearby.

 

I'm so sorry

 

Flinching, he hopes whoever sent him there finds his mother and tells her what they did. He doesn't want her to think he's dead when he's not.

Except, maybe that would be kinder. Maybe then she won't have to wonder if he's alright or happy. She can move on with her life. Maybe dad will finally come home and she can see him again, or she can go to him. Izuku won't be holding her back anymore. She might be happy, now.

In theory, there must be other worlds where he was never born. Those are the worlds he thinks she is happier in, with Hisashi. Maybe they had a child with a quirk, maybe that child befriended Bakugou Katsuki and stayed his friend. Maybe all the other worlds are ones where Midoriya Inko is much better off.

Maybe Izuku fell somewhere else, he thinks, when months pass and he meets not a single soul and sees not a single mark of humanity.

Some worlds could even be empty of humans. He wonders nervously if that means he's going to meet dinosaurs eventually, but he hasn't yet, there's only been small creatures, like fireflies but not. There was a pig, maybe, once. A boar. He might have been dreaming, wanting more food than what he's scoured from the forest and the closest river he could find. At least there are fish here, and at least they aren't poisonous. He hopes.

Shelter is built slowly, but it doesn't seem necessary for it does not storm. Light rain is the worst he's had and the sun had been quick to return before he could get ill. A little hut is fine up until he hears screaming and he jolts into awareness, sprinting towards the sun in time to see a group of children appearing outside the hut. Like they'd fallen, but they're all standing an entire moment before they gather themselves together and cry.

Izuku approaches slowly, clearing his throat and the tallest of them, a boy, looks up at him with wide eyes, tensing up as if ready for a fight. Izuku has never been able to watch someone cry and not try to help, so he kneels down and smiles gently at them and asks.

"Hungry? I have some stew if you'd all like some?"

He doesn't welcome them to the in between as he's begun calling it until little Fuyumi, as she is introduced, asks if he's alone and why he hasn't gone back to his parents yet.

"Well, I do miss my mom but it's been so long that I think she might be happy again now. I'm sorry, but I haven't found a way back yet and you're the first people I've seen since I came here."

 

Chapter Text

 

Fumikage: are we all online right now?

Ochaco: I am!

Tenya: did both of you finish your homework?

Izuku: I've finished mine

Tsuyu: yes

Hitoshi: no

Shouto: I'll do mine now

Ochaco: UHM

Fumikage: yes

Shouto: my father just left

Izuku: u in ur room rn?

Shouto: yes?

Hitoshi: rip

Shouto: wait

 

Izuku is idle

 

Shouto: you don't need to hfdsifhsi

Tsuyu: Shouto?

 

Shouto is idle

 

Tenya: I can't believe he's fucking dead

Ochaco: TENYA

Hitoshi: he will be missed

Tsuyu: no he won't

Fumikage: rip

Tsuyu: karma for eating my food

Ochaco: WHO HURT U

 

Izuku is online

Shouto is online

 

Shouto: guys I'm not dead

Tenya: I can still hear his voice sometimes

Hitoshi: welcome back to the land of living

Tsuyu: that's just his ghost

Shouto: I was gonna warn you but your loss

Tenya: warn me?

Ochaco: pfft

Tenya: what do you mesafhioushaoi

 

Izuku is idle

Tenya is idle

 

Shouto: I can't believe he's fucking dead

Tsuyu: rest in pieces

Shouto: I can still hear his voice sometimes

Fumikage: oh me too

 

Izuku is online

 

Ochaco: I'm ccry i n gg

 

Izuku is idle

 

Shouto: oh shit wait

Hitoshi: ...good luck

Fumikage: literally asking for it

Ochaco: what??

 

Ochaco is idle

Izuku is online

 

Izuku: I love u guys but

Izuku: y'all need some serious help

Fumikage: oh worm?

  

Tenya is online

Ochaco is online

 

Tenya: you're one to talk

Tsuyu: exhibit: usj

Shouto: he's not wrong

Ochaco: u guys get up to so much shit without me

Hitoshi: that's my line

Fumikage: it is madness

Tenya: you could've been one of us

Fumikage: have I been affected?

Shouto: ONE OF US

Fumikage: sanity is fading

Ochaco: no thanks, Fumi will be my sacrifice

Fumikage: thanks a lot Ocha

Ochaco: you're welcome!!

Hitoshi: top ten anime betrayals

Tenya: top ten anime brotrayals

Fumikage: die

Shouto: shh bakugou

Tsuyu: *bakagou

Fumikage: ...

 

Izuku is idle

 

Fumikage: w a i t

 

Fumikage is idle

 

Tsuyu: just 2 survivors today

Hitoshi: internet high five?

Tsuyu: ew no

Hitoshi: ouch

Shouto: want some ice for that sick burn?

Hitoshi: yes please

Tsuyu: gay

Hitoshi: that u god?

Tsuyu: yes

Tenya: no

Ochaco: probably

Hitoshi: k

 

Izuku is online

 

Izuku: ...guys pls

 

Izuku is idle  

Fumikage is online

 

Fumikage: I LIVE

Hitoshi: I don'thdfhg

Fumikage: RIP

Tsuyu: *pieces

 

Hitoshi is idle

 

Tsuyu: and then there were one

Tenya: congratulations

Ochaco: u sure about that

Fumikage: don't jinx yourself like that

 

Hitoshi is online

 

Hitoshi: no absolutely jinx yourself like that

Tsuyu: ...

Tsuyu: suddenly I have this bad feejkdfg

 

Tsuyu is idle

 

Hitoshi: bye bitch

 

Chapter Text

 

“Useless,” the boy mocks before running after the others.

Izuku wipes his tears as best as he can and tries to brush the dirt off his things before he puts them in his backpack. Some things can’t be saved without help at home but people will stare if he carries them, so those go in the backpack too, even if it means he’ll have to clean it as well when he gets home.

It’s better if he doesn’t attract any attention like this and make people think badly of his mom.

Izuku tries to imagine what she’d say if she knew, if she’d be disappointed in him, but it’s hard to think of his mom and not see her smile at him and hold her arms open to hug him. Or to try to smile but end up crying because of him.

He’s useless, it’s no wonder she cries, he’ll never be able to contribute to society.

Not even with his dream, his hopeless dream that everyone likes to spit on and trample over as they run off to pursue theirs.

A tug on the back of his jacket drags him back before he can register it, and looking up with wide eyes he sees a tall man staring down at him. A shiver runs down his spine, but he ignores it to squeak out a questioning “sir?”

“Traffic,” the man tells him, letting go and turning away.

It takes Izuku a moment to understand before he hastily follows the man, “-wait, thankyou-”

“Go home, kid,” is the only response he gets, the man stubbornly not looking at him, but Izuku can be stubborn too and his mom taught him to be polite and grateful. This man just saved his life.

Maybe he’s a hero?

What would this one say if Izuku tells him his dream?

Probably the same as everyone else. But what if he doesn’t? Izuku has dreamed bigger for less and if he says no then that’s just one more person he’ll have to prove wrong.

“Wait!” he insists, pausing when the man stops to look at him. There’s a hint of irritation there that’s familiar to that of his teachers but he can’t let that stop him.

“Are you- are you a hero?”

“...No.”

“Oh. Do you- nevermind,” he decides, it’s obvious that someone not a hero would say no.

“Kid, you followed me into an alley. Spit it out, it’s clearly important.”

Oh. He’s in an alley. His mom is going to be so upset with him, alleys are dangerous and he- he can’t protect himself. But.

But the man is right. If he’s already in danger then why not ask anyway. He doesn’t seem the type to waste the effort of saving him earlier.

“...Do you think someone quirkless can become a hero?”

If the moments after are completely silent, Izuku can’t confirm it, he thinks he can hear his thundering heartbeat anticipating the answer he’s about to get.

“If they work for it.”

“Oh, alri-” wait. That’s not a no. That’s… “Really?”

The man stares at him, clearly unimpressed, but Izuku beams in return anyway.

 

Chapter Text

 

“Kaminari?” 

Denki glances at the voice, plastering on a fake grin at Tokoyami and Dark Shadow, “hey, you’re up late. Sorry if I disturbed you.”

“Is that Kaminari-?” they hear from the kitchen before Tokoyami can say anything in response, though he doesn't seem like he's sure what to say so maybe that's for the better.

“...Midoriya too, huh? You guys doing something secretive?”

“A-ah, we’re not-” Midoriya protests, and Denki sees him wave his hands around like a minor copy of Iida.

“Why are you up so late?” Tokoyami interrupts smoothly, derailing Denki’s attempt at getting out of this without any explanations. Well, that’s fine, he’s got backups.

“Oh, just couldn’t sleep. S’my quirk, you see. Thought I’d get a quick walk around just to get some excess energy out and then try again,” to be fair it’s not entirely a lie. It’s just also not the truth and for a second he’s pretty sure they’re going to call him on it, Midoriya is frowning and mouthing something like he’s only seconds away from rambling about the subject.

But then Tokoyami nods, “I see. I hope it works, but if not you are free to come back and join us should we still be sitting here.”

“Yeah!” Midoriya perks up, nodding, and his smile is so determined and kind that Denki almost feels bad for deceiving them. Almost.

“Thanks,” he tells them and walks away.

He’ll have to be quick about getting out of here so he’ll have more time when they call sensei after realizing he hasn’t passed through again to go to bed.

When he walks out the door, he’s infinitely careful to make as little sound as he reasonably can. But not so much that they get suspicious.

Getting out of UA is easy enough from there if he disregards the fact that they’ll no doubt know pretty fast that he left. Maybe there’s even an alarm going off somewhere waiting for someone to notice and show them that he left.

He wonders who will be awake enough to come after him, or if they even will.

Maybe they’ll think he’s a traitor sneaking out, or they’ll look at his previous behaviour and think he’s off doing something teenager-y. They’ll probably decide he’s being childish, which is fine, less a chance that they’ll get him before it’s too late.

Denki gets twenty minutes away walking distance before his phone starts vibrating. He checks it and does the smart thing of not answering when he sees it’s sensei calling. Dumping the phone in the trash to give him even just one more minute is the better option and he takes it.

“C’mon,” he mumbles quietly to himself, shoulders tense as he tries to find that spot he knows should be somewhere around here. He’d researched it as best as he could without making anyone suspicious with his browsing history but somehow he thinks he might’ve gotten turned around a bit.

Of course that’s when he’s caught up with, rounding a corner to see a bridge and his sensei landing on the street in front of him, a glower on his face.

“And just where are you going in the middle of the night with no permission and classes tomorrow?” Aizawa-sensei drawls out, arms crossing in clear confrontation.

“I quit. So I don’t have class tomorrow and I don’t need permission to leave,” Denki flatly responds even though he knows they probably hadn’t seen his paperwork on his desk, left behind in his room in hopes that they’d take longer to notice him missing and would check there first.

“You quit,” he repeats, eyebrows raising.

“Paperwork is in my room, you can go get that instead.”

“How about you come with me and hand it in and we can discuss this. With your parents in attendance in the morning,” sensei puts a hand on his shoulder, pushing at him lightly to turn him back around towards UA but.

But Denki doesn’t want to go back.

"No!" Denki twists out of the grasp on his shoulder, backing up against the wall, hands clenching against the cold. "I'm not going- I won't go back! There's no point!"

"Kaminari-"

"Don't-" he trembles, but he doesn't know if it's anger or desperation fueling him now.

"Don't. I'm done, I quit. I'm never going to be a real hero, so go back to the others who will- Midoriya and Iida and- and Kirishima, Ashido-"

Aizawa-sensei is frowning at him but it's nothing like he's ever done before. The wariness Denki sees in his eyes proves what a good hero his sensei is, caring about someone as hopeless as him. But there's no use, Denki won't be a future pro hero even if he tries.

He's been trying so hard.

"If I didn't think you have the potential to be a hero, I would've expelled you on the first day."

Laughter spills forth entirely by accident, bitter and dark and knowing, "-my quirk, you mean. My quirk has the potential to be a hero's quirk. Not me."

"You got in because you know how to use it, Kaminari," this time sensei sounds urgent like there's something important about to happen and they can't miss it. Denki wonders if he'd figured out why this is where he's been hiding. He hopes not, it'll be harder to go through with it then.

“What, like it’s hard to use lightning? It’s not. Pick a target, direct it as best as you can. Done, anyone could do it,” I just got lucky, he doesn’t say. He’s pretty sure he doesn’t need to. “Robots are easy like that, villains won’t be. I quit, so just go home. I’m sure you’ve got papers to grade, though you can throw out mine.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Inko never wanted children.

She remembers being five and playing with dolls, remembers giggling with other little children about mommies and daddies and the baby dolls, remembers forgetting the babies because babies don’t do anything so they couldn’t make them do anything fun like they could the adult dolls.

Inko doesn’t remember playing family with just other children. She might have, she knows it might just be her being forgetful, but she doesn’t think about it. It’s not important whether she did or not.

Inko doesn’t want children, that’s not because of or despite anything from her childhood. Her parents were kind and good to her and got to see both her and her brother graduate from High School. Moving away was a hard but necessary decision that her brother never made after her. She still misses them every day and she’s grateful to have grown up as she did.

But that doesn’t mean she’ll be a good parent or that she won’t try her best if she happens to get pregnant. And can’t get an abortion.

She’d gone on dates young, none of her partners had ever spoken of having children. They’d tried to be careful and sometimes they’d forgotten but Inko kept morning-after pills for just in case scenarios. Better safe than sorry, her parents had taught her, though they’d been thinking of other just in case scenarios than that.

“You’d be a good mom,” one of her friends tell her once when she fusses over them, more hungover than her who doesn’t like to get blackout drunk even safe in the home of family or friends or even her own little apartment.

“Thank you,” she says and doesn’t mention that she’s not planning on being one. She’s not in the mood for a discussion. It’ll just become an argument like that.

Hisashi doesn’t talk about children on their first date, nor their fifth. Inko lets him invite her to his apartment on their sixth date and wakes up to his fingers tracing something on her skin. She’s too groggy to figure out what, if it’s important he’ll tell her.

“Good morning,” he says when he notices her looking at him, a smile on his lips when he leans over and kisses her.

“Good morning,” she smiles back and doesn’t think about him leaving her if she tells him she doesn’t want children. Maybe if she makes him love her enough, he’ll agree to not having any just to keep her.

Inko crawls on top of him and knows she’s being manipulative and that there’s no way it’ll end well but.

But she loves him as she’d never thought she could love anyone and she spends time imagining their future together and it’s beautiful and happy and she wants that.

There are no children in her fantasies.

Hisashi gets a job that requires him to travel but he has a friend with a warp quirk. They move in together anyway so he doesn’t have to pay rent for an apartment he’s never in. Hers is bigger.

“I love you,” she tells him one evening, when they’re sitting down for dinner she somehow hasn’t managed to screw up. She’ll get better, he tells her, if she wants to.

“Do you imagine children with me in the future?”

Hisashi looks at her for a moment, maybe he’s trying to figure out what brought this on. Maybe he’s hoping this will lead to the let's have children talk. Maybe he thinks she’ll say she’s pregnant.

She’s not.

“I imagine you in my future,” he tells her quietly. “Any children would be with you.”

Inko goes quiet for a while, tries to think up a way to get the right words out without losing him. It’s not until they’re in bed that she asks him.

“What if I don’t want children?”

Hisashi doesn’t answer her and she thinks he must have fallen asleep, but when she looks at him he’s still awake.

Inko doesn’t look again, even though she doesn’t manage to fall asleep all night.

“My parents and my brother live on the other side of the country,” she confides in him the next morning, knows he’ll take it the wrong way that she’s never mentioned them before now. As far as he was concerned she had no immediate family left.

Hisashi is supposed to finish his breakfast so he can get ready for work. Instead, he looks at her.

“My mother was eighteen when she got pregnant with me and nineteen with my brother. Our dad is over a decade older than her,” it’s not that she’s trying to explain herself, she’s just sharing the parts of them that define them now.

Being a parent is a defining trait.

“I have to go,” Hisashi replies, leaving the food for her to clean up. She doesn’t have work today.

They go on more dates, Hisashi doesn’t come home as often but he still comes home. He still kisses her, they still eat dinner together as much as they can and he still holds her in his arms when they sleep. They’re still very much in love.

Hisashi tells her they don’t have to have children and Inko believes him.

They’ve been together for two years when she gets pregnant. Hisashi comes home from work and she tells him she wants an abortion.

Hisashi tells her she’s allowed to change her mind.

“I told you I don’t want children,” Inko reminds him even though she shouldn’t have to.

“Give birth to the baby, let it grow within you, and if you haven’t changed your mind when they are born, you don’t have to raise them,” he promises, but there’s steel in his tone that Inko is afraid to examine more closely.

“What if I don’t want to give birth?” she asks quietly.

“Then there’s the option of a C-section,” provides her with a reason to worry.

“And if I don’t want to carry a child around for months and months?”

“I want a child,” Hisashi admits for the first time during the years they’ve spent together. “I didn’t think I could have one, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give someone a child. I want this child, Inko.”

“I’ll think about it,” it’s not entirely a lie, she will think about it. But Inko won’t want to do this any more when she’s three months in and bent over the toilet, regretting her whole life.

Two weeks later she takes a breath to keep steady and crosses the street to the clinic where she’s scheduled an abortion and walks through a warp.

“I want this child,” she hears Hisashi say from behind her and a door closes behind her, leaving her in their bedroom alone.

Chapter Text

 

"I’m home," his tone is soft as he carefully steps inside, shoulders tensing as there is no reply. Their walls aren’t so thick that she wouldn’t hear him and he’d hear it if she was listening to music. She’s not, and she’s also not answering.

Izuku knows mom is home. Should be home. Should be answering him. Should be coming towards him with a smile, glad to see him visiting even though it hasn't been long since he moved into the dorms.

His mom should be standing in front of him, utterly delighted like she always is.

She's not.

"Mom?" he deliberately calls out louder even though he knows it won't change anything.

When he walks into the living room a part of him already knows what is about to greet him, it whispers to him don’t, don’t go in there, you don’t want to go in there Izuku, don’t do it. It doesn't stop him, and the strength he’s used up fighting his fear leaves him falling to his knees just inside the room and being forced to crawl over to the dark stains on the floor, the overpowering smell of blood betraying its nature despite the way it doesn't look like it.

Izuku doesn’t recognize her the way she is now, not when she looks at him like there’s nothing. Because she can’t see him. 

"Mom," he screams, louder than before, reaching out to shake her awake.