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Snippets I Haven’t Begun

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Izuku could always see the lights. They pulsed around the heart inside people and sometimes in animals, but those were rarer. They would swirl and pulse to their separate tunes, sometimes fast and other times barely at all.

No one believed him at first, he remembers that much. “Such a good imagination you have!” they would coo as they pinched his cheeks or ruffled his hair. But then he started studying the lights and he eventually realized, even though he was super young, that he could tell what the person’s quirk was with just a glance.

That’s when mama took him to the doctor. They couldn't meet with his normal one, Tsubasa-san, so they went to this super nice lady that said to call her Mikoto-chan! Izuku really likes Mikoto-chan because she lets him play with her floating hair while she talks with mama about grown-up stuff.

Izuku was only two when his quirk was named Telling Light. An early bloomer, they called him even when he’s seen the lights since he was a baby. Mama thinks it must be from daddy’s quirk, but she doesn't know what it was because she only met daddy once.

Izuku wonders. If his dad had been in the picture could he have warned Izuku that his quirk wasn’t just seeing lights? That would’ve relieved a lot of stress and panic.

It happened on Kacchan’s fourth birthday when they were over at his best friend’s house for the party between their families.

Now, it wasn’t a new development that Izuku noticed everyone had a glow to their chest from their heart-light. Mama, Kacchan, auntie Mitsu and uncle Masu. Everyone…everyone but Izuku.

Izuku had been staring at mama’s light as he made grabby hands for his slice of cake she was floating toward her hands. He didn’t get the cake. What he got was the plate falling to the floor and a pale green pulse coming from under his chin.

Mama’s light had flown into him.

He cried for a long time after that because he didn’t want to take mama’s quirk even if Kacchan called Izuku’s own dumb and that he couldn’t be a hero with it. It was still his. He didn’t wanna steal!

It ended up being Kacchan who calmed him down in the end. And it was because of Kacchan that they found out he wasn’t able to only steal other’s quirks and keep them himself. It was because Kacchan’s bright orange light jumped into his chest while mama’s green flew into Kacchan’s chest when they hugged.

Bright sparks popped from his palms in shock behind Kacchan’s back.

It took a long time to get everyone’s lights sorted out again after another freakout, but Izuku’s very glad he has Kacchan there with him the whole time. Especially when, a few years later, the ash-blond lets him borrow his quirk to train “in case I can’t save your fucking ass because I’m too busy kicking others! If we’re going to be a duo you need to know how to work a familiar fucking quirk!”

Izuku isn’t sure how far he would have gotten with everyone else telling him he could never be a hero if not for Kacchan, who stopped being mean to people because of their quirks since “what if you get it, shitface!? Then it’d be cool! Not my fault all these extras don’t know how to get the full potential from their own quirks!”

Trade-Off became the new name of his quirk, and with training and hard mental and physical work, he managed to perfect the ability to swap quirks without even passing through himself first. There was that one awkward moment where Izuku accidentally rammed mama’s and Kacchan’s quirks together — Explontrol ended up allowing Izuku to make an explosion and then control where it went as it popped like mad. It took forever to untangle them inside his own chest, but he managed.

He was never more thankful for this training then when at his dream school Yuuei, on a field trip to the USJ…they were attacked by villains. A giant horde of them.

Aizawa-sensei said he would handle it but Izuku could sense the mutant-types and knows that despite how good Eraserhead is, he couldn’t fight too long once he loses the element of surprise. His quirk just doesn’t work that way, and his body will fail eventually.

So before Aizawa-sensei could throw himself into battle Izuku was at the top of the stairs, arms raised as he flicked his fingers wildly. People stumbled with new or less weight and cried out in shock when their quirks were no longer what they had been. It would be an absolute mess getting everyone’s quirk back but he figures when a black portal opens up underneath him too quick for anyone to do anything and he ends up in front of the leader that it would be worth it in the end.

Why? Because Izuku’s butt barely makes bruising contact with the ground before he’s pulling a twisted grey light away from the young man with…oh, Izuku’s gonna be sick. Severed hands; real, formerly attached to living people hands all over his body!!

The quirk lands in his chest like an old friend while a piece of nothing settles like a void in the man’s. Decay. Five fingers, can’t be turned off, can work on anything but their own skin (his now) and could work insanely quickly if pushed. The man grabs Izuku’s arm but Izuku is already throwing him off when the man is shocked his quirk doesn’t activate.

Izuku whips around to the warp-gate man as he calls out the name Shigaraki Tomura, and Izuku yanks. The two quirks in his chest meld into something truly horrifying if Izuku is being honest. Anything that’s warped will now decay. Not fully, but multiple trips will destroy it.

“NOMU!!” Shigaraki screeches when the mist-man falls to the ground as…is he only inside the neck brace!? Holy heck!

Focus! Time to see how well he can use a warp that requires locations to work. He opens the portal with a raised hand to direct it. He doesn’t trust himself to not miss if he doesn’t.

The nomu doesn’t even pause as it charges through, so Izuku opens it up above the plaza before putting another wider one above the ground so it couldn’t land. It screams shrilly as it falls and falls and falls.

Shigaraki howls behind him, louder than the beast, but Izuku side-steps and kicks him in the back as he passes. Training with Kacchan numbed him to all surprise attacks no matter how inhumanly fast they may be.

“Please don’t,” Izuku says, watching the skin of the nomu full of multiple quirks repair itself with regeneration over and over. “Your nomu can handle multiple warpings. You won’t. I don’t want to hurt you if I don’t have to.”

Shigaraki lets out one last scream before the doors burst open and All Might is there.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“Hello, I’m detective Naomasa. I’m sorry for this being so soon, but I need your full name, age, and the reason you were in USJ during the time of the attack for evidence.”

“Umm, well, my name is Midoriya Izuku, I’m a fifteen-year-old first year at Yuuei. I’m in the hero course class A. We were on a field trip when the villains warped in.”

“Your quirk is registered as first being Telling Light, but was later changed to Trade-Off, am I correct?”

“Yes, sir.”

“And your mom is Midoriya Inko, whose quirk is registered as Attraction of Small Objects. Your father is not listed whatsoever. Do you think your quirk is somehow related to his?”

“Umm, mom thinks so, yeah. I mean, I never met him, and mom never got his name so it’s…it’s up in the air. We think so, though.”

“And you’re the one who switched over thirty quirks around during the attack? I simply want confirmation of your sensei and classmates’ observations.”

“Oh, umm. Yes. I’m sorry about that. I also have the two ring-leaders’ quirks with me. Decay Warping is what they’ve become. It’ll take me a while to untangle them but…I’m not sure it’s a good idea to give them back yet? Sorry if that’s overstepping, sir, but I figured telling you outright is better than lying and saying I want to give them back because…well, I mean I do. I don’t want to leave them like that–”

“Midoriya-kun, it’s okay. We will have you give everyone back their original quirks eventually. After they are secured with quirk suppressing cuffs, but in the meantime, I’d like you to explain what you know about the creature.”

“Um, they– well, the pale blue-haired man was called Shigaraki Tomura, and he called it a nomu. I knew right away that it wasn’t…um, there? Like, physically it was a very intimidating presence, but it only listened to Shigaraki’s call so it wasn’t thinking for itself. It had regeneration, super strength, and super speed bulked up in bundles. That’s why I put it through the warp. I tried to keep it alive– wait, did I? I sorta passed out from using the new quirk for so long!”

“The nomu is fine. Completely docile since it isn’t being given orders, and despite its former state it has completely regenerated itself.”

“Oh thank goodness.”

“Thank you for answering. That’s all the questions I have for you, Midoriya-kun. Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?”

“Just…how is everyone else?”

“Unharmed thanks to your quick thinking. There were other villains scattered throughout the USJ, but they were all dealt with swiftly by the pro heroes at your school. Your friends were all very worried about you. Now, is that all you want to know? Your mom is waiting outside for you.”

“Um, one more thing. Is the reason you asked about my quirk…because of the nomu? Because it has multiple quirks?”

“I…I’m afraid so, Midoriya-kun. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you why–”

“Is it because of All Might’s quirk?”

“Oh! You know about that?”

“All Might…confided in me……after I saw him…late? He wanted me to take something but I was too afraid of accidentally trading it. Very pretty lights. Lots of different colors.”

“I’m sure they– wait. How many colors, you say?”

“I think about…eight? Two are really closely melded together, while the other seven float around it. Like the sun! I always wondered why he only used the sun–”

Shit. “I need to make a call.”

Chapter Text

The raid was going well. Oddly well, actually

It was setting Shota on edge.

Since his team had entered first, scouring silently through the halls to confirm data coming up negative. Halls that were supposed to be crawling with people if the report was anything to go by. But they weren’t.

“There’s nothing here!” Shota hisses into his earpiece. “They must have been alerted–” and then he hears the sound of many people talking. “Wait…I hear voices.”

“Careful, Eraser!” Hizashi calls, voice slightly strained.

“Yes, do not engage until backup arrives, Eraserhead,” Charlatan warns lowly. “We need to be cautious. This is the biggest crime boss under a Yakuza organization for a reason!

Shota huffs at her reminder –he’s not an idiot– and continues forward. The voices grow louder — the sound of arguing obvious. He gets close enough to the door to make out words, pressing his ear there.

“–n’t be serious Boss! We won’t be able to move the shipments out as easily as we did the lackeys!” a woman screeches in a high, reedy voice.

“I agree. There’s no reason for such a sudden relocation!” a man booms, followed by the bang of a heavy fist on a table, a few scraping chairs and upset murmurs continuing.

The sound of what might be another fist slamming by a second woman, but could be a wooden chair breaking silences it all. “I don’t care what y’all think! The Boss ain't no novice! If he says we gonna move out we MOVE. OUT.”

“Now now, everyone,” purrs a voice he finally recognizes. The leader –Boss– otherwise known as Midoriya Hisashi. “I understand your concerns, but I will explain everything after we reach our next base. Hold with me until then, shall we?” There’s a bunch of mumbling before the chairs scrape again.

“They’re moving,” Shota warns lowly, tensing his muscles.

“Almost there. I’m close enough, don’t let them escape!”

Shota slams the door open, ready to activate his quirk the second he’s through…but he doesn’t. There’s only one person in the room.

It’s a kid with curly green hair who is heavily bound by black leather around their stomach, forearms, and legs, strapping them to a metal chair. But that’s not the worst part.

There’s thick straps of red leather prying the kid’s lower jaw down, both sides attached to their hips while more bands keep their neck in the same upward-tilted position. Drool slides down the leather, and their throat bobs dramatically as they swallow. There’s a sodden red blindfold that has tear tracks on it, and a glint of metal vertically inside their mouth that has Shota biting back curses. Not that he wasn’t already, but shit this is sick!

And of course, that’s when his eyes notice the aux cord sticking out just below the kid’s jaw, tucked away under their hair. Sticking out from a stripe of pale skin, not leather. Skin that is inflamed red and oozing from infection. The aux cord leads to a speaker just behind the back leg of the chair, partially shielded by the kid’s floor-length hair.

The sound of scraping chairs cuts off abruptly to a coo. “Oh, we have guests!” It’s Midoriya Hisashi’s voice, but it’s coming from the boy’s mouth. A recording?!

The sudden dramatic music under the next words is not pleasant. “I’m so glad you could make it, heroes!”

The kid starts visibly shaking, tears speeding down their cheeks, and Shota is already taking a step forward when Midoriya’s next words stop him in his tracks. “Now now now, I know you hero types are just dying to rescue my precious Zu-chan, but you see, you’re all so painfully predictable! So unless you want this building and an entire three city blocks around you to become a pretty little light show, I suggest you don’t move even a centimeter closer.”

Shota’s earpiece crackles to life half a second later, condemning them. “Shit, he’s not lying. Breaker just found one two blocks down. We’re evacuating civilians now.”

“Oh, this is always the most fun part to watch. The debate! The scramble!! I’ve watched enough of them to imagine the looks on your faces right now. You want to tear me apart, don’t you?” Midoriya breaks off into a fit of smooth laughter. “I mean, you want to save the innocent little boy from evil’s clutches!” That sickly smooth laughter again.

Hizashi skids in next to him, breathing heavily. He has the same pinched look Shota does, and his fists were shaking by his side.

“Oh, what would they think of you, Zu-chan? If they knew what you’ve done!?” the man cackles, no longer sounding professional or put together. He sounds unhinged. “Would they still try to rescue you, I wonder?!”

Hizashi’s mouth is opening before Shota’s can, but once again, Midoriya is faster. “Not a peep out of you, heroes, or I press the activation button right now. I want you to hear what little Zu-chan’s done for his papa!”

Shota whips his head to look at Hizashi, eyes wide behind his goggles. Shit, this kid is–

“See that, Zuzu? Well…I guess you can’t, but they’re hesitating now! All heroes do. How much of you being tied up is a ploy, my little plan? Hmm, they can’t be too safe, you know. But that’s okay, papa knows! He knows what a good little boy you’ve been for him!!”

Shota really wants to throttle Midoriya until he can’t breathe. His son is clearly in distress by this whole setup, and even if it is acting, they can have Tsukauchi check for legitimacy later. They’re not leaving what might be a twelve-year-old here to the mercy of a rather clearly abusive father.

“We’ll get to storytime in a minute, but first! I’m sure you heroes want to know how we knew about the raid, am I right? It’s because of little Zu-chan here! Isn’t that right, Zuzu?”

The boy flinches hard, has been every time Midoriya calls him Zuzu, so Shota is willing to bet money it’s not the boy’s actual name. It’s a pet-name, a way to keep this kid under Midoriya’s thumb.

“It’s amazing what information you can get with the right voice asking it!” Midoriya cackles. “You don’t know how much we got out of Zu-chan here. He’s very good at figuring out the little odds and ends of quirks, you know! It’s a hobby of his! I wouldn’t be half as powerful without him giving me all you heroes’ weaknesses!!

“Fuck you,” Shota spits. The boy flinches harder than before, and Shota has to admit he’s never felt worse in his life. Not even when he stepped on his cat’s tail. “Someone get Ingenium over here yesterday!”

“On it,” Charlatan says, sounding as pissed off as Shota feels. “T-minus two minutes until all bombs but the one in your room are dealt with and safely disabled.”

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

They rush the boy to Recovery Girl and the waiting game commences.

“Well?” Shota prompts when Chiyo doesn’t speak up right away after the examination.

“He’s resting now. His name is Izuku and I’ve treated the sores in his mouth and infections. He’s malnourished and dehydrated, way underweight, but with a proper diet and scheduled visits with me he’ll be better in no time.” Good, now what’s really got you bothered? “As for his situation. From what I could understand, and what Izuku himself understands, he’s able to mimic any sound he hears, be it vocal or simply sounds, and his father thought that could be useful for his ‘business’ so he murdered his mother and stole him away.”

Fuck! It’s not even over. Chiyo glances back to the door where Izuku is sleeping with sad eyes. “He doesn’t remember what his own voice sounds like, so he uses other people’s. Shota, that jack in his neck isn’t because of his quirk. It’s burned straight to his vocal cords — he says his father superheated a mold and literally made it without any anesthesia. We’re lucky we didn’t lose him to shock.”

Shota feels… he’s never been this pissed in his life. He barely hears her when she says, “And that’s not even starting on all the other scars he has.”

The moment they find Midoriya Hisashi he is going to kill a man. Consequences be damned.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“So I can stay here?” Hizashi’s voice whispers desperately out of Izuku’s mouth. “Really?

Shota has never heard Hizashi’s voice sound so broken, and he could do without ever hearing it again. They need to find a voice the kid likes or this will get confusing fast……and he needs a haircut.

“‘Course, kid. Wouldn’t have offered if you couldn’t.”

Izuku peeks out from his curtain of hair, pushing half of it over his right shoulder to reveal doe-eyed green pools. The kid doesn’t smile, exactly, but he looks a bit happier.

“You want to get a haircut?” Because really, he doesn’t mind long hair. Heck, Hizashi has his to his waist, but the kid’s curly hair will take a lot more effort to tame and it’s closer to shin-length.

“I…I’m allowed to?”

Once again, Shota doesn’t think he’ll be able to express how deeply Midoriya Hisashi will feel his unbridled fury once Shota gets his hands on him. All Might himself won’t be able to pry him off.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

It was inevitable that Izuku would run into problems, triggers from his horrible life. Shota just didn’t expect the boy to react to Hound Dog by yelping in such a way it sounds like a dog being kicked, followed by a distinctly feline hiss.

~~~~~~

They’re fighting. Shota doesn’t remember over what, probably something stupid involving Midoriya, but he does remember this:

A foghorn blaring at such a pitch it’s enough to crack the glass. Enough to rival Hizashi.

Everyone is stunned into silence, turning to find Izuku with his hands over his ears and a pitiful whisper of the same sound trickling out.

Blood dribbles in the corner of his lips.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku likes being tucked under Shota’s desk. He gets to do what he likes, now. He’s not even forced to do his analysis journals — they never ask to see it, he can show them if he wants to.

And under the desk, he can hear the students talking, and he can sit in on lessons and analyze quirks and people all he wants even if it’s a little trickier when the exercise is outside but Izuku makes do without being seen.

He likes not being seen.

Of course, he never thought it would come in handy against bullies so quickly. Not in a hero school.

“Look at the villain, guys!” he hears a girl croon wickedly. He flinches at first, trying to hide behind hair that was to his ribs, but then he realizes, wait, I’m in the ventilation. They’re not talking to…me……?

And well, Izuku’s not about to let this one go. He doesn’t like bullies, and Shota says he doesn’t have to deal with what he doesn’t like anymore. After all, no one deserves to be called a villain if they aren’t.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Shinso Hitoshi didn’t get into the hero course like he wanted to so, of course, some of his former classmates managed to get into general education, too.

Manasu Shiko has two new goons with her because she doesn’t do ‘friends’ whatsoever.

“Look at the villain, guys!” she jeers, a smirk plastered across her face.

Goon number one is a large boy with stretchy arms who seems eager to contribute, so he must be a seasoned player in this little game. “Yeah, he’s the one that controls people, rig–”

He doesn’t get to finish. Because someone else speaks first. “All three of you head to principal Nezu and explain yourselves,” a tired, scratchy voice of an adult drawls as the sound of footsteps nears. “I’ll know if you lie, and if I get over there and you’re still here, you’ll be expelled.

Hitoshi doesn’t think he’s seen three people move in such synchronized panic before, but here he is. He whips around to face the teacher and– and he’s faced with a teen shorter than himself walking out from behind the corner, green hair falling almost to their waist in messy curls.

“Where–”

“Sorry,” the newcomer says with Hitoshi’s voice. “I…I should probably go make sure they tell the truth. Yuuei is very strict about bullying. Umm, it was nice meeting you, Shinso!”

And they just…turn to leave. “Wait, no.” Greenie freezes. “You can’t just swoop in and expect me to let you go. I’ve got questions. Starting with why you’re using my voice and know my name!”

Greenie turns around slowly, shoulders tense. “Umm, I can explain later?” at Hitoshi’s look they fidget. “Or you could come with me now?? I need to meet up with my guardian soon, anyway, so you can meet him!” Their face lights up as they added, “He really likes you!”

Hitoshi doesn’t know how to take this person, but he follows anyway. He’s about halfway there when he realizes he doesn't have a name and they aren’t even wearing a uniform.

Well shit.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Shota stares down at Izuku tiredly. “You…Izuku. You can’t just kidnap students from their classes whenever you want.”

Izuku looks up at him from where he’s holding onto Shinso’s sleeve. “But I like him,” he says in Hizashi’s voice and with a wobbly lip. This little manipulator. “And you like him.”

Shinso looks somewhere between awestruck and terrified, and ready to bolt if he wasn’t cemented in place by both of those emotions.

“And you kidnapped him because?”

“People were calling him a villain because of his quirk. I didn’t like that. Can we keep him? Pretty please?”

“Izuku,” he groans. “You can’t just–”

Izuku pouts with rounded cheeks. “But he needs training if he wants to get into the hero course.”

“Can’t just afoot people,” Shota cuts in sternly.

Izuku ignores him.

“We can help!”

“I.z.u.k.u.”

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku, otherwise known as “Mask” has become one of the most notorious villains known to Yuuei’s famous former class 1-A for years. On top of already having the death and blood of Mineta Minoru on his hands from the first attack of the League of Villains back at USJ, he also seems to have a rather deep past with their classmate and friend, Bakugo Katsuki.

But what happens when the past isn’t what it was thought to be by anyone?

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“What do you think you’re doing here, Deku!? Fucker, you’re still doing this to your mom!!” Bakugo snarls, standing between Mask and his classmates not because they need protection (already in their third, long year in the hero course, they can defend themselves just fine) but because Deku has been avoiding him for years.

Deku dares to blink at him, dressed in his stupid suit and tie. And then he throws his head back and cackles, sending painfully familiar chills up the spines of everyone blockaded in the industrial-grade room.

Mask leans over the railing, still giggling. “Wait. You truly still think I’m Midoriya Izuku, don’t you, little bunny?” Then, to everyone’s horror and before anyone could react, Mask lifts his hand to his face and starts peeling the skin off, revealing a featureless slate in its place as the former face hangs from fingers…fluffy green hair and dead eyes in all.

“I am Face,” the creature states, voice no longer reminiscent of that of a young teenage boy, and instead ground and echoed out like gravel in several blenders– from a mouth that stretches cakey skin messily over a dripping red chasm. “And I borrowed little Midoriya Izuku’s face, memories, personality, and life for me to use whenever I want because he’s been dead since he was ten.”

At Bakugo’s horrified and pale expression, Mask/Face smirks. “The boy was already jumping off the roof without me even giving the final shove…all thanks to you, Ka~chan~”

Narrator voice: There are times where one can’t pinpoint the reason for the change in an alternate reality because there are too many factors that played a part…and then there are times where it is blatantly obvious which trigger it was.

For this particular reality, young Bakugo Katsuki took the step too far four years earlier. It was one fateful day where the two boys had been playing in the forest with their two ‘friends’ and it really was unfortunate that the two boys fuzzed-out by time joked about what happens after death. How useless people don’t get a good reincarnation or afterlife, whichever you choose to believe in.

It was then that Katsuki had gotten a wicked little idea and he barked out a laugh at it, turning to meek little Deku with a haughty smirk on his lips and crackles in his palms.

“You hear that Deku?” the boy asked with a bite in his voice as he sneers. “You’ve got no hope now! Heck, you might as well jump off a roof or something and hope for a quirk in your next life! Though with how useless you are, you’d probably not even get one then, either!”

He had turned from the boy to laugh it up with his followers, so he missed the way little Midoriya Izuku crumpled in on himself, green eyes once so bright losing their spark as they watered and he clutched at an arm that long ago started collecting precise cuts all in neat little rows.

Little ten-year-old Bakugo Katsuki would have no way to know beforehand that Izuku took those carelessly tossed words all too seriously– after all, how could the boy think he would if not even Izuku planned on jumping.

All he had planned on doing was staring down at the little creek behind the old and loud arcade for a while. There was a nice but small forest behind the building, and that was the only real reason Izuku had ended up there.

But then, ever so slowly, Izuku’s brilliant mind oh so muddled with his abuse over the years, began to overthink. A little boy bogged down in his own head could never see how his mother worked extra shifts to get enough money so they could move, not because she couldn’t stand to look at him. And after he reasoned to himself that his mom would do better without him……there wasn’t anything else to really think over.

What with how everyone treated him as if he had some contagious disease or was simply invisible until the day got too dull and it needed some laughter in it so they turned at laughed at him.

Little Midoriya Izuku closed his eyes and fell forward just as the first patter of rain fell from the darkened sky. And he didn’t see the pleasantly surprised creature looming behind him with an arm outstretched inches away, nor would he see the way the creature knelt by his body half broken in the creek before destroying that too-small body no one had heard hit the ground over the sound of laughter, gaming, and the oncoming storm.

He didn’t have to witness it putting on his face, shrinking down, and then playing his life like a sick little game where it could pick and choose how to act.

Maybe that was for the best, in the end.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Copycat by Billie Eilish that very loosely inspired this idea, and what I have doesn’t really get the point across.

Chapter Text

ONE
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Tags for this idea:
Relationships~ #Midoriya Izuku & his Quirk

Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku

Additional Tags~ #controversial animal dishes, #skeleton animals, #talking animals, #Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence

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Talking skeletons are annoying.

Well, let him rephrase that statement since it’s a bit harsh and he doesn’t want to start a stereotype. Talking skeletons named Sash are annoying.

Talking skeletons named Sash that won’t go away are the worst.

Maybe Izuku should explain?

Well, where to start? Ah, of course! Unlike what the doctor said when he was four, Izuku does have a quirk! He just didn’t know about it until he was six mainly because he had never eaten raw meat before due to his mom always cooking it no matter what.

That fact in his life changed when Kacchan –his childhood friend, Bakugo Katsuki– dared him to take a bite out of a raw fish in the dish his mom made for the group at the park.

Sashimi.

And let me tell you, there is nothing quite as traumatizing as biting into a chunk of meat and suddenly have a fish skeleton screaming bloody-murder in your faces. He thinks Kacchan almost cried, which is saying something considering Kacchan only cries when he’s super worked up and angry.

Of course, Sash had only been visible to them for less than a minute, so his friends got over the scare pretty easily…ish. None of them ate fish for months after that. Izuku on the other hand?

Let’s say you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has eaten as many different types of raw meat as Izuku has. You’d also be hard-pressed to find someone who cried over every single bite he took because he had to eat a piece from at least five separate animals of each species, even if all he did was take a tiny chunk while they still live the rest of their lives without ever knowing.

Cow. Pig. Chicken. Horse. Deer. Sea Turtle. Frog. so many different Fish. Crab. Shrimp. Octopus. Whale. Grasshopper. Shark. Ant. Elk. Dog. Llama. Sheep. Crocodile. Alligator. Lobster. Pigeon. Duck. Goose. Rat. Rabbit. Donkey. Goat. Cat. Yak. Dolphin. Narwhal. and more. Too many to list, really.

It was bad enough he had to do this if he wanted to become a hero, which meant spending the money to get these tiny pieces of exotic and sometimes heartbreaking slices of meat. But he just about died when he accidentally ate baby animals or found something dead at random, because whyyyyyyyyyy.

Ehem. Izuku calls his quirk Skeletal Summon, or SS for short.

Now, SS allows him to eat any raw meat without ill side effects and instantly be able to summon the skeleton of that animal from thin air with the only drawback being it takes energy from the food Izuku eats and is needed to keep them visible and able to interact with the world.

That means they usually disappear after he’s done giving them energy. U.S.U.A.L.L.Y that is…

““Heeeeey, Ukuzi! Ukuzi! Hey hey, Ukuzi! Blub~ Blub~ Blub~!””

Sash the salmon is not one of them, and has been around since the very beginning. Yup, you heard right, folks! Screaming Sash. The bane of Izuku’s existence……!!!

“Could you be quiet for one day of my life!?” Izuku snaps. “Is that too much to ask!?!”

Said fish floats around his head as Izuku rides through the Yuuei entrance exam on the back of a skeleton cow traveling an inch or so above ground level. His life is so weird, yes, he knows. ““You know I don’t respond when you use that tone of voice, Ukuzi!””

“You never listen no matter what tone I use! I mean, my name is Izuku! Why is that so hard for you??

““Oh, you know it isn’t! Blub~ It just makes you mad and I mean, it’s not like I’ve got anything better to do! Blub~ Blub~””

The well-worn cow under him rattles as a large boar skeleton darts ahead of them and slams into a robot off to the side. ““Mroo! Ya two are da most annoyin’ things on this ‘ere planet!! Why do ya always summon me? Thank the heavens mah soul has already passed.””

“Sorry Motsuna,” Izuku sighs, leaning to the side to avoid a large horse and deer charging forward with a large dog nipping their heels. He’s too tired to worry about names at the moment. He’ll apologize later. “You’re my second oldest so I guess it’s just habit?”

With a sharp huff, she stops them at the center of the chaos, and Izuku watches as a flock of birds without feathers divebomb a robot already being swiped at by a few cats. A pack of dogs is tearing into another, beside one drowning in a combination of seafood, crabs, and lobsters. The people around him are keeping up with the skelimals –skeleton animals because little Izuku was already so very tired– but avoiding the rats riding a large ram who is being led by an eight-foot alligator.

He’s honestly surprised most of the people are still sticking around, though his SSs –skeletal summon(s)– are leaving plenty of robots for the other contestants. Izuku is very glad he stuck with relatively normal and not exotic/rare skeletons this time.

““Hey hey, Blub~ hey!” Sash croons, whipping in front of his face. “Ukuzi, you might wanna look up now hoo hoo hoo!””

With a groan, Izuku looks up, and he nearly screams and falls off the ribcage. There’s a giant robot rising out of the ground and is that thing seriously worth zero points!?

Like all things in his life, just as he notices it, it sparks to life and knocks its arm into a building– sending debris all over the road in front of it.

““Well if that ain’t just peachy-keen,”” Motsuna states, shifting with a rattle underneath him. “Should I run, Moo~?”

Izuku opens his mouth to say ‘yes, very much yes, run please!’ when he hears a strained cry for help over the sound of panicking people. There’s a girl who helped him earlier and she’s trapped, and everyone is running right by her. “Sorry, Motsuna! See you later!!”

And with a clap of his hands, his energy is broken away from every skelimal he has currently out in order to summon two much larger animals. He doesn’t think he’s imagining it when the screams get louder as he stumbles onto the ground and a minke whale paired with a great hammerhead shark swims into view high above them.

“Minnie! Finny!” he calls up loudly, rushing forward against the zap of his energy. Curses, he’s used up his energy pills and food already? “Push that robot back!”

The two of them call out their confirmations loudly as they weave in and out of each other in a flash before the sound of metal bending and busting under supernaturally thick bone crashes over the mock city. This is quickly followed by the backward fall of the behemoth that shakes the ground.

““Blub~ Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when he comes for you!?”” Sash sings while Izuku slides in next to the girl, who is looking at him with wide eyes.

“Would you shut up, Sash!?” Izuku hissed as he puts in enough energy to summon an elephant –of which is still very much alive over in Africa, thank you very much!– and collapses back against the road.

Pollux trumpets as he arrives and Izuku imagines him waving his fleshy trunk in the air. Of course, he’s quick to evaluate the situation and use his tusks to push up the concrete enough for her to pull herself out.

The second Present Mic calls the end Izuku collapses onto his back and releases Pollux, Minnie, and Finny so they disappear from both view of others and Izuku himself as he blacks out.

The last thing he hears is, ““Oof, Ukuzi! Blub~ Hey hey hey! See you when you wake up!””

God, just let Izuku never wake up again?? Please!? Please, he begs you!! *gross sobbing*

TWO
**********
Tags for this idea:
Relationships~ #Midoriya Izuku & his Quirk, #Midoriya Izuku & Bakugo Katsuki

Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku, #Bakugo Katsuki

Additional Tags~ #Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, #Alternate Universe - Merpeople, #Selkies, #skeleton animals, #talking animals

**********

Izuku is fascinated by humans. Kach always tells him it will get him killed one day, but he’s already dead so what does he truly know?

Being one-third mer, one-third selkie, and one-third human make it so Izuku doesn’t exactly fit within either his species of the ocean since he’s a half-breed. It is rather confusing being who he is, but it allows him to shed his tail –which is that of a seal– to look like that of a human, and his human part gives him what they call a quirk.

His quirk is the reason Kach is even…well, not alive? He is a skeleton, after all. Izuku was about four when he had been hunting for the first time– and as soon as his tongue touched the ribs it burst out of its meat and flesh and kind of just started crying?

Izuku felt super horrible about it and sobbed into his mom’s fur for hours afterward, clinging with little hands as she soothed him near the surface for when she needed air.

Thankfully Kach didn’t hold any hard feelings since it was just the laws of the ocean, predator versus prey. In the end, he stuck around.

Mom was always a bit wary of Kach, but she was the daughter of a human Japanese man and selkie woman, who then decided to marry a merman after a few years in the ocean.

She loves him because that’s all she needs. Dad is always super busy, so Izuku doesn’t get to see him often… That’s why she let him go, he thinks.

When he pleaded with her to explore the human world she only cried a little before teaching him how to hide his fur on his body and nuzzled him goodbye. He was sad to go, but as he made his way deeper and deeper into Japan he learned about the heroes.

He instantly adored All Might, but he was much more fascinated by the quirks he came across and was thankful his mom taught him on top of mer schooling how to write and human learnings. He eventually ended up enrolling in a school with other people his own age at fourteen and it was…pretty odd?

That’s a nice way to put it. They are a lot more judgmental than mers or selkies on those that are not as good as them, as lucky as them, as prosperous as them, or as gifted. They don’t try to bring those lower than them up for the betterment of the whole, but to put them down and grind them into dust.

They don’t like things that don’t fit in the mold, so mutant quirks and strange behavior are big no-no’s if you don’t want to be mocked and beaten down.

Izuku wishes someone would have warned him of that beforehand.

“I think you’re eating my cousin right now.”

Izuku lowers the fish down to his lap and looks over at Kach with an ‘I am so done’ expression. “And?” he asks, bringing it back up to tear into the scales and meat to eat. Blood smears around his mouth as he does, and he’ll never miss the water that washes away the liquid as much as he does on land, and it’s been almost half a year already. “You say that every time.”

“Nothing,” Kach says, bones clicking as he moves around Izuku’s head at eye-level in a lazy circle. “Just thought I’d mention it.”

Izuku hums, going to take another bite when he hears a loud, choked-off gasp in front of him. He looks up to see one of his classmates –Bakugo Katsuki?– looking at him with red eyes blown wide. He seems to snap out of it the second they lock eyes.

“Fucking freak!” the blond growls, spinning on his heel before bolting.

Izuku cocks his head to the side, blowing curly green hair out of his eye. “Has he never seen someone eat before?”

Kach sighs, knocking into his head with his tail. “I don’t think this is how humans eat. Geez, for someone so fascinated with humans you really haven’t learned anything, have you?”

Izuku puffs up his cheeks. “Not my fault quirks are so much more exciting than their eating habits,” he pouts, finishing off the fish before discarding the bones in a shallow hole he’s dug where all the other bones lay.

He’s always careful his tongue doesn’t touch bone because he already has an army of assorted fish and others waiting for his beck and call…and he doesn’t need more.

He should have worried about Bakugo a little more, but let it be said even if his quirk is just to summon skeletons, his physiology gives him hidden strength and powers that would leave humans baffled if they got their hands on him.

In other words, Izuku is no easy opponent to defeat, and Bakugo learns that.

The laws of the ocean don’t let weaklings live. So Izuku is no weakling.

Chapter Text

Aizawa Shota with his cat familairs.

Shinso Hitoshi with his cat familiars.

Midoriya Izuku believes in gods and yokai.

That was never really an option, in his opinion, when he sees the few gods that still decide to walk among humans on a monthly or daily basis.

That dirty elderly lady begging for money on the corner that most people pass every day? Yeah, Izuku isn’t about to get a curse put on him because he ignored a Binbōgami, so she always gets a few yen from him. She smiles each time. He feels a bit better after that.

Because he’s seen what happens to people who are rude to her and, no thanks. Izuku would like to keep his already miserable life just a tiny bit less miserable thank you very much.

That doctor who works in a free clinic in town but instead always travels around to wherever people need him most? Yeah, he’s Fūjin, and he’s not using a quirk to heal you. That’s a Shinto God of divine power you just patted the cheek of, granny.

Now, the reason Izuku can see these supernatural elements is not due to a quirk, either. He has the toe-joint that proves otherwise. No one else can see the aura that surrounds them; like the Shinigami collecting glowing orbs at all hours of the day and night, the ancient armor or weapons that shimmer like a second skin on Ashura villains, or the Inugami leading that nice blind college student around.

Izuku sees these deities for a multitude of reasons and usually doesn’t interact with them; half the time they don’t even get near him at all, but he’ll admit to having seen the most when he was younger. They tend to be less disguised toward what they really are when adults never listen to kids because imagination and kids would only remember it for so long before it became a joke or the next big thing pops up.

Which is why, when he happens to run into someone on the street –completely by accident– and looks up to apologize only to see a boy that looks his age, sounds his age, and definitely acts like someone Izuku’s age to the point it wouldn’t raise any eyebrows to anyone else he’s not fooled.

Random teen? Check. Rude facial expression? Check. Looks about ready to drop dead because he’s probably up all night partying? Check. Adult looks away and moves on.

But in Izuku’s case? His eyes immediately lock on the three shimmery and half-transparent black cats all perched on the boy’s shoulder. And because Izuku is tired™ and has just run from Kacchan with a burn on his right forearm, he does the most stupid thing possible in this kind of situation.

He says: “Huh, never met a Bakeneko before.”

……Izuku is then promptly dragged into the nearest convenient alleyway because Life.

He would be more worried if he wasn’t currently struggling to keep from crying out every time the guy’s tight grip shifts his shirt over the burn. He’s not sure if he succeeds, but it’s not like the boy cares at all if he slips here or there.

The boy slams him against the wall –and man does Izuku wish this wasn’t a familiar situation for him– but with his hand locked around Izuku’s throat instead of one on his shoulder. The boy gets right up in his personal space, nose-to-nose, actually, and bares his fangs. His eyes are glowing a faint aura of power, which is purple, go figure.

How do you know?

“Sor–” Izuku’s body goes slack and the boy pulls back away from his face, his hand retreating in time with his trio of familiars now floating around his head and torso in lazy loops. Staying behind the purple-haired boy’s back.

Answer my every question.” the boy commands. “What are you?”

“Human,” Izuku says because obviously, he isn’t a yokai or anything powerful. He’s just quirkless Deku.

“What’s your full name?”

“Midoriya Izuku,” he says next since mom taught him to be polite.

The boy nods once before looking back up at him. “Are you an exorcist?”

“No,” Izuku answers, and if he could he’d be blinking in surprise. He just answered without actually consciously doing it. Crap. “I’m not.”

Well, now the boy just looks painfully confused, head tilting in such an obvious way that Izuku can imagine the cat ears flicking if he were in his other form. He’s going to call this boy Kuril, like the Kurilian Bobtail because this will never be something that gets outside of his own head, and he’s too tired to keep calling the boy ‘the boy’ in his head.

“How did you know what I am so quickly, then?” Kuril asks. Izuku notices even his familiars are still.

“I can see all supernatural creatures, it’s pretty easy to tell which is which if you know what you’re looking for. Plus, your familiars gave you away. Bakenekos can’t go anywhere without them.”

“And how did you gain this ability?” Kuril hisses, eyes narrowing as they flicker between his companions and Izuku. Well, that confusion melted away really quickly in the face of wariness.

“I’ve always been able to, ever since I was a baby.”

Kuril makes a strangles sound in the back of his throat that sounds like he’s hacking up a hairball, and his face scrunches up like he wants to, too. He paces in front of Izuku for a solid minute of which Izuku spent slowly growing more and more annoyed with being unable to move, then he throws his hands up and spits, “Follow me.

Thus, Izuku finds himself unable to run away, and instead trails after Kuril for several dozen blocks before turning to a small apartment complex and climbing a single flight of stairs. He’s too busy marveling at the familiars twinning in the air to pay too much attention to his surroundings.

Stop here,” Kuril says when they reach a nondescript door. And, of course, it is only now that it settles in. Izuku is pretty much being kidnapped.

It’s too late to even try to do anything, however, when Kuril raps on the door in front of them. It takes a moment before the sound of a deadbolt being slid to the side echoes and the door opens.

The man standing in the doorway is leaning against the frame, his dark hair strewn around his shoulders and face as his hand rests on his left elbow, his right hand curling up to his chest. In his arms rests a brilliant white cat with red eyes. Izuku sees another flash of white deeper down the hall of the home.

The man takes one look at Izuku and sighs heavily. “Shinso Hitoshi, what do you think you’re doing?” the man growls, pinching the bridge of his nose.

Shinso, which is Kuril’s real name, doesn’t answer this man. He instead turns to Izuku and points his finger back at the man. “Who is he?”

Once again Izuku finds his mouth moving without him. “Underground pro-Hero, Eraserhead.”

Eraserhead, which Izuku’s brain apparently knew without telling him, the traitor, makes a shocked and confused sound.

“Now what is he?” Shinso asks pointedly.

“A Nekomata.”

And just like that……Izuku gains control back over himself. Great. Just in time to be killed by a yokai spirit. Man, mom is going to be so upset if Izuku ends up haunting her.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“This feels weird,” Izuku states to the not-going-to-be-empty-in-a-few-minutes room knowing nothing will be changed no matter how much he wants it to.

Shinso sighs in his arms, snuggling up closer to Izuku’s chest with absolutely no dignity whatsoever. “You’ve done this a hundred times already, why is it suddenly weird now?”

Izuku gives the boy a flat stare he’s perfected from the yokai duo he’s now assisting. “Yeah, well, you’re not usually talking when you’re in your cat form while sleeping on me and using me as a pillow. Besides, Aizawa doesn’t care. Half the time he’s leeching my body heat too.”

Shinso snorts, which just looks ridiculous on his poofy cat-face. It doesn’t help that he looks even more adorable as a fluffy Pallas Cat than when he has just his ears and tail out. Wildcat or no, Shinso loves his dark, almost black shaded purple pelt being brushed and Izuku takes so much advantage of this fact.

“I’m being serious here, Shinso.”

Shinso snorts again. “You’ll be fine, Midoriya. All you have to do is act like Shota is your mentor out of school and keep these people busy until he finishes hunting the yūrei pair down.”

Izuku hates Shinso’s logic because ninety percent of the time it is deeply flawed. “This is just going to make things worse! This will do the opposite of keeping them from wondering who I am. Why do they even let a cat in a hero school? Shouldn’t you be in your own class right now? I don’t get it.”

“Shut up,” Shinso cackles, his pupils constricting into tiny round pinpricks inside his amber eyes. “They’re here.”

A door opening has never sounded so much like death to Izuku than in this moment.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

All in all, Izuku thought Kacchan was going to utterly destroy him when he saw Izuku in Yuuei, but he didn’t?? He thinks Shinso caught on to who Kacchan was, so Izuku is going to have to do damage control later.

But first. Izuku held out on asking the question as long as he could before he breaks while they’re walking home just before lunch (“But Lunch Rush–” “Go home, Midoriya.”) since apparently, Aizawa called Shinso in sick today.

They’re lucky Izuku is taking high school online. They’re lucky mom sent Izuku over with lunch, or Izuku would not be above using Shinso’s pass and go back there himself.

“Does Aizawa know that Todoroki is half Yuki-onna?”

“Todoroki is a wHAT NOW!?”

“Wait, you didn’t know?

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku doesn’t even bother opening his eyes when he feels paws dig into his back. He’s tired. He just wants to sleep. Why won’t the ones who sleep so often let him rest his eyes?

He’s been working night and day to try and find out everything he could about the group of humans, yokai, and gods that attacked Shota’s class. Who hurt Shota and All Might. Who got away!

“Izuku?” Hitoshi prods, paw poking his cheek. His voice is softer than normal. “Come on, this isn’t healthy for you. You know it’s bad when we gripe you.”

“I’m fine,” he says on reflex. He’s been saying that all week to his mom, too. He’s at least tricking her. He doesn’t feel very alright. “Just resting my eyes for a second.”

“Izuku,” Hitoshi scolds. “Humans are more frag–”

“–ile. I know,” Izuku finishes with a snap, not even bothering to remove his mouth from the couch. “I said I’m fine.”

“You’re not acting fine.” Hitoshi hisses, claws poking into his back. “If you were I’d put it off, but you’re not. That’s how bad it is right now, Izuku.”

“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Izuku whines. He can’t be mad right now. He doesn’t have the energy.

“Because you’re family, Izuku. I take care of my family.”

Izuku falls asleep with a soft smile on his face and a ten-pound wildcat in his arms.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku blinks wide eyes down at the two-foot-tall black cat walking around the apartment on two legs, and the white familiars floating around both Izuku and the room. Izuku silently takes out his phone and records a video of said cat and takes about a dozen pictures before said cat notices him in the entryway.

Red eyes narrowed dangerously as they lock onto his phone, “M.i.d.o.r.i.y.a.” Shota snarls deep in his throat.

Izuku laughs brightly while running for his life around the apartment, ducking and swerving. He doesn’t get to see Shota in this form very often, is all.

It means he still has to recover, but he’s getting better. Well enough to use his second form and that’s all Izuku needs right now.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku groans long and low. The last thing he remembers is a bright light, but everything before that is…gone. He knows the basic functions of what he is but not any of the specific events of his life. He could name you his mom, Midoriya Inko, but not where they live. Maybe they moved?

He groans again, peeling his eyes open as he pushes himself up onto his elbows. He looks up to see some alley wall. Then he turns his head.

A giant black panther stands in front of him. A giant, bloody, black panther that is leaning closer to him. Izuku screams. He knows enough about the world to understand predator versus prey and that he would lose.

Between one split-second and the next, the panther is a man and Izuku just screams louder, scrambling backward.

“Izuku,” the man says, sounding confused as he holds his blood-coated hands up and out, angled down toward Izuku.

Izuku stops screaming.

How does he know Izuku’s name?

“Umm, do…do I know you?” Izuku asks hesitantly. If this is some rando creep then Izuku needs to be ready to run. He’s not sure if he could outrun a panther, though. Why couldn’t he have a quirk that could help him against full-body animal transformation quirks? He’s going to die because natural selection is selecting him.

The man looks stricken. “What am I to you?” he asks, sounding desperate.

Izuku thinks for a second, trying to pull the memories out of his head. All he gets is a deep voice hissing “let’s see how they get along without you!” right before the light.

“A stranger?” Izuku questions softly, knowing in his heart that his answer was wrong. Izuku doesn’t know why the man’s pained expression hurts him to see, but it does.

Izuku doesn’t see the white cats rubbing against his body, mewling and crying for the attention he would normally give them.

Izuku doesn’t know why this strange purple-haired teen –Shinso– is sobbing into his hair after the man –Aizawa– takes him into a side room of his home, but he wants to comfort him so badly.

Izuku doesn’t know why he feels like he’s missing something very important. A fundamental part of his life.

“Let’s see how they get along without you now, Demi-hunter.”

Chapter Text

Izuku has known Tenko all his life. Ever since dad brought him home a few months before Izuku was born, in fact, so the older boy has always been there with him. There at his birthdays, family dinners, and…well, everything.

Izuku thought he knew who he considered a brother in all but blood.

But this……this is making him rethink how well he could possibly know anyone.

Tenko?

It comes out no louder than a strained whisper. Nothing more than a broken whimper as his classmates turn to flee at Thirteen-sensei’s call, and Aizawa-sensei jumps down to battle a horde of villains.

It comes out no louder than that, but Izuku sees the way the figure dressed up in a dozen unfamiliar hands freezes at the center of it all. Sees the way Tenko’s head slowly turns to stare directly at him, light-blue hair sliding away from his face, and Izuku imagines the way familiar red eyes would widen in shock underneath a white-gloved hand.

Izuku sees the way the man entirely made of mist that had warped the villains in seems to lean in to say something, and Tenko responds……but all he can feel is the cold numbness crawling up his limbs, into his chest, and squeezing.

“Tenko? What’s…what’s going on, Tenko?”

He doesn’t move, not when Iida calls for him, not when Thirteen-sensei shouts for him to move, not even when the warp-man appears in front of his fleeing classmates and goes on about the organization they work for, and their goal of killing All Might.

Izuku can barely breathe, let alone react to anything besides shaking where he stands.

Izuku doesn’t know what happens next, his sharp breathing blocking out whatever else is being said around him, but he notices the sudden darkness that surrounds him enough to feel a pulse of panic, but not enough to move when Tenko is suddenly right in front of him.

The warp-man teleported him, which explains the darkness, but it doesn’t explain anything about what’s happening around him. The League of Villains. That’s what the man had said, but Tenko was never in a league, let alone of villains. He hates group projects and activities.

Sure, Izuku hadn’t seen Tenko since he got his acceptance letter, couldn’t even get ahold of him…

But, you know, his brain hisses. Dark tendrils creep and wither inside him. Tenko disappeared almost every weekend. Spending time with friends, right? It’s not too much of a fib to fool you and mom. I mean, his sudden friendship with Dabi after you introduced them was strange, wasn’t it? They hadn't gotten along at all, at first. Neither of them ever did say where they went, after all. Stop it! Don’t lie to yourself, you know it’s true! All those little things — the weekends, your friend with scars from his dad…more than enough to harbor a grudge against heroes, the more vicious responses to you wanting to be a hero! It’s all there! I said stop it!

“What are you doing!?”

The scream echoes through the building, but Izuku doesn’t care. He wipes away the tears and glares, more tears dripping down his cheeks. He clenches his fist and snarls. For the first time in his life, he’s looking at Tenko with distrust, with true hurt, and he can tell even with the hand in the way that it hurts Tenko right back.

“You– you lied! All these years and you’ve been lying to me! To dad? To mom! You’re going to hurt them, hurt me, hurt anyone that gets in your way!?” Izuku’s painfully aware of the giant creature with the exposed brain looming just to their left. He’s still talking, not sure what he’s saying……his mind is really fuzzy…should he worry about that?

“I’m not even sure if I know you,” he croaks. There’s a choke above him, but Izuku’s eyes stay fixated on the ground where they’ve been for a while now. Tears drip down his chin, and he wipes them again and again. He only feels numb now. “Maybe you were just using us? I can’t be sure, can I? Since you’ve been able to go behind our backs–”

Tenko grabs him by the shoulders, shaking him violently. “Don’t say that,” he hisses. “I’m doing this to help you! You shouldn’t even be here–

You’d know I was here if you weren’t ignoring me for the past month!” Izuku snaps, tearing out of his brother’s hold. His back hits the creature, a hand wraps completely around his torso, and then it lifts.

Izuku yelled in shock, kicking his legs and struggling in the creature’s tight grip. Tenko does nothing from the ground, head downcast.

“Tenko,” Izuku gasps, feeling the painful squeeze of his torso. “Tenko!” Something cracks deep within his chest, and he cries out in pain, new tears blurring the world around him.

It’s not enough to block out the way Tenko snaps his head up, doesn’t block out the sound of fighting or Aizawa-sensei yelling to let Izuku go.

“Nomu,” Tenko barks. “Put him down!”

And just like that Izuku is dropped like a discarded child’s toy. He lands on the ground, choking on a heave as he wraps his arms around his chest and scoots away from where Tenko is approaching.

“No no no no,” Izuku pleads, voice coming out watery.

“I’m sorry, Izuku, I am,” Tenko says, bending down on his heels. “But this is for the best, you’ll see.”

And Izuku’s world goes weightless. A portal has opened up underneath him, sucking him in. The last thing he sees is his teacher flying toward Tenko, wide eyes trained on Izuku and full of horror.

“Sensei!” Izuku screams.

His head cracks against the hard ground and his world goes dark.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“We lost! We lost we lost we lost! Those cheaters!! Why was he there!? He shouldn’t have been there!!”

Izuku groans lowly, rubbing his eyes with his palms. He must have slept weird because his head is pounding. Why was Tenko playing video games so early in the morning if he’s going to be so loud? Did he pull another all-nighter? Mom is not going to be happy about that.

Izuku opens his eyes to an unfamiliar ceiling. What? Izuku scrambles up, hissing when his ribs ache, looking down at clothes that aren’t his own. Why am I wearing Tenko’s clothes? And then a second later after he pulls his shirt up to see wrapped bandages over his chest, since when am I so buff?

Knowing he’s not going to get the answer by checking out his arms and stomach, he makes his way to the door, stumbling at the weight change. What the heck happened to me? He turns the knob and throws it open. Why can’t I remember how I got here? Where am I, anyway?

Only it doesn’t open. Izuku frowns at it, tugging harder. Great, the door’s jammed. “Tenko!” he calls loudly, hoping that if Tenko’s voice can reach him, he can reach his brother. He grimaces at the gravelly quality to it and clears his throat a few times. It doesn’t really clear it up.

He leans against the dresser while he waits, rubbing his head and praying wherever Tenko is, he has painkillers on him.

It’s about five minutes before Izuku perks up once he hears someone walking toward the door. “The door’s stuck!” Izuku tells him.

“Is it now?” a voice drawls.

Izuku’s face splits in a smile. “Dabi! I didn’t know you were here too! Can you help me get the door unstuck?”

“You’re not gonna freak out on me, are you?”

Izuku tilts his head to the side even though the older boy can’t see him. “Why would I?” he pauses, thinking it over. “But I am going to hug you, you can’t escape the brotherly hug, it’s the law.

Dabi snorts, and with what sounds like a firm tug, the door opens. Izuku pouts. “Unfairness.”

Dabi smirks, opening his arms in a grand gesture. Izuku shoots into it but regrets it almost immediately. “Ow,” he groans, pulling away much quicker than he normally would be in favor of holding his head and ribs. “Do you know where the painkillers are, I think I hit my head or something, and my ribs are bandaged and I don’t know why.”

Dabi raises an eyebrow as he starts sauntering down the hall with all the confidence of someone who is…well, Dabi. “What’s the last thing you remember, pipsqueak?”

“I’m not a pipsqueak,” Izuku grumbles. “I’ve got muscles now.” Dabi snorts again, covering his mouth with his hand. “Dinner with mom and Tenko. We had katsudon, and Tenko decayed his cup again.”

Izuku stops, and Dabi does a few paces ahead of him. “Where are we?”

“Our place,” Dabi says casually. “Your mom wanted some ‘girl time,’ whatever that means, so we offered the place Hisashi bought us when we need to ‘spread our wings.’ You’ll be here a while, pipsqueak, we’ve kidnapped you.”

It’s Izuku’s turn to snort, bumping Dabi’s side when they start walking again. “Har-har. Jokes on you. I think Tenko lost at one of his games, he sounded pretty angry about them cheating.”

“Heh, Handsy is a pretty sore loser, but he had a pretty strong plan from what I heard, some sort of final boss. Anyway,” Dabi pushes him into a spacious looking bar on the ground floor with a man of black mist wearing a tuxedo behind the counter. “That there’s Kurogiri, just ask him for something to drink and the medicine, your voice is horrid.”

Izuku gapes in mock offense. “My voice is a treat, it makes me sound more like you!” Dabi cuffs him on the back of the head, knocking him forward. Kurogiri makes an odd humming sound —how much of his body is skin and flesh?? Does his vocal cords get warped? What’s his quirk, or is it just mist?— as Dabi proves once again that despite his deceptive appearance, he is stronger than even muscly-Izuku.

“I’m going to cremate you one of these days.” Izuku sticks his tongue out and blows a raspberry. “You’re worse than your brother sometimes, I swear. Fine, I’m going to see if Handsy’s destroyed the Xbox again, I’ll let him know you’re awake, too.”

“Thanks, Dabi-chan!” Izuku coos, batting his eyelashes up at the man. Dabi rolls his eyes and disappears further into the building, but not without a final smack.

He scowls, walking over the bartop and hopping onto a stool, leaning his elbows forward with a wide smile. “Hello, I’m Izuku! Do you have any aspirin or something, my head is killing me.”

“Of course, a miscalculation on my part.”

Izuku tilts his head. “Huh?”

Kurogiri slides a glass of apple juice and two pills to him. “I was the one who brought you here, and I’m afraid you must have hit your head.”

Izuku waves his hands in front of him. “It’s not your fault, it was an accident.” Kurogiri hums again and goes back to cleaning the bar.

Izuku sips at his juice in silence, looking around the warm bar and wondering if it was actually a bar and just closed, or Kurogiri just likes it. “Hey, Kurogiri?” Izuku says. “How do you know my dad?”

“I work for him,” Kurogiri replies, not turning away from where he’s wiping out a glass.

Izuku tilts his head to the side. “But he’s in America, why are you here if you work for him?”

“I keep an eye around here, and since my job can be done rather quickly with my quirk, he also asked me to watch over your brother.”

Izuku snorts right as Tenko thunders in. Izuku whirls around on his stool and laughs. “Tenko! You have a babysitter! No offense, Kurogiri–” None taken. “–But oh my god!!”

Tenko’s face contorts and he stalks forward. Out of the corner of his eye, Izuku sees Kurogiri…tense? Is tense the right word? Whatever he’s tensing for, he doesn’t move fast enough as Tenko’s hand closes around his face and he’s shoved off the stool.

He lands on the ground, ribs an afterthought to air and breathing. “Jerk!” he wheezes.

“Brat!” Tenko snarls right back, taking Izuku’s seat. Izuku kicks the leg and watches Tenko grip the bar’s edge to keep from tipping over.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“Wait!? My letter! I applied to Yuuei, did it come?”

“Oh…”

“Dabi? Dabi, what is it?”

“They wouldn’t let a quirkless person in.”

*sob* “They– oh… I guess I should have expected that huh?” *watery smile*

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku wakes up with a shout, throwing his arm toward a shadowed attacker.

Instead of swinging at open-reair uselessly, his fist crackles with lightning and creates a massive blast of air that plows through the wall to his side.

He claps his hands over his ears to block out the crack of the wall crumbling, letting out a shriek. He doesn’t even have a second to breathe before Dabi and Tenko are there, looking at the destruction with wide eyes.

I got my quirk!?

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

What happens when All for One gets a chance he never would have gotten all thanks to an unforeseen bump to the head and the love of his life?

To turn All Might’s successor against him?

After all…… “Dad?” ……he now holds a card not even he thought to equate into this back-and-forth between them. “Hello, Izuku.”

“What– are you okay!? What happened to you!? How!?!”

“Why, All Might did this.”

“…All……Might?”

“I’m afraid so.”

Let’s see how you deal with this turn of events, All Might. After all, you chose my son without consulting his parents.

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku doesn’t have the extra toe-joint, but the doctors never found out what his quirk was. The doctor said it is hidden, or maybe he has an analytical one since he’s already breaking down quirks.

It’s neither of those, but no one knows that for a very long time.

He was more than a little excited to tell his best friend Kacchan –Bakugo Katsuki– about his possible intelligence quirk.

But…

All he got were sneers and laughter. They taunt him because he’s always tired, always just a bit slower than the rest of the kids by midday. He can’t be a hero if he can’t even make it through a school day, after all.

He goes home to his mom –Midoriya Inko– that night and hugs her.

He always feels a bit better after that– a bit more awake. He likes being touched because those are the moments he feels like he has the most energy. So even Kacchan’s beatings are welcomed in a way. Just a bit more to help him get through the day.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku doesn’t know where they’re keeping him, just that after the man called Sensei touched his head during what seems like forever ago, he had spoken with Shigaraki and then Izuku has been locked up here in this tiny room.

He doesn’t know how long he’s been here –hours? Days? Time runs together when you can’t do anything– just that meals aren’t regular and he’s getting so tired. He can barely keep his eyes open anymore, and his body went cold a long time ago– heart beating lethargically in his chest as he breathes in deeply.

He knows he’s in trouble right now, big trouble. Knows this must be because of his quirk– not One for All, but Izuku’s own. He knows he’s in trouble, just being in the villain’s clutches is enough, but he also knows the heroes –his teachers– are trying to find him.

But what if they aren’t? What if they’ve decided to abandon the problem child? You’re no use to them when you can’t even figure out your own quirk with your teacher's help. You really are useless!!

So he conserves his strength and tries to keep his head on straight, napping when he could.

He doesn’t move when the door opens– he can’t even twitch if he wanted to.

“What a sad sight, Midoriya Izuku.” The Sensei man says, voice smooth like honey. “We could give you what you need, my boy–” Izuku shudders. That’s not your term to use. I’m not yours! “All you need to do is cooperate with me.”

Never! He doesn’t have the strength to move his mouth, but Sensei seems to understand based on the heavy sigh he makes. He wheels closer, and when his hand brushes Izuku’s head he can’t contain the gasp that comes with a burst of energy. His heart picks up and Izuku should be disgusted and pull away but he hasn’t felt like this in so long.

“See. We could provide you with a way to keep you alive–” What? “Unless you want my little brother’s work to go to such waste when you die?” Nonononono, this man can’t be All for One. You know he is. “You do realize it, don’t you?” All for One asks, sounding horribly pitying. “One for All is a quirk that is blessed but also cursed. It enhances not only the user but their quirk as well, stockpiling it before passing it along. Your own quirk is the ability to recharge your energy supply with physical touch–” No. “–and it would give you a boost. After adding One for All into it……without physical touch, your body is shutting down, my boy.”

Izuku sucks in a sharp breath, using the energy he gained to push away from the man. The man tuts as if Izuku were a toddler, “You did know this, did you not?”

The man hums in thought when he doesn’t receive an answer. “You poor child. What a shame, you had so much potential.”

He begins to wheel away, casually saying over his shoulder, “I’ll let you think on my offer, my boy. After all, we have all the time in the world. It’s been nearly two weeks now, and no one is looking for you.

Something inside Izuku’s chest shatters. He’s lying, he’s lying to get into your head. Just hold out for a little longer! But what if he’s right? I mean, they haven’t found you yet.

Izuku cries himself to sleep.

The next time he wakes up he’s more tired than ever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He’s dying. It’s an undeniable thing, Toshinori thinks as he sits by the boy’s bedside. Outside the door, he knows Aizawa is explaining it to the class who had seen All Might fly into the school like a bullet.

They’d been so worried after Midoriya-boy had been taken by the League.

He hadn’t known what to think when Midoriya-boy hadn’t even stirred after All Might burst through the thick wall of the holding cell, and only a faint gasp of breath as he picked him up into his arms.

He’s not physically injured. The only thing that is causing his current destabilized state is that he has no energy whatsoever. Recovery Girl wouldn’t be able to heal a papercut off this boy’s finger without him going into critical condition.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The heart monitor connected to the boy screeches.

Toshinori chokes, hand twisting in the front of his shirt.

Midoriya-san sobs into her hands by his bedside.

Aizawa turns his head away and buries it into his scarf.

The entire class behind them have burst into tears, hugging each other.

Young Todoroki bursts forward, pulling Midoriya-boy into his arms, tears, and sobs coming from a boy who has been composed most of the year.

And then–

–the heart monitor sputters to life…

.

..

……

………

…………

–and it beeps once.

And again.

And then a third time.

…and finally, Midoriya-boy gasps loudly, hand moving on its own to clutch the back of young Todoroki’s shirt.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku laughs loudly as Ochaco drapes herself over his back, her hand batting at Shouto’s head in his lap but only succeeding in tugging at the long braid Izuku made. “My turn, you hog! I want Deku head-pets!!”

Shouto snorts, burying his face into Izuku’s stomach as his arm curls around his waist. He barely cracks open a bright blue eye to look at them when he states, “Boyfriend.”

Ochaco gasps dramatically, pushing Izuku’s head to the side. “No! You don’t get to call boyfriend privileges again! What about best friend privileges!! Move it!!

She high jumps over the couch, landing in the space between the back and Shouto’s stomach where she proceeds to try kicking him off the couch. “Guys, please,” Izuku whines, pushed even further aside in the face of comfort battles.

“It’s no use, Izuku,” Momo calls as she walks past, ruffling his hair good-naturedly. “They’re never going to stop. You should know this.”

“You two are acting like toddlers! This is not the proper behavior of third years!” Tenya booms, reliant as ever, striding forward. He doesn’t break them up, though. What he does is he grabs Izuku from under his arms and casually slings him over his shoulder despite the fact Izuku is all muscle and actually got a bit of a growth spurt during their second year. He’s twelve centimeters taller dammit!

“Tenya! Put me down!!”

“Look look!” Izuku cranks his neck to see Denki, Eijiro, and Kacchan in the doorway. Mina and Hanta are already making their way to the kitchen. “Izuku’s getting carried again! Cuddle pile!!!!” The pair whip around, as do Tsu, Fumikage, Hitoshi, Kyoka, and Mashirao who bolts up the stairs to get the rest of their friends no doubt.

Before Izuku can protest anything they’re already on the elongated couch that was put into all the dorms after Izuku’s quirk was known. He’s smothered in limbs and laughter as everyone piles on, getting into familiar positions.

Shouto takes his lap again, and Ochaco slides in flush against his side. Fumikage perches on his legs with Hitoshi who stretches out like a cat. Kaminari is snuggled against Hitoshi’s stomach and Izuku’s knees, while Tenya and Momo go to his back.

He pulls himself out of the sudden energy rush to glare at everyone. “I’m not going to be able to sleep now!”

“Better to not sleep than the alternative, kero.”

“Besides,” Hitoshi drawls, smug as ever even with Yuga twining his hair into elaborate braids. “You sleep with Shouto every night. You never get much sleep, to begin with.”

Everyone bursts into laughter as Izuku’s face turns cherry and he reaches over his already dozing boyfriend’s head to swat Hitoshi’s face……gently, he’s not a monster. “One person cuddles are different…” he protests without really being heard, mainly because of the laughing and everyone else arriving.

He sighs, resigning himself to his Recharge. He doesn’t really mind, anyway. He loves his family with all his heart.

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku’s life is a strange one, right down to his very birth.

All because he was born in a wacky-weird outta-the-blue way. He doesn’t remember her much, but his mother is Midoriya Inko, and she was quite literally a Virgin Mary like the Christians believe in.

The story goes roughly like this…

Midoriya Inko was a young girl of nineteen and had never dated before despite her kind and caring nature. She was far too busy settling into patrolling as the masked and mysterious underground pro-hero Akira to have time to date.

Yet she somehow found herself saddled with the growing bulge of her stomach over the course of two months before she finally caves after throwing up several mornings in a row. Inko ends up spending an evening at the hospital in Musutafu after she couldn’t figure out what was happening to her.

The diagnosis? She’s pregnant.

The news yanks the ground out from under her feet and she flees blindly to her hot-headed best friend, and Mitsuki’s mild-mannered boyfriend from high school Inko had introduced her to, Masaru. Both were equally as confused and worried as they comfort the crying, distraught green-haired teenager inside their home.

Once she was calm enough to think passed the shock and horror and confusion, she pondered. Despite not knowing where this baby came from, with no memory sticking out to her about how this could have happened at all, she was loath to have an abortion.

Not because she disapproves of it, because she doesn’t, but because of something else.

Even though her current hero work will never allow her to properly raise a child while constantly in peril –Mitsu-chan was adamant about helping a sister out financially, and that declaration only sparked a painful memory from her childhood– or even that it will be hard to be a single mother because of course, she does consider these things.

It’s just that if asked –and she was asked quite often by her coworkers and friends– her answer would always be something about bringing a life into the world and falling in love with the little light inside of her, the little kicks she feels when she’s down — as if they were trying to cheer her up. And when asked where the father was she’d say she had no idea where they were, and leave it at that, even with the whispers and looks she would get after.

But in reality? It was more complicated than that. Because the thing was…Inko never could figure out what the driving reason she had to keep her baby boy was, even when her excuses were true. She couldn’t understand why her senses tingled whenever her boy shifts– as if the world around her stomach moves with him. The intense feeling that her son would do great things and that she couldn’t stop that.

Or maybe she was simply lonely after her grandparents passed away the summer beforehand and she wanted familial company…

What Midoriya Inko doesn’t know is that she’ll never get to watch her baby boy do these amazing acts, nor will she be there for any of his birthdays or firsts.

…What Midoriya Inko doesn’t know is that she would never get the chance to smile down at her little Izuku like so many other mothers could.

……What Midoriya Inko didn’t know was that she died at the age of twenty during childbirth eleven days after her birthday on July 4th. She leaves her silent little boy behind with tears streaming down his face as he watches with wide, unblinking green eyes trained on the chaos the doctors create trying to save his mom. He almost seems to be mourning her, even though he’s too young to understand what is happening around him. But then again…his age can’t hide the spark of intelligence in his eyes.

An hour later Mitsuki and Masaru are clutching at each other as they break down in the waiting room, begging the hospital to let them take care of Izuku for their lost friend. However, not even ten minutes beforehand child protection services had already dug up the newly deceased mother’s file and found out the painful past she tried to bury.

The secret was this. Midoriya Inko was born Aizawa Inko.

Not even her closest friends knew that she was thirteen-years-old when her mom died tragically in a car crash and that her dad couldn’t keep her and her little three-year-old brother with such low pay. So to keep them both alive and healthy he sent her to live with her mom’s parents…effectively cutting her off from her brother a decade younger than her. No one knew how much that decision had hurt her more than she ever let on…especially when she couldn’t find them again.

To keep this story relevant, we’ll focus on her brother whose name is Aizawa Shota. To him, the way he thought of his older sister was like one would remember a distant relative only even seen during holidays. A barely-there blur in his memory that was always smiling and laughing.

On that note, it means the last thing Shota was prepared for was his dad to walk into their small living room one day with a very small baby perched awkwardly against his chest in the crook of his arms. He explained why very solemnly, with eyes puffy and red from crying. “This is Izuku, and he’s your nephew. Inko…Inko didn’t make it. Since we’re his last family members we’re going to take care of him, okay? It’ll be like having a little brother.”

Shota had stared blankly as his dad set this squishy, silent thing in his arms with instructions to hold him and keep him entertained while he went and brought in Inko’s belongings and head to the store for more supplies.

He opens his mouth to protest that he doesn’t want to hold it and the injustice of the situation a second too late. His dad shuts the door. He glares at it like it personally wronged him.

When his dad doesn’t return he huffs down in annoyance at the creature his sister gave birth to as he wrinkles his nose. The baby is already looking up at Shota –for who knows how long, like, creepy much?– with big green eyes that are so much brighter in comparison to Shota’s black, and the few tufts of hair are already a darkened curly green mess that is so different from his and dad’s straight black.

The baby takes more after the picture of mom and Inko in dad’s room than he did, but to his ever-mounting annoyance, he can catch the similarities here and there between the two of them, as small as they may be.

“This is stupid,” he says to the baby, tone flatter than most ten-year-olds could manage. Granted, most ten-year-olds aren’t an Aizawa. “You’re stupid. Just because dad got a slightly better job after Inko left doesn’t mean we can take care of you. You’re just going to be a burden and dad’s going to have to work more and it’ll be your fault!”

The baby –Izuku– blinks up at him dumbly, but after a few seconds of that little frown and wobbly lip, a blindingly bright smile is shoved in Shota’s face like a weapon of mass destruction. As if to say, no I won’t, you’ll see! He actually has to squint to make out the dimples on the boy’s freckled cheeks and the sparkle in his eyes as he reaches chubby hands up toward Shota’s face, wiggling and making grabby-hands.

Despite the things he’s feeling at the moment –that annoyance is not melting the longer that smile is brandished, what are you talking about!? Shota is ten, he doesn’t feel mushy anymore. Not since he was five– he bends down so Izuku can wrap a surprisingly soft grip on his chin-length hair that falls in front of both their faces…his baby giggles sounding like bells.

Another thing Midoriya Inko doesn’t know is that her little brother who had always been reserved will gain a little brother of his own hours after her death, and despite the awkward first encounter will love him from then onwards in her place.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Aizawa Izuku knew from a very young age he wasn’t meant to be born……at least not yet, anyway. It’s been something he’s understood longer than he’s known anything else. But when he tried to explain that to his big brother all Shota-nii says back is that Izuku was being pessimistic and of course he was supposed to be born, otherwise, they never would’ve been brothers, so don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise.

He has no way to explain this knowledge. It’s just this odd sense of something being wrong, something off-kilter that he couldn’t point at or have a defining reason for being there.

Besides the shift in what his life was supposed to be, he knows the change made it so Ayumu –as dad says to call him since he isn’t really Izuku’s dad, and Shota is actually his uncle– has to work extra-long to support them.

It hurt Izuku to realize those facts when he was one and a half.

Thanks to him Ayumu isn’t around as often as he could’ve been if Izuku wasn’t here, and when he is at home he’s too tired to do anything more than make up a quick dinner and avoid looking at Izuku too long –he misses mom so much it hurts. He hates that he had to send her away to live with Izuku’s great-grandparents to help with the money problem, and Izuku still ruined that– before collapsing inside his bedroom out cold.

And at three-years-old, Izuku decided it was time to try and pull back.

He’s understood a lot for his age. He knew for a very long time that he reminds Ayumu too much of mom and that makes him unbearably sad, so he doesn’t look at him when he can. Izuku also knows that if Shota glares at him when he got fussy that he was annoyed, toeing the line of snapping at him, and then Izuku would stop.

Izuku also knows Shota-nii has trouble sleeping for long periods of time and has dry eye as a side effect of his quirk which is why he naps a lot. If he’s rubbing at his eyes too much he needs his eye-drops or a warm towel, and Izuku can help by getting them. When Izuku was two and wanted to play heroes– if Shota would snarl to leave him alone, that he was hurting because school is rough instead of actually doing his homework since he never snaps when he was doing it. He would invite Izuku to watch and he never got angry when he asked questions because he’d only ruffle Izuku’s hair and for a second before explaining how to figure out the problem.

So up until he was three and three-quarters Izuku would camp out in his tiny room and keep himself occupied with messily writing about the quirks his classmates were getting and some heroes every time Shota was home and angry or that type of silent. He learned pretty quickly that when the door to his brother’s room across the hall was firmly closed instead of cracked open that Izuku’s presence would make it worse, and that would make Shota feel bad afterward.

It worked for months, nearly until he was four before it finally came to an end when Shota burst into his room with puffy eyes demanding to know why Izuku was upset with him. Izuku tried his best to say that it wasn’t Shota-nii’s fault, but the waterfall of tears at the sight of his older brother having been crying alone made it hard to talk and explain himself.

The night of the confrontation ends up with them cuddling on Izuku’s bed in his room while Izuku tells Shota he was being a burden, all the reasons why, and that he was very sorry he made Shota angry sometimes when he was around. His older brother had burst into fresh tears not long after that, shushing Izuku and pleading for him to not pull away because Shota could never be mad at him and that when he lashes out he’s upset about other things. Never Izuku.

Izuku knows this, had known, but what he doesn’t know is that Shota is regretting the words he said the first time they met because he never meant for them to become true and for Izuku to think he was a burden.

And if Izuku hugs him with all the strength his three-year-old limbs could muster, Shota never complained. He only held on tighter.

After that day Izuku found himself almost always in Shota’s shadow around the house up until his older brother had to go to school in the morning and Ohana, the online college girl from next door, would come over and watch him.

It was nice, all in all, but Izuku knew something was going to change after his fourth birthday…and it wasn’t going to be a change like the other kids at preschool. He didn’t know how, or what, but Izuku knew this in the same way he knew he was born too soon.

He’s declared quirkless two weeks after his birthday, and the pain he feels in that moment lasts all the way home –Ayumu muttering with a pinched look on his face whenever he glanced back in the rearview mirror, worried, and Shota clutching Izuku to his chest, refusing to let go even with the seatbelts restricting him– and into his darkened room with a few pieces of hero merchandise Ayumu could afford to spare on his birthdays.

It isn’t really a surprise that he ended up quirkless when everything is taken into account. His grandma had a quirk almost the same as mom’s, although Ayumu said grandma had a push-pull quirk rather than an attraction of small objects. Ayumu himself has an almost quirk nullifying, well…quirk. It’s touch-based, only working on one person at a time, and it dampens more than it genuinely blocks. That’s where Shota got his quirk, one that can completely nullify any quirk temporarily other than mutant where extra limbs will simply go limp as long as he can see them.

It boils down to two of his family members having quirks that temporarily block other quirk factors, and the other two with weaker third and fourth generation of quirks. So yeah…quirkless isn't too far fetched.

After they get home he retreats to his room. Curled up on his bed he can hear hardly muffled yelling outside the door closed in the dark, but once it goes quiet for painfully long minutes, his door cracks open and light pours in. Shota’s standing there dressed in dark pajamas.

“Hey, Izu.” Shota whispers, voice rougher than usual…even compared to when he started defense and combat training for becoming a hero and would be so hoarse from breathing hard that he could barely talk.

The harsh yellow light from the hall doesn’t hide how red his brother’s eyes are. Doesn’t hide either of theirs. “Mind if I come in?” Izuku shakes his head no because he could never push Shota-nii away after he’s been crying.

His older brother makes his way over, perching on the edge of the bed like a being of the night. The tears that Izuku had been barely managing to keep back flood forward.

Shota is fourteen and in his last year of junior high, and he is in no way equipped to deal with the bleeding heart that is his four-year-old little brother who is prone to cry double dad’s bodyweight in tears at any given moment of high emotional stress.

He wraps his arms around shaking shoulders, holding Izuku close enough his chin hooks over the back of his green curled head. They manage to fall asleep, curled up around themselves. It’s a fitful sleep. Izuku wakes up multiple times crying, but Shota is there every time, shushing him and ruffling his hair.

It’s one of these times, deep in the night when Izuku clings to his brother he whispers, “Can I…can I still be a hero? Even without a quirk?”

There is a dreadful silence that stretches on and on where Izuku thinks Shota-nii won’t answer him or will tell him that he can’t. His hope withers and dies when Shota clutches him tighter, still silent.

He closes his eyes to keep the tears back, waiting for the worst.

What he gets is, “Of course you can, Izu. It won’t be easy, and you’ll have to work twice as hard as even me, but you can do it. I believe in you.

Izuku doesn’t think he’s cried harder before in his life, but he manages to sleep soundly for the rest of the night.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku looks up at the young to-be heroine intern and rallies his courage. Shota brought him out here to see heroes, he might as well put his brother’s distraction to good use.

“Can someone quirkless be a hero like you?”

She looks down at him, her ears twitching at him. Then she plants her hands on her hips, spreads her legs, and throws her head back as she laughs. “Course you can! You just saved a whole bunch of people already! Hop to it, little man!”

She’s the first person other than Shota-nii to say that. Her name is Usagiyama Rumi.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku speeds through school, going toe-to-toe with teenagers much bigger than him at only thirteen and he’s graduating from Yuuei by age sixteen. He goes down in history as not only the first quirkless hero but also the youngest to ever do so.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku spins on his heel and gasps, eyes widening as a kid a couple of years older than him stumbles to his knees just inside the lip of the alley. His hair stands out like a beacon of white and blue eyes flash when Izuku rushes forward.

“Oh my god, are you okay!?”

The kid winces and scrambles up but it’s too late. The scent of burning flesh meets Izuku’s nose and it’s all over.

•~~•

“Hi!” Izuku chirps, sliding right next to a boy around his age, a little older?? It’s hard to tell with his mutation, but Izuku thinks so. “Want to hang out?”

“You’re not disgusted with me?” he asks, eyes wide.

Thanks to experience, Izuku knows sometimes edging around the answer can make is seem insincere so he confidently states, “No.”

Iguchi has a lot of cool things to say and the smile he gets the whole time is worth it.

•~~•

Shota-nii doesn’t appreciate his ability to find alleyways with people in need inside them but the blonde girl needs help and a friend so he doesn’t even care. Nezu likes him better than Shota and will back him up with a bigger on-campus housing so they can all stay so HA!

Besides, as soon as Izuku starts active hero work they’ll get more money and maybe be able to get their own place. If he keeps gaining new honorary family members with nowhere else to go they’ll definitely need it since he’s already at five.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku was invited to sit inside the building this year as the Sports Festival commences. He’s always been a bit excitable and it doesn’t help when his brother is in this grade when he sees someone he recognizes even out of uniform, plus Ayumu is getting food so he has time.

Izuku bounds over to the teen, stars shining in his eyes. “Hello! You’re Chatora Yuna! I saw you today, you were great! You’re her, right? You’re Tiger?”

Izuku freezes completely when Chatora flinches back slightly. Not enough for a regular civilian to notice, but Izuku isn’t any regular civilian.

He looks over her, at the male clothing, hunched posture, and short haircut…to the small he/him pin just barely peeking out from behind the underside of their bag, and immediately backpedals.

“Sorry, sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you, mister, but you looked just like them and I…I’m sorry!!

Izuku bends down, but he’s no fool. He saw the way Chatora’s eyes grew misty as he shook slightly.

When Izuku looks back up —if he stayed down long enough for Chatora to compose himself, Izuku doesn’t think he noticed— Chatora is smiling.

“I was. I’m Yawara now. If you don’t mind me asking, how’d you know?”

“Well, you flinched when I called you ‘her’ plus, umm, I can see the pin on your bag.”

Chatora jerks to look and laughs, bringing his head back to look at Izuku. “You’re observant for such a little one. What’s your name?”

Izuku takes a bold step. “Aizawa Izuku! It’s nice to meet you, Yawara!”

There are three, startled gasps behind him and he whirls around to come face to chest with the other three from the already high school formed team, the Wild, Wild Pussycats.

Mandalay —Sosaki Shino, Telepath— with her short burgundy-red hair and brown eyes teary. Pixie-Bob —Tsuchikawa Ryuko, Earth Flow— with her long blonde hair and blue eyes blown wide. And Ragdoll —Shiretoko Tomoko, Search— with her pale turquoise hair and yellow eyes bright.

“Um, hello?” He asks, not quite sure how to react to their sudden appearance. He wants their autographs, he really does, and maybe he can ask for their real names too, just so Chatora can sign Yawara.

“Can I have your autographs?”

He gets them along with, oddly enough, their phone numbers. Shota doesn’t know quite how to respond to this when Izuku bursts in to tell him, but Izuku is too happy fawning over his personal collection of autographs to bother caring.

Eraserhead, Aizawa Shota.
Present Mic, Yamada Hizashi.
Midnight, Kayama Nemuri.
Ingenium, Iida Tensei.
Miruko, Usagiyama Rumi.
Mandalay, Sosaki Shino.
Pixie-Bob, Tsuchikawa Ryuko.
Ragdoll, Shiretoko Tomoko.

And Tiger, Chatora Yawara.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku hears the catastrophe of sound from several blocks away and rushes toward it, dialing 110 and 119 to alert the paramedics and police because something is clearly wrong. He ushers running civilians away and towards shelter as he goes, but he can’t stay long enough to comfort them.

His heart thunders in his chest, breathing hot and heavy in his ears…before all sound is sucked away when he slides right before he bursts into the clearing.

Bile bubbles up his throat as he hunches over against the building wall framing the opened mall floor and sees several bodies torn in half or crushed against the building sides. Then he sees the villain at the center of it all. He’s a tall, heavily muscular man with sandy blond hair with blood dripping from it and down his turned-away face. He’s cackling madly in rage, stomping his feet.

But it gets worse. Shit! The Water Hose team, husband Izumi Reiji, and wife Izumi Miwa were both on the ground three meters away from the hulking enraged man while fresh blood splatters cake the ground around them.

In a blink, he pulls the extendable taser rod off his belt and adjusts the settings from fifty-thousand up as he rushes forward, barely conscious enough to keep his jaw locked. He can’t let the man know he’s here, no matter how hard the scream is trying to rip itself out of his chest.

He sails through the air thanks to the leg supports and slams into the villain’s back, knocking him forward a step but not giving him even a second to react before slamming it down at the very base of his skull where the augmented muscles don’t reach.

The ear-splitting scream the man makes is animalistic, his body locking up tight under Usagi’s padded shock-resistant costume before falling to the ground with a meaty thud. Izuku keeps it going until the– the eye not currently destroyed rolls back and he passes out.

The motion of pulling the taser back is slow. Izuku makes a strangled sound as he stumbles off the man’s back. He takes a single second to take a breather since he’s not going to be any help–

One of the downed heroes behind him makes a pained groan and it’s all over. All composure flies out into space as the past five years disappear as he’s transported back into a mindset that doesn’t know what to do.

Izuku slams to his knees, pressing a hand over the pulsing wound on Reiji’s chest to his left shoulder where an attack had torn through the protective red vest easily, as the other one flutters around Miwa’s cracked and destroyed helmet and short brown hair. He knows it’s not doing much, but he’s only nineteen! He’s only been Usagi officially for two years, he doesn’t know what to do!

“It’s going to be okay, just stay with me, okay? Help is on the way, you just need to keep your eyes open for me. Can you do that? It’s going to–”

A bloody, broken hand wraps painfully around his wrist, cutting him off. He chokes at the look on Miwa's face. “S-sorry,” She frothed, words coming out with blood and saliva from an injured throat. “You’re…you’re so young, but…but, please. Tell Kota we’re sorry, so…so sorry!” She coughs again, blood splattering on Izuku’s cheek. “Tell…tell him we love him!

The words are painful to hear because that just makes tears start blurring his vision and makes it harder for him to start first aid. With lava hot tears streaming down his face, clogging his throat to the point he sounds just as bad as her. Maybe she’s crying too, under the matted bloody hair. “No no no, don’t say that. You’re going to make it, you can tell Kota yourself, alright? I prom–”

They don’t make it.

Izuku finds himself standing numbly inside the room where the bodies are, unwilling to part with the heroes without delivering their message. Standing meters away from the people who had been breathing and smiling a few hours ago but weren’t anymore.

Shota-nii is on his way. Izuku has never wished for his brother to be wrapped around him like when they were kids quite as much as he does now. But he’s not, so Izuku has to hug himself and rock back and forth on his heels. His costume is folded up in a bag at his feet. He wishes it weren’t.

Running.

Izuku looks up with a jerk at the sound of running down the hall.

The door bursts open and Izuku steps to the side just in time for a small boy to barrel in. He’s tiny, with spiky black hair just like Reiji, but his facial structure is softened to look more like Miwa.

Kota.

And behind him? Sosaki.

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

When Aizawa-sensei opens his mouth to speak the class holds their breath, silent with dread…

A single, solid knock sounding at the door and cuts through the silence.

Controlled confusion bursts throughout the entire room and every one of its occupants. Even Aizawa was looking at the door like it was some unidentifiable enigma, a hand absently moving toward his binding cloth the best he could considering the bandages.

Nobody in Yuuei knocks. All Might bursts in and calls it normal, Midnight waltzes in sometimes shouting, Present Mic practically blasts the door down, and even Aizawa slams it open for dramatic effect.

But here they were, staring at the door entirely silent because someone knocked.

All possible deductions on who it could be that were silently being cooked up are halted when the door open softly and a young man looking to be in his early twenties bounds in with a small white bag in his hand.

Sorry to interrupt,” the man calls, voice surprisingly high considering he’s only a few inches shorter than their teacher and has muscles clearly showing under the white shirt that has classy shirt written on it and knee-length tan shorts.

Aizawa sighed, slumping forward the best he can but holds a hand out for the bag. The class watches on in awe as the mystery man places it in the waiting palm while snickering before he spins around to them with a warm smile.

“Hello everyone!” The man beams, bouncing on his toes with his hands behind his back, causing his fluffy green hair to bounce with him. “Since your teacher here decided to come to school even though he could have stayed home to rest, I’ll be here helping out around the class. Nezu-sensei agreed, so you guys can just call me Izuku!”

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

“Hey, quick question,” a voice calls out lowly from the back of the class.

Before Izuku, the students crowding and complaining to 1A pale dramatically — especially the purple-haired boy and steel one. Figures, it’s all well and fun calling out the minority until it’s said in front of an upperclassman/adult and repercussions are possible.

“Where, in anyone’s right mind, would calling a group of kids your age arrogant and full of themselves for almost being killed come off as okay to any of you?!”

Izuku puts himself directly between Shota’s class and the mob. “And yes, anyone from the other courses could transfer during the festival —I mean, I did. Several of your teachers like Midnight and Aizawa did— but what good person, let alone someone aiming to be a hero, declares war on another class like this? One who recently went through a lot of trauma, all because the hounds of the media are talking about them?”

The mob shifts, some slinking away with their heads down as if Izuku hadn’t memorized their faces as soon as the door opened. He’s good at that. The purple kid is drawing in on himself, too. “Last I checked, they didn’t ask to be attacked in their first week. They didn’t ask to watch their teacher be beaten down, to fight people who weren’t trying to help them learn — but to murder them in cold blood. I’ve met my fair share of true villains. They’re not the best, most polite and caring people to go against.”

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

The podium rises, Tokoyami on the right at third place, Todoroki at second on the left, and in the middle Bakugo…

The teacher booth is dead silent as eyes move from the snarling, jerking image of Bakugo chained to a cement slab to the young man in green. Izuku stands ramrod straight, body tense, but voice deceptively calm when he finally speaks.

“Who put him in that?” Each and every person leans back, sweat dripping down their faces at the sheer Someone Gonna Die Today aura radiating from him.

He spins around, teeth pulled back in a snarl and eyes spitting flames. “Who put Bakugo, a child, in front of international television chained up like a rabid animal! Clearly, they weren’t using what few brain cells that are still working inside their pea-sized mind!

Without waiting for a response he flips his hood up and vaults over the railing, firing off the propulsion in his boots just in time to soften the landing before he’s marching forward through the silent stadium, past Midnight and All Might himself, and rips the chains off like they were made of butter, snarling at the cameras as they quickly turn away from the scene.

Todoroki and Tokoyami slide off to the side, giving the pro-hero space.

The muzzle comes off next, Izuku– no, Usagi blocking Bakugo’s hunched form –and if he was gripping the green jumpsuit tightly, no one but Izuku knew– from the cameras he motions to face him again. “I will be making this perfectly clear,” Usagi says, a surprisingly menacing look to him despite the bunny likeness and normally smiling face. “That what Yuuei just did was uncalled for and I will be having words with whoever decided to sanction this display. And for anyone out there thinking this was justified, I will personally invite you down to this stadium so you can say that to my face; tell me tying a child up to a podium was just and that he has a volatile attitude because I will show you volatile. We are heroes. We are human and we make mistakes, but we are supposed to rise above those and this right here is not the proper morals of the heroes I work with. Now, when I move, we will continue with this ceremony and I will be here for the next five hours waiting.”

>It is safe to say Usagi stood poised in that stadium and no one came to challenge his word.<

>It is also safe to say Cementoss and Vlad King were scarred for days after, flinching and bolting whenever they caught even a glimpse of green.<

>It is safe to say a certain Hero Killer watches this hero with a gleam in his eyes.<

~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~~•~•~•~•~

Izuku startles at the sudden appearance of a woman that comes up behind Katsuki. Her voice drops from the sharp shout, her face goes from contorted much like Katsuki’s when he’s angry, to something like she’d seen a ghost.

He blinks at her. The young woman blinks back. She doesn’t look to be much older than he is, though she’s probably a bit closer to Shota’s age than his own.

“Good afternoon, Katsuki!” Izuku says, giving a wave to the young woman. “Are your parents home?”

Katsuki scoffs, throwing a thumb over his shoulder. “Course they are,” he barks. “The stupid hag’s right there!”

Izuku blanches. “Oh jeez, I am so sorry, Bakugo-san! I thought you were Katsuki’s older sister or something! Please forgive my rudeness!”

Bakugo laughs, seeming to snap out of whatever spooked her. “Nonsense! I’m flattered you think so! Come in, come in!”

Izuku is marched into the living room where he shakes hands with a mellow brown-haired man that must be Katsuki’s dad rises from the couch. “Hello, Bakugo-san!” He greets.

The man waves him off, “First names are fine, it’ll get too confusing otherwise. What might your name be?”

Izuku almost physically face-palms. “Crap, I am usually not this messed up. My name’s Aizawa–”

“You’re the one teaching our brat!?” Mitsuki gasps.

“No, no. That’s my brother, Aizawa Shota. I’m Aizawa Izuku–” There’s that strange expression again. This time on both of them. “–I just go in and help out with classes around the school. Think of me as an assistant or a substitute, though I spend most of my time with 1A. I must apologize again, but my niisan couldn't make it to every house, even with All Might’s help, so I was recruited since I’ve spent time with them.”

“Do you mind me asking a question,” Masaru prods, face still ashen. “But who's your mother? I think…I think we may have known her.”

Chapter Text


Not A Drill



“”So I’m assigned to the……Todorokis for this universe’s reality? Shouldn’t be too hard! I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?? Can’t be worse than last time!“”

“”Okay, so in completely unrelated news…both parents are dead and the baby is scarred. It’s not my fault this time.“”

“”But that’s okay! All you people need to do is put them with a different hero for protection– no? No…you’re just gonna put them in foster care and leave forever. Okay. I can work with this.“”

“”I CANNOT WORK WITH THIS IF YOU KEEP MAKING THINGS NINE-HUNDRED TIMES MORE DIFFICULT, YOU BASTARDS!!!“”

“”No! No– YOU DO NOT SEPARATE THEM, THAT IS A TODDLER!! I SWEAR TO THE STARS I WILL–!“”

“”Breathe…… Deep breath. Calm. You are calm. Totally calm.“”

“”New plan. Get someone to adopt them all before they can be taken apart. Easy!“”

“”You? ……No. You!? Noooo. How about you, you seem nic– nope– noping right outta there, creepoid! That’s DISGUSTING!!“”

“”This is harder than I thought.“”

“”YOU! Nice woman, compassionate, you’ve got a baby in the maker– come come…yesssssss!“”

“”NOOOOO! Are you KIDDING me!? That is NOT a rule!! She can adopt all four if she wants to!!“”

“”Let the nice Midoriya take the children!“”

“”Stars above, I will murder you, so help me!!“”

“”There, was that so hard!? She’s perfectly qualified, she’s even got the papers to prove it!“”

“”There, new happy family. Oooo, she’s got a friend who has a kid Shouto’s age! BONDING!“”

“”My plans are flawless.“”

“”Oh my celestial, the brat’s an asshole! How can a two-year-old be such a– why are you taunting the scars!? Get up here so I can kick your a–“”

“”Gotta do EVERYTHING myself around here!“”

“”All I gotta do is tie myself to a soul– ah-ha! Perfect! Right in front of me!! Here goes!“”


~~~~~~~~~~Six Beings Of Higher Power Minus Chaos~~~~~~~~~~


“”Chaos, you in here?“”

“”……Chaos?“”

“”Celestials not– uggggggggg!“”

“”CHAOS IS AT IT AGAIN!! NOT A DRILL, I REPEAT; THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!“”

“”Seriously!?“”

“”You have GOT to be joking.“”

“”Ancients, I wish I was.“”

“”The last reform just ended! I can’t deal with another one right now!“”

“”My family is finally working out, why do they always do this!?“”

“”Void swallow me.“”

“”Aren’t we all being just a tad pessimistic?“”

All: “”It’s CHAOS.“”

“”…Valid point.“”

“”Let’s just hope we don’t get too much extra paperwork for this.“”

“”They get to do the paperwork this time. We cover them too much, let them reap what they sow. All in favor?“”

All: “”Aye!“”


And So It Begins



The new baby is born inside a near-silent hospital. No one is rushed in for emergency surgery, no accident occurs, and no new patients were even emitted. Not even a new sniffle is heard, while patients on death’s bed breathe easy as infants sleep peacefully.

Strange, too, was that villains all around Japan were oddly calm.

The new baby’s siblings of five months were anxiously waiting outside in the hall, huddled together on the floor rather than two feet down on the chairs. Touya was curled up in Fuyumi’s arms while Shouto sat on Natsuo’s lap — not even the youngest is resting despite it being so late.

They do not talk, either. Sitting under a blanket of silence they dare not uncover.

And at the stroke of midnight, Midoriya Izuku enters the world smiling.

……and so does a being of higher power.

Midoriya Inko, the mother of young Izuku, calls her other children forward as they hesitantly enter the room as the doctors leave with smiles on their faces.

All the while both Touya and Shouto worry. What if the baby doesn’t like us?

Shouto, at age three, covers the burn marring the left side of his face with his hand not cradled in Natsuo’s. The scar is a long and jagged thing that licks the corner of his eye by the bridge of his nose and then covers his entire cheek –like an open zipper– to curl under his jaw and behind the bottom of his ear. Touya, age eleven, fingers the short sleeve of his shirt he had grabbed in haste and wishes he brought a long one instead. His arms have been getting worse every time he accidentally uses his quirk — purple and black patches of rough skin bubbling up from his wrists toward his elbow.

What if we scare him? They both think. So they worry. However, they had nothing to worry about.

Izuku takes one look at the two of them –who had been pushed forward by the other two– and burbles with tears in his brilliant green eyes –much to the boys’ horror– before reaching out with chubby hands. First to Touya, who takes him with fearful eyes and receives a sloppy kiss to the inside of his right wrist, and then to Shouto who can barely hold the child and gets what is closer to a lick on his cheek.

The family dissolves after that, all crowding onto the bed where Izuku is handed back to a laughing Inko. She smiles at her large family, hugging them all close. Hisashi would be proud, she knows, if only he could get away from work long enough to come home.

She doesn’t blame him. She knows if he had known she was pregnant before he was called across seas he would have stayed — he almost turned the plane around the night she video-called him to explain, but she managed to convince him he couldn’t give up his promotion when they would have another person to care for.

He openly accepted the fact he would need to work even harder after she spotted four children huddled in an orphanage window and her heart reached out to them, and thus was truly tied when it came to Izuku’s birth.

She had seen the former Todorokis and understood they would have been split up for sure, and with both of their parents being killed in such a horrible way, she couldn’t very well let that happen. Never let it be said kindness is a shackle; it only fueled her rage when the proctor tried to sell her crap about it being a rule four children couldn’t be put in the same home, and then of her being unfit to take them after she called him out on his lie.

Inside that little room, the family didn’t know the spot Izuku kept looking at wasn’t empty. Chaos floated there, eyes of supernovas bright on the child as they weaved their power into him. “You’ll be my sword and shield and voice, little Izuku, and you will bring the evil in this world to its knees.” All Izuku does is coo at his guardian.

For years his family would play along with his ‘imaginary friend, Ka,’ and for years the little boy with sunshine as his smile and a heart of gold in his chest would help those around him without a second thought.

Shouto and Touya, while never truly okay with their scars, grew to accept them as a part of themselves when every time they would ever feel or even have passing bad thoughts about them, Izuku would materialize and kiss them.

Bakugo Katsuki, nicknamed Kacchan because the one-year-old hadn’t been able to say the four-year-old’s name, but somehow could pronounce Shouto’s, of whom was unbearably smug about it. Of course, he ended up getting the nickname Shounii anyway, but that had been beside the point.

The point was the second Katsuki had made fun of Shouto’s scars while at the Bakugos home, Izuku had burst into wails and clung to Shouto for all his worth. Now, Katsuki was already enamored with Izuku at first sight when he was three, the first baby he’d seen, and it only took one more time with similar reactions to stop Katsuki cold-turkey.

Both mothers would talk over tea on how well-behaved Katsuki became after meeting Izuku. How protective the kids were of their youngest member. Loud noises scared the boy, so Katsuki didn’t yell. Sure, he would get mad, but he never screamed bloody murder as he had before.

Later, after Katsuki and Shouto got their quirks, whenever Katsuki was mean to people at the playground because of their quirks? Tears. Tears and wailing and clinging to whichever sibling was closest. Sobs of “Noooo, Kacchan nooooo,” would be moaned out as Katsuki tried to apologize.

Nicknames became a right of passage in the family of nine. Inko was simply mom, Mitsuki was Mistusan while Masaru donned the title of Masasan. Touya became Toynii, much to everyone’s amusement after the eldest boy wore a belt weighed down with All Might action figures following this, while Fuyumi became Fumeechan, which got a lot of laughs. Natsu was originally Notnii, but that had made the boy burst into tears and Izuku was quick to change it to Natsunii, which barely quelled the tears of the eight-year-old.

What no one knew was that ‘Ka’ was actually Chaos and that they were very much real. It was on Izuku’s fourth birthday, and he had yet to get a quirk that everything he thought he knew crumpled.

It was an hour before the doctor’s appointment, while Inko went to drop the other four off at Mitsuki’s, that Izuku turned to his friend.

For as long as Izuku could remember Ka had been there, and for as long as Izuku could remember…he remembers everything. Seeing the hurt and fear as his brothers walked up to the hospital bed made his heart ache even to this day.

As for his friend? Ka didn’t really look like much, and they haven’t changed at all as long as Izuku has known them.

They’re taller than a lot of people Izuku knew, sure, and definitely lanky but with super cool muscles and cloudy grey skin that looks like storm clouds. When Izuku was little and asked if they were a boy or girl they had answered neither, so Izuku didn’t question it. They were dressed in a strange swirling outfit. It was a loose, wavy shirt tied over wide shoulders by single ribbons behind their neck, with no back at all. That was because there were small black wings there — the left of black feathers and the right like a white dragon, as small as a crow’s but strong enough to keep them afloat. The shirt itself was swirls of black and purples and blues of all sorts of shades flecked with white spots so it looked like a galaxy; the shades more colorful and bright the closer to the bottom it got, where it bunched around their waist. They also wore a ruffled skirt Izuku liked petting because it was very silky and swayed around their knees like a sunset, while their leggings were white with ribbons that crisscrossed and played with his hair all on their own.

Izuku loves Ka very much, but they never answer Izuku’s questions.

“Why aren’t you my quirk?” Izuku would ask softly, clinging to their knee as they float in the air.

“Because,” they would answer, never continuing.

“But will I have a quirk?” Izuku would ask. They would look down at him with eyes nothing but a thin swirling burst of color branching out from the center of their eyes. It never looked the same twice, and even as Izuku stares they were constantly changing.

They look away.

“Why can’t other people see you?” he would ask next, cheeks puffed.

They would laugh, “Because I don’t want them to!”

Izuku would always scrunch his nose up at this, but Ka would ruffle his hair and they’d be done with the conversation. That is what happened on the day he was told he was quirkless.


What’s To Come



But he wasn’t human anymore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Breaking News!! Renowned Hero Dead!!

The Number Two Hero, Endeavor, was killed with his wife Todoroki Rei on XX XX, XXXX. Leaving four children behind to an uncertain future.

Two days ago, the prestigious hero family was kidnapped in their sleep by a group of seven villains affiliated with Trigger. Police report that quirk canceling equipment was used to subdue the family — husband Todoroki Enji, wife Rei, sons Touya, Natsuo, and Shouto, as well as daughter Fuyumi.

Reports of screaming alerted a passing citizen, of whom wishes to remain unnamed, that something was wrong. Upon further inspection by the hero duo Whiplash and Gem, the mutilated bodies of the parents were found destroyed by a potent acid and the children were separated in rooms.

While the older three were unharmed, Shouto was found strung up on his side with an acid having torn through his left cheek. [Read more on page 23.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Izuku shakes hard, his body holding tight to Shounii whose arm is, in turn, tight around him.

It was just supposed to be a field trip. Izuku’s only eleven! He just wanted to go to school with Shounii and Kacchan! He didn’t think asking Nezu-san if he could come would mean this–!

“Oh, what’s this?” the villain croaks. Izuku doesn’t know how his voice is reaching them from way down there but he’s terrified. “A little child? Heroes are just starting younger and younger these days, aren’t they?”

““Ka?!”” Izuku cries in his mind, trying to find his friend but his friend isn’t here for the first time in forever.

“Izuku, stay close,” Shounii whispers, pulling him back away from the stairs. Izuku goes to nod, to promise to stay close to him when suddenly he’s viciously yanked away.

“Shounii!” he yelps, twisting in the hand-man’s grip. He kicks the man’s stomach. “Let me go!”

“Feisty,” hand-man growls, pulling him further away from his brother and friend that are being held back by their classmates. “Stay still or your arm gets decayed off,” the man threatens.

Izuku freezes, realizing only four fingers are clamped on his arm. Just like Uraraka-san!

“Let him go, hand fucker!” Kacchan screams. Izuku has never heard him scream like that.

“How rude,” hand-man drawls. Izuku sees Aizawa-sensei glaring daggers. “You hero wannabes are unheroic.” Between one breath and the next, the second arm moves and wraps around Izuku’s waist, leveraging him up into the air. He yelps, hands unconsciously gripping his kidnapper’s forearm. “I wonder what you’d do if I killed the kid?”

Izuku’s blood freezes, his breath catching in his chest. He feels like it's expanding past its breaking point, his heart beating hot and fast as his skin prickles uncomfortably with heat for a second while Izuku panics, but then–

That stress and pressure in his chest snaps, throwing the man back with a powerful blast of light that leaves Izuku blinded as he stumbles forward, a yelp clogged in his throat. When the light fades, the world is now a shimmery gold. The ground under his feet all the way up to a dome, covering him and the others completely from the threat.

Izuku blinks, “Wha–”

“I leave for one second, Izuku, and you activate your heart barrier?”

Izuku whips around, his face splitting in a smile. He’d recognize that deep voice anywhere. “Ka!”

Ka stands there, their hands on their cocked hip and body covered in soft black armor, not unlike chainmail…but more fashionable? Ka always has looked amazing, so Izuku guesses it makes sense that the new outfit hugs their body?

“What the fucking hell?” Kacchan hisses from behind them. That’s when Izuku realizes everyone is looking right at his friend, Aizawa-sensei’s hair falling to his shoulders as he blinks. “You’re imaginary friend is real!?

Before Izuku can answer, Ka ruffles his hair with a thin hand. “Indeed, though you may call me Chaos…” their face splits wide as they smile, their teeth sharpening into metaphorical daggers as their split tongue flickers out. “…the Reformer.”

They look down at Izuku, their eyes softening. “And this is my sovereign.”

The villains can’t enter Izuku’s shield no matter how hard they try. Ka just laughs at them as they try.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

““They did it.””

““Revealing themself is what they do. They’re trying to ruin us.””

““Why do you guys have so little faith?””

““Because Faith agrees with us.””

““Wow.””

Chapter Text

~—_—~—_(ONE)_—~—_—~

Midoriya Izuku turned four.

And then the murders began.

*****

At first, no one noticed.

Well, no one connected the murders at all. Japan was a large place, and they were new.

A young woman of twenty-two reports a shadowy figure swooping down and slicing her would-be-rapist in half, with his dick the only thing left connecting his legs to his split torso together. The same thing happened with a young boy, but this time the woman’s mouth was the only thing left keeping her split sides from falling apart.

A hostage situation where the assailant is decapitated, their body falling to the floor with a knife in hand, the hostage rubbing their throat as they scream. A curl of dark smoke dissipating.

Child traffickers found stuffed into tiny cages, hands and feet bound, mouths gagged, and holes straight through their hearts. Their hearts found dyed black and stuffed into their hands.

And each time, the witness or witnesses reported only one thing; a lanky, hunched figure coated in fog and shadows. This became the only calling card of the villain.

But it was normal, so it seemed– all back-alley types of deals or nighttime or secluded robberies.

…Then came the politicians. The ones corrupt and vile even if not publicly known, they were after they were found.

These were more pressing. More concerning.

This villain was breaching high levels of security easily and then disappearing without a trace.

One pedophile strung naked up in a star upside down, his computer files open. Another left in a dirt-poor alleyway with rags for clothes after passing bills to give herself more money and rights, once again with computer files open.

Then civilians were being targeted at random.

A primary school teacher who discriminated against students because of their quirks, testaments from parents and school cameras all lined up neatly in a row in front of the slumped-over body in a child-sized desk. A cult of mutant-quirk racists all warped and disfigured beyond recognition, their propaganda torn to shreds. Abusers matching their victims, the difference sometimes being death and other times worse.

The police and heroes alike were dumbfounded, scrambling to find the person dubbed Kage by the police force.

Each night brought a new case, a new murder, but they were spaced all across Japan at random. There was never a trial, never a camera in sight, and never a proper look at Kage.

……and then the heroes began to be stalked.

This went on for years; every night either a murder would occur, or a hero would be visited and heavily warned/threatened to shape up. These warnings would occur four times at most, each spread three weeks apart, before the hero would go missing for exactly four hours if they didn’t comply, and then return with blank eyes and no heartbeat.

Chaos reigned, heroes truly began to fear what Kage could do when the number two hero ignored these warnings and ended up dead. Heroes began shaping up, looking closer at how they acted. Media became a non-issue, the less populated areas patrolled, villains couldn’t hide from Kage, so they shaped up.

All the while, Midoriya Izuku, now ten, was happily living his life with his best friend Bakugo Katsuki; watching the hero industry change for the better.

Around their seventh birthday, Katsuki’s attitude had also changed as he never talked bad at anyone again. Bonds were mended, the bullying rate dropped to nearly nothing in their school, and Izuku never understood why.

Katsuki never did end up reporting the figure that appeared in his bedroom that night all those years ago.

It had been nearly six feet tall, its limbs stretched, back curved and hunched, and its face nothing more than an abyss staring through him. Or, it would have been, if not for the eyes. The eyes were pools of evergreen curled up into wings along its temples, its clawed hand reaching out to caress Katsuki’s face.

All the air had been stolen from his lungs– he couldn’t scream, couldn’t run. He could only listen to the rattling moan the creature made before it said its warning.

Over time, Japan became the capital of peace.

All Might would await All for One’s reveal until he died peacefully at age one-hundred-five, his successor standing by his side with tears in her violet eyes. He didn’t know All for One was gone for good, long ago killed off.

Kurogiri raised Tomura better, taking him to a therapist after his meeting with Kage the night his boss was killed.

Overhaul never created his quirk-erasing drugs because he was a splatter of years-old blood on a wall. Eri now safely growing up with her new dad, Aizawa Shota, who took her for playdates with the Water Hose’s kid Kota while the parents talked about possibly of the two becoming a hero duo together.

The Todorokis live peaceful lives together– no longer under their father/husband’s thumb.

Shinso Hitoshi is accepted into the renovated Yuuei hero program and becomes an underground hero beside his mentor.

And Izuku? Well, Midoriya Izuku grows up to be one of the lead quirk counselors for heroes, reformed villains, and children alike. The best in the profession despite being quirkless, and was praised for seeing out-of-the-box ways to use countless quirks.

Kage becomes a horror tale for the younger generations and older alike.

No one knew it was merely a quirk that took over a boy’s body when he was unconscious at night. Not even Izuku himself.

Chapter Text

The meeting room screens, all ten of them, go black at the same time as the dim lights cut with the odd sound of static. The room becomes pitch black.

Chairs scrape and voices raise, demanding for someone to get the electricity back on… ……When the first large white words stretch rapidly across the main monitor as if typed at high speed. Automated, probably.

Each shadowed person in the darkened room becomes still as the biggest, central-most screen reads:

>>Dear, Yuuei Academy,
Do you know what you guys’ problem is?

Well, wait…no, I don’t mean your security (although it’s pretty lackluster now that I’m here, gotta admit). I mean your BIGGEST problem?

Go ahead, I’ll give you time to think.

~Tick~

~Tock~

~~TEN~~

~Tick~

~Tock~

~~NINE~~

~Tick~

~Tock~

~~EIGHT~~

~Tick~

~Tock~

~~SEVEN~~

~Tick~

~Tock~

~~SIX~~

~Tick~

~Tock~

~~FIVE~~

~Tick~

~~FOUR~~

~Tock~

~~THREE~~

~Tick~

~~TWO~~

~Tock~

~~ONE~~

~Tick~

~~~Z E R O~~~

~Tock~

Are you done scrambling to find out where I’m broadcasting from? You won’t find it, sorry Mr. Nezu, sir. I’ve been doing this for YEARS, just not on your radar. I had to get good, to be better than the so-called heroes and villains.

But I’m here now. So, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll get to explaining.

Your biggest problem is that you’re too PREDICTABLE!

Now, you must be looking at me (well, not ACTUALLY me, but you get the point) and thinking “Yuuei, p r e d i c t a b l e??” and okay, I get that. You guys are pretty eccentric after all. I mean, you’ve got a hardass best-of-the-best reputation for a reason!

No, I mean you’re too by-the-book and conform.

Hear me out and stop giving my screen those looks, please, you’re offending them, I’m sure.

You create a SANCTUARY for gifted individuals that are cut above the rest, the diamonds of youth in both intelligence and prowess, a place where they can be taught by pro-hero teachers and trained within the best-of-the-best facilities (in, if I may be so bold, quite frankly, the world) to become some of the BEST heroes, support, business-personnel, or just best educated.

…A sanctuary of pre-programmed lessons and repetition, each new year coming in and learning what the former did with small changes here-or-there. Ruled by a commission sitting in desks, controlling not directly but by pressure — by controlling the rest of the hero industry.

Support students are the best and brightest inventors in the world, making tech that revolutionizes the industry…but don’t bother branching out to create for civilians. You teach them to create specifically for quirk-use, but what about the majority who aren’t allowed that luxury out in the open?

Your general education is top tier, but those students are separated and ostracised because their major isn’t fixated towards hero-work unless they are lucky enough to get transferred in by working twelve times as hard around their school schedule and lack of a trainer being up to snuff.

Your business classes cannot defend themselves, are shut-ins who can only see their next figure or project — how to look at a human being and see numbers and figures so they can be marketed. To look at the media and mold their people into what will work best for the current theme NOT who they are or what good they can do.

And you prepare the heroes for bright lights and glorious battles — you prepare them to be hurt and injured and to get back up again because THAT’S WHAT A HERO DOES. You teach them that fighting is the only answer, that the bad guys are villains with no true-gold motives. You don’t teach them that the world isn’t black and white, that sometimes physical prowess isn’t going to cut it, sometimes your quirk is WRONG. You favor those with the ideal, shiny quirks as much as everyone else does with your bias robots.

You don’t teach them about the real world; that little toddlers are being killed and drowned because they have a “villains quirk” or don’t even have one, or they’re carted off to an orphanage to rot, that dangerous quirks are monitored and feared, that if you are different you will be discriminated against. ……That sometimes people die hoping and praying for a hero to save them, and sometimes the body is never found.

I’d like to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you’re making it difficult to see beyond your decades of predictability.

Based on your expressions I’m guessing you don’t believe me? I know some of you don’t, some of you are thinking “who is this!? how dare they!” instead of hearing me.

Let me prove it to you.

Let me prove it before the world proves itself.
Yours Truly, The Mystery<<

The screen flickers to a familiar scene.

A perfect view of class 1A on the testing field against robots.

Across that screen rolls six words.
>>Let us play a guessing game. How predictable are your bots?<<

Chapter Text

“Home is not where you live, but where they try to understand you.”

His first home called him cold, uncaring. Distant in a way they could never reach– a fissure they more often than not must step around in their daily lives, an obstacle to overcome to reach their goals.

All of them were only recently set in the stones of time, only just carving out their niches……yes, the new gods and goddesses worshiped by mortals were all very unique.

He loved them– quirks and all.

But they could not love him.

So they left him.

Or he left them?

It had been a gradual process. One day, he had looked up and realized he had not seen his family in decades. Not heard a peep or whisper.

That revelation brought with it a sense of longing, so he wandered for many seasons and eventually found his second home.

This one was different from his last. Smaller and with fewer fights involving throwing around powers of epic proportions or screaming matches that shook the very Earth, focusing more on soft squabbles.

But he changed; he told himself, “No longer will I keep to myself.”

But in return, they called him overbearing and coddling. They would go out of their way to sneak around him, to get away.

And then…one day……they did. They too left him.

This had hurt, for this was not like the first home he had been born into. He had chosen these people and vice versa, they had accepted him so it had seemed.

He steeled himself and searched once again, but his heart was now cracked; jaded and no longer so open, to avoid wounds.

……

………

The third?

The third called him indecisive, moody. They criticized him for his attitude, changing at the drop of a hat, going from boiling over to frigid. With his bad moods came suffering for them. They called him selfish, a burden.

……he wasn’t so willing to find a fourth, so he isolated himself in his domain.

He threw himself into his job given by his first family, maybe the only one that had truly been a home to him, now that he thought of it…even if only for a short while. He built himself up around the mantle of Hades; god of the Underworld and riches, and that is all that he became.

The god that no mortal man nor fellow immortal wanted to associate with if they could avoid it.

Time bled together. Days, weeks, months, and years filled with the arrival of the undead he presided over.

Granted, he never did do too much in terms of them. Hermes leads souls to the Underworld’s entrances with the help of Thanatos, who also guarded the escape routes…meaning slipups happen from time to time and gave Hades more paperwork.

After the souls were dropped off, Charon would ferry these souls over the Styx where they would each be judged by Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus before being sorted. Souls would be sent to one of four places. Tartarus was the place where the worst of criminal mortals would go to rot, while monsters were automatically cast deep into the pit. Next would be The Fields of Mourning/Punishment where mortals with less serious crimes redeemed themselves for eternity or until they were released into The Asphodel Meadows, where they would stay to drift listlessly. The last section was The Elysian Fields, where mortal souls were left free of toils and pain unless they chose rebirth.

As Hades sat on his throne, reflecting, he began to understand that no one had ever really understood him. Not that his silences were for lack of words, not hate or undesire, his attitude was to compensate for what he lacked not a fake mask, and that his anger was not at them but himself.

No one understood.

~~——————————~~

“Home is where somebody notices when you are no longer there or you notice them.”

Hades would rather visit the bowels of Tartarus than meet with his so-called first family in their so-called home sitting high atop Mount Olympus. A place they all called Yuuei.

Unfortunately, even though he was not officially counted as a member, Hermes would sometimes venture into Hades’ throne room to summon him by Zeus’ order.

Thus, he would drag himself up into a world too bright for his eyes, forcing himself to sit beside Hestia on a throne half-heartedly thrown together and not say a word as his family bickered over his head.

More often than not, he found himself leaving early, calling to the shadows to take him to his domain or simply walk outside of the U-circle of thrones.

Countless times he had done so without anyone noticing. Or if they did, they didn’t bother to call him out for it.

This time– this time someone did follow.

He didn’t recognize their aura at all, but they were following him from the throne room. He could hear their soft footfalls and soft breathing, not rushing to meet up with him despite trailing him.

It is in a meadow not terribly far from an entrance to the Underworld when he whirls around to confront them.

They squeak, leaping back slightly.

Hades is met with a sight that steals his breath away.

It is a young god, his skin golden and bare but for a soft white toga and vines weaving up his arms and legs, his hair curled atop his head like a bush. He has four freckles under each expressive green eye– looking for all the world like nature itself was condensed into two pools that were blown wide.

“Why are you following me,” he demands after quickly collecting himself, straightening his posture. “Who are you?!”

“Oh,” the god gasps, a blush flushing along his cheeks the same color as the flower petal by his feet. “I’m Midoriya Izuku!”

Hades holds in the deep growl of irritation, but it must leak through because ‘Midoriya’ flinches hard. “You’re title?

‘Midoriya’s’ cheeks turn brilliant rose, the flush traveling over his nose and down his neck. “Right, right, sorry. My title is Persephone.”

Hades hums, “And why are you following me, exactly? Persephone, you said?”

“Um, yes,” Persephone agrees hastily, shaking his head up and down quickly. “And, um, well…you looked upset when you left.”

Hades raises an eyebrow, “Is that all? You must have been deaf to what we left if you believe me upset in comparison.”

Persephone flushes again, his head going downcast, “No, I…I heard.”

“Then why aren’t you there, if you’re so concerned about those who are upset?”

“You looked lonely,” Persephone blurts. Hades blinks again, taken aback by the fire in his voice. “You looked lonely,” Persephone says again, blush fading fast as their eyes lock with Hades’ own, biting with iron. “And I came to see if you wanted company.”

“No,” Hades says, disappearing into his realm.

If he had stayed, he would have seen the flash of irritation on Persephone’s face.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Sire~” a voice sings loudly.

Hades looks up, hiding his shock by moving his chin from his palm to straighten. Thanatos bows slightly, but he never stays down for long. His wings are dyed red today, compared to his usual black. Strange.

“What is it?”

“You have a visitor, sir!”

Hades scrunches up his nose. He has a what now!?

“Yeah, they’re up on Angolia! I offered to bring them here instead, but they insisted on exploring!”

Hades growls, pulling at the shadows to slingshot himself onto the hill without a moment to waste. Persephone squeaks at his sudden appearance because of course, it’s Persephone, but he quickly smiles brightly.

Hades squints. He hadn’t realized it before, that Persephone had a soft glow to his skin, or the gold resting in his hair and on his arms.

“Uh, sorry for the intrusion,” he says sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. “But I came to say hi!” Hades squints harder against the light, watching as the barren soil under Persephone’s feet blooms with grass and flowers with yellow-speckled centers on each of the six rose-red petals.

“You’ve said it. You can go now.”

Hades isn’t prepared for the sudden change. He never could have been.

Persephone’s face goes from soft and bashful to a full-blown snarl, green eyes darkening as the plants around him wither, the flowers in his hair spinning and growing as he stalks forward.

Persephone gets close, not a care to the death-aura that always surrounds him, poking a finger into Hades’ chest, and firmly says, “No.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“So what’s it like ruling the dead? Is there a system? I’m still new to this whole thing– Hawks was pretty nice and tried to explain it but he left to get you pretty quickly! How many other gods live here with you? Hey–”

“Would you be quiet!?” Hades hisses, rubbing his temples. It might have already been days of this incessant chattering by this point, he would never know with time being so hard to predict in his realm. He had ignored it so well up until now.

He’s tempted to freeze Persephone’s mouth shut, but he’d rather not deal with him at all anymore. He’d probably just stay and bother Hades more if he reacted negatively.

“But I’m curious! I work around mortals and the living, and mother never talks about what happens when something dies.”

Hades grits his teeth, “That’s not my problem.”

Persephone hums, tilting back on his heels. “I guess not. Hey,” and this is where Hades tunes him out again, the meaning of the words wash over him without registering. “–do you have anything to eat here? I mean, of course you do, but what? Not much seems to want to grow here at all. My powers help, but only for a short while. Ooo, pomegranates!”

“Don’t!” Persephone jerks away from the bowl of fruit, his eyes blown wide. Hades is done, his heart pounding in his chest. “Get out!” he snarls, fists crackling with ice and fire. “Get out of my realm right now or I swear on the Styx, I will make you leave myself!

Persephone flinches, looks at him with fear, and darts away.

As soon as he is gone, Hades collapses onto his throne and buries his hands into his dual-colored hair. Why do I feel bad for that fear in his eyes?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hades looks up, his senses tingling as someone familiar enters the Underworld.

Again.

For the fifth time in fourteen days. That’s a new record. It was a new record after the second time. When Persephone came back despite how Hades had yelled at him.

Hades almost wishes Hermes would come back instead, if only for his stern words and frown so he wouldn’t have to keep looking at this sun of a smile. It is wearing at him.

With a sigh, Hades makes his way in front of Persephone. He doesn’t flinch, this time. Actually, he’s currently in the body of a female. Her toga hugs her curves, reaching down to the ground as more flowers bloom where she stands.

Her curly hair is brushing her folded arms where–

What is that?” Styx, he already sounds tired. He’s never been this tired in his life and it's only been a fortnight.

Persephone smiles awkwardly, and this smile fits differently on her face than the other. She adjusts her hold on the large mutt in her arms, causing three heads to pick themselves up and try to lick her chin when she does. She laughs it off, her voice ringing like bells, as she easily holds the body up with one arm and scratches each head with the other.

“An apology gift,” she says, her voice higher and flowing like honey. “My mother was taking me to my first temple– did you know they think I’m only a woman? I don’t even remember being seen by one! Do you think they just heard my name and–”

Hades sighed, cutting her off with a stern, “Why the gift?”

Persephone blushes, “Well, the city I visited had just slain Echidna, but she’d already had this little guy and his twin Orthrus –one less head, why is that??– who is helping guard Geryon’s red cattle with Eurytion, but I scooped this one up first before he could be taken away!”

“Let me ask again; Why?”

Persephone adjusts the mutt so it is cradled in the other arm as she curls a piece of hair behind her ear. “Well, I’ve noticed you’ve got a rather large gap in security down here and you look pretty tired all the time, so I was thinking training him would help make escaping harder so you guys could have more free time down here!”

Hades stares down at the mutt, watching it flip around onto its back and wave its massive paws around. Persephone barely dodges what looks like a debilitating blow. “Do I have to?”

Persephone laughs, setting the mutt down onto the ground. It immediately stumbles over to his legs and tries to jump up onto him, but falls over backward instead with an undignified yelp in a tri-tone as each head does. “Well, yeah?” she giggles, kneeling despite her white dress so she can help flip it over. “He’ll need to do some growing, first, but I’ll be here to help!”

Hades feels like he should feel more dread than he does at her words, but all he does is say “And what is his name?”

Persephone giggles again, and Hades hates to admit that the sound is growing on him. “I thought I’d let you decide! He’s going to be yours, after all!”

Hades hums thoughtfully, then side-eyes Persephone. “Cerberus,” he says. Persephone bursts into laughter hard enough to collapse backward not unlike Cerberus before her.

“Wha– Spot??”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The mutt makes it so Hades has to spend an unholy amount of time with Persephone. He’s not sure when his walls weaken or when he gives in and becomes Shouto again in Persephone’s presence.

He doesn’t remember what gave him the delusion to steal her away from the meadow one evening and bring her back down, to offer his home to her and his love.

Either way, when he offered her some pomegranate, she ate some of the seeds with a wide smile pulling at her lips. He fell in love all over again.

~
~
~
~

Demeter was furious.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shouto spasms, jerking up as a chill runs down his spine.

Persephone!

Persephone…no. Izuku now, is gone and Shouto can’t sense him anymore. He’s no longer in the Underworld, and that scares Shouto.

He flies out past Cerberus standing several meters high now but still growing, the monster-dog lets out a pitiful whine as if he too can sense Izuku’s disappearance.

~~——————————~~

“Home is where the heart is and where it grows fonder.”

“Mother,” Izuku pleads as Shouto makes his way into the great hall of Yuuei, freezing as hard eyes land on him. “I am old enough to make my own decisions!”

Make no mistake. Izuku’s mother, Demeter, is not a tall goddess. She is short, with green hair and a plumper body. She had never really scared Shouto until now. When her eyes flare brilliant green as they land on him.

“You,” she spits, eyes narrowing as they glow. Shouto can feel the prick of thorns digging into his legs. “What did you do to my child!?”

Izuku looks stricken as he tugs at his mother’s toga sleeve. “Mother, let him go!”

Shouto almost thinks Demeter will waver, as she looks at her son’s face. But then brimstone and heat wash over Shouto as Ares thunders up, and the soft understanding on her face is melted away.

Ares bares his teeth, growling “You cold bastard!”

Demeter’s face contorts and she drags Izuku back. Izuku thrashes but does not raise a hand to his mother, merely watching this all with wide eyes.

“Ares, I see your temper is the same. Shame Aphrodite couldn’t mellow you out.”

Ares’ eyes flare molten, his hand raising above blond locks. Shouto can’t move with Demeter’s plants restraining him (he is not foolish enough to offend her by freezing or burning them). He turns his head away from the fist, but it doesn’t land.

Instead, Izuku is suddenly between them.

Ares looks startled, but it's too late for him to pull his punch back.

Izuku takes the full force of the God of War’s blow to the side of his head, sending him reeling, crashing to the floor. The sound of startled gasps echoed around the room, but Shouto is rooted in his spot, his mind stumbling over a rush of livid anger.

Izuku doesn’t stay down for long, though, because he’s too stubborn for that; pushing himself up and brushing it off like it was nothing despite the sizable bruise blossoming and the trickle of ichor on his cheek.

When he faces the group, his eyes are steel and his shoulders set. “I know you all care, but I will be staying with Shouto for three months whether you like it or not. It was my decision, and I will not have it undermined. I’m sorry, mother, but my mind is set.”

As Izuku likes to call Cerberus, their son would be so proud of his plant-parent. All Shouto can think is that he’s never seen Izuku look more beautiful.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shouto is not a fan of these tedious festivals.

If the mortals want to honor them every year, by all means, let them. Just leave Shouto in peace.

Alas, it is almost mandatory to go to at least one festival that honors you. Shouto is just lucky Hades and Persephone share at least one location this year.

News of their marriage no doubt traveling. Hermes, despite how strict and stern he is, is a gossip no matter what he tells you.

“Come on, Shouto!” Izuku croons, her body stripped of its immortal glow so they can blend in. “This is my first festival!”

“You will grow tired of them eventually,” Shouto sighs, allowing her to hook her arm in his and lead him along.

She laughs as if the mere idea is absurd, her head flying back as she does. It is a sight Shouto will never tire of, but unfortunately, has to turn away from at the sound of a commotion.

Izuku looks ahead, eyes narrowing at the sound of an animal’s pained yelp.

Our son would be proud, Shouto mumbles to himself as Izuku darts away towards the crowd of grown men. He follows at a more leisurely pace, only so he can see Izuku start speaking. He can’t hear what she says but knows she is trying to deescalate the situation or learn why it is happening.

He only picks it up when he shoves a man three times her size out of the way as if he weighed no more than an olive.

Vines dig out of the barren soil as her hair glows, her skin becoming copper as she looks down at them from her new measly height of two meters. The entire street has fallen deadly silent, and Shouto knows dead.

“You will not like it when you die,” she says, her voice lacking in any warmth. “For I will be waiting in the Underworld for you. But first,” she croons, eyes lighting up. “Let us see how long you last.”

With a cry of pain the man’s body condenses into a brightly colored parrot. It squawks, screeching “you damned mutt, ungrateful whore!” in panicked syllables.

Izuku smirks, “How long, do you think, dear, will this foul-mouthed fowl fly?”

Shouto sighs, allowing the mortal-mist surrounding him to melt away. His single-toned eyes and hair give way to dual-tones as he wraps an arm around her waist.

“Persephone,” he says, allowing his eyes to burn deep into the frightened bird-man’s eyes. Just behind him is a starved she-dog hunched over three puppies. One is dead, kicked and stomped on. “He will not even make it into the sky.”

The burst of vines pierces the former man to the bone, becoming a ruby-tinted bush that withers in seconds.

The surrounding mortals pull back, eyes blown wide. Shouto struggles to contain the twitching of his lips. His spouse is known as the Iron Queen for a reason.

“It would seem Cerberus is going to get some more family, my dear Hades,” Persephone says. Shouto can hear the smile on her lips. Yes, yes he is, Shouto thinks, looking at the grateful mother as she nuzzles Izuku’s palm and places her two breathing pups in her hand.

Shouto carefully picks up the fallen body with two fingers, cradling it in his hand, and pulling all six down to the Underworld in a flash.

~~——————————~~

“Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace.”

Shouto has finally found his home.

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku is tied to a…he doesn’t want to say idiot……but yeah, he’s tied to an idiot.

His name is Kaminari Denki, and Izuku loves him.

If Izuku was still alive, he thinks he would’ve been good friends with Kaminari. Because, honestly, Kaminari needs all the help he can get.

Izuku means that in the best way possible, he swears.

It started, shockingly enough, after Izuku died. He was about…man, it’s been a while, he’d say about seven-years-old? Yeah, almost eight. It was going to be his birthday in exactly a month. He’d be twenty if he were still alive, now.

He wonders if he would have gotten tall if he grew up. If he wasn’t stuck in an almost-eight-year-old body for the rest of his foreseeable existence.

Sorry, Izuku gets distracted a lot. Anyways! There’s not a lot of people he can interact with when he’s incorporeal, so he tends to…well, drift. The other ghosts are faded, barely clinging to this plane as is. They’re specters of their former lives, and Izuku thinks that drives them insane.

Most seem insane, at least. There are a few that cling to their humanity and who they used to be pretty well, but those are usually fresh deaths.

…Oops, he did it again, didn’t he? Okay, this time for sure.

Izuku had been separated from his family, unlike the Faded Ones. There was a car crash? No…that doesn’t seem quite right? Maybe it was…right! Mom had been leading Izuku along while going shopping when a bus ran a light and slammed right into them.

They had been far from home and Izuku hadn’t recognized where. They had taken the train to get there so when he ‘woken up’ dead, the street was back to being driven on by dozens of quickly-moving vehicles.

Izuku…oh, …right. He doesn’t even know if Mom is alive. Was alive? She wasn’t a ghost by his side, at least. He doesn’t know how long it was between dying and waking up.

It was less than a year, he knows that much.

So, he was floating around when he stumbled across a school. He’d been watching the other kids his age? Well, they were eight, but again, he doesn’t know the proper time. The years seem right? Anyway, he was floating around willy-nilly, soaking up the normality, when it happened.

He’d been passing this blond boy when a hard rock was thrown right at his face. Izuku doesn’t know how he did it. Kacchan, his old living-friend, had always called him clumsy. He’d never been very fast, either.

But Izuku reached out and snatched the rock from the air as if it had barely been moving at all.

The blond boy shrieked and lept back, but all Izuku could really focus on was the tingling feeling in his hand. He hadn’t known he could hold things from the real world.

When he looked back up, the entire playground had gone silent.

He learned the boy’s name by the sudden outcry of “KAMINARI” that everyone screamed. The rest of the day had been filled with questions on how Kaminari made the rock float, and if he could do it again with this item or this one!

And Izuku…well, he didn’t know why the rock was being thrown so hard at Kaminari in the first place, but he couldn’t just leave him hanging to be teased.

Izuku didn’t like being teased.

So he would pick up the stack of papers or the backpack or the pencil for the rest of the day and watch the kids compliment Kaminari and……Kaminari acted like maybe this was the first time so many people paid attention to him in a positive way.

So Izuku followed him home when he proudly told his classmates that he would show his parents.

And maybe he had wanted to. But Kaminari forgot because his little sister was sick and by the time he remembered it was just before his bedtime and his parents —who did look like lovely people, just worn out by the baby— brushed him off with a kiss to his forehead and a good night.

Maybe Kaminari was discouraged by this because after that he would refuse to ‘show my powers’ in front of an adult. His classmates seemed fine with this, giggling and enjoying the secret that they got to keep.

And Izuku? Izuku couldn’t back out now. Kaminari would be so upset. Kaminari was already…well, not messed up because that would be mean and not true, but he wasn’t like the other kids?

Other than the ‘superpowers’ that is.

He had trouble in school back since elementary, taking seven times the normal amount of work to remember subjects. Not that Izuku was a good judge of that, being dead and all, and never really leaving Kaminari’s side in case he needs to levitate something for someone to prove he could still do it.

Sure, Izuku knew Kaminari was smart. Probably the smartest in his class. He could pick things up super easy as long as it was within an hour. Then it would go ‘POOF’ and he wouldn’t remember how to do anything he had done in the previous class.

But he also had trouble sitting still and concentrating. Many times Izuku just had to sigh and nudge him along in daily life to perform tasks Kaminari couldn’t do because he was either hyper-focused on something else or too out-of-it to do anything else but say ‘wheeeeeeey’ to thin air.

So, when they get into Yuuei College —and Izuku includes himself because he’s been going to school too, even if no one knows that— after grueling months of practice and studying, he’s really proud.

Yuuei is the school you go to if you’re gonna be someone. It’s a school that is practically a job guarantee. It’s got something for everyone, it is the most diverse opportunity this side of Japan and the closest competition is Shiketsu who is the ruler on the other half of Japan.

They have sports with their team the Heroes that are practically a replacement for the Olympics at this point. They have acting and teaching classes as well as a police academy. Not to mention their tech division is the best in the country, feeding and nurturing some of the most innovative minds of the century.

And while yes, Kaminari had struggled in class before college, he still got top scores. But now, in college and with an entrance test that weeds out the weak…Kaminari is one of the lowest scorers.

And Izuku could only watch as each light-hearted joke brings Kaminari down, as each ‘maybe you should think of changing careers’ is passed along by the other police cadets. How his levitation trick only serves to annoy some of his classmates a semester in, and the others brush it off as some sort of parlor trick that would only serve to distract him on the field when it wouldn’t work.

Which, admittedly is true; it is a trick, but still. Izuku would never abandon Kaminari.

So Izuku can only watch and cry as Kaminari sits in his room, curled up on the bed in the dead of the night…holding a knife in hand.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

“>Please don’t,<” Izuku sobs into his hands, feeling for the first time since Kaminari was fifteen that he was his physical age and useless all over again.

Since they moved into dorms and been closer than ever, the memories of his past had been harder to ignore after finding out Kacchan also got into Yuuei too.

He’d been distracted. That’s not an excuse, but it’s what happened.

He’d been so caught up in the orbit that was Bakugo Katsuki that he hadn’t seen the signs of Kaminari regressing.

“>Please don’t do this, it’s not worth it!<”

But Kaminari doesn’t hear him. He never has.

So Izuku…Izuku growls. He growls, and he storms forward — throwing the knife so hard across the room that it buries itself into the wall. He’s never touched anyone more than a nudge, but he shakes Kaminari’s shoulders harder than he ever has before.

“>I WON’T LET YOU!!<” he screams into Kaminari’s face. But instead of ignoring him now, Kaminari jerks back out of his hold and stifled a scream.

“Holy shit!” Kaminari chokes out. Izuku freezes, his hands falling.

Kaminari tracks the movement with his eyes. Izuku’s own eyes widen. “>Wait, you can see me?<”

“G- g- ghost!” is all Kaminari manages to squeak before passing out.

For the first time since he died, he’s been seen.

For the first time since he died, he looked at himself in a mirror.

For the first time since he died, he winces.

No wonder Kaminari was terrified.

Sunken eyes stare back at him, dried blood cracking the right side of his face. His arms had always been wonky since becoming a ghost, but now the protruding bone looks gruesome. He looks into his eyes — one green and the right one a milky grey, and he concentrates.

The blood recedes, his skull un-dents and his fluffy green hair grows back. Next, his limbs straighten and cover-up with a long-sleeved yellow All Might shirt and faded blue shorts. His knee twists back around so both of his red sneakers are forward-facing. Lastly, and this is the biggest one, he thinks, but his chest pops back out from where it had been caved in.

When he looks back up to the mirror, his face is clear and there are no muscles or bones out of place. He looks like how he was before he died.

He settles in by Kaminari’s side —not without removing any possibly harmful tools form the room beforehand— and when Kaminari blinks open his golden-amber eyes, brings a hand up to muddle the dyed-black lightning bolt in his hair………

They lock eyes.

Izuku does his best to smile, waving slightly. “>Hello, I’m Izuku!<”

Kaminari screams.

No one else can see Izuku.

Yet.

Chapter Text

Inspired from The Immortal 01 by ShippingApprovalServicesLM.
““01 was an experiment. They had been since birth.
When they were 5, the torture began.
When they were 11, their quirk manifested.
When they were 13, they were rescued.
At 15, they got a life worth living.””

I would officially gift or put as Inspired By if it didn’t put the entire thing instead of just the chapter.
~~~~~~~~~~


They are 00.09, Number Nine, and They didn’t use to be alone.

There used to be others like Them.

Ten of them, to be exact. Each born on the same day, the same hour, one second after the next. And each of them were born special.

But 00.09 was the only one to survive.

Master says the others were weak, that they were made wrong and faulty, that Their pod was the first of many to come.

00.09 had nodded at that, Their eyes sweeping over Doctor’s calendar showing the date as the fifth year since they were all born. Exactly 1825 days since Their pod was given existence thanks to Master…and only five lived to see it.

They were still grateful toward Master, back then.

They understood what Master explained as being weak-links because They were smart, They could process what They were being told even if Master used bigger words than Doctor usually does.

The gist was that everyone else had internally brittle bones instead of strong, weak wills instead of fortified, and mutated genetics instead of perfected. All of their bodies and minds couldn’t handle the strain.

But 00.09’s could.

The test had hurt horribly, burned and tore worse than anything They had ever experienced before, but when everything settled and They could sit up, Master took away the quirk again because They were still breathing. They were still able to think.

They hadn’t become unresponsive and dumb like 00.02 did.

Sure, They had never been the fastest, strongest, or smartest between the other nine — always placing somewhere in the middle during training or lessons. But They had won this time.

…However, with the bodies of 00.07, 00.05, and 00.01’s remains splayed out on the ground in various stages of disassembly and 00.02 being led away by Doctor to undergo tests to become a nomu so they could contribute to Master’s glorious plan……00.09 had felt Their chest twinge and eyes water for reasons They didn’t understand.

They do now. It was mourning, it was regret…it was ‘why me and not you, too?’ it was a ‘why you and not me too?’

Master and Doctor never noticed Their subtle break of composure, but They aren’t entirely sure Little Sir —who insisted they all call him Shigaraki Tomura instead of his former name— saw. If he did, he never let on to Master.

For Them and the others, they had always been Little Sir’s pets and guards. For their entire existence, they were training to keep him safe and keep him company. Each one made for their combined task.

The next day after Their fifth birth day, training got more difficult. What had once been mild soreness and slight pain became nearly unbearable, and three hours a day became before six to after six again. Even Little Sir, who had once been a bit spacey, a bit sickly, but overall much different and softer compared to Doctor and Master became erratic and angry.

It was as if he had become a completely different person between one day and the next.

Bath time became an exercise in itself. It didn’t matter that Little Sir looked like They did because Little Sir was above them and he began to act like it.

It didn’t matter that 00.09 had a flat chest like he did because none of them physically had what makes Little Sir a ‘he/him/boy/man’. And they also didn’t have the parts that would have made them a ‘she/her/girl/woman’ if they were not below those titles.

‘Gender’ was something that Their pod was not gifted. It had been explained that they were sterile, thus unable to reproduce and have those unwanted urges. That was okay because while they did not have the reproductive organs as gendered people did, there was still one defining factor that could distinguish them.

00.01, 00.03, 00.06, 00.07, and 00.10 would have been females. With estrogen in their systems and slightly wider and more curved hips, as well as thinner and longer finger. Even 00.03, who hadn’t made it to their first year, showed these signs.

00.02, 00.04, 00.05, 00.08, and They Themself would have been males. With testosterone instead of estrogen, and wider hands and feet and shoulders.

It was around Their eighth year that training truly shifted to torture. Not in practicality, as nothing changed since Their fifth, but mentally Living became Surviving.

It was challenging day by day to keep moving, to watch on the sidelines as pod after pod died within days or weeks, sometimes months if they were lucky. Not long after the third pod failed did Their monitoring extend almost constantly, never a moment where there wasn’t a face watching Them from the large window in Their little yellow room with ten beds all in a row.

They still met with Master to test a new quirk each week, spending days upon days learning everything They could, or perfecting what They learned the first day. If They did a satisfactory job, and Master did not particularly need the quirk, 00.09 was allowed to keep it. This became more frequent after Master’s battle with All Might where they were both grievously injured and Master was bedridden.

Little Sir reacted with a vengeance on the day Master was wheeled in, learning more and more so he could one day finish what Master started. In fact, Little Sir was there every time 00.09 earned Master’s approval for a new quirk.

By the birth day of Their eleventh year, They had fifty-three churning and pulling inside Them, though several dozen were mere duplicates to compensate for weaknesses. But, around noon on that very day, something happened that was not supposed to.

00.09 gained Their own quirk!

Master had frozen in his seat, his medical monitors spiking as he leaned forward with his scarred upper-head, palm still pressed against 00.09’s forehead. All 00.09 could do was stare blankly as Master’s long life flashed before his eyes; every single moment filed away inside his head easily labeled with his name and the general feeling toward Master.

Through the overload, if possible, the shark-smile that —Master, All for One, Sensei, Stealer, Ghost, Taker, Gifter, Shadow, Viper, Silver-Tongue……Ena Akane— he sent caused 00.09 to despair.

Master, before, was always hesitant to use 00.09 for business since They were the only success…but for the next two years 00.09 is by Little Sir —now simply, Sir— or Kurogiri’s side whenever a new member is being interviewed or a business deal is happening. Always the first to shake hands, due to Their own quirk needing physical touch.

Thousands of memories locked up in files within Their head. They became Immortal instead of 00.09 in front of others. Thanks to Their regeneration quirks, resistance quirks, and enough knowledge to span several lifespans. Master said it was a shame that once 00.09 started regrowing from a brain cell or former brain cell that none of the other body matter would resurrect more of Them.

To Themself in the confines of Their mind, They were always so very grateful. They figured that one life of suffering was enough……They didn’t want others to, as well. The nomus were already bad enough.

They hope Master doesn’t take Their quirk and look into Their life because inner thoughts would surely give Them away. Sir wouldn’t be happy. Sir would probably decay Them over and over and over again until They wished They could die.

As if They didn’t already.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

They were thirteen when Their life changed.

This wasn’t a small change like before, though gaining a quirk despite Their genetics being wired against it was arguably the largest change. This new shift was probably what saved Them, now that They look back on it. Maybe They had always known.

It started when Sir and Kurogiri took Them to a local underground business dealing warehouse to search out more bodies for Doctor. Bodies no one would miss.

00.09’s heart, or what is left of it, shatters as soon as they enter the building. Four bodies are there, and they are children. No older than 00.02 had been all those years ago when they became a nomu. When the children see Them, their eyes widen and arms are stretched out with wet cheeks and swollen eyes.

They collapse to Their knees, reaching out to the closest child.

00.09 is just so very tired.

The memories flash faster than They would have been able to process two years ago, but now it’s all too easy to pull Ariana to Themself. Kailee is next, sobbing into Their shoulder.

Sir snarls wordlessly behind them all, but They don’t turn to face him. They pull each kid as close as possible, putting Themself between Sir and Jameson who is their trafficker.

They prepare for the pain. They prepare to, for the first time in Their life, fight back. The upcoming nomus had never been kids before. Never.

So They braced Themself.

But the pain never came.

Because a faint sound of gravel shifting above them in the vents has Their head whipping up before They could think otherwise. Sir, well attuned to Their ticks, spins around as well.

00.09 wasn’t expecting a man dressed in loose black to fall out right on Jameson. A small part of 00.09 is vindictively satisfied at this, and They hope that wherever the hundreds of other kids that man has moved from America know as well. They hope that they too have the urge to cheer as these four do.

Kurogiri snaps Sir up into a portal before the man could look up, a portal flickering under 00.09 before They shove them all forward and out of the way. Kurogiri’s yellow eyes narrow as he disappears. Kurogiri would rather find 00.09 again then be seen before Sir and Master’s plan could be fulfilled.

This is why 00.09 doesn’t panic when the man ties Jameson up and starts making his way over. Hero or vigilante, he won’t hurt kids if this is his preferred profession. They didn’t plan on reacting until Eren shoves his head into 00.09’s ribs, his arms shaking as they wind around little Crystal, and the protective growl that resonates out of Their chest almost has Them blinking in surprise.

The kids, alerted by 00.09’s growl, draw into themselves and sniffle and cry as they scramble behind Them. The leather wings under his skin unfurl on instinct, easily blocking them from the man’s view so he can’t see them cling to Their back and shoulders.

“Easy, kid,” the man says. His voice is purposely softened, 00.09 can tell. He’s trying to appear unthreatening. “I won’t hurt you. I’m a hero, and the police are on their way to keep you safe and find your families.”

“Don’t speak Japanese,” 00.09 whispers brokenly to the man. Their throat burns with the effort. They are far more used to speaking telepathically. “English.”

Thanks,” the man responds kindly in English. 00.09 blinks, pulling Their wings back under Their skin and the dull grey bodysuit They wear. The kids squeak but calm once the man starts speaking and soothing them in their native tongue.

And while this is nice, 00.09’s hand snaps out and brushes the man’s wrist as a precaution. The man jerked back slightly, but that one touch was all 00.09 needed.

Thank you, Eraserhead,” 00.09 says. The man masks his surprise at being recognized well, but 00.09 sees the way his shoulders tense under the scarf. Hears the way his breathing picks up just slightly. “Families in America. Don’t know in Japan.”

You speak Japanese?

“Speak many languages,” 00.09 sighs, shifting to sit cross-legged. Crystal climbs into Their lap, hugging his bare upper arm to herself as she sticks her tongue out at Eren. “Have always been in Japan.”

Eraserhead eyes him with dark, soulful eyes. “You’re much older than them,” he prods slowly.

“Am,” 00.09 agrees easily. “Eight years, if want close to each. Crystal is just four-years, nine from her, and Eren six-years, seven for him.” They add, Their voice coming out less scratchy as They continue. They still limit what They say to keep the pain down while nudging Kailee off of Their back, pulling her around to Their side.

The children are much more open now, in the face of a hero. Even one they don’t recognize.

“…How long have you been with them?” Eraserhead asks. 00.09 can hear the skepticism in his voice.

“Minute before you arrived,” 00.09 sighs, tilting forward as Ariana climbs onto Their shoulders. “Was with buyer,” he tacks on.

Eraserhead’s scent sours.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

00.09 waves slowly as each of the children’s families board the plane. They deftly ignore the tears burning Their eyes, and the heat burning Their own throat.

Aizawa, no longer in Eraserhead-mode, stands off behind Them.

“You did good,” Aizawa says, goggles down. “It would’ve been a lot harder to get them back together without you.”

00.09 nods, not taking Their eyes off the plane as it takes off into the sky. They are glad the Hero Commission paid for the flight.

“Only been a day, for me,” 00.09 whispers softly. “So much longer for them.”

“Yes, it has,” Aizawa agrees.

00.09’s nose twitches as They pick up the scent of many people surrounding their position.

“Where take me?” They ask.

“Police station,” Aizawa says. “For questioning.”

“Because was with bad?” 00.09 asks, allowing Themself to be led away from the takeoff strip.

“Yes,” Aizawa sighs. He doesn’t sound happy. “Because you were will villains. We need to know where to take you.”

“~I don’t want to go back,~” 00.09 pleads loudly through their minds. Aizawa startles as They latch onto his arm. They ignore the sounds of shifting boots from all around. “~Please don’t make me!~”

They find They truly mean that. If They were to go back, They would die. Because Master and Sir are angry.

Aizawa un-tenses. “You’re not,” he soothes. “We’re taking you to your family.”

“~They’re the only family I’ve ever had,~” 00.09 confesses. Their three stamina quirks are failing Them as the sound comes out a breathy whine. “~I was created there, I have no place else to go.~”

Aizawa pauses a step before continuing to walk. “Created?”

“~Yes,~” 00.09 says. “~My name is Number Nine, and I was created by Doctor and Master thirteen years ago.~”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

00.09, Number Nine, the Immortal…They become Aizawa Izuku at the age of fourteen. He stood proudly beside his new guardian figure on his birthday..

He doesn’t think Aizawa planned on adopting Izuku back when he was only 00.09. Back when he was only one number of many. The ninth of ten. When all he was revolved around information —so much information, Detective Naomasa didn’t know what to say when 00.09 started spitting out facts and figures for cold cases and new cases alike through a mind connection— and a traumatized child with too many quirks.

But the man eventually did. Maybe the final reason was when he learned Izuku couldn’t die even after he was nothing but a splatter after accidentally walking out into heavy traffic he hadn’t known to navigate. Second-hand knowledge is still only second-hand and so different each time.

Izuku was fifteen when his life became something worth living. After having learned so much in the previous two years from him and his friends and coworkers. A lot of the schooling he had already known thanks to his quirk when Nezu quizzed him; but he also knew how to kill someone in thousands of ways with only his body, not to mention his quirks and weapons, or how to move so lightly on his feet that he could sneak up on even Hound Dog or Aizawa.

But everything he didn't know about living he was taught. He got to experience so many things he had only seen in memories.

He got to pick out clothes with Kayama, listen to music with Yamada, learn about trivial subjects with Nezu. He got to talk about quirks after he could speak without it hurting with anyone who would listen. Nezu was particularly interested, but Thirteen was fun to bounce ideas off, too. Lunch Rush would make him any food he requested no matter if the dish was new each day.

And he still got to train his quirks. Mental ones and physical —though no one would let him test his regenerations ones. He was only put-out for a few moments when they said no. He had tested those enough over the years— so long as he had at least two people with him when he did.

But he was restless. Training was cut short from what he was used to, besides in the morning and evening with Aizawa or during the day if he could pull people away from classes or paperwork. He did his own non-quirk training whenever he could, but it wasn’t the same.

He thinks it helped that he could observe classes after a few months. He grew close to several students before revealing his quirks since he needed to ‘socialize’ even when he’s positive he drove a few away after he joined them one day for practical training in class.

But the students in Business and Support were a blast who didn’t care about quirks, and General Ed was always full of diverse people.

Before he even knew it Hado and Amajiki were already in class 3-A, Togata in 3-B, and Izuku was trying out for the entrance exam he knew he would pass. He wasn’t cocky, not by a long shot. But he knows robots, no matter how good, would never compare to All for One in his prime, or Shigaraki Tomura, or even real-life in general.

Now…he hadn’t expected to need to save Uraraka from the Zero-Pointer, but he’s not upset that he did. He thinks they’ll be good friends. And if he sneaks some extra yen in her bag for a better meal tonight before she heads home tomorrow then no one needs to know.

It’s his allowance, anyway.

Besides, if he’s going to be a hero in the future, he needs to get a head start. He’s got plenty of years of villainy under his name no matter what Aizawa says to make up for.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Izuku’s nose picks up the familiar smell before his ears pick up the crackle and zip.

“Sensei!” Izuku barks, startling Thirteen into stopping their speech and his classmates into yelping. He picks all this up before the portal even opens. “Run!”

His classmates don’t listen to him. They’re all transfixed on the horde of people spilling out of Kurogiri’s portal. And at the very end?

A towering nomu and Shigaraki Tomura himself step out.

Whatever Aizawa says to the class is lost on deaf ears as Izuku’s body lights up like a fire-cracker. He grits his teeth against the programming and from years of conditioning, stopping himself from returning to Shigaraki Tomura’s side where he’s supposed to belong.

It doesn’t even take Shigaraki Tomura ten seconds to lock onto Izuku, even from behind those hands he once whispered that he hated long ago.

He knows, deep in his soul, that Shigaraki Tomura is smiling when his voice carries merrily to them all. “Number Nine, so here you are! It’s been a long time!”

Izuku twitches, bile rising in his throat at the name. His classmates shift in confusion and fear at being addressed so familiarly; wondering who ‘Number Nine’ is despite him being right in front of them.

Izuku can hardly tear his eyes off of the biggest three players in Shigaraki Tomura’s game.

“Why don’t you come down here and meet this nomu, Number Nine!?”

Izuku whirls around and bends over, throwing up his breakfast into the plants. There’s a commotion behind him but he can’t focus. His entire body is vibrating uncontrollably, memories warring with each other. Good times and bad.

He doesn’t know if he should be grateful or disgusted that this nomu isn’t part of a pod.

“Or, if you don’t want to come here yourself,” Shigaraki Tomura laughs. “I’ll bring you here instead!”

The portal is entirely predictable, but Izuku was still reeling from being sick to properly dodge. His left foot slides in the edge as he lands from his leap, and he teeters over backward.

His classmates and friends cry out, and Aizawa throws out his capture gear with a wild look in his eye. But it’s too late. He smiles at them before he disappears, mouthing, “It’ll be okay.”

Then he twists and lands in a crouch at Shigaraki Tomura’s feet, quickly rising as he backs away. Beside him, the nomu looms silently and still. There isn’t a spark of intelligence in their eyes.

“You’ve been spying for us, have you!?” Shigaraki Tomura laughs, his face twisting when Izuku shakes his head violently. “Oh? So you betrayed us, Number Nine?”

“It’s Izuku, now,” Izuku hisses. “It’s the name I chose, Shigaraki Tomura.”

Shigaraki Tomura reels back as if he were slapped in the face. Then he snarls. It’s pure reflex that has Izuku ducking under the hand and throwing a kick to the older teen’s ribs.

He dodges, of course. They only had to spar a thousand times over the years.

“Let’s see how you fare against something made to defeat All Might! Just like you,” Shigaraki Tomura spits.

That’s all the warning Izuku gets before a hand the size of his torso slams into his…well, his torso. He’s almost lucky the nomu’s hand brushes his face as they turn him into a broken and bloody heap on the ground.

That means he can heal himself in a matter of seconds and know everything about them. He pulls himself to his feet with a feral grin, the sounds of his classmates sobbing barely registering as adrenaline pumps in his veins. His clothes remain as tatters on the ground, and he takes only a spit-second to silently mourn his hero uniform.

“Let’s rumble,” Izuku cackles, flames licking his throat. Dodging the nomu’s intense speed is almost laughably easy, throwing his own punches that send them stumbling back a step. Shock absorption is a common theme for nomus.

Around him, the world inside the dome watches with bated breath.

Chapter Text

~~_~~_~part ONE~_~~_~~
Curiosity Doesn't Kill the Cat…The Cheshire Kills YOU

[Laugh] “Oh honey, I’m not going to kill you. You’re going to kill yourself!”
**********
Tags for this idea:
Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku, #Original Characters, #Bakugou Katsuki

Additional Tags~ #Forced Quirk, #Midoriya Izuku Gets a Quirk, #Quirk Misuse (My Hero Academia), #Midoriya Izuku Dies, #Suicide Attempt (sorta), #BAMF Midoriya Izuku, #Pissed Midoriya Izuku, #Kidnapping

**********

Soft laughter, pitying– no, gleeful laughter, echoes from the darkness on all sides. “Oh honey, I’m not going to kill you,” the voice purrs behind his ear in response to him asking what she was going to kill him. “You’re going to kill yourself!

Izuku whimpers, pulling himself away. He’d woken up here in the dark and had no idea where he was. “Why?” It’s a generic question but it’s all Izuku can get out of his trembling body.

The laughter starts again, this time coming from in front of him and staying there. “Because, it’s either you…or him.

Izuku hissed in pain when bright light flares directly into his eyes, squinting past the tears to see a spotlight shining down on–

His breath catches, eyes going wide. Kacchan hangs there in a rope-cast inside a tall tube, unconscious, and still dressed in his newly bought middle school uniform.

“Kacchan!” Izuku cries, straining against the rope binding him, scooting the wooden chair closer. If Kacchan were in his place, he would’ve been able to get out easily. But Izuku has always been weaker.

“Ta-ta-ta~” the voice titters loudly. “None of that now!”

Izuku jerks back as lips peel out open air to reveal a set of sharp canines and teeth all in a row. The lips form the words spoken. “Struggle forward too much and precious little Kacchan falls into a pit of sleeping-acid!”

He freezes. “Sleep…sleeping-acid?” Izuku stutters out, his face draining of blood.

The lips curl up in a smile, “Oh yes, lovely concoction my assistant made for our shows! Hatter always had an affinity for chemistry, helped all the more when he could make his little pocket dimensions for them. But here at the Madhouse, we are performers of many talents!”

Well, he knows where he is now. The circus. “The– the acid?”

The smile curls down, spinning and spinning and…in a puff of pink, a curvy woman stands in front of him instead. Her skin is striped like a tabby-cat, but soft purple instead of brown traveling to her flicking ears and softly swaying feathered tail. White hair parts and her eyes are very, very green, and narrowed dangerously.

“Humph, fine. It’s special because it puts you to sleep when it touches your skin. But then!” She croons, spinning on her heal, leaning down so the leotard at her chest dipping in a V is right in his face. “But then, it starts eating through you!”

Izuku’s heart thundered in his chest so loud he almost misses when she starts speaking again. “It’s strong enough to get through the toughest of materials, you know? The twins tested it. So it’s perfectly fine for use to be submerged for a show as long as none of it gets inside since you can technically breathe it. Buuuuuuut, if you do, everyone’s in for a treat when you’re eaten from the inside out!”

She squeals, laughing high and shrill. “So, how about you do Cheshire a solid, my dear, and scoot your chair backward instead?”

Izuku fearfully tilts his neck around, lips quivering at the sight of a vat of the same liquid almost touching Kacchan’s shoes directly behind him.

“And what if I just sit here?” He asks quietly, barely above a whisper.

Cheshire frowns, but then she’s floating upside down and that frown is upside down too. “Then Queenie cuts the rope on your friend anyway and you get to watch!”

And really…

Kacchan is going to be a great hero after he gets into Yuuei in a few years. And what would Izuku do? Become a nine-to-five desk worker? And who would mourn for Izuku beside his mom? Maybe Auntie and Uncle, but certainly they would mourn for Kacchan more. Plus, the whole neighborhood has always loved Kacchan and looked up to him.

So really……Izuku falling back isn’t the worst thing to happen in this situation. He barely allows himself to think about it.

Anything to save Kacchan! Besides, the liquid isn't as cold as he expected. It’s actually pretty warm and soothing …So it’ll………it’ll be……okay……………………

But little Midoriya Izuku, only just reaching double digits, doesn’t see the way Katsuki shimmers and disappeared in a flash of white after he fell asleep. He didn’t see the illusion for what it was, or the camera rolling and recording. He doesn’t feel the pain, either, so that is the one upside.

……

……

……

Not until he opened his eyes and
screamed.

Not until he pulled his melting and reshaping limps up and onto solid ground, stumbling and falling many times with wet thumps and splats.

Not until he saw a large poster that had been out of his sight behind him about an illusionist called the White Rabbit that had been a part of the circus.

Not until he stumbled and made his way to Kacchan’s house all those miles away.

…Not until he heard Kacchan telling the police he hadn’t seen Izuku since school two days ago because he was stuck home sick the day Izuku had been kidnapped.

Not until he realized he had died for nothing — that he killed himself just like she said he would, did he get furious.

~~_~~_~part TWO~_~~_~~
Chained Comfort Boy

“Don’t scream. Don’t move.”
**********
Tags for this idea:
Relationships~ #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead/Yamada Hizashi | Present Mic, #Midoriya Izuku & Shinsou Hitoshi

Characters~ #Shinsou Hitoshi, #Midoriya Izuku, #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, #Original Characters

Additional Tags~ #Kidnapping, #Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, #Protective Midoriya Izuku, #Dead Midoriya Inko, #Human Trafficking

**********

Don’t scream. Don’t move.

Hitoshi sucks in a shuddering breath as a hand presses over his mouth. Cold quirk-suppressant chains brush against his bare shoulder, hanging from the wrist belonging to the hushed whisper.

He didn’t know anyone else was locked in here, too. It’s too dark to see and there was no sound at all. The whisper sounds like a crack in the darkness, followed by a soft scramble of limbs all around.

Hitoshi doesn’t dare ask why before the sound of a door opening in the darkness sends light flooding in, silencing everything. Hitoshi jerks back into the body behind him, letting him know that the voice belonged to a boy shorter than himself.

The hand tightens, yanking him down with a rattle of chains that is swallowed up by the sound of loud arguing men.

Before Hitoshi closes his eyes, he sees a dozen cages lining the walls. Cages filled with kids sprawled like they were asleep like him, all of varying ages and stages of hygiene and clothing. It seems like maybe it goes in order of age, so the boy must be around twelve, too.

“Don’t move,” the boy whispers again, his body going lax under Hitoshi’s. Hitoshi follows his example, closing his eyes as the light draws closer and the arguing assaults his ears. The clank of metal against the bars of the cages almost makes him jerk up, but the hand now resting on his stomach presses in a warning.

“Why the hell are they still sleeping!?” the first one explodes loudly, making Hitoshi’s skin crawl and limbs twitch.

“Fuck if I know,” the second one growls, knocking the metal harshly again. ”They always are! Hey fuckers, wake up!

The metal slams several more times before Man-One speaks up again. “Boss is coming this week with the last request, finally, so maybe we can get rid of these shits!” Man-One snarls, spitting. A glob of something hits Hitoshi’s ankle, and it almost breaks his composure.

The two men grow bored eventually, and leave the room with a slam of the door that shakes the ground under Hitoshi’s bare legs.

The quiet of the room stays for nearly a minute, agonizing seconds ticking by before the boy behind him lets out a soft chirp of a bird. The sound of chains, soft sobs and comfort start up instantly, the boy under him pushing Hitoshi’s unresponsive body up as he crawls out from behind him.

“Hi,” the boy whispers, hands staying on Hitoshi’s arm. No sound is above a whisper in here. The chains are the loudest sound. “I’m Izuku.”

‘No last name?’ Hitoshi almost asks, but swallows and doesn’t.

“My name is Shinso Hitoshi. How long have you been here?” Hitoshi asks, almost fearful of the answer. His voice is too loud, he can tell because even though it’s a whisper Izuku’s hand tightens slightly.

Izuku hesitates, and his palm runs down Hitoshi’s leg to wipe away the spit without even a single sound of disgust. “Almost four years now, I think? What’s the last date you remember?”

“August third, XXXX.”

“Dang,” Izuku chuckles. It sounds broken. “I missed my birthday. Looks like I’m twelve, now.” The chains rattled mockingly as Hitoshi shifts.

“Why are they taking us?” Hitoshi asks, eyes pleading in the dark. “What do they want?”

“A couple of things,” Izuku mumbles into his ear, going even quieter, his shoulder bumping into Hitoshi’s as he settles against him. “Money is the most of it. They have a buyer, but he keeps upping the amount they need to get, first. I don’t know why the buyer needs so many of us at one time. I’ve been here the longest…or, I guess I’ve just survived the longest.

Hitoshi doesn’t think he was supposed to hear that last part, but he did. “What do you mean, ‘survived’!? I thought they needed a lot of us!?!”

Izuku whimpers, low and back in his throat, but it turns into a hiss at the end. Nails dig into Hitoshi’s arm hard enough he thinks they might bleed, but they don’t. “You think they’re going to keep at this for years without getting bored?” Hitoshi’s throat constricts. Poison drips from Izuku’s voice, and Hitoshi understands at that moment that he would give anything to deal with bullies at school instead of this.

“I’ve grown up a whole lot faster than I ever wanted to, Hitoshi. They killed my mom right in front of me when they took me!! They’ve made me watch kids my age or a few years older be beaten and murdered and raped for the boss’s pleasure!!!”

A sob threatens to break free, from both of them, but Hitoshi pushes it down with all the willpower he has as he latches on to the only thing he can. “The heroes will save us, though,” Hitoshi says. Izuku’s responding chuff makes him feel foolish for saying it to this boy.

“The heroes don’t know about us, and if they do, they don’t care. Years, Hitoshi. This has been going on for years! Hope keeps you alive, sure, but don’t make it the only thing you have or you’ll fade into nothingness.”

Hitoshi steels himself, nudging Izuku’s body just enough so the chain doesn’t make a sound. “No, they’ll come. I know it. They’re my parents!”

Izuku’s body tenses by his side, a hitch in his breathing the only sign he heard the faint whisper. “What,” he breathes out. “No, you’re lying!”

Hitoshi beams, a smile pulling at his cheeks as warmth bleeds into his voice. “No, they are! They’re coming!”

“We’re getting out?” Izuku asked, his voice was exactly like Hitoshi’s when he asked Izuku how long he had been here. Pitiful but so hopeful it almost hurts to hear. “You mean it?”

“Yup,” Hitoshi says. “They probably already noticed I’m gone!”

“You were unconscious for a full day before you woke up.” Izuku sounds almost giddy. “Do you think–”

The sound of gunfire rings out, cutting off Izuku’s voice and causing cries of shock and panic around the room as children fumble and scramble away from the direction of the door. The scrape of so much metal is torturous. Tense silence falls over the room, fear a near tangible taste on Hitoshi’s tongue as he clings to Izuku. He doesn’t remember how he got in this position, but he clings tighter anyway.

Then the door slams open, a man dressed in dark clothing stumbling in with a gun in hand. He limps his way to the closest cage and throws the door open with a sharp bang. Hitoshi doesn’t realize it’s theirs until Izuku shoves him back and the man grabs the green-haired boy’s arm, melting the chain off before yanking him out and slamming the cage closed again.

Izuku lets out a shriek as molten metal sears his wrists, his bare heels digging into the ground. But Hitoshi’s new place against the bars allows him the perfect view of Izuku’s thin limbs and disheveled appearance. He’s no match for the man, but now that the cuffs are gone maybe he could use his quirk?

“Don’t fucking move, asshats, or I shoot and melt the quirkless brat!” the man howls desperately at the entrance of the door, as if to mock Hitoshi’s hope, the gun pressing against Izuku’s head as the boy squirms despite the threat.

“NO!” Hitoshi screams, banging on the cage with his fists. Around him, the kids take up the call as they too scream and shout and use curses seven-year-olds probably shouldn’t know. Everyone here seems to have a bond with Izuku.

But…… A gunshot rings out, and the world closes down to a pinprick. Izuku drops to the ground, gasping painfully as a familiar white cloth snaps around his body and drags him away as the man crumples to the ground. A single bullet hole dribbling blood between his eyes.

Tears blurred his vision as Eraserhead and Present Mic rush into the room, his call rising above the cheers around him. “Dads!”

They’re saved.

~~_~~_~part THREE~_~~_~~
Angel of Hell

“Go ahead– pray. See what good it does you down here.”
**********
Tags for this idea:
Relationships~ #Bakugou Katsuki & Midoriya Izuku, #Midoriya Izuku & Todoroki Shouto, #Bakugou Katsuki & Midoriya Izuku & Todoroki Shouto

Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku, #Bakugou Katsuki, #Todoroki Shouto, #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, #Ashido Mina, #Kaminari Denki, #Todoroki Enji | Endeavor

Additional Tags~ #Alternate Universe - No Quirks (My Hero Academia), #Alternate Universe - Angels & Demons, #Bakusquad (My Hero Academia), #Half-Breeds, #Near Death Experiences, #Imprisonment, #Snarky Midoriya Izuku, #BAMF Midoriya Izuku, #Minor Injuries

**********

Go ahead– pray.” The voice sneers, the owner of it is shrouded in pitch darkness. “See what good it does you down here.

Izuku jerks his chin up and glares, his dirty wings flaring in defiance, straining against the chains binding them to his back even when it burns. He knows the action will do him very little here, so he also bares his teeth and snarls.

An explosion rocks the air, sending the demon into harsh, yellow light from his extended hand. Izuku’s eyes narrow, hissing again. “The fuck did you just say to me!?” the king barks, pushing himself up to tower over Izuku’s already lower form.

“I hissed at you,” Izuku spits out, making double sure to use the tone of voice he’d use if he talked to a particularly dull, thick-headed mortal adult. “I didn’t say anything!”

As the king storms down from his iron throne, Izuku takes a moment to reflect that maybe that’s why he was cast here. His behaviors have always been more feral than his fellow angels, even compared to the others in the outskirts of the army with him.

“Fucker!” the king snarls, baring his teeth in Izuku’s face. This close, not even the red shade of light that seems to coat everything hides the spiky blond hair or pale skin around narrowed crimson eyes.

Izuku bares his own teeth, cranking his neck up so he could snarl right back. Man, he wishes he wasn’t kneeling right now. He wishes he weren’t even in Hell, right now.

This seems to make the king even angrier, which Izuku will admit is slightly impressive. He didn’t know a face, even that of a demon, could change so quickly to cherry. “You got a death wish, birdy!?”

“As a matter of fact, yes!” Izuku mocks, lips quirked up into a smirk. “Please, oh great one, put me out of my misery. Your breath is positively horrendous!”

Shockingly enough, this gets the king to jerk back. His face smooths out before twitching back into livid. “Dumbass, Pinky!” the king barks. “Take him to the dungeon, you know which one!”

From the shadows, a demon with such bright yellow hair it actually looks yellow in the light and a demoness with pink –and he really does mean pink, it’s not even the lighting from the overkilled amount of fire bordering the entire room– skin and hair with two golden horns materialize and grab each of Izuku’s arms.

They look like they’re trying not to laugh if he’s being honest. It takes them a second to position themselves around his wings, and if he flares the upper pair to make it more difficult than really, they should know. He’s not being subtle.

“Don’t give him anything until I say so, got it!” The king barks as they leave and Izuku wonders if he is part canine with how often he does it. As the two nod, dragging Izuku to his feet and yanking him along, he calls out the question over his shoulder very loudly right before the door to the throne room closes and the explosion in response is totally worth it.

After they get done choking on their laughter, ‘Pinky’ introduces herself as Mina, and ‘Dumbass’ as Denki. They try to chat and get his name while they walk deeper into the scalding heat, but Izuku just bares his teeth and refuses to answer. They work around those non-verbal sounds like they’re used to interpreting them. Maybe they are, if the king is anything to go by.

And ewww, if that thought doesn’t make Izuku want to do the exact opposite of the king and bat his eyelashes and speak sophisticatedly instead.

The cell he’s chained back into is barely large enough for Izuku’s wings folded up to fit in, but at least the demons have the decency to look sheepish when they explain it was ordered –probably by the king, and really, king is a loose term for faction leader at this point but that’s how he introduced himself so– to be this cell specifically.

When the thick metal door closes, Izuku allows his head to fall against the wall, eyes closing. The heat is oppressive, sweat trickling down his spine and from his temples, and his wings are starting to twinge with cramps.

As time ticks by, he lets himself fall into a meditation stance, as best he could get in his current accommodations. He should be better than he is, but for some reason, he’s struggling. He doesn’t need food or water in the sense of mortals, not nearly as often, but he most definitely needs sustenance more than others in such heat — especially when he isn't used to it.

Heck, he can already feel the hazy edges licking at his senses even in his most conservative state, dulling the darkness behind his eyelids to a hazy grey. He stretches his legs out as far as they could go, his feet bumping into the scorching metal before his knees can even half-extend.

Time is relative, but he knows a decent amount of it has passed since he was captured in Hell’s territory. Maybe a mortal decade, two, three??

He’s panting by now, his tongue thick and heavy in his mouth. He wonders, half-deliriously, if he was stripped of some of his Grace. There’s no other reason for him to be shedding his feathers and feeling the effects of time so heavily, so soon.

He drags an eye open at the scrape of the cell door opening, the sound of haughtily laughter following him into unconsciousness.

~~~~!!!~~~~

Izuku blinks his eyes open slowly, twitching his aching limbs against a soft cotton spread. The ceiling above him is not the cell’s, and the bed is not the stone floor. That and the fact his wings are fully extended really should have given it away where he was, but it didn’t.

Not until, “What is this shit!?” *sigh*…a grating voice demanded that loudly. Izuku groans, flopping his head over to glare at the king. His eyes widen at the sight of various shades of grey and black feathers clenched in his hands, shoved right under his nose.

How much grace did they take?! Izuku thinks hysterically. For his holy-white wings to deteriorate that fast Tomura must have taken nearly all of it.

“Fucker!” the king snarls again. “Answer me!”

“My feathers,” Izuku croaks. He knows that’s not what the king wanted, but even he should have had guards checking in on an unknown angel, even a bound one, several times. If Izuku would have had more Grace he may have been able to escape, or even if his body adjusted better. He had just wanted Izuku to suffer. “Obviously.”

This gets a wordless snarl in his direction, which has Izuku rolling his eyes as he pushes himself up onto his elbows. He raises an eyebrow at his state of dress, mainly the lack-there-of unless a knee-length towel counted, plus a pair of boxers.

“Why am I here?”

Not Hell, because that was obvious, and not the king’s custody because that was also obvious. In the king’s chamber, now that was an answer Izuku would like.

“Because when Shitty-hair and Elbows went to get you–” despite the fact Izuku knows he heard the king’s voice “–they found you half-faded already!”

“Okay,” Izuku drawls, shifting carefully so his aching wings don’t fold awkwardly on the bed not made for wings. He was sleeping on his joints the whole time, wasn’t he. “Doesn’t explain why I’m here and not faded already.” He’s actually better off than when he was captured — even his blade-wounds are healed.

Several emotions –that weren’t anger, mind– flash across the king’s face before he settles on a pinched one. He looks constipated.

“You look constipated,” Izuku says because his filter has never been the best in recovery.

This snaps the king out of it, his face contorting. “Are all angels like you, shit-ass?”

“Are all demons so horrible at coming up with curses like you?” Because yeah, Izuku is just going to tell a high-ranked demon he’s pretty darn close to being mortal right now. Sure.

“Fucking–”

The king whirls around and explodes one of his desks. Izuku raises an eyebrow, crossing his ankles as he watches. The urge to check his wings over is strong, but never in front of the enemy.

“You’re weak,” the king snarls, slamming his hand into the same, poor desk. “There’s no way you should have been so bad, but you were! Explain!”

“Maybe it’s because I was stuck in a cell in the deepest pits of Hell, cramped and with angel-bane chains around my wings! Did you ever think of that, king?

“Don’t call me that!” the king growls.

Izuku just his chin out, crossing his arms. “Why not, that’s how you introduced yourself…” Izuku pauses. Something worms its way under his ribs as dread trickles in. “Unless…you brought me to the palace!?

The king flares his nostrils, his arrow-tipped tail flicking harshly behind him. “Where else was I supposed to take an angel?! I couldn’t heal you where you were!”

“I don’t know!? Maybe somewhere I wouldn’t be killed on sight, huh!”

“You’re still alive, aren’t you!?” the king spits defensively.

Izuku throws his arms up, “As soon as I step out of this room I’ll be killed, don’t you understand that!? What did you think would happen when you brought a vanguard-angel into the most highly protected center for demons!? I’d walk free!?

The king pales, eyes going wide. It’s at that moment that Izuku realizes the king may not have realized how important Izuku was to the angels. Not important enough to keep around but still. Izuku will blame the new higher-ups at this point. Vanguard-angles communicated directly with God, only one position away from being direct consultants, and Izuku was one of the best messengers without even taking into account the warriors.

And, because that’s just Izuku’s luck, the door across from the spacious bed opens.

“Hey, message from Tooru–” the demon at the door pauses, eyes locking on Izuku with dual colors. Instantly, the demon has knocked Izuku onto his back against the bedsheets, holding and frigged, flaming blade to his throat.

Izuku bares his teeth, hand gripping against the downward thrust of the smoking blade and despite the pain, he pushes it backward, unbalancing the demon looming above him. Izuku’s legs press against his chest before springing out to kick the demon full on the chest, sending him careening across the room and into –of all things– a bookcase.

Izuku recognizes this demon– if the eyes, hair, and burn scar weren’t enough the blade sure was. He’s fought him before. “Shouto,” Izuku growls, hand twitching for his own blade missing against his hip. His lips pull up in a sharp smile, eyes narrowed. “I see your wounds have healed since the last time I saw you.”

“Izuku,” Shouto responds, his own eyes narrowed in return. “I could say the same for you.”

Then, to Izuku’s surprise, the king snaps between them. “You know him, Half-n-Half!?”

Shouto eyes the king with a cold gaze, his blade’s flames licking the floor. Izuku remembers all too well the lick of burning flame on the outside side and the freeze of ice underneath. He nearly lost his right arm to it, once.

“Course he does,” Izuku states. “We’ve fought almost every battle. I usually win,” Izuku snarls.

Shouto growls, his own lips pulling back against the gums as his feet spread in preparation to fight. The temperature of the room fluctuates too hot to too cold. “I remember several times that I won, Izuku.”

Izuku snorts so hard his dry throat protests, “Sure, if you count winning as my friends dragging me away before I can kick your ass then sure! You’ve won plenty!”

Izuku leans back as the blade –was it called Frice? Ire? Pfft, probably Ire. Izuku thinks he remembers a phrase being ‘feel the burn of my Ire’ so there’s that– slices through the top layer of his cheek. Thick, golden ichor dribbles from the wound, but Izuku pays it no mind, leaping forward.

The king’s arm snaps around his waist, yanking him away before he could tackle Shouto. Izuku struggles, but he’s admittedly in no physical shape to defeat anyone.

Shouto seems to realize this, much to Izuku’s ire –see? Horrible name for a sword other than that one witty phrase!– and sheathes his blade. The room settles back into the perfect temperature.

“What’s wrong with him?” Shouto asks, tilting his head to the side. Izuku growls, snapping his jaw.

The king scoffs, “If you’d paid attention you’d have seen it, dumbass–” Izuku’s little chirp of ‘Denki’s here?’ earns him a harsh swat to the head, but once again, worth it.

Shouto tilts his head to the other side before his eyes widen. “His wings–”

“Yes, his wings!” The king growls, dropping Izuku belly-first onto the bed so he could throw his own hands up. They crackle with explosions. “The fucker won’t tell me why!”

Shouto glides forward, leaning down despite warning growls from both Izuku and the king. Izuku is getting a little tired of calling him that. Maybe he’ll call the king ‘Dandelion’ just to piss him off. Yup, he’s totally doing that now— he’s kinda surprised it took him this long.

“It’s his Grace,” Shouto says suddenly. Izuku freezes, wings flaring as he crouches and rumbles a warning. “It’s…not gone, not yet. But dangerously low.”

Izuku narrows his eyes, “Half-breed,” he hisses, realization dawned on him. “Your father stole–”

“My mother from Heaven, yes,” Shouto confirms, unheeding of the volatile company in the room he’s sharing this secret with. “She was nearly a high-ranking angel. And your father…he was a demon, mid-level, or higher. Correct? Your mother must have been alarmingly high to mask your demon signature.”

Izuku glares, silent. It’s all the confirmation Shouto needs. “No wonder we clash so much,” he muses softly, his fingers brushing the wound on Izuku’s cheek. “Our very nature…” The tingle of Grace causes Izuku to jerk back, but Shouto’s fingertips follow steadily. “It’s why I still feel a pull toward you.”

“Fuck off!” Dandelion snaps, yanking Shouto back by the shoulder. “What in Hell’s name were you two just gibbering about!?”

Izuku’s eyes widened, realizing the mix of Demonic and Angelic mashed together had come so easily to him. He didn’t even realize he was speaking it. When did he start? At half-breed??

He pales. Oh, please tell me I was using All-speak this whole time and not Demonic!

“Nothing that concerns you, Dandelion!” Izuku snaps, drawing his wings away from Shouto and Dandelion. Dandelion sputters, veins popping in his forehead as Shouto’s lips twitch.

“What did you just call me, asshole–”

“Katsuki,” Shouto says. “Tooru and Fukimage have called for you, I’d suggest going before they come up here themselves. Dark Shadow would not take kindly to Izuku.”

Dandelion –Katsuki, but like Izuku is going to do the courteous thing and call him that– growls, palms crackling again. “And leave you here alone with Bush-head after what you just did!?”

Izuku raises a brow. ‘Bushead,’ how original, Izuku totally hasn’t heard that before. Shouto, too, seems to find the insult to Izuku’s curly green hair lackluster as well and just stares blankly.

“I won’t hurt him now, of course–” wow, so their new status as outcast buddies seems to have made Shouto a lot more accepting of him. Sure, half-breeds are rare…okay, yeah. Truce with the only other half-breed Izuku knows, he can do that. “–the same would not be guaranteed if Izuku was found here by anyone else.”

Dandelion seems to realize this because he stomps off with a final blast of his hands. Leaving Izuku and Shouto alone to the silence.

Silence Shouto breaks. Because he’s a jerk.

“Your wings are withering,” Shouto sighs, hand coming up slowly toward Izuku. Izuku draws his wings in closer, eyes narrowed at the blatant breach of his personal space. “The feathers are still there, mostly, but they are fading from white. If you don’t groom them soon, you might lose the function of them.”

“How would you know that!?” Izuku hisses, eyeing the distinct lack of wings on Shouto.

“Because,” Shouto sighs, eyeing Izuku strangely. “I had wings until I was four, and my mother was taken away by my father. They were left to rot, slowly, because I couldn’t properly groom them. They crumbled completely less than a mortal month later.”

Izuku’s heart pangs, his wings fluttering in sympathy. Losing your wings is said to be the most painful thing to happen to an angel, part demon or not.

“Fine, get me some clothes and you can help me,” Izuku hisses, extending the left pair of wings towards the other boy without looking him in the eye. The movement stutters for half a second at the sight of grey and black patches spreading across them, like bruises. Oh, how his mother would weep at the sight.

Shouto returns quickly with some servant clothes, no doubt. Izuku slides into them quickly and settles on the bed, inching his wings out once again. They’re already been touched so often without his say…

Shouto’s fingers are gentle as they straighten and pluck damaged feathers, and they fall into a rhythm before too long. It takes hours before his wings are as healthy as they could be, Shouto even using some of his Grace to mend holes and too-damaged spots for Izuku.

He thinks he might actually enjoy Shouto’s company, and even though he knows they’ll fight eventually over probably something stupid, he might very well have an ally down here.

He hopes that’s the case, at least, when the demon only known as Eraserhead storms into the room with his eyes glowing red and a searing burn races under Izuku’s skin just as Izuku was leaping at Shouto due to a tasteless comment.

Because he’s really going to need it if someone ratted him out.

~~~~!!!~~~~

Izuku snarls, jerking to try and escape from Eraserhead’s claws digging into the skin on the inside of his elbow, uncaring of the ichor he’s spilling. Not that he would, this demon has killed hundreds of angels in battle. Izuku wonders if he could take on the elder if the rumor is correct that Shouto is more powerful….

But Shouto follows after them meekly, a hand conspicuously brushing the tips of his wings instead of defending Izuku. It stings, but Izuku wonders if Eraserhead’s stare hurts him, too, what with him being slightly more demon than angel.

Before Izuku can puzzle it out, Eraserhead tosses him forward onto the ground at the feet of a much larger throne than Dandelion’s. Izuku pulls his lips up at the true King, Enji. Fitting that such vile scum would prefer to be called by his moniker; Endeavor.

“What is this!?” Endeavor demands, the flames flickering all over his body in a show of utmost power and commanding attention. “Eraserhead, explain at once!”

“Ochaco sensed this angel in Katsuki’s quarters and called me in. He must have snuck in, and when I arrived, your son was just beginning to fight him.”

“Well done, Shouto!” Endeavor booms, a vicious smile splitting his face as he rose from his throne. Every demon and demoness in the room kneels, and Izuku is almost forced to if he didn’t jump over Eraserhead’s leg sweep despite the canines flashed his way afterward.

Eraserhead doesn’t rise to force him down.

Endeavor looms over Izuku, eyes tracking the digression of Izuku’s wings, no doubt. Izuku wonders how Rei’s wings lasted so long, for her to have been able to teach Shouto to groom.

“Well, whelp, bow to your superior!”

Izuku growls, flaring his wings as he does no such thing. “You’re no superior of mine, thief!” Izuku hisses low in his throat.

He’s on the ground in seconds, cheek pounding from the slap that sent him skidding several feet across the tile, tears prickling in the corner of his eyes. “Insubordinate,” Endeavor thunders, delivering a kick to Izuku’s ribs that has him swallowing a yelp and whine. “You’d do well to show some respect!”

Izuku coughs, pushing himself to his feet. He debates the merit of challenging Endeavor to battle even when he knows he would fail. He thinks he could get in a few decent hits before, at the very least. “I’ll respect those who deserve it, Endeavor!”

““>Izuku, stop it!<”” Shouto pleads, face stony still when his inner voice is desperate. Something flashes behind his eyes, making it seem like he’s somewhere entirely different. ““>You would not survive!<””

Izuku side-eyes Shouto, his lip twitching. ““>There is precious little left for me here as is, Shouto. You know I’m not getting out of here.<”” He doesn’t get a verbal or mental response, but the fluctuation of desperation across their mental link caps him like a thunderclap.

Endeavor sends him to the ground again, his immense weight pressing between Izuku’s wing-blades. He freezes, eyes growing wide as invasive-touch flashes in warning when large, overheated hands grab his wings and jerk up roughly.

“It would take very little for me to snap your wings from where I stand,” Endeavor preens, voice echoing. The demons around the room still at the prospect. Even they know what that would mean, what it would do to Izuku, and the taboo around such action. Now Izuku wonders if Rei even had the option of showing Shouto how to groom on her own wings. “You don’t have your full six-set yet, youngling,” he continues with a sick glee in his voice. “What a shame that would be, to quell your potential before you reach it.”

“Fuck you and everything you stand for, Endeavor!” Izuku spits in Angelic, grateful that these languages aren't something you can just learn. It’s something you’re born with. All-speak is the one you must learn, instead. “I will never bow to you and your arrogance, not when I have severed by All Might’s side!”

Endeavor’s nostrils flare, a searing, burning pain growing where his wings connect to his back. “You dare speak that language at me!?” A high-pitched yelp tears itself out of his throat as he thrashes under Endeavor, tears dripping down his chin and onto the tile. He doesn’t want to lose his wings! Nonononono, he doesn’t want to become a slave!

“Father, wait,” Shouto calls out suddenly. His voice is steady. Endeavor stills, hands heating up slightly more as if daring to be interrupted. Shouto moves slowly, seemingly uncaring as he squats down to Izuku’s eyes. “Where do you stand in rankings?”

““>Tell him you work for All Might and he will be forced to stop. Not even he wants to upset God at times like these, border skirmishes or no!<””

Izuku snarls at Shouto, white and red flashing behind his eyes as pain sparks at the strain on his wings. “I am vanguard! I am directly under All Might!”

Endeavor drops Izuku’s wings like he was the one being burned, and Izuku is left gasping on the ground, curling in on himself. His hands scrub at the tracks of water down his face. Holy, that hurt!

“What!?” Endeavor hisses, eyes going wide as he takes a step backward. If there had been sound in the room beforehand, it’s long gone now. “Speak the truth, boy!”

“I am!” Izuku growls, climbing to his feet. He’s glad Shouto doesn’t move away because if his legs give out Shouto might catch him.

Hushed whispers make it to his ear, and he realizes it is in Demonic, but that does very little against him. All Might knew of his heritage, so he was the only one besides his mother who knew why Izuku was the best interrogator or spy, or why he was on the front lines despite being so young. As if him being there didn’t save countless lives and acres of territory due to his fighting prowess.

“He lies,” Endeavor growls in Demonic, flames dancing high, his finger pointing damningly at Izuku. “He must!”

“He is in the vanguard, father,” Shouto says. “I have seen it. I would not have fought him otherwise. He must be telling the truth about the rest.”

Endeavor snarls wordlessly, eyes roaming over Izuku as if to imagine him in his armor. “Eraserhead, find Present Mic. We will bind this angel to Shouto to keep him in check.”

If Eraserhead had his tail out Izuku is sure he would be whipping it around. If Izuku wasn’t supposed to know what they were saying he’d be spitting. “Are you sure that is the wisest course of action? What with your son’s heri–”

They know, Izuku realizes, emotions warring. They know Shouto is half-angel. Is that why he’s at a lower rank than the King’s son should be?

SILENCE!” Endeavor bellows, causing a ripple of flinches throughout the room. Izuku, Shouto, and Eraserhead are some of the few that don’t outwardly react. Inwardly, Izuku is screeching and his wings are puffed. “Do as I say, Shota, or are you committing treason?!” Eraserhead –Shota!?!– bows his head and retreats.

“Dismissed!” Endeavor snaps. Everyone else in the room scurries to the single grand doors.

As the silence sinks in, as he spots Dandelion hunched and retreating…Izuku’s fate begins to set in. He’s going to be bound to a prince of Hell, and even with one that shares his blood type, it means his chances of getting home to see his mom is……depressively slim.

The sight of tall blond hair and a giddy smile of this so-called Present Mic only makes his heart sink lower, heart trying to beat out of his throat. ““>I’m sorry, Izuku,<”” Shouto mumbles, his voice soft. ““>I truly am.<””

Izuku can do nothing but scream internally as he thrashes. His freedom stripped by emotionless words chanted loud enough to sink into his bones. ““>Welcome to hell.<””

~~_~~_~part FOUR~_~~_~~
Friends Save You From Pain

“You’re hurting me!”
**********
Tags for this idea:
Relationships~ #Midoriya Izuku & Uraraka Ochako

Characters~ #Uraraka Ochaco, #Midoriya Izuku, #Uraraka Ochako's Parents, #Bakugou Katsuki, #Midoriya Inko

Additional Tags~ #Bullying, #Childhood Friends, #Protective Uraraka Ochaco, #Minor Injuries, #Quirkless Izuku, #Midoriya Izuku gets One for All Quirk

**********

You’re hurting me!

Ochaco freezes, head whipping around the find the source of the panicked voice. Who’s hurting who!? Even at seven, Ochaco knows that’s a wrong thing to do.

A high-pitched yelp, followed by boyish laughter has Ochaco racing away from the sandbox and towards the corner of the building. She’s sure they’re around her age, whoever is doing this…or at least whoever is getting hurt.

“HEY!” Ochaco shouts, rounding the corner to find three boys teaming up on another boy, the middle one’s hands crackling with his quirk. The boy on the ground looks up with wide, wide green eyes. His cheeks are smudged with dirt and bleeding.

Her eyes widen as the three boys turned around and spotted her. “Imma tell a grownup!” she cries.

She whirls around before they can come after her, too. She raises her voice as loud as she can, screaming “They’re hurting him! Mom! Mom!! Come quick!!”

Her mom comes racing over, eyes wide and voice calling after Ochaco. And Ochaco hates ruining her parents’ one day off, but she can’t ignore this. So she doesn’t run into her mom’s arms like she wants to and instead turns around as soon as she knows her mom is following her, racing back the same way she came.

She lightens her clothes so she goes faster, rounding the corner to find the boys running away and the hurt one wobbling onto his feet. “One sec,” she calls as she zooms past, wind whipping her hair. She’s always been fast, but with her clothes lightened she’s even faster.

She tackles the blond one to the ground, getting the ringleader. He slams into the ground with a cry of pain, his buddies spinning around as soon as they aren’t being led. They pale at the sight of her, or maybe her mom thundering forward as her dad helps the boy steady himself.

She doesn’t care much which, puffing up her rosy cheeks and putting on her most dangerous glare. “Bullies,” she declares, pointing her finger accusingly.

Blondie must realize her mom is too close to do anything to her because he just shoves her off and falls into place center of the trio. His cheeks are scuffed and so are his palms, but otherwise, he’s fine. He’s more fine than whoever he was just hurting.

Mom is super mad as she leads them back toward the park, calling for their parents loudly and drawing the attention of everyone there. When it doesn’t seem like they’re there, mom sternly asks for phone numbers, calling each with eyes like a hawk on the boys and her own rosy cheeks flared.

Ochaco watches her mom work for only a few seconds, watching the boys pale at the sight of her mom’s flexing muscles and the sound of her stern voice. Then she turns and darts toward the bullied-boy.

Dad smiles when she skids to a stop, releasing her quirk with a gasp as she stumbles into his bent leg. Her stomach churns, but it doesn’t feel like she’ll be sick this time.

“Wow, that was– that was super cool!” the boy says, eyes blown wide and large smile on his face. She smiles brightly back at him, puffing out her chest with pride. But then… “But– but Kacchan wasn’t doing anything, really. We were just– just playing!”

Ochaco frowns, eyebrows furrowing in a way she knows mom and dad do when they’re on the phone. Her dad opens his mouth, but she beats him to it. “They were hurting you, and they weren’t going to stop. That’s not playing.”

The boy blushed, looking down at his scuffed red shoes and not at Ochaco or her dad. Ochaco frowns deeper, watching the boy fidget. She decides something, right then and there. “What’s your name? I’m Urakaka Ochaco, but you can call me whatever you want!”

“Oh,” the boy gasped, eyes darting between her and her dad sheepishly. “I’m Midoriya Izuku…” he seems to hesitate for a second, eyes flicking to where blondie is glaring their way. Ochaco glares back, channeling the expression her parents wear those rare times where she’s punished for something super bad. “But everyone else just calls me Deku, Chaco-chan.”

Dad goes stiff by her side, a hand coming up to rest on the boy’s shoulder almost instantly. His voice is soft when he asks, “Do you know what that means, Izuku-kun?”

Ochaco looks up at her dad, head tilting in confusion. But Deku nods slowly, whispering, “It means useless.”

Ochaco gasps, horrified. “I thought it was like Dekiru, not that! Like ‘You Can Do It!’” she cries, eyes snapping to her dad to tell her that Izuku is wrong.

Dad smiles down at her proudly, and she doesn’t know why until she looks over and sees Izuku watching her like she’s the most amazing thing in the world. Ochaco understands why her dad is looking at her like that, now.

“I know!” Ochaco declares, raising her pointer-finger into the sky. “I’m going to call you Dekiru, instead! Let’s be friends, Dekiru!”

“R– really?” Izuku stutters, cheeks flushing again. “You…you want to be my friend?”

Ochaco nods determinedly, hands going to her hips. “Of course, you’re awesome! Wanna play in the sandbox with me? I was making a castle.”

Izuku nods happily, linking his hand with hers as she leads him forward. Izuku seems more comfortable following, so while Ochaco has never been the leader type, she already knows she’d do just about anything for Izuku until he is.

They’re constructing the fourth wall of their castle and talking about all sorts of heroes when a shorter woman than her mom interrupts them by dragging both Izuku and Ochaco into a tight, tear-filled hug. Straight, dark green hair falls into Ochaco’s face before she realizes who this is.

“Mom, mom! This is my friend, Chaco-chan!” Izuku introduces her as, wrapping his arms around his mom’s arm as he laughs with tears in his own eyes. She learns Izuku’s mom is Midoriya Inko.

Mom, dad, and Mrs. Midoriya talk while they continue to play until it’s almost dinner time. When they’re both called over, Ochaco links their hands again– careful to keep her pinky up.

Mrs. Midoriya invites Ochaco to come over whenever she wants to, and that her mom has their phone number. “Don’t ever be a stranger, Ochaco-chan!” Mrs. Midoriya coos, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead and gives a side-hug to her mom.

“Bye-bye, Dekiru!!” she calls after them as they walk off, and Izuku waves at her until they literally can’t see each other anymore, and even then Ochaco keeps waving from atop her dad’s shoulders.

Ochaco made her first friend outside of school that day, and they play almost every day after that. And no one was more supportive of her dream and his than each other. No one.

They’re going to be heroes at Yuuei together, without a doubt!

Even if Izuku didn’t have a quirk, doesn’t get one until he’s in the entrance exam and saves Ochaco from the rubble she can’t reach by absolutely demolishing the zero-pointer blotting out the sun.

After all, childhood friends stick together, no matter what Bakugo says. Izuku wasn’t hiding a quirk, and she makes sure to explain that very sternly to Bakugo after he attacks Izuku in the first physical exam of the year on the very first day in high school.

~~_~~_~part FIVE~_~~_~~
The Apprentice Stops

“Stop.”
**********
Tags for this idea:
Relationships~ #Akaguro Chizome | Stain & Midoriya Izuku, #Iida Tensei | Ingenium & Midoriya Izuku

Characters~ #Akaguro Chizome | Stain, #Iida Tensei | Ingenium, #Midoriya Izuku, #Iida Tenya, #Todoroki Shouto, #Nedzu (My Hero Academia), #Eri (My Hero Academia)

Additional Tags~ #Quirkless Midoriya Izuku, #Vigilante Midoriya Izuku, #Dead Midoriya Inko, #Time Frame Changes, #Helping Crimes

**********

Stop.

It comes out a whisper, softer than a feather over the sound of blood pounding in his ears. But the Hero Killer pauses and turns slightly to look behind himself, those scarves and cloth flowing in the soft breeze.

Tensei takes a shuddering breath, trying to force his paralyzed limbs to move without luck once again. He’s stuck, and he still doesn’t know how Stain’s quirk works.

“Hero,” Stain says, and Tensei would freeze if he wasn’t already frozen. ‘Who found me?’ is his first thought, followed by, ‘Who’s going to die because of me?’ But then it sinks in that the tone of voice wasn’t scorn-filled.

From the shadows comes a short silhouette walking on silent feet, and stepping into the light couldn’t be a kid any older than Tenya. Pinned to the dark green hoodie is a name tag mockingly reading, Hello, My Name Is Hiro.

Oh, Hiro, not hero. Tensei almost laughs at the irony, and if he wasn’t scared out of his whits for this kid he might have. Instead, he opens his mouth to tell the kid to run. But before he can the kid is already standing right next to Stain, the hood hiding their face in shadows.

“Hello, Ingenium,” the kid sighs, crouching down without a care to the large swords nearly brushing their back. “I’ve always wanted to meet you,” the kid continues, head tilting to the side. “Your brother is in the Sports Festival right now, right? Iida Tenya? He’s gotten to the final stage, you should be proud.”

Stain scoffs at that, the sword in his right hand scraping against the ground hard enough to send sparks flying. All Tensei can do is take in a shuddering breath, praying and hoping Stain won’t go after the rest of his family after he kills Tensei.

“He needs to be culled, Hiro,” Stain growls, tapping the kid’s arm with the flat side of a sword hard enough to make them wobble and almost tip over.

Hiro looks up, unflinching after righting themself, and makes a sharp clicking sound with their tongue. “Does he have to die?”

Stain blinks. Tensei blinks. The whole world blinks.

“What?” Stain asks, sounding beyond confused. Tensei wants to put in a solid ‘Same here!’ but would really like to keep Stain’s attention off of him if he can. Hiro, whoever they are to Stain, isn’t in any threat of being killed today.

“I like him, he helps people without the media’s attention. He works with underground heroes, and with some former vigilantes, too. Eraserhead, Crawler, Pop☆Step, and Knuckleduster, if I remember right. You know Knuckleduster? From when he punched your nose in?”

“Watch it, kid,” Stain growls, eyes narrowing. The sword taps the side of the kid’s hood, this time. A threat??

Hiro shrugs their shoulders and looks back down at Tensei. He thinks he spots something green flash in the darkness of that hood, but it might just be the hood itself. “I know, I know. We don’t mention the nose. Still, I think he’s one of the good ones. Can he live?”

Stain smirks, angling a sword toward Tensei’s back with a crazed smile lighting up his face as his tongue darts out and licks his chin. “Looks like today’s your lucky day, Ingenium! My apprentice has taken a liking to you!”

“Apprentice!?” Tensei gasps, shock overtaking any ability he has to keep his mouth shut, eyes darting to Hiro.

Hiro rocks back on their heels, a small hum coming from the kid as they look slightly to the left. “Sorry that you have to be the warning, Ingenium. But this will help the hero community, I swear. You’ll be back on your feet in a few months.”

“You’re killing heroes!” Tensei gasps, narrowing his eyes. “You’re killing friends and family members and loved ones! That’s not helping anyone!

The kid reaches forward and pulls his helmet off, tilting it in their hands. Tensei grimaces, his chin scraping the hard ground now. His expressions can be seen.

“No,” Hiro sighs, setting the helmet off to the side. “We’re culling the greedy attention-seekers using their title as a hero to abuse their quirks for their own gain, who scorn their family and loathe working together even when it would have saved lives. We’re avenging the people whose property is destroyed without so much as an apology, whose families are killed, and who are bought off to keep a hero’s reputation sparkly clean. We’re avenging the kids wrongly called villain because their quirk isn’t a ‘hero’s quirk’!”

“Not–”

“Not every hero, sure,” Hiro snaps, and Stain’s blade scrapes the ground near Tensei’s nose in a warning. “I’d look at the number two hero’s history a little closer if I were you before you say stuff like that. If such high-ranking heroes are corrupt then the lower you go and the more desperate for money they are then the worse they’ll get, save for the diamonds in the rough. All Might is the only true hero so high up in the roster, he’s not corrupt by his fame or following the commission like a love-sick pet.”

Hiro doesn’t say anything else, ignoring his voice as they crawl across Tensei’s back, calling out where Stain brings the sword down, cutting almost effortlessly through the armor just above his hip. Tensei swallows down the scream, eyes closing tight against the pain as the sword is drawn out and driven into both of his arms, and then his knees.

His body is soaked in warm blood quickly, sending Tensei’s vision all over the place in flashes of light and darkness and colors, filling his ears with static as boots scuff the ground in front of him. Hiro’s voice is the last thing he hears.

“I’ve called an ambulance, Ingenium, don’t worry. You’ll see your family again.” Tensei falls unconscious.

~~~~!!!~~~~

Tensei wakes up with a rattled gasp, jerking up before he’s forced back down against the hospital pillows by the sharp aches of pain. He’s almost frantic when he grapples with his phone to call the police as quickly as possible and tell them that Stain has an apprentice.

It’s already too late by then.

Hosu is being attacked by more than just the League of Villains.

And he doesn’t know there was an intruder for nearly enough days slipping silent and untraceable sedatives into his IV line to keep him out-of-it longer than he was supposed to be.

Tensei couldn’t possibly know Stain already stands over a spitting, livid Tenya in a back alley far away from all available help. Can’t possibly know how Hiro races in and takes a slice to their inner forearm to protect his baby brother, yelling at Stain about the change and mental growing children and teenagers always go through every day.

Couldn’t possibly know that a certain Todoroki had followed Hiro’s mad dash through the nomu infested streets, almost seeming to follow an invisible trail as the kid raced to reach his mentor.

Doesn’t have a way in hell of knowing Todoroki’s youngest son knocks Hiro down once he realizes they work with Stain, freezes them to a wall, and battles the pissed-off Hero Killer. Would never guess in his wildest nightmares that Tenya gets to his feet after being baited by Todoroki Shouto and joins his classmate, managing to take the vigilante down only after Hiro makes the kid mad enough to use his fire and gets burned — distracting Stain.

Would never wish his worst enemy to have a flying nomu snatch Hiro right off the ground after knocking Tenya bodily out of the way only for Stain to save his apprentice and terrify everybody with his words until his broken ribs finally take him out.

Tensei only learns all of this went down when he sees a video on HeroTube where Stain preaches his ideology, calls All Might the best of the best and the only true hero, and calls out heroes being fake. Tensei watches this video over and over again before he spots a shivering and green-hoodie clad boy with fluffy green hair curled up behind the Hero Killer without an ounce of fear on his freckled, slightly scorched face.

Tensei calls up Nezu immediately, asking what happened to Hiro after Stain was detained. Nezu is the one who tells him Hiro was once Midoriya Izuku, and that his mother was trapped under rubble and was unable to be rescued in time. He is the same age as Tenya, just a fifteen-year-old boy…

A fifteen-year-old, misguided and hurt boy who is in Tartarus! He’s locked up in the highest security prison because he helped the Stain for several years in nearly a double-digit number of hero-murders. The commission had decreed it, and Nezu had never been more enraged by humans if Shota’s recounting of it going down was anything to go by.

And Tensei is right beside him and the other heroes at Yuuei –especially his friends Shota, Nemuri, and Hizashi– fighting the battle to get Izuku out of there as fast as humanly able. The commission seems shocked that Tensei wants the boy free when he had assisted Stain.

It still takes nearly a year for them to win the case. Tenya is now in class 2-A, the League of Villains is a firm contender in the villain world, Lemillion is rising in ranks quickly with an unlocked ability of his quirk previously unknown before All Might’s retirement, and Trigger is worse than ever.

And of course, the second Izuku is out and in Yuuei custody, he disappears off the radar. Reappearing nine hours later with a shaking toddler in his arms, chin up and defiant when Tensei uses his quirk to get to the gates quicker than the others.

“Her name is Eri,” Izuku says defiantly, arms tightening. “And the Eight Precepts of Death will be looking for her soon, you might want to get prepared. I think I pissed them off.”

Tensei groans into his hands, hanging his head as he motions the two of them in. “Izuku,” Tensei bemoans, and Izuku just cackles as he walks. He hears Eri ask ‘Hiro’ very hesitantly why he’s being called Izuku, and the look that crosses the boy’s face is very soft. But the glare he sends at Tensei daring him to interrupt is anything but.

Tensei fears with all his heart what would have happened if Izuku went just a bit more south and became a villain instead of vigilante, what with his sharp brain and personality-flips. And then he cries at the thought of this kid having become a hero instead and the loss that he didn’t end up in Tenya’s class instead.

Quirk or no, if this scene in front of him is any indication at all, Izuku would have been quite the hero despite the obstacles. He probably would have changed the hero world just like he claimed without losing that year.

Chapter Text

~~_~~_~part SIX~_~~_~~
It’ll Be Better

“I’m so, so sorry but, it’ll be better this way.”
**********

Tags for this idea:

Relationships~ #Midoriya Inko & Todoroki Rei, #Midoriya Inko & Todoroki Shouto, #Midoriya Izuku & Todoroki Shouto, #Midoriya Izuku & Midoriya Inko & Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead

Characters~ #Todoroki Rei, #Todoroki Shouto, #Midoriya Inko, #Midoriya Izuku, #Todoroki Touya, #Todoroki Natsuo, #Todoroki Fuyumi, #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead

Additional Tags~ #Midoriya Izuku & Todoroki Shouto are Cousins, #Midoriya Izuku & Todoroki Shouto are Childhood Friends, #Todoroki Rei Gets Her Children Out, #Todoroki Enji | Endeavor's Bad Parenting, #Domestic Abuse, #Child Abuse, #Weird Uncle Aizawa Shouta, #Big Brother Shouto

**********

I’m so, so sorry but, it’ll be better this way.

“I don’t care! Momma, momma, I don’t want to stay here!” Shouto whines, reaching out to his momma. She bends down, wiping her hand under his eye and the bandage over his left one, then brushed his hair from his face.

She doesn’t pick him up.

“I know, my little snowflake. But your father…me… it’s better for you to stay with your aunt. Be good for her.”

“No!” Shouto cries. “I don’t wanna!”

Even if the water hurt, it was all dad’s fault, not momma’s! But before momma can say anything, can take him away from this strange and unfamiliar place and back to that horrible house like he wants her to, the door swings open.

“Oh, Rei!” the lady exclaims as soon as she looks out, throwing her arms around momma. “How have you been, oh it’s been ages!”

“Inko,” momma sighs, a small smile on her face. Shouto blinks, eyes wide. Momma looks happy again. She doesn’t look happy when they’re at home, especially after… “I’m sorry for dropping in like this, but could you take Shouto for me?”

His aunt looks down at him with wide eyes, crouching down to look at him with a warm smile as he hides behind his momma’s skirt. “Oh, hello there! I haven’t seen you in person since you were born! You’ve gotten very big, haven't you?”

His momma gently steers him out, and he can see the exact moment his aunt notices the bandages. A little gasp escapes, her green-green-green eyes darting up to momma. “Rei–”

“And we need to talk, Inko. May we come in?”

“Oh, of course,” she flutters. “Izuku is just down the hall, in his room, Shouto-kun. Why don’t you go introduce yourself?”

Shouto puffs out his cheeks, looking at momma to see what she wants. She nods encouragingly at him, pushing his shoulders just slightly. “Go on, he’s just a few months older than you, if I remember correctly. He’s four-and-a-half, Inko?”

“Oh, yes. Always keeps me on my toes,” his aunt laughs, bringing a hand up to her cheek. “I don’t know how you did it with the twins, Rei.”

Shouto scrunches up his nose but heads to find Izuku, ignoring the grownups talking. The room is easy to find, since it is the only one with a nameplate, and the door is cracked open just enough for Shouto to hear soft laughter.

He’s half-tempted to just stand there and never go in but his plan is ruined when the door is thrown open and Izuku nearly runs into him. His cousin squeaks, skidding to a stop and falling onto his butt as he stares up with wide green-green-green eyes under green-black-green hair.

“Oh!” Izuku squeals, eyes locked on his face. “Are you okay??”

Izuku scrambles to his feet, hand moving toward his bandage. Shouto jerks back and Izuku’s arm snaps to his chest, his eyes lowering to the ground. “Sorry, that was rude.”

Then he does something shocking. He looks back up with stars in his eyes as he blurts out, “You’re Shouto though!”

Shouto rears back, his eye widening. “You know my name?”

Izuku shifts to bouncing on his feet and twisting his hands into his bright All Might shirt. “Uhuh! Mama has your pictures in our family photo-book!”

Oh.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Shouto is actually……happy?

It’s weird not being under his father’s thumb, but his aunt is super nice and Izuku is always smiling or laughing and eager to have a conversation with or without Shouto adding to it– just happy to include him in any way Shouto wants.

He doesn’t have to be quiet or tip-toe around the house anymore, either. It still takes a very long time before he realizes that, and loud noises startle him sometimes.

His quiet gets worse after the bandage is taken off and he realizes how big and pink the scar is. He wants it to go away but it never does no matter how long he glared at it in the bathroom mirror, or how many times Izuku tried to kiss it better.

But auntie and Izuku never make him feel worse by staring or bringing it up constantly so it gets better. Everything does.

And then there’s a knock on the front door.

Auntie looks up from where she was cooking dinner and wipes her hands on a towel before she quickly makes her way to the door. Shouto doesn’t know why his heart starts pounding the second she’s out of sight and he can’t focus on the game Izuku and him were just playing.

His eyes are locked on the wall blocking the door from view.

“Oh my god!” Auntie shouts loudly and shrilly. Izuku yips like a wounded dog as he jerks to his feet in a split-second. He’s faster than Shouto when bolting after her.

Shouto freezes when he rounds the corner. He doesn’t know what to say.

His eldest brother is standing hunched in the doorway covered with deep bruises and burns as he shakes in just his workout clothes and no shoes. There are tears in his eyes.

“I didn’t know where else to go,” Touya chokes out.

Auntie doesn’t hesitate to take him into her arms like she does whenever Shouto wakes up from a nightmare and loses control over his quirk. “It’ll be okay, Touya. Shh, you’re safe now,” Auntie whispers, running her hand through his brother’s hair.

Izuku is already latched onto his leg, also with tears in his eyes.

Shouto turns around and runs back into their room. The door slams shut behind him.

~~~~

What do you say to a family member you know but don’t know? What is there to say?

One second Shouto is free of his past and then Touya brings it crashing back with him. Suddenly the nightmares are back full-force and he is sneaking around the house like his first couple months here.

He hates it!

But he doesn’t hate his brother. He can’t. Shouto may have been the perfect one but Touya was the defective one. Father wasn’t kind to anyone– but between his siblings, Touya is the only one who also went through the same training. He was there longer though…

That should make them closer, right?

But it just makes him want to avoid his brother at all costs.

Izuku is worried. Shouto can see it in the way he bites his lip and looks between them at mealtimes. The only time Shouto willingly stays in the same room as Touya. Sees it in the guilt when he leaves one to go see the other.

Auntie is worried, too. Her eyes are always sad and she’s been taking more hours at work. She looks tired. And so very sad. That’s probably what has him knocking on the guest-room-now-Touya’s-room. That and Izuku’s pleading teary eyes.

Touya looks surprised when he opens to door to find Shouto standing there. “Can we talk?” Shouto asks before his brother can say anything, remembering Auntie explaining talking things through being important.

“Sure thing,” Touya said, pulling the door open for him.

He doesn’t leave the room that night.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Just like last time– the second Shouto thinks things have calmed down, someone comes and stirs it up again.

He’s been talking with Touya and getting to know his brother for the first time when an older teenager walks right into the house without knocking. Touya –who is only twelve– goes to attack when Izuku throws himself into the guy’s legs.

“Shota!” Izuku giggles, bouncing around happily.

Shouto is startled and confused when the man leans down and scoops Izuku into his arms as if he’s done it hundreds of times. “Hey there, Zu-kun,” he says. He looks exhausted. “Where’s your mom?”

“She’s at work,” Izuku chirps, twisting in the man’s grip to face Shouto and Touya. “Touya is watching us!”

The man looks at them then, blinking. He doesn’t look all that shocked. “Huh, you must be Rei’s kids.”

“How do you know us!?” Touya demands, small blue flames flickering over his fingers.

The room plunges into tenseness. Izuku is the one to answer, tilting his head and looking confused in the boy’s arms. “This is our uncle!”

What.

~~~~

Auntie is super apologetic when she gets home and finds them all sitting in the living room with only Izuku chatting away.

She explains who the teenager –Aizawa Shota– is for them before starting dinner.

Apparently, when auntie was younger, she volunteered at a group called Big Brothers Big Sisters International where she mentored Shota while he was super little. The relationship grew and became like actual siblings to the point Izuku has always had an uncle on his mother’s formerly single-child side.

And the reason he hadn’t been around since Shouto and Touya came was because he was preparing to become a hero at Yuuei and has been studying as often as possible, staying in a rented apartment closer to the material he needed. He’d been calling instead of visiting.

It’s easier to talk to Shota after that. Touya really likes him and when Izuku asked he explained that it was kind of like getting an older brother.

It really is.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

The day they are celebrating Shota getting into the hero course at Yuuei due to his performance at the Sport’s Festival is the day Natsuo and Fuyumi arrive.

It’s pouring and storming outside when the pounding starts at the door. Shota shoots to his feet, eyes darting to them as he motions everyone to stay down. Auntie makes a face but Shota is already making his way to the door, hand on the capture-gear he’s been practicing with around his hips.

Between one blink and the next, his other two siblings are dripping puddles onto auntie’s carpet, clutching bags to their chests with tears in their eyes. Auntie is on her feet in seconds, ordering Touya to grab towels from the closet and Shouto plus Izuku to go grab blankets from their room.

No one gets much sleep that night. Fuyumi is the one who stutters out that Momma had ordered her to take Natsuo and flee the house when dad came home in a particularly bad fit. She’d stayed behind.

Shouto wouldn’t see her again until his tenth birthday.

……

………

She comes in a hospital gown with a baby girl in her arms.

~~_~~_~part SEVEN~_~~_~~
Hotel Hell

“Stop making this harder than it already is.”
**********

Tags for this idea:

Relationships~ #Midoriya Izuku & Midoriya Inko, #Midoriya Izuku & Shinsou Hitoshi, #Midoriya Izuku & Toga Himiko, #Shinsou Hitoshi & Toga Himiko, #Bakugo Katsuki & Midoriya Izuku

Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku, #Midoriya Inko, #Original Characters, #Shinsou Hitoshi, #Toga Himiko, #Bakugo Katsuki

Additional Tags~ #Implied/Referenced Abuse, #Child Abuse, #Foster Care, #The Adoption System Sucks, #Midoriya Inko Tries Her Best

**********

She isn’t looking at him when she whispers so quiet Izuku can barely hear, “Stop making this harder than it already is.

“But momma–” He jerks his head back to look at her.

“Quiet, Izuku,” momma shushes him with a gentle hand running through his hair. “Your father…… we’re going somewhere very far away and he wants you to stay here. He’s been very…insistent, that where we’re going isn’t a place for you to grow up.”

Izuku glances up at the tall building, watching as darting flashes of people in the first couple of floor’s windows duck away. It’s a bit cracked and dull on the outside, narrow and with seven sets of two windows spaced around the double doors in the center.

The sign at the top would probably tell Izuku where he is if he could read yet. He’s almost five, but momma has been super busy with daddy recently so he hasn’t gotten much practice. Kacchan always laughed at that…

Momma takes his hand again and leads him into the building, tugging when he tries to stop and stare. The room looks like a small office, a long desk in the middle right by another door, soft chairs lining the walls for a few people to sit.

Maybe it’s another doctor appointment momma’s brought him to? …The room is really empty, though.

“Hello,” a woman calls brightly, popping out from the cracked open door to the right of the desk. Her smile is like sunshine pulling at her face and making it clear blue with patches of white.

Izuku can’t help smiling back.

“Welcome to Open Book Children’s Home! My name is Hikaru Masuna, how may I help you, ma’am?”

That’s a weird name for a hospital…maybe it’s a specialized one? “I’m here to drop Izuku off, I called the other day?”

Hikaru’s skin spasms, the clouds shifting in her hair darkening for a second. “Oh yes, you came in last week and filled out all the paperwork, correct?”

“Yes,” momma says, her hand running through his hair again. “Midoriya Inko. My husband’s waiting in the car, I really must go.”

The woman’s face spasms again, and she quickly hands momma a piece of paper for ‘getting help’ before momma kisses his forehead and leaves with a quick goodbye.

She’s crying. He’s crying.

Hikaru is simply standing.

The door closes.

“Come along,” Hikaru says, but her voice is different now. There’s a rumble to it, like an oncoming storm. “Let’s get you to your place. It’s on the seventh floor, I’ll have someone explain the rules and show you around after dinner.”

Izuku twists his hands together, “Excuse m–”

Hikaru whips around, thunder cracking when she opens her mouth. Izuku flinches away at the loud sound that reminds him of Kacchan’s explosions.

“Rule One!” she booms. “No speaking unless directly spoken to, or asked a question. Is that understood!?”

“Yes,” Izuku stutters, his voice a whisper.

“Good,” she says, spinning on her heel and leading Izuku into the back office. It’s just a narrow stairwell that winds up into the ceiling, gilded gold and with flat woven red rugs. “The second-floor is for staff, you’re not allowed inside without express permission directly from me. The third-floor is communal; you’ll find the kitchen, dining room, and living room on that floor. Each floor has a set of bathrooms and showers, and you’re only allowed to use the ones on your floor. Using anything on other floors will result in punishment. Once you are told the rules, if you break them, you’ll be punished. Speak out of turn, you’ll be punished. Am I understood!?”

“Yes,” Izuku whispers again.

“Speak up,” she barks. “When you do speak you will speak clearly!”

“Yes, Hikaru-san!” Izuku calls.

She nods and doesn’t say anything else as she leads him in a zig-zag to the opposite end of the floors to reach the next stairwell. Izuku keeps his head down on the fourth, fifth, and sixth-floor hallways when doors are opened and other kids peek out.

With each staircase, the doors get less bright and the walls duller and faces more shadowed.

The woman stops in the stairwell leading to the seventh-floor. “Go up and introduce yourself. Someone up there will explain. The dinner bell will sound in seven hours, don’t come downstairs until then.”

She shoves his shoulder, causing him to stumble. He glances back only once as he starts making his way up. He’s quick to turn away when she glares and lightning cracks across her cheek.

The stairs creak and groan underneath his shoes, the faded yellow paint peeling on the walls as he makes his way higher. He gulps, eyes fixed on the chipped door just one step away. What would he find on the other side?

He holds his breath as he turns his head away, knocking his knuckles against the wood before he could think too hard. Momma knew what she was doing, if she wanted Izuku to be good while he was here then he would.

He squeaks when the door is flung open, his heel slipping back down a step. His squeak pitches into a yelp as his arms pinwheel, eyes wide as he tips back. A hand snagging his shirt is the only thing that saves him from the tumble, yanking him through the doorway and onto solid ground.

His palms skid the ground as he scrambles to his feet, a whimper clogging his throat. He swallows it when his eyes find his savior. It’s a boy his age with lavender hair that stands tall and a thick metal muzzle wrapped around his head.

There are no doorways on this floor, just open space and a few blanket walls strung across the ceiling. That’s how he can see another girl with crazy blonde hair popping up from behind a ratty cot with wide golden eyes. She has a wire muzzle over her mouth, in contrast to the solid one of the boy.

“Hi there!” she chirps as she bounds over, a stained grey shirt hanging around her knees. Lavender rolls his eyes as he makes a small huffing sound that is super muffled. Blondie sticks her tongue out, knocking her shoulder into Lavender as she slides right in front of Izuku. “Oh shoosh, he’s up here for a reason.”

Lavender winces, looking away as Blondie focuses back on Izuku, baring her fangs as she smiles. “Ignore Hi-chan, he’s just grumpy! I’m Himiko, and grumpy-grump is Hitoshi.”

“H-hello, my name is Midoriya Izuku. My momma said I’d be staying here for a while until she comes back.”

“Oh bun,” Himiko whispers, deflating against Hitoshi’s side. Izuku looks between them, wondering why they’re both suddenly so sad. “She…you know she’s not coming back, right?”

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Izuku doesn’t remember how long it took for it to finally settle in that Himiko was right. Maybe, even now, six years later, there’s still a small part of him that is five and curled happily on his mom’s lap.

He remembers though, that he had refused to look or talk to either of them for hours after that because he was crying so hard. It was later that night not long after dinner and Himiko showing him around, that it finally set in that he would be there for a long time. That is when he decided to sneak over between their beds and talk.

He learned that Himiko has a blood quirk, that she loved blood more than anything –except maybe Hitoshi– and that made people see her as a monster. She hadn’t thought it was that bad until she just…she couldn’t stand this one boy in her class. She needed to taste his blood. She doesn’t even remember biting him, but it had been so bad he’d almost died. Her parents had sent her here right away, not wanting to deal with the monster she’d become. It was a wake-up call.

Hitoshi had a similar if not slightly different story. He’d been one of those kids born with his quirk and as soon as he could talk he started controlling people with his voice. It doesn’t take more than a bump to release them but everyone at daycare hadn’t wanted to talk to him because of it. His mom was alone and she couldn’t handle the pressure of raising a ‘villain child’ so she had left him for the police to find. He’d been alone for four days before he’d been found and then all they did was bring him here and promptly leave.

Izuku told them about himself, even if a bit reluctantly. It had been just him and momma since forever, his dad working overseas. Then he’d been diagnosed quirkless, everyone laughed at him, and then papa had arrived home two weeks later. He was…he was so angry all the time, more than even Kacchan. Izuku didn’t understand it all, what he and momma had begun yelling about every day. Momma had always pushed him into his room when it happened and told him to watch videos. Then after a month of papa being home, momma dropped him off here.

They were three misfits cast away thanks to their quirk or lack-there-of. But they wanted to be heroes — to prove to the world that they were cast away for no reason, to prove no quirk was inherently evil or heroic, and to make the world better for people like them. They would do it together.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

It became pretty obvious that Hikaru didn’t like them at all. Didn’t like their floor, period. His first week there was all he needed to understand that.

Hikaru favors the bright stars, the ones who will make her orphanage look good when they’re adopted out. Special treatment was handed out brutally and efficiently without so much as a blink of sun-bright eyes. The first, second, and third floors were well-stocked and picture-perfect for anyone to inspect but after that, it got dicier the further you walked.

The fourth floor is where the prodigies slept. The most well-treated had the most stuff and freedom which meant their rooms are bright and full of plush beds and dressers. Toys and books and rugs and everything that would look good for the social services, the halls cleaned daily with vigor. They get free-range of the third floor, have three hours outside in the little backyard court-yard if they chose, and conversation is encouraged toward Hikaru.

The fifth floor was slightly less well-off. Everything a little faded, beds less lavish and less food but still from the first cut. Still well-treated, still several hours of free time and good bathrooms and showers, but no outside time. They didn’t get as many books and no toys but their rooms were still personalized with small things they could take with them when they were fostered or adopted.

The sixth floor didn’t get toys or books off-the-bat but could if they asked nice enough and acted exceptional, beds stiff and rooms sprinkled with stuff they would have to leave behind if they got selected without aging out of the system. No more private bathrooms, just stalls, and communal showers and no baths. Clothes became second-hand here, which meant these were the kids with less desired quirks or maybe attitude problems or disabilities.

Chores began on the sixth floor, too, meaning they had to clean the communal floor and cook meals, and every morning clean the first two floors under the unwavering watch of Hikaru herself.

The seventh floor is specially reserved for the rejects. This is where Hikaru cuts off all non-essentials and pretty much everything else. No books or toys, no walls between ‘rooms,’ and only rusty toilets and showers that you had to maintain yourself. The rate of suicides was carved in the wood of the single side-table between their cots– it was pretty much one-hundred percent. They got last showers, meaning the water was always frigid, and their soap was generic and combined with their body-wash. Food was either burnt, cold, or the pickings from off other plates if it was a bad week. Chores ranged from cleaning each floor’s bathrooms to washing clothes to getting the mail, none of which were their own which they had to hand-wash in their bathroom sink with hand-soap and clean on their own time and the other kids were free to push and throw things at them if they got bored.

Izuku, Hitoshi, and Himiko weren’t allowed to do anything about it or they were locked away in the basement-cellar for an entire day, or they lost dinner privileges.

When social services did come, which was rarely, Hitoshi and Himiko’s muzzles were removed. The only other time this happened was when they ate or when they showered/brushed their teeth; only one of these times talking allowed. The seventh and sixth-floor residents, all seven of them, would pretend they were happy or else and have ‘false rooms’ on the fifth floor that they would act like was theirs if asked.

Izuku remembers the first time he ever heard Hitoshi’s voice was on the fifth day he’d been there and their hygiene day arrived. His face was rubbed slightly raw from it, but he always smiled so brightly when it was off and they were alone.

That was the only reason he was ‘allowed’ to talk at all. No one was there.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Years pass and Hitoshi and Himiko remain as his only allies against the world. No one wants to foster or adopt the Quirkless-Wonder or the Mind-Controller or the Blood-Demon.

Sure, sometimes there were people who thought they did; all three of them on one memorable occasion early on. Maybe they did at first, but then they were suddenly faced with the whispers and looks people throw at them inside their apartment building or by co-workers. Then it isn’t as rewarding.

Izuku, Hitoshi, and Himiko had long since resigned themselves to staying at The ‘Open Book’ Children’s ‘Home’ as if it were a hotel until Himiko was eighteen and they could leave with her.

Two seventeen-year-olds and an eighteen-year-old striking out on their own isn’t too weird in society nowadays after all. Two fourteen-year-olds and a fifteen-year-old are a little less but not unheard of when starting a high school away from your hometown.

Their only roadblock was getting into a hero school. Now, their time in public school had been…spotty at best. When they did get fostered it usually didn’t last a whole school year, so more often than not they got sent to Ouran which was a full-ride school of every grade. The trio plus the other fourteen kids that is.

They always did their best and managed, for the most part, to get decent grades and train their quirks when they could between chores and more chores and punishments setting them back. But it wasn’t good enough for Yuuei. They knew, deep down, that the possibility they would all make it there was slim at best and impossible at worst.

Though they were sure as hell going to try.

The entrance exam didn’t cost anything and they were practically in the same grade, plus there were options for lower-income students to help pay for schooling. They would be relying on that safeguard heavily, but they would manage.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Huh.

They all score well on the written portion, Izuku getting the highest of the three shockingly enough, despite how bad his education was in the beginning. He may have been a little smug about it.

Hitoshi takes down a few robots thanks to the physical training they’ve been squeezing in since they were eight but didn’t score high enough to get into the hero course. He’s going to be in general education and has a fire burning to advance at the Sport’s Festival.

Himiko does score enough and makes it into class 1-A thanks to the little nicks of her blades giving her quite the arsenal of quirks to use even though she ends up wanting 1-B after the first day where she learns it’ll be taught by Blood King.

They celebrate her accomplishments by splurging their meager allowance saved from day one on a small personal cake to share.

………Izuku also gets enough points just from a robot and mostly a crap ton of rescue points but is turned away for being quirkless. That sours the mood and sends both of his friends into a tizzy, but Izuku reasons that at least he was accepted into the school which is more than even Ouran wanted to.

That didn’t help much but the looks of pure shock on Hikaru and everyone at the orphanage’s faces was well worth it when they announced their success at dinner the very evening they got their letters.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

The second day of school is when they decided to meet at 1-A to head for lunch together. That’s when Izuku finds out Katsuki was in Himiko’s class.

Now, that wouldn’t be so bad if he forgot all about Izuku like he thought he would. Expected him to.

……He didn’t.

Worse, he thinks Izuku was the one to abandon him and mom.

Izuku could only stare with an open mouth at that, sputtering uselessly as all of Himiko’s classmates stare with wide eyes and familiar harsh whispers. Conclusions made and judgment dished out.

He could only watch as if an outsider in his own body as Hitoshi snapped and jabbed at Katsuki with his words. As Himiko glared and looped her arm in his, baring her teeth. As a teacher grabbed a lunging Katsuki with bands of cloth and pulled him back from where he had been reaching a hand toward Izuku’s face.

All he could whisper was a broken, “She left me, not the other way around.”

That was how he learned his mom had moved back from America five years ago after his dad died. Not by her coming to get him, but by hearing she never even looked. Strung a tale to paint Izuku as the demonic son who cracked under the pressure.

His eyes roll back and he hits the ground.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Legally they can’t live on their own.

Nezu tells them this when Izuku wakes up in Recovery Girl’s office, bleary and in shock.

If they had a legal guardian sign papers they could, but Hikaru refused to associate with them after they revealed what exactly they had done behind her back. Izuku figured it was because she thought they would never get anywhere and wanted to gloat and rid herself of them.

She’d kicked them out then and there with just the clothes on their backs and the bag they’d had the foresight to pack.

The thing is…the only option to them with no money to their names was on-campus living arrangements which were non-existent. Izuku felt horrible when Nezu said that would change and he’d been meaning to do something like this for a long time but never had the proper excuse for the government.

It took only a few days for Izuku and Hitoshi to become a common occurrence inside the 1-A dorm when they met with Himiko to train or help with homework or just hang out like they always had for years.

Katsuki doesn’t even look at him anymore.

Despite the rocky first impressions thanks to his childhood friend, Izuku makes a few fast friends and drags Hitoshi and Himiko along with him, laughing all the while.

And with a little help from Nezu………………he drags them with him all the way straight into the villain’s attack.

~~_~~_~part EIGHT~_~~_~~
Parent to Be or NOT to Be

“Hey, you okay?”
**********

Tags for this idea:

Relationships~ #Midoriya Izuku & Shinsou Hitoshi, #Midoriya Izuku & Todoroki Shouto

Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku, #Shinsou Hitoshi, #Todoroki Shouto

Additional Tags~ #Midoriya Izuku & Shinsou Hitoshi Friendship, #Shinsou's Mom is a Villain, #Midoriya Izuku is So Done With Quirk-Ownership Bullshit, #Ran Away From Home

**********

Hey, you okay?

Izuku squeaks when the boy slumped against the wall jerks to a more upright sitting position.

His large All Might rain boots –the ones he’d insisted on getting even if the last pair left was two sizes too big– are clumsy and almost trip him when he stumbles back.

The umbrella he had been positioning over the other boy jerks back with him, smacking him in the face with the pole. He whines, rubbing his cheek before looking back down.

The boy is blinking narrow, lavender eyes before staring at him, mouth opening and closing like he was trying to get his words out but was unable to.

Izuku has never really had that problem.

So he does what he does best. Talk. A lot.

“Um, I wanted to make sure you were okay, sorry for bothering you! I didn’t want to just leave you in case you were hurt. I don’t think you are, though, so did you just lose your coat somewhere around here?” he asks, trailing off. He hopes he wasn’t being rude asking that.

The boy blinks silently at him, mouth still working. Izuku tilts his head, eyeing the soaked, faded grey shirt and tattered blue jeans the boy was wearing with curiosity.

He musta been out in the rain for a long time looking for his coat to be that wet.

When the boy doesn’t answer, Izuku holds out his umbrella again. He won’t be startled this time, and the least he can do is keep him dry.

“I can help you look for it, we can use my umbrella!” he holds out his other hand to the boy, moving his fingers encouragingly. “My name is Midoriya Izuku, what’s your name?”

“Hitoshi,” the boy whispers, swallowing hard.

Izuku’s brows furrow. Hitoshi’s voice is really rough, maybe he has a cold? That means it’d be super bad if he stayed out in the cold rain any more, right? That’s what mom always says.

He plasters on his biggest smile, “Nice to meet you, Hitoshi-kun! We could go to my house and get dry clothes before we look for your coat.”

“Don’t have one,” Hitoshi whispers, looking down the alley.

“That’s okay! You can borrow one of mine, I have plenty.”

“You don’t want that,” Hitoshi says, scooting away from Izuku’s hand.

Izuku lets it drop, “Why not?”

“Me.”

“You?”

“Yes, me.” Hitoshi looks up and glares. “I’m what you don’t want near you.

“Why?”

Hitoshi looks annoyed now, which is a look Izuku is familiar with. Kacchan is always annoyed with Izuku. “I’m a villain. My quirk is a villain’s quirk.”

“No you aren’t and no it isn’t?” Izuku hesitantly says, squatting down.

“Yes,” Hitoshi grinds out. “It is.

Izuku opens his mouth to argue but Hitoshi plows onward, flapping his hands. “You want to know why!? It’s the exact same quirk my mom has. Do you want to know what she is? A villain!

“But her quirk isn’t yours?” Izuku questions. Hitoshi looks startled. “You aren’t her so that means your quirk can’t possibly be hers.”

“It’s brainwashing,” Hitoshi bites out. “You answer me and I’ll be able to make you do whatever I want. What are you gonna do about it?”

“I don’t know,” Izuku says immediately. His limbs lock and everything fades around the edges. He can’t move.

“You’re stupid,” Hitoshi says, sounding more tired than Izuku’s heard another ten-year-old ever sound. “So, so stupid.”

Hitoshi stands and moves closer, crouching down to look Izuku in the eyes. “She’d come after me, and she’d find you. You’re nice,” he says, “So just go home.

Izuku’s body turns around and starts moving away from Hitoshi no matter how hard he struggles to stop. No, no! I don’t want to leave! Hitoshi-kun!!

Izuku is too busy trying to turn around that he doesn’t see the road coming up. He doesn’t feel his body step down. He doesn’t see the green light or cars racing by.

But he does hear when Hitoshi strangles a shout and feels when the back of his coat is grabbed and he’s yanked out of the way with a ragged gasp. His umbrella lays broken on the ground long after Izuku regains his breath.

“See,” he pants, soaked and sprawled out on the sidewalk as people continue walking on by. “You’re not a villain.”

It takes a while before their laughter dies out and Hitoshi accepts his hand to lead them home. They tell his mom everything as soon as they are dried off, and a week later Madame C is finally arrested.

Shinso Hitoshi joins the Midoriya household not long after that.

*…**…**…**…**…**…*

They both get sick.

*…**…**…**…**…**…*

“I refuse to use that man’s quirk!” Todoroki states, eyes burning with ice. “I will become the best hero using only my mother’s side.”

Izuku groans, banging his head mentally against his skull. ““Not this shit again.”” Hitoshi is cackling somewhere about ‘nosy-bitties,’ Izuku just knows it.

~~_~~_~part NINE~_~~_~~
Hero for the Fallen

“You really showed up.”

“I don’t play hard to get.
I play hard to get rid of.”
**********

Tags for this idea:

Relationships~ #Dabi & Midoriya Izuku, #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead & Dabi

Characters~ #Dabi (My Hero Academia), #Midoriya Izuku, #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, #Shigaraki Tomura | Shimura Tenko

Additional Tags~ #Suicide, Suicide Notes, #Undercover Dabi, #Dabi is Todoroki Touya

**********

The sight was familiar. Painfully so.

You really showed up, again.” Dabi groans, leaning heavily against the frame of his door. The old wood creaks under his shoulder, a sound that slices right through his soul.

But it’s nothing compared to– “I don’t play hard to get,” the annoyance giggles, pushing up on his toes. “I play hard to get rid of!”

“Kid, I’ve said this before and I don’t want to have to say it again. Just go home.

“Boo,” Izuku pouts, adjusting his obnoxiously yellow bag higher on his shoulder since one strap seems to have broken. Again. This kid goes through way too many backpacks for how many years Dabi has been seeing his fluffy green hair. “You’re no fun.”

Dabi pulls the door open despite his words and the middle-schooler bounds in. “Then why do you keep coming every day if I’m so boring?”

Izuku shrugs, planting his ass down on Dabi’s couch like he owns the place. He should make the kid start paying rent at this point, then maybe he could actually save money to move out of this dump.

“I like you.”

“Horrible decision, really.”

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Kid–

“Hard to get rid of~” Izuku sings, plopping down on his couch. He looks like the wind was particularly rough toward his eyes. The building has been creaking more today…

“So what’d you do yesterday?”

Dabi groans, swatting his head hard enough to send him jerking forward. “Had some goddamn peace and quiet for once. It was a bloody miracle, no Midoriya harping me.”

Izuku rubs his head, slowly moving back upright. His shoulders have gone tense, hair shadowing his eyes. Dabi flinches back a step, past and present warring behind his eyelids. Too familiar.

“You… you okay there, kid?” Dabi forces out, holding onto that air of casual interest instead of allowing the worry to seep in. Gotta keep his image, even if Izuku can see through it by now.

“Oh,” Izuku stutters, eyes darting wildly as if looking for an escape as his shoulders hunch by his ears. “Um, yeah. Just tired is all, I’m fine.”

Dabi has never seen worse lying in his life. Honestly, how has this kid’s adoring mother not noticed by now? With how he talks of her…

“I’ve got some drinks in the fridge if ya want one,” Dabi sighs, falling back on the chair. He barely conceals a wince as springs dig into his ass. How Izuku simply flops back is sorcery. He swears it has to be his quirk, his pain tolerance can only be a quirk with how his life sounds.

Izuku giggles, bounding to his feet as he darts into the kitchen. The kid is going to eat him out of his stash of Mighty Juice bottles he refuses to admit to anyone that he buys just for the kid.

“Midoriya! Grab me a beer while you’re in there would you!?”

“You’re going to kill yourself with this stuff,” Izuku whines back. “Blek!”

Oh, if only that was what would kill me, in the end, Dabi thinks while covering it by laughing uproariously when Izuku creeps out as if his mother was going to appear out of thin air simply for holding the beer can.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

What were you fucking thinking, you goddamn idiot!” Dabi roars, shaking Izuku’s shoulders the second he knocked on his door and it can be thrown open. “You could’ve gotten yourself killed, asshole!

Izuku blinks blearily at him, eyes dull.

Dabi lets him go.

Izuku doesn’t do so much as a step further into the apartment.

Maybe he would have stopped there, if he hadn’t watched Izuku throw himself at a villain on television the other day, no way to check up on him when the media only mentioned him once.

Maybe if he had been a bit more rational. But he wasn’t. He was scared and panicking and blind to it all.

He should’ve noticed. Maybe–

“Fucker!” Dabi hisses, flames licking his fingers. “What’s your excuse, Midoriya?! What could you possibly say to make this all go away!!!”

“The heroes weren’t doing anything,” Izuku whispers. “Kacchan– I just–”

“Shut the fuck up!” Dabi seethes, spinning on his heel so he could slam his fist into the wall instead of Izuku’s thick skull. For the friend that always teases him, really!? That’s why– “You could’ve died, do you understand that!?”

Izuku remains stubbornly silent. Dabi doesn’t see that he’s biting his lip to keep from sobbing. He could he when he’s turned away and clenching them shut.

“Get the fuck out.”

“What?” Izuku whispers, voice cracking.

“You heard me!” Dabi growls, staring at his split knuckles and imagining Izuku’s body bleeding out. So he grits it out– grits out the worst words he can think so it rids him of the image. “Get the fuck out until you can think about everyone else, you selfish fuck!”

There’s a moment of silence where Dabi thinks Izuku will ignore him altogether like he usually does. But then there’s the unmistakable sound of his door slamming shut and shoes hitting the floor disappearing.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Izuku doesn’t show up the following day.
Dabi writes it off as Izuku resting, or his mom freaking out still.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Izuku doesn’t come after three days.
Dabi is tense.
Izuku has never missed so many days in a row.
He writes it off as Izuku actually thinking things over. The kid will get lost in his head for hours.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Dabi truly starts worrying a week in.
Still no Izuku.

*……*

10 Days

*……*

13 Days

*……*

15 Days
16 Days
17 Days

*……*

20 Days

*……*

The letter arrives on the cusp of the fourth week.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Dear Dabi,

I’d like to thank you, first off. I feel like I need to get that out of the way. Not that thanking you is a chore, of course! Okay, let’s just ignore that, yeah? I’ve run out of paper. This is the twentieth letter I’ve written. It still won’t be perfect, but I don’t think it ever will. If I tried to make it perfect It’d take years.

I know you never wanted to share your real name with me, and that’s okay. You let me, despite how much you disliked it, you let me get to know the real you.

I was not so nice.

You see, my name IS Midoriya Izuku, but I’m quirkless.

I have been all my life, obviously. There’s no way I could lose my quirk. And I forced you to hang out with me for years. It wasn’t fair to you, to trick you into hanging out with me as if I were normal. I’m just Deku.

I guess I’m here to do a lot of apologizing, aren’t I?

I’m sorry.

I tried. I tried so hard to be happy. I tried to ignore what everyone said to me about my dreams, about my chances in life, and my worth. But… the saying is to never meet your idol in real life. I guess I forgot that.

It wasn’t anyone’s fault.

I can’t place the blame on others, that would be selfish. No one is forcing me to do what I plan to. I’m still being pretty selfish though, aren’t I? I made sure no one would get blamed. Made absolute sure.

Because by the time you read this letter I won’t be around anymore.

Yeah, I won’t bother you anymore. I know you hated when I did. I wasn’t all bad though, was I? I’d like to think I wasn’t too bad, since you were the one person I didn’t feel so horrible around… that I didn’t have to hide so much for.

And you had to have been a little worried to scold me like that.

Oh gosh, that makes it sound like I’m blaming you again. I’m not. It was little things, no one person or one thing. Just biology. Me.

I live in Musutafu, building 2 on ____ _________, apartment __. If you could just check up on my mom. Just once is all I ask. She takes things pretty hard, and… well, we’ve always been big cryers. I could hide so much from you, but never that.

I think that’s all I have. I don’t want to bore you, and if I keep going I might never stop. This is my final goodbye, Dabi. I hope you live well.

Sincerely, Midoriya

“IZUKU!!”

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

“And why do you want to join us?”

Dabi glares at the mist man, Kuro-whats-it. Dabi couldn’t care less. He’s on a mission.

He has a spiel he’s supposed to say, an act to follow. He just grinds his teeth and holds back his tears.

“Because my best friend wanted nothing more than to be a hero, but he was shot down and ground into the dirt by society and people who should have helped him. Bullied to the point of death! The idea behind heroes did that to him, because All Might is number one, and shitty heroes began flocking in. Because he set such a single-minded message to everyone! And I want all these fakes to burn.

“Heh.”

Dabi narrows his eyes further, watching the so-called ‘Boss’ finally get up from his seat. The blonde bimbo at his side looks shocked, like she hadn’t expected him to have much conviction at all. Not that she did either so rude much?

But it’s good to know he dressed the part.

“See, Kurogiri, this is who we need for our team. What’d you say your name was?”

“Dabi.”

“Your real name?”

“Dabi.”

Shigaraki, he knows, rolls his eyes behind that hand. Dabi doesn’t like how it feels.

It feels like Izuku.

“Well, it looks like you’re in, Dabi, to the League of Villains.”

Screw you.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

“What’s the news, Dabi?”

Dabi winces at the dry voice in his ear. Stupid ass communication device. “Fuck off old man, I said I’d contact you when I got something. I haven’t.”

Eraserhead sighs heavily. Dabi feels for him, he really does. His class (fucking Bakugo is in there!! Fucker.) was attacked by these assholes and his students were nearly killed. He was nearly killed.

Then one of them had to rub salt in the wounds by nearly getting himself killed and out of the hero business altogether because of injuries when he went to fight Stain.

It must suck ass to practically be forced into retirement when your kids need you most.

Dabi leans against his couch, eyeing the untouched spot. “I don’t know, just some recruits. Came in after the Stain shit. Worked well enough for me, I guess. There’s three of them so far, I’m meeting the rest in a few days. We’re going to be some elite team, I guess. I’ll give you more then.”

“Okay. About what you said to them–”

“Bullshit outta my ass, Aizawa.”

“The friend… don’t blame yourself for what happened, kid. It doesn’t do anyone any good in the long run, trust m–”

Dabi shuts the line down.

His eyes burn.

Izuku never got to be a hero, and while Dabi is certainly no hero, he can at least do this. Maybe his motivation is a little twisted, but infiltration means he doesn’t have to sit idly by. He’s not a hero, not even a little. That’s why it’s so perfect.

He’ll never be looked at with suspicion. He’ll make Izuku proud.

And hey, he now has an invisible suit that helps decrease the shock effects of his quirk so yay on that. Izuku would be happy to hear that.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*
i was always proud of you, and i always will be…… Touya







and maybe i can still do something from the afterlife. just don’t join me before i can

~~_~~_~part TEN~_~~_~~
Orders

“You can’t tell me what to do!”
**********

Tags for this idea:

Relationships~ #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead & Midoriya Izuku, #Midoriya Izuku & Yagi Toshinori | All Might

Characters~ #Midoriya Izuku, #Aizawa Shouta | Eraserhead, Nedzu (My Hero Academia), Yagi Toshinori | All Might

Additional Tags~ #Child Death, #One for All Quirk, #Dead Midoriya Izuku, #Ghost Midoriya Izuku, #Lore

**********

“You’re not the boss of me, you can’t tell me what to do anymore! I’m dead! I’m not even Midoriya anymore, not really!”

The petulant words hang in the open air, translucent arms were thrown high into the air as the boy floats. The boy is dressed in tattered rags and his back and front have matching blood-stains. He’s just as he was in the bitter end.

The man clad in black stares, hair defying gravity and eyes piercing red. “Or, in reality, I’m always going to be able to tell you what to do since, other than your mother, I am still your only other legal guardian at the time of your…”

He can’t get the word out, but he doesn’t need to. Deku’s glowing green eyes widen all the same. “Shit.”

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

On that fateful day, the Yukaza known as the Eight Precepts of Death was defeated, the world mourned the loss of their heroes. Not only Sir Nighteye: Sasaki Mirai but also aspiring hero Deku: Midoriya Izuku.

~~~~~~

It wouldn’t be until what would have been his third year that Izuku would interact with the living once again.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

“So, this is a… a what?”

Shota sighs, looking at Yagi and refraining from rubbing his temples only thanks to exposure therapy. “This was your quirk, how do you not know?”

“I think it’s always been different for me,” Midoriya pipes in, floating half-way in the couch and not seeming to realize. Nezu, Shota and Midoriya kindly don’t point out the noticeable flinch and blood from Yagi when he startled. “A little closer to the surface, I guess? New developments.”

“Would you care to explain in further detail, Midoriya-kun?”

“Oh, of course,” he says. “I guess it wasn’t too bad when I was alive–” collective wince collectively ignored “–because it was just a few dreams as far as I knew. Easily written off, though I was going to tell you eventually. But it’s been… it’s been weird since I’ve d–”

“Please don’t say it, my boy.”

Midoriya ducks down, eyes pinned to the floor. “Right, sorry. Um, anyway. It was acting strangely after. One second I was running with Eri and something connected with my back, and then I blinked and I was on the ground and I didn’t feel any pain so I got up but Eri wasn’t in my arms anymore and… well, you know the rest.”

“Indeed,” Nezu says, tone unusually soft.

Midoriya plows forward. “Well, I didn’t try using my quirk at first, obviously. But when I did, trying to catch Sero after his arms got broken mid-swing, I suddenly… well, I was viewing everything from Toshinori’s eyes.”

What!?” Yagi chokes out, eyes widening.

Shota doesn’t know if he should account for that outburst to the revelation or Midoriya’s casual use of his given name.

Midoriya seems to take it as the quirk. “Yeah! That’s what I thought!

Of course, it was more like looking at a screen, if that makes sense. I was in this large room and that’s where I met the others–”

Others!?

Midoriya hums, continuing his pacing no matter what gets in his way. Shota has to repress a shudder when Midoriya fazes through him. “The other One for All holders! They explained a lot, and I can’t tell you everything right now because it took about five months to get it all down and you guys don’t exactly have that time to spare. It was honestly a good thing I died before passing it on, though!”

Shota closes his eyes. He can’t watch Midoriya light up at that fact, can’t stand to watch the look on Yagi’s face.

Midoriya plows forward again. “I was the breaking point. If I had passed it on, my successor would have blow up! Splat! There was just too much power stored over nine holders for the mortal body to handle any more. If I had stayed, my peak would’ve been only forty-five percent before bones broke. That was just the limit, no human body would be able to handle more at this point.”

Midoriya doesn’t seem to recognize the havoc his words are raving as he speaks.

“But as a spirit, my body can’t break anymore! You’ll be happy about that, sensei!”

Shota manages to choke out “Thrilled.” without sounding too wreaked.

Midoriya beams, launching across the room with a familiar spark of green. He’s hugging him.

“Let go of me.”

“Nope. Spirits, our lot have no personal boundaries.”

“That’s an order, problem child.”

Midoriya laughs as he lets go, waving his hand. “No need for the orders, sensei. Heard you loud and clear!”

“And yet, I recall a distinct lack of listening.”

“Heh.”

Shota smiles, twisting the edges into something that hides the shattered edges. “Good to have you back, Deku.”

Deku beams back, eyes lighting up brilliantly as he blips out of view. Shota turns around to find the kid across the ridiculously large meeting room, throwing the door open with a sudden burst of black whip-like things from his arms.

“C’mon! I want to say hi to everyone again!”

Midoriya blips again and he’s gone, but this time the burst of wind nearly sends Shota toppling out of his seat.

“That’s a very bad idea,” Yagi points out in a strained voice.

“Yes, it is.”

Shota bolts to his feet and follows after the kid who is piling on a whole lot of shit already.

He’s getting too old for this.

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Deku pouts, arms over his chest and floating well over Shota’s head.

“I don’t see why I can’t at least say hello to them.”

“You really want to scar them more?”

Midoriya winces, sinking lower. Shota admits that’s a slightly low blow, but he doesn’t take it back.

“No… but you can’t try to convince me they’ve all moved on and are healing because I never left.

“Of course not, but we need you here, not there. It would be cruel to show yourself and then leave immediately after.”

Midoriya is level now, face slightly angled toward him.

“I know.”

“Come on,” Shota jokes. “Midoriya, don’t make me order you to stay away.”

Midoriya whirls on him, eyes wide with panic. “No!”

Shota jerks back to avoid sharing space with the kid. Midoriya backs up, but the damage was done.

“What haven’t you told us?”

“…Spirits– you know they work on different laws and…”

“Spit it out, kid.”

“Orders hold more weight than I let on.”

*…**…**…**……**…**…**…*

Spirits are unique in that they do not, under normal circumstances, occupy their own space or wander freely. Normally they are tied to a person and that person solely until they then die. They can then choose to pass on or remain within another person when this occurs.

When sharing space, they act as a semi-consciousness. A voice in the back of your head, if you will. They don’t hold any sway over your body or mind. Merely a shade of what they used to be.

However, there was one case. One of generations. This case was of a family whose quirks allowed them to harness spirits in every possible way imaginable.

These were achieved by Orders.

Of course, spirits were easier to Order when they had a tie to you in life or were your kin or already sharing your space. Guardianship for adults to their deceased child, and parental ties for the opposite effect. Familial ties were all-powerful. They were a vice that squeezed any free-will from the spirit as long as the wielder so chose.

On the other side, non-familial ties were more of a strongly-worded suggestion, which could be ignored if the spirit refuses or the wielder is weak-willed or weak-minded.

But an Order refused, by one fully bound instead of half, would burn away at their essence if they disobeyed. The most powerful electric shock. A blistering, festering pain so strong it blots out all reason and fills them to the brim, chains the to the action and the harder they struggle the quicker they fray from the inside out.

Because the burnt were ghosts of spirits. Shells, cracked and dull, shaded grey and unrecognizable. Hardly human. Deformed. Listless.

You could see them, if you look hard enough. They orbit misery and often suffer for the rest of eternity– unable to pass on even if they wished it with all their core.

Ah, cores. Fascinating things they are. They shine through eyes, windows to souls. And ghosts… their cores have faded completely, leaving nothing but voids behind. Cores are also tied to quirks, though most aren’t used when you’re a spirit.

To lose your core is to lose access to your quirk control and thus it spits at random frames of time and shifts the mortal plane in fractions.

……But an empty quirk, and empty core… it leads to a vacuum. Ghosts orbit misery, as said before, but they also cause many bad emotions. They enhance them. And ghosts at this stage will eat away at life forces if they attach to them.

Ghosts are dangerous.

And they are very, very real and you’d never see them if you weren’t looking or didn’t know they existed. This is over ninety-nine percent of the human population.

You can’t fight them when living, and you don’t dare think of them as a spirit. They are taboo. They are shunned.

And one day…

One day they will rise, and there will be nothing anyone will be able to do about them. Not from their prisons of flesh and prison of mortality.