Chapter 1: i want waffles
Izuku startled from his daze, where he had been staring out of the window during class. He jerked upright in his seat and turned his gaze to the front of the classroom, ignoring the stares from the rest of his class.
He could feel Bakugou’s glare burning a hole through his skull.
His teacher - Mr. Yagisaki - let out a heavy sigh and rolled his eyes, before adjusting his glasses again.
“I said - can you give me a brief summary of how quirks came into existence?”
Izuku blinked hard.
“Well, uh, sir - nothing has been confirmed-“
“We are,” Mr. Yagisaki grunted out, “well aware that the exact source of quirks is unable to be discerned. Even so, what is the widely accepted theory on such?”
Izuku swallowed and felt his face burn in embarrassment.
He heard a girl on the other end of the class giggle.
“Yes, uh, well the origin of quirks is distinctly demonic in nature, which can be proven by the substantial demonic energy output found-“
Izuku felt his jaw tighten.
“It is believed that a cult invoked a particularly powerful demon and the demon managed to manifest a physical form, resulting in a massive shockwave of demonic energy which altered the human genome at a fundamental level, resulting in the advanced evolutionary feature we refer to as quirks.”
There was a silence in the class, before the students broke out in a muttered whispering. Izuku took his eyes away from Yagisaki’s form and met Bakugou’s eyes.
His red eyes glinted in the sunlight.
Izuku broke eye contact and looked down at his notebook, which was filled with diagrams and notes on the connection between quirks and demonology.
A thought broke out, and he felt himself scribble it onto the paper before he fully realized what he was thinking.
Could I invoke a demon to gain a quirk?
Izuku blinked hard, before shutting his notebook with a slam.
It was ludicrous.
It was illegal.
Izuku jumped when the bell rang.
He grabbed his bag quickly and yanked it up onto his desk, before shoving his notebooks into the bag and sitting up.
He collected his stuff and made his way out of the classroom, making his way to his last class - second floor, room 3.
He pushed through the crowd, being jostled back in forth, before reaching the stairs and darting up them.
As he reached the top, his left shoulder slammed into someone else, and suddenly he was falling and-
At last moment, he dropped his bag and grabbed the hand rail, watching his bag fall down the stairs and fuck his books were going everywhere.
At least he didn't fall.
He looked up to who he impacted, and met an unfamiliar face and broad shoulders - probably plays a sport.
“Watch where you're going, freak.”
The kid frowned, before getting an ugly look on his face, twisting it into something cruel.
“You’re the kid who’s obsessed with demons, aintcha?”
“N-no! I just-“
Before Izuku had the chance to deny it, the kid melded into a crowd of unfamiliar faces.
He stumbled down the stairway, the halls clearing as it neared the beginning of the final period.
He reached a pile of papers with footprints and dirt covering them at the bottom of the stairwell, and he hastily shoved them back into his bag, and ran up the stairs and towards his class.
He had barely made it through the doorway when the bell rang, but thankfully the class was still unruly so he managed to slip to his seat near the back without notice.
Finally, the teacher came in and calmed the class down.
He started talking about some inane stuff, mostly nonsense that Izuku didn't need to hear, so he tuned him out and opened his notebook again, flipping to a new page.
He started writing absentmindedly, a basic analysis of what he had seen of Mount Lady and Kamui Woods from that morning, and before he knew it papers were flying in the air and everyone was screaming and quirks were going off everywhere.
He looked up just as Bakugou started to brag about applying to UA, and he felt himself tense up because -
“Say, Midoriya, aren't you applying for UA too?” His teacher, Izuku decided, sucked.
“Well, uh, actually it’s just-“
Bakugou’s head whipped around like an apex predator who just caught a whiff of its favorite snack, but his face was twisted in anger and Izuku knew that he would probably be going home with a burn or two that day.
Bakugou shouted and roared, did all his usual taunting - a quirkless nothing like you, getting into UA? - and the rest of his class laughed and joined in.
Izuku bowed his head and stuttered out his excuses, feeling something ugly shifting in his stomach and wanting nothing more for them to shut up-
Then the bell rang, and the laughter died and the class shuffled out of the room.
Izuku didn't bother getting up, just moved to put his notebook into his bag.
Then the notebook was snatched and Izuku looked up at Bakugou, whose hands were sparking and who had his notebook and it was burning and Izuku felt a little flare of hatred well up inside him because who does he think he is?
It must’ve showed on his face, though, because Bakugou’s eyes narrowed and he leaned in close to Izuku and stared for a moment with those cruel red eyes.
“A quirkiness nothing like you getting into UA? Please, don't make me laugh,” Bakugou said, his face smiling but his eyes not, “If you want a quirk so badly, why not take a dive off the roof and pray you have better luck next time?”
Izuku tensed up. His jaw clicked.
Bakugou stood up and began to walk away.
“After all,” Bakugou said, stopping by the entrance and twisting his head to look at him, “It isn't like anyone would miss you, huh?”
Then he left.
Izuku was suffocating.
The villain - the slime monster - was all around him, was pressing in, was going inside him.
The villain was forcing himself down Izuku’s throat, and Izuku couldn't breathe but he was powerless to stop this and -
He was dying.
It was like burning iron against his skin, branding his soul, to realize that he was going to die here, alone, and that this sicko was going to take his body and was violating it.
Izuku wanted to scream.
He felt black spots fill his vision.
Right before he passed away into nothingness, he heard -
“I AM HERE!”
Then, everything went black.
When he woke up, he felt the slime still covering his throat and he retched, his body rejecting the foreign object.
He convulsed over and over again, expelling his breakfast and lunch and stomach acid to get rid of the violation and when he finally finished he couldn't find the strength to stand and he collapsed in the puddle of his own filth. He closed his eyes.
He breathed in.
He breathed out.
He opened his eyes.
All Might’s wide smile was above him.
Izuku smiled, because what the fuck this was his childhood hero and he had just saved him.
“Are you all right, kid?” All Might boomed, his voice gentle and reassuring despite how loud it was.
“Y-yeah, uh, but-“
“I will have to be taking my leave, then! I must return this villain to police custody!” All Might said, already striding towards the exit of the tunnel.
Izuku swallowed hard.
“W-wait! I have to ask you a question!” He said, pushing himself to his feet, his palm against the wall to prop him up.
“I am very sorry, I really must be going-“
“Can someone become a hero without a quirk?” When Izuku said it, it was just a whisper but it felt like screaming.
All Might paused from his crouch, but did not turn around.
“…without a quirk?”
“Well it’s just that I've always wanted to help people and I don't want to be helpless like just now but I was born with the extra toe joint and I don't have a quirk but-“
“I am so sorry, kid.”
“I just really want- wait, what?”
All Might wasn't looking at him.
“Being a hero without a quirk is… it’s just too risky. It’s a danger to both yourself and those you wish to help.”
Izuku wondered if this is what heartache meant.
This tension in his chest, this pain that filled every part of him but had no wound that he could fix. The tightness in his throat, the burning in his eyes, the weight of his limbs.
“-again, I am so sorry, kid, but I really must be going.”
Just like that, accompanied by a blast of wind, All Might was gone, leaving Izuku alone in that tunnel with just his notebooks, slime, and his broken dreams.
Izuku felt his legs shake, and then he fell onto his knees because he couldn't support his own weight.
When he got home, it was to silence.
He wandered the house, marveling at the silence because his mom was usually always home, when he made his way to the kitchen and spotted a note on the table.
Went out to get some milk, will bring some takeout home for dinner. Love you!
Izuku sighed, before crumpling the paper and tossing it into the trash.
He made his way into his room and dropped his bag by his door, plopping down at his desk and leaning back.
Slowly, he reached for his laptop and opened it, letting it power up, before flicking over to a search engine and pulling up one of his favorites, All Might’s premier video.
The screen turned red from the flames of the scene, people screaming for help and the destroyed remains of the building a sharp contrast to the fire.
Then All Might came on, saying his tagline.
Izuku stifled a sob.
A tear drifted down his cheek, before falling down onto his lap. Then the video was finished, and Izuku saw his reflection in the black screen.
His eyes were bloodshot, and they seemed so… empty.
Izuku stared for a moment, and then he let out a choked sigh and grabbed his bag.
He needed something to do.
He couldn't just sit there.
He couldn't just be-
Izuku didn't register pushing himself out of his desk chair, didn't see himself rear his arm back and throw his book bag at the wall, didn't hear himself scream because what was he supposed to do?
Then he fell to his knees.
Before him, on the carpeted floor of his room, his notebooks were scattered open just like on that stairway.
Right in front of him was his Quirk History book, and he went to grab it and put it away when his eyes snagged on a familiar sentence, a familiar idea that was utterly insane and totally illegal.
Izuku traced the lettering - could I invoke a demon to gain a quirk?
He was already a freak, the boy at the stairwell told him so.
He was already useless, Bakugou told him so.
He couldn't be a hero, All Might told him so.
Maybe, though, just maybe, he could change that.
Quirks were just demonic energy manifesting itself in the human genome due to its impressive ability to adapt and change.
Quirks weren't evil.
So, if it was a one off thing…
He just needed a quirk.
Nothing too big, nothing too powerful.
If he did it right, he could get away with his soul and no lingering contract over his head.
If he did it right, he could help people, could save people, could become a hero.
He could prove All Might - prove Bakugou and the boy on the stairs - wrong.
He didn't have anything to lose, not really.
This was his life.
He was nothing without a quirk.
Izuku made his way to his computer, opened a new page in his notebook, and clicked his pen.
He had nothing to lose, and everything to gain, right?
So he wrote, and he planned.
First things first - what demon would he go for?
He needed one that was… more open to bribery, one that he could try and trick or convince that it would be interesting to give him his wish.
Issue is, most demonology texts are only available if you take Demonology in university, and Izuku was very much planning on heroics, not university.
So he had to make due with what was on the internet and at his library.
Meaning, not a lot.
They were all too weak to have the power to alter his very genetics, or they would need a sacrifice that Izuku either couldn't or wouldn't made.
(Though, passing the pet shop and the shelter, he considered it for a beat.)
One day, though, passing through an alley as a shortcut to try and escape Bakugou’s lingering eyes, his eyes caught on a book hidden under some trash.
It was filthy, covered in dirt and other things, but Izuku managed to wipe off most of the trash from the cover and was met with intricate, twisting golden lines that formed archaic symbols that looped together.
Fire and Flame; The Art of Sacrifice
And, shoot, that sounded interesting.
So he stuffed it into his book bag and when he got home snuck his way upstairs and cracked it open.
Reading it, he figured that it was owned by either a college student or a cult, because those are the only people who were stupid enough to carry around demonology texts and then lose them.
Ignoring that, the book detailed how the high-mid tier demons used fire to seal deals for the most part, the fire usually taking on a signature and unnatural color, and these were binding.
It was impossible to even attempt to break the deals, unlike the low ones where you could try but it usually didn't end well.
So, a little scary, but whatever.
It also gave a list of of demons with this characteristic and a basic description of them.
That’s where he stumbled upon his pick for the summoning.
He’s known for hating heroes, but he has a… sense of humor. He likes to hear people out, basically, and usually doesn't ask for animal sacrifices or the summoner’s soul.
The type of demon traditional summoners ignore, because they're iffy and usually too powerful. That cults don't summon them because, well, eccentric demons are hard to make their god.
The ones not necessarily looking for a fair deal or for power, but for some fun.
Izuku could do eccentric.
Izuku grinned - he finally had an idea of what he was doing, for real.
Where in hell would he do the summoning?
He didn't have a basement, all of their house’s rooms were carpet.
The only place he could think of was school but-
It looked like Izuku was due for some after-school studying.
Chapter 2: its 2:30 AM
Izuku meets Dabi, nearly dies, cries, and talks during class.
If you don't know, my updating is not consistent at all but since this is a new story it should be updating at least once a week. Of course, summer plans might interfere with that so you never know.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
In hindsight, Izuku really should've done a bit more planning on what he wanted rather than how to get it.
That Friday night, when his mother went to sleep, Izuku snuck onto the school roof and settled down his supplies.
His journal with the summoning circle and basic guidelines, unscented candles, chalk, a lighter, and his courage.
That was it.
So he set up the circle and got ready. When he sketched out the pentagram with the archaic symbols twisting along the rings and the inner star, speaking of power older than the mountains and of protections more ancient than the stars, he stood in front of it and shivered as a breeze swept across the roof.
This was it.
This was his last chance to turn back.
He could wash the circle away, throw the candles in the trash and forget about it.
He could turn away from this.
Izuku closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.
“Watch where you're going, freak.”
“If you want a quirk so badly, why not take a dive off the roof and pray you have better luck next time?”
“Being a hero without a quirk is… it’s just too risky. It’s a danger to both yourself and those you wish to help.”
Izuku exhaled and opened his eyes, green blazing in the candlelight.
“Falsorum Deorum, salvum me fac ex sainthood et glorificent peccata mea, ego vocare-“
The wind swirled, the shadows cast by the candles stretched, the trees shook, and then…
Then everything stopped, and it was all normal, calm.
“D-did I do it wrong? I could've sworn that-“
“Oh,” a voice suddenly called out, “You did it perfectly.”
In front of him was a man - were demons supposed to look like that? - that stood much taller than Izuku, not that it would matter since he was reclining in the middle of the air. His dark hair was the same color as the sky, a dark navy, and his body was marred in expansive scarring. He wore plain black clothes, with a few decorative chains.
All in all, he looked almost normal.
“What’s wrong kid, you forget how to talk?” Dabi asked, floating around in the summoning circle curiously, before poking the outer ring and hissing when his finger burned.
“O-oh, uhm, okay well…”
“Get on with it, kid, what do you want?” Dani asked, his face bored, “Riches? Servitude? Ladies? Luck-?”
“I want a quirk.” Izuku said.
“…a quirk?” Dabi asked, a grin lighting up his face, “You summoned me even though you're quirkless?”
Izuku didn't answer - that was the first rule of demons. Don't give away too much information.
“I want a quirk, and I want to make a deal with you for one,” Izuku said, “What is your price?”
Dabi hummed, “What kinda quirk you want, kid?”
“Uh, well, I didn't really-“
“You didn't think about it before you summoned me?” Dabi snorted, “You’re wasting my time.”
Izuku felt his mouth go dry.
“I- uh- wait!” Dabi turned to look at Izuku, “Thats what I’ll give you.”
Dabi stared blankly at Izuku. “Huh?”
“I’ll let you pick what my quirk is.”
Dabi kept staring at Izuku for a few beats, not comprehending at first. Slowly, a smile stretched his face, unnaturally wide and showing too many teeth.
Izuku shivered. His voice sounded like static, like the constant noise of the world amplified, like a million whispered voices melding together.
“Just… any quirk.”
“I’ll make this deal on one condition,” Dabi said, leaning forward till he was inches away from Izuku’s face, the protective circle being the only thing separating them. His blue eyes shone like shards of broken crystal.
“W-what do you want?”
“I want to be able to hang around you.” Dabi said, a lazy smirk on his face. “No physical form, no way I can harm you or anyone else without being summoned again, just a mental apparition so I can watch what you do.”
Izuku swallowed hard, before narrowing his eyes.
“Why do you want that?”
“I think you'll be fun.”
Izuku groaned. Eccentric, huh?
“A quirk of your choosing in exchange for you being able to follow me in a mental, non-physical form?”
“Yep,” Dabi said, being raising his right hand. It hung in the air for a second before lighting up in blue flames.
“It’s a ḓ̤̲̹͋̇̉͊͜e̤͓̰̘̭͕͡a̧͙̰̬̳͎͊ͨͩ̄ͅl͓̮͉̘̞̅̊̑͂ͤ͆̑?”
Izuku closed his eyes for a moment, before opening them again and grasping Dabi’s hand.
There was a pinprick of pain on his wrist, and then the light died and Dabi disappeared, and all that was left to prove that all that had happened was the summoning circle, the smell of smoke covering the air, and a tiny marking of blue ink in the shape of a flame on his wrist.
“Great.” Izuku said, “I have a quirk.”
“What the hell is my quirk and how do I use it?”
A week passed and nothing happened and Izuku was getting just a tad bit nervous.
There were just a little over nine months until the UA Entrance Exam, and Izuku had no clue of how his quirk worked.
The only clues came from his dreams, visions of damnation of flames and of kings that questioned God and payed the price.
He dreamt of indescribable creatures that stretched as big as galaxies and whose skin shifted between flesh and metal and rock and dirt and stone and who had a trillions teeth and claws and eyes that were as big as planets.
Safe to say, nothing that could help him much.
That was, until tonight. He fell asleep like normal, and dreamt of the impossible and eldritch, until suddenly he was in a traditional Japanese room. He made his way to a cushion and drank out of a floating cup of green tea.
This was normal compared to his other dreams.
Suddenly, though, Dabi was in the room, staring out of the room and blue flames licking at his hands.
Dabi turned to look at Izuku, before grinning that awful smile that betrayed how many teeth he really had.
“Oh, hey. Didn't expect to see you here, kid.”
Izuku blinked slowly.
“What is ‘here’?”
Dabi chucked, before floating over to where Izuku was sitting, yanking a curl of hair out of his head.
“This is the place I exist whenever I’m not being summoned.”
“Your… home?” Izuku questioned, his head quirking to the side.
“Perhaps, before I became what I am.”
Dabi looked down at Izuku from above him, his face slackening.
“It doesn't matter anymore. Why haven't you tried out your quirk yet?” Dabi asked, a curious tone leaking into his voice.
“I- uh, dont know how to.”
“Of course,” Dabi reached up to his face and pinched the bridge of his nose before sighing, “You don't know what a having a quirk is like since you were quirkless.”
“Try meditating - make sure to do it outside, though.”
Dabi smirked, “You’ll see.”
Then Izuku woke up in a cold sweat, breathing strangely heavy for having just been dreaming.
Lucid dreaming with a demon was, Izuku decided, one of the strangest things he'd ever done.
Nevertheless, Izuku woke up early the next Saturday and went out for a walk, wandering around town to find a good place to meditate. He passed by a garbage-filled beach, thought about it, and then caught a whiff of it and decided that he could find another place.
Which was how he ended up on the roof of a hotel.
Izuku looked around and sighed.
The view was nice, at the least, but probably not worth getting past security.
Putting that aside, Izuku shrugged out of his backpack and pulled out a pillow - hey, he wasn't going to be uncomfortable - and then promptly sat down.
Thing is, he had no clue how to meditate.
Izuku sat for a few moments, trying to clear his mind, but it always drifted back to the katsudon his mother was making that night.
Eventually gave up and laid down and stared at the sky, watching the clouds move until he realized that the sky was being dyed purple and orange, the sun setting in the distance.
Izuku closed his eyes, exhaled, and then everything fell away.
Suddenly he was in his room again, sitting on his bed instead of that roof, and Izuku looked around in surprise.
Izuku stood up and walked around the house, marveling at the complete accuracy, before he noticed something.
Everything was in grayscale.
Everything, except him and a picture of him in All Might pajamas in the living room - his favorite picture.
He reached out to touch it, and as his fingers brushed the edge of the frame, he started to burn alive.
He jolted awake on that roof, feeling the sensation of his flesh bubbling and melting and his throat going raw from the screaming and the smoke.
He felt something like snow beneath him, and looked down to see his hands covered in ash.
That was his favorite pillow, man.
Izuku looked at his hands curiously.
He recalled the brief surge of power he had felt when he brushed the picture in his mind, the rushing power that had consumed every part of him until he couldn't breathe, couldn't think.
With a stunning clarity, he understood.
A bright green flame sprung into life, licking at his hands.
The inked flame on his wrist flickered from blue to green.
Izuku giggled, before standing up.
Which, in hindsight, was a bad idea seeing as he was sitting on a ledge and he had been sitting down on his legs for what had to have been at least two hours.
So, when he stood up, his legs turned to jelly and suddenly he was falling, falling, falling…
Izuku wanted to yell, because this would be his luck, wouldn't it?
First he’s bullied his entire life for not having a quirk, and now when he finally gets one he tumbles to his death.
What a joke.
He laughed and he laughed until his stomach hurt and he couldn't breathe.
Why wasn't he dead yet?
Izuku looked around, tears blurring his vision, and realized-
He wasn't falling.
He was floating.
“Okay.” Izuku said, sitting at his desk later that night, “Okay.”
Izuku was, quite frankly, kinda stumped.
He had a quirk, obviously, but it was weird because he could obviously fly and had pyrokinesis.
Two unrelated quirks, seeing as he didn't fly using his fire.
Not to mention, Izuku glanced at his door which was missing a doorknob, probably enhanced strength or something.
So, what exactly did Dabi do to him?
“Glad you asked, kid.”
Izuku yelped, before promptly flailing as he fell out of his desk chair.
He refused to feel ashamed, because any reasonable person would've reacted the same if a demon of immense strength was suddenly sitting on top of their desk, leaning forward until their face was just inches from theirs.
Izuku didn't really know what to say, but the first thing that he managed to say are-
“You’re wearing a cross.”
Dabi blinked, before looking down at his chain necklace, which did indeed have a cross on it.
“Isn’t that supposed to, like, hurt?”
Like it was on cue, a wisp of smoke curled from where the cross sat against Dabi’s chest, accompanied by the faint smell of burning flesh.
“Why are you wearing it then?” Izuku asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
“…I thought it looked cool.”
Izuku and Dabi made eye contact for a moment, before Dabi burst out laughing, slapping his knee.
“You’re fun, kid, but anyway,” Dabi said, “You wanted to know what your quirk gave you?”
“I’d like to.” Izuku said, shuffling over to take a seat on his bed.
“Well, you already guess pyrokinesis and flight, and you basically figured out that it enhanced your physical capabilities. There’s also…”
Izuku leaned forward on from where he was sitting.
Izuku face planted.
“Yeah, no, that’s it. Are you disappointed?” Dabi said, his lips twisting into a pout, “Am I not good enough for you, kid?”
“No! It’s… it’s more than I’d ever hoped for, really.”
“Don’t get too sappy, kid, I might have to make you grow a third eye or something if you start treating me like one of your little human friends.”
Izuku’s smile dropped.
“Only joking!” Dabi said, smiling, “Only joking.”
That was way too many teeth.
“You… have a quirk?” Inko asked, her mouth dropping and her eyes watering.
“Does crying run in the family?” Dabi asked, floating just behind Izuku’s left shoulder.
“I, uh, mom…” Izuku said, eyes tearing up too, before lifting his hands and lighting them on fire, “I do.”
Izuku and Inko embraced, both of them spewing at what had to be an impossible stream of tears.
“It totally does.” Dabi said.
“Alright, kid, its time for you to practice and train your quirk.” Dabi said, floating around Izuku.
Izuku gritted his teeth.
“No, it isn’t,” he whispered harshly, “I’m in the middle of class!”
“I don’t care, kid-“
“Midoriya!” Mr. Yagisaki called, “Why are you talking?”
“S-sorry sir! It won’t happen again!”
Yagisaki grunted, “You see to it that it doesn’t.”
Dabi snickered, and Izuku sent a glare towards him.
“Having to go to school is so boring, kid, why can’t you just ditch again?”
Izuku sent Dabi a look, before flipping his notebook to a blank page and scribbling out a response.
I need a good record to get into UA.
“Why’re you so obsessed with being a hero anyway, kid? Most of them are-” Dabi paused, his eyebrows furrowing and his lips pressing into a line, “Well, lets just say that I don't get it.”
Of course you don’t, you're a demon.
“Fair enough,” Dabi said, letting out a chuckle, “Say, kid, why’s the kid with straw hair and red eyes lookin’ like he's about to strange you?”
Izuku glanced up and met Katsuki’s gaze, quickly flicking his eyes back down to his paper and shrinking.
He doesn't like that I’m trying to get into UA, since he wants to be the only one to get in. He thinks I’m useless.
“…useless, huh?” Dabi hummed, floating over to Katsuki with a strange look on his face.
Izuku glanced up, right before he saw Dabi plunge his hands into Katsuki’s head, passing right through harmlessly. Nonetheless, Katsuki flinched and started to look around the room like he was going to tear someone’s head off. Izuku ducked just as they made eye contact again, seeing Katsuki's face twisting into a snarl.
“Bakugou? Is something wrong?” Yagisaki called out.
Katsuki shot a glare at Izuku, probably assuming Izuku was the cause somehow, “Nothing, sir.”
“If you say so,” Yagisaki said, before turning back to the board.
Izuku glance over to Dabi, who had moved on to tickling this poor girl’s neck, before turning to look at the front and smiling.
Maybe he wouldn't mind Dabi sticking around.
Izuku shuddered as he looked down and saw Dabi’s head poking out of his stomach, grinning up at him with too many goddamn teeth.
Another tidbit on why I chose Dabi to be the demon, aside from just liking his character, was that his flames are blue and it was a neat parallel to another little demon lad from a show that I also enjoy.
His powers are a bit more complicated, and more will be explained on what exactly the deal did - but thats a long-term plot point so...
Don't worry, I'm not just throwing around a bunch of powers and making Izuku overpowered - that would be kinda lame.
As always, please comment if you enjoyed or if you have anything you'd like to see in my story - I might just add it since I'm an impulsive writer.
Chapter 3: silence under the stars
UA Entrance Exam
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The next nine months passed by in a flash, Izuku slowly getting a grasp on his quirk. He started working out, and by the end of the nine months he had shaved all of his baby fat and had lean and wiry muscles.
Nothing compared to Katsuki, but it was something.
The day for the entrance exam came, and Izuku walked into the written testing room with his head held high.
Dabi floated by him, chewing on something in his mouth. Izuku decided not to question what it was, even though he wasn’t corporeal and shouldn’t be able to have something in his mouth.
“You sure you don’t want me to help you cheat, kid?” Dabi asked, “It’d be so easy.”
Izuku casted him an annoyed glance as he settled into his seat, grabbing the pencil provided for him and pointing it at Dabi.
Izuku looked around inconspicuously to check if someone was there, and when he found no one there…
“Go to hell.”
Dabi mock gasped, holding his heart and flying backward as if he’d just been wounded.
“KID!” Dabi exclaimed, obviously scandalized, “Watch your fuckin’ language!”
“Plus, I’ll have you know that I’ve been there multiple times and I’m not inclined to go back.”
Hell actually exists?
Holy shit, I’m gonna go to hell when I die because I made a deal with Dabi.
Izuku planted his face in his hands and bemoaned the eternal damnation waiting for him in the afterlife.
Dabi looked around the room, seeing the rest of the exam participants filing in.
“Well, if you aren’t gonna be any fun, I’m gonna go-“
Izuku tuned him out, still wondering if being a hero would redeem his sins enough to not go to hell.
Looking back, Izuku really did not need to study as much as he did for that exam.
Either way, going into the physical exam, Izuku figured he had this in the bag, too.
It was just robots.
Thankfully, he got assigned to a different arena from Katsuki. Either way, though, he set to stretching before they started, and he was midway through one of his stretches when Present Mic’s voice boomed from his spectator stand-
Everyone stood still for a second, looking confused.
“What are you waiting for, go!”
Then everyone snapped out of their daze and started racing towards the beginning.
Izuku rolled his neck, before grinning.
He crouched down, before launching into the air, soaring above the crowd of students racing down the initial pathway of the city.
Like always, flying left him breathless.
He was above it all, seeing the mock city stretch out before him like a maze. Izuku zoomed over it, spotted groups of robots.
Izuku swooped down, flicking flames at them, watching them begin to malfunction as the heat fried their circuits, the hunks of metal shutting down and slumping - though 1s had a curious little habit of exploding, which was fun.
Either way, Izuku just flew around and racked up points, helping out the occasional person who looked like they were about to be squished. Eventually, Izuku figured he had enough and was about to just take a seat atop one of the higher towers when the entire city shook.
He heard a massive, almost natural disaster like crash, took a deep breath, and then turned around.
Izuku should’ve figured UA would’ve done something like this, really. There had to be a reason that they told everyone to avoid the 0-Pointer and how Izuku hadn’t seen one.
Having said that, Izuku still didn’t expect a massive colossus that was easily twice the size of the buildings.
Izuku put face against his fist, squishing his face up.
Dabi floated up next to him.
“You gonna try and fry the giant, kid?” Dabi said - was he eating popcorn?
Izuku hummed contemplatively, closing his eyes for a moment.
A beat passed, before Izuku let out a yawn and shrugged.
“Might as well, huh? It’ll be impressive for the proctors, at the very least.”
Izuku shivered, before straightening up and floating over to the 0-Pointer, which was taking massive steps down the street, his massive fists toppling buildings and his steps shaking the ground.
Izuku went around its head, before shrugging and sending a wave of fire that consumed its massive head.
The blaze died down after a few seconds, and Izuku’s eyes widened a bit when he noticed that it was unscathed.
“Hey, kid, watch out!”
Izuku turned to look to his right, where Dabi’s voice was, before being hit with a massive metal hand.
Izuku felt his bones shatter, and suddenly he was going faster than he had ever gone and-
Izuku groaned, activating his flight right before he became a splat on the ground, shifting the momentum so he flew into the air again.
Izuku’s eyes widened, scanning the ground with a sudden urgency, before his eyes caught on a flash of pink buried under a massive slab of concrete.
It was a girl and she was probably about to be squished by the 0-Pointer.
Izuku shifted, hearing something that definitely shouldn’t be crackling crackle. Izuku obstinately tried to ignore the fact that he couldn’t really move any of his right side, and - yep, his entire right side looked like crumpled paper.
Izuku glanced between his crumpled paper arm and leg, the girl, and the 0-Pointer.
“You’re about to do something stupid, aren’t you?”
Izuku didn’t answer. Dabi knew the answer.
A second later, Izuku was on top of the 0-Pointer’s head, stomping it with his left foot, barely making a tiny dent every time. To punctuate his kicks, he blasted fire through them as well.
The 0-Pointer didn’t seem to notice, and for a second Izuku figured his plan wasn’t going to work.
Then, the 0-Pointer paused and Izuku saw its massive arm rising, ready to attack the enemy.
The 0-Pointer’s hand was speeding towards him.
Izuku felt his blood rushing.
It was closer now.
He had to time this right.
It was less than 10 meters from him, and Izuku dove desperately away from it.
Izuku felt it snag his left foot, and cried out as his already destroyed leg got a round two with Massive Speeding Robot Hand™.
Nevertheless, as Izuku started to fall as his flight finally gave out and black spots swam in his vision, Izuku felt a wave of satisfaction when the 0-Pointer’s head was crushed like an aluminum can drank by an edgy teenager.
When Izuku woke up, it was to a constant beeping and the smell of bubblegum.
He groaned, feeling an ache in his muscles and an overwhelming tiredness, before opening his eyes to be staring directly in Dabi’s own, his face mere inches away.
“Oh, cool, you’re awake.” Dabi said - was he still eating popcorn?
Izuku opened his mouth to reply when he noticed the tiny little old lady in the corner, sitting up sudden enough to break his spine.
“Midoriya Izuku, correct?” She said.
Izuku nodded dumbly.
“I am Recovery Girl, and you are stupid.”
Izuku nodded again.
“Either way, you are completely healed - though, I imagine, not without a few aches and being incredibly tired.”
Recovery Girl looked at him, before putting her hands on her hips.
“Can you not talk, Midoriya?”
Izuku’s mouth was sticky and, frankly, disgusting when he opened it.
“Then talk instead of nodding, for God’s sake.”
“I like her.”
There was a silence for a few beats, Recovery Girl walking over to her computer and typing for a few minutes, and then she turned in her swivel chair to look at him.
“I’m gonna need to do a physical, just in order to assess your physical condition properly and for the injury report.”
Recovery Girl’s eyes narrowed at the sight of Izuku’s wrist mark, before jotting down something on her clipboard.
A week after the exam, Izuku was completely healed and pretty bored.
“You gonna do something or, like, just gonna stare at the ceiling some more?” Dabi asked, tossing some ghostly tennis ball against the wall.
Izuku suspected it didn’t actually bounce and Dabi was just controlling it with his demon powers or whatever.
Izuku sighed dramatically.
“Not much to do, now, is there? School’s out, and I’ve already done training for today. Really, all thats left is to wait for-“
“Izuku!” Izuku heard his mother’s muffled cry from downstairs, “It’s here!”
Then, like a bomb went off, both of them went zooming out of the door and downstairs, snatching the package from Inko’s -
“Sorry mom gonna watch it in my room bye!”
-and then racing back upstairs, slamming the door behind him, and then collapsing on the ground.
Izuku let out a deep breathe, hands shaking as he stared at the package in his hands as Dabi hovered above him, quiet for once in his life.
He felt the package, before ripping it open to reveal a flat disc, which projected a holographic screen infant of him when it landed on the ground.
Suddenly, All Might was standing in front of him, in his room. Izuku’s mouth felt dry, and for a moment he felt a wave of sickness because he told him he could never be a hero.
Then it passed, because All Might was in his room.
Izuku felt his mouth drop open.
Behind him, Dabi was still strangely silent, a glint in his eyes.
“Hello!” All Might boomed, before looking off the screen, “-Midoriya Izuku!”
“Congratulations! You passed the written exam with flying colors, scoring a 94%! To add to that, you managed to score a total of 89 points, an impressive scoring - only topped by some of the heroes on the Top Ten list! By all means, you have passed and have earned a spot in UA.”
Izuku felt his breath leave him, his heart thudding. A smile stretched his face, and tears welled up in his eyes.
Izuku felt his breath catch, and his heart skipped a beat.
All Might wasn’t looking at the camera.
“We can not accept you, on the account of the demonic marking on your wrist which shows that you have potentially had interactions and or a deal with demonic entities.”
Izuku felt like his world was crumbling, coming down even worse than when All Might had first dashed his hopes beneath the bridge.
“Of course, this does not mean that you have not earned a place in UA, but it will not be in the Heroics classes. I wish you luck in your future-“
The screen turned staticky before cutting out.
Izuku gasped out his breaths, short and quick, staring at the raging fire where the disc had previously been, green fire scorching the surroundings.
He had passed.
He had fucking passed, had earned a spot in heroics, and then…
Then they yanked it away from him, because of a stupid marking on his wrist.
Izuku twisted around, looking at Dabi, who was floating, face placid and uncaring like always.
“You knew that they’d do this, didn’t you.”
“You didn’t have to mark me like that.”
Izuku gritted his teeth.
“Who gave you the right to try and control my life-“
“You did, as soon as you said those words and you shook my hand.”
Izuku felt his jaw tense, felt his teeth grind, felt his muscles seize and his throat burn.
“I thought we were friends-“
Dabi grinned, too many teeth like always - “And I told you that we weren’t, didn’t I, kid?”
“You sick bastard-“
Izuku lunged forward, wanting nothing more than to make Dabi hurt, make him scream.
He hit the floor with a painful thud, twisting his wrist.
He forced himself to his feet in a flash, turning around and snarling like a wounded animal.
“Too bad you can’t touch me, huh-?”
Izuku narrowed his eyes.
He wanted nothing more than to hurt Dabi in that moment, and if Izuku couldn’t touch him-
Izuku’s fingers twitched, and suddenly his room was bathed in green and Dabi screamed.
Then the fire disappeared, gone in a second just like it had appeared, and Dabi was gone with it.
Izuku fell to his knees.
His fists pounded against the floors of his room until his knuckles tore open and blood ran down in rivulets onto the floor.
Dabi didn’t appear the next day, or the day after that or the week after that.
He didn’t appear, and Izuku felt the silence in his room and by his side like a physical wound, expecting to twist to the side and see Dabi doing something completely insane or stupid like flying through his classmates or juggling his incorporeal tennis balls.
He wondered if Dabi had decided that he wasn’t worth tormenting, if he wasn’t amusing enough now that Izuku had turned on him and had burned him.
Some part of him hoped that Dabi would never come back.
The other part felt his absence like a knife in his back, missing one of the only constants and what had been almost a comforting presence in the past couple months.
Izuku figured he deserved it, trusting someone like Dabi like that.
He was a demon, after all, and deceit was in their job description.
Despite all that, as the days stretched, Izuku felt almost regretful of what he had done, even if Dabi had totally deserved it.
They were bound together forever, after all, and when Izuku discovered, in what had to be the fiftieth page of some hero website, that UA had a policy where they would give normal students a chance to transfer to Heroics Department if they performed well in the Sports Festival and showed promise in being a hero…
Well, Izuku decided that maybe he could forgive Dabi, even if he would probably never really trust him again.
So, a few days before his time at UA would start, Izuku decided to try his hand at finding Dabi’s mental place thingy.
If that didn’t work, then well…
It looked like Izuku might have to make one last visit to his school’s roof for a little reunion.
He figured he would probably be able to make it without having to summon him again, though.
I'm really enjoying writing this, man.
any feedback or comments are very welcome
Chapter 4: raccoon boy, take out the trash
shinsou be in here laddies
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Izuku yawned as he settled into his bed, his stomach full on katsudon, his mom’s special treat since he got into UA - albeit not in the department he wanted.
He was trying to recall how he had found Dabi’s thingy place last time, and he figured that the key was a desperate need for answers - or just a strong will to find it. He also figured it had some correlation to the mark on his wrist.
He glanced at it.
It was a dark green mark on his skin, standing out sharply against his pale skin. It was the only reason he was denied entry to UA’s Heroics Department.
Not that it really mattered anymore - Izuku would just have to show them that he deserved a place in the Heroics Department. It wasn’t like anything had come easily to him before anyway, it was stupid of him to think that things would get simpler just because he had a quirk.
Izuku scoffed, before laying down and pulling his covers over his body, basking in the warmth and letting his mind drift away.
He was exhausted.
Slowly, Izuku’s thoughts became foggy and distant, before everything was dark.
Then, Izuku opened his eyes and found himself floating in a black landscape, nothing to be found. The emptiness stretched in every direction, and Izuku was suddenly aware of his own heartbeat because of how silent it was.
Izuku exhaled heavily, and a cloud formed in front of him, white fog disrupting his vision.
When the fog faded from his vision, he was back in his room, seeing his body resting on his bed, sleeping. The rise and fall of his chest assured him that he was alive, and Izuku somehow knew that this was his actual body.
That meant that Izuku was in an actual location.
Did that mean that the dark room - that Dabi’s place - that hell-
Izuku shivered, deciding that he would rather not think about what that meant.
When he looked around next, he was in Dabi’s room, back in the traditional bedroom that had obviously not been touched in years.
Dabi was staring out of the window again, watching something that had to be outside, but when Izuku floated over and looked over Dabi’s shoulder the window was a blank white.
Dabi’s voice was calm, like he had been waiting for Izuku to come see him. Izuku felt a twinge of annoyance.
A silence stretched out, and Izuku felt himself getting impatient when waiting for Dabi to speak again.
He was never this quiet.
“I’m not going to say sorry.”
Dabi inclined his head, just a tiny bit, his eyes flicking over to glance at Izuku.
Izuku gritted his teeth.
“Why haven’t you come back?”
Dabi turned around to look at Izuku, still towering over him even though they were floating. He had a little grin on his face.
“I had… business to attend to.”
Izuku looked questioning at Dabi.
Izuku rolled his eyes - “Are you gonna come back or not?”
Dabi grinned, before grabbing Izuku’s wrist and raising it up, bringing it to eye level in between Izuku and Dabi.
Izuku’s mark was strangely vivid in the haze and faded colors of the room.
“Of course I am,” Dabi said, eyes flicking to the mark and his smile widening, his teeth showing through, “You’re mine.”
Izuku felt his heart stop, before letting out a laugh.
“As if.” Izuku yanked his arm out of Dabi’s grip and rubbing his wrist, “You don’t have any influence over me anymore, didn’t you know?”
Izuku grinned, a glint in his eyes.
“You got nothing from our deal. You get to follow me like a lost puppy, and that’s it - probably the most pathetic deal you could’ve given me. Are you that desperate for attention, Dabi?”
The grin faded from Dabi’s face, but Izuku’s just got wider.
“Hit a nerve there, did I? You’re just so desperate to be wanted by someone, aren’t you-“
Dabi spoke, his calm inflection a simple mask barely veiling the raging inferno beneath it.
“Do not speak of things you don’t understand,” Dabi’s eyes locked on Izuku’s wrist, “Kid.”
Izuku opened his mouth to reply, except instead his eyes opened and he was looking at the ceiling of his room again.
He had gone there to make up with the loser, and had started a whole new host of issues instead.
“Whatever,” Izuku spat out, before sitting up and looking at the calendar.
Izuku cursed, jumping out of bed and racing to the bathroom.
How did he forget that school started today?
Izuku brushed his teeth so hard that his spit was more red than anything else when he spat it out, and then basically jumped down the staircase to see his mom in the kitchen, cooking breakfast.
“MOM I GOTTA GO SCHOOL IS TODAY-”
Inko dropped the pan she had just picked up, and it clattered loudly on the floor. Her eyes found Izuku’s, whose were clouded with panic.
“Izuku… it’s 6:00AM.”
Later, as Izuku walked the halls, he passed Class 1-A’s room on his way to his own homeroom class.
He stood looking at it, for a few minutes.
This was where he should be, if it weren’t for-
Izuku shook himself, relaxing his tense features. He turned to leave just as someone called out-
“Hey, you! The one with the green hair!”
Izuku turned his head around, seeing a girl with a round face and a bobcat launching herself down the hallway at him. He didn’t recognize her, but the voice sounded familiar.
The girl stopped right in front of him, pushing her index fingers together nervously.
“You saved me in the entrance exams…” She said, “My name is Uraraka Ochako!”
Izuku’s mouth opened a tiny bit, letting out a tiny exhale of affirmation.
“My name is Midoriya Izuku.”
Uraraka jumped in excitement, exclaiming something, before looking at him - “Are you in Class 1-A too?”
Izuku felt the barest hint of a snarl grace his face, and by Uraraka’s quieter demeanor she had noticed. Izuku hated the feeling of his teeth grinding together, but he couldn’t stop them from doing it now.
“No,” Izuku bit out, before letting out a heavy sigh. “General Department.”
“O-oh, but I figured you-“
Izuku forced himself to relax, rolling his shoulders, before flashing a smile - though it didn’t meet his eyes.
“I have to get to class.”
Uraraka nodded, before turning and opening the door to Class 1-A.
Izuku spared one last glance, one last look at what he deserved-
Izuku met molten red eyes and a cocky smile, Katsuki’s entire body betraying arrogance.
Izuku’s jaw tensed, and when Katsuki mouthed a word - ‘useless’ - he felt the taste of blood start to fill his mouth.
He felt himself take a step towards Katsuki, as if he was disconnected from his body, before seeing a familiar scarred troublemaker fly headfirst through Katsuki’s crotch. Katsuki tensed up, almost imperceptibly if you weren’t paying attention, before finally looking away for Izuku.
“Didya like my new trick, kid?”
Izuku jumped a little at the voice in his ear, snapping his head to the right to land face-to-face with Dabi.
A smile grew on his face.
Class was, to be frank, boring.
Izuku found himself looking around the class and observing his classmates instead, trying to see if anyone else was finding the class so irredeemably boring.
Instead, he was met with dozens of kids dutifully writing notes and paying attention to the front, save for a few obvious slackers who probably found the lesson boring for an entirely different reason than Izuku did. One kid, though…
He had met dead, lifeless purple fish eyes and a wild spiked mess of matching purple hair.
Instantly, Izuku noticed the expression - it was the one he had worn for the time in-between being denied from heroics and finding the new way into the course.
Izuku felt a grin stretch his face.
He glanced over at Dabi, who was discreetly messing up one kid’s obviously painstakingly styled hair, and signaled him before flipping to an empty page and jotting down a message.
Leave the dead-eyed purple kid to me, he looks fun.
Dabi floated over to the notebook and glanced at the message, before looking at the kid that Izuku was talking about.
“Rubbin’ off on you, am I?”
Izuku whipped out his pencil.
Izuku wondered if being expelled was worth sending some fire Dabi’s way.
“I mean…” Dabi floated till his mouth was less than an inch away from Izuku’s ear, “He is attractive, in a raccoon way.” He scratched right behind Izuku’s ear, far too solid to be reasonable.
Izuku wondered if being expelled was worth sending some fire Dabi’s way.
“I don’t blame you for trying to hit that.”
It was something worth considering, at the very least.
Lunch was comprised of all the first years.
It was a very strange thing, to be torn between Katsuki staring a hole in the back of his head, Uraraka urging him to sit with her, and trying to find a way to get near the purple raccoon boy.
Eventually, he let himself be dragged into their conversation - Iida’s older brother was Ingenium, and that was plenty to fuel a solid conversation in Izuku’s book. Outside of that Iida and Uraraka seemed like cool people - though Izuku couldn’t help but feel envious whenever they talked about their classes.
Nevertheless, Izuku eventually caught sight of the raccoon boy and get trying to nudge his away, stealing glances to make sure that he didn’t disappear before he could get to him.
Eventually, though, as all things do for Izuku, his glancing caught up to him.
“Hey, Izuku, are you uncomfortable or something?”
Izuku jumped, turning his head so fast it was surprising he didn’t end up snapping his neck.
“You seem awfully nervous - you keep fidgeting and glancing at something.”
Izuku let out the breath he had been unknowingly holding in - “Oh, its fine, I just-“
Uraraka cut him off with a squeal, grabbing Izuku’s arm in a grip that wondered if Zero Gravity was Uraraka’s only quirk.
“Is it…” Uraraka’s voice dropped to a whisper, “the guy with the purple hair?”
She wiggled her eyebrows, and Izuku could feel his cheeks flushing.
“No! Or, well, yeah but…” Uraraka kept wiggling her eyebrows, “Not that way!”
“It’s fine, Izuku,” Uraraka said, still wiggling those goddamn eyebrows, “Why else would you be looking at him.
Iida seemed taken aback from the conversation, shocked into silence from how it had changed direction.
Izuku felt his blush getting worse, and he cursed his pale skin for making it so much worse. Dabi, who had been encouraging Uraraka despite her not being able to hear him. Izuku buried his face in his hands.
“I just need to talk to him about class!” Izuku wailed.
Uraraka leaned even closer.
“On the first day of school?” Her stupid smirk widened, “Sure you do.”
She had the gall to wink at him, then, and for the second time that day Izuku weighed the pros and cons of using his quirk if only to shut them up.
A minute or so later Izuku managed to slip away from Uraraka and Iida - and Izuku thanked whatever deity that was listening for finally escaping her suggestive words and facial features.
That girl had no shame, did she?
Moving past that, Izuku strode across the lunch room, reaching the raccoon boy’s table - sitting alone, interesting. Not social, most likely an outcast. - and plopping himself in the seat across from the boy.
The kid looked up from where he was hunched over his tray, picking at his food. A single eyebrow rose.
A silence stretched out, before Izuku leaned forward in his seat and propped himself up with his arms on the table.
“Hey, my name is Midoriya Izuku and-“
The other boy smiled when he began to talk, before cutting him off sharply.
Izuku felt the world fall away from him, and without warning he was no longer in his body, flying through the lunchroom.
He collided into something hard. When he glanced over to see what it was, he met Dabi’s wide gaze.
They stared at each other.
“What.” Dabi said.
“What.” Izuku echoed.
They both blinked hard, before looking over to where the raccoon boy was sitting, and Izuku was met with a peculiar sight.
He was watching himself, his body, getting out of the booth and begin to walk away, while the other boy went back to eating, his smile gone and back to an empty, somewhat disgruntled, expression.
“Uh, kid,” Dabi said, “You gonna try and get back in your body?”
Izuku tore his eyes from the boy, and looked around for his body - finding it around halfway through the cafeteria and heading towards Uraraka and Iida in a brisk pace.
This is weird.
Izuku zoomed into his body, and suddenly he was standing in the middle of the cafeteria, everything loud and solid again.
This is so weird.
Izuku took a moment to regain control of his body and senses, because such a sudden transition certainly gave him whiplash. Nevertheless, after a couple seconds, Izuku rolled his shoulders, twisted in place, and stalked towards the boy’s table.
This time, the boy saw him coming, and narrowed his eyes. They held eye contact, and when Izuku reached the table he plopped down in his seat again.
“Neat trick, but-“
“Go away, and don’t come back.”
Izuku was sent spiraling out of his body again, with Dabi dodging him and ending up floating in the middle of the cafeteria.
Dabi shrugged, “Try again?”
Izuku narrowed his eyes, and zoomed into his body, which had just gotten out of the booth.
The transition was a little better this time, since he had only been in the other, ethereal place for a short amount of time.
Nevertheless, he had joined in mid-step and quickly lost his balance, tripping over himself - thank god he could float, or that would’ve been embarrassing.
Izuku straightened, before spinning around to look at the boy again, a smirk on his face.
For the first time, he saw the other boy look like something other than bored, tired, irritated, or smug.
He was confused.
Though, as Izuku watched his expression twist into something ugly, perhaps showing him that his quirk was ineffective on him was not the best course of action.
So, Izuku decided to make a tactical retreat and try again another day - he didn’t want to ruin his chances with figuring out what the other boy was about on his first attempt.
He especially didn’t want to ruin what was, undeniably, probably the only thing that would be able to occupy and entertain him while he was in General Department.
Nevertheless, he couldn’t help himself when he shot the other boy a peace sign with a cheeky smile on his face, before turning shoving his hands into his pockets and leaving the lunchroom, relaxed and nonchalant just to show the other boy that he didn’t intimidate him.
Not to mention lunch was about to dismiss any-
The bell rang, shrill and shrieking.
Dabi glanced over, and was torn between a shudder and pride, because that smile had so many teeth it was almost like what he looked like when he smiled.
He settled on grinning as well, and he couldn't help but wonder how he had gotten here, hanging out in UA like he was a hero.
He couldn't help but laugh.
I've literally never put any romantic undertones in my writing before, but like don't worry its just for the joke.