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You Are My World, Izuku

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Inko couldn’t quite explain her love for her son. Izuku was the world to her. After Hisashi had left, she had no one except for Izuku; sweet, caring, compassionate, selfless Izuku. Her little boy. She remembered the day that he found out he was quirkless. It was heartbreaking to watch. Izuku’s entire world fell apart that day, and it seemed for a while that all his happiness and all of his excitement had been drained out of him. Inko remembered sobbing while her son watched All Might rescue helpless people. He wanted that; she knew he did.

As he got older, Inko had become a little appreciative that Izuku didn’t have a quirk. Though it had made him a little more helpless when it came to bullies, Izuku pushed himself farther than any one with a quirk could have gone. He had to go the extra mile to get himself where he was, education wise, and internal strength. Inko was also glad because she didn’t want a hair on Izuku’s head to be harmed. And then…a quirk manifested. Inko was more then surprised. He seemed to be more upbeat and became ecstatic when he started going to UA. After that it was just a train wreck. Izuku had become injured so many times. It was all too much.

Inko carded her trembling hands through her sons reddened green locks, biting down a sob as wet crimson met her skin. Her other hand rested on Izuku’s cheek, wrist tickled every time that Izuku released a labored breath. His skin was pale. Too pale. The adorable freckles that adorned his face -- Inko had always loved them --were prominent against his blanched skin, mixing together with crimson spatters of blood. Izuku’s eyes were half lidded, glazed over with exhaustion and pain.

The boy was sprawled on the ground of their apartment, the lovely floors stained with puddles of red. There was so much blood. Izuku’s head rested on Inko’s lap and blood from various injuries bubbled to the surface and overflowed, staining Inko’s blue cotton skirt. Inko was starting to not like the red shoes that Izuku was always -- and currently -- wearing. It reminded her of blood. Inko looked at her sons mangled body and tears continued to fill her eyes. A stray tear slipped quickly down her cheek and landed on Izuku’s forehead. The teens-tired eyes flickered up to her face. A small, weary smile gradually stretched itself onto Izuku’s face.

“D-don’t cry…m-mom. It’s…o-okay…”

Inko didn’t have a moment to reply as her son was suddenly and forcefully ripped away from her. Her eyes were wider than saucers as she watched her son be thrown onto his chest. Izuku bit down a yelp of pain as he hit the floor, aggravating his wounds.

“You’re pretty confident kid,” grunted a voice that Inko had come to despise. “I bet that we’ll be able to fix that.”

Izuku managed a glare before a foot came down on his back harshly. A muffled cry filtered into Inko’s ears. The brown shoe dug into Izuku’s back, becoming tainted with blood from a particularly open wound on Izuku’s back. Down came the shoe again, slamming and digging into Izuku’s back. It didn’t end there, eventually Izuku’s attacker kicked him in the gut, knocking the wind out of the poor boy and sending him sprawling onto his abused back. And then the foot came down again on Izuku’s ankle. The man’s natural strength mixed with his fatigue quirk just made the pain increase tenfold; Izuku could feel it crawling up his throat, it pushed and pushed at his dry, cracked lips until finally a shriek of agony escaped. And the man? He just laughed. Inko’s mouth hung open in a silent scream, staring at the scene playing out before her eyes. Stop torturing my son.

“There! See, I told ya’ I could make him sing Eddie.”

A strangled cry from Inko startled the man, Oda, who had hurt her son and she started forward. She had no clue what she planned to do as she started to weakly hit the man who hurt Izuku. He just stared at her for a moment, before anger flashed across his sharp features and he smacked Inko in the face. The woman stumbled back, into the arms of “Eddie”, who held her arms tight as she struggled against his firm grasp. Oda growled and took a step towards Inko, only to stop when his ankle was grabbed. Izuku, from the ground, held the man’s ankle in a vice grip, tightening slightly with every passing second. His glower was fierce and unwavering.

“Do…n-not touch her.”

Oda chuckled humorlessly and was on Izuku quickly. His fingers intertwined in Izuku’s hair. Instantaneously, Izuku felt much more tired. Fatigue slowly descended on Izuku’s limbs, and his grip loosened on his attacker’s ankle; the grasp in Izuku’s hair, however, only tightened. Izuku grunted in discomfort as he was lifted off the ground by sheer strength of Oda. Izuku feebly lifted his hands to rid Oda’s grip on his hair, but it was futile. Izuku gasped as he was slammed against the wall, feet scraping against the floor.

“You know, Zuku, that this whole gig was a lot better then I had imagined. For real, I get payed to go kill a kid and a chubby lady and look at your weird quirk. Best deal of my life. You’ve got some real enemies out there. For a teenager, that’s pretty impressive. So, good for those who hate your guts that you’re dying tonight. I’m really enjoying this. Me and Eddie don’t get much excitement like this nowadays. I mean, I’ve seen you on the television. You’ve got some skills. Explains why it was such a pain to get you to go down.”

Izuku shivered when Oda’s free hand brushed Izuku’s exposed hip bone. Oda grinned and dropped Izuku’s hair, agilely and briskly replacing the grip by grasping Izuku’s wrists. The pressure on Izuku’s, for sure, fractured wrist caused the boy to whine in pain. Oda, with one hand, pinned Izuku’s wrists above his head. With the other hand, he gently caressed Izuku’s face, and trained the hand down his neck and chest.

“You know, boy…I could satisfy my sadistic side…” Oda smirked at the obvious discomfort in Izuku’s eyes. “…but…Eddie over there doesn’t quite like to watch that sorta stuff.”

Izuku almost huffed in relief; thank goodness for “Eddie and his morals”. But he thought to soon. Pain erupted in Izuku’s gut. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but after a couple of seconds the pain increased. Izuku could feel a wet, sticky substance dripping down from his gut to his shorts. It wasn’t so bad, initially, until fingers were plunged into the new wound. Izuku choked on his own sob, writhing in agony as the sadistic man pulled his blood coated fingers out of Izuku’s new wound and examined them. Inko was traumatized. Tears had been flowing freely since the beginning of the ordeal, but they seemed like waterfalls now. She watched in utter horror as Izuku was tormented in front of her eyes. She couldn’t see much, other then the blood and the hands on her son.

“No…” Inko cried. “Not my son…leave…leave my boy alone!”

Inko thrashed, screamed, cried. She was helpless. She activated her quirk. She had never been very strong in it, just able to pick up a few things; but in this situation, her son was being threatened before her eyes. Inko knew she was going to die. Izuku was going to die. A yell of frustration and agony ripped from her bleeding lips, from the corner of her eye, she saw a lamp that had fallen over race towards Oda. It crashed into his back, causing the man to drop her son and grunt in pain. Izuku slid down the wall, a trail of blood smearing as he fell to the ground. Inko was horrified. More objects flew around her. The grip of Eddie loosened when a coffee mug smashed into the side of his head and shattered. Inko made a run for Izuku. Her wrist was grabbed. Inko instinctively acted. She swung her foot, as hard as she possibly could, up. It so happened to land between Oda’s legs. The man screeched in agony and fell to the ground.

Inko landed roughly on her bruised knees and wrapped her arms around her son’s head. She couldn’t do much except for protect him in that stance. She glared fiercely as Eddie slowly got up and approached her, clutching his injured head.

“It’s time we end this now, Oda.” Eddie grunted, “We don’t have time for this.”

Oda responded with a groan. Eddie grinned as he pulled a gun from the back of his pants.

“I like doing things the old-fashioned way.”

Inko’s scowl was intense. It never wavered as Eddie loomed over the mother and son. The gun was raised and cocked. Inko buried her face into her son’s hair. So, this was it? This was how she died? She was upset, obviously. She wished Izuku could have gotten out. But, if she was remembered going down protecting her son, that at least had a little light to it. Still, she hoped Izuku would make it out. He had to. Inko pressed herself in front of her son, holding Izuku’s head to her chest. Her back was now fully turned to Eddie. She was ready. Bang!

.
.
.

…what? Inko was expecting more pain. She expected her vision to go dark. The sound didn’t correctly follow the sound of a gunshot…it was more like something had exploded. Reality caught up to Inko and she looked over her shoulder. She almost cried in utter relief. Scarves wrapped around the villains that had assaulted the Midoriya family, police officers had rushed into the room, following one of Izuku’s teachers, Aizawa, and Toshinori. So, it wasn’t time for Inko do die, she supposed. Inko’s attention snapped down to her son, his eyes rolled to the back of his head and his body went limp.

“I-Izuku!” She cried, holding him so she could examine his face. “Wake up! Izuku!”

No. Her son couldn’t leave her. He couldn’t. She felt hands pulling her away from Izuku. She held on. No. They couldn’t take her away. She held on to her son, tears falling like rain and mixing with blood on her face.

“Mrs. Midoriya!” A voice broke through. “Please, we must get him medical care immediately!”

Inko relented. Her son was lifted away. Inko’s heart was going a mile a minute; she had no clue what to expect. This was all too much for her. Eyes wide and brimmed with tears, she was moved to get to a hospital as well. Inko felt as if she were in a daze. The world went slower then moved. The sounds around her were muffled. She acknowledged people asking her questions, prodding her body to discover injuries, but Inko could hardly focus on that, only responding with nods and grunts. She had never quite liked hospitals. As a place that could bring either something amazing, or something horrifying. The mixture of both was just too intense. Inko never quite liked the colors in the rooms. She never liked the white on the beds. And every time that Izuku was admitted, she hated them even more.

Even as a place to save lives, the stress in the building in general was continuously building. Izuku didn’t belong in the hospital. He belonged at home in his mother’s arms. He didn’t deserve to be in so much constant pain. Why did he ever have to develop that quirk? Inko was hardly comprehending what had happened that night. From the beginning to the end of the night, continuing into the early morning. Inko was stupor, unable to concentrate, unable to understand. Why wasn’t her son with her now?

Inko ended up being okay. She initially refused to put on hospital garments but realized that she was covered in blood; blood that was not her own, so she ended up relenting. She was walking and breathing just fine. Sure, a few wounds were prominent and covered with bandages, but they were minor. Inko sat on the edge of a hospital bed, staring out of the open window. She silently observed the night, the stars twinkled in the sky brilliantly, lighting up the otherwise dull blanket of night. Lights in the city blinked, making their presence known to airplanes. Inko never really appreciated the beauty of the city. She had trouble being an optimist. Though she wished she could, she never could look on the bright side. She had always seen the city at it’s worst, worried about crime or other human beings. But looking from afar…she quite liked it.

A sigh pushed past her lips as she raised one hand to gently pulled away her green locks. Her eyes fell to her lap and she sat in a moment of solemn serenity. Distantly, she could hear the buzzing of electronic health monitors, the hushed tones of those in the hallways, and the footsteps of doctors, nurses or patients walking up and down the hallway. It was much quieter now than it was earlier that day. The hallways were full, people were bustling, doctors were focused and busy getting patients into recovery. It was loud. It was taxing. Inko could never work at a place like this.

Inko felt everything around her. The air, the way the light blue material brushed against her skin was uncomfortable, the mattress that sat under her was hard and smelled almost like chemicals. She didn’t want to think of who was in this bed before her. The people coming in here with major injuries, meeting their hopeful families only to come to heartbreak. Inko had remained lucky thus far, but when would that end? Tonight, possibly? Would the doctors come in to the room with the bad news that her son, Izuku Midoriya, was dead? Just the though of that sprung tears to Inko’s eyes. Inko was abruptly taken from her thoughts when the door to the small, private room opened. Inko briskly rubbed the tears away from her eyes and watched the three men coming into the room. Not doctors.

“Mr. Aizawa, Mr. Toshinori.” Inko greeted the two men with a slight nod. “And…”

“Hello, Mrs. Midoriya. I am Naomasa Tsukuachi. I am a detective.”

“Oh…a pleasure, Mr. Tsukuachi.” Inko’s voice wavered, “Is there something I can help you with? How is Izuku?”

“Unfortunately, we do not have news on young Midoriya as of yet.” Toshinori admitted regretfully. “But we are here to ask you about the events that transpired this evening.”

“Oh…yes. Well…as you know, Izuku was on break this weekend. As a usual teenager, he had gone out today. I reminded him to text me and well…midday I called him to ask when he would be home, and he told me that he had some kind of bad feeling. He said he felt like he was being watched. I told him if that feeling persisted to come home immediately. And well…you know Izuku…anyways…that night when he got home he was not alone. Two men were with him, and one…” Inko choked on a sob. “…was holding Izuku’s hair and wrist in such a tight grip…my baby looked like he was in so much pain…and Izuku looked so utterly tired. That was one of their quirks, f-fatigue or something…t-they introduced themselves to us as ‘Eddie’ and ‘Oda’. They explained how they were going to kill us and…”

Inko paused, squeezed her eyes shut and shook her head. She was swallowing the sobs that were beginning to force themselves up her throat.

“…and then Oida…he said he was ‘craving some fun’…and then he…well, hit me. But...Izuku…h-he…he protected me. A-and…t-then they started to…” Inko’s hands turned into fists, tears flowing freely down her face now. “…they started to torment my son. Right in front of my eyes.”

“Mrs. Midoriya—”

“They kicked him and beat him and cut him,” cried Inko. “and he could do nothing…I was being held and he was so tired because of the quirk…they never gave Izuku a chance to activate his quirk…so…well, I used mine. And…I think…I-I think I hurt them…they were about to shoot us…and then…”

“Yes. We know the rest, thank you Mrs. Midoriya.” Aizawa said, albeit a little more sympathetic than usual.

“He mentioned he was being payed to…k-kill us.” Inko choked out.

The three gentlemen exchanged glances. Toshinori was fueled with rage. It was inevitable that Midoriya would come to harm, it had happened already so many times, many because of the boys selfless and reckless nature, but this? This was not Izuku’s fault, he had not asked for it. Toshinori was unable to express proper emotion at this point in time. He was silent, to remain compassionate for Inko, and he was of course, but on the inside, there was a battle. It was intense and it shook Toshinori to his very core. Toshinori inhaled sharply at the memory of young Midoriya. Beaten, abused, caked blood and tear tracks.

“Mrs. Midoriya, we will be spending time to correct this injustice. The men that attacked you and your son will be properly punished.” Aizawa said, each word holding every ounce of tiredness that the man had, though he had said it fairly confidently.

“We will work tirelessly to make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Tsukuachi assured. “You will be safe and protected.”

“I appreciate that…” Inko trailed off before lifting her eyes to the men. “…I know that Izuku has gotten in trouble with villains before. If I may…this is just an indicator to show how he has caught the attention of those who…who hate him. The only consolation is that Izuku has worked hard to become a hero…he already has villains lined up to fight him. I know he is doing great…it just makes me worry more about him is all.”

“You’re correct…the potential that young…Izuku has is great. I suppose that injury will always be an issue with him…he is quite reckless, isn’t he?” Toshinori asked, a small smile tugging at his cheeks.

“Yes…” Inko chuckled quietly, as quickly as it came, her smile was gone. “Though…we’ve had no news about Izuku…I’m afraid that he won’t make it…n-not my baby.”

“I am confident he will push through.” Toshinori said.

Inko huffed as she placed the palms of her hands over her eyes. The wetness of tears dampened her skin and leaked through the protection of her hands and dropped down into her lap. Inko shook her had and looked back towards Toshinori and Aizawa, “Well…your class really is a hotspot for trouble, isn’t it?”

Aizawa almost smiled. Almost. He rolled his eyes and nodded, “Though, now some of me wonders if it’s just Midoriya, and maybe Bakugou.”

“Mrs. Midoriya,” said Tsukuachi. “unfortunately, when the two of you are discharged, you may not be permitted to stay at your home until the investigation is completed.”

“Ah…yes…I figured actually.” Inko nodded. “I’ll find a suitable arrangement.”

“I’m sure we can pull some strings for a safe place at UA.”

“That- that won’t be necessary. I’m sure I can organize something, thank you though.”

“Well, if you end up needing a place, feel free to contact.” Aizawa said, before lowering himself into a bow. “Good evening.”

Tsukuachi bowed as well and smiled at Inko before leaving with Aizawa. Toshinori stayed for a moment. The silence between the two was awkward and buzzing. Inko didn’t mind, though.

“You know…concerning Izuku and Katsuki, it’s always been the way of trouble making…” Inko smiled, nostalgia nipping at her thoughts. “…oh, we were quite close with them. I remember the two of them would return with little scrapes and bruises. They used to get along quite well, until Katsuki’s quirk developed.”

“Ah, yes. Young Midoriya has explained some of that to me.” Toshinori said.

“I’ve remained in contact with Mitsuki. I am sure she would allow us to stay with them a few days.” Inko murmured.

Toshinori almost laughed aloud at Bakugo’s potential reaction. Though, he had been less angry and more observant as of late. Since discovering Izuku and Toshinori’s relationship, as well as the quirk, he seemed to be more motivating. Obviously, he was still himself, berating Izuku constantly. Though now, the words held no meaning behind them, and both of the boys knew that.

“Mrs. Midoriya—”

“Please, call me Inko.”

“…Inko, perhaps it would be alright if I stayed with you until we hear about Midoriya?”

Inko didn’t want to be alone. Not after what had happened. She appreciated that Toshinori cared so much about her son, that was comforting at least.

“I would like that.”

 

It was noon the next day before news of Izuku came. Inko had fallen asleep and woken up an hour prior, finding Toshinori slumped in the chair next to her bed. A doctor entered the room, looking tired and disheveled.

“Mrs. Midoriya.”

Inko was out of bed in the blink of an eye, hands shaking and heart beating so fast she could her it in her ears.

“Your son, Izuku Midoriya,” the doctor said. “is in stable condition. He is asleep at this current moment in time, but you are both granted permission to see him, if you would like.”

Inko released a cry of relief and nodded vigorously. “Yes, yes of course!”

Inko and Toshinori followed the doctor through hallways and up an elevator. The kind man led them into a room, another private one. There was Inko’s child. Izuku was laying on a crisp white hospital bed, green hair vibrant against the white pillow. Bandages covered the length of his body. His wrist had a cast around it from when it was broken, as did his ankle. His face, albeit a little pale, only had a couple of scratches, bruises and a patch on his cheek. Other then that he looked peaceful. Inko turned towards the doctor and took his hand.

“Thank you, thank you!” She exclaimed in a whisper.

“Of course, it is my job and I was glad to do it.”

Toshinori released a sigh of relief as well, striding over to the sleeping Izuku. He gingerly brushed the strands of hair in Izuku’s face away, happy to see him breathing alright. Inko had pulled up a chair and sat next to her son. About an hour later, Inko was surprised to find Mitsuki and Katsuki. Toshinori smiled at Inko, “I called them and explained the situation.”

Mitsuki stepped into the room and placed her hand on Inko’s shoulder, her smile sympathetic as she looked over Izuku. “We’re happy to have the two of you stay with us until it’s safe to return to your own home. We have plenty of room, you can have Katsuki’s room—”

“What?! I never agreed to that!” Katsuki growled.

“Shut up!” Mitsuki barked back, quickly raising a hand to cover her mouth and glance back at Izuku. “Sorry.”

“No need to apologize.” Inko smiled tiredly. “I appreciate is so much…it…”

Inko found herself tearing up again. She laughed in exasperation and shook her head for what seemed like the millionth time in the stretch of twenty-four hours. Inko noticed when her son’s eyes fluttered open. Izuku’s eyes darted around the room, panic flashing in them and quickly dissipating when he realized where he was. Katsuki grunted, alerting Inko. The woman’s face contorted with a smile, tears finally spilling out.

“Izuku!”

“Mom…” Izuku tried sitting up but was pushed back down by his mentor. “…All Might?”

Toshinori smiled down at Izuku fondly. “Young Midoriya, you do know how to give someone a fright.”

Izuku smiled before he found himself in a gentle, warm hug. His mother’s arms wrapped around him; the woman was mindful of his injuries. Izuku sunk into her embrace, lifting his (fairly) uninjured arm to hold her back. Izuku attempted to blink through fogginess. He lifted his hands and took a handful of the fabric of his mother’s shirt and squeezed it tight. He found himself choking up as he recalled the events that led to him being injured. Izuku leaned in and took a deep breath of his mothers’ hair. It smelled like home.

“Oh baby…you have to stop getting hurt.” Inko cried, pulling away and brushing hair out of Izuku’s face.

“I’m sorry for worrying you mom…are you okay?” Izuku asked, forgetting about himself and focusing on his mother.

Izuku’s eyes darted over his mothers’ body, scanning for injuries. She seemed physically okay.

“Yes, yes, I’m alright, Izuku.”

Izuku sat up fully. A wince formed on his face, and he hesitated, eyes squeezed shut as a wave of pain rolled down his body. Izuku sat still for a moment, waiting it out. He could feel the worried eyes of his mother and mentor on him. Izuku opened his eyes again, once the pain had subsided. He flashed his mother a relaxed smile to convey that he was alright. Izuku scowled at the two other people in the room.

“Mrs. Bakugo? Kaachan? What are you doing here?” He wondered, voice tired and strained.

Mitsuki took a step towards Izuku, mother instinct going crazy at the kid that used to come over so often. She had actually missed him over the course of the last couple of years. She had no idea why Katsuki got so worked up when Izuku was mentioned around the house. Lately, though, he seemed to have calmed down a bit. Mitsuki was glad to hear that. Good things seemed to be happening at the school, and with the children moving into those dorms. Izuku and Katsuki were mending their relationship, both were on a road to recovery with the things that had happened in their past and recently.

“You’re going to come stay with us as soon as you’re discharged.” Mitsuki said, both voice and smile uncharacteristically soft.

Izuku looked to his mother for an explanation.

“Well, we can’t really stay…at our home.” Inko explained, nervously tapping her fingers together. “And, we can’t stay at your school, so the Bakugo’s have graciously allowed us to stay at their home until you either return to school, or our home is deemed fit for us to live in again.”

Izuku mouthed an ‘O’. He looked back at Mitsuki and smiled as much as he could. He lowered his head slightly, “Thank you so much. If you need help around the house, or getting food or anything—”

“Nah, that won’t be necessary.” Mitsuki tenderly ruffled Izuku’s hair. “You’re just gonna rest up so you can get back to being a hero.”

It didn’t take all that long for Izuku to be discharged. Two days later he was fit for leaving the hospital. He was assigned to take it easy and not aggravate his more serious injuries, but he was otherwise okay. He had a slight limp from where his ankle had been broken. Toshinori had told Izuku that Recovery Girl had kindly come to help as much as she could. Turns out Izuku was exhausted. So not much happened with that. The few days that Izuku was in the hospital, his mother refused to leave his side. Toshinori had come to Izuku while his mother was sleeping and told Izuku he was proud of the boy for protecting his mother. He also informed Izuku that they would be protected and surveillanced. The people that had done this to the Midoriya’s would not go unpunished and they would get to the bottom of it.

 

Izuku felt clammy and unwell. His eyes cracked open to the dark living room of the Bakugo household. His heart hammered in his chest as he remembered the dream he was in just mere seconds ago. Dream? More like a nightmare. He dreamed things went differently that fateful night. That it was his mother as well as him. He couldn’t bear seeing pain inflicted on her. Izuku felt utterly sick. His body trembled. A clock resting on the television stand illuminated the dark room in dim blue light. Izuku saw the mess of blankets on top of him, sprawled over the pull-out futon in the room; though most of the blankets had fallen off of the thin mattress, or were spread out across it. Most of Izuku’s body was visible. Only a thin sheet remained on his legs. Izuku held in a cry as he felt phantom pains of that night. Hands that crept along his body, holding him in place as he was tormented. Hands that grasped his wrist and turned his body into a mangled mess. Izuku was exhausted. That was something that scared him. It reminded him of them.

Izuku didn’t realize that his breathing had picked up until the ringing in his ears died down. He snapped his eyes shut as a light was flicked on, blinding him momentarily. Katsuki stood by the light switch, finger lingering on it. He watched as his sworn ‘rival’ curled in on himself, face contorted in different emotions, pain and fear for instance. His body shook, and his arms and forehead glowed at the activation of his quirk. Izuku was not in a dream state any longer, but his quirk seemed to be acting in self-defense. Katsuki rolled his eyes. He swore to protect Izuku; the green haired moron was All Might’s successor. The two had their issues, but they were sorting them out. Katsuki felt less pressure to be aggressive around Izuku, as none of his peers, or parents, were present.

Katsuki strolled over to where Izuku was laying, a glass of water in one hand as he stepped towards the futon.

“Oi, Deku.” He said in a quiet, hushed tone.

Izuku’s eyes were open again, eyelids falling up and down as his cones adjusted to the bright light above him. Izuku inhaled sharply and breathed out a deep breath. The sparkly glow of One For All dissipated and Izuku sat up. His legs fell over the side of the futon, and the moment the sheet slipped from his knees, he was cold. The sheen of sweat on his body only made him shiver as he was exposed to the full frigid very early morning air. Izuku was surprised when Katsuki draped a blanket over Izuku’s shoulders and forced a glass of water into his hands. Katsuki grunted and returned to his place on the other couch in the room – sadly not a futon. Katsuki eyed Izuku, waiting for him to take a sip of water. Izuku complied. The cool liquid rushed down his throat, soothing the sore and dry feeling in his mouth and throat. Izuku huffed out another breath, his eyes resting on the half full cup of water in his shaking hands.

“So?”

“Um…” Izuku jumped at Katsuki’s voice. “…um, thank you, Kaachan.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Not what I meant, idiot.”

“Oh.” Izuku tried to calm the trembling in his voice as he struggled to lift his eyes to meet Katsuki’s gaze. “It was just a nightmare. I’m okay now.”

“Bullcrap.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and rested his head against the pillow propped against the couch.

The two were silent for a few moments, Izuku’s bandaged finger rubbed the side of the clear glass. To be honest, Izuku felt a little awkward. Katsuki and his relationship admittedly had gotten a lot better, the two of them were on good terms since their fight; it had only improved. The hostility had gone down, whenever he said ‘Deku’ the word did not hold any spite or teasing behind it. Obviously, it was still a little rocky and Izuku felt a little awkward with Katsuki staring at him.

“How did they get the upper hand, Deku?” There was genuine curiosity behind Katsuki’s words.

Katsuki knew how strong Izuku was, he was only growing stronger. He was very smart to. There was no way it was as simple as him being overpowered by a couple of thugs.

“They were professionals. One of them mentioned that he was being paid when he…” Izuku trailed off. “…I couldn’t get to my mom. They would have kil…they would have killed her if I had done anything. I couldn’t risk losing her. Better my life then hers…”

“Tch.” Katsuki grunted again and locked eyes with Izuku. “Was that what your nightmare was about?”

“Um…yeah, in a way.” Izuku stammered.

Katsuki narrowed his eyes at Izuku from across the room, silently demanding he tell him exactly what he had dreamed about. If Izuku was going to carry the torch in All Might’s name, then Katsuki had to help. And if that meant he listened to Izuku talk about his feelings then so be it. So, Izuku opened his mouth and tiredly explained his dream to Katsuki. He also went through some of the things he was put through. Katsuki felt a strange range of emotions. Ever since he accepted that Izuku wasn’t his sworn enemy, he had been trying to decipher the way he felt around Izuku. In a way, it was similar to Kirishima – a friend? – Katsuki felt a strong sense of security around Izuku. He had known him for a long time anyways, and trust was slowly being built back up between the two. But, Katsuki knew that the emotion he felt right now was rage. He was furious at whoever had been paid to hurt Izuku. He would not voice this out loud, partially because he didn’t know how, and partially because he was too prideful to tell Izuku that he actually thought of him as a potential friend. Katsuki felt sick as Izuku described some of the torture he experienced during the home invasion.

A curse fell past Katsuki’s lips when Izuku finished talking. Katsuki was kind of surprised that Izuku told him what had happened. The boy had not, though, told him how he felt about what had happened. It was visibly a trauma for Izuku, something he would not forget for a long time. It was probably terrifying. Katsuki couldn’t imagine. Sure, he had faced villains; heck, he had even been kidnapped by a group of them…but if someone broke into his house and threatened to kill his parents whilst simultaneously torturing him…Katsuki would be a little scared. There was a long moment of silence. Katsuki opened his mouth to say something, anything, but he was interrupted when Izuku rapidly placed the cup of water on the stand next to the futon and stood shakily, griping his stomach. Katsuki stood as well, frowning as Izuku dashed towards the bathroom. Katsuki followed, a few steps behind, his tired and muddled mind confused for a moment. Izuku fell to his knees in front of the white, porcelain toilet and leaned over it. Oh. Katsuki wasn’t confused any more.

Izuku’s face contorted in pain as his stomach spasmed in pain. He hurled into the toilet, retching up bile and stomach acid. Maybe he shouldn’t have talked to Katsuki about what happened. It made him feel disgusted to replay the memories in his mind. To think about the hands all over his body, prodding and hurting him. Threatening to hurt his mother. Izuku’s eyes and nose burned, as he heaved into the toilet. Tears streamed freely down his face. He gripped the sides of the toilet with intense strength, not breaking it, luckily. He felt a hand on his back, and the sweet voice of Mitsuki Bakugo comforting him as he threw up.

“Oh honey…” Mitsuki rubbed his back, much like how she would for Katsuki or Masaru. “It’s okay, just let it out.”

Katsuki stood in the doorway, watching Izuku and his mother. Mitsuki looked up at him, eyebrow raised. “What happened?”

“Pfft. I dunno, he was rambling and then suddenly ran to the bathroom.” Katsuki replied in a gruff manor.

“Were you talking about what happened?”

“Tch, maybe. Why would you care?”

Mitsuki rolled her eyes, too tired and considerate to reprimand her son at this point in time. She looked back at Izuku as he seemed to be finishing. She pulled some toilet paper and rolled it up before dapping around his lips and his running nose. She dropped it into the toilet and pulled Izuku into a motherly embrace. She did wish Inko were up, Izuku would benefit from his own mother’s attention, but Izuku just needed some TLC at the current moment in time, and Mitsuki was kind enough to give it. She had a short temper, but truthfully, she did love embraces. She loved when Masaru hugged her or held her. She loved to hold children as well. Katsuki never let her. Mitsuki shushed the sniffling boy and gently stroked his hair.

“Alright, Izuku…it’s time that you get back to sleep. No more talking about what happened, okay?” Mitsuki said, guiding Izuku into a standing position. “I’ll tell Inko what happened and have her call the doctor to make sure that it’s not an infection or anything.”

Mitsuki helped Izuku stand up and guided him back to the futon where he had been previously sleeping. The poor boy was shaking as she pulled the sheets over his trembling form. Mitsuki was enraged. She wanted to shout at the top of her lungs, punch something...anything. Inko was her friend, and Izuku was someone she always considered a second son. Whoever did this would pay. Katsuki watched as his mother tucked Izuku in, gently ruffling his hair before she looked up at her son. Mitsuki beckoned for him to follow. He complied, hands shoved in the pockets of his workout pants. Once they were in a different room, Mitsuki turned and whacked him upside the head.

 

“What were you thinking?! Bringing up such a sensitive subject so soon? You’re so insensitive!” Mitsuki yell whispered.

 

Katsuki cursed, “What are you talking about you old hag! You’re the one who just hit me!”

 

“Because you’re being stupid!”

 

Katsuki growled; really, his mother did seem childish sometimes. He would never admit it, but in certain aspects he took after her. Katsuki let out an irritated grunt and rolled his eyes. He turned around and began to saunter back to the living room but was stopped when his wrist was grabbed. He turned back towards his mother: his eyes narrowed as he was about to tell her to stuff it, but was surprised when she embraced him. Katsuki stiffened. He had never really been one for physical touch. Embraces such as these were unusual and unfamiliar to him. But, nonetheless, he wrapped his arms around his mother’s waist and gave her a quick squeeze before moving away. Luckily, his mother released him.

 

“Tch, why’d you go and do that.”

 

“It’s not easy for you either, Katsuki.” She said, “Don’t be such a prideful brat and admit you don’t like seeing Izuku like this.”

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Katsuki growled, dramatically rolling his eyes and turning around.

Mitsuki couldn’t help but smile at her son’s pure stubbornness. He really did take after her. “Goodnight, Katsuki. I love you.”

 

Katsuki hesitated before opening his mouth and quietly replying, “You too.”

 

Katsuki didn’t like seeing Izuku like this. Sure, he was annoying and way to cheery and optimistic, but he was still someone that Katsuki cared about — though that information would never ever in a million years be told to Izuku. Ever since their fight, Katsuki felt that being around Izuku wasn’t the same. In an odd way, Katsuki respected Izuku and his ideals. He was really trying, Katsuki could see that now. Katsuki paused before laying down on the couch to look at Izuku. The green haired successor of All Might was curled up in a ball, sheets a mess around him. His face was contorted in what looked to be pain. Katsuki felt the slightest pang of sympathy and a larger more prominent rush of fury. The thugs that did this deserved more than death. Everything they did in the past, plus some.

 

“I’ll kill ‘em.” Katsuki muttered under his breath before getting onto the couch and closing his eyes.

 

The next few days passed rather well. The constant shouting in the Bakugo home was actually kind of relaxing for both Izuku and Inko. It was like a hint of normality. But then the break was over, and it was time for Izuku and Katsuki to go back to UA. Izuku felt pretty satisfied and relieved, knowing his mother wouldn’t be alone as she would continue to stay at the Bakugo’s until the house was ready, and she was ready. Inko had a hard time with Izuku leaving to go back to school. She just wanted to constantly see him. She reminded him to text her as often as he could remember and come back if he needed to. Mitsuki had also loudly told Katsuki to protect Izuku and be there for him if he needed anything. Katsuki, of course, replied with an equally loud shout that ‘he could do whatever he wanted’. But now both boys were going back to the school.

 

Inko sat on the couch, nervously tapping her hands together. Mitsuki had told Inko about when Izuku had thrown up, obviously it was just induced by bad memories, but Inko still hadn’t liked that. It had only been two days since that happened. Inko had a hard time sending Izuku back to school knowing that his injuries still weren’t healed properly. Inko rubbed her head and sighed. What was she going to do with her son?

 

Meanwhile, Izuku and Katsuki were on their way to UA. They had taken a train and were now on foot. Most of the traveling had been silent, save for a few times Katsuki snapped at Izuku for muttering. But the silence was really starting to bother Katsuki. Usually, Izuku would start stammering or talk on and on about some heroes. Katsuki used to think it was annoying, but its absence was even more annoying. So, Katsuki tried to start up a conversation.

 

“What are you gonna say when people ask about you?”

 

Izuku stiffened and scowled, somewhat surprised that Katsuki asked a genuine question; Kaachan asked Izuku a concerned question. “Oh…I, uh, actually don’t know. I don’t know…if I want them to know.”

 

“Eh?”

 

“It’s a little embarrassing. And…well, since I don’t really know why it happened, I don’t want the other’s worrying.” Izuku said. “Though…if I was targeted by whoever was paying them to kill us…then any one of our classmates could be a target as well. We’ve tangled with a lot of villains, our class especially. Maybe I should tell them…I don’t want to scare them though, oh – I really don’t know what to do…now that you’ve mentioned it, I – uh—”

 

“Stop overthinking things, stupid Deku!” Katsuki shouted. “Jeez. All Might’s looking into it. Maybe you should ask him.”

 

“Oh, that’s right…” Izuku said. “Aizawa-sensei knows too. I bet that a lot of the teachers were informed. If it is a threat, I guess there’s a chance it could be revealed to ensure that students remain vigilant when they go out.”

 

Katsuki hummed in agreement. The two continued on walking, they were close to UA now, Katsuki could see it from afar. He glanced back over at Izuku and grunted. He wasn’t one for ‘feelings’, or really one for helping Izuku at all…but there was a part of him that just couldn’t help but feel a little bit concerned and sentimental.

 

“How would you feel if they told everyone?”

 

Izuku halted his walking. Katsuki groaned and glanced back with an irritated expression at being stopped. The look on Izuku’s face sobered him up. Izuku was staring at his feet, teeth grinding against each other in a way that almost made Katsuki cringe. Izuku’s hands were shaking as they rested on his abdomen. The way that Izuku’s shoulders were slumped, and the way he held himself – almost defensively – was all alarming to Katsuki. Izuku had been doing that a lot lately, especially when he got nervous or thought too much about the things that had happened to him. Katsuki didn’t like it. Izuku was already defensive enough, but this was a whole new level of defensive. There was no way that Izuku could keep up a façade of being ‘okay’ in front of their classmates, not while he looked like this.

 

“I…I don’t know…” Izuku started. “…just talking about this makes my heart race…like, somehow – somehow talking will make it happen again. I-It was a huge weakness that I displayed…I was hurt because I couldn’t…and…I’m scared that if the whole school knows about it…especially our class…well…what if they just think I’m p-pathetic and weak? And don’t want to be around me anymore? What if they will hate me?”

 

“Tch. You’re being ridiculous. You know all of those extras have dog like loyalty, no one would ever think that, idiot.”

 

“But don’t you, Kaachan?”

 

The words hit Katsuki like a bus. Did Izuku think that? Maybe in the past Katsuki got into the mindset of thinking like that, he sure said that to Izuku…but…did Izuku think that he really hated him? Katsuki had gotten over his distaste for Izuku. He would never admit it aloud, but their relationship was improving with every new experience. Izuku thought that everyone would hate him because he was weak. It was obviously a beyond preposterous thought. Anyone would know that none of those loyal classmates of theirs would turn their backs on Izuku just because he had been hurt and weak. But to Izuku, it was a huge possibility. Because he thought that Katsuki already thought that. If not because he had been quirkless, but because he had been weak. And Katsuki didn’t even think that about the situation. It was serious to Izuku. If Katsuki could hate him over being weak, then so could the others.

 

“Wha – no, what are you even talking about dumb Deku!” Katsuki snarled.

 

“…nevermind.”

 

The way the word came out from Izuku’s mouth was soft and thoughtful. Katsuki hated it. He really thought that, didn’t he? Katsuki supposed it was justified. He had treated Izuku like a bag of trash back then. Even now, to some extent. Katsuki was trying, he really was. It was an effort and he wasn’t just going to give up because the nerd thought that he was hated by Katsuki. Really, the blond had his reasons back then. Maybe he had a superiority complex, but he just felt so good when people praised him for picking on Izuku. It hadn’t started out that way, though; but it grew and grew, and Katsuki realized that he loved the attention he received from teasing and hurting Izuku. He wasn’t so prideful that he couldn’t admit – at least to himself – that he was wrong. He was wrong, in many ways. He should not have said the things that he did. He knew that it had hurt Izuku in ways he could never comprehend. And, Katsuki felt more then guilty. It was his fault, after all.

 

Izuku couldn’t control the way that he is. In fact, it was probably partially because of Katsuki’s behavior that Izuku was the way that he was. He used to be pretty confident. Not as confident as Katsuki, though. The blond boy had confidence back then that was unrivaled. But Izuku was very assertive in ways and was honest. It was one of the reasons they were such good childhood friends. Katsuki felt bad. It was unusual for him to feel emotions other than rage, but he did feel bad. His temper could have roots back to the way he was raised. His mother always had a temper, and Katsuki was very much like her in many ways. The one that Katsuki really needed to be like, was his father. Patient, understanding, quiet and very caring. He didn’t hate him. He could never. It wasn’t just the fact that he was Katsuki’s father, it was also that his compassion and considerate nature surpassed so many boundaries unreachable for Katsuki.

 

Katsuki grunted and balled his hands into fists inside of his pockets. Silence fell over both of the boy’s once more as they entered the gates of UA and headed for the dormitories. Izuku vacillated in front of the door, nervously picking at the bandages around his hands. Izuku wanted to enter, he really did…but he was afraid of rejection. He knew it was ridiculous; every time that he was injured, he worried about his friends rejecting him. Katsuki knew exactly what Izuku was thinking.

 

“Listen nerd, those morons won’t discard you just because you got hurt. If you feel panicked or overwhelmed, the old hag told me to ‘protect’ you or some crap. Don’t want to let the successor of All Might become drowned in his own pathetic feelings or whatever.”

 

Izuku looked around worriedly, making sure no one was around to hear him say that. “O-okay.”

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes and pushed open the door. He grumbled as he walked in. His posture was slouched, and he tried to maintain his grumpiness when Kirishima spotted him and excitedly started telling him about his break. Izuku entered slowly as well, chewing on his bottom lip as he entered the common room. He knew the entire situation that he had was kept under reps. Izuku didn’t quite know why, as of now, but the news hadn’t caught a hold of the story yet. That meant that Izuku’s classmates probably didn’t have a clue yet.

 

“Deku!” A cheerful voice rang out.

 

A genuine smile curled itself onto Izuku’s face as Uraraka ran towards him, arms wide. He winced when she came into contact with him but played it off as just nervous behavior. Izuku wrapped his arms around his friend. He had really missed Uraraka. She was his best friend, he enjoyed talking to her. Part of him wanted to tell her what had happened already, so that he could hear her soft voice tell him that it was okay. Somehow, the way she comforted him reminded him very much of his mother. The embrace didn’t last very long, and Uraraka pulled away, smile on her face.

 

“This feels like it was one of the longest break’s we’ve had, huh?” She asked, smile still intact. “You know, I really was a lazybones during it though…and – oh…hey, what happened?”

 

Izuku’s smile faltered. He knew Uraraka was referring to the bandages wrapped around his hands and forehead. As his other friends came over to greet him, they noticed immediately as well. Izuku was trying to find a way to explain it to them, without giving it away. He originally had a plan, but now his mind was blank and he couldn’t remember what he was going to say. So, he stood there in silence as the other’s worried about him. No, they had to stop worrying. The worry would lead to disappointment.

 

“Oh, I’m fine! I just – well, I just kinda got into a minor accident! You know doctors, they make things worse than they really are, so—”

“Yeah, but what kind ‘accident’?” Kaminari questioned.

 

“Was it a villain?”

 

Izuku was beginning to feel overwhelmed. His eyes nervously darted around the crowd of people. He caught Katsuki’s eye. The blond was in the kitchen when he noticed Izuku’s anxiety. Katsuki released an irritated yell, and the attention was quickly brought on him.

 

“Why is there no freaking food in this kitchen?!” He shouted angrily.

 

Izuku was very thankful for the save. The majority of the students quickly forgot what they were talking about and strolled towards the kitchen, a few explaining why there wasn’t food, and a few saying they needed to go and get food. Izuku heaved a sigh of relief. It was short lived, though. His closer friends were still watching him warily. Todoroki had his eyes narrowed. It wasn’t hostile, he just more of a concerned friend.

 

“Midoriya.” Todoroki started. “As I understand that you may want to maintain discretion, you can come to us.”

 

“Indeed! As class rep, and as your friend, I insist that you know you can come and talk whenever you need.” Iida agreed.

 

“Oh, uh, thanks guys. But really, I’m fine.” Izuku smiled, scratching the back of his head. “It was just a small mistake, that’s all.”

 

Truthfully, the words meant nothing to Izuku. The green haired boy knew that was unintentionally conveyed to his friends as well. By the looks that Todoroki, Iida and Uraraka were giving him…they didn’t believe him. Izuku didn’t believe himself either. He was trying to convince himself that he was alright to. Maybe if he continued to tell the other’s he was fine, then he would start to believe it to. Izuku excused himself to get situated in his room. He pulled out his phone and sent a quick text to his mother, telling her that he had arrived safely, and he loved her. Her reply was almost instantaneous. Izuku fell onto his bed, arms spread out on either side of him. Izuku’s eyes roamed around the room, surveying all the All Might merchandise. He wondered if Toshinori was disappointed in him. Above all, wouldn’t he be the one most disappointed?

 

Izuku moved his hand to rest on his shirt and clenched his hand. The material of his white shirt balled up. He wondered if Toshinori would want someone was as his successor. Izuku didn’t know why he was thinking like this. In the back of his mind, he knew it was utterly ludicrous. But part of him thought ‘what if’. Almost on cue, Izuku received a text from his mentor. He let his tired eyes read the message before sighing and letting his arm drop back on his bed.

 

‘Young Midoriya,’ it read. ‘I am pleased to know you have arrived safely. After you have settled in, I insist you come meet me about the incident.’

 

Immediately, Izuku’s thoughts went back to Toshinori wanting a new successor. Is that what he wanted Izuku for? To talk about what had happened and explain to Izuku that he no longer wanted an inheritor that was so weak? Izuku shook his head and rubbed his eyes. This wasn’t how he wanted things to go. When would the doubting stop? Izuku felt as if he doubted himself so often. He did. Izuku just felt so defeated. Maybe he should take the attack on his home as a good thing. He was gaining recognition as a young hero, villains were already being paid to kill him. At the same time, Izuku did feel so guilty.

 

His mother had endured so much already; the path that Izuku was on to become a hero had so far been littered with great injury and loss. She had dealt with the heartache of seeing her son in so much physical and emotional strain that Izuku wondered when she would reach her breaking point. After this? His mother was threatened too. Could Izuku really live with himself putting his mother in danger constantly? If he were to trek past the limits and become the number one hero, then his mother would be in so much danger.

 

Izuku heaved a sigh and sat up. He glanced back at the phone in his hands. He had already spent a few minutes contemplating, and he was as ‘settled’ as he would ever be. He didn’t quite feel like unpacking his belongings quite yet. Not that he had many. Some of the clothes inside were barrowed from the Bakugo’s. Mitsuki had graciously offered Izuku some clothes, since the Midoriya’s house was currently a crime scene and everything in it, including Izuku’s clothes which hadn’t been touched, was evidence. Izuku didn’t mind, though. He guessed he wasn’t as sentimental about his clothing as he used to be. Izuku stood and reached for his doorknob. He hesitated for a moment, not sure he wanted to deal with the strange looks and inquisitive questions he was sure that he would receive if he left his room. But All Might needed to talk to him, so, he left.

 

Izuku slipped past his classmates as unnoticed as he could be. Most of them were in their rooms getting unpacked from break, and the others were scattered around the common area. Some held peaceful conversations, while others were bickering at each other over some kind of game. Izuku was glad, for once, that school didn’t start today. Izuku smiled at the normality of his friends and left the dormitory, walking towards the main school building where Toshinori was waiting for him. When Izuku arrived, he was somewhat surprised to find Aizawa and Principle Nezu waiting for him.

 

“Oh, Principle Nezu,” Izuku lowered himself into a respectful bow. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

 

A small smile was on the highly intelligent animal’s face. He simply placed his hands behind his back and said, “Yes, well, this is very important. Shall we go and sit down?”

 

Izuku nodded. His heart pounded. So, this was important enough to have a sit-down conversation? Izuku was a little relieved that Aizawa and Nezu were here. That meant that Toshinori didn’t have any disappointing news for him concerning the One for All. Still, Toshinori could approach him afterwards. Once the four of them were settled comfortably, Izuku albeit a bit nervous, Aizawa began.

 

“The villains that attacked you and your mother were apprehended and have been interrogated for days now.” Aizawa began. “For the first bit of it, the police got no information from them, except that they had been paid to kill you and your mother. But, as of today, one of the two, the man named ‘Oda Fukuhara’ finally explained the motives behind his employers. As vague as it was, it was heavily hinted that the League of Villains was involved. From the way that Fukuhara explained it, to his employer you are a constant thorn in his side, and he wanted to have you eliminated. It does seem to be a running trend.”

 

Izuku scowled, staring at his hands that rested on his knees. The League of Villains potentially made another move? It did seem sloppy, and quite unplanned to Izuku. “So…they were just hired to kill me…would the League of Villains really make such a disordered move? I mean – uh…well, Shigaraki. He knows what he’s doing. He wouldn’t just leave loose ends. If he just hired two assassins, with the knowledge they may be caught, then why would he go do that, is he that desperate to get rid of me?”

 

“That was an important reason to why you’re here as well, Young Midoriya.” Toshinori said. “There is a chance that Shigaraki and the League of Villains have something else up their sleeve that could ultimately end in the fatality of you and other students, since we are well aware of how precise and organized, they are. Is there anything that either of the villains said that could link them to the League of Villains?”

 

Izuku thought for a moment. That whole night was a little hazy to begin with, but the more he thought about it, the more he remembered every single detail.

 

“Oh, actually…yes. A-At the beginning…w-when they got to me and brought me back to my home…they were asking about my quirk…” Izuku shot a quick glance at Toshinori. “…I remember one of them saying whoever employed them was intrigued.”

 

“Hm.” Aizawa pondered. “Perhaps Shigaraki is interested in your ability, he decided to hire assassins to kill you, knowing full well there was a large chance they would fail. He must have been trying to figure out more about your quirk, and then decided if he couldn’t get the information at least he could have you dead. And your mother too.”

 

Izuku flinched noticeably. Just talking about this was really unnerving for him. Obviously, the three superiors in the room noticed Izuku’s response and Nezu cleared his throat.

 

“Well, since there is a chance that Shigaraki could make another move, we will have to implement some kind of protective buddy-system of sorts while on campus, and off. If they went after you, there is a chance they could go after another one of the students as well.” Nezu said.

 

Izuku nodded, in full agreement. He would hate to see any one of his friends or their families suffer as much as he did.

 

“Which brings us to our next matter…” Nezu said.

 

“As of right now, the events have been kept under reps,” Aizawa explained. “but there is only so much time that can last. The press is sure to get hold of the story. We can try to keep it inconspicuous by saying an unnamed student and his mother were attacked, but there is a small chance that it may be revealed as you. Of course, once the story is out, the students and your classmates no doubt will piece together that it was you, due to the injuries you’ve sustained. In order for the students not to rebel against the new regulations that will potentially be enforced, the story will have to be revealed anyways so that students are more vigilant about their actions and make sure they don’t go out alone.”

 

“The question is, young Midoriya…will this make you extremely uncomfortable?” Toshinori finished in a question.

 

Izuku was silent for a moment. He could feel the eyes of his teachers on him, waiting for a response. Izuku felt cornered. No, he absolutely did not want his friends to know of his weakness…but he wanted them to be safe and protected. If Izuku had to throw away his dignity for that, then so be it. He was slowly trying to piece together ways to avoid the future barrage of questions and worry that he was sure to get once his friends knew.

 

“It doesn’t matter if it will make me uncomfortable, it only matters that everyone attending UA is safe…I appreciate your concern on the matter, All Might.” Izuku stood up. “If that is all, I – I would like to leave.”

 

Izuku wanted to get out as fast as he could. He couldn’t risk All Might catching onto how he felt. Because if Toshinori knew…he would realize how weak he was, and that he couldn’t handle the power passed down to him, and Izuku couldn’t handle that. Aizawa waved his hand, a quiet response to confirming that he was indeed allowed to leave.

“Young Mid—”

 

“Thank you for your time.” Izuku interrupted the former symbol of peace and rushed out of the room quickly.

 

Did he really just interrupt All Might? His childhood and current hero? He couldn’t help but want to avoid him. He just couldn’t take it if Toshinori didn’t want him anymore, because he was weak. Izuku had come to see Toshinori as a father figure. If Toshinori didn’t want him anymore, it would be all too painful and familiar of how Izuku felt with his own father. He had sometimes wondered…maybe Dad left because I was quirkless and weak? That’s why Izuku never had any friends. That’s why Katsuki hated him. Izuku was just worried that if he wasn’t careful the cycle would repeat and Izuku would be left alone again.

 

Toshinori watched in confusion, and slight hurt, as he watched the retreating back of his predecessor. A frown lingered on his face as he looked back to Nezu and Aizawa.

 

“I’m worried about him.” Toshinori stated. “I wonder if this is moving too quickly.”

 

“We don’t have much of a choice.” Aizawa stated firmly. “Midoriya has friends and teachers willing to care for him and help him. This is how the real-world works, sometimes. It’s not fair.”

 

“Yes, but he is still a child.” Toshinori argued. “As adults, accepting failure and defeat is something we have learned to do gradually. This is being thrown at him all at once. I’m afraid he won’t be able to handle it.”

 

“He has people to talk to,” said Nezu. “don’t fret, we will keep an eye on him, as I’m sure you will as well.”

Chapter Text

Izuku was having a difficult time. He had only been back at UA for a week, and already nightmares plagued his mind. He dealt with them himself, though. He always had done that. Of course, he hadn’t been able to fall asleep again. After a nightmare, Izuku would lay awake in bed, staring up at the ceiling of his UA dorm room. Sweat dripped down his face and collected on his back, making it uncomfortable and stick to his shirt. Izuku was exhausted. He had been since it happened. He had gone to Recovery Girl in hopes that she could speed up the recovery time for him. He remembered what she said, “I can’t do much until you can support my power. You’re too fatigued.” So, she healed only small bits, leaving Izuku in a constant dull ache. Pain medication that was prescribed to him didn’t’ really do all that much. It was probably because Izuku had gotten injured so often and taken it so much the effect was null on him now.

Izuku wished he could sleep. But he couldn’t let himself fall asleep. Not tonight. The nightmares were too intense. He would rather push them down and avoid the inevitable. Maybe it was stupid. Izuku wasn’t in his right mind right now. Every thought seemed to be filled to the brim with self-loathing, insecurity and irrational ideas. Izuku knew he was in control of his thoughts…so why did it seem like he wasn’t?

 

The negative thoughts had such a strong hold on Izuku that it was all he thought about day and night. Maybe there was a part of him that wanted to think like that. Izuku was selfish. He knew he was. It didn’t matter how he felt. He knew that his classmates were worried about him, a few casting concerned glances his way while they sat in class and listened to Aizawa’s lecture. They could do so much if they weren’t worried about Izuku; he needed to give them a reason to believe that he was fine. That wouldn’t do much, not when the story was revealed.

 

That was a constant anxiety. Izuku was just waiting for it to be revealed. He was wading in a pool of pure anxiety at the thought. What would they say? Would they start to fake their relationship with him? Izuku couldn’t suppress the thoughts. Using his injured index finger and thumb, he reached under the sleeve of his shirt and pinched his wrist. He needed to focus. But he couldn’t…his thoughts were everywhere. He wanted to pick up his pencil and scribble down notes, he wanted to be interested in what Aizawa was saying…but he just couldn’t. He was stuck in his own self-absorbed bubble. It infuriated him.

 

Izuku had also picked up on the glances that Aizawa shot at him. Obviously, the man noticed the vacant look in Izuku’s glazed-over eyes. He noticed the way that Izuku was slightly slumped over in his chair, the way that he was not paying attention…yet Izuku’s teacher did nothing about it. In regular circumstances, Aizawa would reprimand Izuku with a simple call of his name, short and simple, yet very strict. It always conveyed the meaning: pay attention or else. But now, he was ignoring it completely. Normal circumstances. These were normal circumstances. It was a regular class, and sure, Izuku was a little physically injured, but that was almost a regular thing. What was so different about now? Why was Aizawa overlooking this? To spare Izuku’s ‘fragile’ feelings? Izuku was sure that to Aizawa, he looked like a piece of cracked, brittle glass, ready to break at any wrong movement. Izuku was fine…wasn’t he?

 

The rest of the day passed in a blur. Izuku felt empty as he sauntered though the day, half-heartedly listening to lectures, or preforming in small training exercises. That night, Izuku sat on his bed. He could faintly hear the noises of his friends in the common area, eating dinner and laughing. Izuku almost wanted to be down there with him…but he couldn’t. He couldn’t disappoint them that much. He knew disappointment was coming. Toshinori had texted telling him that new rules would be implemented tomorrow, and thus an explanation of the story would also be told. It didn’t make Izuku feel better that he would go ‘unnamed’, because as Aizawa had said, his friends and classmates were smart. They would figure it out very fast.

 

Izuku felt sick. His stomach churned at the thought of food. He had been eating when the two men had gotten to him. He had been casually walking down the street, back towards his apartment when they appeared. They told him that they had another man ready to kill his mother unless he cooperated. Izuku couldn’t risk his mother being hurt because of him, so he went with them. Izuku felt phantom pain tickling his cheek and tugging on his hair as he remembered the way that Oda Fukuharu had attacked him, punching him and then roughly grabbing his hair. He remembered the way that one of the men’s quirk was used on him, instantly making him feel so tired he could hardly stand. It was when they got back to the apartment and his mother was not being threatened that Izuku realized the desperateness of the situation.

 

Had he only acted faster, activated his quirk and used it on the men…then he and his mother could have gotten out unscathed. If Izuku hadn’t been frozen in shock and overcome by the fatigue…he could have avoided it and he wouldn’t feel so utterly hopeless and weak. If he had done that, then Izuku wouldn’t feel so concerned about what the others would think. Why did he care so much? He had faced defeat before. When Katsuki was kidnapped. Izuku felt shame, and emotions similar to this…but it was different. Izuku was embarrassed and wounded. He failed against two men. Izuku had fought much more off then that.

 

Izuku jumped when a knock came at his door. He stared at the door for a moment, hesitant. His heartbeat thrummed in his ears, only getting louder as he slowly walked towards the door. Another knock. Izuku’s fingers twitched as he reached towards the door handle. He tried to compose himself, but he knew that he was paler than the moon. He knew that rings of purple hung from his eyes. He knew he looked terrible. He opened the door a bit, finding Todoroki outside.

 

“Midoriya,” he started. “the food is ready.”

 

“Oh…” Izuku said. “I-I…I don’t feel that great. So, I think I’m going to skip it today. Thanks for getting me though.”

 

Todoroki frowned, a look of concern flashing in his heterochromatic eyes. Izuku flinched at Todorki’s scowl. “Midoriya—”

 

“I…I’m going to get some rest. Goodnight, Todoroki.” Izuku closed the door as fast as he could.

 

Admittedly, Izuku felt bad about closing the door in his friend’s face, but he felt like he was going to break down any minute. Hot tears were already brimming his eyes. Why was he crying? What reason? What right did he have to cry? It was his fault after all. Besides, he was fine; right?

The night passed slowly. It was agonizing. Izuku fought to keep his eyes open, afraid of the nightmares that were sure to plague every dream he had. Izuku was afraid of sleep. He was afraid of being tired. That was a weakness, wasn’t it? Being afraid. Izuku couldn’t help those feelings. He wished they would go away. Izuku knew he had lost the battle at one point, losing consciousness and falling into the abyss of sleep, only to be woken up an hour later covered in sweat and having trouble grasping breath. Izuku spent the right of the night awake. When the morning came, Izuku locked his door and sent an email to some of his teachers, informing them that he would not be in class today because he was sick. He wasn’t lying. Izuku felt utterly ill.

 

His stomach churned and cramped painfully, his headache – probably due to sleep deprivation – was like a constant flick to his temple. Izuku’s body felt sore all over, his wounds and scabs itching and aching. He felt disgusting. He knew he couldn’t avoid the inevitable. His classmates would find out. Today. Izuku was taken by nausea. He pulled himself off of his bed and threw open his door before rushing to the bathroom. Izuku was glad, for once, that there was no one in the dormitory. It was mid-day, so he assumed his friends were getting lunch right now. They probably already knew.

 

Izuku had turned off his phone’s notifications to avoid any texts from them. That wasn’t top priority in his mind right now. Izuku rushed into the dormitory bathroom and fell to his knees in front of one of the porcelain toilets and hurled. His migraine seemed to increase tenfold as bile burned the back of his throat. The vomiting only seemed to get worse as Izuku’s stress shot up. He never liked throwing up. He hated the way he gagged, muscles cramping and tugging painfully on his already upset stomach. Fat tears fell out of his eyes like raindrops; Izuku sobbed as he continued to vomit, getting to the point that he was dry heaving. It was painful, Izuku coughed into the toilet, desperately trying to take in breath before he heaved nothing again.

 

Izuku’s nose and throat burned. His entire body ached, as Izuku’s body finally granted him some peace. Izuku rested his hot forehead on the side of the toilet and gulped down the air that was previously being withheld from him by his own body. The relief was short lived. The headache, that seemed to dissipate while Izuku was throwing up, came back with a vengeance. Izuku winced as shivers traveled up his spine and ended up in his head. Izuku felt dizzy and nauseous again. The way the headache was, like a tight band around his forehead being brought up towards the top of his head, it reminded Izuku of that night. He remembered the hands that held onto his blood tainted hair and threw him around. He remembered the way his mother screamed in sheer terror. The way he could hear his own bones shattering, he could hear his heartbeat, he could hear the blood bubbling from so many wounds, he could hear the laughing and the pure evil and sadism of those men. Izuku felt trapped.

 

He was suddenly back there, being tormented in front of his innocent mother. What had she done? What had he done? Izuku couldn’t breathe. All he could hear was the laughing, the screaming; his screaming. Izuku screamed. He clawed at the material on his shirt, holding his gripped hand above his fast beating heart. He squirmed on the floor of the bathroom. He knew he was there, on the tiled floor, but he couldn’t see it. Izuku plated his foot on the floor, trying to kick away the non-existent attackers, only succeeding in making a squeaking sound as the rubber on the bottom of his shoe slid across the ground. Izuku inhaled and inhaled and inhaled, yet he couldn’t get any air. He was drowning above ground. Izuku was taken over by sheer panic and terror. His vision blurred at the edges, all he could see was the insane smile, the tears that fell down his mother’s cheeks, sparkling like the stars in the night sky. He saw the sadness and the horror in her eyes, blood speckled onto her face, pain etched into her expression. No. No. No! Izuku was supposed to be a hero and he couldn’t even save his own mother.

 

Izuku was back. He could breathe again. His breaths came in sharp, breathing still quick and labored, but he could breath again. His vision was fogged with tears, he could see his hand in front of him, resting on the tiled floor, trembling. He lay halfway in the stall and halfway out, body wracked with awful shivers. Izuku couldn’t help but feel like a helpless, sick child. Tears rushing out of his eyes, nose dripping, chin dribbled with saliva and leftover bile. Was Izuku in any shape to ever become a hero? In that case, what was he trying to accomplish at all?

 

Izuku was on the floor of the bathroom for a long count of forty-five minutes, laying in silence as he tried to get a handle on his breathing. Eventually, he flushed the toilet, cleaned his face and left the bathroom feeling ashamed. Izuku trudged up to his room and collapsed onto his bed. He glanced at his nightstand and lifted his hand to weakly brush over his ‘hero analysis for the future’ journal. He couldn’t even look at it. Izuku fought and fought, but sleep won. Izuku fell into a sleep somewhere between restful and restless.

 

Meanwhile, the day ended, and the students of class 1-A were headed back to their dorms in silence. They walked in a group, as per-demand of the school to be with at least one other person while outside of the dorms. Uraraka was nervously tapping her finger on her leg as she approached the dormitory. Aizawa’s words echoed in her mind, ‘A student from the school was attacked during the break. The assailants were hired to kill said student, which they ultimately failed, but succeeded in injuring the student using messy ways. We have reason to believe the League of Villains is making another move. Please be vigilant and stay together.’ Obviously, Aizawa had gone on about the school’s new policy. Aizawa had looked very stressed; they all knew he hated dealing with the press, which is something that him and the rest of the teachers at UA were not looking forward to.

 

After class, Uraraka had gone and asked Aizawa if it was Izuku. His lack of reply was all the answer that Uraraka needed. ‘Messy way’s’, Uraraka didn’t want to think about what that meant. Upon entering the dorms, Kirishima spoke up.

 

“So…it had to be Midoriya, huh?”

 

“We shouldn’t gossip about this matter.” Iida said flatly, somehow his posture was more poised than usual.

 

“C’mon Iida,” said Kaminari. “if it was Midoriya then we should do something to help.”

 

“I am not sure what there is to do.” Todoroki spoke up, breaking the silence he had been holding since this morning. “If Midoriya was involved in this incident, it may be best if we give him space until he wants comfort.”

 

Katsuki grunted at that. How did that half-and-half idiot know Izuku so well?

 

“Oi, Bakugo, do you know anything about this?” Kirishima asked suddenly.

 

And then all eyes were on Katsuki.

 

“What are you looking at morons!?” He shouted. “Just cuz’ I live near that nerd doesn’t mean I know what he does on a weekly basis!”

 

Katsuki rolled his eyes dramatically and then stomped towards his dorm room, wanting to get out of the situation quickly. It wasn’t his place to say anything about the matter, besides he didn’t want his classmates to get the wrong idea. Katsuki hesitated for a moment. Get the wrong idea. Get the wrong idea about what? The fact that Katsuki maybe, kind of, not really but really, considered Izuku a friend? He grit his teeth for even thinking that and continued walking. But maybe Izuku was…Katsuki shook his head and tried to ignore his classmates calling for him to give them a straight answer.

 

While the others were trying to get Katsuki to come back, Uraraka and Todoroki walked to Izuku’s room. Really, Todoroki began to, and Uraraka followed. They were generally quiet on they way over. Todoroki reached for the doorknob once they got to Izuku’s room and he twisted it, slightly relieved to find it was unlocked. He and Uraraka peeked into the room. The light from the hallway illuminated the dark room. Uraraka was sad as she spotted Izuku on his bed, lying on his stomach and one arm off the bed. She was sad to see the bandages that were professionally wrapped around his figure. She was sad to see the face that was contorted in pain and fear. Todoroki’s expression remained the same, with the exception of his eyes narrowing slightly. Todoroki sighed and stepped away, closing the door as quietly as he could.

 

“So…it was Deku then…” Uraraka said quietly.

 

“It appears that way.”

 

“I guess that explains his behavior. He wouldn’t talk to me about it…and well, every time I brought up his well-being, he said he was ‘fine’. I guess he was lying…” Uraraka mused.

 

Izuku woke up just as tired as he was when he fell asleep. He rubbed his eyes and sat up, shivering at the memory of the dream he had. He couldn’t escape them. With a quick glance at the clock, he decided to get up and get some water from the dorm kitchen. It was early in the morning, he suspected no one would be up at this time. He was wrong. Izuku made his way down to the kitchen, quiet as mouse, and filled a glass with tap water. He lifted the cup to his trembling lips and took a sip.

 

“Ah, mon amie, I did not expect you to be up at this hour.”

 

Izuku, startled, spat out a mouthful of water and suppressed a scream at the sudden voice. He turned towards the source to find Aoyama standing by the counter. When had he gotten here? Izuku placed a hand on his chest and inhaled deeply, recovering from the scare.

 

“Oh, did I scare you? Pardon me.” Aoyama said, lowering his head. “That was not my intention.”

 

“I-I believe you.” Izuku stammered.

 

The two stood in buzzing silence before Aoyama moved a little closer to Izuku. Instinctively, Izuku stepped back.

 

“Apparently a student from the school was attacked in their home.”

 

Izuku stiffened, hand tightening around the glass in his hand. Aoyama observed this and heaved a sigh.

 

“As I suspected…it was you.” Aoyama said. “If you need solace, I do hope you are well aware that my door and the doors of the others are always open.”

 

Aoyama turned and began to walk away, and Izuku didn’t know what came over him but he opened his mouth and said, “It wasn’t just me.”

 

“Pardon moi?”

 

“M-my…my mother.” Izuku said, inwardly trying to force himself to stop, which he ended up doing.

 

Aoyama stared at Izuku for a moment, expression contorting into deep sympathy. “Ah, I see. My offer still stands.”

“T-thank you…but I’m fine.”

 

“Hm. If you say so. I suggest getting some sleep, you look like you need it. Bonne nuit~!” Aoyama waved behind him and was gone before Izuku knew it.

 

Izuku stood alone in the kitchen. He couldn’t help it when tears started to spill out of his eyes. He vigorously rubbed his eyes to make the tears stop, but they just kept coming. And suddenly, Izuku needed someone to be with him. He quietly placed the cup in the sink and muffled his crying. He approached Katsuki’s door and raised his hand to knock but stopped. No…he didn’t want to bother Katsuki. He would probably yell at him or get mad at him. Izuku didn’t want to inconvenience him, so he turned away and found himself standing in front of Uraraka’s door. He knew he stood there for a while, tears streaming down his face while he contemplated knocking, and then decided against it. He didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. He turned away and started down the hallway.

 

“Deku…?”

 

Izuku froze at the voice. He looked behind his shoulder, finding Uraraka standing in her open doorway. Izuku probably looked like a mess, tears and snot running down his face, eyes full of sheer terror. Uraraka, dazed and groggy, snapped into reality. Her eyebrows downed in realization and she quickly stepped over and took Izuku’s hand and led him into her room. Izuku didn’t fight against it and held onto his friends’ hand. On a normal day, Izuku would be freaking out about being in a girl’s room – with a girl – but this wasn’t a normal day, nor was it a normal situation.

 

“Deku…wha--”

 

Izuku interrupted her by falling into her arms and sobbing into the crook of her neck. Izuku wrapped his arms around Uraraka’s waist and gripped the fabric of her night shirt tightly. Izuku had no clue what got ahold of him in that moment. He craved touch. He needed it. Uraraka, surprised, gently pulled Izuku close, wrapping her arms around Izuku’s thin form. If you need solace, I do hope you are well aware that my door and the doors of the others are always open…Aoyama’s words echoed in Izuku’s mind. Izuku wondered if maybe he could talk things out. Did he want to? Did he deserve it? He thought no. Izuku was already beginning to feel bad about this situation with Uraraka.

 

Izuku timidly pulled away from his friend, wiping his face with the back of his hand and sniffling. “S-Sorry…”

 

“Don’t apologize.” Uraraka said quickly. “I-If you need me…I’m here. Always.”

 

Uraraka sat on the edge of her bed and beckoned for Izuku to come sit next to her. Izuku did, albeit a little uncomfortably.

 

“So…I-I guess you heard about…”

 

“Yeah…” Uraraka said, Izuku not even needing to finish the sentence.

 

“Then…I guess you’ve probably figured out…”

 

“I have.”

 

Izuku didn’t know how to feel. He didn’t know if he should say anymore, or if he should take a hint with Uraraka’s tone; she was keeping her answers short. Maybe she didn’t want to hear Izuku.

 

“I’m sorry…I-I really shouldn’t have—”

 

“De – Izuku...” Uraraka interrupted him. “Listen. You’ve been through so, so much. You really don’t need to justify yourself. I know that you’ve gone through very difficult things in the past, and a lot of others that you know have as well…but you’re are comparing them. And blaming yourself. You don’t need to do that. What happened to you was horrible and in its own category. It’s alright to not be okay.”

 

Izuku stared at her for a long moment before his eyes fell to his hands. The emotion he had just felt was slowly draining from him, leaving him a dull shell. He hated it. He was just so tired. Maybe Uraraka was righ – no. Izuku couldn’t just accept it. He was fine.

 

“I’m okay.” Izuku said tonelessly. “Really…the crying was just…I-I didn’t feel good.”

 

Uraraka sighed and smiled at him reassuringly. “That’s okay…hey…can I tell you something?”

 

“U-um sure.”

 

“During the sports festival…after I lost to Bakugo, I was really…well, I was understandably upset. You came to talk to me before your match…and I told you I was fine. I think you knew I wasn’t, that’s why you were so hesitant to leave…but you had to go and fight Todoroki. Honestly…if you had stayed, I’m afraid I would’ve broken down in front of you, which seems embarrassing. And I did break down. In front of my dad, that is…”

Izuku looked a little lost. Of course he remembered that. He felt horrible for leaving her there by herself, but he supposed it was for the best.

 

“Okay…well, what I’m getting to…I didn’t want to worry anyone. I didn’t want to face my peers because I was afraid of rejection. But…after I called my dad, I felt a lot better. Talking with him really helped…and well, after that I realized that I was actually really thankful that you cared enough about me to make sure I was okay. Knowing that I had you to lean back on when I was emotionally unstable, I guess, alongside my parents was really comforting.” Uraraka smiled, nostalgia spreading across her chest in a comfortable, warm way. “You need to find someone you’re comfortable talking to. For me, it was my dad. But I also knew I could talk to you, or Tenya…know that I’m here for you. We all are.”

 

Izuku was silent, not looking at Uraraka. He knew she was right. He wasn’t stupid. Part of him wanted to accept what she was saying and apply it to his life, and the other side of him wanted to completely ignore it and continue to wallow in self-pity and misery. Somehow the latter won. Izuku hated the anxious, uncomfortable feeling that he had. He hated that it was here. He hated everything that had happened to him and his mom. But…he was thankful for Uraraka. No, he did not want to say anything, but being in someone else’s presence, someone who understood that he wasn’t ready to say anything yet and was willing to accept that and not push, was just relaxing.

 

Izuku found himself reaching for his friends’ hand and grasping it, suddenly needing the comfort of another human being. Uraraka took his hand as well, rubbing her thumb against the top of his hand in a comforting and soothing way. It was silent. It wasn’t uncomfortable.

 

“Thank you.” Izuku said quietly.

 

“No problem.” Uraraka replied, just as quiet.

 

Outside of the door, in the hallway, Katsuki leaned against the wall and listened. The door to Uraraka’s room was cracked just a little so Katsuki could hear the conversation that was going on between them. Of course he had heard that nerd outside his door thirty minutes ago. Izuku wasn’t exactly as quiet as he thought he was. Katsuki woke up when he heard sniffling outside of his door. When he finally got up to see who it was, even though he knew who it was, the dork was already gone. Well, almost. Katsuki followed Izuku down hallways, he had stopped at a few doors, Iida’s, Todoroki’s and then ended up in front of Uraraka’s. Katsuki thought that Izuku had seen him when Uraraka stepped out to find a crying Izuku in the hallway.

 

Katsuki wouldn’t say he was worried about the idiot. He was just…mildly interested. Worry was a strong word. Katsuki just couldn’t admit to himself. He was worried about Izuku Midoriya. Izuku was his rival, why did Katsuki give a crap? He didn’t. Though, part of him knew that wasn’t true. Why else would he follow Izuku early in the morning? Katsuki sighed and turned away, starting to head back to his own room.

 

Izuku went back to his own room soon after, Uraraka had made sure, more than once before his departure, that he was well enough to go back by himself; he was okay. Uraraka honestly reminded him of his mother a couple of times while he sat with her. Just the warm, comforting aura around her. Izuku smiled as he opened his door and paused in his doorway. He bit his lower lip, staring into his dark room. He felt calm, at least a little bit. More than lately. Izuku inhaled and held his breath for a moment before releasing and entered his room. Maybe he could do this.

 

As it turned out, Izuku really lost hope of being able to get through ‘this’ the next morning. He purposefully waited in his room for everyone to leave for classes before finally exiting his room and wandering over to the academy. Izuku couldn’t handle the stress of facing his classmates. He knew that he would have to eventually, but he really just couldn’t think about that now. He was so tired; which scared him. Izuku hated being tired, especially recently. It reminded him far too much of how he felt before the incident.

 

Izuku pulled the door to his class open and mumbled a quick apology to Aizawa, who had a tired, irritated expression on his face as Izuku stumbled to his desk. He could feel all the eyes on him, even as he sat down. Please stop looking at me. He wished that so intensely in his mind that he was beginning to get a headache. It just so happened that the headache just got worse as the seconds continued on.

 

It was hard not to look at Izuku. He came into the class disheveled, hair a mess, bags hanging under his eyes and posture slouched. From the way he moved, he seemed to be in some kind of pain, wincing every couple of minutes. The way he sat in his chair made obvious that he was uncomfortable. Izuku wasn’t all that great in hiding his emotions. He looked so tired. Uraraka could relate, of course, but the state he was in made her think he had been up for nights on end. Uraraka frowned at that.

 

Class ended on time, and the moment Aizawa finished his lecture, Izuku found himself swarmed by his friends. He tensed, squeezing his hands together to form fists. A cold sweat formed on Izuku’s forehead as he was attacked from all ends with questions about his wellbeing.

 

“Midoriya.” The loud voice of Aizawa interrupted Izuku’s classmates. “You will go to Recovery Girl as soon as you leave this classroom.”

 

“Y-yes sir.” Izuku stood up and left quickly after that, wanting to avoid his classmates for the time being.

 

Izuku’s entire body ached as he made his way to Recovery Girl. His legs and arms were tired and sore, some of his injuries were throbbing almost as severely as his head. He smiled at Recovery Girl when he entered the infirmary wing and sat down on one of the beds she beckoned him to. Recovery Girl had Izuku remove his shirt and took a quick glance over his injuries. She cleaned a few and then replaced the bandages. The entire time it was uncomfortably quiet. Izuku’s anxiety rose even more when Toshinori entered the room. He was going to be disappointed.

 

“Young Midoriya, how are you doing today?” Toshinori asked.

 

“I-I…I’m okay.” Izuku replied, not really feeling his answer. “W-why are you here, All Might?”

 

Toshinori pulled up a chair and sat across from Izuku, Recovery Girl stood by the boy who was seated on the edge of a bed. Izuku was getting nervous. Really nervous.

 

“My boy…concerning the two men that were apprehended.”

 

Izuku felt sick.

 

“They were both found dead in their cell this morning.”

 

Izuku’s stress level, strangely, went through the roof. He felt instantly ten times sicker than he was feeling before. Recovery Girl and Toshinori both immediately recognized the look Izuku had. His face went a few shades lighter, with a slight hue of green. Toshinori reached for a nearby trash can and placed it in Izuku’s hands. It was just in time, and the boy retched vionlently into the trash can. Not much came up, just water and a few scraps of food that Izuku had forced down his throat this morning. It turned into dry-heaving fast. He felt hands on his back, rubbing and trying to comfort him. It ended soon after, Izuku gagged and spat into the trash can, feeling disgusted with himself. He just threw up in front of All Might. Recovery Girl took the trashcan and handed Izuku a wipe for his face.

 

“Poor boy…” She said in a whisper.

 

“Youn – Izuku, my boy…I…” Toshinori hesitated. “…I am so very sorry. I feel as though I have not been here for you enough.”

 

Izuku shook his head, lifting his hands to his face to cover his eyes. No more crying. He couldn’t cry anymore. “…do you know who did it?”

 

“What?”

 

“Oda and Eddie.” Izuku stated.

 

“Are you sure…I don’t wish to make you sick anymore.”

 

“Please…All Might, just…j-just tell me what happened.”

 

Toshinori looked hesitant but sighed and relented. “As you wish. They were to be transferred to a more secure prison this morning. When the police guarding them looked at the security screen, they were both dead in their cells. The police are still unsure who did it, or how. The cameras don’t show much. Around the time that they were thought to be killed, the security cameras went dark and when the tapes cleared up both were dead. The culprit is still unknown. But, for someone to slip into the cell like that without alerting anyone, or causing any ruckus…”

 

“Kurogiri.” Izuku said; he stated it as some kind of rhetorical yet questioning inquiry.

 

“Perhaps.”

 

Izuku was quiet for a moment. “So…the League of Villains…”

 

“I am still trying to piece together what they were trying to accomplish, if it was them.”

 

“My quirk.” Izuku stated. “If – well, if they thought that my quirk has a connection to you, maybe they were trying to figure out what it was, or why…or if I was your successor – and I know that Shigaraki wants me dead…so…I guess it was killing two birds with one stone. A win-win for him either way. One, they figure out information about my quirk that they didn’t know before, and two, I die along with my mother, getting rid of the ‘annoying thorn’ in Shigaraki’s side…”

 

Toshinori always knew Izuku was an intelligent kid. His strategic brain was constantly thinking. Toshinori, of course, admired the boy for that.

 

“That’s a very logical explanation.” Toshinori said. “Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do, really. Even with concrete evidence that it was in fact the League. If this attack indeed had something to do with One for All, the odds are that the League won’t go after any other students. But that could mean you’re still a target.”

 

Izuku nodded, lifting his hand and rubbing the side of his head. His mind felt like it was filed with cotton. His vision was getting fuzzy, as a flashing and blinding aura raged its way across Izuku’s eyesight. He felt nauseas again.

 

“The worst possible outcome would be if the League discovered your secrete. I’m afraid something worse could happen to you then a home attack, yet not death. As you know, One for All cannot be forcefully taken, but forcefully passed on, or willingly given. No matter what the case, in order for the power to be passed to someone, it requires your consent. I would hate to see what the villains would do to you to obtain the power.”

 

Izuku nodded, half listening. Obviously, the gravity of the situation was very serious…but Izuku was having a lot of trouble focusing. He felt so bad that he just wanted to cry. Wait what All Might said. Because Izuku could get hurt again, did Toshinori want him to pass the power to someone else? Someone more qualified. Izuku’s breathing picked up.

 

Recovery Girl had at this point, reached over to test the boy’s pulse, unhappy with how quickly his heart was beating. Izuku’s eyes were glazed over, the boy’s shoulders were slumped in what looked like some kind of defeated stance. Words were rolling off his dry lips in mumbles, all the while he tried to keep up with how fast he was breathing. It got to the point that Izuku was inhaling so sharply, and so quickly that he would pass out any second.

 

And Izuku felt like he was drowning. He felt chained. Underwater. Unable to move. Negative thoughts overtook him and ate away at his sanity. He was so weak. And then it was black. Recovery Girl gasped as Izuku’s eyes rolled to the back of his head and he fell backwards. He landed on his back, head almost off of the bed he was sitting on. Toshinori was alarmed, he was up and out of his chair. Izuku came around not more then a few seconds later, disoriented and confused.

 

Toshinori inhaled a deep sigh of relief, seeing the boy was at least awake. Recovery Girl pushed him away and felt his forehead.

 

“You’re really having trouble, aren’t you?” She whispered to Izuku.

 

“I…can’t…” Izuku’s voice cracked, and his breath hitched. “I can’t c-cry…I can’t…be weak…I-I…I love this quirk…I can’t…disappoint him…All Might. Please. Please. D-don’t take it away…”

 

Toshinori was taken aback by this. Take it away? Was he referring to One for All? How could Izuku think that?

 

“Toshinori!” Recovery Girl snapped him out of his daze. “I need you to fetch me some cool water and a rag from the sink over there.”

 

Toshinori nodded fervently.

 

“Now, honey, you’re not disappointing anyone.” Recovery Girl soothed. “You’ve gone through a lot, no one blames you.”

Izuku felt hot. It felt like flames licked every inch of him. And then he was cold. What was happening to him? Recovery Girl placed the rag that Toshinori had returned with on Izuku’s forehead, trying to cool him down a little bit. Izuku’s cheeks were flushed a rosy pink color, sweat fell off of his face like raindrops. His eyes were brimmed with unshed tears, and his hands gripped the sheets of the white bed. Recovery Girl also unbuttoned Izuku’s shirt and rolled up the bottoms of his pants to let him breathe a little.

“Psychogenic fever.” Recovery girl explained. “A psychosomatic ailment that displays itself in high-body temperatures. It doesn’t usually get this bad though. He must be avoiding food and sleep. He’s also dehydrated as well. Not severely, but I’m sure it doesn’t help. Toshinori, he is carrying so much stress on his shoulders, and some of it is because he is afraid you will make him give up the power bestowed upon him by you.”

Toshinori looked back at the boy. Izuku looked to be in a daze, staring up at the ceiling, chest rising and falling rapidly, as if passing out did nothing to regain the air he wasn’t getting because he was slowly hyperventilating again. Toshinori grasped Izuku’s hand in his and sat on the bed. He tenderly pulled the boy up and held him in his arms. Izuku stiffened for a moment. He blinked back into reality and felt warm.

“My boy…I would never have found a greater successor. My admiration for you is so great. Your selflessness, your big heart and your compassion...you have the heart of a true hero. And I could never take that away. You were not weak. You are not weak. Just because something awful happened does not mean I look down upon you. You deserve One for All more than I ever did. I am so proud of you.”

The words filtered into Izuku’s mind, swirling around until they finally were comprehended. Izuku’s lower lip quivered as he tried to hold back tears.

“Crying does not make you weak either.”

Izuku let the tears fall. They rolled down his face, each one like they were in a race to get to his chin. A sob followed, and Izuku wrapped his arms around Toshinori and squeezed his shirt tightly. All Might; his mentor, his father figure. Izuku was so grateful. What had he ever done to deserve all of this? The two sat like that for a few minutes, the warmth in the embrace was so nice. Recovery Girl watched with a smile on her face, content to see Izuku getting the care and attention that he needed. Soon, the embrace ended as Izuku pulled away and scratched his head nervously. He wiped at his face, trying to get rid of the tear tracks that lined his face.

“Now, Midoriya.” Recovery Girl said. “You are not properly taking care of yourself. I would have been able to hear all of your injuries by now if you weren’t so tired. You have absolutely no energy. It is not acceptable. You need to begin to eat, sleep and relax as much as you possibly can.”

Izuku nodded, still wiping his face. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Just take care of yourself.” Recovery Girl said and after a moment of silence opened her mouth again. “Young man, you’ve gone through a huge deal for a child of your age. It was not fair to you. I want you to stay here until your fever lowers down a little more. Once it’s lower, you can resume your classes.”

___

“Shigaraki Tomura,” said Kurogiri. “are you pleased with your discovery?”

Shigaraki was quiet. His eyes rested on a crate he was sitting near, scrutinizing every single line and dent in the wood. “Perhaps. Hiring those two buffoons seemed like a risky decision but seeing as we were able to dispose of them so easily…turned out well for us I guess.”

Shigaraki hummed in delight for a moment, remembering the looks of sheer terror as the two assassins met their demise. Shigaraki, of course, knew they would underestimate Izuku Midoriya. No doubt the boy had found some kind of a way to transmit a distress signal to someone. If they killed him, that was all fine as well. But Shigaraki had discovered a new potential secrete that could lead to great things. The boy’s quirk. The way that ‘Eddie’ and ‘Oda’ had told him about Izuku’s quirk made it seem all the more interesting to Shigaraki. He knew that the quirk looked all too similar to All Might’s. Maybe it was the hints that All For One gave him before he had bee incarcerated. A quirk that could be passed to another person. Well, Shigaraki knew about that.

“What is your plan now?” Kurogiri inquired.

“Nothing, yet. I have this information. It’s not concrete. But I’ll sit on it a while before I make my move. It would be stupid to try something while that ridiculous school is on such high of an alert. Besides, I’d like to observe to see if it’s actually true.”

So, he’d wait.

He would wait until he was sure.

And the, one day, he would end All Might and make plans for that pesky green haired child and UA to face utter hell.

_____

 

The next couple of days were surprisingly okay. His friends gave him space, sometimes giving him concerned glances and quiet words of encouragement. After Izuku’s confrontation with All Might, he felt much better. He had even gotten some okay rest. It didn’t last for long, maybe three or four hours every night, but they were – for the most part – nightmare free. One time, he had a little nightmare. He went to Todoroki’s room and ended up spending the night, sleeping on a spare mattress that Todoroki had. His friend had comforted Izuku in a moment of weakness, and then the two of them talked for a while about random things unrelated.

But then it was tonight. Izuku had gone to bed early; very early. He skipped dinner because he actually wanted to sleep and he thought that he could get some rest and feel rejuvenated instead of so exhausted all of the time, so he went up to his room and actually fell asleep. But that was when the nightmare struck. It was by far the worst one yet. Blood everywhere. His mother’s lifeless eyes. It slipped around a couple of times. Eventually it seemed like it was replaying the events of that fateful night over and over and over again. Izuku’s own screams and the screams of his mother echoed in his head.

Izuku woke up silently screaming. He shot up in his bed, chest heaving up and down, breathing fast and labored. He squeezed his eyes shut and looked at his clock after a minute of getting his breathing under control. His heart sunk. After all that…he only slept for an hour and a half. Seven thirty in the evening. Izuku almost cried. The One for All user decided to get up to be with people. He was still shaky, nervous and felt extremely nauseous, but he needed to face his fear. He wasn’t weak. He wasn’t. He couldn’t be. His friends wouldn’t judge him.

Going down to the common area, it sounded like some of his classmates were watching a movie. Izuku smiled nervously as he entered the room. No one seemed to notice him yet, except for Katsuki, who was in the kitchen. Izuku then froze when he heard the words from the television.

“You’re pretty confident. I bet we could fix that.”

Almost word for word.
.
.
.

“You know, boy…I could satisfy my sadistic side…” Izuku could remember the words that they said to him that night. The words they said to his mother. Izuku’s world felt like it was shattering as he was suddenly back in the place he couldn’t be. His own home. He was in a pool of his own blood. His mother was covered in injuries, two sadistic, glistening white smiles hung in the air. There was a malevolent glint in the eyes of Izuku’s attackers. No. No. No. Izuku turned and walked. Halfway seeing reality, halfway not. He was in his room. He was away from the others. He had to hide. He had to get away. He was weak.

It was about thirty minutes later that the movie ended.

“Wow…that was a weird movie. Where did you get this from, Kaminari?” Mina asked.

“Uh…my dad’s closest last break.”

The students chatted amongst themselves, talking about the movie. Some defended it while others attacked it. Really, it wasn’t all that great. Uraraka looked around, smile on her face falling as she realized that Izuku wasn’t down here. She had noticed him come down, but he then left. She was hoping he would come back. Uraraka excused herself to check up on him, a habit she was getting into every night. She approached his room, and pulled the door open to peek in. Izuku wasn’t in his room. Uraraka frowned and entered. He wasn’t anywhere to be found. The door to his balcony was open, though. Uraraka rushed out to the balcony but found no trace of him.

Uraraka made her way around the rest of the dormitory, checking around just in case to see if Izuku was somewhere else, but he wasn’t to be found. So, Uraraka raced down to the common room in a panic. “Guys! Deku, he – he’s not anywhere!”

“What do you mean he’s not anywhere?” Kirishmia asked, rising from his seat on the couch.

“I checked everywhere!” Uraraka said, out of breath. “His room is empty and the window to his balcony was open—”

“Why didn’t you come down after finding that!?” Uraraka was surprised to find that Katsuki looked more than irritated.

“I…I wanted to be sure…” Uraraka bit her bottom lip. “It doesn’t matter right now! We need to tell some of the teachers and start looking for him! What if he was kidnapped?”

The search began. Aizawa and Toshinori were the first to show up. Since it was obvious that class 1-A would not recede from being apart of the search for their friend, Aizawa instructed them to go in groups to look around the campus. He had a few students stay behind in case Izuku returned. They would find him soon. Katsuki decided to ignore whatever Aizawa told him to do, and instead went to Izuku’s room. He grunted in annoyance as he looked around the vacant room.

“Stupid Deku.”

Katsuki was about to go onto the balcony to take a look, but a buzzing noise distracted him. Izuku’s phone was on the bed, and it looked like his mother was calling him. Katsuki picked up the phone and examined Inko’s caller ID before swiping and answering the call.

“Izuku?”

“No…this is Katsuki.”

“O-Oh…” Inko trailed off. “Katsuki? Why do you have Izuku’s phone? Is he okay? He usually calls me around now…”

“Yeah…he’s fine. He just went to sleep early.”

“Oh.” Inko heaved a sigh of relief. “Well…at least he’s sleeping. It hasn’t been easy for him to sleep, you know.”

“Yeah. Figured.” Katsuki was about to wish her farewell, but Inko cut him off before he even began.

“I’m glad you two are getting along again. I do miss you around the house.” Inko said suddenly.

“Uh—”

“Though…I don’t understand, Katsuki. Why did you treat my son the way you did? What did he ever do to you? He came home crying some days, covered in bruises and scratches. He always refused to tell me who it was at first, but it always came down to ‘Kaachan’. He thinks you hate him.”

Katsuki could hear the trembling of anger and confusion in her voice. Katsuki never hated Izuku. He may have said it, but he never meant it.

“I…I was stupid, okay?” Katsuki grit his teeth; admitting his mistakes wasn’t easy. “I’m going to someone in the school and talking about my problems or whatever. He shouldn’t have been caught up in all of that. I…I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay…listen, Katsuki, please have Izuku give me a call when he wakes up. And thank you for lending me your bedroom. My apartment will be available for me again soon…but I appreciate your sacrifice. Take care of my boy, okay?”

“I will.”

Katsuki tossed the phone onto Izuku’s bed and clenched his hands into fists. He was wrong. He was always in the wrong. So now, he needed to make up for that. He would find Izuku, that idiot, and make sure that he was okay so he didn’t worry his mother. After a while of pondering, Katsuki found himself on the roof. He shouldn’t have been surprised to find Izuku there. While he was a little relieved to see that Izuku hadn’t been kidnapped or anything, the freckled boy was still a mess. He was curled up on the side of the roof railing, shaking, trembling, crying, sniffling…whimpering. Katsuki’s mouth was open to say something – probably rude – but it quickly snapped shut at the sight of his childhood friend, and proper, mutual rival.

Katsuki approached cautiously. He knew he should probably contact one of the other teachers about Izuku’s location, but he never really did follow the rules.

“Oi, Deku.”

Izuku tensed up and shook his head, a soft whine escaping his lips. Katsuki growled. Those deceased morons did a number on him. Katsuki was furious about that. Katsuki grunted as he sat near Izuku, legs criss crossed.

“What is it, Deku. Why’re you crying again. You realized you worried all of those other ex – our classmates. Stupid.”

“I-I’m sorry…Kaachan…I know I’m weak. I know I disappointed you…” Izuku shook his head and buried it in his arms. “I’m sorry. I thought I could be more.”

Silence.

“Tch. You really are an idiot.”

Izuku looked up slightly, eyebrows furrowed as he waited for Katsuki to continue.

“Why did you think you disappointed anyone? You moron. Your mother was in danger. What else could you have done?”

 

Izuku may have been dreaming, but it sounded like Katsuki was…comforting him?

 

“Don’t get the wrong idea, nerd.” Katsuki grunted. “You know. I felt the exact same way.”

Izuku knew exactly what he was talking about. Katsuki had been kidnapped by the League of Villains. And after that, All Might retired. Katsuki had communicated his feelings about that to Izuku when they had their groundbreaking fight. Izuku guessed that Katsuki could relate to him. It made him feel a little less lonely.

“And everyone kept on telling me that ‘it wasn’t my fault’ or ‘I didn’t fail anyone’ and all that bullcrap. Sure, I had the feeling that it was true…but it didn’t mean anything to me.” Katsuki glanced at Izuku, who was staring at him with wide eyes. “What’re you looking at nerd!?”

Izuku flinched at Katsuki’s raised tone; he should be used to it by now. Katsuki was never good at conveying his feelings. Usually he could do it through some kind of yelling, or fight…but this was completely different and unusual. Izuku had never heard a tone so quiet from Katsuki when he was talking a few minutes ago.

“…sorry.”

“And stop freaking apologizing for everything! It’s annoying.” Katsuki rolled his eyes and huffed. “You’re All Might’s successor. If I was the cause of his retirement…then the least I can do is to honor him by helping his successor or whatever. Got that? It’s not cuz’ I care for you or anything! Don’t start thinking that!”

Even Izuku could hear the lie behind Katsuki’s voice, but he nodded anyways. “Thank you…Kaachan…I…I just keep…there are triggers…and I have nightmares…and I don’t know what to do…I-I…I don’t want anything to happen to her…”

“Your mom.” Katsuki said. “She protected you, right?”

Izuku nodded, feeling emotional again.

“Hm.”

“What?” Izuku asked, wiping away tears.

“Maybe you need to see her.” Katsuki said. “I know after I got back from being captured, I was happy to see my parents. Taking breaks, I kinda wanted to be with the old hag and old man.”

“Oh…yeah…”

“Listen up, nerd. You can’t keep wallowing in self-pity. You gotta get a hold of yourself if you’re gonna even try to beat me someday. If you’re feeling emotional or some crap then go get someone instead of trying to do it on your own, it’ll take too long anyways. Don’t think I don’t know about the times you were off being sad, idiot. It happened, it’s over with you can’t change it. You have a bunch of friends, don’t make them worry Izuku.”

Izuku blinked. “D-did you just call me my name?”

Katsuki’s face felt hot. He stood up and shouted at Izuku a multitude of things, insults and defensive words. Izuku just smiled, which irritated him further. And then, Izuku was up on his feet and had his arms wrapped around his childhood friend. Katsuki’s initial reaction was to pull away or use his quirk to get the pest off of him…but he didn’t. A sense of nostalgia returned to him. The old days when Izuku and him were kids, when they were good friends. Why did Katsuki have to ruin that? Inside, he always knew he had a big ego. There was nothing he could do about his temper except what he was doing now: seeing a therapist for his anger. It was passed from his mother to him. It was just the way he was. So, yelling would probably never change, but maybe Katsuki had. Maybe he had gotten softer.

So, he wrapped his arms around Izuku in a quick hug. Maybe their relationship could be mended after all. Maybe they could be friends after all.

 

After Izuku had been found, Katsuki pushing him downstairs and the others contacting the teachers that they had found him, Toshinori and Aizawa gave him a quick lecture about going places by himself before leaving for the night. Toshinori had whispered some encouraging words to Izuku before he left. Izuku bowed to his classmates, apologizing deeply for worrying them. They had responded by tackling him into a group hug. Izuku had never felt so lover and cared for. But still…there was something that was missing.

The next day, Izuku still felt like that. Throughout the day, during classes, meals, conversations…there was something that was missing. He had pushed his anxiety about the League of Villains and his dead attackers to the back of his mind, not wanting to think about it and instead trusting his teachers and his school to protect him. He would be ready if someone else tried anything. Because Izuku would bounce back from the incident and get stronger.

Something was missing.

Izuku still felt like that as he sat with his classmates, feeling anxious and nervous about being around them even though they assured him he was not weak. He felt anxious knowing there was something he was missing. There was something he was craving, and he couldn’t figure out what it was.

“Midoriya.” Izuku jumped at the deep voice of his teacher and looked up from the couch.

Aizawa stood in the common room, arms crossed and a dull expression on his face. “Come with me, you have a visitor.”

Izuku followed, for some reason not connecting the dots to who it could be until he saw her. Outside of the dorms stood his mother, waiting for him. Izuku found what was missing. He missed his mother. He craved her mother warmth and embrace. Tears unwillingly filled his eyes as he rushed into his mother’s open arms and wrapped his own around her waist. He missed her so much. Izuku squeezed and Inko squeezed back. He felt her tears falling against his cheek as his soaked her pink blouse.

“Oh…my baby…” Inko cried. “I love you, honey.”

“I love you too, mom.” Izuku’s voice cracked as he spoke into his mother’s shoulder.

He found what was missing. He loved his friends, he loved his teachers and he loved Toshinori; the man he had come to think of as his father. But…his mother had something that he couldn’t explain. Her motherly touch, her encouraging words, he gentle voice and her sweet scent of perfume that she always wore reminded Izuku of home. He felt safe in her arms. He was happy she was alive, and he would always appreciate her and what she did.

Inko had felt lonely. She was so sad seeing Izuku go back to UA. Of course, she knew that he would be safe but that didn’t make her feel any better. She just wanted to be with her baby. Her only family. Inko could indeed explain her love for the boy. Izuku was her world. He was the son she gave birth to. The two had gone through horrible experiences and good ones together. Because though Inko was grateful for all of the people Izuku now had in his life, the two of them had always done things together. Inko loved her son more than words could describe. She had never been so happy since now. Just hugging her son and mumbling about how much she missed him.

"You are my world, Izuku." Inko whispered to her son.

And Aizawa didn’t leave, either. He stood and watched from a few feet away. He couldn’t suppress the smile that made its way onto his face as he observed his student and his student’s mother. He was happy as well.

And the blond-haired student that watched from the window of Class 1-A’s dormitory was unexplainably happy as well. Nothing could replace the touch of a mother.