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My Reflection

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To say that Inko failed as a mom is the understatement of the year. Even after knowing the consequence they have to face after that fateful 4th birthday, Inko feels that she has failed as a mom to notice the apparent signs of abuse. With fuming heart and puffed eyes, when she sees her baby standing on the porch clutching his injured shoulder, her heart shattered into million pieces.

"What happened my bunny? Why is your shoulder injured like that?" Even though she knew the answer, she wants to confirm the suspicion she had for the past 2 weeks. She noticed that Izuku returning late from his school regularly for the past 2 weeks. Someday he would slightly limping, someday it would be bruised arms, shoulder. Someday he would have slight scratches in his forehead near the ear, neck. She was concerned, but when asked her son brushed the topic as if it is nothing and going to his room quietly. But today, it seems he must have pushed past his limit of hiding his bullshit.

"Kacchan said that I cannot be a hero without a quirk and his lackeys started beating me when I protested to be a hero in our play. B-But when I h-he pushed me again, I p-punched him and he slipped and fell on the g-ground.." She couldn't stand the sight before her eye. Izuku's entire left side is burnt and marked with claws. His clothes are torn and his eyes are blood red from crying."B-But, before I got up to run, his lackeys started punching me, and before Kacchan blasted me, Tsubara clawed my chest. M-Mom, I-I am so sorry for not telling you and being weak and quirkless like this."

That, that word hits the nail in the coffin. Inko finally realized why Izuku hides everything and why he seems aloof, ever since the doctor's appointment few months back. She couldn't fathom the pain her baby must have gone through to think that he is a burden to her.

To say that she wasn't expecting the result that Izuku could be quirkless is not fair. To be honest, ever since she knows Hisashi back in her collage days, ever since she fell for him, she knows that there is a high chance that their offspring would turn quirkless, since he is one of them. But, she didn't mind that. She saw the man who was passionate about his research. She saw a wonderful, kind, fearsome man who stood his ground among all the quirked people to shine in his industry. She saw the man who showered her with the love and affection she had never experienced in her life. And she married that man, knowing that she may be censured by the society to stand by him.

She still remembers the day so vividly like it happened yesterday. That was the week Hisashi returned from I-Island for Izuku's 4th birthday. Izuku was so happy to see his papa after a long time and was bouncing across the home with the new toy Hisashi designed for him. They were so happy to be together to visit their friends/relatives' places, to be sleeping under the same roof and see each other smile. So, when the topic of Izuku's quirk came, the natural worry which was haunting the couple pushed them to consult the doctor to get over the suspicion and to shut people's mouth. They both were hoping that somehow their worry would not turn to be true. But, when the doctor announced that Izuku will not manifest his quirk, she didn't know whom to console first. Her pillar and her support Hisashi became so silent and at the opposite spectrum, Izuku started howling on hearing the news. She knows that she should be strong, and be supportive of her family, but on seeing that both her husband and her son broken, she couldn't help but curse at their genetics and at the god for their situation.

Her trail of thoughts broke when the room became silent. When she returned her focus to her son, she could see a defeated look in his eyes, the one she has never seen in him before. "Mom, am I really useless, now that I don't have a quirk? Am I really a Deku as Kacchan calls me?" She couldn't find the right word to console him and that point, she doesn't know whether her words would console either her or her son's shattered heart. But Izuku continued "Can I not become a hero as All Might?" She doesn't know what to say. She knows being quirkless don't mean a person is weak. Heck, she knows a lot of people who are pretty useless regardless of their quirks. But, she can't bring herself to reject the idea of her child becoming a hero or shattering his only hope now that he is declared as quirkless. But,she also knows what kind of job is being a hero, how dangerous the situation would turn out and how a person should push beyond their limit to become a top hero at it and her motherly side wants her son to have a safe and happy future.

So, she steeled herself and masking a determined look in her face, "Izuku, listen carefully. Just because you don't have a quirk, doesn't mean you are useless. You know a lot of underground hero's quirk are not suitable for big fights, but they are hero nonetheless. They put in a lot of efforts in building their strength and shines in their own way. You many not have a quirk, but when I think of smart kid, my money is on you among all of your friends. Even Kacchan don't stand before your hero analysis, right?" She smiled and that brought a small on her son's face. "So, I should never ever hear that you think yourself as weak and powerless than the rest of your classmates. Do you understand?" She watched as her son captively listened to her speech. Good. She really needs to work on his self esteem from now on to avoid future bullying and to build up his attitude. "Now, go and bring me the first aid kit and we will patch up that scratches and wounds off, okay?" She ruffled his fluffy hair and pushed him towards the medicine cabinet and rose from the kneeling position.

Once patching up are done, and feeding him his favorite sweet, she started asking about the incident slowly. She know for the fact that Mitsuki's boy is quite abrasive and rough around the edges just like his mother. After all the years they have spent as collage mates, she knows what kind of person Mitsuki is and how brash and uncouth her language and action can be. But to compensate for all that, she has a heart of gold and quite a good judgement of character. So, she didn't mind her or her friendship. And when their sons were born, she thought that their friendship would continue the same way as their's. Oh boy! How wrong, she is! She need to know who else is bullying Izuku so she can understand the situation better before acting.

"So, now that you have calmed down, can you tell me what happened?"

"Hmm.. Me, kacchan, Tsubara and Koshi were playing as usual in the playground. Kacchan got bored after playing in the Jungle gym and suggested we play heroes. He said he will be playing the hero and Tsubara and koshi will play the villan and assigned me as hostage. I- I said I will be playing hero too, but he started insulting me that a quirkless deku can't be a hero. When I said I will be one, and argued back how I can be a good sidekick to know about their quirks and how helpful I can be, he started beating me and said that he will not take help from a quirkless nobody like and pushed me to the ground with his quirk and the other two just followed the suit."

"So, did you fight back?"

He made a slight bashful face at the question and nodded facing the ground. "Dad taught me some m-moves when he was here last time. We practiced some punch and kicks and he said that I can use that when I am c-cornered. I know its not much against power like kacchan's but, I couldn't back down when they started pushing me to the ground. So, I punched Koshi first, and pushed kacchan to the mud.."

After saying that, he started shrinking into the sofa afraid and waiting for the scolding to come from his mom for being reckless. But, Inko couldn't help but smile that her son holds the same attitude as his father. So, instead of scolding him, she gently lifted his head to face him properly.

"Izuku, darling, I am not going to scold you for the actions you did for your self defense. Though punching kids are morally wrong, it is justifiable under self protection. You do understand what I am saying right?" He tilted his eyes and viewed her carefully.

"I won't condemn you for fighting back. Infact, I am going to speak to your classmate's mom about this and going to scold them for their reckless behavior, but, you should never start a fight on your own in the first place, do you understand? Because, heroes can punch and will punch back to defeat the villains, but they will not start a fight. You want to be a hero right?" He nodded his head quickly. "Good, so, you should behave like one. It doesn't matter if they provoke you or insult you, you should hold your head high and ignore them. After all, boys/girls behaving like to bully innocent are not definitely hero, OK?"

Izuku processed all the info immediately and nodded in agreement and that made her smile despite the situation. "Ok, so go ahead and do your homework while mom prepares the dinner hmm."

After hearing that his mother is not going to scold him and she infact supports him on his self defense, Izuku regained his usual bubbly demeanor and bounced towards his room to complete the homework and to fill up on the new quirks he saw today at the class in his notebook.

"We have a long way to go, Hisashi." She smiled to herself seeing her son bouncing off to his room, "But, we will reach there together." With the new found determination to support her family, she set to do proceed with her plan to safeguard his son and his future.

Chapter Text

The evening rolled out while Inko prepared dinner for both of them. Though her body was functioning in a regular pace, her mind is running miles per hour. She knows she needs to do something about what happened afternoon. She knows that she cannot leave Izuku to deal with this alone or to ignore the bullies action. Deciding that she will speak with the parents to settle the issue, she proceeded looking up for the boys and their parents name. She knows Bakugos and she anticipated that the talk can go either way. Knowing Mitsuki, she will take the event as roughhousing and tell Inko to ignore the action of the boys as child play. Though she condemn Katsuki time after time for his brash behavior, she can't entirely control him, given he learns them from the best. And another kid with the wings, was his name Tsubara? She searched for the name in the name book Tsubara Akuno, isn't the same name as the doctor, Tsubara Shubosa. They must be relative if they have the same family name. Well, who knows the world is so small. Ok, I can deal with this.

And, she dialed the number to talk to both of the parents to ask about them in general and explaining the situation gently. Of Course it didn't go smoothly as she anticipated. First she dialed the Tsubaras, knowing the call to Mitsuki will take her full energy and vocal power arguing with her. Once, after explaining the entire situation, Tsubara-kun's mother listened to everything she said. When she thought that the conversation is going smoothly, another voice from the other side boomed and after a whole clatter, the boy's father started ranting about his son and how this is all child's play and she shouldn't accuse him with words like bullying.

Inko listened to the entire rant and when she believed that the rant is entirely done, she started speaking. "Hmm, I really understand what you are implying Tsubara-san, but you do realize that they are bunch of elementary school kids, who are trying to beat down a single defenseless kid? And if you would have realized that, and by some miracle if you have had the chance to look up the law, you should know that bullying and discrimination mark in a child's certificate will be permanent and if I press charges of quirk assault or simple restraining order, that will carry a negative impact for his rest of his life" The menacing aura in her voice shuts him up entirely. But Inko continued "Well, if you don't know, I as a lawyer can confirm that the above said is all true. If this has happened once, I wouldn't be calling you by this time to discuss about it, rather it's been going on for months and you haven't noticed that and disciplined your child. I know it's not my place to reprimand your child or to instruct you how to do that, but as the mother of the assaulted kid, I have rights to take action against such incidents. So, with that mind, I hope we can look past this incident, meanwhile setting our kids in the right direction, hmm?"

The line was silent for a half a minute, but came the answer. "I- I understand it Midoriya-san, and I will see that my son won't disturb yours again" And the line went dead. Welp, at least I tried. If anything happens in the future, she knows what to push to make people move out of her way and to reinforce them. So, she really didn't bother thinking about it further and set her thoughts on calling Mitsuki next. Oh boy, it's going to be a long hard day.

The longer the line to Mitsuki went, longer her dread increased, because, the said boy is her best friend's son. Even though she has full intention of reprimanding the boy, she doesn't want to lose her friend by creating a rift in the process. Well, let's see how it goes...

"Hey Inko, its been a long time... how are you?" Inko smiled inwardly.. Always a big start with loud voice...

"Hey Mitsuki, i'm good, how is everything? "

"Good, good. The week's been busy with all the designing jobs we took. Masaru was really exhausted after our little trip to Tokyo.. Those fuckers worked us to the bones... Honestly, I am little relieved that we were able to complete the task on time and return back before the weekend, you know.."

"That's good, isn't this the same job you were talking about last time we spoke, that big deal you were able to sag?"

"Yeah, yeah. The tender shit took half our energy and the rest of the shit drainer us till our fucking bones. But, enough about me, what's with the call? You don't usually call me in this hour? So, what's up?"

Dreading about this part would really be an understatement. But, let's get this over with. 

 "Hmm.. So, it is little important, so was hoping we can meetup to speak?"

"What happened? You feel a little tensed? I am free now, you wanna come over? I just finished cooking dinner.. Our little Izuku's favorite katsudon. Why don't you bring that little firecracker here. The little ones can play and we can talk things over dinner?"

"Um.. I think that would work... yeah that works for me. We will be there in 20 min?"

"Yeah yeah, come over. Ok, bye Inko, See you in a bit"

"Ok.. bye."

So, she went to the house with Izuku on the toe. Initially, when she called him to come with her to Bakugo's house, the slight tremor returned and it pained her to see her son shaking at the mere thought of seeing the other boy. But, she needs to make sure that this doesn't happen in the future and make Izuku to overcome this hurdle. He need to face much more that this in the future if he wants to stand in the line of heros.

Can you be in his every step? Can you take care of your boy? It's fine for now, but, for how long? Is it really worth it to go through all the troubles Hisashi went through? Is it really worth to support his dreams to be a hero, when the whole world opposes his state?

She couldn't help all the negativity swirling in her mind, while waiting for the bakugo's door to open. But as always, she took in step towards the future.. One step towards solving the problem.. One step at a time.. that's how it goes.

"HEY!! INKO IT'S BEEN SO LONG.. GOOD TO SEE YOU!!!" Mistuki shouted even before Inko could open her mouth. "MASARU, INKO'S HERE!. HEY BRAT, IZUKU-KUN'S HERE, COME AND SAY HELLO TO YOUR AUNT"

She and Izuku was then shepherd to the dining hall and the other two followed them to the table. She could feel Katsuki-Izuku's tension from her table, but couldn't stop smiling at Mitsuki's excitement. After all, it's been a long time since she visited her friend, differ may the situation. The dinner went smoothly, they exchanged info about their careers, Inko talking about her current case, Masaru explains about their latest project and Mitsuki cursing about her clients, she and Masaru worked with. Once, the dinner is over, Mitsuki sent Izuku and Katsuki towards the play room. Inko was little hesitant to leave Izuku alone with Mitsuki's boy, but figured he wouldn't do anything with adults in the adjacent room. Once the kids left the room, the adults settled in the living area with their tea in their hand.

Mitsuki, concentrated at Inko, a little seriousness to her face. "So.. Inko, you said you need to something important. Is everything ok over your house? What's up?"

"Yeah, everything's fine over my place. It's just... it's just, I want to talk about Katsuki-kun."

At that, both the adults tensed a little bit.

"Oh yeah, what about him? What did that brat do?"

Inko schooled her expression and started talking about all the things Izuku said to her. The talk, it didn't go as she planned. As soon as she recited the entire incident to Mitsuki and Masaru, their faces become ashen. She was expecting big explosion. Loud talk, shouting.. not this silent. Yes, she expected Masaru to process the information calmly, but she didn't expect the silence, she got from Mitsuki and her glassy eyes. Inko, was actually surprised. Well, a little terrified.

"You know Inko, I was actually expecting something like this from one of the parents from the school you know.. For someone to come barreling through this door that katsuki has hurt their son/daughter and asking for an explanation. Truth to be told, I was little terrified at how to deal with that. I know I am a loud mouth, always plowing through without thinking, cursing left and right and being a hothead. But, I always tried to my fullest ability to control Katsuki's loud mouth and cool him down from his superiority thoughts. But, try as I might, with the entire world is praising him for his quirk and his smartness, I couldn't knock that sense of importance from him. True, he was always being praised for his confident, but with the quirk, it went overboard."

Inko didn't know what else to say to her friend. So, she let her talk, let her outwit all the things going inside her head. Because, she knew how hard it would be to bolt everything inside the head.

"But, to think that he will bully Izuku, I-I never would have expected this from him. I always thought, that they are really close, almost like brothers, with Izuku running around with him, together always.. But, but this news, I-I really don't know what to say." And she started crying...

"Mitsuki, I am really sorry that we need to do this, I know how good of a mother you are. With your busy schedule, I know how hard it would be, to raise a boy and I know, you and Masaru are doing your best, but, I hope you understand how grave the situation is. I-I know Katsuki-kun since, forever and the same goes for you and Izuku, so, that's why, I want to nip this from the start. I really don't want to see this kind of behavior from Katsuki-kun towards my son or any other student. So... so that's why, I wanted to talk to you before it gets out of our hands. He is a good boy and has wonderful quirk and if their talk stays true, he will be a wonderful hero in the future. And if we try to mend his hot headedness just a bit, that boy would be unbeatable. So, that's why, I'm asking you to take some steps: Talk to him, don't shout or argue, just talk to him, ask him what's wrong, why he is doing this. I can also help, if that's what you want, but I think, if you both talk to him, he will understand. So, please, just give him a chance to explain himself and talk to him. I'll be here to help you, if you need any."

Masaru smiled and squeezed Mitsuki's hand to console her. The way he holds her, remind Inko so much of their past. How, at first, Masaru was wary of Mitsuki's temper and walked around it, not to rouse her. But, with time, the two became a correct fixture to the puzzle each lacked and fitted perfectly.

"We will talk to him, Inko, and don't worry about Mitsuki, I will take care."

"Thanks Masaru, I-I really, appreciate this."

She couldn't help but smile at her friends and Inko was really glad that it went smoothly, and most importantly, she was glad that their friendship is still intact.

"Well, as he said, we will take measures and see what we can do, Inko and make sure that brat understands Izuku's worth as a friend. Don't worry, he will come around and I will make sure of it."

"Thanks Mitsuki. I will take my leave.. it's getting late."

"Yeah, you do that. But you can visit us anytime you know, so don't be a brat and come over whenever you feel like you need to talk. After all, we are friends for so long."

"Yes, yes, I know and I will hold that in mind."

So, Inko collected Izuku and started toward their home. She could feel Izuku's questioning stare, his mind swirling with questions about their visit. She wants to talk to him a lot and there are many things to say and ask, but it needs to wait. Well, as always, one step at a time..