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    Izuku doesn’t eat meat. Hasn’t even eaten a piece of fish since he was ten. This posed a problem with the meal plan All Might has just handed him. As he read it over, the thought of just toughing it out barely flickers in the back corners of his mind before it is harshly dismissed. Even if by some miracle he could bring himself to stand the smell of cooked meat, he could never force his mother to endure a second of it. So, there was a predicament.

    “Ah, um, A-All Might?” The idol turned mentor was powered down, and a tilt of the man's head let him know the boy had his attention. “N-not that I’m ungrateful, o-or trying to be difficult, really t-this is kinda unbelievable, it’s just, uh…” 

    All Might raised a brow, probably not expecting the meal plan, of all things, to cause hesitation. “Is there something you’re allergic to my boy? If so that’s more of an oversight on my part, I should have asked beforehand! Though we are on a bit of a time crunch, this is certainly not an area to be cutting corners!” 

    Every word out of his idol's mouth only served to fuel his nerves. Becoming a Pro Hero meant everything, yet he wouldn't hesitate to throw it all away over this. “It’s uh, I… I don’t eat meat.” Izuku watched All Might’s face as he registered the statement, going from blank to thoughtful then morphing into a considering frown. No matter what happened, whatever All Might said, this was not compromisable. If he had to, he would find another way.

    “With the amount of muscle you need to gain you’ll need the protein, and meat is generally the way to get it. You don’t eat any at all?” The notion made Izuku want puke until his stomach tore itself apart. He let a shudder wrack his body, then squared his shoulders. Whatever happened, he’d find a way. 

    “I haven’t eaten meat in nearly five years, and I don’t plan on changing that. S-sir.” All Might could likely tell from the expression on his face, and the way he had set his shoulders, that he would not be budging on this. Apparently his steadfastness was-

    “Inspiring!” In a puff of steam, All Might buffed up, hands settled on his hips as he gave his signature booming laugh. The suddenness made the boy jump, eyes wide. “Sticking to your guns I see, a valuable trait for a hero! Very well my boy! I’ll simply have to revise the meal plan! Besides, having you try to digest meat after so long will do more harm than good at this point!” Another puff, followed by a lungful of blood ("There are few things more egregious than the waste of perfectly good meat."), returned All Might to his regular self. He gave Izuku a thumbs up with his brilliant smile. “Good looking out Young Midoriya! Please don’t hesitate to inform me of similar complications in the future!” 

    Izuku could do nothing but sigh in relief. And if that night, the memories he wished were just nightmares became horrifically vivid, it was hardly anything new.

¤

    His mother begged him to apply anywhere else. U.A. was too public, too known, and Shiketsu was just as good, Izuku, please we've avoided him for so long... But he didn’t want to disappoint All Might, not after the meal plan thing, not when it all felt so fragile. Not to mention, he would be lying if he said he didn’t desperately want to go. Being a hero was the pipe dream he thought had been killed, after… everything that happened when he was ten. Getting into U.A. would be the cherry on top.

    So all these years later he couldn’t help but think that maybe, maybe they didn’t need to be so careful. He told her what it all meant to him, how much it meant to him, and she reluctantly allowed it. (Foolish, so foolish, he knew better he was taught better.)

    U.A. was the best of the best, and after that- monster , took away so much, ruined so much, Izuku couldn’t think of a better way to throw it in his face. Let him see how strong Izuku was, and how much stronger he was to become. Then again, this was assuming he passed the entrance exam. 

    If he failed… Well… One less thing to worry about. 

¤

    His mother made his costume a bright sightless viridian. 'In honor…' was his answer when he had asked her w h y?

    He couldn't bring himself to feel guilty when it got destroyed, nor when he asked the support department to make it forest green. Maybe someday he could face that color without falling apart. But not just yet.

¤

    Izuku hadn’t had friends to eat lunch with in five years. Something he thought would be the least of his worries. Moving fleeing from his childhood home was about as chaotic as possible. Unveiling a horror, hardly bothering to pack, and moving to a different country altogether, to a poorer neighborhood, where the children were rude less than understanding. In the end, he hadn't had anyone aside from his mother in a long time.

    Not that having friends again was a problem, it was the friends eating in front of him that was the problem. Or more specifically, them eating meat. Logically, it was a normal occurrence, he was the odd one out, there shouldn’t be anything wrong. Except the sight was appalling, the thought, the memory-

    “Deku?” He flinched, hard. His eyes snapped up and met Uraraka’s. Both her and Iida were looking at him in concern. “Are you ok? You stopped talking, and you look kinda green… I mean uh, your face that is...” She let out a weak chuckle ("Some let emotions turn them into open books, I can show you how easy they are to read.")

    “Uraraka is right Midoriya! If you are feeling unwell, please make your way to Recovery Girl so she may send you home!” Izuku couldn’t help but to track Iida’s sharp arm movements, ("Always stay vigilant son, you never know if prey will become predator."), it was doing absolutely nothing to calm him down. 

    “I-it’s fine, I’m fine! Really I just got lost in my uh, t-thoughts!” Waving his hands dispelled some of the nervous energy he was feeling. As a bonus, it also seemed to calm his friends. Uraraka let out a hum.

    “If you say so, but then what were you thinking of that gave you that face?” They looked towards him in curiosity this time. Izuku managed to pull together the energy to give them a wide smile. 

    “Just wondering what Mr. Aizawa would look like with Ashido’s hair!” The wild reactions and crazy speculation distracted him enough to power through the rest of lunch.

¤

    Izuku didn’t have the words to describe how he felt in the aftermath of USJ. The one thought that stuck out the most (aside from how useless he was in the end) only filled him with a cold, cloying dread. 

‘I’m not strong enough to face him.’

    Izuku knew, truly knew now, if that despicable being found him, found them , he wouldn’t be ready. Not even with this quirk, with what little training he had, especially the rusty combat training he hadn’t even thought about in years… 

    But he was taught better. Much better (would it ever stop making him sick-). It was more a matter of when than if now. The clock was ticking and he and his mother couldn't be caught defenseless. 

    After class, the day it was announced the Sports Festival would not be cancelled, he stayed behind. He had a question to ask. 

    “M-Mr. Aizawa, sir?” The bandages made it impossible to gauge his reaction, not that is was particularly feasible before, but Izuku thought he had his attention when his head turned. “I was wondering… You told me no hero is a one trick pony, and I realized that I’ve been holding myself back, and I shouldn't be so reliant on my quirk, so-”

    “Get to the point kid.” As deadpan and gruff as ever, the interruption gave him pause. A deep breath settled him enough to continue.

    “I was given some… combat training when I was younger, and I was wondering if you would help me hone that skill? I've gotten rusty and I don't think it's a good idea to practice it alone...” There was a beat, and Aizawa’s answer was just as brief. 

    “No.” Izuku couldn’t help the frown, but really what had he been expecting? Aizawa already didn’t think much of him and now- “Don’t get me wrong Midoriya.” He hadn’t thought there would be more to it, his full attention brought back to his teacher. “It's good to know you’re thinking rationally, and taking steps to expand your skills as a hero. However, my job is to train all twenty of you, and one-on-ones with select students could be misconstrued as favoritism. It’s a headache I would rather avoid.” 

    Izuku thought it made sense, though he was still disappointed. “Ah, I understand Mr. Aizawa, thank you for your time.” He had turned to leave when the teacher spoke again. 

    “Any reason you didn’t just ask All Might?” He went stock still, face turned back with no other indication he’d heard the question ("If you can read others, what’s to stop others from reading you?"). Izuku quickly broke the mask he had made. No need for that, not here at least. The bandages around Aizawa’s eyes shifted minutely. Izuku didn’t want the anxiety of wondering why, so he asked-

    “W-what do you mean sir?” Not being able to see his teacher’s face was wearing on his nerves. Enough to make him jump at an unexpected scoff. 

    “I’ll admit, there wasn’t much to go off of on your side of things, but All Might wouldn’t know subtle if it bit him. He obviously has some attachment to you, seemed like combat training would be right up his alley.” He would have to talk to All Might about that, sooner rather than later. Now, how to answer without giving anything away… 

    “Ah, you said it yourself, he wouldn’t be much help in stealth combat. Anyway, thank you for your time Mr. Aizawa I’ll see you tomorrow!” He was halfway out the door before he had even finished his sentence, leaving no time for his teacher to respond. Izuku knew that was too odd, knew the underground hero may have grown suspicious, but he could deal with that later.  

    (Meanwhile, Shouta couldn’t help but wonder. Who had taught him how to block his expressions, and just who would teach a child stealth combat, and more concernedly, for what reason?)

¤

“Remember son, never underestimate your opponent. No matter how meek they may seem." "Always stay vigilant son, you never know if prey will become predator." "Now, I want you to land a punch on my abdomen.” 

    Izuku nearly puked despite Shinsou being the one with a fist in his gut. Having to use the moves his fath- that monster had taught him killed a small part of him. Was he watching? Did he recognize the movements, ones that were more fluid than Izuku thought they would be after all this time? Would mom be safe after this? 

    Izuku could only hope the single tear that he let fall would be mistaken for sweat. 

~

    Seeing Todoroki across the field both exhausted him and filled him with determination. If he was being completely honest with himself, he didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with someone else’s daddy issues. But to trivialize such obvious abuse would be heartless, and the height of hypocritical. 

    Because the look in Todoroki’s eyes when he swore off his ‘father’s’ quirk filled him with the same emotion he felt when he swore off meat (swore off anything that monster taught him really). 

    Yet even through that hatred (and thanks in part to Todoroki himself), Izuku had realized that he needed every advantage he could get, and what better ‘fuck you’ than to use those skills that were taught under pretense to become a hero. To become the number one hero, the next symbol of peace

    He could not in good conscious let Todoroki continue to harm himself. Both mentally and physically. Izuku walked onto the field head held high, shoulders squared, fists clenched. Todoroki stared him down and he stared right back. Then Midnight started the match.

Defeat had never felt so victorious. 

~

    The scars on his hand had been completely and entirely avoidable. He was beyond aware of this. He could have spared himself the pain, and more importantly the long term repercussions, in several different ways. Just before the match started however, he’d had a thought. A gamble that would hopefully pay off. Even if it didn’t, his main goal of cracking through to Todoroki’s senses was accomplished.

    He wasn’t foolish enough to believe that was the end of it. Just like he wasn’t foolish enough to mangle himself over a Sports Festival. Especially not if he thought that monster would be watching, looking for weaknesses and improvements. Not unless there was no other way, not unless his newfound quirk allowed for nothing else. ("You never know if prey will become predator.") After all… 

He was taught better than that.

¤

    He couldn’t think of a hero name. Anything he had thought of as a child was out of the question. Deku was thrown out, because while the name signified the first time his quirklessness was ever scorned (to his face at least) at the tender age of ten, it wasn’t the most impactful moment of his life. He had already known his lack of quirk didn't make him lesser ("They will think you weak, son. Use that.") .

    No, that dubious honor belonged to his personal monster, along with many other things he’d never be able to reclaim. At the same time, to base his hero name off of that part of his life was detestable at best. He didn’t want to follow Todoroki and Iida with just his first name (speaking of, something had to be done about the vengeance boiling in Iida's eyes).

    A Hero’s name was one of the most important parts of their image, a declaration, but what… It came to him suddenly, he carefully wrote it down and quickly made his way to the podium. 

 

Magnanimous: The Selfless Hero

 

¤

    Life was a series of choices, but could someone show him the rule that said the choices had to be Like That. He was far from surprised at his lack of nominations, it was almost by design after all, to make himself look like a lost cause. Then Aizawa held him after class. At least now he could see his face, even if the scar made him mentally cringe with guilt at the memory of ruby rivers

    “You asked me before to train you personally, and while that is still off the table, I’d like to offer you a nomination. Those moves you used in your match against Shinsou were sloppy, and some of them could be deadly if not done correctly. They need polishing, and that’s something I can help you with.” Quick and to the point, but there was an agency from the list that he was considering…  He says as much, prompting a grunt from his teacher. 

    “A logical choice. I wasn’t going to say, but this will most likely help you decide. You would be interning alongside another student. I believe it would be beneficial for the both of you, but if the idea puts you off that’s fine.” Izuku thought about it. Another student wasn’t a hurdle, however…

    “May I know who it is?” The cheshire grin was answer enough. Izuku's lips twitched in response. “Alright, I’d like to think about it, sir.” Aizawa nodded, dismissing him soon afterward. Izuku made to leave, even as a thought nagged at him, it was on the tip of his tongue, what was- oh.

    “Sir? Do you know where Iida is going for his work experience? He’s been more (furious) withdrawn, after his brother… I’m just worried, is all.”

    Emerald eyes watched as the underground pro put it together, annoyance flashing before his features smoothed. “I’ll see that he’s looked after. Don’t be late, Midoriya.”

    When he was cornered by All Might with a nomination from his own former teacher, someone who could help him improve One For All, he wanted to bang his head against the wall. The choice however was pretty clear. You can’t polish moves if your limbs are too broken to make them. He let out a mental sigh of relief when Aizawa graciously agreed when he half explained his choice the next day.

¤

    He wondered, if he had been anyone else, would the ketchup and sausage prank have fooled him? As it was, Izuku was far too intimate with the smell of blood, the look of gutted wild life, the stench of death to not know he was being played.

    Even so Gran Torino didn't miss a beat, and they jumped feet first (literally) into training. 

~

    “Magnanimous huh? That’s a pretty big word for a lot of folks.” Passive aggressiveness was something Izuku could hardly stand. It was so much like him it never failed to leave a sour taste in his mouth. But it also never failed to make him a hypocrite.

    “Guess I’ll just have to make sure to leave a lasting impression then.” And for the first time, Izuku thought he saw something like approval in Gran Torino’s eyes.

~

    Lying in Hosu General, Izuku hated being so perceptive ("Always be vigilant - "). He was more annoyed however with what he had let slip in the heat of battle. 

“You wouldn’t know what this feels like, Midoriya!” 

“I wouldn’t know? Tell me Iida, what do you know? Do you know what it’s like to find out someone you loved, someone you trusted, was a monster? To want justice despite knowing the consequences? Do you know what it’s like to live in fear?”

    He had said much too much. He’d be lucky if they dropped it, or better yet forgot all about it between the rush of adrenaline and the fight for their lives. But speak of the Devil…

    “Midoriya. I want to apologise for my insensitive comments. While I consider us friends, I am not privy to any of your past hardships. It was disgraceful of me to assume no one else had been faced with a similar situation. Please, forgive me.” Todoroki’s eyes kept flicking between them, Izuku feeling more brittle with every pass.

    He was strung out enough from Stain, and blood, and knives, and the consuming hu-

    He just wanted to fall apart in peace. So he smiled. “That’s alright Iida, so long as you don’t do it again. I know you didn’t mean anything by it, so let’s just put this behind us, yeah?” He had put a tad too much force in his last couple of words, if the gradual widening of their eyes said anything. Either way, they let it go, and Izuku slipped off into warped memories of a sparkling kitchen and lessons on butchering a whole pig. 

¤

    Paranoia was clawing at him. But was it really considered being paranoid when there was truly something to be wary of? The day after the Sports Festival his mother insisted on reinstating hourly check ins. Something they hadn’t done since sometime during their second year free. A quick half true explanation to his teachers cleared his phone usage. ‘Mom is just overprotective since USJ, it would really help ease her nerves.’ The sad look on some of their faces made him feel a little bad for using them as a scapegoat, but no way in hell was he going to tell them the real reason.

    Things were scarily silent on said reason’s front. He was grateful for every response he received from his mother, but the lack of action was grating. With exams approaching it was the last thing he needed. As his foot slipped in the last leg of the race, Izuku cursed the bastard he would never be able to forget. 

~

    All Might was hiding something. After an information dump of that magnitude, you’d think there would be nothing left to hide why should he trust someone so tainted- . The sun backlit his thin form, a tension that his declaration should not have brought filled the space between them. When All Might turned back his smile was slightly strained, he only caught it due to his book reading training in people's microexpressions. “You’re right, my boy…” Why did that weak affirmation make him want to cry?

    “What are you not telling me?” Izuku's voice came out more wobbly than he wanted it to. His mentor blinked, face slack with surprise for a split second. Then the smile returned, with more strain than before. 

    “I’m not quite sure what you mean, Young Midoriya?” The urge to drop it was strong, he had enough on his plate what with his impending doom and approaching exams. Whatever this was it could probably wait. Of course there was the chance that it couldn’t. Did he really need to know?

    “All Might… I’ll see you tomorrow then, okay?” He could deal with it later. (There were a lot of things he needed to deal with later.)

¤

    For someone so straight forward, Mr. Aizawa was overly fond of logical ruses. And for someone who claims to be so perceptive, Izuku has a terrible habit of getting distracted at the most inopportune of times. Take now for instance, sitting with the leader of the League of Villains, being forced to help Shigaraki reach some kind of screwed up epiphany. His phone buzzed. It was probably check in. Now mom would think he was dead. Which, one: might not be far from the truth in the near future, and two: might get the police here faster. 

“Deku...?” Well shit.

~

    An official statement, an unnoticed near panic attack, and a revelation from the world’s greatest hero led him back to a full on panic attack. His mother's this time. 

    “I-I thought, oh Izuku, when you didn’t answer! I just-! I thought the worst! I thought it was him! I thought he found us!" A torrent of tears ran down her cheeks as his mother desperately gripped his hands. He didn’t dare look back to see if the men behind him had caught the oddity before they had made it inside (Toshinori had, he added it to an ever growing puzzle that included Aizawa’s own observations, made a mental note to ask Naomasa about it and inform Nedzu of a possible threat). 

    “I know mom, I’m sorry, I should have been more careful. It’s over now though, please don’t cry…” She finally let go of his hands as an officer led them to a squad car. The ride home was silent aside from his mother’s occasional sniffles. It remained so until the pair found themselves curled into each other on their couch.

    “It’s not over.” Izuku looked to her in confusion. She gripped him tighter as she continued, “You being in danger. It’s not over. It never will be when you become a Hero…” Silence reigned. He wasn’t sure what to say. It was a hard fact, the second he was accepted into U.A. he was accepted into a life of danger. At the same time…

    “That’s why we train so hard mom.” Neither of them moved, but Izuku felt the tears wetting his hair. “We’re training to prepare for that danger, so that when it comes, we’ll be ready.” He felt as she choked on a sob, shaking the both of them. His own throat getting tighter all the while. “I’ll train super hard mom, a-and when I g-get my Pro licence, I’ll be oh-ok-kay.”

    They let go together, cries filling the air. They fell into an exhausted sleep, the sounds of each others assurances and love slowly but surely fading from the air.

¤

    Izuku slept the whole bus ride to camp. Every villain encounter, from the sludge villain to Shigaraki at the mall, compounded with the feeling of being hunted, sprinkled with the considering suspicious looks both All Might and Aizawa had been sending him when they thought he wasn't looking… it weighed on him. He was passed out cold not two minutes into the ride sitting in the back next to Todoroki. 

“Do you think I could be a hero Father?” Wide innocent eyes met guarded slate. 

A curled mouth.

Steady hands.

“As your father, it is my duty to pass my knowledge onto you. You will be my legacy, Izuku, my greatest accomplishment.” 

“Do you think I can be a hero Father?”

Gleaming knives, freshly sharpened.

“Always keep them sharp, for efficiency and safety.”

“Never let them suffer, son. It sours the meat. In pork especially.”

Ruby rivers, dying squeals.

“Do you think I can be a hero Father?”

“Now be careful not to over or under season. There are few actions more egregious than the waste of perfectly good meat.”

Ruby rivers, stained blonde hair, steady hands.

Sightless viridian eyes on a slack face.

“Do you think I can be a hero father?”

A large, steady hand cradled his cheek.

Emerald met slate.

Curled lips.

“Why would you want to be something so selfish?”

    He jerked awake, a scream caught in his throat. Every eye was on him, none as intense as Aizawa’s, who was crouched beside him. His teacher's hand was on his face. When it registered, he reeled back, crashing into Todoroki who let out a soft grunt on impact. Aizawa froze as the rest of the class jumped to attention. 

    “Midoriya!” “Are you alright?” “It sounded like a killer nightmare man…” “QUIT ANNOYING EVERYONE YOU DAMN NERD!” “Deku! We were so worried! You wouldn’t wake up!” Louder and louder, the comments came, each one stealing his breath. Aizawa stood in a fluid motion, flashing his quirk to silence them. 

    “That’s enough. Everyone off the bus.” They quickly shuffled off with few grumbles. Izuku got up to let Todoroki into the aisle, ignoring every stare he received. A hand on his chest prevented him from following the rest of the class. “Just a moment Midoriya.” 

    He wanted to curl into a ball and disappear. He had really been hoping Aizawa would let it be. He never could catch a break. 

    “Midoriya. I’m going to need you to answer me honestly.” Izuku couldn’t help but feel slightly ashamed when tears started gathering in his eyes. Regardless, he nodded, despite not being sure how believable his lies would be right now. “To start off the training camp I’m going to have Pixie-bob throw the class from the cliff and send dirt creatures to attack as you make your way to the lodge on foot. I need to know if that’s something you think you can handle or if you would prefer to ride over with me?” (me not us "...open books-")

    The unexpected question drew out a strangled eh? Of everything he was anticipating, being told they were about to take a swan dive off a cliff was not even close. Grateful tears made his teacher startle like a cat, making him giggle for the first time in a long time. His smile was genuine for once. “Thank you Mr. Aizawa, but I think the warning was more than enough! Actually it sounds like a pretty exhilarating way to start training!”

    It may have been a trick of the light, but the teachers usual cheshire grin seem a tad softer (you were taught better). “If you say so kid. Let’s go.”

    If Izuku was the only one to laugh as the class plummeted, well, there had been no need to ruin the surprise. 

    (In the meantime Shouta worried . The terror in the kids eyes when he realized there was a hand on his face was a big red flag. The whimpers that started minutes before they arrived were heartwrenching. When he wouldn’t wake, Shouta could admit he panicked, if only for a moment. All Might would have to be told about this…)

~

    He should have acknowledged the nightmares for the omens they were. It wouldn’t have kept him from coming face to face with Muscular, but he wouldn’t have been so rattled had he thought something would be going wrong. But he couldn’t think of that now, unless he wanted to get both him and Kouta killed. 

    His mind was racing, the measly eight to ten percent he could use of One For All was nowhere near enough to take this villain down. Wasn’t enough to run. It was, however, barely enough to evade. Each doge brought a new strategy to mind while every enhanced punch shattered them. If only he could think- “People convey themselves with their whole bodies. It is simply the face that is easiest to read.”

The face, huh?

    Izuku was down two fingers. Luckily it was much easier to run from a blinded Muscular. 

~

    His broken fingers brushed Bakugo’s hand, but it wasn’t the pain that released his cry of anguish.

¤

 

You’re next

 

¤

    After knowing All Might somewhat personally for over a year now, you would think the idea of the man in his home wouldn’t be so nerve wracking. And it hadn't been! Until he actually looked around his room and every All Might looked back. Suddenly he wasn’t so content with his idol's/mentor's impending visit. Of course this is the moment a knock sounds from the door. 

    In a blink, Izuku is sitting with his mother and mentor at the dining room table, mugs of tea at most warming hands. It was his mom who spoke first. 

    “Can U.A. completely ensure that no one can invade the campus? Will these dorms positively keep all outside threats from my son?” It wasn’t often his mother was so firm, and it always puts him slightly on edge. His mother was only like this in the most serious of situations.

    All Might straightened from his hunch, addressing his mother just as seriously. “Principal Nedzu himself designed the new security measures, and I can assure you, on the off chance any unauthorized person makes it on campus, they’ll have to go through every Pro teacher on staff to reach the students.” 

    Izuku remained silent as his mother took a deep breath. “I won’t lie. I don’t want my son to return to U.A.” He cringed. When All Might went to protest, she held up a hand. “However,” After she was sure she wouldn’t be interrupted she continued, “I will not leave him defenseless. At this point, the training he will receive from U.A. is vital to his survival. So, despite what I truly feel, I would rather him be able to train in guaranteed protection than lose him to my selfishness.” And just like that, the Midoriya tears were summoned.

    All Might left a short while later, after some initial paperwork was signed and the dorms spoken of in more detail (Toshinori left with more puzzle pieces, and as close to a confirmation as he was likely to get. Someone was after the Midoriya's. Nedzu, Naomasa, and Aizawa needed to be informed immediately). 

    A feeling of finality settled in the Midoriya household. It felt a lot like the beginning of a new chapter.

¤

    “Midoriya.” Aizawa leisurely made his way over to Izuku’s training area. “We never did get around to polishing those moves of yours.” The cheshire grin was infectious, and Izuku went to bed that night sore with accomplishment. 

    (Shouta stayed up reviewing every motion, the muscle memory in the boy more than engrained enough to reveal either a thorough trainer or harsh taskmaster. Hell, maybe even a mix both. Thinking about it in conjunction with the kids personality? Definitely both. Was the mystery trainer the same as the mystery pursuer? A sobering thought that only brought more questions than answers.)

“Again, Izuku.”

“Did I do it wrong?”

“No, but it was somewhat sloppy, and much too slow. So we will just have to ingrain it properly into muscle memory. Now. Again.”

¤

    The ball was harshly knocked from the fake's hand, followed swiftly with a tackle. The girl was restrained in seconds with Izuku settled firmly on her back, wrists held in his iron grip. “Ooo~ Now we’re getting somewhere~ Let’s up the ante, shall we?” He didn’t let the girls sudden nakedness distract him. He could recognize the aura of a murderer like an old friend.

    “Who. Are. You?” She squirmed, her grin getting that much wider. Before she could answer, the real Uraraka appeared with Sero.

    “D-D-D-Deku?!” “Whoa man! I would expect something like this from Mineta, this is completely out of left field for you!” The girl tried to use the distraction to break free, but Izuku wasn’t foolish enough to take an ounce of focus off her. Then she turned to Uraraka with a deranged grin. 

    “Are you jealous, Ochaco~?” That’s when it clicked. He’d seen that unhinged smile before. 

    “Toga Himiko.”  Everyone froze. For a few seconds, there wasn’t a single movement. Then just as quickly they sprung into action. Toga bucked and thrashed wildly, Izuku activating Full Cowl in response while shouting to the pair beside him. “Uraraka! Float yourself, and Sero, use your tape to fling her to Aizawa! Hurry!” 

    Uraraka was gone in the blink of an eye, Toga finally revealing her true self and screaming like a banshee. “Sero! Tape her mouth!” Once it was quieter, he continued. “I’m sure she drew attention, make sure no one gets too close.” When Sero didn’t respond he spared a split second glance, revealing a shell shocked face. “ Sero!" A jerk, followed by a ‘right!’ and he was gone. 

    Uraraka returned not a moment too soon, as Toga finally struggled to freedom only for Aizawa’s capture weapon to trap her once more. “Only you, Problem Child.” Izuku couldn’t help the blush and chuckle the title elicited. “I still expect the both of you to pass, so stop dawdling.” 

    (Shouta watched as they scampered off, tightening the reins of his capture weapon, heart in his throat. He would talk to them later to make sure they didn’t spread this event around. Now he had to deal with this colossal fuckup. These kids would be the death of him.)

~

    Check ins had been put on pause in light of the Provisional Exam. A thought that had a bead of anxiety planted firmly in his mind throughout the day. He calmed some when he received an immediate response to the picture of his licence (his licence, his licence, he was that much closer to his dream!). 

Mom

I’m so proud of you! I knew you could do it!

I sent you a surprise in celebration!

Hope you enjoy!

    A surprise? The thought warmed his heart. He couldn’t wait to get back to the dorms!

~

    The first few people to enter the dining area let out good natured groans at what they saw sitting on the dinning room table. “Hey Midoriya! Why do you get presents?” He rubbed the back of his neck bashfully.

    “My mom sent it, she wanted to celebrate me getting my licence!” Those who hadn’t gone straight to bed, or had flopped onto a common room couch, made their way over, with Izuku somehow being the last to enter the room. 

    “Aww! That’s so sweet! Super manly!” “Dang, wish my mom had done something like that!” “Open it, open it, open it!” Izuku’s laugh was cut short when he finally caught sight of the package. Wrapped with butcher paper. Tied with twine. The others looked to one another, confused as to why he suddenly looked like he’d seen a ghost. Shakey steps led him to stand before the box. There was a card. He gently picked it up.

Izuku

    Carefully, beautifully, handwritten calligraphy. He flipped it over.

Your favorite. Bon appétit. 

    He gently set it aside, eyes suddenly dead. When he didn’t move the others went from concerned to worried. ‘Is he alright?’ ‘What happened? He did a total 180!’ ‘Should we get Mr. Aizawa?’ It all drowned out into white noise as Izuku gathered the courage to put his hands on the box. Silence. Tension filled the air. With a sharp tug the twine snapped. The wrapping was methodically removed. The lid slowly, so slowly (please, no, no nononoNO), came off the box to reveal…

A still steaming bowl of pork katsudon.

    Those gathered let out a sigh of relief, forgetting a rather important detail, and not noticing Izuku had gone stock still. It was Kaminari that broke the silence.

    “Geez Midoriya! You had us worried! Man oh man does that smell good! Mind if I have a piece?” Kaminari didn’t wait for a response before he snagged a bit of pork.

    A chorus of ‘hey!'s and ‘he didn’t say yes!'s were added to the buzzing of Izuku’s thoughts as he watched in painful slow motion as Kaminari put the piece of breaded 'pork' in his mouth. It was at that moment that Uraraka realized something. “Hey… Deku doesn’t eat meat…”

Then all hell broke loose.

《¤》

His father had never really treated him like a child. Where everyone else would talk at him in a cutesy baby voice, his father would talk to him like he would most anyone else. When he would use a word Izuku didn’t quite understand, all he had to do was politely ask, and his father would hardly bat an eye before clarifying himself.

“Now we bread the fillet-” “‘Scuse me papa?” Gentle slate met curious emerald. “Yes, son?”

“What does, fe-lay mean?” A steady hand ruffled eternally messy curls. “Fillet, Izuku.” A hold on the conversation until the five year old could correctly pronounce the word. “What it means depends on how the word is being used. For example, if I were to ask ‘Izuku, would you fillet this fish for me?’” Said boy giggled. Lips curled, warm. “It would mean ‘please remove the bones from the meat.’ However if I was dining at a restaurant, and ordered a fillet, then the word would refer to a boneless piece of meat that came from near the loin or rib of the animal in question. Can you guess what animal this fillet came from?” Izuku studied the pinkish meat, humming as he thought. “Hmmmmm, is it cow?” “Cow meat is called beef, Izuku.” Curls bounced as the small boy nodded. “But not quite. This is pork. Can you tell me which animal that is?” Emerald eyes lit up in excitement. “Oh! I know, I know! It’s pig!”

For some reason, the smile his father gave him in response didn’t feel good.

“That’s right, son.”

《¤》

    SPIT IT OUT! SPIT IT OUT!

    Shouta rushed into chaos, Uraraka at his side for the second time that day. And of course the problem child is at the center of it. Midoriya was once again straddling someone on the ground. Plus side, the person was clothed this time. Down side, the kid looked near feral, one hand thrust inside Kaminari’s mouth the other gripping his collar, bits of food on the terrified boys cheeks and stuck in his hair. Shoji and Kirishima were pulling on Midoriya with all their strength, but the tell tale sparks of green told Shouta they wouldn’t be getting very far. Not unless he stepped in.

    In a flash of Erasure, Midoriya was finally pulled away, only becoming more frantic, not pausing in his repetitive shouting. Kaminari rolled onto his feet and rushed out of Shota’s line of sight. The sounds of vomiting followed, and for whatever reason, that calmed Midoriya enough for him to break into incoherent sobs. 

    “I’m s-s-s-sorry, don’t-t swa-swallow it, I’m sorry, mama, m-m-mom! This is- this is all my fault, why didn't I listen, what have I done-” Shouta had heard enough, and from the looks on the other kids faces, if he didn’t take control of the situation soon they would all lose it. 

    “Midoriya!" Tear filled eyes snapped to him, not quite focused, but enough to stop the litany of apologies. “Breathe kid, do I still need to worry about your quirk, or can I drop mine?” At his jerky nod, Shouta blinked, and immediately applied his eye drops. When he looked back, the other boys had let go of his sobbing student, now curled up on the floor. Kaminari had silently slunk back into the room, shaken eyes not moving from Midoriya’s quivering form. Shouta took a deep breath.

    “Anyone who wasn’t here to see the whole thing, go to your room. I’ll inform you about what happened once it’s all sorted out.” Tokoyami, Sato, Yayorozou, and surprisingly Shoji, began to slowly shuffle out. Shoji hesitated until Shouta turned to him, “Would you mind finding All Might, get him over here, tell him it’s urgent.” A subdued ‘yes sir’ and he was gone. That left Ashido, Kirishima, Sero, Uraraka and the two boys at the center of the fiasco. A quick assessment of the remaining students faces proved Ashido to be the most likely to be able to speak. “Ashido.”

    The girl gulped, but stood at attention. “Yes sir…?” Speaking over Midoriya’s cries was awkward to say the least. Especially seeing as no one had moved since the four other students' departure, not even to comfort the boy. 

    “Can you tell me what happened? From the beginning.” Everyone but the sobbing boy shifted uncomfortably, Kaminari wrapping his arms around himself. 

    “Uh, yeah, so… We got back, and there was a box on the table with M-Midoriya’s name on it.” A particularly strangled sob came from said boy at the mention of the box. “A-and he sounded pretty excited for it, said it was from his mom…” Shouta remembers All Might mentioning something along those lines on the way back from the exam. “But when he saw it, he went white as a sheet. A total 180! He didn’t talk, just went up and read the card, after that he didn’t move for a solid minute! His face was completely blank and we almost went to find you when he started to open it…”

    She paused as everyone shifted again, Midoriya’s sobbs having trickled into whimpers and sniffles. “It was just a bowl of katsudon.” Said bowl was still sitting on the table untouched. “We were so relieved that we kinda forgot… And then Kaminari tried to eat a piece of pork.” The strangled noise Midoriya made caused all the kids to flinch, only Shouta’s years of training keeping him from joining them. No one spoke as he went back to soft whines.

    “At, at first he didn’t react, but after he put it in his mouth-” “He attacked me.” Kaminari’s voice was tinged with disbelief, expression shifting from shocked to angry. “He tackled me and shoved his hand down my fucking throat!” Shouta’s eyes twitched in his own disbelief. There had to be more to it.

    “Language.” That only made Kaminari angrier.

    “Language? Aizawa, he attacked me-!” “That’s not fair, it was obvious something was scaring Deku!” “Yeah but talk about over kill…” “Think about it, what if it’s poisoned? Kami maybe he was trying to save your life! That's pretty manly!” “Are you seri-!”

    “Enough.” Silence, even from Midoriya. Shouta took a moment to wonder where the hell All Might was. “Ashido, what did you mean by ‘we kinda forgot’? What did you forget?” They all blinked at him as if he had asked a rather obvious question. But the answer came from the source.

    “I don’t eat meat. Neither does my mom. Not… Not anymore.” Silence. The dots were starting to connect. 

    The Midoriya's had suddenly appeared in Japan around five years ago. The father wasn't in the picture. Someone was after the Midoriya's. Dangerous enough for the kid's continued enrollment to hinge on how safe he was on campus. This someone had most likely taught the kid things normal civilians don't know. And the kid had just implied that there was a reason, traumatic enough to cause the younger to react like this, that they had stopped eating meat.

    He had rather violently assaulted a classmate when said classmate nearly ate a piece of meat that was decidedly not sent from his mother.

    Shouta wanted to hurl. He wanted to be wrong, very wrong.

    “You five, to your rooms. Kaminari in the future, think before you eat someone else’s food, I’ll talk more with you later. No one is in any trouble, now go.” They left one by one, Uraraka not leaving until Shouta gave her a look. Finally he was left with Midoriya. The underground Pro knelt beside him. “Hey, kid?” No response. “Can you stand? We’re gonna have to talk to Nedzu." 

    More silence. Where was that buffoon when you needed him? "Mr... Aizawa..." Shouta tensed.

    "Yeah kid?" Midoriya slowly lifted his head, and Shouta fought his cringe at the kids face. A dead, haunted expression greeted him, eyes dull and red rimmed, skin splotchy from his hysterics. Shouta's nausea only grew at the sight. Of course when the boy opened his mouth to speak it was the moment All Might finally makes his grand appearance. 

    "Young Midoriya! Young Shoji couldn't really explain, are you quite all right my boy? Oh! Your mother sent you katsudon too? That's odd…" The other two froze, but in an anxious haze All Might continued to ramble. "I couldn't really eat mine, diet restrictions, so I only had a bite, but it was quite delicious-" 

 That's when the screaming started. 

~

    They were going to have to sedate him. Nothing could calm Midoriya down, he was screeching and crying scrambled apologies and pleas for forgiveness. All Might, even Shouta, pled with the kid, using every trick in the book with no luck. When All Might went to put his arms around him, the kid nearly bolted in a flash of green, it had only been Shouta's quick reflexes that activated Erasure and bound the boy in quick succession, keeping him just inside the common room. Which only served to make him even more hysterical. 

    "All Might! Go get Recovery Girl! Tell her to bring a sedative! Go now!" The man scrambled away, fright, confusion, and maybe hurt, warring on his face. The renewed screaming unfortunately summoned half the class. 

    "What the hell!?" "Is everything alright?" "Mr. Aizawa! What's happening to Deku!?" "Midoriya!?" The added noise was escalating the situation, and Midoriya started thrashing. Shouta cursed, he had to blink soon, and he wouldn't be surprised if the kid could rip his capture weapon to shreds, much less just toss him aside. Shouta was struggling to contain him as it stands. If All Might didn't return soon, things would really descend into chaos. 

    "Everyone! Back to your rooms! And don't leave them until you're given the ok!" None of them moved, those personally closest to the kid even moved closer. "If you're not gone in the next five seconds, a week of hour long detention for all of you!" That sprung most of them into action, only Uraraka, Iida, and Todoroki not budging. He needed to blink. "Damn it! Uraraka, float him now! Todoroki, freeze him in the air! Shield your eyes on three!" 

    Recovery Girl arrived to an explosion of ice shards. He had to give the seasoned Pro props, her aim was solid. The tranquilizer dart sunk into shoulder, shocking the boy into blessed silence. "Release!" He hit the ground out cold, everyone too shocked to try and catch him. 

Silence. 

    "You three, to your rooms, if I have to tell you again I'll suspend you. You've done all you can, we'll handle it from here." There was mutiny in Todoroki’s eyes but they all somberly left. Shouta took a shuddering breath, ran his hands down his face and kept them there. He was exhausted. Too bad this was far from over. 

    "Aizawa, what in the fresh hell was that?" Recovery Girl had a thunderous expression, arms crossed and foot tapping. "First All Might grabs me yelling about sedatives and Midoriya, then I walk into this! I swe- Aizawa!" The shocked gasp of his name drew his attention, Recovery Girls eyes were wide, All Might's entire focus on the unconscious boy, staring like he was some unknown entity. 

    "Yes, Recovery Girl?" He sounded wrung out. To distract himself, he slowly made his way to Midoriya's prone form. Lifting him in a princess carry, the boys head flopped onto his shoulder, puffs of breath hitting his neck. Shouta was trying to keep his mind blank. His priorities were his students, and his main one was currently Midoriya. He turned back to the pair of teachers with the boy in his arms. 

    "Oh, dear... I don't think I've ever seen you cry…" Was that what that was? Should have been impossible with his dry eye… He would have time to think on that later. There were more pressing matters. “Could someone please tell me what is going on?” Neither man made a move to speak. Shouta couldn’t help but tighten his grip.

    “...I have my suspicions. I don’t know if I can say it more than once. We need to talk to Nedzu…. All Might.” The man jumped, moving his eyes from the boy for the first time. “What did you do with your katsudon?” All Might shifted and cleared his throat. 

    “I… I put it away, in my apartment. I had intended to share it in the staff room tomorrow…” Shouta didn’t resist the grimace that pulled at his face. He started walking towards the exit, wanting this to be over. 

    “Pack up the bowl on the table. Get yours too. They’re going to need to be sent to forensics…” Both Pros went white at the implication. Recovery Girl shook herself. 

    “Do I need to start looking for an antidote of some kind?” Shouta only shook his head, shouldering the door open, cautious of bumping the boy in his arms. He really wanted this to be over. To think the day started off like any other…

“We need to talk to Nedzu.”

~

    They decided against leaving Midoriya alone, deeming him a flight risk. A tense silence filled the principal’s office, cups of tea steaming, untouched. “Aizawa. Could you please explain the incident that has occurred?” Shouta ignored the question from Nedzu, for now. He couldn't get his thoughts in any semblance of order, with stray ideas calling for attention before fading back into the miasma his mind currently felt like.

    “Authorities need to be sent to the Midoriya residence, immediately.” Too little too late really, but maybe they would find something useful. The others blinked. All Might pulled out his phone.

    “I’ll tell Naomasa, as I'm assuming this has to do with… Aizawa, please what is happening with Young Midoriya?” Shouta took a deep breath. Retold the story he got from Ashido. Explained what happened after he got there, and what happened while All Might had been gone. But he couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud. To make it real. And from the look of Nedzu, he probably wouldn’t have to. 

    “I’m not as close to the boy, do any of you know why his mother would send him something he wouldn't eat? Much less something that would cause this kind of reaction?” Shouta wouldn't say it, least the guilt take him over. All Might seemed to have put it together, running from the room, hand over his mouth. Nedzu set down his cold tea with a click, paws steepled before him. 

    “That’s just it, Shuzenji. All Might and Aizawa had put together with bits and pieces that there was most likely a dangerous individual, if not a villain, after the Midoriya's. It regrettably seems-” “I led him right to us. Practically sent him our location.”

    Three heads whipped to the boy who was lying on the couch. He’d thrown an arm over his eyes, the other one left dangling to the floor. The tranq should not have worn for another hour at least. The boy went on, “I was selfish and I led him right to us. She begged me not to go to U.A. I should have listened. I thought if he saw, saw how strong I was, would be, he would let us go. How magnanimous of me.” The word was spat with enough venom to make Recovery Girl flinch. 

    “My boy…” Midoriya stiffened at All Might’s voice, hands clenched into fists. No one had noticed his return. "My boy, who- who did this? Who are you running from?" The boy's lips curled into a facsimile of a smile, more a bitter snarl. His answer wasn't wholly unexpected, but devastating all the same.

"My father."

《¤》

Izuku Midoriya was born Izuku Lecter.

His parents met as Nurse Inko Abarai and Doctor Hannibal Lecter in Delaware.

It was a relationship founded on proximity.

It was continued because Inko thought he was charming and Hannibal thought she would have pretty children.

The longer it went on, the more perfect he became to her.

He made sure of it.

A year into their marriage, and just over three months into her pregnancy he made an offer during dinner.

“I’m thinking of retiring from surgery. In a fortuitous turn of events, I recently received a letter from an old college friend, who is planning on retiring from psychiatry, who is wondering if I would be willing to take over his practice. I may have to brush up on my studies, but I would like to be more hands on in raising our child, being a surgeon would not allow for it. The only real problem is that his practice is in Baltimore. So I wanted to know if you would be willing to make the move?” 

Inko set her silverware down (properly like he taught her) and swallowed the bite of beef in her mouth (don’t be rude) before answering. 

“It makes me so happy to hear you’re that excited for the baby! Though… Is it the best idea to move right now? I wouldn’t want to stress the pregnancy…” 

She never could detect the deception in his smile.

He had her assent before they were through with dinner.

~

The thought of death did not bring him grief, like so many others.

The thought of all his knowledge being lost with him, however, was another matter entirely. 

Inko was a young, beautiful woman with wide, naive, emerald eyes.

He was pleased to see his son inherit them. 

Long pig had the tendency to let their guard down in the presence of things they consider ‘cute’.

And no one ever expected to be attacked by the handsome man with a baby.

Something he would teach his son in time. 

~

Izuku was nearing two years old and had yet to talk. Neither he nor the pediatrician could detect any neurological or physical explanation for it. Hannibal was content to wait. Inko however was incessant in her worry, pointing at objects and saying their names in a bid to get him to repeat. “That’s Papa, Izuku! Pah-puh!”

He briefly considered expediting her tragic accident before dismissing the idea. 

He filled his time with Izuku by talking. Keeping a running commentary of his actions and explaining their purpose. The idea was for Izuku to perhaps copy the notion while simultaneously educating him.

Currently he was walking Izuku through a simple beef ragu. 

“Don’t forget Izuku, it’s easy to under or over season, so periodically taste, and always with a clean utensil. It would be rude to serve to others otherwise.” Hannibal proceeded to do so. He frowned at the taste. It would seem he for- “You forgah the time Papa!” 

Hannibal slowly looked to the toddler idly kicking his feet in his highchair with a huge grin. He blinked. Well. Good to know the boy was paying attention. 

“So it would seem, Izuku. You wouldn’t happen to remember how much I need, would you?” 

From then on, the boy’s mouth could hardly keep up.

~

Hannibal was more than aware that he didn’t marry Inko for anything other than her looks. But he had been under the belief that she had more intelligence than this. From the sounds of her wailing you would think his son was standing at death's door. 

Quirkless.

Izuku could not have been more perfect.

~

His son absorbed information like a sponge. He was the perfect pupil. Hannibal could feel the worries of his knowledge being lost slip away. Izuku would be his finest masterpiece, the beginning of a hopefully long legacy. 

The boy would give up his childish dreams of being a hero before long.

He would make sure of it.

~

Hannibal was not too proud to admit that he overreacted.

He had really thought that his son had given up on that confounding dream of his.

Add in his near absurd amount of compassion, which had been putting a wrench in easing the boy into more violent tendencies, and his newest patient, the abhorrent Franklin. 

In a rare moment of weakness he had let his frustration bubble over into anger.

“Do you think I can be a hero Father?” 

He can remember cupping the boy’s cheek, but after looking into emerald eyes, all he saw was red.

When he came back to himself, his son was sobbing on the ground, a bruise already developing along his jaw, a bright red. 

Hannibal took a fortifying breath. This would be a setback, fixable yet not the most ideal of situations.

“Forgive me, my son. That was unacceptable behaviour on my part. I am quite ashamed to have let my emotions get the better of me. Will you allow me to tend to your bruise? We wouldn’t want to worry your mother now would we?” 

The boy was silent throughout his treatment, letting out the occasional sniff or hiccup.

“Let me make it up to you. I’ll start by making your favorite for dinner tonight. And tomorrow, we can go see that new hero movie you told me about. How does that sound?” 

Cautious light returned to emerald eyes. “But you don’t like those kinds of movies…?”

Hannibal smiled. “But you do. Would you like to help with dinner?”

Just like that, Izuku was back to his babbling self. That would have to be trained out of him, then turned into a weapon. 

“Ah. It would seem I left the cutlets in the cellar. Watch the broth while I get them?”

“Of course Father!” 

The nameless cretin had not taken his first no for an answer, even after seeing the ring on his finger. He was not yet sure of how he wanted to arrange her carcass. Opening the cellar cooler he set aside her head to reach the cutlets he had prepared the night before.

He never noticed sightless viridian meeting horrified emerald.

~

It was rare for Inko to have a day off while her husband went to work.

Dinner had been subdued the night before, Izuku hardly eating despite it being his favorite. Combined with the large bruise Hannibal claimed came from a training mishap, she had warning bells ringing in her ears. 

“Sweetheart? Did you want to do something today?” His face was blank as he looked to her, the ringing getting louder. What had really happened yesterday…?

“Mama.” His voice was whisper soft, bringing worried tears to her eyes. 

“Yes baby?”

“I need to show you something.”

~

He had to admit, he hadn't thought Inko had the will, much less the courage, to leave. Not after all the conditioning he put her through. But she did love his son fiercely…

On the other hand, Will Graham was an interesting case. Interesting enough to let his son go for the time being. Dead families did wonders for gaining sympathy after all. 

The boy would learn soon enough.

《¤》

    Izuku always found it funny how loud silence could be. His teachers’ faces ranged from horrified to appalled by the time he finished revealing his sordid past. Recovery Girl and All Might were openly letting streams of tears coat their faces. Aizawa’s expression was a tad too blank and Nedzu had a certain gleam in his eye. 

    “So. That’s the story. That’s how we found out my father is not only the Chesapeake Ripper, but he really was Il Mostro di Firenze.” He let the Italian slide lazily from his tongue. Aizawa slid a falsely empty gaze in his direction.

    “‘Really was’?” Izuku let the bitter smile crack his face. When he had discovered the blunder of the century, he had raged.

    “Hannibal Lecter was taken into custody by Florence police, under the belief that he was the infamous Mostro. Until they discovered he was quirkless. Then they let him go.” The knowledge stung. They had had him, and he’d left with an apology from the Chief at the time. Just because he didn’t have a quirk. And no way could a quirkless aristocrat be so depraved. It had further solidified his resolve to be a hero.

    “May I ask where the name ‘Midoriya’ came from?” Everyone sent Nedzu a startled look. 

    “That’s the part you’re stuck on?” Recovery Girl had dried her eyes, and actually looked a little peeved. Izuku blinked. He had to think about the question, he had asked once, a long time ago, but the response was fuzzy in his memory (it had nothing to do with having to think about mom).

    “Mom’s grandmother's maiden name. Maybe. I never really cared, so long as it wasn’t his…” Nedzu nodded, clasped paws held against his mouth. The other three teachers had picked a spot in the room to focus on, not a one on him.

    “May I also ask why you intentionally gave yourself those scars?” Izuku stilled as the teachers whirled to face the principal. 

    “What are you saying!?” “Nedzu!” “Where is this coming from!?” Izuku recaptured their attention with one sentence.

    “High Specs, huh? I can imagine this has been at the back of your mind for awhile now. You know, there was a lesson my father taught me.” He could tell that statement had them nervous, they were all tense, and when he raised his scarred hand Aizawa's fingers twitched. “‘You never know if prey will become predator.’ You’re right Principal Nedzu.” All but the principal's eyes widened. “I threw my match with Todoroki, not only to help him, but also in order to make my quirk seem as exploitable as possible. To make myself seem deemed just good enough to go Pro. We knew from the moment I was accepted into U.A. that the hourglass was flipped. It was only a matter of time before my father saw footage of the Festival and… well...” 

    Understanding lit in Aizawa’s eyes. “The check ins weren’t about the USJ, they were about Lecter. I'm assuming he's also the one who taught you combat.” Izuku was interrupted before he could respond. 

    “And manipulation, it would seem. Why did your mother not inform authorities that her husband was the Chesapeake Ripper?” Recovery Girl went aghast at the principal’s bluntness. All Might had buried his face in his hands while Izuku was speaking earlier. Aizawa was finally looking at him, eyes narrowed. The boy let his lips twitch. 

    “Panic, probably. I was a traumatized ten year old at the time, I just did as my mom said. As for after the initial shock? We did our research, found out about Florence, and realized he would have already gotten home from work. With no evidence, no charge would stick. So we fled.” The door opened before Nedzu could respond, a sullen Detective Tsukachi entered the room.

    Tsukachi turned to Izuku, face falling even more somehow. "Ah, I wasn't expecting you to be here…" He didn’t want to hear him say what he already knew. “Midoriya-” 

    “I need to see the crime scene photos.” The protests were immediate and numerous. But they didn't understand that him seeing those photos was vital.

    "Absolutely not!" "Ah, Midoriya, that's not something I can let you do…" "My boy…" 

    As was noticing that Tsukachi clutched the tablet in his hands that much tighter. Recovery Girl and Nedzu didn't have a chance at stopping him. All Might was too emotionally wrecked to react in time… Which left Aizawa. Temporarily blinding an opponent was easy enough however.

    He threw a (thankfully) cold cup of tea into Aizawa's face. In a flash, before the underground pro cleared his eyes and the others got over their surprise, Izuku had the tablet in his hands. He zipped out the door, then preceded to bodily hold it shut. 

    The banging and yelling were background noise as he woke the device, a little shocked at the lack of password. He steeled himself. No matter what was on the tablet, three things were clear. 

    His father was back. His father was angry. And he needed to be stopped, no matter the cost. 

    With a deep breath, he rifled through the tablet until he found the correct file. He already knew something had happened to her. He wasn't sure he was prepared to see just what had happened. He opened the file.

And stared.