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In Our Family Portrait, We Look Happy

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Summer burns through the air, reminding everyone not wearing sunscreen to get their asses back inside before their skin turns red. Most families or ‘party of one’s are out at the beach, or maybe even the pool. By this time in the day, they're probably getting ready to roast food over a firepit, or barbecue something completely different. Long story short, it was a nice day.

 

Instead of enjoying the heat, Izuku leans against the cracked brick walls of a side alley. Not many people tend to come down here, which makes it perfect for clearing his mind. Quiet, tranquil air surrounds him, letting him breathe in peace. He stares at an old poster on the wall opposite of him; green eyes and a pearly smile looks right back. 

 

The fakest fucking smile he’s ever seen.

 

It’s a picture from the last year of middle school, back when he had that childish belief in his own impeccability. That deliciously tantalizing sense of becoming something he never could’ve been: a hero. If only his old self could see him now, a disheveled and broken figure, scrounging for what little grains of hope he has left.

 

There are notes etched on the sides of every paper, telling him to come home, or saying how sorry they are. It always hurts too much to look at. He knows if he stares any longer, it’ll be imprinted into his vision like a sun spot, and he really can’t have that right now. Not when his mind is still vulnerable and broken.

 

Izuku tears the missing person's poster down and shoves it in his pocket.

 

He ties his hoodie around his waist a little tighter, and makes his way out of the alley. There isn’t much concern about someone recognizing him out in the open; it's been months since the last split second appearance on the news showed up, and the public doesn’t care much for a kid with no contribution to society. Now, if it had been Kacchan Bakugou who went missing, that would’ve been a completely different story. People would’ve gone mad about the fact that someone with such a powerful quirk - one of their own - disappeared.

 

He would’ve been found in hours, the prick.

 

Izuku has his hair cut short. He can still just barely run his hands through it, fingers grazing over various bumps on his head, coinciding with memories and lessons taught by violence. With the help of unknown chemicals found in random trash cans, it wasn’t super fluffy anymore. Frizzy maybe, but not in the same way it used to be.

It really helps being quirkless. That factor makes him look plain, and boring: easy to blend in.

 

Walking down the sidewalk, a heavy ignorance seemed to brood among the air. People littering the streets, acting like there wasn’t a wrong in the world. As if there wasn’t discrimination sitting at the tips of their very fingers. But then again, maybe they don’t even notice it. It’s hard to perceive dirt on the bottom of the bowl when your eating from the top.

 

A short walk and a few ‘ I-totally-just-bumped-into-you-and-didn’t-steal-your-money’ s later, Izuku finally got to the net cafe. He gave a quick ¥1400 to the lady working at the desk, and made his way to a little room in the far back corner. Before getting to the room, he did a once over of the public computers, looking for the familiar grey-blue hair to no avail.

 

Shutting the thin and unlockable door, Izuku threw his backpack to the corner of the room. The distinct noise of crinkling came from his pocket as he fell back into a chair. Groaning and getting back up, he untied the jacket, and took the papers out to read all the notes.

 

He really shouldn’t be looking at them again...

 

‘Come home Izuku’

 

‘I love you’

 

‘I’m sorry’- Mom

 

‘I’m sorry’

 

‘Deku come back’- Kacchan

 

Tch. ‘I'm sorry, Deku come back’ Yeah, as if. It’s far too late for that fucker to be remorseful. He isn’t sorry anyway, he’s just guilty. Izuku easily could’ve gone and stayed as a stepping stone, and Bakugou would be fine. He needs to understand that he can’t just slap a bandaid on broken glass, and have it suddenly be fixed and perfect. He sure as hell didn’t have enough Flex Tape to come anywhere near fixed. 

 

Izuku crumbles up the paper for a second time that day, before throwing it away.

 

He has to consciously stop himself from digging his nails into his palms. It wouldn’t do him any good to have more wounds on his hands. It would just make running away, and hopping gates that much harder.

 

Grabbing his backpack, he starts going through the clothes, hoping to find some that are clean enough to wear. After deciding on slightly ripped sweatpants and a dark blue T-shirt with only a few stains, he collected all of his things. Once everything was in the backpack, he goes to pay ¥100 for a coin locker, and put it all except the clothes inside. He passes a set of stairs on the way, peering up to see if the sign at the top was on ‘ Here’ . That’s where the owner of the cafe lives. Izuku’s moderately fond of the man, even if he’s a little too intrusive for his liking. The man would always ask about his parents, or something of the like.

 

It did nothing but inspire a half-uneasy, half-laughing compunction.

 

Despite how crowded it sometimes got, Izuku liked this net cafe. Like the others, it was open 24 hours, a pay per night kind of thing. Except this one caters towards other homeless. It’s cheaper than most other cafes, it has snacks, a place to buy a few cleanliness items, and even an area to shower. They have separate rooms to sleep in, even if there weren't any locks on the doors. It's nice.

 

After a shower and change of clothes, Izuku walks back to his the room. He flops into the chair in a feat of exhaustion, putting his backpack under him as a pillow just in case of thieves. His worn blue blanket covers him fully, as long as he stays curled up tightly and holds the cloth close. It isn’t like it's cold in the room, quite the opposite actually. It’s just that Izuku can’t sleep without it. And yet, like most nights, he doesn’t spend much time sleeping. 

 

Instead, he allows his mind to dig up a harvest of barren regrets. That night, Izuku cries into his blanket. But it’s okay. He’s okay.

 

As long as he’s in the comfort of privacy.

Chapter Text

“Hey, broccoli kid, wake up.” 

 

Izuku jolts awake, ready to fight off anyone trying to steal his bag and falling to the floor as a result. He’s a hundred percent thankful that there isn’t an audible crack when he lands on his arm. He looks up, his eyes meeting a small, familiar figure leaning against the door frame. She had an amused smile on her face. “Interrupt my sleep, and I interrupt your breathing.”

 

She didn’t look the slightest bit fazed, nothing but a laugh graced her face, “Tch. I’d like to see you try.”

 

“Hey Jirou. It’s been awhile..”

 

“Yet you’re still as paranoid as ever I see,” the other responds. She continues after seeing Izuku’s not-so-fake fake glare. “Hey, I didn’t say it was a bad thing, I’m sure I would’ve been shaking in my boots if I were a robber or something, chill. Anyways, I was actually kind of hoping to find you here, because I seriously need some answers, Deku.”

 

She shut the door and practically jumps into the chair -the only chair- making Izuku sit on the table. She pulls a crumpled paper out of the tiny bag on her hip, and starts to flatten out the various crinkles. Izuku immediately recognizes it, and decides that he does not need, nor want to be in this room right now.

 

He bolts onto his feet, and runs to grab his threadbare backpack off of the floor, swinging it onto his arm. He makes a break for the door, but Jirou manages (as if she even has to try that hard) to wrap one of her earphone jacks around his ankle. She uses the other one to hold his wrists away from unraveling the first.

 

So that’s how Izuku ends up on the floor with her tying, and holding him hostage.

 

Okay, so maybe he’s exaggerating a little bit, but either way, he wouldn’t be getting out of there anytime soon. 

 

“No! You are not escaping this conversation!” Jirou picks him up (so easily??) and basically throws him back onto the half settee. She holds her earphone jacks up as a threat, which Izuku politely accepts by remaining still and seated. He still doesn't manage to hide his flinch, though.

 

“I-.. Sorry.. I’m not gonna hurt you, okay?” She picked the paper up from where it fell on the ground, “But I still caught you in a lie, and need an explanation, got it? You said your family doesn’t give a shit about you anymore, so why are there missing persons posters up? There was a woman handing these out in front of the electronics place, so what’s up with that?”

 

Deep breaths.

 

Izuku’s thankful to whatever deity out there that he doesn’t have to talk about his actual mother. He’s been avoiding those thoughts and memories like bullets, and honestly, he’s kind of hoping to avoid them forever. His mom's just too self destructive and self-guilting for her own good.

 

“I didn’t lie to you. That woman isn’t - and never will be - family. She’s more of a.. An old family friend. Trust me Jirou, she doesn’t give a shit about me. All Mits- She wants is a reason to get out of her hellhole of a house, or maybe it’s just feel good about herself. Frankly, I don’t care either way.” He responds.

 

Jirou goes to sit on the desk, right where he was before he tried to run. “If she doesn’t care about you, then why was she out there in the rain? She was crying, might I add Deku- uh, M-Midoriya? No, never mind, that sounds weird.”

 

“Like I said, she was out there to look good. She’s good at conveying fake emotions: used to be a model before she had her son. If she really cared, she wouldn’t try to call charities to credit her for it every damn day. And by the way, my name is Deku . Don’t call me Midoriya, or Izuku, or anything else. That kid isn’t real anymore.” 

 

Izuku gets up, deciding to be done with this conversation knowing she'll starts listing off his Mom’s fake ass notes if he doesn't. Any more questions, and he might actually tell her an answer. Izuku’d rather not give more personal information about his old life out than he already has, it’d just make him easier to be found and reported to police.

 

Not like anyone’s looking anyways.

 

He grabs his backpack, and shoves the blue blanket back inside. He didn’t even get the chance to count how much money he took last night, and now he already has to leave. Great. Maybe if he’s lucky, he’ll catch the cafe owner on the way out. As indifferent as the man is, maybe he’d have a general idea as to where Iz-

 

“Do you know Bakugou?” Jirou finally asks.

 

 

He wants to say no. Hell, he wants to laugh it off as a joke and walk out of the room like this conversation never happened. That name belongs to a boy of imperious will, that might actually get him places, even if Izuku hates the fact. 

 

But he already flinched too long for denial to be believable, and knowing Jirou, she won’t let it go.

 

“...How do you..?” he starts out.

 

“Well, that was his mom handing out the papers, wasn’t it? I know him from school, Bakugou’s in my class. So.. I’ll take that as a yes?”

 

That's right. She mentioned that she went to UA. The thought of the two knowing each other had crossed Izuku’s mind once or twice, but he never actually thought it could happen. It was just too big of a coincidence to be possible. Not to mention, Jirou’s pretty pragmatic and easy-going, which Bakugou.. Isn’t

 

Izuku really doesn’t want to talk anymore.

 

“Look, this isn't really your business, is it?" he regrets his cold voice as soon as it leaves his mouth, but wouldn't change his words if given the chance. He gets up, knowing Jirou probably feels too guilty to restrain him again. But she does still get off the desk to follow him. “I have to go, I’ll see you whenever you decide to come back again.”

 

He gets into the hallway and can’t help but think that someone has to have heard their conversation. Being paranoid isn’t exactly a bad thing when there’s so much that could happen. Someone could easily take that information and sell it somewhere, or turn him in for money. Hell, they might even tell the owner, lord knows the guy is going crazy trying to figure Izuku out. 

 

Is Izuku going insane for thinking that?

 

He’s not at all surprised when he finally notices Jirou following him. He knows she'd be too embarrassed to follow him into the showers, despite her cool demeanor, so he turns towards those. He hears Jirou stop in her tracks. Izuku assumes it was because she knew where he was going, and not because the cafe owner finally decided to come downstairs from his eternal hiding.

 

Just as Izuku runs straight into the man, Jirou yanks him back with a jack, making him lose balance and fall on the ground. When he looks up, the familiar stature stands annoyed in front of him.

 

"Mr. Aizawa..?" Jirou says.

 

No way. No freaking way. There is absolutely no goddamned way that this owner, this cafe owner , is also her teacher. Bakugou's teacher.

 

"Kid? Why are you with the problem child? I thought you were one of the good students." Aizawa responds

 

Great. Just fucking great.

Chapter Text

Jirou

 

It’s freezing in the UA hallway, as if the air conditioner was trying to prove a point to the students. Part of her really hopes Todoroki’ already warmed up the room, by request of Ashido. Maybe Momo already created some kind of space heater just to quell the complaints of everyone else.

 

Once she gets to the oversized classroom door, something makes Jirou stop. Truthfully, she’s still debating whether or not she should even go through with her earlier plan. On one hand, she would possibly get the answers she’s looking for, but on the other, it’d be betraying Deku’s trust. Not that he really trusts her, anyways. ‘Lone Wolf’ and all that crap.

 

...Always claiming to have an uncaring family..

 

She takes a deep breath, and pushes open the comically large door-

 

-and seeing a protesting Kaminari standing on Mr. Aizawa’s wheely chair , while giving some argumentative speech about being used as a ‘charging station’. There’s absolutely zero chance that he won’t fall off of that chair at some point. He looks just like one of those viral speech givers talking about pollution, except instead of a planet it’s him, and instead of trash it’s phone wires.

 

Opting not to make some off-handed comment that’ll only end up in an argument, Jirou makes her way to the empty desk behind Bakugou’s. She’s not quite sure how this is going to go, considering Bakugou isn’t too fond of talking to people. He never really makes any effort to join the conversation. At first, she thought it was because of being shy, like with Kouda. But she, and every other classmate, quickly learned that he just straight up didn’t like people.

 

“So uh, what’s up, Bakugou?” Aaand, she’s already failed this conversation. Seriously?? Who just goes up to someone and starts with-

 

“..What the hell do you want, Earrings?” He snapped with no real anger. Honestly, she should've been offended at the name, but it was kinda funny.. Maybe she should be taking notes while she still can.

 

“Well, I saw your mom handing out some papers in front of the TV place. By chance, do you, uhh, know Midoriya Iz-”

 

Why, have you seen him?? ” Bakugou suddenly interrupted. It called the attention of a few other students, but they quickly minded their own business when Kaminari finally fell off the chair. “Er- I mean- Why the hell do you care?”

 

She really should’ve thought of that before starting this conversation. Goddamn it.

 

What would be a valid reason for asking about his supposedly missing friend ( maybe friend ?)?? She could say that she got a glimpse of Deku for a moment, but he'd ask where, which means she'd have to find a way to keep up with the lies. Maybe she'll say she wanted to help look? ...That'd be weird pretty strange though..

 

"I just wanna get to know you." She replies.

 

'What. The. Fuck. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?? That had absolutely nothing to do with Deku! Fuck! What if he thinks I’m joki-'

 

"Just fuck off, will ya? I don't have any interest in making friends. I'm here to become a hero. Nothing else. "

 

She lets out an annoyed sigh, and decides to revert to desperate methods. “Okay, maybe I was lying, alright? I just really wanna help out your mom, I really like her and If she’s worried about Deku, I really want to help you guys find him. Do you uhh, know how worried she is..?” 

 

Please, please, please, tell me he sucks at seeing through lies! 

 

“What the fuck did you just call him!?”

 

__



Izuk Deku

 

“Sorry Deku, I think all the rooms are full right now.. Tends to happen during the hotter months, I’m sorry.” the lady at the desk tells him. 

 

Just great. He spends all day digging through literal trash just to sell scraps , and he doesn’t even have a decent place to sleep. Izuku’s at least thankful for the woman’s real smile; not some fake customer service bullshit. Either way, no matter how good Aizawa is at finding actually-caring employees, it doesn’t change the amount of space left. Which means…

 

He looks to one of the very few clocks within the cafe. There aren’t many, considering there are clocks on every computer, but Aizawa’s a man of practicality. Izuku’s sure he doesn’t want to go shake a computer awake every time he needs the time. Then again, most normal people just have phones..

 

Half past 10..

 

Okay. Okay, he can make this work.. Not too far from here, there’s a fast food place that usually stays open till about two thirty in the morning.. Assuming they won’t kick him out until then, he can find some underpass that doesn’t get much people traffic afterwards. But, then again, homeless sleeping on the sidewalk usually get sneered at and told to leave starting at 5. The public doesn’t like looking at the ‘broken’ parts of their ‘perfect’ country. . Either way, the station will have opened by 4, so he can go there if push comes to shove, even if it's a little too cold for his tastes.. Wait, but what if there’s some stupid runaway gang trying to rob or recr-

 

“Kid, stop mumbling,” an all too familiar -and exhausting- voice cuts him off. “Don’t need you scaring everyone off. If you need a place to sleep just stay here.”

 

“Well sorry you grimy cat-stealing-fucker, but there’s not exactly room to sleep.” He immediately shoots back. Sure it was rude in response to help, but Aizawa and him have a strange relationship. One day the man would be annoying as all hell trying to figure out everything Izuku has to offer, and the next he’d be basically offering an entire fucking planet to him as ‘ no big deal’ . Sometimes it’d be a mix of both, and Izuku does not want to deal with any kind of parental bullshit right now. 

 

He’s kept his Tragic Backstory™ hidden thus far, and he refuses to let some greasy old man get under his skin.

 

“Really? That’s the best name you could come up with?” 

 

“Oh, my bad. Should I be referring to you professionally, Mr. Aizawa?” At that, Aizawa narrows his eyes in a way that’s more impressed than offended. Izuku isn’t proud of that feat, considering he’s trying to go for the latter.

 

“You want to sleep without getting your shit stolen or not?” the man starts walking away as he talks, either expecting Izuku to follow him, or to go out the door. “Just because there aren’t anymore rooms open, doesn’t mean there isn’t space at all, by the way.”

 

Groaning dramatically and getting a pointed look of sympathy from the desk lady, Izuku follows behind. Aizawa leads him down the hall of cafe rooms, and to the stair set at the end. At the top of the small staircase, there’s a door that always either has a ‘ Here’ sign on it, or remains bare.

 

When the door opens, a strange smell of dust and cleaning supplies mixed together hits him. Who would have thunk, the greasiest man on the planet would actually clean i'm his spare time. Though, apparently not good enough .

 

“I hope you realize that you’re literally leading a minor -who doesn’t know you by the way- into a locked room. You don’t even know my name, and yet here I thought you had tastes.”

 

“I won’t hesitate to throw you out a window.”

 

“As if you’d have the heart too.” 

 

He pauses in the almost-living room, to turn around, giving Izuku a half annoyed, half actually caring-ish look. “Look, if it’s really a concern for you, I’m not even staying here. All it is, is a place for you to not get murdered in your spare rest time.”

 

“Oooh, a house jumper I see, sooo? Where you stayin’?” Izuku wiggles his eyebrows. When Aizawa turns around to narrow his eyes (yet again!), Izuku seems to suddenly realize what he was actually told. “W-wait- So you aren’t worried I’m just gonna steal all of your shit? What if I just decide to spray paint the hell outta everything, and see if the TV still works through a fresh coat of neon orange?”

 

“First of all, language-

 

“I’m not one of your students, I’ll say what the hell I want.”

 

“Second of all, I’m not too worried about that. I know you won’t try to ruin something good just for the sake of your gremlin qualities .” he peers over Izuku’s shoulder, as if looking for a hidden elephant behind the boy’s back. “And I don’t see any spray cans with you.”

 

“Bold of you to assume I don’t have a quirk that let’s me paint whatever the fuck I want.”

 

“Besides Kid, you and I both know you only take to survive, not for shits and giggles.”

 

Izuku's snarky smirk seems to drop into a face as if he were just reminded his dog died. Aizawa can tell he said something wrong, but no clue as to what it was. Damn, he’s supposed to be good at this.

 

"...You don't know anything about me. You shouldn't just assume I’m a good person, let alone trust me.." Izuku finally says.

 

Ah. So the problem child had that kind of upbringing. Something about it makes Aizawa want to wrap the boy in 27 blankets, and never let him sleep outside again. But.. It's not like Deku'll let him.

 

"Kid, the fact that you're saying that at all, proves that you can be trusted." He raises an eyebrow, "And something tells me you don’t have a paint quirk of all things."

 

As if sensing the tension in the room, a sleek black cat saunters into the room. She gives a curious look to Izuku before throwing out a series of meows at her person. She looks pretty big for a cat, even though her running seemed just fine earlier.

 

"Besides," Aizawa says. "I need someone to look after Xena while I’m on patrol. She hates being alone at night."

 

Izuku flings his head to look at him with the force of a thousand military jets, completely dumbfounded at the fact that Aizawa really just said that . Almost as if Izuku was expecting him to spend his spare time mopping up sewers .

 

"There is absolutely no fucking way you're a Pro Hero! When the hell do you even sleep, clearly you need it!" As surprised as Izuku is, he’s mostly continuing for the sake of leaving their previous conversation behind. Something about the way Aizawa’s eyes actually open , tells him he didn’t miss the fake enthusiasm either. “Aren’t you already a teacher?? And you own the cafe, where do you even find the time ?”

 

“Having things to do is easier than not having things to do.” Aizawa replied.

 

“Really? You like to actually do things?? So naturally, you got a cat that hates being alone.”

 

Somehow, despite the omnisity of his voice, Izuku understood what the man meant. Having nothing to do but stand against a wall and watch people move on with their lives is absolutely monotonous. At least when he’s digging through trash for soda cans to sell, he has some sort of goal in mind. He doesn’t know what he’d do if he could only sit in silence for days on end.

 

The cat -Xena- starts rubbing against Izuku’s legs and giving a few rolling meows. She nearly makes him fall over when she tries to jump into his arms. He manages to catch her, of course, but not without having to catch his own balance nearly eighty times.

 

“Yeah, she tends to do that. Don’t let her give you a concussion when you fall.” He didn’t notice until now that Aizawa’s already back at the door, ready to leave. Just as Izuku opens his mouth to give another smartass remark, the man shot a half glare at him as if expecting it. 

 

And just like that, Izuku’s left alone. Not in a room with no lock, not huddled in a corner, and not sleeping in a McDon*ld’s booth seat, but..

 

..Actually, alone.

Chapter Text

Humans are supposed to be complicated creatures, aren’t they? The most intricate and complex beings alive. But if that’s true, if they're really all different and 'special' , how come they’re all so damn simple ? They follow the same trends, stick with the same people, and always ask the same fucking question: Why?

 

Why do this? Why go then? Why be there?

 

Why is he homeless at such a young age? Why doesn’t he use his real name? Why doesn’t he ever use his quirk? Why is he so distant from people? Whywhywhywhywhy !?

 

All so damn simple, Jesus!

 

But then there are 'why' questions that are hard to answer.




..Why did he run away from the cafe last night..?




The thing is.. A lot of the time, it's not hard-to-answer questions that get to Izuku. It's just talking in general. The repression he's forced upon himself, the anger he seals up, the emptiness he keeps beneath his mask.. It’s so tiring to keep his guard up at all times of the day.. And talking just forces it even worse.

 

But.. that still doesn’t explain why he left the place.

 

It isn’t because he doesn’t trust Aizawa -well, he doesn’t , but it’s still why. In all honesty, Izuku doesn’t really know ‘why’. The place was warm, with a warm area to sleep, food to eat, a cat to bundle up with, a warm shower with no one else’s singing to listen too, everything. But despite all that, the room (Flat? Apartment? Who the hell knows) was just too damn uncomfortable.

 

It’s quiet in there, and... and too...

 

...Too much like home.

 

His old home where his mom and him would always joke around, or watch some mindless show. The place where he was left alone to sleep in silence. The place where he would get a warm meal to eat every single night.. Where he let his dreams soar far above the highest egotistical spirit of his old f r i e n d. At least..

 

At least until his dad left.. and Mom had to get a new job.. then move..

 

The home where everything went wrong.

 

Sometimes he wishes he just stayed in bed, never hearing the phone call between his mother and whoever the hell else. If he just lied down and stayed the disgustingly hopeful fool he was once before, he could be living with his mom in blissful ignorance right about now. He could have went on as a useless member of a fake society, a babbledom that dogs the heels of fame.

 

“Ey! You better get on outta here ya little rat!” screams a man dressed in some strange outfit. It isn’t a hero costume, but it’s not a police uniform either.. What the hell is that? It’s.. Are those even clothes?

 

Another person appears not a moment after the first yells at him. The guy was in a black jacket with something wrapped around his wrist- oh those are scars- He has scars all up and down his.... This is a..

 

Oh..

 

Izuku quickly gets up, wrapping the hoodie -which was previously being used as a pillow- around his waist. Picking up the rest of his things, me rushes to get out of the underpass before he gets caught up in any sort of trouble. He tries to keep his head down as he passes the two, they aren’t talking. Are they staring at him?

 

The scarred one grabs Izuku’s shoulder, and on reflex, he whips his head up to glare back.

 

“Awfully young to be living on the streets, aren’t you?” Scars says. Despite his venomous voice, something his eyes hold the benign look of a father. It’s.. a strange mix to say the least.

 

“Awfully blemished to attempt hiding in the streets, aren’t ch’ya?” FUCK! Why does he do this on reflex?? Great. Now he’s gonna be roped into some stupid bullshit about ‘DonT iNSult mE and My gAng! I'm goNNa rePort yoU to mY bOss-’

 

Scars just gave him a sideways look and laughed. Instead of pulling him back like Izuku expected, Scars continued to shove him along. What a dick.

 

Eugh, it doesn’t matter anyway, Izuku’s leaving. No need to get involved. More often than not, criminals are just spreading some stupid ideal about the contagion of extravagant luxury. Again, it’s stupid and unattainable. Izuku has no reason to get in the way, he’s not some wannabe hero, and he never will be.

 

At least, not anymore.





The sun’s just now coming up, meaning there won’t be anywhere to sleep without stares and whispers following him around. Izuku doesn’t actually mind the chatter, it’s just that he’d rather not have attention on him. A glance from a passerby and a conversation later, someone will eventually come across some tattered poster of him...

 

Maybe he should leave this place.

 

On second thought.. Why is he even here still at all? It can’t be hope still holding him back, that’s all shattered and swept under a tattered in some landfill miles away. So what is it?

 

Musutafu is easily the most dangerous place for him to be right now. Mitsuki goes around constantly, Bakugou can be anywhere at any time, Jirou is a blink away from pissing him off with her questions, and he surely can't go back to the cafe. Aizawa’s probably mad at him...

 

Not to mention the man is apparently a Pro Hero. How he never just searched details about Izuku to find info, is beyond him. With someone like that going around, probably looking for him now that he left , Izuku’s safety is at an all time low.

 

So what the fuck is he still here for??





Isn’t it obvious..?

 

What’s the point in denying it? All he’s doing is causing his mind more stress and shame. Just admit it already! He’s here because he’s still holding on to his childhood, okay?? There, he said it! Happy now?

 

sigh

 

He knows the streets here, the times, the schedules, the places.. the people… Something in him still wants to experience that feeling he gets when he sees someone who knew the old him. That emotional wave of memories either good or bad - mostly bad - with them. The way it’d actually make his soul get up from it's decaying chains, and move. If he leaves..

 

..He wouldn’t have an excuse to cry at night anymore. His tears would be nothing but pitying streaks of salty water instead of the echoes of time they are now.

 

He idly tries to remember the price of a train ticket..

 

Izuku stops in his tracks when he reaches the door to the usual cafe. He must’ve come here out of muscle memory while distracted. Shit. Why? Of all places, why here? He could've easily went to the train station or the park or even the dumpster behind that one restaurant.

 

Might as well see if there’s room. It’s a school night he’s pretty sure, so hopefully he won’t run into, well, all those people he somehow became acquainted with. He usually doesn’t run into Aizawa this early anyway, so hopefully he’s not here yet. Then again, Izuku’s normally asleep in a room right about now, so what does he know?

 

With a push of the easy-to-open door, a rush of warm air burst past him, and Izuku feels relieved. There’s a different man at the computer desk upfront this time, one that he’s not so familiar with. Actually.. Maybe this guy is new? Or he could just work late and early hours, so Izuku never sees him. Eh, it doesn’t matter.

 

He scans the public computers for the familiar grey-blue hair he’s come to know, and comes up empty. Tomura hasn’t been around in so long. Izuku probably hasn’t seen him since.. Since before the USJ attack at the least . There’s no way Tomura was affected, right? He never exactly talks about his past, but something tells Izuku that he isn’t a hero student. Maybe it was a family member?

 

Fuck, he’s getting off track. Izuku grabs some yen from the bottom of his backpack after being told there’s space available.

 

He really, really shouldn’t be here. What if Aizawa isn’t even back yet, and doesn’t know Izuku left? He could always just go back into the space and forget all about sleeping outside..

 

But..

 

Izuku makes his way to an empty room, almost perfectly in the middle of the hallway.

 

He rests in a hollow state.

 

__



“I’m surprised you don’t wake up from the sound of the door at this point.”

 

Motherfu-

 

Izuku jolts awake, almost punching Jirou in the face on instinct (which she easily dodges). How does she even keep doing this?? Does she just go through every room until she finds him, these things sure as hell aren’t assigned or else Izuku would’ve pre-booked one a long time ago.

 

The one -okay maybe not just one- person he wanted to avoid! She knows too damn much which is why Izuku’s been trying to cut her off! He tries his best to avoid making an accusatory tone, “Why are you here. Shouldn’t you be at school trying to be some hero?” Or not.

 

“Considering it’s Saturday, no. Besides, I think we both know why I’m here.” Unfortunately, he does.

 

“We also both know that I’m not telling you shit. Can you just leave already? I didn’t get here till 4 in the morning, so forgive me if I’m a little bitchy.”

 

“Why didn't you- you know what, never mind. It isn’t important. I'm not here for your ‘depressing backstory’, okay? I just want to know.. More about you.. Like uh, who your favorite hero is, for example?”

 

God, what a weird way to phrase it. Suspicious..

 

“.. Why?”

 

Jirou’s eyes widen slightly and the left of her lip twitches. She’s about to lie.

 

“You talked to Bakugou, didn’t you?” Izuku accuses before she even gets the chance to speak.

 

When her words froze in their tracks, Izuku yanked his backpack on and shoves his way past her. He’s sure he opens the door too hard, and probably woke up a few other people, but he doesn’t give a shit right now. He knew, he fucking knew she would do something like this, and yet he still kept her around!

 

And she was using All Might of all fucking people! God, ever since Izuku’s last encounter with the man, he seriously wants nothing to do with him. The hero is as conceited as he is fake. He caused the first recoil of Izuku’s disillusionment, and god does he wish that weren’t true.

 

All Might and that stupid fucking quirk! The golden gloom of the past and the bright-hued hope of the future that it caused, only to tear is straight outta his damn spine.

 

Izuku has the intense urge to run again. He needs to get the hell out of this city before the pent-up intolerance of years of repression cracked it's way to the surface. Before he gets flung back into a fake reality. Before they find him. Before he needs to cry again. Before…

 

Before he sees Bakugou standing outside the cafe.

Chapter Text

Uhh, warning ig? There's a lot of cursing in this chapter. I mean,, what do you expect when you put stone-hearted Izuku and Bakugou in the same vicinity? (Oh and also an obnoxious amount of bold and italic text (((: )

 

How Bakugou managed to pull him into an alley behind a small shop, Izuku will never know. All he remembers is seeing the blonde, completely spacing out, and coming back to focus in between two buildings. He could vaguely make out Jirou running after him to apologize, but the memory is so distorted that it could've easily been a dream.

 

It’s still dark..?

 

Izuku idly wonders how many people have died in this alley. Muggings gone wrong, villains taking hostages, a childhood dickwad determined to murder the only witness of his atrocities. Anything really.

 

"..I can't believe you’re still alive.." the other says as if only confirming it to himself.

 

Izuku doesn't respond.

 

He watches as Bakugou's eyes flick up to his hair, and back to the many scars around his arms; most of them from climbing sharp gates in an attempt at escape. "You cut your hair.. We’ve.. That’s the part we’ve been telling people to look for.. Your hair..."

 

Again, only silence.

 

A certain implication of admiring confidence shines in red eyes for just a split second, before turning away. Izuku isn't sure what the other is trying to accomplish, but it certainly throws him off kilter for a moment. Izuku's never seen Bakugou of all people direct anything close to admiration his way before.

 

It makes him want to puke.

 

Cold, hard, frosty hatred is, and always has been, Bakugou's prevalent characteristic. So what the hell is going on? Twitching? Some sort of disease that causes unwanted facial emotions at unwanted times? He’s pretty sure there’s a name for that actually..

 

The way Bakugou looks as if he’s watched Izuku die a thousand deaths is making him sick. Like that wasn’t what this prick has wanted for his entire life. As if he almost regretted the entirety of his life choices. It's.. Uncomfortable.

 

"Can you just tell me what the fuck you want, Bakugou? Or are you just gonna keep staring at me like a dog you lost years ago?" Izuku's defense mechanism shoots out. He sees the other physically flinch at the name. Heh. Look who’s the flinching now. This is certainly ironic.

 

Bakugou slides down the wall to sit on the ground. Apparently he doesn’t mind being looked down upon anymore. “I’ve just been.. I wanted to say that I’m sorry.”

 

Oh what the fu-

 

Excuse me? You're what now?” We are not doing this bullshit right now, what the hell! 

 

“Look ju- Ugh! Can you just shut up and listen? I was a dick, alright? And I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you like I did, and it was fucked up. You were just trying to be a normal damn kid, and I was an asshole who tried to shove it back down.”

 

Does he really have to sit through this? Izuku just wants to leave. He guesses it's better than letting the other get angry, but steeling his emotions is such a hassle. Especially during a time like.. Whatever this is. Hopefully Ka- Bakugou can’t see his glassy look of inattention, or better yet, won't act on it.

 

“When we were kids, everything was just so up in your face power-hierarchy. I didn’t want to get stuck at the bottom, and I sure as hell shouldn’t have put you down instead. I didn’t realize it until you left, but you’re the balance that kept everything together. Getting you out of the equation was all I ever wanted when I was a little shit, but now that I have it… It just.. It doesn’t work.. Auntie Inko hasn’t been out of the house since you left, and it’s like Mom always is. Dad hasn’t even spoken to me since he found out about everything that happened either. God, it’s like I can’t even look at people as friends anymore, they’re all just you. Fucking- Look, the point I’m trying to make is that I’m sorry, okay? I was a terrible fuckin’ person, and you deserved a way better friend than me.”

 

Izuku couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the excessive use of ‘was’. 

 

“Cool. If we’re done here, I have something to do.” He’s so happy his voice doesn’t waver when he says that, thank the gods! Izuku starts walking out from the alley.. Across the street from the cafe..? How’d they even get over here? But Bakugou grabs his arm, making the other immediately yank his hand away. Noooo- “Don’t fucking touch me!”

 

“Don’t fucking walk away!”

 

Two beats of quiet. The most peace either two will ever have with each other for the rest possibly eternity.

 

“You know what, fine. Fine! You wanna know what I have to say to your little apology?” Aannnnnd, there goes the whole ‘steel your emotions’ thing, so much for that plan. 

 

He braced himself for the exquisite burden that is now this moment. Almost like he could detect the hollow ring of fundamental nothingness filling with dark and rotting soil. No doubt it’ll grow into an equally rotten tree if he keeps watering it with this useless garbage. Whelp, this’ll turn out great, won’t it?

 

“Please”

 

Yup. Definitely great.

 

“Well for one, I don’t know whether to be mad at the fact that you think you’re sorry, or that you think you deserve to be forgiven to begi-”

 

“What are you-”

 

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up! You wanted to hear this, so don’t fucking interrupt me!”

When Bakugou’s too stunned to talk back, Izuku can’t help but feel a little proud about it. He’s hoping it’s out of fear rather than surprise at his loud tone. “Well for starters, don’t call me your goddamn friend. We aren’t friends, we weren’t friends, we won’t be friends. So you can shut that shit down right now.

 

“Second, don’t you dare get mad at me for leaving, because you’re the reason I did! Don’t get all pissy over a torn paper when you’re the one that fucking ripped it in the first place. Stop trying to guilt trip me into coming back, you’ll never be good at that because you’ll never amount to getting enough sympathy with you. The only thing people will ever know to associate with The Great Bakugou Katsuki, is anger and hatred.Damn, this feels good. Who knew yelling at your enemies was this great, and the fuck didn’t they tell him? “I refuse to go back to that hellhole of a life, do you understand? Life on the streets is a hell of a lot better than what it used to be. So sorry if i turned into more rotten crop of disappointment then you thought I’d be.”

 

“De- Iz- Deku, Inko is w-”

 

And another thing! Do you even comprehend how dreadful that shit was? It was one thing being in a freezing house without enough to eat, or with torn blankets that don’t do anything but irritate your skin, or a goddamn mom who’d rather spend money on worthless hero merchandise instead of actual shit to survive! But then , I had to go to school, the only place I could get a real fucking meal, just to have your friends destroy it. And it wasn’t like you just stood by and watched either, no, you’d come and burn my fucking clothes, which I could already barely afford! You weren’t just ‘kicking me around’, Bakugou, you were starving me out too!”

 

Deep breaths..

 

Breathe breathe breathebre-

 

“I- I don’t- Please I-” Bakugou’s.. Crying? 

 

Maybe he’s going too far?

 

Good. 

 

No.

 

Yes.

 

“The worst part is, you aren’t even sorry! This isn’t some sort of punishment the gods have put on you or whatever, it’s just the consequences of your actions. Your just fucking guilty, and yet, you still think you deserve a happy ending. Well guess what? I don’t believe you do. I don’t believe you should ever have a moment where you aren’t thinking about how fucked up you still are. Cause that shit doesn't just change in a year.” Is.. Is Izuku getting too harsh? He doesn’t think so, but if anyone heard this, they might mistake him for a bully.. But..

 

The blondes voice sounded weak and broken. Definitely something Izuku's never heard before now. Either way, he isn't fooled . "How would you know.. I am sorry, Izuku, I am. I'm not gu-" 

 

"You really think I don't know the difference? Guilt and regret are two completely different coins. For example, I feel guilty for leaving Mom by herself, but I don't regret it. You wanna know what I do regret? I regret ever talking to you. I regret ever even looking in your direction. I regret ever being in the same vicinity as you! That's the fucking difference, that you’ll probably never understand!"

 

Deep

Breaths

Breathe

B r e a t h e

B r e a t h e

Just put the mask back on

Pick up the pieces

Put it back on

Glue

Tape

Back together

M a s k



Just as Bakugou looks to the ground in an attempt to hide tears , Izuku starts to walk out of the alleyway. Before he turns to leave though, a thought strikes his mind. The kind that’ll only flutter about like a whisper until it gets acknowledged.

 

“Y’know, isn’t it ironic? Who would’ve thought that someday, I’d the one yelling and you’d be crying? But.. I guess it isn’t the same though, since you aren’t literally burning half to death.”  

 

___

 

Huff. Huff. Huff.

 

Running.

 

Huff huff huff

 

Planning.

 

huffhuffhuff

 

Trying not to cry.




Izuku’s running somewhere that he isn't completely sure of yet. He isn’t entirely.. there, but as long as he’s still moving, it's okay, everything's okay okay okay okay-

 

He had started by simply walking away from the alley where his old enemy rival friend where Bakugou was, but soon became paranoid of followers and started running instead. He swears he can hear heavy footsteps right behind him. It sounds suspiciously like an echo of his own feet, but he doesn't acknowledge it. 

 

No safety, Know pain.

 

A spill, a slip, a hospital trip.

 

Precaution saves lives. 

 

Better safe than sorry.





How long until those phrases become erratic? Are they already? Is this obsessive at this point?

 

Stop thinking, run!

 

His legs are burning worse than ever before, even worse than when explosions were against his knees. That doesn’t make sense, it’s raining, fire wouldn’t work right now- Wait, it’s raining? When did that happen? Oh no it isn’t, that's just his sweat- He’s sweating because he’s running! Where is he running?

 

Izuku let’s himself crash backwards against the brick of a wall somewhere. He can’t breathe, oh god is he panicking or is he tired, did that really happen or- what if Bakugou’s following him-  what if he’s angry and is on his way to blow Izuku up right this second, all Izuku is is false confidence! He doesn’t have combat training to actually back it up- oh god this isnt real ishedreamingisheevenaliveanymoreorishedeadsti-

 

A loud sob makes its way out of Izuku’s throat, strangled and laced with broken ambitions. It’s a noise he’s only heard on very rare occasions, not usually from himself. It’s so unexpected, he almost chokes on his own surprised shock. If he heard this sound in the middle of the night somewhere, he probably would’ve assumed it was someone being attacked by criminals.

 

It takes longer than expected to finally catch his breath, but when he does, his lungs feel like fire. Hell, maybe they are, his dad does breath literal flames. It’s completely plausible that he inherited the more.. damaging part of the old man’s quirk. 

 

Then again, the X-ray showed him all he needed to know in regards to his quirk.

 

Well, he could’ve had one if he just ran away.

 

The chill of night creeps out of the street, and with it, dawn practically starts singing at the door. Izuku let his head fall back to catch his last glimpse of any nearby stars. It’s not like he can see many, considering where he is, but it’s worth a try nonetheless. And.. If he stares hard enough, he can almost imagine a blue bowl sky, all glorious with the blaze of a million worlds. Worlds that don’t have to deal with stupid social quid pro quo that carries out here. 

 

The world where everything falls apart.

 

He starts trying to calm his clouded, jaded mood by watching the imaginary stars in his mind. Trying to forget and ignore the internal mockery in the background. It's.. So nice. So good to finally get away from reality..

 

It’s not real.

 

Maybe this really is all he needs. To get away. To run as far away from this broken city of a memory he possibly can. If… If he just..

If he just fixes himself

 

__



Once the humid mist of morning makes its way into the air, Izuku finds his way to a different cafe at least two kilometers away from wherever he is. He doesn't pay for a full night this time, opting to just use a public computer for today.

 

After hours of researching, note taking and eating some snacks, Izuku got most of he needed. He already has about 12,000 yen, meaning he only needs about 2,500 more, not including money for food or water. He should have enough aluminum to sell for about 1,200, so the rest he'll have to pickpocket. Not an easy task considering today's money is mostly digital, but not terribly common. With a little work, he can probably find some big corporate company, and take a few things of stock. It'd only take a few resales to get above his goal..

 

Assuming he gets this done in the next three days, Izuku can have the train paid for, and be all the way to Kofu by around 4AM, Tuesday morning. Of course, Tokyo is always the cheaper option, plus he could be gone sooner, but there are facial recognition cameras all over the place. 

 

He'd be found in a heartbeat. 

 

Alright, if he wants to leave by Monday night, he needs to start getting cash now. Whatever it takes, even if he has to sleep on the ground outside for awhile, saving money is worth it.

 

If he wants to be completely thorough, he’d have to account for possible-

 

“Excuse me, you look oddly familiar. Do we know each other?”

 

It’s too early for the planning process anyways.

 

He leaves.

 

__

 

Monday 8:32PM

 

Okay. Okay, he can do this. He just needs to buy a ticket for both the train and a transfer pass, then everything will be over. Once he gets to Kofu, it'll all be fixed and wrapped in a neat little bow. Plus, he doesn't know anyone there, so nobody will be able to see all the torn paper and scratch marks under the cheap ribbon around his throat.

 

Okay, let's do this. Not so hard, not too difficult, it's all okay. It’s okay, okay okay okay oka-

 

"Sorry sir, that route's disabled. It passes through Hosu, and apparently there's a nasty villain attack goin' on down there. It won't be functioning for at least another week. I think it might be damaged? The service is kinda slow so.." The clerk tells him. She has slick red hair, backed into a ponytail, probably a teenager. Maybe a bit older than him? He can’t tell what her qurik is based on the features alone. Somehow, that puts him at unease.

 

He definitely can't wait an entire week to leave! It was bad enough working for 54 hours in a row, almost doubting and backing out every second of the day. If he stays for 7 more days, who knows if his sanity would let him through it.. "O-oh, uh, what about the train to u-um, is Akita still running?"

 

Cheaper to travel to, but more expensive food stands. Still about the same distance away.

 

"Are you sure..? Akita's in the complete opposite direction.." Izuku nods. "Uh, alright then, lemme check.. uh oh… No, looks like most of them are shut down right now. I think it's a countermeasure for nearby attacks? I haven't been working here long, so I'm not completely sure.."

 

Right.. Of course they're down, because why wouldn't they be?

 

"It's.. It's fine. I'll just come back another day." He replies. The girl opens her mouth to say something else, but Izuku walks away before she could say whatever it was she was thinking. What would be the point? It's not like the train would just suddenly start back up again. If his mother were here, she'd tell him to calm down, 'patience is a virtue'

 

Unfortunately all his virtues got slammed down with the bricks a long time ago.

 

Izuku knows what it means. He knows what the damn world is trying to tell him, because it's been screaming at him all along. All the accidents, all the run-ins, all the everything. It's telling him exactly what to do! That’s the only way it makes sense! The world has to be against him, it’s the only wa-

 

That's why he ends up back in the café, knocking on Aizawa's door. Half-praying that the man's here while simultaneously hoping he's completely gone. There's a big ass train of thought going through Izuku's head right now, and it keeps slamming on the breaks with every tap on the door. If only that train was disabled too.

 

After three or so minutes, Izuku knocks again, and the door opens.

 

"What? Do you ne-"

 

"I'll do it." Izuku cuts him off, "The job you keep offering to me, I'll take it."

 

Aizawa looks completely shocked and confused. He double checks the clock in the hallway for the time, before looking back at Izuku. He’s sure it's close to 2AM. The station wasn’t a long walk, but as erratic as he is right now, getting lost was easy.

 

Bewilderment laces Aiawa’s voice as he speaks, "..You.. You can start training on Wednesday."

 

"Okay, that’s good... A-and uh, thank you."



Chapter Text

“Deku, I’m gonna need a name.” Aizawa tells him. He has some clipboard and paper lying on his lap, and a pen in his hand. It’s some sort of paperwork so he knows who his workers are at all times, and what he has them doing.

 

“Huh, did you never get one? I’ve been calling you Aizawa this whole time-”

 

“You know what I mean, you little shit. I don’t even need a real one, just something to put on paper. I need you to bullshit a quirk too, since you won’t tell me your real one.”

 

“Fine. Can I just put Deku, uhh, I don’t know Deku Green? I don’t feel like being creative right now,” Izuku laid on the couch across from Aizawa. He let his head fall upside-down off the edge in a false show of boredom. Something tells him Aizawa already knows that, despite how unlikely it is. Probably just his paranoia. “And I already told you, I’m as quirkless as a person can get.”

 

Aizawa narrows his eyes at that. This is really starting to become a look for him, huh? Soon, merchandise everywhere will have this random man narrowing his eyes at the world: The Aizawa Glar-

 

“You realize I can see your quirk factor, right?” Izuku’s smile dropped immediately. 

 

What..? How could.. It can't still be in him, can it? Shouldn’t that damned quirk have disappeared by now..? What if it leaves, and Aizawa sees him as suddenly quirkless, he’d probably think… think… Who knows?? Will the quirk leave? Or is it just apart of him now? It’s not like he can even use it. 

 

Aizawa still starts writing down ‘Quirkless’ anyways.

 

“I’m assuming you’ve never had a job before? For references?” Well, technically Izuku sells all the recycling he finds lying around, but that doesn’t have a reference source of any kind. 

 

“Can’t I just fill that thing out myself? And no, I haven’t. Well, unless you count pickpocketi-” 

 

“I’ll take that as a no. Also, employees aren't usually supposed to fill out this part on their own, they can fake their information and screw with the system I have. Besides, I’m sure you’d fill it with random crap that doesn’t make any sense.” If this were an anime, Izuku’d be flashing back to that time he ‘gifted’ Aizawa a bag of BB gun ammo, and told him that was his quirk. Just, making bbs.  

 

Speaking of random bullsit that Izuku’s pulled..

 

Why hasn’t Aizawa brought it up yet? Surely he knows that Izuku left, right? Maybe he assumed Izuku found a different place to stay.. No, he’s too… “Aizawa-y” for that.. Don’t get him wrong, Izuku would much rather ignore it all, but it’s still uncomfortable to him. He likes to think that he knows Aizawa relatively well, despite their limited interaction. He tends to be able to predict the man’s thought process a lot of the time.

 

“As for your address, I’m assuming you just want me to write down the one for the cafe?”

 

“Actually, there’s this mansion down the street from here-”

 

“Cafe, got it.”

 

__



Aizawa had to go somewhere that he referred to as a “Classroom Emergency” (Izuku thought they were on break or something, but whatever). For now though, he’s being ‘trained’ by Arai, the woman who’s usually at the front desk, despite the fact that he’s seen her do the whole schtick a trillion times by now. She’d get his name, mark off the online sheet, and take him off 24 hours later unless he specified a time that he’d be gone.

 

Simple. 

 

“Man, I was wondering when Aizawa would finally get'chyu in here.” Arai says as she’s signing into the computer.

 

Izuku pauses to put down his notepad, shooting Arai a confused look, “What do you mean?” Was Aizawa planning on hiring him? He did give Izuku an application awhile back (multiple times), but Izuku’s turned it down everytime until he came back a few days ago.

 

“Well, I only lived here for about a month until he offered to hire me. I think Denzai was here for two or three, but that’s because he’s stubborn as all hell.” Arai started putting her hair in a bun as she spoke, “No places would really accept us with a position paying higher than minimum, and I never exactly got a great education `cause I didn’t have the money for school; same with Denz. So when you kept on comin’ back for, what, nearly six months now? I thought you’d never join on.”

 

“Really? Does everyone who works here used to be homeless? Is that what he’s trying to do?” Izuku briefly wondered if Aizawa was at some point as well.

 

Arai reaches for the mouse, starting up some program on the computer before she went to the sign up area. Gesturing for Izuku to sit down, she answers, “For the most part, yeah. C’mere, you need to add yourself to the doc so you can edit.”

 

“Uh, how? I don’t exactly have a phone or email account.” 

 

The girl stopped looking through his application sheet to stare at him with a dumbfounded look, before switching to one of slight understanding. “You’ve been living in a netcafe for months and you never made an email account? Damn, kid. Here, I’ll help you make one.”

 

“Well,” Izuku nervously rubs at his forearms, he doesn’t want to be judged.. “I have one for games, but I don’t think I should use it. Someone else has access to it so they can see whenever I’m online, and I don’t exactly trust them with my information..”

 

“Yeah, I get that. We can make you a new one, new name, picture, hell even a new birthday- Actually, that reminds me! If anyone asks, you’re 18, okay?”

 

“What is this, a trafficki-”

 

“A-da-ba-dup-bup! No snarkiness at the desk, child. You need to be eighteen to legally get a job, so from now on, that’s how old you are.” She interrupts like a no-nonsense mother, kneeling at the computer to help him create an email account.

 

“Bold of you to assume I’m not a ninety-year-old with a youth quirk.”

 

“And that’s exactly what you say if anyone asks you, now you’re getting it!” she says while shooting him a smirk.

 

It never really occurred to him that people would think odd of his age. Yeah, he knows Aizawa’s been suspicious, but everyone else too? Izuku kind of wonders what they think about it. Do they think he’s some runaway? Got kicked out? Trying to get away from police because he’s actually a serial killer? Who knows.

 

Actually… It’s kindof unlikely that no one knows who he is, at least somewhat, isn’t it? There were dozens upon dozens of missing persons poster no less than 5 months ago; not to mention the five second appearances on the news, like, two times. It’s..

 

Odd.

 

People couldn’t be that accepting, they must have some ulterior motive. Right?

 

__

 

(14 months ago, 8 months before leaving home)

Izuku had just gotten back from training on the beach with All Might, when he walked in the front door. Mom was asleep on the couch, as usual, but he could tell she’d been crying before she passed out. He set down the backpack with his workout clothes inside his bedroom door before making his way to the kitchen.

He was sure he’d be sore in the morning from everything they did that day, but it was all worth the pain. He’d be taking the UA Entrance Exams in only five months! If he didn’t work hard enough, he wouldn’t be ready for it, and he’d fail! 

 

Only five months…

Five months and his dreams will come true; five months and he’ll be on the road to heroism; five months and he’ll officially be a hero trainee! 

 

 

 

Butter, milk, applesauce, sour cream, old lettuce, 3 week old soup, and salsa. That was all his fridge contained; unless you counted the jarred basil that’s been in the back for at least a year. But even that wasn’t the worst thing in there; the leftover soup had been there for weeks. Mom had gotten it to celebrate a high test grade, but that test had been sometime last month. 

 

 

 

He was heavily debating on if the soup was good enough to eat at least a little bit of it before he heard his mother groaning awake. She let out an audible ‘when..?’ which immediately let Izuku know what he was dealing with. He grabbed a glass of water from the sink as a sort of way to prepare. 

 

 

 

“Uh, hey mom,” he gave her water glass, which she promptly put down on the table instead of drinking. “Do you think the soup in the fridge is still good enough to eat?”

 

 

 

She stared at him for a second before responding, “Soup..?... When’d we get that?”

 

 

 

..So she had enough to still be like this, even after sleeping for however long. “The, uhm, the one in the fridge? From the other week, should I throw it out..?”

 

 

 

He watched as she looked around at the table full of papers and now a glass of water in front of her. She used her quirk to pull her phone to her, missing it with her hand a few times. Finally, his mom checked the time while simultaneously squinting at the brightness, “..It's already six..? You should get something to eat, there’s err.. I think we have somethin’ in there.”

 

 

 

Why’d he even attempt it? 

 

 

 

“Y-yeah, okay, I will,” he went back to the kitchen, deciding to just have the applesauce and some water. Maybe he could find enough money for gas-station-crackers later. He grabbed a bowl off the drying rack, putting it down on the counter almost straight away when he felt the thin film of grease coating it. It must’ve been one of the bowls with said soup in it the other day. “Mom, I thought I said I’d do the dishes from now on?”

 

 

 

“..Hmm? No you didn’t,” honestly, Izuku was surprised she even responded. He expected her to have fallen back asleep by then.

 

 

 

He rewashed the bowl, got applesauce, a spoon, a rewashed cup of sink water, and returned to his room for the night. 

 

 

 

There were still posters covering his walls, some of them yellowing from old age. Soon.. Soon he’d be a hero just like the ones in the posters. Just a few years and he’d have everything he needed. Enough money for food, to take care of his mom, for bills, anything they could ever have problems with. With All Might’s power, he’s bound to become a great hero! It’d take a lot of work, but what’s he ever done that didn’t need work before?

 

 

 

Izuku sighed when he saw the the All Might souvenir sitting on his bed. At least three of the papers on that table were overdue bills, and yet..

 

 

 

He moved the figurine to his shelf, ready to just eat and go to bed…

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

Sometimes, when he was trying to sleep, he swore he could hear his mom walking around the house. There was never any other sound to indicate her getting food, or going into other rooms; just footsteps. To put it in a few words, it was creepy as all hell.

 

 

 

He knew it was his mom, but somehow the noise still scared him. It made the feeling of being watched echo through every cell in every goosebump on his skin. He’d be terrified to open his eyes, in fear of coming face to face with a villain ready to attack. He was quirkless, what could he possibly be able to do in order to defend himself if it came down to it? He’s in bed, the ultimate disadvantage, and whoever could be in his room would obviously be more prepared than he ever would. 

 

 

 

In the end, Izuku knew he was just panicked because the room was dark and he was defenseless. That was just what happened when he slept. His own form of normality.

 

 

 

No one’s there for him. No one’s ever there for him.

 



 

__

 

 

 

(Back to Present)

 



 

The alarm clock that Arai gave him (which he swore to pay her back for) went off; he has it under his pillow so nobody could steal it, meaning it jolted him awake with the force of a boom box. It’s playing that annoying shark song that Izuku can’t remember the name of, he doesn’t even know the stupid language, and he can’t change it either. He almost, almost, looks to see if Jirou’s standing there, but after talking about what happened to Arai, he doubts she’ll be back here anytime soon. Somehow, even after only a night, Izuku has a slight trust for Arai. 

 

 

 

Now that he thinks about it, the people sleeping in the rooms next to him probably woke up to the noise too. He feels a little guilty, he hates when he wakes up to other peoples alarms. It makes him want to check in the hallway for the time, and by then he can’t fall back asleep. Long story short; it sucks. He’ll have to ask how to turn it down later.

 

 

 

Izuku gets out of the comfy chair he’s been sleeping on and grabs his backpack. He has an hour and a half till he’s supposed to start again, and he wants to at least get a shower before he gets there. Maybe get a snack from the actual cafe part of the cafe.

 

 

 

It’s a little strange waking up to a schedule after all these months. especially so late in the day; a whole 7 hours until midnight. But he apparently has to sleep now if he doesn’t want to “fall asleep on the job”, despite the fact that he stayed up yester- this morning. 

 

 

 

Wow.. He has something to really do today other than collect trash. Why didn’t he accept this thing earlier? This is so refreshing! It’s almost like having a clean slate. Actually, the last time he had to wake up for a real purpose was the… 

 

 

 

...For the UA Entrance Exam.

 

 

 

Whatever. He didn’t need that crap anyways, he never would have become a hero with his old eating habits. Or social ineptness, or plainness, or fighting skills. Or his sudden lack of a quirk. Speaking of..

 

 

 

He needed to get his shit sorted through. Once the quirk leaves his body completely (assuming it will eventually) he needs an excuse for Aizawa as to why it’s gone. Aizawa does apparently work at UA, so maybe All Might told him as a coworker? Or he could know about it because he’s also an underground hero?? 

 

 

 

Damn. The man really does keep crap under wraps here. Leave it to Jirou to tell what’s basically tell the entire hall.

 

 

 

Getting ready for the day night, Izuku idly wonders if it’s awkward in class now.

 

 

 

Heh.