Izuku was falling.
Every inch of his body was crying, calling out for help.
But there was no one else but him.
He kept falling.
There was no end to the young darkness. The silent abyss had overwhelmed the atmosphere.
In the distance, he began to see light. White, shimmering light.
It was blinding, swallowing his vision whole.
He reached out.
His fingers just barely scraping the edges of the known and unknown.
He began to hear something.
There were voices around him.
They were screaming.
It was just getting louder and louder. He put his hands over his ears.
It‘s too much!
His ears were about to burst. His whole body tensed up.
It didn’t stop.
It felt like it was going on for eternity.
Until, finally... the whole world went silent.
He noticed hands manifesting from the light.
They reached out.
He felt something grab his face. Then the rest of him. Dragging him in.
He couldn’t stop it.
He couldn’t stop it.
So he screamed.
Izuku jolted awake when his body met the floor.
For a few moments, he forgot how to breathe. It felt like he was paralyzed, almost as if the Hero Killer had used his quirk on him again.
His spine was firmly pressed against the wooden floor.
Slowly but surely, his vision cleared enough to see his surroundings.
His room was completely dark, except for the dim lamplight outside. Judging by the black sky, it was either the middle of the night or early in the morning.
He wiggled his fingers and toes. He could move, but...
Something didn’t feel right.
He then noticed the position he was in. His arms appeared to be folded together across his chest. He had a death grip on his biceps.
He gasped, yanking his hands away from his arms when a sudden throbbing sensation drowned out his other senses.
Inching closer to his window, soft light began to illuminate his limbs.
On his right side, his upper arm was bloody. Five crescent-shaped marks dug deep into the ugly scar on his bicep where his skin had been ripped off.
He could barely see, but even then he couldn’t tear his gaze away. The bloody image was ingrained in his mind before he knew it.
Streams of blood dripped from the marks and down his forearm.
His stomach dropped.
In a burst of energy, he flew his door open and sprinted out of the room.
Single drops of blood scattered over the room, filling his dorm room with the ominous, metallic smell.
He dashed down the hall towards the elevator. He slammed on the down-button as hard as he could without breaking it. The down-button illuminated, and he waited for the doors to open.
He lowered his un-injured arm and tried to wipe the line of blood away before it fell onto the floor. But it didn’t stop there.
He quickly became overwhelmed. If Aizawa or one of his classmates saw blood on the floor, they’ll all get worried.
That was the last thing he wanted.
For once, he was thankful that his room was on the second floor, given that it look less than three minutes for the elevator doors to open.
He sped down the blackened hallways to the bathroom. He shut the door behind him and locked it.
He then turned the sink on to let the water wash over his arm.
Blood fell down the drain like a waterfall.
He let out a heavy sigh.
He just hoped things would be better tomorrow.
He arrived to class the next morning with bandages wrapped around his bicep. They were hidden beneath his compression sleeve, but he still hoped no one would assume anything.
Just act normal, he thought.
Izuku gasped and shot his head up, surprised to see Uraraka standing by his desk.
“Oh, Uraraka! Sorry, I didn’t notice you.” He said in his usual nervous tone.
“No, it’s okay! I should know better than to scare you.”
Izuku gave her a quick smile, but it didn’t last. She seemed to notice.
“Hey, are you doing okay? You look tired.” She asked, voice layered with concern.
“No, I’m fine, really. I guess I just didn’t get that much sleep last night.”
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that, Deku. We can always go to Recovery Girl if you-“
“No-!” Izuku cut her off.
“I mean- no. I’ll be fine. I promise.”
Uraraka stared at Izuku for a short moment.
“Okay... if you’re sure. Just let me know if you’re not feeling good, okay? You can always talk to me.” She gave him a comforting smile before walking back to her seat.
Izuku’s face heated up in embarrassment.
Why did I do that?
Izuku let out the air that he was holding in when Aizawa came into the room. The classroom immediately went silent, as expected.
“Good morning, students. This might seem a bit sudden, but we’ll be taking a break from classes today.”
Cheers began to erupt from the class. It didn’t last long, as Aizawa’s eyes flared red.
“The reason why that is is because some of the teachers are on missions at the moment. With their absence, we’re going to need some extra hands. Therefore, for the time being,”
Aizawa paused briefly, before a certain blue-haired girl entered the classroom. “we’ll need some help taking care of-”
“ERI!!” The class finished for him. They exploded with excitement and joy.
Aizawa rolled his eyes.
What am I going to with these kids?
Izuku saw Eri as he raised his head.
Eri waved to the students with a little smile, her other hand clinging to Aizawa’s leg.
Eri and Izuku seemed to lock eyes for a moment.
They both smiled this time.
“You look so adorable, Eri! You should keep it like this all the time!” Ashido exclaimed after braiding Eri’s hair.
“Adorable, indeed!” Uraraka laughed.
The girls were clustered together around Eri, admiring Ashido’s work with her hair.
The boys were also huddled around them. Some of them had joined the girls to watch Eri. Bakugo, on the other hand, didn’t have a care in the world. In fact, Bakugo and Todoroki had to stay in their desks to catch up on homework. But every once in a while, they took the time to play with her.
Eri seemed to be enjoying it.
Then she saw Izuku.
He was sitting in his seat behind the others, watching and laughing quietly at their antics.
But when no one else was looking, he was trembling and staring down at his hands.
Despite her age, Eri knew firsthand what it felt like to have to hide your emotions and pretend that everything is okay, even though it isn’t.
She couldn’t help but feel like it was wrong.
Eri got to her feet.
The students saw this and scattered instantly, making sure that there was enough room for her to get around them.
She made her way over to Izuku’s desk.
She was barely tall enough to reach the desk. Still, she decided to say something.
Izuku turned his head and focused his attention on her right away.
“Eri! How are you? Are you having fun?” Izuku asked in a cheery tone.
Eri was quiet. She watched him with gentle eyes.
She put her hands on his lap. Izuku turned his chair to face her.
He grinned. “Want to sit on my lap?”
She nodded. Izuku lifted her up with almost no effort.
The rest of the class were completely captivated by the two of them.
Eri rested her head on his chest and wrapped her arms around him. Izuku gladly hugged her back.
Then, she whispered to him so no one else could hear, “Why are you sad, Deku?”
Izuku nearly flinched. His eyes widened.
“Are you okay?” Eri wondered and looked at him with a concerned expression.
Izuku lowered his head at his own foolishness.
Of course Eri understood. Maybe not everything, but she certainly knew how to tell if someone was tucking their feelings away.
Although, for someone as young as Eri to understand pain like that...
It broke his heart.
He whispered back, “No. I’ve just been having some trouble... dealing with things. That’s all.”
He tried to make it simple. He really tried. But he knew it wasn’t going to work.
Eri nodded nonetheless. They both embraced each other again, regardless of the fact that nineteen other students were watching them.
“I hope you feel better, Deku. Promise me you’ll feel better?” Eri spoke in a soft tone.
“Yeah. I promise.” For the first time in a while, Izuku didn’t want to hide his feelings anymore. Even to someone like Eri.
Izuku put her down and watched as she went back to the other students.
Only this time, he felt like it was real.