Everything felt so hot, so hot in fact that he believed he was burning from the inside out. Little Izuku whimpered in his bed as his mother kept dabbing him with a wet cloth with a worried expression. He doesn’t mean to make her worried, but he keeps on doing it, and he feels bad. A harsh cough wracks his little body, in an instant his mother is by his side to give him a glass of water.
“It hurts...mommy...it hurts…” He whimpered while crying a little.
In an instant, he’s enveloped in a warm embrace by his mother, who rubs his back and hugs him gently to her chest. She’s so soft and warm, not like his dad who was cold and distant. He left them when the doctor declared him to be Quirkless. Before he left though, his father was always saying mean things to him, things that made him cry as he went to bed at night. One day, his mom came home early and saw his father hit him across the face and called him “useless” as he curled up in a ball crying. He could remember hearing a loud thud before looking up to see his mom had come home and hugged him.
She yelled at his father before making him leave, and telling him to never come back.
So he did leave...and never came back.
His father wasn’t the only one to change, his best friend had started being very mean to him, too. Kacchan started calling him “Deku” instead of his real name. He even said they couldn’t be friends anymore because of his Quirkless status. After Kacchan said those words to him, he ran home and cried in his mother’s arms.
She whispered sweet things in his ears and told him that he can still become a hero, with or without a Quirk.
“C-Can I really…?” Izuku’s innocent look was one of disbelief.
His kind mother just smiles at him, “You can, heroes aren’t defined by their Quirks. They are defined by their strong will’s and kind hearts when it comes to saving others.”
“Like All Might?”
She giggled, “Yes, like All Might. But you don’t have to be like All Might, sweetie. Just be yourself, and only yourself.”
She nods, “You will be a very strong hero, I know you will.”
He decides to believe her words.
“My poor baby, I know it hurts, but don’t worry mommy will be right here by your side.” Inko said with a smile.
Izuku takes comfort in the fact that she’s just here with him, and hasn’t abandoned him like everyone else has. His mother told him he can become a hero, so he will be one, even if he doesn’t have a Quirk. She’ll always believe in him, and never abandon him.
Her gentle hand caresses his forehead and his bangs at the same time, “Go to sleep, honey. I’ll be right here when you wake up.”
So he does.
When he opens his eyes again, he notices that he’s no longer at home. He’s elsewhere, but he doesn’t understand where this place is. Where is he?
“Mommy…?” He calls out, but doesn’t receive an answer.
Just as he was about to start panicking, he felt a warm pulse of light just ahead of him. It was a ball of flame that was in the shape of a bird. A rather large one.
Strangely, Izuku wasn’t scared. Far from it, he felt at ease when he saw the giant flame bird. As he was about to reach out and touch it, the bird glowed, its body seem to shrink to the same size as him.
He stares as the flame body bird looked just like him now, though the differences were obvious. Like it didn’t have a mouth, nose, or eyes. Giving into temptation, he reaches his hand out, wanting to touch the flame image. He was surprised when it mirrored his movements and did the exact same thing. The tips of their fingers touched…
And he was on fire.
When he wakes up again, it's with a gasp.
So it was a dream then, but it felt so real to him. That pretty firebird was so warm, just like his mother, and when he touched it…
He looks down at his hands, the lingering feeling of that warm sensation still there. If there were words capable of describing what he felt, then he would say it was like...like being enveloped in a blanket of warmth that protects you. That’s what it felt like for him.
Another thing he noticed when he woke up was that his mother was still by his bedside and his fever had gone down.
“Mommy.” He shakes his mother a little in order to wake her up.
She groans a little before finally opening her eyes, relief quickly washed over when she saw that he looked a little bit better. Touching his forehead, there was a hum of approval, meaning she was happy that he was feeling much better.
“Thank goodness...I was so worried because this one was worse than the last.” Inko smiles, rubbing her son’s cheek.
“I’m okay.” He assures her.
“I know, but just to be on the safe side I want you to stay home some more, okay?”
She tucks him back into bed. Unknown to little Izuku, Inko wanted him to stay home some more not just because of his random fever spikes, but because she didn’t want him to go back to his elementary school. It had been on her mind for quite some time now, about pulling him out of that school and sending him some place else. Contrary to what others may believe, she is no fool and is more observant than most give her credit for.
For example, she knows that Katsuki hasn’t been hanging around her son as much as he used to, and it started when her son was diagnosed Quirkless. Another example were the bruises he would come home with, lying and telling her that he fell. She knows that’s not true. Then there’s the school that turns a blind eye to her son’s suffering.
Once her son gets better, she will be pulling him out of that school, but not before making sure to make everyone there pay.
Nothing is more scarier than a mother’s wrath.
Someone was calling...calling out to him.
Currently, little Izuku was outside, his fever finally gone so he decided to go outside and play. He was walking towards the forest where he and Bakugo used to play together, only this time he was alone. The reason he was wandering outside and came here is because he heard a strange voice. It was calling out to him, so he decided to go look for it.
And his search led him to the forest.
As he walked down the path, he noticed there were quite a few birds around compared to before. Getting a closer look at them, he noticed that their eyes were on him. They were staring, the birds were actually staring at him. He should be scared, but for some reason it was the opposite feeling. It was almost as if they were trying to tell him something through their eyes.
Soon more began to gather much to his astonishment. There are so many birds gathered around now that it amazed him! On impulse, he stretched his hand out, lifting his finger and soon enough, one of the random birds flew down and perched on his finger.
Izuku’s eyes lit up in awe as the bird just came down and perched on his finger. He’s heard of some people having animal based Quirks, but would that mean that he has a Quirk that’s related to animals? Or maybe just birds?
“Hi.” Izuku greeted and giggled when the bird chirped in response to his greeting. This was so nice, to just be here all by himself without anyone being mean to him.
Such a nice feeling.
...so why did it have to end so soon?
“See, I told you it was Deku.”
That voice was familiar, there’s no way he wouldn’t recognize it. Looking behind him, he saw it was Kacchan along with his two new friends. Why are they here? Did they follow him?
“Hey, look, he’s talking to a bird! He really is a Quirkless freak!” Tsubasa pointed at him in a mocking tone.
Kacchan gave him a mean look, “What are you doing here, Deku? I told you to never come here! You’re a weakling to get lost already!”
Izuku could do nothing but stand there frozen. For some reason his feet won’t move, and it wasn’t just his feet, his whole body refused to listen to him. Why can’t he move? His heart was beating pretty fast, too...and he felt hot again. Oh, no! Was he about to have another fever?
“Say something, you useless Deku!” Kacchan yelled, his hand giving off a spark.
Before his former friend could do anything though, the birds that were all around them started acting restless. The one that was perched on his finger rejoined the others, and when Izuku looked up at them he noticed that the birds were no longer friendly. They looked...really angry.
Kacchan and his friends seemed to notice the other birds finally, and looked a little scared.
“What’s with them…?”
“Hey, Bakugo, these birds look really mad. Maybe we should just leave.” Tsubasa says to Kacchan.”
But in typical Kacchan fashion, he didn’t listen.
“Shut up! I’m not scared of some stupid birds!”
The birds decided to attack after he said those words. All of them dived towards them, but they weren’t attacking Izuku, but Kacchan and the others.
“Ow! That hurts!” Tsubasa cried out as the birds kept pecking at him.
Kacchan tried using his Quirk on them, but the birds just kept on coming, “Damn, go away you stupid birds!”
Izuku could only stare as he watched the three boys be mercilessly pecked at by birds. Just as he was about to tell them to stop his eyes caught an orange bird perched on a branch. It looked so familiar though...ah! The flame bird!
This bird...it was the one that was calling to him!
It started flying away, and Izuku wasted no time in following it, ignoring Kacchan yelling for him to stop. The bird...the flame bird is calling to him.
‘I have to go...I have to go!’
He ran and kept running as he tried to keep his eyes on the bird.
‘I’m coming...I’m coming…’
Finally, the bird stopped flying and landed on the very same log that Kacchan fell from that one time. It was also that same time where they stopped being friends. Right before his very eyes, the small, orange bird began to morph into the same shape as him just like it did in his dream.
“It's you…” Izuku said.
The flame apparition reached its hand out to him, and Izuku did the very same thing. Like in the dream, their fingers touched—
He felt a stinging sensation on his back, but a bright orange light of flames washed away any pain he may have felt at that moment. Izuku felt his whole body be surrounded in flames, he also saw that a lot of trees in the forest began to rise suddenly just as the flames around him burned brightly.
After what felt like such a long time, the large torrent of flames finally receded. Izuku looked around him and saw the trees were still floating in the air, and his body…
There were flames covering parts of his body, like his legs, arms, lower half, and his hair. What feels strange about this is that it wasn’t burning him at all. He feels so warm…
Izuku’s eyes locked onto Bakugo’s, who flinched along with his two followers that ran to catch up with them. Both boys had fallen on their butts, their eyes show fear, they weren’t making fun of him anymore.
Now they were scared of him.
Even Bakugo looked at him with fear in his eyes, something that hasn’t happened before. And yet, he doesn’t seem to care right now. Closing his eyes, the trees fell back to the ground as he did this, he then looked up at the sky.
It was time to go.
Izuku begins to levitate in the air before taking off, flying high in the sky. As he kept flying, there was a sense of freedom being felt throughout his whole body. He kept flying, and flying until there was a light, and suddenly—
He was gone.
“So big…” Izuku said as he looked down at the blue planet. For some reason that strange light had brought him all the way out here, wherever “here” was. His body was still covered in flames, but he enjoyed being like this. Is this what it feels like to be free? Free of Quirks and people? It was nice.
He turns his head in a certain direction and smiles, “Mm, I’m coming…” so he flew to where he heard the voice again, and the next time he comes back.
It won’t be until much later.
🔥Flames Of Return🔥