Evening sun warmed Izuku’s skin as he was sitting on top of the roof of the dorms building, trying to collect his thoughts. Put back together the shattered pieces, the broken mess that his mind currently became. Forcing his heart to slow down by telling it to didn’t exactly work, and he couldn’t stop the constant shaking he experienced for seemingly no reason - and he knew that it wasn’t just the cold wind biting at his skin which caused it, as it in itself could easily be ignored and didn’t really matter in that moment. He didn't even realise how cold it was out there until he searched for reasons behind his body acting like it is.
What actually mattered was much worse than cold weather and lack of a sweater. What he was worried about was All for One. Ever since his fight with All Might Izuku constantly felt this dread crawling through his body, making his mind move million miles an hour trying to rationalise most of the reactions and trying to ensure himself that he isn't, in fact, dying.
He stupidly went along with his classmates hoping to save Bakugou, to help his childhood friend. Although, good intentions can’t change the fact that it was the worst mistake he ever made.
There were… Things following the villain around. Things that fed off of the negativity he caused - or simply wanted to haunt him. No one could hear them, no one could see them. No one but Izuku.
His quirk made them fully visible to him, an army of twisted demons looking as if they just crawled out of his nightmares, staring at the world with cold dead eyes, screaming things no one could understand.
The image in itself would be enough to make most people freak out, even if they couldn’t touch them, even if most people were safe from their grasp. Izuku, however, wasn’t.
The quirk that felt more like a curse made the beings be able to interact with the green haired boy, it allowed them to hurt him. Which was a perfect excuse for his panic, a reason why he was feeling so miserable his whole life.
And the worst part about the entire encounter with All for One was the fact that they know now. They saw Izuku and immediately knew he could see them. They locked their dead eyes on a brand new target, who, this time, could actually pass over their sick messages for the world, even if no one really understood them. So they followed him . Most of them completely lost their interest in the villain, now not able to feed them any more negativity, now only a boring person in the background. Instead, they saw the teenager who could allow them to feel alive if he ever let them enter his mind. And Izuku was terrified of the idea of losing control and hurting his friends, or getting himself injured in a fight with something no one is able to see. Full of blissful ignorance. Oh how jealous of them he was, how much he wouldn’t give to be so carefree.
But he was stuck in this ugly reality as the monsters slowly crawled towards him, and he could only watch as their disfigured faces screamed something he couldn’t understand. As their broken clawed hands reached out towards him, he knew that they won't leave without causing him to gain at least a few new scars. Not unless he silenced his quirk with medication that no one would give him legally .
Being the only one who can see them was a nightmare, as he feared things that no one even believe d in, and there was literally no one he could talk to about it. Not unless he wanted them to hate him, to call him insane, to lock him away. There was no one who could protect him, or at least, no one alive who could protect him. Thankfully he wasn’t entirely alone, as two big wolves made out of smoke and shadows follow his every move like silent guardians, always jumping in front of him to shield him from whatever being - dead or alive - that wanted to hurt him. They were his only companions in the darkness.
He appreciated them a whole lot, not knowing where they would have ended up without them. They made sure to keep all the disturbing creatures far away enough so they couldn’t be able to touch him, couldn’t hurt him .
But there’s only so much two beings can do when met with an army of eldritch abominations, who have been feeding off of negative energy for god knows how long, energy that was a common occurrence near All For One.
Izuku shivered at the thought of them getting too close . The idea terrified him so much that the same night he opened the tiny box in his room that he hoped he would never be forced to open ever again.
Inside, there was a small handful of pills that he was forced to take his whole life to even function properly.
He knew that he could use them to avoid getting hurt for as long as it’s needed. The wolves should be able take care of everything to make the bad things go away, they just needed time. And, well, he already learned as a child that not having his quirk could save him from those things.
When he can’t see the demons, the demons can’t hurt him.
That’s the rule, right?
Ever since his quirk manifested, those creepy animalistic figures started appearing in the corner of his eyes, following him, never leaving. He would wake up every night with his bed sheets coated in blood from scratches that covered most of his skin, making him look like he had been thrown into a pit full of angry beasts. There were words written on his skin that left everyone confused, and scared him every day. Every night he would run to his mom crying and screaming because he just couldn’t understand. Quirks shouldn't do that, they should be cool, why does it hurt so much…
His mother tried her best to help him, but no matter how much she tried, how many specialists she asked for advice, in the end no one knew what to do. When training the quirk proved to be useless, he started taking quirk suppressant pills every day to be able to function like a normal person. It was awful being considered quirkless by everyone around him, but he would rather deal with his classmates hurting him for it than let the demons slowly destroy both his body and mind. At the very least he knew how to avoid his classmates while he had no idea how to avoid the monsters.
Then, he doesn’t really know the exact date, but one day he forgot to take the pill. Going through school was a terrifying experience then, but he couldn't really run home all of sudden for apparently no reason. Or at least, no reason in his classmates' and teachers' eyes.
He felt like he was being watched for the whole day but surprisingly nothing attacked him, all of the weird beings staying at a distance. Only at home he figured out why. There were two black wolves following him from the shadows, not attacking, just… Watching him. After their appearance most demons stopped bothering him and soon Izuku realised why. They protected him.
Afterwards they became his constant companions. Two guards, one on each side, protecting him from the unknown to the best of their abilities. Allowing him to finally breathe and live without fear, without the constant need to rely on drugs that messed with him for so long to keep him barely even functional - one pill was for insomnia, caused by paranoia and anxiety, another being a quirk suppressant, and even another for depression caused by people constantly bullying him for being ”quirkless”.
Because he didn’t, he couldn’t admit what his quirk actually was. It was terrifying, disturbing, it hurt everyone around him. It hurt him. It hurt his mom who had to deal with him coming to her at night, screaming about monsters she could never see, with words engraved in his skin in long bloody scratches made by claws of whatever disturbing creature decided to torment him that night.
When the wolves appeared, he could finally begin to really live. He was no longer considered quirkless - being able to summon two giant shadow dog-like beasts to assist him. Demons no longer bothered him, too scared to get close to the wolves who growled and lashed out at every being that tried to slip past them. He was free, he had a quirk, he could be a hero.
Going to UA, despite the villains attacking the school, he felt better than he did in years.
All for One happened.
And the wolves couldn’t protect him anymore, not against such strong negative energy.
It was just… Too much for them.
So, he took the pills right after coming back home before curling up in a corner and spending at least a few hours not moving an inch. Tired mentally and feeling himself slip back into his old mindset, with bad memories brought by the mere sight of the quirk suppressants.
He spent as much time as possible using them afterwards, whenever he didn’t need to use his quirk, letting the wolves slowly get rid of the demons one-by-one. Luring them away and weakening their powers, either destroying them or scaring them away afterwards.
It was getting harder and harder to hide that though, as they are expected to train hard to become pro heroes, so he must use his quirk during training. Which scared him, because it left the wolves fighting against his classmates while the real threat slowly closed in without anyone knowing. Weird beings were standing in the corners of Izuku’s vision, distracting him, taunting him, making him lose concentration during a fight and make way too many mistakes .
His teacher has been watching him extra closely during most training sessions now, and in all honesty - he understands why. He couldn’t help but dissociate constantly, avoid using his quirk and probably acting much differently than usual, of course someone would notice.
But that doesn’t make it any better.
He even got scolded a few times for not using his quirk as much as he “should'' during training as he summoned only one wolf at a time. All of it stressed him out so much he wanted to puke every day during which he was forced to go to school without any quirk suppressants. And he couldn’t say anything about it, hurting silently while no one knew the reason behind his worsening mental health, and it made him also consider just… Running away for a second .
Sure, it would possibly destroy his chances of being a hero, all his friends would be worried, but... but the image of an army of disturbing creatures slowly crawling towards him, of the wolves growling but backing away as well, of no one but him being able to see them, no one but him being able to get hurt by them.
It scared him.
So damn much.
His friends were most likely worried about him already, and he felt awful about that, but… He couldn’t exactly tell them, either. The only available option is to lie to everyone, to the teachers, to his friends, to himself.
Lie that he’s fine and that everything will be alright, while on the inside he’s terrified, and knows, just knows that going to save Bakugou was one of his worst mistakes. Others could save him just as well, heroes could save him instead, and then, the demonic beings would follow All For One to the tartarus where they all belong.
But instead, he went there, he looked them in the eyes, and now he has to pay the price. He must deal with the fact that now, they all know he exists, and won’t stop following him until either they get whatever they want, or get ripped to shreds by his two beast companions.
It would be much easier if he could just… Turn off his quirk. Or not have one at all. It sounds so nice, to be able to live so free… So unaware of their existence. Without the scars and nightmares every night, without his mother looking at him with a pained expression every time he mentioned t h e m, without the p a i n and f e a r.
And yes, he met demons which weren’t bad, but there weren't too many of them, as he never let any get too close to him anymore, so not many had the chance to interact with him. The main example of nice creatures is the wolves, who were loyal to him from the start and always helped him out, always protecting him from the wrongs of the world. There was also this one blind bat-like demon, which hummed him songs and helped him calm down when he needed it. And that one cloud of smoke with ocean blue eyes that gave him the power to hide one day when being chased, completely melting into the shadows. Or that one white cat spirit which liked to come and go, enjoying the first pets they could get in a very, very long time.
Yet most were either neutral to him, just glancing once and walking by, continuing to stalk whoever they picked to follow through life - or they were aggressive, wanting to be real, be seen, be heard, even if it meant hurting the only person who could bring them to the world of living.
And currently, back in the present time? His quirk suppressants wore off around half an hour ago, yet it was… Peaceful up there. By now, it appears that the wolves got rid of most of the annoying creatures, and yet… He was still scared.
Looking at his hands, he could see that they were still shaking terribly as he slowly traced over some of the scars on his hands. His whole arms were covered in scar tissue, making him wear extremely thin material gloves over his whole arms most of the time, ashamed to show the cuts and terrifying words that are stuck on his skin forever. Currently, though, he took the gloves off. The reason behind that action is unknown even to him as he stared at his broken skin, constantly shaking and feeling like he’s on the verge of breaking down.
He has to calm himself down somehow, because he couldn’t just… Go downstairs and talk to his friends again in this state. He couldn’t pretend to be fine while his body kept shaking uncontrollably, reacting to every smallest noise and being scared of every shadow standing in a corner that might not even be there.
So, he did the best thing he could do now. He called out to the only being that had the ability to keep him calm in a situation like this by humming a soft melody that the spirit has taught him.
It didn’t take long before a small fluffy bat emerged from the shadows and flew out towards the green haired boy, sitting on his shoulder with its only one silver chicken-like leg as it began humming the melody along with him.
“Help me” Izuku whispered softly to the spirit, who somehow looked straight into his soul, even if it had no eyes - before disappearing, taking place comfortably at the back of his mind. Soft humming filled his head as he slowly relaxed, feeling the bat nibble at his bad thoughts, making them melt away, replaced with the soft melody.
The warm golden light of the sunset was pretty, but pretty soon his vision started to fade as well, blurring before being gone completely after barely five minutes, replaced by complete emptiness. One of the main drawbacks of letting the bat calm him down is that his eyes would stop working quickly after letting it inside his head, but it was worth it. After all, that little creature was able to grab his bad thoughts and rip them apart before they could stress him out, making his mind perfectly blank. It was calming, and amazing to finally stop his paranoia that kept him tired most of his life.
He might be blind for the time being, but he doesn’t need vision for now. Then, the moment he has to go back, everything will go back to normal. Although, he would probably cry some blood for a few more hours, but it’s a worthy sacrifice for being able to calm down for the first time ever since the whole incident.
Feeling warm blood rolling down his cheeks he decided to ignore it for the sake of focusing on his other senses. Hearing the wind dancing around him, feeling the warmth of the sun on his skin, feeling the dusty scratchy surface of the roof he’s been sitting on, the cold metal railing under his fingertips... And the soft melody drowning out his bad thoughts. It sounded like an extremely soft music box, how can a creature even make such sounds by itself?
Unfortunately for him, his calming evening did not go undisturbed, as Izuku’s disappearance didn’t remain unnoticed by his classmates. They had gone to their teacher, worried about the green haired teen’s odd behaviour ever since this whole thing went down, and they reported that he seems to be taking it worse than even Bakugou himself. Although why, they don’t know.
Which is the reason Aizawa has been searching for him, instantly worried when he noticed the teen sitting on the roof. Walking closer, the hero called out to him.
“Is there anything on your mind you need to talk about?”
If Izuku wasn’t accompanied by the spirit’s humming and calming nature, he probably would’ve freaked out hearing his teacher while he’s in this condition and possibly reacted much worse than he did. But because he was accompanied by the spirit, he only made sure to cover his eyes from the view fully before saying anything. He knew that it didn’t look too pretty, so it would be the best for him to keep his face turned towards the sun, towards the edge. At least for now.
“I’m alright.” He said, and for once in so long he actually meant it. Or at least, mentally, he felt nice. Music box constantly sounded in his mind, making him feel like he’s sitting on an extremely fluffy cloud that covered all of his body and mind, even if he can still feel the hard surface under him.
But physically? He most likely looked awful.
“Why are you up there, then?”
“I like it here” Izuku said quietly, sad about the fact that the music box in his head started becoming quieter. As much as he appreciates the spirit for wanting to make sure he hears everything and can talk properly, he really needed the calmness that comes from listening to the bat.
The hero sighed before taking a few steps closer to the teen, making Izuku fight himself not to get anxious because of that, doing his best to focus on the music instead of turning his attention towards the hero. Only the music.
“You know that you can talk to me if you have any problems, kid.”
“I-I’m aware” Izuku brought his hand up to his face, touching his cheek and feeling the warm liquid still pouring. He should probably kick out the bat spirit from his head already and pretend that everything is alright, but he may risk freaking out the moment the music box stops. And he would still have to explain the blood. Yet, if he doesn’t kick the bat out, the blood would just keep pouring, which is worse.
“Your classmates are worried about you.” The man stated, calmly.
Aizawa seemed at least somewhat concerned over the teenager’s wellbeing, and it was enough to fuel the boy’s anxiety. But thankfully, the man didn’t say anything afterwards as he just stared at the sunset while Izuku kept thinking over what he should do about the blood and his messed up eyes. Regenerating his eyes would take some time, and he doesn’t have nearly enough time to risk moving. He guessed that the best he can do is just talk now.
In the meantime, the hero was thinking over what he should say. He could see that the boy is slightly tense and appears to not want to talk about whatever is troubling him, which is concerning, to say the least.
There are so many problems that the boy probably has to deal with, and Aizawa is not blind, he could see all the little signs that others might not see, which worried him. There’s the fact that the boy is constantly looking around, covering his arms no matter how hot it is outside, the fact how his eyes are scanning the room around him all the time, as if searching for a threat. There are just too many signs, and Aizawa would be an idiot if he ignored them.
But recovery takes time, so he’s willing to give him time to speak up after showing him that he can trust them…
That is… He was ready to do that until he saw the blood.
The green haired teen had his hand in front of his face, and it was basically covered in blood, making Aizawa feel alarmed right away.
“Are you hurt, kid?” He tried his best to not make the boy any more stressed out in case this is a case of self harm, but instead of covering his hands like most people would do - Midoriya has put it on his face again.
“...T-that depends on what y-your definition of “hurt” is…” The green haired boy sounded sad and slightly ashamed, which only made Aizawa worry more.
“ Can you let me help you? ” He asked, trying to pick his words carefully just in case. He has been a hero for many years, he dealt with a fair amount of messy cases and depressed people, he should know how to help one troubled teenager, right?
And yet, what he saw caught him completely unprepared as the teen slowly turned to face him, and he felt slightly sick thinking about what the hell happened to this kid. He never expected a student of his to end up like this.
Midoriya’s eyes were completely gone, leaving two gaping holes in his face with blood continuously pouring out of them. What the hell happened during those two hours that the teenager has been gone?!
“ What happened to your eyes? You need to see Recovery girl immediately.” He said quickly, keeping on his mask of calmness while on the inside he wanted to know what the fuck. What the fuck?
“I can’t exactly see her, you know…” Midoriya chuckled, although his voice sounded pained. Yet, Aizawa doesn’t know if he should be happy that the problem child can still joke around instead of being panicked like normal people would be in this situation, or be freaked out over how he has not passed out yet because of all the blood loss.
Sending a quick alarm text to Recovery Girl so she would be prepared, he was ready to drag Midoriya to her office right away.
“Can you walk or do I need to carry you?”
“W-well… I don’t have my eyes , b-but I remember my legs still being intact… B-BUT! I d-don’t need to go to Recovery girl I-I’m fine!”
“Kid, you’re absolutely not fine.” Aizawa stated as he took out some bandages that he’s usually keeping with himself ‘for emergencies’, which, the current situation definitely could be considered one. Then, he quickly wrapped the bandages around Midoriya’s head, doing his best to make them bleed less.
Izuku just waited as the hero bandaged over his head trying to somehow secure his “wounds”, cursing himself out for not being careful enough. But he still wanted to repair this situation somehow.
“Y-you know I… I would be f-fine without that”
“And what do you mean by that, you definitely don’t look fine” The hero asked dryly, putting his hand on Izuku’s shoulder and guiding him towards the door, back inside.
“I m-mean… T-they c-can regenerate? M-my quirk can f-fix it-”
“That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to Recovery girl. Trust us some more, kid” Relief could be heard in the hero’s voice, which surprised Izuku, as their teacher is known for not showing emotions too much. But maybe he’s just imagining it .
In all honesty, Izuku wondered how the hero can keep a straight face during all of it. Or at the very least, his voice still masked most of his emotions during the entire encounter. Little did he know, Aizawa was, in fact, somewhat freaked out about the whole thing.
They then walked through the hallway, and thankfully no one was out there, so no one saw Izuku with bandages covering half his face and blood covering the other half.
Sadly they weren’t as lucky the second time as they entered the living room though, as Izuku could hear someone gasp in the room, and the slight noise from the room that he heard before stepping in now has turned into absolute, dead silence.
His teacher said something about taking him to the recovery girl while guiding him towards the door, but he couldn’t hear it as he begged the bat to turn up the volume of the music box. Which it did, singing sadly in disappointment but complying to his request, drowning out most of the background noise with music, making him feel slightly numb. He just scratched his arm slightly, hoping that no one took much notice of the amount of scratch marks he had on them as the hero took him to the infirmary.
Before he even noticed, he was already in Recovery girl’s office as she examined him, slightly horrified about his condition as well.
They couldn’t heal him normally, of course, thanks to his eyes not being damaged and instead completely gone, but he made sure to reassure them that he can regenerate them and it will be alright. No, he will not stay blind, yes he dealt with it once in the past, no he didn't need to call his mother, no they shouldn’t inform her about it themselves either. (Even if he knew they still will)
So all Recovery girl could really do is give him some vitamin gummies, try to heal it at least slightly and put new bandages over it after cleaning most of the blood and making sure that no infection can set in. But then, there’s still this one question that they expect him to answer…
“How did that happen?!”
“I… Uh… S-sorry” He tried to make himself as small as possible as he reached with his quirk around, trying to find his shadow companions. Their presence always calmed him down, but they were far away, scaring away some lesser demons that were left.
“Please, just tell us what happened. We won’t judge you”
Izuku was silent for at least a few minutes, but this whole time the heroes were waiting patiently for an answer, shattering the boy’s hope for it to be ignored and for everything to go back to being normal.
Then, Aizawa sighed before sitting next to him on the uncomfortable hospital-like bed. “I want to help you, but you need to trust me.”
“B-but I do trust y-you”
“Then why won’t you tell me what happened? Is there a reason you do not want me to know? I understand if you don’t, but you have to accept help from someone, be it me, All Might, Recovery girl or any other teacher. I can’t let you get hurt like this and be silent about it.”
Silence stretched out for a few minutes once again, before Izuku let out a shaky breath and answered.
“I… I d-did it... W-with my quirk.”
“Could you explain what made you do that?” Aizawa said, and his voice seemed slightly softer now, which was still somewhat weird for Izuku. But he assumed his teacher is just trying to get answers, which was fair, he quite literally looks like both of his eyes have been ripped off from his skull.
“I-I didn’t want to see things…” He trailed off, thinking about how to explain his situation without explaining the whole thing.
“I’m sorry…It… It calms me down… b-but don't worry, I-I have done it m-many times, my eyes will be o-ok later...”
Aizawa sighed, already feeling a headache coming in, but at the very least he didn’t need to worry about the problem child ending up permanently blind. It didn’t make the part of “done it many times” any better though, as it was clear that the kid needed therapy as soon as possible.
“It’s… I won’t say it’s fine, because it isn’t, but I can hope that you will learn to get better and recover fully in the future. You have great potential, kid, and I wouldn’t want to see that go to waste.” The hero placed his hand on Izuku’s shoulder. “You will also have additional mandatory therapy sessions at least once a week, is that alright?”
“Y-yeah…” He said, lowering his head before scratching the bandages slightly.
“Next time, if you want to do something like this… Talk to me instead. Or to Recovery girl, or any of the teachers. People here care about you, problem child”
Then, after some more silence, Recovery girl finally told him to rest while Aizawa had to leave the infirmary and probably calm down the panicking class in the dorms. Izuku can’t imagine how bad it must have looked for the class which filled him with guilt over scaring them all. He was also quite relieved that the hero didn’t mention the state of his arms, although he worried that this conversation was still gonna happen, just at a different time.
The wolves howled in the distance, and Izuku, after around half an hour of laying curled up on the infirmary bed could finally silence the music box that had been playing softly in his head this whole time. At least he knows he’s safe now.
And maybe, just maybe...
Maybe he doesn’t have to keep the demons a secret for any longer.