The first time it happened he didn’t even realize, but perhaps he should have. Perhaps it was obvious, but to him, the possibility seemed so out of reach, so far fetched, that he dismissed it without a second thought.
A vivid nightmare. That’s all it was—all he thought it was, convinced himself it was. A very eerie, surprisingly accurate and all too real nightmare, but a nightmare nonetheless. For to Izuku’s mind, that explanation was more plausible (
preferable) to the current reality.
On one hand, he couldn't blame himself for not realizing sooner. On the other, he wanted to punch himself for his stupidity, for not seeing something that in hindsight was so obvious. But whatever he may think or do, in the end, it didn’t even matter. It wouldn’t change anything. All he could do was to bite the bullet and endure it.
It was all he could ever do. All he can do.
All he will do.
Over and over, until he was littered with holes and his body stops functioning altogether. And then, he would get up, just so he could do it all over again.
Midoriya Izuku always wished he was born with a quirk. When he was told at the young age of four that he would, most likely, never develop one, it marked the moment he tasted true despair for the first time. But now, looking back, he started to think it had all been a mistake. That perhaps living a life of crushed dreams would have been preferable over the world granting him his wish in what he thought must be the cruelest way possible.
He quickly chides himself for his selfish thoughts. This was just the burden he had to bear. Many realities had been set before him, each more horrific than the last. Izuku had lived them all, and he wept. But with this power he could create a different future, a new outcome. Something better.
And while Izuku was the only one left with the knowledge of a world in shambles, his classmates, his friends, everyone else… they would all be free to continue living their carefree lives, unburdened by their ignorance.
What did it matter if Izuku broke again and again? If it meant they could be saved, he had no choice but to comply. What did it matter, when it would all reset anyways?
For them, he would take whatever the world threw at him, again and again. He would cry, so they could laugh. He would break, so they could heal. He would die, so they could live.
...he just wished it could have been different. For his quirk, he would trade in a heartbeat, if only it meant he could finally stop pretending to be a hero.
His eyelids fluttered close, heavy with fatigue and red with tears. His final breath, ragged and hoarse from his screaming, left his lips in a tired puff and his broken chest settled with a shudder. The world dimmed. Grew dark. Black. Izuku let it happen, having long since learned to stop struggling.
His beating heart still tried to fight it, refusing to give up as easily as it’s master. But with each pathetic thump it only grew slower and slower, until it—in a last ditch effort—gave one final, weak thump in a desperate (but ultimately pointless) attempt at survival. And then, finally… it was over.
Izuku lay still. Lifeless.
And then he awoke.