It was a universal fact that Soulmates existed. Not everyone was blessed enough to have one, but more people had a soulmate than Quirk, and that was something…
Soulmates shared a number of things. The biggest being pain.
The soulmate of someone hurt would receive the injury but it would only last a few minutes, and and then just heal and fade as though nothing was even there, this stopped after your soulmate touched you though. There was also the ability to communicate via ink on the skin, with some limitations.
It was a lot though, and so the bond between soulmates was highly treasured.
Izuku was taught different, by his mother, at the young age of four.
Izuku could barely understand most of the Kanji that was scrawled on his arms, but his mother looked horrified at what she read, and forbid Izuku from ever writing anything to them.
Izuku asked why, why couldn’t he reply to his soulmate, why did he have to lose them on top of being Quirkless?
His mother wouldn’t reply, but his mother was all he had, and Izuku wasn’t prepared to oppose her.
Not long after the marks appeared, Izuku began to feel pain.
Lot’s of pain outside his own torment and torture, for being Quirkless, the abuse he received at school, and the near neglect he received at home. At first it was mostly burns, but then the scratches came too, long down his arms, or on his face, almost like an animal. It was scary. Was his soulmate in trouble? The burns slowly increased, and occasionally Izuku endured the pain of broken fingers and noses.
Izuku knew it was bad, because it hurt, it hurt so much, and he had no idea how to help. He wasn’t ALLOWED to help. He couldn’t do anything. He was Quirkless. He was worthless.
When was was barely 5, Izuku felt pain beyond the occasional burn or punch, or even the harsh explosions Kacchan had lately discovered he could produce.
His face, namely around his eye. It burned. It burnt worse than anything he’d felt in his life, and little Izuku couldn’t even keep himself from screaming at the pain. If he was only feeling some of it, what did it feel like for his soulmate? He wanted to claw at the skin surrounded his eye, wanted to curl up and never feel such pain again… It ended eventually...Izuku didn’t recall what happened, because he passed out from the pain. It must have been horrible for his soulmate, if Izuku felt that bad from just feeling a portion of it.
It didn’t really scar Izuku, when he checked, but it would to his soulmate… if he lived.
Izuku wasn’t sure… it had felt like he himself was dying… was his soulmate okay?
Izuku didn’t know. Not for a while at least. Until the words came back.
The words on his skin kept him hopping. If they still appeared then his soulmate was still alive… except… why did the words keep appearing if Izuku never replied?
And that is how Izuku Midoriya applied himself to his education wholeheartedly. Alongside his gradual increase in intellect, he picked up the hobby of hero analysis, which he sometimes blogged about, running a small blog, nothing special or developed, just simple, after all he was only young.
By the time he was 9 or so, Izuku understood most of what was on his arms.
There was more than one person.
That was why his mother didn’t want him to reply.
No one had more than one soulmate…
Except… here was two people talking on his arms…
From what he could tell, one was apologizing for getting scratched up by a stray cat he’d been trying to help. The other blew it off as unimportant.
Except then… it wasn’t two.
It was three.
And one of them was Kacchan.
Izuku wanted to scream, or cry, or both. He’d only realised it was Kacchan, as the blonde complained about him, to his soulmates… The other two didn’t speak a lot, but they tried to sympathise with Kacchan, and then the three feel silent for a while.
Izuku permanently switched his wardrobe to long sleeves after that, for more reason than one.
The older they got, the more Kacchan wrote about him to their soulmates, unaware Izuku even existed in their soulmate trio, unless they specifically sat down and wrote about the pain they felt… except Kacchan obviously didn’t feel Izuku’s pain. They’d touched already, so he couldn’t feel it for Izuku… But the other two could… and they would surely assume it was Katsuki being Katsuki, getting into fights or something...Regardless, Kacchan became harsher, harsher than he was as a child, turning his Quirk on Izuku more and more often, through Middle School.
The Verbal abuse picked up too.
Izuku Midoriya may have initially switched out his clothing to hide the lines of text on his arms, but the pain he began to inflict upon himself was the second reason for such a change. To ignore his soulmates, his shitty life, his soulmates who all wanted to go to U.A, his soulmates who likely had incredible quirks, wonderful potential… and Izuku was simply Deku.
Unless. Quirkless . Deku.
No one was there for him. His mother tried to be as sweet as she could, but frankly, Izuku could tell she didn’t care. If she cared, she’d ask about the scorch marks on his face, or the burnt ends of the sleeves of his uniform, or the angry red patches scattered up his arms where Kacchan had burnt through his clothes and into his skin, where he’d been grabbed and been unable to escape.
Inko Midoriya never asked. Midoriya Izuku never told.
The teachers never said anything either, they watched it happen, joined in the verbal abuse, told him he’d never amount to anything, he couldn’t be a hero, he couldn’t be anything. Just a failure.
The feeling of bleeding, of being in control of the pain he endured made him feel. He felt, and it was something he hadn’t experienced for years. He was in control of what hurt. Not his soulmates, not Kacchan or any of the kids at school. Not his mother, nor his teachers. Him. He was in control, and as sick as it was, it became one of the rare times Midoriya Izuku was happy.
‘Oi… which one of you is doing that? Stop… please . I’m here for you.’
‘It’s not me.’
‘What are you on about? Doing what?’
There was a pause.
‘You don’t feel it…?’
‘Feel what, fucking explain?’
‘One of us is purposely hurting themselves.’
‘Well it’s not fucking me…’
‘And it’s not me.’
‘I think there is four of us… and you’ve met them Katsuki…’
‘Hello other person… Are you there? Are you okay?’
Izuku ignored it. Maybe they knew now he existed. He didn’t care. He wasn’t allowed to reply. He had been told so, when he was young, constantly fed the idea that he wasn’t allowed to reply, he couldn’t have three soulmates. He was already a quirkless disappointment, he couldn’t disgrace his mother further, by being a freak with three soulmates. They had each other, they didn’t need Quirkless Deku.
At least Kacchan didn’t feel his pain. They’d touched before, plenty of times, through the years, be it when they were young, and carefree, or when Kacchan felt the need to push the Quirkless boy down during their early teenage years.
As they entered the final year of Middle School, Izuku had never felt so much pain. The burns and bruises, that piled atop his own abuse made him indifferent. He didn’t want them. Why did he have them. Who were they from?
Izuku hadn’t even bothered to try and find out the names of his other two soulmates, they were obviously already acquainted, to the extent they didn’t call each other by names most of the time, and the three of them had all learned to write in different coloured ink, to tell each other apart.
‘Are you okay?’ The purple ink asked against his skin.
‘That fucking bastard… When I get my fucking hands on him, he’ll be dead.’ This was obviously Kacchan, Midoriya didn’t need to see the red ink against his skin to tell that.
‘I’m fine…I'm used to it, I'm okay... But they’re not.’ This ink was an icey blue, a beautiful shade.
‘They’ was Izuku. He was an often subject to the conversation. now that the three of them had a fourth… That somewhere their soulmate was hurting, and not responding to them, that they needed help, needed someone…
Kacchan seemed affected too, that he couldn’t feel their pain. Had no connection to one of his soulmates, since they never wrote… had no connection whatsoever.. That he had met them, touched them, and never realised…
Katsuki never drew up the conclusion that it was the same boy he’d been tormenting and abusing for near ten years.
“Does Deku even have a soulmate?”
“Probably not. He’s Quirkless, why would he have a soulmate?”
“Haha so true.”
And soon after, Kacchan began to taunt him as not only Quirkless, but Soulmateless, and Izuku couldn’t bring himself to argue otherwise. He was so right. Izuku didn’t deserve the three soulmates that littered his arms.
He didn’t deserve to live.
Izuku wasn’t sure how much more he could take. Why did he even exist?
‘Believe that you’ll be born with a Quirk in your next life and take a last chance dive off the roof!’
Days later Midoriya Izuku attempted to throw himself off the roof of his apartment block, the words of Katsuki echoing in his mind.
Midoriya Izuku tried.
But it turned out he was fucking useless at everything, even when it comes down to killing himself properly.
A crushed leg, four broken ribs, two more ribs fractured, both arms broken, a punctured lung and a collection of bruises and scrapes later, Midoriya Izuku was still alive.
In intense pain, but alive.
He couldn’t do anything right.
He was hospitalized for a long while, put on anti-depressant meds, but no one really bothered to find out what happened to him, or why he did it, and when he was finally cleared to leave, the first thing that happened was him getting fucking attacked by a villain. Helpless and defenceless, Izuku was sure he’d die… except he’d saved, he’s saved by the one man he’d looked up to for so long… and he was shot down.
If anyone could save him, it was All Might. Save him from himself.
And yet… even All Might didn’t believe in him, told him that without a Quirk it would be too dangerous… and Izuku was sure he’d have jumped off the very same building he was left on, except last time he tried, he’d failed, and caused distress to his soulmates, caused distress to people already juggling issues, already busy trying to focus on getting into U.A. Izuku couldn’t hinder them with that…
But then he came back. Someone finally believed in him, told him he COULD be a Hero. Izuku may have been broken, shattered into pieces long ago, but All Might was like glue, he’d appeared to help what anyone else knew to be a lost cause, something to throw rather than try and salvage.
Izuku was glad for the time he had training, it let him escape life, it gave him something to do, and most of all, it let him be around someone who believed in him, the first person in his life. All Might became the small ray of sunshine in his life.
And slowly the fragments of Izuku’s life began to stick back together. He felt more in control without hurting himself as much, and he felt for the first time ever, that he had a future, something he could do.
When Izuku Midoriya passed the exams into U.A he was sure he had never cried so much, not even when he was five and felt like he was dying, or when he’d awoken in the hospital to find out he was alive despite jumping from a roof.
Two lines of concern littered his arms, the same day. Kacchan displayed his confusion at what he was told. How had one of them shattered an arm and both their legs?
Izuku didn’t respond. Had he blown their chances, if they were undertaking the U.A exams at the same time? He hoped not.
As it turned out, Kacchan was in his class at U.A, and Midoriya prepared himself to have the entire class turned on him in an instant, but it seemed not only did he make a couple of friends… it also seemed like Kacchan had lost the need to abuse Izuku 24/7. Now, nearly any abuse came in verbal form, and nowhere near as harsh as before… Had something happened?
When it came to the tests, Izuku was grateful he only broke a finger using One for All, while throwing the ball, and he didn’t receive any comments about it, because it was something his soulmates were likely used to already. With the amount of pain the four of them had endured over the years it was probably likely they’d all just increased their tolerance over time. It was probably accurate though, considering how Izuku hadn’t even shed any sort of tear at shattering three of his four limbs in the entrance exam.
Life continued, and Izuku slowly felt his life begin to perk up. He had a couple of friends now, and his classmates were mostly nice to him. All Might believed in him, and he’d earned the right to be in Class 1-A. From what he could tell from his arms, all his soulmates had met up, all were at U.A, and summarily they no longer felt the pain of each other… Which meant whatever they felt now was all Izuku’s (not that they knew it was his.) This was bad, because if Izuku got hurt in front of any of them now, excluding Kacchan, and they connected the dots, he was going to be doomed.
Izuku never proclaimed to have good luck, but being drawn from the pool of teams, to fight against Kacchan and Iida was certainly bad luck.
At first things went fine, and Izuku held out, throwing Kacchan over his shoulder when the teen went for a surprise attack. Dodging a blow only blew off the side of his mask, and a further blast simply burnt his costume arm. He was dodging, not only for himself, but for his soulmates. He didn’t want them to know, nor hurt. If there was any possibility his other soulmates were watching the fight, in his class, he didn’t want them to know. If it was them, he hoped it was someone he’d already touched, but alas, that wasn’t actually many people yet…
And then it came. Deku fucked up, and Kacchan managed to change his attack in the air, and land a direct hit on his back. It was hot, but it wasn’t horrible, in fact it didn’t really hurt that much compared to his younger years, but he still couldn’t help the yelp that escaped his lips. What hurt more was when the explosive teen smashed into his elbow, then grabbed the joint and swung him around, before slamming him onto his back. Midoriya felt all the air escape his lungs, his vision blurred, and he was certain this was his defeat.
When it ended with him back up against a wall, he could only put a quickly crafted plan into action to ensure their victory, at the cost of himself. Swinging a fist powered by One for All, Izuku slammed the power through the roof of the fourth floor, the surge flowing through concrete, smashing everything in it’s path until it soared through the roof. At the exact same time, his other arm blocked the damage of Kacchan’s explosion, from touching his face, at the cost of his arm. the explosion burnt through his costume, burning into flesh. It hurt a lot, a lot more than he’d expected, and before he could explain himself more than simply professing he couldn’t use his Quirk properly yet, he collapsed, the announcement of his team’s victory only just reaching his ears as he finally slipped into darkness.
While Kacchan hadn’t felt it, he was sure the other two will have done, no matter how much he hoped they hadn’t.
And he was right.
Ink he wouldn’t see scattered his arms minutes later, in a dark purple.
‘What the hell. Are you okay? Are they okay? Are you two okay too?’
But no reply ever came.
But nothing came.
Kacchan was still too hung up on his defeat by Deku to even notice the ink on his arm.
Todoroki was simply in shock, he’d felt it. He’d felt everything. As soon as the pain had begun to sting his arms, he’d iced them both over, numbing them, to keep from letting anyone around him know. It was Midoriya. That’s who had been avoiding them for ten years, who they had known was there only recently, but knew was hurting, so badly. That was who they had to help, to love, to protect, and Todoroki was sure as hell he’d do just that. With ice littering his arms, he too didn’t notice the ink, and it was only after Katsuki, Iida and Uraraka had returned to the rest of the class that Todoroki remember to check up on their other soulmate. He didn’t have a pen on him though and instantly felt regret at not only worrying their soulmate, but being unable to reply.
When the class ended properly, Todoroki decided to inform Shinsou on the developments of the day, before he beat the shit out of Katsuki.
‘I know who it is. Sorry I couldn’t reply earlier, I had no pen.’
‘Who who is?’
‘It’s okay, I’m glad you’re both okay.’
‘What the fuck are you two on about?’
‘The other person, they got pretty hurt today, and then neither of you were replying.’
‘What the fuck happened?’
‘Don’t tell him. Please.’
‘What?? What the fuck are you trying to say?’
‘Please just wait. I need to tell you in person.’
‘Meet me at the school gate at 5:30. All three of you…’
‘Do you really think they’ll come?’
‘What do you fucking mean? Are they in U.A?’
‘Just come. Please.’
The conversation ended shortly after.
Izuku saw the end of it when he awoke, and was patched up by Recovery Girl. Most of it was smudged off already, but some was eligible.
All Might, who came to visit him, picked up on the ink on his arms, and Izuku couldn’t bring himself to lie to the first person who believed in him.
“I… there’s three of them. I- I’ve never replied to them though… I- I was told not to, when I was young… and I’ve just… I don’t feel like I deserve them.”
“Young Midoriya… I know for a fact you more than deserve them. It may be odd to have more than one, but it’s not unheard of. You should go.”
As far as Izuku knew, it most certainly was.
“Indeed. I knew of someone in my class with two soulmates. It’s just not broadcasted publicly, people fear the responses and so many are not open with it. It most certainly isn’t impossible though. Go. Don’t keep them waiting.”
Any other time, Izuku wouldn’t have gone, but All Might believed in him, and he wasn’t repulsed that he had three soulmates, he’d accepted every single part of him, down to the Quirkless, insecure boy he’d been earlier that year.
When he reached the gate, earlier than intended, he only met one individual, one that he knew for a fact wasn’t in their class, but was donned in a U.A uniform. Despite looking utterly sleep deprived, Midoriya couldn’t help but agree that the purple haired student lingering by the gates was gorgeous.
Considering it was quiet, and no one else was around, the teen saw Midoriya instantly, and approached him without Izuku having time to prepare.
That was all that was said, at first, and Izuku felt a bit uncertain. Was this male one of his soulmates? One of the people he’d hurt so many times? Who he’d ignored under the pressure of others expectations and his own insecure fears?
“You’re in the Heroic’s department, aren’t you?”
“Y-Yeah. I’m Izuku Mi-”
The exclamation of shock had him turn to face Todoroki Shouto, the stunning teen in his class whom Midoriya hadn’t been able to stop staring at since he started a U.A.
Todoroki was the blue. That must mean this guy was purple…
“This… This is?” The other boy was a bit speechless, and Todoroki nodded.
“I- I’m so sorry! I’m really sorry I never answered, and that I hurt you all, and that you’re soulmates with m-me. I’m sorry that you’ve got such a w-worthless soulmate.”
The two blinked, swallowed by silence, as Izuku slowly crumbled. Why had he come here? Why was he such an idiot, he should have just run, and ignored anything and everything from them…
That was Kacchan’s voice. The blonde stood a bit away, gaping, with an unreadable expression. Izuku was already in tears by this point, but he didn’t fail to flinch at Kacchan’s voice.
“K-Kacchan.. I-I’m sorry.”
“What the fuck are you on about Deku?”
“Katsuki, lay off him.” Todoroki warned, and Bakugou turned up his nose at the Half ‘N Half’s interruption.
“I wasn’t finished.”
Izuku tried to back up, and away from the three. It was too much, he wanted to run… except… he couldn’t move? What was this?
Todoroki realised instantly, from the fear in Izuku’s eyes.
“Hitoshi you didn’t…”
“I had to. I can’t let him run off after all this time…”
“No. Let me fucking finish!” Katsuki snarled and took another breath.
“Deku you’re not fucking worthless. As if any of my soulmates are worthless, you shit. You’re all fucking amazing, and I won’t stand for you talking crap about yourself if you’re my soulmate, so stop running already.”
Both Todoroki and Shinsou were ready to imitate Goldfish, as their mouths comically dropped open in shock.
That… wasn’t what any of the three expected.
Shinsou released the brainwashing he’d applied to Midoriya to keep him still, from their earlier conversation, and the green haired teen could do nothing but drop to his knees, followed closely by Todoroki, who hesitantly wrapped the sobbing teen into his arms, held closely to his chest.
“I- I was told to ignore you all… that I’d be- be a freak f-for having three of you… A-and I-I was just a Quirkless loser until recently- I- I really-”
“Shut the fuck up Deku. You’re nothing what you say okay? Fuck. Just- Just stay. Please.”
“I agree. I’ve only just met you, but I can already tell you’re special.”
And Midoriya did just that. Mostly because he wasn’t sure he had the strength to drag himself back to his feet, but also because Shinso and Bakugou followed Todoroki’s actions, ducking down to the ground, to join in the embrace, holding onto Midoriya comfortingly, until his sobs turned into quiet shakes of his shoulder as he sucked in air, and then into nothing but steady breaths.
“I- I’m sorry.”
“You said that already.”
“We’re sorry too.”
”Just please… don’t hurt yourself anymore.”
Izuku let a nervous laugh fall from his lips and tried to nod his head. He’d try. For them.
And the four remained there, for how long they weren’t quite sure.
In the end, things ended up okay, of course things weren’t perfect instantly, Izuku didn’t just do a 180 and become as happy as the sunshine, but slowly things started to look better. Kacchan was still his loud self, but his anger, Izuku realised, wasn’t with him, but at his actions, at his ability to be so much more hero-like than Kacchan could ever be. It wasn’t disgust or fury, it was frustration at being unable to be as selfless as Izuku. Still, Kacchan began to insult the teen less and less, but his personality didn’t change beyond that. Todoroki become close to Izuku too, he often hung around him, Uraraka and Iida, the three being close friends rather quickly into the school year. Todoroki, once you looked past his exterior, was a very cute boy. He was someone, who like Izuku, hadn’t had a good childhood at the abusive hands of Endeavor, but he was strong, he was brave and above all, he was utterly adorable. Shinsou was much the same. His childhood too, had not been great. His Quirk was frowned upon a lot, and he’d been tormented as a future villain for a lot of it, his only escape was writing to Kacchan and Todoroki. He’d taken a liking to cats when he was young, and he’d often hang around strays, feeding them when he could, and that explained the scratches, considering most strays wouldn’t be so willing to cooperate with someone strange after living on the streets.
Overall though, Izuku was glad. He still had days where he felt dead inside, where he had the urge to tear into his skin, to bleed, to cry, to just give up, but now he had someone to support him, someone who would stay beside him regardless of how he felt, and best of all, he had three people willing to do such a thing, not just one. Izuku Midoriya may have had a shitty start to his life, but now his future was looking up, finally.