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A Hero Like You!

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"Izuku, what do you think of katsudon tomorrow?"

Izuku turned to his mommy, no longer distracted by the All Might figurine he brought with him. He bounced around the best he could restrained in the shopping cart. "Yes! Yes, YESSSSS!" He exclaimed. This was going to be the best birthday ever! He was getting his favorite food, and his mommy just ordered an All Might cake! He was so excited! "Yeah! Yeah!!" He continued. His mommy was the best! She chuckled, attempting to calm him down with a "now, now,". She didn't mind when he was excited. She told him she liked seeing him happy because it made her happy too. So he continued bouncing around in the cart while his mommy picked out the ingredients. They checked out, and headed to the car. Izuku helped his mommy with the bags because he was gonna be a hero when he grew up, and he liked helping people. His mommy chuckled when he tried to lift some of the heavier ones, and told him he'd have to wait a little longer for those. She floated them instead. Izuku grinned. He couldn't wait to get his quirk! Both mommy and dad's are so cool!

They hopped in the car, and headed home. He didn't remember falling asleep, but he woke up to his mommy telling him that they were home. His mommy helped him out the car, and held his hand as he made his way past the fountain in the roundabout and up the huge stairs. Everyone who visited always complements his mommy about how nice and big the house was. His mommy always simply responded that dad had a good job.

Izuku squealed as she opened the door. Tomorrow was gonna be super awesome! He'd turn four, and have cake and katsudon and maybe he'd get his quirk too! After all, his bestest friend Kacchan had gotten his already - a whole year early! He hummed in excitement and bounded up the huge stairs to his room as soon as he finished helping unload the groceries. Dad still wasn't home yet, but he said he'd surely make it for his little party. Naturally, he had to pick the perfect outfit - it wasn't everyday his dad came home! Maybe even this time mommy and dad won't argue and Izuku wouldn't have to hide! Izuku giggled and chose his favorite All Might hoodie. He knew it was perfect! It even had the little hair tufts on top! He ran back down the stairs, and into the kitchen to show his mommy. He didn't get a chance to though, because she was on the phone with someone. Her face was scrunched up. Izuku frowned a little. His mommy only made that face when she talked to dad. "You did what?!" She paused. "A quirk specialist? He's not even four yet!" She hissed. Another pause, and then a sigh. "Sure whatever. No, I'll take him. Next week? Yeah okay. Mmhm. Bye." She calmly floated the phone down, and sighed deeply. His mommy did that a lot. He carefully stepped into the room and gave her a hug. "Mommy I'm gonna help you with dinner!" He told her. She laughed and hugged him tight. He loved mommy's hugs.

The next day, Izuku woke up to the smell of pancakes. And his mommy giving him a huge grin. "Happy birthday sweetie!" She said. Izuku jumped out of bed. "Thanks!" Dad was back! He jumped around and bounded down the stairs to his mommy's laughter. Sure enough, there was dad, standing over the counter. "Dad!" Izuku yelled.

"Hey kid!" He smiled. "I was hoping to surprise you - how'd you know I was here?"

Izuku giggled. That was a silly question. "Because! Mommy doesn't know how to cook pancakes! Besides, you told me!" He said. Dad ruffled his hair. His mommy could do a lot of things, but she could never make perfect pancakes.

They both sat at the table together, and Izuku told him about school. Dad asked if he'd got his quirk yet, but he shook his head no. He told him that he's already four today though, so it'll probably be soon! His dad gave him a strange look and nodded his head. "Happy birthday, by the way." Dad said. "Thanks!" Izuku beamed. They finished breakfast, and mommy came downstairs and gave Izuku some extra money. "Go have a good time, okay?" She gave him one of her extra special mommy hugs, and told him that by the time they got back, it'd be time for dinner.

Izuku had a fun time at the duck pond with his dad, and got to pet a duckling too. After, they got ice cream, and Izuku even got to put sprinkles on his! Dad said he had a surprise for him, so they hopped into the car once more. The drive was a little long, and Izuku fell asleep. When he woke up, there was a huge grey building up ahead. Izuku read the signs: 'Musutafu Medical Center' Izuku was confused. Why was he here? He'd gotten over his last cold weeks ago! His dad shushed him as he ushered him into the building, onto the third floor, into a waiting room, and finally, an empty doctor's room. "Dad?"

"Hm?" Came the reply.

"Why are we here?"

"You'll see," he replied nonchalantly, not once looking up from his magazine.

The doctor entered the room right then - a funny short bald man with yellow goggles and a huge mustache. He examined Izuku, and left the room, not saying much. When he returned, Izuku nearly fell out his chair.

"He has no quirk." The doctor said.

His dad finally looked up from his magazine. "Excuse me?"

"I said, he has no quirk." He repeated. "See here, is a bone quirk-users don't have as a result of hyperprogressive evolution..."

The words flew over his head. He didn't even realize he was back home until his mom saw his face and picked him up. "Izuku! Sweetest, what's the matter?" She questioned. Izuku shook his head and demanded to be put down. She set him down and he immediately ran into the living room, wanting to be alone. He wished he hadn't...almost immediately he could hear the muffled voices of his parents arguing. He was hoping they wouldn't do that - especially not today! It was his birthday, and it was supposed to be a happy day... Izuku sniffled and wiped his eyes on his sleeve before donning a big smile, just like All Might. He'd go into the kitchen and smile and then his mommy would be happy and his dad would stop yelling and they'd eat dinner and have cake and-

"I thought I told you not to bring him today." His mommy hissed, eyes closed and fists balled. Izuku scrambled out of sight. This looked worse than normal.

"Look, I know you're upset he's quirkless, I am too -"

"THAT'S what you're worried about? Not that you ruined your own son's fucking BIRTHDAY?" His mommy was scary when she was angry, even if she wasn't often. "Do you know how much he was looking forward to this? All because this was the first birthday you'd actually BE HERE FOR?! Did you even try comforting him? Did you even see his face?!"

"You better watch your damn mouth," his father sneered. Izuku flinched when he took a step towards his mommy, towering over her. Something about this fight seemed worse than normal. "You know full well I work hard so you can have all the extra nice things and raise the kid in comfort - don't go talking about how I'm not here-"

"Where."

"What?" He hissed.

"Where. Do. You. Work." Mommy hissed back.

"Taiko Insurance-"

"No you don't Hisashi! I've been there, called there, even wrote! They have no records of you! You come home late - if at all - drunk and smelling like another's purfume! Sometimes strange, ruffed-up men show up on our doorstep! Hisashi, I KNOW you're lying to me, just fess up what you're really doing so we can work through this togeth-"

"WHAT does it matter what I do?! All you do is sit at home anyway! And with a kid that can't be half useful anymore at that!" He jabbed his finger at her chest, pushing her back.

"Kid? Useless?! Hisashi he's-"

It all happened so fast. First his mommy slapped away his finger, then there was a loud 'pop' and she was on the ground.

His father towered over her menacingly. Just like a villain. Izuku's eyes widened as he saw steam come out from between his teeth. But his mommy would not relent. She was determined to make her point. "...he's our son." She said defiantly, an uncertain fire in her eyes.

Suddenly, his father's face contorts with rage. Izuku's feet move on their own - he has to protect his mommy! She's always there for him, it's his turn to be her hero!

"Not mine!" His father growls as the flames leave his tongue.

"IZUKU!" He hears his mommy scream.

He screamed as he felt a jolt of searing pain down his back. His mommy was crying out and calling him, but he felt sleepy. And hurt. Vaguely, he felt his mom patting out something hot, but he wasn't sure. His father just stood there, and told him to go into the other room. Izuku shook his head. He wanted to be with mommy! Instead, his father yanked him up, wrapped a cloth around his waist, and plopped him onto the couch. Izuku saw his mom barrel out of the kitchen and punch him in the face. Startled, Izuku ran into the library. He didn't want any of this! He squeezed his tiny hands over his ears as much as he could, but the arguing was too loud. He heard lots of screaming. Banging. More screaming. He couldn't take it. He needed to get away. His parents didn't notice him run out, and as he passed, Izuku saw mommy using her quirk with some of the cute patterned kitchen knives Izuku picked out for her birthday.

Once he was out the door, he ran along the sidewalk. They didn't really have any trusted neighbors, so Izuku just ran and ran, until his energy started to wear off, and the pain in his back was catching up to him. He didn't know how far he ran, but nothing around was familiar to him. He could see the vague outlines of a small playground in the distance. 'Lucky,' he thought to himself. He made his way to the park and began climbing the steps to the slide. However, the sound of muffled sniffing made him look underneath him. He entered the crawlspace, and found another little kid. He couldn't see much - there was only one dim streetlamp on this street - but he could see the yellow All Might hat they wore. It looked old and tattered, but well-loved. Izuku could relate - he was still in his All Might hoodie after all, however singed. "Hello?"

The other kid started, surprised at his voice. "You're not supposed to be here without an adult," he said. The other kid looked about ready to run. "No, wait! It's okay!" Izuku sat down. "I promise I won't tell!" He sighed. "I'm not supposed to be here either..."

The other kid raised an eyebrow. "Why?" They asked.

Izuku peered over. "Why're you?"

As the kid wiped their nose a sleeve rode up, and Izuku was able to spy a small bruise on their wrist. He sighed. His mommy always says talking about your feelings makes it better. And right now, his chest was tight. He wanted to cry, but didn't feel like it. "Well," he started. "I ran away,"

"Why?" The kid asked.

"Because mommy and dad are fighting real bad," he mumbled. Suddenly, it was a lot harder to talk than usual.

"Did he..." the kid didn't need to finish the question. Izuku nodded, becoming even more aware or his back. He felt something streak down his cheek.

"I don't understand! Dad isn't supposed to be a villain! Both he and mommy have cool quirks and are supposed to be nice to each other! L-Like heroes!" He wailed. All of a sudden, all his tears came out. The kid, who was listening to him intently, got up and awkwardly patted his head.

"Yeah," they said, sitting back down next to Izuku. "I ran away too..." it was just above a whisper, and after that, they didn't say anything else. Izuku stopped prying then and turned the attention to the hat - it was limited edition! To his surprise and delight, the kid talked quite a bit about the favorite hero. They both talked for quite a while before what looked like the kid's mother came along. She had short brown hair and a uniform. Izuku said goodbye, and it wasn't until after he realized he'd forgotten names. Oh well...

He probably really should head home, but he wasn't looking forward to it... his back really hurt now, and now his leg was too...

"Hey kid!"

Huh? Izuku looked up but he didn't see anyone.

"No, down here!" The voice said again.

Izuku looked down and almost yelped. At his feet was a talking head! Izuku stood frozen in shock. The head at his feet popped up from the ground, thankfully taking a body with it. "Darn," the head - no, person - said. "I thought that'd be more approachable!" Izuku really wanted to go home now. "Ah, okay, lets start over!" The person set down a tattered and leaking grocery bag and stuck out a hand. He didn't seem to mind he was missing one shoe and half his shirt. "I'm Yagi Mirio!" Izuku wasn't really supposed to talk to strangers, especially weird strangers, but this boy didn't seem too much older than him, and he was really, really tired. "M-Midoriya Izuku..."

"Well, Midoriya! Why are you out so late? Wait! You're injured!" Just Izuku's luck, he spied his mommy running frantically along the opposite sidewalk. "Mommy!" He yelled for her. "Izuku! She exclaimed, running over to him. "I was worried sick! Are you okay? Lemme see - wait, who's this?"

"Hello madam! I'm Yagi Mirio, and I saw him crying so...!"

"... hm." She looked like she was thinking hard about something. "Young man, where are your parents?"

"Eh?!" Yagi looked around. "Dad was here just a moment ago..."

"Ah! There you are!" Behind them, a tall, lanky man with oversized clothing and unruly blonde hair huffed and set down more grocery bags to wrap the other boy into a hug. "Mirio! I keep telling you to stop disappearing like that!"

"But dad! I saw a kid and he was crying!"

It was then the man really noticed the two beside him. He let out a quiet gasp when he saw his mother. He opened his mouth to say something, but decided against it. "...goodness," he said instead, now taking note of the blood and burns. "How about we all have dinner at my place...you two look like you could use some help-"

"Ah, I couldn't be a burden-"

"You won't."

The man and Izuku's mother held eye contact for a wile, both battling it out to have their way. Izuku let out a quiet sigh of relief when his mom eventually relented. "Fine," she said. Izuku didn't want to go back. He didn't want to see his father-not now anyway, he was confused and hurt and extremely tired.

Turns out, it was so much so that he fell asleep in his mommy's arms.