He hadn't meant to do it.
Wide eyes captured every single detail about the scene in front of him, even though he didn't want to, or even comprehend what he was seeing. Simply, he just stared, absently. Nothing that was currently in front of him was even registering though, at least, not in the way that it should do. Shouldn't he be horrified? Terrified? Sick to his very core? None of that was there. He hurt, but not for them. He felt guilt, like it had hit him over the head with a ton of bricks, but for the most part, he just didn't fee' anything else like that. A huge part of him just didn't want to acknowledge everything before him, just wanted to pretend that it didn't exist, and flee, to somewhere else. To act like none of this had ever happened…
Because he knew it was all his fault.
It had been an accident…
The flames from the apartment that he used to call home lit up the alleyway, making everything tinted in an orange and red afterglow. That was also his fault. Everything was crystal clear, even though it was the dead of night. No illusions or Quirks were hiding the truth here, no matter how much he wanted them to be some trick of the eye, of effect of some sort of Quirk. Everything was on display.
Four dead, savagely torn apart and beaten bloody corpses, were on display for anyone to see.
Limbs were scattered randomly and haphazardly, making it impossible to tell what belonged to whole, with the exception of one person, whom had blue skin as opposed to the normal pigments. One person had a tail, also ripped and tossed against a wall, a splatter of inhumanly green coloured blood indicating where it had hit, and a smear where it had slid down, before hitting the ground. Hands reached up from the seas of ruby red fluid, like a person was struggling for air underneath the surface, drowning seconds before oxygen was returned to their lungs. The other corpses almost look to be little more than flesh, yellow bones jutting out of said flesh, and their metallic weapons, left untouched by 'His' strike. One person, an individual whom had six arms, laid with one of their hands resting above the trigger. A few seconds too short of actually firing the automatic rifle and unloading it into the young boy.
Not that it would have done anything to stop him, or even save the users life. The moment that they had tried to take the life of such a child had been the second they had willingly stepped into their own graveyards, unknowingly as it may be. Their target himself didn't even mean for it to go down like this…
These were four people, who had lives and people who had cared about them. No matter what they were, or what they had tried to do to him, they were still people…. Who had had their own lives to live. They were all sons. Some might have been fathers, brothers, and all were bound to have friends who would miss them, and mourn them. Everyone had someone… At least, most people did…
Now laying as lifeless corpses, right in front of him, their blood literally on his hands, across his face, and soaking into what little remained of his charred clothing, these people had left the people that cared for them behind. And it was his fault.
It was his fault that these people were dead.
He hadn't meant to do it… It had been an accident. He didn't…
"I didn't… I didn't…."
He quietly repeated to himself, hoping that somehow, in some way, he silent whispers would be heard. That somehow, it would make everything better, that everything would just disappear. That he'd wake up in his room, covered with posters of Heroes, and that he could then run and cry about his horrific nightmare to his mother, who would offer him comfort and support. That he could go back to school in the morning, and be bullied for not having a Quirk. That he could go back to pining after the ones he admired, and feel the heartbreak when he would eventually learn that not everyone could become a Hero. It had better than this…
Anything had to be better than this.
Sniffling, he turned his head to look up at the apartment. The crackling of wood breaking apart, and the flapping noise as wind combated the flames and said flames fought back, made the boy know that he wasn't in a dream. There was no hope of that anymore. Everything was encased in an ever glowing, every hungry fire, that wasn't going to die until it had consumed everything that it could, or was mowed down by either the fire department, or someone with a water Quirk.
Waking up in bed wasn't going to happen anymore.
Receiving comfort from his mother wasn't going to happen anymore.
Going to school and getting bullied wasn't something that he could have anymore.
His life was…. It would never be the same again.
Nowhere to go…. Nowhere to hide… No one to speak up for him… No one to look after him… No one to even say that they were sorry for him and his situation. There was nothing left anymore.
The fire had taken home from him… Had ripped his mother from him, and taken her to the endless beyond… And he was supposed to be dead as well. Nature dictated that he was supposed to be dead…. But he wasn't.
He was alive. And somehow, that was worse.
Death… That would be easier. So much easier… Easier than living in this world. Easier than living when his home was destroyed. Easier than living now that his mother was dead… Easier than living in a world that was destined to despise him. It would have been easier to die…
Than to be what he was.
Shaking and shivering, he brought his hands into his field of vision. Cuts, wounds and burns, all gone, like they had never been there to begin with. The only evidence to show they were there was the blood that was atop his skin, and the fact that he knew that there were supposed to be wounds there. It was the first time that he truly accepted and knew what he was….
A freak of nature, even in this super powered society. Bad enough that he had been born Quirkless...
Finally, though they had been held back by the shock and trauma that ears came when he realized that he couldn't even commit suicide. That he couldn't even die. The universe seemed to just hate him, so much, that it wouldn't just let him end his miserable and empty existence… Everyone who loved him was gone, and he was now a freak in this world in as many ways possible…
Why?... Why was this happening to him?
Why his family, when they had done absolutely nothing wrong...
"Mom…" He couldn't even find the words to describe his grief in the moment…
Why his dreams, when everyone else was free to follow theirs?
"All Might…." His all-time favourite Hero… The Hero who was supposed to show up to save everyone who needed him… He wasn't here.
Salt water from his eyes dripped down his cheeks and ran over the blood of the other individuals, possibly with some of his own mixed in there as well. So much crimson had blended together that he didn't even know how much of it was his, and how much of it belonged to the people in front of him. His tears didn't care though, and just ran over it all, not discriminating what liquid it would fall over. Streaks of red trailed down with the blood, smearing down his cheeks and down to his chin.
All the strength in the thirteen year olds legs left immediately one the first tears began to fall. He stumbled backwards, hitting a wall within a couple of steps. For a moment, he just stopped there, and stared right back into a set of lifeless blue eyes, belonging to a corpse barely ten feet away from him. Eyes that were void of emotion. Void of feeling. Void of anything that made someone a person. Now they were just a pile of flesh and water.
Void of life.
He hadn't…. It was…
Falling down onto the ground, he began to cry, openly sobbing. His mind was simply unable to comprehend why. He hadn't done anything bad, right? He wasn't a bad person, right? He always had tried to do the right thing, to live by the ways a Hero would have said to live by. To help people and be good to those around him. He wasn't a bad person… He'd always wanted to be a Hero, he wasn't a bad person…
So why…. Why had this had to happen to him?... To those he loved and cared for? To those who hadn't done anything wrong? To people who had nothing to do with what he was? Why had this happened to him, when he hadn't even dreamed about hurting anyone else? Nothing about it was fair. It was all just…
Heroes were supposed to prevent this from happening…. But there were none to be found. Not a single Hero was here to help him. None of them had stopped what had happened, and none of them were here, even now, to help prevent it from getting worse….
Not that it could get any worse…
Through his sobs, he managed to choke out, like a silent prayer, "I…. I…. I need…. Please…. I need a Hero to help me…."
"No Hero is coming to save you."
For a moment, the tears stopped falling, and hung in the boy's eyes, as he looked up and down the alleyway. When this person had arrived, he had no clue, but in front of him now stood someone, maybe four or five years older than he was, wrapped up in black clothing, including a hoodie that prevented anyone from seeing the majority of his facial features were they to look at him from any other angle. For the boy, seeing strands of blue hair, a set of red eyes, and wrinkled skin surrounding the only piercing iris, was easy, since he was looking up, while the man before him was looking down.
What was more intimidating about this man was the fact there was a disembodied hand covering up the majority of his face, and his right eye were peering between the fingers of the index and middle. There was to be no doubt – This person was terrifying, by appearance alone….
But the green and black haired boy just couldn't be bothered to run anymore. Part of him had just ceased to care. Another part of it was that he felt his body was paralyzed. None of his muscles would respond to any of the commands his brain sent out. It wasn't from injury, or Quirk effects. He was just frozen in place, like a deer caught in the headlights.
That moment was filled with nothing but silence, as both inspected one another, to see if they would make some sort of move, to escape or to attack, though nothing came about it. Instead, nothing happened between them. No words, not changes in expression, no motion, nothing. It was just twenty seconds of them looking at one another, the boy still in tears, while the man just seemed to assess what was in front of him. When he finally did move, it was simply to glance around the area once again.
And for his eyes to snap towards Izuku's hand.
Black bubbles accompanied by that same insect-like static noise came from the boy's left hand – Something that the man took note of. It seemed to be something that had interested him greatly, and now that it was there, it seemed to confirm what he had been thinking.
It was the same effect that occurred during his own regeneration.
"So, you're a Variant. The rumours were true. You have a code that lets you generate your Ghost after all."
"G-Ghost? Y-You can see them too?!" The boy was stunned.
There were others who could see the Ghosts?
"Anyone who's like us can see the black Ghosts. I can see them, you can, and so can everyone else that is just like us. But you're able to make them. It's something only three recorded cases can actually make. It's an ability that no Human can replicate, even with their Quirks. Even those of us who don't have Ghosts can see them, and we can't replicate them with our Quirks."
The boy looked at this person, still with eyes diluted with tears. Others like him….
Others like them…
"You…. You mean you're…"
"Just like you. I'm an Ajin."
Red eyes left the boy, and instead fell towards the pockets within the hoodie that the male was wearing. One hand entered that, while another removed the hood from atop his head, while being careful not to allow his small finger to touch said hood, for reasons that the teenager boy didn't understand quite yet. Wavy blue hair was revealed.
And from the pockets, a switchblade knife was revealed, black at the handle, and sharpened red at the blade.
Without a single word, or without any cause or reason to do so, the male brought the switchblade right up against his jugular vein in his neck.
The scariest thing about seeing this was the lack of any expression change on the man's face. There was no hesitation, no fear, or even much care in what he was doing. He didn't even think twice about what he was doing.
"W-Wait – ! "
The next noises to be heard were those of a slice, and then a blood splatter.
He just tore the blade, slicing open his jugular, and everything in-between it, from right to left, tearing open every single vein that he had in the front of his neck, and through his throat. Death was practically instant, his body became limp, and his lifeless corpse fell straight to the floor. Motionless, red fluid leaking from the large, gaping slash to the neck.
Another corpse to add to the pile…
Only to suddenly reanimate, immediately afterwards.
As insect-like static noises began, and black matter oozed out of the man's neck, he began to jerk back to life. He had fallen face first down into the concrete, and began the process of picking himself off of the stony ground, like nothing had happened at all. His own blood had soaked into his jacket, and was running down his neck, but it didn't seem to bother him.
When he had fallen, however, the hand that was secured around his face had fallen off. Now, as he rose up again, he held it in his hand, and placed it within the pocket in his jacket. He turned to face the young boy, who was now staring in wide eyed shock. The suicide, that was one thing, and that was its whole other set of trauma that he was going to need to deal with… But considering how he himself had just died, it wasn't the first thought that entered his face.
What shocked him the most right now was the fact….
The fact that he knew this man.
"Y-You're – "
"This world isn't going to protect us." The recently revived male said, wiping his bloody blade against his sleeve, and then flipping the switchblade back into its holder and shoving it back into his pocket along with the disembodied hand. "And there are bosses and enemies everywhere that you can't trust. In this world, if you trust the wrong people, it's almost an instant game over, even if you can't die. That's why I killed myself, to prove that I'm an Ajin, just like you are. The only people we can trust are other Ajin, like us."
"H-How did you…" The boy was shivering at what he had just witnessed, his eyes wider than ever before in barely concealed terror. Right now, the suicide itself wasn't messing with him, as much as the fact that he had seen it done so… Easily. This man, and the way he ended his own life was just haunting to him, even though he now knew who this person was… "So easily… H-How?..."
"I've died so many times that it doesn't affect me. I always have an extra life, so death doesn't scare me. And it shouldn't you." A brief pause. "How many times have you died already?"
"So you're new to immortality..." The blue haired male ran his hand through his hair, while with his other hand, he began to scratch his neck, with a worrying amount of force. A number of scars had been present before the man had killed himself, now completely gone as the regeneration of his immortality had healed him of all physical ailments.
It was true though. Death was supposed to be the final end to a life. It was supposed to be when everything ended, and the cells and matter that made up the body were returned to the earth to form into other things. What made up a person was returned into the world, to make something new.
Ajin bypassed that rule. Death wasn't the end for them. As was just displayed, they could heal from any injury that would be fatal, once they themselves had actually died. What was interesting to note was that the wounds that the boy had suffered had healed up, as were the scars on the blue haired individual's neck. When they died, those wounds healed up. Only death would heal an injury, it appeared
No wonder the world feared them so much… No wonder people hated them. No wonder the government wanted them all registered. To Humans, Ajin were dangerous creatures, filled with abilities and powers that just couldn't be matched. How did you defeat someone who couldn't die? How did you stop someone when the threat of death no longer held any meaning to them?
How did you stop immortals… Such as…
"You…. You're Tomura Shigaraki, aren't you?..." The boy questioned, already fully aware of the answer. "You're the first Ajin that was discovered in Japan… At least, the first revealed to the public..."
"And you're Izuku Midoriya – And if you stay here, you'll be known as the third discovered in the country." When the boy looked surprised at the other Ajin knowing him name, he explained further. "I've been following you since I heard the rumours. I wanted to know if they were true."
Izuku felt his throat constrict. He had been aware of these rumours, since the day that he had died and come back to life for the first time. Rumours that he wasn't a Human being, ever since the incident that had killed him, and instead made those around him believe he was an immortal creature. He'd wanted to deny it, but now it turned out, they had been right all along. Of course, no one had any proof – The only way to prove that someone was an immortal would be to kill him, something no one was willing to risk - But it had impacted his life since. They had been impossible to avoid. Suspected of being a creature that wasn't even Human…
In a way, he had already been living like an Ajin. No one trusted anyone who was suspected of being an Ajin. All it took was a rumour to completely ruin someone's life…
Before any more words could be exchanged between the two of them, a black mist suddenly seemed to appear behind Shigaraki, forming out of nowhere, into a clockwise-spinning spiral of nearly pitch-black fog. It was the effects of some kind of Quirk, of that there wasn't any doubt in Izuku's mind. This wasn't some kind of Ajin ability – those looked different, from what he'd seen of his own.
Confirmation came seconds later, when a deep, ominous voice appeared to emanate from the intangible mist itself. "Tomura Shigaraki, there are several Humans converging on this location. I believe that they are searching for where the boy landed. When they see these corpses, no doubt they'll accurately pin the blame on the child, if he remains here."
A set of heavy breathing began to make itself heard from the teenage child, his eyes having fallen once again back onto the round, his fingers gripping tightly onto his legs, nails digging into his exposed skin. A drop of rain suddenly hit his head, and within a few moments, the entire area was in a downpour, soaking everyone present within a matter of seconds. There was no doubt that Izuku was responsible for the deaths of these four people, and that when others found him surrounded by corpses, they would turn him into the authorities.
Once they had made sure that he was immortal, by killing him.
The unbearable pain of being killed…
"Haaah… Haaah…." He trembled.
What exactly would happen to him when he was taken into protective custody? Horror stories about Ajin treatment by the one who had escaped from that supposed hell were the stuff of nightmares. Stories perpetrated by….
Well, the ones who had become famous for blowing the whistle on the torturous acts against Ajin were stood right in front of him. Tomura Shigaraki had been the one to reveal to downright injustice and illegal behaviour of the police and the Heroes in that sort of facility. News Izuku had never wanted to believe…
And now, he looked to be facing the punishment for his wilful ignorance.
"If you stay here, you'll be tortured by the Humans, who will want to learn just how immortal you really are." Shigaraki stated, like he was reading Izuku's mind. His arms opened wide, like he were presenting something to the entire world. "The Humans will take life after life from you, for no other reason than to test all of their equipment on a living target. For no other reason than to push the limits of Ajin immortality. If you stay here, you'll become a slave to death, and to the desires of the Human race. You'll have your life taken from you, and spend however much time you have until you die as a testing dummy.
"Haah… Haaah… Haaah…." At this point, the green haired boy had developed from trembling into outright shaking, the mere idea of being subjected to that sort of treatment shaking him to his very core, and making him want to throw up. He was terrified.
There wasn't any other way to put it. He was so scared that he couldn't even begin to process it. He couldn't control his breathing, and his hands now gripped around his chest. He felt like he was suffocating -
"Or, you can come with us."
In that moment though, the shaking stopped.
"Ajin are far higher in number than the media has reported." The black mist informed Izuku, a set of two glowing yellow eyes without irises or pupils forming from the fog. "Many other immortals reside with us, all rejected from society, and looking for acceptance within a world that has nothing but disdain for our kind."
"You can stay here, and you can die. Over and over again." The blue haired man stated, before opening his arms wide, like he were presenting the spinning black fog that stood behind him, continuing to turn independent of his will. "Or you can come with us, and join our struggle for Human rights. You can meet other Ajin, and you can be safe from the discrimination that you're destined to suffer at the hands of mortals, or you can learn to use your Variant powers to help those who are like you."
A silent gust of wind took all of the air that was in the recently homeless boy's throat.
"And to make the Humans who did this to you suffer."
He blinked, several times, hard. He knew what this person was, even with the exclusion of his status as an Ajin. He had watched the news, and seen the things that this man in particular had done. The corpses that appeared wherever he was in a location, and the things that happened whenever he was around. He knew what Tomura Shigaraki was…
Who he was with.
And what thy did…
But without anywhere to go… What chance did he have in the world? What chance did an Ajin have in this world? Humans were known to be afraid of Ajin, and never had one ben discovered that the government hadn't immediately put into protective custody…
And here was Tomura Shigaraki, the first ever discovered Ajin in Japan, and the first one to escape that protective custody, the one who had shone a light on the horrors that went on in those 'Safe Havens.' The person who showed just what an Ajin could expect in that sort of hell…
That and… Where else did he have to go? What other options did he have? Shigaraki claimed to understand the Ghosts, and what they were, and what it was that Izuku himself was capable of. The four dead behind the elder male would haunt the green haired boy. He knew that they were going to be within his nightmares until the day he died… Because he couldn't control this… Variant power, whatever it was.
When it came to learning exactly what he was…. Was he in a position to be picky?...
No, he wasn't.
For the final time that night, Izuku's blood red eyes shot a final, mournful look at the home he had lived in his whole life, still ablaze in spite of the rain, and then nodded at the other two Ajin to show he would follow them, taking a step into the mist that would take him away to whatever location the two of them had in mind for him.
Towards the League Of Ajin.