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If Only

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Izuku could only stand motionless, heart frozen and mind numb as his world came crashing down around him.

Today could have been amazing, it could’ve been the best day of his life. He could have ran back home and almost screamed at his mother that he had met all might, that all might had saved him. He could’ve shared the story with his classmates, and for just a few minutes, they would talk to him, they would listen.

But instead Izuku had wanted more, which had led him to where he was, frozen on a rooftop as his idol was already making his way back downstairs, yet that man couldn’t be the same man he had admired all those years. That man was gaunt and stick thin, his shoulders hunched and eyes sunken. Miniscule compared to the god like figure of all might.

But he’d seen it himself, he’d watched as the man that the Earth adored turn into a that weak shell of a person, and he had tears in his eyes and heart in his hand as he asked the man a simple question, one that he’d never gotten a different answer too. One that he’d always thought that, if he were to work hard enough, to be true to himself, then the answer would change, and everyone around him would’ve been proven wrong.

With the warm afternoon sun beating down on him, barely cancelled out by the breeze passing by, he uttered out words he never dreamed of saying

“Can I become a hero, even without a quirk?”

He stared directly into the man’s exhausted yet vibrant coloured eyes, and continued to stare at them as the symbol of peace did nothing but dash his hopes into the ground.

And between the filler he was providing and a brief section of information, only one sentence truly stood out, the sentence that resonated with him, the one that burned his mind and forced his ears to strain midway through.

“I can’t tell you being a hero without a quirk is possible, because it’s not.”

He’d stood there dumbstruck as the man recommended becoming a police officer, a respectable job that would still allow him to help people, but the screaming in his ears soon blocked out the man’s words. A constant shrieking of a sentence he’d pushed away and denied time and time again, something he’d tried to never dwell on for too long for the past ten years, due to the fear that he’d finally have to face reality.

You can’t become a hero.

He didn’t notice the man leaving his field of vision, or the noisy slam of a closing door to his side. He didn’t even notice dropping to his knees, or the stream of fat tears making their way down their face, hitting the ground with ever so gentle pattering noise it made, or the small splashes as they began to form a small puddle as he continued to hunch into himself, chest and shoulders racking as ugly tears spilled from his eyes, until no more would come.

He was soon left grappling at his own arms, desperate for some sense of grounding, for a sense of familiarity, but the harsh grips he had on his own arms weren’t enough, and he clawed at his uniform uselessly as he vied for something, anything stable to distract him from the destroyed rubble left of his reality.

But nothing on this barren rooftop could serve him of any use, and he was forced the suffer alone as his mind burned with sadness and his hands and arms ached as he began to claw at the roof he was on top of, finding no proper purchase within the ragged rocks, only small pinpricks of shooting pain and dots of blood appearing on his fingers due to the intensity of which he was grabbing at the uneven ground.

Eventually, with fingers stinging and eyes burning, Izuku turned onto his side and curled up yet again, allowing himself to lie down as he let his emotions brew, sadness, regret and even a hint of anger boiled up inside of him, yet combined they left him feeling numb, his emotions shutting down due to the unexpected overload.

That didn’t stop the thoughts though.

His mind attacked him with idea after idea, question after question, all getting increasingly worse and worse as they continued, forming a world wind of things that he couldn’t answer.

Why did you even ask?

He didn’t know.

What were you expecting?

He didn’t know.

How could someone like you be a hero?

He didn’t know.

He didn’t know, he didn’t know, he didn’t know he didn’t know he didn’t know hedidn’tknowhedidn’tknow.

And suddenly it hit him, like a punch to the gut, physically winding him, and hurting him just as badly.

He didn’t know how he could become a hero.

He’d always had high hopes and big dreams, and he’d always thought that as long as he worked hard and was kind, he could get accepted into UA, into the heroics course, and from then on everything would work itself out. From then on he’d never considered how the disability that was his quirklessness would have affected him, he’d always just let himself think that just by being at UA, everything would work itself out naturally.

But how?

His traitorous mind whispered to him, continuing on and on, prompting for an answer.

I don’t know.

 

He didn’t remember making his way down the tower block, he barely remembered standing up to leave the building, let alone making his way down the incredibly tall building and onto the deserted pavement. On a normal day, he might’ve questioned the blatant lack of people, or the uneasy silence of the streets.

But his mind was so preoccupied and loud at the moment, his surroundings were currently at the very back of his mind. All he could hear was a repeating echo of the phrase he hated for years, “you can’t become a hero.”

And at the current moment, he hated it more than ever, because even though he didn’t want to admit it, a tiny voice in the back of his head, one he had pushed back for years now, was resurfacing, and all it ever said to the hated phrase was ‘I know’.

He didn’t care his own mind was saying it, he didn’t believe it, he refused to believe it, he could be a hero, who cares what his teachers, class mates, doctors and even all might himself had to say? He could do it-

But his thought process was cut off by a deafening series of bangs, and an inhumanely powerful shriek of anger, striking Izuku more as a sound a dying beast would make then any human. He stood frozen for a few seconds, shocked and confused, until his head spun at whiplash speeds, and his eyes focused into the already dissipating clouds of dark smoke.

A villain.

And despite everything, his legs starting pumping underneath him, sending his flying in the direction the noise came from, and where constant small puffs of cloud were erupting. He dodged past the occasional bystander and ducked through a few alleys until he finally found the source.

When he saw it though, he wished he hadn’t.

He felt something brewing in his gut, something powerful and terrifying, and he realised it was fear.

Because there he was, staring at his number one hater, Bakugou Katsuki, engulfed in the dripping tentacles of the very same slime monster that he had almost succumbed to not long ago.

And staring into that constantly moving form of dirt, grime and substances, Izuku could feel his stomach churn, he could practically feel his throat burning under the strain of that disgusting substance, and his limbs felt weak by the mere thought of the experience.

But that felt like nothing compared to when he finally looked through the billowing smoke and angered screams, when he finally saw who had been entrapped by the monster.

He only had to catch a few glimpses of that harsh hairstyle and furious red irises to realise just who else had been entrapped in that ever moving surface.

He wanted to scream, he wanted to move, his entire body was yelling at him to run, to try and help the boy that had done nothing but torment him for years. Terror engulfed him as he was fully prepared to burst forward, to break through the heavy crowd and to somehow distract the slime monstrosity.

But in a split second, between the enraged explosions and vulgar strings of words that were being spat out by Bakugou, Izuku caught the boy’s gaze.

That simple action burned the boy’s expression into Izuku’s mind, a look of pure, unadulterated anger burned on his face as his teeth clenched together, but even from the distance, Izuku could recognise fear, and it was there, radiating behind that show of anger, tinting his gaze with such fierceness Izuku felt as if a knife had been pushed directly into his ribs, physically winding him.

Fight or flight.

And against everything he had ever planned for himself in dangerous situations, despite everything fate had planned for him, and against every single element of his own ethics-

Izuku chose flight.

If Izuku had known how badly that single choice set him off course, how it locked the person he was supposed to become to an already inescapable jail and threw away the key, he would have done everything in his own power to force his body to turn around, to change his own decision and set him straight again.

But he’d never know who he could’ve been, and it was impossible for him to turn back now.

His legs moved both by and against his own will, his heart was pounding loudly in his ears, yet it was overpowered greatly by the screaming voices in his head. His lungs and legs burned as he forced himself onwards, unused to the constant strain.

Adrenaline and fear was what kept him going, the adrenaline pounding in his veins, rushing through his body as the fear gnawed away at his stomach and nipped at his feet, and then unexpectedly shrieking at him whenever he tried to slow himself down, to even take a breath.

So he pushed himself onwards, his thoughts were eventually overpowered by the screaming of his lungs and the already forming aches in his joints. His body protested viciously, but he forced himself onwards, knowing the moment he stopped, he would be forced to confront his own actions.

And despite his wishes, he couldn’t run forever. He had to stop at some point, and as he started to finally process the overly familiar surroundings, he realised his fifteen minute, terror induced sprint would be ending soon. In a small act of defiance, he continued at the highest speed he could manage until he reached home.

He only managed to unlock the door and take a single step before his high crashed, and he crashed to the ground, wheezing and as he desperately tried to catch his breath, each inhale a struggle and every exhale rasping out painfully. He was seeing spots and his mind was fogged over as he tried to control his breathing.

It was a good while before he finally got to his knees, pushing himself up from his hunched over position despite an invisible weight crushing down on him, telling him to lie down and not to get up, but he fought back and eventually managed to bring himself to his feet.

He managed to slip his shoes off, mainly due to sheer habit, and carefully staggered through his home, trying his best to ignore the black spots still clouding his vision and pushing through the incoming exhaustion, not wanting to pass out in the middle of the hallway.

Leaning against the wall, he continued to shuffle through the unending seeming hallway, until he finally found himself in front of his bedroom door. His hands felt numb as he struggled with the doorknob, but he eventually managed to wrap his hands around the plastic handle and twist it open, only to be confronted by the bright light coming from his open curtains.

He weakly lifted an arm to cover his eyes as he dragged himself over to his bed, he could care less that the duvet was slowly falling to the floor, right now his main priority was lying down, and that’s exactly what he did.

He let himself fall onto the bed, and couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief now that his feet finally were getting a slight break.

It only took him a few minutes before he completely blacked out, falling into a deep and thoughtless sleep.

-

03:49

After having his retinas burned alive by the harsh glare of his phone, Izuku blinked in confusion as he read the time. His memories were still blurred at the moment, and the idea that he’d been asleep for almost ten hours was flat out confusing.

The amount of notifications lined up on his home screen was confusing as well. His notification apps he could understand, he had all of them set up to immediately notify him of any hero activity in his area, but as he skimmed out his lock screen, it seemed like just about every app he owned had managed to provide him with a notification of sorts.

Rubbing his sore eyes once again, he squinted a bit as he read the first notification in his sight, and started the read the characters in front of him.

Tokyo’s miracle child?!

It seemed to be a typically flashy title most news apps would provide him with, but as he continued to scroll, he was only met with similar titles, some more absurd than others, but all focusing on some kind of ‘miracle child’ in his city.

He selected one story at random and swiped, tapping in his code and having his eye’s forced shut again as he was greeted by the website’s flashy layout and colour choices.

When his eyes finally recovered however, he felt his stomach drop.

There, covering almost the entire screen, was a picture of none other than Bakugou Katsuki, with one of the smuggest expressions Izuku had witness planted on his face, other hand surrounded by a seemingly dissipating explosion in the still image.

A dam broke in his mind, and the previous day came at him like a flood. Guilt and regret washed over him like a wave, and his hands shook slightly as he went to scroll down the webpage, wanting to escape the harsh eyes of that smug expression.

How pathetic, he thought to himself, I can’t even look at a picture of the guy without being scared.

He was quick to shake his head after that however, now was not the time to be talking himself down, right now was figuring out why the hell Bakugou was seemingly being worshiped by just about every news station on his phone.

But as he read the story, he could feel his heart plummeting, but he continued onwards, having to know exactly what happened.

From what his sleep deprived brain could gather, not only a minutes or so after he had bolted from the scene, Bakugou had seen an opening, and had grabbed the creature by the eye, and sent every explosion his quirk could possible create directly into the creature’s unexpecting weak spot.

Not only that, but directly afterwards, all might himself had appeared on the sight, and had proceeded to commend the boy on finishing a job he himself had struggled with. The news of course, had latched onto that comment, almost worshipping the boy, discussing how powerful his quirk is, and his potential, but Izuku never got that far.

He was left staring blankly at a grainy picture, probably taken on a fairly outdated cell phone, that featured All Might shaking hands with Bakugou while patting him on the back, trademark grin pointed at the camera, while Bakugou wore an overconfident smirk.

He didn’t know how long he’d stared at the image, but the longer he did, the more he felt his heart crack. There was his bully, a person who had tortured him within an inch of his life ever since they were four, someone who had made his life a living hell every moment he stepped into it.

And yet he was the one getting thanked by Izuku’s hero. He was the one being told he could be an amazing hero in the future, while Izuku knew that not long before that photo, that very same man had told him the opposite.

There was Bakugou, a cruel and violent soul who only ever wanted to be a hero to prove that he was the best, like he’d always been told to the point where he repeated it constantly, being told that he could do it.

And here was Izuku, a boy who had only ever wanted to help, who wanted to save others no matter the consequences, laying on dishevelled sheets in a dimly lit room with small droplets forming in the corners of his eyes, watching as the world praised someone who had only ever hurt him.

I guess Bakugou was right,” he thought to himself as small tears made their way down his slightly freckled cheeks, hitting his pillows with the tiniest of sounds.

I never was meant to be a hero.”

Something died in Izuku that day.

It wasn’t physical, and it wasn’t big.

It was that small fragment of hope he still had left for his future.

But now it lay broken on the floor, finally caving from the years of abuse and disrespect, leaving Izuku feeling hollow, as if a part of him had been stripped away, and all that was left was a useless shell.

Out of the ashes however, would rise something much worse, and though he didn’t know it yet, one of his dreams would still be achieved, the world would know the name Midoriya Izuku, and the face behind the name would go down in history.

Just not in the same way he imagined.

Chapter Text

From that day forward, Izuku had felt as if he was in a haze, and it was almost impossible for him to break out of it.

Hours and days blended together and life passed by in a blur. He could remember brief moments over the past few months, getting yelled at my multiple different voices, sad smiles and attempted interventions. Short explosions with prolonged pain, and constant, painful headaches.

People were worried, he knew that. He’d seen the sad looks his mother would give him when she thought he wasn’t looking, how teachers would pull him aside and tell him he was wasting his ‘potential’, but the latter was much more uncommon, and the former hurt far, far more.

In his current state, he couldn’t see how someone like him could have any potential, so he just let the days pass right by him. Sure, he’d jot down a few things in lessons and respond to anything his mother asked with the best smile he could conjure, but he no longer kept up with life, letting his body do the work for him as his mind would wander away.

His days were spent filling out homework mindlessly or just lying in bed, limbs numb as he would stare at the ceiling for hours on end, sometimes maintaining this state throughout the night. His eyes would be rimmed and sting mercilessly, but there were days when sleep seemed worse than the painful feeling, and then there were days where he couldn’t even will himself to close his eyes.

On the days where he felt stronger, he would haul himself out of his greatly overused bed, and sit himself in front of the harsh light of his computer screen. From then on he would trawl endlessly, absentmindedly looking over articles and theories the like, clicking on anything that seemed interesting.

On some days he would find himself digging deeper into the infinite resource that was the internet, finding obscure and seemingly irrelevant topics and tearing them apart for hours and hours, researching every last detail to the best of his ability.

Sometimes this would end with him finding posts that were leaning on the dubious side of legality, and images that would be forever burned into his mind’s eye, but he absorbed the information relentlessly, his mind desperate for almost any kind of stimulation or challenge.

One subject he would constantly latch onto were theories, whether they were logically possible or complete and utter fiction, he loved letting his mind pick apart the ideas whenever it wanted to, it gave his mind something to do as he stared blankly at his desk during lessons, or when his traitorous mind would keep him awake for hours on end.

They were amazing distractions.

During some situations though however, they probably weren’t the best of options, yet when events such as finals exams arrived, the ones that would determine his immediate and long-term future, he found himself staring at the page blankly.

He just couldn’t will himself to pick up his pen.

Eventually he did of course, but that was after a solid thirty minutes of staring into nothingness, trying to give himself reasons to start doing this cripplingly important maths, or something along those lines.

He finished three quarters of the page before the time struck three, and one of the several teachers gathered in the room called for pens to be put down.

He stared numbly as his test was picked up, and walked equally so out of the room, swinging the strangely light bag over his shoulders as he trecked out of the school, trying his hardest to bypass the teachers wishing students good luck after a long day of revision and testing.

To Izuku however, it had passed by in a flash, and he could barely care for an unknown adult wishing him well on an exam he already knew was failed. He’d become far too work shy over the past few months and he knew it, so he had close to no hope for his results.

After the few weeks it took for the grades to come in, and Izuku was holding the letter that held a part of his fate in his shaking hands, a wave of sadness swept over him. While other kids around him were excitedly ripping open their letters, eager to see their results, he just stared at the plain envelope, the name on the front clearly indicating it was for him.

It wasn’t until he had made it home, and within the safe confines of his room, the door locked to keep out a mother he knew would be proud no matter what result, a mother who would hug him and tell him he had done well. He didn’t want that, he wanted something that could tell him how it was, and that was exactly what this letter was.

Carefully, he hooked his finger under a small loose flap of the envelope, gripping it firmly then pulling, pulling off about half of it before it tore completely. He had to struggle against the remaining paper for a few moments, but the few seconds he spent clawing at the folded pieces of paper felt like hours as he struggled against the firmly glued paper.

He splayed the multiple sheets across the bed he was sitting on, the cover already being thrown to the floor while his back leaned of a stacked pile of pillows, and examined the sheets before him.

He knew what one he was looking for, he’d seen it in the hands of all his classmates as they had excitedly, or in one instance explosively, announced their results.

And now his own sat folded in his own hands, the shaking of his hands transferring to the fragile paper.

He was almost completely ignorant to his surroundings as he stared at that paper, nothing but the smooth texture against his hands and the soft chill of his room as he stared at something seemingly so innocent that contained something that has already influenced his future.

He took a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare himself.

He let the breath out, and in one smooth moment flipped over the results page.

And as that page flipped, his world began to crumble.

--

After that day, Izuku was genuinely surprised any schools had even bothered to glance at his profile, what with the terrible results he had received.

Much to his luck however, he had received a few positive responses, so at least he was still able to go to school.

All those months ago, back when he still had some fleeting hope for going to UA, when they had to select a few choice schools from all the options Tokyo offered, Izuku had given himself a backup plan, on the chance he wouldn’t get accepted into UA, something almost unthinkable at the time.

Now, though, he already knew he had no hope, he didn’t even leave his room when the day of the UA entrance exams arrived, not wanting to face even his mother, who he knew would have treated him as if he would break any second.

He didn’t want pity that day, he didn’t want it any day, but he knew it was his mother’s go to since the day he was born, and she wasn’t changing anytime soon, so Izuku knew when to distance himself from her, as much as he hated doing so.

His mother had always been the one stable thing in his life, the one person who was always on his side, and he despised having to distance himself from her, but he did it anyways, not wanting to worry her more than he was already was.

A few days afterwards a thin letter with the UA logo printed onto the envelope arrived in the mail.

A few minutes later, it had been torn and angrily shoved into the bin. He already knew what it said, something along the lines of ‘you tried, but you didn’t get in, sorry’, that’s what the other letters had said, arriving one by one for Izuku to destroy and then desperately try to forget.

He wanted to hope, he wanted to believe that at least one well known school would accept him, he just wanted to dream, but his mind wasn’t having it.

Every empty sorry the letters contained only broke him more, another empty word with no meaning, an apology that wasn’t felt, something that had been copy and pasted then sent to the hundreds of wannabees across the country.

He hated it.

Eventually though, his barely thought out backup schools had come in handy, and he found he had a small handful of offers from both his own prefecture and others.

It took him a while, but eventually he did decide on where he wanted to go, mainly making his decisions on the school’s academic record, and it’s location.

The farther away the better, Izuku had told himself, because the farther he went, the less chance he would be stuck with people who’d be quick to tell others of his quirkless status. He didn’t want his reputation ruined within the first week, which would undoubtedly happen if almost any of his current classmates shared his new school.

So he took the safe route. He spent his school time eavesdropping listening out for school names and crossing off any that a less than pleasant child was going to attend.

After a week or so, he had narrowed down a single option, and barely hesitated when he returned home to write an acceptance email.

-

The end of year had come and gone, Izuku hadn’t bothered to attend the final day of school, he spent it listening to his traitorous mind relay every bad thing he had ever experienced at that forsaken school, the weight every single cruel word and punch he could recall pulled his body down, making movement almost physically impossible.

A small stream of light filtered through the slight opening in his curtains, contrasting greatly with the overall gloom that had slowly overtaken his room. He stared at that slither of light for what seemed like forever, lying numbly on his side as the world went on without him.

He could vaguely feel a dull ache in his stomach, a feeling he recognised as hunger, but he paid no mind to it as an especially wonderful memory of his old childhood friend both breaking his nose and splitting his lip with one punch came to mind.

Lovely.

He didn’t know how long he laid there, but he knew it had to have been at least a few hours, he could tell by the stiffness in his joints and the brightness of the sun.

It took him a good amount of time to throw his unused limbs off of the long since comfortable bed, and even longer to pull on some slightly decent clothes. His hygiene levels had plummeted over the past couple of months, so he was really just looking for anything that seemed clean.

The lights of the hallway was off, and he silently thanked whatever was up there for his eye’s temporary safety as he shuffled slowly down the hall.

He didn’t know why he tried to open the door to his house’s main area quietly, but the attempt was futile as the entrance creaked open. Huh, guess he’d forgotten it did that, he wasn’t really one for small details nowadays.

His eyes burned painfully against the bright lights of the house’s combination of a dining room, kitchen and living room all in one, and he blinked profusely as his eyes attempted to adjust.

By the time they had, he could see his mother had risen from her usual position of the sofa, her demeanour one of concern.

She hadn’t been oblivious to her son’s sudden change in attitude all those months ago, and was still trying her best to figure it out, but like many things with her son, she found herself almost helpless as she tiptoed around him, not wanting to ruin what remained of their once incredibly close relationship.

In the end she had resorted to letting him work things out himself. She stopped forcing him out of bed on the mornings he seemed weighed down by world itself, she’d stopped monitoring his sleeping and had stopped interfering with his eating patterns.

Whenever she tried to help, he’d never fight back or try to retaliate, he’d just give her a defeated look, and the sadness in her young son’s eyes was something Inko hated more than anything else.

She didn’t want to have to see him stare at her with those once bright eyes, so she’d stopped trying to meddle with her son’s actions, resorting to leaving him to his own devices, only interfering when he asked or when she felt it absolutely necessary.

“I-Izuku? Are you ok right now? I know you didn’t go to school today so I was worried,” Izuku couldn’t help but wince at the hesitance in her voice. The way she treated him like a wild animal made Izuku feel terrible, but he had no way of stopping her, so he just went along with it, as he always did.

“Sorry for worrying you mum, I just wasn’t feeling too well, I know I should’ve told you but I just couldn’t…” he trailed off, unable to think of a decent way to explain his thought process this morning, which had been something along the lines of ‘the only thing capable of getting me up right now is all might himself’.

He could feel his cheeks flush as shame hit him, how could he just casually miss a day of school because he didn’t want to get out of bed without having the bravery to admit it to his mother?

Inko however, was undeterred by this, she was quick to rush forward and hug her son, tapping his back softly as he returned the action to the best of his abilities.

When they pulled away, Inko could see small tears forming in the corners of her son’s eyes, he had always been quite an emotional child, but recently he’d seemed ready to break at any moment, and right now was no exception.

“Izuku, it’s almost six, and it’ll be getting dark soon, would you like anything to eat?” Inko asked tentatively, not wanting to ruin the moment.

“Uh, yes please.”

Inko smiled, she’d been anxious over her sons gradual loss of appetite, and how small he looked nowadays didn’t seem entirely healthy, “what would you like then?”

“Anything’s fine mum, it’s your cooking afterall,” a small smile appeared on Izuku’s face, and Inko’s smile widened.

“You flatter me Izuku, but I’ll see what I can do. Do you want to help set up or make anything or-?”

“Um, is it ok if I take a shower, I haven’t had one in… a while,” he felt his face flush once again in embarrassment over the fact he’d been all too willing to forgo basic hygiene recently.

“Of course, I’ll only be about half an hour, so don’t spend forever in there, ok?”

Izuku nodded before turning backwards, making his way down the same hallway he had dragged himself through to make his way to the bathroom.

Unbeknownst to Inko, the moment he was out of her view, that small smile of his vanished, replaced by the same hollow expression he had bared since the day his dreams were crushed.

Chapter Text

Izuku knew the week before the first day at school was usually an anxious one for someone of his age, that most kids were stressing over their new schools and new people, but Izuku had found himself in a state of blissful ignorance, instead allowing himself to become fascinated with recent news from the hero world.

Or more so, the vigilante branch of that world.

Vigilantes were a controversial topic nowadays, some worshiped them as the proper heroes, doing their work while not receiving any sort of reward, the way heroes worked hundreds of years ago in comics and story books. Others saw them as nothing more than criminals attempting to frame themselves in a better light.

Legally, their work was a grey area, and vigilantes were judged individually, punishments given depending on a severity of their actions.

In general, vigilantes were looked down upon, shunned for trying to do the work of those more trained and ‘morally sound’.

Izuku however, was simply fascinated by the way they worked.

The concept of someone doing hero work, yet without the restrictions of a hero license or society witnessing and judging every single move you took, it was almost hypnotic to the teenager, and he found himself engulfed with stories of them.

And yes, he did have to find his way to some… less than savoury sources, but it was all in the pursuit of knowledge, and to Izuku, that was above almost everything.

However, that did nothing to ease the feeling of anxiety building in his gut as he slowly tapped out the excruciatingly long web address that were needed for tor.

His venture had started off as a relatively innocent one, he had been making his way through the ever constant stream of information that was the internet when a notification in the form of an exclamation mark popped up on the top of one of the many tabs he had open.

He was intrigued the moment he read the brief title at the top of the tab, the website, StreetNewsTokyo, was well known for it’s straight to the point and unbiased information.

It was also infamous for it’s rather dubious following, the comments of each article often containing links and information that Izuku had learned were far less than suitable for his, or most people’s, eyes.

Despite this though, the website provided instant and good information, so Izuku had taken to avoiding any fan input on the website and sticking to article only information.

That Wednesday morning however, had been different.

The report was simple, and had read as so.

Rising vigilante Masquerade spotted in Tokyo prefecture of Nerima

At approximately 3am this morning, police were dispatched to investigate a reported incident within Tokyo’s prefecture of Nerima. The exact location of the event is yet to be revealed, but alleged footage of the event had led those who have claimed to have seen it that it took place in eastern Nerima.

Leaked images help to not only prove the legitimacy of the rumoured video, but have also helped to identify those responsible.

Leaked images include blurred footage of an empty street, with a supposed gang, assumed by their matching insignias (see image B), circling the rising vigilante known as Masquerade, well known for the mystery behind their quirk.

From image C to D, Masquerade’s use of their quirk in public is shown, which is only followed by their attack on those surrounding them. Unless this was an act of self defence, this will add onto Masquerade’s building list of charges, mostly consisting of constant acts of public quirk use and assault and battery.

The existence of the supposed video has been confirmed by official sources, but is under tight restrain until more is known about the case, and in turn, any form of the video will be removed from public servers, as it is considered incriminating evidence in an ongoing case, and will not be available until further notice from Nerima officials.

Factual and straight to the point, it usually would have done enough to quench Izuku’s curiosity, but today seemed to be out of the ordinary for the boy, and he somehow found himself diving into the comments section, prowling for any new information related to the supposed video, while at the same time opening yet another tab and searching through google for any hint of the video.

He seemed to be in luck when he found a commenter who’d just outright offered the link to anyone that messaged him, knowing it would get deleted instantly if he had just commented the link.

And so he found himself casually conversing with a person probably a good ten years older than him about a link to a video that’s legality was dubious at best.

What a lovely Wednesday morning.

The woman had also taken the time to instruct him on how to access the link properly, sending him links to different tutorials on how to install tor and how to remain anonymous on it, and he found himself constantly thanking the other as they provided any information he needed.

As soon as their message string ended however, and he was left alone with his link and the basic instructions of ‘scroll down, you’ll know it when you see it’ he was suddenly hit with the fact that what he was about to do was practically illegal, and could have serious consequences if he was discovered.

But at the same time, he fought against that logical part of his mind, telling himself that it can’t be that bad if it was so easy to get to and it’s just one video, it’s not like I’ll ever do this again. Curiosity was gnawing at the edges of his brain, and he just had to see this one video clip.

So, with a shaky inhale and an even more shaky exhale, he’d looked up at the network settings program that sat innocently in the middle of his screen, gripped his mouse, and clicked the connect button.

It had taken a few minutes as the browser connected to the network, and the woman who had led him to this link had told him it would take a few minutes as it established the network via relays, but that had done nothing to calm his nerves. He felt as if by just using the browser itself he was doing something bad, despite the fact that the browser itself was completely harmless.

He made sure to slide up his security settings to high, not wanting to take any chances, before making his way through the excruciatingly long address he had scrawled down onto a piece of scrap paper, as he had closed all his open windows before opening up the anonymous browser.

He knew this could be fake, he could have been lead right into a trick that would have him looking at dead bodies or a jump scare, but Izuku was too curious for his own good, so with one final sigh, he plugged in the last few characters, and pressed the enter button.

After a good thirty seconds or so, the page finally started forming, and Izuku let out a breath he didn’t realise he had been holding in when he recognised the layout of a conversation thread. He mentally prepared himself for whatever he may encounter on a page meant to be anonymous, and began to read.

Vigilante in Nerima footage

Submitted 4 hours ago by Otter

>Keep hearing news of that duplicate vig in Nerima but cant find anything concrete that’s not blurry as shit or as been edited to fuck knows wheere and back, anyone got the footage+a fc?

Shadow_dancer118

>dude thats being restriced by the police and shit you aitn gonna be able to find it untl like a week adfter the story broke

Axeadon8

>@shadow_dancer118 learn how to spell before you deny something shit nugget, ive seen the pure footage like five times already, it’s everywhere, fuckers just keep reporting it wherever it’s posted.

>@Otter Have you tried /restricted_footage_46/ ? It’s getting posted there every hour or so but it gets taken down within like twenty minutes, and the raw is about 10 minutes long so you have to be there as soon as its up.

Shoot_Me_Elmo

>@Axeadon8 dyou not fucking go on that thread often shithead?? They post shit for like five hours after the original gets leaked then piss off like the pansys they are once the web moderater starts telling them off again. There under fucking lock and key, this site is shit for leaked stuff, better off on the fucking surface web]

Axeadon8

>@Shoot_Me_Elmo piss off you puppet fucker

InterfaceIncoming

>@Otter Thread secure?

Otter

>@Axeadon Checked there, was too late to pick up any footage, cyberheroes had already shut it down and pulled the thread, someone’ll have to work on the next restricted_footage, no idea why they just don’t change the name to avoid cybers.

>@InterfaceIncoming Yep

InterfaceIncoming

>Masquerade_footage_Nerima.mov

>Don’t post outside of thread, cyberheros are searching for this and if traced everyone here is royally fucked

mcwoodson

>@InterfaceIncoming HOLY SHIT

>@Stop_asking_me_to_verify_shit DUDE GET YOUR FUCKING ASS HERE NERIMA FOOTAGE

Stop_asking_me_to_verify_shit

>@mcwoodson your fucking lucky ive been looking for this video or i wouldve hung you form your fuckin entrails

>@all footage is real, no modifications have been made to any frames, complete and raw masquerade ass kicking right here

Homoforallmight

>holy shit the legendary SAMTVS shows their face

>@InterfaceIncoming bro you gotta link me to your sources sometime

>@Shoot_Me_Elmo fuck off fabric and stuffing kink,, take a fuckng hint already

Izuku didn’t let himself hesitate before clicking on the file, and tapped his mouse anxiously as he waited for the file to finish downloading, rereading the title over and over again as the loading continued on painstakingly slow.

He sat in silence for three minutes, watching the counter of bytes and kilobytes make their way upwards as a small chill made its way into his room, gently tousling his hair and blowing a few strands into him face while simultaneously chilling the flesh exposed due to his short sleeved shirt.

Some part in the back of his mind wondered why on earth his window was open, but he paid no mind to it as he watched the counter begin to reach it’s end.

When it did, he clicked the completed download almost instantly, fuelled by impatience and paranoia that a hero was going to break down his door any second and drag him off to jail.

The video took another precious minute to open and load, and Izuku found himself tapping his foot up and down constantly, trying to distract his worried energy.

The video finally finished, and Izuku let out a sigh of relief as the scene began, but then instantly pulled it back in as he scrambled to grab his headphones, which had been thrown unceremoniously onto the desk a few hours ago when he started finding his background music too distracting.

Just by the angle, Izuku could tell the video had been shot by a security camera, and a low quality one at that, judging by the slight grain to the footage, but the scene was clear enough.

He could see the camera was aimed to survey an intersection between four different alleys, and in the dead centre of the square that connected the four, stood an incredibly sketchy looking group.

There were around five, all surrounding a slightly shorter individual, but they shorter stood out incredibly compared to the casual clothing of the five surrounding them.

The figure, which Izuku guessed was Masquerade, was completely engulfed by a cloak, and although that obstructed a fair part of their body, the upper half face was covered in some sort of mask, made of a shiny black material with what Izuku guessed to be glitter sprinkled onto some places.

Unfortunately, the video didn’t have audio, so Izuku watched in growing anticipation as one of the surrounding five, assumedly the leader, going on the way he held himself and the way the rest of the group kept turning to him, jabbed a finger directly into Masquerade’s chest.

And that was when all hell broke loose.

Within an instant the figure had practically leaped forward, slashing at the offender with, were those claws Izuku thought to himself in disbelief as a gush of red burst into view, and the offender now victim, threw back their head, and it only took one look at the enraged expression to interpret the screaming that was seemingly happening.

Izuku watched as the enraged figure charged forward towards the vigilante, still stuck in the now shocked circle of thugs, arms beginning to glow a vile shade of dark yellow as they sped forwards.

Within a split second Masquerade had jumped backwards, and Izuku watched with wide eyed fascination as they latched onto the shoulder of the nearest thug.

In the blink of an eye, Masquerade was gone, now there were only two versions of the gangly thug Masquerade had grabbed onto, but the one that was assumedly Masquerade didn’t falter, using their grip on the thug’s shoulder to hurl them in front of them, directly into the path of their supposed ringleader.

Izuku himself winced as the anger fuelled right hook hit, and he could feel a wave of nausea pass through him as he saw the flesh of the thug’s cheek begin melting on impact, the soft cheek skin instantly glowing a harsh pink as the assumedly hyper-heated fist burned through layers of flesh, charring the outskirts in a fist shaped design. It didn’t take a genius to guess that was the beginning of a third degree burn.

By the time the startled ring leader had yanked his fist back, the duplicate of the now fainting thug raced behind another shocked thug and jumped upwards, digging their heel into the back of the thug’s spine and sending them flying into the ground, while also simultaneously using the moment to propel themselves forward, directly towards the confused ring leader, their hood flying off in the process.

The thug was left reeling after receiving a ruthless foot to the face left him being pinned to the ground, that same foot applying pressure to the side of his head as Masquerade calmly faced the thugs.

Izuku could just about make out Masquerade’s jaw moving and then stopping, and the remaining thugs, one having fainted from the shock of the punch they received while another was desperately trying to pick them up and drag them away from the conflict.

One of the remaining two’s jaw went slack at whatever Masquerade had just said, while another, a decently tall woman with terrifyingly jagged looked markings crisscrossed their way down every visible part of her pale skin, took a fighting stance.

In a split second, the woman’s markings had shot off of her flesh, materialising into sharp daggers within seconds and launching themselves with deadly looking accuracy towards Masquerade.

Masquerade barely flinched, instead jumping out of her god damn shoes, placing their bare foot on the ring leader’s arm, taking on his appearance immediately and then watching with the most nonchalant posture Izuku had ever seen as the knives stopped immediately and dropped to the ground, some landing on the currently incapacitated ringleader and a few managing to graze him.

Both thugs were now slack jawed, and Izuku could practically feel the smirk resonating off of Masquerade as they resumed their normal form, casually tousling their waist length hair and then stepping back into their slightly heeled footwear as if they hadn’t a care in the world.

And then, they pointed a finger reinforced by a metal claw at the remaining thugs, and beckoned for them to approach.

For the next six minutes, Izuku watched as Masquerade practically ran circles around the still shocked and unorganised thugs, knocking them down and allowing them to get back up again with extreme skill, to the point of which one of the thugs simply laid down and didn’t get up, ignoring their team mate’s violent reaction to their surrendering.

In the end, Masquerade had single-handedly subdued the whole party, having pummelled the knife quirk user into unconsciousness, chasing after the one who had attempted to drag their friend away, and then equally chasing the one who had laid down, who had tried to bolt away while Masquerade was out of view.

Masquerade had secured four of the members with some type of binding, sitting them all in a huddled group before throwing the fainted one over their shoulder as if they weighed no more than a feather.

They also gave the one who had attempted to escape with their injured friend a light pat on the cheek and within a second had taken on their appearance, down to the dishevelled platinum hair and the lightly bleeding cut on their cheek.

Masquerade lifted two fingers to their forehead before giving a mock salute to the trapped individuals before turning around and bolting.

There was a quick glance of the severely injured member’s body slip a few centimetres before being yanked back up, and with that, the footage cut out, leaving his screen a pitch black before popping up with options to replay or to exit the video player.

He paid no mind to that however, as he was rooted to the spot, eyes blown wide as his brain worked at impossible speeds as it replayed scenes of the video over and over again, deciphering every single frame as he stared dumbstruck at the screen.

Sure, Izuku had seen hero fights before, it was kind of hard not too come across at least one in this day and age, but what he had just witness had been on an entirely different level. The way the vigilante handled the thugs with precise and ruthless ease made his hair stand on end at the thought, yet it also sent his intrigue levels through the roof.

The amount of violence a hero could use had always been limited, mainly due to the fact that one wrong move and their image could be ruined, a public hero simply wasn’t allowed any sort of luxuries when it came to fighting, as their priorities were to take down the villain as quickly as possible with as little damage to nearby structures and bystanders as possible.

Vigilantes didn’t have to rely on an image so they’d get paid every month, and they didn’t need to worry about trivial things such as appearance, the public or damage control. When it came down to it, all vigilantes had to focus on was not getting caught.

That lack of guidelines is what formed vigilantes such as Masquerade, someone who took down what they saw as bad, but that didn’t mean they weren’t going to have their fun first. Every action they had performed had purposed, as if they were playing a game they had already mastered for the sheer joy of it.

In some strange, absurd way, it reminded Izuku of All Might. Someone who knew that as long as they put their mind to something, they would win every time, yet went into every time as energetic as ever. They both fought for what they thought was right, they both just did it in other ways.

And then an idea struck, and in a few seconds he had ceased the unintelligible muttering he had unintentionally started and was scrambling out of his chair to find what he needed.

It took him a good ten minutes of clambering around his unorganised and cluttered room, which quite frankly he needed to spend a good hour or so cleaning, to find the object of his desire.

He pulled open his bedside drawer, partially hidden behind a small and ever growing pile of abandoned clothes, and sighed in relief when he saw the pristine new notebook that sat in the dead centre of the somehow incredibly organised drawer.

After that day, where his 13th notebook had been charred and drowned, along with quite a few dreams and a good chunk of his life motivation, he had abandoned the tatty book, not willing to face the wasted days upon days of research and the signature from a man that was unknowingly responsible for the creation of the notebook and the twelve before it.

It had only been two weeks ago when he purchased the one that now faced up at him, he’d had a few days where his brain decided to finally give him a break from all his usual emotional strain, and when it hit he felt as if he were in seventh heaven, and he had actively ignored the fact that what he was experiencing was simply a typical human chemical balance.

Life had been looking up for the first time in what seemed like forever, and he was still partially riding on the memory of it. He had a few theories about the sudden calmness to his emotions, and he had mainly put it down to the fact that he didn’t have to deal with pitying classmates, harsh words and disappointed looks five days a week. Well, he didn’t have to deal with the first two within the holidays, he got plenty of the latter though.

Back on track though, he’d taken the emotional high in his stride, and had even managed to go outside and walk around the city like a normal teenager, even going so far as to purchase a new hero analysis notebook, pledging that he would restart the tradition he had kept up since the age of six.

He’d managed to fill in about five pages that day before he crashed.

Since then, it had been left discarded in his drawer, and he had been almost confident he wouldn’t pick it up, let alone write anything in it, for a long time.

But today, he proved himself wrong as he snatched up the simple black notebook and a pencil from a half empty packet of writing supplies that had been shoved into the corner of the drawer.

He was in the same scrambling state as he raced back to his chair, almost falling off as he adjusted his seating, shoved the earphones back in his ears despite the lack of sound (force of habit, he told himself) and eagerly clicked play.

For the next fourty minutes or so, he noted down every moment of the video religiously, constantly replaying different scenes and jotting down even the most minute of details, wanting to create an almost perfect transcript before he eventually deleted the video, which he knew he would have to do.

By that time, he had practically covered three and a half of the book’s A3 pages with observations and notes, and he puffed up a bit in pride as he checked everything over, crossing out a few meaningless characters and adding some where he’d been so enthusiastic he’d forgotten to write half the sentence.

There was one thing he was struggling with though, and that was the context of the video. There were limitless possibilities, maybe the vigilante had come across the thugs doing some sort of misdeed, or perhaps they had already known them?

That undoubtable confidence when they had ceased the woman with the dagger marking’s attacks, and it had been rather odd how most of the thugs had seemed to shocked to move at the beginning, surely they should have expected a decently well known vigilante to attack them?

An idea flickered in his mind then, he’d gotten the video from a forum, surely someone might know there?

As soon as it arrived he tried to push it down, he knew it was, morally at least, a bad idea. If someone there had managed to get a hold of restricted footage, who knew what else they could do?

But his unyielding curiosity came up once again, and he already knew he wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything for the next few days if he didn’t get the answers that he needed.

So, with a slight portion of guilt resting in his gut, he clicked out of the video player, made sure to delete it and other file attached to it, and clicked back onto the tab that had given him the video in the first place.

He clicked refresh and then stared rather shocked at the now masses more of replies to the video’s source, mainly people’s different reactions to what had happened, some commending Masquerade on their fighting skill as others criticised her toying with the thugs instead of capturing them at the first opportunity.

One thread of replies however, caught his interest, mainly because of it’s bulk compared to the rest of the one sentence comments, and he found himself drawn in.

77EatThisChilli

>@FuckYoChilli77 my guy I thought youd be right on this, you’ve been building a fact file on Masquerade right? This is like their 2nd sihghting this month you must be pissing yourself in joy

FuckYoChilli77

>@77EatThisChilli wow thanks for that great phrasing there zumi I really appreciate how you framed me as a person, but yeah, have been building up on Masquerade after Wallboard went bust, reckon I should post?

77EatThisChilli

>@FuckYoChilli77 you fucking know it my guy, pretty sure your infamous ere for your Waterboard+those KickBack&Watch leaks

FuckYoChill77

>@77EatThisChilli ok, but before I start those KickBack&Watch ones were like three months ago and they got released publicly like a week later.

But yeah ok heres the Masqueade deal:

Name: Masquerade, name was self-given and announced during first appearance.

First spotting: April 15, 2174 (yearly anniversary coming up soon!)

Sex: Unknown, judging by their appearance+body shape (long hair, hips can be seen in some images, soft jaw), probably female.

Quirk: Steals the appearance of others upon touch, don’t know whether it takes flesh contact or some sort of other trigger. Probably touch based going on new footage.

Appearance: Changes a lot, but always wearing a masquerade ball style mask that changes every appearance, tends to favour sparkly+extravagant ones, always wears outfits that you’d think were impossible to fight in. (They wore stilettos once in a 1v7, let me repeat STILETTOS, 1V7, AND WON.) Waist length dark hair, once was dip dyed red (December 18th incident in Koganei)

Popularity: Pretty well known in Kita, where their first appearance was made, despite Kita’s rather fierce anti vigilante protocols, their name has been spreading to nearby provinces, although they aren’t helping themselves by never appearing in the same provinces in a row, mainly frequents Kita (the crazy bastard) and Toshima.

Summary: Masquerade is yet another night time vigilante who seems dead set on looking like they just got finished at a mask banquet at every appearance. They announced themselves as Masquerade after their first appearance in Kita, where the city was being terrorised by Freeze!, a villain organisation infamous for only employing ice and cold related quirks. The beforementioned incident consisted of two Freeze! Members freezing over the homes of no less than a quarter of north Kita civilians, causing the complete halt of several work places, stores and commuters who needed to go through the area.

Masquerade appeared two hours into the incident, when news came Endeavor was currently in a rural area of the U.S.A and wouldn’t be able to assist in the capture of the two villains, and the heroes that were sent out were debating calling on All Might when Masquerade went in. Within fourty minutes the two Freeze! members had been apprehended and handed over to the struggling heroes by a injured looking masquerade, one half of their face frozen over and visibly shaking.

They announced their name and their intentions, that heroes that needed to be categorised were absurd, and if they were unable to handle the full job, they weren’t true heroes, specifically mentioning the absurdity of support and rescue heroes, instead praising those capable of both physical action and rescue.

Masquerade evaded capture for suspected public quirk use and initiating combat and hero duties with a hero license, and has since made constant appearances in both small and large scale battles, showing their skill in combat, speed and evasion. It has also been rumoured they infiltrated the now disbanded and very reported on WatchUs villain group responsible for the doxing of several high ranking officials, though this is strictly a rumour, as there is just about 0 evidence for it.

Okok but ono the new evidence here wth the video, doesn’t this disporove most of the things where people say they’ve infiltrated gangs and then handed them over because after they transform here they don’t use any other hints of quirks so that disproves tons of stuff they’ve apparently been involved in.

>@kurotheoryinfomeister got any theories on their quirk + stuff??? Im kind a running dry because there is barely any fottage of them available online and this doest really provide any new assets

This was the most detail Izuku had seen on the site so far, and was the largest stockpile of information on a vigilante Izuku had ever seen, typically typing one’s name into google just came up with a couple results of their misdoings and people complaining about them.

This however, was only a brief description on a forum site meant to help readers get the gist of what was happened, and Izuku couldn’t help but wonder if the person behind the account had more information on other vigilantes.

But something in the post caught his interest, and that was the author’s lack of information on the vigilante’s quirk. To Izuku, it had come off as a touch based quirk, capable of allowing Masquerade to take the exact appearance of the person they had touched.

He was half tempted to ask the author what other ideas they had, and once the idea struck, he realised it was entirely plausible. He looked at the words ‘sign up’ placed in the top right corner of the page, and decided to humour himself by clicking onto it.

All the page asked for was a username and password, no email, nothing to tie himself to the account, just simply an identity and a name.

The password was easy, he just tapped in the string of letters and numbers he used as a password for all of his internet accounts, but the username was a struggle. He never truly had one internet persona, he usually just claimed himself to be someone with an analytical quirk and went about his way, interacting with as little people as possible.

He pondered over potential names for a couple minutes, before an idea popped up, and he let out a small laugh at the thought of it.

He’d spent his whole life, and this school year especially proving the nickname right, it was what he called himself when he woke up every day, hell, he sometimes introduced himself as it, it was that ingrained into his mind.

He was pretty useless after all, why not be called Deku here as well?

Some people would call him a masochist for using a negative nickname as the thing used to identify him, but Izuku simply saw the name as fitting, so he quickly typed in the characters and selected ‘create account’.

And like that, Izuku was already back on the same post, and formulating his reply to the reply that had spiked his interest to such a point.

He didn’t expect to still be on the same site hours later, the sun already having set and his mother arriving home from work, but he somehow was, continuing on the 50 reply strong chain of theorising, having gone from interacting with one user to five as others steadily joined their debate, inputting information and opinions as they pleased. One user had even provided some screenshots which the anonymous theorists had practically devoured in their pursuit of knowledge.

After that day, Izuku found himself logging into that website again and again over the next seven days, completely oblivious to the incoming new school year, completely enraptured by this new and plentiful source of information.

He had even taken the time to give some of the well known vigilantes he had come across in his browsing around the sight their own spot in his quirk analysis notebook. Sure, they weren’t heroes, but they sure as hell were as fascinating as them, maybe even more so in some cases.

The day before Izuku had to return to school, he actually found himself excited to get up, ready and raring to make his way back onto the web, having left himself on a cliff-hanger last night by going to sleep before one user posted leaked footage of UA’s practical exam, which would no doubt be full of different quirk users vying for a place in the most renowned hero course in the country.

He hadn’t felt this fine with himself for a long, long time, and Izuku could only hope that his newly found contentment with life could withstand the strain of high school that he was going to be forced to experience in less than 24 hours.

But for now, Izuku was content, and there was no way in hell he was letting that go.

Chapter Text

On the first day of his new school, Izuku stood in front of the bathroom mirror, fiddling with his tie to try and distract himself from the trails of anxiety that were making their way through his mind.

The tie had, in all honesty, been a nightmare. He had spent a good hour or so the day before practicing, yet he simply couldn’t get it right, and since he was too stubborn to ask for help, he was left with the sub-par advice of youtubers, which did little to help his mini crisis.

By the end of his mini endeavour that morning, the tie was still not perfect, and was a good part shorter than it should have been, but Izuku was really struggling to care after ten minutes of fighting against the royal blue fabric, so he decided to leave it as it was.

He slid his phone out of his blazer pocket to check the time, 07:26, meaning he had fourteen minutes to spare, as the trip to his new school involved a five minute walk to the nearest bus stop and another five minutes on the bus to get to the nearest train station, where he had a twenty minutes train ride and another five minute walk to his school.

His commute wasn’t the simplest of ones, but if it meant he didn’t have to continue his education with people who had mocked him his entire life, he was willing to put up with it.

But for now, he was left in an empty house with fourteen extra minutes to do whatever he pleased. His mum had already left for work, having already apologised and telling him he would have to make his own breakfast, but he’d decided not to, figuring his lunch would make up for it.

So for now, with everything sorted and ready to go, he was staring at himself in the mirror, wanting to appear as smart as possible, wanting to make at least a decent impression.

The uniform itself actually helped quite a lot, as like with most uniforms, it was designed to look formal. It consisted of a simple black blazer, white shirt and grey trousers. Simple and straightforward.

It was himself, however, that was the problem. His hair had always been a tangled mess, it had begun the moment his hair length went past four centimetres, and had curled extremely, giving baby him a slight afro, and the curliness had persisted ever since.

It seemed particularly persistent today as well as one half of his hair seemed to be welded to his scalp as the other wouldn’t sit still. Well, maybe that was slightly exaggerated, but still.

Another problem was his face. With the combination of his pretty much non existent sleep schedule and aversion to anything outside, his now dark eyebags were a stark contrast to his pale skin. He looked like he hadn’t seen either sunlight or sleep for years.

But he had no way of fixing or hiding either of these things, so he was stuck with them until the day he actually started taking care of himself again.

He didn’t realise himself zoning out until he once again checked his phone for the time, 07:35. He would have to leave soon.

With one last look into the mirror, Izuku sighed and trudged out, yanking his backpack up from where he had abandoned it on the sofa and heading towards the front door.

His shoes were a bit too big, and their vibrant red colour stuck out tremendously compared to the muted colours of his outfit, but he would be switching them for his indoors shoes once he got to school anyways, so he did his best to ignore them.

As he made his way outside, he revelled in the crisp spring air. Going outside was rather uncommon for him nowadays, so he appreciated it whenever he could.

He took the brunt of his approaching forty minute commute by spending the majority of it with his eye’s glued to his phone, reassessing a over 10k master post he had downloaded containing the details of a vigilante that had disappeared from his own person duties a few months ago, but had made a grand re-entrance only a few weeks ago, and a good quarter of he people he had met on both his main forum and one other were still freaking out over it, trying to piece together to vigilante’s mysterious disappearance.

He was so engrossed in this post that he almost forgot where he was, and he had to physically restrain his own muttering as he realised it was about to start. Most of the content he chose to stick too was in a moral grey area legality wise, but he didn’t want to be spilling any forum secrets in the middle of a cramped train.

Unfortunately, the final stretch of his journey required him to put his phone back into his bag, and he was left with the buzzing of his thoughts and the pinching feeling of anxiety slowly prying away at his insides.

Whether the walk was too short of too long for his worried mind, Izuku couldn’t tell, but within five or so minutes Izuku was staring through the gates of his new school building, a place he was now committed to for the next three years.

He weaved his tie through his fingers to try and dispel the waves of anxiety and slight fear washed over him as he surveyed the area.

Naturally, he homed in on the multitude of students that were making their way past him, eyes mainly wandering to those with obvious quirks, such as the girl who’s blazer and shirt sleeves were cut at the shoulder to reveal complex workings of metal for arms, or the boy with light purple skin who’s hands, feet and hair ended in soft swirls of that same soft shade of purple.

Within the ocean of unique beings, some of which were already showing off their abilities in front of others due to the fact that quirk use was allowed on private land, Izuku felt self-conscious. He would never be able to create colourful sparks from his fingers or manipulate the ground beneath him to create small swirls around his feet wherever he went.

He would always just be plain, useless Izuku.

Yet he forced himself to push those thoughts away, this was a new start, a chance to no longer suffer that same isolation he had been forced into for the past ten years of his life, he might even make a friend or two.

Now was not the time to dwell on what could not be changed, so he took a deep breath, pushing out his chest slightly as he did so, before letting it out and striding forwards, determined to make a good first impression.

It took a good few minutes of making his way through the crowded halls to find his homeroom, weaving through the large crowds and avoiding the huddled groups of older years catching up with their friends and the boisterous conversations of first years pronouncing all the things they would achieve in high school.

He couldn’t help but note a small alteration in some of the student’s uniforms, where instead of the standard royal blue tie of the uniform, some students were wearing one that was instead a vibrant red, a striking contrast to the neutral colours of the uniform, much like Izuku’s bright trainers, which he had already replaced with his school’s standard uwabaki.

Izuku couldn’t help but register the differentiation as odd as he made his way through the crowded hallways, but he forced himself to push the thought off, as he had more important things to focus on right now.

One such thing being the anxiety that was slowly building as his self conscious realised there was no way he could gain control over this situation, and he was left at the mercy of high school students.

Oh god, he thought to himself as he pushed his way through the halls, I’m screwed.

Unfortunately however, Izuku didn’t have too long to think on how his fate was in the hands of slightly larger children, because it was only a few more strides to his homeroom.

He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the door was already open and the gentle stream of children making their way through the door, meaning he wouldn’t have to open the door and have anyone inside turn to look at him, and his hesitant pace went a bit quicker once he could see his destination.

Slipping through the tall entryway, his eyes instantly went to the overall layout of the room, and the locations of the children within it.

It was, in his opinion, a rather standard classroom. There was a rather packed looking bookcase towards the back of the room, with a rather unsavoury looking group of kids leaning on it and discussing something, and although he could only catch a few words of it, the general demeanour and appearance of the kids told him he didn’t want to be talking to them anytime soon.

The desks were separate and spaced evenly around the room, a few kids were sat down while others didn’t. He mainly passed by the kids here, only taking note of a few, such as the nervous looking boy with western features and ginger hair, the miserable looking girl that sat next to him, the kid that was talking to her desk, which was responding in fluent and rather advanced Japanese and the boy at the front with vibrant red skin.

The front of the room had the typical podium for the teacher and chalkboard behind it while a large monitor was placed on a wheeled table next in the corner.

Apart from this, nothing in the room really caught his interest, so he selected a random seat in the middle of the room, placed his bag underneath the table, sat down and promptly zoned out.

He was jolted back into reality another ten or so minutes later by the incredibly tall boy who had sat next to him repeatedly jabbing the rubber end of his pencil into Izuku’s arm, whispering to Izuku urgently that their teacher was right outside the door.

He saw the boy snicker slightly at the way he practically jumped to his feet, but he and the rest of the class quickly directed their attention to the jovial looking teacher that had entered the room.

The class greeted him, registration was taken, and before Izuku knew it they were all filing out to the start of year entrance ceremony, and Izuku’s usual habit of daydreaming was halted as he forced himself to take in all the new information around him.

--

The first day of school had come and gone, and before he knew it he was in his homeroom yet again, just having greeted their teacher, Izuku couldn’t help but wonder what was going to happen. He’d taken the same seat as he had yesterday, as he’d concluded the tall boy who sat next to him was rather kind after seeing him share his lunch with the boy with vibrant red skin, who had forgotten he needed a packed lunch.

Registration went by without a hassle, the only problem being that the boy with western features had to once again remind the teacher that the surname he went by was Watanabe, and no, he didn’t have to try to pronounce his real one, which had led to several laughs around the class as the boy tried to stop the overly enthusiastic teacher from completely butchering his name.

Of all things however, Izuku didn’t expect the teacher to start calling for everyone to push their desks to the edges of the room the moment registration ended, but nevertheless he complied.

Now, the thirty three person strong group had, as instructed, formed a very uneven looking circle in the new space, and the teacher was already announcing his plans.

“-I’ve always hated the start of a new school year, the first month you can’t even teach anything because no one knows each other, how are you supposed to set any group work? All the other teachers say ‘leave them be! They’ll make friends in their own time’, but I’m not believing that for a second, so today, we’ll be introducing each other properly, rather than just saying your name and then scurrying back to your seat.”

“So! Basic introductions, name, a like and your quirk, then we’ll work on everything else! We’ll go around clockwise, who wants to go first?” The teacher asked with a far too happy looking smile, which soon adapted into a frown at the lack of response, “well, me first then. The name’s Suzuki Hideo, I’m a big fan of tennis and my quirk lets me hear from up to a mile away!”

He pointed at the nearest child to start the introductions, but Izuku wasn’t focusing. He had seized up in fear the moment the teacher had mentioned introducing their quirks. He’d managed to get away with brushing the question off yesterday, but now he was going to be forced to announce it in front of the entire class.

The very thought of having to announce his quirklessness, the single trait that had led to years of merciless bullying caused his head to spin and a stab of fear so sharp he hunched over slightly.

In his feared stupor however, he hadn’t realised how close his turn was approaching, and it was only when the tall boy next to him started speaking that he jumped out of his feared state, his hearing was as if he was underwater, but he briefly caught onto what the boy next to him was saying as he desperately tried to calm his panicked breathing.

“-actually got a job at an aquarium because of it, and my quirk is density control, I can change my body’s density at will.”

The gathered circle watched for a few seconds as the boy jumped up slightly and fell with the speed of a dropped piece of paper, before all eyes were on him, some curious and some judging, all waiting for an answer of sorts, whether they wanted this to end or were simply curious, Izuku had to answer.

He clutched at his tie and gave a small cough, a nervous tick that provided him with a split second of extra panicking time, before he reluctantly began his own introduction.

“Uh, I’m Midoriya Izuku,” he mentally cursed himself at both the hesitation at the start and the way his voice jumped as he addressed himself, but he forced himself to continue, because otherwise he’d never finish, “I like… uh, heroes and,” he got a snicker or two at the unoriginal interest, but the moment he stopped he got a few confused glances.

“I-I’m quirkless.”

The few moments of silence were deafening, his heartbeat roaring in his ears as he drowned in the already forming prejudices of others.

-

After the first week, the word of Izuku's quirklessness had already been spread around seemingly his entire school. It didn't take a genius to pick up the occasional look of pity thrown his way, or how any sort of quirk use or talk would cease the moment he walked by.

In all honesty, it no longer saddened him like it once did. When he was younger the constant rejection and humiliation would cause his throat to tighten and his shoulders to hunch, and he had often wanted nothing more than to curl into himself and to never come back, he just wanted to get away.

But now, it frustrated him. The painful tightening in his throat and gut often turned into a clenched jaw as yet another kid in his year would vanish their ability at even the sight of him.

Watching and examining quirks had always been a hobby come passion of his, and after spending the past week of his limited holiday both analysing and sharing his findings with people who found them as fascinating as him, the sudden glass doll treatment annoyed him to no end.

So to get away from the treatment, he unknowingly began to isolate himself again, not making his presence known and sitting alone during lunch. Being alone had always made Izuku feel safe, it was his way of escape from harsh hands and pitying eyes, and despite the new opportunities for friendship he found himself with, he couldn't help but retreat into his old ways.

Old habits die hard, and Izuku had never really been a people person, so he found himself slipping back into himself, but this time, instead of a mindless bully, it was Izuku who was pushing himself backwards.

Wednesday however? That was when life had decided to shove him face forward into the ground and to start screaming every motivational word and phrase it knew with a voice louder than present mic, the well known pro hero who was famed for his ear breaking levels he could reach, a prime example being his debut, which had consisted of him breaking the sound barrier with his voice alone.

It had started fairly normally, he'd spent the first part his morning fighting through icy winds and damp streets, and his daily train ride went by in a flash as he rubbed at his tired eyes into a painful soreness in an attempt to fend off his lingering exhaustion.

He'd gotten a question of concern from an idle classmate when he had shuffled towards his desk, but he brushed it off, blaming it on yet another bad nights sleep.

The eye bags he had been bearing since the first day made his half lie more convincing, so the boy had nodded, and he muttered a few words of what Izuku thought was worry, but he barely registered it, his mind still fuzzy with fatigue and his cheeks flushed red as his body adapted to the change of temperature.

Lessons had came and went, nothing truly of importance happening, and in a blink Izuku was sitting in the school's cafeteria, which was technically still in construction, so most people opted to eating in their homerooms or heading outdoors.

It was always relatively quite in the cafeteria, and Izuku enjoyed going there to eat or scribble in his notebook occasionally, wary to not open any of his pages on the large mass of vigilantes he had recently discovered. It may have been reckless to bring barely legal information into school, but he couldn't bare to be without it.

Unfortunately though, that silence was ruined by the doors being slammed open by two overly excited looking red tie students.

It had only taken a day or so for him to figure out the students with red ties were apart of the school's hero course, and since then he had avoided the colour red like the plague. In training heroes only brought up unwelcome memories of his failed attempt throughout life to become one, and he would rather not have a break down in the middle of school.

Their loud presence broke the usual tranquillity of the work in progress location, and all eyes turned to them as they made their way throughout the room, seemingly searching for something.

Only god knew what though, this area was a favoured spot of people studying or those who simply preferred silence, and Izuku learned most of those in the hero course typically didn’t fit those two qualifications, being far too outgoing and usually requiring the library for any studying pursuits.

But then their eyes landed on his curious gaze, and within seconds the two hero course students had a destination.

When Izuku realised where they were going, he swore his heart stopped for a second.

They were walking towards him.

His brain exploded into thought, theories and panic flashing through his mind a mile a minute, trying to work out why on earth were they walking towards him and oh god they probably knew he was quirkless and they look like they’re older than me what are they going to do aretheygonnabeatmeupItriedsohardtogetawayfromthatbutnow-

“Hey, kid!” He was jolted out of his thoughts by the far to hyper sounding girl of the pair, her messily tied ponytail bouncing along with her energetic actions, “you’re the quirkless first year, right?”

Both of the female male duo practically radiated confidence, and it was incredibly intimidating to the social outcast that was Izuku, so he could only nod at the girl, who oh my word is she sparkling?!

The two turned to each other and grinned, before the taller of the two grabbed his arm and exclaimed, in an equally excited tone, “told ya! Now come on kid, we’ve got someone you have to meet-“

By then Izuku had been yanked onto his feet and was being practically dragged out of the room by the chatty hero course kids.

Their jovial conversation both towards each other and himself only added more to the tight knot of dread that was now his stomach, and a lone thought of ‘so this is how I die’ ran through the front of his mind, and he honestly couldn’t find himself denying it.

Cut to five minutes later, and he had practically been dumped onto a bench outside by the two far too friendly seeming hero course students, and was now sat across from a rather irritated looking  older year, who was currently glaring daggers at the pair that had just deposited him in front of her.

“What. In the actual. Fuck.” The irritated girl deadpanned towards the duo, traces of anger lingering in her tone of voice.

“Hey, we warned you before hand!” The male of the group spoke up, his slight hand actions were probably meant to portray some sort of nonchalant response, but he was obviously intimating by the killer look he was on the receiving end of, and it seemed more like an act of defence to Izuku’s observing gaze.

“You ran up to me, said you had a something to show me, then ran inside before I could respond.”

“I mean, we do have something-“

“Katou, a child is not a something.” Izuku almost went to defend himself when he was called a child, but he quickly stopped himself, knowing he was clearly at a disadvantage in this situation.

He was practically cornered at the moment, and by a group of completely unknown people, two of which were heroes in training, so they undoubtedly had fighting experience, and not to mention he had no idea their quirks or intentions, which could spell disaster for Izuku if he made the wrong move.

So he sat perfectly still as the older teenagers bickered slightly, as the originally irritated girl eventually just settled on exasperation with her supposed friends as they attempted to defend their actions.

“For the love of, fine fine, this is completely normal I expected it and you guys did a great job, so do you mind telling me why you’ve delivered the human personification of a deer in headlights to my bench?”

The girl of the duo grinned at the compliance, and her posture straightened, “thanks Kimi, now-“

“If you keep calling me that you’ll be back to my surname again.”

The girl sighed, her shoulders sagging as she pouted for a second, before resuming her explanation, “fineeeee, then thanks Kimiko, now, remember when we were debating if there would be any quirkless kids in the-“

And with that, the irritated girl’s head slammed into the bench with a thud, causing Izuku to jump, and he was pretty sure he saw the standing duo flinch a bit as well.

She let out a low groan before lifting her face slightly, and the glare she was giving the two standing hero course children terrified even Izuku, and he couldn’t blame the male of the pair when he grabbed his friend and started pulling her away before she could say anything else, calling out a nervous sounding, “well we’ll leave you to say hi to each other, be back in a bit!”

The girl he had just been left alone with let out yet another frustrated noise, causing Izuku to jump slightly yet again, tense and worried due to the fact that he still had no idea what was happening.

“I’m sorry you got dragged into this kid, those two get way too fucking excited at like, everything,” the girl apologised, eyeing up at him from her now slightly more elevated position on the table, her chin resting against the rough wood, “but, if they dragged you here, I’m guessing your quirkless.”

He nodded, not trusting his own voice, as he knew talking would either result in a stutter or a voice crack.

 “Name?”

God damnit, he thought to himself, but he couldn’t exactly nod his name to her, so he just had to hope his voice wouldn’t betray him, “M-midoriya,” curse you voice “Izuku, um, nice to meet you.” His voice rose slightly towards to end, making the statement sound more like a question.

“The name’s Fuko, Fuko Kimiko, unfortunate friend of-” she indicated towards where the duo were incredibly obviously watching them, “-those two children over there, and resident quirkless kid.”

Wait, what.

He barely caught what she said next, his ears filling with static as his brain processed the new information he had just so nonchalantly been told.

A silence then fell upon the two, unnoticed compared to the loud squawks of seagulls that had strayed to far from the shore and the general noise and bustle of the teenagers that were also mulling around the open space.

Izuku tried to ignore the awkward atmosphere by counting birds, but by the time he hit seven, he was broken out of his focused task by Fuko speaking up.

“So, do they let you miss quirk lessons as well?”

-

Two weeks passed by in a flash of uninteresting lessons and reprimands for lack of attention. The only thing that ever really changed were his breaks, where he would always be found by the excitable hero course students and invited to spend time with their incredibly moody friend.

It was odd, having people actively trying to interact with him, but after discovering that Fuko was the only other person who wasn’t in their school’s mandatory quirk counselling and managing lessons, he figured he might as well get along with her if he didn’t want to sit staring at quirk theory books alone for an hour every day.

After getting past both the awkwardness and Fuko’s blatant lack of interest in other human beings, the two had gotten along quite decently, but then again, Izuku considered not getting yelled at every five minutes a good experience, so he was fine dealing with her constant sarcasm and blunt responses.

He’d also learned that when the girl wasn’t enacting violence against surfaces via slamming her fists or head into them, she was a complete history nut, and she’d once spent the entirety of their free hour ranting on about the first recorded instances of quirks, speaking with such enthusiasm about the subject that Izuku half thought she was a different person.

It had actually been incredibly interesting, to the point of which when he got home, he once again ignored his ever piling up mountain of homework and instead booted up his computer.

His tor browser opened in only a minute or so, a large improvements from the eight plus it used to take to load up.

The harsh glare of the light stung his eyes slightly, but it wasn’t long before he was copying in the now memorised IP of his first and most used forum before quickly typing out a post, asking for any sort of sources or information on the original cases of quirks and how they were handled.

Within a few hours he was already jotting down information and notes onto a few sheets of paper, motivated by the idea of being able to share his observations with someone else, something he had never really been able to do before due to those around him either always ridiculing him or fearing they would suffer the same if they dared talk to him.

Having people to talk to was strange and unfamiliar, but Izuku wasn’t going to complain, every conversation built up more confidence with people, to the point of which he could initiate conversation on his own, something he hadn’t been able to do since he was young, due to fear of denial or rejection.

Friends, in general, were weird, but he savoured the experience, it was weird, but then again, it was also nice, and he couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt this comfortable since, well, that day. He still thought of it constantly, yes, but he had other things to focus on now, and for the first time in a long time, Izuku felt happy with others.

And to him, that was all he needed. The future could wait, because for now, he was happy.

Chapter Text

He was such an idiot, for years he had taken for granted all they had given him, every lesson they had given him, and he took it all without batting an eye.

And now he had abruptly been left with the lessons he had been taught and a hole in his heart, which was steadily increasing in size after each agonising second.


 

The day had already been a rather unpleasant one in Izuku’s opinion, mainly due to how he had started muttering on about his calculations during maths, and the less than pleasant girl that sat next to him found it necessary to mock his habit to her friends, somehow finding it necessary to bring up how he was ‘a quirkless loser that thinks talking to himself is cool’.

He hadn’t confronted her of course, he had never been one for conflict, so he just clenched his fist in frustration while telling himself she makes fun of everyone, your just the nearest target, don’t give her attention.

Being held in for half of his already short lunch time, however, had really pushed him over his limit, he didn’t care for the reason, something about not paying attention, and he ended up spending a good couple of minutes angrily fiddling with his laces as he pulled on his outdoor shoes, his constant irritated thought process distracting him from the simple task.

His indignant demeanour did not go unnoticed though, and after he had kicked his bag underneath the bench, the male of the hero course students was quick to speak up, wait what’s his surname again, um, oh jeez, uhhh Kaneko? Oh god I’ve known them for two weeks now how do I still notknowtheirnames-.

“Hey, Midoriya, what’s got you down?” His question was innocent, but the casual tone to it only irked Izuku, and he did his best to ignore it as he settled onto the bench.

Sadly, he could not get away that easily, which was made evident when Fuko lifted her head slightly from where it had been resting on her arm in a pseudo sleeping position, “holy fuck, since when were you capable of feeling anger?”

His face scrunched up slightly, but he resorted to pinching the bridge of his nose to calm it, mumbling a barely audible, “just leave it.”

Unfortunately though, that wasn’t about to happen, “oh nope, nope, hell no, a heart to heart has been initiated, spill your problems little dude.”

“Can you start by not calling me little?” He finally snapped out, eyes narrowing at the condescending term, then suddenly blowing wide as he realised the harsh tone he’d used, he was about to say sorry before Fuko raised her hand, silencing him.

“No, don’t say sorry, it’s my bad, shouldn’t have provoked ‘ya. Now, mind sharing what’s got you all worked up?”

He sighed, resting his forehead on his palm, “it’s nothing, really, just my maths teacher keeps telling me I never pay attention, and that if I keep going at this rate he’ll sign me up for assisted classes, and he even brought up my records from junior school and kept saying how I used to be such a good student and where did all that potential go and I’m wasting my potential and I just, I’m so fed up of hearing it and the juniorschoolpartwastheworstbecausemylastyearofjuniorschoolwasprettymuchhelland…“

The tired girl once again held up her hand, “woah there dude, I couldn’t hear you past getting put in assisted classes.”

He went to rub his neck, semi embarrassed by the unstructured word vomit he’d just spewed out, “s-sorry, I got a bit carried away, put short, I’m doing pretty bad in some of my classes and my maths teacher keeps reminding me about it, and I guess it just got to me today.”

As he removed his hand from his head to see the three in front of him all staring with confused looks, “wait,” the male hero course student, I swear how do I not remember his name, began, “your doing bad in class?”

Izuku nodded, not understanding his point, and becoming even more confused when he scrambled for his bad, heaving it up onto the table and rummaging through it as the rest of the table watched. He silently blessed the boy’s sudden action when he saw the boy’s name uh, painted? Onto the black fabric in blood red, the shakily written characters reading as Katou Hajime.

I knew it was a Ka-something he told himself, but his newly remembered information was soon pushed aside as the boy shoved a sheet of paper and a pen in front of him, a few mathematical equations having been scribbled onto the sheet only a few seconds ago.

“Uh, what?” His face wrinkled up in confusion, wondering why on earth this had been placed in front of him.

“Solve them,” Katou stated, a look of expectance already falling upon his tanned features.

He raised an eyebrow, but mumbled an ok, taking his time picking up the offered pen and making his way through the steps the problems required, writing down his workings as they came in his stark handwriting, a style he had taught himself over the years, as he still needed it to be legible, but the less time spent on his calligraphy only gave him more time to jot down his notes, something he often needed to do fast, due to the usual intensity and speed of villain vs hero fights.

In only a minute or two he had slid the paper back across the rough table, the pen soon following, not sure what to expect afterwards.

Katou took a few seconds to skim over the answers and the theory behind them, before coming out with, “Fuko, Tada, you need to fucking see this.”

However, Fuko only took a glance at the sheet before she muttered out a barely audible what the fuck, while Tada just looked on with an impressed expression, glancing back and forth from Izuku and the paper.

Fuko, always one to forgo social cues, broke the short silence with a blunt, “Midoriya, since when the fuck were you a god damn savant.

“W-what?” He replied, slightly shocked by the sudden compliment and the intensity it had been said with.

“Dude,” Tada spoke up, her unnaturally golden eyes squinting slightly as she continued to examine the paper she had now snatched from Katou, “your social skills are pretty much null, but bloody hell, I still need a calculator to do this sort of division,” she took another look and muttered a quiet what the hell as she continued to keep her vision over the table.

His face flushed at the blunt compliment, unused to the praise, only managing to choke out a small thank you as he floundered for any sort of sentence, but then a questions appeared in his mind and slipped out without him thinking.

“How did you know I could solve them?” He looked up at Katou, a curious glint in his eyes and a slight downcast to his expression as he attempted to work out the puzzle before he answered.

“Didn’t, but you have those smart kind of vibes, like, if I saw you on the street I’d definitely peg you as someone who could kick my ass with calculus,” the girls snickered at the slight absurdity of the statement, and Izuku nodded as he tried to figure out how on earth a person could have ‘smart vibes’.

“Ok, wait then, if you’re a human calculator then, how in the hell are you about to get landed in assisted classes?” Fuko raised the question, and Izuku flushed again, embarrassed as he thought of his meagre reasoning behind his failing school work.

“Uh, well, I used to do quite well in classes, but I kind of got a… ‘wake up call’ during junior high about an old dream of mine and, well, I haven’t really focused on school much since…” he trailed off more than once during his explanation, not wanting to reveal too much of an event he’d barely even shared with his mother.

“Wake up call for a dream? The hell d’you mean by that?” Fuko raised an eyebrow at the vague wording, prompting for a clearer answer.

His face lit up once again in embarrassment, and he mentally chastised himself, really not wanting to share the dream he had constantly been criticised for and denied as a child, the very dream that had been crushed so badly he’d barely felt alive for months afterwards.

Nowadays, he felt nothing but shame when looked back at himself, so many years wasted chasing an impossible dream, so he was reluctant to share it with his newly acquired friends, not wanting them to mock him for the clearly impossible aspiration he once held so close.

But he forced himself to persevere, not wanting to lie to some of the first people that completely disregarded his lack of quirk, “I-uh, I wanted to be a hero for a long time, and someone important to me, really important, told me I couldn’t because I don’t have a quirk. After that I guess I just… crashed.”

He hung his head as the shame came back to him, fuzzy memories of days spent wallowing alone buzzing through his mind, days wasted regretting things he could no longer change.

“Hey kid, look at me.”

Izuku was put off by the unnatural gentleness of the voice, but he blinked away the moisture that had been gathering in his eyes and turned his head upwards, looking into the now intense look face of Fuko, and in his peripheral he could both Katou and Tada were confused by the change in demeanour.

“When I got told I was quirkless, I almost fucking lost it, both of my parents are heroes, and I wanted to be just like them, so when the doctor told me I couldn’t, I was already an angry kid, my parents said I nearly mauled the guy,” a whisper of a smile appeared on her face.

“But when I got home though, I was still piseed, punching the walls, thinking hey, maybe if I hurt myself enough I could get one of my parent’s quirks, ‘cus they’ve both got shielding quirks. My parents didn’t even tell me off, they let me burn it off until I was just steaming at a scuffed wall.” She smirked a bit at the memory, an odd reaction, but Izuku paid no mind to it.

“They came up to me then, kneeled down and everything, stared me dead in the eyes and told me that I didn’t need a quirk, I could still be a hero. Since then, I’ve worked my fucking ass off, and even though I probably can’t get to hero status, you can bet your fucking ass I’ll be the best damned hero trainer you’ve ever bloody seen.

“Ok shit wait bit of a tangent there, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that quirks mean jack shit, just because you can’t shoot bullets from your fingers or light up like a fuckin’ Christmas tree, it doesn’t mean you have to bow down to whoever the hell can. Sure, hero is a bit unrealistic for us, but who wants to be a hero anyways? Look at Endeavour, he’s a hero, and he’s an ass!

“And hey, it’s not like we don’t get our advantages, who isn’t stuck getting told not to kill people an hour a day? Who gets a free pass to skip p.e. because we’re ‘challenged’? Yeah, it’s kinda degrading, but you gotta take this shit in your stride, hell, who gets to bypass half the school rules because they’re all about quirks, even the no non-quirk related hair dye rule, us! You didn’t even have to be told there! Independence! Hell yeah!”

What had meant to be a motivation speech had turned into a mess of swearing and mini chants, but Izuku could still feel admiration forming in his chest at the sheer defiance the girl had for the social rules he had obeyed for year, and some of her less vulgar words were ringing true with him.

He didn’t have to settle for the title of useless he had been branded with since childhood, he was his own person, and he was allowed to shape his own future, to be who he was, no matter how long it took.

The very idea of it was nothing but refreshing for Izuku. He wasn’t used to any sort of motivation, let alone the mini speech he had just research, it was unfamiliar, but nice.

At a slight loss for words, he sent the girl an appreciative smile, before trying to start up a sentence.

“Thanks Fuko, but uh, my hair isn’t dyed-“

“You WHAT.” He was cut off by Fuko’s head spinning towards him at whiplash speeds at the offending statement, the intensity of her voice at the simple statement sending both him and the two other students at the table into shocked laughter.

---

Later that night, after the city lights had dimmed and general buzz had moved from his residential residence towards the night orientated areas of the city, he sat with his legs hugged close, eyes burning from both lack of sleep and the harsh glare of his computer screen.

He had been staring at the same reply for god knows how long, debating the drafted answer that he had been debating sending.

The thread was still very much alive though, as it was focused around footage from UA’s sports festival, which had been held the other day. Plenty of the better known analytical users had participated, and he too had been called, due to the name he had made for himself due to his rigorous and detailed observations he would provide.

Half of the thread had been in uproar when he arrived, due to the fact that a student that made it to the third round with a seemingly amazing quirk was in the general department, others were discussing the odd behaviour of Endeavour’s son, and Izuku almost did a double take when he saw Katsuki had been eliminated in the first round.

He knew Katsuki was prideful, but he’d walked into the battle seemingly knowing he was going to win, not expecting the cute looking girl he was up against to formulate a plan to make the field rain with his own destroyed rubble.

It had seemed UA had only boosted his already gigantic ego, and he couldn’t help but cheer when the gravity quirk girl was announced victorious, he couldn’t help but hope that that would take him down a peg or so.

But now, he was faced with an idle congratulations at his analysis from a user he had interacted with before, simple and nice, yet it grated at his mind.

FuckYoChilli77

>@Deku i swear to fuck dude your quirk is like limitless how do you get this much shit out of five extra secnds of footage that’s so overpowered why aren’t you in an agency or something

He knew it was easy to assume his analytical eye was a quirk, but that didn’t do anything to appease the slight twinge of annoyance. He had worked hard to get to this level, but he had never been brave enough to actually say he was quirkless, fearing his posts would be written off as less because he didn’t have a natural enhancement in what he did.

But memories of earlier today lingered, if he was going to start working harder, to be successful and quirkless, somehow, he had to start somewhere, so he sucked in a breath, checked over the post one last time, then clicked post. It was done now.

Deku

Ha lol thanks for the compliment, im quirkless though ;P

The emoticon was cheesy, yes, but it was done, and he reflexively let out a sigh in an attempt to expel the tightness in his chest.

He was going to do this, one step at a time.


 

His head spun and his eyes stung, no longer even able to cry, everything was too much, he couldn’t do this he couldntdothis hecouldntdothis.

Time had become irrelevant, he didn’t know if he’d been laying there for minutes or hours, but the stabbing ache of nothingness still burned as badly as when he’d first collapsed, gnawing away at his very conscious until all that remained was a crushing weight pinning him down as his mind was blanketed in a terrifyingly familiar feeling of anguish.

The pain was vaguely reminiscent of the torment he had suffered previously in his life, yet the emptiness wasn’t, he cracked under two extremes, of backbreaking weight and petrifying numbness.

He’d come across the topic many a time, seen it time and time again throughout the world, but nothing on earth could have prepared him for the excruciating pangs of emotion causing physical torment as well were unbearable.

Somewhere, hidden beneath the continuous buzzing silence and the way his body racked with sorrow, a distant voice screamed hoarsely, over and over again.

Why .


 

It was on an bright morning in early summer when the name Bakugou was brought up, a topic that the mother son duo had been all too happy to avoid, but instead of the usual offhand comment the family name was brought up in, it was instead muttered by a rushed and panicked looking Inko to her son, keys in hand and pale face flushed from her frantic rushing around, the very thing that had roused Izuku from the late wake up time he had been planning for his second day of summer.

He was rubbing the sleep out of his eyes when he saw her panicked form, and decided on a mix of both statement and question, “mum?”

The ageing woman visibly jumped at the unexpected voice, and whirled around to her son, standing in the doorway in an oversized shirt and trousers with a flicker of curiosity showing on his tired face.

“Honey, I’m sorry but I got a call from Mitsuki a few minutes ago, and I think something bad has happened… I’m sorry if I woke you, you can just go back to bed,” he unconsciously blinked at the new information, the answer being completely unexpected, as he had simply guessed she’d been asked to go into work at short notice, a common event that he could often predict.

As he processed this, he forgot to say anything, and was broken from his slow thoughts by his mother, now pulling on a pair of shoes, bag sat next to her on the floor, “Izuku, honey, you’ll be ok by yourself for an hour or two, right?”

The question registered as odd in Izuku’s mind, he was often left home for hours at a time, even as a young child, and he’d never had any problems before. She’s not telling him the full story, he concluded, as the short explanation she had given him in no way warranted the panic that was practically radiated off of her.

Something bad must have happened, and knowing the unmoveable force that was Bakugou Mitsuki, it had to be serious, she wouldn’t have called his mum seemingly asking her for help if it wasn’t.

But he had no way of voicing these thoughts during the split second that they appeared in, so he simply resorted to nodding, letting out a tired mumble along the lines of ‘I’ll be fine’.

She shot him a small smile, not yet free from the plague of worry that had infected her over a decade ago and nearly overtaken her a few months ago, but close.

And with that, she slipped out of their small apartment, leaving Izuku with the house to himself.

He decided to check in with his forums.

After a few minutes, he was letting himself slip into the cool leather of his newly acquired desk chair as his web browser loaded up, mindlessly scrolling through his phone as he waited, reading through the titles on his hero news app, nothing really catching his interest as all the articles dived into miscellaneous villain defeats or some hero scandal.

Small gusts of morning air slipped through his open window, lapping at his exposed skin in a pleasant contrast to the scorching temperatures of the day before, which was the entire reason both his window and blinds were open in the first place.

The soft honey coloured light also took up his room greedily, framing his body and room in quite brightness as it annoyingly began to cause glare on his monitor when he didn’t rotate his chair to block it.

Unbeknownst to the beginning bustle of the pleasant day, it’s loud and vibrant sounds vaguely reaching his ears, Izuku’s browser loaded, and he instantly tuned out from the outside world, eyes fixated on the pixelated screen as he eagerly began to tap out the correct ip address.

It had been two days since he had been able to log on, due to both the end of term and the overwhelming amount of summer homework he had been set, which he had painstakingly spent the entirely of yesterday and partly night working through, wanting to rid himself of the absurd workload as soon as possible.

When he speedily typed in his account details however, the large swarm of notifications surprised him, a total of 23 sitting untouched in the corner of his screen.

He knew he had been making a name for himself within the website, and he did often receive analysis requests on random posts, but it had only been two days.

Did something big happen? I didn’t see anything on the news and mum didn’t mention anything yesterday on the news, Izuku let his mind wander as his notification box began to load, maybe it’s a vigilante? It would make sense, the news doesn’t even mention them if they can help it.

The wait was a few seconds at best, and soon his page had loaded up with caps locked filled comments, all with his name tagged. He only had to read the top few in his inbox to get the gist of whatever had happened.

UA is a shitfest thread (V.2)

Posted 1 hours ago

Dairycamps

>@InterfaceIncoming Your sources got any more footage yet?

>@EatThisChilli77 Get your bitch online he’s not responding tell him it’s a code red or whatever the fuck because take one look at this shit is wild

>@Bitchtronassemble confirmation on ua_camp_villain_3 yet? Half of this site is waiting for that shit

>@Stop_Asking_Me_To_Verify_Shit confirm on ua_camp_villain_3 footage and if the 4th footage rumour is true?

>@Deku get your masochistic ass back online and tell us all you’ve got your gang is going fucking wild over this

Read more

 

UA is a shitfest thread (V.2)

Posted 1 hours ago

Kurotheoryinfomeister

>@All CODE HOLY SHIT ALL CONTRIBUTERS REPORT IN THIS SHIT IS COLLOSAL THIS IS HIGHER FUCKING CODE THAN UA THIS A SHITFEST THREAD (V.1) CALLING LITERALLY FUCKING ANYONE

 

Current UA situation analysis/theory

Posted 2 hours ago

Yallhavewifi

>@Deku I’m about to havi a fucking seizure geT YOUR FUCKING ASS HERE WE ARE LITERALLY ALL FUCKING SCREAMING HERE WHILE YOU GO SIT BACK AND RELAX GET!!! ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

From what Izuku could gather from the out of context information, something had happened at UA big enough to warrant both half of the people he knew here spamming him to get online and the creation of a second UA is a shitfest thread.

He felt himself shiver slightly at the thought of the original, the week had been pretty much a catastrophe for both the website and the real world.

He still remembered it vividly, reading the initial report on a well known channel, wondering if he was reading a story.

It had been during UA’s first years internship program, a well known occasion. A student by the name of Tenya Iida, younger sibling of the now retired hero Ingenium, had somehow slipped away from his mentor just as a large scale attack began on the city of Hosu.

Within twenty four hours, both Tenya and a pro hero named Native were found dead in an abandoned alley, and within another ten the infamous hero killer Stain was claiming responsibility.

It sent half the continent into outrage, media was criticising UA viciously as multiple parents withdrew their children from the school, scared away by the sudden brand on the school’s reputation, condemning it as unsafe and irresponsible.

Not only that, but it once again kicked up the debate on the morality of hero courses, if it was truly safe for teenagers to begin training for such a dangerous career, and the concept that once you graduated, your diploma wouldn’t allow for much beyond a career in heroics, therefore dashing any other job opportunities the child could have pursued.

The school had tried it’s best to defend itself, but it was a hopeless effort, and in the end they had resorted to converting into a practical boarding school, promising their newly established dorms would guarantee nothing but safety for the heroes of the future.

A few days later, he’d seen a small van parked outside of a particular explosive blonde’s house, and the next time he walked by, it was almost as if the boy who had spent his entire life declaring that he was going to be the best had disappeared into thin air.

Good riddance, a small part of his brain had whispered, and he had, although reluctantly, found himself agreeing with it.

But cut back to the present, and after only three months, he found himself about to be faced with something supposedly worse than the untimely death of a first year high school student that had sent the city of Tokyo reeling for weeks on end.

He took in a breath, as if to brace himself, and clicked onto the second version of a once chaotic thread.

UA is a shitfest thread (V.2)

Submitted 8 hours ago by InterfaceIncoming

>OK everybody, my sources came in a few minutes ago with something fucking huge and your gonna want to hear this. A remember, keep the footage IN THE FUCKING THREAD, this shit is top secret and I cannot describe what hell you’ll be in for if any cyber hero finds there way back here.

So a few hours ago, allegedly, uas first year hero course was attacked by a group known as the league of villains (see here for more info), apparently they were on a summer trip to a camp or shit and their location was leaked.

Long story short, tons of people fucking rushed there when they sent a distress call, adn some random interception quirk user got their hands on tons of fuckigna audio detailing the situation, and apparenytl there was also a security camera somewhere on site thats footage has been hijacked.

Here’s all the audio/alleged footage I’ve stockpiled:

ua_camp_villain_1 first half of audio obtained

ua_camp_villain_2 second half of audio, theres a cut between them for some reason and I cant find whatever was between them

ua_camp_villain_3 alleged footage from camera on site, very blurry but there is audio, very broken audio, I thinkt he camera had been knocked from its original position

ua_camp_villains stockpile of all the villains we’ve currently been able to pick out from the incident

theres rumors  of a tracker pinging around the area a little before the phone call

to anyone that cant risk the download, here’s a summary of each piece:

ua_camp_villain_1 is an exchange between someone on site, supposedly a teacher and a communication manager at UA, teacher is very alarmed and asking for help and to send as many pros as they have, very alarmed and voices cannot be identified

ua_camp_villain_2 same exchange, much more grave here, ends with yelling from teacher asking if students are ok

ua_camp_villain_3 really blurry, fire (probably from a quirk) disappears, presumedly a teacher yelling about if the students are ok, figure collapses and I can hear something about quirk exauhstion. Lots of panciked teenagers, someone can be heard yelling the words gone and kidnapped about a person

will update in replieds, we’re in for some fucking work

He was left mildly shell shocked as he finished the short post, his mind working a mile a minute to work through everything he had just read.

Within moments, however, he was digging through the comments, taking in everything he could from new updates, UA making a statement that a public interview and statement was to be made and that the main school building had been practically evacuated to protect students as healing heroes were called in to handle the large quantities of injuries and trauma the year’s hero course had sustained with one night.

And then suddenly, a thought hit him, the reason his mother had left this morning.

Bakugou.

Within an instant his stomach dropped, and he stilled.

A small breeze swept through the room, and he felt himself chill to his very core.


 

By now, his muscles had gone stiff, locking him into his curled position as his eyes ached. The covers beneath him had long since been thrown off, probably during one of the fits of anger he had thrown himself into since who knew when. Time had blurred around him, leaving him in a silent and suffocating bubble as he fought back with everything he had to escape.

He’d tried begging only to find that no words would form, he’d slammed his fists into the walls only to receive sharp pain and torn skin, his continuous tears had been met with nothing but deafening, torturous silence.

As his sheer anger had faded though, he was left with nothing but an overwhelming feeling of nothing.

And whether his exhaustion was physical or mental, he felt himself succumb to it, allowing his consciousness to slip away as his brain turned to static.


 

Izuku couldn’t help but contemplate the sheer contrast of his situation compared to his life only a year or so ago.

Last year he had suffered through isolation and bullying almost daily, an useless waste of space that’s only use was alike to that of a punching bag.

Yet now, only a week until the Christmas holidays, he was laughing along with a group of teenagers his age as one desperately tried to remove ink from the glass of a fish tank.

Even the invitation to the meeting had been foreign to him, as the tall boy who sat next to him in practically every class, Shimizu, had rather awkwardly invited him to have a quick tour around the aquarium he half volunteered, half worked at after Izuku had spent ten or so minutes asking how on earth his quirk could help him for the uncommon work choice.

After a few days, he found both himself and two more of his classmates, the western featured boy, Watanabe, and the perpetually tired girl that was always trailing around next to him, Yamashita, being dragged around the rather extensive aquarium by a far too excited looking Shimizu.

Towards the end of the rushed tour however, both Izuku and Shimizu had been so caught up in discussing Shimizu’s creative use of his quirk at work, using it to let himself walk at the bottom of the larger tanks instead of constantly using energy to stay at the same level, they hadn’t noticed the two other members of their group.

By the time they noticed however, it was because of the shrill yelling of Watanabe, trying to stop his friend from coating the entire glass panel she was leaning on with ink.

Apparently, the girl’s quirk could activate if she was too relaxed or excitable, so her dozing off on the vast expanse on glass had resulted in a giant, dark coloured blotch staining the usually clear material.

Yamashita’s continuous vulgar muttering as she attempted to absorb the ink back into her palms was what sent the remainder of the small party into half muffled giggles, the creative line of, “fuckshitfuckshitfuckmeuptheassyougoddamneddarkassedstickysubstancebitchfucckkkk,” in particular only worsened the situation.

They were still snickering long after leaving the aquarium, and Yamashita had resorted to hanging her head in shame as the others continued to bring up some of her more creative lines, her attempt of threatening them with a ball of ink to the face was short lived however.

Because the moment she began forming the substance, a condescending string of tut noises sounded out from behind them.

The group turned to the noise, which was originating from the mouth of a particular smug looking girl, four lackeys sending sneers towards the group from their position of safety.

Izuku’s eyes widened slightly as he recognised the girl, she was from their school, and from Izuku had observed, she and her minions were far less than savoury characters. Which irked the question, what on earth is she doing?

His question was promptly answered when she spoke up once again, letting out a low, patronising drawl, “now now Masu, you know how unflattering violence is on you, haven’t I told you that before?”

Within an instant, Yamashit’s normally intimating aura shattered, leaving behind a worried replica of her behind, “Let’s go, guys,” the girl murmured, all of her usual fight gone as she grabbed Watanabe, pulling him from the defensive position he was a going into and begging to drag him away from the scene.

“Aw, what, you scared little hinin?” The girl’s lackeys snickered, but Izuku practically reeled at the term, she’d practically just called the other girl non-human, and sure, the term was old, but it was still offensive.

Despite the group’s obvious discomfort, the girl continued, throwing insults towards both Yamashita and Watanabe while completely ignoring the other two boys that were Izuku and Shimizu.

But as the taunts continued, something flickered inside Izuku, an inbuilt desire to help, to stop the merciless verbal attack that the group were facing.

The spark grew inside of him, until determination finally came with it, backing up his resolve to the point of which words stronger than him slipped out without his control, “hey, can you just back off? We’re just trying to get home and we don’t want any trouble.”

The girl blinked, as if she only just realised Izuku was there, but the brief confusion was soon replaced by that same smug expression, now with one eyebrow raised as enough pressed down, as if she was having trouble believing he’d even spoken up.

“You really trying to stand up for these two, quirkless?”

“Y-yeah!” Izuku mentally cursed the stutter, but continued undeterred, “they’ve done nothing to you, and you can’t just go around calling people mean things like that, it’s rude.” The sentence ended rather lamely, but Izuku stuck by it, knowing if he even hesitated for a second now he would lose his nerve.

“What ‘cha gonna do about it quirkless? Fight me?”

“If that what it takes for you to leave us alone, then yeah!”

Waitwhatno.

The words spilled out before he could stop them, and he swore he heard a small gasp from behind him, but it was quickly drowned out by the girl in front of him practically cackling.

“Shit quirkless, didn’t know you had a backbone behind all that stupid ass stutter mutter combo of yours,” she cracked a grin, one that seemed far too cruel to be belonging to a teenager, “you really gonna live up to your words though?”

Izuku’s mouth had gone dry, and he no longer trusted his own voice, so he nodded, cautiously pulling up his own fists, trying to block out the voices of his friends telling him how stupid this idea was.

But it was too late to back out now.

With the same harsh grin plastered onto her face, the girl pulled up her fists, cracking her knuckles roughly as she stared at Izuku dead on, and he could practically feel danger radiating off of her.

“Eyes up, quirkless,” she spat out.

And then she charged.

He barely had any time to react before the powerful right hook made impact with his jaw, the power behind it knocking him to the floor, and combined with the blunt force of the punch came a sharp stinging, spreading over his jaw in harsh tingles.

Oh shit, she has an acidic quirk.

“What, you’re that weak? We were just getting started, boo,” the girl mocked him as her followers cackled, leaning above him as he cradled his jaw, tears threatening to escape as he attempted to calm the pain somehow.

Despite his friend’s panicked calls however, he knew that couldn’t stop now, he just couldn’t.

So with his face burning, he pushed himself back upwards, pulling his arms up in front of him once again, eyes set in determination.

“What, back for another one short stack?” The girl smirked, seeing an easy challenge, “guess I gotta give it to you then-“

This time though, he knew it was coming and where from, so when she swung at him again, he acted accordingly.

Just before the hit landed, he jolted backwards, and as her arm hit empty air, he grabbed at the still moving limb and shoved, changing her direction and sending her stumbling away from him.

Seizing the opportunity, he leaped forwards and channelled all his strength into pushing the girl forward, sending her sprawling into the ground as her lackeys stared wide eyed.

Before anyone else could react however, Shimizu had practically appeared behind him, grabbing his upper arm and dragging him away, yelling something along the lines of run!

After a good few minutes of flat out sprinting, the group of four skidded to a halt outside a block of apartments, all wheezing and flushed from the sudden overexertion.

“Midoriya,” surprisingly, Watanabe was the first to speak up, and the usually timid expression he wore was gone, instead replaced by a form of shocked awe, but his sentences were still interrupted by his heavy breathing, “how. In the god damned fuck. Did you do. That.”

---

The next school day, as he was trekking outside for break, he was fed up.

Not only did he have to dodge his mother’s insistent worrying about the still vibrant stain on his jaw, but the moment he had stepped into tutor, he’d had half of the group questioning the uncommon injury as the very cause of the wound sent him visual daggers from across the room.

He was sick of answering the generic question, and it irked him even more that he was only interesting to them now that he had a painful abrasion staining his face, the bandage he’d picked from his bathroom’s second-rate medical kit, barely covering it’s harsh colours.

So when he’d finally managed to escape to break, and he heard a familiar voice yelling, “holy shit green! What the hell happened to you?” He let out a frustrated sigh, but continued forward, already knowing it wouldn’t be worth going back inside and changing his shoes yet again.

“It’s no big deal I just, uh, fell over?” He tried to push the question off the moment he was within suitable ear range, but he could tell by the trio’s unamused looks that they weren’t going to let it slide.

“My dude, there is no way in hell that was caused by the floor,” Tada was the first to reply, straightening her slouched position over the table to look at him more directly.

“Agreed,” Katou spoke up, “not a rash either, I’ve seen enough to know.”

“That’s just because you can’t get the composition right on your glue,” Tada muttered, a small smirk on her face.

“I will tape you,” Katou hit back, a long finger pointing towards the still smirking girl.

“Shut your fucks, lovebirds,” Fuko’s interruption was met with a few words of protest from her friends, but she ignored it in favour for Izuku’s clearly not environmentally caused injury, squinting at the exposed parts of the ugly combination of a bruise and flecks of singed flesh, and Izuku squirmed slightly at being on the receiving end of the concentrated stare.

“You get beat up?” She asked suddenly, and Izuku even stepped back, as if going into a defensive position.

“N-no!”

“Why the stammering then? That’s one of your nervous things,” Izuku mentally cursed his inability to form smooth sentences before relenting to the older girl’s questions.

“Ok, well, I didn’t really get beat up, per say, I just kind of, tried to stand up for some friends and got, well...” He trailed off, not wanting to give away as little detail as he could.

“Did you get any hits in?” Her reply was instant, a flicker of curiosity appearing on her usually deadpan face.

“Fuko!” Katou gave the blunt girl a small cuff around the head, she muttered a small ‘I can kill you’, but didn’t complain when he started talking.

“Before any fighting talk happens, mind explaining what the hell happened that would lead up to you, literally the purest fourteen year old I have ever met, getting decked?”

The boy pulled a hand in front of his mouth and leaned towards him slightly from his seat, almost falling onto Fuko in the process, “did Fuko set you up to it?” He stage whispered, a playful tone noticeable in his pseudo serious voice.

He smiled at the small jab, and he caught Fuko rolling her eyes in his peripherals, but he ignored it in exchange for taking a seat next to Tada, who seemed far more amused by the joke than the others on the table.

Something in the back of his mind reminded him of how badly he used to react around girls in general, but a combination of months on end of not caring about life much had really changed the way he reacted with people, let alone the way he talked to the opposite sex, and the fact he’d spent the first week of knowing his current female friends terrified they had some ulterior motive, by the time he realised that no, they weren’t planning to stab him in the back at any moment, he’d already known the girls well enough to not get flustered around them.

Most of the time, anyways.

He readjusted himself in his seat, trying to get as much comfort possible on the hard wood, before starting up the relatively short story, using his hands at a few points to exaggerate his points as his audience of three listened, mainly cutting in as he tried to describe the fighting part of the story.

“You just, jumped back?” Tada’s face scrunched up as she tried to image the scene, her confusion clear on her face.

“It’s weird, but it sounds like it worked,” Katou inputted, carefully moving his fingers around as he tried to demonstrate the move to his confused friend via his index fingers.

“Sounds like it was pretty damn cool though, where’d you learn to do a move like that?” Fuko rose the question while keeping her eyes trained on Katou’s little performance.

“I didn’t really learn it, I’ve just kind of… picked it up,” Izuku was careful to avoid the question, not wanting to reveal that the dodging had been self-taught after years of physical trauma caused by fiery explosions and cruel punches.

The fighting back part, however, had just been one hell of a reflex.

“If you just ‘picked that up’,” Fuko lingered on the words, a slight dash of disbelief in her tone, “you’ve got some sick ass natural talent, kid.”

Izuku felt a slight twinge of annoyance at the small dig, but he pushed it off as Fuko tore her eyes from the now ending finger performance and began to speak again.

“Y’know, me and these two wannabes train some moves or two on Saturdays, you wanna join us some time? We could use someone else for team exercises and shit, and with your dedication to shit when you put your mind to it is unreal, you could catch up with us real quick if you tried hard enough.”

“Whaddaya say?

His reply was almost instantaneous.

“Yes.”

A friendly smirk was what a received.


 

Amber morning light flooded the small, desolate room, it’s soft and calming appearance forming a sharp contrast to the darkened room.

It was almost captivating to compare the differences, how the expanse of light spilled past the drawn back curtains, flooding the dreary room with an unsuitable glow.

Meaningless objects were littered around the room, but an unexplainable melancholy weighed down on him, eradicating any possible motivation to get up, clean away the endless clutter, to do anything.

And he hated it.


 

He landed heavily on his heels, throwing him off balance and almost pulling him to the floor, but the unrelenting punches continued, and one came flying towards him, aiming to knock him down from his unbalanced position,

But he reacted quickly, jerking forward and flying head first to the ground, directly towards his opponents feet, attempting to tackle them to the ground.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t quick enough, and his vision blurred as a hard group of knuckles made contact with his brow, sending him crashing into the soft ground beneath him.

He landed with a resounding thud, signifying the end of the past ten exhausting minutes, where Fuko has simply said ‘no holds barred’ and started attacking.

Blinking away the dazed blur that clouded his vision, a friendly smirk appeared in his peripherals while a hand hovered in front of him, empathetic digits offering aid.

He took it, brushing off loose dirt and pebbles as he did so.

“Nice work there, kid, you just nearly got me with that tackle there,” Izuku finally tuned in to the words that were being said, also noticing the overexcited cheers of Katou and Tada, who were casually jogging towards the recovering pair.

As soon as they came within reasonable earshot, he could hear Tada’s loud call of, “Izuku! That sweep kick at the start was fucking sick!”

Tada was adamant on calling each of the group members by either their first names or a reference related nickname, but it still surprised him slightly whenever he heard it. Feelings of being an outlier within the older group members had taken a long time to fade, and he still had to remind himself sometimes that he wasn’t just following the three around, that they were his friends.

His thought process was cut off by the previously jogging pair had accelerated into a sprint, seemingly challenging each other for some reason or another, somehow forgetting the uneven terrain that made up the majority of the generally abandoned park they had chosen as a training spot.

The challenge was short lived however, as within a split second the pair were tumbling towards the ground, Tada having caught her foot in a small dip in the ground, sending her to the ground and somehow managing to pull Katou down with her in the process.

Within seconds, the small group of teens burst into laughter at the unexpected misfortune, even the two victims submitting to the contagious enjoyment of their peers despite being at their expense.

And for a few seconds, the still innocent group was untroubled.

--

Of all his memories, the ones where he learnt were the clearest.

But not the memories of when he learnt to write, where he learnt what the box his mother called a computer could show him, not when he learnt that he was different to those around him.

No, it was those where he others gave him advice on how to suppress his long lasting stuttering, where others happily volunteered to demonstrate their super-human abilities for him to further his knowledge, where others were patient and helpful as they attempted to correct his sloppy punches and show him how to block to their own material breaking palms and knuckles.

So, so many involved others.

Whether the other was an explosive flash of red eyes or a blurred version of a motif friendly smirk, lessons he learnt from others had been branded into his brain, no matter how tormenting some may be.

As years passed, different lessons began to stockpile, almost all balance on a single person, a symbol of resistance, a person who defied rules he had submitted to all too willingly, who had stood up and fought and in turn taught him how do to so as well.

But one day, the symbol perished.

And after that day, Izuku was left feeling only one thing, something he had never been taught about, that was so raw and pungent it threatened to destroy his very being.

And that feeling was pure, unadulterated anger.

Chapter Text

The death was officially declared an accident, one that held no ties to it’s indirect cause, a popular up and coming hero that could manipulate metal at will.

It had just been another civilian death, only reported on and made relevant due to the victim’s parents, a couple of pro heroes. It would have been just another sad article that Izuku would forget within minutes, something skimmed over for the sake of completely his daily news trawl.

When he scrolled down to the victim photo however, he could almost feel his heart stop.

Hovering innocently in the middle of the page was a photo, a collection of pixels that gave the beginning flicker of fear inside of him enough fuel to begin a blaze.

Because he recognised that photo, he was in it, after all.

Along with three others.

Fuko Kimiko, 18 (pictured, middle), daughter of pro heroes Shield Up and Agent Blue was critically injured by stray debris with fellow schoolmates Tada Hitomi, 17 (pictured, near left) and Katou Hajime, 18 (pictured, far right).

She was later declared dead from severe physical trauma to the stomach and minor blunt abdominal trauma. Both Tada and Katou remain in critical conditions, from severe quirk exhaustion and severe physical trauma to the legs respectfully.

The feeling that came as he processed the uncaring words was raw, indescribable and vicious, Yet somehow numbingly hollow at the same time.


 

A week, that was how long he had allowed himself to grieve. The exact amount of time he allowed the pain of loss to overtake him, how long he allowed himself to shut out the world so he could try to accept the information.

After a week, he was back in school, staring with uncaring eyes at a semi vandalised desk as the world went on around him.

Time passed and apologies were given, but he didn’t bother to reply, not finding those around him worthy of even his attention. They hadn’t cared to talk about them when they were alive, why should they care now?

He’d built himself a wall, relentlessly hiding anything relating to what he had lost behind his supposedly impenetrable barricade.

It was a shame that a simple comment was what made the month old construction break.

Izuku wasn’t all too sure when it had occurred, he had made sure to keep time as blurred as possible, keeping his memories fuzzy and irrelevant, allowing him to focus on what he deemed important. Not that he gave many things that title nowadays.

At some point during lunch he supposed, he had been idly running his pencil across a sheet of paper he had somehow obtained during class, letting the soft April wind tousle his overgrowing and uncared for hair.

He had been watching the graphite create trails of soft grey on the stark white of the paper when the small group of four entered his peripherals. Something in his fuzzy mind registered it as odd, as while three were recognisable, one was not.

In bored curiosity he lifted his eyes, and watched as the group made their way towards the bench next to him. He registered the three familiar ones as classmates, one he had not cared to interact with for the past three years in exchange for- No, not thinking of them.

He placed the unfamiliar figure as a new student, and was quite happy to go back to his menial pencil trails, already having directed his eyes towards the marked paper, when he finally caught onto the carelessly loud speech of one of the group members.

“No need to worry, that’s just Midoriya, he’s in our year.” Izuku blinked a few times about being mentioned in that way, why would anyone be worried? It wasn’t as if he gave off any sort of aggressive air.

“He’s just got some tough times goin’ on, y’know?” Izuku bristled at the casual phrasing, but continued listening. “One of his mates, er, passed, and the others are in hospital still or something, so he’s still gettin’ over it.”

The small group had passed by him now, and he could practically feel the indiscreet glances from the students. But it wasn’t like he cared, he got it almost all the time now. And anyway, all he really wanted was to get back to his doodles, a much easier alternative than listening in on others.

But another voice spoke up, clearly meant to be more quiet, yet still audible to Izuku, and it unknowingly broke a small yet ugly crack in his mental wall.

“Yeah, the one that died was like the only other quirkless kid in the school, right?”

A hum of approval. “Think so, and right before university as well, didn’t even get a chance to go.”

Another crack, this time larger. Did they not realise he could hear them?

“The other ones that got stuck in it haven’t come back to school yet, right? Must’ve been one hell of an impact.”

Loud and painful, Izuku sat frozen as his wall crumbled at the base before he could even move to repair it.

“Shame really, I heard her parents both had shield quirks, if she’d gotten one of them they’d have been fine.”

And with that, the wall came crashing down in front of him, the pressure sending waves of overwhelming emotions stream into the forefront of his mind.

But within the flood, one powerful emotion stood out, crashing violently around, begging to be abided to.

Anger.

Why should they care about the what ifs? What right did they have to be talking about this so casually as if he weren’t right next to him? Why the fuck did everything about him and those he knew always have to come down to quirks?

Mother fucking quirks.

The thought had been lingering for years, emerging in childhood and festering at the back of his mind, flaring up at every malicious word spat at him and every painful fist made agonising with red hot heat.

Everything in his life was orientated around quirks, how he didn’t have one while everyone else did, how he was useless because of it. People in the past weren’t useless, they had gotten them here after all, yet they were as quirkless as a person could get.

Yet he was still deemed as a lesser being, one that had to fit a certain mould otherwise he would become even more ostracised than he already was. Those around him tried to force him to be something he wasn’t, and he had listened, too scared and incapable to fight back.

Now though, he was better, he finally knew how to defend himself, how to stand up to the world around him.

But somehow, he was letting himself slip away, not using his painstakingly earned abilities for anything, instead letting himself rot away as the world continued on around him.

No one was going to be his hero anymore.

So he had to be his own.

And to start, he would defend the name of someone who could no longer do it themselves.

Ten minutes later, he had been wrenched into a seat by a particularly aggravated looking teacher, something about ‘violence on school grounds’, but he wasn’t listening, he couldn’t listen. Because if he did, he would have to face the reality of what he had just done.

The realisation could wait, for now he would focus on the event that led him here, how his sweep kick had had far too much hesitation before impact. If it hadn’t been for the element of surprise and his victim’s lack of skill, the move could have failed miserably.

Next time, he told himself.

An enemy would never hesitate, so he wouldn’t either.


 

A couple of weeks later he was staring intently at his computer, one page holding a not yet started stream while as another held an excited chatroom, buzzing with activity as vulgar yet friendly conversation bounced back and forth in anticipation.

After all, UA’s sports festival only happened once a year.

Of course, the recorded footage would be easily found afterwards, but it never truly matched the exhilaration of watching the event live. So he held his A4 notebook excitedly, any sort of regret due to skipping school for this was non-existent, smothered by his own anticipation.

A small smile tugged at his lips as he watched over the chat, discussing old favourites and contemplating the potential of the recent intake of firsts years. They always tended to be the stars, and would always take up a good chunk of Izuku’s live viewing of the event.

Redhotandsuffering

>I swear on my life if this doesn’t start soon im gonna flip my desk IVE BEEN WAITING SO FUCKING LONG FOR THIS ALL DAY IM GOING TO PUNCH SOMETHING I SWEAR

Gimmeurgizm0s

>@Redhotandsuffering maybe if youd gone to sleep at 8 or something and woken up like half an hour ago you wouldn’t be suffering from ur timezone shit for brains

Yallhavewifi

>@diamondsbitches I will fight you if you say that again

Redhotandsuffering

>@Gimmeurgizm0s JUST BECAUSE YOUR ONLY AN HOUR BEHIND JAPAN DOESN’T MEAN YOUR SUDDENLY THE ALPHA TIMEZONE ADVICE DELIVERER

Uravitycankillme

>I made this new @ just to state my bias and I regret nothing leTS FUCKING GO BITCHES

diamondsbitches

>@Redhotandsuffering don’t bother you can kick his ass with me when you fly over

>@Yallhavewifi TODOROKI SHOUTO ISNT SILENT AND STOIC HES AN EMOTIONALY INEPT POTENTIAL SOCIOPATH

Yallhavewifi

>@diamondsbitches FUCK YOU

NitrofuckyouDokan

@Uravitycankillme BITCH YOU STOLE MY FUCKING IDEA

77EatThisChilli

>SHUT THE FUCK UP HIDEO JUST SCREAMeD THE STREAM IS STARTING

Izuku startled slightly as loud music began to blare through his headphones, hastily quieting it before fixating his eyes on the bright video.

With his ‘theorist club’, as they had been so bluntly dubbed, he spent the start of the event relentlessly jotting down and discussing everything that the group could think of. Tearing apart the abilities and quirks of all new students present, discussing obvious strengths and weakness, or just generally watching in awe as the young teenagers pulled off stunt after stunt.

When the intermission came, he let out a breath of relief. Although he enjoyed his hobby, the fast nature of the festival was exhausting to get down with the appropriate amount of information in such little time.

He took a moment to stretch his hands, before reviewing the chat again, now far more factual rather than the friendly ribbing he had entered earlier in the day.

cartoonalienman

>Ok so going on what we’ve seen the blue haired girl in 1-A is probably gonna go quite far, those blue swirls looked innocent as but when they turned into ice that could probably cut me open? No thanks. Also grey kid looks pretty promising, when he deadass just lifted the floor up during the cavalry battle at the end I was in fucking tears all the kids looked p i s s e d

>@Deku any idea on purple eyes? hasnt used a quirk yet but seems to be doin just fine, probably saving it for 1 on 1s

>@77EatThisChilli get your boyfriend online he pulled this same shit last year

>@Kurotheoryinfomeister you got a potential winner? Your good with seeing potential and I cant spot any definitive leaders here

77EatThisChilli

>SNACK TIME

>@cartoonalienman he does it on purpose, he’ll be on for the fighting cus he can never keep track on them

Deku

>@cartoonalienman his uniform doesn’t have any sleeves so its probably related to his arms, maybe a mutation quirk or something like 3a red riot, could be a secretion quirk?? Don’t have much to work off of, his arms seem pretty bendy+flexible though so that could hint at something

Kurotheoryinfomeister

>@cartoonalienmann finger laser kid and ice girl for sure are gonna be in the semifinals/finals, maybe the kid with radios in his hands, he really fucked up blue skin in the initial race, im surprised that kid even managed to stand up agian they looked so ill

FuckYoChilli77

>@all ive come crawling back pelase love me

Cartoonalienman

@Kurotheoryinfomeister Dude radio hands stopped mid slap during the cavalry battle and told the cameras he didn’t want his speakers to hurt them to bad that kids getting knocked out in two seconds flat, blue skins might be able to pull a place if they get over radio kids mind fuck up

>@Deku gotta keep an eye on him then,

>@all what years you watching?

Izuku was about to get up before the question popped up on screen, but he stopped midway through. He hadn’t thought that far ahead, and he took a moment to ponder it.

The first years would undoubtedly be interesting, seeing new fighting styles and examining the way they used their quirks in combat, logically, it was the smartest choice.

But there was a small pull in the back of his mind, and he distantly remembered it was Bakugou’s last year in UA.

The last year before he became a hero.

The very concept disturbed him, but he pushed past the discomfort. He had avoided any content related to the blonde ever since the infamous kidnapping that occurred a few years ago.

Everyone present had been severely injured, even All Might having a close scrape with death as heroes attempted to take down a seemingly undefeatable villain named All For One while simultaneously trying to not injure the kidnapped boy, stuck directly in the middle of the vicious battle.

All Might had disappeared instantly afterwards, and was not seen for at least two days, sending rumours of his demise running wild throughout the city and country as a whole.

News stations were denied most details, only receiving the bare minimum. Izuku knew he would find more within his large mass of forums and chats, but he wasn’t willing to risk it, not wanting to see the visual evidence that would undoubtedly be provided.

It had been almost two years since then, and he’d avoided any information on the violent boy like the plague. All he knew was picked up from the more than occasional mention from his small group of friends, half of which seeming knowing the quirk of every heroics related person in the god damned country.

Despite his explosive temper and less than savoury attitude, he had already amassed a slight following  within the hero world. But whenever the teen who had spent a good decade of his life torturing Izuku was brought up, Izuku could practically feel his stomach drop. The feeling was only made worse by the constant praise he would receive.

But it had been at least a few years since he’d seen the old bully make his way through the neighbourhood as if it belonged to him. Even longer since he’d seen the boy’s spontaneous yet deadly fighting style.

It wouldn’t hurt to see how far he’d come, right? It was his final year after all.

Deku

>@cartoonalienman Third year.

The break lasted almost an hour, and in that time Izuku had managed to correct his abundance of miswritten characters, grab himself a quick bowl of cereal and brew an equally quick cup of tea.

When it finished, and the extravagant introduction began once again, Izuku gulped slightly, a small fragment of unjustified anxiety lingering in his mind.

He blanked out slightly as present mic excitedly reintroduced the viewers, not seeing much worth, not realising the time passing until he was snapped back into reality by a resounding blare echoing throughout his headphones.

The scene was a simple one, two vaguely familiar third year students facing each other, slowly circling around the platform, both daring the other to make the first move.

Izuku furrowed his brows as he tried to recall the names of the heroes in training. He recognised the girl first, strongly built with a natural yet prominent blush to her cheeks, Uravity. Izuku knew of her from one of his group members firm belief that out of all of the already incredibly promising future heroes of class of 3-A, she was going to go farthest.

The other was a rather tall boy with jet black hair and tape dispensing elbows, Izuku recalled his name as Cellophane. He hadn’t heard much of the boy, and Izuku only knew the bare minimum when it came to his quirk.

Then suddenly, the tape hero shot forward, and the battle begun.

He watched in awe as the girl avoided the ribbons of tape being directed at her, somehow advancing at the same time, keeping low to the ground and ducking and rolling from the seemingly bullseye shots being sent out in a constant flow.

Within a minute the girl had latched onto her opponents leg, rapidly activating her quirk and sending the boy flying out of the arena. All with an unfaltering and rather intimating grin on her face.

A whistle signified the finish, and Izuku already knew he was going to enjoy this.

The fourth battle, however, changed his mind.

Throughout all his overexcited viewing and hurried note taking, he’d forgotten the main reason he had decided to watch this year.

Bakugou.

His heart dropped as he saw the boy saunter towards the waiting platform, the confident yet smug expression resting easily on his face sent the beginning waves of anxiety through his mind.

It was almost scary how little the boy had seemingly changed, still walking with that intimating gait, hands dug deeply into his uniform’s pockets.

When Izuku realised the cheers that came with his entrance, he felt a twang of frustration, why were they cheering for someone like Bakugou?

As the ashy blonde went to crack his knuckles, he let off a small explosion for effect. Without realising it, Izuku’s unreasonable fear and slightly justified anger began to combine, building into a worsening frustration.

The same blare echoed, and within seconds a charged and powerful explosion blasted from the teen’s palms.

For a second, he was reliving every moment he had fallen victim to those fierce and scalding flames, suffering impact after impacting as blast zones were burned into his skin, flesh near bubbling as it suffered through overly violent scorching.

Years of torment came back within an instant.

And he saw nothing but red.

---

Izuku wasn’t going to lie here, he had no idea where he was.

But it was late, really late. Although mostly blocked by the concrete jungle that was his current location, he could see the sun setting on the horizon, painting the sky in navy blues and soft oranges. And considering it was May, it had to be at least seven.

And Izuku was getting anxious, when he stormed out a few hours ago, only carrying his sparse wallet and keys, he’d just wanted to get away, he couldn’t even stand in his own house.

After the fight had left him, he’d just kept walking, energy fuelled no longer by rage but shame, shame from his blatant overreaction.

Unfortunately, that’d left him wandering, lost and confused past hundreds of quickly deteriorating buildings. Even the people looked different in this area of the vast city, as broken down and colourless as the buildings that surrounded them.

Every step he took made him more and more alert, each threatening demeanour that passed by only tightened his fists and posture, ready to make a run for it at any moment.

Street lights began to flicker on, and Izuku was thoroughly terrified. His mind was pulling up blank as he mindlessly continued his fast strides, his paranoid habit of looking behind him only worsening, his eyes couldn’t stop looking around.

A woman walked past him, cigarette leaving a polluted trail behind her and ominous looking holders were strapped to her belt. She glanced at him for only a millisecond, and he nearly had a heart attack there and then.

I need to get home.

Fuelled by fear, Izuku kept moving forwards, each second passing by agonisingly slow as he tried his best to keep to the main street, weaving through the unorganised buildings and doing his best to avoid every person who crossed through the mostly deserted area.

Around half an hour passed, but to Izuku it felt like hours. Paranoia was clambering at his mind while also running every possible bad situation that could happen in perfect detail through his head.

To say he was jumpy was an understatement.

So when a loud cry sounded out from one of the many alleyways that split off from the main street, Izuku nearly started running there and then.

The second time the voice cried out, it was more of a gargle, yet still drenched in pure and utter fear.

Just walk away, it’s not worth trying to help, just don’t look don’t look don’tlook-

As if possessed, Izuku walked forward, almost mechanically, slowly shuffling towards the large gap between two slowly crumbling buildings, worn away from weather and lack of care.

With his mind screaming at him to leave, run, do anything but this, he peeked into the alleyway.

The scene was a simple one, a man, assumedly the origin of the noise that had drawn Izuku here, was pinned against one of the weak walls as another tauntingly pricked at the bridge of his nose with a wickedly sharp looking blade.

He watched, still as stone, as the villain continued with an inaudible monologue, slowly trailing the blade across his victim’s skin, creating shallow lines of dark red in the frozen man’s soft flesh.

Without warning, the man pulled back, a wallet in one hand and a device in another. The victim remained paralysed against the wall, seemingly incapable of moving, mouth unmoving yet irises darting around desperately.

A paralysing quirk? It would make sense, but what would cause it, contact? If so, it’d be incredibly risky to go against him, but an eye contact one would be worse, you wouldn’t be able to look properly to fight back-

Within a second, the paralysed man caught sight of Izuku, or his silhouette at least, and made yet another meaningless noise. A call for help.

And with that, the villain spotted him as well.

“Oi, you oughta’ fuck off if ya know what’s best for ya.”

Another terrified noise sounded out.

Izuku saw the villain step towards him, and his breath caught in his throat.

“What, you fucking deaf? Piss off!”

He felt like he couldn’t move, paralysed as he lost all control of his petrified body. His brain screamed in resistance, and overwhelmingly concentrated emotions flowed through him freely.

Fear for his life, frustration at his lack of moment, panic for what was to come.

And pure, burning anger. Anger for getting into this situation in the first place, anger for leaving his house for such an idiotic reason, anger for letting those god fucking damned combustions of nitro-glycerine get to him.

 “You got three fucking seconds bitch!”

Whether it was out of instinct or the sheer overload of chemicals and adrenaline being pumped into his system, he drew back into a stance. A basic reflex developed after years of useless attempts to stand up for himself.

The stance brought memories, memories of scorching pain from years long past and ones from this morning, of a happy event ruined by the single sight of the painful explosions branded into his mind’s eye.

“Three!”

Without realising it, a fire lit in his gut, escalating rapidly into a scorching, powerful and agonising, blaze, fighting against the chaos inside of him, clouding his vision and burning his flesh. Old scars suffering the same blinding pain that had caused them.

“Two!”

It was terrifyingly overpowering, years of torment all condensed into a second, years of supressed fury and suffering smashing down his mental wall into one powerful moment of agonising remembrance.

“One!”

But of everything that was drenching his senses, all the things flooding through his veins and corrupting his ever treasured logical thinking, one thing shrieked through his body thunderously clear.

“I fucking warned you short arse!”

Anger.

In that moment, Izuku was ready to fight.

And he was ready to win.


 

His mother cried when he got home.

It was something past eleven, Izuku didn’t care much, and the moment he had stepped inside the small apartment, he had been bombarded with crushingly powerful hugs and desperate questions.

His mother asked what happened, he said he got into a fight.

His mother asked him if he had gone to school, he said no.

His mother asked him if he was alright, he said no.

Lying was pointless, so he let her worry, let her dab stinging alcohol wipes onto the deep cut that began at the middle of his nose and progressed straight forward, only curving at the beginning of his most prominent freckles.

He’d got quite a few looks for the heavily bleeding wound as he limped back home, given directions from the incredibly grateful man he had saved, but he didn’t care.

But admittedly, he was rather exhausted, so he’d sat still as she gently place plasters over the lines of cuts that littered his pale skin, he obeyed when she made him shower and change, and he’d followed her instructions to go to sleep.

All while conveniently ignoring her insistence that they were going to discuss this in this morning.

Yet still, as she doted over him, treating him as if he were a wild animal, Izuku paid almost no attention, his mind was elsewhere.

All he could think about was the sheer terror he had just experience.

And how he had loved every second of it.

The exhilaration, the pure adrenaline that had been pumping through his veins, making his thoughts razor sharp and his punches agonisingly powerful. The way the hits he suffered caused no pain, the power that came with his hard-earned victory.

Now that, that had been real fighting.

As the temptation of sleep overtook him, he felt a warmth blanket him, weighing down his eyes and slowing his thoughts.

Right before he slipped into unconsciousness, one resounding thought made it’s way through his mind, something he was undoubtedly going to recall in the morning.

I have to do that again.

And thus began the fall of Midoriya Izuku.

Chapter Text

It was only three days later when he took his next outing.

The morning was still just beginning, birds tweeting obnoxiously from vibrantly coloured trees, grass still wet with dew, giving an almost shimmering effect to any patch of green he passed by.

His tattered backpack hung low on his back, carefully emptied of his school supplies and restocked with everything he though he might need for the coming hours.

A change of clothes in case he ended up with some less than… pleasant stains, the remainders of the house’s small medical kit, a few small snacks to last him the day, his notebook, a pair of pencils.

And shoved beneath all of these innocent objects, a dull kitchen knife.

It was a bad idea, he knew that, but he also couldn’t not bring it. His punches become predictable, while quirks however don’t. It was untellable was type of situation he would land himself into, and if worst came to worst, he wasn’t going down without a fight.

He found himself sinking further into his oversized hoodie, something he had hurriedly purchased a few days ago with this exact purpose in mind. The overhanging hood that covered his features was almost comforting, and he revelled in the small sense of security.

After nearly three hours of trying to recognise any landmarks within the moping monochrome of the near desolate area of the ward he lived in, he found himself back in the same alley he had briefly occupied only a few days ago.

The familiar area sent the details rushing back to him, of his adrenaline fuelled rage and anger driven movements, every single mistake leading to another step back in the fight he had already been losing.

A shooting pain struck out at him from his injured face, and his hand went to his nose, pressing down on the painful throbs that were causing his body to clench in self defence.

His face wound had been more serious than he anticipated, and there was still a large wound dressing bandage firmly stuck onto his ripped flesh, blocking the grotesque sight. He feared it might scar, not wanting a flash of unthinking anger to defile his face for the rest of his life.

But he grit his teeth and suffered through the small attack, refusing to submit to the pain.

When it passed, he let out a shaky breath, attempting to steady himself against the broken wall next to him.

If he were anywhere else, he’d wonder how no one had approached him yet, but this was not his home. This was a place of grime and filth, someone having an attack of any sort in an alley was probably a common sight.

With that, he remembered why he was here. He was here to help someone, anyone really.

Or just to make yourself feel good again, the thought was an idle one, and Izuku hated that he couldn’t even deny it. A few years ago, he sought out skirmishes to find more knowledge on quirks and the heroes he yielded them.

But he no longer cared for the hero element, now, he was seeking out his own fight.

The only thought he gave to quirks were how he could defeat them without one of his own.

All for his own five minute rush, five minutes of truly feeling alive.

Who knew that you feel most alive when you’re only a few wrong moves away from death?

--

Izuku spent an hour acquainting himself with the area, building up confidence as he went, checking and rechecking his backpack as he made his way through the empty streets.

He’d done his research the two days after he’d come home with a blood covered face and a distant expression. His mother had insisted he stay home the first day, and managed to get him to cough up at least half of the truth before she had to leave for her unyielding work schedule.

He made sure to keep the story simple, he said he’d left to go on a quick run and got lost, and without his phone, had simply tried his best to get home.

As for his injuries, he was as vague as possible, only mentioning that someone attacked him after I provoked him and that he’d got away and asked for directions after I had dug my shoe into his eye and the guy I was saving dragged me away.

Eventually, she relented, scolding him half heartedly before reluctantly leaving him alone in an empty house.

He’d waited ten minutes, before pulling on the nearest clothes and bolted out the door.

And he didn’t stop running.

He ran for hours, until all he could feel were his burning lungs and aching body, screaming at him to stop torturing his already sore limbs.

But his legs had only carried him so far, and he’d ended up collapsed on a waste covered beach, lungs ready to collapse along with his spirit.

He’d run for adrenaline, desperately trying to replicate the sheer and unstoppable thrill he had experienced in such a dangerous situation.

But the weak gratification that he received was nothing, and all he had gotten for his relentless abuse on his already damaged body was an overwhelming exhaustions and flashes of agony crippling his muscles as they desperately tried to repair themselves.

The next day, he’d yet again avoided his crumbling education, trading it to instead indulge himself with a past time he’d found himself drawn to since childhood.

Countless searches, maps and new stories later, Izuku was well acquainted with the area he now stood in.

Abandoned after a group of gas quirk users assembled with the intent of pure destruction, it was never repopulated due to lingering fear and the rapidly growing amount of petty criminals and higher class villains began to populate the vast expanse of concrete flats and offices.

Nowadays, the area was crawling with the disreputable and unsavoury members of society, even driving away wannabe heroes with its unadulterated foulness.

The fact that any hero with even a hint of fame had bailed on this area exasperated Izuku incredibly. Heroes were meant to save, yet they left this area to fester, ignoring it in exchange for their own image.

But then again, heroes weren’t what he thought they were.

He shook his head, trying to clear his head of the intrusive thoughts. Although his obsession with heroes had severely wilted over the years, he still had faith in some, faith in the ones that worked for others instead of themselves.

But they were scarily uncommon.

Clearing his troubled mind, Izuku left behinh the unpleasant aura of the alley, and began a steady pace throughout the winding and unplanned streets, cutting through gaps in buildings and guiltily treading over buildings long since reduced to rubble.

He tried his best to ignore the fact that he, Midoriya Izuku, the quirkless weakling from his junior school, famed for his almost pitiful obedience, was now walking through a dangerous neighbourhood, literally looking for trouble to intervene in.

A dark chuckle escaped his lips.

Oh, how times have changed.

---

It took an hour at most, and by that time, he was contemplating going home and coming back later at night. It was surprisingly quiet in the morning, something he hadn’t anticipated while eagerly leaving his home.

He was mentally planning a route back when he picked up the low conversation breaking the eerie silence of the once residential neighbourhood.

He perked up instantly, body tensing and head snapping around in an attempt to place the voices.

It didn’t take long for his eyes to zone in on the hooded figures, standing quite a way away from him. Their body language was practically screaming at others to back off and the loud drawl they spoke in alerted him instantly.

They were preparing something, Izuku could tell by the way they kept surveying their surroundings and glaring down any that walked past them.

Leaned against walls in broad daylight, Izuku mentally cursed his lack of cover, yet he still shot into a narrow gap between buildings, eyes darting around the claustrophobic, looking for any sort of path.

Finding a large crack slightly above his chest a little further down the alley., he unceremoniously hauled himself inside the building. It reeked of mildew, but Izuku pushed forward, figuring the unfinished and thin walls of the building would allow him to hear decently enough while simultaneously keeping him out of sight.

Only a few strides later, he was leaning his weight into his ear, pushing it into the wall trying to pick up the loud conversation he had picked up on not so long ago.

When he finally caught onto it, the threatening tone set him on edge, only worsening with the content of the conversation.

“-don’t get here with my Trigger soon, Imma kill him.” The voice was feminine, a slight slur blending the harsh words together into a confusing mess.

“Calm your fucking ass, ‘e’ll get ‘ere.” Less intimidating yet still frustrated, a clearly masculine voice popped up.

“’Calm?’ We gotta fucking raid in an hour an you telling me to be calm? This bitch said he’d be here an hour a fucking go, I ain’t gonna let this stand.”

“Least keep ‘im alive, last thing we need is you offing another supplier ‘cause they didn’t match your standards.” The masculine voice scoffed, and Izuku swore he heard the feminine of the two growl.

He assessed the out of context information as best as he could, identifying that the pair’s supplier of something was running late, to the point of which one of the group was ready to cause harm.

He also couldn’t help but consider whether or not the get involved. He’d come in search for a fight, hopefully saving another person in the process, not neutralising a potentially violent exchange.

But he didn’t get to consider this for long, as a loud. “Oi!” Sounded out, passing through the thin walls and jolting Izuku back to reality. Hastily, he shoved his ear back onto the wall.

“Finally turned up, have you?”

He didn’t hear the reply, but the masculine voice once again scoffed.

“Just ‘and over the goods, why don’t you? And stop shaking, you look like the wind could knock you over.”

“With how late you’re, I’d happily do the wind’s job right now.”

A pause before the feminine voice spoke again.

“Yeah fucking right, couldn’t find us my ass, you’d just forgotten our order, hadn’t you?”

Another pause, longer, but Izuku could practically feel the tension rising in the group.

“Fuck you and your shitty as excuses! You oughta be able to back up your bullshit with your fists shit for brains!”

Within an instant, a loud cry of pain rang out, and Izuku’s brain kicked in, running impossibly fast as a victorious cry followed the pained noise.

It’s not worth it. It’s two against one, you wouldn’t win. What if the supplier turns on you too? You don’t know how strong they are-

But as another choked sob of pain passed through the unfinished walls, another part of his brain kicked in.

Coward.

He knew it was true, he’d demonstrated it thousands of times throughout his entire life, running away from problems and aggressively ignoring all the problems that he faced.

His mind flicked through memories, of fights he had watched with excited smiles and quick hand movements, the thrill that came with watching seemingly indestructible people that ran in without hesitation. No fear hesitant as they faced completely unfamiliar opponents.

Izuku had always admired people like that. He had brief memories of being similar, of running in to fights he knew he couldn’t win, but his unhesitating need to help others had been slowly broken over the years.

He so desperately wanted that trait back.

And so he forced himself up, ignoring the way his mind begged him to leave the situation alone, to ignore the suffering of the unknown person behind the wall he was hidden behind.

A buried want surfaced, an overwhelming desire he had held for years, seemingly crushed not long ago, yet secretly nurtured into a different form.

For so long, Izuku wanted to be a hero, he wanted to save, he wanted to help.

But now, he had seen different heroes, ones that worked in the shadows, illegal by law yet true heroes at heart. People that helped, just not in a conventional way.

And Izuku would be a hero, no matter what it took.

He’d just do it in his own way.

--

To the left, to the left!

His mind practically screeched the instructions, but his legs obeyed too late. An attacking foot hooked itself around Izuku’s right angle, knocking him off balance and throwing him to the cracked stone of the pavement.

“I’ll give it too you kid,” a cruel voice spat out, “you got fucking balls.”

A reinforced shoe dug into his stomach, the harsh force winding him, leaving him gagging, desperately clawing at the wounded area, desperately attempting to defend it from further harm.

“But you ain’t beatin’ me that easily.”

The foot angled itself once again, now diving into his chest. His back hunched and he wheezed for air, hopelessly trying to regain his lost air in time.

“Pity, you got one hell of a hook on ‘ya, hell, I’d offer you a round or two if you didn’t decide to use to use that shit to knock out matey boy back there.” She indicated to her fallen partner, Izuku’s first target, easily felled.

Unfortunately, his partner was proving to be much more resilient. Evident by her now pointlessly brutal beating of the temporarily defenceless Izuku.

His throat was ragged and his body was alight with dull, unending agony. His lungs heaved, and he’d felt bile rise more than once as her foot dug into the weak fat of his stomach.

His brain was running a mile a minute, desperately trying to figure out how the fuck he was going to get himself out of this horrendous situation.

The man he was defending hadn’t proved to be much help, instead watching with terrified fascination, too scared to even move, let alone assist the suffering Izuku.

Her foot stalled this time, instead placing itself on Izuku’s hand, removing it from it’s clutched position of his suffering gut and digging it into the ground, the pressure building against his bony hand was vice-like, while the sharp pieces of stone it was being pushed into dug into the soft flesh of his partially exposed wrist, sending sharp pain shooting up and through his arms, clouding his mind as he tried to focus on anything but the torture he was enduring.

The ugly tears that ran down his face eagerly went by unnoticed by him, his entire being was focused on the agonising experience he had put himself into.

No adrenaline came this time, only pure, utter fear. He feared for his life, knowing only a couple more of those terrifyingly powerful footfalls could be the end of his already pitiful life.

It was only fitting really, for him to go out failing.

Behind the self-pity though, something else stood strong, a deep, unexplainable instinct.

A need to survive.

So as another kick was targeted, he grit his teeth and narrowed his eyes, time nearly slowing as his eyes trained in on the cause of his suffering.

With all of his remaining strength, he swung his mainly unaffected legs towards the attacking limb, throwing the rest of his body with it.

In seconds, the woman came crashing to the ground, thrown off by the powerful shoved given to her unsuspecting leg, throwing of her balance and sending her flying.

She landed on the side of her head, a loud thud was heard, and Izuku winced at the very thought of the impact.

He jumped up, and regretted it instantly, clutching his shrieking wounds, he assessed the situation.

After running into the group, he’d taken down the male with a right hook, fuelled by sudden determination and the beginnings of adrenaline. But a single look from the remaining party member had sent his spirit crumbling, as she had looked positivity deadly.

Cut to five minutes later, and he was fighting for his life against a very angry woman with very powerful hits.

But with her on the ground, he was at an advantage, if only for a few seconds. In a second he ran through his options, quickly dismissing any ideas of getting away. He was far too injured, and her height and clear physical ability would allow her to catch him near instantly.

So he picked his best option, braced himself, and stomped his trainer into the side of her head, causing the woman to grunt in a combination of pain and anger.

“I’ll fucking kill you bitch!”

When she tried to grab the offending foot, Izuku panicked, his foot acting on his own. His heel dug into her temple, but she didn’t give in, so Izuku kept going, desperately throwing the bottom of his foot onto the side of her head.

Fortunately for him, his logic stayed in tact during his panicked reaction, and once the woman ceased fighting back he scurried backwards, ending the terror induced moment of harsh violence.

Nausea swelled in his gut as realisation swirled at the edge of his conscious, but he fought back nearly ferociously, pushing his actions into the very back of his mind along with the incoming dizziness and fuzz.

He gave a few moments to recover, sucking in lungful’s of the chill air, a mental exhaustion settling at the forefront of his mind, masking the excruciating pain and horrendous guilt he would be forced to face later.

But for now, he had something else to focus on.

With a slight stumble he turned around, blankly staring at the still semi-shocked dealer he had just risked his health, maybe even his life, for.

Their mouth moved like one of a fish, at a complete loss for words at the stared at his still hooded yet small figure.

After a minute or so, they risked asking a question.

“So, are you gonna mug me now?”

In any other situation, Izuku might’ve been worried for the man, seeing as his first thought after being saved was that his saviour was going to turn on him.

But here, with the glowing rest of his wrists seeping past his clenched fist, his head blanketed in by an agonising fuzz while his face hid behind the weak shield of his hood.

Here, Izuku understood.

And so here, Izuku observed.

The pair he had just faced of against were both immobilised, the male having run off at some point after Izuku had struck him, while the female laid unconscious behind him, a steady trickle making it’s way down her forehead.

The dealer had only just emerged from his shock, and was still sitting frozen on the floor, knees raised and seemingly ready to scramble away at any moment. Judging from the messy appearance, he had been rushing to get here, and the backpack hanging loosely from his shoulders seemed the obvious location of the reason he had been in such a rush.

He also looked utterly terrified.

So Izuku responded to the aging question with one of the easiest ways he knew.

“No.”

The simple word seemed to lift the lack of trust that weighed down on the man, and he carefully made his way to his feet, eventually standing a good head or so taller than his saviour.

It was almost comedic how much the dealer had to tilt his head to make eye contact with the teenager, but Izuku could care less about height when his arms and stomach were alight with unyielding flames, scorching at his insides and completely eradicating a half decent thought process.

Izuku registered the badly hidden shock the man displayed while looking at him, his baby face had been persisted throughout his entire life, and it still removed a good few years from his appearance.

A haze of words followed, of hasty thanks and a cold tube pressed into his hand as a sign of appreciation before the man took off, heavily slinging his bag over his shoulder because speeding off, his rush obvious.

He stared after him blankly, unknown tube held with a deadly grip as he watched the retreating figure.

He took one look at the unknown tube, with a single character carved into the smooth material.

Trigger.

Izuku let the tube clatter to the ground and lifted his foot.

In one anger fuelled step, the tube shattered, a blue liquid staining both the surrounding ground and Izuku’s vibrant red shoes.

If a villain wanted it, I don’t was the thought that ran clear through his crumbling mind.

With that, Izuku went to retrieve his bag.

And despite how terrifyingly close he had just been pushed towards a young death, something else called for him, a deep, powerful feeling, pulling at his mind and causing thoughts he wanted to tear from his mind and crush under his heel until they were nothing but meaningless pulp.

A call for more.

Despite the agonising pain, it had lingered throughout the entire fight, keeping him from going limp as he was pummelled into the very ground he now stood on. It was the very call that had brought him back to the ruined area, a call that could only be satisfied with meaningless and brutal violence.

He hated it, despised the very concept of gleaning joy from violence and the pain of others. It went against everything he had ever been taught, everything he had taught himself after relentless suffering from others.

Yet it pulled at him, begging for another chance to prove itself, an unexplainably irrational feeling that tugged and prodded at his mental walls, corrupting anything else that dared cross his mind.

He hated it.

But deep down he knew the truth.

Deep down he knew that this wouldn’t be long until he once again greeted this endless jungle of concrete, a place tempting only darkened souls with it’s illegal appeal and infinite possibilities.

Even deeper down, a part of him knew it had been a long time since he had been considered light.

And a not yet existent part of his repeatedly shattered existence knew he would only get darker.

Chapter Text

FuckYoChilli77

@Deku yo dude you online??

Deku

Yeah

FuckYoChilli77

i founds some of those old Knuckle duster videos you said you were looking for the other day

Deku

Really??? Theres like 0 footage of him damn anywhere, surface web just comes up with some youtuber and majority of my sources have no idea who he is

FuckYoChilli77

Asked a friend, he’s part of a start up group of vigs and he managed to dig some up via some of their contacts, here ill just plug them here

Arehiseyesokohmygodd.mp4

Some_big_ol_fists.mp4

JESUSCHRIST.mp4

THAT_FCUKING_NOSE_JOB.MP4

How_are_you_not_screaming_whatthefuck.mp4

Deku

Your file names are astounding, also a vig group? Those things are rare as hell how did he find one

FuckYoChilli77

Thankyou thankyou, I consider my audience. He’s friends with the group’s benefactor and got involved after he saw their group’s work

Actually wait your aiming on being a vig yourself aren’t you? I could put a word in for you, they’ve got some recruiting thing going on at some point this month

Deku

Considering it yeah, been doing some excursions to test the waters on ti, I wanted the knuckle duster footage for research and move ideas. Also thanks for the offer, I’ll definitely consider it

FuckYoChilli77

Ok 1. This is fucking sick look at my litte boy all grown up and kickin some ass 2. Wasn’t knuckle duster quirkless?? Those hit he throws in the vids would make you think otherwise, good role model choice my dude 3. if you make your vig name Deku im going to fucking slaughter you

Deku

1.Your barely 3 years older than me shut up 2. Yeah he was, I didn’t believe it at first when I saw a shot of him he looks so fucking powerful, that’s like my life goals on steroids right there 3. It’s a motif, himeo

FuckYoChilli77

I AM NOT LETTING YOUR MASOCHISTIC ASS CALL YOURSELF ‘USELESS’ AS A FUCKING VIGILANTE NAME, THAT WOULD BE LIKE A HERO CALLING THEMSELVES ‘I SUCK’ I AM NOT ALLOWING THIS YOUNG MAN, AND DON’T YOU DARE FIRST NAME ME

Nitrofuckyoudokan

WHY IS IT THAT OF ALL THINGS YOU CHOOSE TO SPAM ON AT 3 IN THE MORNING IT HAS TO BE THE FUCKING MESSENGER, I T R U S T E D YOU PEOPLE, I CODED THIS ENTIRE FUCKING APP WITH GIZMO ALL TO YOUR FUCKING LIKINGS AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET

FuckYoChilli77

ITS 12 IN THE AFTERNOON DIPSHIT

Nitrofuckyoudokan

OH IM SORRY WE CANT ALL LIVE IN JAPAN FUCK FOR BRAINS

Gimmeurgizm0s

Dude your starting to sound like your bias calm down ((and also bitch I did like 75% of the coding you just made sure it looked like a forum for some god damn fucking reason))

Deku

You are

FuckYoChilli77

I didn’t know a hero in training would have such a strong influence on our poor young dai

Gimmeurgizm0s

Truly saddening, even airi changed back to her normal account by now

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

Do not say my name with your cursed tongue

Nitrofuckyoudokan

First of all its *future number one hero, not hero in training

FuckYoChilli77

BULLSHIT

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

#UravityToKillNitrodokan2178

Nitrofuckyoudokan

SECOND OF ALL

Gimmeurgizm0s

#UravityToKillNitrodokan2178

Nitrofuckyoudokan

IVE ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS, SOME SHITTY EXPLOSIVE KID DIDN’T CAUSE MY PERSONALITY

Deku

I mean your personality is probably the reason you like him in the first place

Nitrofuckyoudokan

THIRD, AIRI IS A COWARD WHO CANNOT STAND TO HER WORDS

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

OH NO YOU JUST FUCKING DIDN’T BITCH WE LIVE THREE HOURS AWAY I WILL FUCKING THROTTLE YOU

Nitrofuckyoudokan

AND LASTLY, I FORGOT THE PASSWORD FOR MY MAIN ACCOUNT, SO YOUR STUCK WITH THIS NAME UNLESS I WANT A NEW ONE, CUNTS

Deku

Your password is ‘STOPTRYINGTOHACKMYACCOUNT’ dipshit

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

HOLYSHIT DID DEKU JUST SWEAR

FuckYoChilli77

HELLO 999 I JUST WITNESSED A FUCKING MURDER OF MULTIPLE PARTIES INCLUDING MYSELF

Nitrofuckyoudokan

‘DIPSHIT’ IS NOT A MURDER YOU FUCKWAD

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

Im dead on the floor ouR BELOVED MASOCHIST HAD JOINED THE ADULT WORLD

Deku

OH COME ON I SWEAR

Kurotheoryinfomeister

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

Deku

KURO YOU TRAITOR

Kurotheoryinfomeister

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

IM DYING ON THE FLOOR ABGRHJKLDKAJHDZXCKSDJNBJCSK

Gimmeurgizm0s

FUCKING SAME,,,,, GET EXPOSED DEKU

Kurotheoryinfomeister

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

Deku

I cant believe im being attacked in my own chatroom

Kurotheoryinfomeister

“oh jeez”- Deku

“oh jeez”- Deku

Gimmeurgizm0s

Oh SO I GUESS PROGRAMMING AN ENTIRE FUCKING APP FOR YOUR FRIENDS MEAN THEY OWN IT AND I NO LONGER HAVE ANY RIGHTS O-FUCKING-K THEN

Deku

SCREW THIS IM GOING OUT I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS ABUSE

AndIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHOLYSHIT

“Screw this”- Deku

FuckYoChilli77

“Screw this”- Deku

Gimmeurgizm0s

“Screw this”- Deku

Deku

IM LEAVING

---

Izuku couldn’t help the sigh of relief that escaped him as he stepped off of the stuffy train, relishing in the sudden temperature change and the now almost unlimited freedom of movement.

He was knocked out of his small reverie by a particularly rough arm knocking into his small frame and pushing him forwards, sending him stumbling and almost throwing him into another bystander.

His hand instantly went to hold the dull pain that now resided above his elbow, head lowering in an instinctive movement of subsistence

By the time he realised the move, he had already exited the station, and he couldn’t help the feeling of disgust that came with it.

Four years, he thought to himself bitterly, it’s been four years and I still can’t take a knock without trying to protect myself.

The root of the reflex was a terrible one, something Izuku had repressed so deeply he had even managed to forget it completely for a small period of time. Repressed so far in fact, that he still had problems recalling a good portion of his younger years, as almost every memory of them was tainted with bright flashes of fiery colour and scorching pain.

He shook his head and took in a deep breath, now was not the time to bring back unwanted memories.

Instead, he focused on today’s goal.

After his first couple of vigilante-esque acts, now at a grand total of 10, he had begun setting his own personal goals for his fights. Whether it was to take on a higher amount of people or timing himself, he always found a way to challenge himself in fights. After refining the skill for years with only those at low levels and himself, he decided the extra push would only help his abilities.

Of course, there was a certain selfishness to his actions, how he let him own personal objectives influence the amount of people he helped, but then again, he had only continued the acts to fuel his own adrenaline, so he figured it wouldn’t hurt that much to add another less than heroic element to his confrontations.

Another cool breeze swept across his face, and he went to readjust the scarf that was currently doing a terrible job at protecting him from the unnaturally cold afternoon.

Izuku wasn’t going to complain though, the lower temperature only gave him an excuse to cover himself in more fabric without being seen as too suspicious.

After adjusting the abundance of clothing he was practically swallowed in, his casual strides became more brisk, and his mind began to focus more on his intended goal.

I should take out a group today, a proper one.

And so, Izuku began his search.

---

So far so good Izuku caught himself thinking as he narrowly dodged a diamond edged hand aiming directly for his stomach.

It had only taken him an hour or so to come across the basic mugging, only made interesting by how it apparently took four basic criminals to gang up on a single person.

And now, five minutes after interfering, one of those criminals was clutching their broken nose on the floor as the other three were intently attempting to cut Izuku open.

But that didn’t mean that he would let them.

The still able criminal’s quirks all showed themselves the minute he delivered a brutal right hook to one of the criminal’s noses, the supposed leader summoning a diamond sharp blade in place of her fists while her two remaining allies yielded a basic shield quirk while the other was… er, steaming?

It was rather irrelevant at the current moment, as that deadly sharp hand blade appeared to be heading towards his head.

Within a second Izuku dropped to the ground, crouching for only a moment before he turned and pushed himself upwards, successfully placing himself behind the still moving attacker and allowing him to kick the back of the woman’s knees in, sending her toppling downwards.

But then, Izuku faltered, the woman’s loud cry of ‘motherfucker!” had successfully diverted his attention, and before he knew it the steaming member of the part had launched towards him, hand grabbing at his face.

He silently thanked every deity he could recall in the second it took for the scarf to catch alight in the steaming person’s hand, knowing that if that apparently scorching palm had grabbed onto him, he would be in serious trouble.

The third member of the group took the flaming cloth as his signal and raced forwards, his partner quickly following, abandoning the still alight scarf in exchange for the target of Izuku’s flesh.

The unexpected collaboration is what caused Izuku to falter, and before he knew it the armoured attacker had slammed into him, sending him flying towards the ground as his teammate went for a full body slam onto the off balance Izuku.

Whether it was from luck or reflex, Izuku managed to mostly roll himself away from the attack, but his slight victory was greatly outnumbered by the near agonising few seconds where the side of his arm was encased by pure, unyielding heat.

A small shriek escaped his throat, and he desperately yanked his limb out from the now groaning attacker, who had seemingly managed to slam his head into the ground during his rather dramatic move.

Although the heat had only gleamed across his covered arm and uncovered hand, it sent his nerves screaming and his skin flushing a painful red, the burn was at least first degree, and Izuku already feared the consequences it may have later on.

But he had a fight to finish, so he would worry about his health later.

The shield quirk user was now keeping his distance, eyes targeted on the still disorientated Izuku, looking for the right opportunity to strike.

Izuku didn’t want to risk another attack, so despite the still near excruciating pain assaulting his lower arm, he charged forward, feinting with a right hook then hooking his foot around his opponent’s, violently yanking it from place.

The short man crashed towards the ground, a loud thud announcing his landing.

With all four opponents grounded, Izuku did a quick double take for the suited person he had run into this fight for in the first place, quickly realising that they must have taken off at some point during the fight.

He had no time to break however, as the blade armed woman was already back on her feet, shouting out some kind of offensive terms, wielding her weaponized limbs dangerously as she stared intensely at the unmoving Izuku.

His mind worked in overdrive as he tried to form a plan of action. His target had already gotten away, and at least two of his opponents wouldn’t be getting up anytime soon, continuing this fight would only risk his health more.

So with that in mind, he turned on his heel and sprinted out of the darkened alley, ducking down mid run to retrieve his backpack, which he had dumped rather unceremoniously on the ground after rushing into confrontation.

He kept up his sprint for a minute or so, gradually winding it down from a run into a jog, trying to keep as much distance as possible while also keeping track of where he was, which proved difficult when he was surrounded by nothing but dull looking convenience stores and flats, the only form of colour available being obnoxiously colourful neon signs.

The atmosphere was as bland as the area’s appearance, making it far too easy to get lost within the overgrown jungle of concrete.

Shooting pain still darted up his forearm, though much weaker than it was previously, and after a good ten or so minutes of distancing himself from the scene, he found a rather secluded side alley and lowered himself to the ground, wanting to examine his injured flesh properly.

When he finally worked up the nerve to look at the wound, he winced, because while the covered skin had gone mostly unharmed, the back of his hand was a painful red and almost raw, a vibrant patch against his pale skin.

Shrugging off his small backpack, he carefully maneuvered the straps around his slowly numbing wound, placing it on top of his legs and attempting to open it with only one hand.

Somehow he managed to get into the bag without emptying half of it into the street, and after a good amount of rooting around the supply filled bag, he managed to pull out the small water bottle he always kept on him.

With almost no hesitation he open the plastic top and began pouring the lukewarm water onto the injured flesh, instantly revelling in the short release.

Another few minutes later and he had done his best for the wound, gently patting it dry then covering it with probably too much bandages.

And with that, he finally stood up from his small recovery spot, yanking his backpack up with him and beginning the walk to the train station, a mental map of routes and shortcuts already forming in his mind.

Pulling out his phone, he quickly checked the time, 14:43. His mind instantly went to what he would’ve been doing if he’d bothered to go to school today, quirk counselling.

The lesson was a basic one, kids learning how to use their quirks properly and the correct conduct for them. At least, if you had one, if you didn’t, you got shoved into the library and told to revise the history of quirks.

As he walked, phone still in hand and idly scrolling through news reports, he pulled back his hood to allow a better view of the screen despite the lack of interesting content.

Pulling up his messenger app, he scrolled through casual conversation between his only remaining friends, fellow internet theorists that all had at least one criminal or villainous connections.

As he got closer to the train station, the streets became more and more populated. Small crowds of unpleasant appearing people gathered in front of shop fronts or made their way past his hunching figure.

He couldn’t help the fear that clogged his throat every time he passed by another stranger, it was naturally imbedded in him to fear others, and the very thought of someone confronting him set him on edge.

Unfortunately, his nightmare became a reality when an almost certainly intoxicated man bumped into his tense self, and Izuku reacted almost instantly by pushing the far larger man away from him, causing the man to stumble.

As soon as Izuku realised he did this, he knew he had fucked up. Badly.

“Oi, what the fuck is your problem?” Although his words slurred, they were deadly clear in Izuku’s mind, which began running at ten thousand miles an hour trying to accommodate for his mistake.

It was when the fist came hurtling towards him that he realised he wasn’t fast enough.


 

When he began to emerge from unconsciousness, the first thing that struck him was the thin, paper like sheet that hugged his body. Even with his eyes closed, he could identify that these were not his own, this fact only being amplified by the hard, unloved surface he laid on, keeping his body dead flat, the only elevation provided by a thin layer of material propped beneath his head.

The second happened when he cracked open his heavy eyelids in an attempt to examine his environment, only to be met with blindingly harsh white light. His eyes snapped shut instantly, but that didn't prevent the stabbing pain that shot through his skull or the sunspots that shone through his closed lids.

A minute or so later he tried again, cautiously attempting to gain vision, fighting through the now slightly more mild irritation, eventually succeeding by diverting his eyes downwards.

The thin sheet fell easily from his form as he slowly began to elevate his position, successfully managing to sit up despite the heavy cloud that covered his mind and slowed his actions, causing even the tiniest of movements to feel like a boulder was pushing down on him.

With his newly gained elevation, he examined the threadbare room he found himself in. Surrounded by extremely sterile appearing cream walls and cheap looking wood floors, confirmed by the harsh scent of chemicals in the air, it didn't take a genius to suss out that he was in some form of hospital.

Next, he looked over himself. The only obvious seeming injury was the sling his left arm was in, something he had failed to notice in his fuzzy mind.

Speaking of his brain, the IV connected to his wrist did wonders in answering his already forming questions about his blurred thought process and weighted down limbs.

He allowed himself to wonder what he'd done or how badly he was injured to get any form of drug pumped into him, but then decided he didn't want to know, figuring that someone would end up telling him at one point or another.

To his right, he noticed both a bed side table and a small leather chair tucked into the corner of the room. Despite the fact he was still squinting, he noticed a rather obvious indent in the material, meaning someone else must have been in-

Mum.

The reality suddenly hit him. This wasn't just another split lip or bruised eye he could write off as an accident to his increasingly concerned mother, someone must have brought him here, and he must have been hurt bad enough to have been given proper treatment and have his mother called.

Shit.

For the past couple of years Izuku had distanced himself from his mother as much as he could, lying about things as simple as what he bought at a shop or as complex as fabricating three days of school he most definitely didn't attend.

It had only gotten worse with his newest endeavors, writing off his hours of absence as meet ups with the friends he didn't have, and claiming his steadily growing number of detentions and his most recent suspension as self defence gone to far, never mentioning that he was always the one to start the confrontation.

But he couldn't lie now, he was completely at the mercy of his own detrimental actions.

He couldn't lie to himself, he was terrified.

Guilt and dread swirled together in disgusting harmony within the empty pit of his stomach, clawing at the organ's fleshy walls and causing it to clench as tightly as his fists, which were desperately seeking any sort of stable solace within his shaking and crumbling mind.

Seeing the opportunity, shooting pain suddenly began blasting through his skull while his chest felt as if it was going to collapse, his breathing quickened in an attempt to accommodate for this, he only caused himself more stress with this, but he found himself unable to stop, and before he knew it his heart was racing to accommodate the sudden rapid flood of oxygen and unneeded adrenaline, which came from the agonising fear he was suddenly gripped with.

The reality of his actions were crashing down in front of him, stuff he had pushed off as necessary were suddenly crystal clear and blindingly wrong, his constant lashing out, the way he pushed away his mother and the tiny handful of people that still tried to interact with him, the way he ignored everything wrong that had ever happened to him in exchange for the present.

He couldn’t keep ignoring the past, pretending ten years of trauma caused by a ‘friend’ had never happened and he couldn’t ignore the death of someone who had made it seem like there was nothing wrong with being quirkless.

No matter how desperately, indescribably he wanted to, deep down, he knew it was wrong. Repressing it was far easier than recovering properly, it was practically nature to him by now, no matter how many problems it caused.

A chill ran over him, and he hunched over, suddenly unable to hold himself up any longer, an indescribable terror weighing down on his spine and crushing his entire being, stopping his panicked breathing and causing him to now choke for even the smallest dregs of air.

Distantly, he registered a door crashing open, and the beginnings of speech, but his sudden lack of oxygen and still exhausted mind held overwhelming power over him, and he could feel himself being dragged back into unconsciousness, black spots that were only creeping across his vision suddenly swimming over his vision, unconsciousness blanketing over his terrified mind.

He felt hands gripping at his shoulders, but in his panicked, near feral state he used the last ounces of his energy to bat them away, frantically clawing at the unknown being, terrified of the unknown, every cell in his body including his clogged throat screaming at them to get away.

The sudden use of energy only quickened his unwilling unconsciousness, and he found himself gripped with panic as he was pulled down into darkness, and he found himself near hysterical as the tendrils of darkness wrapped around him, all increasing the invisible pressure that was causing him to splinter underneath their grip.

It was overwhelming, and he just so desperately wanted everything to stop, he just wanted to think clearly, but he found his energy non-existent, leaving him with only pain and pure, unadulterated fear.

He just wanted it to stop, so as the darkness finally overtook him and he began to slip, he could only hope that unconsciousness would provide relief from the indescribable mental torment he was experiencing.

Once he was confronted with a powerful and overwhelming feeling of nothingness, he could’ve cried in relief.

---

When he awoke again, there was an unexplainable weight covering him, not painful, yet uncomfortable, and he found even the tiniest of movements took an incredible amount of effort.

But within the fog of his mind, a noise registered, and he instinctively went to look towards the sound.

After fighting against his own eyes to allow himself sight, only a step or so away from him, radiating an almost cautious demeanour was both the only and last person he would’ve wanted to see at this very moment.

“Mum…”

It was nothing more than a croak, trailing off with a rasp, yet the feeling behind it was raw and indescribable. It was so many things, an acknowledgement, an apology, a cry for help.

Within seconds he found himself in her embrace, a strange sort of awareness settling over him. He could feel her body racking with silent sobs, the only noise she made was a constant string of words, a constant, never-ending apology.

“Izuku.”

Tears pricked at the corners of his eyes, and for the first time in far too long, he let them run free.

---

“So uh, sorry to ask, but what exactly happened? My memory isn’t… the clearest at the moment.”

The nurse sighed, hand going to his chin, holding it in a loose grip as he contemplated the correct way to explain the situation to the teen. He’d already had to ask the boy’s mother to leave, and he could tell the other occupant of the room wasn’t going to be quick to trust him.

“Well, as I said earlier, you suffered from a mild concussion and a dislocated elbow, the latter of which we fixed when you first arrived. You were brought here via ambulance, called by a bystander after your assailant was detained by a hero and their sidekick, who were off course at the time and stumbled upon you by chance.”

“Wait-“ Izuku couldn’t help but interrupt, finding a detail that irked him. “Why was the ambulance called by a random person watching, shouldn’t that have been the hero’s job? And why was it called after the hero took them down?”

The nurse raised an eyebrow at his questions, but answered them nonetheless. “The hero was busy with your attacker, so they let a civilian call instead. As for why it was afterwards, I don’t know, I’m just repeating what I’ve been told.”

“But-but the hero had a sidekick! What were they doing? Couldn’t they have called-“

“Look, young man,” the nurse cut him off, an authoritative edge slipping into his tone. “You should be thankful the hero was even there, you could’ve suffered far more if they hadn’t been nearby, so stop criticising their actions.”

Izuku furrowed his brows in a show of annoyance, but complied reluctantly and remained quiet.

“Now, where were we?”

The nurse continued lecturing him on something to do with his injuries, but Izuku found himself phasing out, instead focusing on the threadbare amount of information he had been given.

Whoever saved him had left his health in the hands of bystanders, ignoring their pledged duty to help others, and it frustrated Izuku.

He’d read thousands of cases on heroes neglecting their duties, waiting for press to come before helping civilians, walking past situations when they didn’t feel up to it, leaving untrained citizens to handle with the damage as they only focused on one objective.

It had always been other people, things he couldn’t empathise with, another sad story within a sea of thousands.

But now?

He took it back, it didn’t frustrate him, it angered him. The type of lip curling, fist clenching anger that caused people to get up and do something.

And Izuku wasn’t going to back down any longer.

---

After returning home from his first day of school in over a week, Izuku understood perfectly why he hated the place so much.

His mother had dropped him off at the highly populated building, and after entering his tutor, he found himself swarmed by distantly familiar faces, questioning his prolonged absence and the cast that his left arm sat idly in.

Some asked how he did it, some questioned if it still hurt and a surprisingly large amount asked if they could sign the white cast.

By the end of the day, he’d succeeded in keeping it blank.

He utterly despise the sudden spark of popularity. People who usually didn’t even acknowledge he was a member of the class were suddenly gushing with empathy, questioning him as if they actually cared.

Two seemed particularly persistent on staying near him, a ginger boy and his rather miserable seeming friend. He recalled being friends with the two at some point during his high school years, but he couldn’t for the life of him remember either of the two’s names.

He didn’t care much for them anyways, so he didn’t bother to learn them.

The fake concern and unexplainable boredom he suffered through for the sake of ‘education’ only solidified an idea that had been swirling in the back of his mind, slowly growing and becoming more and more appealing as he continued to consider it.

When he finally returned home, having had to narrowly dodge the requested train ride with the pair that had been so insistently following him all day by taking the hour and a half walk home.

The long walk through the busy streets gave him time to think in solitude, his legs carried him easily which allowed him to concentrate on the forming idea, giving it more shape and more appeal as time went on.

When he finally got home, he still had another half an hour or so before his mother got home, so he quickly darted into his room, allowing himself time to consider without worry of being interrupted or overheard.

He allowed himself to mumble now, thoughts escaping verbally and revealing his ideas to the darkness of his room, the only light provided by the soft glow of light shining behind his thin curtains.

The decision was a big one, but he saw it as right. There were pros and cons, yes, but if he did it right, he’d be free of his young life’s mandatory obligations, allowing him unlimited free time to pursue his own endeavours.

As he rooted his mind for motivations, he found them coming easily, but one stood out, loud and clear.

You can be a hero.

Although he had abandoned the goal years ago, he couldn’t help the childlike excitement that came with the concept, he’d strived for years to achieve it.

But with that came the memory that had caused him to tear apart page upon page of research, one that had sent him into months of unending numbness.

It was so deeply repressed that he struggled to remember the details, and only one rang true and clear, of his hero saying words he had refused to accept for years.

But here was his chance to prove him wrong, a chance to prove All Might wrong, surely if he did this, he would prove his hero wrong, prove that his quirklessness was irrelevant.

Prove that he could be a hero, just not a conventional one.

The idea was just too tempting, so with his hands shaking in anticipation, his thoughts overwhelmed with fantasy and planning, he retrieved his phone, which he had been given along with the other miscellaneous items they had found on or nearby him a week or so ago.

Opening the messenger app, he carefully typed out his message, intent clear.

Deku

@FuckYoChilli77 Hey, does your offer for setting me up with your friend’s vigilante group still stand?

And if it does, do you think they can help out with finding some less than legal accommodation?

Izuku was quirkless, but he was going to be a hero.

No matter what it fucking took.

Chapter Text

Despite the endless shaking of his hands, Izuku found himself oddly calm.

Of course, most teenagers would be scared out of their mind in this situation, surrounded by most likely dangerous strangers, all waiting outside an abandoned warehouse without any explanation other than ‘wait here.’

Actually, now that Izuku thought about it, he was petrified, but luckily the majority of his body was ignoring this fact, so his nervous shaking was reserved to his hands only.

He kept rereading the most recent of his texts, practically branding the information into his mind as he continued repeating the information.

FuckYoChilli77

You got the address??

Deku

Yep, on the train now

FuckYoChilli77

Good, tanaka should be around 30 mins or so after the benefactors show up, try not to get stabbed, you get a free pass for the group bcus I sent tana all your 10,000 word essays on random ass vigilantes and although he was pretty damn impressed  that doesn’t mean any rando wannabe trying to get recruited wont be willing to end you

Deku

That is incredibly reassuring, what time will the benefactors get there?

FuckYoChilli77

Ey, I only interact with vigs/crims online, you’re the nutcase meetin with ‘em. And I think theyre meant to show up round half one? Don’t take my word for it

Izuku glanced up at time for what felt like the hundredth time.

14:07

And factoring in how he’d arrived a good ten minutes early to make a good first impression, Izuku was

His fuse was only shortened by the thirteen or so people that meandered scarily close to him, all most all larger than him and definitely all more intimidating than his small hooded figure.

The inconsistent conversation was concerning as well, small talk having been replaced with rather threatening talk about their rather late recruiters somewhere down the line.

His prayers for something to happen finally arrived in the form of a man charging towards the group, red faced and with a bag flying out behind him.

Despite his completely unthreatening demeanour, Izuku caught both himself tensing up, an action he caught several others doing in the corner of his eye.

After the man came to a halt, an uncomfortable silence settled over the group as the man surveyed the group, a confused look settling on his flushed face.

“Uh, has no one shown up to let you in yet?” The question seemed rather redundant, considering the man was faced with a group of fourteen who all too clearly hadn’t been let into the building they were crowded outside of.

This question was answered by a deafening silence, paired with multiple dirty looks from those who hadn’t dressed for the overcast weather.

Despite the tension, the man pressed forward, taking his time as he approached the roll up door of the warehouse, fumbling in his pocket for assumedly a pair of keys. “Well sorry for that then folks, I’m usually the late one in these situations.”

He began a small ramble as he flicked through his overpopulated key chain, voice not wavering as he plugged multiple wrong keys into the door’s lock.

It was easy for Izuku to drift off like this, lulled by the comforting warmth and familiarity of his go to ‘I’m doing something that probably isn’t legal’ hoodie, an oversized all might hoodie he had purchased years ago that he would turn inside out to hide it’s vibrant design, leaving him with only the dark blue fabric.

Despite his incredibly rocky opinion on the man, he couldn’t deny his power, or the fact he had spent a good portion of his life practically worshiping him as a god among men. It was almost scary to Izuku that despite the man having crushed his dreams years ago, he still couldn’t bring himself to completely hate him.

Of course, he could still hate the things that he had caused, years of Izuku’s life had been spent mourning the loss of his life long dream, and the grudge that remained would never truly leave him.

In his eyes, Izuku respected the image all might represented, yet he found himself hating the fragile person behind that face of hope. It was near infuriating to Izuku how the man continued to lie to the public about himself, and considering how quickly he had jumped to denying Izuku’s lifelong dream, he couldn’t help but wonder how much cruelty the man was capable of.

It was an odd way of thinking, but it worked for Izuku, so he went with it.

He was actually pretty good at that nowadays, going with whatever the world dealt him, after all, that was what had led him to where he was now, about to be led into an unknown warehouse that held the potential of him joining a vigilante group, for god’s sake.

He couldn’t help but wonder what his thirteen year old self would think of the person he was now, resorting to a near illegal life in the pursuit of a long since lost dream and his ever precious rushes of adrenaline.

Whatever he may have thought, it probably wouldn’t be good. But hey, there was no going back now, considering the building’s door had practically just been thrown open with way too much enthusiasm than necessary.

“Nailed it, go right ahead folks, it’s pretty bare but we just rented this for the day so we have no idea what’s in here.” He indicated inside, and a good portion of the group already headed towards the entrance without a trace of wariness.

Whether it was out of confidence or stupidity, the lack of hesitation was near admirable to the constantly alert Izuku.

“Make yourself at home, I just gotta call up some people to make sure they actually show up within the next twenty four hours.” Slipping a practical brick of a phone out if his jacket pocket, he indicated for the group to enter the now opened building.

As the group of people began to trickle into the chilled building, the man suddenly looked up from his phone, eyes lighting up a bit as he scanned the small crowd, an alarming amount of mirth overtaking his sharp features.

“Oh yeah, and sorry for the name, but which one of you is ‘a green haired masochist in the making’?”

Are you fucking kidding me.

---

Despite the rather… strange introduction, Izuku found that the brown haired man who introduced himself as Tanaka was the very person that had allowed him to be here in the first place.

He was surprisingly jovial considering the situation, happily rambling on about this and that as he checked his phone every couple seconds or so, typing every second or third look.

It was only when a roar of an engine sounded from outside that his demeanour changed, posturing straightening and casual air dissipating slightly, but his default smile maintained as he pulled Izuku to the side, hand locking around the teenager’s thin arm as he jolted the boy out of his thoughts.

“Yo kid, quick check before this starts, but you can do your whole analytic thing on the go, right?”

Izuku blinked slightly at the question, half startled by the abruptness, only just managing to sputter out a small and almost questioning ‘yeah’.

Tanaka flashed him a grin. “Ok, great, probably should’ve checked before, but ehhh. Ok wait yeah, back on topic, this is basically what you gotta do. I’m assuming you know strategic vigilantes are pretty rare right?”

Izuku turned his head slightly, genuinely confused by the sentence. “Wait, really?”

“Mh, I mean, you can find them, but it’s so damn hard to find any good ones, y’know?” Izuku nodded, already going through his mental bank of vigilante knowledge, trying to recall any particularly clever vigilantes.

“Well, anyways, we’ve got some good contacts and have our own resident analysist, but he’s been pretty damn picky. It’s been over a year and he still hasn’t picked up anyone else to work with, but he liked your work, so you’ve got the chance to impress him.

You’ve got a pretty simple job, the people with money will ask everyone to show off their quirks and it’s your job to do that thing where you, uh, grade them, yeah that works.” The man gave a half shrug mid sentence, as if he himself didn’t understand the concept perfectly.

Admittedly, Izuku was tempted to correct the man on his wording, but his lack of social ability and the sudden lack of background noise pulled him away from the idea.

Turning his body to face the door, he wasn’t surprised to find three new figures populating it, framed with weak light from outdoors.

Even from the couple of metres distance, Izuku could practically sense the strong air of authority hanging around the adult trio, not at all permeated by their casual attire.

They were powerful, and it didn’t take a genius to tell.

A rather awkward silence settled at their silent entrance, yet the woman at the forefront of the group didn’t waver, stepping in front of the gathered crowd, surveying them carefully with seemingly uncaring eyes.

Without any indication, she spoke up, her tone of voice was as bored as her glare, a slight drawl audible within her speech. “Since y’all are here to try and join us, I ain’t gonna be sweet with ya, I’m the one being forced to run down the rules, so listen up fuckers, I’m not repeating myself.”

Within a second, the woman’s hand had shot to hip, retrieving an unknown object and pointing it towards the ceiling, three loud bangs sounding out in an almost melodic like pattern.

Holy shit, that’s a gun.

How the hell had she gotten her hands on that? After the acceptance of quirks, the amount of weapons that went into production came to a crashing halt, and last time Izuku checked, Japan was one of the countries where guns had been completely outlawed, due to it’s high population of quirk holders.

It was meant to be impossible to get them nowadays, but seeing the object rest oh so casually in the woman’s now lowered arm, he guessed not.

“We don’t play games here, once you join, we’ll protect you, but we ain’t perfect. You could get shanked, beaten, shot, arrested at any point of time in this life, just name it and it could damn well fucking happen. If you can’t deal with that, leave. Now.”

Ok, so this is going to be interesting.

---

Two hours or so later, Izuku was successfully both mentally exhausted and near terrified of the silent man that had been watching him write notes the entire time.

He had long since stopped caring about the fact that Tanaka had described him as analytic genius when he’d dragged Izuku towards him, as having a stranger watch him at work was incredibly intimidating, and he found his hand shaking in worry more than once as anxiety wormed itself into his brain due to the man’s blatant lack of care of his privacy.

For what was definitely not the first time that day, he was indescribably glad that he’d brought a blank notebook for this, thoughts of the man just taking up the book and reading through his personal research seemed terrifyingly possible.

After plugging in some final scribbles he directed his vision towards the aftermath of the past two hours, the group of thirteen having dwindled into seven, due to the other two of the powerful trio that had entered the now slightly heated warehouse, the beginning rain and cold winds becoming irrelevant when one person had revealed a temperature quirk.

He’d found that quirk incredibly interesting, and after a brief round of questioning the girl who held it had said she didn’t know most of the details, just that it allowed her to heat up surrounding areas via energy. It may have something to do with radiation, or maybe she was simply had a way of triggering kinetic energy within atoms? It made sense, but how couldthatworkwiththelargeareashemanagedtocover.

“That’s a bad habit.”

He jolted out of his thoughts, the unknown voice sending him into alarm and sending him nearly flying backwards onto the floor. Of course, he’d already been sitting on the floor, considering how bare the metal building was, but that wasn’t the point.

“W-what?” The stutter was impulsive, and he whipped around his head to find the source of the voice.

“That’s also a bad one, shows a lack of self-confidence, something you’ll need a lot more of if today is reflective of the rest of your life choices.” The voice was clearly not concerned by his Izuku’s startled reaction. “Also, I’m behind you.”

Oh.

Making one last turn, Izuku found himself facing the same man who he’d been worrying over only a minute or so ago.

Slowly, the man came closer, squatting down next to Izuku and pointing towards his notebook.

“Your not half bad, especially considering that you’re what, seventeen, eighteen?-“ wait, how did he know his age? He’d kept his hood up for the most part, and he knew he hadn’t revealed anything about himself since he’d gotten here.

“Oh, your probably wondering about the age thing, it’s not too hard to guess. Your too still for anything younger, anyone with the amount of anxiety you’re dealing with would either be fidgeting like hell or have run off by now.”

Wait, what?

He struggled to articulate his thoughts, but when he did, it only came out as a quiet stutter.

“H-how?” Izuku was mildly shocked, the facts were incredibly basic, yes, but he said it without hesitation, as if it were public information.

“Ah, that leads up to my point, you’ve got one awfully large flaw, and it just so happens to be the tactic I used to guess your age. You don’t see people.”

Izuku’s face scrunched up in confusion as he looked at the man, that didn’t make sense, of course he saw people, how did he think he’d written down all these notes? Izuku was fully prepared to go into the defensive over his own abilities, but he wasn’t given a chance be the squatting man, who simply raised his index finger, asking for silence.

“Let me elaborate. That man over there, the one who has a nerve manipulation quirk.” Izuku looked over to said man, and he mentally recalled the most basic of observations he had taken on him, and how if he used it correctly, his quirk could be incredibly dangerous.

“You rated him pretty high, but you rated his actions, not who he is. Logically yes, he has great potential, but give yourself a few more seconds to look at him, and it’s obvious he’s far too kind to ever truly use it to his advantage.”

Thoroughly confused, Izuku once again looked at the nerve manipulator, examining beyond his quirk and its abilities. Average height was paired with slim build, the only true noticeable features were his hunched shoulders and soft eyes.

Incredibly average, to put it simply. He would fit right in within a crowd, and the eyes made it obvious that he wasn’t a violent person, probably the sort or person to help others with their shopping or-

Oh wait.

Oh.

Oh shit.

“Ah, there you go, you’ve realised it.” The words were almost distant, considering how Izuku was currently screaming at himself for not realising that oh my god that was so obvious how did you not just look at him, yet he still tried his best to tune himself in.

“Plenty of people have the same problem, so don’t knock yourself up about it. Usually happens when you have too many bad experiences with people, you stop looking at them properly to avoid any more people messing with you.”

It made a… surprising amount of sense. Of course, it probably wasn’t factual, but Izuku was willing to take it, as he was still wondering how in the hell he’d managed to ignore something so simple for seemingly so long.

“I can see you’ve figured it out, that’s good.”

The man stood up, taking a moment to stretch his unused legs.

“Oh, and we’ve decided to take you on. You needed accommodation, right?”

Izuku had only a second to register the rather nonchalant announcement before he had to reply, which came in the form of a dazedly nodded head, his eyes still slightly wide as he processed the new information.

“One of our benefactors.” The man idly turned a thumb into the direction of the other two of his party. “Owns an apartment building nearby the location I’m based in, it’s a location he uses for employees and those he owes favours too, very helpful for us,

I’ve jotted down the location and your apartment, be there at 9am on Sunday and I’ll be there with the keys and more information. If you change your mind, don’t show up. Also, don’t be late.”

Slipping the still dazed Izuku a small slip of paper, he stretched once again before acknowledging the boy in front of him for the last time.”

“Welcome to Enable, I’ll be seeing you.”

With that, he took his leave, striding towards one of his companions as if he hadn’t dropped a practical bomb of new information onto Izuku.

Even as the boy took his leave, harshly tugging at his hood to avoid it being blown back by the harsh winds that were accompanying the rain, he was still trying to wrap his head around the information.

Sunday, that’s three days.

I’m leaving my life behind in three days.

It was one of the most terrifying thoughts he’d had in a long time.

---

When Saturday arrived, he found himself weighed down with an indescribable guilt, pulling his body down with every movement, filling him with a dread that overrode all his actions.

This is the last time I’ll see the home I grew up in.

This is the last time I’ll see my mum.

Of every ‘this is the last’ thought that had attacked him that day, that particular was the most powerful, an sharp, ugly thought that yanked at his brain, causing a miniature headache whenever it appeared, which was almost constantly.

He couldn’t even say goodbye, he knew he would have to disappear. If he said goodbye she’d get suspicious, if he left a note she’d assume that he had taken his own life, he just had to act, normal.

He was having trouble remembering what that really was.

It was after three when a self-made lunch of cereal caused the idea to arrive, and before he knew it he was barging out the door, wallet in one hand and small backpack hastily thrown over his shoulder.

When he returned, it was with a blooming idea and a bag full of ingredients.

It had taken a fair amount of googling and small experiments, but by seven he had fully prepared an at least half decent meal.

The look his mother gave him when she walked in would normally be one to make his heart soar, that look of happy shock, praise already on the tip of her tongue.

Today, it caused him nothing but a gripping, near stabbing guilt to strike in his abdomen.

But he smiled through it, not wanting to ruin the last day he had with the woman that raised him.

Despite the guilt that plagued him, he pushed forward, conversing with his mother as if this were a perfectly normal occasion and he didn’t spend the majority of his life hiding from her.

After having cleaned away and watching shows together with plot lines so simple they were almost comedic, the conversation continuing happily into the night as Izuku pushed away the reality of the situation.

When his mother had finally relented to her exhaustion, he had been the one to turn off the lights, taking his time with every switch, an overwhelming feeling slowly beginning to pool around him as each light flickered into darkness.

And when he finally came into his own room, hovering nervously in front of the oh so familiar door, he found himself not wanting to enter, not wanting to face what he had brought upon himself, and in turn, his mother.

But he had to, so steeling himself, he entered the room, covered in tiny reminders of the past, the remains of paper ripped off the walls, small figures mounted on stands, an ajar wardrobe, each item holding stories he could recall with only a look at the familiar pattern.

It was only once the door closed behind him that he allowed the tears to flow.

---

Cold still nipped at his skin, but Izuku pressed forward, ignoring the powerful weight that was the backpack and travel bag he dragged along behind him, filled with only the essentials, things that couldn’t be replaced or forgotten within his new world.

“Ah, you made it.”

Not unbeknownst to him, Midoriya Izuku died that day. All that remained was Izuku, an introverted seventeen year old who had just willingly walked into a life of crime, crime that was for the greater good though, of course.

He’d never admit it, but as Izuku came into the world, parts were lost on the way, those he no longer saw as vital.

Izuku could never even dream the consequences that these missing pieces would have.

But then again, would he even be Izuku anymore?

Chapter Text

The past two months had been, well… interesting, to say the least.

To say the most however? It had been completely and utterly life changing.

In the span of fifty three days, Izuku had gone through devastation, grief, acceptance, excitement and exhilaration a countless amount of times, and it was only after relentless mental and the occasional physical battle that he felt he had truly overcome the uncontrollable force that was his life.

But in Izuku’s case, the concept of stability in his life was long gone, and this particular morning was obvious proof of that.

Of course, that didn’t make him any less surprised.

“You want me to what?” His voice raising far higher than necessary, tone obviously conveying his disbelief. One hand clutched at his pencil, which had been hovering above his work only a few seconds ago, as the other reached out for the side of his chair, trying to simulate a feeling of control by gripping at the secure frame.

Tanaka, the man that had suddenly appeared by his side, both Izuku’s self-proclaimed ‘mentor’ and the person who had allowed him to be where he sat at that very moment, didn’t even flinch at Izuku’s incredulous reaction, tilting his head in response as his face remained deceivingly blank.

“Was I not clear enough?”

“No! Of course not-“ Izuku was quick to response, knowing the man didn’t take even the slightest of ignorance lightly. “It’s just... sudden.”

“No it’s not, a few days after you started coming here to finish your work you mentioned that you’ve fought to help others, after I told you that you’d need an extra job for any sort of luxuries you picked physical labour, and last week you asked me if anyone in base would be willing to train you.” He rattled off without hesitation, and his ability to state facts so bluntly was one Izuku couldn’t help but both hate and admire.

“That’s not it, I just didn’t expect for you to bring something up so… suddenly.” Izuku tried to start off, but he lost sight towards the end and trailed off lamely, unable to think of the right words.

“You’re not doing anything important, your there to explain the plan and then stand back as it happens, nothing more. Your only permitted to get involved if the situation turns violent.”

Izuku blinked as he registered the explanation, and despite how easily he saw the logic, he still felt uneasy about the way he had been so suddenly thrown into a plan he’d intended for three strangers that he’d probably never meet.

When he didn’t speak up however, Tanaka took this as a sign of acceptance. “As I was saying, you’ll be there at around quarter to four, not a suspicious time for someone of your age to be out during the holidays-.”

His listening was barely half minded as Tanaka rambled on about the mission and the plan that came with it, which was rather pointless considering Izuku had spent the past three days making it, just without the intentions of him being in it.

It was a simple job, they’d been given information on the hub of a beginning drug ring, hidden in the form of a gaming store. Products were transferred via inconspicuous console boxes to anyone that could provide the right code words.

Despite the simplicity of the place, figuring out a proper way to expose it was rather problematic. They clearly had a supply hidden somewhere out of sight in the building, but it would be impossible to investigate anywhere other than the ground floor without being caught, as there weren’t any public stairs.

If they were police or heroes, they could’ve requested a warrant to search the place, but as they were vigilantes, their job was only made harder.

Izuku, however, had lavished the challenge in it.

Within a day he had obtained the floor plan of the building, as it was part of multiple identical rows  of buildings, tucked away in one of thousands of streets in the centre of Adachi. After filling in what he could from pictures of the interior online, he had a bird’s eye view of the first floor.

The stairs were indeed hidden behind the counter, located in a rectangular area blocked from view by only a thin and, what Izuku discovered to be, a dry wall.

Next came the hard part, figuring out an actual plan.

They hadn’t been given a single hint on what on earth the code word could actually be, so Izuku had had to improvise, deciding on a risky move that could spell for disaster if pulled off wrong, which was why he had also requested a heavy hitter for the mission in case the plan went sour.

Put simply, his plan was for the main instigator of the mission to simply go up and ask for drugs, all while carrying an old style tape recorder somewhere on their person, preferably as close to the speaker as possible for optimal evidence quality.

It was frustratingly blunt, and it frustrated Izuku to no end that he couldn’t figure anything else out, but Tanaka hadn’t offered any assistance, which meant he probably wasn’t going to get any if he tried. So for now he was stuck with his own, rather brash plan, unless anything else came to mind within the next twenty four hours.

To make up for this, he had requested a three-person team, an instigator, a witness and a heavy hitter. If the instigator failed and the situation turned violent, the witness was intended to either calm the situation or call in the heavy hitter and then in turn, the police.

If they succeeded in recording evidence, they would turn it into the police as Enable, the anonymous vigilante group that had delivered hundreds of crimes right to the police’s doorstep.

If the plan failed and the police had to be called in, the witness was supposed to claim to the police that they had heard other people within the building, which would lead to the police searching the rest of the building and hopefully finding whatever supplies the building stocked.

Enable wouldn’t be able to claim that they had assisted due to the risk to the group’s members identities, but at least good would still be done.

According to Tanaka, the situation was common, instances they had caused but couldn’t put their name onto due to the risk of revealing the identity of their members. Enable took their anonymity incredibly seriously, passing up fame and potential connections in exchange for keeping their reputation of nearly complete secrecy. Of course, a few small things had slipped through the cracks over the past two years the group had been active, but those instances were few and far between.

Izuku certainly wasn’t going to complain about it, only a grand total of two their members had ever been caught, and neither had been tried due to sheer lack of evidence. And considering the large amount of people he had seen and had only just started to recognise around their base, he considered himself lucky to have found such a secretive group of people that allowed him to do a job he adored.

The only thing that Izuku had found himself disliking about his current placement was the lack of activity. His past four years had been accompanied by self-planned exercise and training, nearly two years of weekly yet amateur combat training and months of independent vigilantism, he was bound to get restless.

That was why he had picked his newly acquired job in an electronics warehouse. The hours were long and filled with nonstop movement of ridiculously heavy boxes with far more ridiculous price tags, but it had managed to temporarily quell his growing need to act out against something, anything really.

It was after this thought however, that he realised the deadpan stare being directed at him by Tanaka, and he quickly snapped himself back into reality.

“As I was saying.” The man laid heavy emphasis onto his words, his eyes squinting slightly in annoyance, but the expression cleared up quickly as he continued his dictation.

“You’ll be playing the role of the witness here, and strictly that. Your only permitted to use force if absolutely necessary, got it?”

Izuku nodded obediently, overplaying the action to prove that he was listening this time around. Tanaka muttered a quick ‘good’ before reaching into one of his pockets, rummaging slightly before pulling out a small flip phone.

He recognised the model immediately, as it was identical to the one that sat in his trousers’ pockets, a pay as you go he had been given to contact Tanaka or for Tanaka to contact him, and he usually found it being used for the latter.

They were basic and cheap, around 1600 yen a piece, something Izuku had nearly done a double take over as he remembered the price of his own old phone, and incredibly hard to track due to their incredibly simple technology and the fact you could buy one and have another only a few weeks later with barely to your savings.

Tanaka held the small device out to him, and he took it easily, turning it over in his hands as a weak form of examination for a few moments before returning his eyes up to the man in front of him.

“I’ve messaged some more specific details of my own onto that, so make sure to review them tonight, ring in sick for work if necessary. The two contacts are your instigator and heavy hitter, I put them down as A and M respectively, but their vigilante names are Atelo and Molten. I doubt you’ll need that information, but no matter.”

He nodded once again, almost unconsciously sliding the phone open to confirm that what he had been told was true. It was stupid really, he’d learnt that Tanaka wasn’t one for mistakes within only a few days, yet he still felt an urge to confirm his statements.

“Oh, and since you have yet to find a proper vigilante name, I put you down as Midori due to your surname and colour preferences. Consider it a placeholder until you can provide me with an actual alias.”

Izuku startled at this, blinking owlishly up at his self-proclaimed mentor as he processed the information. He’d completely abandoned the name Midoriya upon coming here, deciding it was disrespectful to carry the name of a mother he had abandoned over his own goals. Instead he had simply gone by Izuku, which although jarring at first, had become natural to him as time went on.

The man replied with only a blank stare, the only form of emotion showing in the form of a slight head tilt. “What? You can barely complain, you acted out as a vigilante for a month and have been officially working for us for two months, yet you’ve still been incapable of giving me a name. I can’t even ask for anyone to assist you in your requested training sessions because otherwise I’d have to go giving your first name out.”

“But, you go by your name, right?” Izuku spoke out, furrowing his brows at the slight hypocrisy the man was displaying.

What he received back was a look that screamed the word ‘seriously’, one eyebrow raised and the other lowered and dead straight lips.

“If you believed Tanaka was actually my name, you clearly have much farther to go, Midori.” It took a few moments for realisation to hit, but when it did Izuku’s face flushed in embarrassment, and he hung his head in both shame and an attempt to hide the sudden redness of his face. He mumbled out a small sorry for good measures before finally returning to his previous inconsistent eye contact with the unamused man.

“You also need to work on your body language, your far too easy to read for even an untrained eye, I can read you with only a glance. What can you see from me, Izuku?”

The question was sudden and slightly out of place, but Izuku didn’t question it. Tanaka spoke whatever came to mind, and it was something he’d quickly adapted to.

Using his best effort, he surveyed the man in front of him, trying to pick up any inferences he could, but it was near impossible.

He was just so effortlessly nothing, with blank facial expressions on averagely pigmented skin, black hair out of his face yet not obviously pushed away. His clothing was of no help either, a loosely fitting black polo shirt accompanied by plain black trousers.

“I, uh, I can’t see anything…” Izuku trailed off, and he felt the same trails of embarrassment creeping up and resting at the edge of his cheeks, ready to strike at the most likely incoming put down of his abilities.

“Exactly.”

Izuku jumped slightly at this, already having prepared himself for the supposedly incoming insult to his self-taught analysis skills. He even verbalised this shock, quietly choking on a ‘huh’ sound before his hand instinctively went to his face, trying to cover up for his mistake.

“I’ve learnt how to become invisible within a crowd and how to be forgotten within an instant. It’s all a matter of how you portray yourself. My appearance is not a memorable one, allowing me to pass through throngs of strangers without a single one even acknowledging that I exist.

“You however.” He took a second to look Izuku up and down, and a wave of self-consciousness swept over him as the man’s seemingly uncaring eyes surveyed his entirety, and he raised a hand to his face in embarrassment, wanting to shield himself at least slightly from the unyielding gaze.

“Your introverted and want to be ignored, your appearance is made to serve your own comfort and a need to be ignored. Despite this, your still self-conscious of your own attire and appearance, assumedly your scar as that was the place your hand went to protect. Your hoodie is also turned inside out, a strange choice considering how well worn it appears to be, so assumedly is contains some sort of design or logo you do not want to be associated with, but it still holds enough sentimental value that you’ve decided to keep it.”

“And that’s just the top half of your body.” The man cracked a slightly mirthful grin as Izuku stared back, shocked. It wasn’t often that Tanaka actually displayed his own abilities off in front of Izuku, and since he had his own private study for his own projects, it wasn’t often that he could truly see the prowess of the man’s analyst skill, yet he found himself awestruck every time it happened.

“Now then, how is your report on Brawler coming along?”

His shocked face suddenly broke out with a smile, and he quickly scurried to his desk, a mess of utensils and abundant sheets of paper which had been covered almost completely with hurriedly noted down characters.

Gathering the first related sheets he could, he began his long pent up rant on the previously mentioned vigilante that had caught his eye a week or two ago, and after presenting what had turned into a mini presentation to Tanaka, the man had allowed him to pursue his interest in the combat vigilante, Tanaka himself finding the new vigilante of interest.

Izuku didn’t know how long he went on about the rock quirk user to the eternally neutral faced Tanaka, but by the time he had finally cleared away the sticky notes that he had hurriedly stuck onto the cream walls of the building, because apparently, he had been in such a rush he couldn’t even drag over the empty corkboard that sat in the corner of the room, he was thoroughly exhausted.

The review had soon turned into a complete analysis of the up and coming vigilante, Izuku providing his speciality of breaking down every element of the man’s quirk while Tanaka made the occasional note or two about his supposed motivations and alignments, going so far as to wonder if they could possibly reach out to the vigilante if they ever suddenly required another heavy hitter to enter their ranks.

By the time he could finally leave the stuffy cream coloured building, he barely had a moment to relish the soft gust of wind that hit him or the sudden change in lighting before his nostrils were being attacked with the harsh scent of stagnant rubbish, left to stew due to the area’s seemingly desolate appearance.

It was his own choice to use the backdoor, preferring to avoid any other people that may populate the building, so he had to mentally remind himself that his was his own choice as he pushed himself past the eye watering scent.

Hurriedly dashing towards the far too bright light at the end of the alley, soaking the entrance to the dingy strip of land with a near ethereal glow, something that was incredibly tempting when Izuku felt as he was going to cause physical damage to himself if he curled up his face anymore.

When he finally reached past the honey coloured glow, he took in a deep sigh of relief, savouring the almost crisp feeling of the air as he took a moment to refill his lungs without the vicious strain on his nose.

After his small break, he took a moment to recall his surroundings, still not completely familiar with the surroundings due to the sporadic nature of his schedule, which was essentially ‘come in if you have something to do, if not, stay home until Tanaka contacts you again’.

It allowed him a surprising amount of free time, and he’d spent most of it either exploring the area around his new home or cooped up in said home, almost aggressively covering his walls and assortments of boards and notebooks in his relentless scrawl which had long since forgotten the rules of presentation and grammar.

As long as it was intelligible to Izuku, that was all that was necessary.

Usually, he headed home with one of those said projects in mind, a particularly interesting new side kick or a villain’s identity reveal. Today however, as he began to take his own self-made path back to his apartment, he was plagued with thoughts of only an houror so ago.

“Oh, and since you have yet to find a proper vigilante name, I put you down as Midori due to your surname and colour preferences.”

It had genuinely caught him off guard, a rare occurrence for Izuku. Tanaka only took feelings into account if they could seriously affect a situation, and the detail was so miniscule it had probably crossed his mind, but it was now seriously causing Izuku to think.

The name just didn’t seem right, a deliberate call back to something he actively felt shame for, a name he was no longer worthy of. But his distaste only brought up Tanaka’s next words, words that frustrated Izuku due to the uncaring way an expectation had been implanted into them.

“Consider it a placeholder until you can provide me with an actual alias.”

A placeholder, an assumption made thinking that Izuku would continue with this to the point of which he would require a proper name, an alias to be recognised with.

It showed off a certainty in his future that Izuku just didn’t have.

Of course, he enjoyed being a vigilante, in both forms he’d tried. He’d thrived on the adrenaline that flooded through him in conflict, savoured the feeling of victory after a harsh battle of both strength and wills, actively sought out more of that oh so intoxicating disgusting feeling of pride as he caused injuries that would not be forgotten all too soon.

And he’d also adored having his mind put to the test, challenging himself with mystery after mystery, digging up information in the suddenly abundant amount of resources he was provided with, the seemingly infinite wisdom that Tanaka held that was only a few well-placed questions away.

But was this really the future he wanted?

He’d been perfectly aware that there was no going back after he’d agreed to Tanaka’s deal, ready and willing as he left his lifelong home with the clear and unsugar coated knowledge that from here on out, his life and future were at immediate risk at almost all times.

Yet that couldn’t quell the lingering guilt, and it annoyed him, frustrated him, angered him.

When he felt the urge to punch something, to feel the momentarily release and the familiar harsh sting on his knuckles, he was still a good five minutes away from his apart, so he forced himself to push forwards, desperately pushing down the building tension in his limbs as his stride became stiff.

He became acutely aware of his surroundings as his frustrations began to grow, the striking heat of the sun pulsing down onto him, making his dark blue hoodie almost sweltering while his jeans clung uncomfortably to his thighs as sweat began to form.

Overgrown hair fell into his face as always, but he found himself pushing it far more violently out of his eyes than necessary, irritation slipping into his actions as his control over his own emotions began to slip.

His emotions were escalating, and fast.

Trying to distract his thoughts  from the beginning shaking of his clenched fist and the boiling heat the sun was subjecting him to, he reached to the nearest thing he could, and he found himself grabbing the back of his hair, pulling at the overgrown and uncared for strands in an attempt to relieve his own tension.

I should get it cut soon, the thought was basic and menial, exactly what Izuku needed right now, it must be past my shoulders by now, I last got it cut, what? Five months ago? It had been just before his third year had started and Fu-

Fuck no wait go back.

He was lucky that he had reached his building by now, and he no longer cared for rationality as he bounded up sets of stairs, cloud beginning to fog over his mind as his sight became blurred at the edges, just desperate to get back to his apartment, desperate to let go.

Fumbling with his keys, a good minute or so was wasted as he desperately tried to retrieve them and insert them into his door, desperate for the luxurious call of privacy.

When the door finally slammed shut behind him, he could barely see through the ugly mingling of anger and desperation that obscured his vision, and he found himself completely overwhelmed by the indescribable need to rid himself of the disgusting emotions.

His throat was thick and he could physically feel the disgust rising in his stomach as his mind realised how desperate he was for something so brutish and irrelevant, but he had long since lost control of his own actions.

Driven by frustration and want, he didn’t spare a second before directing his hits towards the nearest and most viable punching bag within the small home.

Himself.

He didn’t know how long he remained in that state, mindlessly harming his own body for the split seconds of relief that came with every dull strike. Self-control was non-existent in this mindset, and even after he’d collapsed onto the ground out of exhaustion, whether it was emotionally or physically, he continued.

His throat felt clogged and both mucus and tears flowed freely from his face, yet the binding constriction in his chest remained, so the punches did as well. His mind screamed mantras of self-hatred and he could only abide to them in his broken state.

By the time he was too exhausted to move, he was sore all over, skin already showing signs of bruising and eyes raw with tears. His face was a mess of dried fluids and his body screamed at even the slightest of movement.

Now that Izuku thought about it, he’d take any sort of future over this.

Maybe tomorrow could be the start of something great.


 

When he woke up the next morning, it was well past twelve, but Izuku couldn’t find it within himself to care.

One of the first things he’d thought after nearly falling off of his sofa that… morning? Afternoon? He wasn’t sure, but one of the first things that popped into his mind after his rather rude awakening was that oh shit, he’d missed work yesterday.

He didn’t think they’d care that much, the company had long since employed a system that deducted missed shifts from your salary, so it was unlikely they’d go after him for it. Of course, it still wasn’t a good thing, and it wasn’t a habit Izuku would like to be getting into any time soon.

The second thing that came into his still slightly hazy brain was I’m never going to move again. The aching of his limbs was indescribable, and even glancing at the stained red flesh made him wince. He spent a good ten minutes or so just lying on the uncomfortable piece of furniture repeating the words shit this hurts under his breath over and over again.

He had no one to blame for this but himself, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t complain about it.

Another good ten minutes of his time was spent painfully pushing himself into a sitting position, trying to grin and bare the combination of the bruises that peppered his pale body and the sharp crick he had gained in his neck due to sleeping on it wrong.

When he finally made it to his feet, he was shaky and off balance, so he decided showering was off the table until he could put one foot in front of the other without having the grab the nearest piece of furniture.

Hobbling over to his kitchenette, he managed to swing open the door of his fridge, only to find the oh so familiar stark interior facing him. He had meant to go shopping after work yesterday, but he guessed that was out of the question by now.

Sighing slightly, he risked a stretch, and despite the resounding complain from multiple different locations on his arms, he managed to raise said limbs about his head, savouring the slight strain it put onto hit arms and back while ignoring the alarming amount of sharp clicking noises that came with it.

Rolling his head around his shoulders, he braced himself for the slight dizziness before stabling himself on the nearest wall. Said wall just so happened to be the one covering up his bedroom, and after shuffling across the cool surface to the slightly ajar door, he pushed his way in, only to be met by the same dull lighting his main room was coated in.

Realising the task ahead of him, Izuku reluctantly switched on the bedroom’s light, and despite it’s low quality, the glare still stung his eyes. He was still squinting away from it as he navigated through the sea of paper and miscellaneous items that made the floor nearly invisible, a combination that resulting in a lot more tripping over than Izuku was willing to admit.

When he finally reached the objective of his task, his drawer, he mentally congratulated himself for a moment before sliding open one of the six compartments at random, knowing that they had long since lost the order he had sworn to keep when he’d first moved in.

His wardrobe admittedly wasn’t the most diverse of things, it mainly consisted of a few t-shirts, one long sleeved shirt, a single jacket, jeans and a ridiculous amount of hoodies. Eight, to be exact, and the memorisation of the number did manage to stir a brief feeling of embarrassment to Izuku due to his sheer predictability.

Luckily for him though, it meant that picking clothes wasn’t a challenge, and within only a minute he was holding a ‘clean enough’ shirt, a new pair of boxers and one of his many hoodies. He reckoned the jeans he had fallen asleep in were clean enough, so he decided to keep them.

Now more orientated with his surroundings, Izuku made his way through the idle piles of materials that cluttered his floor into the main room of his apartment, dumping his newly selected clothes onto the back of the sofa before cutting into the bathroom, a cramped box that held only the necessities of cleanliness.

Quickly spinning the rather loose knobs of the shower around, he stripped himself of yesterday’s clothes, placing them in the corner of the room before grabbing one of his two towels and placing it on the floor in front of the shower bath.

This was both for his own safety when exiting the slippery floor of the contraption and to avoid another complain from the threatening mutant quirk user that lived below him, because apparently the gap in the panelling of his shower bath led to a rather weak part of the floor, which had led to a one-sided screaming match about how his neighbour’s kitchen was ‘nearly flooded’.

Despite the slight exaggeration of the leakage, Izuku didn’t want a repetition of that incident, so he made sure to take precautions to prevent it.

Ten minutes later he was stepping out of the comforting warmth of the water and wrapping a towel around his upper body. It wasn’t long after that he was ambling towards the sink to retrieve his toothbrush.

Much to his disdain, an inbuilt mirror stared back at him, hovering dauntingly above the stark white sink. He’d tried to remove it multiple times, even punching it once during a fit, which had only resulted in a cracked corner and a very painful knuckle injury, adding yet another dull array of tiny marks onto his scarred hands.

Despite his mind telling him that it was a bad idea, that even a moments glance would cause him far too much grief than necessary, he still found himself staring into the reflective surface somehow, the action unintentional but not reversible.

He still had to remind himself that the face that looked back at him was his own.

At some point during his last year of junior high he had completely purged his home of mirrors, all while actively avoiding any reflective surfaces that he came across. He couldn’t stand to know that the pathetic face he saw was his own, that the sunken eyes and indescribable hopelessness were his own, so he’d rid himself of all reminders.

Even after he’d gotten back on his feet, he still hated looking at himself, knowing far too well that the person he’d see was not the one he wanted to be.

After that, it’d just become habit to avoid his own reflection, so when he did see it, it was incredibly jarring.

Even as he glanced up into the mirror now, he couldn’t help the uncomfortable feeling that settled, but he couldn’t find it within himself to pull his eyes away.

The first thing he noticed were his eyes, a dull set of light green, framed by his deathly pale skin and the heavy eyebags that sat underneath them. The disgusting shade of purple clashed with the paper like tone of his skin, as did the incredibly light smattering of dark freckles, which were almost invisble exempt from the few prominent ones that sat near his scarily prominent cheekbones.

Near one of his two patches of freckles sat something he still despise to this day. His scar. He’d acquired it during his first act of vigilantism all those months ago, and though it had faded quite a bit, it was still far too prominent for his liking.

It began at the side of his nose, slashing across his cheek and dipping downwards directly before it cut through his group of four obvious freckles, narrowly dodging the markings.

Ever since he’d gotten it, he’d fucking hated it.

With it brought unwanted attention, from his mother, class mates and even strangers. People wanted to know how on earth someone of his age had gotten such a nasty scar. He hadn’t even bothered with an excuse after the first couple of questions, only ignored the unneeded questions until the curious soul backed off.

The only positive it had was scaring off those not brave enough to question the mark, and combined with his raggedy hair and equally raggedy clothes preferences, it gave him an intimidating enough image that a good majority of people now avoided making small talk with him.

Despite his age, his babyface still had yet to leave him, but slight edges were beginning to make themselves known, something Izuku would forever be thankful of. He relied on his appearance to keep people away, so a harder facial structure would only amplify the ‘stay away’ demeanour that he had spent so long cultivating.

Only a few moments later and he let out a groan of frustration. He’d known for a long time he would never become who he wanted to be, but seeing his failure in the form of his own flesh, a life he hadn’t asked for etched into his face, it was like a slap in the face.

Tearing his eyes away, he returned to his momentarily forgotten toothbrush, trying to forget his internal conflict by replacing it with a familiar action.

Ten minutes later he had left the bathroom and pulled on his set out clothes. Currently, he was perched on his rather hard sofa, mindlessly scrolling through old chat messages that he’d missed during his slumber.

He hadn’t been able to bring any of his electronics with him when he came here, and the only recreational access to the internet he had currently was a smart phone that he’d received as a gift from Tanaka after a month of working with him. He was still working to be able to afford a half decent laptop, but for now, the phone would do.

Currently his online group’s chat room was flooded with one of it’s weekly hero battles. Two particular members were very passionate about two particular up and coming heroes, and much like the heroes themselves, they were both quick to strike up an argument regarding the pair.

After a good while of reading, he became bored, and after finishing a rather detailed description on how one of his friends would maul the other to shreds, he abandoned the app and checked the time that sat statically at the top of his screen.

2:07.

Wait, how far away was this job again?

A few taps later and he was onto a message from the night before, the one that detailed that he had to take a forty minute train ride to take a ten minute walk to the location.

Adding on the amount of time it would take him to get to his nearest train station, it was still over an hour of travelling, not including the way back.

Quickly pulling up his station’s time table, he looked for when the next train to his location was leaving. 2:20.

Well, now was as good a time as any.

---

After wasting his spare fifteen minutes perched against an idle wall, wondering if it would be worth darting into the nearest corner shop to grab something for an incredibly late breakfast, or would it be lunch by now?

This debate was what stalled him long enough until he was out of time, and it was slowly dawning on him that yes, this is happening, you are about to witness a potential drug bust.

His anxiety had been alarmingly quiet during his wait, but it seemed to have decided to flare up as he began the small walk towards the inconspicuous store, and it was becoming more powerful by the second.

By the time he rested his hand onto the store’s glass door, he could feel the shaking of his own palms, revealing his ignored fear as he reluctantly pushed himself into the building.

Gut painfully retracting and shoulders instinctively hunching, he shuffled into the building, taking note of everything around him in his heightened level of awareness.

Ducking behind one of the many rows of disk cases in the building, he took a moment to breathe, fingers trailing through his tangled locks and pulling painfully through a few particular resistant knots.

Letting out a shaky exhale, he turned to one of the racks to his side, eyes unseeing as he skimmed over the large array of colourful cases before him. He had to act normal, which was harder said than done when your stomach was folding in on itself and your head was perpetually buzzing.

Okokok fuck shit calm down. I’m just here for a… a movie, yeah! I’m here for a movie, not to keep watch to make sure nobody fucking dies because my stupid ass plan requires someone to just walk up and ask for drugs and jeSUS FUCK THIS WAS A BAD IDEA-

Seeing as he was clearly the epitome of clarity and resolve at that very moment, it seemed a marvellous time for another figure to enter the brightly lit store.

Panic suddenly disappearing, Izuku not so discreetly peeked over the opaque rack he stood behind, eyes following the figure that instantly walked towards the counter, where a quickly startled young man was standing.

A quick exchange of words and a brief flash of alarm was all it took before the employee dashed through a door behind the counter, disappearing from sight.

That was… quick.

The hooded figure also seemed slightly put off by the sudden disappearance of the employee, and used their suddenly acquired time to turn around, quickly surveying the store they hadn’t even spared a glance a moment before.

Izuku tried to duck down to avoid the gaze, just in case this wasn’t the instigator of his plan and this was just a random junkie who had come in at an incredibly coincidental time, but his mission failed when the stranger caught his gaze.

Tired eyes met his own, and Izuku barely caught a flash of rapid blinking underneath the shadow cast by his raised hood before the man straightened up, seemingly having realised something.

Reaching under his dark blue hoodie, he pulled up his shirt, a pleasant shade of green. He pointed at the shirt before pointing back to Izuku, making a thumbs up thumbs down motion afterwards.

He squinted slightly at the man, taking a moment to comprehend the meaning behind the actions.

Green shirt, green, Midori.

At this realisation, he nodded probably a bit too aggressively before ducking back behind the rows of disks, sudden paranoia cleared only slightly as he confirmed that yes, that was the right person.

Another couple of minutes or so after mindlessly glancing between plastic containers and the newly discovered ally, the young man behind the register returned, carrying a rather inconspicuous looking console box.

The only thing out of place was the box’s apparent lack of weight, made obvious by the ease the young man was carrying it with. After placing the box on the counter, he held his hand out expectantly, staring at the hooded man in an almost challenging way, obvious suspicion still etched in his features.

However, the hooded man showed almost no hesitation before pulling out a slip of paper, assumedly a cheque, and sliding it over the counter.

The man’s eyebrows furrowed, and Izuku strained to hear the words he let out next, something about only taking direct payments.

After receiving a reply, the man’s voice began to raise, and it only continued to rise as the conversation continued to the point where Izuku could fully understand exactly what the man behind the counter was saying.

The tension was skyrocketing, and Izuku nearly jumped a foot into the air when the man outright yelled. “Look mate, if you don’t pay up right fucking now, you can piss right fucking off before I make you-“

Suddenly, Izuku’s body went into autopilot. Panickily grabbing a random case, he walked out of the aisle, now within the line of vision of the pair he had previously been peeking on.

The young man faltered almost instantly upon seeing his young face, and suddenly retracted from his leaned over position on the counter. Instead he snatched up the cheque before crossing his arms and rather aggressively nodding his head towards the door.

The hooded person didn’t hesitate, grabbing up the box and quickly striding out of the building. Izuku however took an extra few seconds to do the same, and instead stood like a deer in headlights as he slowly processed his sudden and slightly reckless action.

When he did however, he realised that the man behind the counter was staring at him, eyes squinted as his arms remained firmly crossed over his chest, position implying that he clearly wasn’t pleased with Izuku’s sudden freezing up.

Panicking, Izuku rushed back into the aisle he had come out of and quickly dumped the idle packaging he was holding into a random slot before making a break for the door.

After a good five minutes of walking in a random direction away from the building, he slipped into a random side street and allowed himself a moment to breathe, hand instinctively rising the run through his hair and pushing the abundance of hair out of his peripherals for a few moments.

He honestly didn’t know why he was getting himself worked up, it had gone surprisingly well. Confrontation had gone no farther than words and the instigator had made it out with the evidence. Yet here he was, forcing himself to calm down in a random street in the middle of a place he’d never seen in his life.

This was only made worse when another figure made themselves seen. In a normal situation, Izuku would’ve just ignored them, but the familiar box they were holding and the now revealed front of the hoodie he had been staring at the back of for the past ten minutes made his stomach drop.

“Midori, right?”

I better not fucking regret this.