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From the Ashes

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Father was terrifying. That was a truth that Izuku knew very well. However, it just started as a somewhat irrational fear. Hisashi was very, very tall, and, because of his glasses, Izuku could never really see his eyes. Izuku was very curious of his father, despite his hesitation. When mama would greet him at the door, Izuku would cling to her legs, staring at him behind his thick fringe.

“Well hello, Kaida.” Hisashi greeted, however, Izuku could tell the warmth in his voice was fake. His mother frowned, resting a caring hand on his long, messy curls, but said nothing. Trying to correct Hisashi always ended badly.

“Wel-welcome home, father.” Izuku said, rather well-spoken for his age. Hisashi made sure of that. The man gave him a quick look over before turning to his wife.

“Any signs of her quirk manifesting?” This question was familiar. Hisashi, more than anyone, was anxious for Izuku’s quirk to come in.

“No, not yet.” Mama answered, fidgeting with her sleeve. “Soon, though.” Hisashi smiled. Izuku hated when his father smiled. It wasn’t an expression of joy. It was a wild animal showing its teeth to cowering prey.

“Very good. I would like a word with you, Kaida.” Mama gave his back a soothing stroke before scampering off. Izuku watched her go, before turning to his father. Hisashi led him to the couch, where he sat hesitantly. Then, in an uncharacteristic action Izuku would never forget, Hisashi knelt in front of him. His eyes were a cold, steel grey, but Izuku noticed his cheeks were spotted with freckles, and his curly hair looked blue where the light caught it. Hisashi reached into his jacket, pulling out a small composition notebook. It looked very nice, probably one of those expensive scientific ones.

“What’s this, father?” Izuku asked as Hisashi handed it to him.

“To write down what’s in that clever head of yours.” Hisashi said, reaching out to pat his head. Izuku felt like he was being crushed. “You and I are alike in that aspect.” Izuku’s stomach roiled at the thought of being like his father. A heavy hand carelessly carded through his hair, green like his mother’s, curly like his father’s. “You may look like Inko, but you have my mind. Hopefully you’ll inherit my Quirk as well. I have so much to teach you.” Izuku chose to look down at his new notebook, ignoring the almost manic grin on his father’s face.

“Then I can be a hero, right?” He asked, hesitantly. He didn’t know much about his father, but he did know that the word “hero” didn’t really belong in his vocabulary. “Your Quirk’s really cool, father.” He added, quickly. Hisashi seemed to preen slightly at the praise, before replying.

“We’ll see.” He said simply, getting ready to stand. “If all goes well, you’ll see the plans I have for you, Kaida.” Izuku watched his father leave the room. He traced the spine of his notebook, thoughtfully.

Hisashi was gone, and, as usual, Izuku and mama had no idea where he was. Izuku was idly coloring in a picture of All Might for his notebook, with his mother washing the dishes. Inko was humming a soft melody that Izuku idly harmonized with. It was a serene atmosphere that Hisashi’s presence always seemed to destroy.

“Mama,” He spoke up after a moment, letting the dandelion yellow pencil fall to the table.

“Yes, baby?” Mama responded, turning from the sink to face him.

“I don’t want father’s quirk.” He said softly. “I don’t like him.” He nearly spat, crossing his arms over his chest. Mama set down the dish towel before kneeling before him.

“I know, baby. I’m sorry he calls you a girl.” She gently cupped his cheek, and Izuku leaned into the soft warmth of her hand. “If you say you’re a boy, then you’re a boy. My precious, sweet, baby boy.” Izuku squirmed happily, trying to hide his face in his mane of hair. “Izuku, I just want you to know something.” At that, Izuku gave his full attention to his mother. “If you inherit Firebreathing, it’s your quirk. It’s not Hisashi’s. Just because you get it from him, doesn’t mean it’s his.” Mama leaned forward, kissing his forehead. Izuku cuddled closer, letting her lift him up. “That being said, if you do get Firebreathing… don’t let him know.” Izuku looked up at her.

“He says he has ‘plans’ for me.” Mama nodded, tucking his head into her shoulder, and rocking in place. Izuku greedily cuddled closer.

“That’s exactly why I don’t want you to say anything.” She whispered. “I know it’s mean of me, but…” No more words were said as a silent understanding passed through them.

Izuku was at the playground, along with Kacchan and a few more of their neighbor friends, messing around in the sandpit. Izuku had recently gotten a new bucket and shovel, and a label with shakily-written kanji bore his name proudly.

“Wow, Izuku, you can write?” Tsubasa cheered excitedly, wings flapping the slightest bit. Izuku hid his face behind his thick curtain of hair shyly.

“N-not really? Um. M-my mama helped me a lot.” He whispered, and Kacchan, who, like Izuku, was able to read very well, stared at his handiwork critically.

“Not bad, for a beginner.” He allowed, leaning back, with his chest puffed out. Izuku grinned at the praise. “Did you know that you can pronounce your name like ‘Deku’?” Izuku blinked.

“Like those wooden dolls?” He hesitantly said.

“Or someone who can’t do anything!” Kacchan laughed, and Izuku scowled at him.

“That’s not very nice.” Izuku complained, but knew that name-calling was par for the course for Kacchan. Secretly, he was somewhat pleased by the nickname, because it was from Izuku, and not Kaida.

“Whatever, Deku .” Kacchan teased. Izuku frowned at him some more, before Kacchan rolled his eyes and lead them somewhere else, with the others scrambling to catch up. Izuku hid a smile. Kacchan might seem rough around the edges, but he wasn’t anything like his father.