Katsuki usually doesn’t remember many of his dreams or when they start, but he knows they mostly consisted of a single hero- a blond man with a plain face. He would always stand by a tall marble statue of All Might and wave at him, the scars decorating his skin highlighted against the bright lights, before Katsuki would wake up in tears.
He doesn’t know why there is so much sadness among these dreams but he has no one he can ask. He just draws the man and his scars with his crayons and his mother hangs them on their fridge.
“Is that supposed to be All Might?” His father smiles and Katsuki can’t help but frown back. He’s not sure who the man is but it’s not All Might. He is something close .
Katsuki becomes obsessed with heroes and he knows he's going to be great. His quirk will be strong and he will be the very best. He can feel it under his skin and in his bones; it’s simply meant to be. He will be better than the plain faced kid pretending to be All Might.
The dreams do not change until the day he meets Izuku Midoriya. He’s small and timid but Katsuki likes him. Which is rare, as he finds the rest of the kids around his neighborhood not worth his time. And there is something different in Izuku that Katsuki recognizes, something with no real name. I know you.
(Even with his sharp edges and snark, Katsuki knows Izuku likes him best too.)
Izuku likes All Might and wants to be a hero, just like him. Izuku also knows that the man with the faded scars on his arms in his drawings is not All Might.
“Kacchan, I know that it can’t be him, his hair isn’t the same. Your art is so good too… I think he looks like he’s going to be the next All Might!”
His toothy grins is too much but Izuku is wrong and Katsuki is not sure why.
The dreams are no longer haunted by sadness or the man afterwards. Instead, Katsuki is left staring at the back of a new hero whose face he can never remember in the morning but there is hope taking root in his stomach. He wakes with his hand reaching above him that next morning. That’s his favorite dream. He doesn’t wake up with bile rising in his throat or watery eyes or both. It’s a dream of light and comfort and it occurs more often than the ones before. I’m going to be the hero is an all too common feeling that swells in his chest in the mornings.
He continues to spend time with Izuku, finding comfort in the consistency of his light and the dreams that follow after their play-dates. He even wins a large All Might bear at the arcade which he gives to Izuku, “Here, I don't want it. I already have a ton of them at home.” He doesn’t but heroes are kind and Katsuki will be a hero. Even the park is fun when they race to the swings and compete to see who can reach highest while one of their mothers watches from afar. Izuku, who is smaller, never reaches as high but Katsuki never mentions it. It’s usually a tie anyways.
He is happy to have a friend like Izuku. He even trusts to tell him about the strange dreams one night. Izuku stares wide-eyed, clutching the large bear to his chest, “Could that be your quirk, Kacchan?”
“Ofcourse not, Izu-chan. My quirk is going to be amazing! They're just stupid weird dreams from all the All Might movies we’ve watched.”
The dreams can’t be a quirk when his blood is boiling for more and he can’t be a hero if all he has are weird dreams of an All Might wannabe and a legacy he can’t decypher. He is only four afterall.
Yet, neither the happiness nor the dreams last forever.
A year later, his quirk manifests itself with sparks and flames. His mother says his sweat is Ni-tro-gly-ce-rine and that’s what makes the small explosions, he repeats. He has a powerful quirk and he smiles all teeth as Izuku watches with amazement painted across his face.
“Kacchan, you’re so strong!”
Katsuki laughs because that's obvious . There is no one else like him and he's going to be the best hero, just like All Might. He begs his mother to let Izuku stay the night in celebration.
Their parents agree to last minute sleepover and Izuku easily falls asleep beside him, the blankets piled over him and a movie playing quietly near them. He rolls his eyes but doesn’t pull the sheets from him, Izuku always ends up hogging the blankets whether or not Katsuki takes them from him.
He dreams of the same world but this time, the clouded haze over the hero is lifted. He's older but the freckles are spread across the same spots and it’s a smile he would recognize anywhere. The scars on his arm are bright with familiarity and Katsuki wakes up in cold sweat and shoves Izuku out of his bed, screaming himself hoarse. Izuku doesn’t understand but he’s crying because Kacchan is in pain . His mother reasons it’s a nightmare but Katsuki cannot bring himself to reason that it’s just a dream.
Izuku Midoriya will undeniably become the best hero of their time .
The feelings in his chest and in his heart are too real. The disappointment and the anger and the betrayal. He doesn’t stop screaming until Izuku is taken into another room and his hands hurt from the amount of sparks he’s let out.
The next time they meet, his hands are sparking again and quirkless Izuku flinches. Katsuki has too many questions that he knows Izuku doesn’t know the answers to. The small tear in their friendship splits open, bleeding with rage and fear but it’s too late. Izuku has taken the fate Katsuki wanted so badly and branded it his own. So he does the only thing he can think of.
Why do you get to be the hero when that’s all I’ve ever dreamed about when you don’t even have a quirk?
“You’re just a useless Deku.”
Katsuki is haunted by that dream every year on the anniversary of his quirk.