Izuku had felt it for years. The pull of the water, the allure of the rain, the soft white noise of it falling outside his window, and from his earliest memory, there had always been something building slowly within him, a pressure that was not entirely unpleasant: it simply was.
He never knew, back then, that something was strange. He always thought it was just part of being alive, the slight strain within him, a tiny tug like the tide starting inside his body. Every day, he'd look to the lake near his house with a feeling he couldn't put a name to. He was, after all, only a little boy.
When he was one, it was like there was a tickle in the back of his throat, a slight extra weight to his chest. He gurgled to his mother, and she floated him into her arms with her Quirk, making him coo happily.
When he was two, he felt something pushing inside, like he was getting stretched. He laughed about it, thinking he was growing. And so he grew, and the pressure grew with him. Sometimes he would have to shift in his bed, stretching a little to accommodate the feeling of that something within.
At three, he simply couldn't ignore the feeling anymore. A tension blossoming within him, and he felt like a rubber band, slowly reaching its limit. He hoped that everyone felt this way. He never mentioned it to his parents, unwilling to worry them, certain that this was all part of growing up. He'd ponder sometimes, that maybe, just maybe, he was getting his Quirk a little early.
When he was four years old, he practically couldn't stop vibrating with excitement, and his ever growing tension. All around him, his friends and other kids were getting their Quirks, and it wouldn't be long, he knew, before his came in too, and then he could start training to be a hero! All the while, the pressure built, and built. He just knew that it was his Quirk!
He prayed every day that it was his Quirk.
And then one day, the dam broke.
It was three weeks after his fourth birthday. He had just arrived at his preschool, and he’d never felt so tense in his entire life. His mother looked worried as she pulled up the car. “Izuku,” she’d asked, bringing the car to a halt, her youthful voice full of concern, “are you sure you're alright, dear?”
He had been rigid and stiff the whole day, his back taut as a wire, looking for all the world as if he might just burst. Even so, he turned his little head, his long green locks swinging loosely, and put on what looked like a very brave, very strained smile.
“I’m fine, mama, I just feel a little weird!” He reassured her, as he took off his seatbelt and opened the door. His chest hurt as he twisted a little too far in on himself for comfort. His grimace was hidden from his mother, as he'd done a hundred times. His friend with the pink skin, Mina, was just outside the gate; as she saw him her face lit up, and she started to wave the arm that she wasn't using to hold her bag.
Izuku waved back, cheerful despite his discomfort, and hopped out of the car, stifling a cry as the something churned inside him with the movement. He started towards the building, a bright and long front that curved into a wedge shape. Inko wasn't quite convinced he was alright, and decided to wait for him to get inside before she left. She was glad, a moment later, that she had.
Izuku barely made it three steps before he stopped, quivering. His eyes were fixed to the ground, his hands, shaking and clawed as if he was in pain, flying to his chest, to his throat as his spine arched, almost painfully stiff and straight, and for a moment, it felt like time was slowing to a halt.
“Zuzu! Hey buddy, you don't look so go-!” Mina’s little voice was full of worry, suddenly hitching into a shocked screech, but given the sight in front of her, her surprise was warranted.
Izuku’s mouth opened, his back hunching as a great torrent spilled forth from his lips, his whole frame shaking with the force of the deluge. Inko jumped out of the car, throwing her seatbelt off and the door open, yelling his name in both excitement and worry as she jumped over the car’s bonnet. The flow was unceasing, and it had been streaming forth for 5 whole seconds before Inko reached him. He was clawing at his throat, and though she hadn't been worried before, she was when he fell to his knees. “Mina-chan! Mina-chan call the nurse!” She called to the girl as she reached her son. Mina stuttered through a quick “G-got it!” as she turned and ran inside the building.
Izuku kept going, twisting to look directly into his mother's eyes, blind panic and tears suffusing his own. "Izuku just try and breathe! Just breathe, it's your Quirk coming through! You got your father's Quirk!" She was trying to reassure him, stroking his hair He choked, the stream of water seeming to slow slightly before, with a terrified wail, his entire body began to convulse, his limbs and torso falling apart, turning to water in front of Inko’s very eyes. She helped in shock and called his name, tears coming forth at lightspeed as he joined the deluge in crashing down into the pavement, his clothes strewn about everywhere. She knelt down and cried out in panic, trying desperately to grab hold of the water coalescing around her, and her son's soaking clothing. This was certainly unexpected.
“Izuku!? Izuku honey, I don't understand! please come back to me! Where are you!?” she sobbed. This was nothing like her husband's Quirk! The water around her began to swirl, slowly moving, and wobbling together. After a moment, it seemed to build upon itself, too fast, as it crashed down onto the pavement again before, much slower this time, the water came together, her son reforming in front of her, looking shocked and more than a bit upset, his chest heaving, eyes locked on his mother, blown wide with terror as he hyperventilated loudly.
“Izuku!” Inko sobbed again, “Are you alright honey? Is this the first time this has happened?” she reached out, taking him into her arms, patting him down for injuries. She felt silly even asking, couldn’t imagine he wouldn’t have mentioned this. It seemed her son had inherited something like Hisashi’s Quirk, but it was clear he hadn’t any real control over it just yet. “Can you talk?”
His mouth opened, and closed. Tears welled up in his eyes, his form seeming to quiver again, and she quickly rubbed his back reassuringly. “It’s ok honey, just breathe, in, out, in, out, with me…” she breathed slow and deep, holding him tight and feeling as he shuddered out long and difficult breaths. She could feel his tears on her shirt. His harsh breathing slowed, quieted, steadied.
“Mama...that was scary…” he warbled. His hands tightened in her jacket as he sniffled quietly. He seemed just as surprised as she was, so clearly this hadn't happened before. She pulled back gently, and examined him quickly. It was then she realised that he was naked.
“Here, son, let's get you dressed! Before Mina-chan comes back!” She tried to control her voice and managed surprisingly well considering her son transformed into a puddle not 30 seconds ago.
He looked down and yelped in shock and embarrassment. They threw his clothes on quickly and Izuku felt his flush die down somewhat once he had everything back on. He hoped nobody had seen that…whatever had happened.
“Izuku, do you feel alright? Do you think you'll fall apart again?” Inko looked him in the eyes and rubbed his arms gently. He shook his head, and offered his mother a slightly watery smile.
“I think I’ll be ok Mama, I just felt like I was gonna explode…” he said, a note of relief in his tone that vanished quickly. "My chest hurt and I couldn't take it anymore, and then it all just came up at once-" he quivered again, his voice starting to rise.
Suddenly, Mina arrived with the nurse in tow. She seemed to be quite frightened, but when she saw Izuku standing and seemingly safe, she let out a huge breath, and ran up to him, the nurse in tow. “Zuzu! You scared the heck outta me, was that your Quirk? Were you playing a trick on me?” she pouted, her lower lip wobbling.
Izuku seemed upset by the very idea. He brought his hands up in denial, squeaking, “No! I didn't know what my Quirk even was until now! I, uh-” he stopped, confused and a little upset. “I still don't know what it is!” He turned to his mother, eyes shining with tears, and asked “Mama, is my Quirk like Daddy’s?”
The nurse stepped in, speaking in a voice that was not unkind. “His Quirk just came in, right? You should take him to the Quirk assessment office in town to get it registered.” He squatted down in front of the little boy. “You alright, kiddo? Any pain?”
“Uh-uh!” Izuku shook his head, smiling bravely, clearly forcing it well. He turned to Mina again. “I’m sorry for scaring you Michan, it scared me too!” he put his hand on his neck. “I guess I need to go to the doctor now…” his head shot up, a more genuine smile like a floodlight back in place. “Maybe I can become an awesome hero with my Quirk!”
“It’s ok Zuzu, you didn't mean to! And yeah, that was cool! Scary, but cool! Let’s be heroes together, ok?” Mina beamed, evidently relieved that everything was alright. The nurse turned and told her that they should go back inside, and that Izuku would be going to get his Quirk registered. The two children waved goodbye, and Inko tapped her son gently towards the car.
“Let’s go see what the doctor can tell us, ok Izuku? You can learn all about your powers there!” She had to admit, she was still slightly worried, but the relief on seeing her son happy and in one piece was immense.
He nodded, looking a little unsure of everything still as he hopped back into the car. He didn't say much the whole way there, lost in thought. Every so often, he would take a deep breath, quivering. Inko only hoped that he wouldn't be flushed out of the car through the drains they used for Hisashi. Speaking of her husband...
Hisashi practically exploded when the call came through, neatly flooding his office. “He did what!?” He yelled in excitement. He had to turn his head away from his phone: it might be water resistant but he’d broken too many by this point to start taking chances. The auxiliary drains on the floor activated with a low whirr.
“I told you,” his wife’s voice came over the phone, “he turned into a puddle right in front of me. We’re waiting at the specialist in town right now, you should get on down here sweetheart, you might wanna hear all about this. And,” here Inko cleared her throat, reluctantly continuing, “I guess I owe you dinner since it was a variation of your Quirk he inherited.” Hisashi grinned, slightly smug.
“Takoyaki sound good tonight?” She groaned in response to his words.
“If you get down here, consider it done, dear. See you soon! We won't go in without you.”
Hisashi sighed and told her he loved her before hanging up. He stood and walked over to the window of his office, looking his head out. “HEY, ZAKI-SAN. MY SON GOT HIS QUIRK, I’M HEADING TO THE SPECIALIST.” His voice blasted down the hall. He retreated to his desk and started packing up his briefcase, when the reply from his boss came in the affirmative, along with a screeched, “Quit yelling in my office, brat!”
He shut the door a little loudly in his enthusiasm, but nobody would fault him for it today. His son! Had! His Quirk! Or well, sort of. He couldn't stop thinking about it as he ran down the stairs of the building like a big kid. He practically flew into his car. In his haste he forgot to turn the drains on in the front seat and only realised that he was flooding the car when he splashed himself putting the accelerator down. He opened the drains, giving the road a thorough wash as he sped along.
All of his life, Hisashi had needed special accommodations: waterproof clothing, and a drain or two everywhere he worked and lived, a waterbed (not technically a necessity). This was because his Quirk, Eternal Fountain, produced an endless stream of freshwater. He had a 'full' level he would reach and it would stop, but the moment he let loose any water, it would fill up again at a rate that ensured he never ran out. When he was excited, angry, super happy, dreadfully sad, or even a little too embarrassed, the flood would burst forth, and Hisashi was an emotional man. The blessing though, was that it was freshwater, and safe to drink. One only had to overlook the strange feeling that came from the knowledge of drinking water made by someone’s Quirk.
Hisashi only hoped that Izuku wouldn't turn to water and get dropped down one of his many drains.
“Hello, Izuku. My name is Doctor Kobayakawa. I heard your Quirk came in today, would you be able to tell me what happened?”
They had been ushered in shortly after Hisashi arrived, lifting his son into the air and laughing joyfully as he spun his son around. Izuku had giggled and swatted gently at his father's hands, before the Specialist motioned them to come in. Izuku sat in front of them with his parents on either side, on comfy blue chairs. The room looked like a cross between a medical examination room and a library, with sterile white equipment on one side, and large wooden bookcases on the other.
Izuku shifted gently, not really sure of what he could say. He settled on just recounting the event. “Well, um, I threw up lots and lots of water. Like, a lot a lot. And then after that I just felt really weird and suddenly, I was all over the place cause I think my body turned into even more water.”
The doctor made a note, and then lifted their head, adorned with horns that curled back across their whole head, tapering to points. “And what did that feel like? Were you in control of your body, that is, the water? Could you move, or speak?”
Izuku looked contemplative, and then nodded. “I felt like I was everywhere the water was. I could feel all the water.”
The doctor made another note. Inko absentmindedly rubbed her son’s shoulder, and Hisashi ruffled his hair as Izuku gave him a little smile. Kobayakawa looked up again, leaning forward onto the desk. “And were you able to move yourself while you were in this form?”
Izuku nodded. “It took me a sec, but I was able to put myself back together really slowly.” He mimed shaping something with his hands to demonstrate, sound effects and all. His father gave him a big watery smile. All of Hisashi’s smiles were watery.
"Next, Izuku, do you think you could spout water from your mouth again, the way that your father does?" The doctor asked, pen at the ready.
The boy thought for a moment, and then took a deep breath, before gushing forth a small torrent of water. He clapped his hands over his mouth. "I'm sorry!" He cried, bowing. "I got your office all wet!" Inko giggled into her hand. He hadn't only inherited his father's Quirk, it seemed.
"It's alright little one! My office is equipped to handle just about anything, including a little water. Don't worry about any of that, alright?" Kobayakawa had a kindly look to them, understanding lighting their grey eyes.
Izuku, slightly red faced, straightened up.
Kobayakawa nodded with a little satisfied smile. “Very well, Izuku. It seems you've inherited a combination of your mother's and father’s Quirks, only, heavily mutated.”
Inko looked surprised, and a little happy. She turned more fully to the specialist and asked, “Wait, what part of my Quirk has he inherited?”
The doctor smiled brightly at her and replied, “Well, if he was only capable of turning to liquid, he wouldn’t actually be able to move. It seems that he's evolved the secondary ability of hydrokinesis in order to facilitate this transformation. The only other question I have is,” And here they turned back to Izuku, “do you think, young man, that you'd be able to control other bodies of water beyond merely your own? For example…” they turned and grabbed a bottle of water. “The water in this container?”
Kobayakawa poured some of the water into a bowl, and gestured for Izuku to try and exercise control over it. They wheeled their chair back a little, and folded their hands together. Izuku concentrated, and then with a gasp from himself and his parents, the water in the bowl quivered, and then slowly, oh so slowly, began to rise from the bowl. Izuku jumped up in delight, and wordlessly yelled his joy. At his excited gesture, the water shot directly into the ceiling, splashing everywhere.
Lowering the umbrella that they had produced from seemingly nowhere, the specialist looked absolutely delighted, and somewhat amused. Izuku whirled to his slightly soaked mother, and his completely dry father, and started to bounce up and down. “Mama, Papa! I have a Quirk, I have a Quirk, I have a Quirk and it's awesome!” he spun to Kobayakawa and slapped his hands on the desk in his joy. “Can’t I become an awesome hero with this!?”
Kobayakawa laughed softly and nodded with a smile. “I’m sure you could become an excellent hero with this, young man.” Izuku looked like he was about to cry, or explode, or possibly both. His form quivered violently as he turned to his parents, and in the blink of an eye he had turned into a puddle again.
His mother, exasperated, his father shocked as he saw his son turn to water for the first time. The specialist laughed just a little bit. “Are you alright, Izuku? I was going to ask if you could demonstrate this to test your abilities but it would appear you've beaten me to it. The first thing I want to ask is, can you speak?”
The water swirled for a moment, not quite turning back into the boy, before a little high pitched laugh reverberated around the room. “Yes, I can speak!” The water began to shift around the room, at first dragging itself like a snail might, and then after a pause, it took flight. “I can fly, oh my gosh!” he raced around the room, the water clear and pure looking.
His parents looked on in wonder, following him with their eyes around the room. Inko could only think that this was a wonderful Quirk if it made him so happy. His pure laughter reverberated around the room, childish and sweet. He was richocheting off the walls at a tremendous speed, too.
Kobayakawa thought for a moment. “Alright Izuku, do you think you can manipulate the water in the bowl while you're in that form?”
The tests went on. Izuku turned out to be capable of: controlling water when he was liquid, drying his clothes by siphoning (a relief), and even controlling the juice in his lunch. At this, the counsellor started scribbling like crazy. A whole array of liquids were brought in, and Izuku was capable of controlling anything that was mostly water based. He couldn't control anything that didn't have a fair bit of water in it, but the counsellor theorised that as his control and power grew, he might be able to control more things and higher volumes. The one thing that surprised them was that he wasn't able to control blood.
“Now that is interesting. With the water in a human body, Izuku with his hydrokinesis should technically be able to control people, and manipulate blood. It might be for the best that he can't, I suppose. It would be useful against villains, but the unethical possibilities it presents would draw unwanted negative attention.” Kobayakawa theorised.
Izuku, solid again, looked exhausted. He had simply flown back into his clothes and rematerialised in them, drying them instantly by pulling the water into himself. It was a heartening change from the fear and worry his Quirk had caused him when it first manifested. He flopped into his chair and immediately leaned back into his mother's arms. His parents looked only slightly less tired at the emotional revelations.
“I think that's enough for today. Like any Quirk, overuse can lead to fatigue and strain. It might be best to try and keep yourself from using it again today, alright?” Kobayakawa said, finally placing the umbrella back behind them.
Izuku nodded sluggishly, and then before any more words could be said at all, he was fast asleep in his mother's arms. Wrapped up in her arms, he looked unbearably precious.
They exchanged a few more words, and Kobayakawa imparted some interesting information to them that Inko couldn't help but mull over once she was back home. She put Izuku to bed and watched him blearliy grab his All Might plushie close, sinking deep beneath his sheets. He drifted off for the rest of the night with a serene expression.
“Izuku’s Quirk is an interesting case. His power is clearly a mutation of both of yours, but you need to know; mutations rarely stop at one little change when it comes to Quirks. Over time, he might be able to do more and more things that we haven't seen yet, and we can't quantify every possibility immediately. Keep an eye on him and notify me of any changes in his Quirk’s potential; I'll ensure he gets the best possible care.”
She was so thankful that Kobayakawa was as accommodating as they were. She didn't know what to expect, but she knew that as long as Izuku didn't slip down one of the family drains, everything would be alright. She sighed and turned to Hisashi, who was waiting out in the hall.
They discussed possible changes to their home drains and the plumbing that would stop Izuku from getting lost in the sewers as they moved downstairs, and then sat on the living room sofa. Inko took Hisashi’s hands and mirrored the loving smile that appeared on his face when she did.
“Our son has such an amazing Quirk, sweetie. I'm so happy for him! I know he was starting to worry it wasn't going to come in…” they both knew how the Quirkless were treated in some aspects of society. Horror stories did crop up from time to time, after all, atrocities, a high suicide rate, and a low life expectancy. Inko would have loved him regardless, but she was glad that it looked like he wouldn’t have to go through that. Her stomach twisted at the thought.
Hisashi squeezed her hands gently, and pulled her close, giving her a wet kiss on the forehead. She wrinkled her nose and giggled as a droplet of water spilled down her face. “Zashiiii!” she complained with a pretend frown. “This is why I wear waterproof makeup!” He only laughed in response, and laid their foreheads together, reaching their hands to catch the droplet.
“You know, technically he has more of my Quirk than yours still…” he teased, running his thumb over hers.
She pulled back with a slightly indignant squawk. “That’s rich! You know he got more of mine, you saw him flying around!” she was pouting, pouting, how was that fair!?
“But he literally turns into water! And he can use my Eternal Fountain! Come onnn Koko, you can't argue against that!” he tried to pout too, but she was a master, and he was not. His grin kept ruining the efforts.
Inko could in fact argue against that, and they got all heated up about who, then, lost the bet, and after 5 whole minutes of passionate debate and playful barbs, in which time Inko tackled her husband into the sofa and got a small river down her shirt for her trouble, they ended up just laughing and settled on ordering out for the night: tomorrow, they would have katsudon, Izuku’s favourite. They both approved this plan wholeheartedly. The least they could do was celebrate him finally getting his Quirk, right?
For the first time, all the pressure had vanished completely from Izuku’s chest. Now it felt like a trickle, a comfortable presence running through him like a cooling stream. He slept at ease, and dreamt of being the world’s greatest hero. He also dreamt of being a fish, but mostly, he dreamt of being the greatest hero.