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Lights. Camera. Hero!

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If there’s one thing Izuku Midoriya’s good at, it’s dreaming big, and dreaming hard. That’s why he’s in Hollywood, of all places, his hometown an entire ocean away along with his graduating high school class and single mother. But he’s gonna be an actor, an international sensation, a superstar like no other.

 

He just.

 

Has to convince the rest of the world.

 

Which is, admittedly, a difficult task.

 

A boy like him is great as an extra, the short guy in the background drinking soda while the camera focuses on the real stars. Even his green hair isn’t that unique, not when everyone colors their hair a different shade of the rainbow. The freckles are a nice touch for some casting agencies, though, combined with a smile that’s much too bright for this cynical ass world.

 

It’s gotten him a few roles where he actually, gasp, gets to deliver a line... but he wants more than that.

 

He wants to be part of the action, be one of those stars who plays an iconic hero, one that inspires people out of their funks, one that cosplayers whip out their sewing machines for. He wants to be a guest at one of those conventions where people line up hours in advance just to see him, wants to do all kinds of interviews, hell, he wants to be a meme.

 

He wants to be a star.

 

But no one’s interested.

 

“Everything’s fine, mom,” he says during their weekly phone call as he sits in his living room. There’s barely anything in it, still looking like it’s waiting for Izuku to decorate it with something, anything . The only reason he has a couch is because someone had been throwing a perfectly good one out. “Just waiting to hear back from a couple of different places.”

 

“Ah.”

 

Her voice is strained. Izuku can tell. She hadn’t been keen on the idea of him moving off on his own to do something so outlandish, especially since he had zero prospects. There’s no shame in getting a nice, predictable office job after high school, or, even better, going to university. But Izuku is, if nothing else, stubborn, and Mama Inko likes to support her baby boy.

 

She just wishes he’d be a bit more... realistic.

 

But she knows he hates that word.

 

“I mean it,” Izuku says, attempting to coat his voice in enthusiasm. Thank goodness it’s not a video call, otherwise, she’d see the tears. “I feel really good about this last read I did. They really liked me!”

 

“T-that’s great, Izuku.”

 

She sounds so exhausted that it damn near breaks his heart.

 

“Yeah... great,” he says softly back. “I should go make dinner and get to bed, I have a big day tomorrow.” Yeah. Ha. Make dinner , Izuku, really? Does it count if it’s microwavable? It’s the last frozen meal he has, too, so he’ll have to resort to cups of instant ramen. At least he’s got a coffee pot to warm water, a trick he learned when moving here all those months ago.

 

Has it really almost been a year?

 

“Izuku... you know, if things...” Inko stops herself, not wanting to finish the sentence and crush his dreams. “... y-you can always come back home, if-”

 

“I know,” he says quickly. “I gotta go. Bye mom.” He hangs up before she can say anything, slamming the phone onto the couch and angrily wiping the tears away. Stupid Izuku. Don’t cry. You didn’t come here to cry, you came here to act. He lets the reminder circulate through his brain, uses it as a mantra to suck it up and do better.

 

One more tear. One more deep breath. Then he’s on his feet, warming up a meal that comes in a tray, convincing himself that the rubbery lump of meat is just as good as one of those restaurants where they show you the cuts of steak before you order.

 

His mattress doesn’t have a bed frame and his sheets need to be washed, but none of that matters. Those lines aren’t gonna read themselves.

 


 

He’s gonna have to get a job.

 

A regular job.

 

He’s got bills to pay, these small parts aren’t cutting it, and the graduation money ran out a long time ago. Restaurants are always hiring so he can start there, maybe work at a place where he can bring home leftovers — that’ll cut on the grocery bill. And hey, maybe he’ll end up waiting on some famous director who’ll see something in him. That happens, right? It’s not just a Hollywood myth, right?

 

Izuku’s not giving up, he just has to make some adjustments.

 

He’s not gonna be one of those sob stories, the ones who end up at a dead end job and leave their dreams behind. He just has to keep the lights on, is all.

 

“You can always come back home.”

 

Izuku runs a frustrated hand through his hair as he scrolls through various job postings online. His laptop is one of the few nice things he has, a gift from a relative to wish him well in his future endeavors.

 

Yeah.

 

Some future.

 

He’s gonna have to put together some kind of resume, one that isn’t just loaded with random commercials and scattered scenes where he blends in with the crowd. Maybe he can add his high school accomplishments or that one job he had over the summer before moving out here, anything to make it sound like he has an inkling of experience.

 

He’s not giving up.

 

He’s not.

 

He’s just.

 

Just.

 

Crying.

 

Again.

 

“You can always come back home.”

 

Izuku looks down at his phone, his tears gently tapping against the screen. All he has to do is call her. All he has to do is tell her that he’s not cut out for this and she’ll get him a plane ticket home. He’ll stay with his mother until he gets a job like his relatives have, one of those nine to five gigs where you’re stuffed in a suit and finding a reason to live via coffee.

It’s not so bad.

 

Right?

 

Izuku’s not sure why he opens a new tab, looks to see what casting calls are out there. Is there even a point? “Give me some kind of sign,” he whispers to, what, the ceiling? He’s not sure, but he feels like he should give it one last shot. He moved all the way out here, he has to have something to show for it.

 

Just one last look, one last chance, and if it doesn’t work out he’ll...

 

H-he’ll...

 

Wait.

 

Through his tears, he sees an open call so unbelievable that he does a double take. A new production from- “Yagi Toshinori?!”

 

Every aspiring actor has someone who inspires them, that iconic person besides their parents or God. Yagi Toshinori is Izuku’s. If directors were in need of a charismatic action star packed full of muscles and big ol’ smiles, this was the guy.

 

“All Might...”

 

Izuku’s so awestruck that he feels the need to touch the words on his computer screen and call the man by his best known character. A superhero larger than life, with an endless supply of strength and positivity. Ever since Toshinori’s retirement, Izuku’s had this childish idea to step up and take his place as the number one choice for heroic roles.

 

And now... he’s making a television series?