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Yūrei no Eiyū

Chapter Text

 

Not everyone is born equal.

Izuku first realized this when he was four and was told he was born without a quirk.

It was cemented into his mind at seven, when his father left because he didn’t want a quirkless child. (And Izuku’s mind screamed finally, despite the pain his father’s biting words caused, because, well, it’s not like he wasn’t used to that pain. And, after all, it was better than the alternative)


Every day for the past 8 years, it was burned into him as his once best friend told him just how useless he was.

Now, at the age of fourteen, he realized that he was unable to change his position in life as his hero’s words brought his dreams crashing down on him. 

Really, he thought, staring at the ground far below him, it’s a wonder I haven’t done this before now.

 


 
Izuku didn’t mean to find the villain on his way to school. Really, he hadn’t.

Izuku had been late many times before for that reason, but not this time! Today he was determined to make it to school on time for once! Izuku even purposely avoided the fight he could hear going on downtown. It seemed really exciting, and he had to focus to make sure he didn’t accidentally wander off towards it. Judging by the sounds of destruction--mostly crushing sounds, like a building crumbling, which was really the only thing he’d be able to hear from this far away--the fight was between people with powerful, flashy quirks that Izuku would have loved to analyze, perhaps gigantification quirks, those were rare, especially two of them in the same place, and they had a lot of benefits. It was definitely a great quirk for a hero, but factoring in the damage to the city, there could be a hefty cost for buildings repairs and there could be limitations to the use of such a quirk. Of course, that sort of thing could be fixed by whether or not the hero could control their size. As for the villain, assuming he was also contributing to the destruction, they likely had a less admirable enlargement quirk, such as one that turned them into a monster. That said, there was Ryukyu, who literally turned into a dragon, the embodiment of a monster and she was the No. 9 hero.… Assuming there were even people with growth quirks fighting, he’d have to go to check… But he wasn’t going to! He was going to be on time to school for once!

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Which really, Izuku knew how bad his luck was (his entire life was just a series of unlucky things, one after another). He should’ve realized there was no chance of things working out for him.   

The one time he’s not actively looking for a villain is the time that one decides to approach him underneath the bridge on his way to school. He hadn’t even noticed it at first, wrapped up in his internal struggle to not check the fight out. But the villains words had broken through his thoughts, interrupting them.

“A medium sized invisibility cloak.  Don’t worry kid, it won’t hurt for long.”

Izuku didn’t have time to turn before the villain was covering his mouth. He struggle as much as he could, attempting to get out of the villains grasp. But its hold was tight as the cold sludge surrounded his body, restraining most of his limbs.

“Don’t worry, I’m just hijacking you’re body. It’ll only hurt for about five seconds.”’ The villain began forcing its way into Izuku’s body, covering his mouth and forcing his jaws open as it oozed its way down his throat.

“Thanks, kid. You’re my hero.”

Izuku tried to shout through the thick sludge. His heart was beating wildly as he struggled for air. That’s not the sort of hero he wanted to be!!

Izuku began to cry as he clawed at the slimy mass. His fingers just slid through the liquid, doing nothing. Vaguely, Izuku could hear the villain cackling at his plight. He’s useless, even when it comes to saving himself. Izuku refused to give up, and continued grabbing futilely at the liquid as his lungs begin seizing up and blackness creeps around the edge of his vision.

But. He. Still. Suffocated.

 

⸚⸔⸖⸰⸱⸲₍⁝͓͐͛”:;=_ Ā̬̦͛n͍̍d ’.:=̗͑ ⁛⁝⁞⁜⌆⌇

⸚⁘  ⁖⁚          ⁛⁝ ⁞⸕⸔⸖⸰⸱⸲₍₎

⸔⸖⸰⸱⸲₍₎ ̗Ḥ̵̹e⸚⁘⸔⸖⸰⸱⸲₍₎⁖⁚⁛⁝⁞

⸚⁘⁖⁚₎    ⁛ ⁝⁞⁜

⌯⌭⍨⍼ ⁘⁖Is …̬̪̃͆͂⌆⌇

⌌⌖⌣⌮⌯⌭⸚⁘  ⁖⁚    ⁛⁝ ⍨⏦⏕

⸚⁘⁖⁚⁛⁝⁞ Uš͚̯̏ẹ͎̏̌les̥͆s . ⁘⸔⸖⸰⸱⸲₍₎⁖⁚

 

For a moment, Izuku wondered if it would really matter if he died. There’s one person who cared about him, and wouldn’t his mom be better off without the burden he caused her? (Izuku relaxed his grip as asphyxiation set in and his lungs seized up. The burning was fading, and he was more numb than anything else.) It was pointless, and things would be better for a lot of people when he’s gone. As his vision faded entirely to black, there was one regret on Izuku’s mind– he was helping a villain.

Diluted panic moved through him hazily, because what if people were hurt because of him, what if they died because of him? Why did he have to be such a Deku? But it was too late already and Izuku was dying and he was going to help a villain and his time was up— except, it  wasn’t, because the sewer lid flew off and something came out and it is all Izuku could do to reach out weakly and hope that they’d be able to save him and--

Through his hazy vision, Izuku vaguely recognized a familiar silhouette and the shouted words he’d always admired.

Izuku slipped into darkness, smiling softly. Because everything would be okay.

He was gonna be late for school wasn’t he?

“It’s fine now! Why? Because I am here!”

----

Slowly consciousness seeped back into Izuku, followed by the gentle slapping of his cheek. Izuku moaned quietly. His head was pounding, opening his eyes was the last thing he wanted to do.

“Just five more minutes” Izuku mumbled quietly, trying to snuggle into his covers, only to meet hard concrete. Odd, but it was warm and heated by the sun, so really, it wasn’t that bad. In fact, maybe he could sleep on concrete more often? It could bring back issues, but really, the warmth was enjoyable and comforting. He wouldn’t need the sheets that so often snagged on his legs and lead to him jolting awake, fearing the restraint— but then again, sleeping outside was probably a bad idea. Oh well, not his problem at the moment.

“Come on, Kid. You’ve gotta get up. You’re on your way to school, right?”

Izuku’s eyes shot open as his memory returned. He stared blankly at All Might as he tried to process everything, his mind running a million miles a minute. All Might’s tanned face grinned brightly at him, noticing that his eyes were open. 

“Ah! I’m glad to see you’re alright, young man! I was worried when you began muttering about sleeping on concrete! Concussions can be an issue, and it’s good to see you don’t have one!”

Izuku stared blankly up, trying to figure out if this was real. Because there was no way— no way!— that his idol, his hero, stood in front of him. Was this good karma for trying to be a normal student for once? Maybe if he continued to avoid villains and get to school on time, he could meet more heroes?

All Might still smiled down at him, although Izuku felt like he looked confused, even through the ever present smile.

“You are alright, yes?”

Izuku’s eyes widened, mind finally acknowledging that yes, this was happening. All Might jerked back quickly to avoid being slammed in the head as Izuku shot up into a sitting position.

“A-A-ALL MIGHT???!!” He screeched, incredulously.

All Might laughed boisterously at Izuku’s shock, amused by his enthusiasm.

“Yes, it is I! I apologize for letting the villain escape. It’s my first day in a new town, and I’m afraid I let my guard down! I’m glad it caused no permanent damage!”

Izuku stared up at all might, starry eyed. This was shaping up to be a great day. The chances of running into a villain were very low on their own, and All Might activity had lessened lately, so the chance of All Might being the one to take on the villain was even lower. Then of course that factors in that apparently it had been his first day in the town, so any other day All Might wouldn’t have been there to save him, and if he hadn’t then Izuku probably would have died then and there and--

“You are alright, yes?” All Might was looking down at him, a slightly unnerved tilt to his smile. Izuku slammed a hand over his mouth as he realized he’d been muttering.  

“I’m so sorry All Might, sir! It’s a bad habit of mine and--” All Might cut him off before he could restart a tangent.

“It’s alright, my boy! My success here is all due to you! I’ve safely contained the villain!” All Might held out several soda bottles with some eyes floating in them. Izuku stared up stunned at All Might before suddenly turning around and scrambling for his notebook.

“An autograph, something to sign, I’m sure it's here somewhere, ah my notebook!” He opened it up only to find All Might’s signature scrawled across two pages. “He already signed it!!” Izuku turned to All Might thanking him profusely, but All laughed and smiled.

“Anything for a fan! But I must be going now, this villain has to be put under custody!”

“Wait!” Izuku called instinctively. All Might paused before turning around.

“Yes, young man?” Izuku took a deep breath before beginning to explain.

“Maybe it’s because I’ve always been bullied, or well, I mean, it's more than that, but I think it’s a really cool thing to save people!”

“That’s wonderful, young man. I take it you wish to become a hero?”  Izuku looked up at him, feeling heat cover his face as he grinned shyly.

“Yes! I’ve always wanted to be a hero, smiling widely and reassuring everybody that everything is going to be alright! I’ve always wanted to be the strongest hero that saves people with a fearless smile, just like you!” Izuku, paused, looking down at his intertwined hands. “But is it possible for someone like me, someone without a quirk to become a hero?”

A heavy hand landed on his shoulder. Izuku looked up, heart filled with a light, fluttery hope of seeing a reassuring smile, but all Might’s smile had slipped a little, looking tight and forced. Izuku could feel his heart sinking even before All Might opened his mouth.

“Young man, it’s a admirable goal. But I’m without power, can one be a hero? I should think not. It’s simply unattainable. There are other way's to help people.”

Izuku’s heart clenched tightly and his throat burned as he struggled not to cry. Izuku swallowed past the knot in his throat. “Did you know that the rates of quirkless people has dropped in recent generations? Around 20% of the population is quirkless, but 90% of those people are over fifty. Many specialized high schools don’t accept quirkless applicants. A lot of businesses don’t like hiring people without quirks, they treat it as a mental disorder. Doctors and nurses typically have medical quirks and the police force likes people with sensory or restraining quirks.” Izuku didn’t exactly like being so cold to his idol, but it was all he could do to not break into tears. “I always hoped heroics might be different, that people would tell me I don’t need a quirk to help people.”

All Might looked guilty but he shook his head. 

“I’m sorry, my boy. You can’t become a hero.”

And All Might left him there under the bridge. As soon as he was out of sight, Izuku turned around numbly and walked back through the dirty underpass, not even noticing the hot tears running down his face.


 

Izuku was numb throughout the entire school day. He processed nothing as he stared at his notebook, ‘Hero Analysis for the future, No. 13.’  He glared darkly at it, attracting a few stares. He only looked up when his teacher started shouting loudly.

“You’re all third years now, so it’s time to start thinking about you futures!! I’d pass out the forms, but you’re all pretty much aiming to be heroes, right?!”

The teacher threw the papers into the air as Izuku’s classmates began demonstrating all of their quirks. Izuku stared unblinkingly at them. He wished he had one, anyone whatsoever. He wouldn’t even care if all he was able to do was pull his eyes out of his sockets because at least it wouldn’t mean he was quirkless and--

Izuku really, really didn’t want to think about heroes at that moment. He knew where this was heading.

The teacher lightly berated them for the use of their quirks, but as always, didn’t do anything about it. Izuku winced as a familiar voice called out.

“Sensei! Don’t lump me in with the rest of these losers.” Izuku hunched his shoulders more. He knew exactly where this was heading. “I don’t have a loser quirk like the rest of these rejects!” The class shouted out in indignation, but he just laughed. “You’re all just extras-- act like it!”

The teacher shuffled through his papers at the front of the room. “Ah, that’s right. Bakugou, you of course, are aiming for U.A.High School.” The class looked at him in shock, muttering how low the acceptance rate was. Kaachan crowed at them, proclaiming how well he’d done on the mock exam. Izuku looked down at his desk, the remains of Sharpie insults faded, but still readable. The teacher was still shuffling through his papers.

“You’re trying for U.A. as well, Midoriya?” Kacchan froze, and, along with the rest of the class, slowly turned around to face him. Izuku didn’t bother looking up from his desk as the entire class broke into laughter.

“What, Midoriya? No way!”

“You can’t be a hero!”

“Good grades aren’t enough to get into the hero program!”

“What an idiot!”

“How delusional can you get?”

The words swarmed around him. Any other day, and he would have denied them, listed the facts, that they’d taken away that rule, that there was no problem trying. Today though, well, he didn’t even think he’d bother trying anyway. An explosion slammed onto the desk in front of him, throwing him off his seat and onto the floor.

“DEKU!!” Kacchan glared down at Izuku. “Forget the crappy quirks, you don’t even have one. You honestly think you can be a hero? You’ll just die in the first four minutes!”

Izuku remained silent on the floor

“Haa?!! You gonna ignore me, you useless Deku?” Izuku felt tears welling up, but he didn’t respond. He couldn’t admit just yet that he had given up.

He looked away from Kacchan and down toward the floor. Kacchan ‘tsk’ed glaring at him. Izuku could feel the heat of the glare on the back of his neck.

The teacher cleared his throat, calling attention back to him. “Enough with that m then! Onto the rest of the class.”

Izuku tried really hard, he really did, but he couldn’t ignore his classmates parting comments of how useless he was and how he couldn’t even defend his dreams.

“What a loser.”

“Quirkless freak.”

“How lame, you’re not even gonna defend yourself, huh?”

“What can you even do?”

Kacchan remained silent, but Izuku could feel his gaze on the top of his head as he refused to move from his position against the wall, still silent.

 

How could he explain that he’d already given up?

 

 

Chapter Text

Katsuki didn’t know what was wrong with the fucking nerd, but Deku’s attitude was getting on his nerves. Ever since he’d slumped into class, his eyes downcast and shadowed, Katsuki hadn’t been able to get the nerd out of his mind. Then he had pulled that stunt when they were talking about careers and refused to say a single word about it. He hadn’t even glanced up, just staring at the ground. He was still and lifeless-- and so unlike Deku that Katsuki was getting irritated. He didn’t even bother to move from his position on the floor.

Deku only got up when the teacher pointed out he couldn’t stay on the floor for the rest of the class, at which point he silently stood and sat down, continuing to stare at that notebook he was already writing in like it held the secrets to the universe. The ones that were fucking dark.

When class was over, Katsuki immediately headed over to Deku, his entourage of extras following him like always.

“The fuck is wrong with you today, shitty nerd?”

He still refused to look up from the shitty book. Katsuki felt himself scowl as Deku didn’t respond.

“Are you fucking ignoring me, shitty Deku?”

Deku tried to stand up, paying no attention to him. Katsuki shoved him back down, ignoring the very slight twinge of guilt as Deku winced upon contact with his seat. He had a few bruises on his face and around his neck. It stood to reason he had more elsewhere. Katsuki wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d gotten them trailing after some heroes like a damn puppy.

“We’re not done here, shitty nerd.” Katsuki picked up the notebook Deku had been staring at all day, scowling as he recognized the cover. The nerd was still writing those stupid things? One of Katsuki’s extras walked over and read the cover of the book.

“Hero Analysis for the Future?” Laughed Extra No. 1. A few of the pages flipped open and Katsuki caught a glance of what could have possibly been All Might’s signature, but he dismissed it as a forgery because there was no way the nerd could have gotten one of those. And if he had, he would have been unable to shut up about it, raving all about meeting his favorite hero.

Extra No. 2 chimed in.

“Volume 13? Seriously, this guy!” He laughed. “Midoriya, you idiot. You can’t be serious.” Extra No.2’s raspy laugh was getting on Katsuki’s nerves and he couldn’t help it when his hands sparked and he blew up Deku’s notebook. Whoops. Well, he could roll with that. The damn nerd didn’t look phased though, which was something. Deku put a lot of effort into those notebooks and usually took good care of them. Katsuki shook the thought off, he had probably missed a hero fight or some stupid shit like that. Katsuki puffed out a breath of air haughtily, still irritated at the lack of reaction.

“The best of heroes have stories about them from their schooldays. My story starts here as the first and only person from this shitty school to get into such a prestigious hero academia as U.A.. I don’t need a nerd like you ruining my backstory. I guess I’m just a perfectionist”. Still no reaction. Katsuki leaned into Deku’s space. “You hear me, Deku. In other words, don’t you dare get into U.A., nerd.”

Deku still remained expressionless and still, head downturned. Hot fury began creeping its way up Katsuki’s spine. He wasn’t the sort of person that got ignored like this. He threw the singed notebook over his shoulder out of spite, though he was careful to avoid the koi pond.

“You fucking looking down on me, nerd? Can’t deign to give me a response? Well, that’s fine. Just remember, nerd.” He laid a hand on Izuku’s shoulder and let it spark just enough to make him flinch but not burn or singe his uniform. “Forget about U.A., Deku.”

Katsuki threw his bag over his shoulder and began stalking towards the exit, his extras following and commenting on Deku’s silence. He paused for a moment in the doorway.

“If you wanna be a hero that badly, there’s a quick way to do it. Believe that you’ll be born with a quirk in your next life and take a leap of faith off the roof!”

He finally got a reaction from that, a slight flinch, so why did Katsuki’s chest feel tight?


Izuku stared at the doorway that Kacchan disappeared though, his parting words ringing through his ears.

“Take a leap of faith off the roof.”

Izuku had considered doing such a thing before. It was hard not to. He’d stood on the edge of buildings and glanced down, wondering if it would be easier to just leave all the suffering behind. He’d considered it earlier today, even. He’d always decided against it before.

But before he’d always had his dream fuling him froward.

He no longer had that dream.

The rooftop sounded like a good idea this time.

His feet lead him away, his head lost in painful words of the past.


Katsuki was irritated. For the first time in a while, his irritation wasn’t directed toward anyone else. It was at himself for actually being worried about the stupid nerd. As they reached the school gate, Katsuki finally came to a conclusion, and kicking at a stray stone, turned to his extras.

“I forgot my book in the classroom thanks to that shitty Deku. You two extras go on without me.”

They shook their heads but didn’t really protest. “You’ve got to stop calling us extras, Bakugou.”

“Do you even know our names?”

Katsuki snarled at them. “Did I ask for a response, losers?” He turned around before they could respond, hand shoved into his pockets. He glares at his surroundings as if they had personally offended him and began muttering curses, mostly directed to the shitty nerd who was distracting him. Unfortunately, everyone had already ditched the school, so he couldn’t bump into and yell out his fury at anyone.

“Damn idiot. Making me have to check on him. He can’t seriously be that weak, that mother fuckin—“

On the roof. There was a figure standing there, slowly drifting towards the edge as if in a haze. It Katsuki wasn’t mistaken (he was never mistaken) then there was a flash of wild green hair that could only belong to one person.

Against his will, Katsuki’s heart dropped in his stomach and he didn’t even notice as he unceremoniously dumped his bag on the ground. and began sprinting towards the school. He slammed the door open, skidding around characters and dashed up the stairs.

“What the fuck, what the fuck.” Katsuki muttered through his pants as he his feet pounded on the stairs as he raced his way up to the roof. “What the fuck is that nerd doing. Why is he on the roof?” Katsuki wanted to tell himself there was no way he was listening to him. Deku hadn’t listened to him since he was seven. He hadn’t listened to his harsh words for years, so why, why would he do it now?

(Katsuki knew. He may not have known everything to do with the situation, but Izuku had been upset all day, he had been silently crying the entire way through class, avoiding any eye contact because he didn’t want people to see the tears shining in his eyes. Katsuki had known, he had seen, and instead of going easy on him, or anything at all to help him, he had taken out his confusion on Deku, making things infinitely worse.)

He reaches the stairs, and throws them open, not pausing for a moment, racing against time, and praying that Izuku was just looking at the view or some other fucking nerdy thing.

“You were right, Kacchan.” Izuku opened his green eyes, dull with sadness as the door banged against the wall.



“You can’t do anything!”

“Useless”

“Quirkless”

“Deku”

“You should just give up.”

“I’m afraid there’s no hope for him”

“I can’t believe I had a pathetic son like you”

Hope for a quirk in your next life and take a leap of faith of the roof”

“You can’t be a hero.”

“I’m so sorry!”

Izuku could feel the tears streaming down his face but he ignored them as his feet followed a familiar path.

No, that’s not what I wanted you to say. Izuku’s heart felt tight, filled to the brim. His eyes stung, dried from the tears he’d been unable to stop.

“I’m so sorry!” “You should just give up.” “You’re useless.” “You can’t be a hero!” “Pathetic!”

Why can’t anybody have told me what I wanted to hear? He was on the rooftop now.

“Give up.” “I’m sorry!” “You can’t be a hero.” “Take a leap of faith…” “Hopeless”

Why couldn’t just one person support me? Izuku walked over to the edge.

“You can’t be a hero.”

“It’s pointless”

“Give up”

“You can’t do anything.

Why could nobody believe in me? He closed his eyes, hands clutching at his shirt, wishing he could just forget. Forget all his sadness, the burning pain that seemed to fill his chest, all the words that had torn him down over all the years. Why couldn’t it all just go away?

“I’m sorry! Izuku, I’m so sorry!”

“You can’t do anything!”

“Just give up.”

“You’ll never be anything.”

“I’m sorry!”

“You can’t be a hero”

⸖⸰⁘Yơ̰̭̿ȕ̡̫ ̛̠̌⁝⁞⁜⸱₍₎

⁝⁞⁜⸱₍₎Č̞̪a̩͖̪̋͘n̬͎̿͛’t͇͙͛͜͝⸖⸰⁘⁖⁚⁛

⁝⁞⁜⸱₍₎ ̳̩ B̷͋e͕͙͋᷆͐͜⸖⸰⁘

⁝⁞⁜⸱₍₎͕͓͔͗͐͑͒͒A͍͙͍͐͘⸰⁘⁖⁚⁛

⁝⁞⁜⸱₍₎H͖͊͋͜͝e͓᷄r͕͖o͕͖͟͡͠. ⸖⸰⁘⁖⁚⁛

Izuku stood on the edge of the roof, the edge of so many things. He closed his eyes and leaned backwards.

“You were right, Kacchan.” Tears began falling through his closed eyelids. He opened them as the door to the roof slammed open, the sound reaching him as if through a haze. Kacchan’s wide, unusually panicked eyes stared at him as he ran from the stairs, hand extended.

“I can’t be a hero.” Izuku smiled shakily through his tears as gravity began to take hold.

“At least not in this life.”

“DEKU!!!”

Chapter Text

Warning for graphic depictions of injury and OOC characters.


Katsuki’s heart thudded painfully as he raced towards the edge and reached out for Izuku. Katsuki’s hand closed an inch above Izuku’s arm.

He had missed. And Izuku was falling.

In a second, he was racing back down the stairs and out over to where Izuku had fallen. As he ran, Katsuki pulled out his phone and called emergency services. He barely managed to curse at the calm receptionist who answered the phone and tell her that someone had jumped off a roof. It was important that the paramedics got here as soon as possible.

There was a chance that he was alive. A fall from a forty feet had about a thirty percent fatality rate. Izuku could be alive. (Katsuki told himself that he was alive. The nerd wouldn’t die that easily)

Izuku could be injured, but that doesn't mean he’d be dead. Katsuki skidded to a halt as he reached Izuku. He was still, and one of his arms was twisted at an awkward angle, turned almost entirely around. Izuku’s neck didn’t look broken, but it was tilted at an odd angle. There was a blood gash on his head, but he stirred a little with a quiet moan of pain.

Good news— he wasn’t dead. Bad news— well, it’s not like he wasn’t injured.

Concern boiling up inside him, Katsuki collapsed to his knees, leaning over Izuku. As Katsuki cast a shadow over him, Izuku opened his eyes slowly.

“Ka-Kacchan?” Katsuki gulped heavily.

“You fucking idiot! Why did you jump off the roof.” Izuku coughed out some blood-- internal bleeding, not good. “Just hang in there, I called an ambulance.

“Kacchan… you’re crying.” Katsuki was startled to realize that he was. Izuku smiled a little, his own eyes starting to tear up. “I’m sorry… I thought you wouldn’t care.”

“Don’t you dare fucking apologize to me not when--”

Izuku slowly reached up a shaking hand to wipe at Katsuki’s tears. A smudge of cold was left there. Blood-- from the coppery scent “Don’t cry. I’m not worth it.”

Katsuki felt his hot, angry tears begin to increase. You’re not the one who gets to decide that! Don’t fucking say that your not worth it! I’m the one who’s trash! I practically pushed you off the--”

“S’not yur fault…” Izuku’s words began to slur as his eyes drifted close. “I’m glad you care though…”

“Of course I fucking care when someone jumps off a damn building!”

Izuku tries to laugh a little but instead he just coughed up more blood. “

“Shut up. Just be fucking quiet and survive for a few more minutes so help can get here.”

Katsuki’s voice cracked in desperation. Under his hands, he could feel Izuku’s heartbeat getting slower. He suddenly jolted slightly, coughing out more blood, leaving it to dribble down the side of his mouth.

“You know I can’t do that…” He smiled slightly--how could Izuku always smile, even after what he’d just done?-- “Bye, Kacchan...”

Izuku stilled slowly. His heart rate decreased until it stopped completely and there was no rise and fall of his chest. Katsuki shook him lightly, but there was no response or even a small twitch. Katsuki shook him a little bit harder.

“Deku! Izuku, you are not dead. Stop faking it, you fucking nerd!” When he pulled back his hands, they were covered in blood. (It wasn’t just internal bleeding then.) Katsuki stared at them in horror as they started to shake.

There was so much blood. The iron scent clogged Katsuki’s nose. (He was going to be a hero. The sight of blood shouldn’t affect him this much. He’d have to get used to it-- Why the fuck couldn’t he still his hands?)

Katsuki’s voice caught in his throat and he tried to swallow past the burning. “Come on get up. I'm about to save you! Wake up! Wake up!” Katsuki could feel the burn of unfamiliar tears in his eyes as he shouted at Izuku’s prone body. “Come on fucking Deku! You’re stronger than this, get up!” He didn’t move at all, not the faintest movement to prove him still hanging onto life. “Wake up, dammit!!” Katsuki’s voice came out almost strangled, wrenching at his throat and burning.

Izuku didn’t move.

He was dead.

Katsuki felt like the world was closing in on him. The only sound he could hear was that of his heart pounding. His head span as the edges of his vision were encroached in black.

“Why the fuck did you listen to me, you shitty Deku? What the fuck is wrong with you?!!”

It was his fault. Hisfaulthisfaulthisfault-

Tears were streaming down his face, but for once, he couldn't care less at the display of weakness. Izuku was dead and it was entirely his fault. Katsuki felt numb as his tears ran out and he could do nothing but stare blankly at Izuku’s broken body.

Before long, the paramedics showed up. They picked up Izuku and moved him away. A few minutes later a nurse walked up, and looked sadly down at Katsuki who remained prone by the stain of blood.

“You’re the one who called, right?” He didn’t look up. She sighed sadly and continued. Eyes lowered, acting as if she was sad, full of nothing but pity.

(Katsuki didn’t need pity. He wasn’t weak. He wasn’t going to break. He didn’t need to be treated as if he was fragile. He fucking hated it.)

————

Green eyes widened in concern, a soft, gentle voice, filled with that ever present kindness. A hand extended. Looking down on him. (But was he really?)

————

“Unfortunately, honey, we were unable to do anything. I’m so sorry. He died from internal bleeding. Although the blood loss played a part as well. luckily though, it was probably a fairly painless death. He had several neck fractures which likely rendered him unconscious you don’t have to worry about him suffering.”

(Too nice . Why was she being so fucking gentle with him ?)

Katsuki ignored her. He didn’t want to hear that. (He knew very well it hadn’t been a painless death-- the fucking nerd had survived and been conscious for minutes with those kinds of injuries) Katsuki felt as if the world was burning, the oxygen ignited and consumed by vicious flames. Black spots danced in his vision and his panicked thoughts were overwhelmed with the fact that it was his fault. Hisfaulthisfaulthisfault--

(The guilt was suffocating)

“I assume you know him? I’m so sorry, sweety, I know you’re shaken up, but we really need confirmation of his identity as well as his emergency contacts.”

(Why couldn't the nurse just fucking shut up? Her honeyed voice was too sweet. Why was she acting like everything was alright. Nothing was alright.)

Izuku was dead.

Aunty Inko was going to be broken.

And neither would have happened if it wasn’t for Katsuki.

Ever since he had gotten it, Katsuki’s quirk had been the most important thing to him. To Katsuki, it was proof that he was meant to be a hero that he was going to be strongest, that he could do anything. Now, above just about anything else, he wished he had a different quirk. Something that could’ve stopped any of this from happening. Flight, that old extra’s quirk who could extend his fingers, enhanced speed-- even something weak like empathy so Katsuki could have stopped his stupid cruelty, if just for the day, so he could have stopped Izuku sooner, so he could have done anything. Katsuki would give up his quirk completely if it meant he didn’t have to see Izuku’s dead body being toted away

(His quirk had guaranteed that he would be a hero. Katsuki was not a hero.)

“Honey, I know you must be shocked. I know I would be if my friend jumped off a roof, but it would be really useful if you could provide us his information.”

(Her fake kindness was cloying. It felt like it was filling up his lungs and blocking the air to his lungs.)

Friend?

(A punch to the gut. Katsuki couldn’t breath)

Katuki stood up and glared at the nurse.

“Friend? What do you fucking know, dumbass? He’s not--“ Katsuki swallowed heavily. “I’m not his friend. I never have been.”

Because that title felt wrong. What kind of friend, even a former one, would ever tell someone who had once been their friend to jump off a roof? (Katsuki may have cared for Izuku once, but that was buried and forgotten under years of hate and spite. He definitely didn’t deserve that title)

The nurse didn’t seem offended by Katsuki’s coarse language. “Okay then. But do you know his name or not?” Maybe a little offended.

(But at least the suffocating kindness was gone)

“Midoriya Izuku.” Katsuki finally responded through painfully gritted teeth. He didn’t want to give this information, because that would acknowledge what had happened. And that it would never change. Izuku was gone.

Things seemed to pass in a blur after that, Katsuki had difficulty processing most of what was happening. He was blank. It was almost hard to feel anything. Vaguely, he noticed some people mention that he was in shock, but he was still taken in and questioned by some investigators.

He answered everything honestly. (Did he know the deceased? “Yes”. Did he know why he jumped? “Quirkless” “Bullied” Were you part of the bullying? “Yes.”)

(And even if the nurse was gone and she had stopped faking concern, everyone else was full of that same sickeningly sweet pity and Katsuki needed it to stop .)

Katsuki owed it to Izuku to tell the truth. Katsuki owed Izuku so much more that he would never be able to repay.

However he couldn’t bring himself to repeat the words he told Izuku.

“Take a leap of faith”

He couldn't admit that he’d told Izuku to die. Katsuki couldn’t tell if it was because of guilt or self preservation. (If he admitted his words, it would be a fully instigated suicide. He hated himself when his gut told him that if he really wanted to atone then he would have told the police everything. Katsuki knew his lackies would have the sense to remain quiet about it. After all, they didn’t protest Katsuki’s words and could be considered accomplices. It would remain a secret.)

When the investigation with him was over, a time that felt interminable, the police released him, with a pat on the back.

“Thanks for telling us everything kid. It was brave-” Katsuki was a coward “-to admit that you took part in the bullying.” Took part? He caused it all. “Don’t worry. It will only go on your permanent record if Midoriya’s parents decide to press charges.”

Katsuki nodded vaguely as he walked to the door. (Parent, he corrected absentmindedly. The asshat that was Izuku’s dad had been gone for years.)

As he got past the receptionist’s desk, the door suddenly flew open. A familiar shock of straight green hair caused Katsuki’s heart to thud painfully in his chest. Inko Midoriya ran up to the desk, clearly flustered.

“Excuse me, I got a call about my son--Midoriya Izuku--Is he okay? My baby didn’t do anything wrong, did he? He’s not hurt, is he?!!”

Katsuki turned his head to the side, hiding his face and swallowing heavily as he slunk out the door. It didn’t stop him from hearing the [too] familiar sound of a Midoriya bursting into tears.

He knew it was nothing like the sobs she would dissolve into when she found out what happened to Izuku.


When Inko got the phone call from the police, she was understandably confused. Much more so when they told her that the call was about her son. After all, around this time, he would be arriving home from school. It hadn’t let out too much earlier, so it was hard to imagine Izuku somehow managing to get into trouble in such short an amount of time. But then again, it was Izuku.

Almost instantly upon that thought, panic filled Inko. What could her baby have gotten himself into? Her panic fueled her and instantly she was running as fast as she could to the police station, ignoring all her surroundings. Once she reached it, she slammed the door open and rushed up to the tired receptionist who looked surprised at Inko’s sudden entrance.

“Excuse me, I got a call about my son--Midoriya Izuku--Is he okay? My baby didn’t do anything wrong, did he? He’s not hurt, is he?!!” Not giving the lady time to respond, Inko suddenly found herself bursting into tears. “Please tell me my baby is okay!!”

The receptionist very awkwardly walked around the desk and wrapped an arm around Inko and pulled her off the ground, patting her back uncomfortably.

“Please calm down, Midoriya-san, I’ll take you back to the detective in charge of his case.”

Inko managed to stop her tears, although she remained sniffly as she complacently followed the receptionist. What did she mean ‘case’?

The officer Inko was left with introduced himself, but Inko couldn’t pay attention because he had said that Izuku was dead, and well, there was no way that was true.

“Midoriya-san, I understand that this is hard, and I hate to break it to you so bluntly, but we need a statement as well as whether you’d like this to remain private or-”

The detective was startled out of his monologuing by Inko’s laugh. She froze up, mortified.

“I’m so sorry detective, I know it’s not a laughing matter that someone died, but you must have gotten the wrong person. My son left the house this morning very happily- I can’t imagine that this anything but a mix-up.”

The detective lay a large, heavy hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry miss, but the boy who called the ambulance, the one who found his body-- Bakugou Katsuki- has identified it as Midoriya Izuku. His student I.D. confirms this.”

Inko felt her legs grow weak as they suddenly collapsed from under her. Because even if Izuku hadn’t been friend’s with Mitsuki’s son for years, there was no way that Katsuki could have confused someone else with Izuku.

Inko couldn’t deny it any longer. Her boy, her little angel who always smiled for her and never let Inko see when he was hurt, was dead. Because he was hurt, and he had committed suicide because of it.

Izuku had been in pain for years and Inko had always known. She knew he was hurt when Hisashi left because he was quirkless, and yet how Izuku had seemed even more hurt when Hisashi was still around. She had seen the way that after Hisashi left he would come home with cuts and bruises, the way he slowly stopped talking about the fun he had with Katsuki and just grew quiet. Eventually the only thing that seemed to make Izuku happy was heroes and his dreams of becoming one, and Inko had never once supported him. If she’d told him just once that she believed in him, things might have been different. But she hadn’t.

All she’d ever said was, “ I’m sorry ”, and she had failed him.

But her regret had come too late.

And her son was dead.


Katsuki couldn’t stay at his house. The silence was too stifling, his parents gone to go and comfort Inko after they’d gotten a call. (He had heard her sobs over the phone, too incoherent to do anything but ask Katsuki’s mom to come over.) They didn’t know yet-- they couldn’t have known what he’d done. Yet they hadn’t invited him, because they knew that he could be cruel. They didn’t trust him not to hurt Inko further. Katsuki didn’t blame them.

Katsuki returned to the school. For a moment, he stared blankly at the ground where the bright red blood had been cleaned up, but still left a stain. Then he pivoted on his heels, avoiding it and going to pick up Izuku’s notebook. It was singed, and had landed far closer to the edge of the koi pond than Katsuki had intended, but it was still whole and legible.

Katsuki would bring it back to Izuku’s house, claim he’d found it at school, pretend like he thought Izuku would be there to reclaim. Pretend that he hadn’t essentially killed Izuku. Pretend that he wasn't guilty. (He knew that Inko would know he was the one who found the body, but surely he could pretend just to himself that that wasn’t true. He’d try to return the notebook, but tell himself he was giving it back to Izuku and not back to a grave.)

Katsuki raised a hand to knock on the Midoriya's’ door, but he paused before slowly his hand drifted back down. Carefully shoving the notebook into his jacket’s pocket, Katsuki turned around and slumped back towards his house.

He knew he couldn’t do it. Because Katsuki was guilty.

And seeing Inko’s face, so similar to Izuku’s, all he’d be able to feel was regret.

(What a shame that his regret came too late)

 


 

Regret is a funny thing, it makes you wish you hadn’t done something, makes you feel like you would do anything to fix what has happened. It makes you want to change yourself or your actions. But that’s the thing about regret-- it always comes after the fact. No matter what,

Regret always comes too late.



Chapter Text

Mitsuki didn’t really know what to feel. She had just spent the last few hours at the Midoriya’s house, comforting a crying Inko, and it was hard to process what she had told Mitsuku and her husband.

When Mitsuki had gotten the call, she had been confused. She and Inko hadn’t talked for years, and yet out of nowhere, Inko was calling her, her voice cracking and hoarse, wavering as if she was trying to hold back tears (or had already been crying for quite some time). Inko hadn’t explained anything, just asked with that familiar tremor to her voice that Mitsuki come over to her house. Mitsuki had immediately agreed--Inko had always been something of a cry baby, but if something had happened that was bad enough for her to get in touch after years of silence, then there was no way in hell that Mitsuki was going to ignore her.

She grabbed her husband and hauled him out the door, just yelling upstairs to let Katsuki know where they were going. She would have usually invited him along, but if they were going to Midoriya’s, then Izu-kun would be there, and Mitsuki couldn’t really trust her brat to behave.

The moment the door had opened, Inko had flung herself at Mitsuki, sobbing and hugging onto her for dear life. Inko hadn’t even spoken to her since Mitsuki had (pettily, she had to admit) told Inko ‘I told you so’ when Hisashi had left. Her devastation was stronger than it had been at that time, and Mitsuki could feel the concern for her old friend rising.

Carefully, Mitsuki guided Inko to the couch, nodding at Masaru to shut the door behind them. Mitsuku held Inko as she sobbed uncontrollably, but she really wasn’t good with this kind of thing and could only pat her awkwardly on the back. When a few minutes went by and it became clear that Mitsuki didn’t know what to do, Masaru (Bless her husband’s soul) came forward and kneeled in front of Inko.

“Midoriya-san, please take deep breaths. You need to calm down. It’s okay, we're here to talk to you.” Mitsuki looked at her husband gratefully as Inko slowly started to cry less and her hyperventilating stopped. Eventually, she looked up slightly, her eyes red and still tear filled. Mitsuki’s breath caught at the watery despair shimmering in Inko’s green eyes. Just what had happened?

“Izuku, he--” Inko’s breath left her in a gutteral throb. Mitsuki felt icy fear begin to crawl its way up her back. Where was Izuku anyway? He would have greeted them, knowing how polite he was, nothing like Mitsuki’s own kid. Yet he hadn’t even appeared for a moment despite his mom’s heaving sobs. Masaru seemed to reach the same conclusion as Mitsuki, and she decided to take the lead at his questioning glance.

“Inko, where is Izu-kun? Is he alright?”

Inko wailed and sunk further into herself.

“Izuku… my baby… he’s--”

“It’s alright Midoriya-san, take you time.” Masaru said gently. Inko hoarsely responded to him, but Mitsuki couldn’t quite catch what she said. Masaru did however, obvious by an uncharacteristic display of disheveledness as he shot to his feet.

“What?” Masaru nearly whispered in horrified disbelief. “What do you mean.”

Inko looked up, steal in her teary eyes. Even though her voice wavered and she spoke as if she was choking, her next words were clearly audible to Mitsuki.

“Exactly what I said. My baby, Izuku, is--” Inko swallowed heavily. “He’s dead.”

Mitsuki reared back in horror and Masaru unexpectedly cursed. This was not what she’d been expecting. Worst case, Mitsuki had assumed Izu-kun was injured in the hospital-- Inko was known for being overprotective, it wouldn’t have been surprising if she was upset just because he was hurt. But, it wasn’t that, not even close. Izu-kun was dead. Mitsuku leaned forward to wrap Inko in a tight hug.

Mitsuki hadn’t seen Izu-kun for years, but she could still remember how sweet and kind the shy little boy was. Izu-kun had, after all, spent six years as Katsuki’s only real friend and probably spent more time at the Bakugou’s than at his own house. (Mitsuki always wondered why it seemed like he was avoiding his home.) Mitsuki also knew how, above all else, Izuku meant the world to Inko.

“Fuck, Ko-chan, what happened?” Mitsuki didn’t care she slipped back into her old nickname for Inko. (She hadn’t used that one since she refused to show up for Inko’s wedding.) Inko cries intensified, but she spoke through her tears.

“It’s all my fault!” Inko nearly wailed. “If I had just believed in him, even if nobody else did-- No, I should have believed in him because nobody else did, but I didn’t, and I failed him! Mitsu-chan, I failed him, I failed my poor baby! If I’d just believed in him, he might still be alive”

The sadness that was creeping through Mitsuki suddenly froze, as Inko’s words registered in her mind. It was replaced with an icy cold realization.

“Ko-chan… did Izu-kun--” Mitsuki couldn’t say it. Her emotions always ran strongly, no matter what they were-- anger, irritation, gratefulness, sadness-- and she had a hard time dealing with them. Luckily for Mitsuki, her husband was a lot better at dealing with his emotions.

“Midoriya-san, we could be misunderstanding this, but are you implying that Izuku committed suicide?” Inko’s sad nod confirmed exactly what Mitsuki and Masaru didn’t want to be true. Mitsuki began to cry softly as she pulled Inko into a tighter hug.

“It’s not your fault, Inko. It’s--” Mitsuki wanted to blame Izuku, wanted to say that it was his fault that he died, it was his choice after all. But Mitsuki also knew that didn’t make it his fault. He definitely shouldn’t have jumped, but Mitsuki knew it wasn’t like he didn’t have reasons. It wasn’t his fault, and it certainly wasn’t Inko’s fault. “It’s nobody’s fault.” Mitsuki swallowed at her lie. There were certainly a lot of people to blame, but that wasn’t what Inko needed to hear, so instead Mitsuki just pulled Inko closer as Masaru set about to make some tea.

For the next few hours, Mitsuki and Masaru stayed with Inko, comforting her to the best of their abilities. By the time they decided to leave, she had stopped crying, though the sadness was still evident in her eyes. Inko walked them to the door, and just as she was about to close it behind them, she startled and opened it again.

“I completely forgot to ask, how is Katsuki holding up?” Mitsuki looked at her, confused. Something seemed off about the half smile on Inko's face, but Mitsuki brushed it off. Didn’t Inko know that Katsuki and Izuku hadn’t been friends for years?

“We haven’t told Katsuki yet.” Inko blinked at them, confusion clear in her eyes.

“But--” She paused. “I suppose it makes sense since you didn’t know when you got here. I’m still somewhat surprised he didn’t explain though.”

“Spit it out already, Inko.” Masaru’s hand on Mitsuki’s shoulder subtly reminded her she was being a bit harsh. Inko looked up at them, her short stature made more obvious by her hunched posture.

“Katsuki, he’s the one who found Izuku.”


Mitsuki didn’t let them stay long after that, and Masaru stared at her back as she aggressively pulled him towards their home. He could understand her concern; they were both aware of the fact that their son had once bullied Izuku. They had gotten a few calls about it, but when they had stopped, both of them had figured that it meant Katsuki was no longer bullying Izuku. Reflecting on it, Masaru realized that probably wasn’t the best assumption to make, knowing his son. Mitsuki probably realized this too. The fact that Midoriya-san had said Katsuki was the one who found him, and that it was quickly enough that he was with Izuku as he died was highly worrisome. Most likely, he was there when Izuku had jumped. That meant Katsuki probably knew what Izuku was going to do. Knowing his attitude-- his anger, his arrogance-- it wasn’t a far stretch to believe Katsuki may have been part of the reason Izuku had decided to jump.

As soon as they reached their home, Mitsuki barked up the stairs with a rare vehemence that made Masaru flinch even though he was well accustomed to her yelling.

“KATSUKI! GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!”

Instead of the usual bang of Katsuki’s door slamming open with an accompanying shout of “old hag”, Katsuki quietly walked down the stairs, not stomping down them like he usually would or even bothering to close his door. Masaru remembered that he’d been acting the same way when they had left, and in hindsight, it was a bit stupid not to notice anything wrong with their usually aggressive son.

Mitsuki however, had clearly not noticed, as before Katsuki was even halfway down the stairs, she stormed forward and grabbed him by his shirt. Masaru tried to stop her, but a sharp glare sent his way stopped him.

“You little shit, what the fuck did you do to Izuku?” Mitsuki growled. When Katsuki remained quiet, Mitsuki pulled him closer. “Do you think that by staying quiet you’ll just be let of the hook? Why the fuck were you there when Izuku jumped? You should have been far away from school by that point.”

Katsuki glared at her for a second, before he gritted his teeth and responded. “I bullied him, alright. Fuck, are you satisfied?” Masaru noted the his voice was even raspier than it usually was. Mitsuki just dropped him.

“No, I’m not FUCKING SATISFIED!!” What the fuck Katsuki!?? You bullied Izuku to death!! He never did shit to you!!”

Katsuki didn’t lift his head. “I wasn’t the only one.”

“Maybe not,” Mitsuki admitted genially, “but that doesn’t mean you weren’t the last one. It’s pretty obvious that you might as well have pushed him off the roof yourself.” Katsuki flinched almost imperceptibly, but Masaru noticed. Was that what Katsuki thought as well? Just what had he said to Izuku? Masaru didn’t know, but it was clear to him that Katsuki deeply regretted what he’d done, so Masaru didn;t have much of a problem letting it go. His wife however, clearly hadn’t realized. She scoffed at Katsuki before turning around. Masaru just barely noticed the few tears streaming down her face. “Go to your room, Katsuki.”

The cold anger was somewhat unexpected from Mitsuki, and Katsuki just nodded and walked quietly back up the stairs. Once his son was gone, Masaru turned to his wife and pulled her into a hug.

“We fucking failed him, Masaru. How the fuck did we fail so badly? I thought we raised him better than this.” Masaru couldn’t argue with his wife as she sobbed into his shoulder. What Katsuki had done to Izuku was wrong in many ways, but he still hoped that Mitsuki would see the toll Izuku's death was taking on Katsuki. He may not have been innocent, but it was clear that this was the last thing Katsuki had wanted.

Chapter Text

When Izuku woke up, his first thought, was, of course, that he shouldn’t be waking up at all. He was sure that he had jumped off a roof.

He could still remember the cracking sound of his spine hitting the ground. He had felt the agonizing pain of his bones splitting and a sharp sting on his temple when his head had recoiled against the ground. For the second time that day, he had felt his body running out of air as thick liquid filled his lungs, suffocating him. The metalic taste of his own blood was still fresh on his tongue. He remembered the burning as his throat filled with coppery blood and the warmth as it dripped down his chin.

He remembered his heart burning as it struggled to continue beating, and how it had slowly, slowly stopped.

Izuku may have a morbid imagination at times, but even he couldn’t have imagined his death that realistically. (Or painfully).

At the same time though, Kacchan had been there, and he had seemed to actually be upset about Izuku dying, so maybe it was just his imagination?

“Ah, kid. I see that you’re awake.”

Izuku jolted up. As near as he could figure, Izuku was exactly where he had fallen. (Where he could remember dying. ) The only difference was that it was dark, several hours after what he remembered. Had he passed out but somehow survived? But that made no sense, his injuries all seemed to be gone.

There was a young man kneeling down in front of him, maybe four or five years older than Izuku. His disheveled brown hair partially covered his square jaw, and dark eyes. Although the man’s expression was friendly enough, something about the look in his eyes unsettled Izuku. He was looking down at Izuku with uncomfortable intensity.

Could he be a detective or a doctor or something? Were they going to interrogate on him why he jumped off a roof? If they were, he had to be careful about what he said. The choice to jump was his own-- Izuku didn’t want to get All Might or Kacchan in trouble.

“Look--about what I did--”

The man interrupted him with his raspy voice. “Yes, that’s exactly why I’m here. I’m impressed actually.”

What? This man was for some reason impressed that he had tried to commit suicide? Clearly, not a member of the law or a doctor. (Who would even conduct an interrogation or treat a patient where they fell? In hindsight, that idea had been stupid.)

Izuku shifted slightly back when he noticed that the man was see-through-- and suddenly things made sense. (Even if they were hard to believe.) He had died. He was a ghost, and so, apparently, was this man. That was a thing ? Ghosts were actually real?

It may have been a bit of a jump, but there was also the fact that Izuku himself was transparent. Not to mention floating a few inches off the ground like the man in front of him.

And didn't that just suck? When he’d chosen to fall, Izuku had hoped to be reborn into a new life or at the very least, just cease to exist. He had not intended to be stuck as a ghost, fully remembering his disappointment of a life and that crushing regret he’d felt seconds before he hit the ground.

(Kacchan has looked so sad…)

As he lay bleeding out, and Kacchan had been there, holding him, trying to keep him alive, actually caring ( and looking so devastated), Izuku's regret had only grown stronger. (How much of a useless Deku could he possibly be to make such a stupid mistake?)

Izuku hadn’t wanted to remember his mistake, but he could. And there was nothing he could do about what he’d done. Would he be stuck haunting the Earth for an eternity, watching the people he knew move on, unable to do anything but regret?

“-- so anyway, since I can’t steal the nifty ability of your’s, and we both have the same goal, I can give you my quirk so that you can wreak havoc.”

And Izuku probably should have been paying attention, because he was really, really lost.

“I’m sorry what?” The man-- Villain? Was that a villain monologue Izuku had just missed? -- seemed vaguely annoyed, but he continued.

“My quirk allows me to steal the quirks of ghosts, which is vaguely similar to my father, who steals living people’s quirks. Of course, we didn’t know what my quirk did when I was alive, as it seemed to just randomly create a stupid quirk out of nowhere that would disappear no later than a day later. It’s not what he wanted from me, so my old man killed me.”

Well. That was a casual way to talk about your father murdering you. Izuku decided it was understandable, since it was obvious this man’s father was a villain. (Dad’s didn’t have to be good people, Izuku was well aware of that) And if he was a ghost… well, Izuku supposed he was being pretty casual about his own death too, so he couldn’t really judge.

But he’d mentioned his father could steal quirks? Izuku really wanted to ask the man to pause, at least for a moment, but he got the feeling he wouldn’t. Still, Izuku couldn’t wrap his head around that. A quirk that could steal quirks? He’d never heard of such a thing, despite his enormous amounts of research in trying to find a quirk for himself.

‘Not even the most out-there of conjectures had ever theorized about such a thing. Recorded history hadn’t left the slightest inclination that such a thing would be even slightly possible. Science too, indicated the impossibility of that. Quirks were inborn traits tied in with genetics, that allow them to establish themselves and exhibit particular abilities that are typically unique to them. To be able to steal a quirk that is written into DNA—’

“What are you muttering about? Shut up”

Izuku froze, slamming a hand over his mouth. He’d been talking out loud again? The man-- Izuku vaguely remembered him introducing himself as Tōrei-- continued.

“What do people know? We’re ghosts, aren’t we? According those people we don’t even exist. Moron.” He paused, expression become genial again. “In life, I’d always planned to be a better villain than him, but with my quirk, it seemed hopeless. In death, I found out just what my quirk was, but by then it was too late. I couldn’t kill anyone not already dead--” Definitely a villain, then. “--since I can’t interact with living people. It’s pretty annoying that your ghost is still tethered enough to life that I can’t gain that ability, but oh well. I can tell you have the same sort of blood lust, to kill yourself just so you can get revenge.”

What? Why was Izuku so lost? Blood lust? Not really, last time he had checked. And killing himself to get revenge? How did that make any sense? Izuku supposed he could haunt his bullies, but what would be the point in that? Assuming he was understanding Tōrei correctly, ghosts couldn’t hurt people. (Judging by the maniac look growing in Tōrei’s eyes, if he’d been able to, he definitely would have hurt people.) Not to mention ghosts were widely accepted as fake, meaning that they couldn’t be seen and likely couldn’t interact in large way with the physical world. Izuku had so many questions about all this.Yet the villain seemed nowhere done with his monologue.

“Ah… Excuse me, but are there a lot of ghosts?” Tōrei glared at him, as if to say he should already know this. Izuku couldn’t help but feel like apologizing, sincerely even, for the fact that he hadn’t been taught about ghosts or the afterlife in school.

“There are more nowadays then there were when I first died. They’ve been increasing with the higher frequency of quirks in newer generations. Back when they were new, there weren’t too many ghosts. Ya’ know, since you need both unfinished business and a quirk to stay on this plane.” A quirk. In order to stay on Earth, Izuku needed a quirk. Yet here he was. Did that mean-- “Anyway, it’s pretty annoying.” Tōrei scowled. “Whenever I steal a ghost’s quirk they leave and then it becomes nearly impossible to hold onto their quirk and I end up losing it. Yet if I give it to some other ghost they somehow keep a hold of it.” He shrugged, still scowling. “At least I get to use it for 24 hours. The issue is that I can’t do anything to people with it. I want to be able to kill millions, ya’ know? I could be the scariest villain the world has ever seen, worse even than my father, especially since I had a painful enough death to be a poltergeist. But noooo…”

He dragged it out, irritated. Was it bad that Izuku found it kind of funny that this ghost was so casually talking like a mentally-unstable villain? He’d have pictured some creepy smile or lunatic laughter, but this (clearly insane) young villain was just acting like an average teen. (Until you actually listened to his dialogue, but that was beside the point.)

“Anyway!” Tōrei’s sudden shout startled Izuku. “ All I can do is steal the quirks of annoying ghosts and force them to move on.” He grinned suddenly. “That’s where you come in! I’ll give you my quirk and you can kill everybody for me! Just let my old man know that it was Tōrei who enabled you to do so!”

What? Izuku looked at the villain, bewildered. He was honestly still trying to process the fact that he was dead, and that a villain existed (had existed?) that could steal quirks. Very little that the villain said had made sense. He was convinced Izuku was planning to be a villain, but he didn’t want that at all. (Not to mention Tōrei hadn’t explained how he was supposed to even hurt people in the first place. Maybe he really was just crazy?)

Izuku was startled out of his thoughts as Tōrei poked a finger onto his forehead accompanied by some strange static shock.

“There. I’ve transferred my quirk over to you.” The villain’s body slowly started becoming more transparent. Izuku's eyes widened, surprised. He hadn’t intended to accept!!

“Wait—”

“Don’t worry. It should stick. For some reason when I transfer quirks they stay permanently. I’m the only one who can’t hold onto them. I think my quirk might repel them somehow. It’s not about to go and repel itself, so...” He paused. “Ah, but it might start hurting in a bit. Sorry.”

No, really. What was happening??!! Izuku was so confused. Tōrei grinned at him, misreading his confusion. “I trust you to kill people for me.” He grinned savagely. “Go wreak havoc, kid.”

As Izuku watched the last of the villain’s body disappear, he was vaguely impressed by his ability to monologue. Because Izuku had less than no intention of becoming some sort of villain, even if that was possible. According to Tōrei, it wasn’t and yet he was somehow convince that Izuku would be able to “kill millions” and be “the scariest villain the world has ever seen”. Izuku didn’t even want to hurt people! It was kinda laughable, but Izuku was just panicking. He tried to reach out and pull the fading body back, but his hands just slipped right through and did nothing.

Izuku was lost and confused (and dead). Very little made sense. But what he did understand hurt.

Because that villain had given Izuku a quirk. He finally had one, but he was just as useless as before. Even if he couldn’t be a villain as a ghost, he also couldn’t be a hero. And the irony of gaining a useless and pointless quirk in his next life, his after life, did not escape him.

[A jolt ran down his spine, burning and aching, and Izuku collapsed to his knees, suddenly unable to stand. This was the pain Tōrei had mentioned. Izuku tries to ignore it so it didn’t let it interrupt his thoughts. He needed to think. He could ignore this sort of pain. (It was familiar)]

And worse than that, if quirks really were what allowed a spirit to stay on Earth, then Izuku must have had one in the first place. How useless could he be that in ten years he’d failed to activate a quirk?

When the Dr. Tsubasa had showed his mom and him the x-ray, pointing out that one foot had the extra toe bone and the other didn’t, the pediatric doctor had explained he didn’t know what it meant. He’d never seen that sort of thing before. Izuku could have had a quirk, or been quirkless. It could have indicated an extremely weak quirk or a side specific quirk. Izuku and his mom had both hoped so much that he’d have a quirk.

His father had taken it into his own hands.

[The burning spread throughout his body, spiking in his head like a migraine. The pain from Tōrei’s forced transfer was too familiar]

————

Burning fire scorching across his back, leaving trails of scars Izuku would never be able to forget. (Cross fire immunity of the list.) Fists and kicks and buckets of icy water, hard objects thrown at him. (Just do something !) Bruises littered across his back (Maybe trauma would induce a quirk’s emergence?) Pain, pain, pain. (He was just seven, how could Hisashi do this?) Hours spent alone in his room trying to force fire out of his lungs until he passed out from lack of oxygen. (Stop being useless!!) Weeks spent straining his arms trying to move even the smallest of objects. (Why couldn’t he do anything?) Bright smiles and half truths (Don’t let them know how weak you are).

————

[Izuku gasped, coughing as his throat burned, trying to get air. It felt like his cells were combusting. Tōrei had acted like it would sting. Izuku felt like he was on fire.]

Three years of Hisashi trying forcefully and painfully to get Izuku to activate his quirk had yielded no results. Another visit to Dr. Tsubasa, some painful words (“You should just give up”) and it was determined that Izuku was quirkless. Midoriya Hisashi left ( finally ) and the kids at school started bullying him. Most of it was emotional, and though it hurt, Izuku told himself it was better than if his father still thought he’d ever manifest a quirk. (It was, but that didn’t mean that it was good . )

[The pain was still excruciating, and maintaining his train of thought was the only way he could try to ignore it. Even if his thoughts were just as painful.]

Izuku had told himself that even if he was quirkless, he’d still become a hero. It would be his first and last setback. And yet… Izuku had given up. Maybe if he hadn’t he would have eventually discovered his quirk, if he hadn’t maybe he could have become a hero. But he had. He gave up, and it was all for nothing.

[The pain was fading now, ebbing away, leaving Izuku to collapse bonelessly on the cold cement floor. (Why could ghosts still feel pain?)]

Izuku had killed himself so that he wouldn’t have to deal with his quirklessness anymore. He had ruined all his chances for nothing. He’d left his mom behind, he’d hurt Kacchan, and he’d killed himself for absolutely no reason at all. He had given up on hope and all that it earned him was regret. But regret always came to late. It came after all the deeds were done and couldn’t be taken back. It was irreversible and inescapable. And Izuku was filled to the brim with regret. Izuku felt a choked sob rise in his throat and he found out that yes, ghosts could cry too.

Chapter Text

His room was dim, only the slightest bit of hazy morning light filtering through the windows. Katsuki started blankly at them, heavy bags hanging below his eyes. He sat legs huddled to his chest, avoiding looking behind him at his desk where Izuku’s notebook sat. He hadn’t been able to sleep well the past three days, images of Izuku’s death hanging beneath his eyelids. His broken body, and fucking pitiful smile flashed through Katsuki’s head every time he closed them. Every. Single. Fucking. Time.

He couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat, he couldn’t get out of his bed. His father had tried to get him to eat after the second consecutive day of him not leaving his room, just staring at the wall. Masaru had hesitantly left food on his table, sending one unreadable glance toward Katsuki, but left without saying a word.

Katsuki had just stared listlessly at the food, and it sat there all night until it grew cold. Even the thought of eating it made him feel sick, a nauseous feeling rising up and sticking heavily in his throat.

He did not get out of bed to remove it.

And it was still there in the cold morning light. His old man had not returned to check on him. It wasn’t surprising. (He was guilty, after all. He was a murderer.)

Now it was Tuesday, and he doubted he’d be allowed to miss another day.

He didn’t want to drag himself out of bed to go to the place Izuku had died.

A harsh banging on the door, sending reverberating pain and a headache into Katsuki’s foggy mind let him know the old hag wouldn’t be letting him skip.

“Get the fuck up.” Just that one short abrupt statement, and Katsuki could hear his mom stomping back downstairs. For a few moments, he stared blankly at the door, but he knew he couldn’t avoid life forever. (He had to stop being so fucking weak.) Katsuki dragged his body out of bed and downstairs, his legs almost buckling as he unfolded them and stood, joints aching. He felt oddly heavy, his legs almost too stiff to hold himself up.

Walking out the door, Katsuki grabbed his backpack as he left his room, stumbling as he swung it around his shoulder. He slumped down the stairs and was about to leave, when his old man called out from behind him.

“Katsuki.” He turned just in time to see an apple flying to his face. His hand shot up, and he managed to catch it just in time to avoid looking like an idiot. It was good to see his reflexes hadn’t suffered.

“Why the fuck did you throw a damn apple at me, old man?” Masaru sent Katsuki a knowing look.

“You need to eat something.” He then turned and left Katsuki glared at the fruit, but he kept the apple as he turned and walked out the door.

On the way to school, he managed a few bites, but it tasted like cardboard in his mouth. It was hard to swallow down. Once he reached school, Katsuki threw it away, despite only having a few small bites taken out of it.

School was as horrible as Katsuki had thought it would be. Aunty Inko had chosen to keep Izuku’s death secret, so there would be no in school memorial, newspaper articles or anything that might slander Izuku’s name.

But the extras still knew something was up. Izuku had not missed a single day of school in his life, and neither had Katsuki, so the fact that they had both missed Monday, and Izuku was still absent was suspicious. They didn’t say anything Tuesday.

By Friday, however, the whispers were running rampant. (A week went by, Katsuki didn’t really know what had happened. He’d been in a daze and just barely remembers cussing out anybody who tried to talk to him and avoiding his extras during lunch as he failed to choke down food)

They pointed to him in the halls, claiming he had murdered Izuku.

His old followers would gossip with anybody they saw in the halls and tell ghost stories about Katsuki, saying he had left them and gone back to kill Izuku. The suspicious spot that was still tinged maroon with Izuku’s blood didn’t help Katsuki’s case.

It was almost funny how quickly everyone turned against him. He knew that they had never had real loyalty to him, but he figured they at least feared him enough not to turn against him. Perhaps they once had, but Katsuki had weakened quickly in the past week, and it was obvious. He’d been less explosive and didn’t cuss as much as he had in the past. (His odd attitude only contributed to the rumors.)

Izuku was probably the only real friend Katsuki ever had, the only one who had been with him because he liked Katsuki, and the only one who didn’t fear him. (Katsuki had ruined that fucking badly, hadn’t he? He remembered the look Izuku always sported when talking to him, a nervous smile plastered on and fear in his jade eyes.) And Katsuki had pushed him away, because he was supposed to be weak and yet he didn’t fear Katsuki. If someone that weak wasn’t frightened by him, then that must have meant Katsuki was weaker, right? It made him feel weak. But he wasn’t weak. He knew he wasn’t, and he couldn’t have other people thinking he was.

Of course he was right to do that, he was always right. He was so unused to this sudden heavy feeling of guilt the hung over him. Heavy like led, it dragged his body down and it poisoned his appetite and his ambition. Katsuki doesn’t know if he can be a hero anymore. (He knows he’s not. He’s not. He’s not a hero and he’ll never be.)

Just like Izuku would never get a chance to even try. (What was the fucking harm in trying? Sure, Izuku could have gotten hurt, but it was better than dead. Why couldn’t he have just let Izuku be?)

Izuku’s death was his fault. He knew he was right about that, but for once, Katsuki didn’t want to be.

Guilt wasn't an emotion he was familiar with. Guilt was weakness. It wasn’t something that was supposed to affect him like this. It wasn’t meant to be a ball in chain for him. Katsuki was supposed to be strong. He was supposed to be able to push these leaden feelings away, but he couldn’t. It poisoned him from the inside, a corrosive acid, eating away at him, dissolving everything that had made him Katsuki Bakugou.

And with Izuku dead, there was nothing he’d ever be able to do to get rid of it. It would remain inside of Katsuki for the rest of his life, festering and growing, corroding further and further into his soul, a monster… (Just like Katsuki himself)

The regret that came with it was the worst, the air suffocating in his lungs and dragging him down. It struck him suddenly as he was sitting at his desk as the rest that he’d never be able to apologize to Izuku.


By the time Izuku was able to escape his shuddering tears, there was only phantom pain left from the quirk transfer. With shaking limbs, he attempted to stand, only to stumble and fall back to his knees. Looking down, he realized that it was because his leg had gone through the ground. He realized that he really had no idea what to do now. He was a ghost. What did ghosts do? What did being a ghost even entail?

Izuku placed his hand over his chin and began running over what he knew. The list was far shorter than what he’d like it to be. He was incorporeal which meant that he couldn’t interact with the physical world, and obviously he was invisible to the living, but visible to the dead. (Or, well, he assumed that ghosts were invisible to the living. He hadn’t gotten to check it yet, but if ghosts were common like Tōrei had suggested they were, then surely Izuku would have heard of ghosts before if they could be seen.) He could still feel pain and he could still cry. He apparently could also steal ghosts’ quirks and send them on if he thought they were too annoying… Not like he’d ever actually be making use of that ability. Aside from that?

Izuku knew just about nothing. He decided the best way to figure things out would be to try and find other ghosts and ask them stuff. Would there be some sort of initiation ceremony or school for new ghosts? Probably not , Izuku decided almost instantly. Dumb idea.

Best place to find ghosts would probably be more populated areas, so Izuku decided to head towards the shopping district. It was late, but there could still be people, or at least ghosts out. Izuku began walking and realized that he wasn’t sinking through the ground anymore. Rather, he was kinda just floating on top of it. Was the movement a mental thing? If he thought he should be moving would he move? Could he move without taking steps? Would pretending to be taking steps make it easier? Could he control his height?

Izuku tried to test this out and discovered that yet, he could control his height and that when he imagined sinking through the ground, he just passed right through it. That was actually pretty cool— Would he be able to make it to the core of the earth? If he went up would he be able to make it to space? What if—

~•~•~•~•~•~•~•~

A few days passed and Izuku was growing bored. Izuku could only walk through the city streets. He passed a lot of other ghosts, and would look at them, but it didn’t seem like there was no ghostly community or anything. (However, there really were so many ghosts. He knew people died all the time, but seeing so many sad looking spirits floating around, stuck on Earth for some reason or another somehow really hit it home.) So all Izuku could do was stroll through the city streets, looking around. It was odd, being completely ignored by people who couldn’t see or hear him. He had never been noticeable or anything, but being completely nonexistent was different somehow. It was lonely. Even more lonely than before. People walking through him was an interesting experience as well. The people would subtly shudder but that was the most of it, and Izuku simply felt an odd twist in his (nonexistent?) stomach. Izuku did notice that they seemed to avoid him subconsciously, almost inching away, shivering slightly when they got in close vicinity. Maybe ghosts actually left cold spots? How much about ghosts was accurate to films and myths?

Izuku looked up, suddenly realizing he had wandered off.

“Izuku…” A familiar voice sobbed. Mom? Izuku shot around to face the direction and suddenly recognized where he was. The graveyard. That was nowhere near where he had been, but… Was today…?

Turning around he walked toward his voice. What he found didn’t shock him as much as he wished it would. His funeral. He had just been cremated then. Forty-five minutes and now he was just ashes.

His mom stood in front of his grave, weeping, repeating his name over and over. Mitsu-chan and Masaru supported her as she looked near to collapsing. Izuku felt his heart twist painfully as he looked at her. Guilt welled up inside of him. Mom, I’m so sorry. It’s all my fault. I’m sorry I didn’t think of you. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough. I’m so sorry.

Even with the regret though, looking at the funeral made his chest tight. Three people. Three people and priest were the only ones who cared about him enough to come to his funeral. He hadn’t expected any of his classmates, but he had still hoped—Well. He didn’t even really know what he hoped. He knew nobody but his mom cared about him (He had known for a long time.)

Inko was kneeling now, and sharing a glance over Izuku’s mom’s head, Mitsuki and Masaru let her down gently and walk towards the graveyard entrance.

Hesitantly, Izuku drifted over to her. He held a hand over his mouth as he stifled a sob. (One no one would hear.(But people hadn’t heard his cries long time)) Izuku knelt down in front of her, heavy tears that matched his mom's streaming down his cheeks.

He reaches out, tries to pull his mom into a comforting hug, but of course his arms just go right through her. Izuku gasps breathlessly as pain clenches in chest. Of course. It was silly to think that he could hug her, but since being a ghost, he had been so cold. He just wanted to feel Inko’s familiar warmth. But his hands went through her.

“Mom!” The quiet shriek wrenched itself from his throat as Izuku hovered over her. “Mom! Please, please hear me!” For a second, he had forgotten that he was dead and that all he could do now was watch the devastation he had wrought on those he cared about. She shivered as he drew near, drawing in at the sudden chill. Looking down at his mom, that same piercing, acid-like regret began seeping its way through Izuku. “Please.” One last whisper slipped out as Izuku let his hand relax and slowly fell back to his side. Tears began to seep out as he held his arms at the shoulders, keeping himself from reaching out to her again.

Instead Izuku knelt, fingers clenching through the ground he floated above, restraining himself from reaching out again, sobs wracking his body as his mom wailed, hand clutching desperately at her heart.

A commotion at the gate and a familiar gravelly voice suddenly drew his attention. Kacchan?

What was he doing here? Izuku wanted to deny it, but his heart lifted. Kacchan really must have cared if he showed up at his funeral! It may have been just one more person (Four in total, five if you count the disinterested priest) but it made him so happy! If only he was alive then maybe they could become friends again! Izuku faltered. Right. Kacchan was at his funeral. (He was only here because he was guilty, a voice whispered.)

And apparently that annoying inner voice wasn’t the only one who thought that. Masaru was physically holding back Mitsuki who had just lunged at her son. Izuku hung back, shocked and confused.

Mitsuki had always had a high tendency towards cursing, where Kacchan had gotten his vocabulary from, but she was usually fairly even in her actual temper. Izuku didn’t think he had ever seen her this angry. Mitsuki’s face was tinged red and contorted in anger as she yelled at Katsuki.

Just as Izuku reaches them, Mitsuki lunged with redoubled force and hit Katsuki across the cheek.

“Kacchan!!” Izuku shrieked, flustering around him wishing he could physically help.

“What the fuck are you doing here you little shit? Why the fuck do you give think you have aright to be here?” Mitsuki shouted. A red handprint was flushing Kacchan’s cheek and his eyes were averted, but unwavering.

“I came to pay my respects, you old hag.” Kacchan said gruffly but without his usual bite. As Izuku drifted closer, he noticed how gaunt he looked, pale skin and dark circles under his eyes. Was Kacchan sick?

“LIKE HELL YOU ARE!!” Raged Mitsuki, lunging forward and raising her hand to slap Katsuki again. Izuku lunged forward to try and stop her, forgetting again that he could do nothing. Luckily Inko stepped in.

“Mitsu!” Inko shrieked, stepping forward to grab Mitsuki’s arm. “What are you doing!”

Mitsuki’s face cleared slightly, but rage was still evident as she turned to Inko. “This fucking brat does not deserve to be here, Ko.” She growled as cordially as possible.

Inko looked at Mitsuki with as much stern disapproval she could with the tears still running down her face.

“Mitsu. I honestly don’t care. Anyone that wants to mourn is free to. Look around.” Inko waves one arm gently at the empty graveyard. “There’s few enough people here as it is–“ Inko’s voice caught in her throat. “Izuku— he, he deserved so many more people than this to care for him. Please–“ a sob broke through. “Please don’t send away any of the few that do. Mitsuki’s expression falters, and she backs down, turning away from Katsuki.

Izuku looked at his mom, tears once again welled up, dripping down and fading to nothing as soon as they left his chin. “Mom…” he whispered. Izuku was grateful.

Not because he wanted Katsuki to pay his respects--just the fact that he was there meant a lot to Izuku, he had expected the only one to care to be his mom— but for another reason.

No tears fell from Katsuki as he kneeled by Izuku’s grave, but as Izuku kneeled beside him, there was enough for both of them.

Izuku was incredibly grateful because Kacchan looked so relieved as he stepped up to Izuku’s grave.

(And as Katsuki kneeled by Izukus grave he wished that the warmth next to him wasn’t just his imagination— it reminded him so much of when he and Izuku were little and they would cuddle next to each other as they watched All Might movies. Only now Katsuki was kneeling at Izuku’s grave and they wouldn’t sit by each sides ever again.)

Extra: As he finished paying his respects, Katsuki eyed the priest who had been watching the confrontation. He still stood in the background, not looking nearly as awkward as he should have at the whole affair. Get some fucking popcorn while your at it, asshole.


(Not-At-All-Fic-Canon) Omake/Extra inspired by a comment by Whiteswift: The One Where Tōrei Somehow Manages to Stick Around.

Izuku sighed, rubbing his hand tiredly over is face, massaging his temples slightly. It had been a few days since he died, and while he knew he’d be lost without Tōrei, he was headache. He was a ghost, he shouldn’t have to deal with migraines! The spirit had managed to tether himself to Izuku so that he didn’t fade, and now he followed him around everywhere. Izuku had tried to escape multiple times, but somehow Tōrei always found him and nagged him about causing world wide destruction. Izuku had just managed to escape, and Tōrei was already back.

“Izuku, Izuku buddy. You coming up with a plan to kill people? I’m getting anxious. I want blood and gore already. You’ve gotta kill some people!”

Izuku groaned. “I want to die.” Tōrei looked at him funny.

“But you’re already dead?”

“Oh, how silly of me. How could I have possibly forgotten? Whatever shall I do now?” Izuku rolled his eyes and grumbled sarcastically. Sarcasm wasn’t really in his nature, Tōrei just brought out the worst in him. (Just not enough “worst” for him to actually take the insane man’s advice.)

“We can feast on the souls of the innocents!!”

Seriously, why couldn’t Izuku just die again?

Dafuq was this villain monologuing about again?

Chapter Text

It was night, the stars shone brightly together in the sky, jagged diamonds far removed from earth and disturbed only by the shifting smoke in the atmosphere. A quiet wind blew through the sleeping city as muted green eyes watched the empty streets.

A while had passed since his funeral, and Izuku hadn’t left the graveyard since that day. He hadn’t really known what to do. For a few moments, he had considered following his mom around, haunting her, but he realized pretty quickly that that would have been more depressing than anything else.

Once his mom and Kacchan had left, Izuku settled down, sitting (as much as something intangible could sit on anything) on his grave. Izuku had seen a few other ghosts following their families around who nodded to him, acknowledging him as the new ghost, but not saying much. They didn’t really stick around, so Izuku was the only ghost in the graveyard.

At some point a friendly ghost approached him and struck up a conversation. (The man was following around his son. Apparently the father had died when his son was a few months old in a villain attack, and his last wish was to see his son grow up. Izuku had apparently reminded him of his son, as one of the youngest ghosts he’d seen. The man had laughed sheepishly, saying that he had talked to Izuku because he wanted to experience what it might have been like to talk to his son. (Izuku knew he was dead, so he hadn’t exactly been expecting happiness everywhere, but did everything have to be so starkly depressing? He was depressed enough on his own, thank you very much!!)

The man had explained to Izuku that most ghosts stuck around on earth due to people, though the reasons varied. Izuku wasn’t entirely sure what had caused him to stick around, though he had a few reasons-- all of which were likely impossible for him to accomplish. After a while, the ghost’s family had left, and he had trailed after them, Izuku hadn’t really gotten anywhere, but he at least knew a bit more about his predicament now.

The sky was beginning to lighten which meant Izuku had been sitting on his grave doing nothing for over twelve hours.

Izuku was only startled out of his thoughts when he heard a crashing in the nearby alleyway. A cat? Izuku had heard before that cats could sometimes see ghosts. Maybe he could get some company?

Izuku drifted into the darker parts of the alley, eyes instantly seeing clearly in the dark. Izuku flinched back as a person was flung through him. Ah. Not a cat then. Vigilante? Maybe a mugger or villain?

Peering around the corner, he saw a group of thugs grouped around a lithe black haired man. The yellow goggles around his neck looked familiar, and if Izuku recognized that meant he was probably a hero. Izuku was frustrated with his inability to recognize the man. Sure, he was clearly an underground hero, but Izuku didn’t usually forget hero information. ‘ The goggles-- an eye related quirk then, not lasers, because then the goggles would block them. Foresight quirks like Sir Nighteye’s were rare, so probably not that. An informatics quirk? No, his fighting style didn’t match that-- he’s a good fighter but he doesn’t seem to be predicting outcomes or setting things up to his advantage.’

Izuku drifted closer, getting in the midst of the villains. They shuddered slightly as they passed through him, faltering, but Izuku assumed it would be fine so long as he didn’t mess up the hero. As Izuku got closer, he noticed the hero's eyes occasionally glowing red through the slits in his visor. (So familiar!) ‘Why the slots though? Aren’t the goggles to hide his eyes from his opponents? Are the openings counter productive? A tinted visor could work better. The goggles did seem sturdy though. Dual purpose? It would be bad for a hero with an eye based quirk to injure his eyes--

“WATCH OUT!!!” Izuku yelled on instinct, the hoarse warning tearing itself out of his throat as one of the masked thugs snuck behind the hero, his arms morphing into sharp silver blades. Izuku knew his shout wouldn’t be heard and he backed away as he realized he might be about to witness a death in this ally. (Would he be seeing another ghost join the ranks? Please no, he didn’t want to see that.) However, in a flash, the hero spun around, leg aimed in a high round kick that knocked the village down and out in one move as his eyes glowed that same blood red and the mans arms returned to their original state.

Eraserhead! Izuku recognized the hero now. He had seemed several grainy clips of him in the past on his forages into the deeper web for information on heros. Eraserhead was one of the most obscure heros Izuku had ever seen, so it wasn’t so bad that he had failed to recognize him earlier. Izuku had dubbed him interesting, but Eraserhead had seemed fairly limited in his abilities so Izuku hadn’t spared much effort to delve deeper and research him. Now Izuku was regretting that decision, because as Izuku backed off, Eraserheads movements suddenly picked up speed, and in a matter of seconds the group of thugs was lying on the ground, all of them unconscious or incoherent. It was so epic! Izuku wished he had his notebooks so he could jot down notes on the underground hero. The way he had moved that strange (A carbon fiber and nitinol composite?-- definitely some sort of shape-memory alloy.) scarf so fluently and in tune with his movements to maximize his reach and add increased force to his hits had been well calculated and so cool! He had effortlessly taken down a group of thugs in mere seconds!

Had the hero been holding back before? Izuku suddenly noticed the sound of police sirens drawing nearer. Realization dawned. Eraserhead was working with the police! Probably stalling so that they could either arrive or perhaps take care of some inside situation. Izuku really wish he’d realized how cool Eraserhead was before! Most heros didn’t plan things out with the police, but rather just left the villains to them. Izuku wondered when that coworker relationship had happened? Did Eraserhead work with the police often, or was this a rare event of cooperation?

Izuku floated closer and began observing Eraserhead up close.

[As Shouta finished tying up the villains and handing him off to the police, he straightened, glancing warily around, eyes darting quickly beneath his face mask. When he saw nothing, Shouta returned his eyes to the ground as he slumped off. He really needed some sleep. He could have sworn that he had heard a voice calling out to him, but there was no one else in the ally.]

Izuku was so hyped-- he knew what he could do now! Without danger from glancing attacks or hostage situations by villains, he could totally observe heros in actions up close! As long as he avoided brushing up against, them he should be able to avoid discomforting them, so it would be fine! (Maybe there wasn’t much purpose to it, Izuku would never be a hero after all, but at least it was something to do!)


Katsuki paused, once again riddled with indecision as he stood outside of the Mirdoiyas’ household. A couple of days had passed since Izuku’s funeral, and for some reason Katsuki had felt an urge to go and see Inko. What he planned to do once he spoke to her, Katsuki didn’t know, but he decided to just fuck it and go anyway.

Still, Katsuki was here now and had no idea what he was doing. How do you apologize to someone for essentially murdering their son?

Just as he raised his hand to knock, the door swung open. Aunty Inko stood behind it, her shadowed eyes widened in surprise at Katsuki’s appearance. The bags underneath her eyes were just as bad as his own, and her green hair was disheveled (just like Izuku’s) and sticking slightly to the light sheen of sweat on her forehead. Inko was carrying a heavy box which she nearly dropped at his appearance, so Katsuki felt obligated to take it from her. (He had to bend down a lot, must of been where Izuku got his shortness from. The absent bastard Hisashi had been really tall, if Katsuki remembered correctly.)

“Oh! Thank you for taking that. What brings you here?” Inko asked stiffly.

“What’s with the boxes?” Katsuki was surprised at how gravelly his voice was-- it was always bad but a few days of silence had done it no favors. Auntry Inko’s eyes darted behind her.

“ I’m just moving a few things out.” Katsuki’s blood red eyes shot up to the boxes as her voice wavered. Was it Izuku’s stuff? “Would you like to come in? You can just set the box down right there. Someone is going to come by and collect it later. Make yourself at home, Katsuki. I’ll make some tea.”

Inko plastered on a fake smile, her face tight and eyes dark. Katsuki nodded as she left, her shoulders tense as she entered the kitchen. Katsuki slouched in the doorway, slowly examining the apartment. It had been years since he had been here, and aside from some slight aging, not much had changed. It brought Katsuki back years ago to the days he had spent with Izuku happily in this house.

Katsuki found himself drawn to the wall of photos and subconsciously wandered toward it. He surveyed the pictures, noticing he occupied way more of them than he deserved to. Up until Izuku was seven or so, Katsuki was in just about every single photo. He’d forgotten just how close they had been, and even he couldn’t help the tug off loss he felt looking at these photos. His eyes lingered on one in particular, of he and Izuku in matching All Might hoodies. They looked five or so, and ridiculously happy. Katsuki had his arm draped over Izuku’s shoulder, pulling him down in a side hug and they both had huge smiles spread across their faces. Katsuki didn’t think he could force such a happy smile on his face if he tried. Thinking about it, Katsuki couldn’t even remember the last time he had smiled at all. (Probably--no, definitely--before he had stopped being Izuku’s friend.)

Katsuki’s eye began to burn as he looked at the picture. How many times would he have to be reminded of what he had lost?

A gentle brush against his arm startled Katsuki and he flinched slightly as he turned to face Inko. “What are you looking at?” She followed where his eyes had been, and they finally softened from the unnatural hard steel, glittering shakily in the soft light. “Oh.” She sighed quietly, raising a hand to her chin. “That was a cute photo. Izuku kept it in his room, but I figured that since--” Inko paused, clearing her throat slightly. “Anyway, I took it out and put it up here. That was one of the last pictures of you two together.” She paused, lowering her hand slightly and looking at him. “You liked All Might merchandise too, right?” At Katsuki’s silent nod, she turned around and led him to Izuku’s room.

“I’m clearing out a lot of Izuku’s stuff, donating it to the orphanage and such, but, well, some All Might stuff is pretty expensive nowadays, right? Why don’t you take a look at it? I know he’s collected some pretty rare stuff over the years, and he wouldn’t want them to be damaged, Do you think you could take some? You’d know better than I would and--” Inko jumped as a shrill whistling came from the kitchen. “Right! I forgot the tea. Please just take a look, I’ll be right back.”

She scurried away, pushing a bag into his hands, leaving Katsuki staring at Izuku’s room. His room was mostly barren, lacking any of the life that Katsuki imagine Izuku would have brought to the room. (Was that ironic or just as expected?) The colors seemed muted, even in the bright reds and blues of the All Might figurines and posters.

It felt wrong to take his stuff, but at the same time, Katsuki couldn’t let rare All Might Merchandise be left to snot-nosed little shits who wouldn’t know how to take care of it. Awkwardly, Katsuki sorted through the nerd’s stache of merchandise, occasionally putting some of the rarer pieces into the bag Inko had provided.

He paused as he reached the figurine shelf. On it stood the classic All Might figurine, which was produced in the hundreds, and not even in mint condition. It was practically worthless.

And yet…

Back when Izuku and Katsuki were five or so they had begged their parents to buy them both matching ones in some shitty parody of the fad of friendship bracelets. It was their promise to become heros together. Katsuki ignored the lump in his throat as he gently picked up the figurine, placing it in the bag next to the All Might trading card that was also a match to one of Katsuki’s own. (Another thing they had gotten together, stars in their young eyes, ready to be heros.)

With a cursory sweep around the room, Katsuki checked that there was nothing else irreplaceable that Izuku wouldn’t have wanted to be damaged. He glanced at the bookshelf and noticed a stack of familiar composition notebooks. The nerd really did have thirteen of them, didn’t he? With a hint of guilt, he place them in the bag as well, worried that they weren’t actually something he was supposed to take, but he was curious. When he was sure there was nothing else, he gently hefted the bag and walked out to the living room. Inko was setting some cups down on the table, filling them up with tea. She looked up and nodded warmly when he showed up in her spherical vision and he nodded stiffly back as he sat down quietly.

“So how are you doing Katsuki-kun?” She asked genially as she passed him a cup. “I know it must have been really hard to witness Izuku, um… I do hope Mitsuki isn’t still giving you a hard time, she can be rather hotheaded…”

Inko prattled on, friendlily chatting as if with an old acquaintance. She seemed to be genuine, all of her earlier malice towards Katsuki somehow brushed off, or worse, forgiven. He couldn’t understand how the Midoriya’s could be so kind, and easy to forgive. He had fucking killed her son. That stifling rage that had been missing in him for the past few weeks began to rise back up.

“Fuck this shit!” Katsuki growled as he shot up, hands slamming down on the table. Inko looked at him, startled.

“Katsuki-kun?”

“You shouldn’t be this nice to me!”

“Hey..”

“Aunty Inko!” Katsuki interrupted. "I killed Izuku!” Her eyes widened but she calmed quickly.

“Katsuki I’m sure you must feel some sort of survivors guilt, but--”

“You don’t understand!” Katsuki shouted hoarse, voice drawn out, rough sandpaper desperation breaking it. “It’s my fault he jumped! I bullied him, I was awful to him, I, I told him--” His voice cracked, breaking off. “I told him to jump off the roof if he wanted a quirk in his next life.” Inko looked taken aback, as though she had been slapped. Katsuki felt acid filling his throat, the words burning as they left his mouth. (Fuck. His words had been so fucking cruel.)

“You…” Her voice trailed off, the tone imperceptible. Katsuki picked back up.

“And then he actually went and did and…” Katsuki’s voice broke again. “Damn it! I didn’t want for him to do it! I didn’t want him to die! Why did that idiot listen to me!” Katsuki yelled, shuddering gasps wrecking his gravelly voice as he struggled not to light his hands up or kick something. He stood there for a moment, head tilted down, heaving as he tried to catch his breath and stop the prickling in his eyes. “Aunty… I killed him…” He finally whispered. Inko surveyed Katsuki, for a moment, considering.

“I know.” She finally admitted. “Or at least, I gathered the gist of it.” Katsuki doesn't know how she can act so unaffected by what he’s done-- her voice still sounds so empty and there is still clearly puffy red lining her watery eyes.

“Then why-” Katsuki’s voice cracked. Why are you being nice to me? Why do you let me sit here with you? Why do you not hate me?Why do you not wish the same fate on me that I pushed onto him?

“Because it’s what Izuku would want.” She says simply.

Katsuki’s heart thudded painfully as he tried to school his face. Inko studied his face carefully. “Nobody is judging you for being sad.”

Except he was. He was judging himself for all the things he had ruined and being in this house only expended that aching pain.

If only he could turn back time. To when he and Izuku had spent hours playing in the forest, chasing each other around and playing heroes. Back to the days when Katsuki did just about everything with Izuku. They could talk for hours about heros and enjoy movies together and jokingly compete over who had the best collection of All Might merchandise. If only he could turn back time… But of course he couldn’t. Things were irreversible now. (Something that plagued his mind nearly constantly. Looping on repeat again and again-- things were stuck as they were, because as he already knew well, Izuku was dead and gone.)

Katsuki left Izuku’s--Inko’s house abruptly after that, averting his eyes and gruffly bidding Inko goodbye.

That temporary rage of fiery emotions was gone once again, and all Katsuki felt was a strange but familiar emptiness.


When Katsuki got home, entering his house as quietly as he could. (What a contrast to how he used to kick the door open and yell his entrance.)

Katsuki went up to his room, and gently placed Izuku’s things on his shelves, pushing his own much smaller collection to the side. Then he went over to his bed, the stack of books in his arms. For a while, he sat down and stared at them, gathering the courage to read the books.

“Oh, fuck it.” Katsuki exclaimed out loud, reaching for the first of the books and flipping it over. He was a bit surprised at the rough kanji, but then noticed the date. Izuku had started these when he was four?

(That would have been when he had first found out he was quirkless. He had been really determined, hadn’t he?(It was Katsuki’s fault that that determination was gone from this world.))

He began paying more attention to the words, and he realized it was more than just determination. Notes on the hero’s quirk, capabilities, the benefits of their suits, the villains they’d fought, their signature moves, and a lot more. The thing that Katsuki was most interested in where the ways that their quirk could be used or combated. Obviously at four, there was a lot lacking from his ‘Hero Analysis’ but there was certainly a lot more than Katsuki would have expected. Some ideas were dumb, and most were pretty basic, but they were still viable. Katsuki hated that he found himself impressed at a four year old’s work.

And so Katsuki spent the rest of the night reading the notebooks. As the years of the books went on, Izuku’s analysis got better and more detailed, delving into the aspects of how a quirk worked and how a heros fighting style was. By the time he reached the twelfth one, Katsuki was struck by the well thought out and detailed notes on heros that could go for pages.

When he finished it, he glanced to the side, where No. 13 sat innocently, charred and wrinkled on his nightstand. He swallowed heavily as he reached over and picked it up, bits of blackened ashes flaking off it.

He read it, noticing that there was very little examples of ways to counter the quirks like there had been in the previous books. (Was this a result of his faltering determination?) As the first pink rays of the sun filtered into his room, Katsuki flipped to the last filled page of the last notebook. He was struck by the All Might signature on it. Looking at it closely, he realized that it was genuine, if a little singed around the edges.

When the hell had he gotten that? And why did he not care especially when Katsuki singed it? The nerd treasured anything to do with All Might, and Katsuki couldn’t see Izuku reacting any differently to the destruction of the notebook if it had not had the signature of his favorite hero in it.

Why did Izuku not care about the signature?


A few days later and somehow Katsuki had ended up back at Inko’s apartment. Mitsuki had gotten some cake from an office party, and Masaru bid Katsuki to deliver it to Inko on her behalf.

It felt awkward to be back after his brusque exit the last time, but Katsuki wasn’t in the mood to face Mitsuki’s scorn today. He knocked without hesitation this time, ready to get the transaction over as quickly as possible,

A few minutes passed, but there was no answer. Katsuki tapped his foot impatiently, but when there was still no response after his second knock, he leaned over and pulled up the corner of the matt. He scoffed as he saw that, sure enough, they still kept the spare keys there. In the most basic and easily found place possible, but whatever, since he’d be able to let himself in.

He swung the door open to alert Inko to his presence (he’s not a fucking creep) but there is no response. The lights are on though, even if there dim. A enticing smell fills the house, and even though its not spicy curry, Katsuki recognized the smell as something he’s enjoyed many times.

After taking a few more steps into the house, Katsuki opened his mouth to call out, only for the words to stick in his throat, “Hey, Inko-”

Inko was sitting down at the small table, staring blankly at the wall. Her eyes were red and streaming tears. Lain out on neatly the table in front of her were two plates of cooled, untouched katsudon, chopsticks and napkins carefully set up around them. Katsuki looked at them uncertainty.

“ Aunty Inko, why are there--” Inko jumped as he spoke, seeming to snap out of a daze. She looked at the plates in front of her, and the tears redoubled.

“Oh… I did it again.”

“Did what?”

Inko smiles meekly at him, pain clear in her wobbly smile. “I keep on cooking meals for both of us.” She sniffled wiping at her eyes. “I should have gotten used to it by now, but I’m so used to eating meals with Izuku…” She tries for a little laugh, but it fails terribly. “How silly of me, right? I set it up and then wait for him to come down and eat.” Her tears begin streaming heavily, shimmering as they drip down her face. “But he’s never going to come ever again.” Her eyes slid over to the wall of photos, lingering on them sadly. “I guess I’m going to have to get used to be alone, huh.”

That was… somehow incredibly painful. Katsuki looked down at her with guilt. ( His fault )

“I can come over.” Katsuki offered before he could stop himself. Why would he do that? After what happened yesterday, surely she wouldn’t want to even see his face, even if she wasn’t going to be outright mean to him. Still, observing Inko, Katsuki noticed how dark the circles were beneath her eyes, purple veins interlacing dark, pallid skin. Her plate was still clearly untouched despite the clearly cooled state of it, and looking closer, Katsuki could see that in just a few weeks she had lost a lot of weight. She had been cheerfully plump before, and while she wasn’t to the same state she had been before Hisashi had left, she was dangerously thinner for such a short amount of time. Katsuki knew he had lost weight as well, if not quite as much, but he could recognize a familiar weakness in her limbs as they trembled slightly in her exhaustion.

Inko looked up at him, a shimmer of surprise and doubt in her dulled eyes. “I-- you don’t have to do that, Katsuki.” She said vaguely with slight suspicion, dismissing any possible earnisty in his offer.

“Food tastes like cardboard, right?” Inko’s eye jolt up again, widening in curiosity, but the familiarity lit something in them.

“Plastic.” She admitted, eyeing him appraisingly. After a second, she seems to come for a conclusion. “Would you like to come to dinner tomorrow? I’d offer you some of the Katsudon, but I’m afraid it’s a little bit cold.”

Katsuki nodded. “Sure. I’ll be there.” After a second, he remembers the weight in his hands. “But for now, would you like some cake? The old hag sent me over to give it to you.”

“Oh!” She gasped. “I hadn’t even thought about what you were doing here… but sure. That sounds nice.” She paused. “Would you like some as well?” Despite a general distaste for sweet things, Katsuki nodded for the sake of politeness, and sat down.

Inko dished up the cake, and it took one bite for her to break into tears once again. “Izuku loved this type of cake.”

Katsuki took a bite, and sure enough, he remembered it. The same cake Izuku had always had at his birthdays. The familiar flavors brought him back. (Goddamnit, he needed to stop reminiscing!)

“He did. The nerd used to get it everywhere though. What kinda idiot tries to eat cake with chopsticks?” Katsuki tensed, realizing that Inko might not take him calling Izuku and idiot in a good way. To his surprise, she just laughs.

“Do you remember how he was convinced with enough practice he could use chopsticks to pick up water?”

Though there was still the same unpleasant cold stiffness in the air, the ice was broken, and he and Inko spent the rest of the night hesitantly chatting about Izuku. It put a lump in Katsuki’s throat to be talking so casually about him, but he figured it might be better to do so. Besides, looking at Inko’s tense shoulders and the way she seemed to struggle to swallow sometimes, he realized he wasn’t the only one grappling at some lost sense of normality.



Izuku was surprised to see his mom and Kacchan when he finally decided to show up at his house. He had been avoiding it for the past week and had enjoyed learning more about heros, but he’d decided he had to at least check on his mom.

He was glad to see her and Kacchan doing well, but he couldn’t help the momentary pain he felt as he glimpsed them chatting like old friends. (They were doing fine without him.)

He crushed his thoughts away, ignoring the guilt. (It’s not like your not the one who chose to leave.) Izuku left his mom, taking once again to the lonely streets. Maybe he’d find another hero to watch, to take his mind of the life he had foolishly relinquished.

For now, he would just grasp at the little bit of normality he had left.

Chapter Text

Katsuki had been eating with Inko for a few weeks now and if Katsuki was a positive person, he might have said it was doing him a lot of good. Almost four months had passed since Izuku had died, and if Katsuki wasn’t in nearly as bad a state as he had been in during the first few weeks. He had been eating with Inko nearly every day, so he wasn’t in danger of dying from fucking starvation anymore, which was good, as that would have been a shitty way of going out.

Inko was also doing better, and though she hadn’t stopped losing weight, it was now for healthy reasons, as she sometimes went jogging with (or rather, far behind) Katsuki, and she had stopped shaking from malnutrition and exhaustion. Katsuki too had managed to get back on track to go to a hero school, as he began eating normally again. The nostalgically familiar taste of Inko’s food was the only thing that didn’t taste like cardboard.

However, the way Katsuki spent nearly all of his time outside of school with Inko had drawn suspicion on him at home. For the first time this week, he went home after school, and as soon as he entered the door, Mitsuku slammed it shut behind.

“Where the hell have you been, brat?” Katsuki shrugged her off.

“Nowhere, hag.”

“Been hanging out with delinquents then? Killing some more innocent kids.” Katsuki refused to flinch, but damn, he wanted to.

“Mitsuki…” Masaru warned quietly as he walked out of the kitchen.

“What now?” She snapped.

“Isn’t that a little harsh?”

“Is it? Because he refuses to say where he’s been. With someone like him who knows what kinda shit he’s been doing--”

“Mitsuki,” Masaru was getting exasperated with his wife’s behavior. “You know--”

“It’s fucking fine.” Katsuki snapped. “I don’t want to stick around this shitty house anymore. I was just about to leave, so fuck off.” He hadn’t, actually, but he wasn’t about to stay after that. He dropped off his backpack, ignoring the homework and stalking his way to Inko’s house.

When he arrived, she was surprised to see him early, but greeting him with the usual courtesy and kind (familiar) smiles.

“Katsu-kun! You’re early! Please come in! Dinner isn’t ready, but it will be in a bit!”

He nodded as he walked in, gently rolling his wrist. Knocking had made it ring slightly with pain. He had been bulking back up and making sure to strengthen his wrists so that he could risk larger explosions, but that did lead to a bit of sore stiffness. Especially after he had discovered a few days ago that he could use his explosions to propel himself off the ground. It had halted him for a moment with a stabbing ache. If he’d known this before, could he have saved Izuku? Could he have risked diving off the roof and grabbing him? Could he have stopped Izuku from dying?

Inko walked back into the room with a steaming towel as he massaged his wrist. He looked at it, eyebrow raised.

“What the hell is that for?”

“It’s for you.” She smiled gently. “The heat is good for loosening tensed muscles even if it doesn’t help with the pain in the way cold would.” He looked up at her. What was up with Midoriyas and being so perceptive?

“How did you know my wrists were aching?” He hadn’t even started rubbing them until she had gone into the kitchen.

She smiled teasingly. “Have you forgotten? I am a part-time nurse.” She walked over and tied the towels around his wrists, tying them tightly. He was surprised at how good it felt.

“Thanks, Aunty.”

“No trouble!” She smiled brightly, but then her expression lowered, becoming sterner and motherly. “Now if you could do me a favor and tell me why you’re avoiding your home?” Katsuki turned away, snubbing her.

“I don’t know what you mean by that.”

“Katsu-kun, it’s been six weeks since you started eating here, and you’ve come over every day but four.” Her eyebrows are sternly lowered as she stares him down. Katsuki had forgotten how forceful Inko could be if she wanted to be. His crimson eyes involuntarily shifted away.

“Sorry. I’ll come over less.” He responded shortly. Inko rolled her eyes.

“That’s not what I mean. Having you over is probably better for me than it is for you. But you are avoiding your house for sure.” She reached out her hand and tilted Katsuki’s face toward her, forest green eyes burning with fire. “Mitsuki’s not still mad at you, is she?”

“Fuck off,” he growled, but the quick dart of his eyes away from her was enough evidence. Inko shook her head disappointedly, silky green hair flying about.

“Mitsuki should know better than that.” She looked up. “I’m sorry Katsu-kun”

“Fuck off.” He growled again, with more conviction this time. Seeing the look in the subtle twist to his mouth and tilt of his eyebrows, Inko nodded slowly, backing off.

“Alright then…” She quickly changed the subject, rattling on about her day and some odd patient with sixteen arms and Katsuki happily accepted the change of subject.


Inko, however, was not content to let go of what she had learned. The next day, while Katsuki was at school, she called in sick and marched her way over to the Bakugou house.

When Inko knocked, Mitsuki greeted her happily, invited her in, and Inko maintained the polite facade up until she was sitting down with a cup of strong tea in front of her.

“So…” She started politely, an innocent expression carefully crafted on her face. “Katsuki has been coming over to my house a lot lately.”

In an instant, Mitsuki face transformed from a genial and friendly look of interest to a snarl.

“What? Inko, that fucking brat isn’t bugging you, is he? I knew he was up to something awful.”

“No, no. It’s fine. Having him there helps a lot.”

“The fuck are you talking about Co-chan? He’s a goddamned asshole. I am gonna kill that fucking brat when he gets home. He’s the worst fucking kid ever.” Oh. This was worse than Inko had thought.

“Mitsuki, I know this isn’t like you. You love Katsuki.”

“And you loved Izuku. And that damn brat killed him.” She snapped. Inko was taken aback.

“Mitsuki, that’s not fair.” Inko tried to speak calmly, as she fought back the suddenly rising tears. (Katsuki made it easier to pretend her son wasn’t dead, somehow. Almost as if he was coming over to hang out with Izuku as they had always done years ago… She’d been able to pretend like it wasn’t true that he was gone for a while now.)

“Fair my ass! He doesn’t deserve forgiveness!” Inko leveled her old friend with a stern glare.

“Mitsuki. He is a child. A child who made mistakes.”

“You mean to say it it doesn’t matter how fucked up he is! That it’s fine that he bullied Izuku to death!!” Mitsuki exploded.

“Of course not.” Inko was trying her best to remain reasonable, but just as she always had, despite being her best friend once, Mitsuki was drawing on her nerves. “But he regrets what he did, and certainly doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment from his mom. Can’t you see--”

“And Izuku didn’t deserve that kind of treatment from him! Katsuki deserves to die for what he’s done!” Mitsuki rushed to her feet, hands slamming against the table as she stood hurriedly. “Do you think Izuku would be okay with you forgiving him so easily?” A slap rang out through the house as Inko hit Mitsuki across her face, standing as well, her hand burning at her side from the strength of the connection.

“Listen well, Mitsuki.” A cold fire ran through Inko’s blood, filling her with an unfamiliar rage. “I don’t care what he’s done, if he truly regrets it, I can offer him forgiveness. Even if I didn't, he does not deserve to die. No matter how mad you are at him, he is still your son” Tears began building and Inko felt an acidity rising in the back of her throat. “How can you say that when you know that my son is dead?” Inko decided she couldn’t stay here longer, and bustle around, picking up her purse and turning coldly toward the door. “And don’t you dare assume to know my son better than me. I know Izuku the best. He would have been the first to forgive Katsuki, opening his arms with a wide smile and tears within a second. He didn’t like to see people suffer.”

As Inko reached the door, she turned around one last time. “And can’t you see how much your son is suffering?”

She spun around, slamming the door shut behind her, leaving the sound ringing through the empty house and a prickling sting across Mitsuki’s face.

  • • • •

When Katsuki got home that day, Mitsuki greeted him at the door with sullen silence. It was awkward, but the considering expression was much better than the cold anger that had been present for weeks.


Somewhere in a dingy jail cell, a murderer made entirely of slime managed to finally corrode the last of the tiny grate keeping him from entering the sewer system. With only the slightest gurgle, he slipped through the drains.


Almost four months had passed since Izuku had died and the cherry blossoms were long since gone off the trees as the days lengthened and the trees turned a vibrant green. Soon they’d be turning bright reds and gold as more time passed and Katsuki was forced to move on.

Mitsuki had gotten nicer, not quite returning to how she had been before Izuku died, but no longer tearing him apart every time she saw him. She even greeted him with forced civility sometimes and could talk to him, even her temper was short. Katsuki was grateful for the same, as sudden as it was. When he skipped a day at Inko’s and saw her smug and pleased smile when he showed up the next day, Katsuki felt like he had a pretty good basis for knowing where the unforecasted change came from. He chose to ignore it.

If he were positive, he’d say he’d managed to move on. (He knew he hadn’t though, but even he could admit that things were definitely better now.)

That’s why, oddly enough, after school, he decided to go to town. He went alone of close, he hadn’t managed to let go of his stigma from the rumor of him killing Izuku, and even his extras still avoided him. A few times he’d gotten tacks and in his shoes and scribbles on his desk, but had yet to find the people who did that so he could beat the shit out of them.

Katsuki was passing by an alley when he heard a strange squelching sound and low groans. A second's hesitation as he passed by it was enough for a gravelly and sinister voice to end up behind him, slowly introducing its presence.

“You’ll make a great body suit.” In a second, Katsuki had wiped around, explosion lighting up his hand, but it did nothing as his sparks died off at making contact with the slime monster. “Oooh. A great quirk as well. Perfect.” Katsuki took an involuntary step back as he eyed the towering villain and an overwhelming stench hit him. It was like dead bodies and sewer water, the putrid scent forcing him to raise a hand up to his nose. He couldn’t defeat something made of liquid. Katsuki turned and began sprinting toward the busy street, but just as he reached it, the villain caught up with him, enveloping him in the dirty slime body.

“Oh no, you aren’t going anywhere.” The villain’s grotesque mouth spread into a disturbing grin. Yeah right, like this bastard would be enough to stop me. Katsuki forced a hand out and let out a violent explosion that instantly drew the attention of everyone on the street. All he could do was pray that it would be enough.


On a nearby roof, All Might deflates into Yagi Toshinori, his time as hero well-past up for the day


Elsewhere a green haired ghost pauses in a side alley as a horrible shiver crawls up his spine. Something was very, very wrong . The spirit allowed that feeling of utter wrongness to pull him along and eventually, a loud explosion catches his ear, the cadence of it uniquely familiar.

“...Kacchan?

Chapter Text

Katsuki doesn’t know how long he’s been like this, suffocating in the slimy mass that is the villain, but he did know that he was growing weaker. His struggling had managed to gain him a few weak gasps of air, but they wouldn’t sustain him for long.

He thrashed wildly, eyes burning from the liquid that fell into them as they watered. Smoke particles caused them to water as the street caught aflame from his explosions. The slime monster seemed to have expanded, liquidy arms and viscous body parts filling the streets and whipping around keeping the heroes who had arrived from getting closer. He could just barely hear them muttering to each other how they weren’t suited to this. Cowardly Bastards!

He was running out of time, the heat had increased to the point that it was drying out his skin, and the liquid of the villain was preventing him from igniting his nitroglycerin. He was well and truly stuck, and for once, Katsuki didn’t know what he could do to beat the villain. His efforts did nothing.

He was useless.


Toshinori Yagi watched on helpless as he recognized the villain he had beat a few months ago. He wondered how it had escaped, and cursed himself for having used up all his time

He was useless


Izuku stared, forest eyes wide and horrified as Kacchan was suffocated by that awful slime villain he had met the day he had killed himself. The pros stood around, proclaiming themselves helpless.

Izuku stared as tears began to stream down his face, panic growing in his nonexistent heart. His heartbeat seemed to increase, metaphorically pumping through and leaving a loud booming thump in his head. For a second, time stilled as it seemed as though Katsuki made eye contact with him. A sharp pain like lightning bolted through Izuku as a gasp was torn out of his throat.

Izuku found himself flying forward without meaning too, willing to do anything to get Kacchan free, yet his hands just slid through the slime easier than they would have moved through water.

Izuku is useless.


“ARRGGH!!” Katsuki wrenched his body forward with a hoarse shout, but only managed to throw himself slightly out of the slime. His mouth remained covered though, and his vision began blurring as he ran out of the air. He needed a hero to save him, but he was all alone, and wouldn’t be saved in time. There was nothing to help in survive. (Was this karma? He deserved this, right?)

Was he going to die here?

Katsuki throat burned as his body slackened. (For a moment he wondered if he should have even bothered trying to get free. He deserved to die, after all. A death for a death) Slowly, Katsuki felt his heart failing him as he slipped into unconscious. A flash of green in the crowd caught his eye through the blurry haze. The color was familiar. (Would he get to see Izuku when he died? Would he be able to apologize?)


Izuku had felt a strange painful squeeze in his heart, as he watched Kacchan struggle. A suffocating feeling began to build, and somehow, Izuku knew that Katsuki was about to die. As lonely as Izuku was, the last thing he wanted was for Katsuki to become a ghost as well.

Izuku had met Kacchan’s crimson eyes, seen the frustrated tears and fear in them, despite how unfocused they were. The fact was expounded on Izuku’s as his heart squeezed painfully.

Kacchan was dying.

Izuku couldn’t possibly not help.

As Izuku clawed at the slimy villain he could feel his heart begin pounding. For a fraction of a second, he thought he saw his hand make contact with the sludge, but in the next it was slipping through again. He felt frantic and desperate, and he doubted he had any semblance of control of his limbs. He lunged again and again, trying to do anything to get ahold of the villain and save Kacchan when no one else would.

The voices of Izuku’s past taunted him calling him useless and weak and everything that Izuku had always known about himself. He cringed back from the voices, allowing his hands to drop and for him to stumble a few steps back from Katsuki’s slowly stilling body. (What did he possibly think he could do?)

And yet.

And yet.

Despite all the years and all the hardships he’d been through, despite all the names and the pain and the tears, despite everything that Izuku had learned meant he was useless, he would not give up.

(He lunged forward once again, wrenching at the odd feeling in his gut and a loosened brick suddenly flung itself forward slamming into the villains eyes, causing it to flinch back, giving Katsuki a gasp of desperately needed air.)

A burning filled his body, lighting his nerves with flickers of fire as power surged through his body.

(A wholeness filled Izuku, dragging his feet to the ground. His senses tingled as they registered more feeling than he felt in months.)

A leaden weight formed in his arms as they burned and tingled and flickered like a weakened flame struggling to catch ahold of its strength.

(The stones below him dug painfully into his school shoes’ thin soles sending bites of pain into his feet.)

Izuku would not give up. He was intangible, and dead, and unable to be a hero and he couldn’t grab the slime. By all accounts, he couldn't do anything.

(With nearly nonexistent hope, Izuku reached out for Kacchan’s wrist.)

But for once, Izuku refused to be useless.


In a house a few blocks away, a concerned mother’s breath caught in her throat. On the news was her son, the same fucking brat he always was, in the middle of dying like a fucking idiot. And Mitsuki felt like crying, because she remembered what Inko had said just a few days ago, and she remembered how she had said she had said Katsuki deserved to die. She had acted like the idea didn’t phase her and gods, had she ever been more wrong?

How could she wish death on any one, much less her son, who despite his attitude, she couldn’t pretend not to love.


Black began encroaching on Katsuki’s vision. This was it. As his eyes began to drift closed, the painful fire burning in his lungs began to increase, suffocating him.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Then, suddenly, relief.

The slime villain had flinched back, allowing Katsuki to get the breath he’d been unable to get for the past few minutes. On instinct, he gasped in air, eyesight clearing and catching a glimpse of familiar wide viridian eyes as a soft hand closed tightly around his wrists. Katsuki’s heart stuttered. He had died, hadn’t he?

“Deku?” A beaming smile spread across the green-haired boys face.

Chapter Text

“Deku?” Katsuki asked in a horrified whisper. Izuku was shocked that he could be seen, but didn’t allow himself to falter from trying to pull Kacchan out of the sludge.

“Deku?” Katsuki repeated again, confusion and intense dismay filling his eyes. “What the fuck are you doing here. How are you here?”

Izuku felt the smile tighten as he pulled Kacchan forward, forcing the bravery on his face as he failed to make any progress. He met Katsuki’s vibrant red eyes, smile widening again, becoming a little more genuine, as tears ran down his dirtied, pale face.

“I couldn’t just let you die, Kacchan!!” And it was horribly ironic in a way, but it was true. Izuku didn’t want to see anyone else die if he could help it, Kacchan less than anyone else. Kacchan still looked at him in dismay and disbelief, and Izuku wondered if he thought this was some sort of dying hallucination, but a determined glint filled Kacchan’s eyes as his lips quirked up as he bared his teeth.

“No way in hell am I going out without a fight.” He slipped his hand backward and grasped Izuku’s hand, and with a well timed explosion assisting Izuku, he managed to pull Katsuki out of the sludge. Whipping around with a speed and fluidity matched perhaps only by Eraserhead, Izuku threw Katsuki behind him surprised at how easy it was. (Without real muscles, would it be hard to lift stuff? Maybe it made it so that his strength didn’t matter?). The sludge villain was rising again, grotesquely wide mouth spread in a mockery of a grin that was much more of a snarl.

“You’re that brat from before! I’m gonna kill you for doing that!” The sludge villain lunged forward and Izuku through his hand forward hoping that whatever had caused the brick to move before would work again. (Telekinesis was often associated with ghosts, right?) It may have been week, but if he could just hold him off, without a hostage, surely the heros would be able to take care of the villain?

To Izuku’s surprise, the villain was suddenly pushed back a dozen feet in a matter of seconds, the pressure as it hit the wall splattering the thing to bits. Izuku notes that despite the same thing happening during its fight with All Might, the sludge villain recovered much more quickly this time. Probably due to a much lesser concussive force that wouldn’t be enough to cause its gelatinous body to fall unconscious. As it began to recuperate itself, the heros seemed to snap out of their daze and rushed forward to contain the villain.

As it became evident that crisis was over and the crowd began wandering away except for one skeltal blond man who was staring agape at him.

Was that….?

Suddenly the situation struck Izuku full force. He had just rescued Kacchan. He had interacted with the physical world. GHOSTS WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT!!!!!! As Izuku stared at his hands, he didn’t even realize that the heros were scolding him until Death Arms began snapping his fingers in front of Izuku’s nose.

“Hey kid, you listening? What you did was very reckless, and….” No. Izuku was not listening. He was to busy having a mid-death crisis. Still, as he glanced up from his hands, he caught Katsuki staring at him, ruby eyes almost glazed over as he stared at Izuku, also completely ignoring the heros hovering over him. (Who were praising him rather than criticizing him, but semantics.)


Katsuki.exe is not functioning. He was fucking confused and did not like this feeling. Why and how the fuck was he staring at an Izuku doppelganger. (Except they had called him by that stupid fucking nickname and that look in their eyes was to familiar to be anyone but Izuku. But that was impossible.)

He couldn’t really process what the heros were talking to him about, just catching some random words of praise. Was this real? Had Izuku come back specifically to haunt him? And what the fuck was that bit about not wanting to let him die? The nerd had every right to want to kill Katsuki himself. (Maybe he was here to murder Katsuki. That sounded like something ghosts did.)

As soon as he was let free, refusing a visit to the hospital, Katsuki was off, sprinting toward Inko’s house.


Izuku watched as Katsuki ran off, a bit confused, but also understanding. He was dead, and honestly didn’t know how exactly he was back himself. He would have definitely freaked if he had seen a ghost.

So unlike Katsuki, Izuku slowly walked off, strolling unhurriedly towards his house. (Really, he was postponing, because he didn’t want to face his mom. He didn’t know how he could. And what if this didn’t last. What if he went back to his incorporeal state? What if this was some sort of death-induced dream? What then?)

Izuku remembered the words of Tōrei though. What if this was his quirk? Was this how he thought Izuku would ruin the world.

If so, did that mean his quirk was to interact with the world as ghost? Would he have more ghostly powers than just what seemed to be telekinesis? That would be cool, but also, did that mean he was better off dead? Whether or not it was true, it was an upsetting thought, and Izuku would rather not think about it.

Luckily, he was interrupted out of his mutterings when a flash of yellow crossed his vision. Izuku looked up and gasped as he recognized the figure.

All Might.

Izuku didn’t know how to feel. (Should that be as common an occurrence as it was? Probably not.)

“Young man! Greetings!”

He had seen All Might a few times since he died, having taken the opportunity to follow him around. But it was an entirely different thing to be addressed by him. The man who had finally convinced him he couldn’t be a hero. Izuku fought to keep the wry expression of his face.

“All Might.” He greeted politely, struggling to keep the sour expression off his face. All Might’s expression seemed to slip slightly at Izuku’s lack of enthusiasm, but it tightened up quickly.

“Young man, I’d like to apologize for what I said before I--” he coughed suddenly, blood appearing at the corner of his mouth. “Shit!” He cursed quietly before going up in a puff of smoke.

Ah… Izuku knew what this was. He may have learned a few things (secrets) he shouldn’t have in that time, but being a ghost gave him the best spying capabilities, and he really hadn’t meant to find out about Yagi Toshinori, honest! Of course, he hadn’t thought it would really matter much until now, when he could actually interact with him. For the seconds as the smoke cleared, Izuku prepped himself to act the same way he had the first time he had accidentally seen All Might’s transformation.

It wasn’t hard, because he still had a hard time they were believing they were the same person. The only thing that assured him it was was the ever present ghost hovering at his shoulder. Even now her shiny black hair stayed still in the wind as she leaned over All Might.

“Geez, Toshi. Don’t tell me you forgot about your time limit again?” All Might of course didn’t respond, since he couldn’t hear her, and as always slight unavoidable hurt flashed across her face. Izuku could understand how she felt.

Finally the smoke cleared finally, and Izuku began his show.

“A-ALL MIGHT!!???” Toshinori stood where All Might once had, hands in a strange droopy position that Izuku wondered at. “What happened??!! You deflated??? Are you okay???”

All Might’s civilian form sighed heavily, dark eyes looking at him. Izuku couldn’t help but notice a strange sadness he hadn’t noticed before.

All Might tiredly explained his injury and the results, something Izuku had been wondering about, and he listened in unfeigned horror.

“Was this during your battle with Toxic Chainsaw? No, no, he was too weak for that. But then perhaps it was—? Or maybe—?” Izuku has been curious about this for a while now, and he doubted he’d get the answers he wanted as he mentally scrolled through all of All Might’s public fights from that time period.

“Heh. You’re a well educated fanboy, aren’t you?” Izuku instantly clamped his mouth shut, blushing in embarrassment. “It wouldn’t have been made public.” All Might continued. “Young man, you understand that you can’t tell anyone.”

Izuku nodded eagerly. Some of his bitterness was fading away, though there was still some anger toward All Might. But it did make sense that All Might would have told Izuku he couldn’t be a hero when even the Number One Hero could suffer and lose like that.

(Besides, Izuku had always known he couldn’t be a hero. And it wasn’t in him to hold any sort of grudge.)

“I’ll take it to my grave!” He paused a moment, giggling slightly to himself. All Might and his ghost looked slightly confused, but the hero considered with what he had been saying before he was interrupted by his transformation.

“I’d like to apologize for what I told you before. You proved stronger than any of those pro heroes. Today you saved a life. You wouldn’t need a quirk to become a hero, young man.”

Izuku felt his eyes sting. Was All Might going to crush him again? Tell him there was something else he could be? A hero still wasn’t a possibility. (Izuku knew that! He didn’t need to be reminded! He knew! He had always known! He’d lived in a delusion and made what may have been the biggest mistake in his life when he left it. He was well aware that he was too weak. Who would want a hero like him?)

Izuku looked down as his eyes began to flood.

“You are a hero.”

What? Izuku’s head snapped up, eyes widening, tears staying in place as he stared at All Might. His breath hitched with a lump in his throat, as his eyes burned. The words he’d been told over the years that always swirled around his head, tormenting him were washed away. Izuku fell to his knees, as cold tears fell down his cheeks.

Mom, that’s all I ever wanted you to say. Kacchan, teachers, bullies— why couldn’t a single one of you had said this to me! It’s all I needed! It’s all that I ever wanted! I didn’t need apologies, or protection. I didn’t need condolences or harsh words! I didn’t even need help getting there! All I ever wanted was for somebody to tell me that I could do it!

“A-All Might!!” Izuku practically wailed, smiling shakily through his heavy tears at his hero. Said hero scratched the back of his gaunt neck awkwardly.

“However, it appears you do have a quirk! I must admit I was surprised when you appeared out of nowhere to save that boy!” Izuku froze suddenly. That was right. He was dead. How was he supposed to become a hero? “It was very impressive! I take it you discovered it some time in the last four months?”

Izuku nodded hesitantly. Had it really been that long? It was hard keeping track of time when you had no use of it. He didn’t sleep or grow tired or anything, so it time was meaningless.

“It seemed a very interesting quirk, and to get that far in your control of it in just a few months is very impressive! I’m sure it will aid you in your journey!” Izuku showed him a wobbly smile. “That said, I’d like to offer you my power!!” Izuku nodded for a second before it processed. What was with everyone trying to pass down their powers to him? All Might's ghost looked over with interest.

“Hmmm… You were always a little reckless, weren’t you, Toshi?” She looked back at All Might before holding a thumb up. “A good choice though! He’s a cute kid!”

“Wha-Whaaat???!!?”

“My quirk is a power passed down like a sacred torch! Handed down from generation to generation, it was given to me by my mentor, just as I’d like to pass it down to you!” He held out his hand dramatically, and Izuku could almost see the accumulation of generations worth of power manifesting in his skeletal fingers. “This is the name of power-- One for All!!”

Izuku looked up at him with slight skepticism. “But didn’t you just say that I could be a hero? Then why--”

“HA!” Izuku jumped as All Might raised his head laughed. “You doubt me that much-” ( Well, you did crush my dreams , Izuku thought.) “-It could help you extend your reach as far as possible! You are not only capable of becoming a hero, but with a heart as strong as yours, you could become the Number One Hero!! Even I was frozen as I watched that boy suffocate. You’ve made me realize something I’d long forgotten. Heros should be willing to risk anything to help others! From now on, I’ll be keeping that thought heavy in my mind! Back then, you were much more heroic than any one.”

All Might laughed awkwardly. “Of course it’s up to you though!”

“I--” Izuku paused, a thought coming to mind. “How… How exactly is it passed down?” All Might looked at him, some surprise showing in his electric eyes. Even the ghost at his side looked over.

“Pfft… Toshi, how are you gonna answer that?”

“A very astute thought! I wouldn’t think you’d ask that question!” Yeah, well, Izuku didn’t really want to got through the same painful transfer as last time, so… “It’s genetic! I’m afraid that means you’d have to ingest my hair or blood, but--”

Izuku’s heart began ringing in his ears as he stiffened and froze. Oh. He was honored. So honored and incredibly happy that All Might wanted to pass down such an honor to him, but if he did, the line would end with Izuku. Maybe Izuku would be able to inherit the power, but he had no genes with which to pass it on. He didn’t know how exactly his quirk worked, but he noted that even in this weird solid state, as his quiet sobs increased, his tears disappeared as soon as they left his face. Something told him that any other bodily material would do the same.

“I--” “I’m sorry. I can’t.”

“Exactly as I expected!!!” All Might began, then paused suddenly when he realized what Izuku had said. “Wait, what?”

“I’m sorry! I can’t except your quirk! I promise I’ll keep your secret though! Please forgive me!!” Izuku bowed hastily, spinning around and running away before All Might could react. He was left staring at the dust in surprise as the boy he had honestly hoped would become his successor ran away. He had declined it so forcefully, but why was he crying?

All Might shivered as he felt a ghostly wind against his shoulder. A nonexistent voice comforted him as the ghost of Shimura Nana followed Toshinori Yagi eyes. “I’m sorry, Toshi. He seemed like a good kid.”

As Izuku ran away, the tears multiplied, flooding down his face and still disappearing as they left his face. A cold grasp was around his heart, squeezing it in a vice grip and making him feel like he was suffocating.

Would he have ever been told he could be a hero, if he hadn’t died? Izuku knew that no matter what, he would have saved Kacchan in that situation, so what if Izuku hadn’t committed suicide and then tried to save Kacchan? Would All Might have still seen him as heroic if he had failed and someone else had interfered? How different would things be if he hadn’t died?

He couldn’t possibly express how much he wished someone had told him that when he was still alive. Now all he could think was that he wished someone had told him that just a little bit sooner. (Because now it was too late.)

Chapter Text

(Before the chapter) OmAkE Suggested by Firehedgehog (because I don’t want to ruin the mood):


Izuku sighed as the miniaturized Tōrei floated around his head. He had never known that anybody could be so annoying, and Tōrei wouldn’t stop nagging him about feasting upon the souls of innocents.

“Come on, let’s just kill a few people and consume their souls!!”

Izuku gave him a pointed look. “That’s not possible.”

“Let’s do it anyway!”

Izuku looked off to a corner store in the distance. “For some reason, I want a bagel.”

“Noooo!!! You must eat da souls!”

Izuku continued to ignore the pest, off in his own head. “Actually, two bagels sounds good”

“You can’t even eat food!”

“Yeah… maybe three bagels… I haven’t eaten in months…”



And Back to our regularly scheduled program!



Izuku stared at the trees as he walked listlessly toward his old home. A lot of thoughts were swirling around in his head, but most prevalent was what All Might had told him.

Izuku allowed his tears to dry before reaching his house. He knew he’d be crying again in very little time, but he didn’t want to be crying before he even arrived. Luckily, his eyes returned to a normal state all redness and puffiness gone immediately afterward--one of the perks of being a ghost.

He hesitated as he reached his apartment, the sounds of loud voices reaching him. Peeking around the corner, he saw his mom talking with Kacchan. As he observed them, he saw his mom reach out a hand, seeming to try and pull Katsuki into a comforting hug, but Kacchan pushed her away.

“I’m telling you! I’m not fucking delusional!!”

“Katsuki,” Inko began uncertainty and carefully. “I know we’ve both been really badly affected by his death, and I wish what you said was true, believe me.” Her voice cracked. “But my son is dead. It’s really not possible--” She looked up and froze, going pallid in an instant as her eyes meet Izuku’s. He waved awkwardly, not really sure what to do.

(What does one typically do when they committed suicide, unexpectedly became a ghost, stayed as a regular ol’ ghost for four months, shows back up in order to save their ex-best-friend/bullies life, becomes solid, and then returns to their house to see their mom fighting with the friend/bully about whether or not they really exist, and then that mom catches sight of them. Yep. As he thought. It was a whole series of entirely unprecedented circumstances.)

“Izuku?” She whispered, somewhat brokenly. It’s been far too long since Izuku heard her voice. Katsuki stiffens and whips around, seeming to relax in some way as he sees Izuku.

“Hey, Mom.” His voice cracked. He stood there as the sunset goes down over the street, lighting it with amber and gold. His mom and Kacchan stared at him, both in some state of disbelief, and for a moment it felt as though time was broken, nothing moving or changing. Izuku raised an arm to cover his face as he began to sniffle, tears rolling down his face. As he lowers his arm, he smiles through his tears. “I missed you so much.” In an instant, she was crashing into him. She pulled him down to her height, wrapping an arm tightly around him.

“Izuuuuukuuuuu!!!!!” She wailed. (Izuku can’t help but notice how she flinches at the cold disquiet he exudes, but hugs him tighter still.) “Please tell me this isn’t a dream?” Izuku pulled her closer, glad that he doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon.

“It’s not. I’m here.” He really had missed her so much. The loneliness of a ghost had been stifling. Being ignored was something he had long been used to, but he had seen his mom once or twice, and it was painfully distressing that he never received her usual warm smiles or hugs at those times. Instead, she simply walked through him, leaving him with a startling hollowness.

Even if he couldn’t feel the warmth of her familiar hug in the usual way, just the fact that for once she was looking at him, and not going through him was enough to make him inexpressibly happy.

“Are you really real?” Izuku pulled away as Kacchan spoke. He nodded, glancing back to his mom as he explained before turning around to face Katsuki, fidgeting awkwardly, looking down. He responded meekly.

“I don't know how, but I’m really back, Kac-” Izuku was cut off as Kacchan violently threw a right hook into Izuku’s face that knocked him to the ground to Inko’s horrified cry of “Katsuki!!”

Izuku noticed curiously that his jaw did hurt. His leg momentarily phased through the ground as he stood, but quickly solidified as he got up. (Something to note.)

“Tch.” Katsuki clicked his tongue, fixating on Izuku’s legs as they flicker. He turned and crossed his arms. “You’ve got some explaining to do.

Katsuki leveled him with a steady glare, making Izuku fidget uncomfortably as he tried to explain his circumstances.

“Ah, um, well. I think I might have a quirk?”--Katsuki’s eyes widen in shock-- “Maybe? There was this weirdo ghost who said that I had one and apparently killed myself to be able to access it? In that case it would make sense if it allows me to interact with the physical plane as a spirit, maybe even--” Inko broke down crying again when she processed that her son is still dead, Izuku jumped as she did so, leaning over her. “Ah! I’m so sorry mom! That was so careless! I know I’m the one that died, but you had to deal with my death which must be so much worse and now I’m a ghost and--”

Inko sniffled. “That’s better than being gone .” She smiled up at him. “I’m just glad you’re back.” Katsuki just continued to stare at him blankly.

When Izuku finished explaining, Katsuki dismissed himself without a word, causing Izuku’s mom to send a worrying glance at him. Izuku couldn’t help but wonder what had happened between the two of them when he was gone. (Did Inko wish Katsuki was her son, rather than a weakling like Izuku?) Izuku tried his best to crush negative thoughts like that, but looking at the distracted way she stared at the door, he couldn’t help it.

Plus he couldn’t deny the awkward mood now. He had been dead, after all, what now? Inko looked at him, a rickety smile placed delicately on her face. It looked so fragile and Izuku knew that that was his fault. Inko had always smiled as easily as she cried, but Izuku got the feeling she hadn’t honestly smiled for a while now. (His fault.)

“Izuku…”

“Mom?” His mom looked at him, eyes becoming glassy.

“I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but I’m sorry.” This time the tone was different than what she told him so many years ago. “I should have supported you back then, you didn’t deserve me to give up on you.” Izuku hurried over to her, hands fluttering as he tried to comfort her.

“It’s okay mom! Nobody believed me, I can understand why you didn’t either--”

“No!” Inko sobbed, even as she glared at him. “That’s exactly why I should have supported you. I’m your mom, if anyone should have believed in you, that should have been me!”

Izuku didn’t know what to say, because he couldn’t deny that. For years he had just wanted his mom to support him, but she never had. Inko tried to put on a brave smile. “But from now on, I promise you! I’ll support your dreams whatever they may be!”

Izuku looked at his mom warmly. “Then I forgive you.” He said simply. Inko lunged forward, wrapping him in a warm hug despite Izuku’s coldness. “I don’t really know what you were thinking, but my death is my fault, and my fault alone. You were a wonderful mom. The best mom ever!”

Inko looked at him, green eyes wide, glowing in the golden light. “I love you so much Izuku!” she sobbed.

“I love you too, Mom” A genuine, bright smile began spreading across his face.

Inko looked at him, flashing her usual wide smile. “How does Katsudon sound for dinner?” He responded with enthusiasm two-fold, grateful for her acceptance of his desire to return to normalcy.

“It’s sound great, Mom!”

Katsuki, meanwhile, was trying to school his breath as he approached his house. Halfway to walking there, he had started having something that resembled a panic attack, struggling to process just what had happened. Was Izuku really back? Was he delusional?

As he reached his house, he was surprised to see his parent’s standing outside the door. Mitsuki actually rushed forward when she saw him.

“Katsuki! Are you okay? We saw the news!! The footage was really bad, but with explosions like that there's only one brat it could have been.” She paused, hesitating. “The newsfeed caught off suddenly, and we thought-- they don’t allow deaths to be run on the news, and it was a possibility that--

“I’m fine, you old hag.”

Mitsuki let out a sigh of relief, before suddenly stiffening. “Oh really?” Katsuki almost shivered at the glint that came into her eyes. “Then why the fuck did you not contact us to let us know you were okay?” She ruffled his hair-- gingerly, some awkward stiffness remaining in her motions, but he didn't brush her hand off.

“I had reasons.”

“Really? What reasons.” Katsuki looked evenly at his mom, wondering how she’d react. He decided to come straight out with it.

“Izuku’s back.”

Both his parents eyed him like he’s crazy, and he couldn’t really blame them. Still, the silence carries on for longer than what’s comfortable. Masaru was the first one to brave the silence.

“Um… Son. That’s not really possible.”

“Sure it is.” Katsuki brushed it off with a nonchalance he certainly doesn’t feel. “He’s a fucking ghost now, but he’s back. Still the same shitty nerd.” Not moving her eyes off of him, Katsuki’s mom took her phone out and begins typing something into it. “What the fuck are you doing?”

Mitsuki answered carefully, and slowly, but honestly. “I’m contacting a physiatrist.”

“A fucking shrink? I’m not crazy!” Masaru lay a hand on his shoulder, sending him a fucking annoying ‘knowing’ look which Katsuki is quick to brush off.

“Ghosts aren’t real, son.” Katsuki snorted.

“What? Like dragons aren’t real? And yet there’s still Ryuko.”

“Katsuki, we understand that you probably miss Izuku, but creating a false reality is never a good idea. We thought you had moved past the denial stage of grief but maybe--”

“What do you think you are, a fucking therapist? You’re a fucking fashion designer, what the hell do you know about psychology?”

Mitsuki cut in. “Enough to know that delusions like this aren’t healthy coping mechanisms.”

“You know what, I’ll prove it to you!” He whipped out his phone and sent a text to Inko, hoping that she’ll come through. It’s a bit much to ask her to part with Izuku so soon after retrieving him, but he really doesn’t want his parents to think he’s crazy.

As the sky darkened, Katsuki and his family stood there in increasingly painful silence, only able to stare at each other.

Finally Izuku arrived, announcing his entrance with a hesitant, “Kacchan?”

Instantly, Mitsuki and Masaru’s gazes snapped to behind Katsuki’s head. He honestly can’t bring himself to turn around, because damn, he hadn’t realized it before, but why the fuck was Izuku still calling him that childish nickname? Didn’t he hate him?

“Holy shit.” Mitsuki breathed. “Izu-kun is a ghost.” Katsuki snapped his head around to glare at her.

“No shit, Sherlock.” He jerked his head at Masaru. “How long did it take you and Watson to figure that out?”

  • • • •

A few minutes of conversation later, mostly filled with Katsuki’s mom coddling Izuku (gross) as he blushed and flustered and tried to apologize a billion times, and the only thing that got them to leave is when Masaru ended up dragging his wife away.

Izuku and Katsuki are left in an awkward silence. Damnit. This isn’t how Katsuki had imagined a reunion would ever go. Then again, he really should have predicted this. Katsuki had never been good at doing anything that expressed his emotions. Instead, he decided to bottle up all the feelings, letting out a tense breath and saying the first thing that came to mind.

Katsuki sighed heavily. “We’re so fucked up. You committed suicide and I’m the one that practically fucking killed you” Izuku jolted, tilting his head up to look at Katsuki, lips parting in surprise.

“Kacchan—“

“Don’t deny it, shitty Deku.” Izuku looks down. It really wasn’t really fully true, but he didn’t know how to refute it. “We’re fucked up. How the hell do we make up for our mistakes?”

Izuku wondered that too. He knew what he wanted, but it didn’t change the fact that he was dead? It’s not like he could exactly continue to live on normally. (He couldn’t even technically ‘live’ on.)

But still...

Izuku took a deep breath, still looking down, gathering his resolve. Izuku looked up at Katsuki, steely fire burning in his eyes.

“We become heroes.”

Chapter Text

Before the chapter Omake suggested by Naves Sister: Wherein only Katsuki can see Izuku:



Bakugou stared at Izuku as the green haired idiot pulled him out of the sludge villain. As soon as he was freed, he lunged at Izuku raising a sparking hand. “DEKU, YOU FAKER!!! HOW COULD YOU???”

To his surprise, even as Izuku’s eyes widened in panic, Katsuki just sailed right through the figure, crashing into a wall and drawing attention from the pros at the scene who stared at him, agape. What. The. Fuck.

Katsuki went to Inko, the ghost tagging along, but she wouldn’t believe him and seemed blind to the very obvious figure of her son. He went to his parents house next, but they just called the psychiatrist on him, and he couldn’t escape.

He began to wonder if everyone was just playing a prank on him.

Eventually, Katsuki became a world-renowned case of the examples of survivors guilt, and he spent the rest of his life in a mental facility.


And now back to the real fic:



It was hard readjusting to his strange half-life as a ghost.

When Izuku returned to his house after declaring his resolution to Katsuki, Inko had opened the door, nearly palpable relief flooding her face. (She was glad she hadn’t imagined him being back.)

Izuku sat down for his first meal with his mom in four months. The familiar heady scent of fired pork fried the air. Izuku ravenously ingested the first few bites. He didn’t really get hungry, but he had missed eating katsudon and was eager to taste his mom’s familiar flavors.

However, upon swallowing the fourth bite, a painful burning ripped through his chest.. Izuku dropped his chopsticks and raised a hand to his head as a painful, cottony feeling began to fill it. It felt as though he were being rent apart, dissolving from the inside out. He vaguely heard his mom’s voice frantically asking if he was okay, but it was fuzzy. He felt himself flicker suddenly, and distantly noticed his mom gasping. Looking down at his hand, he could just barely see it flicker between solid and see-through, and assumed that his mom was just seeing him go invisible. Luckily, he wasn’t falling through his chair, as he didn’t like his chances if he ended up solidifying with a chair through his head.

A few minutes were spent in a panic as Izuku struggled to process what was happening, but with the distorted pain, he found it hard to think. When it eventually calmed down and he solidified, his mom gently lead him over to the couch, her faze still frozen with a partially horrified expression.

Izuku struggled to piece together what had happened, staring at his hands that still oscillated in opacity like a T.V. with bad reception. The only thing he could think of was the katsudon, but even if he didn’t need food, it was weird that eating would cause such a severe reaction. (At least it hadn’t dropped through his body. Perhaps it had instantly been turned into energy without the need for a digestion process?)

“Izuku… are you okay?” his mom asked with round, fearful eyes. She was kneeling on the floor in front of him. He forced a smile as he responded.

“Yes, sorry. I guess I just lost control for a bit. I think…” What did he think? What was the most likely thing to have caused this. Izuku worried his lip and flinched as a bit of salty soy got on his tongue and seemed to burn. A thought struck him. “Isn’t salt typically used in exorcisms and to keep spirits out of places in movies and such?”

Inko looked up at him with dawning horror as she realized what he was implying. Quickly, she ran to the kitchen grabbing their salt. She set up a salt line blocking Izuku off from entering the kitchen and beckoned him forward. He walked toward her (it was a bit odd, suddenly feeling the ground beneath his feet again) and sure enough, when he reached the salt, he couldn’t move forward anymore. They both looked with some surprise at the salt in Inko’s hands.

Izuku winced. If it stopped him from getting somewhere, then it had to be horrible to ingest.

He wondered if that was accurate to all the legends about ghosts, then what else might be true?

It was definitely something to look into, but for now, Izuku was disappointed to learn that if he wanted to eat, any more than the necessary nutritional values of salt would make him sick and likely unable to maintain his manifestation. Just about everything he had enjoyed eating had over 200 mg of salt and was essentially poison. If he felt like eating, pretty much all he could handle was plain rice.

By the time they had figured all this out, it was late, and as much as Inko didn't want to leave Izuku, she had work the next day, and she had missed too much recently to call in absent again. Izuku too went to his room, laying down on his bed. Unsurprisingly, he felt no fatigue whatsoever, and simply stared at the dark ceiling for hours as he tried to sort out his thoughts. So much had happened recently that he wished he could just forget, but for now, he pushed those emotions away.

When morning light came, Izuku bid his mom farewell and was surprised to see Kacchan show up a few minutes later. Sure, it was Saturday, and Kacchan likely didn’t have anywhere to be, but why would he come to Izuku’s house of all places?

“You gonna stare forever or get your ass down here, nerd?” Izuku jumped, hesitantly raising a finger to point it at himself. “Yes you, you fucking idiot. Who else would I be talking to? The fucking wall?”

Izuku scurried down the stairs, and before he had even reached the bottom, Katsuki had turned around and was walking off, leaving Izuku to rush to catch up with him. Izuku twiddled his thumbs as he walked in silence beside Katsuki. Was he gonna bring up the whole suicide thing? Honestly, Izuku would prefer to just forget about all that, as wrong as it was.

They continued walking for a while, Izuku stiffly while Kacchan stomped around in his usual slumped posture. Eventually, they reached their destination and Izuku looked around in confusion as he recognized where they were.

“Dagobah?” He questioned out loud on accident.

“You said we were gonna have to become heros, right? Well I’m good on my skills since I’m fucking perfect, but you only just discovered your shitty quirk. If you’re gonna be a hero, you need to get stronger and stop being such a fucking wimp. You probably haven’t even thought about registering it, have you?”

Izuku shrugged uncomfortably, since he really hadn’t. Now that he was though, he realized couldn’t register it as it was (How would people feel if they knew someone who committed suicide or at the very least had already died was trying to be a hero? What would they think of someone who hadn’t cared about their own life trying to save others’ lives?)

Katsuki snorted. “As expected, dumbass. Nobody comes to this dump, so we should be good with public quirk use without getting arrested or some shit.” Izuku looked up at Kacchan, eyes dilated in shock. Kacchan… was actually going to help him out? Voluntarily? An ecstatic smile splayed across Izuku’s face. He was so excited! Izuku hadn’t done anything with Kacchan in ages!

  • • • •

That enthusiasm faded quickly as he strained his arms with all his might. For nearly an hour, Izuku had been struggling to use the telekinesis he had displayed yesterday without any success whatsoever. Katsuki had been irritated since ten minutes in (still pretty good for Kacchan, Izuku reflected), a tick mark practically visible on his forehead as he scowled.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Izuku flinched when Katsuki growled as he stalked toward Izuku. Those words were a bit too familiar. (Along with this strain in his arms from trying to force a quirk into working.)

At Izuku’s flinch, Katsuki stepped back, an indefinable expression altering his face. “All right then… you’ve never had your quirk before so you obviously wouldn’t know the first thing about it.” He glanced down at Izuku’s feet. “And yet you can fly.” He deadpanned.

Izuku looked down, surprised to see that he really was floating. For some reason, he had thought that would be impossible now, but apparently not. “Umm… yes?”

Katsuki gritted his teeth. “How exactly are you doing that? Should be the same way you use telekinesis.”

“Oh… I don’t know? I think it’s probably just because I’ve been floating around for the past few months. It was instinct?”

“Is that a question or an answer, you fucking nerd?” Izuku shrugged sheepishly, leading Katsuki to sigh heavily. “Can you turn it off?”

Izuku concentrated and found that he could. He startled slightly as he dropped a few inches. “I can!”

Katsuki bared his teeth. “Then that’s a start.”


For the next few hours, they practiced a few of Izuku’s different abilities (such as returning to his invisible, incorporeal ghost form and the flying). Although they couldn’t figure out how to turn on the telekinesis, Katsuki didn’t really care. Progress was progress, and they had months before the UA entrance exams. Katsuki felt strangely relieved at the thought that they’d have plenty of time to figure it out.

The time spent at the dilapidated beach was filled largely with an awkward silence that didn’t exactly make Katsuki happy, but something about being around Izuku comforted Katsuki. (Probably the fact that he wasn’t gone). Still, watching Izuku go invisible was unsettling, every time, Katsuki was afraid he wouldn’t be able to come back.

(He still had a hard time looking at Izuku for fear he would disappear and that it was all just an illusion. Every damn time the Izuku faded away, the image of his broken body would flash in Katsuki’s head, Izuku’s small smile stained with blood as he fucking apologized because he had thought no one would care)

It took a while for each change, nowhere near how instantaneous it had been when Izuku had first manifested. The only thing Izuku was actually good at was the flying.

It was only as the sun was setting that Katsuki realized how late it had gotten. He glanced toward the water where Izuku stood quietly. Something about his bearing seemed so melancholy. Katsuki couldn’t understand why that hurt him so much.

“Hey nerd!” Izuku turned slightly, eyes heavy and sparkling moistly in the low light. The damn nerd had been crying for some reason. Katsuki wished he could go over and comfort him, but he couldn’t forget what he had done to Izuku. So instead he averted his head to the side. “See you here tomorrow. Same time.”

Not waiting for a response, Katsuki turned and walked toward his house. (He still caught a glimpse of a wide, shocked smile spreading across Izuku’s face.)

(What was with Midoriyas and smiling so often, even if they had just been crying?)

( A dead smile stained with blood and tears )

  • • • •

The next day, Katsuki was surprised to see that Izuku had cut the time it took to shift between his “ghost” form and physical one. Izuku beamed, bouncing on his toes as he demonstrated to Katsuki how much he had improved. Katsuki wondered how much he had practiced last night.

In a blink, Izuku could go from visible to invisible and incorporeal, and he demonstrated this from hopping around and flickering between forms, almost making it look like a late teleportation. There was still a delayed lag of a few seconds between each switch, but compared to the long stretches of concentration it had taken the other day, it was definitely an improvement.

Katsuki was, despite himself, improved at the improvement. Of course, on its own, it wasn’t much, but considering he’d basically gotten his quirk two days ago, it was pretty fucking impressive.

Izuku solidified a few feet away, right below a pile of garbage. As he solidified, his weight shifted a piece of trash which caused a chain reaction that caused a heavy fridge on the top of the pile to shift and fall, headed on a trajectory to crush Izuku, who grinning obliviously at Katsuki.

“Deku!” Katsuki shouted on instinct, but realized with dawning horror that it would likely be to late for Izuku to do anything. Izuku glanced up, eyes widened at the fridge heading for him. His form flickered and Katsuki had hope that maybe he would manage to go incorporeal, but he doubted from the prior results that he would be fast enough. For those few seconds, Katsuki’s heart seemed to thud painfully against his ribcage. He didn’t actually know if Izuku could die again, but what if he could? Would he lose him again?

Once the fridge had landed, flattening on impact, Katsuki rushes forward, panic building, only to skid to a stop. Standing in the middle of the crushed fridge was Izuku, perfectly unscathed, eyes round in surprise. He turned toward Katsuki, confusion evident as he took a few steps forward, legs simply phasing through the twisted metal.

“Umm… I guess I can go incorporeal without going invisible? It also seems a lot faster?” Izuku took Katsuki’s silence as a good sign and continued on. “I’m a bit surprised? I guess? Cuz I tried to interact while I was invisible, but Mom couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t touch anything. What was a bit odd though was that when I tried to reach out the lights short circuited and I managed to pull something to me again—I think that maybe-”

Izuku was cut off as Katsuki let loose the explosions building in his palms.

“No shit! What the fuck was that? When you didn’t disappear I thought you were about to get fucking crushed!” Izuku flinched back at the explosions, but smiled sheepishly.

“Sorry to make you worried, Kacchan.”

“Haaaaa??!” Katsuki asked incredulously. “I was not fucking worried, you dumbass!”

He fought to ignore his shaking hands, pulling them into fists to combat the tremors.


Katsuki turned around petulantly and oh god, was there something wrong with Izuku? Why would he find that childlike behavior cute? (It did remind him of when they were little—“I wasn’t worried about you, shitty Deku!” He’d shout, even as he bandaged and fussed over Izuku’s skinned knees and scrapes.)

That actually brought something else to mind.

“You called me Deku?” Katsuki stiffened. “I don’t mind really, it was a bit odd that you weren’t calling that.” He laughed awkwardly. “I actually kinda missed it–“

“Shut up.” Izuku looked up. Katsuki still hadn’t turned to him.

“Pardon?”

“I said shut the fuck up!” Katsuki turned around, small explosions lighting up his hands in vibrant orange starbursts. “Like hell you missed it!”

“Kacchan, I–”

“That was the name I fucking tormented you under for seven fucking years! You committed fucking suicide because of it!”

Izuku looked down. So they were talking about this now. He had kinda hoped they could just avoid the whole ‘I commited suicide’ thing. “That’s not why I-- why I did that . There were a lot of reasons, and yes, you were one of them but--” Katsuki snorted.

“Cuz I was one of them.” He mocked. “Fuck that. I was the worst. I literally told you to jump.”

Right. Izuku had kinda forgotten that. (In his defense, it wasn’t what had planted the idea to jump in his head, and it had been months.) Izuku risked a glance at Katsuki, but his eyes shot away when they caught burning scarlet irises. “That-- It wasn’t the reason that I-- you know. There was something else, and…” Izuku dissolved into mumbling, hoping his words were unintelligible. Katsuki wasn’t ready to take that response though, and treated it with scorn.

“I’ve been calling you ‘useless’ for seven years. You can’t tell me that didn’t affect your psyche.”

“It did!” Whoops. He hadn’t meant to sound that enthusiastic about it. “Of course it did! You were my only friend and the last thing I wanted was for you to call me useless.” His eyes were watering again.

“Then--”

“When you first called me Deku, I was hurt, and shocked, really. But, I mean, of course I could have been wrong, but I never really cared because I could tell you didn’t really meant it. I know that eventually you started to mean it, but I can also tell that you didn’t mean it originally, or even this time.” He laughed awkwardly. “Besides! It’s weird not hearing you call me Deku.” He paused, blushing lightly. “We’ve pretty much always been Deku and Kacchan, right?”

Katsuki stared at Izuku, something shifting in his expression, a considering, well, not warmth exactly, but something much less cold than what had been in them before. “Alright nerd. It did feel weird to not call you Deku.”

As always, he didn’t say anything about being called ‘Kacchan’ and Izuku smiled slightly. To him, it was evidence enough that Katsuki didn’t really hate him if he was willing to be called such a childish nickname.

“Alright then, Kacchan! Let’s practice some more! It’s really interesting that I can turn incorporeal but remain visible, but not the corporeal and invisible. I can’t really reason that very well, but perhaps I can…”

  • • • •

As the days passed, Izuku and Katsuki experimented a bit more with his quirk, however they soon reached a problem.

Within three days more days, Izuku and Katsuki ran out of things to practice since Izuku still couldn’t get the telekinesis to work and he had mastered the different phases of corporeality to the extent it took a single thought to shift forms.

He had plenty of time to practice after all. No matter what, he couldn’t get himself to fall asleep, and, judging by his complete lack of any fatigue, he didn’t need any. To some extent, it was useful, but it also meant he had at least six more hours of free time per day than he normally would have. Not to mention, the seven hours of school he couldn’t attend.

Izuku had decided with his mom that he was too far behind and would likely benefit a lot more from an online school. However, that was pretty easy, and thus very boring, so anything past twelve hours a day bored him. That left approximately twelve hours to practice his quirk, which was certainly no real limitation.

So when Katsuki showed up at the beach on Wednesday after school and Izuku demonstrates that there really couldn’t be any more improvement to his switching, they were at an awkward standstill. Izuku still hadn’t figured out how to use his telekinesis, and wasn’t getting anywhere.


As usual, Katsuki had little patience and eventually snapped.

“Fuck it! We’re getting nowhere and this is just a waste of time. This dump stinks like shit, too. I can’t even fucking concentrate with all the rust.” (What Katsuki didn’t say was that the rust smelled too much like blood.)

Izuku smiled nervously. (Damn that nerd, they’d been hanging out for five fucking days, and he still wouldn’t stop flinching every time Katsuki spoke.) “Sorry Kacchan.” He paused, eyes darting down to his interlocked fingers. “I understand that you don’t want to help me anymore. I mean, I’m just a nuisance, after all.

The fuck was the nerd rambling about? Katsuki staked forward, leaning into Izuku’s space. Izuku flushed, leaning back slightly. “Ka-Kacchan?”

Katsuki smirked, as he raised his hand and flicked Izuku’s forehead, allowing a small crackling explosion to go off without any heat or force. “I was just trying to say we should go somewhere else to figure your shit out.” He snorted, ignoring the fondness in the sound, and his own slight flush at their proximity as he stepped back. “Let’s go, dumbass.” He turned and took a few steps forward, before looking over his shoulder slightly. “Stop calling yourself useless, Deku.”

Izuku started, jumping slightly as he quickly caught up with Katsuki, stepping up to his side. He had to hold in a laugh at the innocently indignant expression on Izuku’s face. Cautious humor lit up his expression.

“But saying that and using Deku is counterintuitive!”

Chapter Text

Izuku ended up leading the way to a restaurant where they could talk. Not to brag, but he knew the town very well. Although he had often taken trams and trains to other cities, he had spent four months roaming the streets nonstop (that was nearly 3000 hours, and people usually spent only around 6000 awake in an entire year) and had plenty of time to basically map out the entirety of Musutafu.

This particular ramen shop was out of the way, practically in a back alley, but the tables were outdoors and somewhat surrounded by plants, so it was a fairly private place. He’d heard a lot of good things from eavesdropping on customers and had been dying to try it. (Of course, being literally dead, he hadn’t been able to.)

Of course, he instantly deflated when he got there and look at the menu, and realized that literally anything he ordered would probably kill him several more times with the amount of sodium in it.

A older waiter came out, greeting hair tucked into a bun as she greeted them. She took Katsuki’s order first, hesitantly asking if he was sure he wanted that, ‘it might be too spicy for him.’ Izuku felt bad for the waiter at how mad Katsuki got, asking if she thought he was a wimp and cursing her out, but to her credit, she looked more angry than upset as she turned to Izuku.

As politely as possible, Izuku smiled up at the waitress. He pouted as he ordered a bowl of plain rice with some equally plain green tea. Perhaps he could try to make a sort of ochazuke, just without the seasonings? (He didn’t even like it much with them, so he didn’t have high hopes.)

Katsuki stared at him as he ordered, and as soon as the waiter left questioned Izuku’s choice.

“Why the hell did you order that? This menu is bombass as fuck.” He looked at Izuku oddly. “There was even some sort of spicy katsudon. You never see that shit anywhere, and you stopped asking your mom to make it ‘cuz she can’t handle spice. But you fucking loved it. Why would you order some shit like decomposed ochazuke?”

“Well, you did call them both shit, Kacchan.” Izuku teases jokingly. It took him a second of looking at Kacchan’s semi-agape mouth to realize what he said. “OhmygodIcursed!!!” He shrieked quietly, slamming a hand over his mouth.

He’d cursed before of course, but not much more than muttering the words to himself or calling someone a bastard under his breath when, again, no one was around. He blamed it on that one dead hero he had been acquainted with who had a foul enough mouth to rival even the Bakugou's. He’d been fun to hang around and hear stories from the early ages of quirks, but honesty, some of it was indecipherable because how many swears were interspersed in it.

“Holy shit.” Katsuki cackled. “What sort of fucking reaction is that. Shit is hardly even a curse.”

“No fair! Even you were surprised!”

“Only ‘cuz you’ve literally never cursed in front of me before!”

“Wish I could say the same, but you probably curse more than you talk.” Izuku refuted, a bit of bite playing on his voice.

They stared at each other a bit, before both dissolving into snorting. Izuku felt a warm smile on his face through his laughter. This really was a lot like there friendship had once been, and he was so glad to have it back. He’d forgotten somewhat over the years, but Katsuki really had a very similar mind to him, at least where interests and humor was concerned.

They were interrupted from their laughter as the waitress arrived and set their bowls down, with a quiet thud, glancing oddly at them. There was a pretty strong contrast between the very mild rice and tea and the ramen Katsuki had ordered. He’d specifically asked for the “spiciest fucking thing on the menu”, leading Izuku to stifle a giggle at the affronted look on the waiter as she jotted that down. However, he doubted that was what the look was for.

Something about the smug look on her face made Izuku wonder if she’d done something to the food.

Well, that and the ghost hanging over Katsuki’s shoulder, cackling at the ramen, and saying that Kacchan was going to die. Apparently spice could kill Katsuki. Izuku thought that the ghost would know better, but then again, he didn’t know Kacchan.

“No really.” Kacchan prodded Izuku’s bowl with his chopstick. “Why’d your order this plain-ass shit?”

Izuku looked down at his bowl. “Right! Um, so basically, you know how people always say salt can exorcise ghosts or whatever? Well—“

“Don’t tell me you’re being paranoid and buying into that phony shit.”

“No. I was eating katsudon a few days ago, and the salt was essentially ripping me apart from the inside since I couldn’t handle it. We don’t know how much I can take, but with the math of the amount of katsudon I ate before the burning and the total overall sodium content of the katsudon we determined that it was likely that anymore than the typical required ammount which is two hundred mg per day would likely strart to be dangerousoeventhouguidontacruallyhavetoeatitkindasucksthatifiwantedtoicanteatthefoodsthstiwanttoespecialltsinceiactuallydohavetheabilitytodigesthemand—“

Katsuki rapped the side of his bowl with his chopsticks, creating a sharp ring that snapped Izuku out of his spiel. “I get it, fucking nerd. Maybe breathe a bit between words?”

Izuku nodded, laughing slightly. “I don’t technically need to breath, but yeah.”

“Of course you would get the stupidest weakness ever. Salt literally dissolves you? That’s some hardcore myth shit.”

“Yeah. I mean, the salt barriers work as well, so I imagine having it inside me makes the two halves of my body or want to get away from it or something like that, which it can’t do.” Katsuki grimaced.

“Damn.”

“Yup!” Izuku replied cheerily. He picked lightly at his rice, dribbling a bit of the tea over it before deciding he didn’t like it much. Pushing the rice to the side, he sipped at his tea, relaxing in the little warmth he could feel. As a ghost, he had felt nothing, but at least in his more solid state he could had some tactile senses, even if they were muted and dulled, like desaturated color. The days of summer were growing shorter and there was a slight chill to the air, most people were wearing sweaters, but Izuku was in a T-shirt and he barely felt the wind.

“So have you figured out what to register your quirk as?” Katsuki asked, swallowing some of his spicy ramen unflinchingly. Izuku glanced down at it before shrugging. He had thought of it, but he couldn’t really decide on anything that fit if he was trying to hide that he was a ghost but could explain things like flight and telekinesis. He expressed as much to Katsuki, who promptly rolled his eyes. “Of fucking course not.” He pointed his chopsticks at Izuku. “Physics Negation. Boom.”

Izuku was confused for a second, but thinking it over-- “That’s a great idea! Its denying the laws of physics to fly and make things float! It's better than telekinesis or something as well since those are relatively common and a quirk factor DNA test could probably prove that that's a lie so--”

“Yeah. I’m fucking awesome. You can register it some other time though. We still need to figure out how your supposed to actually use your quirk aside from the flight and shit.” He paused slightly, a wicked glint coming into his eyes. “Didn’t you say a while back that you were able to move stuff when you went intangible?”

“Hmm?” Izuku asked uncertainty. He had forgotten about that. “Oh, right!”

Katsuki swallowed down the rest of his ramen (gathering some stares from the people nearby, as that was considered to be one of the spiciest ramen in the city. The waitress and ghost in particular looked shocked, confirming Izuku’s idea that she had tried to make it spicier) and once he’d swallowed and taken a single sip of water, he bared his teeth. “It’s not much, but it’s a lead.”


After paying, Izuku and Katsuki strolled back down to the beach. Katsuki instructed Izuku to return to his ghost form and practice telekinesis. As he went to practice on a pile of junk, Katsuki sat down in his usual spot, legs criss-crossed on the cleanest part of the wall. He pulled out his phone, since there wasn’t really anything to watch.

He grimaced at the burn on his tongue as he pressed his lips together. The bitchy waiter had essentially tried to poison him. Of course, it hadn’t phased him much, but it was still stronger than the usual burn of spicy food. It also ruined the meal, ‘cuz spice was the only taste, but not returning it had been worth it, if only to see the shocked look on the waiters face.

Only a few minutes passed of Katsuki looking through the hero news before an excited shriek came from Izuku. “Kacchan!” Katsuki looked up, eyes directed toward the horizon where Izuku stood, grinning excitedly and pointing at a small pile of junk floating a few feet off the ground. “I did it! And I think I kinda know what I’m supposed to do now, so I can practice in my regular state!”

Katsuki smirked. “Well done, you lifted a few pounds. I’ll be impressed when you can float more than I can lift.” Izuku looked back at him, a smile growing on his face at the challenge. He turned around, arms out. (probably more of an instinct than a necessity and a dumb giveaway in a fight. Katsuki would have to get him to stop that. Some movement might be good if only for the cool factor, but it definitely shouldn’t be necessary to forecast all his moves like that.)

Katsuki returned to his phone, looking for mentions of his more favored heros. He was just tapping an article on All Might when his phone flashed white, and the screen turned staticy, glitching before going black. What the fuck? He looked up to tell Izuku he had to go because of his phone, but was surprised to see Izuku straining as he struggled to hold up a much larger pile of garbage. Almost hundred pounds at least. Katsuki was honestly very surprised, not something he admitted often. (Katsuki decided not to mention that he could still probably lift more than that after his increased training in the last few months)

“I… did it, Kacchan.” Izuku mumbled, falling forward onto his knees and dropping to his knees. At that exact moment, Katsuki’s phone fizzled back on, and an idea began to form. Instead of looking into it, he walked forward and examined Izuku.

He was still visible, and not panting or sweating or anything that would usually belay tiredness or fatigue, but he was slightly transparent and flickering and there was an obvious strain to his voice. Some sort of quirk fatigue, then. Izuku crouched down, attempting to pull Izuku up by the arm, but his hand just passed through. “Can you get solid, Deku?” Izuku seemed to contemplate for a second before forcing out a ‘no’. “All right then, don’t try. Must be ‘cuz you overused your quirk. You’ll probably remain intangible for a bit.”

Izuku nodded as he leaned back onto his knees.

“Okay, Kacchan”

“How the hell did you even get your quirk? Mutations aren’t usually that extreme.”

Izuku raised a hand up to his chin, tapping it. “I’ve thought about that a bit too. I think it does make some sense though. You know my dad’s quirk, right? It’s actually a bit closer to Ryoku’s than just fire breathing. He’s essentially got the abilities of a fire drake— breathing fire, enhanced sense, etc. not much, but more than just fire breath. Then there’s my mom ability, a weak form of telekinesis. Combine the two and you get a mythical creature with telekinesis. It just happened to be a ghost, I guess? Except ghosts do actually exist and there’s a lot of strange discrepancies since real ghosts don’t have telekinesis, but mythical ones do, but then, same goes for drakes, since they don’t exist there is no geneticbasisforitexceptforinmythology andlegendsbutmydadstillgotthoseabilitiesand—“

Katsuki held up his hand to silence his muttering, a wicked glint coming into his eyes. “So you might have more abilities than you originally thought.” Izuku nodded slightly. “Good. That’s something to look into in the future.”

“Are you gonna go home, Kacchan?”

“Nah.” Katsuki held up his phone, tapping it lightly. “This thing shorted out a bit ago. If I remember correctly, and of course I do, you mentioned electromagnetic interference. Chances are that could come in handy, and may even not be affected by your quirk exhaustion.”

Izuku paused, his face lighting up. “I’d completely forgotten about that! Shorting out electricity could definitely have advantages as a hero! Thanks for reminding me Kaachan!”

Katsuki snorted. “Of course, dumbass. Like you’d ever remember on your own.” He paused, the spicy burn still making his mouth taste bad. “Were going to the conscience store first, though.” He stated. “I need a drink.” Izuku looked at him surprised.

“Oh, so you weren’t able to take the additional spice?”

“What, you knew?”

Izuku tried to look innocent.

“A ghost said he thought you were gonna die.” Well. That was nonchalant. Somehow Katsuki had forgotten that Izuku could see ghosts. He hadn’t really asked about it before, but were ghosts common? “I figured you’d be able to take it, sorry.”

“I could take it. It was just some gross shit.”

Izuku hummed unconvincingly. “Of course, Kacchan.”

“Fuck you!” Katsuki growled, leading the way to the store.

Fuck. He’d probably need to get a milk tea.

Chapter Text

After two weeks, Izuku had finished his schooling. (Fourteen days of nearly nonstop ‘school’ made that rather easy) Izuku spent hours straight pouring over his old school textbooks and learning everything in them he could. When he came across a term he didn’t understand, he had plenty of time to go to the library and read a whole book based on that subject. Within a week and a half, he had finished learning anything he could have possibly needed to know if he were in middle school.

After testing out his electromagnetic interference for a few days, Izuku remembered something of an issue. He was, legally dead. That was literally why he wasn’t going to school. Of course, that would cause issues if his files every needed to be pulled up (like if he ever wanted to attend UA or any high school). The moment he’d thought of it, he’d ended up rushing to his mom’s work, easily sneaking past the nurses and individuals while in his incorporeal state. Luckily she was sitting alone in her office.

“Mom!” Inko jumped, throwing a few papers up in the air as Izuku phased through the door.

“Izuku! What are you doing here? Why--”

“I’m sorry! I just had a thought and I couldn’t wait, because it’s really important!” Inko nodded as she shuffled the papers together.

“Okay… What is it, Izu?”

“So you know how I’m dead, right?” Inko looked at him deadpanned, and Izuku shrugged awkwardly. “Right. So, you had to sign those waivers officiating it, which could be a problem because it announced me dead by suicide and would therefore raise a ton of questions and--” Inko held up her hand, flushing slightly. Her eyes were glossy as she looked to the side, keeping her eyes focused on a picture of the two of them.

“Actually I, I…” She paused, taking a calming breath to end the wavering in her voice. “I couldn't do it. I couldn’t sign the things that made it official that my only family… that you were dead.” Izuku looked at his mom softly, taking a few steps forward, before halting. It was hard, every time something like this was brought up. He never knew what he was supposed to do. Inko looked up at him. “Oh, don’t look at me like that.” She laughed shakily. “It’s fine now because you’re here!” She shuffled the papers brusquely again, busying herself. “Besides! It’ll come in handy! The records should just be physical or in a harddrive in the police office, not in the database! Here--” SHe passed him some papers. “This is where you can find the stuff that pertains your death. You should go in and delete it. Plausible deniability.” Inko explained matter-of-factly.

Izuku stared at the papers in his hand, wondering just when and why his mom had decided to do this. He was grateful, but had she hacked into the police database or something to get this information? Really, he needed to know??!!

The door slammed open suddenly, beneficially startling Izuku into his invisible form. One of the ladies who worked there. Izuku wished he could hug his mom before he left, but settled for exerting a gentle pressure of air on her shoulder. Her quick glance, and small smile showed that she knew what he was doing. Satisfied, Izuku left the workplace and returned home to start planning his illegal activities.

It was fun for a few days, reminding him of when he and Kacchan would occasionally switch things up and play espionage instead of heros. Izuku had always liked that because they would both be quirkless like in the old days of spies.

However, by Thursday, everything had been planned, and he had easily infiltrated the police station one night, taking all of the papers he needed and making sure there was no trace. Izuku wondered if he could give them tips on keeping people out, as villains likely wouldn’t have a hard time, but then again, he could phase through walls, short out the security, and left no fingerprints, so it wasn’t like he didn’t have advantages. So that was done, and the planning was honestly more exciting and fun than the actual event. Izuku felt a bit bratty playing it down, but to be fair, espionage had always seemed like so much more fun in the movies.

Now during the school hours, all Izuku could do was occasionally go to the park, and sit on the swings or float up to the top of trees and just look down. (It was good to note he could remain corporeal and still fly. (Further testing revealed that he couldn’t go invisible and be corporeal, yet he could be corporeal and visible.)) Today though, he spotted a familiar head of spiky blond hair and decided it wouldn’t be that bad if he followed Kacchan to school. (It’s not like anyone would notice him there if he was in his typical ghost form.) Maybe this espionage could be a bit more fun. (No— it wasn’t his fault if he was bored.)

  • • • •

Izuku followed Kacchan silently, confident in his ability to remain unnoticed. Even if for some reason he wasn’t able to go completely ghostly, then he could just fly silently above Katsuki, no problem. Of course, he didn’t have to actively tail Kacchan, but it was easier that way, and he would be sure not to lose him. After a few minutes, Izuku strolled up to walk by Katsuki’s side. He couldn’t decide whether it was fun or sad that Katsuki had no idea whatsoever that he was there, despite what he would certainly consider Izuku’s obnoxious humming.

Izuku hummed louder just to irritate that Kacchan in his mind. Oh. Wait. That probably wasn’t good.

Before long, they had arrived at school. Izuku was surprised for a second at how quickly they had been, but Kacchan did always speed walk despite his slouching posture, and Izuku didn’t get tired even from physical exertion anymore, so he had no issue keeping up.

Izuku continued to walk casually beside him, only stepping to the side when someone was threatening to walk through him. He maintained a one-sided conversation with Katsuki, which yes, was very sad, but even though he considered it, Izuku knew he couldn’t return to his natural state. It would be too odd if he showed up out of nowhere, especially being unenrolled from the school.

Izuku paused when he realized he’d lost Katsuki despite his slow pace. He turned around and realized he was taking off his shoes. Izuku watched as he carefully turned his shoes over, shaking them before putting them. Izuku’s breath caught as he saw a few glittering bits of silver fall out. He hoped he was wrong, but as the bell rang, Izuku allowed Kacchan to head off to his homeroom while he stayed in the shoe locker area.

When he was sure no one else was gone, Izuku allowed himself to solidify, and walked up to Kacchan’s locker. Quietly he opened the door and peered inside. A metallic glint caught his eye, and he pulled back, carefully reaching his hand in to pull the small bits of metal out.

Tacks.

Someone had actually put tacks in Kacchan’s shoes, and that someone was somehow not very dead and murdered. Worse than that, it seemed to be a common recurrence, judging by the nonchalance in which Katsuki checked his shoes. Was Kacchan being bullied?

Worry filled Izuku and he shifted, flying up through the ceiling to bypass the stairs, and making his way quickly to his old homeroom. Once there, he immediately belined for Katsuki, checking his desk for the familiar tell-tale signs of a form of bullying just as traditionally horrible as the tacks. One that Izuku had experienced many times from his tormentors who were less brazen and more quietly vicious and cruel than even Kacchan.

Sure enough, on his table were a few dark smudges of marker, words that Izuku could just barely make out. His gasped at the words, not bothering to hide his surprise. (Like, why should he. He was invisible.)

Killer, Murderer, Asshole, Bully, Suicide-Instigator, Did you get what you wanted? Who will you kill next?

The only thing that made these words make sense was if they thought Kacchan had killed Izuku. Of course, to an extent he did, but barely any more than the unknown people who had written similar blocky black letters on his desks.

Even if he doubted these words phased Katsuki, Izuku wished no one had to go through having cruel things marked like scars on their desks. Whether or not you let them effect you or not, having them wasn’t fun. Izuku knew from experience.

(Quirkless, weak, dumb, you honestly think you can be a hero?, go die, you’re worthless, Freak, Kill yourself already, Why are you even alive, no one likes you, get lost, we don’t need dekus here, I dare you to jump off the roof, why aren’t you dead yet, stop being so worthless!’)( Those words had hurt until Izuku had gone numb, but at least he knew Kacchan wouldn’t do something so ‘cowardly’.)

But why did they even think he was dead? All they should have known was that he was unenrolled from the school.

Izuku couldn’t understand why Katsuki hadn’t pulverized the people who did this stuff to him? Why would he be so complacent? It wasn’t like him. Katsuki returned to his desk from the back of the room, where he had been throwing away a blackened tissue, likely used to clean up the marker.

“Hey teach.” The spindly armed teacher looked up from his phone, legs kicked up on his desk.

“Yes, Bakugou?”

“Why the fuck aren’t you doing anything about this shit. Aren’t you supposed to be stopping vandalism?”

The teacher still looked incredibly disinterested, but he drawled out a reprimand to the class anyway.

“You heard him. Whoever did this, you should stop. You’ll get in trouble.” He yawned, returning to his phone.

“The fuck?” Katsuki slammed his hands onto the teachers desk, smoke rising in an explosion that made Izuku flinch. “What the hell is this? You’re supposed to be busting these assholes!! How ducking useless are you??”

The teacher sat down from where they had jumped to moments ago, arms dangling loosely from their extenders as he picked his phone up off the ground. “Now, Bakugou. Don’t insult the teachers. I’m afraid that without evidence, I don’t know who did it, and can’t do anything about it.”

Katsuki glared murderously at the teacher, but returned grudgingly to his desk for the free-study period. Kicking his legs up in imitation of the teacher, he pulled out his phone and began tapping through it angrily. Izuku drifted closer, but hung back when he saw Katsuki frown down at his phone and then look around suspiciously. Izuku had probably messed with it, so he hung back, instead going over to sit by the teacher, purposely disrupting his phone. The anger festered within Izuku as he waited for lunch to ring.


Katsuki fucking hated his teacher. He had always known that he was a gross sleazeball, but this was a new level. His utter complacency and lack of care towards bullying was not how a teacher was supposed to be. Katsuki could take it on his own, of course, but what about other students? This was blatant neglect, and Katsuki was not happy to think about what Izuku had experienced. Not only from the students, but the teacher as well.

Katsuki thus far had only received tacks and a few written words because people were too fucking cowardly to actually face him head on, the bastards, but they wouldn’t have had that same fear of Izuku. And then with the teacher, he had always been a suck up and favored Katsuki, thinking it was his way into fame or some dumb idea like that. He likely still had that idea, and continued to treat Katsuki with favoritism, but still had an utter disregard to students attempting bullying. With Izuku, he probably didn’t care in the least, even if he were to see it happen right in front of him. (Katsuki realized he’d never thought about how other student’s treated Deku. What if he wasn’t the only one bullying Deku?)

Just the way the guy treated it pissed Katsuki off, and it took all his self-control not to send a explosion powered fist into the assholes face.

As the class filed out, Katsuki remained on his phone, not particularly hungry. He paused when it shorted out again.

“Kacchan!” Katsuki startled back as Izuku appeared in front of him.

“Wha-- What the fuck are you doing here?”

“I was bored, but--”

“What, you were fucking bored so you decided to stalk me? Who the fuck does that--”

“That’s not important!” Izuku exclaimed indignantly. “What is why you’re letting people bully you!”

“Haa?” Katsuki asked, outraged. “I’m not fucking letting people bully me!” Izuku raised his eyebrows incredulously. “I’m not!” Katsuki snapped. “I just don't know who’s doing it. But once I do, I’m gonna beat them to a fucking pulp.”

Izuku’s eyebrows lowered slightly, but he still looked upset. “That’s not right Kacchan. You shouldn’t have to deal with this at all.”

“And you did?” Katsuki responded bitterly.

“...” Izuku remained silent. The fucker… “You said you don’t know who did it? Then let me be your spy.”

“What the fuck are you going to do, Deku?”

Izuku looked at him, affrontation and an annoying smug smile spread across his face as he turned invisible. “You seem to forget that I can literally become nonexistent. Besides! I’ve been practising espionage and--” Izuku flushed and slapped a hand over his mouth. Katsuki snorted.

“Practicing espionage? In what way? Playing spies with four year olds?”

“Wha--NO!”

“Then what?” Katsuki taunted.

“Well, stalking for one. According to you.” Izuku pointed out, earning a growl. “And I broke into a police station, but that was less espionage than simple breaking and entering and--”

Katsuki held up a hand suddenly. “You. Fucking. Did. What?”

Izuku blinked innocently. “I broke into a police station?”

“Oh my fucking god. I’m not even gonna ask. Alright then, Deku. What’s your brilliant plan?”

  • • • •

Deku’s brilliant plan, was, in fact, the simplest plan possible. Upon finding out that people usually put more tacks in his shoes before leaving school, he proposed to just go and wait until they showed up, and either detain them or just tell Katsuki who they were. Some espionage expert, all right. Still, Katsuki agreed, and Izuku disappeared instantly, presumably going down to his locker.

Dumb plan or not, Katsuki was looking forward to teaching some bastards a lesson.


Izuku didn’t have to wait for long before three bulky boys crept into the room. Izuku cringed as he recognized them. They were all a few years older than himself, as Izuku distinctly remembers them being upperclassmen at one point in time, but had all been held back several time. Izuku wondered if it could have possibly been on purpose, but they struck him as too single-minded to come up with something like that for any reason.

He had known the trio for years, and they had been some of Izuku’s most physical bullies.

(Back when they were young and Katsuki had barely just gotten his quirk, he had fought the three of them after they had hurt a kid. Afterward, Kacchan had been bruised and scraped up, wiping a bloody nose, but still smiling victoriously. “A hero always wins no matter what!” he had said, and Izuku’s admiration for Kacchan had been cememented in that moment.)

Since then, they had always been partially terrified of Katsuki, and as soon as he and Izuku drifted apart, Izuku became an easy target for them. They often enjoyed locking Izuku in the janitor's closet. Hasen Yubi, in particular, liked to brutalize Izuku. His quirk, Sharp Fingers, allowed that easily.

Izuku still had scars across his arms and shoulders from the teenager digging his fingers into Izuku’s skin as Hasen threw him around.

Izuku noticed distantly that his hands were shaking. He stood in silence, watching them, and despite his fear, felt a preemptive and vindictive satisfaction in the idea of what Katsuki was going to do them. He wouldn’t usually promote unsolicited violence, but, then again, it wasn’t exactly entirely unsolicited.

However, when Hasen pulled out a pack of razor blades, Izuku realized he couldn’t just watch. Something like that could be dangerous. (He would know). Before he knew it, Izuku had solidified, and grabbed Hasen's arm, stopping it in its place. Instantly all three of their gazes snapped to him. Hasen whirled around, fingers already metal, and Izuku just barely managed to leap away. Hasen's eyes widened in recognition as a malicious smile spread across his face.

“Oh? If it isn’t the green waste-of-space. We thought you had finally offed yourself.” He paused slightly. “What a shame that your still alive.” Izuku flinched back away at the familiar look and raised fingers. “Now I dare you to tell me what the hell you think you were doing, touching me, scum.”

Izuku took a single step back before forcing himself to keep his ground. He took a calming breathe, reminding himself that he had a quirk and could easily avoid the knives.

“I guess that worthless you wanted a beating huh?” Izuku prepared himself to dodge, but the door slammed open, distracting him, and Hasen managed to get his hand around Izuku’s neck, and shoved him back into a locker. Izuku’s head hit first, and though a ringing filled his ears and he could feel warmth trickling down the side of his head, he scrambled to his feet. Hasen’s claws hadn’t cut through his neck, so he was mostly fine. Katsuki was growling almost ferally at Hasen, whose groupies had run off.

“What do you think you’re doing asshat?”

“Oh? So you care about our punching bag now? How odd.”

“HA??? THE FUCK DID YOU JUST CALL DEKU???”

Izuku, quietly dematerialized, and rushed to the principal's office, poking his head through the door frantically.

“Principle!”

The stout man looked up from his computer, at Izuku’s shout. “Midoriya Izuku???” He asked, wide-eyed. “I thought you were de--” Izuku wanted to facepalm that even teacher thought he had— Right. He kept forgetting. He had died. Either way, that wasn’t important.

“Sorry sir, I don’t have much time!” He explained the situation as quickly as possible, making sure to emphasize that Katsuki held no blame in the fight. Once done, he saluted, pulling his head back through the door and rushing off. Passing his old classroom he caught some small whispers inside.

“Did you hear--”

“Midoriya and Bakugou--”

“Thought he was dead--”

“Didn’t Bakugou kill him--”

Irritation filled Izuku, and he slipped his head through the door. “Excuse me, but please don’t gossip about people.

“OH MY GOD!!!” Several girls shrieked, flinching back. At the yell, Izuku left, rushing back down to wear Katsuki was, leaving the room to echoe with the panicking sounds of people who believed they were going to be haunted to death.

Of course, when he reached the ground floor, Izuku was utterly unsurprised to see the three thug-ish teenagers subdued on the floors. Kacchan had somehow managed to track down the two that had fled and beat them all in just under three minutes. Izuku should have learned by now not to underestimate Katsuki’s combat ability.


Katsuki cracked his knuckles as he surveyed the kneeling bullies before him. That should teach them to think they could get away with something like bullying him. As if. He had just been biding his time, but he had to admit it was getting fucking irritating, and Katsuki was glad that Izuku had helped him get this over with as quickly as possible.

Speaking of, a stupidly vindictive smile was spread across the nerd’s face. Katsuki could understand why, if the words he had caught as he came up to the shoe room were any indicator, but the look didn’t fit Izuku, so he snapped his fingers in front of his nose, instantly clearing Izuku’s darkened expression as he truned his head toward Katsuki.

“Kacchan! That was amazing! You beat them so quickly!” Katsuki wanted to preen in the praise (which, goddammit, made no sense. They were weaklings without a challenge, even if that knife-hands guy had nearly gotten him in the throat.) but he was interrupted when he saw the scarlet staining the side of Izuku’s head. He instantly lunged forward, grabbing a tissue from his backpack while he was at it.

“Fuck, Deku! Why didn’t you tell me you got hurt?” Katsuki pressed the tissue up to where the trail of blood started. Izuku raised his hand up, gently pushing Katsuki’s hand away.

“I’m fine Kacchan.”

“Like hell, head injuries are--” Izuku pointed at the tissue in his hand and Katsuki followed the line. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single drop of blood on it. “The fuck?”

“The tissue wouldn’t really do much anyway, anything that leaves me just disappears— aside from clothes, which oddly enough phase with me—but that’s beside the point. I heal pretty quickly too, so I’m fine!”

Unsatisfied, Katsuki leaned forward, clearing the area— it was weird how the towel got rid of the blood without getting stained at all— and was satisfied to see only the smallest cut left. He reached our and brushed up Izuku’s hair just to check, but his breath caught when he saw a massive scar on Izuku's temple. Thin lines branched out in a starburst, crack fractures lined in white across his temple and into his hairline. As Katsuki dropped his hand, he noticed that Izuk’s hair just barely covered the jagged scar.

“Kacchan?”

“Deku…” Katsuki swallowed thickly. “What the fuck is this?”

Izuku remained silent.

Katsuki felt something pressing down on his chest painfully as he couldn’t tear his eyes of the scar.

He knew what it was.

He could still see it fresh in his mind when it had happened, the way his head had been bleeding, blood dripping down the side. He hadn’t looked, but he knew how bad impact wounds could be to the head. (They could explode, skull bursting open and spreading blood and brains across the ground with shiny white fragments of bone. Izuku’s fall hadn’t been high enough for that, the head impact not strong enough either, but it was determined that the internal bleeding in his head had been a large factor to his death.)

“Fuck. How could you not tell me. I—“

“I don’t know what you’re playing at, pretending like you care about that freak.” Hasen interrupted, drawling. “Like you’re any better than us. You’re just as poisonous to him as we are. If not more.” Hasen grinned maliciously, the dark blood staining his sharp teeth spilling like black oil from the hole where one had recently been knocked out. “After all, it’s not like everyone thought you’d killed him just because .”


“Kacchan, wait, you know I don’t think that--”

“Fuck off!”

“Kacchan--”

“Deku!” Katsuki snarled. “What the fuck do you call that?” He growled, jabbing a finger angrily at Izuku’s scar.

“It’s just a small scar, Kacchan! It doesn’t matter, it’s--”

“Fuck you!” Katsuki yelled. “A small scar my ass. That thing is a--” Katsuki noticed Hasen's beady eyes looking at them, intrigued. Katsuki grabbed Izuku by the arm a little too tightly and pulled him outside as the teachers arrived. “That’s a fucking death scar. How the fuck can you call that nothing?? It’s not fucking nothing!”

“Kacchan…”

“Shut up.”Katsuki snapped with harsh finality. “I don’t want to hear it.” Izuku watched quietly as Katsuki strode away, a vague sadness creeping up on him that he didn’t quite understand.


Katsuki felt that same poison from when Izuku had committed suicide return. Firey pain welled up in his heart as he stormed around the edge of the school, knowing Izuku wouldn’t follow.

He fell into the metal door with a repressed sob. WIthdrawing from the wall, Katsuki pulled back a fist, and smashed it with as much strength as he could into the thin metal door. Each strike he punctuated with an expletive through gritted teeth. “Shit. Fuck. FUCK!!” He punctuated his final hit with a final shout.

He leaned forward, resting his forehead and elbows on the wall. “Fuck” he whispered. He’d been successfully avoiding thinking about this stuff pretty much since Izuku had returned, but seeing that wound, the area where Izuku’s head had caved in, smashed against the ground, Katsuki couldn’t not think about it. And how it was his fucking fault.

“Fuck.” He whispered once again, hands dropping lifelessly to his side, knuckles already red and bruising, blood trailing down the side of his hand.

The dented doorway stood damaged beside him, no longer openable.

Chapter Text

The next day, Kacchan did not show up to the beach. He also didn’t show up the day after, or the day after that, or the day after, or the day after. By the end of the week, Izuku gave up hope that he would show up at all.

Instead of grieving over their still broken friendship that they had barely started to plaster and heal, Izuku threw himself into his quirk, focusing on not just the abilities he’d be using under “physics negation” but his ghostly ones, improving the strength of his telekinesis and how much electromagnetic interference he could output. He’d train long into the night and eventually realized that he had limited night vision. (A handy ability, but perhaps for his hero costume, he could look into some gear to improve that?)

Instead of just lifting and lowering the trash like he’d been doing before, Izuku started to carry it up to the empty trash bins at the entrance to the beach. It took longer, and he couldn’t lift nearly as much as he had managed the first day, but he did improve with time. It also helped since the first day he hadn’t even been able to take a step without dropping his hold of the trash.

He did notice though, that he felt a legitimate burning in his arms when carrying some things, and he would have attributed that to muscle exhaustion, were it not for the fact that the burning was located on his skin, and there were the occasion rash-like burns that faded quickly, but still comparatively slowly to the assorted injuries he got. It was only when he cut his palm on the rusty edge of a broken chainsaw and it refused to heal that he realized what was causing the burning. Iron. (How he didn’t think of that before, Izuku didn’t know. It was so obvious! Iron was more consistently something used against fae or ghosts than just about anything else!) Chances were, iron hurt his ghost form more fully than other things did, stopping the accelerated healing process that usually occurred due to how Izuku was basically a manifestation of pure energy.

From then on, Izuku avoided carrying items made of iron or iron composites, as well as rusty items by hand. (Rust was iron oxide. He really should have been more careful about that. If it his body reacted to it in a similar way to salt, but burning instead of repulsion, it could have been really bad.)

Multitasking became a focus, including carrying non hazardous trash in his arms as he carried an equal amount in the air. By the end of summer, he had made a good dent in the trash on the beach and managed to increase his weight limit to upwards of a few hundred pounds, but he could hardly lift half of that straight into the air or move it quickly. He found it much easier to push or pull stuff down (similar to his mom’s quirk, Izuku reasoned).

However, he had managed to gain a decently fine control over small objects, so if he wanted to precise, he could at least do that.

He made much more progress with his electromagnetic interference, able to increase the output much more (particularly in ghost form, which seemed to enhance everything, but was inconvenient to an extent since he had to remain either entirely corporeal or entirely incorporeal, and if he wanted to interact with anything physically, he had to drop the enhance from being incorporeal) as well as direct it to only affect specific things or just affect them in specific ways.

It was fun to discover more control of his quirk, but it could really only last for so long, and though he didn’t stop practicing his quirks or studying books on things he might need to know in heroics as well as research on fighting styles (including some more invisible stalking of heros) there was still a limit to how much time he could dedicate solely to hero training. Spending twenty four hours straight was enough, honestly, but since he couldn’t use electronics without focusing on specifically limiting his interference, for the most part he’d spend all his time, everyday doing nothing but train or research. (That was closing in on seven hundred hours in the past month alone, and he felt likened die if he picked up one more book on quirk law.)

Izuku sighed, flopping into the sand on the largest clear patch he’d made. He sat up suddenly when he saw a figure walk into the beach, staring out at the water. Nobody had come to the beach in as long as he’d been training there, but that in itself wouldn’t be so odd. Rather, it was the fact that the woman was see-through and left no indent on the sand. Izuku stood hesitantly, walking toward her. She didn’t react, probably assuming that he wouldn’t be able to see her.

“Excuse me, miss ghost?” The woman’s eyes snapped to him, muted orange flashing in surprise.

“You can see me?”

“Yes.”

“How? But you’re alive!”

He shook his head. “I’m not actually. Just as dead as you are.”

“You– can I—“ There was a hope that Izuku wondered at rising in her features. “Can I do it too?” She asked, staring at his feet sinking into the sand.

He shook his head again, sadly and understanding now. “No. I’m sorry. It’s my quirk.”

“Oh.” The woman deflated, hands raising to rest by her collarbone, one hand fingering her necklace which held a small diamond ring. “I had hoped…”

Izuku had always been pretty good at deductions and understanding people. “If you’d like, I can do something for you?” he offered before he could check himself. The look of joy on her face was enough gratification though.

“Would you? Really?”

He reached out and gently took her hand. (Noting that though he was corporeal, he could still touch her.) “What do you need?”

“My fiancé… the day I died, we had a fight, and I took our picture–“ she nodded at a cracked frame in the piles of trash, which Izuku hurried to pick up, dusting the sand off. The woman was in the picture, eyes a much brighter shade of orange (quite literally like the fruit) aside a young man. They both looked very happy and in love, and Izuku felt unbidden sympathy. “I had been going back to apologize when—“

Izuku nodded, understanding. “Can you take me to him?” He offered hesitantly.

  • • • •

The husband lived farther away than he had thought, and it was only at sunset that Izuku finally reached his house and dropped off the frame with a gentle knock, glancing hesitantly at the woman before going invisible as well. They stood for a few minutes, and Izuku felt his breath catch as an old man opened the door, grey hair reflecting silver as he stared down at the frame facing him daintily. He reached out a freckled hand though he were afraid it was a mirage. A soft smile spread across his face as he made contact and picked it up.

“Gramps?” Called a voice from the inside. “Coming,” he called, the smile still on his face as he glanced through Izuku and the women who had been his fiancé decades ago. Izuku glanced toward the woman, heart stinging painfully. How long had she been holding onto regret and love? Tears ran gently down her once again vibrant orange eyes as she whispered a silent love you to the man.

How many years had this man missed her and wondered at where she’d gone?

Izuku turned as he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. The woman stood there, smiling vibrantly. “Thank you so much.” She whispered as she faded away and dissolved into the wind, moving on to wherever those who hold no attachment to life went.

There was a melancholy sadness to it, but Izuku could almost feel a laughter on the air. How badly had she wanted to move on but been unable to? How many more ghosts suffered the same thing?

And that was where a new idea came in.


Katsuki kept his distance from Izuku as best he could.

He was still alone in school, and it sucked feeling ostracized, alone in a crowd of fuzzy, faceless people, but he had at least gained enough of himself back that nobody dared to bother him. Though they had flocked back to him like the losers they were, even his old extras were wary of his angry bearing, which had multiplied since he had beat up the knife-hands bastard.

School sucked, home sucked as well, but it was much better than before, even if more awkwardness had returned since Izuku came back (Hey look, your son caused a fucking ghost. That’s totally fucking fine.)

He also stopped going to Inko’s for the most part, only dropping by temporarily when he knew Izuku wouldn’t be home.

Like when Katsuki glimpsed Izuku at the beach during one of his evening runs.

Every time he got near and caught a glimpse of the forestry green hair, the same crushing pain would clench at his chest. (Gods, that scar. The image of Izuku’s head cracked open, glistening with coppery blood, flashed through his head every single time he blinked. When he got close to the beach, the familiar rusty scent clogged his nose like warm blood.)

He knew his guilt was consuming him and that he was being fucking weak letting it get to him like this, especially since the last thing he wanted was to drive Izuku away again, but he couldn’t be around Izuku without remember what he’d done for every second. Besides, he told himself darkly, who knew how much more Katsuki could hurt him. (Katsuki was an explosion ready to be set off, he knew this about himself well. Who knew when he’d lose his temper and do something to hurt Izuku again with his sparking flames that consumed and spread and burned .)


Izuku spent his time when he was bored from his training roaming around the different towns looking for lone ghosts. Those that followed people around typically had reason to do so, and Izuku didn’t want to bother them. Instead he approached the particularly sad and lonely ghosts and offered them help, explaining his situation. Not everyone wanted to move on, and not everyone knew how they could, (whom Izuku technically could force to move on, but stealing their quirk to do so and leaving their issues unresolved felt wrong) but Izuku was happy helping where he could.

It made him feel like he was already making up for the pain he’d caused to people. The days that he managed to help a ghost move on were the best.

One such day Izuku returned to the beach around sunset, a small smile stretched across his face, satisfied at the results of a few days worth of searching for dead man’s daughter who he hadn’t seen in decades. Izuku stretched his limbs, noting that they were still just as pale and skinny as before, even if they were almost imperceptibly more toned.

(He had developed abs, somehow. He knew that technically he had been doing more than enough of a workout for that (I mean, probably around eight hours a day, without need for pause), but he didn’t age nor did his hair or nails grow (except for when he cut it, then it pretty quickly returned to how it had been when he had died (which basically indicated that he didn’t change at all)) and no matter what he did, he couldn’t feel the burn from his muscles breaking down, so he couldn’t have technically been using them or making them stronger which made him wonder if it was mostly just a physiological thing and whether or not that meant that he could change his appearance in anyway whatsoever like if it was a subconscious decision that he should be buffing up but that wouldn’t make sense since he hadn’t been aging and that would definitely be one of the things he’d subconsciously decided should be happening and he hadn’t exactly gotten jacked up like Izuku had always imagined working out would do even though he knew that that wasn’t how it worked but yeah he’d just gotten lean muscles and the ability toliftheavierstuffwhichwhenitcamedowntoithecouldjustattributetoanotherweirdpartofhisquirk).

Honestly, everything about his quirk was confusing, and Izuku resolved to just try and avoid thinking about it.

There was a small bite to the cold air that Izuku could just barely feel if he focused. He halted in his motions as he came face to face with a familiar person who stared at him in just as much surprise.

“Young Man!??”

“ALL MIGHT!!??”

Chapter Text

Toshinori couldn’t help but feel awkward as he stared down at the boy. He raised a hand to the back of his thin neck. “Ah… young man. I didn’t expect to run into anybody here.”

“Oh, uh, yeah.” The boy stuttered. “Me neither.”

Silence interrupted only by the waves filled the air again. The green haired boy decided to break it.

“So, um, what brings you here, All Might… san?” Toshinori forced a gaunt grin on his face.

“I noticed that the beach has been becoming more clean lately! I remember that this was once a very pretty place, and I wanted to see how progress was going! Ha ha ha!”

Silence again. (Were those crickets?)

“And you young man?”

“Oh!” He jumped slightly, a light flush spreading across his face. “Err… I’ve been cleaning up the beach, actually.” Surprise flashed through Toshinori, but the boy took his silence as something else. “I’m sorry! Please don’t report me!”

Toshinori felt his grin become a little more genuine at his flustered hands. “Why would I report you, young man?”

“... Because of illegal quirk usage?”

Toshinori laughed slightly. “It’s fine young man!” He paused. “Ah, but why are you cleaning it anyway?”

“Oh, um, this beach has always had trash drift onto it due to the cross-circulation of the currents and recently people have started illegally dumping their trash here because it’s so easily covered. No one visits anymore but.. some people say it used to be very pretty.” He paused. “Um, including you, I guess?”

“Honestly, it’s a good thing. It was a shame that this beach was so polluted. I’m quite impressed, young man”

The greenette shuffled his feet, ears pink. “Can’t believe I was praised by All Might.” He muttered, awe-struck. Toshinori stifled his laughter. Toshinori was glad to see that this boy’s admiration wasn’t affected by knowledge of his weakness. (Or by how he crushed his dream.)

“I must say though! This is quite an... endeavor on your own! Why not enlist the aid of the community?”

“I need to train my quirk and get stronger! I—” The boy paused.

“Young man?” Toshinori watched as the boys flustered look faded away and was replaced with a steely gaze encroaching on a glare.

“I decided that no matter what other people think, no matter what holds me back, no matter what mistakes I make...”

Ah. Toshinori wished he hadn’t said what he said more every time he met the boy. He had dismissed him far to early.

“I’m going to become a hero!” He finished with a wide grin. For a moment, Toshinori was awed at the strange strength that filled the small boy. He felt a genuine grin stretching across his face despite the pang of regret. What a perfect successor this boy would have made…

“That’s wonderful, my boy.” He said warmly. Instantly, the boy became flustered again, fluffling the back of his hair awkwardly. Toshinori looked on fondly. A thought struck him suddenly. “Where do you plan to go to school, young man?”

“U.A.!” He squeaked. He looked thoughtfully down at the ground, a light flush spreading over his face. “If I can, I definitely want to go to U.A.” The boy looked up. “Because it’s the school you went to, All Might!”

Toshinori buffed up, holding out a thumbs-up. “ You’re a go-getter type fanboy, aren’t you?

“Y-yes!!” He yelped, flinching back slightly from Toshinori’s transformation.

Well, ” All Might held a hand up to the side of his mouth. “ What’s your name again?

“Midoriya! Midoriya Izuku!”

Well, Young Midoriya, if you plan to get into U.A., I hope you’re not just training your quirk?

“No sir!” Midoriya dissolved into mumbling which All Might could only understand some of. He was listing his training regime, though it was certainly advanced and well planned, it also wasn’t really adding up.

Young Midoriya, this is, quite frankly, a very difficult training regime! ” All Might paused running the times Midoriya has mentioned through his head one more time. “ You don’t appear to have included time for school, or even sleep?

“Ah! I’ve actually already graduated, so…”

Still, this is quite difficult! Remember that overworking yourself can have the opposite effect! ” All Might glanced at Midoriya’s skinny frame. “ Have you been able to keep up with this regime?”

Yes! I’ve been following it everyday since the sludge monster.” All Might was a bit confused.

Approximately two months, huh? To be honest the results don’t seem directly proportional to the amount of work you’ve needn’t doing. ” He eyed the boys skinny limbs pointedly.

“Oh, I guess I just don’t really bulk up much. I have gotten a lot stronger though!” Midoriya raises his finger, twisting his thumbs around. “I always feel like I have to work harder than everyone else, but…” His green eyes lowered, becoming watery, pensive sadness clouding them. “I feel like I’ve been blessed with a quirk I didn’t deserve in the least, and it’s almost like I cheated. I shouldn’t even be ali—” The boy swallowed heavily.

He wondered how this young boy could change his attitude so quickly. All Might wondered what this boy had been through in his life. One second he had been so proud and strong, but now… now he needed reassurance. All Might deflated and lay a large hand on Midoriya’s shoulder.

“Young Midoriya, there is a great difference between being blessed and deserving a blessing. I’m inclined to believe that you are very much the latter. Whether or not you earned it, regardless, you are certainly deserving of it.”

“All Might...” Midoriya sniffled, looking up at Toshinori, eyes overflowing with sparkling tears.

“Heh, if you want to be a hero, you’ll have to dry those leaky eyes of yours, Young Midoriya!”

Midoriya nodded, wiping off his eyes with a sleeve. “That’s more like it, my boy—“ Toshinori was cut off with a hacking cough, blood spilling down the side of his mouth.


“All Might!!” Izuku shrieked as his idol spewed blood out. It can’t have been too severe an emergency, the ghost was treating it like a common occupancy. (But how could coughing blood EVER be normal??!!)

“Are you okay??” Izuku asked, worried creasing his brow.

“I’m fine, Young Midoriya—“ he was interrupted by another cut of hacking coughs. All Might reached a shaking hand into his pocket, but they came out with nothing. “Shit.” He cursed, wiping at the blood on his chin with his hand. skeletal hand.

“Um, All Might-san?” Izuku asked hesitantly. “Do you want me to run to the konbini? There’s one not far away, and I can grab some tissues?” Izuku hoped it didn’t seem to invasive. Or worse than that, condescending. Of course All Might could take care of himself, he was All Might . But Izuku knew he was also Yagi Toshinori, and Yagi Toshinori was a regular person.

“No, no, I can’t ask that of you, Young Mi—“ he coughed again, a veritable stream of blood coming out and running down his face. Izuku stared at its passage in wide eyed horror.

“Please?” He asked hoarsely, eyes still trained on the blood. “At least let me walk you there?”

All Might considered, before nodding. “All right, Young Midoriya. I confess that I don’t know where it is, anyway.”

Izuku nodded and instantly turned around and began leading the way. It wasn’t far, just across the street a little ways.

That was helpful, since the awkward silence between them was more than stifling. More than a few minutes of it and Izuku was sure he’d manage to die again.

Izuku checked the street before taking a few quick steps to cross it, only to pause in the middle as a flash of fire seemed to fizzle through his spine. It left a sense of artificial panic burning through his head, and in a heartbeat, he had turned around and shoved Toshinori as hard as he could, taking a few steps forward with his momentum, heartbeats pounding in his ear. Izuku’s fingers tingled as the feeling subsided with the loud rushing of a car passing by far too fast.

A car that most certainly would have hit All Might if… whatever that was hadn’t happened to Izuku.

A car could have been the end of the Symbol of. Peace. Holy shit. Izuku had saved the life of the Number One Hero.

Izuku had also pushed the frail man off his feat, unbraced as he was for a shove (ohmygoshheknockedoverTHEnumberonehero!!!), and All Might remained on the ground, staring with the dulled shock that was typical of pro-heros.

“All Might-san! Are you alright!???? I’m so sorry I pushed you so roughly! I swear I didn’t mean to!”

All Might laughed lowly, placing an arm down and pushing himself to his feet. “It’s alright, young Midoriya.” He glanced at the direction the car had sped away. “I’m actually incredibly impressed! You reacted even more quickly than I did, which is no mean feat!”

“Um, thank you All Mig--” Izuku flinched as All Might gently chopped a hand over his head.

“That said, you should have been much more careful, young man!! Had you not stumbled forward with me, you may have been seriously injured!” Izuku decided not to mention that he was a ghost and doubted that a car would hurt him for long. “So please be more careful about your own safety next time, young Midoriya.”

“Yes sir, All Might-san!!” Izuku yelped, voice cracking slightly at his high tone. All Might nodded satisfied.

“Good.”

• • • •

They continued to the convenience store, and despite being in the presence of his favorite hero, Izuku remained silent. (He was trying his best to, actually) Izuku had no idea what had happened that enabled him to react so quickly-- he had been moving before he even knew what he was reacting to. The burning was strange, not quite painful so much as curious, like holding a hand a little too close to the flame of a candle-- that weird tingly heat.

They entered in the store, Izuku just vaguely aware of All Might giving him a concerned look as he remained silent. After a second, he left to go find some tissues and walked over to the cashier.

Izuku stood in the entrance of the store, trying to figure out what that feeling was. What sort of ghostly ability fit it? What was it?

...

And why was it back?

“All Might--!”

The glass walls of the convenience store shattered, raining fragments of glittering crystal on Izuku. If Izuku hadn’t rolled out of the way, it would have been much worse, massive shards cutting through his fragile skin.

A villain with a long spiked tail stood in the doorway. A slightly panicked expression was on his reptilian face, and heavy looking bags were held in his hands.

“You two bastards are all my hostages.” He flashed his tail menacingly. “Behave, or I’ll kill you.”

Two? Izuku met All Might’s eyes and they realized the same thing. The villain had not noticed Izuku. That meant he could-- All Might realized what Izuku was about to do and as subtly as possibly, fervently mouthed “no”. Izuku sent him a reassuring smile and made a gesture that he should exit out the back so he could come back as All Might. He seemed to understand that Izuku wouldn’t stop, so mouthed “Be careful, kid” as he took a few subtle steps toward the exit.

Izuku slowly slunk over to the man, floating slightly as a precaution against his footsteps. Apparently it wasn’t enough though, as the man’s head snapped toward him just as Izuku got within distance to use his telepathy with enough force to actually do something. Unfortunately, it was also close enough for the man to swing one clawed arm forward and grab Izuku by his neck.

“Heh. You thought you could get the jump on me, brat? I didn’t notice you at first because you have no body heat, but human-shaped lack of heat was a dead giveaway” He paused, corners of his mouth lifting in a fanged smile. “Kinda like you’re gonna be a dead brat.”

The villain was squeezing his throat tightly, but though Izuku didn’t need to breath, the situation was sending panic through him, making it difficult to think of a plan. (Thermal vision or heat sensory similar to a pit-vipers, fangs, reptilian traits, spiky tail, likely prehensile, the spikes looked like they could be poisonous-- were they projectible?)

With the thermal sensing, the villain would probably still notice if All Might tried to leave, so Izuku needed to escape and set a distraction. Or just a distraction. Mind set, Izuku acted.

He exerted a push of pressure strong enough to break the man's fingers, and forcing them of Izuku’s neck. As he fell to the ground, Izuku landed in a crouch, and from his low position, he pulled the villain toward him, slamming the man into the ground, leaving small cracks of pressure through the linoleum tiles.

“What the-- you fucking kid! Let go of me, I’ll kill you!!” Izuku hopped to his feet, standing as far back as he could confidently go, exerting as much pressure as he could on the villain and blocking his vision as All Might left the store.

It didn’t take long for All Might to return and begin restraining the villain

“Thank you, my boy.” Izuku nodded, but All Might wasn’t done. “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t put yourself in danger though?” All Might raised an eyebrow and Izuku laughed sheepishly.

“It didn’t mean to, All Might-san! That’ll be the last time, I promise!” He swore as he stepped to the side. It was rather anticlimactic, but the blood still rang in Izuku’s ears. He had helped All Might take down a real villain! Izuku fanboyed in the corner as police sirens began to fill the air. (The villain had likely robbed something and been about to be caught by the police or some heroes when he entered the grocery store. Hostages weren’t used often because you never knew what quirks they might have, but they could still be effective, so Izuku could understand the villain’s decision)

A jet of fire ran up Izuku’s spine as the villain tail shifted slightly. It was a quick movement, but before it had ended, Izuku had flung himself forward and knocked the lady to the side. He fell on his knees a little before her, and glanced with wide eyes at the large spike embedded in the wall beside him. All Might was also looking at the cracked wall, black eyes widened in surprise. He looked back at Izuku, only a centimeter away from being impaled.

“Midoriya-shounen!!! Didn’t we just talk about this??!!!! Twice!!”

Chapter Text

Izuku tried to avoid fights, he really did! But everytime the burning jolt ran up his back and tingled at his neck, he couldn’t help but run in the direction it pulled him.

It had grown more common over the past few weeks, an itch that tugged his feet a different path than usual. Disasters grew common in Izuku’s (un)life and he decided against even attempting to resist the pull.

That was, of course, how he ended up in a dark alley at night, once again watching Eraserhead fight. He stood incorporeal, not wanting to disturb the pro, but that didn’t keep him from fanboying as the hero judo-flipped someone approaching him from behind. Izuku beamed, but startled and nearly jumped out of his skin as something heavy landed on his head. Izuku shot to his feet and screeched, (kyaaahhhh!!) losing his invisibility in the process and drawing the attention of the final villain remaining and Eraserhead.

A moment of silence passed as the two stared at Izuku.

“...Hi?” Izuku wondered if he could somehow subtly reach up and figure out what it was on his head, because the weight was still there and not moving.

Eraserhead recovered first, hand reaching up to grab at his scarf and assuming a more defensive position. “Get out of here kid.”

Unfortunately, he was too late as the villain back flipped over Aizawa— agility quirk?— and wrapped her thin arm around his neck. (Did his quirk make him a hostage-situation magnet? Why did this happen to him almost every time he followed the pull?)

As he was jerked back, the weight slid off his head and down his back. He really wished he knew what it was that had landed on him when he was incorporeal. That shouldn’t have been possible by definition.

“Don’t move hero, or the kid gets it.” She hissed. Eraserhead stiffened, arms relaxing away from his scarf. Izuku winced, wishing he could tell him not to do that, that he’d be fine, etc. Izuku met the underground hero’s eyes, trying to communicate this, but it was probably too dark in the alley to tell, as Eraserheads expression didn’t change at all. (With hope, it was dark enough that Eraserhead couldn’t even make out Izuku’s face. He’d prefer not to be arrested again.)

Sighing, Izuku reached up to tap the villain’s arm. “Excuse me, could you please let me go?”

The women looks down at him for a moment before snorting. “Are you joking me, kid? Why the fuck would I let you go?”

Izuku shrugged. “Dunno, but okay.” Izuku phased through her arms, landing hard on her feet, Straightening quickly, he slammed his head into her chin, causing her to jerk back slightly with a choked yowl. Turning around (imitating a move of Eraserheads he had practiced often), Izuku swung his elbow around into her stomach. She keeled over, a breath wheezing out of her stomach before Izuku turned to the hero, sending a small cheeky salute and sprinting in the other direction.

“Hey wait, kid, I need to take you into the police station--” Izuku ignored the hero’s call as he dashed onto the street.

“It’s alright, I know where it is!” He called over his shoulder. And it’s not like he didn’t, in fact, Izuku planned to go there so they could send some people to arrest the villain. In a few minutes, Izuku was skidding into the nearest police department.

The receptionist looked up as the door slammed open, greeting him lazily. “Hi Midori, what happened this time?”

“Nothing much!” He said cheerily. “Just gotta let Sansa-san know that Eraserhead restrained a criminal.

The receptionist-- Teku Suke-- nodded understandingly, pressing a pager button. “Okay Midori, he should be here soon. We’ve newly implemented the ‘Midori Button’, so he should know that your here.”

“Sure, Suke-san.” Izuku laughed a little, but Suke’s empty face didn’t chance… Did they actually have a button? (Her quirk was called “personal expression”, giving her control of her expression and body language at all times, but it could be unnerving when she didn't choose to change it and just remained deadpan. Izuku had a hard time telling if she was serious.)

Izuku surreptitiously raised on his toes, trying to see if there really was a “Midori button” but in that moment, Sansa walked out of the doors leading to the back of the police station. The cat headed police officer appeared to sniff the air once before sighing and looking up from his papers. “Midoriya-kun, what happened this time?”


“Eraserhead restained a group of thugs in an alley off Block 1. I figured it was too many for him to carry, so he may need help.”

Sansa nodded, quickly directing the two men behind him to go to the alley, turning back to Izuku. “Anything of note to report, or eviden-- why do you have a cat?”

“I don’t have a cat?”

Sansa hmmed in a disbelieving low purr. “Okay then. Whatever, I guess. No injuries?”

“Nope! Not this time!”

Sansa sighed. “This time,” he muttered. “Okay, you’re free to go.”

“Hai! See you tomorrow!”

“See you tomorrow,” Suke droned abruptly from the desk.

Sansa meowed irritably. “Let’s hope not.” A blond man poked his head out from the back.

“Who was that? Don’t we need to keep them in for questioning?” He asked, brows furrowed.

“No, we’ve given up on getting statements from him in most cases.”

“Uh, But isn’t that kinda against protocol?”

“Midori is something of an exception. He gets into a few accidents nearly every day. It was suspicious at first, but it was really just chance. I swear the kid’s quirk is actually bad luck, not physics manipulation. He comes in so often that no one ever bothers with the pointless legal protocols with him anymore. It’s nice having such a positive person around so often anyway, so we don’t really mind anymore. Midori-san--his mother--is okay with it so long as he isn’t injured.”

“Midori?” The Officer questioned, a look of deep thought furrowing his brows.

“Yeah. You know him?”

“I don’t know. The name is familiar though. Maybe it was a little different? I think it was from a botched suicide case a while back? A system glitch destroyed all the data on it”

“Nah. Midori and his mom seem pretty happy. I doubt that your Midori is related to him. Besides, it is a code name, so it’s probably just a coincidence.”

“Code name?” The blonde officer looked toward the door. “Hmm…” He seemed to open his mouth to say something more, but at that moment, the bell at the front door rang, and the two officers with restrained thugs entered just a little behind Eraserhead.

“Aizawa-San. Good to see you again.” Sanasa greeted. “Nice job out there tonight.”

“Where’s the kid?”

Sansa stifled back the instinctual mewl of surprise. Eraserhead was known for rarely involving himself with citizens. (Then again, Sansa wasn’t sure Midoriya counted as a citizen at this point.) Still, he was as blunt as ever.

“Midori went home already.”

Aizawa’s eyes flashed quickly in surprise. “It’s only been a few minutes, did he leave without permission?”

“Ah, sorry, Midori comes here a lot, so it’s fine. If we end up needing additional information, I can just contact him.”

“Is he a vigilante?” Sansa nearly choked at Aizawa’s blasé question.

“Ah, no. He’s kinda a unique case… I can’t really tell you more than that.”

Aizawa stiffened. “Why? I have fairly close ties with the police force, and I’m a pro hero. It’s not logical that you can’t—“

“Sorry. Midori is kinda on a need-to-know basis thing. He’s been in a lot of incidents, and the last thing we need is more people targeting him. That’s why we have the code name, and—“

“Midori isn’t his real name?” Sansa mrr’owed laughingly.

“It’s a little too on the nose for that, isn’t it?” At Eraserhead’s skeptical silence, Sansa cleared his throat and continued. “We’re looking into making sure other districts and heros understand that he just tends to have bad luck, and he’s helped us restrain a few villains before, in technically legal ways. The issue is villains could target him even more if word got out, and that’s the last thing he needs.”

Eraserhead nodded, still very clearly skeptical, and followed the man into the back room to give his report.

Sansa looked back at the front door in amusement. Vigilante, huh? Probably more accurate than it needed to be.


Izuku stared at his reflection in the shop window, not really understanding what he was seeing.

A tuft of soft fur and black pointed ears was peeking out of his hood.

Huh.

Looks like he did have a cat. Where it came from, he didn’t know (...or did he? Was this what had landed on his head in the alley? But it had touched him while incorporeal? Could it have a quirk? It was rare but not impossible… Izuku had observed the principle of UA once, and it seemed more likely that an animal would have some form of ghosts touching quirk than one that made it as insanely smart as Nedzu-San) It seemed pretty comfortable in his hoodie. The cat’s—kitten’s actually because it was light enough he hadn’t felt it’s weight—was poking over his shoulder, staring into the window, it’s eyes unmoving. They were glossy and almost completely dilated, despite the bright light shining directly into them. Izuku slowly reached up to brush the kitten’s body, causing it to jump slightly as he picked it up and pulled it in front of his face so he could look at it better

A female, and just as young as she’d felt. Although her amber eyes were unmoving, they were tempered by a current of pure, bright energy. She was blind, Izuku noted, as her eyes remained still even as she sniffed around and seemed to search the air for scents. Izuku stifled a squeal at her small pink nose twitching (He’d forgotten how much he loved cats). Her fur felt like a cloud under his hands, and it split her face in half, one side black and the other orange trailing into a fluff of spiky cream fur at her chest.

He was keeping her.

When he got home, he tried to sneak in, figuring it would be better to ask to keep the kitten in the morning when his mom was less tired. Of course, she was instead sitting in the couch, staring straight at the door, clearly waiting for him.

“Izuku” his mom asked, face carefully clear of emotion. “What is this.”

“This is Kohaku! She’s my kitten! We can call her Koko or Kokochan, though!” Izuku wondered if it was a bit too much that he had already named her.

“I don’t recall giving you permission to adopt a cat,” His mom sighed, smiled twitching at the corner of her lip. “But I guess I have no chance at convincing you to take her to a shelter.”

“Nope!” Izuku smiled, setting the kitten down. Her fur fluffed up as her paws made contact with the cold floor, but after she sniffed the air for a second, her little body relaxed. She lifted up her head confidently as though she was the owner of the house, but with a single step forward, she tripped over her own paws and face planted into the floor. She mewed irritably and Izuku’s mom chuckled as she knelt and righted her, fingers brushing gently through her soft fur and over her ears.

“She really is cute. Do you need money to buy supplies for her?” Izuku knelt next to his mom holding out his arm for her to sniff, and laughed as she clawed her way up his sleeve.

“It’s okay mom, I’ve already bought her stuff,” he laughed sheepishly. “It’s outside the door.” Izuku gestured with his opposite hand at the kitten, who was now trying to figure out how to climb onto his bent head. “Could you grab it for me, Mom?”

Inko nodded, laughing at Izuku as he yelped as the kitten yanked his head down and scrambled onto it. By the time she got back, Kokochan, was sleeping comfortably nestled in his hair.

Izuku sat stiffly, pleading with his eyes for her to help him. He didn’t want to disturb the sleeping kitten! She just smirked lightly as she walked past him.

“Mom!”

Inko smiled as she disappeared into the kitchen. This was nice. Things were so much happier now than they’d been in years. She just wished they’d been like this sooner… and she still had to have a talk with his son about how often he was getting into incidents!

• • • •

Sansa raised one eyebrow in disappointment at Izuku. “This is the fifth time this week, you know.”

“Yes, but that’s less than last week!” Izuku smiled triumphantly. Take that, you cat!

“Midoriya, it’s Tuesday. This is the third time today alone.”

Izuk reached up to scratch the back of his neck. Heh. It was hard for him to keep track of time when it didn’t matter to him. “Is it?”

Sansa ears twitched slightly. Izuku couldn’t tell if it was in amusement or irritation. “Yes, Midoriya. The police at HQ are beginning to wonder if you should be considered a threat or someone going against the law.”

Izuku eyes immediately lit up in panic. Had it really been that bad? He couldn’t get in trouble- it would damage his chances to get into UA! Seeing his look of worry, Sansa relaxed slightly, almost smiling (as much as a cat could).

“It’s okay, Midori. We’ve been talking to the heads about your situation.” Sansa reaches out and ruffled his hair. “Don’t worry, we’ll work something out.” Izuku beamed happily at the evident affection in Sansa’s voice. They really did care about him. (It was still such a new feeling to have all these people who actually liked and wanted to help him.)

“For now though,” Suke-San piped in, a smirk placed on her face. “We got something for you.” She reached below the desk, smirk not budging and pulled out a thin black box. Placing it on the counter and shoving it toward him.

Izuku walked carefully toward the box while Sansa shook his head in amusement. Koko-Chan jumped slightly on Sansa’s shoulder as his fur brushed her. She meowed, irritated at Sansa for disturbing her sleep. His ears twitched in response and Izuku smiled at the slightly offended look that came over his face. Sansa has told him before that for such a sweet kitten, she had a foul mouth. It’s just been a few days since Izuku found her, but she’s already become as much as a staple at the police office as he was.

Still smiling, Izuku lifted the lid off the box. Immediately, he burst out in gleeful laughter. Sitting nearly folded in the box, as if it was laughing at him was a dark green hoodie with the white words “vigilante costume” sitting bold in the center of the chest and “vigilante” running down the sleeve in English.

It came as no surprise to anyone that the next day, as he waltzed into the police station after another villain encounter, he was wearing the hoodie, Kokochan along for the ride.

(And if he struck a cheesy pose that forced even Suke-San to lose control of her features, that was between the three of them)


Omake if random blonde police officer had any actual personality

Izuku and Sansa: talking casually.

Blond dude enters; freezes; throws his papers on the ground and-- “KYAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! ITS A GHOST OH MY GOD WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE SOMEBODY HELP THE DEAD ARE WALKING-- Still screaming: runs out the front door.

Sansa: ….

Izuku: ……

Suke, not looking up from her computer: He seemed spirited :|

Sansa and Izuku: …..

Suke: Really, he was all-ghost about to panic himself to death. :|

Izuku: ….I suppose you could say he has some grave issues :)

Sansa: Face palms

Suke: (;

Sansa: You’re all dead to me.


Secondary Omake suggested by AnimeManiac (with some additions after AM)

All might: Izuku, what do you have there ?

Izuku: a danger magnet!

All might: NO-!

Sansa: DRoP iT nYA

Suke: Lol

The Police Force: Issues a document listing Izu as an S-Class danger (to himself)

The World: *screams in terror*

Everyone who's known Izu for a long time: Bold of you to assume he doesn't already have a collection of them.

Chapter Text

Izuku breathed deeply as he leaned back in the newly installed couch, kicking his feet up over the edge. “Hey Suke-san, can I please have my cat back?”

Suke’s raised her listless eyes from the computer to give him an impassive stare. “You know the rules. Sansa keeps the cat if you get in more than a two-accident-a-day average for a week.”

“But he can’t do that!” Izuku whined, throwing his head over the back of the couch. “It’s my kitten! Suke-san, surely you won’t stand for this! Fight on the side of justice!” Izuku pumped his fist into the air, but got no reaction.

“He’s my boss. I have to listen to his orders.” She said simply, maroon hair falling into her face as she looked back to the computer. Probably watching youtube cat videos again , Izuku thought.

“Ughh… why’d he go and get promoted? What happened to the old superintendent?”

“You ‘accidentally’ busted him for being involved in Trigger dealings.”

“Yeah, but Sansa is so unprofessional! I mean, stealing a kid’s cat?! He belongs in jail, right Suke-chan?”

“He acts differently on the job. It is also your fault that he has become so prominently known, as he recently broke the record of most cases dealt with in a year… after two months. Also, I told you not call me Suke-chan.”

Izuku ignored her. “Maybe I can file a report, Suke-chan?”

“What’s this about putting me in jail?” Izuku shot up into a respectable seated position.

“Nothing at all, Sansa-san. You must have misheard--”

“You didn’t, sir” Suke broke in. Izuku scowled askance at her, feeling betrayed, but continued.

“--Can I have Koko back now-- eep!” Izuku shrieked as Koko’s paws dug into his leg and her thin needle-like claws began kneading it. Izuku leaned over and peered into her eyes, noticing them to be even more dilated than usual. “Sansa-san…. You drugged her!”

“I did not. I gave her a catnip toy.” Izuku was not alone as he stared at Sansa, Suke joining him for once.

“...but isn’t that basically a drug for you too?” Suke nodded carefully in the background. Sansa’s ears twitched irritably (or maybe in embarrassment?)

“No. Catnip doesn't affect me.” Izuku exchanged a glance with Suke. Definitely embarrassed. Izuku shot to his feet and bowed frantically. He liked to tease them, but because he had started by teasing ghosts (who very rarely cared or got offended) he often forgot to take into account not everybody was okay with that kind of thing (and he sometimes (read:almost always) forgot to respect authority figures). It was still kind of a new part of his personality, and at times like this he reverted to his old timidity.

“I’m very sorry to make you uncomfortable Sansa-san! I was joking around, but I know that it could be seen as rude.” Izuku remained bowed, but straightened as a heavy hand landed on his head and ruffled his hair.

“It’s fine Midori-kun.” Sansa paused, adding as an afterthought. “But if you really want to apologize, please try not to get involved in another case until Friday.”

“But it’s Wednesday?” Izuku said, only half joking. At Sansa blank face, he hurriedly retracted his joke. ““Hai, Sansa-san! I’ll do my best!”

“Please promise me, Midori--”

Izuku bowed quickly as he left the police station, doorbell ringing in his wake.


Sansa and Suke stared at the door. “... He didn’t promise.” Sansa groaned, collapsing onto the coach they had installed for Midoriya, “That kid, I swear to god, Midori is going to take me to an early grave. I need to call Inko and let her know to keep a watch on him, again, don’t I?”

Suke nodded. Sansa sighed as he pulled out his phone and scrolled to the speed-dial function.

A few minutes later, with Inko’s worry and obvious amusement audible over the phone, Sansa began closing up the call. “I don’t think you’ll really have any luck keeping him out of trouble, but please tell Midori to be careful. We here at the station really care about that boy.” Somehow, Sansa could tell that Inko was tearing up, despite there being no sound of it.

“I’ll tell him that.” She choked out, through what were most-likely happy tears.

“Please don’t. Midori won’t let us live it down.”

Inko laughed wetly from the other side of the phone. “Okay, but for what it's worth, he cares about you all a lot as well. He hasn’t really trusted adults or figures of authority for a long time… it’s nice to see that his trust is returning. And I can really only thank you guys for that.”

“Ms. Midoriya--” Sansa swallowed heavily. “Can you tell me why Midori is like that--Suke and I noticed a while back, but it is difficult to broach the subject.”

“I’m sorry, but that’s Izuku’s decision,” She really did sound upset about it. More so than Sansa would have expected “Ah--” she seemed to hear something on the other side of the phone. “I have to go now. Bye Officer Sansa. Please tell Suke-chan ‘hi’ for me.”

“Ah, right. Tell Midori to remember that he’s supposed to stay out of trouble. He’s probably forgotten by now.”

“Of course.” Sansa could tell she was smiling as she hung up, which settled his nerves at least somewhat. Still, he couldn’t ignore how often both Midoriya’s avoided their questions, and he couldn't help but worry. Sansa held his phone out staring at it contemplatively. It really wasn’t something he could allow himself to ignore forever.

“Hope I’m not interrupting anything, Tamakawa-san?” Sansa ears flicked toward the voice and he was speaking before he’d even lifted his head.

“Tsukauchi-san! It’s good to see you again!” Sansa tilted his head at the extremely thin man standing beside him. “And…?”

“Yagi Toshinori,” the man said, dipping his head.

“An old friend;” Tsukauchi said. “I ran into him on the way over.” Sansa nodded politely.

“What brings you here, detective? I’d heard you’d be delegated to investigate the drug issues within the police force? I’d been under the impression that you weren’t returning to Musutafu for a while?”

“I’m here on official business from headquarters, actually. Funnily enough, about the person you were on call with.” Sansa ignored Yagi’s confused look as his ears perked in surprise.

“I’d been told it would take another few weeks at least?”

“After Midori discovered that your predecessor was involved with Trigger--” Sansa’s eyes darted to the blond man. Civilians weren’t supposed to find out that people in the police were using the illegal quirk enhancer. Seemingly reading his mind, the detective clarified before continuing. “It’s alright, Yagi-san isn’t a civilian,” Sansa noted that Tsukauchi didn’t clarify what he was. “Anway, they decided to make it more of a priority.”

“So then--”

“Yes, they’ve approved a restricted license. As long as he can provide proof of just cause--through surveillance videos, or witness testimonies--he is allowed to use his quirk to fight back and injure aggressors.”

“That’s good. The incidents have been getting more violent. He’s been able to scrape by using his quirk entirely defensively until now, but it worries us at the station.”

Detective Tsukauchi nodded, a small smile on his face at he co-workers obvious relief. He’d heard a lot about Midori and the scuffles he’d gotten into. “Just remember to remind him that this is in no way equivalent to a hero’s license, provisional or otherwise. Our superiors are still very suspicious of him, but so long as he never enters into a scene after conflict has started, it should be fine.”

“Shouldn’t be an issue.”

“Alright. I have to go now, Sansa.” Naomasa waved slightly as he headed out the door with a respectful nod. Yagi turned to follow, but hesitated in the doorway.

“This Midori, he doesn’t happen to be a kid about this tall” he held out a hand a little bit over the height of waist “and have a horrible habit of putting himself in trouble to help others?”

Sansa allowed his surprise to show. “You know him?”

Yagi nodded. “Indeed, I do. I haven’t seen the boy in a while, but I remember extracting a promise from him to not put himself in danger.” He glanced at the packet Sansa was holding that held the restricted license. “Evidently he has not kept it very well.”

Sansa laughed. “No. But he has helped a lot of people. He’s a good kid.”

Yagi nodded thoughtfully. “Yeah. He is.” Something else seemed to be on his mind, but the man raised a large hand in farewell as he followed the detective out. “A good kid.”


Toshinori stared at the beach in surprise and a bit of awe. Not a single speck of trash or even dirt was seen anywhere on an unexpectedly large stretch of beach. The light sand sparkled and stood out brilliantly against the vibrant teal waters. Holy shit. How did Midoriya-Shounen manage this so quickly? It had only been a little over a month since there were mounds upon mounds of trash on the beach, and according to the Tsukauchi, the kid had been involved in accidents nearly constantly. When had he found the time to do this? Surely he would have had to work through the night every single day!

“A-All Might-san???” The teen-in-question’s voice stuttered in surprise. “What are you doing here?”

Midoriya-shounen! I came to see you actually! ” All Might said buffing up.

“M-ME???? AllMightwantedtoseemeohmygodwhatcoulihavethatallmightwantsohmygoshwhatishappening”

Ahahahaha. Midoriya-shounen, I’ve heard quite a lot about you from my police friends.

Izuku jumped, eyes going round in shock and panicked worry. “I’m so sorry, All Might-san!” He nearly wailed. “I swear I didn’t mean to break my promise—I just got involved in so many accidents and I couldn’t just stand by and watch and my feet kept on moving without me thinking and I know you wanted me to stay safe but I honestly couldn’t help it I’m so sorry how could I break a promise to the All Might what have I done oh my god.”

All Might winced at the boy’s genuine panic and regret, and deflated purposely, hoping it would lessen the pressure on the teen. He reached out and chopped a hand lightly across the boy head. “I did tell you stay out of trouble, Midoriya-shounen.”

“Sorr—”

“But I cannot truly scold you. Many of the top heros have that in common with you. For moving without thought is the essence of a true hero!” Toshinori softened his voice. “You’ve helped many people, Young Midoriya, and your not even a hero student yet. I truly look forward to seeing your future.”

“All Might—“ Midoriya looked up at him, eyes sparkling with surprised happiness and pride in the dimming light of evening.

“Which is why I would like to play a role in it. Midoriya-shounen, since you have nearly finished your venture on cleaning this beach, would you allow me to help train you?”


“Ehhh??? TRAIN ME????” Izuku screeched, shock filling him.

“It’s still several months until the entrance exams for UA, young man, and I’ve noticed you’ve already finished your clearing of this beach-- well done! However, what do you plan to do to continue your training? You cannot fall lax simply once you’ve reached one goal! Rather, you must strive for another, further one! Plus Ultra!”

Izuku stared up at All Might, stars in his eyes. This was why he was the symbol of peace. So inspirational!! “Yes, All Might-san! I’d love that!”

“Great--”

“But what do you plan to teach me?” Izuk tapped a finger over his mouth. “I’ve already nearly completed my strength training and I don’t think there are more places for me to clean like this once I’ve finished and a gym is not only too expensive but also rather pointless at this point and I don’t really need to maintain my muscles for various reasons and I would think that you were referring to fighting ability but the fact is that my quirk would never allow me to fight in the same one-punch style as you so I don’t think your fighting style would help me all that much so I’m honestly kind of confused on what you want an--” Izuku realized he was rambling, and snapped his gaze up from the sand to All Might’s dark eyes. “Oh! It’s not that I’m not incredibly grateful and honored to be offered your tutelage I’m just confused as to how you’d be able to help me at all-- OH MY GOSH! That sounds so rude, I swear I don’t mean it like that, All Might-san!”

The hero laughed. “It’s alright, I can understand what you mean. I do doubt that our fighting styles would ever match up. But at least you could use me as a punching bag.”

Izuku stared at his thin form skeptically. All Might coughed out some blood in indignation “Not like this, of course! In my hero form.”

“But won’t that take away your hero-ing time? I wouldn’t want to do that, what if I keep you from saving people?”

All Might rubbed his neck sheepishly. “Honestly speaking, Chiyo told me I’m harming myself and possibly lowering my time by overworking myself, an alternative to villain would probably be welcomed by my health.”

Chiyo? That was Recovery Girl, right? “...But a punching bag?”

“A joke, my boy. In actuality, though I do not often use them myself, I am aware of various forms of martial arts, as my own mentor was partial to them.” Izuku found his gaze drifting to the ghost floating above All Might’s shoulder. There hadn’t been much reason to notice her for a while, since she had been quiet and Izuku didn’t want to seem strange staring at nothing, but the whole “mentor” thing brought her back to his attention.

Was it possible that this woman was the one who had trained All Might? Could she even be the former holder of One For All? She certainly looked like a hero, leanly muscled limbs showing through a caped jumpsuit that was clearly a hero suit. Her eyes were sharp but kind, and even as Izuku watched, she flashed a blindingly reassuring smile reminiscent of All Might’s to the man himself.

“Toshi, I hate to tell you this since you seem to like the pipsqueak, but you realize you’ve literally never fought in any way like me?” Well, that was a confirmation if Izuku had ever heard one. Now he really, really wanted to talk to the ghost, but he couldn’t do it with All Might around, so he returned his attention to the man who was still waiting for a response.

“All Might-san… I’ve watched almost every single fight of yours since your Japan debut and even researched most of your fights from your time in America… I don’t think I’ve seen even one instance of you doing anything other than kinda-boxing.”

The ghost laughed buoyantly. “This kid knows his stuff!”

“Ah, that’s true. I suppose I was hoping you wouldn’t think about it that much. However! I have experienced my fair share of fights, so I can at least give you pointers on your form and such!”

• • • •

As it turned out, All Might was absolutely no good whatsoever at teaching. His corrections were stuttering guesses at best and pointless at worst and Izuku absolutely did not have the heart to tell the emancipated man that. Izuku supposes that All Might didn’t really know what to expect when Izuku said he was going to utilize a completely different fighting style for close range stuff--the part he needed to practice.

Izuku had already done plenty of research on what fighting styles would work best for him, and although he did go with the cop-out decision of mixed martial arts, he did know what parts he wanted to “mix” in. Namely styles like aikido and judo flips-- but not the grappling, because quirks certainly did not make that a safe idea in villain fights. Izuku had put a lot of thought on his decision, largely based on how he would likely never buff up and didn’t have much in his arsenal that was useful for actually causing harm in close quarters other than the pulling, which would be extra effective with practice in Aikido.

And All Might was just… he was floundering, lost to the extent that the ghost had spent a good few minutes laying in the sand trying not to laugh at his puppy-like confusion. It was only now, about an hour later of All Might mostly just standing there and awkwardly watching Izuku run through some practiced movements that the ghost finally stepped in.

Izuku was running through a particular flip, trying to combine the judo elements with the smoothness of aikido, but every time he ran through his balance felt off, causing hesitation that could easily be a mistake mid battle. All Might, due to his experience fighting, noticed this, and tried his best to help.

“Try moving your legs out wide to distribute your weight more evenly, Midoriya-shounen.”

The ghost scowled shaking her head. “Toshi, I love you, but that’s literally the worst advice you could possible give this pipsqueak. He’s got a low center of balance so his weight is already too spread out to allow him to recover as he runs through the movement.” Izuku listened carefully, already shifting his feet in closer. “His legs should be in more of a line and not stretching as much, knees a little more bent in a dynamic pose, and his arm’s aren’t helping with his balance either.”

Slowly, deliberately, Izuku made eye contact with the ghost as moved his arms into a different pose, and raised his eyebrows questioningly. Shock shone clearly through her eyes, but with the adeptness of an aged pro, she recovered quickly.

“Like this,” she gestured, falling smoothly into a textbook pose, which Izuku mimicked to the best of his ability. “Well shit,” she breathed at the absolute confirmation he could see her. “Was not expecting this.” She looked at him carefully. “You can see and hear me?” Izuku nodded. “What does that have to do with telekinesis? It almost seems like a completely different quir—“ Her eyes flashed suddenly and she warily shifted back to block his path to All Might. Stony bite filled her voice as she stared down at him. “Two quirks… What do you want with Toshi. If you plan to hurt him, I swear I’ll find a way to stop you.”

Glancing at All Might— he was distracted, possibly texting someone on his phone— Izuku shook his head frantically. “Never! I would never hurt All Might! Why would you think that?”

“You have two quirks, there’s only one person who could do that.” She glared at him, sparks sizzling over her skin. “What are you planning?”

“Please, you misunderstand! I’m not involved with any villains! It’s really just the one quirk— I do have two but—” Seeing her glare growing more dangerous, Izuku rushed to clarify, desperation filling his voice. “I promise I can explain later! I swear I’m not lying!”

“Midoriya-shounen?” All Might asked, standing up from his seat on the wall. “Are you alright?” Izuku turned around to him, sending a pleading glance at the ghost to let him explain later.

“Sorry All Might-San! Just mumbling to myself!”

“You’re sure you’re alright, young man?”

“Yes,” he shot off the first excuse he could think of “I might just be getting tired and hungry, we’ve been at this a while, after all!”

All Might looked at the sky, just noticing how low the sun had sunk.

“Ah, my apologies! You probably leave sooner than this!” Izuku silently corrected that no, he usually worked through the night, but All Might didn’t need to know that. “Allow me to treat you to dinner!” Nana directed a warning glare at him.

Izuku yelped. “Nonono I cant allow you to do that”

“I insist!”

“No, it’s really fine, I swear—”

“Let’s go! I know a great ramen shop nearby!” Izuku knew he wasn’t going to be able to deny the force of All Might’s will, so he reluctantly allowed himself to be pushed along, shooting an apologizing and pleading glance for understanding at the defensive ghost.

Once they left the beach, they stood at a familiar crosswalk, waiting for the walking light to calm on. As they walked across the street, Izuku felt the way to familiar feeling of encroaching danger. As they reached the other end of the street, a teenager with headphones in walked past them, head down, fatigue seeming to drag his shoulders down. In a split second decision, Izuku shot out his arm, holding the boy back from crossing. The teen turned a slightly confused violet glare at him, purple hair sticking out wildly.

“What are you—“

In that second a large truck zoomed past, buffeting then with harsh gasoline-scented air. As soon as it had passed, Izuku promptly returned his arm to his side, flush covering his face for almost groping at the tall teen. “I’m so sorry! I just didn’t want you to get hurt!”

The teen’s drooping eyes widened as he followed the path of the truck. “How did you—“

“I really am sorry!” Izuku squeaked, bowing as he hurried the last few steps to catch up with All Might who was watching the confrontation, a vaguely worrying look of consideration on his face. Izuku turned to flash a small smile at the boy as he stepped up into the curb. “Please watch streets more carefully! I don’t want you to get hurt!”

[Once they had left, the teen stared after the literal embodiment of sunshine, trying to tame the flush that had unwillingly covered his face.]

• • • •

Izukus fidgeted with his chopsticks as he sat uncomfortably in the both with All Might, his ghost still staring him down. They had already ordered (Izuku hadn’t been allowed to order plain rice, so he ordered the least salty-seeming ramen and hoped he could manage a few bites) and had not yet talked, All Might surprisingly comfortably with the silence.

“All Might—“ he started, a little to loudly, causing the man to kind of jolt quietly as they gained a few eyes.

“Midoriya-shounen, I’d rather you don’t call me that in this form.”

“O-oh.” Izuku flushed. “What would you like me to call you, Al— sir.”

“Toshinori is fine.” Izuku’s eyes flicked up from the napkin. Toshinori ? All Might was willing to let Izuku call him by his real name? Izuku squealed inwardly. It was like a childhood dream!

“Ahhh, um, Toshinori-san,” he turned red (was this real life?) “What did you want to talk about?”

“Your training, young man! I guess I failed to realize how inept I’d be at it.”

“Oh.” Izuku deflated. “I understand that you don’t want to teach me anymore.”

“No, no, no. You misunderstand my boy! I intend to keep training you, but I can acknowledge that our styles are vastly different. The most I could help you do is learn to be less telegraphic about your movements.” That wasn’t too bad an idea, Izuku reckoned. “But also, you do have a small stretch of the beach left, in the distance, which you could probably finish up quickly, but I have a lot of practice in strength training, so I can give you advice to utilize it most effective and exercise different muscle groups than perhaps what you originally used!” All Might held out his phone, displaying a document— probably what he had been doing at the beach— outlining an exercise plan. “The Aim-To-Pass American Dream Plan”. (Izuku tried not to laugh at the English name. He wondered if All Might knew he could understand the language.)

Thinking about it, Izuku realized that he had only really trained his arms, legs, and back through his style of cleaning, and perhaps neglected the less obvious muscles. He just hadn’t been able to think of ways to efficiently train them, but the experienced pro would likely have more ideas “I’d love that!”

The waiter came by and dropped off their foods as they talked a little longer about what All Might could legitimately help him with. They took some bites between the taking, both picking at the food more than eating it. It occurred to Izuku that a restaurant wasn’t the best place to go for someone who can’t consume salt and someone who doesn’t have a stomach.

“Furthermore,” All Might continued, “I’d like to reintroduce the offer I made earlier.”

“What do you mean?” Izuku asked, trying to figure out what order he was referring to.

“My boy, every time I meet you I grow more and more impressed by you and your heroic spirit! This is why is like to once again offer you my quirk!”

Izuku dropped his chopsticks and stared blankly at All Might, the ghost at his shoulder giving Izuku a similar look, if more calculating. “...what?”

“I’d like to give you my quirk! The longer I know you, less and less can I imagine possibly passing down my legacy to anyone else!”

“All—Toshinori-san! I’m still very honored that you consider me fit for that, but as I told you before, I really can’t accept—“

“But if you’d just reconsider—“ Izuku felt the guilt rising in him again, perhaps causing him to grow a little snappish.

“Please, Toshinori-san, I’m very grateful for your offer to train me, but if it was only with the intent of passing on your quirk than I’m going to have to leave.” Izuku carefully straighten his chopsticks and stood with a slight bow.

“My boy—“ All Might sighed, defeated. “I understand you don’t want my quirk, but I’d still very much like to train you.” Izuku looked skeptically at him.

“Can you promise not to offer me your quirk as long we’re training?”

“Yes, my boy. I can’t understand your reluctance, but though I don’t know you well, I find myself doubting that you don’t have a reason. I promise I will not pester you about accepting it as we train.” [Of course, Yagi thought, that didn’t mean he couldn’t offer it once they had finished.]

• • • •

A short while later, they had ‘finished’ their meals (or rather the few bites either could handle) and managed to dispel the awkwardness after a few minutes of stilted conversation, not helped by the presence of the protective ghost.

They left afterward, All Might insisting on accompanying him home. Izuku began to wonder if he had perhaps been enlisted by the police to keep an eye on him. For once, he wished his favorite hero would leave so that he could explain himself to the ghost.

It was a few minutes later, walking in the shopping district that Izuku accidentally slammed into a solid body.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention I really should have—“

“Deku?” Izuku felt his body freeze. He hadn’t seen Kacchan in months aside from the occasional glimpse, which was a longer time than it had ever been in his entire existence, since he saw Kacchan often during the four months that he couldn’t manifest. Izuku didn’t look up from the ground as he greeted the teen. “Ka-Kacchan.” His voice wavered and Izuku felt like crying. He’d tried to move past it, but he guessed it was still hard dealing with how Kacchan had abandoned him after the school incident. All Might, perhaps sending Izuku’s desperation to get away, stepped forward and laid a comforting hand on Izuku’s shoulder.

“My boy?” He questioned quietly. The inflection in his voice that implied he be willing to make Kacchan disappear if Izuku wanted him gone almost made him laugh, but instead he shook his head gently.

“I’m alright, Toshinori-san, he responded in a subtle whisper.

“Who’s this skeleton fucker?” Katsuki asked brashly, breaking the sudden quietness. Izuku inhaled sharply, panic flushing his features and overcoming his awkwardness.

“KACCHAN!” Izuku shrieked. “How can you say that to All—“ All Might’s hand on his shoulder flinched, probably with more force than intended as Izuku felt like his bones were nearly breaking. Apparently the latent strength from his quirk didn’t just affect All Might in his muscle-bound form. Noticing the slight wince of pain from Izuku that caused him to abruptly stop speaking, Katsuki turned his scowling glare on the skeletal hero.

“You better not being getting Deku into anything shady, you bastard.

Izuku opened his mouth to defend All Might again, but All Might best him to it.

“I’m Toshinori Yagi, a representative of the Hero-Police Partnership.”

“The fuck? What do you want with Deku?”

“Ahah, you know your friend. Young Midoriya gets himself into far too many accidents, so I’m here to assist in his training!”

Katsuki returned his sharp glare to Izuku, causing him to fidget nervously. This probably wouldn’t go down well. “What the fuck is he talking about, shitty nerd?”

“Ahahaha…” Izuku laughed nervously. “I’ve gotten involved in a few villain accidents lately, really nothing to worry about, Kacchan.”

“That’s a bit of an understatement,” All Might said almost scoldingly. “You’ve gotten into nearly—“ Izuku prayed to the gods for forgiveness as he elbowed All Might in the side, carefully making sure he hit the side without injury.

“I’m sorry Kacchan, but I really have to get going.” Izuku apologized awkwardly, scooting off to the side to make their exit.

“Deku—“ Katsuki started. Izuku turned his gaze with a question in it to his friend. “Never mind,” he dismissed gruffly. “Good luck with your training or whatever.”

Izuku brightened slightly, a small beam splitting his face. “Okay, Kacchan!” Katsuki grunted in response raising in a hand up in a dismissive wave as he stalked away.

It wasn't exactly the interaction Izuku had imagine occuring, but Izuku was glad Katsuki hadn’t ignored him again. Maybe they were making progress! But then, it wasn't really much of a conversation, was it...

Izuku looked up from his thoughts, recognizing the playground near his apartment complex.

“Oh, All Might! You can leave me here!” All Might nodded.

“Alright, Midoriya-shounen.” He reached out and ruffled Izuku’s hair. “Didn’t I tell you to call me Toshinori?”

“R-Right! Toshinori-san! I’ll meet you at Daboga tomorrow?” After confirming what time they would meet, All Might waved in farewell, leaving his ghost behind for perhaps the first time in years.

“U-um, All-Might’s-Ghost-san, I really promise I'm not--” Izuku was broken off by nearly cackling snickers from the women. “All-Might’s-Ghost-san?” The women dissolved into complete laughter, leaning over and clutching at her stomach.

“By god, pipsqueak,” she choked out through wheezing laughter. “I don’t know how I thought you might be involved with All for One. You’re an actual cinnamon roll. I was just paranoid.”

“...Cinnamon roll?”

“That’s what you find important?” the ghost asked, laughter resuming, but smaller this time. Izuku flushed heavily(what kinda skewed priorities did he have???).

“It’s not that! It’s just, I can’t blame you for being wary of me! It’s good that you’re careful! I mean, I was a little bit hurt but it honestly doesn’t matter at all!”

“It’s alright, Greeny, you’re not at fault.” She reached out to ruffle his hair but stopped just above it. Izuku figured she didn’t realize that she could make contact. He had learned a while ago that ghosts couldn’t really touch each other, much less touch physical things. “I do have to ask though, your two quirks… Telekinesis and the ability to talk to ghosts don’t really fit together.”

“About that…” izuku allowed himself to flicker in and out of tangibility. “That’s not really my quirk.” The woman’s eyes remained glued to his flickering form.

“Then--”

“My quirk allows me to interact with the physical plane.”

The woman tore her eyes up to meet Izuku’s eyes, voice catching. “You mean--”

“I’m a ghost too.”

In an instant, the woman had surged forward, wrapping her arms around him, tensing only slightly as she realized she had actually succeeded in hugging him. “How? You definitely weren’t dead that first day All Might met you? Did you die at the sludge villain--”

“NO!” Izuku yelped, before forcibly calming himself. “No, All Might didn’t fail to save me.” He smiled melancholically. “He’s never failed to save anyone once he arrived at the scene. I did die that day, but it wasn’t his--” Izuku tried to continue, tried to say that it wasn’t All Might’s fault, but some part of him, maybe even a large part, knew he didn’t believe that fully. Because, the truth is, if All Might hadn’t told him he couldn’t be a hero, Izuku would not have died that day.

Instead of continuing his sentence, Izuku kept his eyes on the ground, but his choke had been enough to key the ghost in, if her gasp was anything to guess by. With a quiet sigh, Izuku began telling his story.

• • • •

“I’m going to kill him,” the ghost said as soon as Izuku finished, standing and pushing up imaginary sleeves. “I swear to god I’m gonna kill that idiot. He’s a great hero, but if he’s not the most insensitive, hypocritical bastard in the world--”

“Ms. Ghost-san, please stop!” She was the first person Izuku had told the full truth, and if her reaction was something to base them off of, he shuddered to think how Kacchan would react (Or worse, how either of their mom’s would react. Izuku could picture Mitsuki killing All Might while his mom looked on). “You can’t actually touch him anyway; so--!”

The ghost looked back at him from halfway across the park, sighing and as her vibrant anger left her, she almost seemed to deflate into a much smaller woman. “I know, pipsqueak. I just thought I taught Toshi better. You didn’t deserve to be told that.”

“Maybe not,” Izuku smiled gently. “But it happened and it’s too late to go back now. All I can do is look forward for the future and hopefully keep others from feeling that same hopelessness I felt. I don’t want to just save people's lives, but theirs hearts and their dreams as well.

Izuku lifted his eyes to the sky, thousands of brilliant stars reflecting glossily in them. “It… can be easier to help others than yourself, but there are thousands out there who need help… and I want to be able to help them to the best of my ability…I won’t give up until I’ve saved as many people as I can” He turned his eyes to the ghost of Nana Shimura, eyes burning with emerald fire. “ And I refuse to ever give up again!”

Chapter Text

Ochako took a deep breath as she stared up at the gates of the school. This was it! Today was the start of her future. Hopping up and down slightly, she pumped her fist positively. She was going to be a hero and help her parents!

Newly energized, Ochako walked toward the door. She whistled slightly as she looked at the throngs of people. U.A. really was such an elite school! Someone behind her pushed her forward a bit, and Ochako was only just able to keep himself from bumping into a boy with fluffy green hair (It looked so soft! Was it weird that she wanted to touch it?) but it turned out not to matter anyway, because a second later, the boy tripped.

Ochako reached out to tap him so he wouldn't have to face plant, but nothing happened. "Ah?" She blinked in surprise as her hand appeared to go right through the boy's back. (Must have been a trick of the eye.) Uraraka stiffened a giggle as she noticed how suddenly resigned he appeared as he allowed himself to fall completely flat on his face, stiff as a board. It was pretty comical actually, and she heard some sniggers in the background, so she couldn't just leave the poor boy there!

"Ah! I'm sorry! Are you alright! I tried to help you! It's a bad omen to fall, after all, but I'm afraid I missed!"

The boy rolled over, blinking up at her with bright, curious eyes. (Aww! He was kinda plain, but cute!)

"It's alright! This happens all the time, actually…"

Ochako smiled at his quiet reaction. "It's nerve wracking, isn't it—"

She blinked as an actual cat (what the heck?) wriggled it's way out of his hoodie, staring with large eyes at Ochako. Then it yawned, tilting its head up to sniff at the boys chin, and meowed loudly.

"Ah! Kokochan! I thought I left you at home!" The boy yelped, pulling the cat out of his coat and into his arms, but it wiggled out and climbed onto his shoulders. (Really though, why did he have a cat?) Ochako stifled a giggle behind her hands, before reaching one out.

"Here, let me help you up!" Ochako reached out her hand only to be interrupted as a blond boy with sharp eyes reached down and grabbed tightly around the green boy's arm.

"Oh, Kacchan!" The boy said as he turned his head to look at the red-eyed teen. (He'd known who it was just by the hand on his arm?)

"Shitty Deku." The angry looking boy yanked the green boy up and began pulling him away. The greenette (Deku?) sent an Ochako apologetic glance as he was dragged away.

"Sorry about him! Good luck on the exam!" She beamed at him.

"You too!" Ochako agreed cheerfully. She waited before she knew they wouldn't turn around to stick her tongue out at the blonde. What a meanie!

If someone like him could apply to UA, so could she! With a quick nod of affirmation to herself, Ochako bounced slightly as she marched into the entrance.


 

"Kaaccchaaaaann" Izuku whined quietly. "You didn't have to be so rude! She was just trying to help."

"Fuck her."

"Kacchan!" Izuku yelped.

"She should have fucking helped you up sooner! Instead she just gave you fucking googly eyes and stared at your fucking cat."

Was that what Kacchan had been upset about? That she had just watched him sit on the floor? Izuku wanted to thank him, but they had fallen into an awkward silence that he didn't know how to break. They hadn't talked in a few months, since he ran into him after dinner with Toshinori-san. (He still couldn't believe All Might allowed him to call him by his first name-it must have been an America thing!) It was always easy falling back into an old pattern with Katsuki, but hard to keep it up.

"...Why did you bring a fucking cat anyway? When did you even get that fleabag?"

"Kacchan! Don't call Kohaku a fleabag! You'll hurt her feelings!"

"She's a cat."

"Sansa says she understands us!"

"Who the fuck is Sansa?"

"He's the superin-" Izuku coughed. Kacchan most likely would not be happy to learn about all the fights he'd been getting into. "A super important person that you don't need to know about.

"HAAH?"

"Anyway, look at Kohaku! You've upset her!" And it actually did look like he had. Her nose was pointed obstinately away from him, even though she usually wanted nothing more than to sniff the new people she met. Kacchan rolled his eyes before looking back at the cat and scoffing.

"Heh."

"'Heh'? What's that supposed to mean?"

"Of course a shitty nerd like you would give her a dumbass name like Kohaku."

"Ehhhh? I think it's fitting! It was either that or Catchan, Kacchan!"

"You wouldn't have dared."

"Yes I would have! I definitely would have!"

"Peh."

"Peh?" Izuku repeated, affronted.

"It's still a stupid name."

"Hey, everyone say they like her name! You're just stupid. Stupid Kacchan!"


"-Stupid Kacchan!"

"Excuse me?" Katsuki asked dangerously. "Would you care to repeat that, nerd?"

"Yes! Stupid Kacchan! Baka-gou!" Izuku said angrily, face turned away from him.

"Look me in the face if you're going to insult me, shitty nerd," Katsuki hissed, as he pulled Izuku's wrist around. Katsuki's grip tightened as he saw the tears glistening in Izuku's eyes. "...Deku?"

"Stupid Kacchan!" He began bawling out of fucking nowhere. "How could you abandon me like that!" Katsuki tried to fight back the instant apprehension that came over him to see a Midoriya crying like that. Several eyes fell on them from throughout the crowds of students.

Katsuki hissed and pulled Izuku aside into a hallway as he sniffed and tried to rub his tears away.

"Stop that, shitty Deku." Katsuki said as he pulled Izuku's hands away from his face. Izuku looked up at him, bright green eyes wavering and lips wobbly. Small tremors wracked his body as he stifled back sobs.

"Kacchan… I was s-so happy when you started talking to me, a-and we were hanging out again, and I was having fun and I t-thought you were too, but then—" he paused, choking out a wet cough. "You left!" He wailed, leaning into Katsuki and beating his chest lightly. Katsuki let him continue, staring down at the head of fluffy green curls.

"Deku…"

"Do you still hate me, Kacchan?" His voice was soft; weak.

"No, I don't fucking hate you. I never did."

"Then why? Why everything, why would you pretend to get along with me and just leave, why—"

"Look, I'm a shitty person, okay!" Katsuki tried to ignore Izuku's vehement nodd of agreement. The little shit. "You're not supposed to agree with that, but fuck, whatever. I was just working through some shit. I have been for years, if I'm being fucking honest."

"But I could have helped you! You didn't have to completely avoid me like that! Don't you know it feels after-"

"I won't do it again" Katsuki said quietly.

"What?"

"I won't fucking do it again, okay?" Katsuki shouted, drawing eyes on them from throughout the crowded hall. Izuku's tears had frozen in his eyes, no longer streaming.

"Really?" He whispered quietly. Fucking Deku. He didn't sound like he believed Katsuki at all.

"Fucking yes, okay. I don't say stuff I don't mean." Izuku nodded, tears resuming their path down his face. Fuck it all. Fuck the stupid Midoriya family. Of course he'd just start crying happy tears rather than stopping all together. "Fucking stop crying already, Deku. We haven't even started the written exam yet, what are all the shitty extras going to think?"


Katsuki had left quickly after that, but Izuku couldn't blame him—he was always bad with emotions. But even if Izuku couldn't blame him, he still felt sad and had to rub furiously at the tears that continued to leak. They had apologized, but did that really mean anything? What if next time Izuku saw him, Kacchan would be just like he was before and ignore/avoid Izuku? Kohaku ribbed up against his chin, purring comfortingly from her spot on his shoulder.

With her reassurance, Izuku dried his tears and took the written test, though Koko had taken off when he entered the crowded exam space, going who knows where. She seemed to have caught a scent she found familiar and chased after it. Though his hands had remained shaky, he finished the test with ease and in what was probably record time. Obviously he knew the basic information, after endless nights reading through the library, but the 'hero' questions were astoundingly easy as well, due to all his practice with legalities due to his involvement with the police force, as well as how often he had to plan the best way to diffuse dangerous situations.

So maybe thirty minutes into the allotted two hours (look, he wrote fast, okay? And neither his hand or brain got tired, so there was absolutely nothing to slow him or his thoughts down), Izuku was starting his final checks over his papers. Afterward, he neatly arranged his paper and pencils on the desk, and tried to sit patiently. Of course, he hadn't had to sit still for months, and within minutes he felt itchy and was struggling not to just jump up and settled with fidgeting with his pencils or bouncing his leg. Pretty quickly the fact that he was no longer working on his papers became obvious, and Cementoss (ohmygoshCementoss! A real pro hero was supervising their testing!) came over to speak to him.

"Midoriya Izuku, correct? I understand if some of the questions are difficult, but we at the faculty urge you to try your best to at least answer them."

"Oh, sorry sir, it's not that, I, um, I actually finished." Cementoss's eyebrows shot up.

"Have you already checked your problems?"

"A few times, Cementoss-san." Izuku had enough practice dealing with Suke that he could see the skepticism on the hero's most blank face.

"All right. I'll begin checking it then. It can't hurt to get a headstart. Time is very important, right students?" He asked, sending a pointed look at all the students staring. As he walked back to the desk, Izuku glanced over at Nana who was laughing at the situation. He tried to tell her to stop because it made it hard for him not to smile, but she wasn't paying attention.

Izuku watched Cementoss for a few minutes, studying him as his eyes seemed to grow wider and wider. He didn't grade the essay questions—that was probably Nedzu's job—but once he finished reading the multiple choice and written response for non-debatable questions, he just pushed the paper to the side and stared at the wall, pressing his hands against his temples. It was a funny look, for a block of cement. Nana's laughing redoubled at Cementoss's expression as she drifted over to look at the score. She held out two thumbs up, mouthing "one hundred". Izuku nodded in satisfaction. If he had gotten any less it would have been an embarrassment to the days and days he'd spent studying.

Izuku struggled to keep the smug smile from spreading across his face, but he imagined some of it still slipped through, if the glare from the tall blue-haired teen sitting to his side was any indication. Izuku had been sweating under his gaze for a good ten minutes now, averting his eyes and trying to avoid the feel of lasers piercing through him. (Were his glasses magnifying lenses or something?)

Izuku spent a very uncomfortable hour and a half in that testing room.


Yamada Hizashi sat backstage, drinking tea suggested by Nedzu to help with his throat. He was excited for the group of new listeners this year, and wondered what to expect of them. (Would anyone respond to him this time? It was starting to get depressing when everyone stayed silent.)

Hizashi was reviewing the slides presentation when his tired friend fell through the door, slumping over in his sleeping bag. The man always seemed several times more exhausted as the school year came closer. BUT-when would he stop bringing that thing wherever he went? Hizashi knew for a fact he had spent most of last school year teaching from the floor, and once the students were all expelled, it was expected that you would find him sleeping in miscellaneous places and terrifying students. Hizashi had asked him once, and he said he'd stop sleeping in class when his student's deserved it.

For the world's sake, Hizashi hoped that the 1-A students this year wouldn't disappoint Shouta.

Hizashi walked over to prod at his friend, taking a careful step back as the man glared menacingly at him through a curtain of hair.

"What do you want?"

"Shoutaaaaa," Hizashi whined, "We haven't seen each other in months and that's how you great your dear friend?"

"Yes. What do you want?" Hizashi shook his head, mock disappointed.

"You're so cruel. But anyway! You're blocking my way out, I'll be late!"

Shouta sighed, climbing out of his bag, eyes dropping tiredly. "There."

"Come on Shouta-" Hizashi blinked as a cat poked its head out from the man's capture gear, mouth splitting satanically into an enormous yawn. "When did you get a cat?"

"I didn't."

"But-"

"This is Kohaku, and she's likely a students pet, but she's mine for now."

"Okaaaaaayyyyyyy then…" Hizashi blinked at the cat before returning his gaze to Shouta. "Did you hear about the listener Ishiyama was freaking out about?"

"No." Shouta droned out monotonously.

"He got a hundred on the set-answer exam, without cheating.

"So? We've had multiple children with intelligence quirks do the same before."

"But he got it done in a quarter of the time allotted time! And he doesn't have an intelligence quirk-"

"Then he studied well."

"-Then Nedzu decided to pick up his stimulation-based responses, and said they were perhaps the best he's ever seen. He gave him a 75. A SEVENTY FIVE SHOUTA." Hizashi could tell he'd finally gotten his friends attention.

"Nedzu hasn't given higher than a 60 since we started working, Hizashi." The cat meowed loudly-why did that sound like genuine surprise? From a cat?-and Shouta reached up to give her a quick pat. "He rarely gives anything other than a zero or a fifty one for a pass. You've been hearing rumors again."

"Nope!" Hizashi beamed. "Heard it straight from Nedzu himself."

"Why-"

"He made a bet that we wouldn't be able to figure out which kid it was-Ishiyama excluded, obviously."

Shouta sighed. "Of course Nedzu did. The reward?"

"Double the pay if we get it right, quadruple if we get it right on the first try. We all have to give him ten percent of our wages the first month if none of us guess it. Not like he needs the money really, but it ups the stakes! Sounds fun, right Shouta‽"

"I refuse," Shouta said, trying to slink back into his sleeping bad.

"Ah-ah-ah!" Hizashi sang. "Sorry Sho-kun! Nedzu isn't giving a choice! You have to participate this time!"

Shouta grumbled acquiescence from his bag, following it up with a few choice words against Nedzu and losing his paycheck. "Also, don't call me Sho-kun. I hate you."

"Sure you do." Hizashi nodded sagely. He checked his wash, jumping straight up as he saw the time. "Shit! I'm going to be late. Wish me luck!"

"No."

Chapter Text

Izuku was nearly vibrating in his seat, excitement filling his spirit to the brim and making it difficult to contain his energy. The only damper was the awkward energy between him and Kacchan, who had been assigned to sit next to him. Izuku assumed it was because he’d put his high school down as Aldera, even if he graduated via homeschool.

BUT STILL! He was in UA, the alma-mater of All Might himself! He was here, and he was going to become a hero one day, no matter what. For now, he could just fanboy over all the heroes that worked at the school. He had heard whispers that Present Mic was going to present. (The Present Mic. The most famous voice hero, with his radio show-- so inspiring!) Izuku had always listened to it for the hero’s pro-tips, but after dying the radio interference made it difficult--it would be so great to get to hear him in person! That said, Izuku did fear for his eardrums. 

Glancing around the stadium as the last few students filtered in, Izuku notified just how stuffy it was--physically at least. There seemed to be way too many people crammed into the large gym. It was a teensy bit disappointing on UA’s part, actually. There were so many people there that probably over half of them were sharing seats! It was way more than should have been allowed in the building actually according to the new laws regarding how many people can safely fit within a certain size since it had been adjusted as mutation quirks grew more common and larger sizes were generally automatically included in the max occupancy rating so really the excessive amount of people was probably breaking a lot of legal codes and Izuku was kinda surprised the Nedzu was allowing this since though it would be difficult resizing the room with the influx of students who applied wouldn’t be outside of UA’s realm of possibility-- 

“WELCOME TO TODAY’S LIVE PERFORMANCE!!” Izuku squealed--it really was Present Mic! “EVERYBODY SAY ‘HEY’!!”

Immediately the stadium was filled with discordant but enthusiastic shouts in response as a surge of bodies rose from their shared seats. Izuku, swept up by the ferverence, joined in. 

“Hey!!” Izuku’s enthusiastic shout fell short as it reverberated emptily into the room, seeming to be the only one to echo. His voice was choked as hundreds of heads turned to look at him, and Izuku flinched, squeaking as red covered his face at the attention. Covering his face with his hand, he sunk back into his seat. Why had the people decided to look at him? Of all people!!

 “What the fuck was that, you damn nerd?”

“Kacchan? I was just cheering, plenty of other people did it too—“ 

“What fucking people? Shitty Deku, you’re the only one.”

Izuku stiffened eyes going wide as he gazed down at the crowded room and dozens of eyes still on him. Many of which were slightly transparent if he really focused.  

“Ah?” He blinked, suddenly realizing that UA probably wasn’t aware of the hundreds of people above occupancy because they were all dead. 

On stage, Present Mic beamed. “THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENTHUSIASM, LITTLE LISTENER!! I’M HERE TO PRESENT THE GUIDELINES OF THE PRACTICAL! ARE YOU ALL READY?” He raised his gloved hand trying to get a response, and Izuku jolted as hundreds responded, almost instinctively joining in, but his previous embarrassment continued to paralyze him until Present Mic started his explanation and Izuku forced himself to focus.

A familiar blue-haired glasses boy stood up, nitpicking on the fourth robot, before turning around and aiming a stiff arm directly to Izuku. “And you with the green hair!!” Izuku flinched, pointing his hand at himself in wide-eyed confusion.  “I appreciate your enthusiasm, but if you’re just here to fanboy, then you are a disruption to those of us serious about this exam, and I ask that you please be quiet or leave!” Izuku gasped, raising a hand to cover his mouth, quietly muttering an apology. 

“Oi dickbag,” Katsuki called out gruffly, propping his legs up on the seat in front of him, chin tilted cockily. “Why don’t you take a fucking look in the mirror?”

“Kacchan!” 

“EXCUSE ME? What sort of behavior is this at a professional setting? That's not the correct form of language--”

“EHEM!” Present Mic interrupted. “EXAMINEE 7111, THANK YOU FOR YOUR DILIGENCE. TO EXPLAIN THIS, THE ZERO POINTER GETS YOU NO POINTS! HE IS MORE SOMETHING TO AVOID...” Izuku tuned him out slightly, looking at the projection on the screen. Something was worrying about the zero pointer’s silhouette… Izuku remembered a ghost he had known that was obsessed with anime… she always talked about OP characters and how fun they could be if done right…. Why did 0P look so much like the english OP? Izuku didn’t have a good feeling about this. 

Izuku heard people chattering about how easy it would be, and how it sounded just like a videogame. Izuku prayed for their lives. The blue-haired teen bowed sharply, thanking the hero his explanation. 

“AS NAPOLEON BONAPARTE ONCE SAID, ‘TRUE HEROISM CONSISTS OF BEING SUPERIOR TO THE ILLS OF LIFE’.  DO YOUR BEST!!” The hero took a deep breath. “SAY IT WITH ME--” 

“PLUS ULTRA!!!!” 

The whole room once again broke into raucous cheering, hundreds of voices screaming out the school mottos. Waves of energy filled the room to the brim, excitement and determination nearly flooding it. Izuku leapt to his feet, praying for the best this time as he threw his fist in the air and cheered along!

His face fell as once again, dozens of eyes turned to him. Surely, surely this time they would have cheered along? ‘Plus Ultra’ was so famous, how could they not respond! And poor Present Mic too. Did he never get responses? How cruel! (Hidoi!) Izuku slunk back into his seat, hiding his heavy blush in his hands. 

Izuku startled back into reality from his mortification at a steady shove to his shoulder. Izuku turned his gaze up to Katsuki, eyes wide in question. 

“Tch.” Kacchan looked at him, soft disdain coloring his features, mixed in with maybe (hopefully) some humor. “How can anybody be such an embarrassing Deku?”

Izuku laughed awkwardly, raising his hand to tug at the bottom of his curls. “Sorry Kacchan, it was so loud, I figured that surely there must be others doing it… eheheh, I guess I was wrong.”

Katsuki’s gaze sharpened, glaring around the room. “Ghosts?”

Izuku nodded. “Dozens of them. I suppose it makes sense since they don’t have much to do and watching the next generation of heroes get their start must be pretty interesting.”

“Tch. What arena did you get?” Katsuki asked, stretching over to peer over the edge of Izuku’s paper. Izuku mimicked the gesture, trying not to lean into the surprisingly soft tufts of Kacchan’s hair that brushed his cheek as he leaned past, or inhale too deeply at the familiar scent of burnt sugar. Kacchan must have been practicing his quirk in the morning. 

“Oh.” Izuku said disappointedly leaning back once he deciphered the upside-down information. “We weren’t put in the same arena.” 

“Yeah. We were consecutive so this split-up likely means that--”

“They probably didn’t want to have people who know each other working together.”

“Don’t interrupt me, shitty nerd. As if I would have even worked with you anyway.” Izuku wondered if he was just projecting the slight disappointment he was reading in Kacchan’s voice. 

“Um… okay. I guess.” 

He turned to leave, walking toward the opposite arena. 

“Kacchan--” Izuku shouted before he could help it. Katsuki turned halfway, raising a thin eyebrow, scowl set on his face. “Um, would you, maybe want to--’

“Spit it out, nerd.”

“Gohaveteawithmewhenwefinish?” Izuku shot out in one quick breath. “There’s a teahouse a little ways away that some… friends recommended to me and I thought it would be nice after the stress and all--”

“Fuck that tea shit. And what the hell stress are you talking about?” 

“A-ah, um, then there’s a hotpot place too…”

“What? Where you can just watch me eat like a creepy weirdo?” 

“O-oh.” Izuku sighed, eyes slipping to the floor in disappointment. “I guess I’ll just see you some other time the--”

Katsuki’s harsh sigh drew Izuku’s eyes up from the floor. “We can just buy some shitty drinks and take them to the park. Meet me in front of the entrance when we’ve passed.”

“Hai!” Izuku beamed happily as Katsuki turned to leave once again. “Good luck Kacchan--NOT THAT YOU NEED IT OR ANYTHING!!”

 

“OI!” Katsuki barked, explosions crackling on his fingertips. “Shut it, nerd.”  

 

“Right!” Katsuki paused a few steps away, grumbling sullenly and too quietly for Izuku to understand. 

“Kacchan?”

“YOU BETTER NOT FUCK IT UP---YOU HEAR ME, SHITTY DEKU??”

Izuku beamed at Kacchan’s back, knowing it was just his way of telling Izuku good luck. “You too, shitty Kacchan!” He beamed, giggles escaping as Kacchan turn around, face threateningly blank. 

Large explosions popped in his hands, but Izuku could hear the sharpness of Katsuki’s determination on his voice. “As if, you fucking nerd!!” 

Izuku waved enthusiastically in farewell, still choking back his laughter. 

_______________________

Bonus:

Mic: Stumbles back to where Aizawa waits face down in his sleeping bag, probably suffocating as Koko-chan sleeps on his back. 

Mic: *Clutches at heart dramatically* Sho-kun! You’ll never believe it!

Aizawa:

Mic: ... this is the first time anyone’s cheered back! *tears stream down his face* I can die happy now!

Aizawa: *snores*

Koko: *kitten snore*

Mic: WHYYY DON’T YOU CARE ABOUT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Chapter Text

Izuku breathed in deeply as he got off the bus and stepped up to the city. It was surprisingly massive, size resembling that of a normal-sized town, though admittedly smaller in blockage than any real city. That said, the buildings were a real-world large, stretching up into the sky, glass and steel glinting cruelly in the strong sunlight. Izuku wondered how often they had to rebuild these places. Were the insides like real office buildings or were they just facades so that they were easier to replace-it was something to investigate since in real life villains were honestly more commonly found inside buildings than rampaging on the streets as the presentation had suggested they would be-plus Izuku had already formulated a plan for if they were throughout the stories. No matter how realistic the buildings might be, Izuku doubted they'd be as structurally sound as ones that had to be strictly up to code. Which meant the easiest place to cut corners would be-

Izuku was shocked out of his thoughts as a large hand landed on his shoulder, Izuku turned instantly, shifting into a more battle-ready athletic stance. He relaxed as he saw it was the same blue haired teenager who'd been glaring at him when he finished the test early and called him out in the auditorium.

"Umm… yes?" The glasses teen seemed to be waiting for a cue, because instantly he raised his hands up to the bridge of his glasses and pushed it up, sniffing somewhat haughtily as light reflected off them and blocked his squarish eyes from view.

"I am frankly appalled at your behavior! Are you truly here simply to sabotage those of us trying seriously?"

"What-no! Of course not! I swear, it's just the mumbling helps me think and organize my thoughts and oh my gosh I really am sorry if I was bothering anyone I honestly can't help it and-"

"GOOOO!" Present Mic's voice rang out through the crowd, interrupting Izuku's rant. Izuku instantly started sprinting toward the entrance, sending a shouted sorry out to the teen who was staring at where he had been standing with a bewildered expression. Izuku was only just through the gate when he heard the pro hero send another shout over the crowd. "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? THERE ARE NO COUNTDOWNS IN REAL LIFE! GO GO GO!"

Izuku snickered at the chaotic sounds of panic and confusion behind him as the other applicants finally began to move, their numerous footsteps like a stampede, causing the earth to shake.

For maybe three minutes, Izuku darted through the streets, sliding beneath robots and using that momentum to pull himself out as he yanked the metal creatures down into the cement. It didn't work every time, sometimes it just dented the robots and they continued moving. It made them easier pickings for some less physically inclined quirk-users, giving them a grip to get into the control panels, so if he failed, Izuku just left the damaged robots behind. The one pointers were the easiest to take care of, as he was able to focus on pulling the head to the ground with enough force that the weaker neck would crack, but two and three pointers proved more difficult with their solid bulk and centered-mass.

He tried to increase the force he used so there were less robots able to flee, but if he wasn't going to use phasing, it was too dangerous. He realized this after he only just barely removed his head from beneath a robot that splintered the pavement. If he used that much force, they went a little too fast. Izuku didn't feel much like a cracked skull today.

As those few minutes passed, Izuku began to notice a pressure building in the back of his head. It wasn't the normal tiredness that came from quirk fatigue. It felt more like static, and it built and buzzed in his head uncomfortably. For a moment he wondered if it was another premonition, but he had grown used to the tingly feeling of fire or darkness to warn of danger. It could have been some form of ghostly adrenaline, but he didn't want to risk passing out if it was fatigue.

Unfortunately, many more were left than he destroyed, so he'd predict he killed maybe 12 and left 20-ish damaged, so if on average the robots were worth 2 points then he should have gotten about 24 points, but the ones he could destroy were pretty much just the one-pointers, which meant he might only have a little over 12 points, which was definitely not okay and surely not enough to pass. It was a good start, but there were only about seven minutes left, so he'd have to recover in about two minutes and destroy at least fifteen robots in the five he'd have left to feel safe in his score. Three robots per minute. Not impossible.

Izuku took a step back, leaning against a wall to recuperate, viewing the other applicants for a moment. UA really was such a melting pot of quirks! So many stood out and seemed so perfect for hero work! Izuku knew that the vast majority of these students wouldn't be passing, but that didn't stop his fingers from itching to write down notes on every single one of them.

However, watching these students made him feel even less secure in his estimations. The robots seemed to disappear right before his eyes beneath the powers of the students. The blue-haired boy dashed through the open space, smashing robots after robot with his quirk-powered kicks, a boy with several arms grappled robots, the girl with the gravity quirk called out "28" as another robots feel to the ground and smashed on impact, and a boy with a bird's head and an assumedly sentient quirk crushed robots in its shadowy grip. As he watched, Izuku analyzed the weaknesses of the robots and tried to figure out the best way for him to incapacitate them. His earlier thoughts about the structural integrity of the buildings came back to him as he watched gravity-girl crush robots due to the force of their own mass colliding with the ground. It would be difficult, Izuku figured, and expend a lot of energy, but if he could do it, then it would garner a lot of points, he'd just have to-

A loud pop and the faint hair-raising feeling of static pulled Izuku's eyes off of a twinkling boy shooting lasers and shouting French to other examinees. The security camera affixed to the wall above his head was spazzing out, bright sparks of electricity surrounding it as it jerked around in circles, completely malfunctioning. Was he...doing that? Whoops.

Izuku took a few steps away, jogging to the entrance of an ally, and sure enough, the camera stopped freaking out, and returned to acting as it should. It was a shame that his quirk didn't permanently break it—it could have been useful with the robots, but Izuku didn't think he had enough control yet to do that. It was just odd that his electromagnetic interference affected the camera, it was pretty far compared to his usual range.

A sudden tingle of fire itched at his spine, the familiar warning of encroaching danger. Izuku turned into the ally to see a dark-haired examinee with aux cords dangling from her ears-or rather that were part of them. Around her were several robots, and his first thought was that they had simply cornered her and the danger premonition was superficial. After a second, he decided that wasn't the case the case. During the briefing, they'd been told the robots weren't programmed to seriously injure students, though there was also the danger from second hand things like destruction of buildings.

These robots were spazzing as much as the camera had, spinning wildly and crushing the buildings walls. Some seemed to stall, before suddenly bursting forward, and cement and brick crumbled under their force. The robots had lost all coherency, and the girl was forced to dodge between them constantly, unable to take the time to utilize her quirk. He assumed it had something to do with sound and her ears, so maybe she could manipulate or strengthen sound waves—what an amazing quirk!—but that would require her to insert it in something as a sound conductor, and she'd have to stay still. There was no chance for that, as even as he watched, a two pointer picked up speed and headed straight toward her, barreling past as she jumped away at the last second and crumpling inwards as it crashed into the brick wall.

A sheen of sweat was clearly visible on the girl's forehead, and Izuku knew he couldn't just leave her like that. Taking a deep breath and plotting his actions, Izuku lunged into the fray. He dodged under a three pointer, pulling it down into the ground and used that continuing momentum to slam feet first into the wall and—with a slight mental push—flip over on top of a one pointer and pull off its head with a small exertion of his quirk. Once that was removed, he slid down the robot, pulling another robot along with him and throwing into the wall, effectively crushing it. In that time, the girl had managed to destroy the final remaining robot, and she was just retracting her ear from the metal.

They looked at each other for a moment, before she nodded with a subtle smile, and ran off to go get more points. Which Izuku should probably be doing himself. Yeah. Except that niggling premonition was back, and he couldn't just leave people hanging.


The darkened surveillance room was ripe with chaos that made Nedzu want to cackle in glee. The pro hero's were desperately trying to figure out who the 75-scoring examinee was, pestering Ken Ishiyama pro-hero Cementoss with guess after guess, none coming close to the actual boy. They were of course dampered by being required to pay attention to any action on the screen—and distributing rescue points, but they were pro hero's and could multi task adequately enough to add to the chaos. Only Aizawa Shouta pro-hero Eraserhead remained silent at his side, very much exasperated and clearly ready to murder all the hero's of it would get them to shut up. Toshinori Yagi pro-hero All Might also decided against partaking in guessing, but he wasn't getting paid in the first place—Nedzu knew the man made hefty money from his merchandise if nothing else, and there was a lot else. He actually belonged in the 7.0047821% of richest people in the world—but Nedzu was getting off track.

Because in the enjoyable pandemonium, the pro-heroes were missing it as every single monitor fizzled and crackled with interference, which should not have been possible with the high-tech receivers he had installed in the arenas. Had it been a complete blackout, he would have known it to be purposeful, perhaps the work of a villain, but the crackling screens did not prevent him or Aizawa Shouta from viewing the examinees. The one exception seemed to be the main object of Nedzu's interest. The relatively smart boy by the name of Midoriya Izuku who had supposedly died about a year ago. Evidently not, but Nedzu assumed the mistaken records could be looked into later. For now he was worried about the cameras following in his footsteps which seemed to periodically black out or decide that spinning in aimless circles was the best way to record. Nedzu found himself having to manually override these cameras. It was curious, and he could see Aizawa Shouta's gaze had noticed the same quizzical pattern. How exciting! Nedzu smiled as the boy racked up rescue point after rescue point, seeming to sense danger moments before it occurred, and arriving just in time to rescue students from harm. Exciting indeed! But how would he fare against a much more difficult enemy?

A likely terrifying grin on his face as he tracked the green haired boy, Nedzu decided he'd wait the 2 minutes 25 seconds, 82 milliseconds 4457 nanoseconds left until there were precisely 2 minutes left in the exam before he would press the yaruki switch.


Izuku was only able to relax when the creeping feeling finally left his spine. He had spent too much time rescuing others and there were only maybe four minutes left before the exam ended. Even though he was unsure if it would work, Izuku decided it wouldn't hurt to try out his plan. It was his best bet.

Not all of the skyscrapers seems to be built the same way. Some had solid foundations and clear support, that made them essentially identical to a real, fortified building. These ones didn't face all that much damage. Although it could be assumed that the more damaged buildings scattered throughout the testing arena had just faced more peril, looking at the way the damage had affected the buildings and scorch marks and dents on the better built ones were compared to the cracks and complete loss of walls on weaker ones. It was probably to reduce the amount/difficulty of rebuilding they'd have to do, since the more complex ones were on the outside of the arena. It definitely played to IzukuMs advantage.

Running over to the most damaged building he could see, Izuku took a deep breath before flying up the side of the building as quickly as he could, peering into the windows. Sure enough, robots stood on each floor, moving throughout the facade of an office building. But the floors seemed unsteady underneath their weight, creaking, and they seemed to move more gingerly than the reckless ones outside. A wild grin crossed Izuku's face as he reached the top of the building.

As he had hoped, the roof wasn't actually affixed to the building. As solid as it was, it was still a separate entity.

Therefore, Izuku could attract it.

So, standing on the edge of the building-a familiar feeling-Izuku gazed down on the people below, searched for a burning warning at his nape for what he was about to do, and, finding none, hopped off the ledge of the roof.

As he fell, wind whistled around and time seemed to slow as he focused on the feeling in his gut and yanked, not letting go of the telekinetic pull even as the ground approached him. The roof, followed, mere seconds after him, crushing floor after floor, breaking supporting columns and the weak metal that constructed the replaceable building. Inside the building, a dozen robots crumbled under the weight in force, while others shattered or cracked as shrapnel struck them.

Knowing he'd have to time it perfectly or he'd break his legs, even with his ghostly healing, Izuku held his breath as he counted the seconds-NOW! Izuku floated for just a second, long enough to stop his too-fast speed that would result in a familiar cracking of bones, before releasing it and dropping to the floor and not giving himself a second to stumble as he sprinted away from the building. A second later, the roof made impact with the ground, echoing loudly throughout the city as clouds of dust and shrapnel exploded through the air.


By the dust cloud from the collapsed building, a familiar ghost was confused at the destruction when the zero-pointer had yet to be released. This was cleared up as she saw the green cinnamon roll grin chaotically at the carnage he had left behind as the other examiness gaped at storm of shattered glass and crumbled drywall surrounding him.


In a different testing arena, a crimson-eyed teen shoved a black-haired dumbass he had just caught falling from a building to the ground. He scoffed as the boy told him how manly he was and turned away. That was the fifth fucking person he'd wasted his time rescuing all because he couldn't not picture the idiot nerd. His eyes locked on the plume of destruction visible even from where he was. Someone in whatever arena was strong.


In the examination room, a certain rodent cackled manically at the stunt which every teacher assembled ogled at incredulously, and he reached out a loud paw to push a very fun button.

 

Chapter Text

Shimura Nana laughed uproariously as she leaned on Izuku. “Kid,” she gasped. “Oh my lord, kid. That was amazing! Did you see the look on those other kids’ faces?? Wow!”

Izuku smiled awkwardly. He had maybe gone a bit overboard. He was just glad no one had gotten hurt from it. He probably had enough points from that alone, so he decided he could relax for the last few minutes. Something in his head was going haywire, and he didn’t want to somehow pass out at this point. He only managed to take one step toward the entrance before intense pain burned through his entire spin, and dark pressure seemed to weigh him down. He tried to stand against it, but his knees buckled temporarily beneath him.

This was the strongest premonition he had had yet. Struggling to his feet, Nana’s words of concerns flew over his head as he spun frantically in circles, trying to figure out what had happened. At that moment, a hulking, mountainous robot rose from a building, raining down dust and shaking the ground beneath him. Present Mic’s words rang through Izuku’s head-- an obstacle that would rage in close quarters. An obstacle. That was way too big to just be an obstacle!! Izuku remembered the forewarning he’d had at the similarity between 0P and OP and he realized it had been less paranoia than he’d thought. It might have even been an early premonition.

But it was nothing like the one that was ringing through his head and burning down his spine right then. It rooted Izuku to his spot, even as his body ached to run and follow the path of the other examinees fleeing around him. Struggling to keep a calm mind, he looked around for anyone who seemed to be in trouble. There was no one and panic was growing as his heart raced. Someone could be about to die and he couldn’t see them!

Just as his non-heart felt like it was about to give out, he spotted it. The bubbly gravity girl, lying under an enormous pile of rubble. Rubble too big for him to shift with his quirk exhaustion, and he doubted the girl would be any better herself.

Izuku nearly jumped out of corporeality as a hand landed on his shoulder. He turned to look at Nana, who sent him a reassuring smile. “It’s alright, they have buttons to control this, and they’re programmed not to hurt anyone. It’ll be fine, Greenie.”

Panic suddenly soared through him tenfold. Because the pressure from his quirk had been growing in the back of his head the entire time, and his electromagnetic interference had been going wild all day. Disaster seemed to ring through Izuku’s head as he scanned his surroundings for anything at all he could use and prayed that the proctors would shut the robot off.

A tug inside Izuku startled him and he focused on it. It was the familiar feeling of a quirk begging to be used, but it wasn’t a familiar quirk. Spinning around to where the quirk tugged him, Izuku stared at the worried Nana as a crazy idea rang through his head.

 


 

In the examiner room, Nedzu looked disappointingly at the monitors. No hero had sprung forward to save the girl as he had hoped. This was where the young were supposed to prove their true heroic spirit, but it appeared that though the batch were quite impressive, they didn’t have quite the strength of will that Nedzu had hoped for. The other teachers didn’t seem to share his sentiments, but expressed worry for the girl and asked that he stop the Zero Pointer. With minimal reluctance, Nedzu complied, slamming down on the emergency stop.

Nothing happened.

“Oh dear…” Nedzu said as the monstrous robots continued its steady path to crush the young girl. “How unexpected,” he mused as the teachers immediately sprung from their seats and rushed to get to the exam site, hoping they wouldn’t be too late. “Quite unexpected indeed.”

 


 

A blur of green and crackling red slammed into the robot and shattered it in its place, shocking the heroes into frozen silence as the wind force alone shorted out the cameras and covered them in dust and rubble. Ah… there it was. The mark of a true hero!

Izuku sprinted forward toward the behemoth. He didn’t know how much power he’d have and he’d need to be as close as possible to minimize any possible mistakes. His heart pounded in his ears and everything seemed fuzzy as he leaned into a crouch.

And with a fire roaring through his being, he rocketed up and to the robot’s giant head.

----------------

Nana looked down at him, shock clear on her face. “You want me to give you my quirk?”

Izuku flustered, waving his hands frantically. “No, well, yes, but I’m sure you know you run the risk of disappearing but I think with a quirk like yours, or well, All Might’s, assuming you still had One For All when you died, ghosts quirks are weird so you probably regained the same abilities you had alive and if I understand correctly the basis of One For All is the ability to be passed on, which you should still have, you might be able to just lend it to me, since ghostly DNA tends to disappear a bit after losing contact with the host.” He took a deep breath to calm himself down. “I-I know it’s a big risk and I don’t want to hurt you, but--but I can’t let her die! I promised I’d never allow a single ghost to be made when I could prevent it, and this is the only thing I can do and I’m so so sorry but--”

Nana smiled, her hand a comforting presence on his head. “It’s okay kid. Saving people’s worth the risk.”

----------------

Izuku floated midair, time seeming slow around him as he stared at the robot. Power seemed to flow through his limbs like lightning. Taking a deep breath, Nana’s words rang through his head. Focus and just feel the strength pouring through your soul. Listen to the fire in your spirit, and, in the word’s of All Might, let your heart cry out and--

 

“SMAASH!!!”

 

Izuku stood suspended as the wind buffeted him and burned his eyes, blowing shattered shards of diamond glass and glinting silver rubble past him. The robot collapsed inward, metal crumbling and warping as gears and wire flew out to join in the brilliant hailstorm of rubble. Lightning still crackled around Izuku lighting up the fog of dust and destruction with a luminous green glow as fragments of debris glinted darkly.

He could barely hear the surprised clamour of the examinees below in the loud thudding of his heart, but relief filled him as gravity finally took ahold and he began plummeting down headfirst, He could see that the rubble had been blown of the girl, and she lay on the ground, struggling to push herself up. Izuku had allowed the robot to get too close before acting, so she had likely experienced some backlash.

Izuku breathed deeply past the pain in his mangled arm and legs. He hadn’t been expecting it, per say, but it wasn’t immensely surprising with the sheer volume of power he had felt flowing through him. He closed his eyes for a second to concentrate on flipping the switch to float, only to find that, of course, for once he couldn’t. It made sense. His was mainly a mentally activated quirk, and despite his deceptive calmness, his head was an absolute mess, ringing with pain signals, frazzled from overuse, and still exerting the ridiculous amount of electromagnetic interference that he wished would just go away. It didn’t listen of course, and in his state, he couldn’t even go corporeal.

Wincing, Izuku prepared himself to ‘smash’ himself into pieces on impact. He didn’t think he’d die again, but he didn’t really want to relive the way he had died in the first place. Purposely pushed aside memories of a shattered skull, excruciating pain, and the fast approaching grown flashed through his head accompanied by flashes of fire, and Izuku found himself unable to even keep his thoughts straight as these images cycled in a whirlwind through his mind. It was hard to have a panic attack as a ghost when you don’t even need to breath or your heart to beat, but Izuku found a way anyway, unable to even open his eyes. He could feel the ground approaching well enough. He didn’t need to look.

Just as he expected to go splat and become the bug on the windshield of UA’s reputation, Izuku felt soft arms enclose around him, slowing his decent, but going down enough that his bones didn’t crack further from whiplash.

Cracking his eyes open, he saw Nana smiling gently at him as she lowered him gently to the ground. “Nice job, Greenie.”

He smiled back, painfully. “Depends on what you call a good job,” he nodded his chin at his body. “I think I destroyed myself a bit much.”

She laughed brightly. “Maybe a bit. But you saved her, and that matters a lot.”

Izuku nodded, satisfactory warmth filling him. He had saved her. as he pushed himself into a seated position with his one good arm. He tried to tug up the leg of his tracksuit to assess the damage, but an examiner stopped him, grabbing his arm.

“Woah, dude! You’re a total mess! Busted all over!” He looked at the exposed arm, purpling in a dark bruise and very clearly not twisted the right way. Izuku could tell it was slowly reverting back to normal--the purple was less intense than it had been, but he predicted it would still take a few days to heal completely.

“Well,” broke in a strong voice, roughened by age but not quieted. Izuku instantly turned to look at her, feeling the fanboy urges to get an autograph. “Your own quirk did this to you?” Recovery Girl muttered. “It looks as though your body isn’t used to it, but he hasn’t passed it on yet, so I suppose your quirk must simply be a wreck.”

“Sorry Recovery Girl…” Izuku muttered embarrassingly. She looked at him quietly.

“Oh well, I guess.” Leaning forward she gave him a kiss on his forehead, and he instantly healed. Ah! Izuku realized, that must be how they manage to do such dangerous exams! Recovery Girl really was so impressive!

Testing his legs gingerly for spots of pains, Izuku decided he was fine and hopped to his feet, bowing enthusiastically to the nurse, gaining many eyes widened in surprise. “Thank you so much!”

Surprise showed purely through the slightest twitch of the woman’s eyebrows. “Such a minimal drain on energy?” She seemed to question herself. Oh, that was fair. Izuku had forgotten that she drained a bodies natural healing ability and thus the energy required, and since he seemed to have a limitless stock of energy, he wouldn’t feel the same fatigue. At least she didn’t seem overly suspicious, he supposed. It was good for him anyway! He had almost forgotten, but he was supposed to meet with Kacchan, and if he’d passed out and was late, Izuku wasn’t sure he’d make it home unscathed

Popping his back, he decided it would be a good idea to head to the entrance early as the injured students were healed. Decided, he followed the road, extending his sixth sense to check for any examinees still in danger, pinned by ruble or something like that. He felt none, and was relieved--doubly so as he noticed the static tingle of his quirk seemed to be subsiding now that the exam was over. Perhaps it had been some form of ghostly adrenaline, boosting both his senses and the output of his quirk. Yet that sort of thing hadn’t happened in any of his quasi-vigilante ventures, and it was weird that they would manifest now. His only other thought was that it could be the results of his nervousness/apprehension/fear, as UA was something he’d been thinking about a long time in advance, and not just a sudden foray into a fight. Perhaps it was an overblown response to his fear of inadequacy? Of not making it into UA? Overcompensation for that by increasing the amount of power he naturally put out?

He hadn’t thought about it previously, but being able to stop the interference with technology was something he should have tried. He had never thought of it as a big deal before, but like this he couldn’t even use a phone, and in rescue operations or something like this, if he malfunctioned equipment, it could lead to disaster. It was especially important that he keep his powers from growing out of control like they had today.

Nana patted his shoulder, breaking him away from what would have surely been a mental tangent. He looked at her quizzically.

“You did good out there today, Greenie!”

“Thank you!” He smiled. “But I wouldn’t have been able to do it without One For All.” He jolted suddenly. “I completely forgot! Do you know if it came back? Did I still have it?? Did I take it completely????”

“Calm down, kid! It’s fine. I can’t use it, but I can still feel it, so I’d guess your hypothesis was right. It’ll probably come back in a bit, but I’ll come and find you if it doesn’t, okay?”

Izuku nodded hesitantly and she flew away, probably to go find Toshinori.

Katsuki scoffed as he kicked at the ground. He had pretty much signed himself up for disaster in agreeing to meet the shitty nerd. Why the fuck he had decided it would be a good idea, he had no idea. He just couldn’t say no to the nerd’s damn pleading eyes.

It was irritating.

They hadn’t even talked in weeks, not since Deku had been hanging with the skeleton creep, and its not like they’d been maintaining any form of contact leading to that point. Katsuki couldn’t understand why Deku was even bothering. Surely he should be done with Katsuki by now. First, he practically killed Izuku, then he got him into a fight on his behalf--as if Katsuki couldn’t fight his own fights and kill any fucker that bothered him--and finally, Katsuki  had completely ignored him and his efforts to reach out. ‘Deku is really just a fucking idiot’ was the only conclusion Katsuki could come to. And he knew damn well that he was far from stupid--just incredibly dumb and naive.

On top of that, he was late. Katsuki gave it one more minute before he’d leave and ditch Deku. It would be better than having to spend time with him. Instead, the moment the thought left his head, a flash of green caught his eye as Izuku waved exuberantly at him. Of course.

His first thought was that Deku was surprisingly cheerful for what should have been a stressful exam and looked perfectly fine. Then he looked at his clothes. Which were shredded to hell and looked like he’d been at the center of an explosion. He was missing an entire fucking sleeve. How the hell had he managed to do that??? What was wrong with fucking nerd?

“Deku~” Katsuki growled as the boy reached him. “You better have a good fucking reason for keeping me waiting.” 

 


 

Meanwhile, in the examination room, Shouta sat in a darkened corner, drinking the last of his squeeze juice as he watched through the tapes. Hizashi stared at  cat on his shoulder, licking clean a cap full of whatever miscellaneous liquid filled Shouta’s pouches. He wasn’t sure if the cat should be drinking that. Speaking of... Hizashi glanced at the surveillance footage of the UA entrance as the last pair of students left.

“Shouta, the students are all gone—You’ve catnapped that poor kitten! Her owner must be worried!”

“She’s mine now.” Shouta said with dead eyes.

Exhaling tiredly, Hizashi closed his eyes. “She is not. She’s really not.”

Chapter Text

"So let me get this straight," Katsuki said, taking a swig from his bottled milk tea-he had developed a taste for it lately. "You just happened to meet a random ghost with a super powerful strength quirk which could, what, be fucking lent off when the ghost was still alive? And this ghost decided to just lend you the quirk despite a high chance of not being able to remain on earth because you asked nicely?"

Deku nodded awkwardly, thumbs spinning the collar of his drink. "...Yes?"

"Well I don't fucking believe you." Izuku made to protest, but he held up a hand sharply, cutting him off. "But whatever. You probably have your own shitty reasons for not telling me and your stubborn ass isn't about to change your mind anytime soon. And I don't see any reason for you to tell me the truth anyway."

Izuku's features relaxed, gratefulness lining his eyes as he smiled softly. "Thank you Kacchan. And I would tell you, it's just not my story to tell." Katsuki grunted quietly in response as a comfortable quiet fell over them.

Only a few crickets interrupted the sundown's silence. The dying light cast gold highlights in the leaves of the park and through Izuku's hair, drawing Katsuki's eyes. It was nice being here with him, and a part of Katsuki regretted the months that he avoided Izuku, knowing they could have had many moments like this. But the sickening feeling of guilt still weighed on him every time he was around Izuku. And he seemed to hurt Izuku every time he was around him, showcased earlier, when he was with his stupid cat and got upset. Katsuki didn't know how to be nice, and it seemed the damn animal knew better than Izuku and decided not to like him.

Actually, where was the mangy animal? "Deku, where the hell is your cat?"

Izuku looked at him uncomprehending for a moment. "My cat?" Understanding dawned, widening his eyes. "My cat! Where's Koko-Chan?"

"What the fuck? Shitty Deku, how did you lose your cat? You completely forgot about the damn animal and yet you criticized me for insulting her name? What the hell?"

A meow of agreement broke in, and both Katsuki and Izuku turned in sinc to look at the kitten, who was sitting in the back of their bench and composedly licking a paw like she hadn't come out of fucking nowhere. (A mile away, Shouta wakes up, and in his sleepy fatigue, nearly cries when he realizes his new favorite cat left.)

"Kokochan! Izuku squealed lunging forward and grabbing the calico in a tight hug, giving no time for her to even meow. "I thought I'd lost you! My poor baby!"

The cat seemed to roll her eyes, as if to say, your the one who fucking forgot me. And maybe Katsuki was projecting his own mouth onto the cat, but it was certainly my what that look was implying.

Katsuki clicked his tongue, picking up his stuff and stretching out a sore arm. "Keep better track of your damn cat, idiot."

"Ah! Kacchan, your leaving already?" He looked up from the cat to turn to Katsuki, curiosity shading the tilt of his head. The cat matched the expression, staring at Katsuki.

"Yeah." Seeing the faint sadness, lower his eyes, Katsuki continued. "My parents will nag me if I don't get back soon."

"Oh. Bye then, Kacchan." Damn it. Why did he have to look the picture of a sad kitten? And the actual cat mimicking him didn't help.

"I expect you to fucking tell me when you get the results, nerd." Izuku jolted, surprise opening his expression, making it less guarded.

"Really?"

"Yes, idiot. I don't say stuff I don't mean. How many times do I have to fucking tell you that?"

Izuku laughed nervously, scratching his jaw. "If it gets you to talk to me, a lot?"

"Tch. See yah, shitty nerd."


Izuku stared at the metal disk in front of him. Of course it would be technological. Why not. Because in order to get it to work, he had to touch it, but if he got close enough to touch it, it would short out and not be able to recognize a touch. And of course his mom had left to give him privacy and was at the grocery store, so he couldn't ask her to drop everything and come and help him. Nor could he bring the disk to the grocery store, because that wasn't something you just did in public.

Which left him one option. Breath shaking, he grabbed the package and headed off to a familiar house of his childhood.

Arriving, he knocked on the door, waiting for just a few seconds before it swung open in front of him, irritated expression already on Mitsuki's face clearing up the moment she saw him.

"Izu-kun! I haven't seen you in months! Are you here about the UA entrance exams? Katsuki just got his, but he hasn't come down to show us yet." She stepped aside to allow him past. "You can head right up.' Turning away, she yelled upstairs. "BRAT! YOU HAVE A VISITOR!"

Izuku winced as he smiled politely and walked past her, already following a familiar path to Katsuki's room. God, he hadn't been there in a loooong time. Just as he reached the door, it swung open and he had to phase through it in order to not be hit. As a result, Izuku found himself behind Katsuki, and luckily not directly in front of him as he yelled down to his mom.

"What the fuck, old hag? Why would anybody be visiting me?"

"Kacchan?" Izuku said tentatively from behind him. Despite his timid voice, Katsuki seemed to nearly jump out of his skin as sparks popped from his hands, and a startled yowl started and caught in his throat. He whirled around angrily, already seeming recovered from the surprise.

"What the fuck Deku!" he yelled. "Don't fucking do that again!" Izuku shrunk back slightly.

"Sorry Kacchan! I swear it wasn't on purpose!"

Katsuki nodded and dragged a hand across his face. "Of course it wasn' don't have the guts." Izuku wondered if he should protest that. "What does a shitty nerd like you want right now?"

"Oh!" Izuku straightened. "My UA letter came, but I can't read it because I accidentally ripped the paper up and the disc malfunctions when I try to activate it-so I was wondering if Kacchan could help me, and I figured it was worth a try, so here I am!"

Exasperatedly snatching the envelop, Katsuki immediately opened it and, taking a few steps away from Izuku, pressed a finger across the touch sensitive area, causing the projection to flare up on the wall. Task completed, he set the disk down and began to leave. Instead of allowing him, Izuku snagged the end of his sleeve.

"Do you-would you like to stay?"

Katsuki scoffed. "What, so you can rub it in my face? No thanks."

"What?" Izuku asked, sincerely confused. "Rub what in your face?"

"You really don't know?" deadpanned Katsuki. "Of course you don't." Seeming to decide something, he continued. "Yeah. Whatever. I'll stay. Let's just get this over with."

• • • • 

"WE TIED?" Izuku shrieked, genuinely shocked but also happy in a strange way.

"Yeah."

"AND WITH ONE OF THE HIGHEST SCORES IN UA HISTORY?"

"What the fuck Deku. It's not that big of a deal."

"BUT KACCHAN!" opposed an offronted Izuku. "You got 84 villain points! Even Endeavor only got 92 when he was in UA! And you even got 40 rescue points! I'm so proud of you Kacchan," Izuku exclaimed as he lunged forward to wrap Katsuki in a hug. In return, Katsuki instatnly began struggling to get Izuku off-"GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME"- but he smushed his face the more tightly into Katuski's midsection. "You saved people Kacchan! That's amazing."

Katsuki rolled his eyes. "And what about you, idiot. What's up with your ridiculously high rescue points?"

Izuku shrugged as he smiled happily, still pressed into Katsuki's side. "I dunno Kacchan! I just got premonitions and had to help those people, you know?"

"No, I fucking don't know what the hell possessed you-" Izuku snorted. "NOT a pun-To demolish a fucking massive robot like that." Katsuki paused for dramatic effect as he looked down at Izuku. "Oh wait. Yeah. It was probably inspired by you destroying a fucking massive building just to get thirty points."

"To be fair, I thought there'd be more, and I did need those points since I only got 41 villain points-"

"And what the fuck is up with that? Why do we have almost perfectly flipped scores? Did you have a ghost spy and report back to you or some shit?"

"Of course not! I didn't even know rescue points existed until now! It actually kinda sucks that some teachers assumed I knew and didn't give me as many points as they would have otherwise but I suppose since we ended it up so perfectly tied it was worth it and it's not like I was aiming for first place or anything and-" Katsuki flicked his forehead and cut off his brewing mumblestorm.

"Whatever nerd. Bottom line is we did well, and 124 points is fucking awesome or whatever."

A realization hit Izuku that caused him to squeeze Katsuki's side more tightly. "Ah!"

"What is it now?"

"124. Ichi. Ni. Shi. Ichi 'Two Deaths'-that's kinda ominous for me."

"You're overthinking things-"

"It's also kinda like counting you know, 1, 2, death. Kyaaah— that's scary! And not just for me, if there are two of us and one of us is already dead and we both got the score what if it meant two deaths as in we'll both die because that's horrifying and im very much not okay with that-"

"SHUT UP YOU FUCKING NERD."

"Ah?"

"Why do you have to be such a damn idiot? It's fine. It's literally just a score. It's not some ominous foreshadowing you're just freaking yourself and others out."

"Others? Are you worried too?"

"Of course not! I was referring to the extras."

"What extras? Kacchan, are you okay-"

"Shut the fuck up," Katsuki barked, reaching over to grab a pillow as he begin hitting Izuku with it. "And get the fuck of me!"

"What? Nooooooooooooooo. Kacchan is comfortable?"

"Fuck that, I'm not fucking comfrotable, and I'm not your pillow, so get off. Actually, get out."

"But when will I see Kacchan again?"

"When classes start, dumbass."

"That's too long!"

"You think I care?"

Izuku pouted even as he walked toward the door. "Alright Kacchan. See you at school."

"At UA." Katsuki corrected bluntly, face blank, not giving Izuku a chance to see what he was thinking.

"At UA." Izuku confirmed with conviction as a broad smile spread across his face. "I'll see you at UA."

Maybe he was imagining it, but as Izuku closed the door behind him, he could have sworn Katsuki was smiling back, just slightly. But of course, Kacchan didn't smile.

• • • • 

Izuku had only just left the Bakugou house held when Nana came flying up to him.

"Greenie! I see you got your results?" She asked excitedly.

"Yes!" He sighed lightly. "I'm so glad you were there. I don't want to think about what could have happened if you hadn't lent me your quirk."

Ruffling his hair, Nana smiled at him. "No problem kid," grinning happily, she continued. "Anytime. We know I can just lend off my quirk, so this will be a great asset for you!"

Endless possibilities of One For All's potential flashed through Izuku's head, all the applications that he could use it to save people! All the ways he could be like All Might—

Wait.

ALL MIGHT.

All Might knew Izuku. He knew he didn't have a strength quirk. And Izuku was certain All Might knew his own quirk. And he worked for UA. He had been the one who talked in his hologram. And Izuku had basically used All Might's quirk. All Might would hate him, think he was evil, a liar, a fake a horrible person and-

Izuku's heart dropped, lying heavy in his chest as air seemed to stick in his throat, an uncomfortable tightness sitting there. Spinning around to face Nana, Izuku nearly shrieked in his worry. "NANA! Where's All Might? I need to speak to him now!"

Looking at him with confusion, Nana replied. "Um, Greenie, you alright?" Seeing the look on his face, she decided that question was pointless and just restarted. "Yeah. He's at Dagobah, waiting for you. I think he thought you'd want to see him after getting your letter."

Not responding, Izuku sprinted away, leaving a confused Nana who followed him a few seconds later.


Toshinori waited on the beach, eyeing the crashing turquoise waves against the sparkling white sand. The kid had done a good job cleaning the beach. He had impressed Toshinori, but All Might just couldn't forget the boy's new quirk.

He shouldn't suspect Young Midoriya. He was a good kid, a great one. Toshinori had dropped by the police station a few times, and everyone there had so many stories to tell about the wonderful things the boy had done. And yet.

Ten months ago, the boy had no quirk to speak of. Six months ago he'd shown up with what appeared to be a telekinesis quirk. Then he turned out to have the ability to fly as well, and suddenly super strength. It didn't add up, and Toshinori didn't like the disjointed picture it formed.

Yes, the man was supposed to be dead, but what if All Might had failed six years ago and All For One was still around? How twisted and exactly like the villain it would have been to 'rescue' Young Midoriya in his sadness after being denied by All Might and give him a quirk greatly resembling the hero. And what if all his heroic feats were an attempt to get One For All? It made sense, but Toshinori had to bite back his doubts. The boy deserved that much. He'd question him the next time he saw him, even if that wasn't today.

The sun was just setting when he heard a shouted "Yagi-San!" Toshinori had told the boy to call him by his first name, a remnant of his time in America, but if it made the boy more comfortable, he supposed Yagi was alright. (He had told him his full name, right?) Just as the boy was about to reach him, he tripped and faceplanted into the sand. Instantly, Toshinori was going over, chuckles rumbling in his throat as he moved to help the rarely clumsy boy he remembered his showing at the exam, and a lump in his throat choked his laughter as he halted in place.

"Midoriya. It's good to see you." he dragged out of his throat raggedly, and it's instantly noticed by the boy who had pushed himself to his knees, face coated in a fine layer of sand. Green eyes looked at him with apprehension as he brushed the silt away from his eyes.

"Y-Yagi-san. Have you been waiting for long?" He asked, voice rising at the end, and his usual enthusiasm missing in his expression. Hurt covered it instead, visible through the sand in his dull eyes and restrained smile. (The sudden lack of any suffix or endearment made Izuku feel stilted, the lost affection obvious to him.)

"Not really." Swallowing at the lie-he had been waiting since letters were sent out-Yagi continued. "Congratulations on getting into UA. I actually wanted to ask you about your… showing toward the end of the physical exam. I don't quite understand how super strength fits into 'physics negation'?"

"You checked my quirk registry?" The boy blurted out, pain lacing his tone, even though he seemed to be saying it to himself. Toshinori felt guilt well in his… well, not stomach. He didn't have a full one of those, but, close enough. He had checked the registry. It was the first thing he did after seeing the kid's strength, even though it was listed on Young Midoriya's application. He hadn't been able to trust it. Yet it was the same officially, and that somehow made things more doubtable.

"It was on your UA application." Not a lie, Yagi told himself.

"Oh. Right." Pausing, he tilted his head as though listening to someone. Despite the defeat that still lay in his slumped posture, it seemed like the boy was recovering encouragement, as he took a deep breath and instantly began muttering. "Well, you see, I only realized this at the exam but my quirk is more Physics Manipulation rather than negation which I guess allowed me to do something like modify the formula for force proportional to velocity and the power my muscles would automatically be able to give out but it must have been an adrenaline thing because I can't remember what I did but maybe something along the lines of, something like how Kinetic energy should be 1/2 mass x velocity squared. Instead, I changed it to K.E. equals mass squared x velocity to the tenth power, making the strength much larger than it seems it should be or something like that but I don't really know yet and also I can't seem to do anything to modify the amount of shock or reverb which is what caused my arms to shatter which is obviously no good whatsoever and definitely something I'll have to work on." His voice cracked and seemed more painful than usual, like he forcing every word out, rather than the smooth unconscious stream that the boy usually emitted.

Finally pausing for a breath, Young Midoriya raised his gaze to look at Toshinori. Something about his look made it seem like he was begging, Please believe me. This is my quirk. Don't think I'm a bad person. Of course, there was no way for the kid to know why Toshinori was acting so off, but it seemed like he did. The explanation was strange and seemed nearly impossible—off in some way—but with the boy's big eyes innocently pleading, Toshinori knew he couldn't display his doubt openly. (Of course, he didn't know Izuku yet, know that he was great at reading people simply by the way their brows twitched or eyes caught the light.)


Despite the reassurance Nana was giving him as she patted his shoulder and urged him to breathe, Izuku couldn't look back at All Might. He didn't believe him. ("Kid, I know you don't need to, but you need to breathe to relax. You're too tense. C'mon kid. Just breath.") They had agreed not to tell All Might the truth—far too many answers to related questions could hurt the man and Izuku couldn't slow that he couldn't hurt somebody else from his stupid emotional state at the time. No one else could no they couldn't suffer because of him—

"That's quite impressive, Midoriya-Shounen. You have a truly brilliant quirk." Ah. Izuku couldn't breathe. He was lying. Lying to all Might tricking him and being such a horrible person who couldn't even get over his stupid depression which was supposed to be gone. It had been gone for so long why was he such a loser that he'd allowed it to come back. He was supposed to be over it and yet he wasn't— a meow broke Izuku out of his sudden spiral as Koko seemed to materialize out of nowhere.

The calico put her paw on Izuku knee and headbutted his elbows purring. It was only then that he realized his hands had been clenching his hair, nails digging into his scalp. He'd relapsed. He hadn't had a depressive episode that bad since he'd committed suicide. He'd had minor, short spirals he brushed off, but he hadn't had one like that since Toshinori was looking at him like he was insane.

"Are you alright, my boy?" Izuku stood clumsily, slipping on the sand.

"Yes!" His voice cracked. "I'm sorry All Might, but I need to—I need to go." He bowed quickly before turning around and sprinting away from the beach. The man wouldn't want someone like Izuku calling him by his name.

(Kohaku followed him quickly, but not before bumping gently against one of Toshinori's emancipated legs, as if to say, it's not your fault. If only he could believe that)

• • • • 

Izuku couldn't go home. He knew his mom would want him back, to tell her his results and celebrate his acceptance letter, but he couldn't go home tonight. Not how he was. She would feel so bad, be reminded of terrible things (the things that he'd done). He just couldn't hurt her.

Instead, he wandered, Koko in his arms, through the allies he used to frequent. He avoided the little pings of warning, and followed no certain path. He figured this way, he could stay alone, and just take the time to recover his thoughts and stability. The cat helped him, steady purrs rumbling against his chest in a soothing cadence. He could feel the dark weight laying in his head lighten as the night deepened. He reminded himself he shouldn't have responded like that to someone or assumed the worst of their opinions. He had people who cared about him, and Yagi-san wasn't one of the people who hated him.

It was around 2:00 am that he finally felt well enough to go home.

Of course, he was Midoriya Izuku and he could quite get by without accident. There was no premonition, probably because the danger was over, but Izuku found himself stumbling across Eraserhead with a man bound in his scarf. Immediately, he dropped his easy hold on a physical state and disappeared. Surprisingly, Kohaku stayed in his arms, but she didn't like it, and jumped out of his invisible arms with a yowl. Eraserhead looked up at the sound, tensing, but relaxed as he saw the cat. A frankly terrifying grin spread across his face, and, promptly knocking out the criminal, he walked over to the cat.

"Kohaku." He greeted with a nod, and the cat stared blindly back, but tilted her head as she regarded the man and seemed to nod back. What was going on? Leaning over, Eraserhead picked up Kokochan—Izuku's cat—and turned around, leaving with the kitten.

What was even happening? Wait— That was his cat!

And Eraserhead had forgotten the criminal!

• • • •

Izuku couldn't leave the criminal there without guard, but he also couldn't call the police station. Yet the man was too unwieldy for him to carry and too heavy for him to use telekinesis to bring him to the police station. As a solution- a very poor one-he managed to leverage the unconscious man into a trash bag and drag the man behind him. It was extremely undignified for the man, who'd probably wake up with many bruises, and Izuku looked like he was a murderer, but Izuku didn't care. (Except for vaguely, because if he was reported dragging a 'corpse' around, it would be goodbye UA, hello jail. But should he even be going to UA with the way he was- not going there. Izuku couldn't return that quickly)

It took a bit of maneuvering, and careful ghosting, but he eventually managed to make it to the district police office. He wondered if Sansa and Suke had missed him at all, or if they would be irritated that he was back. He'd managed to stay clean for a few months even though he'd only just managed to get a self-defense license (a formality, since it was allowed in many situations, but it did speed up interrogations and guarantee he wouldn't have to face any jail time while they decided if his quirk use was acceptable in the situation.)

Opening the door, he was surprised as Suke immediately spoke. "Midoriya. We've been expecting you."

"You were?"

"No," broke in Sansa. "But we were hoping you'd visit after we were told you'd been accep- Why do you have a trash bag?"

"I think the better question is why he has a person in that trash bag. Did you need us to cover for your murder? Because that would be a liability as we are police force." Suke broke in.

"W-what? No, of course not!" Izuku stammered. "Eraserhead left this criminal in an ally and didn't come back."

"That doesn't sound like Eraserhead," commented Sansa. "Was there a reason?"

"He took Koko-chan," Izuku pouted. "Why do people always steal her? She can't even see to run away from them."

"I've told you before that she can sense well enough to more than navigate, Midoriya-kun. As to why Eraserhead took her? To be honest, I don't want to know. I'm more interested in why you decided stuffing a criminal in a trash bag was a good idea."

Wincing, Izuku said the first thing that came to his mind. "Convenience?"

"No," Suke responded. "He was just taking out the trash."

• • • • 

It took a very short amount of time to explain the accident and file the report. Suke and Sansa were, of course, exasperated ("And you were doing so well too", as they went up to a small board and changed the score on it from 34 days to 1 day.)

Izuku was about to leave and a hand at his shoulder halted him. Flinching violently at the large hand, gentle as the pressure was, Izuku turned around, forcing himself to relax. He was safe here, of course, it was just unexpected contact. (He was glad All Might had never done that, the man's massive hands would have given him a heart attack for sure.)

"Sansa?" Izuku asked as his he called the beating in his chest.

The cat-headed officer's ears twitched, perhaps picking up on his startle. However, when he tugged lightly at his ears, Izuku recognizes it as Sansa's typical display of embarrassment.

"We actually got you something, as the police force, to commemorate your acceptance to UA."

"Really?" asked Izuku curiously. He hand even expected them to know.

"It's about time you started doing stuff legally after all," piped in Suke.

"So we got you this," finished Sansa, pulling out a box from behind the desk. "We weren't sure if you'd come by to get it, but we thought, 'just in case.'" Passing off the box to Izuku, Sansa'a ears flicked again.

Izuku opened the box, and, without a seconds delay, tears began falling down his face, steadily increasing as he gently touched the teal fabric inside. Before long he was placing the box on the bench as he rubbed at his eyes with his arm and tried to stifle the sobs he couldn't stop.

Suke and Sansa came over to him carefully, sitting next to him and, not touching him, but lending their support. "What are you crying for Midoriya-kun? It's just the truth"

That did it for him, as Izuku broke down bawling, tears flooding down his face and seeping past his wavering, watery grin, disappearing silently into the air.

In the box, the folded clothing was branded with the simple words, "Hero's T-Shirt."

 

Chapter Text

Izuku's mom flitted around him, worry flustering her expression and movements as he finished packing up his school bag.

"Are you sure you've got everything?" She fretted. "Your handkerchief and your pocket tissues too, right?"

Izuku sweatdropped at the fact that the two things she was specifically worried about had to do with him crying (but it wasn't actually that surprising). Closing up his zipper, Izuku turned to his mom, and gently took her wavering hands. "Okaa-san, I don't even need tissues, remember?" he told her gently. "I'll be alright."

"Oooooh, but I just worry so much…" she pulled Izuku into a tight hug, pushing him back and holding him at arm's length after a second. "You've grown up so much, Izuku."

"Actually, I haven't really grown at all-"

"You know that's not what I meant." she laughed slightly. "You just-" Inko looked him up in down, dressed in a fresh and pressed UA uniform and conspicuously missing a tie. Her eyes began watering up. "You just look so cool, Izuku!"

Izuku felt a beaming, lilted smile spread across his face. "Thanks Okaa-san!" was thrown over his shoulder as he swung his bag up and walked to the door. He threw one last glance back at her before shutting the door behind him. "You're really cool too, you know."

(He only just managed to shut the door before a flood of tears would have wet his new red shoes)

• • • •

Izuku ran down the street toward the train station, absentmindedly keeping an eye out for Katsuki. Expectedly, he was nowhere to be found. He had probably left at least thirty minutes before Izuku and caught an earlier train like the overachiever Kacchan really was. This thought was reaffirmed when the teenager was nowhere to be found on the train-Katsuki would never ever be late to the first day of UA, so it naturally fell to him being extra and leaving early.

The journey of getting to his highschool went quicker than Izuku expected, and before he knew it, he was standing outside a massive door labeled 1-A. Allowing himself for a second to marvel at the impressive size and be intimidated, Izuku took a deep breath and swung the door open.

It moved open quietly and slowly, so noone noticed Izuku as he stepped into the room and was allowed a peaceful moment to examine those already sitting in their seats. He spotted a surprising number of people from his arena, including the earphone girl he had worked with to defeat those robots. He'd have to talk to her. And the crow-headed guy (Was that his quirk or an affect of it? A lingering mutation that was simply part of familiar genetics or new to him? Did he have something other than bird related attributes because if he had those it didn't seem like it would be many and probably not enough to get into UA and-Were those teeth? In a beak?)

In the front of the classroom, was the blue-haired glasses boy that Izuku had hoped wouldn't be in his class. The teenager's height and muscle mass was too intimidating for Izuku's short height! He hadn't grown since middle school, after all. Kacchan however, clearly had no such reservations, as he had draped himself comfortably in his seat, legs kicked confidently over the desk as he began to bicker with glasses-now introducing himself to Katsuki as Iida Tenya.

At that moment, Iida noticed Izuku peeking out from the door, and spun on his heel straight into a bow, elbow at a right angle as he stretched his hand out to Izuku. "I, Iida Tenya from Somei Private Academy-"

"A-Ah! I heard you before, I'm Midoriya Izuku."

Iida barreled on without pause. "-apologie to you, Midoriya, for my actions at the exam. You clearly saw the true nature of the test, and it was a disgrace upon Somei for me to have not recognized this, truly you are the better student and-"

A loud crash startled Iida out of his monologue, glass glinting, he turned to face the cause. Katsuki stood, foot on his chair, and desk just recently kicked over. Iida immediately prepared to reprimand Katsuki, talking about how it was a disgrace to his middle school to have raised a delinquent like him.

"Tch." Katsuki sneered openly, lip turning up. "What the fuck is an extra like you going on about? You think any of us give a damn what middle school you're from, extra? We're students of UA now. Not of some fucking stuckup elitist school or any other one."

The class was all paying attention now, some muttering about too much drama for the first day. A red head muttered how manly Katsuki's dismissal of everyone's past was. Iida was clearly taken aback, rearing away, and practically stammering to himself. "Well of course not! I just thought that-"

"And what the fuck are you commending that shitty Deku on? Like hell he knew anything. Deku's just a damn idiot."

"EXCUSE ME? That is no way to talk about a fellow student-"

"It's you! The kitten boy who saved me!" A bubbly voice broke in from right behind him. Izuku jolted at the sudden touch at his shoulder, metaphorical hackles raising in surprised. He turned around to her, surprised that she was also in his class. She looked really cute too. UA did a great job with their uniforms!

"UM! G-gravity girl! I'm glad you got in!"

"Gravity girl?" She asked innocently, finger to her chin. "I'm Uraraka Ochako! I'm glad you got in too! Present Mic said you would!"

"Ahahahah…. Thank you for speaking on my behalf," he blushed as she leaned in close, still seeming to emit little pink flowers.

"You know about that?" She leaned back, hands suddenly clapping to flushed cheeks. "How embarrassing! But you know, I couldn't let my hero not get in!"

"Ah? Y-your hero?" Izuku's blush intensified, but a burning at his shoulder drew his attention around as the bubbly girl continued on about their first day. Behind him, Katsuki was sending a smoldering glare practically through him and at the girl. Izuku wondered what Uraraka could have done to Kacchan to make him mad at her. As far as he knew, they had never even interacted. His attention was draw away from the glare as something of a danger warning nudged at his subconscious. It drew his gaze to a bright yellow caterpillar-esque lump in the hallway which had certainly not been there before.

"-wonder what our teacher will be like?" the girl's voice continued as he zoned back in.

"If you're here to socialize, then get out." The familiar voice emanated from the sleeping bag, and Izuku's spine stiffened as the very top unzipped to reveal Eraserhead. Who was looking very strange as he slurped up an unidentified packet of juice. "This is the hero course."

Everyone looked wide-eyed at the lump as Aizawa climbed fully out of it. A clamour rose and after a few seconds the pro-hero spoke. "It took you eight seconds to calm down. Very irrational. Time is precious Even worse," he glowered. "Only one of you appears to have the situational awareness to notice me before I purposely revealed myself. You would all be dead in a combat situation." Izuku had forgotten how severe the man could be. Despite his clear weariness and tired appearance, the man had a looming presence over the class that quieted even the rowdiest of them.

"I'm Aizawa Shouta. Your homeroom teacher. Pleased to meet you. Now," as the man turned to dig something out of his sleeping bag, his capture scarf shifted and revealed a swishing tail and a pair of small ears peeking out of the top.

"Koko-chan!" Izuku shouted before he could help himself, shooting up from his seat. In the scarf, the cat shift, poking her heads out of the folds, bright amber eyes searching sightlessly as she sniffed the air.

"Meow?" The calico scrambled out of the man's scarf, unaware of her height, and tumbled down, causing a few students to shriek in worry. Izuku lunged out with his quirk and caught the cat, as he'd had to do many times in the past and drew his pet toward him. By the time the cat had reached Izuku's desk, Eraserhead had turned around and was observing him.

"So she's yours." He said blankly. (Maybe Izuku was imagining the dispair, because it shook itself out of the man's gaze in a second.) "I previously commended you for your awareness," when, Izuku wanted to ask, "but clearly I was mistaken if you managed to loose a blind cat. You should take better care of your pets."

Izuku looked at him, mouth agape as he bunched Kohaku up into his arms. How could Eraserhead blame him for loosing Koko-chan? "...and you shouldn't steal cat's you find in alleyways," Izuku accidentally muttered, voice slipping out quietly. Hopefully enough that the teacher wouldn't notice. (Aizawa did notice. He wasn't an underground hero for nothing. It was strange. What he said implied that the boy had seen him taking Kohaku, but Aizawa was an underground hero. He would have known if there had been someone else in the alley that night.)

"Anyway. Quickly now. Change into your gym clothes and head out the grounds." He flashed a scary, red-eyed smile back to the classroom. "You have fifteen minutes or you're expelled."

The class erupted into outcry, protesting that when they didn't know where anything was-the gym locker or the fields, but Aizawa was already gone.

"Surely he wasn't being serious…?" said a yellow-haired boy. The rest of the class muttered awkward agreements. Izuku watched them out of the corner of his eyes as he picked up his suit, shifting Kohaku into his other arm. Kacchan was missing? Maybe he knew where to go?

Izuku left the class behind and looked down the hallway. Katsuki was almost to the other end of the hall, confidently walking in the direction of the changing rooms (Izuku may have visited UA once or twice as a ghost.) Next to him was the shark-toothed red head who kept calling everything 'manly'. He was leaning into Katsuki's personal space and rambling on with a wide smile about how cool Katsuki was and how grateful he was that Bakugou had saved him. Oh! He must have been one of kacchan's rescue points then. Izuku was glad that Katsuki was making friends. Or, well, maybe making friends, Izuku thought as Katsuki snapped and growled at the too-close-for-him boy, probably cussing him out. How very Kacchan.

Izuku left them behind and began walking to a shortcut not displayed on the student maps of the school (that may have also required the ability to go subtly intangible). He wanted to be in and out of the changing rooms as quickly as possible to hopefully avoid anyone seeing the numerous scars that littered his body from his fall and his past. He was just glad that no wounds since he'd died had left any lingering marks. Still, the amount he had already had would have certainly raised questions. Especially the ones ringing his neck and arms from where they'd cracked on impact with the ground. They were too gruesome to make up some arbitrary explanation for, warped and darkened skin risen from arm, the color itself implying how deep the wounds had been (from the inside out).

Shaking the thoughts off, he set Kohaku down and told her to meet him at the field before allowing himself to fall through the floor. Arriving in the center of the locker room, he ducked into a stall and quickly pulled off his clothes and donned the UA issued track suit. Eyeing the scars lining his elbow and forearm, he decided that was a no-go, and quickly removed the shirt, donning a grey long sleeved undershirt, glad he had thought to bring it. When he left the stall, Katsuki and his… tagalong were only just arriving. Katsuki's eyes widened as he noticed that Izuku was already dressed and leaving, but he seemed to realize how he'd gotten there so quickly as his eyes darted up to the ceiling.

"Tch. Shitty deku." He growled, brushing lightly against Izuku's shoulder as he walked up to his locker.

"Duude, that's not very nice to say to a classmate!" the redhead reprimanded as Izuku walked out the door. Reprimanding Katsuki wasn't a great idea, but Izuku figured a UA student could survive it, and he really wanted to get out to the field (he had questions and he needed to make sure Koko didn't get abducted again.

He got to the grounds just as his cat did, and quickly scooping her up, Izuku walked gleefully over to Eraserhead. Yes! He had a lot of time to ask his questions now!


Aizawa Shouta glanced at his timer. It had been three minutes since he'd left, so clearly noone had taken his warning seriously enough and rushed to get out in time. Disappointing. No sooner had the thought formed that a small meow broke the quiet air, and Aizawa's hearing snapped to attention. Had the stupid child lost his cat again? (Could he confiscate her?) Turning to face the sound, he frowned when he spotted the kid. Had he panicked and rushed down to meet him? That was also foolish. At least none of the boy's clothes were backwards. He'd seen that too many time. Instead, his eyes focused on the gray sleeves poking out his shirt and reaching comfortably around his wrists. That… was always a little worrying. Midoriya Izuku, Shouta remembered, seemed like a happy child. Overly cheerful even, but he had never seen anything good out of someone choosing to wear long sleeves for exercise in the middle of the summer. It was something to look into.

The child in question seemed to notice him at that moment, and his expression brightened instantaneously (what?) as he bounded over to his teacher.

"Eraserhead-sensei! I have so many questions! Your quirk is called Erasure, right? Or something like it? And it prevents people from using their quirks while your using it through your eyes? Do you need full view of them? I don't think so since your goggles would probably prevent you from using your quirk in that case, but I know if you loose sight of someone, the effects go away, so what's the cutoff point? Or is it actually just when you blink and the quirk otherwise stays in effect? Could you activate it on multiple people at once? What happens if you look in a mirror and-"

Shouta stared in dawning horror as Midoriya rambled on and on. How the fuck did a random kid know so much about him and his quirk? No way could anyone get that much information out of the few clips that were released on the web of him. "You… know who I am?"

The boys mouth shut with a click, and his eyes seemed to shimmer, as a grin spread across his face. "Of course I know Eraserhead! You're so awesome" And damn. If Midoriya doesn't say that with enough awe in his voice to make Shouta feel like genuinely smiling- "You're my second favorite hero!" Shouta tries to crush the unreasonable disappointment at that. Shit. He's not a hero for the fans! (It's literally the exact opposite, goddamnit!)

"...Right." The students are beginning to arrive, with just a few minutes left on the clock, filtering out of the entrance, starting with the boy with the explosion quirk-who actually looked like he'd been standing and watching for a little bit, which was kind of strange, but that was probably just kids these days. "It would be illogical to answer your questions Midoriya. I'm not an underground hero for nothing. In fact, that you know all that at all is rather…"

Midoriya blinked, trying to understand before slamming his hands up to his mouth. "Of course! I'm sorry Eraserhead-sensei! I'm an avid fan and I, um, I've seen you fight in person before, that's all!"

"Don't refer to me as Eraserhead in school. It's Aizawa for you," Shouta advised tiredly as the last student came out of the locker, just a few seconds left before he'd have been late. Chances were, the weird purple baby teenager would be expelled for not trying hard enough by the end of the evaluation. Perfect.

"Today," Shouta began emotionlessly. "I'll be conducting a test of your quirks." The class stared at him blankly. The girl who had only just been allowed in with her barely passing score (because of her preposterous request to give her 'undeserved' points to the boy who had saved her, who was already passing with flying colors, the board had decided she was selfless enough to be admitted rather than dismissed for the other child who had tied with her. Aizawa feels he would have much rather taught the boy with the interesting quirk in than the foolish bubbly girl who couldn't tell when she was being overzealously considerate to the point of irritation. 28 points was a meagre enough score as it was.) asked about the entrance ceremony.

"What about the orientation?! Or guidance sessions?"

Not looking at her, he answered bluntly. "No time to waste with frivolous niceties if you want to be a hero, Uraraka Ochako." Shouta moved to face the other students. "UA is not superior to other hero schools in many aspects. What we are is a good place to form connections. We're also known for our 'freestyle' education system. That applies to us teachers as well." He turned a steady glower on them. "We do what we know will help our students succeed. If you don't like it, you can just leave." Seeing that no one was willing to protest, he continued. "The evaluation is simple, things you did in Middle School. The standard, no-quirk fitness tests. This country still insists on prohibiting quirks in calculating the averages of those measures. It's not rational." He turned his gaze to the class. Some were listening attentively, other like the grape boy were doing something else (Shouta fought back a growl at the fact that the grapes activity of preference was leering and drooling at the girls.) Bakugou was raptly paying attention to his words, while still looking bored, and Midoriya who had, inexplicably, decided the place he wanted to be was practically leaning into the fiery boy's side (seemed dangerous, but it wasn't Shouta's problem) was muttering about the pros and cons of the way the evaluation system worked. He had some surprisingly good ideas, even if they were muffled into his finger, but that was beside the point. Even as he watched, the green-haired boy lost his balance and fell into the explodey child, who promptly pushed him away, and the sudden change of weight distribution caused Midoriya to fall to the floor, blinking in surprise and drawing the care of Uraraka and Iida Tenya. (Who instantly began to berate Bakugou's meanness.)

Pointedly ignoring the chaos, Shouta called out the teen's name. "Bakugou. You tied for first—" the boy growled at the reminder (probably some sort of inferiority complex. Had to be all or nothing to prove himself to himself. That needed to be worked on), and for whatever reason, Midoriya, returned to his side, muttered how bad an idea it was to say that to Kacchan. (What sort of cutesy name was that for the gruff blond?) "How far could you throw in Middle School?"

"Seventy-one meters." ("Oh! You improved!" exclaimed the green child.)

"Great. Now try it with your quirk. Do whatever. Just don't leave the circle." He watched as the teen strolled up confidently, face shadowed as he smirked. "Give it all you've got." As the boy's. smirk turn into violently bared teeth in what some could call a grin, Shouta's own smile began to show, excited to see what the boy would produce.

"Awesome," Bakugou breathed as he rolled his arm—smart. It would help ensure he wouldn't pull a muscle. Shouta expected that most kids would just get right into it. Perhaps he had misjudged Bakugo based off his combat ability and foul mouth— "DIE!" He yelled, setting off a massive explosion. Or perhaps not. Either way…. Aizawa looked down at his tracker. Nice.

"It's important for us to know our limits." He displayed to the class who were repeating 'die' amongst themselves with horrified expressions. "That's the first step to knowing what type of hero you'll be. And how to surpass yourself. 718.2 meters. Good job Bakugou."

Cheers over how cool this was broke out, several complimenting Bakugou for his performance. The green child leaned in particular close? And received particular vehement denial in exchange as he got shoved back—leading to another outcry about the blond's meanness. What was wrong with his class?

"Fun you say?" Shouta asked menacingly, bring his hand up to his face. "You're hoping to be a hero in three years and you expect to have time for fun and games? Right. The one with the total lowest score across all eight events will judged hopeless and expelled." Ignoring the outcry, he glared at them. His students were just lucky he was only threatening to expel one of them.

"What do you mean unfair? Natural disasters, villain attacks...calamity is always right around the corner. Japan is full of unfair things. Heros are the ones that fix these things. Your fates are in your hands. We will put you through the wringer to make you the best heroes you can be. That's Plus Ultra. Welcome. This is the hero course at UA High. Use your strength to overcome it all. So bring it on."

• • • •

The tests went smoothly, each student doing well enough, and some surprising Shouta in their own ways. Uraraka was scoring well, nulling some of his negativity toward her. The infinity was also particularly impressive. Todoroki was doing well, even with using just half of his quirk, but Shouta was assuming that was due to lack of places to use fire to his advantage. Yaoyorozu was another standout, impressing him with her creativity, using motorcycles, trampolines, a hydraulic press, and, notably, a canon to improve her score.

Midoriya and Bakugou too, were very impressive, especially seeing as they came from the same no-name school. Bakugou used what appeared to be brute force to blast himself through the courses, but Shouta's trained eye could recognize the practiced skill needed to execute his moves and clean stops, as well as the ease he was able to do certain things. Like the quick placed explosions he used to both counter balance his movement and propel himself to the other line in the side jumping. He scored 3.94 on the speed test and did really well in the long jump as well. Thus far, the only one he hadn't done in the top 3 on was the grip test, but even Shouta couldn't think of a way he could use his quirk in the test-that said, the kid still found a way into the top five in that one. Overall, an outstandingly skilled student, if one with anger issues.

Then there was Midoriya. For whatever reason, he stuck with Katsuki on every test, (or shoved his cat to her when they weren't going at the same time, though the explody boy didn't seem happy about and neither did Kohaku. They could have just given her to Shouta). Shouta was fine with Midoriya sticking to Bakugou because he seemed to know how to avoid the rebound of the explosions, which might have damaged any other student's score, but it was still odd. He made it in 5.34 seconds on the short sprint, which was a good speed for his height and not using a quirk, but what made Shouta curious was that he wasn't even slightly winded. His grip strength score was placed exactly in the middle, but that was only because the stupid technology kept malfunctioning every time Midoriya touched it, and Shouta was too tired to go find anymore after all of them had broken. He ignored the sheepish apologies. Then on the long jump, he actually had scored the first infinity of the day, Shouta giving up when Midoriya just kept floating forward and glancing back over his shoulder like he was wondering when he should land. It was pretty clear he could keep it going for a long time, if not forever. (It was also a weird way for physics negation to work, but whatever. Shouta hadn't studied the topic extensively, and quirks were just weird.) Midoriya had scored mostly in the top five. Then came time for the ball throw.

The green-haired boy had yet to use the strange harmful, strength part of his quirk. It showed that he had some self preservation-which hadn't been even hinted at during the entrance exam. Aizawa had hopes for him. He had likely realized that using something that harmful would only make him a liability. He had seemed smarter than first appearances, so-- Or not. Midoriya was apparently actually an idiot, because he was mumbling to the air about how maybe he should use that  quirk for practice or something like that. He gained a few odd looks, but passing Kohaku off to a disgruntled Bakugou, he stepped up to the circle, and, with an odd nodd of to the side, closed his eyes as he breathed in and his arm lit up with vibrant arcs of gold and green electricity.


Aizawa activates his quirk. "Midoriya Izuku. It's irrational that someone like you who expects others to save you got into the hero course. You were doing well, but refused to be flexible and recognize that using your strength could make a situation wor-"

Aizawa and the other nineteen students stare wide-eyed at the spot Midoriya had stood. It was as empty as possible, air still and silent, no student to be found.

Midoriya Izuku was gone.

Chapter Text

Fuzzy emptiness clouded Katsuki's head, turbulent roils of thumber sending stabs of lightning-like pain through his skull. Agape, he stared at the unsettling empty space. The air there was broken. Ominous. Still. Quiet. Empty. Where was Izuku? Why wasn't he there? Why was the air so heavy? (Leaden ice spread through Katsuki's limbs as the air grew cold.)

The small cat jumped out of Katsuki's arms, meowing plaintively, almost crying at the spot Izuku had stood. He only knew because of the sudden lightness, but he couldn't feel his arms.

Lightning-quick panic shot through him-What the fuck had Aizawa done? Vicious anger raced turbently through his throat and panicked fear left numbness in his sparking fingers as they flashed with light and fire. Izuku was gone. (He was gone. Gone. Gone again and what if he didn't come back this tim- what would Katsuki do?)

A rabid yowling growl rising unheeded in his throat, Katsuki tore his gaze off the void where Deku had stood and turned his feral glare to his teacher.

"You bastard…" Was that Katsuki? He didn't know. His head was ringing too loudly. Body tensing, muscles coiling in murderous anticipation, Bakuogu lunged at Aizawa, a guttural screech tearing it's way out of his throat.

"YOU FUCKING BASTARD!"


Somewhere between borrowing Nana's quirk and Bakugou lunging at their teacher, time seemed to slow down for Izuku. A part of him could tell it had been a few seconds at best, but it could have been Aeons, trapped in a dark arena of nullified space.

He knew what was happening-to an extent. It was something he had thought of before. Eraserhead erases his quirk and Izuku passes on-but as soon as he's there, the quirk is no longer in effect, so he comes back. And it becomes a paradox until Aizawa stops. He had thought of it. Worried over what it might be like, but had never imagined it this painful.

Although time passed at a miniscule place in the darkened void of the afterlife, he could feel his entire being straining and being pulled back and forth between realities until he was dizzy and hardly capable of standing. His soul was being torn back and forth, a tug of war for reality or nothingness to win. For single fragments of a millisecond, Izuku would catch a blinding glance of the brilliant light that belonged to life, but those glimpses were gone before he could process them.

Though he could not see nor hear, monsters of the dark and shadow seemed to surround him, all the creatures ever thought of or thought to have been known. Those of legends and fantasies and passing day dreams seemed to writhe around him, eldritch abominations of death and nothingness, gentle brushes of their scales against his arms like a lash, sending streaks of bloody pain through his non-being. Silent howls broke the empty space in demoniac ripples. Shadowy phantoms of black hellflame snatched at his arms in the howling silence, leaving searing lines of fire across his skin.

The chasmic emptiness worked away and corroded everything that was not the same, all the invaders in the perfect abyss, until there was nothing left but these creatures of void and silence. The only reason Izuku remained was the slight cracks wherein he was able to breath in the respite of reality, of the plane of being.

(There was light too. Blinding, searing, golden light that filled his soul with warmth and beamed in an eternity of warmth and peace just beyond the endless purgatory of fear and evil, and Izuku caught glimpses in the end of each cycle, and felt he was torn away too soon, back to his real reality for that single instant before returning to the timeless vacuum. A part of him that grew bigger with each hellish cycle screamed for him to give up and just stay in the golden light, but Izuku knew that that would be the End, and so he forced himself to endure.)

Getting yanked back in forth in an endless pattern, this repeated. On and on and on and on. An interminable cycle of being and nonbeing as he flickered and weakened as existence continued on around him.

(And finally, after this endless eternity of shadow and light, everything stopped, and Izuku found himself laying collapsed in the world of life and being to which he barely belonged, twenty eyes on him, and panicked fear racing through his heart.)


Shouta doesn't know if he's ever seen anything like this before. What sort of quirk made it so that a whole kid just didn't exist one that quirk was no longer active? For a moment, he considered the possibility that the kid was the result of a villains quirk-infiltration or something like that, but Shouta would have to be looking at the villain for that to work. So what could this possibly have been caused by? He kept his quirk activated, as he stared the area down, trying to figure out what he was missing. For a second, he thought he saw a flash of the child, pain clear across his face, but it was too quick a glance for it to have been anything but an illusion.

A loud shriek from the resident angry child, finally snapped his gaze away from the spot the kid had stood. He only managed to turn his head, and fond the explosive child in his face, fist reared back and popping viscously, an almost terrified snarl marring his expression, ready to smash Shouta's face in. He jerked back instinctively, ducking below the fist, and ready to knock Bakougou's feet out so he could contain him safely, when a small, heaving gasp broke Shouta's movements, and the slight distraction allowed him to get decked in the face, bruising force behind the punch. This was certainly a day of firsts-to get hit so straight on by a student; but he was a little distracted. Bakugou pulled back, fist ready for another punch, while Shouta's other students gasped and hesitated to come forward and stop him. Shouta readied to throw the kid off and expel him if he tried for another hit, but instead, all the energy seemed to leave his body, as a quiet, strained, clearly distressed voice came from the side.

"Ka… ann," croaked Midoriya, sitting brokenly on the ground, limbs seeming heavy and pained. In a second, Bakugou was off of Shouta and lurching toward the smaller boy. Aizawa instantly there his scarf out to restrain the feral boy, but missed as Bakugou collapsed to the ground, just in front of Midoriya, staring blankly at the green-eyed teen. Aizawa couldn't blame him, looking at the kid.

Thin lines of reddened skin criss-crossed his arms, blood beading on some of the larger ones. The edges seemed burned, lined with charred skin and tinged with bruised purple. His eyes seemed fragmented, green shimmering like broken sea glass, dull and shattered. It had just been a few seconds-what the hell could have possibly happened to this boy? Why were all his student's such fucking problem children?


Bakugou kneeled where he fell, trying and failing to control his erratically beating heart. It was fine. Izuku was back. He wasn't gone. He wouldn't disappear. He was back. This wasn't the same as last time. He would stay. It. Is. Not. The. Fucking. Same. Katsuki hadn't killed Izuku again, it was just a little blip, a mistake and Izuku was back.

But he wasn't fine. He looked haunted, more haunted than he had right after he jumped off a fucking roof and realized that maybe he didn't want to leave. And that had been the worst Katsuki had ever seen him. But like this- Shadows flickered around Izuku, dark flames licking at the air around him, crawling off his skin as the too-small boy shook, eyes darkened and almost broken. He looked terrified, and so, so tired. Blood welled at his arms and stained his sleeves, dripping off them around his elbow, and though the blood was still disappearing, his wounds weren't healing nearly as quickly as they should have. They lingered, and if there was one thing that Katsuki couldn't bear to see it was Izuku bleeding. (A small part of him recognized the placement of the major wounds of his, the large cut dripping at his jaw and the spiraling gash where Izuku's arm had shattered against the pavement that day.)

Katsuki could tell that Izuku had dissociated, he had forgotten to keep breathing, and his eyes stared aimlessly at the ground, fingers the only sign of life, twitching almost unnoticeable at his side. If he wasn't so close to the same state, Katsuki would have marched over and shook the nerd out of it, but he was struggling not to start hyperventilating. He could feel the eyes of the class staring at them, and a part of Katsuki writhed and burned with the desire to tell them off and explode them to hell, but he knew they had made a pretty big scene. They're curious and concerned eyes weren't helping though, and he could feel his heart rate accelerating, the air blurring and wavering around him, edges of his vison turning back and he found it hard to breath and Izuku was still—Kohaku bumped against his hand, furry head and soft ears a comforting feeling against his hand. Enough to break him out of what would have been a spiral.

"Fuck…" He breathed, pushing himself to his feet. It had only been maybe thirty seconds at the most, but that was too many. He must have seemed so fucking weak. Kohaku, seeming to decided that he was fine, tottered her way over to the owner, and pawed at his leg and his hand. But he didn't respond. Her meows grew louder, but gained no response. She even climbed onto his lap, and sniffed at his chin, balancing her forepaws on his shoulder. Izuku remained blank, still not breathing, which was growing more and more disturbing, whether or not he needed air. In his peripheral vision, Katsuki could see that some of the extras who decided to be Izuku's friends were inching forward or shifting nervously, clearly one second from coming forward, and problably doing something stupid.

Mind made up, Katsuki stepped forward, still needing to carefully control his breath. As he got in touching-distance from Izuku, the cat seemed to smell him, and backed away.

"Oi. Deku. Get up or I'll kill you." Naturally, the dissociated teen didn't respond, so Katsuki sighed, and, planting a boot-clad food on Izuku's shoulder, pushed his shoulder. Protesting shouts from disgruntled and outraged students rose from behind him as Izuku promptly fell over like a board. "Piss off, you fucking extras!" Katsuki growled to them in response. A second after hitting the ground, Deku's stiffened body relaxed, and seemed less doll-like. He muttered softly, eyes gaining a little bit of light, gaze raising from the ground pressing against his cheek up to Katsuki's face.

"Ka-kacchan!" He sobbed, pushing himself off the dirt and throwing himself into Katsuki's arms. Hell no. Katsuki wasn't doing this now. (He didn't know if he'd be able to bear it.) Shoving Izuku away from him, he huffed angrily, but too quietly for anyone but Izuku to hear. "Damn it Deku. You fucking scared me."

Izuku's green eyes widened, as he gazed at Katsuki's face. "I'm so sorr-"

"AND," Katsuki interrupted. "Your display was fucking weird and you'd better have a good fucking explanation for the class."

"Ah?" Izuku turned to look at the group standing a few dozen feet away. His eyes widened comedically, and a flush overtook his features. "Ohmygod-what am I gonna tell them?" He turned to the fucking teacher that had vanished Izuku.

"Yes. I would very much like an explanation," said Aizawa ominously.


Shouta…. Shouta was ready to just give up on his class and curl up in his sleeping bag forever. He didn't sign up to deal with this shit.

First of all, Midoriya's stumbling and stutering explanation, was all over the place. What kind of quirk had a mutation that literally made it so your body was scattered atoms and only held together with your quirk? It made no sense. And even if it did, how would Midoirya have known that? It was possible that he had dismanifested when the quirk first devolped-which, if they had known each other long enough, could have explained Bakugou's violent reaction, but it was still weird and not what Shouta had been fucking expected. It was stupid and irrational and all Shouta wanted was for any of this situation to be logical, but of course not. Of. Course. Not.

And what was with those weird wounds across Midoriya's arms? Why did he dissociate so heavily when he came back. What could have spurned Bakugou into attacking so viciously and ferally? And why did the two students seeming attuned enough to such panick attacks that they could just pretend like they had never happened seconds when they were taken care of? It wasn't fucking logical! And their nonchalance had spread to the rest of the class, who decided that what had happened wasn't as big a deal as it was.

Then when Shouta had just decided "to hell with it" and gave the ball back to Midoriya, who stared at it for a second before staring at Shouta with wide, vaguely frightened eyes.

"You- you're not gonna erase my quirk again, right?"

Shouta sighed, shaking his head, "Whatever you planned before… it would have inconvenienced those around you. You were doing well, in the tests but your arrogance and desire to be the best, like a certain other hero I know of, would have rendered you useless. It's illogical. Midoriya Izuku, if you insist on using that part of your quirk, you cannot be a hero."

"Arrogance?" Midoriya muttered. "That's not-" he shook his head, seeming to realize that there was no point arguing with Shouta. Good. Now, what would the teenager do? Would he use his quirk and prove himself a entitled liability just to prove a point, or take the smart way that also showed he didn't have the personality to be a hero? With how shaken he was by the whole disappearing act, Shouta doubted he could be a hero either way. Instead meekness and nervous, shifting eyes, like Shouta expected Midoriya's eyes filled with fire and electricity, determination clearly racing through them. (Was Shouta imagining the glow?) Midoriya fired up his quirk again, gold and green lightning crackling and twining around his arm, cording through his muscles, and with a massive burst of power which split the very air, Midoriya threw the ball with power just in his finger, propelling it just short of Bakugou's score. While breaking his damn finger of course.

…At least it wasn't his whole arm again. It actually kind of impressed Aizawa that the pair was able to recover so quickly from their respective breakdowns. Of course, they shouldn't have had one in the first place…These kids...

Either way, the rest of the tests passed smoothly, neither faltering from rebound, and Midoriya didn't even seem affected by his shattered finger-which actually seemed less broken than it had just a few minutes ago?

Midoriya placed first for the second time after that, somehow beating Yaoyorozu out on the endurance run, even though the girl had created a motorcycle. It ran out of gas before Midoriya grew too tired to continue. In fact, Midoriya didn't even seem tired. What the hell was up with this monster of a kid? He done exceptionally well in the seated toe-touch and upper body training tests as well--it was almost like the boy hadn't had any ligaments or muscles to strain.

Once all the test were done, Shouta projected the scores to the class. Of course Midoriya and Bakugou had made it into the top three along with Yaoyorozu. In the beginning, Shouta had thought that Midoriya would in maybe the top 5, but not number one, and he had assumed that the Todoroki boy would make it to the very top. Glancing at the dual-haired boy, he could see in his gritted teeth and clenched fists that he had assumed the same. There were probably some issues there, and Shouta wondered why Kan didn't get any of these problem children. It wasn't fair. Shouta was too tired to deal with this.

Glancing at the last score, he turned to the predicted failure. "Mineta Minoru. You're expelled. You have until the end of the day to collect your things and leave te school." He heard some gasps behind him, Yaoyorozu in particular, exclaimed she'd assumed it was a ruse. Mineta gaped at him.

"You can't do that! I got into this school fair and square! I'll take this up with the principal and-" Before he could finish the sentence, Shouta had him bound and gagged in his capture tape. He held back disgust at the lecher's mostly muffled mutter of "kinky."

"I can't do it, you say? Principal Nedzu is fully aware of and okay with my expelling of students. And you don't deserve to get expelled? You came in last place, behind the girl without a suitably athletic quirk. You, Mineta, very clearly weren't trying. This is your own fault." Shouta glared, eyes flaring red. "I would have expelled you based purely on your actions towards your female classmates, but if you think there is any chance you could remain in this class after that miserable showing in the quirk tests, then you are sorely mistaken."

Shouta watched as the disgusting grape-child began crying, round tears pouring ot of his eyes. To his surprise, Midoriya stepped forward and kneeled next to the boy, on eyes a little watery in sympathy.

"It's okay, Mineta-Kun! UA has a policy regarding this-upon expulsion you can apply to transfer to general education! Then, if you do well at the sports festival, I'm sure you can transfer back in! You can do it, Mineta-kun!"

It was pretty obvious in hindsight, that Midoriya would be the type to comfort even lechers like Mineta, and Shouta could feel a little, miniscule amount of fondness well up at Midoriya's clear concern for an upset classmate. It made him almost want to claim a logical ruse and keep Mineta in the class. He had gotten rather high scores on the entrance—

Mineta glared at Midoriya, turning his snotty face to Shouta. "Why am I the one being expelled anyway! What about Greeny here!? He broke down like some sort of baby in the middle of tests just because you erased his quirk! And what about his abusive boyfriend? He literally punched you! Why do the homos get to stay but I don't?"

Midoriya reared back, clearly hurt, and Bakugou began letting off explosions, lunging toward the disgusting grape child, only held back by Kirishima as he spit out obscenities—and made sure to emphasize that "shitty Deku" wasn't his boyfriend. Shouta was really ready to go to sleep. After he killed the little homophobic pervert of course. Tightening the capture tape that the grape baby had pulled away from his mouth and dragging the disgusting child toward him, Shouta delivered a sharp glare. "Those two are staying because they showed dedication and did their best to win despite any difficulties they passed through. They also came in the very top of the class. I will be having a talk with Bakugou about why he lashed out, but at the moment, I can overlook his misbehavior for his talent. You, have no such talent to speak of. Now," Shouta grinned evilly. "I suggest you leave before I blacklist you from every hero school in this country."

It seemed to suitably terrify the grape child, as he ran away, shaking. Shouta turned to the rest of the class, warning them, "Should anyone else find it fitting to insult a classmate for any reason or try to throw them under the bus, know that an expulsion will be soon following." He grinned sharply at them. "Just a warning."

• • • •

With that, Shouta dismisses his students to change, with the exception of one.

"Bakugou. Would you mind explaining why you believed it at all appropriate to attack your teacher?"

The student in question kicked sullenly at the ground, glaring harshly at the dirt like it had personally offended him. "Tch. Because I fucking felt like it, that's why."

Oh lord, Why did Shouta always get the students like this? "I highly doubt that. But sure. And would you care to explain what happened with Midoriya?"

Bakugou's expression somehow became more closed off. "You erased his quirk and he could no longer hold his atoms together so he dissipated," he growled almost mechanically.

"And why did this affect you so much?"

Hands tightening at his side, Bakugou glared murderously at Shouta. It was honestly a scary look for a hero in training. (Would he consider going underground? His quirk was too flashy, but damn, he'd probably be good at intimidation.) "You fucking tell me."

"I'm afraid I can't understand the irrational mind of teenagers."

"Hah." Bakugou laughed humorlessly. "Of course not. Fine. I had no clue if your quirk would cause permanent damage or not. If you saw someone basically die, would you be fucking calm?"

"Die?"

"What the hell? Yeah. He basically died. Or what the fuck would you call being unable to manif—hold your body and mind together?"

Oh. Oh. Yeah, Shouta hadn't thought about that. If Erasure had kept Midoriya from coming back, then he might have basically become a ghost. Stupid damn illogical physics manipulation/negation quirk. He couldn't blame Bakugou if he thought Shouta had basically killed his… well, friend, assumedly.

Rubbing his eyebrows, Shouta dismissed Bakugou, who slouched off angrily, not failing to send a final glare over his shoulder as he disappeared into the changing room. What a class he'd ended up with indeed.

He was very much ready to return to his sleeping bag and go into a coma.

Instead, he was interrupted by a cheerful All Might.

"Aizawa-Kun! What a coincidence to see you here!"

"No it's not. We both work here. What do you want?"

All Mights wide and phony smile slipped just a little around the edges. "Ah, well, I actually wanted to ask you about Young Midoriya and Bakugou… it was quite a strange scene."

"You were watching us? Doesn't the number one hero have better things to do?"

"Ah, well, you see, I was actually interested in seeing Young Midoriya's performance—Ah, that is too say, I saw him in the entrance exam and was surprised by his heroic prowess—Hahaha!"

"Right." Shouta didn't believe that at all, but he didn't have any other way to respond. "I'm afraid that anything that happened during my class stays in my class, and I see no reason to tell you."

All Might couldn't accept that, and fiddled awkwardly before continuing. "To be quite honest, I knew him prior to the entrance exam, so his several run ins with villains and acquaintanceship with the Musutafu police force."

It actually took effort to hide his surprise at that. Midoriya was known by the Musutafu police? Could he be Midori? But that would be far too obvious, surely? Besides, Shouta was sure that the pseudo-vigilante was older than any of his students. It was just an odd little coincidence.

"That doesn't matter. It still isn't any of your business. If you'll excuse me, I'd like to take a nap before having to deal with my class."