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Coward's Survival Guide

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To Midoriya, the attack had come out of nowhere. One moment, all the world had been the gentle setting sun over the ocean and All Might’s encouraging smile as Midoriya tried very stubbornly to convince another pile of trash to move and then-

The explosion threw Midoriya up and away with bone shattering force as his back connected with the steel of an abandoned washer unit. Pain fractured his body and blackness bordered his vision as Midoriya struggled to remain conscious. Through his daze, Midoriya could make out two figures, one large and misshapen and the other a lean man covered in– were those hands?! Behind the pair there was a void, an inky blackness that seemed to eat the last bits of sunlight from the horizon. All Might stood with his back to Midoriya, his stance betraying none of his tension, if you excluded All Might’s large, white knuckled fists.

“While I’m always willing to oblige evil with a punch in the face, don’t you boys know it’s a little rude to disturb a man’s evening stroll on the beach?” All Might’s tone was all pleasantry and thinly veiled aggression. The man covered in hands stepped forward then and Midoriya shrunk back, heedless of the pain radiating from his spine.

“We didn’t come here for idle chatter, All Might. We came for you.” The man covered in hands now surges forward, aiming to attack All Might head on. All Might goes to grab the man’s arm, but instead quickly pulls his own arm back and kicks his leg up, snapping the man in the face with his foot. The man is driven back into a pile of trash and debris, coming to rest about twenty feet away. Pulling himself up, the man smiles sickly beneath the hand outstretched over most of his face.

Shuddering, Midoriya thinks. Something is weird about this guy, he isn’t just some normal villain. But who in their right mind would just show up in front of All Might to start a fight no one could expect to win? But then Midoriya hears All Might grunt in pain and looks over to see his hero clutching his forearm tightly as the skin breaks apart and Midoriya’s breath rips away from him. How did he hurt All Might so easily?

“Odd. Feeling a little slow today, All Might? Doesn’t really make a difference, though, does it? Noumu, destroy him.” As the man said these words, the hulking figure, Noumu, roared with the voracity of something wild and dark, filled with bloodlust. The creature, Midoriya couldn’t describe something that filled him with such primal fear as even resembling human, leapt on All Might with a torrent of body breaking blows. Those punches would instantly kill me, but All Might’s still standing. Of course this guy couldn’t faze the Number One Hero! But All Might isn’t fighting back. He’s just blocking as Noumu rains down his fists upon him, allowing the creature’s blows to push him away and into the ocean.

As the distance between himself and the battle widens, Midoriya realizes All Might is trying create an opening for Midoriya to flee. Fear wraps slick, heavy tendrils all around Midoriya, pulling him up to feet and tugging at his legs while Midoriya can feel them tighten along his neck. He can’t look away. All Might in no longer withstanding the blows but is actually being knocked around and staggering, clothes ripped and wounds opened across his body. Tears well up in Midoriya’s eyes as he watches his hero, the Symbol of Peace, All Might, get beaten to a bloody pulp. ‘No, ALL MIGHT! I can’t just leave him like this!’ And yet Midoriya still doesn’t move. He knows if he tries to rush in, like he did with Kachan, he will die.

‘Dammit, DAMMIT! Why? Why can’t I help him?!’ Midoriya’s tears now flowed freely down his face as his shoulders shake in fear and frustration. ‘I’ve got to do something or All Might’s gonna get hurt!’ But Midoriya feels paralysed and nothing can uproot him from his position as his heart hammered wildly, skipping beats, crashing dangerously around in his chest. Noumu has All Might’s shirt front snagged on his claws now and is rocketing his fist into All Might’s face mercilessly. Midoriya feels hopeless and wonders, ‘Why don’t you just fight back, All Might?!’ and then watches blood gush from All Might’s mouth. Midoriya heart freezes, his body stills, and his thoughts are like ice shards impaling his brain.

All Might’s injury, its worse than I realized, so much worse. His ability to stay in hero form isn’t the only thing that’s been reduced. He’s weak. With this also comes the fact that All Might’s reputation has lured just as many villians to try their luck as it has kept them away. He’s the strongest man on the planet at full power but right now All Might isn’t even close. The hand guy said they were here for All Might, was confused by All Might’s lessened reactions, so that beast was created to face a healthy All Might head on.

Midoriya, with startling clarity, knew then All Might was about to die. No one knows we’re here, this beach is always empty due to all the waste, and I never bring my phone with me so I’ll focus on my training and not Hero News. All Might would have called someone, anyone, by now if he could.

And then there’s a shuddering breath crawling along the back of Midoriya neck. “Are you lost, little boy? I c a n h e l p y o u.” It’s all the warning Midoriya gets as multiple, floating hands surround him. They circle like vultures and the man wielding them has the distinct look of a predator. Midoriya is sweating, trembling in pain. But its the fear that locks his limbs as the man’s eyes bore into him. A second passes, and the man says, “How boring, are you just going to stand there and do nothing? Pathetic.” And then Midoriya is hurtling through the air, buffeted by the strikes of disembodied hands. When he’s smacked back down, its a twenty foot impact, belly down into a pile of trash that’s probably the only reason Midoriya isn’t more seriously injured then he is. The man is close enough now that Midoriya can make out his white hair and disturbing red eyes. He grimaces at Midoriya and the hums and he tilts his head toward the sea.

All Might! Midoriya feels he can barely move and thinks something may be wrong with his ribs after that last attack, considering the shuddering of his breath and the pain of simply turning his torso slightly. Yet he feels compelled to follow the man’s gaze, and the sight that he encounters is vile. Noumu has All Might down, and his blood is leeching freely from his body into the water. He’s just stomping on All Might now. Noumu’s foot keeps coming down on All Might’s head. CRUNCH, SMACK, THUD over and over and over. The vomit is out before Midoriya can even feel it coming and now he lays in a puddle of his own sick.

“Lame,” Two red eyes are inches from his, face twisting oddly as his expression goes from glee watching All Might die to disgust and contempt at Midoriya. “Your watching someone get killed, probably your hero, and all you can do is barf? Your even worse than All Might, your useless. Not even worthwhile as grinding fodder.” Midoriya feels his hair being pulled along with his head, thinks this man is probably gonna crush his skull for offending his sensibilities or something, but he only has eyes for All Might. All Might in the water being crushed again and again and blood, so much blood. I’m about to die and leave All Might alone without even trying to help him. Midoriya's weeping intensifies alongside his desperation.

Then a tall shadow comes up behind the man holding Midoriya by his hair. Distantly, Midoriya registers the figure must be someone with a void based quirk, possibly linked to teleportation because he sort of looks like that thing that brought Noumu and his attacker here. From the dark comes a deep, masculine voice, “Tomura, enough, we got what we came here for, extraneous casualties would only serve to alert others that something occured here.”

“Chh,” Midoriya’s attacker, Tomura addressed the darkness with an air of teenage discontent. “Like it matters, Kurogiri, once All Might is dead the world belongs to father and I. No one will be powerful enough to oppose us, and they definitely won’t try over some sniveling little brat.” Kurogiri eyes are white, its the only distinguishably human feature he possesses, and they narrow as he looks down at Midoriya.

“Do as you wish, then.” Kurogiri speaks dispassionately and coldly turns back to Noumu and All Might. “Noumu! That is enough, secure the body now, its time to leave.” Noumu instantly stops his assault and grabs a limp All Might by the ankle and drags him back to the beach.

“Wait, that’s it?! No, there is no way All Might is dead. Besides, Kurogiri, this wasn’t f u n a t a l l.” Tomura was pouting, which Midoriya would’ve taken the time to consider how freaking ridiculous that was for a villian party to the death of All Might if the situation wasn’t just that. All Might is dead. He doesn’t react at all as his broken body is dragged across rocks and shrapnel carelessly by Noumu, who’s comes to a stop a short distance away from Midoriya and his two– Allies, masters? Does it make a difference?

“Tomura, our Leader would hardly tolerate such childish behavior. We have completed our goal and it is time to return.”

“In a moment, Kurogiri.” Tomura waves Kurogiri aside and flippantly strolls over to All Might, beginning to inspect his remains closely.

Its all so far away to Midoriya. He stares a All Might. His body and custom are a mess of gashes and torn everything. All Might’s signature hair is partially matted down but half still valiantly defies gravity. Blood seeps slowly out of his mouth, the liquid already darkening with age. His eyes are distant and far away, the exact opposite of the lively sparkle Midoriya has always associated with them. Midoriya’s view is briefly obscured when Tomura takes hold of All Might’s jaw and just as quickly drops it.

Tomura rises and turns toward Kurogiri. “Alright, fine, father told me he’d be no match for me anyway . . .” Tomura’s voice drifts from Midoriya’s mind as he lays their forgotten by all of them. He sees now that All Might died smiling. How like him, of course All Might would die with that reassuring look on his face, like he can take on the world even as death finally takes him away. Oh, and now he’s winking, Midoriya loved when he saw All Might wink on TV, first time it was directed at him Midoriya fainted– wwwAIT, SINCE WHEN DID DEAD MEN WINK?????!!!

The next few minutes pass, very, very quickly. All Might, Not dead All Might!, lifts his leg into a kick and freaking helicopters Noumu’s entire body into the air just from the hold the beast had on his ankle. Tomura turns around quick enough to catch All Might’s fist in his face as opposed to the back of his head, and Kurogiri quickly leaps away while catching Tomura as he goes airborne. And then All Might’s clutching his side and is down on one knee but still manages to pull Midoriya up and close to his side.

Midoriya’s still processing as Tomura and Kurogiri regroup while All Might’s voice come’s fast and ragged into his ear. “Listen carefully, Midoriya, my boy, you’ve got to get out of here. You need to alert the other heroes of our attack immediately, go to U.A., NOW, that’s the most direct way to get as many people ready as possible.”

No, no, no, no, no. I can’t leave. “All Might, they aren’t going to let me go, they’ll follow and either kill or capture me as soon as I make a move.” Midoriya’s nerves are alight with sensation. Pain, All Might pressing against him, sand and garbage sticking to his bloody skin, but most of all they are singing with purpose. All Might is alive, its not too late. All Might can still make it out of here, get help, and save everyone from these villains, but how? No way he’ll listen to me after he just got done telling me to run for it!

All Might stiffens next to him, Midoriya thinks he’s in pain and turns to face him. “Your right, my boy, and I think I can help give you the strength to make it. But it’s not going to be pleasant. Usually, One for All users utilize a less . . . intimate method of transfer, but unfortunately the situation calls for something more direct.”

And then there are lips. On Midoriya’s mouth. What.