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The tears wouldn’t stop flowing down her face, her bright blue eyes swimming in them as she stared at the destruction in front of her. Buildings were crumbling around her, the roads were torn up, cars thrown all over, debris littered the area, but Melissa couldn’t focus on any of that.

 

Blood was running hot and thick down the side of her face, her glasses long since having been thrown off of her during the uproar, her blond hair a matted and bloody mess. She couldn’t believe she’d survived this fight – she was Quirkless, after all.

 

She’d been in her lab working on a new prototype to increase the stability of a hero’s strength to combat ratio when the attack happened. A loud crash had been heard several floors below where she’d been, the whole lab had become silent, but soon the whole building had begun to shake with the tremors as the massive villain made his way through the floors and up to their levels, destroying everything it could.

 

Melissa had wanted to go on the offensive, to take down the villain much like her beloved would, but she knew she was no match – not after seeing the sheer size of it and the fact that she wasn’t able to really defend herself from the man.

 

He’d looked down at her like she was a pest in his way of his goal, whatever that was. All it took was one sweep of his arm and she’d had the wind knocked out of her as she flew back against a counter, hitting her head with a crack, causing her to have passed out for a time.

 

She remembered hearing the screams.

 

She remembered the desperation in the voices surrounding her.

 

She remembered the sinister laugh from the man who had attacked.

 

But she also remembered the flash of green that had shot in so fast that he was like lightning, striking his target with such precision and speed that it had caught the villain off guard.

 

It took her a few minutes to get the breath back in her and for her to wobbly get up from her spot on the floor, ignoring the protests and concerns from her teammates in the lab before ordering everyone to evacuate immediately. The building was crumbling around them, especially with the new hole in the walls that had been formed when the villain and hero had crashed through in their fight.

 

The teammates had all made their way out of the building safely, the structure of the building seeming to hold long enough.

 

Melissa took a few steps toward safety before she stopped and looked back, her eyes widening in shock at the sheer destruction that had already been caused. What was happening?

 

An explosion burst from a building adjacent to her position, and she screamed, ducking for cover. She watched as another villain jumped out of the window, his arms full of devices from the science building, a smirk on his face, before he ran with his stolen goods down the street to enter into another building.

 

She’d been stupid to start running toward him. She knew that. But something in her wouldn’t let her stop; she needed to help, needed to do something.

 

Ignoring the pain in her back and head, Melissa ran down the street toward the building the villain had entered, but before she could make it, scientists and facilities people were running out as fast as they could past her, trying to run for safety.

 

She grabbed onto a man who had panic in his eyes. “Is everyone alright?”

 

He shook his head, tears streaming down his face. “I-I don’t k-know. P-please—” he didn’t bother finishing his sentence before pushing her off of him and running away.

 

Melissa turned back to the building, determined to run in, when she looked up and saw the massive villain from before go flying against the side of the building, causing fissures and cracks to spider web along the surface from the impact. She threw her hands up to protect herself from any falling debris as she ran for cover, the flash of green following close behind the impact of the villain causing another loud crash to be heard.

 

She took a few steps back, looking up at the building with worry in her eyes. “Deku,” she whispered, unable to move, unsure of what she could do to help him, her beloved.

 

Another loud crash sounded from the same building, but also another one several buildings up. The whole compound was under attack. Scientists were running for their lives, those with quirks were trying to fight off the villains, but were being knocked down as easily as if they were Quirkless. Why were these villains so strong? Why were they attacking now? What could they possibly be trying to find or steal?

 

She screeched as one of the villains was thrown from the building closest to her, landing with a solid thump not ten feet away from her. She stared at the villain, who groaned from the impact, but slowly stood up, rage very clear on his wide, green face. He swung his head over at her, a roar erupting from his large mouth before he lunged at her.

 

Melissa’s eyes went wide as she watched the villain lunge toward her, her arms going up to defend herself, but then the green flash ran right into the villain, his foot connecting with the villain across the face, sending him into the building with such an impact that the villain was knocked out and stuck in the wall.

 

Deku stood in front of her, bloodied and bruised, but still ready to fight, his green eyes still clear and determined to do what he can to save everyone, to make this situation right. He glared in the direction of the villain he’d just punched as he said, “Get to cover, Melissa!” He whipped his head around as the next villain came at him from the building above, but Deku quickly turned himself to bring his leg up and kick the villain hundreds of feet away from where they stood.

 

Melissa watched with a mixture of horror and awe at the whole thing, but she took a step toward Deku and said, “Please, Izu—”

 

He gave her a look that spoke volumes of how much he wanted to save the people around him – the people still streaming out of the buildings around them and down the streets to safety – and of how much he wanted to save her. “I’ll be fine, Melissa. Please, get to safety.” He turned on his heel, the green lightning sparking around him as he dashed off toward the villains, the breeze from the move blowing her hair around.

 

Melissa took in a deep breath to steady herself, about to turn to safety, when she froze in place. One of the villains was exiting the building with one of their latest prototypes wrapped around his waist, but that wasn’t what caught her eye – it was the person he had over his shoulder that he was carrying out like it was no big deal: one of the leading scientists on the development team, and someone who could prove to be very useful if in the wrong hands for the wrong reasons.

 

She stood there frozen for a moment, unsure of what to do. She could see Deku fighting the other villain down the street, but who was going to stop the one here?

 

Melissa bit her lip, her feet moving before her brain was able to compute what was happening: she was running toward them, wanting to save them.

 

The villain turned to look at her, his cocky smirk making the fire in her run hotter, even though she knew she’d be no match. She just needed to distract him long enough until Deku could get there.

 

It had been a mistake.

 

The villain had turned to her and with one quick wave of his arm had caused a large piece of ground to come flying at her. She slid on her feet, falling back, staring at the slab of earth as it rushed toward her.

 

The next thing she knew, it was blown to pieces, pieces of the mass flying everywhere – including straight toward her.

 

The last thing she saw was Deku fighting the villain, reaching for the scientist, before she heard another crack and everything went black.

 

That was when she had woken up to the destruction around her, at the sheer amount of devastation that three villains had caused. She found the scientist, unconscious but alive, near where she’d been knocked out. But where was Deku?

 

With a few shaky steps, Melissa continued to walk forward farther into the destruction. All of the work and research that had been conducted over the last five years at the facility were gone, just like that, in a flash. It was startling how much power villains could hold.

 

Sirens sounded in the distance, and other pro-heroes had arrived on the scene, pulling out injured people from the buildings or sequestering the villains.

 

Where was Izuku?

 

She continued forward, unsure of where to look, the tears blurring her vision as she looked around her. She could hear voices calling to her to tell her to wait and stop moving because she was bleeding, but she didn’t care.

 

The smoke from the fighting and crumbling buildings parted just long enough that she saw him, her heart bursting from her chest to her throat as she started to walk faster toward him. She could see him against some broken pavement, leaning forward and holding his arm, blood running under his fingers, as he took deep breaths to steady himself.

 

He was injured, bleeding and panting and all manner of things, but he was alive.

 

And Melissa had never been so scared that she’d never see him again in the short time that they’d been together.

 

Her steps were faster, her vision blurry now not only from the tears, but her head was pounding and she was sure she had a concussion, but she didn’t care. She just needed this one moment—

 

“Izuku!”

 

He looked up quickly, his green eyes zoning right in on her. She ran as fast as she could to him and he straightened himself, a look of concern and happiness and love spreading across his face as she stumbled right into his open arms and buried her face in his chest, the tears flowing freely and harshly down her face now.

 

He held her tight to him, the two an anchor for each other in the sea of rubble around them. She breathed him in, the smell of dirt and blood and sweat fresh on him, but also that smell that belonged only to him and that was just so reassuring to her. She didn’t want to let go, but he slowly loosened his grip and looked at her, his expression turning instantly to worry. “Melissa, you’re bleeding. You need to see some—”

 

She kissed him. She’d pushed up on her toes and pulled him down to her at the same time and planted a kiss right on his lips. There was salt from her tears, a little iron from the blood, but she didn’t care, and neither did he, as his grip on her tightened again just slightly, the feeling of safety and love wrapping around her at the subtle movement.

 

A sob broke from her in their kiss and she pulled away to bury her face against his shoulder. She’d been so scared, not only for herself, but for him and for all of the people in and around the area. How had any of this happened? How had she survived?

 

He held her close to her and said quietly, “It’s okay, Mel. I’m here.”

 

She let out a soft, strangled laugh at his catchphrase, once Uncle Might’s, but now his, tailored to fit just for her. She looked up at him then, a wobbly smile on her lips, and whispered, “I know.”

 

He leaned his forehead against hers gently, his green eyes staring into her blue ones, before they each closed their eyes and he said, “And I always will be.”