“I hate the word "fate". Birth, encounters, partings, success and failure, fortune and misfortune in life. If everything is already set in stone by fate, then why are we even born? There are those born wealthy, those born of beautiful mothers, and those born into war or poverty. If everything is caused by fate, then God must be incredibly unfair and cruel.”
Midoriya Inko hadn’t truly taken those words her husband had declared to heart. Of course, she hadn’t spoken against him either. She understood that the quirk he possessed gave him a different perspective of internal clockwork mechanisms that made up the workings of the universe, not to mention what he knew from that other thing he possessed.
But the first time that he had first said those words to her, Inko was still rejoicing the second chance he had allowed her.
Through just the offering of half her lifespan and an impending case of future misfortune as “punishment for changing fate”, Midoriya Hisashi was able to use his quirk to revive Inko’s childhood friend Mitsuki from the tragic car accident that had claimed her life at the young age of twenty. Despite the fact he was simply an unrelated bystander at the time, Hisashi had offered the abilities of himself and his little book of miracles to Inko in the face of her despair.
It was a miracle that could only be gifted through love and sacrifice, and the punishment for enacting it wasn’t light, as it was proven when just a week later Mitsuki was involved in another accident which rendered her right leg permanently unusable, but it was unmistakably a miracle none the less.
Even if fate and God are cruel, as long as people can change their lives in some way, surely there will be more fortune in life than misfortune. That is what she had thought.
And she continued thinking this through her fortune of cultivating a friendship and relationship with Hisashi, through the joy of their wedding day, and especially the pinnacle of happiness that was the birth of her beautiful son Izuku.
In the back of her mind she was always aware, though, of the overhanging guillotine that could be sent down from the heavens at any moment. Both her and her husband had a punishment pending for them, her for changing the fate of Bakugou Mitsuki, and him simply for being born with a quirk that could change fate, being a Child of Fate, as he described it.
She had prayed that the heavens would grant them even a little bit of mercy. Even if they were struck by an accident like Mitsuki’s and became bound by wheelchairs or crutches, she would accept that sort of fate because they could still work around that. They could still have the ultimate happiness of their life that was their family.
But her prayers had fallen on deaf ears.
If everything is caused by fate, then God must be incredibly unfair and cruel.
Looking at the pristine white hospital bed holding up the pale and still body of her child, only 14 years of age, Midoriya Inko now agreed with the words of her husband with all her heart.
After the doctor exited through the door, leaving them alone for their mourning, a steady hand settled itself on her shoulder. She turned to look at her husband’s face through her tears and sobs, his curly brown hair was ragged and unkempt, and his dark eyes glistened with tear-streaks down his face.
“I checked before coming here,” his voice wavered only slightly as he explained, “This is definitely my punishment, my punishment for being born with this quirk.”
The Number One hero, the Symbol of Peace himself, All Might had been minutes away from successfully rescuing their child from a slime villain, the doctors had told them, but he was still too late. Even after he personally rushed Izuku to the hospital for treatment, there was little they could do, and in the end…
In the end…
The overhanging guillotine had fallen down upon her little boy’s neck.
A punishment by fate that was the definition of unfair and cruel, for what else did it mean to punish a child of the sins of his parents.
But still there was a single ray of hope, though whether it shone from heaven or hell she didn’t know, for Midoriya Hisashi was a man that could create miracles.
“Can you save him?” she asked in a quiet and hoarse voice, barely a whisper, “Can you bring him back to us, Hisashi?”
Hisashi paused before answering, as though considering the way he wanted to phase his thoughts, “Your punishment has also appeared, Inko. When I inquired further, I learned that when a death occurs as a punishment of fate, half of a lifespan isn’t enough to revive the person, you need to give everything,” he paused again looking her straight into her eyes, “You only have half Inko, that’s why it can’t be you.”
Inko looked away from her husband and shut her eyes tight, trying to keep renewed tears at bay.
It was just like Hisashi to get straight to the crux of the matter, and to know even without her having said it that she was offering up herself for their boy. Even in a normal case, Hisashi had once said that at least a half was the minimum that needed to be given to revive a person. Between the two of them it would make no sense for her to be the one offering anyway.
But in this case, since Izuku needed to be given everything… There’s no way this can go that doesn’t end with someone missing from their perfect family of three.
“Inko…” Hisashi’s voice wavered even more than it did before, but the conviction it shown was firmer still, “Let me bring our boy back to you. No matter how you look at it, its only natural that a parent should choose their child’s life over their own life. That’s what it means to love, after all…”
He couldn’t help his mouth quirking up at one end in a half smile, “Since he’ll be getting everything, then that means he’ll be getting my quirk too. Our little Izuku can have a real shot at being a hero now, just like he’s always dreamt of.”
She won’t bother trying to talk him out of it. She knows that he’s already made up his mind, and as cold as it may seem, Inko would also choose to save their son over saving Hisashi. Just like Hisashi would choose Izuku over Inko as well.
But even as she starts mourning for her husband’s impending end, she can’t restrain herself from fearing what fate may still have in store for them.
“If Izuku is getting your quirk, that means he’ll be punished too, you know, even if he goes his whole life without using it once. What will happen to him then? Will it be better than this? What if it’s even worse?” She can’t even imagine what fate could be worse than this, let alone think of it happening to her son.
Hisashi’s eyes strayed from her face to Izuku, still lying on the bed in front of them.
“I don’t know, Inko. There’s no way to know that. But at this point… the only way to go is to let things come as they may. Maybe even with what awaits him, his future can still be one filled with fortune, maybe not. But either way, he has to have a future in the first place in order to get there.”
His hand, which was still upon her shoulder, tightened its grip as he continued, “We’ll just have to place our bet that it will be a good one. It’s a bet we already made once, when we brought him into this world the day he was born. That’s all we can do.”
Inko looked at her husband with her watery green eyes, then lifted his hand from her shoulder and held it between both hands. She leaned up from her short stature to kiss him gently.
“I love you, Hisashi,” she whispered into his ear, “Bring our child back to me, please. I’ll take care of him in your place.”
Hisashi gave her a firm but gentle second kiss in return, and hugged her tightly with one hand, the other still within her grip. “I know you will, Inko. I love you and Izuku, always. Remember that even after I’m gone, please.”
Inko rested her head on her husband’s chest, listening to his heart beat. “Of course, always,” she breathed as a simple reply.
The couple stayed like that for some time, before turning as one to face their child, and the destination of their fate.
When Midoriya Izuku slowly opened his eyes, it was to the sight of what appeared to be a white ceiling.
“Where…” he started to mumble, turning his eyes to examine his surroundings.
His first thought was that he was at a hospital, though he was slow to remember how he would have gotten there. Upon looking around though and seeing red benches and hanging metal rails, he realized that actually he was inside what appeared to be a regular metro train.
Then he looked outside the window, only to see pitch black darkness, as though just outside the train was a never-ending expanse of nothingness. That’s when he realized that this was no regular train.
“Izuku… Oh, Izuku, my baby…”
As he heard the sound of his mother crying, Izuku slowly regained feeling throughout his body. His mother was holding his upper body in her arms with his head lying on her chest, and the rest of his body was lying upon was seemed to be a plush, light pink blanket covering of a bed right at the center of the train. Izuku gently started pushing himself up to look around the cabin.
“Izuku, I’m glad you were able to wake up so easily.”
The voice of his father startled Izuku. It was only then that he looked forward to see his father standing at the end of the bed.
He was wearing a strange black and white outfit that looked like some mix between what a prince might wear and a train conductor uniform, with a black tailcoat featuring long trailing tails in the back, simmering gold shoulder pads and double-breasted buttons, and white pants ending in black calf length boots.
It was complete with a distinct conductor’s hat that featured two black slanted dots with an orange triangular orange patch on the rim of the hat between them. It looked vaguely like the face of a penguin.
Izuku knows that is the outfit that his father wears when he uses what he describes as his “quirk enhancing book”, a mysterious item that one day had literally fallen from the sky into his father’s hands, the Penguindrum.
“Dad! Why are we– Is this that train you and mom talked about?!”
While Izuku has seen his father using the Penguindrum before, he has never seen this train. It was explained to him, when he was young and curious, that one cannot enter the Train of Fate unless they plan on using it.
He later learned that there was only one thing that the Train of Fate is used for.
“Yes, Izuku, it is. Your mother and I came to pick you up.”
Midoriya Hisashi moved from the end of the bed to stand next to his son’s side as he spoke, opposite of wear Inko was leaning on the bed. He leaned down to press a soft kiss against Izuku’s forehead and carded his fingers through Izuku’s green curls.
“The outcome of your run in with that villain is all my fault, Izuku, because your father was born with this quirk... So let your old man take responsibility for this, okay? I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve caused you.”
It was at that point that Izuku remembered the events leading up to this strange awakening; Kacchan’s cruel taunts, his ruined notebook, walking underneath the bridge on his way home. It ended with a slime villain trying to suffocate him, while Izuku lost consciousness.
“That means I was– Wait! Dad, where are you going?!” His father had stepped back from his bedside and started walking towards the door at the end of the cabin. It opened to reveal the outside of a second carriage attached to the unit they were inside.
“Because of my punishment, I couldn’t do this like how I did with your mother and Auntie Mitsuki. Please don’t feel guilty that I’ve traded myself for you, Izuku. It was all my fault in the first place anyway. I love you so much… I couldn’t stand to not do this for you.”
His father smiled to him from the doorway, it reminded Izuku of the kind of smile All Might wore whenever he saved people. But instead of the overwhelming awe and hope that he felt when seeing All Might’s smile, Izuku just felt a creeping sense of alarm and dread.
“Dad, wait! What are you talking about?! Why are you leaving?!” Izuku leaned forward with his hand stretched towards his father, as though trying to follow him, but the firm hand of mother holding onto his shoulder stopped him, “Mom?!”
When he looked at his mother’s face, he realized that tears were streaming from her eyes. “Your father and I decided this together, Izuku, he had to give you everything just to bring you back to me. I’m so sorry, but please accept this.”
“What?! No, Dad stop!” His head whipped back towards his father, he was in the middle of walking across the connection to the other train car. Izuku quickly jumped out of the bed and ran towards the door, but his mother caught him by the shoulder again once he reached the doorway.
“Izuku, you need to stay here. It’s already been done,” his mother’s hand gripped his shoulder tight and her voice was quiet but firm. He’s never seen her look at him so intensely, ”At this point if you go out there all you’ll be doing is leaving two of our family dead instead of one. Please respect your father’s sacrifice…”
Midoriya Inko’s words rang through him like the tolling of a funeral bell, and soon he was crying too.
His dad had already reached the second car. He had thought that there could be nothing more disheartening than hearing the doctor say that he was quirkless, or than hearing everyone say that he could never be a hero.
He knew he was wrong as a sob burst through his throat, “Dad– !”
“Izuku,” his father called from across the connection, “my quirk is yours now. Whether you use it to become a hero, or go down some other path in life, I’m sure you’ll use it well. You were always such a smart boy.”
He was still smiling.
“Please try to be like me, though, and don’t use it on yourself lightly. Think of the rest of your life as a precious gift from me if you need to. You’re such a kind child, I feel like if I don’t tell you this, you’ll go around giving pieces of yourself to every person in need you come across until you die an early age. Please don’t do that, it would make your mother and I so sad…”
From the train car Hisashi was on, tiny pieces of glass began breaking off from the car and floated up through the air, before disappearing all together. It seemed as though it was slowly falling into pieces.
His father turned his head to look at the phenomena, before turning back to Izuku, “Ah– It seems like we’re taking too long, I’m sorry Izuku.” The smile he was giving wasn’t like All Might’s anymore. It was a very sad smile, paired with the tears slipping from his eyes.
“Goodbye, Izuku, Inko. I love you both so much, please remember me…” Hisashi couldn’t keep his voice from wavering a bit.
“ –Oh, and Izuku, I gave you the Penguindrum too, okay. Please keep it safe, but don’t be afraid to use it as you please.”
With his last parting words spoken, the mechanism linking the two train cars together released, and the car that was still attached to the train with Izuku and his mother on board gave a jerk as it slowly began to move forward, leaving the second car with is father behind.
Glass pieces started to rapidly part from the car, soon leaving whole chunks missing.
Midoriya Hisashi then started breaking into glass as well, his pieces dissolving into nothingness along with the glass from the train car.
Izuku screamed through his sobbing, “I love you, Dad! I promise I’ll remember you, and I promise I won’t waste what you gave me! I promise– !”
He could feel his mother’s hand shaking from her quiet sobbing as she watched her husband’s fading form beside him.
The Train gained more speed, rolling away from the lonely and forgotten train car.
By time that Izuku could hardly see it in the distance, engulfed by encroaching blackness, the train and Midoriya Hisashi had already completely dissolved into glass, and disappeared into nothing. All that was left were rail tracks that led to nowhere.
At this point, Izuku’s legs gave out and he fell to his knees on the floor of the white train car. Inko followed his movement and hugged her son tightly with his head turned into her chest. His tears wet her shirt as they sobbed on the cold floor together, a family of three reduced to two. The pain in his chest refused to dissipate.
Thus, came the end of Midoriya Hisashi’s existence, having reached the destination of his fate…
And thus, came the beginning of Midoriya Izuku’s new fate, and the beginning of the Peguindrum’s new successor…
It was a miracle the likes of which Musutafu General Hospital had never been seen before.
A young boy, only 14 years of age, had been brought in by the Number One hero, All Might, in an attempt to save his life. But by the time he had reached the doctors, all attempts to resuscitate him had failed. The doctors, though saddened by the end of such a young life, accepted it as a reality that was often seen in a hospital, and had called in the boy’s mother to explain the situation and give a short moment to grieve with the body of her child.
However, sometime later the mother had called the nurse, saying that the boy had woken up. And sure enough, when the medical staff arrived at the room, the previously deceased child was instead looking at them through teary green eyes.
He had held a small, light pink book to his chest, but they took no notice of it, believing it not to be of importance.
This is unmistakably a miracle. They had thought. If this is the work of fate, then God must be incredibly kind and merciful, to make an exception for this boy.
“Well, Midoriya-san, it seems like Izuku here is in perfect health now, though I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire career as a doctor before,” stated the primary doctor on the case, “But due to these unusual circumstances, the hospital would like to keep him for one more day just to make sure there are no unforeseen complications.”
Midoriya Inko, also with tears in her eyes, which looked very much like her son’s, sniffed before replying in a steady voice, “Yes, that is understandable.”
“Thank you for your cooperation.” The doctor smiled at her softly, but as a thought crossed his mind, his eyebrows scrunched in slight confusion. “For some reason I had thought for a moment that I need to inform the father as well, but that’s a mistake on my part. After all, it states that you are the single parent of Izuku in your records. In any case, I’ll leave you two be for now. Just focus on resting, Izuku-kun.”
As the doctor left the room, he never noticed how the patient and his mother forcibly stiffened, as though if they didn’t hold themselves together they would fall to pieces because his words.