Izuku Midoriya wanted a day off.
In one arm he bounced the child of a patient, the infant gurgling with happiness, while with his other hand he stroked her back as she retched into a bucket. “I- I don’t understand Midoriya!” He continued rubbing soothing circles into her back as she tried to calm down, taking deep measured gasps.
“Well…” The infant sneezed, a long trail of snot hanging from her nose before it giggled joyfully at Izuku. “Based on the symptoms you’ve described, I hope you wanted to give this sweet little girl a brother or sister. Sooner rather than later.” The soon to be mother gasped, eyes sparkling briefly before she retched again, clutching to the bucket tighter.
“I have a feeling this one won’t be as easy as the last one…” The mother muttered darkly as she stared into the bucket, the dark bags under her eyes were almost as bad as Izuku’s. Izuku merely chuckled though, resting the infant on his hip so he could rummage through his bag.
“I’m going to leave you something to help with the morning sickness, ginger should also help calm your stomach and nausea.” He withdrew a little container of medicine and rested it on the mantle of the fireplace, before grabbing a pen and paper to write the dosage. “I’ll come to see you every now and then to check on your progress.”
She gave him a weak smile before getting up to get him his payment. “Thank you Midoriya, sorry for making you have to stay so late.” She handed him his money before holding the door open for him. “Please have safe travels.” Izuku gave her his thanks and insisted it was not a big deal to have to travel out for her; he had been in town for another patient already after all.
Drawing his cloak around himself he frowned grimly at how low the sun was in the sky already, his schedule still chock full of remedies he had wanted to prepare before the day was done. It seemed he would be staying up late yet another night this month.
Izuku’s body protested the entire way home, hunger causing his stomach to roll uncomfortably and his legs feeling like lead from the amount of traveling he had been doing over the past week… Who was he kidding the entire month had been stressful. Though the journey home felt like it took years it maybe lasted an hour due to his sluggish pace.
Just as he was about to shove the door to his cabin open a flicker of movement caught his eye. Leaning back he caught a series of movement in the bushes that hung close to the tree line.
Izuku paused realizing something or someone must be in trouble but… He sighed, passing one last longing look at his home and the comforts it could surely provide, before closing the door and moving toward the source of the noise.
Taking a deep breath he pushed back the branches and blinked in surprise.
Lying on the ground was a rodent-like creature, it looked like a chipmunk but it was definitely much larger than one and was closer in size to a house cat. The poor creature was on its back, making a strange wail like noise as it stretched its arms and legs back then brought them back to a normal position. It looked almost mad as it bobbed its head back and forth, eyes wide and mouth open as if it was stunned.
Izuku scrunched his nose up before looking around. He could leave the chipmunk there and avoid whatever strangeness was wrong with it, who knew if it was a transferable illness like rabies or something but… In its dazed state it was vulnerable and who knew if some sort of predator would swoop in and kill it. Not to mention there could be something seriously wrong with it.
“Oh god please just… uh… Don’t bite me please.” Izuku muttered awkwardly as he reached between the short branches to scoop up the chipmunk, it definitely was much larger than the average now that he could feel its weight in his arms. Luckily the fuzzy little thing was still so busy with its behavior it didn’t have any attack response to Izuku and he managed to get away with carrying it, without any biting or scratching.
Pushing his door open he set the fuzzy little thing on the counter – it needed a nickname really, he couldn’t stand calling it an ‘it’ – where he normally viewed patients. “Well um… ah! Shima-kun?” Izuku felt so much better to have a name to call it and Shima fit well enough. “Can you keep being good like this? I want to make sure your okay.”
At first, Izuku questioned if it got a head injury, but after searching its fuzzy little head in all nooks and crannies he couldn’t find any swelling, bleeding, or bruising to confirm that. In fact, its entire body lacked any such signs of injury. Tilting back Izuku stared at Shima and rubbed at his chin, it wasn’t as if he normally treated animals… Maybe the occasional animal shifter but those were always half-human at the very least, not to mention he never heard of a chipmunk shift so he scratched that possibility out of his head.
Perhaps it ate something poisonous? But Izuku couldn’t think of any poisons that would result in such a strange behavior, not to mention if he couldn’t pinpoint any specific cause he couldn’t quite treat it. He didn’t want to just give Shima any random medicine that could possibly make him worse.
Izuku stared at him quietly and somewhat regretted his decision. The best he could do for Shima now was to just wait it out and see if any symptoms appeared that could lead him to a possible cause. Gathering Shima up in his arms he took him upstairs to his living quarters with him and tried to get Shima to drink some water. He managed to get some past the little gaping mouth, but he didn’t push any further in fear of choking him. Izuku frowned even as he settled Shima down on a pillow and wrapped him up, the fear of waking up to a dead animal in the morning weighing heavily on his mind.
All he could do at this point was hope for the best. Waiting and not being able to do anything never bode well with him though.
The next morning Izuku luckily did not wake up to a dead animal. In fact, Shima was doing very well!
Izuku? Not so much.
He had been so nervous about Shima that he barely slept, mostly spending the entire night completely extra paperwork and remedy preparations. The few hours he did get of shuteye weren’t the best, his face smacked down into the wood of his desk and drooling on his notebook: local fauna no. 4.
Waking up now he was met with a face full of fluff, Shima peering down at the page that now hosted a detailed sketch of him. After noting Shima’s strange size difference and an unnaturally shaped stripe in his fur (it should have been a black stripe to match others in his species, but Shima’s stripes were jagged like a lightning bolt) Izuku couldn’t resist logging Shima into his book.
“What is it Shima?” Izuku groaned tiredly, sitting up and rubbing his hands through his curls. Yuck, he seriously needed to wash his hair it felt so greasy. “You like how I drew you?” Shima nodded his fuzzy head at him and Izuku smiled drowsily. “That’s nice, I’m glad your feeling better. You look so much better than you did-“ Wait.
Did Shima just nod at him?
Izuku blinked rapidly, rubbing at his eyes furiously. He was still half asleep; he must have been seeing things. All those late nights and early mornings must have been catching up to him finally.
“H-hey Shima… Y-you wouldn’t happen to be a shifter would you?” But Shima just stared back at him with big yellow eyes and head tilted in confusion. Right, he was seeing things. There was no such thing as chipmunk shifters, that wouldn’t make much sense.
He scooped Shima in his arms, the chipmunk nestling into his arms and headed downstairs to open shop. But as soon as he unlocked the door and opened it to flip the sign outside from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ Shima jumped out of his arms, hitting the ground and taking off running.
“Ah!” Izuku stepped forward; ready to run after him but already Shima had leaped into the bushes and into the forest. There would be no point in chasing after him.
Izuku Midoriya needed a day off.
Stepping into his cabin he flung his cloak to the side and didn’t even bother putting away any of his equipment and tools, much too exhausted to even try. He trudged up the steps to his home and immediately made a beeline for his tub, eager to wash off the grime from the day. He got puked on by not one, but two children that day, two young siblings who had come down with food poisoning. Not to mention the mini surgery he had to perform alongside his master Toshinori on a water beast that lived in the local rivers. It had gotten into quite a scuffle with some local fisherman and the hook it got stuck in its hide had been infected. The blood and slime staining his shirt was proof of a rather messy job trying to remove it but luckily they had been successful.
The water now warm Izuku smiled, already dipping one foot into the water when a loud bang had him startled and stepping back. Eyes wide he stood there for a moment before an incessant scratching came from the shop beneath him. Gulping, Izuku redressed and cautiously made his way downstairs.
He must have not closed his front door properly because now it was cracked open and on his counter, a large hawk was grooming itself, beak rustling and picking through tawny colored feathers.
“H-hi?” The bird turned his head to regard Izuku with a bored expression, red eyes glared into his green ones. “Um… Sorry for interrupting you?” As if acknowledging his apology the bird returned to it’s grooming, raising a wing so it could get beneath it.
Izuku made his way to the door and opened it up wide, gesturing to it with wild arms. Whatever hope he had that the bird would fly out was destroyed when it merely screeched at him and proceeded to fly up and sit on one of the shelves in his shop.
“Right.” Izuku frowned, having that thing fluttering around in here was obviously unsanitary but he just felt so gross already. “I’ll deal with you later, okay?” He shut the door, locking it and opting to open a window at the back of the shop instead. There was no way he was going to leave the door unlocked all night after all.
“Just… Please don’t destroy anything?” The hawk locked eyes with him and Izuku could swear those red eyes were looking at him mischievously. “Please?” He added one last time but the hawk already was getting comfortable on its perch and ignoring him.
By the time Izuku got upstairs the relaxing bath he had in mind had run cold. With a frustrated sigh, he dipped in either way not wanting to waste water and proceeded to bathe quickly due to the unpleasant temperature. At least he would be getting in bed at a normal time…
Izuku Midoriya was in desperate need of a day off.
That night he could barely sleep; his dreams resting somewhere unpleasant but not quite scary enough for him to call it a nightmare. All night his dreams were littered with a cruel man breathing heavily over him, inspecting him over with devilish red eyes while he muttered cruelties at him. His hands were gentle on him though, holding Izuku up as if he was about to fall apart.
Before the sun was even up a patient had pounded against the shop door, crying in need and urgency. Izuku ran downstairs; despite the protest, his body was throwing his way at the ungodly hour. The hawk gave him a judging look as if he knew of the dream Izuku had been having.
“Shut up.” Izuku hissed at it as he opened the door, the last thing he needed at this hour was a bird judging his choices. Standing in his doorway was an older man whose features Izuku could barely make out underneath his hood.
“You’re a doctor right? You simply must help him!” The old man grabbed Izuku’s hand in a surprisingly strong grip, pulling Izuku forward. Despite the small hunched frame the old man sported he was unusually strong, pulling Izuku outside so hard he barely had time to reach for the bag he left discarded by the door the night prior.
The hawk squawked its disapproval and flew out the door, promptly landing on Izuku’s shoulder.
Izuku didn’t bother thinking about how strange that was; too busy questioning the man who was pulling him into the forest. “Wait who needs my help?” The man continued to tug him along. “What’s wrong with them?” No response, just the old man pulling him along faster and faster through the trees and bushes. “Sir-“
A deafening roar weakened Izuku at the knees as the old man pushed Izuku through a couple of trees into a small clearing. Lying there was a reddish brown grizzly bear, its arms and legs thrown in the air as it thrashed in distress.
“He needs your help!” Izuku stared wide-eyed as the old man continued to pull him, closer and closer to the huge predator. It was at this that Izuku started putting up more resistance, tugging back.
“W-wait!” Izuku screeched as the older gentleman gave him a particularly hard tug. “T-that’s a freaking bear! W-what if it's in a panic? It’s injured and thus it's probably scared and vulnerable, who knows what it's thinking. Its probably scared and that would make it so much more likely to attack and how would I even go about treating a bear when I know it could possibly maul me. I guess I can’t just leave something like that in pain though and…” Izuku continued to ramble on, resulting in the old man to stare at him with a dumbfounded expression and even the bear had stopped its desperate crying to stare at him.
“Um, sunny?” The old man reached out, intending to pull Izuku out of his muttering daze when suddenly Izuku slammed his hand into his fist.
“Okay, I’ll do it!” He screeched, full of determination. The silence that followed had him blushing profusely and rubbing at the back of his neck. “I- I mean I’ll do it…” He muttered in a much quieter tone as he approached the bear. He probably wouldn’t have had the courage to do that if not for the strange calmness it suddenly had as he came closer, its red eyes staring at him intensely. Izuku gulped nervously and hesitated.
“Don’t worry sunny, he’s tame!” Izuku never heard of a tamed bear and he was pretty sure that wasn’t possible, but he let himself believe it in order to quell his nervous stomach.
His green eyes searched over the thick auburn fur but there was no blatantly obvious sign of injury or blood to tell him where to even start. Too focused on the bear Izuku hadn’t even noticed that he was now crouched over it, his hands searching through its fur for any swelling or protruding areas.
“I can’t find anything on him-“ Suddenly the bear shoved its paw into Izuku’s stomach, knocking him back onto his butt with the bear's arm resting in his lap. Blinking in surprise Izuku looked down to the pads of the bear's paw, noting that a small twig was lodged between two of its toe pads. Without even thinking he pulled it out, it was barely even half the size of his pinky.
The old man was cheering though and suddenly the bear was rolling over to stand to its full height. In a behavior more akin to a dog than a bear it rushed Izuku, its rough tongue brushing over Izuku’s cheek as it shook its tiny fluff tail back and forth.
“By gods, you healed him, you’re amazing!” The old man cheered, shaking Izuku’s hand vigorously. Izuku could only stare blankly at the stick in his hands, such a reaction from a bear? Over a stick?
At some point, the hawk that had joined Izuku had settled itself onto the old man's shoulders and its red eyes were now staring with an unusual amount of rage at both the man and the bear. It pecked at the old man's head, squawking in displeasure.
“He’s amazing right boys?” Izuku didn’t have the time to ponder that though as suddenly a pouch heavy with coins was thrown into his open hands, a hefty payment that only further confused Izuku. “Say thank you Kiri!” The bear licked him again and the hawk only squawked its displeasure once again. “We’ll be seeing you around Izuku!”
Izuku opened his mouth and raised his head, only to find himself looking at the wood of his front door. Turning rapidly all he found were the little garden he had around his home but no signs of anyone surrounding him. What just happened?
Izuku Midoriya had reached his breaking point.
“I-I’m going crazy…” He muttered to himself after shutting the door on his last patient of the day. He could have sworn that throughout the day he kept seeing hawks or bears or chipmunks in the strangest places and the behavior had all his patients spooked.
First, it was seeing the reflection of a hawk in his mirror that morning, but no such bird behind him. Then he could have sworn he had seen a bear in his patient’s kitchen that morning and the resulting scream had startled the entire household. Finally, a chipmunk danced in the corners of his vision and wherever he looked gold or red eyes haunted him in the corners and shadows.
Izuku slid down the door his green eyes darting around the house nervously, feeling as if though he was being watched. His eyes landed on the coin pouch resting on his counter and he shivered, it was the only thing he had to prove that he had in fact treated a bear in the woods and that wasn’t just another hallucination.
Such as the chipmunk currently sitting next to it, staring back at him with wide eyes.
“Shima-kun?” Izuku blinked a few times but there was no doubt about it, that lightning stripe on the chipmunks back was much too distinctive to be anything else.
“I’m glad to see you again, but what are you doing here?” Izuku reached out and scratched one of those fat cheeks, Shima nuzzling into his fingers briefly.
Izuku quickly pulled his hand away, staring down at his fingers. He definitely had felt that.
“Shima-kun I think I’m going crazy.” He muttered, letting his green eyes lock with the yellow ones of Shima. “I keep seeing all these things and I can’t even tell if you’re real or not real and-“
“You should rest more.” Izuku blinked in surprise, looking down at the chipmunk now holding one of his fingers between its fuzzy paws.
“S-Shima did you just-?” The chipmunk nodded. Izuku’s eyes rolled to the back of his head and he collapsed.
The next morning – wait was it even morning? – Izuku woke up somewhere that definitely wasn’t his humble little cottage.
He shot upright, his eyes quickly scanning where he was. Surrounding him were gauzy white curtains that slightly obscured the view of the room he was in. Beneath him was probably the softest mattress he had ever experienced in his entire life and it was huge, at least triple the size of the bed he had back home. Not to mention the sheets. Izuku could hardly resist as he raised one and nuzzled his face against it, his whole body thrilled at the gentle feel of the cool white silk.
“Wait… Focus!” Izuku scolded himself, shaking his head rapidly and flinging the comfort of the sheets off of him. He tore past the gauzy curtains and hit the ground, briefly surprised at how well rested he felt. For the first time in ages, he woke up without any pain or the dull crick in his neck.
He glanced back briefly at the large four poster bed behind him, it was tempting but…
“No Izuku!” He hit himself a few times against his cheeks, forcing his mind to wake up. “Focus!” He was somewhere unrecognizable, brought there by who knows what, for who knows what reason.
The rest of the room was clean and decorated just as richly with heavy dark oak furniture to match that of the canopy bed. Brass boxes fixed to the wall held burning incense, the sweet burning smell is one of the things making him feel dizzy.
Ignoring the splendor of the room Izuku went to creep out of the room through the first door he saw but it wasn't a door out. Instead, he found himself facing a blindingly white bathroom, every surface inlaid being either gold or marble. Its brightness contrasted heavily with the warmth and darkness of the prior room.
"Master Midoriya." Izuku jumped at the heavy voice that filled the room, he glanced around rapidly in fear but couldn't find a single person. Suddenly the white-clawed foot tub in the center of the room started, water pouring into the tub from the golden faucet. It was then that Izuku noticed the pristine white gloves holding the faucet knobs and a floating black tie. Enchanted maybe? No, he was sure he heard somebody speaking.
"Um... W-where am I?" The tie moved and the gloves with it. Those white gloves opened a cupboard and from it withdrew a series of bottles and vials. It popped countless ones open, down a series of brightly colored and sweet smelling liquids into the bath. The room filled with the sweet smell of honeysuckle and something warm and sultry. An odd mix that somehow worked.
"I think the masters would prefer to answer that for you." The water turned off and the gloves folded themselves neatly together as if somebody was clasping their hands together. Maybe some sort of invisible man? "Rest assured though Master Izuku, you are completely safe here and no harm shall befall you. You will be returned to your lovely little home within two more risings of the sun."
"Now, would you like me to bathe you or shall you bathe yourself?" Izuku flushed and said he'd bathe himself. The voice hummed thoughtfully before those gloves floated past him and toward the door. "I shall wait for you in the room then." The door opened and closed, leaving Izuku alone in the pristine bathroom.
The whole situation was strange but Izuku was compelled to believe the invisible man. Not to mention the bath looked so temptingly warm and smelled so good.
Deciding not to think any more of it Izuku took one last look around, paying extra attention to the possibility of another pair of floating gloves, and began to strip off his house pajamas. It was odd, they were definitely his, but he couldn't remember having put them on.
He tossed them to the side and made his way to the bath. The water was the perfect temperature and as he eased himself into it he felt his muscles turn to putty and a series of sweet smelling bubbles crackled and popped against his skin. He couldn't stop the satisfied sigh that escaped his lips when he was settled, his head falling back to lean against the rim of the tub.
Izuku soaked in the warm tub until most of the bubbles had mainly disappeared and the water started to lose its soothing temperature. Sitting up he found a little stool by the tub, on its wooden surface rested a bar of soap and two vials which when he popped them open looked like shampoo and conditioner. Using the bar he sudsed up his entire body before moving onto his hair, he nearly moaned in delight at that. It felt like such a relief to clean his dirty curls.
he wrinkled his nose at how dirty the bathwater got and decided it would be best to get out of there as quickly as possible. Hopping out, he dried himself with a fluffy white towel laid out on a counter. A robe was also next to it, white just like everything else in the bathroom. It wasn't the usual bathrobe though and seemed more like the type somebody would wrap over his or her pajamas. So Izuku did just that, slipping back into his house pajamas and throwing the robe over himself so he was more decent.
When he stepped out he found that the invisible man from earlier had indeed waited for him in the bedroom but was now accompanied by a second pair of gloves. The new gloves were white as well but the fingers clearly more feminine, the edge of the gloves being a lacy material with a small pink bow.
“Oh he is absolutely adorable, I can’t wait to dress him up!” The gloves eagerly bounced toward him but froze suddenly at the scolding of the male voice.
“That’ll be for later Hagakure, the masters are insistent that they would like to see him already.”
“Boo.” Izuku could practically hear the pout in her voice as her gloved hands came to him. At the annoyance of the other servant about time Hagakure was hurried as she ruffled his hair dry, brushed it, and applied similarly scented lotions and perfumes to his skins. “This stinks Izuku, they’re barely letting me do the basics on you.” This was the ‘basics’? Heck Izuku already felt pampered beyond belief!
“Hurry up Hagakure!” The other servant's voice scolded once again.
“Ah shut up, I’m done! Geesh! They can’t wait five minutes?” The frilly gloves, Hagakure, pushed Izuku forward and guided him out another heavy wood door into a dimly lit hallway. “They can be so impatient!” Hagakure continued to whine about how her employers never let her have fun and how they were wasting her talents as he was pulled past multiple turns. Finally, she stopped him in front of a heavy set of double doors, like most things in this place so far it was a dark-colored wood inlaid with golden details.
The male’s gloves knocked on the door and he opened it just a crack. “We have brought Mr. Midoriya your majesties.”
“Let him in!” A gruff voice called back out. Hagakure checked him over again, fluffing his hair and whining one last time about how unfortunate it was that he had to go see them in a sleeping robe before shoving him forward.
Izuku stared in barely hidden awe and wonder at the sight that welcomed him. The whole space was brightly lit by a series of golden chandeliers hanging high above his head, and Izuku stared into a grand hall of rich gold and warm oranges, everything oozing with a sort of heat and wealth with every crevice and surface. Stretching out before him was a large rectangular table, covered in a beautifully embroidered table runner that led his eyes all the way up to three seated figures.
Everything in the room was a rich blend of yellows, oranges, and reds just like the men sitting there. Sitting at the head of the table was a man with ashy blonde spikes for hair, creamy skin, and bored red eyes. He was wearing a simple tunic with a deep V that showed off a portion of his strong chest and draped from his shoulders was a rust-colored cloak, the trim a tawny-colored fur. His presence was intimidating and he was clearly royal, though the feet he had propped on the table ruined the elegance he carried.
Seated to his left was another man who was viewing Izuku with excited eyes and a pointed grin. Everything about this man showed strength, from the wide set of his shoulders to the strong arms he had resting on the table. He was also shockingly red, from the cherry red of his hair, his bright eyes, and the fact that all he wore to cover his chest was an expensive looking scarf that only covered the upper half of his chest.
Lastly was the man sitting across from him and to the bored looking ones right. He was the smallest and slimmest of the three, looking leaner and not as intimidating as the other two. He was beaming brightly at Izuku and nearly bouncing in his seat with excitement, his yellow eyes never leaving Izuku. He wore a cloak similar in style to the other blondes, except his was a mustardy shade of yellow and it lacked the fur trim. But what caught Izuku’s eye was the nearly yellow blonde hair the man sported, a chunk of the hair near his bangs a jagged black bolt.
All three of them were nearly blindingly attractive and radiating with power.
The redhead stood suddenly, his chair creaking behind him, with arms outstretched wide and a large grin plastered to his face. “Izuku Midoriya, welcome!” He paused for dramatic effect and then suddenly slammed his hands together. "To the hall of the gods!”