"Even without a quirk, can I still be a hero, like you?"
Midoriya Izuku, a quirkless teenager with seemingly no other special skills other than hero analysis, almost couldn't comprehend how the situation turned out like this. He had a really shitty day, no thanks in part to his childhood friend-turned-bully, Bakugou Katsuki, telling him to end his life if he so desperately wanted a quirk. Then, he was almost killed by a sludge villain on his way home.
Just when he thought that his life was coming to an end anyway, his childhood idol, the number one hero in the country, All Might, came to his rescue. What should have been the end of that did not, as in desperation, Midoriya latched onto the hero's leg as he took off into the air, throwing his life into a second near-death experience in less than five minutes.
For both of their safety, All Might landed on the roof of a building in the downtown core, and to Midoriya's shock, deflated into his true, emaciated form as Toshinori Yagi. Shock aside, realizing that he might never get another chance like this again, Midoriya asked the number one hero the question that has been plaguing him since his diagnosis as 'quirkless'.
The answer that came would forever alter his life.
"I'm sorry kiddo, you can't be a hero without a quirk."
You can't be…a hero…without a quirk…
Those dreaded words, said with pity, repeated themselves over and over in Midoriya's head, long after he excused himself from All Might's presence and left the building. His own childhood idol, the Symbol of Peace whom he had looked up to ever since he was a toddler, had destroyed his dreams, with such audacious pity that it made Midoriya nauseous, although that could also be attributed to the loud, heaving sobs that wracked him when he numbly found himself at a small park and sat himself down on a bench.
It would have been heart-wrenching for anyone to hear such sobs, and indeed it was. For Midoriya, the world had collapsed all around him. The one hope that he had for his dream had been severed. There was nothing left. All Might was just another figure, part of a long line of people who had shown him pity, or worse, disgust, for not having a quirk.
There were three that stood out in prominence.
" I'm sorry, but with the extra toe-joint, it's irrefutable that Izuku would never have a quirk."
That was his family doctor, stoic and professional, diagnosing him as quirkless.
" I'm so sorry, Izuku!"
That was his mother, the only family he had left after his father left without a word, breaking down in tears when he, amidst his own tears, asked futilely if he could be a hero like All Might after that fateful medical appointment. He still remembered his mother embracing him as they both cried in his darkened bedroom, the only light coming from the computer screen featuring a smiling All Might.
" If you're so desperate for a quirk, useless Deku, go and take a leap of faith off the roof. Hopefully, you'll get a quirk in your next life!"
That was Kacchan, or Bakugou Katsuki. Childhood friend-turned-bully. The explosive blonde had been the source of many more insults and physical attacks, those of which Midoriya had already forgotten in an attempt to numb the pain of daily life. But those two sentences, spoken just hours before with such cruelty that it was almost impossible to believe that a human could possess such levels of malice, remained crystal clear in Midoriya's head.
And now, All Might had joined the list.
Pain. Unbearable, agonising pain. That was what Midoriya felt now. He was bleeding out, emotionally, as if he had been stabbed a thousand times and left to die. Indeed, he felt like he was dying, everything that meant his very existence had been destroyed. There was nothing left to help him become the person he wanted to be. He was just Deku. Useless, quirkless Deku.
Amidst his sobs, a scream retches out of his throat as his emotional casket explodes. It dies away into more hiccupped sobs, as the rush of emotion ebbs away, leaving behind an empty void never to be filled again.
Slowly, the sobs too fade away as the green-haired teen ran out of tears to cry. He sits for a while more, heaving deeply to replenish the oxygen that he had been slowly depriving his lungs of from his sobs. Only when his breathing stabilises, does Midoriya attempt to stand back up. He wavers, his legs numb from the lack of movement. Once he steadies, he looks up to the sky.
What should have been the blue sky of the early evening with a smattering of yellows and orange from the setting sun was instead an ominous dark grey. The wind was picking up, as the clouds seem to roll above the teen. A thunderstorm was coming, courtesy of a quick flash of light amidst the clouds, followed closely by a low rumble.
Midoriya felt a strange crackling in the air, his curly locks unknowingly rising and standing on end.
'Gosh…I better get back before I-'
He was unable to finish that thought, for all of a sudden, there was a flash of blinding light.
Midoriya felt his entire body seize up, followed by an ear-splitting scream. He didn't know it at that moment, but that scream was ringing from his own mouth. All he could see was white – a glaring, blinding white light. The pain was excruciating; it was like as if a thousand knives were stabbing at every inch of his body. Every nerve ending seared as if they were on fire, just as physical fire began to erupt from the seams of his gakuran and the tips of his hair. Midoriya felt his heart go haywire, beating faster and erratically, as his lungs felt like they were going to implode.
It was an eternity of agony, when it had happened almost instantaneously, and ended just as quickly. Time appeared to slow, amidst unbearable pain.
Suddenly, the white light vanished, leaving behind a vision of blurred, merging shapes and colours.
Then came the seemingly slow descent towards the ground.
Midoriya felt many things as he keeled over. He felt his lungs collapse and his breathing fade. An incessant ringing in his ears. His vision becoming blurrier and darker. The small flames that singed his hair and uniform. The leftover pain that still coursed through his fried nerves. His heart reaching breaking point, pulse fluctuating madly, before it slowed, and…stopped.
That was also the same moment his body hit the ground with a dull 'thud'.
And not a moment later, came the rain. First a droplet, then two, and then three, followed by more. Within seconds, a deluge of water poured from the heavens, splattering on Midoriya's body, now riddled with Lichtenberg scars running all over, criss-crossing and branching all over, from throughout his face to the tips of his fingers. The small flames that singed his hair and clothes fizzled out, defenceless against the watery onslaught.
There he laid, prone against the rain, unnoticed by anyone as they rushed for shelter underneath umbrellas, newspapers or bags. A minute passes, and there was another rumble of thunder.
Followed by another flash of light.
Midoriya's body involuntarily jerked as a second bolt of lightning struck him, directly over his silent heart. Thunder followed, almost instantaneously, with a deafening crash and roar.
The noise faded, but the bolts of electricity from the second strike didn't.
It crackled wildly within him, centring on a certain spot in between his lungs, where a dull mass of energy laid. Sparking with the currents, the mass glowed, losing its dull shade for brightness. The electricity then shot towards his heart, before spreading along the silent arteries and veins of his body. Every organ, muscle, bone, nerve and tendon were all enveloped by the electricity. Midoriya's brain, the last remaining organ to have not yet shut down from the fatal first strike, was the last to be taken over by the crackling bolts.
All the while, green bolts of electricity pulsed and crackled all over his prone form, the Lichtenberg scars glowing a jade-green colour, starting from over his heart, traveling along and ending at the tips of his fingers and toes.
The electricity inside of him continued to pulse, getting fiercer over his heart, body, and mind. His chest started rising and falling slowly, oxygen steadily returning into his system.
Then, all of a sudden…
…Midoriya's eyelids snapped open, revealing blank, dull eyes.
The irises were no longer their forest-green colour. Instead, like the light pulsing along his scars, they were a jade-green. A vibrant, beautiful colour, but at the same time, de-saturated and faded. As if there, but at the same time, not quite there.
Still crackling with green electricity and glowing jade from his scars, Midoriya slowly picked himself up from the wet ground. He stepped over to where his bag lay, abandoned and drenched, picked it up, and slung it over his shoulder.
And, with the rain still pouring down around him in torrents, Midoriya sauntered out of the park, as if he hadn't been struck dead by lightning and revived by the same force of nature less than a few minutes ago.
Midoriya finally reached his apartment block. Heaven knows how much longer he took to make the journey thanks to the rain and given the fact he sauntered all the way. During that time, he was struck by lightning again, no less than five times.
But these strikes were different. Far different.
Midoriya felt nothing whenever the lightning hit his body. Maybe the electricity coursing over his exposed skin and singed gakuran and seeping into his body, but no pain or anything uncomfortable.
Alright, feeling the electricity being absorbed into his body was something he was unfamiliar with, but it wasn't bad per se. It was just unusual, but not unpleasant.
Midoriya finally reached the front door. He pressed the doorbell, inadvertently draining the battery of its voltage into his system as he pulled his finger away, cutting the chime off halfway.
He waited impassively as hurried footsteps raced for the door. It was quickly pulled open by his frantic mother, Inko.
"Izuku! Oh my goodness! Where were you?! I tried calling you multiple times, and the storm outside was so ferocious, and-"
Inko's words died in her mouth, as she finally noticed the scars on her son, glowing green. Her eyes widened.
"I-Izuku…w-what happened…to you…?"
The teen replied stoically as he raised a hand, crackling with green electricity, "Honestly…I don't know. But Mom…this feeling…"
There was a beat of silence, raising the tension.
"…I've never…felt so alive, Mom."
To Be Continued.