Midoriya Izuku is a ghost.
He doesn’t really remember the details of how that happened, or who he was before. He thinks he was about 20 when he passed away, give or take a few years. The last thing he really remembers is… uh. He wants to say a bright light but it feels very cliché. For a moment, he’s caught off guard by the image of a tortoiseshell cat. When he blinks, the image of the cat is gone and he’s left looking around at his surroundings.
It looks like a classroom. An empty classroom with big windows along one wall, a big door on the other, and five rows with five desks each. He had always pictured purgatory as a hospital waiting room, but the classroom seems very fitting. Hopefully, he isn’t actually in purgatory - he would hope that the afterlife had more to offer than that - but until he’s proven otherwise, that thought is oddly comforting. He would rather be stuck in purgatory in the form of an empty classroom than staring at his lifeless body.
The thought of his body makes him look down. His picture of ghosts has always been that of grayscale sceptres in Victorian clothing; being met with colour makes him question if he’s really a ghost until he takes in the transparency of his form, and the solid foot of empty air that separates him from the floor. Having once more cemented the fact that he is a ghost, Izuku takes a better look at his clothes. They’re not even his clothes - he knows enough about himself to know that he wouldn’t have worn a turquoise - green? what’s a green shade of turquoise called? - oversized hoodie, black skinny jeans with ripped knees, or red combat boots if he was alive, yet that’s what his outfit is.
When he looks up from judging his new outfit, Izuku is met by a bright yellow sleeping bag. His mouth snaps shut, a movement that clues him in to the fact that he must have been speaking his thoughts out loud as he tried to make sense of the situation. When his eyes move up from the sleeping bag, he finds himself face to face with a rugged looking man. Before he has time to take in the stranger’s appearance more, the man’s hair is floating and previously black eyes are now glowing red. There is also a scarf passing right through Izuku’s body. It’s very strange to look down and see something passing straight through you, even if you have accepted that you’re a ghost.
Izuku opens his mouth to start asking questions, but the man jumps out through the door. It’s an impressive move considering he was still in the sleeping bag. Izuku considers following but he has yet to figure out how being a ghost actually works. How are you supposed to walk when you’re floating?
The man doesn’t come back.
Izuku spends an unknown amount of time exploring the classroom once he has figured out how to move and interact with things. The sun sets at some point and then rises at another, but his vision isn’t affected by the darkness. He doesn’t know if it’s due to being a ghost or something else.
By the time that he starts hearing people moving around outside the classroom, he has deduced two things. Firstly, the dead doesn’t sleep, and secondly, he can’t leave the classroom. He also finds himself inexplicably drawn to the middle desk in the row closest to the windows, which is where he has decided to sit while he waits for something to happen.
Students start trailing in after a while. He at least assumes that’s what they are, as he is sitting in a classroom and they are wearing school uniforms. If he had to guess, they’re probably fresh out of middle school. They can also obviously see him but so far no one has commented on him casually sitting on a desk, basking in the warmth of the sun and taking in their various appearances. With the rugged looking man’s floating hair and glowing eyes yesterday, he had understood that this is definitely not the same place that he’s from, and with the students, he has abandoned the thought of purgatory. It’s strange and exciting to take in the physical differences in the students, and he thinks being a ghost is the only reason he accepts it so easily. If he had seen someone with a tail or head like a bird while he was still alive, Izuku is sure he would have been more cautious than he is now.
A sudden explosion near his face draws his attention from the other students and he finds himself looking at a very angry blond. Izuku blinks a few times in confusion because at this point he had assumed that most probably think him a teacher or teacher’s assistant, or something, and you shouldn’t try to harm an authority figure. This apparently doesn’t stop the angry blond, who rants something about a Deku and seems very annoyed that the explosions don’t affect him. Izuku is just happy to still be sitting on the desk, since interacting with things is still very hard.
He looks behind the angry blond when the classroom door opens. A mirror image of himself, only younger, is standing in the doorway. The angry blond turns around to see what he’s looking at, which leads to more explosions. They only stop when a familiar yellow sleeping bag shows up behind his younger self.
Izuku waves, because even if the sleeping bag man is still a stranger, it’s a familiar face. He watches as the man makes some sort of connection between him and his younger self, before moving past to the teacher’s desk. The students automatically move to sit at the desks, except for the angry blond in front of Izuku and the alternate version of his younger self in the doorway. Izuku is happy where he is, lazily sun-basking even if he feels curious eyes on him.
“Izuku?” Izuku decides to ask because he can feel the sleeping bag man - teacher? - staring at him. Probably because he’s the reason that class hasn’t started. He very much wants to befriend the sleeping bag man.
It shocks his - okay he needs a shorter way to say this… his… uh… his brother. That’s good enough for now, even if they’re essentially the same person.
It shocks his brother out of his frozen state, and Izuku watches as he comes closer to the desk that Izuku is sitting on. Maybe he should move if the class is about to start? He can always just float above everyone since there isn’t really any more places to sit. With a nod to the chair, Izuku lets his brother sit down by the desk that he had been occupying before he pushes himself off of it. He floats awkwardly for a moment before he gets his bearings.
After a look around the classroom, Izuku decides to make his way over to the supposed teacher. Since he’s pretty much stuck in their classroom, he should at the very least introduce himself.
“Hey,” he starts with a small wave and a smile. “I’m Midoriya Izuku. Please feel free to call me Izuku to avoid any confusion between me and,” he breaks off to gesture in the direction of his brother. “I’m dead. Whatever is going on here - and I would love it if someone could explain it to me - didn’t exist when I was alive. I don’t want to be an inconvenience to your learning experience, but I’m also physically unable to leave this classroom. Please take care of me!”
Izuku’s smile brightens - if that’s even possible - as he bows first in the direction of the supposed teacher, and then in the direction of the class.
The response to his introduction is chaos as the hands of curious students goes through him, resulting in uncomfortable shivers. He thinks he also feels a tug on his clothes, but he can’t see a hand that isn’t going through him. It’s first when the supposed teacher’s hair starts floating and eyes glowing that the students return to their desks.
Izuku leans in close to the man. It’s even more fascinating seeing it the second time, and he has never been good with personal space. The glowing red eyes turn towards him. Izuku is about to lean in closer when a whistle from one of the students make him realise how close they are. He backs off so fast that he’s halfway through the wall before he stops. Since he wasn’t able to go through the wall when he tried to during the night, he’s very confused.
The floating hair and glowing eyes disappear as the sleeping bag man turn back to the class.
“I’m your homeroom teacher, Aizawa Shouta. Put on your P.E. uniforms and meet me at the P.E. ground.”
Izuku expects that he’ll be left behind, but the students crowd around him once more after their homeroom teacher has left the classroom. One of the students - a tall boy with glasses - is trying to get them to move, but most ignore him. Everyone is talking at once, but Izuku makes out a few repeated words - such as quirk and Yuuei. They move out of the classroom before he manages to get a word in, and when he does it’s due to his surprised squeak.
His hand had landed on the shoulder of a blond boy with a streak of black going through his bangs at some point. When he tries to remove his hand, nothing happens.
“I could probably let go if you bring me back to the classroom,” Izuku suggests. “I didn’t know that I could leave by touching someone.”
“But then you would miss out, and that wouldn’t be cool of us.” the boy protests. Izuku makes a note to learn the students' names later. For now, he just smiles and gives his thanks.
They end up passing him around so that everyone can get changed. Izuku can feel both his brother and the explosive blond glance over at him, but neither has made a move to talk to him yet. When they leave the changing room for the P.E. ground, he has his hand on the shoulder of a purple-haired boy who quietly introduced himself as Shinsou Hitoshi. Izuku is immediately fond of the boy.
As soon as they’re five meters within of Aizawa, Izuku feels his hand leave Shinsou’s arm. He tries to move further away from the teacher - who he notices is no longer in the sleeping bag - but he hits an invisible wall. Shinsou looks at him, but all Izuku can do is shrug. He moves to float by Aizawa’s side.
“I thought you said that you were stuck in the classroom.” is how Aizawa greets him.
“I hitched a ride with your students.” Izuku answers, which doesn’t really explain anything. He delights in the look that Aizawa gives him. Being dead seems like it’s going to be fun.
Izuku keeps quiet as Aizawa explains the Quirk Apprehension Test, and how the student in the last place will be expelled. He’s still not sure what a quirk is supposed to be, but he assumes it’s like some kind of superpower, which also can physically affect a person. Most of the students can actually make use of their quirk in the tests, which is interesting to watch, but his eyes linger on the three students whose score average places them in the bottom. One of them - Hagakure Tooru - has invisibility as her quirk, so that makes sense. It’s hard to compete against someone with motors on his legs or who can jump like a frog. The other two are Shinsou and his brother.
They didn’t seem to have used a quirk at all, but it would make sense that not all quirks can be used for P.E. tests. He finds himself worried when he realises that Shinsou placed last, but then Aizawa says that the expulsion was a lie to motivate them. Izuku doesn’t believe him. The students seem relieved at least.
“Your curriculum sheets are in the classroom. Look over them when you get back.” Aizawa dismisses the students with a halfhearted wave. A few of them look towards Izuku but he smiles at them and nods towards Aizawa, who seems to be the whole reason that he can move freely. Within a radius at least. He hasn’t tried to leave Aizawa’s side yet, but he might later. For now, he has to keep up with the homeroom teacher, who is already leaving.
He’s sure that Aizawa would have preferred if he went with the students, but Izuku is nothing if not stubborn. He happily stays by Aizawa’s side, although he does have the common sense to keep quiet.
“Aizawa, you liar.”
They’re interrupted by a big, muscular man, dressed in an awful suit. Aizawa seems about as unhappy with the interruption as he seems with everything else, so that doesn’t say much.
“All Might. So you were watching.” Aizawa answers. That can’t possibly be the man’s real name, but he remembers hearing the students talking about heroes. A hero name then. Izuku’s not very impressed.
“Who’s your companion?” All Might asks, instead of commenting on the fact that he was apparently spying.
“Midoriya Izuku, but you may call me Izuku.” He gives a small wave with his introduction and watches with confusion as All Might’s expression changes when hearing his name.
“...were you watching because of the other Midoriya?” Izuku asks. He’s not sure what other reason there could have been for that expression. He really should get his hands on a notebook so that he can start writing up information about this place.
“That’s right!” All Might confirms, but he seems unwilling to say anything else. Izuku doesn’t ask.
Actually, even if he wanted to ask, he would have been unable to. Aizawa had deemed the conversation over and moved away, and Izuku was forced to follow as an invisible wall pushed him forward. He doesn’t bother to wave goodbye, as he doesn’t know what to think about a hero watching his brother.
Izuku keeps quiet and stays close by Aizawa’s side for the rest of the day. He has a lot of questions to ask after class is over. His brother and the explosive blond seem to have questions of their own because they stay behind in the classroom after classes are over for the day.
“There’ll be a staff meeting later.” Aizawa says before he leaves them. Until then, Izuku is stuck in the classroom with two teenagers.
When he thought about life after death, he would never have imagined this.